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Off to the Bonamassa Blues Cruise!


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#1 Matonanjin

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 12:40 PM

My wife and I are about ready to leave for the airport to head to Tampa and go on the Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea Cruise.  We are going a couple days early to bum around Tampa.  Then we will board Monday and meet up with Mr. and Mrs. Dan Brown and Mr. and Mrs. RickRBlues.  It should be a lot of fun!!!


Guitars: 2013 PRS Paul's, 1972 Gibson ES-325 (Used by Steve on Live Lesson March 29, 2016), 2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe, 2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe, Walden G740CE, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica
Amps: Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Boss Eband JS-8, Fender Mustang Floor multi-effects amp, Line 6 POD HD500X

Study materials:
L&M Guitar: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M The Song Hits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M Blues Guitar: not started yet.
L&M Guitar Set Up and Maintenance: not started yet.
Piles & Piles of other stuff I've purchased and not started yet!


#2 Eracer_Team -DougH

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 01:12 PM

Wow must be nice
Hope the weather is good for the cruise this year.
Have fun
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#3 IMA fingers

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 02:58 PM

I have been in Tampa a while ago and enjoyed it. Have fun


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#4 Matonanjin

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 03:23 PM

IMAfingers, suggestions on things to see in Tampa?

Guitars: 2013 PRS Paul's, 1972 Gibson ES-325 (Used by Steve on Live Lesson March 29, 2016), 2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe, 2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe, Walden G740CE, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica
Amps: Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Boss Eband JS-8, Fender Mustang Floor multi-effects amp, Line 6 POD HD500X

Study materials:
L&M Guitar: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M The Song Hits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M Blues Guitar: not started yet.
L&M Guitar Set Up and Maintenance: not started yet.
Piles & Piles of other stuff I've purchased and not started yet!


#5 catrancher

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 04:28 PM

IMAfingers, suggestions on things to see in Tampa?

 

I'm not IMAfingers but I grew up in the Tampa Bay area.  Depends on how long you're going to be there.

 

In Tampa itself:

Or, pop over the Howard Franklin bridge (I-275) to St. Petersburg (where I grew up):

  • There's the Dali museum.
  • Or just head for Pass-a-Grille beach on St. Petersburg beach.
  • On your way out to Pasadena and St. Pete beach, stop at Ted Peters for some smoked fish.  I like the smoked Mullet best.
  • Stop and see the "big pink thing".  That's the Don Cesar hotel on St. Petersburg Beach.
  • There's Fort Desoto park out there too.
  • Just cruise north on Beach Boulevard and take it all the way up to Clearwater.  Pass through numerous little beach communities on the Gulf, like Treasure Island, John's Pass, Madeira beach, Reddington Beach, North Reddington Beach, Indian Shores, Indian Rocks Beach, Belleaire Shore and Bellaire Beach, and finally Clearwater Beach.
  • Once you've gotten to Clearwater Beach, you can take highway 60 due east through downtown Clearwater over to Tampa Bay where it becomes the Courtney Campbell Causeway back over to Tampa.

There's more to do but that'll probably keep you busy for a while.  Hope this helps!

 

Tom


L&M Guitar:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

 

“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning” - Plato


#6 IMA fingers

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 05:06 PM

Catrancher has much better suggestions that I would be able to give you. I did go to the Colombia restaurant food was really good. Loved Clearwater beach

went there with a rental car with a gps


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#7 gotto

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 06:19 PM

Wow, jealously here man, what a fun thing to do. Some of the beaches around Tampa/St. Petersburg are world class. If you are an art fan, A great collection of Salvador Dali.....or just walk barefoot at in the softest powdery sand on Sunset Beach and jump in the ocean. Take lots of pictures.

 

Greg



#8 Matonanjin

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 01:41 AM

Everybody thanks for the suggestions. Especially catrancher for all the suggestions including links! We are only going to have one full day. Several have suggested Ybor City and a friend in Omaha suggested Columbia Restaurant. We met a couple in the hotel going on the cruise. I had my BB King T-shirt on and she asked if we are going on the cruise! We are meeting them for lunch at the Columbia.

Guitars: 2013 PRS Paul's, 1972 Gibson ES-325 (Used by Steve on Live Lesson March 29, 2016), 2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe, 2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe, Walden G740CE, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica
Amps: Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Boss Eband JS-8, Fender Mustang Floor multi-effects amp, Line 6 POD HD500X

Study materials:
L&M Guitar: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M The Song Hits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M Blues Guitar: not started yet.
L&M Guitar Set Up and Maintenance: not started yet.
Piles & Piles of other stuff I've purchased and not started yet!


#9 IMA fingers

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 03:50 AM

Hey let us know how you made out when you return, I have friends who live there and rents averaged about 500 a month. Don't know if it still the same 


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#10 tgnytg

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 08:15 PM

So, three forum members went on the Joe Bonamassa Blues Cruise, have been back for a few days, and we haven't gotten a report (with pics) yet?  Say it ain't so!


