sunday, March 8th - ft. lauderdale
Today we board the magnificent Holland America ms Nieuw Statendam for a full week of dancing, making new friends and enjoying a variety of activities and islands.
For sail-away, join us outdoors on the top deck to listen to music and watch the sunset over Ft. Lauderale as we head off on our adventure!
We have an exclusive 4th Annual Floating With Friends Dance Cruise Welcome Cocktail Party at 6:30 p.m. in the Explorer’s Lounge so that everyone can get acquainted and start our cruise in style. Following our Welcome Cocktail Party, we will all go together to dinner in The Dining Room at 8:00 p.m, where we have arranged for round-robin group dining in an exclusive area - dine with different friends each night! After dinner, join your new friends at one of the many music venues on the ship for dancing such as the incredible B.B. King Blues Club.
monday, march 9th - half moon cay
Our first full day on board brings us to Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas, Half Moon Cay, a 2,400-acre private island paradise in the Bahamas. The most authentic, highest-rated private-island experience in the region, Half Moon Cay has won Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Best Private Island award for 17 consecutive years, and was also named the best in Travel Weekly's Readers' Choice Awards. One visit and it’s easy to see why Holland America Line guests wish they could stay here forever. Uncrowded and unspoiled, it combines the unparalleled natural beauty of a protected preserve with access to a wide range of amenities and activities. With miles of pristine, white-sand beach, guests can stay busy all day or simply luxuriate in tranquil solitude. Holland America Line acquired this beautiful island more than 20 years ago to create a unique and memorable experience for our Caribbean cruise guests.
Once the ship is at anchor, you will be able to tender ashore for a full day on the beach. Please come and find us at Villa C - Floating With Friends Dance Cruise’s exclusive private home for the day where you can get out of the heat and enjoy a little air conditioning, wash off sand, sit in our private hot tub, grab a drink and enjoy the company of your fellow group members!
The formal dance program doesn’t start until Tuesday, but for those of you who are avid dancers or are prepping for a competition, we have exclusive use of the dance floor in the Queen’s Lounge for several hours which will be available for open floor time and optional private lessons with our instructors.
This evening we will all go together to dinner in The Dining Room at 8:00 p.m. After dinner, maybe stop by Billboard On Board for a sing-along to dueling pianos with your new friends, or head to the main theater for a show. Of course, if you are in the mood for dancing, you will certainly find friendly faces out on the dance floors!
tuesday, march 10th - sea day
Today will be our first sea day, and the official start of our dance program. We will have exclusive use of the Queen’s Lounge, where we will have 6 group classes in different ballroom and swing styles and levels. To cap off Day 1 of the dance program, we will have 1 hour of supervised dance practice so you can polish your new skills. We will also have breaks and refreshments to keep you energized! Remember, this is your Floating With Friends Dance Cruise experience, so attend as many of the group classes as you want, or take the day off and just enjoy the ship!
If you are taking a break from dancing, you can take advantage of the many activities available on the ship. Go for a stroll (or power walk) on the the full-circle outdoor Promenade Deck, swim in one of the beautiful pools, or work out your body in the fitness center. When you get hungry, tempt your taste buds with the incredible complimentary dining options on board including the Lido Market, New York Deli & Pizza, Dive-In Grill and the Grand Dutch Cafe. If intellectual pursuits are more your style, stop by for the many trivia competitions each day in the Explorer’s Lounge or learn something new in the Microsoft Studio. Or simply sit on your balcony and enjoy watching the world float by!
This evening will likely be our first formal night so dress to impress! We have arranged to have a group portrait, which will be our gift to all 4th Annual Floating With Friends Dance Cruise guests. Afterwards, we will all go together to dinner in The Dining Room. If you haven’t danced enough during the day, head out to one of the live music venues for dancing.
Wednesday, march 11th - grand turk
Today we dock at Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos islands, which straddle the Bahamas and the Caribbean. 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.
We know that many guests will go ashore to take advantage of the amazing water at Grand Turk, so there will be no formal classes today. However, we will have exclusive use of the dance floor in the Queen’s Lounge for several hours, which will be available for open floor time and optional private lessons with our instructors. We will also have one hour set aside for an all-style supervised dance practice in the morning for those of you who choose to stay on board the ship, or head to the beach a little later. There will also be an additional special supervised practice for the Social Ballroom & Latin Survival styles.
This evening we will all go together to dinner in The Dining Room at 8:00 p.m. After dinner, if tonight you want something a little more low key, we suggest heading to the Lido Deck for a Movie Under the Stars or to just enjoy the night air.
thursday, march 12th - amber cove
Today we dock at Amber Cove, a dedicated cruise resort in the Caribbean. 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 rue 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.
Since today is another port day, we will not have formal group classes. However, we will once again have exclusive use of the dance floor in the Queen’s Lounge for several hours, which will be available for open floor time and optional private lessons with our instructors. We will also have one hour set aside for an all-style supervised dance practice for those of you who choose to stay on board the ship, or head to the beach a little later. There will also be a special supervised practice for Swing, Lindy & Jive dance styles.
This evening we will all go together to dinner in The Dining Room at 8:00 p.m, or perhaps you want to try one of the specialty restaurants on the ship? We love Sel de Mer and the Pinnacle Grill! After dinner, join your new friends out dancing at one of the many music venues on the ship.
friday, march 13th - sea day
Today will be another sea day, and the second day of group classes for our dance program. We will again be in the Queen’s Lounge and have a similar schedule to the first day - 6 group classes in different ballroom and swing styles and levels, and then finish with 1 hour of supervised dance practice. Of course we will have breaks and snacks again too! Remember, this is your vacation, so attend as many of the group classes as you want, or take the day off and just enjoy the ship!
The afternoon is yours to spend at your leisure enjoying the various activities on board the ship, or simply laying by the pool. Maybe today is the day that you relax in the spa with a massage or facial, or try a sit-down lunch in the Pinnacle Grill. If intellectual pursuits are more your style, stop by for the many trivia competitions each day in the Explorer’s Lounge or learn something new in the Microsoft Studio. Or get a drink at the Aft Pool Bar and watch the sun set over the wake of the ship into the Caribbean!
This evening will likely be our second formal night, so join us as we get dressed in our finest attire and dance the night away at the many music venues on the ship. Try out the new moves you have learned this week!
saturday, march 14th - key west
On Saturday, our last full day of the cruise, we will be arriving at Key West. 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 continental 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.
Since today is our last full day of our cruise, and many people may want to enjoy the last port or the amenities on board the ship, we will only have open floor time and optional private lessons with our instructors in the Queen’s Lounge.
This evening we will have our farewell dinner in The Dining Room and recap our amazing week aboard the Nieuw Statendam. Afterwards, we will be dancing the night away - probably to the amazing B.B. King’s Blues Band, and afterwards to the sounds of the DJ when we can request all the Latin and Ballroom music we want!
sunday, march 15th - ft. lauderdale
On Sunday, March 15th, sadly our adventure will come to an end as the Nieuw Statendam returns to Ft. Lauderdale early in the morning and we disembark for our flights home. Please remember that you should arrange your flight home for noon or later to make sure you have time to clear Immigration and Customs in the Ft. Lauderdale cruise terminal.