Swingin’ Sailings on MSC

The cruise line tempts music and sports fans

By: Jana Jones

Classic rock ‘n’ roll harmonies, swinging Big Band sounds and soulful jazz stylings will be in the spotlight on five MSC Cruises’ sailings during the 2006 Caribbean season. In addition to the professional entertainers who perform nightly in the ships’ lounges, these 11-night roundtrip sailings from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on MSC Lirica will feature noted Big Band (Jan. 13, March 20 and April 22) and Jazz performers (Feb. 15) as well as the renowned Ink Spots (Jan. 24).

The Ink Spots will bring their harmonies and arrangements to the Jan. 24 sailing of MSC Lirica. The ship calls at San Juan, St. Maarten, Grenada, Barbados, Antigua, Tortola and Cayo Levantado (the cruise line’s private paradise in the Dominican Republic). The Ink Spots have earned places of honor in the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Apollo Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

The 15-piece Les DeMerle Big Band, featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele, takes center stage on MSC Lirica’s Jan. 13 and March 20 Big Band cruises as well as the April 22 combination Big Band & Baseball Greats theme cruise.

MSC Cruises has something special for jazz lovers, as well. The 11-night, Feb. 15 MSC Lirica sailing will feature two noted jazz musicians: pianist Joe Augustine and award-winning vocalist Dana Paul.

MSC Cruises is also hosting a series of Baseball Greats Theme Cruises, featuring some of the “greats of the game” in free interactive guest/player activities, such as a player-hosted trivia game in which guests can test their baseball knowledge, question-and-answer sessions, a lively story-telling session, player-hosted clinics and a free autograph signing at the end of the cruise. Baseball theme cruises will take place on the MSC Lirica’s Dec. 10 and April 11 sailings, as well as the MSC Opera’s seven-night sailings on Jan. 28, Feb. 18 and March 11.

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