NEWS

October 2017

It seems impossible that it is a month since we last spoke and I’m still riding high on the after effects of THE wedding. It was so hard leaving England knowing that everyone from the bridal party was swapping pictures and stories from that marvelous day but Justine’s parents Diona and Greg were very good and sent me links to several people that had put their shots on line.

Max and Justine flew to Secrets Cancun for their honeymoon and had a marvelous time. I’d bought them a surprise dinner for two on the beach, which they said was fantastic. They sent me a couple of pictures from that special night before Max’s phone packed up once and for all. He’d been having problems with it for a couple of months prior to the wedding but wanted to wit until after the honeymoon to replace it but sadly it had other ideas. It was a great shame as Justine’s memory was full so they only took a couple of snaps of their trip to Mexico.

Everything from the setting to the rooms, food, amenities and entertainment was fantastic and the exciting thing is that we’ve found out that Matt’s wedding at Dreams, Dominican Republic is owned by the same company as Secrets so it looks like they chose the right brand. The only thing we don’t know yet is whether the hotel has been affected by the hurricanes that have been sweeping that side of the world. When I originally heard that the storms coming towards Florida were the worst on record I was genuinely frightened for all my friends who live out there. Even Celebrity closed their offices. I received an automatic email back in answer to mine saying they were closed until further notice in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The first news to filter in was that Cuba had been hit badly but then came the news that Barbuda had been flattened. How awful for all those people who have lost their homes, livelihood and possessions. One is always confident when they go o bed each night that their day tomorrow will hold no great surprises. How wrong can you be? It’s not just devastating for those people on the island but imagine the pure fear from their loved ones who live elsewhere. Getting in contact couldn’t have been easy. It’s not as if they could grab a flight and get over there to help, they had no idea where their family members were or even if they were alive. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

I then heard about St Martin and Dominica but I’m not sure how badly they have been hit. All these islands reply on tourism as their main financial source so however little the havoc it will take years to get back to where they were at. I’m due to go to several of these islands on P&O in January but I’m sure I will be receiving letters advising of itinerary changes to the schedule. The other thing I heard is that two ships were diverted away from docking in the Dominican Republic but it didn’t say why. One passenger said the north of the island had been hit but I don’t know where the hotel is in relation to the damage. That is one of the biggest frustrations to working at sea in that the Wi-Fi signal is weak and expensive and I get very frustrated trying to look things up on my phone. I was going to message Matt but I didn’t want to alarm him for nothing especially as he’d just left on his yearly golfing trip with his buddies. That’s my brother’s idea of a Stag Party!!!
When the kids returned from their honeymoon they found their wedding pictures waiting for them. They were so excited about seeing them and although Max sent me a link I haven’t been able to see all of them because I need a connection to view and being such large files they were taking an age to load just one down. I’ve decided to avoid the frustration and wait until I get home. On the other hand a few days later Justine sent me a link to they marryoke video. I’d never heard of this terminology before but in essence it is karaoke for weddings. Done to the strains of I’m a Believer it was brilliant fun and I just kept watching it over and over again.  The videographer captured the fun exactly and even Matt and I sang our hearts out. I was given a blow up microphone and Matt a saxophone and we spent most of our spot thumping each other over the head. Great fun. Justine also sent me a montage of the real wedding video, which was beautiful. I just started crying as I lived the moments over and over again. I can’t wait to get home and see the whole 90 minutes. What is wonderful is that I can relive the excitement when I come home. I’ll have a great time picking out the pictures I want to have printed and a few weeks later we will have fun again with Matt’s wedding. Talk about photograph overload. What is so special for me is that we hadn’t had a family shot of just Max, Matt and I in years so I shall definitely take the opportunity of having something special done.

In fact I had a great idea in that I would have one of the kid’s wedding pictures made into a jigsaw puzzle as a Christmas present but when I spoke to Max yesterday he’d beaten me to the punch and had one made for Justine’s birthday.

My work on Celebrity Eclipse has been marvelous, great audiences and great responses. It is humbling to know that you have made someone’s whole cruise, which is what I’ve been told a couple of times. I love the fact that it gives me the chance to promote the musical legacy dad has left behind. What better job could you have and I’m incredibly lucky to have been offered a long stint of Silhouette next year. I was offered five months but unfortunately Birmingham University cannot tell me the date of next year’s graduation except to say it is usually sometime at the end of August. I didn’t want to accept the contract and then have to go back to the office next year to ask for time off, especially as it is likely we’ll be in the Baltic again so I’ll have the same problem with flying back from Russia. Instead I’ve accepted three months even though hat mean only doing the Baltic. I’m holding back the tears at missing all the sunshine in the Mediterranean.

