Gentlemen Hosts®
Photo Gallery
About Us
Shop With Us

Privacy | Trademark

Membership Affiliation

Cruise Lines
International Association

The Working Vacation & The Gentlemen Host Program

Our History

The Working Vacation ® Inc. got its start in 1981 when Lauretta Blake's interest in people and travel evolved into her new partnering concept. A growing focus at the end of the 70's was health, fitness and nutrition. Lauretta envisioned balancing the fine dining and limited exercising facilities on cruise ships with the fun and benefits of a well-rounded health program.

Without prior cruising experience or cruise industry associations, Lauretta presented the "Be Fit" marketing plan to two well regarded cruise industry executives who also realized the potential of the burgeoning of the health industry. Mr. Hanns Hahn, then with Commodore Cruise Lines, Mr. Aleco Fotilas, then with Epirotiki Cruise Line, and Lauretta launched active shipboard fitness programs. Soon afterwards, Sun Line Cruises and the Home Line Cruises, Inc. joined in and also commissioned her Presenters' and Speakers' services. Over the years, the Working Vacation ® Inc.'s. Presenters', Speakers' and Gentlemen Hosts' credits have grown to include American Hawaii Cruises, American West Steamboat Company, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Delta Queen Steamboat Company, Epirotiki Cruises, Oceania Cruises, NYK Cruises, Orient Lines, Pearl Cruises, Regency Cruises, Renaissance Cruises, Royal Cruise Line Company, of Radisson Seven Sea Cruises, Royal Viking Line, Silversea Cruises and Uniworld River Cruises. She gratefully assisted many lines in various categories and consulting on enrichment services for guests.

In 1984, The Working Vacation ® Inc. name was officially established dedicating itself to the quality selection of shipboard Presenters, Speakers, Dance Instructors, and Activity Leaders were chosen to be volunteers with a greater emphasis on professionalism with personality while performing their specialized skills. Then as today, all enhancement volunteers’ responsibilities encompass becoming front line ambassadors of the cruise lines.

Relocating from the east coast to the west coast in 1987, where Lauretta Blake began her work with Royal Cruise Line. Mr. Bruce Good and Mr. Bruce Setloff included The Working Vacation ® Inc. in the introduction of the "New Beginnings" Program, one of the many innovations of the President, Mr. Richard Revnes, who is also renowned for fathering the very first Host Program. A significant recognition for The Working Vacation ® Inc. was the privilege of being selected to administer the Royal Cruise Line's Host Program. In June of 1995, The Working Vacation ® Inc. was given management responsibilities for the acclaimed Royal Cruise Line's Host Program.

Lauretta Blake - on Sky TV in London

Royal Cruise Line's Host Program leadership began in 1982 by pioneering the idea. 1988 marked The Working Vacation ® Inc.'s initial involvement in the Host Programs of the cruise industry. Lauretta began with the second Host Program to emerge, which was with Royal Viking Line and the third Host Program with Regency Cruises when theirs started in 1989. The Working Vacation ® Inc. is very grateful to Mr. Paul McEvoy of Regency Cruises and Mr. Peter Johnson of Royal Viking Line who requested Lauretta's assistance. Along with Mr. Bruce Good of Royal Cruise Line, who also supported The Working Vacation ® Inc.'s efforts to develop the importance of hosting. Mr. Michael Day of Silversea Cruises and there are many other contributors to be credited with the evolution of Host Programs, but no one can overlook the community minded, dedicated gentlemen who have honorably served countless guests and all the cruise companies. These Gentlemen Host® Volunteers must be sincerely thanked and generously praised for their exemplary efforts to the "magic of cruising" and the value of cruise ship hosting.

The Working Vacation ® Inc. has been a public voice for the cruise industry to the media in countless press releases and interviews. The Working Vacation ® Inc. has generated numerous articles, has been discussed on many radio shows, as well as being featured on several TV programs, such as CBS-TV The Morning Show, CBC-TV in Canada, The 50 Up Show, SKY-TV in England, Deborah Norville's, "America Tonight" and Harry Smith's, "Travels with Harry." The Working Vacation ® Inc. had the unique experience of assisting writer, Bob Jacobs, and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation with background information for the Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau film, OUT TO SEA in 1997. The movie served to broaden the awareness of dance hosts worldwide.

The unique human interest factor of The Gentlemen Host ® Program has been featured on ABC's 20/20's News Magazine when ABC News spent six days observing and interviewing ten Gentlemen Host®. NBC's Power Lunch with Bill Griffeth and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera interviewed Lauretta. The popularity has grown in Europe as was seen with BBC's Radio 4 - Excess Baggage broadcast, the BBC One South Inside/Out Television Programme, which focused on the Gentlemen Hosts® from the UK and German documentary 37º - Die Gentlemen bitten zum Tanz produced by Vanessa Nöcker from Vincent Television in Hamburg. In June 2003 The CBS Early Show with Melinda Murphy christened the Gentlemen Host® as "Sea- Worthy Fred Astaires". In 2004 60 Minutes CBS NEWS did a "Farewell To The Queen" reported that part of the ship's ballroom dancing and Gentlemen Hosts®.

Lauretta Blake of The Working Vacation ® Inc., created the original term "Gentlemen Host®" and trademarked The Gentlemen Host ® Program. Lauretta Blake The Working Vacation ® Inc., a member of the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), founded, established and selects Gentlemen Hosts® for several cruise companies and consults with many businesses related to travel, social dance and social programs for mixed group.

Home | Gentlemen Hosts® | Photo Gallery
Our Video | Links | About Us

© 1997-2010 The Working Vacation® Inc., All rights reserved.