... or, "I don't think this could get any better... except maybe if there was free dental care." My friend Maria said that as we stepped out on the promenade deck after the Loudon Wainwright and Richard Thompson "Loud and Rich" show. I think it pretty much covers the basic Cayamo experience. Except for the excessively seasick (and there were precious few of those as the seas are really very calm), every person that I came across was positive about the shows, the boat, the whole Cayamo experience. Artists and friends got more than a few minutes after a show and before getting on a bus to meet, catch up, and play. Those on vacation got music morning noon and night, plus spa treatments, and everyone enjoyed the tropical weather and waters.
The crews of Sixthman and The Norwegian Pearl worked 7 days straight, but at the end, even if there were some dark circles appearing here and there, each had a smile to say good-bye and see-you-next-time. This is, from what I understand, the second year that Sixthman has used this particular ship. The familiarity allowed the production team to create a yet more seamless experience than last year's maiden voyage on the Pearl. I expect that next year will be just that much tighter, again. Sixthman continues to live and learn.
Of course the music was the main attraction. There were delicate songbirds, straight up blues, neoamericanafolkroots, roots rock, classic folk, and face melting guitar virtuosity, every bit underpinned with thoughtful songwriting and wit to burn ("Enough with the folk comedy!! MORE TUNING!!!" -Loudon Wainwright, III). You never knew when another favorite artist would appear to sit in with the one whose show you were watching. The guests had sessions happening, both scheduled and spontaneously all over the ship. Even the ship's crew got in on the mucial action, penning and performing a little tune they played at meals to assist in exhorting one and all to wash their hands. "Happy, happy; smiley, smiley, washy, washy; all the time." More players sat in at the cafeteria every meal, making a huge, classic folk jam of it.
I am actually still on the road, in NYC. Lucky me, I'll be at the Richard Thompson all request shows these next 3 nights. Then finally back to my new home in AUstin. Oh, and then comes SxSW! Phew! I'll be posting more pictures to my Cayamo gallery every day, and winding out some more words as I go through show by show. But I do have several thousand pictures. Is there anyone my gentle readers would most like to hear about? Do tell. I am susceptible to joyous exhortation.
Oh. Yes. And, we all ate. A lot.