Greetings from Fort Lauderdale!
We are currently on day 26 of our four month contract on Holland America’s cruise ship, the Ms. Zaandam. We have sailed between Montreal and Boston for three itineraries, and just today ended an 11 day itinerary in Fort Lauderdale. On most days we have been able to go off into port, exploring cities such as Quebec City, Montreal, Halifax, Sydney (Nova Scotia), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Bar Harbor, and just yesterday Port Canaveral — where we enjoyed a long awaited beach day after experiencing chilly temperatures in Canada.
Our performance schedule has been an exhausting, but rewarding process thus far. On most days we perform three 45-minute sets. On our sea days we perform four sets (one of which is a matinee performance.) The first seven day cruise was a major adjustment to what we have been used to performing on land over the last three years. That first week we tried our best to have different music prepared for almost every set, which we quickly realized was more work than we bargained for. The second week we created a more organized schedule and limited ourselves to perform two different programs each day, repeating each on days with four sets. This has given us more peace of mind and has yielded better performances overall. In three days we may perform large sonatas by Clarke, Franck, and Brahms, and a variety of lighter works. In an attempt to gather listeners of all types we have been performing music of other genres as well; Our complete Phantom of the Opera soundtrack set has been a particular audience favorite.
Today we begin a 33-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale down through the Panama Canal, wrapping around the bottom of South America (including four days where we scenic cruise at Antarctica!), and then up South America’s eastern coast to finish in Rio De Janeiro.
Next stop: Oranjestad, Aruba
We’re working on getting more updates out there on our website and Facebook page including pictures and videos from our performances on the Zaandam and our travels outside of the ship — Stay tuned!
Until next time,
Brandin & Craig