“The Ultimate Barbecue and Dance Party”

I’ve been to some nice backyard barbecues but I think I can now safely say that I attended “The Ultimate Barbecue and Dance Party”, while on a cruise no less. The  party was held on the beautiful pool deck of the Seven Seas Explorer while on a 12 night cruise along the coast of France, Portugal and Spain. We had been onboard for 6 days and knew the ship offered wonderful menus in all of its restaurants and thought that a barbecue on the pool deck would be nice but we were not expecting to be amazed.

Setting Up For The Grand Deck BBQ And Dance Party

My husband and I arrived a little early to have a cocktail at the pool bar, just as the finishing touches were being put into place. Colorful flags stretched above the deck, white table linens covered tables surrounding the pool and were laid with polished crystal and silver. Musicians were setting up their instruments and within hours after serving lunch, the crew had transformed the pool deck into a gorgeous outdoor restaurant.  As people slowly gathered to find a table, Champagne, wine and cocktails were being offered. This was the scene for a very nice barbecue, very nice indeed.

Click on any photo in the article to enlarge and see a slide show.

I decided to stroll over to the Pool Grill and see what was going to be offered. On one side there was a fresh seafood buffet with chilled Alaskan King Crab legs, shrimp and mussels piled high on ice. A chef was grilling lobster tails and shrimp kebabs. This alone let me know that it was going to be a special party, actually very special.

About this time my husband commented, “well if it was a really good barbecue, there would be a whole roasted pig”. Guess what, he was right. Just one thing though, there was not one but two whole roasted pigs just waiting to be pulled apart. Pulled pork, now we are talking about a real barbecue as far as this Texas girl is concerned.

Whole Roasted Pig At The BBQ

Of course that wasn’t all, there was more, much more. On the other side of the Pool Grill, cooked to order pasta and risotto was being prepared along with sautéed Mediterranean vegetables. In another area, there were sliced cured meats and over a dozen different, perfectly ripe, European cheeses, a large assortment of salads as well as fresh baked breads, cakes and pastries. Last but not least, there was an ice cream sundae bar with sauces and sprinkles.

I have to take my foodie hat off to Senior Executive Chef Sean Emsile and his entire galley team for pulling off “the ultimate barbecue”. The highly skilled and imaginative chefs not only prepared the freshest of ingredients, they were prepared to perfection and beautifully presented.

But wait, I did mention a dance party didn’t I. Yes, there was an orchestra and the ship’s production cast of singers and dancers, everything necessary to “Rock the Boat” as the dance party was being called.  As the sun went down, the outdoor lights came on, the music went from mellow to hot and it was time to party.

Rock The Boat Dance Party

While I never felt the Explorer rocking that night, I can guarantee you that there was a lot of swinging and rocking happening on the pool deck. A cool breeze and a starry  night sky was the “icing on the cake” so to speak.


If  you are ever invited to a party on the pool deck of the Seven Seas Explorer, make sure you go. If it is anything like the one we experienced, I know you will have a great time and you will be saying the same thing. It was the “ultimate barbecue and dance party” that you ever had the pleasure to attend.

I thought that an evening barbecue outside on the pool deck would be nice event but was not expecting to be amazed with how nice it was. Have you ever gone to a barbecue and dance party that was memorable like this one? I’d love to hear about it.

About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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105 Responses to “The Ultimate Barbecue and Dance Party”

  1. That sounds like great fun and what fabulous food!

  2. That is certainly a BBQ with a difference and I would have certainly enjoyed it. I hope you got some good tips from top chef! 👍

    • Karen says:

      It was indeed Fatima, I wasn’t expecting the huge variety of food, especially the seafood. I was expecting steaks, burgers, etc. The chef and his team definitely know how to impress the guests.

  3. Everything about that party looks absolutely incredible. You know it’s going to be an extravaganza back yard bbq when there’s white table cloths instead of red-checkered. 🙂

  4. That is a different experience and it looks like you all had a great time.

    • Karen says:

      We did have a great time Jovina. I know that the people who decided not to go to the barbecue regretted it the next day when fellow passengers were raving about it.

  5. Eva Taylor says:

    Now that looks like a beautiful party, the food looks exceptional! I would want to try a little of everything! It sounds like it was fun too, with everyone dancing and mingling (although, that couple looks a tad too close to the pool for my comfort!). It also looks like you had wonderful weather. This cruise line looks like a true winner, not like the average cruise for sure.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eva, I did just like you said and took a tiny bit of quite a few items. The couple that you spoke of are members of the theater cast. They put on 4 or 5 different shows in the theater during our cruise. Several times they all lined the top edge of the pool and danced. And do you see those high heels…I would have ended up in the pool. 😀 You are right, it was definitely not your average cruise from what we have heard from other cruisers. We did have good weather, the best in years.

  6. Darlene says:

    Wow!! What fun. This sounds like a perfect cruise.

