ballroom dance cruising

On completing the AToZ Blogging Challenge on each of my 3 previous times, I told myself never to do it again. Posting daily 6 of 7 days  for the 4 weeks over the course of a month takes effort, lots of effort. But this year was different.

I had lived in Vancouver for almost 20 years, watched cruise ships leaving from Canada Place to sail through the Inside Passage to Alaska, but had never considered making the trip. Dance changed my mind, when I saw a dance cruise advertised. It was on the Sapphire Princess and the ‘jewel” ships are my favorites of the Princess cruise line, so I signed up.

My dance cruise from Hong Kong to Dubai on Cunard’s QM 2 was memorable for many different reasons as you can read in my travelblogue. The first was me making a spntaneous , snap decision to join the cruise in Hong Kong, instead of  5 days later in Singapore. I‘m a cautious planner type so I was quite proud of myself for not fretting for days about the decision.

 

Cruising round the Baltic Sea had been on my bucket list for ages. The confluence of a cruise itinerary on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, that arrived back to Southampton in time for  a same-day departure of the  westbound Transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2, prompted me to go for it. 

At this singular time in history when 7.8 billion humans on this planet are facing a common enemy, too tiny for us to even see, our weapons are hand washing, and social distancing and isolation.

My 2020 AtoZ Blog was originally going to be about genes, epigenetics and healthspan. But instead I found myself thinking about how, today, our world is connected rather than distanced. Travel is a modern day gift that introduces us to different cultures, different histories, different foods and different people. But this very gift that connects us globally has made us vulnerable to this pandemic.

A to Z Challenge 2020: A Decade of Global Dance Cruising

Paying homage to the sights I have seen, food I have tasted, friends I have made and the people I have encountered on land travel or thirty-six dance cruises, ballroom dancing over the seven seas and to every continent except Antarctica. 

Each vignette focuses on a memorable experience, dining, exploring or absorbing local culture. on one of these wonderful journeys.

Invigorated by 7 evenings of dance parties on the New Year Caribbean cruise, as we disembarked in Fort Lauderdale I was eagerly anticipating the South Florida dance experience that my friend had planned for the next week. Organizer-extraordinaire, she had us set for  dance classes or hosted dance parties every night. 

I wasn’t planning a dance cruise over the New Year time frame as I thought my foot would still be slowly healing from my toe fracture surgery in July. A quiet Dec 31 with my family seemed the most sensible plan. But when my friend called and said “ let’s dance in the New Year on a Caribbean cruise” the song from Cabaret popped into my mind and wouldn’t go away. After a few days of listening to myself belting out “what good is sitting alone in your room, come hear the music play” I figured the only way to change the refrain was to book the cruise. Sure enough it worked and instead my singing switched to "let me be a dancin' fool”. Quickstep anyone?

Dancing into the New Year on HA Nieuw Statendam Gillian Lockitch Thu, 12/26/2019 - 11:13

How better to mark the start of a new year and new decade than dancing as we cruise the Eastern Caribbean on Holland-America's Nieuw Statendam. 

My phone rang as I was getting ready to go down for the early dinner seating in Britannia dining room. It was the Captain’s secretary inviting me to join the Captain's table for dinner at 8:30. Another new experience.  I thanked  her for the invitation and said I would be there.

This transatlantic leg of my Southampton-Baltics-New York dance cruise is the first time I am cruising as a solo traveller. All my previous dance cruises have been part of a group of dancers or with a dance partner. So when readers of my travelblogues have emailed me to ask how the onboard dancing is for people traveling alone, I have not really been able to answer from personal experience.

What makes the three Cunard Queen ships so especially  enticing to dancers, is the combination  of excellent venues for dancing, great dance music every night, and the fact that, unlike some other cruise lines,  the entertainment stuff  don’t waste the dance spaces by hosting activities like bingo and trivia games in the dance locations.