During the Jan. 12 Champions Cruise aboard ms Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America Line crowned guest Allyse Ishino of Santa Ana, Calif., the line’s first “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Champion. Ishino, who represented ms Westerdam, triumphed over 14 other guest competitors to claim the title and take home the coveted Holland America Line’s “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Mirror Ball Trophy.
Ishino danced in the ship’s main show lounge in three elimination performances before making it to the finals where she executed a passionate Tango in front of a judging panel that included “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers Tristan MacManus, Kym Johnson and Sharna Burgess, dance troupe member Jaymz Tuaileva and Nieuw Amsterdam cruise director Eric Dowis.
“Congratulations to Allyse! 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,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president, sales, marketing and guest programs. “All of the guest competitors put their heart and soul into each performance and they all deserve to be congratulated.”
Before Ishino was named champion in the final round, three elimination rounds were held to whittle the 15 competitors to three finalists. Todd Greenquist of Scarborough, Maine, representing ms Amsterdam, and Kristin Capaldo of Cumberland, R.I., from ms Noordam, also advanced from the early rounds to dance in the final evening’s competition.
The 15 Champions Cruise competitors represented each of the ships in the Holland America Line fleet. They were selected as the winning guests with the highest overall score from their ship’s “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” dance competitions that were held onboard every cruise throughout the past year.
Joining the Champions Cruise to perform in a special production show were “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers: Emmy Award–winner and five-time “Dancing with the Stars” champion Derek Hough, two-time winner Kym Johnson, Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater and Tristan MacManus. Celebrities who performed included actress Sabrina Bryan, singer Joey Fatone and television personality Carson Kressley.
Additional events on the cruise included a special fashion show featuring the glamorous show costumes, a chance to meet the dance pros and celebrities, and a question-and-answer session.
Holland America Line has extended its partnership with “Dancing with the Stars” and will feature the shipboard program through the 2014 sailing season, culminating with another Champions Cruise guest dance-off competition on the Dec. 6, 2014, Caribbean sailing of ms Westerdam.
The 2014 schedule also will include six special “Dancing with the Stars” theme cruises featuring the show’s professional dancers and celebrities. Currently scheduled to sail on all six theme cruises in 2014 are professional dancers Tristan MacManus and Kym Johnson, television personality Carson Kressley and actress Sabrina Bryan.