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Beautiful St. Maarten/St. Martin on The Smooth Jazz Cruise

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IMG_2878 I decided that this would be the perfect spot to do a beach excursion. Although Orient Beach on French St. Martin has always been one of my favorite white sand beaches, I had read reviews that it was overcome by peddlers, harassing you to buy their wares, even while you tried to nap. I was NOT having any of that! I read about a Catamaran Cruise, that took you snorkeling, could ride you to the uninhabited beach if you needed in a dingy, and had CHAMPAGNE onboard. Ding, ding, ding, we have a WINNER! Chris and I, Sheryl, Sharlene and Gretchen signed up for the Cruise and met up that morning onboard.

Chris about to board the Catamaran
Chris about to board the Catamaran
Sailing, sailing....
Sailing, sailing….

The crew got some volunteers to help hoist the sails:

Get those sails up, Guys!
Get those sails up, Guys!

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They're wonderful, check them out when you're in St. Maarten!
They’re wonderful, check them out when you’re in St. Maarten!

Once we were sailing over to French St. Martin, they offered beer or juice. I asked if they had champagne. They told me that it was being chilled, and minutes later, I was in heaven!

Me and my champagne
Me and my champagne
The others getting their snorkeling gear on, ready to get in
The others getting their snorkeling gear on, ready to get in
Snorkeling?! Um, NO!
Snorkeling?! Um, NO!
This was filled with different drinks, beer and champagne. He rode it around in a Dingy!
At one point, this was filled with different drinks, beer and champagne. He rode it around in a Dingy!
Me and Sheryl having a Champagne meeting while floating in the Sea
Me and Sheryl having a Champagne meeting while floating in the Sea
A beautiful beach on St. Martin
A beautiful beach on St. Martin *waving*
Having a funky, good time!
Sharlene and Sheryl having a funky, good time!
Chris in St. Maarten
Chris in St. Maarten
Returning to the ship
Returning to the ship

I rushed back, excited to see the “Guitars Get Together Q&A” featuring Jonathan Butler, Keb Mo and Peter White, hosted my Marcus Miller. It should have been named “The Marcus Miller Q&A of Keb Mo”, because that’s basically the main person he spoke with. Since I’m still hot about this, I will only say this– be fair to the paying passengers. Give everyone their equal time. Larry Braggs and Alonzo Bodden made jokes about how Peter and Jonathan were being ignored..it was only funny because it was true.

Peter White/Marcus Miller
Peter White/Marcus Miller
Jonathan Butler and Keb Mo
Jonathan Butler and Keb Mo
The Panel
The Panel
Impromptu Q&A with Alonzo and Larry
Impromptu Q&A with Alonzo and Larry
Larry Braggs, Alonzo Bodden and Marcus
Larry Braggs, Alonzo Bodden and Marcus

Chris got a photo with both Peter and Marcus, I realized that it was my dream photo, so I asked for one as well.

Peter, Chris and Marcus
Peter, Chris and Marcus
After this photo was taken, I said I could jump off of the ship now, my life was complete!
After this photo was taken, I said I could jump off of the ship now, my life was complete!
Marcus and Estella
Marcus and Estella

We noticed that Brian Simpson and the band were coming in for sound check, I figured that it was a good time to get a photo with Dwight Sills.

Me with Dwight
Me with Dwight

I decided to forego the Jeffrey Osborne concert, which I had seen on our cabin t.v. earlier that evening, (it was phenomenal!) and see Brian Simpson’s show.

Dwight Sills jamming on Guitar
Dwight Sills jamming on Guitar
Nate Phillips on Bass
Nate Phillips on Bass
Brian Simpson
Brian Simpson

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Brian invited Peter White to join in
Brian invited Peter White to join in

I then snuck into the Mainstage Show Lounge late show to see Boney James again. I was able to sit with Sascha, Markus, Estella and Christian, and Estella and I jumped up and danced to 2 songs- “Batucada (The Beat)” and “Ride”. Such fun! Chris readied for the Mardi Gras party, and although I brought 11 masks with me, I was worn out, and decided to stay in and get some rest. Chris looked stunning in her mask!

Dane Butcher and Chris
Dane Butcher and Chris
Chris with Sheila E
Chris with Sheila E
Lynne Briggs with Chris
Lynne Briggs with Chris

Of course, while going to bed, I missed out on this-

Snacks with Peter and Boney!
Snacks with Peter and Boney! (Photo: Chris Gibbons)

The next day we were at Sea, with even more activities to come! Passionately Yours, LoryG