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Cruise Experience

A World of Entertainment

An Announcement From Chris Botti

Chris Botti at Sea is a charter cruise program designed in the spirit and style of Chris Botti, America’s #1 selling American instrumentalist since 2004. For years, in addition to his special association with PBS, a string of #1 jazz albums going Gold and Platinum as well as Grammy® Awards, Chris has toured the world, performing over 225 nights a year with an ensemble of the most talented musicians and vocalists in the industry.

Chris has perfected the art of ensemble entertainment, using his command of the stage and easy manner to create entertainment experiences unlike that of most musicians on tour. Moving that special experience to sea is both a natural extension of his talents and an exciting catalyst for the development of a new charter cruise program.

In developing the programming and vision for the cruise, Chris was “hands on” lending his take on performers, shows, guest events and more. You will see his imprint, and that of Jazz Cruises at every turn.

Together in harmony, Botti and Jazz Cruises have formed a nearly perfect union with the sole goal of presenting the very best entertainment and shows in a luxurious and inclusive setting.

Daytime Shows

4 of the 7 Days are “At Sea”!. Our special itinerary takes us to the exotic ports of Aruba and Curacao. To make that sailing requires 2 Days at Sea going and 2 Days at Sea coming back. On most cruises, Days at Sea are for relaxing, reading and resting. Yes, you can do just that on Botti at Sea ’24, but doing so means that you will miss out on 4 amazing days of entertainment and interaction with the stars of the cruise.
Each Day at Sea is filled with performances, interviews, interactive events and more. These events are divided into three categories: “Show”, “Learn” and “Enjoy”. Evening events are also branded with those titles, but the significance is more distinct with the daytime shows.
When planning your Days at Sea, do not forget the full-service spa, workout and personal training opportunities or other, more typical cruise amenities.

Star Studded Nightly Main Shows

The Greatest Shows at Sea. Botti at Sea ’24 will present an amazing big-time nightly show every night of the cruise that features top stars, high-end production, and exciting performances. The goal for each show is to transform the main theater into a world-class showroom and give the guests a program that would be the equivalent of a top show on land…and do that for 7 consecutive nights.
The main shows are performed in the majestic Celebrity Theatre, which comfortably holds half of the guests on board. For that reason, each show is performed twice each night. Guests who see the 1st Show enjoy dinner after the show. The other half of the guests dine first and then attend the 2nd Show. Your Main Show Schedule is determined when you complete your Reservation and is reflected in the color of your Cruise Identification Card (BLUE or RED). Your card provides your entry to the show and your seating will either be assigned or open for you to choose.

Cruising After Dark

Since its first sailing in 2001, Jazz Cruises has proudly provided guests with special late-night entertainment called “Cruising After Dark.” Starting around 10:30PM, after dinner and the Nightly Main Shows, the entire ship will be opened for more music, parties, autograph sessions, comedy, dancing and much more. Guests are encouraged to roam the ship; take in the events that they like and move from venue to venue as they desire.
Late night allows us to open an entirely new and very exciting venue. After dinner, The Cosmopolitan Restaurant becomes a lovely late-night, cabaret-style music venue. Special drinks and food are available while you sit in luxury and enjoy entertainment ranging from comedy to music to dancing. Chris Botti is personally programming this venue.

Enjoy Events

Sometimes events are presented on the cruise just to have fun. We are careful not to share too much of this information now as the element of surprise is part of the excitement, but here are three types of events we produce just for the sheer enjoyment of doing so. 

Learn Events

One-on-one musician interviews, panel discussions, instrument seminars and tutorials, and presentations of special topics for our music lovers. Though music is the main event on the ship, “Learn” events may also include cooking demonstrations, wine or whiskey tastings, and more. Always something for everyone.

Cocktail, Wine, Food Events

No luxury cruise program would be complete without cocktails, wine, and food. Botti at Sea ‘24 takes that to another level by pairing these events with performers who serve as hosts. It may be a Happy Hour Hang or a fine dining experience, but you can be there with your favorite performer.

The Comedy of Alonzo Bodden

Alonzo Bodden, winner of Last Comic Standing and Jazz Cruises' Comedian-in-Chief, will perform his hilarious show for an additional two nights of "Cruising After Dark." Famous for delivering funny and pointed comments about current events and taking performers to task, some of the best people-watching is found during an Alonzo Bodden show.

The Jazz Cruises Legacy

Without a doubt, Jazz Cruises has been producing music and entertainment programs longer and in greater number than any charter company in the world. Though it dominates the jazz cruise genre, it has also produced cruises that feature rock, country, gospel, pop music and more. From its first sailing in 2001 to its 85th sailing in 2024, Jazz Cruises has been the Gold Standard for live entertainment at sea.

Chris Botti’s brand and quest for excellence fits perfectly with the cruise philosophy of Jazz Cruises. At all times, the sound, lighting, and production elements are top notch.

The Botti at Sea ‘24 Production Team is led by Brian Rachko, who has been a part of Jazz Cruises’ programs for over 16 years. No sense in presenting great entertainment without providing the very best way to enjoy it.

