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Malt Shop Memories Cruise
Making More Memories Aboard Eurodam
Nov 3-10, 2013

Even Eurodam’s elevators greeted
Malt Shop Memories guests

by Linda Coffman

It's still good to be a Baby Boomer. That's something those of us now known as Senior Citizens have known all our lives—we grew up at a time of prosperity and great promise and we were raised by The Greatest Generation. Wonderful things happened as we grew up… men walked on the moon and innovation, including computers and the Internet changed the way we worked and communicated. Movies (Rebel Without A Cause, American Graffiti) and television shows (Bandstand, Happy Days) were dedicated to us in our teen years.

And, of course, there was our music, which exploded on the national scene when Dick Clark began hosting American Bandstand on August 5, 1957. “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it” became a teenager’s mantra. It’s still the clarion call for Baby Boomers to take the floor to dance to the Oldies, But Goodies by Elvis and many other talented artists.

Our music was incredible—in fact, it still is. Along with that good beat that you could dance to, you could understand the words and many of us remember them fifty-plus years later as we sing along.

What would it be like to turn back time, go to another sock hop, and dress up for another Prom? Just ask any of the passengers who sailed on Malt Shop Memories Cruise 2013 aboard Holland America Line’s Eurodam. Not only were we able to do those things, we attended concerts every night starring some of the best-loved artists of our day—Neil Sedaka, Bobby Rydell, Shirley Alston Reeves of The Shirelles, The Four Tops, The Tokens, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers, Petula Clark, Lesley Gore, Gary U.S. Bonds, Chris Montez, The Crystals, and Little Anthony and The Imperials. Of course no Malt Shop Memories Cruise would be complete without the Elvis Tribute Artists.
We have to give a special shout out to Bobby Rydell, who was was unable to sail with us last year because he had undergone a double organ transplant only four months previously. For 2013, Bobby was in good health and back on board to not only entertain in the main show lounge, but also to spend time out and about meeting and greeting fans. That's Bobby pictured here getting ready to share his wife Linda's recipe during a cooking demonstration.

For the Malt Shop Memories Cruise, Entertainment Cruise Productions, the the world's leader in full ship charter music cruises and Time Life, which markets a collection of Malt Shop Memories CDs, put together a sea-going hang out for those of us who remember spinning 45s on our turntables and dancing in our socks.

When our pre-cruise package arrived in the mail we found everything inside we’d need to get ready—luggage tags, information sheets, and tee-shirts that we were invited to “decorate” to compete in a contest during the first deck event—the T-Shirt Party where the music was hot and the drinks were free. There was also an invitation to join our shipmates at a pre-cruise party at the Sheraton in Fort Lauderdale on Friday night.

Hallmarks of every Entertainment Cruise Productions music-themed cruise are activities and the opportunity to interact with the artists. The Malt Shop Memories Cruise was no exception and the level of passenger participation was high. A walk down any accommodations passageway on Eurodam demonstrated that those of us who remember malt shops, 45s, drive-in movies, and poodle skirts hadn’t lost our creativity and many cabin door displayed inventive door decorations.

Some of the most popular events were “Backstage Pass Live TV Interviews” with the artists that were hosted by our cruise director, Dane Butcher. Also well attended were a cooking demonstration by Bobby Rydell, Q&A sessions with Lesley Gore, Shirley Alston Reeves, Bill Medley, and others, wine tasting, and “adult” malt get-togethers, as well as a special renewal of vows ceremony hosted by Little Anthony.

MSM Emcee Jerry Blavat Hosts
the T-Shirt Party Poolside
We enjoyed ports of call and warm and sunny sea days filled with dance lessons, discussions hosted by various artists, Twisting on Deck, a Hula Hoop Competition, Adult Malts and cocktail hours hosted by the artists, a Cher tribute show, trivia contests, comedy hours with Robert Klein, the Buddy Holly Show with George Trullinger, and karaoke. Nightly concerts were the highlights, along with a poolside Back to the Beach BBQ and the sock hop, as well as “Prom Night” under the stars. Passengers really got into the theme—poodle skirts and ponytails were the fashion statements for the sock hop and many broke out their prom dresses as well. Sadly, I could only wish that my prom formals from 1960-something still fit.

Count me among the major Elvis Presley fans onboard—my trio of tabby cats are Elvis, Priscilla, and Lisa Marie. To celebrate the music of the 50s and 60s—the Malt Shop Era—and the King of Rock ‘n Roll, there were FIVE Elvis Tribute Artists on hand to entertain in The Jungle Room—Gino Monopoli, Anthony Von, Jay Zanier, Dwight Icenhower, Jay Dupuis, and Mark Anthony. In addition to entertaining, they were generous with their time, posing for photos and chatting. Just like the real King would be if he were on board.

A signature of every sailing hosted by Entertainment Cruise Productions are pillow gifts and every night we found such tokens of appreciation as terrific souvenir books, caps, duffle bags, travel cups, a Swiss-army style pocket knife corkscrew, and portable speakers to use with an iPod. Of course there also were cute towel animals fashioned by our Eurodam stewards awaiting us. It was like having a birthday every day!
Cruise Diva with Elvis Tribute Artists
Once again, Mel and I had a great time on the cruise because we’d been sharing the experience with an entire ship full of like-minded people. We were a community who’d make similar lifestyle choices, had a lot in common (in addition to our ages), and were fun to be around. That’s the beauty of a theme cruise aboard a full-ship charter. And, of course there was the music and the opportunity to enjoy the artists we all love.

This wasn’t our first Malt Shop Memories and it won’t be our last!

Photos ©

Check out Entertainment Cruise Productions for more musical themed cruises and you'll see why so many of their passengers repeat an ECP event. Then head over to the Malt Shop Memories site for hundreds of photos and to book your cabin.

If you missed them, here are links to Cruise Diva's daily blogs posted during the cruise:

Getting Underway: The Malt Shop Memories Cruise
The Malt Shop Memories Cruise Rocks at Sea
The Malt Shop Memories Cruise Keeps Rocking at Sea
The Malt Shop Memories Cruise Hits The Beach
The Malt Shop Memories Cruise Accessible Stars
The Malt Shop Memories Cruise Spends A Day At Sea
The Malt Shop Memories Cruise Reaches Nassau
Bobby Rydell Gets Cooking on The Malt Shop Memories Cruise
The Malt Shop Memories Cruise, See You Next Year

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