MSC Poesia - Hosting the Inaugural
"Cruise To The Edge"

Background

Cruiser: David Presley, age 56. I've been on several other cruises: the Norwegian Epic on a 14-day Transatlantic Crossing in October 2012; the Sapphire Princess for a trip to Alaska in June 2007; Holland America's Zuiderdam on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean route in May, 2005; Premier's Seabreeze on a 7-day Western Caribbean route in February 2000; the Big Red Boat on a short jaunt over to Nassau in October 1999; the Dawn Princess on a 7-day Southern Caribbean route in November 1998; Carnival’s Jubilee on the 7-day Pacific coast swing in April 1997; Carnival’s Ecstasy on a 3-night New Year’s Bahamas cruise in December 1995; the Big Red Boat again in August 1994 (in conjunction with a Walt Disney World vacation); and a 4-night Bahamas cruise as a High School Graduation present back in May 1974.  

My journey eastward began mid-morning on Sunday, March 24 - when I was picked-up by Prime Time Shuttle for the ride to LAX (interestingly, the only other passenger aboard asked where I was traveling... turned-out we both were headed to Fort Lauderdale to go on Cruise To The Edge... small world, huh?). An uneventful flight aboard JetBlue got me in on time at 9:45pm; soon thereafter, the hotel's shuttle van brought me back to the Bridge at Cordova - where I met-up with Mary Ann Burns & chatted-away until calling it a night just after 2am.

 

Monday, March 25, 2013 - Embarkation & Sailaway

Up earlier than I otherwise would've preferred, I connected with Mary Ann and her roommate (for this trip) Jean - we walked down to the 17th Street Causeway Bridge to see the ship - then stopped at a couple of local stores for last minute items (I elected, for the first time, to not sneak-aboard a bottle of liquor... which was a good thing, as I was barely able to finish-off my soda/beer/wine drink tickets by end of cruise). Back at the hotel, after sitting 'round the pool for a bit we took the hotel shuttle to Port Everglades Terminal 4 just after noon. The entire check-in was no more than 15-20 minutes, followed by another 15min wait to come aboard. Once on the Poesia, I was able to go immediately to Cabin 11021:

MSC Poesia Inside Cabin #11021
MSC Poesia Inside Cabin #11021
MSC Poesia Inside Cabin #11021
MSC Poesia Inside Cabin #11021
MSC Poesia Inside Cabin #11021

Once settled - and after completing the mandatory Safety (for me they'll always be "Muster") Drill - I headed-up to the Pool Deck area to meet-up with friends (with some notable passengers doing the same thing nearby), listen to Zebra, and watch the sunset sailaway from Fort Lauderdale. BTW, Zebra was great doing their own stuff - but blew me away doing Led Zep covers in their second set (arguably the best Zep cover band I've ever heard). Then, about the time we went out-of-sight of land, it was time to head-inside for Steve Hackett's band to play the Main Theatre.

Sailaway, with Zebra performing on the Pool Stage
Sailaway, with Zebra performing on the Pool Stage
Years in the making, Maire & I finally meet in person & get to hang for the week!
Sailaway, with Zebra performing on the Pool Stage (interestingly, this is the last time we saw the sun until late afternoon of the final day - by Caribbean standards, TERRIBLE weather!)
A lovely sunset, as we leave Port Everglades / Fort Lauderdale in the distance
Jean & yours truly
Steve Hackett in the Main Theatre (yes, only ONE photo from this show is acceptable for posting - I did some serious camera retweaking between this and the Carl Palmer show that was up-next)

He played a stellar set of Genesis oldies - but, perhaps because I was so into the music, I only got the one good photo (thankfully, he played again on the last day of the cruise - outdoors - where I could redeem myself!). After dinner (which I would categorize as acceptable... but little more - exactly as I'd read in numerous reviews on CruiseCritic), it was time to head-back-down to the MainTheatre for the Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy.