What was terribly sad was a conversation I had with a guest after my talk “Living with a Legend” where I use a piece to camera that Bruce Forsythe did for the family. I’d said that I’d rung the house before embarking Eclipse but he was resting. It concerned me deeply as Bruce hadn’t been seen in public since the fall at his home. Having fallen over for seemingly no reason he was given MRIs to check for concussion and that revealed two aneurisms, which were operated on immediately. I don’t know exactly what happened but he was never the same after that. The Strictly program did record a piece for camera to explain that Bruce wouldn’t now be doing the Christmas special but it didn’t look right. Richard and I could count all the splices in the footage, which would give an indication that filming that small segment was extremely difficult and to my knowledge Bruce didn’t do anything after that. I was worried that he’s been left with the same symptoms following a stroke and I said as much during the conversation. The very next day I read the sad news that Bruce had passed away. It’s a great travesty as I’m sure he would have liked to have gone out on the golf course or on stage. He was always such a vibrant part of the business, the consummate professional who has never stopped working. For me it was like losing a family member. He and dad cemented their firm friendship while doing summer seasons together and that staunch friendship spanned dad’s whole life. Even after dad passed, Bruce was among a handful of real friends that were there for mum and I. He dearly wanted to attend my book launch but each year he went to his wife’s home country in Puerto Rica for the winter but he rang during the party at EMI and insisted I put him on answer-phone so he could address the crowd signing off at the end, Much love Brucie baby. He will be greatly missed by everyone whose life he touched. He was and always will be a legend and a star amongst the stars.

That is the biggest negative at being at sea, you feel so useless when it comes to something like this but Richard saved the day by sending a card on behalf of the family and once I get home I will ring and offer my personal condolences.

On a happier note I’m excited about coming home anyway but more so because Matt and I are going to be working together for the first time ever. My friend and ‘mucker’ Rose Cook has organized a booking at Dudley Civic Centre on the 17 November. After writing the book it seemed the natural progression to adapt it for stage and theatre and Matt Jnr has been touring it successfully around the United Kingdom for the last few years. It was originally my hope to tour with him but my health wasn’t up to doing the strenuous travelling that the tour involves. The gig in Dudley is a one off and I’m really looking forward to it so if any of you live locally we’d love to see you there. We shall be coming out front of house at the end of the show to say hello.

Matt’s new album came out to coincide with the tour. “A Father’s Legacy’ is the first album since “If He Could See Me Now” which was in 2007 and “Dancing With His Father’ in 2010.

Fourth Blue Monday
Didn’t We
For Once in My Life
Georgia on My Mind
Let Me Sing
One Morning in May
Gonna Build a Mountain
One Voice
You’ve Got Possibilities
So Little Time
This is the Life
Wonderful World
On Days Like These
You Made Me So Very Happy
Yesterday When I Was Young

I’ve been working on a new project for the last 21 months and all being equal the book will be ready to go to print in April or May so I have it ready for the Celebrity cruise season.  The working title is ‘The Port Guide for Mere Mortals’ and includes a ‘Mobility Challenged’ section which is something sadly missing from other guides.

The first edition includes Norway and Europe and I’m relying on all of you to let me have any recommendations of shops, eateries, tours and the places that have impressed you Even if you have a valuable tip I want to hear it , you might know the best places for duty free and if anyone has issues with their mobility please share your stories with me. It could be that you need to tell me a place to avoid and that is equally important. This project is important so if you have any suggestions of things to include please email me at michele@mattmonro.com. Maybe you have a great title for the book then please don’t be shy, everything is valuable and you’ll be helping future travelers.

Cruise Dates 2017
28 September -8 October - Celebrity Eclipse
8 October-18 October - Celebrity Eclipse
18 October-28 October - Celebrity Eclipse

Cruise Dates 2018
6 January – 25 February – P&O Oriana
7 May – 19 May – Celebrity Silhouette
19 May – 26 May - Celebrity Silhouette
26 May – 9 June - Celebrity Silhouette
9 June – 23 June - Celebrity Silhouette
23 June – 7 July - Celebrity Silhouette
7 July – 21 July - Celebrity Silhouette
21 July – 4 August - Celebrity Silhouette
4 August - 18 August - Celebrity Silhouette

Don’t forget to check out our Spotlight feature this month, I know so many of you enjoy them. This month we feature Rod Stewart.

I wrote a travel blog while I was and the world cruise and have added to it since I’ve been back. While on Celebrity I will continue to add to my Facebook page as when I get into port https://www.facebook.com/michelemonro

Check out the ‘Rough Guide to mattmonro.com’, 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 take care of yourselves and don’t forget to check my travel blog out at Facebook.co.ukm/micheleMonro. See you all again in November.

Warmest to you and yours

Michele   

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