What’s more fun than a box full of puppies?—cruising to the Bahamas with 2000+ Elvis fans. From the moment the Carnival Fascination left the dock in Jacksonville, it was a non-stop treat of great music, great performances and, of course, that oh-too-tempting cruise food.
The first thrill was sailing down the St. John’s River and passing under the beautiful Dames Point bridge. There were squeals and oh!s as the ship’s antennae barely cleared the span. Then we were off to the Lido deck where Elvis tribute artists Brandon Bennet and Bill Cherry were already warming up and the waiters were circulating with trays of tropical punch. Enjoyed the former, passed up the latter—too many calories to start with.
Best of show? Our vote goes to Andy Childs who performed solo with his guitar in the Puttin On The Ritz lounge on Friday night and with the Memphis Boys Band in the ship’s theater on Saturday night. His knowledge of music history and the musicians involved in Elvis’s recordings along with his outstanding voice made for an exciting evening.
Along with all the music there were plenty of other activities on board—peanut butter and banana Bingo, an Elvis wine tasting, a program by some leading ladies from Elvis’s movies, autograph signings and a dance party with Sirius radio’s Elvis channel DJ, Argo. Congratulations to The Sixth Man Team for organizing everything on board so successfully!
A book signing for Graceland Express gave us a wonderful opportunity to meet with Elvis fans from all over. From Canada to California, from Texas to Indiana, from Maryland to Mississippi, they were all on board and all having a wonderful time. I sold out all my books within one hour, so I hope anyone who didn’t get to buy the book during the cruise will order it from my website.
The perfect final cruise day began with a Gospel Show in the ship’s theater by the Imperials and Andy Childs, and was proof once again that gospel is the music Elvis was born to sing. Sunday night’s USO Formal gave everyone a chance to show off their glitziest togs and dance the night away to tunes from Elvis’s era. Then, with barely a quiver the ship’s powerful engines signaled that we were once again heading out to sea.
To sum up—a good time was had by all! Wish all you Elvis fans could have been there. We’re already looking forward to next year’s cruise and the chance to reconnect with all fans we had the pleasure of meeting.