Singing pianists are this week’s subject for outtakes from my book ‘Cruising the World, From Gondolas to Megaships.’

Holland America ships may not have had Billy Joel onboard, but every evening was an opportunity to sing along with the Piano Man (and the Piano Woman). 

The entertainment concept being incorporated on HAL ships prior to the pandemic was Music Walk. Anchored by the Mainstage Theater, venues included in Music Walk were the well established B.B. King Blues Club, Lincoln Center Stage, and Billboard Onboard. 

Billboard Onboard was HAL’s partnership venue with Billboard Magazine where fifty years of oldie hits were performed by talented singing pianists, one male and one female. Some sessions included tunes specially requested by passengers and singing along was often encouraged. Presumably when HAL cruises start up again, it will be time again for evenings of musical nostalgia when we’ll be “in the mood for a melody” and the Piano Man will have us “feelin’ alright.”

(Note: Holland America Line is preparing for a gradual restart and is said to be moving six cruise ships toward the U.S. citing positive signs and a new conversation around the return to service.)