This summer’s sizzling Salsa Boat Cruise was a hit as always. If you missed the boat in June, be sure to buy tickets early for the next one on July 29th!
It was a hot sunny day on June 26th, perfect weather for a boat cruise. We were pumped and excited about dancing on the water as I had attended the same cruise two summers ago and loved it. So it was no surprise when we got to Pier #29 at 4:30pm, that there was already a huge lineup for tickets and another one just to get onto the boat! Needless to say, tickets were completely sold out and many people either had to buy scalper’s tickets or were sent home.
By 5pm, when the boat cruise was supposed to start, they were still not ready to let people onto the boat. I felt the organizers were a little disorganized in this respect. Luckily, four of us from Toronto Dance Salsa were allowed onto the boat first to prepare for the beginner and intermediate lessons we were assigned to teach. By 5:30pm, a fifth of the people had boarded so we decided to start the lessons. Carolina and Karina gave the beginner lesson, and Alfred and I taught the intermediate lesson.
By 6pm most of the people were on the boat and starting to dance. By 6:30pm we were finally leaving the pier and sailing into the horizon. I must say, there is nothing quite like dancing salsa on the water with good friends, music, and a sunset. The dancefloor may be a little wobbly as the boat goes up and down with the waves, but its definitely still danceable and a lot of fun! But one quick note: Don’t bring your nice suede danceshoes on the boat as the floor is not hardwood. It can be a bit rough on your shoes if you’re spinning so wear something more durable!
Now, a little description of the River Gambler’s layout: The DJ and dancefloor was located on the top deck. Below deck was the dining area and restrooms. There was a bar on both the top and bottom deck. Both of which were doing very well that night as people were buying plenty of drinks. Dinner started around 7pm and a huge lineup began to form. There was a good selection of steak, paella or chicken accompanied with salad and pasta. I chose the paella, which was not bad for paella in Canada. The rice had plenty of flavor. Obviously it can’t compare to paella in spain! But there were lots of mussels and shrimp in it!
At around 8pm, they started the salsa competition. Eight couples came out to compete. The DJ put on a random salsa song for them to dance to and the audience decided who the top 3 couples were. Former Toronto Dance Salsa student and assistant, Alexandra Barakh and her partner Pavlo Farmakidis came in second!
By 9pm, the sun was about to set, creating a beautiful ambiance on the water. It really was a wonderful sight to see the skyline of Toronto across the water as the sunset approached. We danced until night fell and we were back at the pier again.
But the night did not end there! A group of us headed out to El Rancho afterwards for the afterparty and continued dancing the night away.
Do I recommend the Boat Cruise? I most certainly do! Especially since it happens only twice a year.
Plaza Flamingo Boat Cruise
Aboard the RIVER GAMBLER
Now Located at Pier #29
261 Queens Quay East ( East of Sherbourne St.)
Boarding at 5 PM Sails until 10 PM
TICKETS: Advance $28
At the Pier $35
Food: Advance $10
At the Pier $15
All Major Credit Cards accepted.
Fun Factor: 5
Overall: 21 (out of 25)