We couldn't wait to go on this classic music cruise, we looked forward to it for months. The overall talent was tremendous, and the highlight of the cruise. Greg Lake's show was fantastic, and to me The Zombies stole the whole show with their stunning poolside outdoor performance.
The food was mediocre but we really didn't care, we were there for the music and The Moody Blues. However, the VIP package was a giant ripoff, and every VIP passenger I talked to agreed. We had a great time (again thanks to the many great performers). but it's always a shame to get lied to and feel ripped off. First we were promised the Storytellers "concert" as an exclusive part of our package, only to have it given to everyone for free after we already signed up for the VIP package. The "private reception" with The Moody Blues was a joke, they came in for 5-10 minutes, thanked all of us as a group for coming, and then left. At the very least, everyone should've gotten to line up, get a handshake and a smile, and maybe gotten 15 seconds to at least say something to each of the guys. That's a reception. Then perhaps worst of all, just a couple of weeks before the cruise they came up with these 1 hour "private" sessions the last day and we VIP's (who paid $1000+ extra for the VIP package, were given no consideration at all, it was open to everyone. Bad enough that they wanted an extra $60 per session, but I know VIPs who logged on in the first 5 minutes they went on sale and still didn't get in. I got completely shut out and from what I heard, these may have been the most fun of anything the entire cruise.
I signed up for this VIP package for one reason and one reason only....to MAKE SURE I WOULD MISS NOTHING !!!! PERIOD !! At the very least, they could have (and should have) offered each VIP the choice of one of the three sessions to be included in what we paid, and then still could've opened up the last 400-500 tickets to everyone else. The promoters of this cruise obviously didn't give much thought to their customers, and especially their VIP package buyers. Forget that the Storyteller "concert" was a disaster. We were promised two "unique and specially prepared Moody Blues concerts". Well, the Moody's one concert they did give was fantastic as always of course, but there was nothing "unique" about it, it was EXACTLY the very same concert they've been touring with the past several months, NOTHING WAS DIFFERENT. And the Storytellers, described as "not a Q&A but a specially prepared "performance" was nothing of the kind. It was A 90 MINUTE INTERVIEW...ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Ninety minutes with the Moody Blues and not one Moody Blues song, not one Moody Blues story about one Moody Blues song? C'mon Man !!! They missed a golden opportunity to give us, their very best lifetime fans, something special and completely missed the boat (no pun intended). All each of them had to do was pull two of their old album cuts out from Children's or Questions, tell a little story about them, and then play maybe a minute of them. There was already a 1 hour Q&A onboard for everyone the second morning, and that was quite enjoyable, but being given a 90 minute interview of them from a DJ and passing it off as a "special concert".....SCAM !!! and a horrible waste of time. You get the Moody Blues for 90 minutes in the main concert hall and they talk? Not even talk but just answer questions from a DJ? Made me sick. How would you like to go to an NFL or NBA game and have all the players come out, sit down, and just talk for 2 hours?? Perfect analogy! Then, they blew the Moodies karaoke the final night and had already canceled it until I got a tech to go up to the production office with me and show them I had three Moody blues karaoke CDs with forty songs on it I told them everyone could use, so we got it back on, and those of us who participated had a tremendous time and will never forget singing Moodies classics to the greatest Moody Blues audience ever assembled.
My only complaint against MSC was that on the last night they informed us they were kicking us out of our rooms at 7am!!! I've never seen that happen before. After only 4 1/2 days and a late night the night before, it made for a tough departure. I hate to register all these complaints, but this is an accurate assessment of the cruise in it's entirety.
Did we have a great time overall? Yes. The passengers were the best group of people you could ever hope to spend 5 days with, we made many friends and the musical talent was off the charts. Would we do it again knowing everything we know now? Yes, but I would never again buy a VIP package, it was a complete ripoff, they openly LIED to us about it, and I am going to seek a partial refund of the VIP premium that I paid. WE DID NOT GET WHAT WE PAID FOR !!! The promoters should be ashamed of themselves. The bottom line??? This cruise was great fun, the concept brilliant, but the execution and thought (How about a little commonsense and honesty) were terrible. One more thing....Next time, if your headliner is only going to give one concert (like they did here) why in the world would you make it the first night only hours after getting on the ship? Let everyone warm up all week with the other bands and then let the Moodies play the last two nights to end on a high note, not the first two nights! (again, common sense). Makes one wonder if the promoters actually gave any thought to just about anything they were doing or were just after as much money as possible? That's the feeling we were left with, and every VIP package buyer we talked to agreed. Music? GREAT! Great party, lots of fun BECAUSE WE MADE IT THAT WAY, but many disappointments too ,we just didn't let them stop us from having a good time. But I had to let everyone know the truth. Don't trust these promoters, they are after your money and will promise anything to get it, then not deliver!!