Attending a concert or a festival is always a great pleasure but to join Warren Hill's Smooth Jazz Cruise 2005 was an experience far beyond my expectations. Over 1800 passengers were on Holland America's Ms. Zuiderdam from January 15-22, 2005.

Can you imagine 1800 Smooth Jazz fans on such a small spot and the artists in between? Over 50% of the guests on Warren Hill's Smooth Jazz Cruise 2005 have already booked for the 2006 Cruise onboard. Every day I found enthusiasts in long lines waiting patiently for interviews, autograph sessions and especially concerts. To catch a good place one had to wait one hour or more.

It was the perfect opportunity to meet artists and others fans sharing the same passion. So I met Kirk Whalum in the gym, Warren Hill at breakfast or Michael Manson in the Martini Lounge. Most of the fans were respecting the privacy of artists. So all were a great family.

Flash photography and video recording were strictly forbidden during the concerts, but from time to time flashes flared up, especially when artists were appearing in the audience which happened very often. It was like Hollywood's Oscar ceremony. The great concerts took place in the Vista Lounge holding more than 600 seats. The passengers were parted in 2 groups with red and blue cards. Special guests had both cards or points on their cards allowing to attend all events. Every day one or more concerts for each group were performed. But it was obviously recognizable hardcore smooth jazz fans were crawling into the concerts of the other groups. When did they take their dinner? So on most of the events the Vista Lounge was over-crowded.

Standing ovations or yelling were a normal appearance of powerful emotions. The audience was captivated and active. There was so much interaction between musicians and audience. "The heat is on".