This winter, disco fans worldwide will have the chance to celebrate good times and shake their booties for five days and nights aboard the first-ever Ultimate Disco Cruise.
Set for Feb. 14 to 19, the voyage will take place aboard Celebrity’s Infinity. Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the cruise will have two ports of call: Key West and Cozumel, Mexico.
The cruise will be hosted by disco legend and choreographer Deney Terrio from the popular 1970-'80s variety show "Dance Fever.''
Credited with teaching John Travolta his signature moves for the 1978 film "Saturday Night Fever,'' Terrio will be the master of ceremonies for many of the music-filled events throughout the five days at sea.
Some of the iconic artists performing on the Ultimate Disco cruise include: KC and The Sunshine Band, Kool and The Gang, Gloria Gaynor, The Village People, Norma Jean Wright, Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin (formerly of the band Chic), Evelyn “Champagne” King, The Trammps (featuring Earl Young), Tavares and The Australian Bee Gees Show (a tribute to the legendary trio).
Musical performances will be featured day and night on a variety of stages and venues throughout the vessel — simultaneous acts playing on different stages and parties galore.
As one of the cruise headliners, Gaynor is the singer of perhaps one of most iconic and beloved disco anthems, "I Will Survive,'' released in 1979. It won a Grammy in 1980 for Best Disco Song and has been re-recorded more than 200 times by a variety of artists including Diana Ross, Chantay Moore and Cake.
“I’m mostly looking forward to the audience, as always,'' Gaynor says. "It’s going to be a really great crowd, I’m sure … and that’s always uplifting and encouraging to the entertainer. I’m excited about the fan interaction. It’s always a fun time and will certainly be a big party.”
She added that she will also perform songs from her forthcoming album, "Testimony,'' which is scheduled for release in November. It features four duets with other well-known singers: Jason Crabb, Bart Miller, Mike Farris and Yolanda Adams.
Another cruise highlight will be a performance by disco legends KC and the Sunshine Band, known for blockbuster disco hits including "Get Down Tonight,'' "That’s The way (I Like It)" and "Boogie Shoes.''
Harry “KC” Casey says, “For the fans, it’s a great experience, there’s music all the time and you get to see so many of your favorite artists perform so many great songs. And you don’t have to really go anywhere except down to the theater where the music is happening.
"I’ve played on cruise ships before and they are so much fun,'' he continued. "Everywhere I looked, everyone was having the best time of their lives and enjoying every moment. And you get to stop at ports and see new things. It’s a combination of a lot of thrills in one trip.”
The Ultimate Disco Cruise is an ideal opportunity for the fans to get up close and personal with the bands, Casey said.
“It’s always a great thing to connect with our fans. Over the years, some of my best friends started out as fans of the band. Some of them are like family now.”
He added, “It’s my happiest time on earth is when I’m on the stage. It’s definitely great to look out into the audience and see people smiling, laughing, singing, dancing and having fun. Because that’s what the music is all about.”
South Jersey-based DJ legend Bob Pantano will rock the turntables and play a big role in the festivities at sea.
Pantano has been celebrating the disco lifestyle as the longtime host of his top-rated “Saturday Night Dance Party,” which is celebrating its 41st anniversary.
Attracting about 1,000 enthusiastic disco fans each week, his parties are known to go well past midnight. With a listening audience of 100,000-plus, it is broadcast live every Saturday evening from the Adelphia restaurant in Deptford, on Philly’s WOGL (and simulcast at the Jersey Shore on 96.1 WTTH and 93.1 WEZW).
In addition to his Saturday night events, he hosts parties throughout the tri-state area.
“I’ve had Saturday night fever for 41! It’s all part of my history in the music industry. I had the chance to play all of these artists on the radio the first time around when they were starting out and I’m thrilled see all of the bands live again.”
Pantano will travel with his wife, Debbie, and the trip will be the first cruise for both of them.
“This cruise is for the people who really appreciate the disco sound of the 1970s,'' Pantano said. "It’s a great thing to go back in time and relive all those fantastic years, the incredible music and the fun nightclub days. Disco was a movement that got people back on the dance floor. And all these amazing groups are part of it.”
Originally from South Philadelphia, Pantano has lived in Washington Township for 33 years and is expecting the Ultimate Disco Cruise to attract a multitude of area residents, as he’s been promoting the trip at his weekly dance party.
Pantano stressed that disco is not just for the baby boomer crowd.
“There is a younger audience who is enjoying disco music, too. There are lot of millennials who show up every week … so the cruise is going to be one hell of a party.”
In addition to the musical performances onboard the ship, cruisers can attend many exclusive events during the five days, such as wine tasting, live game shows, trivia games, disco panel discussions, pool parties and themed costume celebrations.
With deluxe cabins, a variety of restaurant options and plenty of indoor and outdoor event space with disco music, fans will have the opportunity to party day and night.
The inaugural Ultimate Disco Cruise is produced by Philadelphia-based Alan Rubens, StarVista LIVE Senior Vice President of Entertainment. The organization specializes in unique musical cruises, such as the Country Music Cruise, Flower Power Cruise, Soul Train Cruise and several others.
If you go
Cabin rates start at $1,499. This includes admission to main stage shows, meals in main dining areas and major parties. Call 844-296-3472 or visit UltimateDiscoCruise.com
By Marla Cimini, Special to Cherry Hill Courier-Post
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
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