How Do I Become a Cruise Ship Entertainer?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 May 2019
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To become a cruise ship entertainer, you need to develop your talent such that people will be willing to hire you to perform. As an entertainment professional, you should develop your resume, have professional photographs taken, and produce a high-quality recording of your work. Depending on the cruise line, you may need to work with a concession service that hires and manages the talent on board the cruise ship, or you may work with the cruise line directly. Also monitor the casting calls and want ads in entertainment industry publications as well as cruise line websites.

The entertainment industry is extremely competitive. Before you become a cruise ship entertainer, you need to have a realistic understanding of your own talent. If you have a coach, teacher, or mentor, ask her if she thinks you are ready to begin working professionally. Many cruise ships will want you to have some experience as a performer before they hire you. Be prepared for cruise ship recruiters to ask for head shots and recordings of your performances. You should also ensure that you have a valid passport.


As you begin your search for work, visit the websites of various cruise lines and look in their career section for information on how you can become a cruise ship entertainer for their line. Be prepared to be referred to an outside vendor who has a contract with the ship to provide entertainment. A recruiter for either the cruise line or the third-party vendor can let you know if there are open positions and how to go about scheduling an audition. If you already have management, your manager is typically in a better position to negotiate work on a cruise line on your behalf.

Depending on the policies of individual cruise lines, when you become a cruise ship entertainer, you may also be required to assume other on-board, general-staff duties. For example, while you may be performing in cruise ship productions in the evening, you may be asked to assist with various passenger activities during the day. For example, you may be asked to lead arts and crafts sessions, call bingo and horse racing games, or serve as an emcee or guest lecturer. If you are not willing to take on these other non-entertainment duties, you may not be able to be a cruise ship entertainer until you have established your career and can be hired solely on the merits of your performance skills.



Discuss this Article

Post 4

When my wife and I took a cruise a few years ago, we became friends with one of the cruise ship entertainers. I asked him how he got the job, and he said his agent arranged for an audition with a cruise ship activities director. The cruise line was looking for entertainers who did middle-of-the-road material, like magicians or ventriloquists or lounge singers. Stand-up comedians with PG-13 material were also in demand as opening acts.

He said working on a cruise ship wasn't as glamorous as it sounded, because he had to share a very cramped cabin with another performer. They usually had to perform other duties during the day, like host parties and direct group games. He said the best part of the job was enjoying a lot of the same amenities as guests, like the buffet meals and sightseeing tours.

Post 3

A friend of mine's daughter recently starting working on a cruise ship as part of a dance team. Her team had won a lot of regional competitions last year and caught the attention of a cruise ship talent agent. The entire team was invited to cruise ship dance auditions held in New York City, and they were deemed the best. I think it helps to be part of a larger ensemble if you really want to get considered as a cruise ship entertainer.

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