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Can you cruise for less as a dance host?

SmarterTravel

Dear Editor,

My uncle (widowed) is quite the gentleman, and charms the ladies easily. I would like for him to vacation on a cruise as an escort/dance partner as inexpensively as possible. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Cathy

Dear Cathy,

Your uncle should look into Gentlemen Hosts, a volunteer dance host program operated by Lauretta Blake of The Working Vacation, Inc. Gentlemen Hosts recruits single men ages 45 and up to serve as dance partners and social hosts for single older ladies on cruise ships. Currently, the company places hosts with upscale lines including Cunard, Delta Queen Steamboat Company, and Silversea.

Hosts are expected to be good dancers and conversationalists and have impeccable manners and social skills. Romantic involvement with cruisers is not permitted. On sailings, hosts are very active, working about 50 hours per week. They dance and socialize with guests for three to four hours per night, host tables for dinner, participate in daytime activities, and assist with special events and shore excursions. While demanding, hosting can be very enjoyable for men who are energetic and outgoing.

Costs for being a host include $75 for a background check, $25 to $35 for a dance evaluation, and then $28 to $38 per day cruising. Overall, the costs are dramatically cheaper than paying the regular cruise fare. Plus, according to the website, some cruise lines cover the cost of airfare to and from cruise ports and provide a bar and laundry allowance. Also, most ships allow hosts to accept gratuities and join shore excursions for a reduced or no cost.

To learn more about the program, visit the Gentlemen Hosts website or call 708-301-7535.

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