Paul Bielatowicz, ably covering Emo's keyboard parts, for the Carl Palmer ELP Legacy
Yep, Simon gets-into the music ;)
While Yes was the cruise headliner, I mainly came for Carl & UK. DP was a happy camper right about now.
Simon Fitzpatrick, handling not only "regular" bass lines but also taking the Hammond lead in 'Karn Evil 9, 1st Part II'!
Always nice to hear words from the maestro of percussion!
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'
Select shots from Carl's drum solo - taking place midway in the E-minor improv section of 'Fanfare For The Common Man'

For me, while Yes was the headliner - I really came to see Carl and UK (in it's best configuration with Terry Bozzio on percussion)... and, on this night, Carl simply wowed me (as always)!

There was supposed to be a late night performance by Glass Hammer at the Pool Stage - but inclement weather (setting the tone for the entire cruise) saw it postponed to another time. Wandering-about the ship, looking for something fun to do, I happened-upon about 15-18 people gathered around a grand piano in an area just forward of the Casino. Different people were playing all kinds of prog (with the others nearby wailing-away where vocals were appropriate). Some really good players aboard - so I decided to take a go at it about 4 with some ELP tunes. Little did I know that this "prog karaoke" would become the unexpected nightly highlight of the cruise!

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - A Day at Sea

Met-up with Mary Ann & Jean for a late-ish buffet breakfast astern (still quite tired from too little sleep) - then it was time for the first Meet 'n Greet with about half the artists. No autographs (WTF, given the cost we all paid to be aboard?!!) - just a quick picture taken by CTTE staff using modest point 'n shoot cameras. Thankfully, professional photographer Mary Ann captured my quick moment with Carl Palmer on my own camera (and, as you can see, Carl obviously approved of the tee shirt!).

Day 2 found me at the Meet 'n Greet with Carl Palmer, Glass Hammer, Zebra, and members of Saga.

Also got to say a quick "hi" to Glass Hammer, IOEarth (more about them in just a bit), and most of the members of Saga (who ended-up unable to play due to the death of a band member Jim Crichton's son just before sailing). After that, there was a bit of a lull tiil the mid-afternoon Storytellers session - at the Pool Stage - featuring Eddie Jobson & John Wetton of UK.

Tuesday afternoon "Storytellers", on the Pool Stage, with Eddie Jobson & John Wetton.
Tuesday afternoon "Storytellers", on the Pool Stage, with Eddie Jobson & John Wetton.
Tuesday afternoon "Storytellers", on the Pool Stage, with Eddie Jobson & John Wetton.
Tuesday afternoon "Storytellers", on the Pool Stage, with Eddie Jobson & John Wetton.
Tuesday afternoon "Storytellers", on the Pool Stage, with Eddie Jobson & John Wetton (covering 'Rendezvous 6.02' as this pic was taken)

Mostly, it was reminiscing about the start of the band - answering a few audience questions - and playing a few songs (the highlight, for me, being a piano and vocal-only version of 'Rendezvous 6.02'). Soon thereafter we wandered down to the Main Theatre for a performance by Ambrosia; then, it was time to head back outside for IOEarth to take Pool Stage...

Early evening Tuesday - Pool Stage - the unexpected highlight (for me) of the cruise was IOEarth. Ended-up buying all of their CDs, which are quite impressive!
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening
IOEarth, Pool Stage, Tuesday (early) evening

This band, in short, was the blow-me-away surprise of the entire trip (as evidenced by me buying their entire discography before leaving)! They also fully grasp the importance of fan interaction - being as friendly/open as possible throughout the entire cruise - and long thereafter on social media. Can't wait to see them again on Cruise To The Edge 2014!

After dinner, it was time for the headliner band - Yes - in the Main Theatre (the first of two performance nights). Normally, their "Three Album Tour" is played in its entirety on one night - but, with two nights scheduled, they played "Close To The Edge" and Going For The One" on this first night...

