Our Beatles Tribute Cruise sets sail in less then 80 days. Here is the fictional diary of one of our Beatles Cruisers.
Wow…what a great way to start a vacation…my wife, Helen, and I flew in from New Orleans and boarded the Independence of the Seas to start our Beatles adventure. First we checked out our balcony cabin and then had a huge buffet lunch at the Windjammer Cafe (more about that later). We finished up just in time to catch the unveiling of the Beatles artist Shannon’s 8 paintings from her “Hard Days Night Collection”. I had seen her work online but never in person. I cannot believe how life like and accurate her work is and I understand why people mistake it for photographs. There was a lot of local and national media attending. If you see an article in USA Today, please save it for me. We got to meet May Pang and Chris O’Dell there and they promised we would have plenty of time to get to know each other on the cruise. We even got to meet the Captain of the ship who reminded us to say hi at his cocktail party. Love those free drinks!
After exploring this amazing ship for a while we grabbed a drink and headed up to the Pool for the Sail Away party. Most of the Beatles cruisers were hanging out together and I got to meet a lot of the people I had become friendly with on Facebook. Each one was more excited about this cruise than the next. We really are going to have a blast. Our cruise host opened the Sail Away party by introducing all of the Beatles guests to the whole ship and then BritBeat played a kick ass set as the Ship pulled out of Ft Lauderdale. As we set sail I saw something I will never forget, with our amazing ship was pulling out of Ft Lauderdale harbor, you could see all the way up the coast with thousands of people enjoying the Ft Lauderdale beaches while the thousands of people on the ship waved and headed out to sea.
We explored the ship a little more and discovered the Royal Promenade that runs the length of the whole ship. Think of the most beautiful mall you have ever seen…this is nicer. It has restaurants, bars, shops and park like areas.
Then at 6:30 we headed to the Pyramid Lounge for our first official Beatles event. After about an hour of free drinks, meeting more Beatles fans I had known from Facebook, the event started. We were introduced to all the Special Beatles guests and a few fans got a chance to ask a few some questions and then it was BritBeat’s turn. They took over this lounge and played over an hour of Beatles acoustic numbers. My wife and I hit the dance floor for some of our favorite Beatles songs: “And I Love Her”, “Mother Nature’s Son” and “I Will”. Then I asked Nancy Andrews to dance with me to “If I Fell” and I also danced with Jorie Gracen to “Ask Me Why”. My wife even danced with Paul Saltzman to “Ob La Di Ob La Da”, which Paul told he heard John and Paul working on while spending a week with the Beatles in India in 1968. It was a great way to kick off the Beatles part of our cruise.
Next, up to the dining room as a group. As we walked into this beautifully appointed three story dining room we could see all the other cruisers looking at us with envy. We all sat in one private area and enjoyed a great gourmet meal that was exquisitely served by the wait staff. They could not have been more friendly or accommodating. My wife and I both felt like royalty. We sat with a group of Beatles fans and talked about how the Beatles had affected each of our lives. Almost every couple in this group had a Beatles song for their wedding song.
After dinner we strolled the ship a little more and checked out the casino, before I knew it I was sitting at a Blackjack table with May Pang, Nancy Andrews and Chris O’Dell. These ladies were hysterically funny and I could not have enjoyed myself more, especially since I walked away with $160 in winnings.
We walked through the royal promenade again and I noticed that the ceiling now displayed as if it were nighttime with what looked like stars. We came across a group of Beatles Cruisers playing their guitars and singing Beatles songs. We sung a few songs and then I noticed that the guy who plays Paul in BritBeat (his name is Chris), Shannon and Nancy Andrews were both hanging out and singing too.
At this point my wife and I went back to our cabin and stepped out onto our balcony. We spent some time just talking about what an incredible day it had been while staring out into the night, looking at the moon and holding each other. All I can say is, if this was just the first day we could hardly imagine how fantastic this Beatles Tribute Cruise is going to be.