Not sailing in 2021 has thrown off the rhythm of our year.
Our Take: At Sea, While Not At Sea
Last week, I shared the loss of visiting New York during the holidays this year. This week, I share an even deeper cut. I have been mulling over this loss for a while, but it hit home for real this week. You see, the other day I ran out of cologne. Other than the obvious personal hygiene concern, this episode led me to understand how not sailing this Winter will cause my life to unfurl.
Before we go further, I trust that it is clear that this note has a significant “tongue-in-cheek” bent. The current worldwide health crisis is neither funny, nor trivial. The loss of lives, livelihoods and life experiences is tragic and heartbreaking. That we will miss our annual confabs of jazz, camaraderie and joy is certainly unfortunate and will make for a longer than usual winter season, but that same time frame will produce more sadness, loss and suffering due to the pandemic. To that point, please consider your safety and the safety of others to be of paramount importance.
Back to our story. What great loss does not having cologne trigger? In reviewing my options to replenish my stock of fragrances, I realized that it has been more than two decades since I have purchased cologne on land! One of my first tasks when boarding our ships is to purchase enough cologne to last me until the following sailing season. I am not sure if it is the allure of the savings, the convenience or the ability to sample various brands that prompt my onboard purchases, but I have been doing this for so long that the “why” has been rendered irrelevant!
In fact, I have a whole host of “annual” undertakings built around the sailing season. Some make sense. Some are downright silly. An upcoming cruise season is cause to take inventory of my luggage. Most of my luggage has been with me for many years, but my wife has insisted upon certain upgrades. I have written previously about my attachment to a green Golf Glove roller bag that I purchased around 2000. It was awesome. You could dump anything you wanted into it. It had rollers. And, most importantly, it was easy to locate at Baggage Claim. It is gone now, replaced by a black Tumi duffel bag that says “LAZ” on it so that it can be shared equally by both of us. I miss that green bag.
Next, the coming of cruise season ushers in the great underwear purge. Just as you change the batteries in your smoke detector when Daylight Savings Time ends, I replace my underwear and socks inventory just before cruise season. It is a handy time to do so and makes the holiday gift selection for me very easy.
No cruise season is ever started without a physical examination. As I get older, staying in shape for the cruises is more important and harder to achieve. In addition to a concerted effort to work out before sailing, I want to be sure that I am healthy enough to do just that.
Finally, no cruise season would be complete without the annual attire confab. Determining the look for the cruises, the dominant color and texture, and to what extent more formal clothing will be included are important decisions. Theming one’s wardrobe is a must as being on a ship for 4 or 5 weeks at a time requires systematic utilization of apparel. Going from Blue to Black requires fewer moving parts than adding Brown or Green.
Actually, shoes are the key factor. If you start to amass shoes to fit your attire, your luggage will be overpacked and, most likely, overweight! Black shoes or brown shoes. You pick one or the other and go from there. I have no idea how women do it, other than the fact that three pairs of their shoes take up the same space and are the weight of one pair of men’s shoes.
Long story short, for this year, I will continue to work out and I will see the doctor. New underwear and socks will be purchased. But, as for my luggage and my wardrobe, they will remain “as is” until this time next year. Still, I anticipate being out of sorts for the next 90 days.
This is why not being “At Sea” has left me “At Sea” on so many fronts.
Hopefully, sooner than later, there will be live music to enjoy. I would imagine that this summer may be the time when our jazz lives approach normal. I certainly hope so. As you can read below, we are putting together a Holiday Show for fans of The Jazz Cruise and one for The Smooth Jazz Cruise advocates. It has been fun doing so and the cooperation and joy of the musicians has been amazing.
But, these wonderful tastes of live music may not sate our appetite. It might, in fact, make us more ravenous. For Pac-Man fans, it is like devouring one of those energy icons. Your needs begin to grow and your hunger increases. The good news is that live music events and our ’22 sailings are coming. As a tennis player, I liken where we will be in January to being back “on serve” with respect to our ’22 schedule. 2021 will feel more like past years.
Not sailing in ’21 makes me sad. And, if I do not find some cologne soon, I will be both sad and alone.
Our Take is written by Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director of The Jazz Cruise, The Smooth Jazz Cruise and Blue Note at Sea. Feel free to express your views or pose questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Gift to You: Holiday Shows from
The Jazz Cruise & The Smooth Jazz Cruise
As a gift from us and dozens of the amazing artists who sail on our cruises, The Jazz Cruise and The Smooth Jazz Cruise will present you with amazing Holiday Shows and both will be available for free.
The Smooth Jazz Cruise Holiday Show will be hosted by Marcus Miller, with his great pal Alonzo Bodden. You will be treated to a heaping helping of good cheer and great music with dozens of their Smooth Jazz friends joining in on the festivities virtually!
The Jazz Cruise Holiday Show features several of your favorite jazz performers, many of them sharing the bandstand with Shelly Berg, our Music Director, performing in some very cool locations and venues.
Once available, you will be our guest — no charge of any kind – to experience the joy, camaraderie and music we share at sea streaming online to you. This will be one gift that you will want to keep for a long time.
Get Your Alonzo Bodden Fix!
Alonzo Bodden, our favorite comedian and cruise host, is always finding fun ways to keep the creative juices flowing and the good times going. In addition to co-hosting The Smooth Jazz Cruise’s Holiday Show, Alonzo will be streaming to you on Friday, December 18, as the host of Your Late Night Show Tonight.
Joined by Robert Glasper and George Wallace, this online late night-style talk show, presented by the Nowhere Comedy Club, starts at 10 p.m. ET and can be watched via Zoom.
Blue Note New York was forced to close for 9 months this year, but was recently able to reopen by pivoting its business operations to offer full restaurant service for dinner and brunch to pair with its livestream concert series.
Tonight’s livestream show, produced from the club’s storied Greenwich Village stage, features Eddie Palmieri. Guests who purchase an in-person dining reservation can watch the shows during their dinner. Livestream access can also be purchased at www.bluenotelive.com.
For more information, including show information and to make reservations for dining, go to www.bluenotejazz.com.