  7. Peter Herpst says:

    What a great barbecue and dance party! The best part? Someone else did all the work! I’m loving these posts from your cruise!

    • Karen says:

      So very true Peter and they certainly did a tremendous job. Did you see all the chefs that were involved…they closed three of the specialty restaurants to put on this party. By the way, thank you so much, I’m glad that you are enjoying the cruise posts. 🙂

  8. Gerlinde says:

    Looks like a lot of fun with a lot of good food. I love dancing but my husband doesn’t. Oh well!

  9. Gaz says:

    That whole roasted pig looks amazing.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ladyfi, There were several special events during our cruise but this was probably one of the most fun. A barbecue and dance makes most everyone happy. 🙂

  10. Mad Dog says:

    That looks amazing – how exciting!

  11. lifeincharente says:

    Sounds like fun but I am totally off cruises. I spent the whole of our cruise in the ships hospital on drip, pneumonia which the Dr said he was sure was caused by the air con!! No fun. Take care Diane

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, It is terrible when you plan a wonderful trip and it is ruined because of not being well. Thankfully, we were both healthy and happy aboard our cruise.

  12. Kendra says:

    This is amazing! I love when other people do the work and I can just enjoy the party (lol)! I absolutely love the roasted pig! And the rest of the food is so colorful!

  13. pamela511 says:

    Looks like fun and a lot of food! The thought of being on one of those ships sends chills through me. I love to swim, love the ocean, but no way on a ship. Friends can’t believe it. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pam, I know we all have fears that we have to deal with if we decide to travel. For some it is fear of flying, for you it is being on a ship at sea. I have a fear of heights but it hasn’t stopped me from going to the tops of mountains. I plan our trips myself and am very nervous but I go. 😀

  14. Eha says:

    *smile* To put it into somewhat ‘commercial’ terms . . . sailing on the ‘Seven Seas Explorer’ may not be the most cost effective way of travelling, but don’t you get your money’s worth! Delightful choice of beautiful foods . . . I would not have had time to dance and I love it !!!

    • Karen says:

      So very true Eha. Was it worth it, yes…as you say, you do get your money’s worth on the Explorer. The crew go out of their way to give you a memorable cruise experience.

  15. I never considered going to a dance party on a cruise ship! And I would so be there for all of the barbecue.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lorraine, The dance party out on the pool deck, along with that barbecue was a wonderful surprise. I’m sure that the people that decided to eat in the main dining room that night must have had regrets the next day as the party was the talk among all the guests who enjoyed the party and food.

  16. Fun and with lots of great food…What a party!

  17. I Wilkerson says:

    Everything looks amazing. And the whole pig–most impressive!

  18. Ron says:

    What fun, you lost me at that fantastic cold seafood bar, I can eat pork anytime. Did the girl with the high heels end up in the pool?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ron, I know my husband and I ate our fair share of the seafood. 🙂 The couple on the ledge of the pool were professional dancers from the production cast that perform in the ships theater. At one time, four of the girls were dancing on the pool ledge in those very high heels and they didn’t skip a beat and they all stayed dry. 😀

  19. sippitysup says:

    Certainly, this party defies all my expectations about cruising… GREG

    • Karen says:

      Hi Greg, Our whole experience aboard the Explorer was way beyond what we imagined it would be. The funny part was that we were hesitant about the trip until our first day on ship…it was much more than we had hoped for.

  20. Hi Karen! What a party and what a spread. I am absolutely amazed at the whole roasted pigs!!! How could they pull this off on a cruise boat? Just incredible. Hope I get to experience a party like this one day. Great pictures and an amazing celebration!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Allie, for your nice compliment. I would have loved to have seen the kitchen during the preparation for the party. I don’t know if you noticed how many chefs were lined up to be recognized for their contributions for this event, it was a lot.

  21. For the Love of Cooking says:

    Looks like a fun and tasty evening on the ship!

  22. valentina maria kenney wein says:

    This looks like so much fun! And SO delicious with so many unexpected BBQ dishes. Not sure sure I could dance after participating in all of that deliciousness. Guess I’d have to do the dancing first. 😉

    • Karen says:

      Hi Valentina, There was definitely a lot of food. When I think of a barbecue, I think of burgers and steaks…this party certainly took that to another level.

  23. Karen, the food looks amazing and my what a fun party! I would not have expected pasta, risotto, and lobster at a barbecue, but I would have certainly indulged!

  24. I’ve been to a fair amount of barbecues in my life, but never one to come close to this. It definitely rocked the boat.

