Tag Archives: Cruise-Ship-News

Imagination's Leee John performing on stage

Magic In The Air with Leee John & MSC Bellissima

Leee John and his platinum selling band Imagination, packed dancefloors in the Eighties. Their hits included Just an Illusion, Body Talk, Music and Lights, and Flashback with sales in excess of 30 million albums.

The multi talented North London Soul boy of St Lucian decent, has worked non stop over the last 30 years as a songwriter, vocalist, producer, musician, radio show presenter, dj and actor.

I caught up with Leee this week following the announcement of his performance at the MSC Bellissima Christening. The star-studded event to be held on 1st of March in Southampton will be hosted by TV beauty Holly Willoughby. Also performing will be Nile Rodgers and Chic. This will be followed by the traditional ribbon cutting by ship’s Godmother, award winning actress Sophia Loren.

Have you been on a cruise ship before?

“Yes. The first ship I cruised on was when I was eight years old. It was the SS France, which was the longest ship in the world at the time and had the biggest floating cinema.” 

How do you feel about performing at the MSC Bellissima Christening?

“Overwhelmed and very, very excited. I mean wow, what can I say? Sophia Loren? I am going to be completely gaga! I am very much a music and film buff and saw Sophia Loren in Two Women in which she won two awards. I also saw her in Arabasque which I love as I am a fashionista.”

“Antonio and the team at MSC Cruises have been fantastic. They came to see me and were extremely gracious, offering to help us with anything we need.”

“I am looking forward to performing alongside Nile Rodgers and Chic again. We have toured together twice before, having performed around 20 shows together. In fact I once had a call from Nile asking me to help him out. He was due to perform at a special party for his Goddaughter, but had been delayed, so asked if I could fill in for him until he arrived.”

Can you reveal any details about your performance for the event?

“We will be playing the latest and the greatest! I am old school so for me the performance is totally about the audience. I have a fantastic band. Our drummer is Mel Gaynor who used to play with Simple Minds. He actually played with Imagination on our very first tour. Mike Timothy is our keyboard player and he has worked with Dexys Midnight Runners and Massive Attack. Alexis our bass player and Lorraine who sings backing vocals are also outstanding musicians to work with.”

Retropia

After talking to Leee, I am even more excited to see his performance at the event and have bought a copy of his last album Retropia. It includes a range of styles from Soul and Jazz to Rock and Dance. Recording a soul version of Highway To Hell (my personal favourite track on the album) takes talent, but has clearly paid off as it will feature as the theme tune to Netflix show Street Riders, also produced by Sky in Italy.

Current Projects

Leee has been producing his film Flashback over the last six years. The film celebrates the great black artists who have contributed to UK music. Leee has gathered more than 80 interviews from artists such as Beverley Knight, Eddy Grant, Trevor Nelson, Omar, Geno Washington, Shalamar’s Jeffrey Daniels, Boney M’s Bobby Farrell and Ruby Turner. Leee is also planning on putting this on an app platform for use in the educational system.

As well as a film, Leee is working on his new album under the working title of World Domination. It is expected for release in 2020. Leee is working with an eclectic mix of musicians from the Gypsy Kings to Rob David (Can’t Get You Out Of My Head).

If you can’t wait until 2020, Retropia is available to buy from Amazon.

 

Retropia Review

Wonderful album from the very talented Leee John, the lead singer of Imagination. The songs vary from the very danceable” Do It Right Now “to the atmospheric ” Utopia ” to the rocky ” Highway To Hell”. Every track has something to offer in quality, perfect pitch and great production. Thoroughly recommended. – Cheri

Buy Retropia here

Recommended Reading

Losing George Michael – My First Love

MSC Cruises To Host A Star Studded Extravaganza In Southampton

7 Ways MSC Cruises Is Reducing Plastics

Princess Cruises – Largest Balconies at Sea

Cruise News

Princess Cruises To Introduce The Largest Balconies At Sea

Princess Cruises has announced Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess, its two newest ships, are to have balconies around the size of half a tennis court.

The two ‘Sky Suites’ will be centrally located on the top decks. One will measure 1,012 square feet and the other 947 square feet, the largest offered by any cruise line.

