Cruise Line Entertainer Jobs
Entertainer jobs at sea are a lot like land-based entertainer jobs. The big difference is that instead of packing your things and going home after the gig, you’re staying on the ship (unless you’re working on a local harbor cruise). A large number of cruise ship entertainers perform on stage with shows varying from dancing and singing to comedy acts and magic. Entertainment jobs on a cruise ship are almost entirely contract positions, meaning that you work for a specified amount of time onboard.
Depending on your contract, you might only work for one show, or you might book a contract for six months or more. It is practically impossible to determine how long your contract on a cruise ship will last since the type of entertainers that are hired and booked on cruise liners vary from ship to ship.
Cruise lines look for general public appeal when hiring acts. This means finding entertainment onboard that will satisfy the clientele attending the show. If a cruise line is featuring travelers from an older demographic for example, they might hire a more mature comedian. However, entertainers working for Disney Cruise Line would have to cater performances towards children. This is one reason why an entertainer might only be booked for a few shows – to appeal to a specific demographic.
Keep in mind that entertainment jobs on a cruise ship are very competitive. Entertainment directors receive up to twenty media packs (taped audition materials, photos, profiles, and background information) daily. Therefore, those with a highly professional act stand the best chance of landing a job. Often times those auditioning will be up against professional singers and dancers. It isn’t uncommon to see a professional audition for a gig performing on a cruise ship. Auditions are the standard approach for finding singers, dancers and other guest performers.
Comedians who are applying need good material for three, thirty-minute sets and vocalists need a proven routine with music.
Cruise lines are willing to work with talent and fit entertainers into their programming schedule so again, your contract is likely to vary from ship to ship. Some cruise lines and concessionaire companies travel around the country auditioning talent, so it’s a good idea to periodically check to see if talent scouts are going to be in you area. Entertainers are also advised to document their acts on DVD and send it to entertainment directors or concessionaires as part of their media packs. And, hey, if you’re going to put all of this stuff together, you may as well look into American Idol auditions too!
Pay varies tremendously. The standard salary for a performer on a cruise ship depends on the type of performance, your experience, the length of your contract, and cruise liner you will be working for. Generally speaking stage performers make anywhere from $1,600 to as much as $4,000 a month for feature performances. In a few cases, entertainers do not receive a salary at all but are instead given free passage in a deluxe stateroom in return for performing.