*Quick update on Arjana and Ivan since we spent time with them in Alaska on the Carnival Legend. They are currently basking in the sunny sun on board the Carnival Pride. Follow them on Facebook and go see them while cruising because this is some real can’t miss jazz on Carnival Cruises!
Live jazz music is not the reason one gets themselves to Seattle, pays the extra cash for a balcony room, and cruises up the Inside Passage to Alaska.
Hell, not even the succulent filet mignon and creamy sauce béarnaise from the Carnival Legend’s stunning Nouveau Restaurant is why we make this long westward journey to discover the wild frontier.
But, while on board the Legend, both the jazz and the prime cuts of steak make you feel luxurious, like one of those pearl necklace wearing, champagne sipping upper crust, high society passengers on a majestic ocean liner from a century ago.
Tucked in between the Truffles dining room in the stern of the ship and a small, rounded edge bar with maybe a dozen high top padded stools, sits a half moon stage in a hard right angle corner of the gilded-aged Atlantis Lounge.
There, on all but one night of Carnival’s week long sailing to Alaska, a charming duo from New York City called Arjana and Ivan feed modern pop songs, from Gaga to Sinatra and Heart to Madonna, through a post-Belle Epoque jazz music filter.
Arjana and Ivan’s music is intoxicating, even more so after spending days with mouths agape in sea planes high above glaciers and on small boats viewing glacier ice sheathing, sea lions sleeping, mountain goats frolicking, and humpback whales breaching.
Ivan’s keys and Arjana voice (and electric voila, at times) dances passionately around the lounge, weaving in and out of the dinner crowds coming and going, all while offering music loving ears a fresh challenge but never at the expense of a relaxed, fun attitude.
Simply put, Arjana and Ivan ended up being, along with those steaks cooked to a perfect pink center and the glaciers, goats, sea lions, and whales, one of my personal highlights from our Carnival Legend Alaska cruise this summer. I’d often return to catch the end of their last set after the rest of the family had fallen asleep back in our cabin. It proved a sweet, sublime way to end a day at sea.
The original arrangements of this talented girl-guy pair of jazz players gracing the Carnival Legend’s Atlantis Lounge present guests with earworm melodies you’ll recognize, although it may take a verse or two, with tempo and syllabic shifts you’ll fall in love with much quicker.
You won’t book a cruise to Alaska to hear a killer jazz rendition of “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” but when you do book your Carnival cruise to Alaska, make a plan to spend a few chill evenings with Arjana and Ivan.
Pro tip: download Arjana and Ivan’s debut album, “Us Now”. It’s stellar for dinner parties, sexy time, or simply chilling with the family (how’s that for versatile music!)
Big thanks to Carnival for putting us on the Legend for this cruise. All opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always.
*and yes, I DO wish I took at least one stinking photo of Arjana and Ivan with my good cameras. Ugh.