Cruise Ship Entertainment: All At Sea
By Katie Hurrey
The cruise ship industry is a billion dollar industry and, with over twenty million guests sailing worldwide throughout the year, the opportunity to perform for large captive audiences on a nightly basis can be an exhilarating prospect!
Entertainment is playing an increasingly large role in marketing particular ships and itineraries and over the last few years, old-fashioned revue shows have been phased out and replaced with diverse cutting edge productions from Cirque du Soleil and Broadway to contemporary concert, rock and burlesque shows.
New ships are being constructed all the time, and their brand new theatres boast state of the art technical systems rivalling those of their older land-based counterparts, and delivering awe-inspiring visual effects, lighting rigs, moving stages and sophisticated sound.
Every cruise ship is on a constant quest to find talented performers to show off these technically advanced theatres.
Royal Caribbean alone casts over one thousand singers, dancers, high divers and acrobats every year along with character performers and around one hundred figure skaters.
Long gone is the idea that singing and dancing on a cruise ship is an easy step-touch gig, and agents are no longer discouraging their clients from sailing away for a few months at a time.
While a Broadway production contract may remain the coveted prize in terms of earning power, many cruise lines offer a competitive salary with no rent or food costs; bonuses for aerial work, being dance captain or looking after the costumes and wigs; and there are always part-time side jobs available to provide top-up earning potential.
If you don’t spend all your earnings at the bar, you can enjoy a contract of sightseeing and meals on land (any opportunity to eat something other than ship food every day for months on end!) and still bring home enough to get on the property ladder.
So, should you audition?! There’s no denying that life on a ship can be one big party – visiting Caribbean beaches or historical Mayan ruins by day, performing a show and hitting the crew bar at night – but is it for everyone? Living in close quarters can be challenging, most cabins are double occupancy and are getting smaller as the vessels get larger.
I have fond memories of boarding one brand new ship and giggling my way through moving in with my roommate trying to find space for our possessions tetris style, while down the hall, one of our cast mates was having an emotional meltdown at the lack of personal space.
It was her first contract, and yes, she signed a second… The famous last words “I’m only doing one contract” have been proved untrue on more occasions than I can count. If you fancy sailing the world with few responsibilities while doing what you love to do, cruise lines present some great opportunities.
Lifelong friendships are forged and since virtually every nationality is represented amongst the crew, you’ll have places to stay in all corners of the globe!
While finding lust in the crew bar is certainly more prevalent than finding love, many of my married friends met on the ocean….so set sail and find your love boat, or simply enjoy the romance of exploring the world.