Salsa Dancing on a Cruise Ship: What You Need to Know


Cruise ships can be a great place to get on your dancing shoes, and if you’re looking to spice up your time away on the seas, salsa dancing is a fun, invigorating experience for everyone who gives it a go. Whether you prefer it mild or hot, finding your feet on a cruise ship is easy, and for those wanting to stay active but don’t like the idea of slogging away on a treadmill, salsa dancing is a superb way to get the pulse racing.

Fancy following in the footsteps of the stars of Strictly Come Dancing? We’ll talk you through what you need to know about salsa dancing on a cruise ship.

An introduction to Salsa dancing

First things first: a brief salsa starter about the dance’s origins. An evolution from earlier Cuban dance forms, it originated in 1970s New York, a melting pot of Cuban and Puerto Rican neighbourhoods, their own native dancing and the flourishing disco craze at the time.

As for the name, some believe it was yelled out by musicians accompanying the dance. Others suggest its saucy name is indicative of its mixture of different styles, much like its sauce namesake. Certainly, the steamy movements bring to mind the hot, spicy flavours associated with the food.

Ships with classes/clubs

Many of the major cruise lines offer an opportunity to strut your stuff Latin-style, whether it’s dedicated classes or part of their excursions, there’s plenty for you to choose from.

Royal Caribbean: Royal Caribbean’s fleet of ships are packed with places to dance the night (or day) away. On the salsa side of things, Bolero’s Latin Club is your go to. With bands performing salsa, meringue and a whole host of other Latin treats, it’s the perfect place to sip a margarita or practice your footwork to the song of the same name. Be sure to check the daily onboard newsletter for salsa dance classes to learn a thing or two so you’re ready for the night.

Carnival Cruises: For a Spanish cruise experience like no other, Carnival has some real treats in store. Their Fathom cruise line offers Spanish language classes and salsa dance classes, along with a cultural exchange programme that allows visitors to better communicate with the hosts in their Cuban and Dominican Republic destinations.

In addition, their Vista and Sunshine ships feature the Havana Bar, a lively spot that draws in the crowds looking to take in the finest Latin tunes around. Carnival Vista also hosts Amor Cubano: A Caribbean Dance Romance, so if you fancy sitting out the dance floor, prepare yourself to be wowed by some truly marvellous dancing.

Princess Cruises: To get to salsa’s beating pulse, Princess Cruises offer an excursion that puts you at the heart of Mexico, a day that sees you mixing up treats in the kitchen before you get moving to the rhythms of traditional salsa dancing. That’s right, you’ll learn how to make your own salsa, pairing it with quesadillas and corn chips, along with a crash course on cocktail making thrown in for good measure.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Cunard Line and Celebrity Cruises also host salsa classes, so be sure to give them a try during your time onboard.

What do I need to pack? 

There’s no special clothes or outfits that you’ll need to make space for in your suitcase. With salsa dancing the movements can be fast and smooth, so you’ll need to wear something you can move around freely and comfortably in.

For women, pack things like knee-high (or shorter) dresses, jeggings, leggings, capris or skinny jeans. Anything baggy or flaring at the leg openings might get in the way, so consider leaving these in your cabin. Lightweight, breathable short-sleeved or sleeveless tops should be your go-to, but cardigans or jumpers that button up are fine. On your feet, sandals with straps, strappy high heels or leather booties will do the trick, just make sure they all smooth bottoms that facilitate movement.

As for men – t-shirts, long or short-sleeved button up shirts, jeans, shorts and vests will keep your movements flowing. Avoid heavy clothes as things will quickly heat up. Flat shoes with a smooth bottom work perfectly well, but if you want to smarten up, then dress shoes with a rounded toe are a good choice. Boxy square toes might weigh you down, while slip-ons might slide off. Lace up if you want to keep your feet on the ground.

Benefits of Salsa

Salsa is an invigorating, enriching experience. Even those who are a bit hesitant to the idea, end each session feeling alive, and it doesn’t take long for a burgeoning obsession to begin. Before we go, we’ll leave you with some words from Havana Salsa:

“Salsa is good for the mind, body and soul. Everybody from all ages, backgrounds and experiences (on and off the dancefloor) can come together to experience the pure addiction that is salsa.

“Salsa brings so much joy, happiness, passion and new friends to people who take up salsa. It is not only a hobby, it is a way of life, once you get started there is no stopping. The music, the moves, the passion – why wouldn’t you want to start today?”

If this article has put a spring in your step, why not book yourself one of Cruise1st UK’s amazing deals? See the full selection of itineraries online or call our friendly sales team on 0808 2746 777.


About Author

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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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