By Jackie Roseboom
Country music fans may want to make plans now for the inaugural Blake Shelton and Friends cruise. In just about a year, on Oct. 14, 2012, the Norwegian Jewel will sail from Miami to the Caribbean on a seven day country music cruise. Fans of Shelton’s will be able to enjoy a week at sea with intimate concerts, surprise unplugged performances and more.
Shelton will perform two live concerts in the Stardust Theater. In addition, there will be live music every night in at least three different venues around the ship by various country artists (to be announced soon).
In addition to the concert, there will be other opportunities for country music fans:
– Song writer workshops
– A custom version of “The Voice” with a karaoke contest judged by professionals
– Surprise unplugged performances and jam sessions
– Question and answer sessions
– Opportunities to get up close and personal with musical guests
– Late night dance parties with radio station DJs
Shelton is the current CMA (Country Music Award) Male Vocalist of the Year as well as one of the judges on the hit NBC show, “The Voice.” Shelton has had many singles hit number one on the Billboard charts across all genres. His single “Austin” debut in 2001 and began his rise to fame. His versatility ranges from his heart-felt ballads like “Home” and “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking” to toe-tapping, get up and dance songs such as “All About Tonight” and “Hillbilly Bone.” His latest single, “Honey Bee,” spent four weeks as the number one single, and holds the record for the fastest-selling digital platinum single for a male country solo artist.
The Blake Shelton and Friends Cruise starts in Miami and will call on San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. Guests will be able to enjoy three relaxing days at sea to experience Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising. Freestyle Cruising means guests can choose when and what they want to do, such as dining, and are not stuck to a fixed schedule.
The ship has 16 dining options, some with an extra charge, and 13 bars and nightclubs. Dining reservations are recommended. Broadway-style shows and kids programs are among many other fun activities onboard. Of course there is also a casino and an arcade too.
The Norwegian Jewel features various types of cabins and suites, the largest are the two-bedroom, 572-square-foot Family Villas and 440-square-foot Courtyard Penthouses, around a private courtyard with its own small swimming pool, hot tub, and plush sun beds. The ship also has an impressive resort pool deck: a row of palm tree-shaped street lamps frame two pools, several hot tubs and a fun water slide. On the same deck is the ship’s spa with multiple treatment rooms, saunas and steam rooms, a beauty salon and a calming relaxation room with its own aquatherapy pool. The fitness center is next door and there’s a jogging track and a basketball/volleyball court outside.
The cruise prices start at $1,099 based on double occupancy. Guests can take advantage of an early-booking discount with rates as low as $899 per person when they book before Aug. 26. To book the Blake Shelton and Friends Cruise, visit www.blakesheltoncruise.com or contact Flying Dutchmen Travel at 800-248-7471. To learn more about Norwegian Cruise Line, visit www.ncl.com or call a travel professional.