Gentlemen hosts provide a good time Hosts: Many cruise lines bring older, unmarried men aboard to socialize with single women.

Travel Q&A

February 02, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

I was told that cruise lines are interested in older men to serve as "gentlemen in waiting." I've just turned 65 and have a lot of time on my hands.

In an effort to balance out the preponderance of women on some cruises and to provide dance partners, at least nine ship lines provide hosts, who also socialize at meals and to pitch in with some chores.

Most lines recruit through Lauretta Blake, the Working Vacation, 610 Pine Grove Court, New Lenox, Ill. 60431; (815) 485-8307, fax (815) 485-7142. Hosts pay Blake a $175-a-week fee.

Applicants, who are single men usually aged 45 to 65, have their dancing evaluated for a $25 fee. Those hired are compensated )) by getting an essentially free trip, with lines often providing allowances for liquor and laundry and sometimes covering airfare.

Among the lines with hosts are:

American Hawaii Cruises: Two hosts on the Independence for five weeklong big-band sailings this year.

Cunard Line: The QE2, the Vistafjord and the Royal Viking Sun typically have four hosts each, but on world cruises the QE2 has 10 hosts and the Royal Viking Sun has six.

Delta Queen Steamboat Co.: The American Queen and Mississippi, which ply the Mississippi, have two hosts aboard, except on 13 big-band cruises, which have four.

Holland America Line: Four to six hosts on the line's ships. Recruiting through Lauretta Blake for cruises 14 days or longer. For 62- and 102-day cruises Holland America recruits hosts, but needs none now.

World Explorer Cruises: The Universe Explorer, whose ports include Alaska and the Caribbean, has a host or two on all sailings.

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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