Even with the rough weather, the trip was great fun and went beyond our expectations for enjoyment. About 20 top country western artists were on the ship and live entertainment was available nearly all day. There were four to six venues on the ship at any given time with performers like T. Graham Brown, the Bellamy Brothers, Kathy Matea, Shenandoah, Kenny Rogers, the Quebe Sisters, as well as small groups of musicians getting together for jam sessions. To put it in proper perspective, we country western music lovers were in hog heaven.
Each afternoon at 5:30 we went to a performance in the main auditorium for a featured entertainer. We were disappointed to learn that Mel Tillis could not make the trip. We were looking forward to hearing him sing. He experienced some type of medical problem, and required emergency surgery. As a last minute substitute, they flew in Bobby Bare, another of my favorite singers, and he didn’t disappoint. His hits like Detroit City, 500 Miles Away From Home and Ride Me Down Easy, received standing ovations.
The ship was able to stop at our other two ports, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman was very nice. We saw some spectacular underwater scenery, shipwrecks, beautiful fish including a shark, and coral reefs. The part of Jamaica where we stopped, Ochos Rios was unfortunately less than ideal. It was a rambling collection of broken down shacks with people selling all kinds of junk in their front yards. We walked into town, found a small jewelry store for charms for Sherron’s Pandora bracelet, and had lunch of jerk chicken with rice and beans, echh. At least the beer was good.
Grand Cayman was, by comparison, very nice. They had bad weather all week and our ship was the first one that had been able to get into the harbor. The sun was shining and the wind had calmed down quite a bit. At their port, ships do not stop at a dock, they wait in the harbor, and the lifeboats are used to ferry people into the town. Grand Cayman is a British territory and has no taxes of any kind. We found a restaurant and bar called Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Had a great lunch, huge margaritas, and listened to good music. A place I could go back to someday.
Bill Blowers – Author of Dangerous Betrayal – The Vendetta That Sank Titanic. www.billblowers.com Hear Bill speak at the following locations. Admission is free, public is invited:
February 16, Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi, Simi Valley, CA. 1:30 PM
February 18, Ventura City Hall Auditorium, 510 Poli St. #109, Ventura, CA. 6:00 PM
February 20, Base Camp Cafe, 16311 Askin Dr. Pine Mountain Club, CA. 1:00 PM