I need more practice...


#11 Ron aka Columbo

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 10:40 PM

Cant wait to hear how it was... and yes Tom thanks for reminding me how much stuff there is to do in Tampa heading down to Lithia /Fishhawk area in 2 weeks to visit my daughter and her family. We really enjoy that area.

Ron

MY GUITARS
 2004' Fender American Stratocaster,  2013' Eastman T386,  1994' Washburn D-10,  2008' Takamine EAN 40C,  2015' Fender CD 60CE
 2015' 1966 reissue Ephiphone SG 400 Pro, 2016 Squier Classic Vibe Tele

 
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Fishman Loudbox 60 amp, Roland 40GX amp, Fender Mustang 1 amp
 
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#12 randy120

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:55 AM

Cool!


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#13 catrancher

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:44 PM

Cant wait to hear how it was... and yes Tom thanks for reminding me how much stuff there is to do in Tampa heading down to Lithia /Fishhawk area in 2 weeks to visit my daughter and her family. We really enjoy that area.

 

You're most welcome.  It's been a while since I lived down there but I do miss it.  A lot.

 

Tom


L&M Guitar:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

 

“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning” - Plato


#14 Matonanjin

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:06 PM

So, three forum members went on the Joe Bonamassa Blues Cruise, have been back for a few days, and we haven't gotten a report (with pics) yet?  Say it ain't so!

And I am, admittedly, seriously derelict in my duties.  Bottom line, it was an unbelievably great time.  If you will allow me to resolve a non-working water heater first I will resolve that and then give you more details about the cruise!


Guitars: 2013 PRS Paul's, 1972 Gibson ES-325 (Used by Steve on Live Lesson March 29, 2016), 2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe, 2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe, Walden G740CE, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica
Amps: Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Boss Eband JS-8, Fender Mustang Floor multi-effects amp, Line 6 POD HD500X

Study materials:
L&M Guitar: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M The Song Hits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M Blues Guitar: not started yet.
L&M Guitar Set Up and Maintenance: not started yet.
Piles & Piles of other stuff I've purchased and not started yet!


#15 Matonanjin

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 09:14 PM

Sorry about the delayed response and I hope DanBrown and RickRBlues will chime in here.  It is not an overstatement to say this cruise was one of the greatest times of my adult life.  When we signed up my wife and I made a very hurried decision.  The sale of cabins started and that first day they were almost gone. I told Dan about that fact.  I told my wife about it (it was our 50th wedding anniversary present to each other). Dan and I both got tickets and within hours it was sold out.  Making a hurried decision my wife and I of course started second guessing our decision.  But I am so glad we did it.

 

It was not a relaxing cruise.  Each day concerts started in the late afternoon and then continued into the early morning.  And each day we started with the first concert and then literally ran from concert to concert trying to get the best seats possible.  And each day staying out way past our normal bedtime! :laugh:   But what fun.  One morning at about 1:30 AM my wife was going to call our kids just to prove that we were out that late!  But try and imagine amazing guitarist after amazing guitarist after amazing guitarist.   Look at my link above to see the lineup.  And we got to see only about 1/2 of them.  One had to make best guesses on which ones one wanted to see based on the write-ups in the book provided or YT videos, etc.  Unfortunately we made a couple bad calls.

 

The staff on the cruise line was remarkably pleasant and helpful.  And the food was acceptable and certainly plentiful.  (Maybe not as good as I had expected based on what I heard on some cruise lines.)

 

The highlights of the cruise?

  • Of course, the highlighter of the cruise, Joe B., himself has to be considered a the highlight.  And Joe played two amazing concerts with completely different set lists. And each was nothing short of spectacular.  The only problem was trying to get decent seats, which we didn't.  So while we got to hear it all we didn't get to see it all. Joe also sat in on several other shows.
  • Speaking for Dan's and my wives the highlight was the Beth Hart concert(s).  Dan and I went to a Jack Pearson workshop and our wives went to a Beth Hart acoustic concert.  Beth Hart also was the poolside (largest venue, outdoors) concert the last night of the cruise.  And she did her entire set and then did a set with Joe!  I asked our wives what the highlight of the cruise was and both said Beth Hart.  But I don't know whether the meant the acoustic or the poolside.  But both said they cried during the acoustic one.
  • For me personally, the highlight of the cruise had to be the Artist Jam.  Remember my saying above "amazing guitarist after amazing guitarist...."?  Now imagine them jamming together.  It started out with Kirk Fetcher and Josh Smith.  (See my YT video below)  Then they were joined by Markus King (a 20 year old amazing guitarist), Gary Hoey, Eric Gales, Jack Pearson and I can't remember who beyond those.
  • My favorite concert?  Joanne Shaw Taylor followed by a very close second in Eric Gales.
  • Non-concert related one of the very enjoyable times of the cruise had to be "rubbing elbows" with these guitar idols.  One is as likely to run into one of them in the hall, in the elevator or in the cafeteria as not.  I had a very brief conversation with Joanne Shaw Taylor in the cafeteria.  I had a really nice conversation with Eric Gales bass player who is about as good as I have ever seen.  Dan and I spoke for quite a while with Jack Pearson after his workshop.  And my wife and I had a really nice conversation with Eric Gales and his adorable wife, LaDonna.  Even if you just pass a musician in the hall and say "Great show" or speak with one at length they all seemed genuinely appreciative of your listening to their music and coming out to the show.  No huge egos.  At least not the ones I encountered.

