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The Working Vacation & The Gentlemen Host Program

A letter about our
Gentlemen Host® Program

Dear GENTLEMEN HOST® Candidate:

Gentlemen HostsOur Gentlemen Hosts ® are contemporary examples of chivalry in motion--caring for other people, and displaying the most polished manners, etiquette and enjoyment of social dancing. This role is similar to an ambassadorship. Diplomacy and social partner dancing are absolutely essential.

Although opportunities are few, the cruise line companies have continued inviting our gentlemen to participate and enjoy the tradition and success of past volunteers. The experience of hosting guests aboard cruising vessels exists for gentlemen who are cheerful, friendly, conversant, very out going and enjoy socializing with a variety of travelers. Knowing social dances and spending evenings dancing with mature women traveling independently is a primary responsibility.


In exchange for volunteer services, Gentlemen Hosts® have the opportunity to travel throughout the world. A cruise company may provide a variety of ever-changing benefits. While each company's offerings differ, some typical benefits are:

  • Some paid round-trip, economy air transportation to the designated embarkation and disembarkation ports from major airport cities. It is at the discretion of the cruise company to assign the airline and the departure date and time. Some companies, particularly on shorter cruises lasting only 2-3 weeks, require the Gentlemen Host® to provide his own transportation. Yet, other companies provide airfare for 2 and 3 weeks of cruising.
  • Shared accommodations. The cabins assigned depend upon the availability at the time of sailing and each cruise company policy. A single cabin cannot be guaranteed for individual use. Some cruise companies do make individual cabins available for each gentlemen when extra cabin space is unoccupied by guests. Cabins are shared with another Gentlemen Host®. An absolute no smoking policy is adhered to in the cabin.
  • Entitlement to services, meals, entertainment and receptions provided to the paying guests. However, Gentlemen Host® are requested to refrain from ordering room service, playing bingo, lottery, horse racing (wooden, moveable figures) or gambling in the casino.
  • Gratuities -- with most ships -- are included.
  • A bar and wine allowance to entertain guests or to return guests' hospitality. Hosts often receive a reduction from standard guests costs for bar beverages. This varies in accordance with the cruise ship's policy.
  • A partial "wardrobe" cleaning allowance is generally provided. When a wardrobe allowance is not provided, laundry service is usually at the crew price (a substantial discount). Each ship will differ slightly, but generally all offer acceptable assistance.

There is a chance to experience Shore Tour Excursions at a reduced rate and occasionally at no charge, when space is available. Typically, the tour assistants are scheduled on a rotational basis among all interested ship representatives, which are scheduled by the Shore Excursion Manager. Gentlemen Hosts® are encouraged to volunteer to accompany tours whenever possible since it's another occasion to socialize with guests.

The Gentlemen Host® must welcome all guests without showing partiality towards any one individual. He must adhere to the highest and most gracious social standards while dancing and participating in all other social activities.

Basic Qualifications:

The basic qualifications require that a GENTLEMEN HOST® have a very outgoing personality. He must be able to easily mix with a wide range of people, be a good-excellent dancer and have the energy/enthusiasm to be with people for long periods of time every day and evening while traveling in this position. We are seeking diplomatic and sincere volunteers. Our selected volunteers must be individuals who love being with people. A volunteer is someone who can easily put the other's needs ahead of their own and can take the lead in helping guests have a good time.

Are you...

  • A single gentleman?
  • 40 years of age or older?
  • A good dancer?
  • Physically fit?
  • Fluent in English?
  • A moderate or nondrinker?
  • A good listener?
  • A good conversationalist?
  • Preferably a nonsmoker?

Can you...

  • Socialize specifically with all single ladies over 50 years of age?
  • Refrain from showing favoritism towards any special lady or group?
  • Socialize with all guests? Be comfortable initiating conversations?
  • Remain courteous to guests and staff at all times?
  • Graciously host a dining table?
  • Be comfortable with formal manners at gatherings and events as well as more casual situations?
  • Maintain orderliness and sobriety at all times?
  • Participate in games or activities and be visible in the daytime to chat and mix with guests?
  • Perform other duties or assist with special events as requested by Cruise Director or Staff?
  • See yourself as an Auxiliary Staff member and anticipate whatever needs doing?
  • Assist with shore excursion tours when requested?
  • Be actively involved during the daytime and evening?
  • Be immaculately groomed and have an adequate cruise wardrobe, consisting of a black tuxedo, white dinner jacket, navy blazer, suits, sports jackets, and appropriate casual sports clothes?
  • Afford air transportation from a distant port if your disembarkation by a cruise director becomes necessary due to your inappropriate conduct?
  • Be current with passport, inoculations, travel & health insurance & visas when needed?
  • Dance, dance, dance? "Dancing Every Dance is Primary".
  • Smile, smile, smile?

If so, then we would love to have you aboard! If you see yourself fitting into THE GENTLEMEN HOST® PROGRAM, please send us the following information:

  • Completed General Application Form
  • Photos (snapshots are adequate and remain on file--prefer formal dress)
  • Past or Current Resume (if available)
  • Letter of Recommendation from your Travel Agent and other letters from business, church, or community people are particularly helpful

Dance Criteria


A GENTLEMEN HOST® needs to be a refined or cultivated dancer to be accepted into the program. (Often an astute GENTLEMEN HOST® candidate will find his "natural ability" enhanced by taking additional training.) You will be asked to dance with a professional dance instructor. We will give you the names of specific Dance Reviewers in various cities who will spend approximately one half-hour to review your current level of dance proficiency and give you helpful tips. There is a $25-35 fee payable (by the candidate) directly to the Dance Reviewer who then forwards us our review forms for your file. Since it is not practical to have a Dance Reviewer in each and every city, it may require some travel on your part to complete your Dance Review.

