Theme Cruise: Salsa Dancing

Cruise Connection: Feel the Latin Beat

By Fabien DeGuffroy

Are you a salsero (a salsa dancer or fan)? Do you enjoy the warm air and soft breezes of ocean cruising? If you answered yes to both, then a salsa cruise should be a must-do on your travel bucket list. Over the years, I’ve experienced many dance cruises — from ballroom to tango to zydeco — but nothing compares to the vibe of a salsa cruise.

Salsa, Salsa Everywhere

As soon as I boarded Carnival Cruise Line’s colorful Carnival Victory, there was no mistake that I was on a salsa cruise. The enticing rhythm of salsa music was playing everywhere. Exploring the ship, the Latin beat could be heard from the dining room to the casino and all the way up to the top deck.

Salsa was the background music for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and all hours of the day and night. Passengers could choose between a live band or a visit to the different venues with DJs at the helm. The fun and the cool energetic sound thrilled any salseros enthusiast, whether they were a dancer or a spectator.

The 4-day cruise was filled with activities such as Zumba classes, advanced salsa dance classes, an outdoor concert in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and, of course, leading lineups.

As usual, this year’s Latin salsa music roster was top notch and included performances by the legendary El Gran Combo, Grammy Award–winner Oscar D’Leon, “The Pretty Boy of Salsa” Ismael Miranda, Milly Quezada, Luisito Carrion, Alex Sensation, Chino Nunez, Luisito Rosario, Tamara Morales, Mambo Lebron, Oro Solido, and all the fantastic DJs between sets.

Feeling the ubiquitous beats of today conjures thoughts about the everlasting salsa, which originated in the mid-1800s and evolved from earlier Cuban dance forms such as son, son montuno, cha cha cha, mambo, and Puerto Rican bomba and plena. The Latino communities made it popular in New York in the 1940s. Various Caribbean and Latin America countries have distinct salsa styles of their own, such as Cuban, Cali Colombia, Puerto Rican, L.A., and New York styles. But no matter your preference, salsa music manages to stay fresh and popular with both older and younger music fans. Some might say it even closes the generation gap.

A Bit of Background (Music)

Myrna Franceschis is the driving force behind the Salsa Cruise. A former law enforcement officer from New York City, she got her start organizing local salsa dances of 80 to 200 people. As she became more and more popular, she launched her own salsa dance cruise in 1997, which was a novelty back….

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