Oct 2011

Cruise Diary: Pianist Michael Sara

Submitted by: Jan Hinman

Jan Hinman, a travel writer based in Seattle, Wash, recently sailed on Eurodam from Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and sent in cruise diaries throughout her time on board. Enjoy!

The Piano Bar was the happening place on my recent cruise on ms Eurodam. The pianist/singer Michael Sara, packed in the crowds every evening and quickly built a loyal following. Guests were arriving a half-hour or more before the singing began to secure a prime seat around the piano. Before the evenings ended, there was standing room only, and guests sang and danced to Michael’s great renditions of all-time favorites.

Michael never took a break. He played, sang and bantered with the crowd from the moment he sat down at the piano until the last song faded away. I chatted with him one afternoon and asked where he got the stamina to play and sing for so many hours. “I want to make people happy, so I just keep playing,” he said. He certainly pleased the guests on my recent cruise.

Piano man Michael Sara in the Piano Bar.

Piano man Michael Sara in the Piano Bar.

“I try to make people welcome from the first day,” he told me. By the second or third evening, Michael was getting to know the names of his regulars, where they were from and whether or not they were celebrating anything special on their cruise. He played “our song” for newlyweds and offered birthday greetings when appropriate. The guests loved it.

Each night had a theme. After warming up on some general fun songs, Michael moved on to the theme of the evening, playing songs from the ‘50s one night, Elvis songs another evening, Motown tunes a third. Whatever the theme, the lively Piano Bar crowd joined in and belted out the tunes. Michael said he spent 20 years in Vegas as a musical director for a number of entertainers before he decided he wanted to do the entertaining himself. He joined Holland America Line three years ago and has been on ms Zuiderdam and ms Rotterdam in addition to Eurodam.

Michael Sara never took a break as he packed the Piano Bar on Eurodam with loyal fans.

Michael Sara never took a break as he packed the Piano Bar on Eurodam with loyal fans.

Jan Hinman


Jan Hinman is a freelance writer and former newspaper journalist traveling on a retirement trip with her daughter, Julie, an amateur photographer.


  1. We cruised on the Eurodam in 2016 and enjoyed Michael Sara every night of our 27 day cruise
    We also were with an Aussie couple. We have already booked a 25 day cruise for november 2016 with the same couple as well as another Aussie couple. It would be so wonderful if Michael would be performing in the piano bar!!!! We will be sailing from Tampa Florida. Please advise as to whether or not he will be onboard.

    Thank You

    Jim & Jackie Walsh

  2. We took a cruise on the Zuiderdam to the Baltic Countries and just came back. I enjoyed sitting next to the piano where Michael played and sang. Please send him my best wishes.
    Thank you,

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