Steve Howe, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Steve Howe, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Geoff Downes, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Geoff Downes, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Geoff Downes, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Steve Howe, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Yes, taking the stage Tuesday night, for the first of two performances in the Main Theatre.
Alan White, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Steve Howe, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Steve Howe & Jon Davison, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Jon Davison & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Steve Howe, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Steve Howe, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Yes - Tuesday evening - headlining in the Main Theatre (towards the end of the night's set)
Yes - Tuesday evening - headlining in the Main Theatre (towards the end of the night's set)
Yes - Tuesday evening - headlining in the Main Theatre (towards the end of the night's set)
Alan White & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Alan White & Chris Squire, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Steve Howe, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Yes - Tuesday evening - headlining in the Main Theatre (during their encore performance)
Alan White, Tuesday night (the first of two Yes performances in the Main Theatre)
Yes, taking a bow to conclude the first of their two headlining shows in the Cruise To The Edge Main Theatre

Afterwards, I made a token appearance at "Prog Karaoke" Night 2 - but bailed early on as I was about to fall-asleep sitting up... which was quite a shame, as Mary Ann convinced Geoff Downes to come do a solo piano version of "Video Killed The Radio Star". At least I've seen a video of it!

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - Georgetown, Grand Cayman

I've only been to Grand Cayman once before - and while my memory is anything but vivid these days, I was completely confused when we tendered ashore and I saw no buildings. Asking a taxi driver, it seemed that the continuing inclement weather found us about 5 miles east of Georgetown... and those with snorkeling & SCUBA excursions found them all canceled (yeah, it was that bad - people all over the ship complaining of sea sickness, and high winds & overcast found temps a good 20-25 degrees below normal).

Luckily, my only plans were to go snag some cigars, some Tortuga Rum, and perhaps some hot sauce and/or lunch (if hungry)... with Mary Ann & Jean tagging-along (being wholly unfamiliar with the island). Got everything as planned - even had a quick (30sec or so) streetside chat with Alan White about Yes' upcoming stint at the Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp (advertised to be "play with Yes" - I wondered if that was really doable given the genre).

Wednesday (Cruise Day 3) found us in Georgetown, Grand Cayman
There were four ships anchored this day - Royal Caribbean got dibs on the best 'parking spot' - while the rest of us anchored at Spots Bay (about five miles east of town... necessitating cab rides back 'n forth)
I had planned on having lunch @ Breezes (on the waterfront in Georgetown, GC) - but just wasn't all that hungry - so I took a pass to do some shopping instead.
Pulling-back from the last photo, to see the courtyard of this small shopping complex.
Mary Ann hastily exiting a wonderful little shop - where I made several new friends from an island south of Key West ;)
Just before hopping a tender (one of three, seen off the port bow in this photo) for the ride back to the Poesia

Back aboard - and once underway - it was time for Storytellers with Steve Hackett in the Pigatelle Lounge astern (aka the "Pig Tail" as we all began to call it)... and, as can be seen in the photos, towards the end of this session Chris Squire joined him to discuss Squackett.

Another "Storytellers" - this time with Steve Hackett, in the Pigalle (or "Pig Tail" as we called it) Lounge
Another "Storytellers" - this time with Steve Hackett, in the Pigalle (or "Pig Tail" as we called it) Lounge
Another "Storytellers" - this time with Steve Hackett, in the Pigalle (or "Pig Tail" as we called it) Lounge
Another "Storytellers" - this time with Steve Hackett, in the Pigalle (or "Pig Tail" as we called it) Lounge
Another "Storytellers" - this time with Steve Hackett... joined now by Chris Squire... to discuss their history & their Squackett collaboration - in the Pigalle (or "Pig Tail" as we called it) Lounge
Another "Storytellers" - this time with Steve Hackett... joined now by Chris Squire... to discuss their history & their Squackett collaboration - in the Pigalle (or "Pig Tail" as we called it) Lounge

I bailed about 5-7 minutes before it finished so I'd be sure to not miss the second (and final) performance by Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy on the Pool Stage.

Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy - performing mid-evening Wednesday on the windy Pool Stage
Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy - performing mid-evening Wednesday on the windy Pool Stage
Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy - performing mid-evening Wednesday on the windy Pool Stage
Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy - performing mid-evening Wednesday on the windy Pool Stage

Gotta say, there's something magical about the music of Emerson Lake & Palmer, outside, on the wind-blown high seas!

As soon as they finished, we quickly made-way to the Main Theatre for the second (and again final) performance by Yes - playing "Close To The Edge" again, followed by "The Yes Album" then "Roundabout" as the grand finale.