Disappointments of the cruise?

  • I didn't get to see Anders Osbourne.  We just ran out of time.
  • The very last night, the very last concert we had to decide whether to see Kirk Fetcher and Josh Smith or to see Mr. Sipp.  For whatever reason we chose the latter.  It was a nice concert but Dan found out later that JB sat in with Kirk Fetcher and Josh Smith.  Oh Well.

Of course one of the real highlights of the cruise was meeting Dan Brown and his wife, Diane, and RickRBlues and his wife, Dawn.  And Dan and Diane and my wife and I spent much of the cruise together and went to most of the concerts together and it was a great time.  I'd like to think that Dan and I and our spouses have made friendships that will last a lifetime.  We also met another cruise couple, Mary and Craig, from northern Virginia at the hotel before the cruise.   The 6 of us had lunch at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City in Tampa.  Tom!!  Thanks for the recommendation of Columbia Restaurant.  It was so good Dan, Diane, Barb and I went back there again the last night of our trip!

From left to right:  Mary (standing), Craig (in flowered shirt), Dan (in the Epiphone shirt, of course!) and Diane , myself and my wife, Barb.

 

IMG_0991.jpg

 

If any of you are thinking about possibly going on this cruise in 2018 but hesitant, do it!  It sails from Miami to Jamaica.  Sell a child into slavery.  Sell a kidney.  Just do it.

 

Here is the first set of the Artist Jam with Kirk Fetcher and Josh Smith.  This is the first song.  Kirk and Josh did two songs and then other artists joined them.  If you go to this YT channel one song after another will automatically load until the entire jam is played.

 

 

Ron


Guitars: 2013 PRS Paul's, 1972 Gibson ES-325 (Used by Steve on Live Lesson March 29, 2016), 2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe, 2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe, Walden G740CE, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica
Amps: Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Boss Eband JS-8, Fender Mustang Floor multi-effects amp, Line 6 POD HD500X

Study materials:
L&M Guitar: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M The Song Hits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M Blues Guitar: not started yet.
L&M Guitar Set Up and Maintenance: not started yet.
Piles & Piles of other stuff I've purchased and not started yet!


#16 Dan Brown

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 06:06 AM


It will be hard to embellish on Ron's report, he pretty much covered it, it was a great trip! We made up our minds before we left the boat that we will go again next year!
It was great that having never met before that we got along so well and will be friends for the rest our lives.
Now, we have to worry about the wives conspiring to clamp down on our guitar collections! LOL...
As Ron said, if you can swing it try to get on the next cruise, I don't think you would regret it!

Dan Brown

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#17 Ron aka Columbo

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:31 PM

once again WOW.. seems everyone who goes on these cruises raves about them and now we have first hand experience.. Thanks


Ron

MY GUITARS
 2004' Fender American Stratocaster,  2013' Eastman T386,  1994' Washburn D-10,  2008' Takamine EAN 40C,  2015' Fender CD 60CE
 2015' 1966 reissue Ephiphone SG 400 Pro, 2016 Squier Classic Vibe Tele

 
MY AMPS
Fishman Loudbox 60 amp, Roland 40GX amp, Fender Mustang 1 amp
 
Looking for more toys !


#18 Matonanjin

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:21 PM

Now, we have to worry about the wives conspiring to clamp down on our guitar collections! LOL...

Dan Brown

  Dang, Dan.  I didn't think about this!!! :getlost:

 

I failed to mention the most positive benefit of this cruise.  It got me so reinvigorated about playing guitar.  And practicing!

 

And practicing we are going to do because Dan and I are going to be on the "Guest Jam" stage next year.


Guitars: 2013 PRS Paul's, 1972 Gibson ES-325 (Used by Steve on Live Lesson March 29, 2016), 2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe, 2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe, Walden G740CE, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica
Amps: Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Boss Eband JS-8, Fender Mustang Floor multi-effects amp, Line 6 POD HD500X

Study materials:
L&M Guitar: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M The Song Hits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
L&M Blues Guitar: not started yet.
L&M Guitar Set Up and Maintenance: not started yet.
Piles & Piles of other stuff I've purchased and not started yet!


#19 catrancher

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 04:26 PM

Really delighted you all had such a good time.  Sounds like a wonderful cruise.  And glad you all enjoyed the Columbia!  It's been an institution down there since even before I moved down there as a little kid in 1955.

 

Tom


L&M Guitar:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

 

“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning” - Plato





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