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Dancing on the High Seas

As many of you know, Jo and I have many opportunities to teach dance on board cruise ships all over the world. In fact, this form of travel adventure fits VERY neatly into our retirement plans.

The issue is that currently we both have other career and family commitments, and so can’t take advantage of everything offered. We thought that some of the Dance Club members might be interested, so have put together a program to get dancers prepared for these cruising jobs, and “mentor” them into the industry.

Cruising is a seasonal thing. Currently, out of Sydney alone, there are opportunities to be CONSTANTLY aboard ship from November 2016 to May 2017!

Sure, these contracts come and go, but we know people who – quite literally – get on the ship, cruise and perform their contracted activity (dance, painting etc etc) for the duration of the cruise (8, 10, 11 18 or more days). Then when the ship returns to Sydney, they get off in the morning, wander around for a while and catch up with family, then in the afternoon re board and sail away again, one trip after another (!!!!!!!).

It’s important to note that these contracts are “per voyage”. If you only wanted a particular contract for an 11 day South Pacific cruise, you put your hand up for that one alone. If you want to do others – put your hand up for those as well. You DON’T commit to months aboard – only a specific voyage.

If you’re known to the agent (or get a referral and recommendation from someone who IS known to the agent), you’re golden!


Every cruise and every ship is different. But to give you a general idea, here’s a quick overview of the recent “repositioning cruise” on board the “Voyager of the Seas” Jo and I completed in October.

Just a quick explanation – most cruises begin and end at the same port. Others – the repositioning cruises – are those when the ships travel to and from the northern or southern hemispheres “chasing summer”. Again, you’re free to select which cruises are of interest to you.

In the main, you’re a passenger enjoying every feature the ship and stopovers have to offer.

On “At Sea” days:

“Sea Days” are simply those day when the ship is sailing, and there are plenty of passengers for the ship to “entertain”.

For essentially one (1) hour per “sea day” you’ll conduct your dance lesson – that’s it!

Occasionally you might get asked to conduct a 2nd lesson on the day. This has happened to us a few times on the smaller ships where everyone who’s interested in our lesson can’t be accommodated at the same time.

Likewise you might be asked to “host” a dance night or session. This is really about playing the right music (or co-ordinating with the resident DJ), and encouraging people onto the floor.

As you (peripherally) represent the ship and cruise line, you have to be approachable while enjoying the ship 😉

On “In Port” days

A “Port Day” is when the ship is anchored or birthed at a destination or stop-over. On these days there are NO lessons and you will be free to enjoy any shore excursion (or just stay aboard).

Accommodation

As far as cabins go, we get “what’s left” after all the other cabins sell. The LEAST you’ll get a cabin that is equal to any standard hotel room (PLUS an attendant who will service the room several times per day!).

The typical cabin will be an “inside”, with no window. If these are all sold you might get a window cabin, even maybe a balcony – just the luck of the draw. But in reality, how much time do you spend there?

All accommodation and meals are included, as are all shows, lounges, gym, movie theatre etc etc. Any alcohol is extra.


So, a snapshot of a typical “teaching cruise”

Day (1)

On THIS trip we flew into Singapore to board the ship “Voyager of the Seas”. Ship is huge – 3,400 passengers on this trip.

Meet with the Cruise Director (who we know from previous trips) and work out the details of what we’ll do each day. Ship sails at about 8.00pm. We’ve got our cabin and have dinner in the main dining room (3 stories high!).

Wander about the ship and introduce ourselves to the various bands and discuss what dance styles we’ll be teaching which on days, so the bands know what the passengers will want to practice.

Watch part of a show, then over to one of the bars for a bit of a dance.

Days 2-5: 4 days Cruising to Darwin

12.30pm each day we take over the stage in the “La Scala” theatre for our 1 hour lesson. Hosted a “Latin Night” in one of the bars.

Day 6 – Darwin

Our first “port day” – no lessons on port days ;-).

Days 7 & 8 – Cruising across the top end.

Both days conduct our 12.30pm lesson, then back to relaxing.

Day 9 – Port Douglas

Another  “port day” – no lessons.

Day 10 – Cairns

Another  “port day” – no lessons.

Day 11 – Airlie Beach

Another  “port day” – no lessons.

Day 12 – Cruising South

Only 1 lesson today 😉

Day 13 – Brisbane

Another  “port day” – no lessons.

Day 14 – Cruising to Sydney – last day at sea.

Last lesson today. But LOTS of dancing during the evening as we have met – literally – hundreds of people during the classes and we all “get on the floor”. This is a late night.

Day 15 – Sydney

Have breakfast and simply walk off the ship to Circular Quay station and home. NOOOOO!


If you’d like to know more about this drop us a line or give us a call – we’re happy to help get you “on the seas”.

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