All posts by jazzmusictravel

Cruise to Bermuda

Let’s Go To Bermuda

Bermuda is a stellar, scintillating, sensual location with so much to offer: intelligent, friendly people, a very similar culture to our ours without being American, lovely architecture, especially in the old town of St. Georges, and truly some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, my favorites being Horseshoe Bay. Snorkel Bay, Church Bay, Elbow Beach, and Achilles Bay Beaches. I sailed with a full crowd aboard Celebrity Summit, stopping three days (two nights) in King’s Wharf, Bermuda, which is the location of the famous Royal Navy Dockyard. I would recommend this one, and some other cruises when you get the ‘long stay’ in Bermuda. Bermuda is not technically part of the Caribbean, and their season is different, it goes from April to October.

One of the most romantic things about the island are the secret structures around the island, and something unique about the sand. I’m am not going to say more, but do a bit of research, and you will unlock the secret! So, when you call me, let me know …have you discovered the romantic secrets of Bermuda?

Continue reading Cruise to Bermuda

Top Ten Reasons to Take a Cruise

1.Choose to cruise for VALUE. One price buys your cabin, dining, entertainment and more.

2.Choose to cruise for ROMANCE. Secluded beaches, en suite dining on a balcony overlooking the ocean and spa services for two are just some of the romantic pursuits available.

3.Choose to cruise for CUISINE. Tantalize your taste buds with gourmet fare that showcases exotic ingredients, old standbys like pizza and ice cream or spa cuisine for a healthy alternative. Depending on your mood, dine in a traditional ballroom setting, a small bistro or a casual eatery.

4.Choose to cruise for VARIETY. With over 200 distinctive ships, 3000 ports-of-call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, there is a perfect cruise for you. For even more choice, consider a pre- or post-land tour.

5.Choose to cruise for ACTIVITIES. Fill your days with sightseeing, sports activities, cultural lectures, educational tours led by naturalists and historians or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dance extravaganzas, musical revues, gaming or a quiet evening gazing at the stars.

6.Choose to cruise for SIMPLICITY. Don’t come back from your vacation needing a vacation. Planning a cruise is simple; your CLIA-affiliated travel agency can handle all of the details. Once you’re on board, nearly all expenses are pre-paid… talk about hassle-free.

7.Choose to cruise for NEW HORIZONS. Fall asleep in one destination and awake to a new horizon… and you only have to pack and unpack once!

8.Choose to cruise for FAMILY. Families love cruising. Children’s programs, kid-friendly menus and tours of the ship will keep your children happy, while affording you some time alone.

9.Choose to cruise for PAMPERING. Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.

10.Choose to cruise for SATISFACTION. It’s a fact that cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience.

La La Land and France – any connection?

The Oscars are here and La La Land is one of the projected winners in 2017. The light hearted musical puts a hopeful face on the American Dream, and on the dream of love. It also brings jazz back in the spotlight, something that hasn’t had much attention in the US in the past year, or correction, the past decade!  The lead character,  Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a purist about jazz, struggles as a musician, and somehow finds his way to owning his own nightclub,  bringing back a bygone era. Meanwhile, he falls in love, and must explain this music to Mia (Emma Stone). NOT easy to do. This is why I like the film. It breaks down the bold aspect of ego which is a huge attraction for a creative person, one for music, one for acting, into parts.

I used to be that purist. I was told I couldn’t “jazz up” my audition version of “My Funny Valentine” so I decided to proceed to a music major. Young and stubborn. I used to call non-musicians “civilians” and have often argued that the New Orleans Jazz Festival isn’t a real jazz festival because it now encompasses so many different genres of music. But I have walked back my opinion. It is New Orleans after all, the birthplace of jazz, and I am as much a civilian as anyone. Following jazz in any form is about the most socially responsible thing you can do because jazz has always been connected with diversity, democracy and social change.

That brought me to thinking of France. Today!  The announcement that ultra right wing politician Marine Le Pen is running for Prime Minister gives me the shivers. I disagree with the trend of nationalism, and it is bringing out a conservative side of myself. She has a bully style “Frexit or else.” So I want Macron to win, the centrist liberal and will be very relieved when HE gets elected.  Macron=awesome. There are over 50 jazz festivals in France from May to July. You cannot travel through France at that time without stumbling upon one. Will this years have that awesome feeling? Or that hushed, shocked, reserved one?

Perhaps this world wouldn’t be in such crazy shape if we had maintained the complexity of learning more than three chords for a popular song – that jazz or classical music would still be the standard. If we didn’t simplify our musical norms, perhaps our free world norms wouldn’t have taken such a hit. Why did it take the civil rights movement to allow blacks to play onstage with the orchestra? To further discriminate, why did the McCarthur era have it’s “club cards,” that would allow or disallow a certain musician to play based on his ‘behavior?’  It was unbelievable.  Had we not done it then, would we be doing it now? I don’t think so. I think stalkers like Bannon and TRUMP, who we see glaringly stalking our American norms, would have been out of a job by this time.  And a church that told them the truth?  Certainly the church of jazz would be a learning curve.  Because jazz doesn’t lie.