  25. What a delicious BBQ! I think I’d have eaten far too much and would have to dance to burn off a few of the calories 🙂

  26. I never thought I would like a cruise, but this is one even I would sign up for! The party looks and sounds pretty much perfect. That whole suckling pig totally has my heart … and stomach 🙂

  27. nancyc says:

    Then food looks amazing! What a fun party! 🙂

  28. Wow! All of that amazing looking food! It sounds like it was a wonderful evening.

  29. Oh my, what a spread! My mouth is watering looking at all of that seafood. I have to admit that audibly gasped when I saw that pig, lol! A healthy dose of reality I suppose… 😉

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marissa, The seafood really was impressive wasn’t it. I debated about the roasted pig but it was devoured by the guests and I think a lot of my foodie followers would have as well. 😀

  30. What! That banquet looks like heaven! So much food. I particularly love shellfish but everything looks fab. You must have had a great time.

  31. As a pesco-veggie, I’ve never been a huge fan of BBQs but the dessert trolley is the thing of dreams! Looks like you all had a blast!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Scarlett, You would have had plenty to eat at the barbecue. As a matter of fact, your diet wouldn’t have been a problem at any of the restaurants on board the Explorer. And the desserts, they were delicious.

  32. A couple of the dancers look like they’re dangerously close to falling in the pool! This has got to be the most extravagant barbeque that I’ve ever seen! I would’ve eaten so much, that I would’ve needed the dance in order to work some of it off.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jeff, the dancers on the pool edge were all professionals. It amazed me that they could all dance on the edge and not fall in. It really was an extravagant barbecue…I’ve never been to one so nice.

  33. “It’s a Wonderful Life” with James Stewart and Donna Reed – an old Christmas classic. They fell into the pool and the rest joined them. Your post sure reminded me of this famous movie!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judi, I think everyone thought the dancers, especially the girls in the high heels, had to fall into the pool but not one did. They were part of the production cast that performed in the theater during the cruise and they are very talented.

  34. David says:

    You had me with the shrimp, crab legs, and mussels! Don’t need the pork! 🙂

  35. What an amazing party!! I would have eaten way too much!

  36. Sheryl says:

    The food on the cruise looks incredible.

  37. Wow, sounds like you had a lot of fun. The whole roasted pig reminds me of summer days in Italy 🙂

  38. Wow, a BBQ with grilled lobster tails and shrimp kebabs is the way to go…and that was before you brought up the whole roasted pigs. That’s my kind of party right there! I must admit that I’ve been to (and eaten) a lot of BBQs, but this one is unique for sure. Looks like an awesome night was had by all! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi David, That is exactly what I thought when I went around at looked at all the food they were serving at the barbecue…the best I’d ever seen.

  39. lulu says:

    Omigosh, talk about the unexpected but what a boot scooting’ hoot!

    • Karen says:

      Oh my Texas friend, it really was a hoot…a boot scooting hoot at that. 😀 The only thing that could have been better is if you and Pete could have joined us.

  40. Juliana says:

    What a fun party Karen…and the food look amazing…thanks for sharing the pictures…enjoy your week and Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. You have the life Karen!!! And what a food spread! There’s nothing better than a BBQ and dance party on a boat too.

  42. This looks like a whole lot of lively (and delicious!) fun Karen! What a marvelous trip– onboard and off on your travels! You are so blessed to see so much of the world! (and I love tagging along on your posts!) xox

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Rhonda, I’m so happy you enjoy tagging along on our travel adventures. This indeed was a wonderful trip…we had no idea how much we would enjoy the whole experience.

  43. Wow! It looks like it was a great cruise. The food looks very impressive. Karen, Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your wish Dawn, we had a lovely Thanksgiving with our family…I hope you did as well. We loved everything about this cruise, far better than we thought it would be.

  44. adina says:

    What a beautiful trip! All those pictures of food make me hungry. I had that kind of whole roasted pig once, it was amazing, I kept going back for more and was not even tempted to try anything else that was offered that evening.

  45. This does indeed look like a fantastic party. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The edible bouquet with the oranges caught my eye, so beautifully done.

  46. Marcelle says:

    Wow, with all that amazing food I would have had a hard deciding where to start. But I would have probably started at the seafood grill and worked through to each station for at least a nibble! That definitely looks like an unforgettable party, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marcelle, It sounds like our tastes are exactly alike because that is just what I did. Started with grilled lobster and then had a tiny bite of the rest. 🙂

  47. NativeNM says:

    Sounds like a wonderful time! And the food . . . well my taste buds would be overjoyed wanting a taste of everything. What a lovely spread and so beautifully displayed.

  48. Wow, that’s quite the barbecue party! Always an adventure to follow along on your travels.

  49. kitchenriffs says:

    Regent throws a mean BBQ! Loads of fun. Sounds like you had a terrific time, with loads of good stuff to eat. And drink, of course. 🙂

  50. Karen says:

    That they do John, It was the best barbecue I’ve been to and the dance party was so much fun. Did they have one one your cruise…I know they are dependent on the weather.

  51. grace says:

    you’d have to roll me out of there! i can’t be controlled around so much good food. 🙂

  52. I agree with Jeff the Chef- the dancers look like they are ready to fall in the pool! I especially like the floral arrangement made with fresh fruit and the combination macarons/profiteroles dessert! Merry Christmas to you!

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