via Notes From the Edge So as I get ready to write about the experience on being on Cruise to the Edge in 2014, I think it only fair to include some of the impressions, experiences, and comparisons I have of the first 2013 Cruise to the Edge (which was certainly one of the greatest experiences I've ever had).
I heard about the first CTTE before reservations actually went on sale and at that time the only confirmed entertainment listed was Yes and Steve Hackett but that was all I needed to hear. Everything else would just be icing on the cake for me. Luckily being one of the first reservations in meant a closer assigned seat for the theater where the headlining artists would perform. (Being able to renew again for CTTE 2 as a returning passenger means our seats this year are just as great!)
Last year's cruise was a smaller ship and the CTTE portion of passengers were only about half the makeup of the ship's population. This year in stark contrast to the unsuspecting passengers wandering around the halls bewildered and wondering what all these rooms marked “closed for a private event” were in aid of, and why the Pool area and main show hall had been taken over, this time we have the run of the ship. This makes it nice since we now know everyone on board is family and won't find ourselves having to explain the badges we're wearing around our necks, or “what's Prog?”
More passengers means the large theater shows are to be split in two groups this time, Pink or Blue. Tonight I was lucky as Blue meant I got to sail away to the sounds of Steve Hackett, since our Blue group was in the big theater for tonight's main performance.
As I approached the front door of the cruise terminal, I noticed a group of familiar faces gathered around the artist's sign in table just off to the right as Yes had just arrived to check in at the same time.
Checking in at the Miami port was smooth and everyone was very nice to us as we got situated to board. Hitting the front door of the ship brought back that feeling of confusion of getting around this confusion maze of decks and show halls last year and the feeling that the cruise was nearly over before I felt like I knew my way around. A fellow passenger echoed this verbally as a friendly group of passengers visiting from the UK in the elevator with us said they'd been on board since the start of the Moody Blues cruise and assured us they had the same problem for the first several days. But with the extra full show schedule this time out, there is little time to spend getting lost!
The day started with Heavy Mellow playing in the main atrium as passengers were arriving. After a quick bite and a lifeboat drill it was time to head up to see Saga on the pool stage. Everyone was gathered early for a good viewing spot and a huge group photo as Jon Kirkman began the proceedings.
Saga played a great set and every single spot along the railings on every side of the deck 3 stories high was filled, the audience loved the show and the weather was perfect, warm breezy and not too hot and the only thing that could make me cut their last song short was the fact that it was time to make my way to see Hackett at the front of the ship in the main theater and this was something I would not be late for.
(I passed Steve Howe just outside the theater and said quick hello as I breezed past him, I assumed he was also headed in for the show too.) The schedule was a bit tight having Saga's set end at 6:45 at the main pool, while Steve Hackett's set started at exactly the same time- And they did start right at 6:45 on the dot. The lights went down and the exciting stage entrance music queued up and as I looked around it seemed only about half the seats were filled, but throngs of passengers flooded in through the doors and hurriedly looked for their seats for the first time this voyage in the dark and soon the theater was full.