John Legend, Emma Stone, and Ryan Gosling talk about the band in La La Land

Back to France…Europeans love jazz, and jazz brings people together.  There are over 50 jazz festivals in France from May to July.  You cannot travel through France (and July is off season/river cruise season but oh the deals and the music!). Will it be rife with heated arguments or will it be…awesome?

“why not care about jazz at a time like this?” Let’s get Macron elected and see!

My travel agency, Jazz Music Travel, a division of Claremont Travel is all about it, seeking to enhance your experience on a tour, custom trip or cruise, by plugging your itinerary into a jazz festival or concert during your stay in any destination.

Laurie Lucianne Scheid, in addition to owning a niche travel agency since 2009, also sings under the name [Lucianne Evans] for three plus decades of jazz from Pittsburgh to Montreal, where she was featured at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, to doing jazz in New York and Asheville, NC, where she teamed up with pianist Tom Coppola. Their record “Flamingo” was given the Blue Chip Award as one of the “Top Vocal CD’s of 2002” in the Jazz Education Journal, of the International Jazz Educators. She spent five years as the Secretary of the IAJE for North Carolina – involved in promoting good jazz artists in the South and elsewhere. She sites national jazz critic Dr. Herb Wong as a mentor and spends time penning and recording standard style originals and popular music.

The Case for Travel Insurance…and what you need to know about your trip in a hurricane

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(October, 2016) Today is the day of Hurricane Matthew news everywhere. It also happens to be two days before I was so looking forward to leaving for what would have been an invigorating and much needed respite at the only all inclusive resort in the US. But it is in Port St. Lucie, on the path of the hurricane. Two days is always when things seem to happen, right? The moment your warranty runs out, the moment you thought nothing could go wrong. The moment you forgot your coupon.

You may be researching a trip and are often asked, “do you want to add travel insurance?” It adds extra cost, yet I have clients who can afford it say foolishly, “I’ve never done it, and have always been ‘lucky.'” I grab my muster and remain calm while I explain a little thing called terms and conditions. Luck has nothing to do with it when it comes to what you might really stand to lose if you have to have emergency evacuation. You also nee the right kind of trip insurance, often from a good underwriter, a good third party. I always try to insist on it, and today, my persistence was reinforced once again.

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Here’s what one of my clients had to say about travel insurance.

“Thank you so much for all your help. Not only the excellent trip planning but even more important, the choices you offered and your insistence upon insuring the trip. I have no idea how valuable your advice would be until Franco had a heart attack in Marrakesh, where they saved his life. You told me that you thought a good travel insurance policy from a company like Allianz or Travel Insured was essential, and I cannot express how right you were. Their contact person for emergency assistance spoke the languages and could translate in the initial emergency, and after he was stabilized, she called me every day to check on Franco’s health and to make herself useful to me in the stress stressful situation. Because of the language barrier, she was the only person I had to talk to.

In sum, I will call only you when we travel and refer you to all my friends.

(Binna Green, Asheville, NC)”

People’s motivation to get trip insurance ofetn comes from their air travel, and that is a good reason. Just insuring your flight is not enough though. But for your info…here’s the deal with airlines. You can exchange your unused ticket portion for another trip during the year on the same airline. But you usually have to pay tax over again, sometimes a fee, and have to pay fare difference, which can be really high if you decide to take a trip just to use your ticket portion in high season.

I’ve known a lot of people whose flight was canceled and the airline gives them a choice of what to do. With good travel insurance, you call them, call me, and ask – because each circumstance is different. Don’t be only at the mercy of the airline.

What if you can’t take a flight again on the same airline within a year? Travel insurance holds you to your task, because I offer special reminders to my clients so you don’t have it weighing on your mind…”oh, I have to call the airline and book that flight again, which airline, which flight?”

With good third party insurance like Jazzmusictravel can provide, if you or a family member are hurt or ill, or if something happens to your home, or even your job, the weather, theft while on vacation, many more…you can recover all your expenses, including points, airfare, etcetera.

Some people can lose a couple thousand dollars and it won’t be the end of their financial life. But if you have an emergency and have to be evacuated from a location, let’s say you tripped and broke a bone, or had a heart attack in a foreign country like Morocco, which happened to a client of mine. Now, without trip insurance, you stand to lose upwards of $75,000 out of pocket. Now, that is the case for travel insurance.

Please feel free to ask questions of me. I’m jazzmusictravel and love to hear from you.