Steve Howe & Yes, on their second headlining show, Wednesday night in the Main Theatre
Geoff Downes, during Yes' second headlining show, Wednesday night in the Main Theatre
Steve Howe, during Yes' second headlining show, Wednesday night in the Main Theatre
Yes, concluding their second headlining show, Wednesday night in the Main Theatre
Steve Howe, during Yes' second headlining show, Wednesday night in the Main Theatre
Yes, concluding their second headlining show, Wednesday night in the Main Theatre

Their last bow was hysterical - the ship lurched just as they were down, and a couple of them almost fell over! (rivaled only by Steve Howe's slide guitar - on both nights - meandering back 'n forth as the ship rocked merrily away lol)

Late night, once again, found me just forward of the Casino (which had now become a mainstay for Geoff Downes, Chris Squire & Alan White) for a play-until-5-or-so session of Prog Karaoke. By the time I got back to my cabin I knew I'd pay a price in a few hours (due to so little sleep)!

 

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Having "been there, done that" (where Ocho Rios is concerned), I told newbz that Dunn's River Falls or a pilgrimage to Bob Marley's House / Museum were excellent choices... but, for me, just wanted to wander slightly outside of the dock area to Margaritaville (again w/Marie & Jean) for drinks 'n eats. On the way back, stopped-in for a couple of (rude) tee shirts and the obligatory (where I'm concerned) jar of hot sauce.

Poesia, as seen from the beach just to the rear of Margaritaville
Walking out on the Margaritaville Beach just a bit - for a closer shot of our ship (MSC Poesia)
Jean, for the obligatory dockside photo, just before returning to the ship
Thursday (Cruise Day 4) found us in Ocho Rios, Jamaica... for me, it was a case of "been there, done that" - so I opted to simply go to nearby Margaritaville (in the Island Village complex, just outside the dock area) for some nachos & an Incommunicado (or two)
Time to return to finish the tasty libations - then do a little t-shirt & hot sauce shopping before returning to the Poesia
It POURED several times while Jean, Maire & I were in Island Village - snapped this pic just as one of the showers concluded
This would be the aforementioned Incommunicado. Very tasty. And the effects sneak-up on you!
For Jamaica newbz, if you're in the area I do recommend a trip to Bob Marley's estate... it's some distance away, but definitely worth the trip (for any music lover)
How many times in my life have I done catamaran party cruises? lol
A few pics around the Ocho Rios docks...
Back aboard the Poesia, this photo is Looking back at the beach behind Margaritaville... where I stood to take the previous two shots of the ship
You gotta know these waters, as there are VERY shallow reefs all around!
A few pics around the Ocho Rios docks...
A few pics around the Ocho Rios docks...
Sailing-away from Ocho Rios on Thursday afternoon - the inaugural Cruise To The Edge is now on the downhill slide towards its conclusion
Buh-bye, Ocho Rios :)

Once back aboard, a few minutes before departure we were treated to another show Ambrosia - that continued until Ocho Rios was well behind us. Next up was the second (and also final) performance for IOEarth... even more wowed by these guys than I was the first time!. Lastly, Nektar was to do a Pool Stage performance - but three songs-in the sky (literally) unzipped... with the rain deluge putting the kabosh on any more outside shows for the remainder of this night (a couple of new friends who were under cover near the bar said the rain came-down so hard that they could no longer clearly see the stage... amazing all of the equipment was ruined)!.

Ambrosia was a last-minute fill-in for Tangerine Dream (health issues prevented their attendance) - and I was pleasantly surprised... especially by the spot-on vocals!
Ambrosia, on the Poesia's Pool Stage, during sailaway from Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Ambrosia, on the Poesia's Pool Stage, during sailaway from Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Ambrosia, on the Poesia's Pool Stage, during sailaway from Ocho Rios, Jamaica (note Carl Palmer & John Wetton in the lower left portion of the photo - yes, the musicians were frequently on deck to hear the music of their colleagues)
Ambrosia, on the Poesia's Pool Stage, during sailaway from Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Just after snapping this photo, the sky - literally - unzipped... with all of us running for cover (Maire was by the bar and said so much rain suddenly fell that you could no longer see the stage). Nektar's show was abruptly ended, as was IOEarth's late night (planned) performance on the Pool Stage
Nektar, taking the Pool Stage early Thursday evening
Nektar, taking the Pool Stage early Thursday evening

After changing into dryer clothes it was time for UK's first Performance in Main Theatre.

