Lorraine Jordan and Julie King have agreed to send along a bluegrass travelogue this week from the First Quality Bluegrass Cruise, underway now in the Caribbean. This first report comes from Julie, as she and James were heading south to board the ship
130,000 tons of steel is still no match for Mother Nature. The First Quality Bluegrass Cruise had planned to set sail from Canaveral, FL on October 27th at 4:00 p.m. However, due to Hurricane Sandy, our departure was delayed until Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Our ship, The Carnival Dream, (which is Carnival’s largest vessel), was stuck at port in Nassau, Bahamas, riding out the storm, and couldnt make it back to our port in Canaveral in time to leave Saturday.
As we were getting the call that everything was delayed 24 hours, the van started swaying and the rains started in. We were traveling down I-95 in Florida, heading for I-4 towards Orlando. The more inland we drove, the less it seemed to be a hinderance. We finally found a hotel, after trying many, with no vacancies, and are now looking forward to one of the best weeks we’ve all had this year.
Everyone on this end is elated that the storm took a northern route from the islands. Carnival Cruise Lines, and First Quality Bluegrass Cruise and Travel handled this situation the best way possible. Our deepest thoughts remain with the 30+ people, and their families who perrished in the storm throughout Cuba and the Bahamas.
We look forward to communing with the other bands this week. Its not often that we all get to spend seven full days together at once. We also look forward to the intimacy that we (as bands) get to spend with the fans, and the daily one-on-one interaction with all the musicians on board.
Its always a pleasure to take bluegrass music to a foreign land, and let them experience how we view things from an American perspective.
For the next six days, I will be sending pictures, stories, and videos by various artists and fans from the ship. Our port of calls are Belize, Cozumel, and Costa Maya. Bands traveling with us include, our host band, The Bluegrass Mountineers, along with Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Goldwing Express, James King Band, and Larry Gillis.