Concerts and Cruises a Match

Last weekend, our soon-to-be nine-year-old granddaughter celebrated her birthday 10 days early when her parents treated her to a One Direction concert. This is not to be confused with Fifth Dimension, a band from her grandparents' era.

In this age of inflated everything, tickets to One Direction — or 1D — are right up there with weekly mortgage payments — even when the seats are up there where nosesbleed. So when you put famous bands on big cruise ships, the price understandably goes up.

For the "concert" and the cruise.

The latest such example is the Matchbox Twenty cruise on the Carnival Imagination. This is a rock band that, oddly enough, is the same age as the ship (1995). Unlike the Imagination, Matchbox Twenty has not been performing non-stop for the last 18 years but when you've been nominated for Grammy Awards and known around the world, the occasional hiatus is allowed.

But we digress.

Concert-goers on the Imagination the weekend of December 6-9 will pay $600 each to rub elbows with Matchbox Twenty and, as announced yesterday, the group's special guests. That would be the Goo Goo Dolls, who aren't dolls at all but another well-known boy band (or man band). So that's $200 a night — plus taxes and gratuities — but it includes more than musical performances, autograph sessions, photo-ops and deck parties.

It also includes three nights in a "floating hotel" and three days of meals and a trip to the Bahamas. They can squeeze 2,634 people onto the Imagination, and this to see bands that once filled arenas many times that size. Will Matchbox Twenty and the Goo Goo Dolls fill it?

It's hard to "imagine" otherwise.

Holland America Statendam
7 nights
September 15, 2013
AnchorageGlacier Bay, Haines, JuneauKetchikanVancouver
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $57
www.hollandamerica.com

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