All Aboard The Good Ship Lindy Hop for Frankie Manning's 90th birthday!
It was away me hearties and a vast behind on Saturday May 22 as The Caribbean Princess set sail from Fort Lauderdale Florida for a one-week cruise. You couldn't squeeze a mouse on board, and amongst the 3,600 passengers was a party of 200 Lindy Hoppers aboard to celebrate the 90th birthday of one Frank Manning. This was Frankie XC - the ultimate dance party.
So what was it about? Well, it was about everything: There were evening dances every night on board and a final Saturday Night Party at The Italian American .Club in Hollywood, Florida.
When we weren't dancing, there were three chances to pop down to the huge Princess Theatre for various talks. There were two talks actually, one by Frankie and one by Norma Miller. The final event was a version of The Weakest Link, which started off as a fiasco, and soon became a complete debacle. But boy, was it funny!
There were classes every day at sea, and sometimes even after we got back on board from a shore trip. Seriously, they worked us really hard at times.
Talking of shore trips. we had three days to spend on the islands. These were St Thomas (and St John for some), St Maarten and St Martin (which turned out to be one island) and the water sports-themed Princess Cays.
There were so much going on that there was scarcely time to have a look round and about the Caribbean Princess. It is a magnificent vessel, and was sailing around the Caribbean for the first time this year.
Frankie XC: One man, two cakes and a hell of a lot of dancing.
ã July 2004 Andrew Winton.
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