This prime location will provide a private vantage of the Movies Under the Stars cinema screen. They will offer 270-degree panorama views and sleep up to five guests, featuring two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a dining area with skylight.

Sky Princess will launch in October 2019 and sail a short season in the Mediterranean, before positioning to the Caribbean. Enchanted Princess launches in Southampton in June 2020, and will also sail the Mediterranean. Both ships will carry 3,660 guests.

Additional Sky Princess features include:

  • Being Princess Medallion-enabled. The Medallion is a complimentary, automated piece of technology, the same size as a 10p piece, given to each guest, that enables features including:
    • Keyless stateroom access
    • A streamlined embarkation and disembarkation process, giving quicker and easier access to the ship
    • Enhanced interaction with crew members and other guests, e.g. staff can see guest’s individual food and beverage preferences and offer a more personalised service
    • On demand beverage delivery

The Ocean Medallion Bracelet

  • Enhanced entertainment including ‘Take Five’, a new jazz lounge, plus an expanded Princess Theatre
  • More than 25 restaurants and bars onboard, including Crown Grill Steakhouse and Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria
  • Eight private cabanas in the Sanctuary, an adults-only area on the top deck designed for rest and relaxation
  • A spa with Princess’ largest thermal suite at sea. This will feature a hydrotherapy pool, heated stone beds, a Turkish bath and dry, steam and aromatherapy chambers

Tony Roberts, vice president Princess Cruises UK and Europe, said: “We can’t wait for guests to experience these new suites, which will set the standard for the premium stateroom experience at sea. The suites will offer the best of both worlds, where guests can relax privately with friends or family, or host their own en-suite celebrations in style.”

“Princess is proud to have lead the way on many innovations in the cruise industry and these stunning Sky Suites mark the next step of our onboard evolution.”

A video of the exterior and interior of the Sky Suites can be viewed here:

Princess Cruises is offering a 14-night Caribbean East/West Adventurer on Sky Princess from £1,198 per person. Departing February 22, 2020, ports of call are St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize and Cozumel.

 

Virgin Voyages Brings Rock and Roll to the High Seas

The new cruise line set to disrupt the cruise industry, Virgin Voyages, has revealed details of its mega yacht inspired suites.

Scarlet Lady is the first of four Virgin Voyages ships being built by leading cruise ship design and construction company Fincantieri.  The adult only vessel, being dubbed by Virgin Voyages as Rebellious Luxe, will be floated out in Genoa, Italy on 9th February. Setting sail in 2020, sailors will be able to book one of these incredible suites from 14th February 2019.

British Interior Designer, Tom Dixon led the team working on the design. The idea of the RockStar Suites was to combine yachting glamour with Virgin’s rock and roll heritage.

Key Features of RockStar Suites

The Best View Money Can Buy

All suites will be situated on the upper decks of the Scarlet Lady and configured to maximise views of the ocean.

Ships and champagne go hand in hand, and every suite has a specially-designed champagne table on its sea terrace.  An ice bucket fits perfectly in the centre of the table and will be complemented by stargazing loungers, and sustainably sourced Yellow Leaf terrace hammocks.

In true Rebellious Luxe style, Virgin Voyages suites will have a full bar and cocktail kit . The first round is on the house.

All suites are fitted with blackout curtains and mood lighting that automatically adjusts to the time of day. In-room tablets are provided to enable Sailors to adjust the lighting to exactly how they like it.

Every suite will enjoy luxurious comforts with a plush European king bed, premium linens and upgraded bath amenities.

You can play that funky music with your very own gold-plated vinyl record player accompanied by an en-suite collection of classic records.

Many suites will feature a Peek-A-View shower, an all marble shower with a dichroic glass window carved in the centre, allowing sailors to stay connected to the sea. The top suites will also have an outdoor Peek-a-View shower.

RockStar Lifestyle

A dedicated RockStar Services Crew are on hand for Sailors from the moment they book their cruise.

Once onboard, suite guests will have their very own “Rockstar Coordinator,” to ensure they enjoy backstage access at every corner, with early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants, their very own wardrobe team to help unpack and repack, complimentary pressing service and nightly express swimsuit drying service.

