October 2015

As most of you know I have spent the best part of September on Celebrity Eclipse and am due back there on the 10th of this month until the beginning of November.
It was a fantastic couple of cruises and I met some terrific people and I have to admit that the shows were the best ever. In fact because the theatre rig had to be dismantled so that the old shows go out and the new sets are brought in for the new shows I was asked if I’d mind working in Celebrity Central, a much smaller but more intimate theatre. I much preferred it and it gave me the chance to talk to all the guests that had questions and wanted autographs.

The first leg to Europe was so good that I sold all my stock of books that I had brought for the two cruises. It just goes to show you can never tell. It is interesting that I definitely do better on the cruises that go out of Southampton, as there is a larger contingency of Brits and they still love the 60’s music scene.

The 2,034-­passenger liner debuted in 2002 as the fourth and final ship in Celebrity Cruises' Millennium Class and I have to say she is gorgeous. There are still places I haven’t explored yet but suffice to say she is totally unique. She is definitely far above the standard of other competing cruise lines as you still get those extra touches that others have let go. The pool has a huge supply of beautifully rolled towels and when the weather turned a bit nippy blankets were in abundance. The indoor pool area is fabulous and each sun bed equipped with luxury mattresses has a perfectly laid out towel on the end. The seating everywhere feels luxurious with wicker furniture love seats and secluded hammocks for two.

The ship has a real lawned area on Deck 15 if you fancy a picnic or want to walk barefoot in the grass and up there you will also find an exclusive area for glass blowing with three furnaces primed and ready to go.

I love the fact that they haven’t made the smoker feel like a leper and there are ample areas for lighting up including a bar with chairs and seating, in fact all of the areas are placed socially and not in the boon docks. Well done Celebrity.

In each port call a giant gazebo is erected housing iced cold water and iced towels for the wearied traveller on their return ‘home’ and in over a month I only saw beaming smiles from the staff and crew. They all feel genuinely pleased to be working there and nothing is too much trouble. I have travelled on a lot of cruise lines and for me this has to be the top choice. The Eclipse is the perfect size for me in that it is not too big or over-whelming but still has a huge variety of choice for eateries and drinking venues.

If I am being picky I’d say bring your own birthday or anniversary cards if a loved one if celebrating because the shops don’t stock any nor do they sell any reading material which I missed, although they do have a well-stocked library and if you head there immediately after boarding you will get a good choice of paperbacks that have been left on board by the last departing passengers.

The Entertainment team are amazingly hard working and I’m not sure when the Cruise Director Sue or her fabulous sidekick Maarten go to bed. They are always visible as are the Captain and his Officers. They had two opportunities per cruise where the Captain and his crew meet all the passengers informally. You can take photographs and ask questions. On other lines they only allow their own photography team to take photos, which is just a cheap way of getting you to spend more money. Don’t get me wrong all cruise lines are in the game of making money but Celebrity seem to do it in a much more subtle way and you definitely feel you are getting value for money. I only drink coca-cola and the soda package allow proper cans of coke not the cheap stuff out of a pump. They had a good selection of drinks options with something to suit everyone but if your preference is to do without then there is no pressure.

The Celebrity line as a whole, attract older experienced savvy cruisers looking for an experience that offers value and a bit of luxury In both price, quality of food and service. The Eclipse strives to balance the intimacy offered by smaller ships and the leisure, entertainment and dining perks offered by bigger ships. Passengers have access to nine bars and lounges; French, Italian and bistro alternative restaurants; a large casino and nightly Vegas-styled entertainment not forgetting the ice-frosted martini bar.

The itinerary took in some of my favourite ports in Europe including Madeira, Lisbon, Rome and Pisa and the second leg visited the Canary Islands. It was certainly nice feeling the sun for a change but it was interesting to note that Europe was hotter than Lanzarote and it’s sister islands.

I didn’t realise I was back on the Eclipse in 12 days, if I had I would have requested to stay onboard to save the three hour trip home and the expense of booking the car park again but I know for next year. I got back a few days ago and am busily trying to launder and wash everything so I can repack for my next trip. If I thought I could put my feet up for a few days I was sorely mistaken as my diary is struggling to find space for everything that has to be done.

Matt came over yesterday to pick up dad’s stage stool and go over the last minute revisions on the script for ‘The Matt Monro Story’, which opens today at the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield. Being the 30th anniversary year I would have loved so have done the tour with my brother, something we’ve never done before, but my health is just not up to that sort of gruelling schedule. I would be remiss to take something on knowing that I might have to pull out midway so I’m content with the script as my creative input.

