Travel Agent Focus: Cruise Back to Reality

Do you remember back in the ‘90s when CBS put out that little show called Survivor? You’re not the only one and the entertainment industry hasn’t been the same since. Survivor’s blockbuster success changed the whole landscape of television and now “reality” is trickling into every facet of our lives including cruise ships.

Holland America is now offering a fleet wide program called Dancing with the Stars At Sea. The collaboration between the cruise line and the hit ABC TV show is a comprehensive one. All sailings now feature dance lessons offered as well as a dance competition amongst cruisers. The cruiser with the highest score from each ship will be invited to compete for a chance to win a mirror ball trophy on a 7-day Champions Cruise in 2014.

Throughout the summer and on two upcoming sailings this January there will be special cruises featuring some of the show’s professional dancers and celebrities. Two-time champions Kym Johnson and Mark Ballas have cruised, as have mirror ball winner Shawn Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist, and fan favorite Carson Kressley. On the cruises featuring the show’s stars there are additional dancing events like meet and greets, question and answer sessions and special performances.

Celebrity Cruises played host to the chefs of Bravo’s acclaimed cooking competition show, Top Chef, this year with a 4-night cruise on the Celebrity Constellation. During this cruise there were several opportunities to interact with chefs from the show, including winners Richard Blais, Paul Qui and Kristen Kish along with other fan favorites, Fabio Viviani and Tiffany Derry. Throughout the sailing there were quick-fire challenges and other themed events. You could even purchase a cooking lesson with one of the cheftestants.

Celebrity will also be delving into the world of American Idol. On six of their Caribbean sailings this holiday season, former American Idol contestants will serenade passengers. Their program is called Finalists at Sea where two of the show’s most memorable characters will be onboard to sing, sign autographs and answer questions about their time on the show and their lives now.

Among the seven performers are first runners up Bo Bice, (he lost to Carrie Underwood), Blake Lewis (he lost to Jordin Sparks) and Kimberly Caldwell, Elliot Yamin, a season five favorite, whose album reached the no. 3 spot on the Billboard 200 a few years back, will be performing as well.

But just as the cruise lines are now riffing off of reality TV, many reality shows have gotten their talent from cruise lines. Most notably, American Idol performer and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson had been a singer on Disney Cruise Line before auditioning for American Idol and Norwegian Cruise Line has been the subject of an episode of Undercover Boss. The freestyle cruise line was also the setting of lifetime’s reality dating show, Love for Sail.

So what’s next? Do you think the original reality sensation Survivor will be adapted on a cruise line or perhaps the travel adventure series The Amazing Race. What would you like to see adapted to a cruise?

Erica Kritt works at The Cruise Web. The Cruise Web is a travel agency that specializes in cruising. The expert cruise consultants focus on providing travelers with the best value for their time and money in finding and booking a cruise vacation! Visit The Cruise Web for the best themed cruises.

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