The Great Escape Cruise to Alaska 2017
I can’t believe that our cruise to Alaska is over. After months of planning and preparing, the week flew by so fast and not it’s just a distant memory. But we still have photos, videos and some souvenirs to help us remember how much fun we had! Check out the daily blog of what we did together and a short video to say “thank you” for making our return trip to Alaska twice as nice!
Here’s to many more adventures –
Watch the Great Escape Thank You Video Below
Our Adventure Day by Day
The Great Escape Cruise to Alaska with Jim Brickman began with a joyful get-together at the outdoor Solarium on the Royal CaribbeanExplorer of the Seas. With a stunning view of Seattle and clear blue skies, new guests were welcomed with open arms while others were hugging and catching up. Before long, it was one big happy group of Brickman friends.
Following dinner in the beautiful Sapphire Dining Room, the Star Lounge was the site for the often insightful and always hilarious “Just Jim Q&A” featuring his Mom, Sally, who always has a good story about James as a child. Jim talked about his music, his career, collaborating with some of his favorite singers and songwriters, and of course the Roland keyboard.
It was “Dress Up Day” on the cruise ship. Wearing their sparkles, fancy outfits, suits and tuxedos, The Brickman Group had the opportunity to pose with Jim for an attractive picture.
The first Concert at Sea was open to guests of the entire ship. The intimate Star Lounge was filled and it was “Standing Room Only.” Some people had never heard of Jim Brickman or seen him in concert. Needless to say, there are a lot of new admirers.
The audience was treated to something never seen or heard before. Because of tight scheduling on the ship, sound check happened right before their eyes. They loved it! Jim had the unique opportunity to play both the acoustic grand piano and a Roland RD-300 digital keyboard. It was quite an audio treat hearing both.
Jim had a few special guests. We learned that the cruise staff was filled with huge fans from the Philippines. The singer/keyboard player from the entertainment staff was overjoyed to meet him. Jim invited her to sing “Valentine” during the concert. She was beyond excited and did a great job – with no rehearsal. Fan favorite John Trones joined Jim to sing a few hits. The concert was a huge success and the crowd gave Jim a standing ovation.
The weather in Alaska was warm and sunny. We were told it’s the best weather they’ve had all year.
We docked in Juneau. Everyone had the opportunity to explore the city and surrounding areas. Some hiked on Mendenhall Glacierwhile others took a scenic tram up 1800 feet to the top of Mount Roberts. Peeking in the nostalgic Red Dog Saloon, we saw many Brickheads enjoying a brew and a piano player tickling the ivories.
Giovanni’s Table was filled with guests who were picked to dine with Jim, Sally and John. Gathered at small tables, they had a chance to visit with Jim on a more personal level.
The Jim Brickman Radio Show was the evening’s entertainment. The show was taped live before an audience – another first! Brynne, Bob and Brickman hosted the show. The crowd got to see how the segments are taped, the dream catcher interprets dreams, and interviews with Jeffry Georgianni, Palm Springs bakery owner and Jerry Miller, creator of the popular dating website FarmersOnly.com.
Fellow guest Chris Roney who performed “Magic on the Radio” baffled Jim and everyone with his card tricks.
Skagway is a little historic town that looks like a Hollywood set. The restored buildings line the streets with mountain ranges rising upbehind them.
A scenic ride on the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad took visitors on tracks winding around mountains and across deep gorges. Some took a less daring route and stopped for a tour of the Red Onion Saloon (a Gold Rush era brothel).
Great Escape cruise guests enjoyed their own private concert in the Star Lounge. The seating was close to Jim and the stage for a very intimate performance. Jim took requests and again played both the Yamaha and the Roland. He was joined on stage by singer John Trones. John invitedfellow traveler Billie to join him in a sentimental favorite “Destiny.” Jim’s music was the perfect ending to the day.
We all got up at the crack of dawn to witness the beauty of nature throughout Tracy Arm Fjord. The icy waters were filled with floating blue glacier ice ranging from the size of a small car to as large as a building. There were waterfalls cascading down 3000 feet high granite walls. Sightseeing on the top deck was spectacular.
“Brickheads Got Talent” was an event filled with a lot of music, laughter and thunderous applause. Many of our cruisers got up to perform a karaoke song of their choice for the judges Jim, John and Brynne who commented on performance and creativity. Bob was the engaging host as guests competed for a chance to join Jim on the piano bench to sing at the last concert. Dale was the winner as he got the crowd rocking with “Taking Care of Business.” What a fun night!
After spending a relaxing day on the ship, fans eagerly took their seats in the Star Lounge for Jim’s final concert. They were surprised to see that Jim chose to do the concert with rows of seats surrounding the Roland digital piano. Yes, he performed right in the middle of theaudience. They loved it! Jim played hits, deep cuts and requests. The back of the theatre was lined with cruise ship staff from the Philippines who couldn’t wait to hear their national treasure live.
Joining Jim on the piano bench this evening was Brickhead’s Got Talent winner, Dale’s wife, Laura who had Jim laughing with her imitation of him playing the piano. Jim introduced the Alaska Cruise winner Mimi Fiorelli of Erie, PA. Mrs. Fiorelli, an elementary school principal, told us that when she got the winning call there was a student in her office!
The evening closed with John Trones leading a group sing along to “Valentine.”
Visiting Victoria, British Columbia was like walking around in England, but the sun was shining brightly. The world famous Butchart Gardens was a popular excursion along with a stroll around the Inner Harbour.
On the last night Jim introduced the new Christmas song he wrote with John Andrasik (Five For Fighting) “Christmas Where You Are.” It is a salute to those in the military that are not home for the holidays. It was very emotional.
We continued a cruise tradition taking group pictures with guests who sailed on various cruises. Over the week, we discovered several outstanding groups within our large party. We photographed sisters, mothers and daughters traveling together, teachers and last but not
least veterans. When the veterans took the stage, the entire crowd rose to their feet and filled the room with thunderous applause. It was one of the most touching moments of the cruise.
The dessert reception was like a colorful scene in the film Willy Wonka complete with a chocolate fountain. Friends said their goodbyes, took their last photos with Jim and packed their bags to head back to reality the next day.
Everyone arrived back in Seattle with memories of incredible scenery, wonderful new friendships, beautiful Brickman music . . . and in anticipation of the next trip!
Mark Your Calendars!
Destination Coming Soon
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