October - November 2015

Date    Venue  Box Office       Address           Website


01246 345222
Corporation Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S41 7TX

02-Oct BUXTON OPERA HOUSE, BUXTON     0845 127 2190 
Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6XN

Laneham Street, Scunthorpe, South Humberside DN156JP

07-Oct HAZLITT THEATRE, MAIDSTONE        01622 758611
Earl Street, Maidstone ME14 1

09-Oct TOWNGATE THEATRE, BASILDON      01268 465465
St. Martins Square, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DL  

Crescent Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2LU

15-Oct BEDFORD CORN EXCHANGE  01234 718112
St Paul's Square, Bedford MK40 1SL

18-Oct CIVIC THEATRE, ROTHERHAM           01709 823621
Catherine Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S65 1EB

20-Oct KINGS HALL, ILKLEY     01274 432000
4 Station Rd, Ilkley LS29 8HB

21-Oct LYCEUM THEATRE, CREWE    01270 368 242           
Heath Street, Crewe, Cheshire CW1 2DA

22-Oct THE CORE @ CORBY CUBE    01536 470 470           
The Corby Cube Parkland Gateway George Street, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 1QG

23-Oct CONCORDE CLUB, EASTLEIGH       023 8061 3989           
Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 9HQ

25-Oct EPSOM PLAYHOUSE    01372 742555            
Ashley Avenue, Epsom KT18 5AL

28-Oct BECK THEATRE, HAYES           020 8561 8371           
Grange Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 2UE

29-Oct MILLFIELD ARTS CENTRE        020 8807 6680           
Silver Street, London N18 1PJ

06-Nov WEYMOUTH PAVILION           01305 783225
The Esplanade, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8ED

07-Nov KINGS THEATRE, SOUTHSEA   023 9282 8282           
Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 2QJ

Prospect Road, Shanklin, PO37 6AJ

09-Nov THE COURTYARD, HEREFORD            01432 340555
Edgar Street, Hereford HR4 9JR

11-Nov WHITEHALL THEATRE, DUNDEE         01382 434940
Bellfield Street, Dundee DD1 5JA

12-Nov MUSIC HALL, ABERDEEN        01224 641122
Union Street, Aberdeen, Aberdeen City AB10 1QS

13-Nov ROTHES HALL, GLENROTHES  01592 611101
Kingdom Shopping Centre, Glenrothes, KY7 5NX

14-Nov FALKIRK TOWN HALL  01324 506850
Suite 1A, The Falkirk Stadium, 4 Stadium Way, Falkirk, FK2 9EE

15-Nov ROYAL CONCERT HALL, GLASGOW    0141 353 8000           
2 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3NY 

19-Nov TAMWORTH ASSEMBLY ROOMS       01827 709 618           
Corporation Street, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7DN


Richard and I have now taken over dad’s Facebook page so I’m sure you will start seeing averts for the show soon as the full impact of the PR campaign takes hold.

Shiver (the factual arm of ITV Studios) has been commissioned to make a documentary special celebrating the most popular songs from one of the longest-running and most iconic franchises in movie history. Transmitting over 90 minutes at peak time on ITV later this year, The Nation’s Favourite Bond Song will pay tribute to the greatest tracks that have featured in the hugely successful 007 film series.

Using extensive archive and interviews with the key players, the show will tell the fascinating stories behind twenty 007 classics, which have been chosen in close collaboration with Bond producers Eon and our programme consultant, Bond composer David Arnold. It will also feature the results of our exclusive ITV poll, revealing which Bond song the British public consider their favourite of all time.

The Nation’s Favourite Bond Song follows on from the success of previous award-winning Nation’s Favourites, applauding the work of musical greats such as Queen, the Motown label and Elvis Presley (the latter of which was seen by over 7 million viewers).

I’m thrilled to report that From Russia with Love is one of the songs that the documentary will be featuring, and they have asked if I would give a short interview on camera and share my memories of dad and his much-loved Bond song. I am going to Birmingham on Monday 5th to do my little bit and I’m hoping they may have a date of transmission by then but either way I’ll keep you informed.

I had a lovely email from Anje Harrod who is Ed’s daughter. She has kindly offered to send me any of Ed’s archives that he accumulated over the years. She said Ed would want it to come ‘home’. It is such a lovely thought and one that I know Ed would love. It just goes to prove that we have the most fabulous fans who remain staunch in their support year after year. Through his music Matt lives on.

Cruise Calendar 2015/2016

10 October– 21 October – Celebrity Eclipse
21 October – 1 November – Celebrity Eclipse
5 January – 16 February – Cruise & Maritime Magellan

Don’t forget to check out our Spotlight feature this month, I know so many of you enjoy them. This time round we look in on Richard Harris.

Check out the ‘Rough Guide to’, which is available towards the bottom of the Homepage. If you don’t know how to access certain areas of the site or in fact are unaware of new areas, this guide will explain how easy this website is to get around, once you know how.

There is also another information box “How to Use the Forum’. I know a lot of people have been tempted to join in on some of our conversations but are slightly nervous of doing so. For that reason I have printed step-by-step instructions of how to access it. It really does only take a few minutes.

Whatever the coming year holds, suffice to say that I shall be plugging Matt Monro’s music at every opportunity.  That is the wonderful thing about working the ships, it gives me a brand new audience each time and if then, a small percentage go home a fan, then it is worth all the blood, sweat and tears, not to mention the Bay of Biscay!!!!

Until next month
Warmest to you and yours


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  - Press this link to see the Amazon Listing for The Singers Singer by Michele Monro


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