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Step out with the stars on a Strictly Come Dancing Themed Cruise


Strictly fans are in for an unforgettable experience when they step on board one of our sparkling Themed Cruises, says Lucy Ryan

Strictly Come Dancing’s Ian Waite and Camilla Dallerup

There’s something special about a Strictly Come Dancing Themed Cruise. For starters, you’re on a fabulous ship with amazing food and facilities. Then, of course, you’re setting off to explore amazing destinations in glorious sunshine. But there’s something more – the minute you get on board, you feel a spark of excitement in the air.

It first hits you in the Atrium when you catch sight of Strictly dresses on display all around you – the sequins, feathers and bright colours catching your eye like exotic birds. Memories of the show flood back when you get up close to them. Studying the craftsmanship and detail of these magnificent costumes is a real treat.

The next thing you spot are Strictly’s professional dancing stars and judges, hanging out just like you. There’s Ian Waite (so tall and athletic) striding out in flip-flops and shorts. By the pool, Camilla Dallerup (elegant and beautiful) soaks up the sunshine with her sister. And there’s former Strictly contestant Russell Grant (laughing with a guest) as he heads off to a question and answer session. They’re all so relaxed: chatting, smiling and having their photos taken all the while. And let’s not forget the judges. Who’d have thought you could share a joke with Craig Revel Horwood or dance legend Arlene Phillips on your way to lunch? To meet these legendary characters in person is thrilling.

It’s clear that everyone, from the stars to the guests, is having a good time.

And whether you want to know more about the shows or dance your socks off between ports of call, there’s never a dull moment.

The Strictly dancing competition, where guests perform their routines in front of the judges, professionals and a packed theatre, is hugely popular. From total beginners to experienced couples, the competition to lift the Strictly glitterball attracts all ages and levels. The sense of camaraderie as the couples train together is infectious and the big night is a blast.

For non-competitors, there are activities galore. The daily events guide, Horizon, is jam-packed with Strictly events, from masterclasses and Q&A sessions with the stars to dance classes and showcase exhibitions. Sea days have never been so exciting.

Take one day. In the morning, I attend a jive class expertly taught by resident dance professionals, Emma and George, before heading to a Q&A session with Strictly’s costume team from DSI London. After lunch, I catch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ classic Top Hat on the big screen before a bit of time out ahead of the evening’s entertainment.

The Strictly Come Dancing Showcase staring Ian and Camilla is mesmerising. Their hour-long show, complete with funny stories and personal insight into their work, includes magical performances of the American Smooth, cha-cha-cha, waltz, samba, pasodoble and an exquisite rumba finale. Their partnership is a thing of beauty. Their bodies work in perfect harmony with a grace and tenderness that brings a tear to the eye. Once is not enough. I see the show again the following evening.

Buzzing from the performance, it’s time to round off the evening with a nightcap and a little more dancing in the Crystal Room, where the Black & White Ball is underway. It’s wonderful to watch the guests gliding around the dancefloor in their finery. Some are clearly experienced partners, while others easily find new friends to dance with. The atmosphere is inclusive, inspiring – and just lovely.

At the end of Ian and Camilla’s show, Camilla describes the sensation she gets when dancing her favourite dance, the rumba. ‘It’s the feeling that everything in the world is perfect,’ she explains.

Find out more about Strictly Come Dancing Themed Cruises >


Lucy Ryan is the Editor of Moments magazine for P&O Cruises.

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