Which Are the Best Cruise Lines for Dancing?


Like to boogie the night away on your travels? You’re not alone. Dancing is one of the ultimate ‘let your hair down’ holiday activities, and some would even argue that the good times haven’t really begun until you’ve busted a few moves on the dance floor.

Thankfully, cruise lines know perfectly well just how much the world loves to dance, and provide plenty of opportunity for passengers to express themselves out on the floor. Whether it’s a romantic waltz with your other half or Gangnam Style with a group of friends — those trusty dancing shoes will certainly be put to use as you cruise the world’s oceans.

If you’re someone who feels the rhythm deep down in your toes, join us as we find out which cruise lines are best for dancing. We’ve categorised the lines based on the types of dance they cater best for — from Ibiza-inspired clubbing to elegant ballroom dancing beneath the stars.

Best for Ballroom Dancing: Cunard

Reflecting their reputation for class and elegance; Cunard is perfect for those with a penchant for ballroom classics like the cha cha, quickstep, rumba and lindy hop. Ballroom dancing has played a significant role in Cunard’s entertainment offering since the line’s formation back in the 19th century, with some guests specifically choosing the operator for its sophisticated and nostalgic approach to dance.

Selecting a cruise ship based on its dancing amenities might sound silly, but that’s before you’ve seen Queen Mary 2’s fabulous ballroom — easily one of the most impressive dance floors on the high seas. The hall features a 1,225-square-foot wooden dance floor which spans the entire width of the ship, a resident orchestra and a series of crystal chandeliers which dangle from the two-deck-high ceiling, providing an atmospheric backdrop as you step into another perfectly-paced foxtrot.


One of the best things about Cunard’s ballroom dance offering is its friendly group of social hostesses and professional dancers, who are always on hand to facilitate dance lessons or pair up with single travellers struggling to find a suitable partner. We’d highly recommend taking at least one ballroom dance lesson, so that you’re perfectly prepared for the Royal Nights-themed black tie ball, which takes place on every Cunard cruise.

ballroom dance cunard

Best for Clubbing: Norwegian Cruise Line

Few cruise lines appeal to the young party crowd quite like Norwegian Cruise Line. With their modern and contemporary approach to design and facilities, NCL have granted their ships genuinely trendy dance areas, particularly the Getaway, Breakaway, Pearl, Gem and Epic. Their secret lies in the Bliss Ultra Lounge, whose decadent interior design flourishes and expansive LED lighting rig are more akin to something you’d see in an Ibiza super club than in the belly of an ocean liner.

During the day, the Ultra Lounge plays host to the 10-pin bowling alley, but is transformed by night into a contemporary dance arena that’s sure to set pulses racing. It’s clear that NCL set out to create a high-energy dance lounge that appeals to the inner party animal, with shadow dancers in place to entertain the masses, resident DJs spinning the very latest music, and the hottest music videos projected on to vast plasma screens suspended high above the dance floor.

Best for Family Dancing: Disney

As you’d expect, family cruise specialists Disney sure know how to get all members of the family up on their feet and on the dance floor. Combining the presence of lovable characters like Goofy, Mickey and Daisy Duck with special dance studios that are extremely child-friendly; the line’s dance offering is perfect for those looking to dance along to their all-time favourite Disney tunes.

On many of its cruises, Disney offers themed dance nights which are certainly worth delaying bedtime to attend with the kids. Look out for special Pirates of the Caribbean themed evenings, which see characters from the movies showing guests a thing or two about how to really lay down the moves on the high seas.

And, when it really is time for the kids to go to bed, the adults-only Europa District (available on selected ships in the Disney fleet) is the place to keep the party going. Disney’s ship Fantasy is actually home to an adult’s only night club called The Tube, which is the perfect place to escape the kids and relive your youth.

Best for Alfresco Dancing: Costa Cruises

Dancing beneath the stars in the open-air is something everyone should have a go at once in their lifetime, so why not start aboard a cruise ship? Most cruise lines offer alfresco evening dancing to some degree, but none do it better than Costa Cruises.

With its Mediterranean clientele, the Costa fleet is no stranger to dancing, and its dance floors usually fill up early in the evening. When the stars start to twinkle, most revellers head to the lido deck to make use of the expansive outdoor dance floor, where the energy is kept high thanks to Italian-style jazz groups, Latin vocalists and rock n’ roll bands, who play live to the crowd.

alfresco dancing

Dancing usually continues out on the lido deck until at least midnight, before the party is moved to the disco, which stays open until around 3am. For those who fancy their chances mingling with the energetic European crowd, Costa could certainly provide the party atmosphere you’re looking for.

Best for Dance Classes: Holland America Line

Creators of the incredibly popular ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ entertainment programme; Holland America Line have added a new twist to at-sea dance classes, bringing a competition element to their tuition offering.

As part of the Dancing with the Stars programme, passengers can partake in dance classes, led by expert performers, before entering a competition to be named champion of their cruise. Those who win, receive free passage to join the ‘Champions Cruise’, in which winners from each ship battle it out to see who will be crowned champion of the fleet.

These dance-themed cruises prove extremely popular, and feature celebrity and pro dancers on-hand to offer tuition and lessons to passengers. Sparkly outfits and dance shoes are encouraged, so if you and your partner harbour a deep appreciation for professional dance, this could well be the cruise for you.

So, whether you like to rave into the early hours or enjoy a romantic waltz with your other half, Cruise1st UK offer a great range of affordable cruise deals for those who like to dance. For more information, visit the homepage or call 0808 2746 777.

Which Are the Best Cruise Lines for Dancing?
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Which Are the Best Cruise Lines for Dancing?
We’ve categorised the lines based on the types of dance they cater best for — from Ibiza-inspired clubbing to elegant ballroom dancing beneath the stars.
Cruise1st UK

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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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