Holland America’s inaugural “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” has crowned its first cruise line champion. Allyse Ishino of Santa Ana, Calif., won the coveted mirror ball on the championship cruise aboard the ms Nieuw Amsterdam.
Ishino represented the ms Westerdam ship and competed against 14 other guest competitors – one from each of the Holland America ships – to claim the title. Competitions aboard the ships took place throughout 2013 to name the champ from each ship who would head to the big final.
“Congratulations to Allyse,” Richard Meadows, Holland America’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest programs, said in a news release announcing the winner today, Jan. 23.
“We’ve been building up to the ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ Champions Cruise all year and the 15 champions gave stunning performances that excited everyone onboard and impressed our judging panels of professional dancers,” Meadows said.
Ishino’s journey to the top began in 2013 when she won the championship on the ms Westerdam. On the January championship cruise, Ishino danced in the ship’s main show lounge in three elimination performances.
For the final evening competition, Ishino competed against two other finalists - Kristin Capaldo of Cumberland, R.I., from ms Noordam and Todd Greenquist of Scarborough, Maine, representing ms Amsterdam.
“All of the guest competitors put their heart and soul into each performance and they all deserve to be congratulated,” Meadows said in the news release.
Passengers on the Champions Cruise also enjoyed a special production show featuring “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers from the popular television show. Topping the list was Emmy Award-winning dancer and five-time “Dancing with the Stars” champ Derek Hough. Other pros from the television show who performed were Kym Johnson, Emma Slater, Sharna Burgess and Tristan MacManus.
Adding a celebrity touch to the special championship cruise show were television personality Carson Kressley, actress Sabrina Bryan and singer Joey Fatone.
Passengers on the Champions Cruise also got a chance to enjoy a fashion show spotlighting some of the dancers’ glamorous costumes and meet the dance pros and celebrities.
Holland America has already announced that the cruise line will be continuing the dancing partnership for the 2014 cruise season. “Our ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ programming has been wildly popular and a highlight of our cruises,” Meadows said.
The Holland America 2014 schedule will include six special “Dancing with the Stars” theme cruises featuring the television show’s professional dancers and celebrities. Performers set to sail on the 2014 theme cruises include Kressley, Bryan, McManus and Johnson.
The year-end Champions Cruise finalist competition will be held on ms Westerdam during the Dec. 6 cruise to the Caribbean.
For more information about Holland America: Call (877) 724-5425 or visit www.hollandamerica.com.