John Wetton, during UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Terry Bozzio, during UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre (apologies for the lighting - this band makes it very difficult on photographers! lol)
Terry Bozzio, during UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre (apologies for the lighting - this band makes it very difficult on photographers! lol)
Terry Bozzio, during UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre (apologies for the lighting - this band makes it very difficult on photographers! lol)
UK, Thursday evening, in the first of two Main Theatre shows. They did not disappoint!
Terry Bozzio, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Terry Bozzio, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Terry Bozzio, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Terry Bozzio, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Terry Bozzio, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Alex Machacek, during UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during his drum solo on UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre
UK, Thursday evening, in the first of two Main Theatre shows
UK, Thursday evening, in the first of two Main Theatre shows
Eddie Jobson, during UK's Thursday night show in the Main Theatre

LOVED the music... detested the lighting (which, from what I understand, is intentional - to make it difficult to get good photos of the band performing). But, musically, it was the highlight of the cruise (for me). BTW, since returning, I've joined Eddie's online group so - for next year - I'll be able to chat for a bit during his member's only get-together.

There was a CTTE get-together in aft bar - nice to visit with new friends while waiting unacceptably long times for drink orders to be fulfilled... once we'd had enough of that, it was again time to make-way down to Deck 7 for another night of Prog Karaoke (that again went til the wee hours). By the time I went to bed, dawn was beginning to break!

 

Friday, March 29, 2013 - A Day at Sea

Carl Palmer & Mary Ann Burns - just after Carl's presentation & talk about his Twist of a Wrist art collection. Both Maire & I purchased this print (entitled "Tank")

As you might guess, this day started mid-morning for yours truly - and even that only meant I got about four hours sleep. Was really starting to run on fumes about now... Oh well, it is what it is ;)

I attended an art show sponsored by Carl Palmer Art - and, now that I'd seen the pieces up close 'n personal, ended-up purchasing two pieces for myself: Eruption 10/10, and Tank 27/30. Plus, with the vendor (SceneFour) located here in LA - it was a piece of cake getting the pieces in finished condition... where I simply brought them home and hung them.

From there I went back to "the Pig Tail" for a final show by Nektar. As was characteristic for their trip, a sound snafu happened two songs into their set that stopped the show til a solution was found. Talking to the guys after we'd debarked the ship on Saturday morningthey agreed that they felt snake-bit!

Nektar, in a shortened/rescheduled perfomance early afternoon Friday - in the "Pig Tail" Lounge
Nektar, in a shortened/rescheduled perfomance early afternoon Friday - in the "Pig Tail" Lounge

Mid-afternoon found me again in the Main Theatre for UK's second (and final) Cruise To The Edge performance (apparently their music didn't appeal to all - with a BUNCH of empty seats, I managed to finagle a spot three rows directly in front of Eddie... worked for me!)

A view of the Carlo Felice Main Theatre - filling-up for the second UK performance (late afternoon Friday)
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson & John Wetton, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
John Wetton, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
John Wetton, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Terry Bozzio, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre (yes, a different vantage than yesterday's pics, as I nabbed second row seats front left... the people for whom they were reserved never showed)
Terry Bozzio, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Terry Bozzio, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Terry Bozzio, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Terry Bozzio, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson... ALASKA!
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
Eddie Jobson, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
John Wetton, during the second UK show on Friday afternoon - in the Main Theatre
John Wetton & Eddie Jobson, concluding the second UK show on Friday afternoon - with 'Rendezvous 6.02'
John Wetton & Eddie Jobson, concluding the second UK show on Friday afternoon - with 'Rendezvous 6.02'
John Wetton & Eddie Jobson, concluding the second UK show on Friday afternoon - with 'Rendezvous 6.02'
John Wetton & Eddie Jobson, concluding the second UK show on Friday afternoon - with 'Rendezvous 6.02'
John Wetton & Eddie Jobson, concluding the second UK show on Friday afternoon - with 'Rendezvous 6.02' (upon conclusion, literally, my eyes were welled-up... not only from the music but also the realization that this is very likely the last time I'll ever hear this configuration of UK play live)

The last number was, once again, the two-piece version of 'Rendezvous 6.02'... realizing this was likely the last time I'd see them play with this personnel configuration I actually welled-up as I was applauding and the house lights came-up.

