7-day cruise exploring Bahamas, Puerto Rico & the Virgin Islands
Have fun on the new elegant Nieuw Statendam while taking group dance lessons and dance parties hosted by Canadian National Ballroom Dance Champion Maria Golovanevski and European 10 dance Ballroom and Latin Dance Champion Vadim Mostovoy.
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One of the first things you’ll notice about Key West, after the colorful gingerbread wooden houses and the amazing sunsets, is the constant crowing of roosters. Hundreds of the noisy birds—along with their quieter-clucking mates—roam the streets at all hours, and are nearly as synonymous with Key West as its six-toed cats, the famous furry residents of Ernest Hemingway’s mansion in the Old Town district. They’re all part of the quirky charm of the United States’ southernmost point, whose compact 11 square kilometers (4.2 square miles) pack in everything from gorgeous historic architecture and spectacular fishing and sailing to a raucous party scene along famed Duval Street.
While the island is known for its laid-back approach to life—“Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett developed his signature musical style in bars around town—it also has a flourishing creative scene, with many galleries and artists’ studios as well as live theater. But back to those brilliant sunsets: There is no shortage of places in Key West to soak in the fiery spectacle, from sunset cruises to rowdy waterfront bars to peaceful beachside parks.
Located on the Dominican Republic’s north coast, the port of Amber Cove, near Puerto Plata, is a new phenomenon. Built in 2015, the area was fashioned as an homage to the country’s colonial architecture and features restaurants, bars and shops, as well as an activity center, a pool and cabanas. But it’s the neighboring region, known as the Amber Coast for its plethora of the semiprecious stone, that’s this port’s true draw. Along with golden-sand beaches and dramatic cliffs, there’s the city of Puerto Plata, one of the Caribbean’s oldest, founded in the early 1500s. Another nearby option is Santiago de los Caballeros, known locally as simply Santiago, about an hour’s drive from the port. The second-largest city in the Dominican Republic, it is home to excellent museums, historic buildings and cigar, and rum makers.
Sugar-white sand, brilliant blue waters, kaleidoscopic sea life—all this is plentiful in the Caribbean archipelago nation of Turks & Caicos. Without hyperbole, this is one of the world’s most photogenic spots. T&C, as it is sometimes called, is the ultimate fantasy-island destination—the screen saver in all its glorious reality.
Grand Turk, a jewel of an isle that measures just 18 square kilometers (seven square miles), is awesomely rich in natural wonders. Ringed by translucent warm waters teeming with coral and fish, it’s a bonanza for divers, snorkelers and anglers. Of course, you can always simply kick back and just enjoy the view from under a palm tree or beach umbrella. Or explore the fascinating history of Turks & Caicos in its capital, Cockburn Town, which is lined with Bermudan-style buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Caribbean is full of tropical wonders and natural beauty. But there’s nothing like Half Moon Cay, our pristine private island paradise in the Bahamas. The most stunning, highest-rated private-island experience in the region, Half Moon Cay has won Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Best Private Island award 17 consecutive years, and was also named the best in Travel Weekly’s Readers’ Choice Awards. As soon as your toes touch that powdery white sand and your eyes settle on the perfect blue-crystal clear water, you’ll understand why.
Maria Elent Golovanevski is the driving force behind this exceptional cruise and dance program. She holds the title of Canadian National Ballroom Champion, is the founder and director of ‘Shall We Dance Studio’ in Toronto and is a member in good standing of Canadian Dance Teachers Association. She is also a certified ballroom & Latin dance adjudicator and Choreographer.
Vadim Mostovoy won the coveted 10-Dance Championships in his native Ukraine before representing the Ukraine at World’s. He placed in the finals of the Italian amateur 10-Dance event, the Krakow 10-Dance cup , and Gradec Kralove, to mention a few . Before emigrating to Canada he managed three Dance studios in Ukraine. His technical expertise and business acumen are a winning combination.