Shore Things

Suite guests will enjoy a private transfer to and from the ship in Miami, an exclusive express VIP pathway to the ship during embarkation.

Access to Richard’s Rooftop

All RockStar Suites Sailors will have access to Richard’s Rooftop. A secluded private members club at the top of the ship.

Branson Brings Rock and Roll to the High Seas

“Virgin has always avoided stuffy formalities and brought a lot of excitement and a bit of rebelliousness to our customer experiences,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group. “With these glamorous suites, Virgin Voyages is bringing rock and roll to the high seas and spoiling our Sailors like the rockstars they are.”

Sweets for my Suite

Among the 78 RockStar Suites aboard the Scarlet Lady, there are 15 Mega RockStar Suites primely located on deck 15. These are named the Massive Suites, Fab Suites, Posh Suites and Gorgeous Suites.

Sailors staying in one of the Mega RockStar Suites will receive a personalised bar filled with their favourites. The RockStar Services Crew will tend to their rider list, to make their voyage perfect; all red gummy bears, an electric guitar and beyond.

Massive Suite

The two Massive Suites are the largest of the RockStar Suites at 2,147 sq. ft. including an expansive sea terrace. Located above the ship’s bridge, the suite can accommodate up to six guests.  Each has its very own music room stocked with guitars and an amplifier.

A circular oversized couch is the centrepiece of the room. This is the perfect place to host parties with its adjacent in-room bar.

The suite includes a glamorous bath and dressing room area complete with a hot tub, vanity area, two full-sized wardrobes and a marble-clad bathroom with a Peek-a-Boo shower area that overlooks the bedroom and out to the ocean.

The sea terrace has a private hot tub and a Peek-a-View outdoor shower. Other features include a circular conversation pit, a lookout point, two full length hammocks and a catamaran net for stargazing, circular sea bar loungers and a meditation area overlooking the ocean. Just in case you feel like treating your guests to a private performance, a staircase leads you gracefully to the table top.

Fab Suite

At 950 sq. ft., an open wall separates the space into distinct bedroom and living areas, featuring an extra-long sea terrace with an outdoor shower, stargazing loungers, a hammock and a champagne table.

Posh Suite

The Posh Suite features an all marble bathroom with dichroic glass to stay connected to the sea.

This 833 sq. ft. suite features a fully stocked bar a record player and a spacious lounge. A peek-a-boo shower offers views of the ocean.  The sea terrace comes complete with lounge chairs, outdoor shower and champagne table.

Gorgeous Suite

The Gorgeous Suite features an outdoor shower, loungers and a hammock.

The 570 sq. ft. Gorgeous suite features an open plan lounge and bedroom. The luxurious bathroom has a window for inspiring sea views. The expansive sea terrace features an outdoor shower, lounge chairs and a hammock.

Brilliant Suite

The 482 sq. ft. brilliantly designed suite has an open plan featuring a stocked bar with record player and sea terrace complete with a hammock swing chair.

Cheeky Corner Suite

Between 607 and 847.8 sq. ft, the Cheeky Corner Suites’ have wrapping panoramic views from the corner of the ship. This provides the perfect views of the sea with direct views of the sea, larger balconies with sofa loungers. Interconnecting doors enable guests to connect with adjacent sea terrace cabins and more.

Sweet Aft Suite

The best wake views can be enjoyed in these suits. Between 416 and 661 sq. ft., the suites are located at the aft of the ship. Enjoy sea views from the bed or even from inside the shower, with more views from the suite’s sea terrace.

Seriously Suite

Between 352 and 357 sq. ft, the Seriously Suite is the most popular RockStar Suite. Featuring an open plan lounge and bedroom, sea terrace with chairs, plus a luxurious bathroom with seaviews.

Competition

Until 31st January, enter for the chance to win the opportunity to Party Like a rockstar.  Virgin Voyages are holding their next #ShipTease event in New York City on Valentine’s Day and you could be there. Those interested in the sweepstakes should visit www.virginvoyages.com to enter.

Open to legal residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, Canada (excluding Quebec) and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). Entrants must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age or older at the time of entry.

Future sailors and travel partners can find more information by visiting www.virginvoyages.com or following @virginvoyages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.