Forming a Union where GREAT MUSIC is the ONLY RULE

Blue Note at Sea was created by Great Music lovers for Great Music lovers. In 2016, Blue Note Jazz Clubs, Blue Note Records and Jazz Cruises joined forces to create a cruise program that was unlike any other music cruise. Most music cruises present a deep dive into a particular genre, but not every performer fits neatly into a niche

Just as these three iconic presenters have done independently for decades, they came together to present Great Music of all kinds in an innovative way to the world’s most discerning and passionate music fans. Yes, jazz is a prevalent component, but Blue Note at Sea performers, and the wall-to-wall music experience presented aboard a luxury ship, operate outside of standard industry classifications. They are truly the “Blue Note” of their craft.

Blue Note Jazz Clubs bring great skill and knowledge as a talent provider and presenter. Its leader, Steven Bensusan, is known by musicians, agents, and managers throughout the world, mirroring the expanse of his clubs.

Blue Note Records may be the most heralded jazz label in the world. Its list of musicians includes legends of the past and stars of the present. Under the watchful eye of Don Was, the label has risen once again to prominence and influence.

Jazz Cruises has been producing music programs longer and in greater number than any charter company in the world. Though it dominates the jazz cruise genre, it has also produced cruises that feature rock, country, gospel, and pop music.

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Past Sailings of Blue Note at Sea

Blue Note at Sea has sailed in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Each cruise was a sellout featuring some of the GREAT NAMES in the world of GREAT MUSIC. Here is a partial list of those who have performed on Blue Note at Sea:

Marcus Miller / Robert Glasper / Wynton Marsalis / Pat Metheny / Kamasi Washington / Chick Corea  / Gregory Porter / Dianne Reeves / Melody Gardot / David Sanborn / Joshua Redman / Lalah Hathaway / Chucho Valdes / Terence Blanchard / Dee Dee Bridgewater / Kurt Elling

Due to scheduling issues caused by the pandemic, Blue Note at Sea did not sail in ’21 and will not sail in ’22. ’23 will be its big return to the high seas.

Show Style Presentation

Blue Note at Sea presents your GREAT MUSIC in several ways during the weeklong cruises, combining the very best aspects of a music festival, theater concerts and intimate jazz club shows amidst the comforts of a luxury cruise ship. At all times, the sound, lighting, and production elements are top notch. The Blue Note at Sea ’23 Production Team is led by Brian Rachko, who has been a part of Jazz Cruises’ programs for nearly 15 years. No sense in presenting GREAT MUSIC without providing the very best way to enjoy it.

Daytime Shows 

Daytime music shows may be presented in any of the music venues (Celebrity Theater, Rendezvous Lounge or Sky Lounge). Special shows may also be seen and heard on the pool deck or in The Cosmopolitan Restaurant, the main dining room of the ship, which converts brilliantly into a cabaret-style music venue. Except in rare occasions, all Daytime Shows are presented on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nightly Main Shows

Each night there is a main show held in the Celebrity Theater. The show is presented twice so that every guest is able to attend. Guests who see the 1st Show enjoy dinner after the show. The other half of the guests dine first and then attend the 2nd Show. Your Main Show Schedule is determined when you complete your Reservation and will be reflected in the color of your Cruise Identification Card. Half the guests will have a BLUE card and half will have a RED Card. Your card provides your entry to the show. Once inside the Celebrity Theater, your seating will either be assigned or would be open for you to choose.

Cruising After Dark

For nearly 22 years, Jazz Cruises has been providing its guests with a special late-night array of entertainment that it calls “Cruising After Dark.” Starting around 10:30 pm or so each night, after everyone has had dinner and seen the Main Show, the entire ship opens to guests. There will be music shows, parties, autograph sessions, comedy, dancing and much more. Once The Cosmopolitan Restaurant is cleared from dinner, that room becomes a lovely late-night, cabaret-style music venue. Particularly exciting on Blue Note at Sea are the late-night jam sessions led by Robert Glasper. Most start around midnight and end when Robert says that they end! When we talk about music events on the ship that do not occur on land, the late-night jams are at the top of the list.

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“Learn” Events

Another cruise specialty is our series of “Learn” events, which include one-on-one musician interviews, panel discussions, instrument seminars and tutorials, and presentations of special topics for our music lovers. Though music is the main event on the ship, “Learn” events may also include cooking demonstrations, wine or whiskey tastings, and more. Always something for everyone.

“Enjoy” Events

Sometimes we present events on the cruise just to have fun. We are skeptical of sharing too much of this now as it undermines the surprise element, but here are three types of events we produce just for the sheer enjoyment of doing so.

Game Shows

One of the runaway hits of past cruises are Family Feud-type game shows pitting Robert Glasper and his band against Marcus Miller and his band. It was hilarious and the teams are gearing up for a rematch.

Cocktail, Wine, Food Events

No cool jazz program would be complete with cocktails, wine and food. Blue Note at Sea takes that to another level by pairing these events with performers who serve as hosts. It may be a Happy Hour Hang or a fine dining experience, but you can be there with your favorite performer.

The Comedy of Alonzo Bodden

Alonzo Bodden, winner of Season 3 of Last Comic Standing, and the Comedian-in-Chief of Jazz Cruises, will perform his hilarious show for an additional two nights of Cruising After Dark in the Main Lounge. Besides Alonzo’s humorous and pointed comments and observations about today’s events and the various humorous ways of the public, Alonzo is always able to comment (a polite word for roast) upon the ups and downs of the cruise itself. Famous for taking the performers to task, some of the very best people-watching can be found during an Alonzo Bodden comedy show.

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