MEEKER I Elaine Jordan enjoys her dancing, and she is good enough at it that she won a cruise line competition tied to Dancing with the Stars, including making it to the finals for the competition.
Jordan said Holland America Line’s partnership with “Dancing with the Stars” television series features the competition during their sailing season, when guests dance with shipboard professionals and compete in the main show lounge for other cruise guests.
Jordan took a cruise in September from Boston to Montreal, Que., Canada, aboard Holland America’s ms Westerdam. Couples were interviewed and judged by a panel of judges as they do on the television show, Jordan said. The audience vote is counted by a decibel meter for their applause.
“My partner, Christian, and I received a perfect 30 for our waltz, and we won the cruise championship over four other couples,” she said. “I received a lovely gold star paperweight and a photograph of the entire cast.
“Imagine my surprise in October, when I received an email inviting me to participate in the Champions’ Cruise from Dec. 6 to 13,” she said. “I received a free seven-day cruise to the Caribbean aboard the ms Westerdam. Holland America had chosen 15 dancers from the 500 cruise champions to be the finalists on the Champions Cruise. Each person represented one of the 15 Holland America ships in the fleet.
“I represented the ms Maasdam and received a T-shirt with ‘ms Maasdam’ on the front and ‘Dancing With the Stars at Sea’ on the back.”
The 15 guests and their professional shipboard dance partners performed and competed in the main show lounge for guests as well as dance pros and celebrities from the television show.
Joining the cruise to perform in a special show were two-time DWTS champion Kym Johnson and pro dancers Sharna Burgess and Artem Chigvitsev.
Also performing were actress Sabrina Bryan and television personality Carson Kressley.
Added events on the cruise included a special fashion show featuring glamorous show costumes, a chance to meet dance pros and celebrities, have pictures taken with them and to collect autographs.
“I danced a waltz with Ian, and our judges were the cruise director named Jonathan, Kym Johnson and Artem Chigvintsev,” Jordan said. “We received some very nice compliments on our dance and received two nines and a 10—which came from Artem.”
“Unfortunately, I was eliminated with three others that night,” she said. “The next night, four more were eliminated and so on through the finals on Friday night, when the final three danced and the winner was chosen.”
Jordan said she attended all the additional functions, including a cocktail party where all participants were presented with beautiful watches that had “Dancing with the Stars at Sea” imprinted on the face.
“All of us participated in the finale and were on stage for the confetti cannons and craziness with awarding the mirror ball trophy, which is a replica of the DWTS trophy as seen on TV with “at Sea” added.
The cruise visited the eastern Caribbean, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Ports of call were: Half Moon Cay, which is Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas; St. Thomas, a U.S. Virgin Island; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos.
“My daughter, Denise, went with me, and we were joined by my sister and two of my nieces,” Jordan said. “We had a wonderful time with the competition, and the people were all very friendly. The cruise itself was great with on-board activities and excursion on shore at every port of call.
“This was the second year for the program and Holland America plans to continue,” she said. “I would recommend it to everyone. Take a cruise, compete and, who knows, you may be the next cruise champion.”