Please note: It is essential that a Gentlemen Host® be a competent (not expert) dancer, and he must have a proficiency in the basic steps of the social ballroom dances, fox-trot, waltz, swing, and the Latin rumba and cha-cha.

Neither championship training nor exhibition style is necessary. It is desired to have the GENTLEMEN HOST® dance at the level of the lady to make her comfortable and help her look good. Please review the separate sheet that specifies dance ability guidelines.


All GENTLEMEN HOST® candidates must attend a "Personal Meeting". We guarantee that every GENTLEMEN HOST® has been met personally. General meetings in small groups or individually are arranged for a limited number of times throughout the year in Chicago, Illinois and San Jose, California. Visiting Chicago or Northern California to personally meet will rapidly speed the process of being invited to host and cruise. Qualified candidates will be invited (at the candidate's expense) to make an appointment to attend a personal meeting. It is required that a candidate has completed a Dance Review ‘before’ his general meeting. Successfully complete the Dance Review and then check with our Illinois office for meeting dates before considering a trip.

Once you have successfully completed a dance review and general meeting, and you have scheduled your first sailing, we will conduct a background check. This process will include a credit check, motor vehicle report and a criminal records search. You pay the fee for the background check (approximately $75.00). You may request a copy of your completed report.

There may be times when serious illness or injury may occur during the cruise, which may prevent a GENTLEMEN HOST® from carrying out his responsibilities. If this situation occurs, the Cruise Director may find it necessary to ask the GENTLEMEN HOST® to terminate the cruise. Should a GENTLEMEN HOST® be disembarked at any port prior to his original planned disembarkation, it will be up to THE GENTLEMEN HOST® to arrange for his own return transportation.

Because of these risk factors, the cruise companies are insisting that all GENTLEMEN HOSTS® have adequate insurance coverage. Accident & Illness coverage and emergency evacuation coverage are essential. Most will find that purchasing Travel Insurance will supply this coverage as well as provide other protections while cruising. We provide information about the type of Travel Insurance needed.

Our expectation is that it will never be necessary to disembark a GENTLEMEN HOST®. The disembarkation policy is uniformly followed by other cruise companies and is one of the principal ways that the cruise industry can be assured that all GENTLEMEN HOSTS® will perform their assignments as explained and affirmed. Fortunately, we find that the very best volunteers are wholeheartedly committed to a strong code of honor and moral ethics. There is a tradition to uphold.

LAURETTA BLAKE The Working Vacation ® Inc. is a management company assisting the cruise line companies in the coordination of THE GENTLEMEN HOST® PROGRAM. The current placement fee varies from $25 to $28 per day for every cruise that a GENTLEMEN HOST® accepts. There is no application fee.

The cruise companies consider a GENTLEMEN HOST® to be a volunteer offering a position of assistance. The GENTLEMEN HOST® is neither a working independent contractor, an employee, nor would a GENTLEMEN HOST® be an employee of LAURETTA BLAKE The Working Vacation ® Inc.

The cruise companies and LAURETTA BLAKE The Working Vacation ® Inc. hold the right to amend or cancel the assignment of any and/or all cruise dates at any time without cause or prior notice.

The adventure of GENTLEMEN HOSTING with a cruise company can be a mutually beneficial experience for the right men. Our aim is to assist you in establishing a unique and rewarding way to be in service to other people, enjoy all the good hearted individuals you meet along the way, and enjoy your life more fully.

Check with us for the cruise company that offers the best opportunities to be part of the developing nucleus of GENTLEMEN HOSTS®. Most cruise companies wish to form the best core-group volunteer teams. Volunteers are constantly being selected and matched by us. "Passengers" are on vacation the "volunteers" are not on vacation. "Shipboard volunteering" is helping work to achieve the best end results for the guests, staff, and cruise company. "There is no such thing as a free lunch" and, similarly, this applies to the cruise industry. "There is no such thing as a free vacation." This is a ‘working vacation’.

If you are interested, please compile your information and return it promptly. We ask you to schedule and complete your Dance Review and then write to learn if your dance skills qualify you for a personal Meeting Date. If you are a person who naturally gives 110% commitment to what you do, do not delay--we want to meet you! The program needs quality volunteers who like to truly be among people and do whatever it takes to make situations work well for those they are serving!

It is best to be prepared with a current, valid passport at all times. You will need to take one with you on any cruise regardless of destination. Please make sure you include your passport number on the application or indicate that you are applying for one. Also note the required insurance information.

Looking forward to meeting!

Very best regards,

Lauretta T. Blake, President
LAURETTA BLAKE The Working Vacation ® Inc.

P.S. Hopefully, after you’ve cruised, you will feel as one of our GENTLEMEN HOSTS® summarized, "The impressive thing is that so many of the couples (the married guests), as well as the ladies, take time to talk with me, ask me questions and compliment me on the support and kindness I'm giving, especially with the SMILES that I try to give to everyone. THE GREATEST THING ABOUT BEING A GENTLEMEN HOST IS THE JOY AND HAPPINESS WE ARE BRINGING TO SO MANY AND BEING APPRECIATED FOR IT!"

Thank you for reading our general introduction letter. If you would like to receive an application and a dance information letter, please complete our Information Request Form or contact us at:

Lauretta Blake The Working Vacation ® Inc.
12544 West 159 Street
Homer Glen, Illinois 60491-8378
Phone: 708-301-7535 - Fax: 708-301-6202


If you would like this information mailed, please be sure to give us your complete address.

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