Professional dancer Emma Slater recently sailed with the “Dancing with the Stars: at Sea” cast as a troupe member. She blogged about her time onboard and snapped some great photos during her experience. Thanks to the “Team Emma Slater” Facebook page for sharing her great photos.
If you’re still thinking about sailing on one of our “Dancing with the Stars: at Sea” theme cruises, there are still two left! Join us in the Caribbean on Nieuw Amsterdam Jan. 5, 2014, or on the Champions Cruise Jan. 12.
The last three weeks on the Holland America Line – Dancing with the Stars at Sea cruises went very fast for me. DWTS at Sea has now been featured so far on four cruises, on three different ships, and has been one of my favorite contracts. Our first cruise was on the Eurodam in January, and we traveled in and around the East Caribbean. This time, we stayed with each other for three weeks doing one cruise in New England (from Quebec City to Boston) and two cruises to Alaska.
The cast consists of six fabulous dancers featured throughout all the cruises and joined by two pros on each cruise. Over these last three weeks we were joined by Tristan MacManus, Chelsie Hightower, Kym Johnson and Mark Ballas. We also have our featured celebrities from the hit TV show Dancing With the Stars – celebrities such as Sabrina Bryan, Carson Kressley, Joey Fatone and Shawn Johnson.
The cruises are so much fun! It was all made so easy by the fact that all of the cast members are very close including the wonderful management and glam team. Every day on the ship, members of the DWTS cast and the wonderful entertainers on the ship would host Latin and Ballroom master classes in the ballroom, from which we selected four couples to perform as part of a mini-competition. Every class is very entertaining and gave us dancers a good chance to meet our audience. We often chatted with the same guests on the ship each day, just walking around or in the coffee shop or lounges. Kym and I were discussing this, and we both felt it was a great and different experience to be able to socialize and get to know the individual guests on-board the ship who watched the show and were excited to be dancing on the cruise. It felt very personal. Every night we all gathered for dinner together and relaxed watching the gorgeous view from the Vista Lounge Dining Room.
The views (particularly in Alaska) are breathtaking. During the second day on the Alaska Cruises, the ship travels through a stunning channel of natural beauty called Tracy’s Arm. The view is spectacular, mountains rise up either side of the ship and gradually more and more icebergs appear floating in the crystal water. They are all broken off from the South Sawyer Glacier which we were lucky enough to get a good glimpse of. Even though the weather was better suited to an English girl like myself, everybody enjoyed getting rugged up and standing on the bow (I think it was the bow!) to take in the scenery. I don’t think one person out of our little group came away from the whole experience disappointed. Our rehearsal days were more high energy and we all pulled together to make sure the show was sharp and clean. We would use the ballroom to rehearse for the morning, and then we would be free to go enjoy the ports where we had stopped. Dancing on the ship was not nearly as difficult as I had imagined it to be; it wasn’t too rocky luckily!
I was lucky enough to be in a cabin next to my five other DWTS friends/dancers who I perform with on these contracts. They are Anya Fuchs, Iveta Lukosiute, Brent Borbon, Sasha Andreev and Jaymz Tuaileva. Before each outing or rehearsals, we’d knock on each other’s doors to make sure we stuck together.
In Juneau, I took a whale watching excursion with Tristan and most of the other cast. It was absolutely beautiful. We managed to see lots of wildlife up close including humpback whales, bald eagles and sea lions (one of which was MASSIVE!). We also took a small shuttle up to the breathtaking Mendenhall Glacier.
Another part of our DWTS package was a fashion show featuring around 20 or more dresses from DWTS over many seasons. It was a very popular event on the ship which took place on the Lido Deck around the pool. The dresses were obviously gorgeous and during the final two cruises, the fashion show was hosted by Kym Johnson and Carson Kressley who are such a good duo together.
We spent our last dinner out in Victoria, Canada. It is part of British Columbia so I loved all the British and Irish looking buildings and stores.
This was a beautiful place with a gorgeous harbor. Everyone on board had it very lucky really, and I will take away some great memories of this trip. To everyone who is thinking of taking a cruise, Holland America makes it an absolute LUXURIOUS HOLIDAY for you. There’s nothing they won’t do to make you feel both welcome and relaxed. If you fancy, try the ‘Tropical Cable Car’ in the Piano Bar. It won’t disappoint (it’s our DWTS At Sea Director Anthony’s favorite!) or try the Baked Alaska dessert in the Pinnacle Restaurant which is served to you on fire and tastes amazing. And finally to all the staff on board all the ships we visited, thank you so much for being so friendly and for making our stay incredible. We truly loved getting to know you! All in all an unforgettable trip