Moving outside, it was time for the last biggie of Cruise To The Edge 2013: Steve Hackett, playing on the Pool Stage. From what I understand, he even changed-up his planned set list a bit to accommodate numerous requests from the passengers... from what little interaction I had with him, I can confirm that he's an all 'round sweetheart!

For me, the last "biggie" of Cruise To The Edge was Steve Hackett's Pool Stage performance, late Friday afternoon (into early evening)... and note that the sun was out - just in time for the trip to end! :p Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon (and, yes, that pesky Royal Caribbean ship that got the best anchorage in Grand Cayman, is visible in the distance) Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett & Nad Sylvan, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
Steve Hackett & Nad Sylvan, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett & Nad Sylvan, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
Steve Hackett & Nad Sylvan, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Nad Sylvan & Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett & Nad Sylvan, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Howe & Roger Dean, giving a listen to Steve Hackett's last show aboard Cruise To The Edge Nad Sylvan & Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Is she gaining on us? ;) Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
Nad Sylvan & Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Chris Squire & Geoff Downes, giving a listen to Steve Hackett's last show aboard Cruise To The Edge One of the best attended Pool Stage shows of the week... with a visible sunset looming Steve Howe & Roger Dean, giving a listen to Steve Hackett's last show aboard Cruise To The Edge Nad Sylvan & Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
John Wetton joined Steve Hackett as the performance wound-down... John Wetton joined Steve Hackett as the performance wound-down... John Wetton joined Steve Hackett as the performance wound-down... Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Mary Ann Burns is obviously enjoying Steve Hackett's final number!   Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon
Steve Hackett & the band, closing with 'Los Endos', in the waning light of the last day of Cruise To The Edge Nad Sylvan & Steve Hackett, Pool Stage, Friday afternoon

That evening I managed to miss the second Glass Hammer performance... although I did catch Heavy Mellow in the Zebra lounge (very original, playing rock classics on flamenco guitar). And, given the unanticipated pattern of this trip, how else would I have concluded Cruise To The Edge than staying-up-all-night in a marathon Prog Karaoke session!

There is supposed to be another Cruise To The Edge in April 2014 - I've already plunked-down a deposit, and definitely hope it comes to pass!

 

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - Debarkation and Return Home to Los Angeles

Unlike a lot of ships on which I've sailed, this one docked pretty much at the scheduled time... and, equally unlike prior cruising, debarkation was a VERY poorly run mad-house (it's funny - as in haha, not peculiar: before departing MSC staff inquired if I'd like to join their version of the frequent cruiser club... I declined, giving them a myriad of reasons why... but, in essence, they just don't measure-up [in terms of staff service/attentiveness and food] to other top cruise lines). Nevertheless, I'll be sailing them again - in spite of themselves - because that's where management chooses to book the Cruise To The Edge!

Waiting 'round for the Bridge at Cordova shuttle to retrieve us, there was plenty of time to say 'hi' and thank several artists - including Mr. Hackett, the guys from Nektar, and (in a quickly glancing blow) the members of UK. Anyhoo, after the 10min van ride back to the hotel, several of us proceeded to wait poolside for several hours (a good bit of which I spent napping) until it was time for them to take us to the airport. BTW, can't say enough good things about them - stellar service at a very affordable price... they're my hotel of choice whenever I'm in Fort Lauderdale!

Anyway, once back at FLL I had uneventful Southwest flights connecting through PHX into BUR - arriving about 8:30pm local time... with my daughter picking-me-up for the 15min ride back to my house. With that, the inaugural Cruise To The Edge is history... as I type this, I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel next April!

   
 

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