Strictly was another huge success for P&O in 2018 and the themed cruises will stay with them for 2019. Holland & American have had the US version called Dancing With the Stars, equally a huge success, more so than any of the stage shows where you cannot be with the stars for two weeks, meet them, greet them, learn from them.
If you have wondered just what a Strictly cruise is, then look here, because it is one of the best cruise experience ever! And it is not just the Strictly stars but others – to the point that if you try and see every show you will be rushing, you will be exhausted – but what a cruise!
This was last year – Day one. The tone was set with costumes from Strictly on mannequins around the ship. SCD is very organised, so if you are worried that such an event filled cruise might be a battle to see things I cannot stress enough that is not the case. Britannia holds 3600 passengers and the Headliners Theatre holds 950. Each special SCD act performs four times and they are ticketed to ensure that everyone gets to see the show.
Monday 26th a SCD help desk is set up. At 2pm there was a Masterclass with Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec in the Crystal Ballroom, this was busy but people were in good spirits. Then at 4pm Janette and Aljaz were in the packed 950 seat Headliners theatre introduced by Tracy Clegg and Aljaz told the story of how the last question two years ago on the same cruise was ‘when are you going to propose?’ He said he went straight to the on board jewellers and bought the ring. We were off to a great start.
10am on Tuesday 27th there was the first of a hosted wardrobe tour of the SCD costumes. On board at midday Janette ran a Master Class in the Crystal room. Later in the Limelight Janette and Aljaz ran a dance class for youths in the more private area of the Limelight Club.
Wednesday 28th June the costume tours repeated but there was the additional live fashion show at 4pm from the resident ship’s show cast. Janette and Aljaz did a ‘meet and greet’ session, signing and having photographs with guests at midday. Janette and Aljax did the first of their evening shows and Kai McKenzie was Michael Bublé, a tribute act even in the club.
Thursday 29th June was our first stop in Alicante. In the evening were the next two shows for Janette and Aljax to ensure the whole ship had seen them.
Later the same evening we went to see the very funny comedian Tucker, who we have seen many times before but he had new material and even the ones we had heard before made us laugh out loud.
Friday we were in Barcelona. Janette and Aljaz left the ship and Karen and Kevin Clifton got on. Eric and Ern, the Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise tribute were in the Limelight. West End star Jenna Lee-James joined having just finished playing the lead in Mamma Mia and had previously been in We Will Rock. She sang everything from Streisand to Freddie Mercury and we were in the presence of greatness once again.
Saturday 1st July. It was too windy for the Britannia to pull into Cannes, plans were made for us to detour to Corsica. In the evening Tucker held a late night comedy session.
Sunday was La Spezia and we took the train to Pisa and filmed the leaning tower, cathedral and town for Doris Visits. On the way back we did a short film on La Spezia for the many who like to see the local town. Back on board was an audience with Karen and Kevin.
Monday 3rd we arrived in Civitavecchia and we travelled into Rome and we made the Angels and Demons movie tour film. Kevin and Karen performed the first two of their shows. Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker started her four nights in the Limelight.
Tue 4th July Black Tie – Peter Andre performed the first of his four shows and in the live lounge was Rieta Austin one of the Strictly singers performing her show. Stuart St Paul was in the Headliners theatre in the afternoon talking about his Pop Video Wild Boys with Strictly’s Arlene Phillips and Elton John Video Passenger with Strictly’s Bruno.
Wed 5th July we stopped at Cartagena. Peter Andre did the last two of his four shows and Jayne Middleton was in the Live Lounge as Annie Lennox.
Thur 6th saw Craig Revel Horwood start the first of his four shows and soul legend Jimmy James played in the Live Lounge. Darren Day started his run in the Limelight.
Friday 7th was a very dressy Black Tie night, and Strictly’s Natalie Lowe hosted a chat session at midday then judged the passenger dance finals with Craig and Executive producer Richard Curwen. Janine Johnson played the live lounge as Whitney Houston while we watched Darren Day in the Limelight perform an incredible show.
Saturday 8th, the last sea day saw things wind down with Exec Producer Richard Curwen talk about the ‘behind the scenes’. Natalie Lowe did a signing session and then the ships company of inhouse entertainers did the second of the Strictly fashion shows. Click the picture or here to get to the ten minute fast cut blow by blow film of the cruise.
B909 7 Apr 2019 BRITANNIA
Strictly Come Dancing 2019
13 nights of STRICTLY COME DANCING ENTERTAINMENT – 6 ports focussed round the Canary Islands
The Azura is off to Spain and Italy turbo charged by the Strictly Come Dancing theme and plethora of stars. A chance to take in the sun, then the shows. The classic destinations of UNESCO World Heritage Sites have many unveiled hidden gems. In and out of Southampton, the planned destinations are Cadiz, Barcelona, Florence and Pisa, Rome (see our spoof Angels and Demons walking tour), Cartagena, Gibraltar. P&O state they are subject to change, but they will be booking flights and hotels for the dancers and stars who will be swapping at these ports so much planning goes into this which they will not wish to change unless they have to. Click here to go to the P&O page
This Spain, France Monaco holiday on the Ventura visits UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as has a full Strictly Come Dancing theme. In and out of Southampton the planned destinations are Cadiz, Barcelona, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Ajaccio (Corsica), Cartagena, Gibraltar. P&O state they are subject to change, but they will be booking flights and hotels for the dancers and stars who will be swapping at these ports so much planning goes into this which they will not wish to change unless they have to. Click here to go to the P&O page
Not only will the costumes be on display and in fashion extravaganza, but some costumes may be available to buy. However, we did a little researching for you if you wish to buy a dress before you go and not spend a fortune. Take a look, at these sneaky prices, you might as well throw one of these little numbers in the case if you cannot afford the wonderful originals.
If you are treating someone to the cookery club on board, then look what we have found for you to make it even more special for that special person. Even if it is yourself. Be special. These cookery aprons, while not cheap are a holiday special and they come in 28 different colours! We also list the dates of chefs on board on our cooking on board page.
CRUISE INSURANCE – OR OUR BLOG
Check out some of the great Cruise Routes, our concise films of what a ship offers when it takes a specific route. These are typical routes but we do have films to help cruisers on every popular cruise destination in the world. Baltic Route – Canary Islands Cruise – New England Cruise – Caribbean Cruise (from Barbados) – Norwegian Fjords – Mediterranean Routes