Theme cruises are a great getaway option for groups interested in sharing their hobbies, interests, and passions, and one of the most unique types of voyages that regularly sails with major cruise lines are polka cruises.
Polka is a type of folk dance music that originated in Eastern Europe centuries ago. Often played by the accordion, organ, or various other instruments, polka music is best known for a firm beat that is easy for dancers in a large group to follow, while the harmony and melody of the tunes blends together for a fun piece of music. Polka dancing typically involves twirling skirts, stomping feet, and intricate partner shuffling throughout a coordinated group, similar to square dancing.
Today, polka is exceptionally popular throughout Europe, particularly in Croatia, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic. While polka is popular in Poland as well, it is a common misconception that the music originated there. Many immigrants brought their traditional music with them when seeking a new life across the sea,and therefore polka also has a large fan following in North America. Despite the popularity of the music, however, it can be difficult to locate polka bands or dances, making cruises a great getaway for lovers of this eclectic music.
Activities on Polka Cruises
Cruises dedicated to polka often feature a wide range of polka-oriented cruise activities, such as:
- Scheduled polka dance parties or competitions for passengers
- Polka dance lessons from well-known dance professionals
- Appearances by award-winning polka specialty bands
- A meet-the-bands or meet-the-dancers reception, cocktail party, or luncheon
- Polish and folk song sing-a-longs
- A polka name-that-tune contest
- Polka musical instruction from experienced musicians
- Meet-and-mingle parties for members of the polka group
- Specialty buffets featuring foods from Eastern Europe
In addition to these theme activities, cruise passengers can also take advantage of all the regular onboard activities, including scrumptious gourmet dining, luxurious spa treatments, visits to various ports of call, organized cruise shore excursions, world-class entertainment, and many other options.
Benefits of a Theme Cruise
Many people are initially hesitant to embark on a theme cruise, despite their love of polka, jazz, golf, movies, literature, or whatever other theme is available. One of the benefits to such a voyage, however, is that it gives individuals the chance to meet other passengers who share their interests as well as who share a love of decadent cruise vacations. This can lead to lifelong friendships and acquaintances, and in fact, many dedicated polka fans reconnect year after year on new polka cruises as they follow their favorite bands or dancers to new venues.
Another significant benefit to a theme cruise is that the group associated with the theme can often receive the benefits of a group discount. These discounts are available in a range of cruise ship cabins, giving passengers the flexibility to choose the type of accommodations they are most comfortable with or that their budget can most easily afford.
Finding Polka Cruises
Most theme cruises are specialized enough that there are only one or two distinct sailings per year, simply because while there may be a large number of fans who would enjoy the theme, not everyone can cruise multiple times each year. Carnival Cruise Line has hosted a number of polka cruises, most frequently on seven-night itineraries, and other cruise lines have also offered these specialized voyages. The cruise destinations vary and have included Alaskan cruises, Mexico cruises, and several different Caribbean options. The same itinerary is not usually repeated in consecutive years so passengers can experience a greater variety of ports while they enjoy the rollicking sounds of polka that highlight their getaway.
To find a polka-themed voyage, contact a polka band or music company, or consult a cruise travel agent for upcoming sailings. Prospective passengers should note that the group rate available on theme cruises can sell out quickly, and it is wise to make cruise reservations well in advance to ensure the best price.
Polka cruises are a great way for folk music aficionados to share their love of polka as well as their love of a great vacation getaway. With specialized activities and group discount rates, there is no better way to enjoy this distinctive music genre than on the water.