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Yee-haw! Cruisin' With Country Music

On Sunday night, we'll be watching one of our can't-miss shows on TV: the Academy of Country Music awards show…CBS, if you need to know.

Maybe it's our demographics…maybe we're returning to some form of roots when we listed to what was called "cowboy music"…maybe we just like the sound.

But we'll be there.

We'd also like to be on Holland America's Country Music Cruise next January, on Martina McBridethe Eurodam…because that's where Martina McBride (left) will be. Also Darryl Worley, John Anderson (right) and Restless Heart — we admit it, John Andersonwe've seen them all in concert multiple times. Also Charley Pride, Lorrie Morgan, the Gatlins, Aaron Tippin, Wade Hayes, Asleep At The Wheel and Bryan White.

It's a 7-day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean, leaving Fort Lauderdale on January 18, and it's not cheap ($2,200), but you get what you pay for, right? There are performances by the country artists every night and a series of extracurricular events, including panel discussions, line dancing, celebrity cooking, karaoke, hat night…even renewing your vows. But for us, it's not about scooting' boots or seeing if Charley Pride can cook chicken.

It's about the music. Period.

Just like it will be on Sunday night.

Today at portsandbows.com: Catherine Deneuve and the ship with her name 

Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
7 nights
April 19, 2014
San Juan (return): TortolaSt. MaartenSt. KittsRoseauBarbados
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $57



Country Collection — at What Price?

Okay, you lovers of country music…

How much would you pay to see performances — in the same week — by Vince Gill, Kenny Rogers, Patty Loveless, Larry Gatlin and his brothers, Joe Dee Messina, Ronnie Milsap, Restless Heart, Ty Herndon, Andy Griggs, Jamie O'Neal, Wade Hayes, The Warren Brothers and Bryan White?

This collection of singers has combined for 90 songs that reached No. 1 on the charts, and all 13 acts will be on Holland America's Eurodam for seven days in January. The exercise below is to try and determine what you have to pay to enjoy such a festival at sea.

Let's start with the facts.

The itinerary is the Eastern Caribbean — Fort Lauderdale return, departing January 19th. The ports are Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Maarten and Half Moon Cay. The ship carries 2,104 passengers.

You won't find this cruise on Holland America's website. In fact, you won't find a similar cruise on the Eurodam as it appears to have been entirely booked by Country Music Cruise for the January 19th departure and by another party for the January 12th departure, which also is nowhere on Holland America's website.

So, for comparative purposes, let's look at the cost of a couple of other 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise, one on the Eurodam three weeks earlier (December 29th) and the other one day earlier (January 18th) on the Westerdam — all prices per person, taxes not included…

Eurodam (December 29th)

Inside stateroom: $1,299
Oceanview: $1,499
Balcony: $1,699

Book the Country Music Cruise, which goes to the same ports except St. Maarten instead of St. Thomas, and here are the prices, with the differences in parentheses…

Inside stateroom: $1,925 ($626 more)
Oceanview: $2,200 ($701 more)
Balcony: $2,575 ($876 more)

Westerdam (January 18th)

Inside stateroom: $749
Oceanview: $849
Balcony: $1,049

On the Country Music Cruise, which also goes to St. Maarten instead of St. Thomas, the prices (with the differences in parentheses) are as follows…

Inside stateroom: $1,925 ($1,180 more)
Oceanview: $2,200 ($1,351 more)
Balcony: $2,575 ($1,526 more)

Now you can decide.

Caribbean Princess
7 nights
March 16, 2013
Fort Lauderdale (return): Princess Cays, Curacao, Aruba
Inside: $649
Cost per day: $92

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