It is Day 3 of The Greatest Party at Sea! Everyone is in a celebratory mood as we start a two-week celebration of the 20th Anniversary of The Smooth Jazz Cruise. As always, the opening song, which features every headliner on the cruise was a rousing success. For whatever reason, my emotions get the better of me every time we present the opening song. Maybe, it is the relief that the cruise has begun or just the glorious sight of all the performers on the stage. Whatever the reason, I get choked up.

Once the song was completed, the stage featured our two hosts, Marcus Miller and Boney James, along with our uber-comic, Alonzo Bodden. They welcomed our guests, shared a laugh or two and then proudly launched the full music programming for The Smooth Jazz Cruise ’24.1.

After that thrilling start, the stage was filled with the likes of Peter White, Vincent Ingala, Richard Elliot and Rick Braun. These “old hats” ripped it up and gave our wonderful guests two full hours of great music and fun. Late night music was provided by both Norman Brown and Mindi Abair.

Day 2 was highlighted by Jonathan Butler’s Gospel Show, one of the great traditions of the cruise. Other long-standing events were also presented. DW3 performing by the pool and the annual Boney v. BC Ping Pong Wars were both huge hits! I would share more about the surprises that we added to each event, but I do not want to ruin this for those sailing on The Smooth Jazz Cruise ’24.2. Stay tuned to next week’s edition of The Weekender to learn what twists and turns were added.

The “big guns” came out on Night 2 as Alonzo Bodden and Boney James shared the limelight at the Nightly Main Shows. So much fun. So much great music! So many great shows. One that was particularly exciting was our late-night show in the Celebrity Theatre, “The Music of Motown”. The lineup was stellar. Besides one of our amazing bands, the show featured Candy Dulfer, Mindi Abair, Larry Braggs, Grace Kelly, Ms. Monet and Marcus Anderson. Berry Gordy would have been very proud.

The spirit of our 20th Anniversary among our guests has been very exciting. There are guests who wish to walk down memory lane, whether that stroll is 5 years, 10 years or more. Then we have a boatload of new guests who enjoy hearing those stories, but their focus is on the here and now. Regardless, everyone recognizes that having a cruise program that can capture the hearts and minds of many for 20 years is something very special.

Thanks for listening and I am off to a Coffee Talk in the Rendezvous Lounge to share this edition of The Weekender with our guests and answer whatever questions they may have about the cruise and Jazz Cruises. A Saturday morning with coffee and The Weekender… feels like being home.

SPECIAL NOTE: As of this morning fewer than 50 staterooms remain available for The Smooth Jazz Cruise ‘25.1 and only 142 staterooms remain available for The Smooth Jazz Cruise ‘25.2. Though most of the recent reservations are by guests sailing right now on The Smooth Jazz Cruise ‘24.1, anyone can reserve a stateroom online or by calling the office.

By Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director of The Jazz Cruise, The Smooth Jazz Cruise, Chris Botti at Sea, and Journey of Jazz. Feel free to express your views or pose questions to him at [email protected].
Photo Credit: John Abbott

Once again, The Jazz Cruise ’24 was an amazing week of great music and great events. Hundreds of photos will soon be available, but for now, check out this sample section from the cruise.


Niki Haris – Aboard TJC ’24
Lisa K. – Florida

Guests on the ’24 jazz cruises received The Weekender mug, which we hope you will use with your Saturday morning coffee while you read the latest edition. Please share a picture of yourself & your mug with us so that we can include it for the 100,000+ folks who receive The Weekender each Saturday.

Tag us @thejazzcruise @bottiatsea @thesmoothjazzcruise #jazzcruises and #theweekender. Email your photo to [email protected].

Jazz Cruises’ ’25 Programs

The Jazz Cruise ’25
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary

The Jazz Cruise ’25 is 82% reserved and is currently in “Open Booking,” where anyone may reserve any available stateroom. You may view current stateroom availability and start your reservation on the website now.

The Smooth Jazz Cruise ‘25.1 & ‘25.2
Starting its 3rd Decade

With both sailings being fully reserved, guests wishing to sail on a ’25 sailing of The Smooth Jazz Cruise should JOIN WAITLIST now. Cancellations will be filled exclusively from the WAITLIST.

Botti at Sea II
(’25 Sailing)

Botti at Sea II began “Open Booking” on March 5, 2024 and is over 50% reserved. Anyone may reserve any available stateroom either by calling the office during regular business hours or doing so online.

Journey of Jazz ’25
Jazz Life at Sea & On Land 
West Coast Style 

Jazz Cruises’ newest program, Journey of Jazz ’25, hosted by Marcus Miller & Gregory Porter is currently in the stateroom Selection Process for Pre-Sale Reservation holders. “Open Booking” will begin on April 30, 2024.

For more information about the cruise, the lineup of musicians (as of today), full itinerary, pricing and reservation process, go to www.journeyofjazz.com.

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