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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Cruise Preview: Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam, Dancing with the Stars: At Sea Caribbean 2014

Dancing with the Stars continues to delight audiences on television and cruise travelers on Holland America Line. Last year’s guest competition draws to a close with the Dancing with the Stars: At Sea Champions Cruise onboard the Nieuw Amsterdam on January 12, 2014, and we’ll be there to cover all the excitement.

Join us to see which lucky passenger will take home the coveted mirrorball trophy and meet professional dancers and celebrities from the show – Kym Johnson, Tristan MacManus, Sabrina Bryan, Carson Kressley and Derek Hough. Stay tuned for our upcoming cruise reviews and videos from the source.

Also, fear not, the partnership between Dancing with the Stars and Holland America Line extends all throughout 2014 for your own chance at victory.

The Ship

Our experience with Holland America Line has always been an exceptional one. We’ve toured a great many of the line’s ships to share in our signature videos, but we’ve only ever sailed on one of them – the lovely Oosterdam – on three separate cruises. This time we will experience a new ship and, in fact, the newest in the Holland America Line fleet – the grander 2,100-passenger Nieuw Amsterdam.

Always a Favorite Feature – The Crow’s Nest Observation Lounge (Copyright © Holland America Line)

Following four Vista-class ships – the Noordam, Westerdam, Oosterdam and Zuiderdam, so named to correspond to the four cardinal directions: respectively north, west, east and south – Holland America introduced two enlarged versions. The Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam are Signature-class ships that include elongated upper decks stretching all the way to the stern and an additional top deck with even more new features.

For Asian Cuisine Onboard the Nieuw Amsterdam – The Tamarind Restaurant (Copyright © Holland America Line)

The forward-facing Crow’s Nest observation lounge now sits above and in front of a selection of new spa staterooms with their own special amenities, while the new Cabana Club facing aft provides a restful retreat available by reservation only. Also, perched amidship at the very top deck is the new Tamarind Restaurant and Silk Den Lounge for Asian cuisine and additional panoramic views. Plus, since the city was once named Nieuw Amsterdam, the ship takes its design inspiration from New York.

The Itinerary

Last time we boarded a Dancing with the Stars: At Sea cruise, we were headed for the cool climate of Alaska. Now the sizzling performances will take place in an equally sizzling environment – the Caribbean. Many western or eastern itineraries make stops at the same ports week after week, so it’s refreshing to see the less common and thus less busy Key West included here. It will be nice to return after many years as will it be nice to visit Half Moon Cay – Holland America Line’s private island in the Bahamas – for our very first time.

The Route (Copyright © Holland America Line)

Besides plans to go jet skiing at Half Moon Cay, we are looking forward to taking a more leisurely cruise with less in the way of excursions and more in the way of enjoying the activities and Dancing with the Stars: At Sea programming onboard. Nonetheless, we will be enjoying a quick outing in Grand Cayman for a shipwreck exploration. We don’t even have to suit up for this one. The half-submerged boat features a deep glass-enclosed keel that we sit into to take it all in.

The Itinerary (Copyright © Holland America Line)

As always, two sea days pleasantly split up the port days with even more relaxation, that is until the dancing begins…

Dancing with the Stars: At Sea

As onboard the Oosterdam last summer, we will have the pleasure of seeing and meeting dance professionals, Kym Johnson and Tristan MacManus, as well as celebrities, Sabrina Bryan and Carson Kressley, from the Dancing with the Stars television program. Even though Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson won’t be along for the ride this time, professional dancer and champion from this last season, Derek Hough, will be as a performer as well.

Sabrina Bryan and Tristan MacManus (Copyright © Jason Leppert)

The highlight for the guest finalists onboard will be the last chance to, as the line describes, “take to the main stage with the ship’s dance professionals. One Cruise Champion will emerge, based on the highest combined point total from our panel of three judges, as well as audience participation.” In fact, even those guests not onboard as finalists from previous sailings will still have the opportunity to enjoy complimentary Dancing with the Stars dance classes as available on every Holland America Line cruise.

Kym Johnson and Carson Kressley (Copyright © Jason Leppert)

As for the rest of 2014, the competition will once again reset for another opportunity for guests to compete on every Holland America Line cruise. Of the 2014 sailings, six 7-day cruises will be highlighted theme cruises with professional dancers and celebrities onboard as well. For more information on these Dancing with the Stars: At Sea cruises, visit Holland America Line‘s website here.

Do you have any questions about Dancing with the Stars: At Sea, Holland America Line or the Nieuw Amsterdam? Please feel free to ask us in the “Leave a Reply” section below…




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