Three weeks of sensational jazz cruise programs start today!
Entertainment Cruise Productions
The Jazz Cruise

Our Take:
The Jazz Cruise Sets Sail Today!


The Jazz Cruise sails for the 19th year today, filled with amazing musicians and even more amazing guests. Our guests reside in 38 different states in the United States and hail from more than 25 different countries. Jazz belongs to the world and The Jazz Cruise reflects this international phenomenon, both on our bandstands and in our audience.

The first day (and night) of a cruise program is both hectic and exciting. We are moving 100 musicians onto the ship, preparing for The Welcome Show and making sure that our 2,000 guests board the ship easily and quickly. We are not always successful with that last piece, as TSA and other governmental agencies can slow the process. The good news is that, once on board, all is forgotten and, when the music starts, all focus is on the musicians. You can feel the smiles of the audience as their favorite performers join us on the main stage for The Welcome Show.

I must take a moment to once again thank, congratulate and honor Shelly Berg, our Music Director. The enormity of his job cannot be overstated. Handling the scheduling of more than 220 hours of music, 100 musicians, and making it fresh and new every year is a Herculean task and he does it with a smile, a great eye and ear, and, most importantly, with a lot of professional talent and dedication.

One of the best stories for The Jazz Cruise is that Jeff Clayton is on the ship. Many of you know that Jeff has been battling illness for the past few months. Until very recently, we did not expect him to be able to sail, let alone perform. "Miracle" is a funny word and probably not apt here, but "Grateful" does apply properly. Jeff is one of the most lovely people in the jazz world and his talents are widely known and heralded. He is part of an Old Guard of jazz that forms the foundation for what jazz is, where it can go and why it remains so wonderful.

Tonight alone, we will hear Steve Tyrell, Wycliffe Gordon, John Clayton, Randy Brecker, Ken Peplowski, John Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, SFJazz Collective and more … and that is just our 1st night. As you can tell, I am very excited to be at sea this week on The Jazz Cruise. And I know 2,000 other folks who feel the same.

Below, you can check out our 2020 jazz cruise programs, which are either on sale now or will soon be on sale.

Our Take is written by Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director of Entertainment Cruise Productions. Feel free to express your views or pose questions to him at

On the Ship Report from the Entertainment Cruise Productions Pre-Cruise Team 

As mentioned previously, a 6-person landing party from Entertainment Cruise Productions boarded Celebrity Infinity on January 14 to prepare for the upcoming jazz cruise programs. Here are our first impressions.
Ship Shape Ship — The Celebrity Infinity looks great. There have been some lovely decor additions and modifications from our last visit and these appear to be improvements from Celebrity Summit.

Faster Muster Drill — Celebrity’s Muster Drill (aka Safety Drill) has entered the modern era with electronic scanning of cards to determine attendance. They still call out room numbers, but only for those staterooms believed to be absent. 

Le Petit Chef @ Qsine — This is the newest of the specialty restaurants on Celebrity and features a concept of animation meets culinary excellence. Our experience was fun and the food was very good. It was 75 minutes well spent.

Staff — So far the staff of Celebrity Infinity has proved to be very professional, friendly and great to work with. We are excited.

WiFi — Celebrity boasts that its WiFi is vastly improved. Again, thus far, they have proved their point. Though not land speed or always consistent, it appears to be much more reliable.
As we learn more, we will update our thoughts and views. All that is missing now is the music!!!!!
SFJAZZ Honors Chucho Valdés
Our friends at SFJAZZ will be holding their annual gala shortly after The Jazz Cruise returns from its sailing. The gala concert will be held on January 31 at the Robert N. Miner Auditorium and will feature once-in-a-lifetime all-star collaborations, as well as the presentation of the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary Cuban jazz pianist and bandleader Chucho Valdés.

Among the stellar artists performing at the gala are Irakere 45, Omara Portuondo, Dianne Reeves, Corinne Bailey Rae, SFJAZZ Collective, Stefon Harris, Yosvany Terry, Harold Lopéz-Nussa and many more.

Proceeds from the gala go to support the organization's programming as well as its education and outreach programs. If you can't make it to San Francisco for the gala, you can catch the guest of honor, Chucho Valdés, and the SFJAZZ Collective this week on The Jazz Cruise.
2020 Jazz Cruise Programs 

Here is quick rundown of the status of reservations for our 2020 Jazz Cruise Programs:

The Smooth Jazz Cruise '20.1  (OPEN BOOKING NOW — OVER 92% SOLD)

  • Sailing Dates: January 18 – 25, 2020.
  • Reservation Status: Open Booking. Anyone may reserve any available stateroom here.


  • Sailing Dates: January 25 – February 1, 2020.
  • Reservation Status: Guests on Blue Note at Sea '19 may rebook their current stateroom on an exclusive basis from now through February 2, 2019.
  • Open Booking for all begins on February 4, 2019.
  • More information and the full line-up are available here.

The Jazz Cruise '20  (OPEN BOOKING STARTS JANUARY 28!)

  • Sailing Dates: February 1 – 8, 2020.
  • Reservation Status: Guests on The Jazz Cruise '19 may rebook their current stateroom on an exclusive basis from now through January 26, 2019.
  • Open Booking for all begins on January 28, 2019.
  • More information and the full line-up are available here. 

The Smooth Jazz Cruise '20.2  (OPEN BOOKING NOW — OVER 75% SOLD)

  • Sailing Dates: March 14 – 21, 2020.
  • Reservation Status: Open Booking. Anyone may reserve any available stateroom here.