Gentleman host, dancer, ambassador, entertainer or dance host. As early as 1972, the traditional British shipping company Cunard hired retired men to entertain women traveling alone on board as dance accompanists. What exactly are the tasks of a gentleman host? Which shipping companies offer this service and how much money can you earn with this very unusual job? Questions that will be examined a little more closely in this article ...
Just dancing is not enough!
If you think of a gentleman host and think of the more intimate services of a professional escort lady, you are sailing off course. Sensual rendezvous with guests is generally not permitted for on-board personnel. Gentlemen Hosts are no exception to this irrefutable rule.
Sequence dance on the P&O Ventura
The original activity of a dance host, as originally formulated by the shipping company Cunard, was actually limited to the dance floor. And that's still the case at Cunard today. The "one-dancers" - as the German term for this profession is - are obliged to shake off the dance floor at least once with every single lady in the hall. That can mean that a dance host can lead up to 60 women to waltz, rumba or quickstepp across the floor in one evening. Of course, strict rules must be observed! He is allowed to dance a maximum of three times with a lady and never in a row. No woman in the hall who would like to be led by the dance host may be denied a dance. Conversely, Cunard also has Lady Dance Hosts who are dedicated to male dancers.
Queen Mary 2 - Presentation of the hosts
As a gentleman host, however, the gentleman is much more than just a gallant dance partner. He is a bit of an animator. He accompanies women traveling alone on shore leave; or entertains while strolling around the deck. He is a cocktail and dinner companion, conversational partner and “starting point” for boredom. The areas of responsibility differ depending on the shipping company.
The fact is that the hiring criteria for a gentleman host are not without! First and foremost, it must be available. Retired men in particular meet this requirement. In real castings, the Gents not only have to prove their dance skills, but also convince of their other qualities in an interview. Only those who enjoy dealing with strangers are suitable as a host. Hosts must be single, divorced, or widowed. Generally speaking, the gentlemen are retirees.
Queen Mary 2 - professional dancer in the Queens Room
Which shipping companies offer this guest service?
As already heard, the traditional shipping company Cunard was the first to offer this service. On the ships Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, women and men traveling alone can look forward to preppy, polite and gallant professional dancers. However, this service ends with the last dance.
Silversea cruises offers a more modern and versatile approach to dealing with hosts. On the luxury ships of the shipping company, the gentlemen hosts are called "ambassadors". In a sense, they are ambassadors of good humor. Of course, dancing is one of the areas of responsibility, but the gentlemen are also contacts, friends and entertainers for every guest.
Other international shipping companies whose ships dance or gentleman hosts discreetly ensure a good atmosphere among the female passengers would be Crystal Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruises, Holland America Line or Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Whether or not such a service is offered often depends on the duration of the trip and the routes.
MS Koningsdam dancing lesson
Gentleman hosts and big bucks
Gentleman hosts never get rich. The gentlemen are rather poorly rewarded - if at all. Instead of a reward, there is a free cruise. Some Shipping companies even debit the on-board account with 20 or 25 euros per day of the ship. In such cases, however, first-class cabins or even suites are offered. A host does not have to worry about the food or the cash bills. If you keep the prices for luxury cruises in mind, hosts receive very respectable consideration! In most cases, the shipping company also covers the costs of getting to and from the cruise ship.
A conclusion on gentleman hosts on cruises
The gentlemen and the few ladies are where they act, an enrichment for every cruise! Not only for all those women who travel the oceans as singles, but also for all other guests. The Gents are always charming, well-groomed, always have an open ear and are - of course! - the perfect dance partner.