Entertainment onboard cruise ships vary between cruise lines, yet many of the types of cruise jobs are similar. Entertainment starts with daily activities for guests of all ages and continues into the evening with entertainment featured in onboard theaters, lounges and bars. Although some cruise lines recruit their own entertainment staff, some jobs are recruited through entertainment agencies.
Entertainment Jobs on Cruise Ships
Here is a list of most of the cruise jobs within the entertainment department. Depending on the cruise line, these jobs may be recruited in-house or through an entertainment agency.
Assistant Cruise Director
Show Band Musician
How Entertainment Agencies Work
Although many job seekers are able to find an entertainment job on a cruise ship by applying directing through a cruise line, there is another way, too. Being represented by an entertainment agency can be helpful in finding a job on a cruise ship. The agency can find auditions, submit your resume and promo materials, and basically do some of the leg work in finding a cruise job for you.
Some entertainment agencies only represent entertainers such as comedians, variety bands, cocktail piano performer and other musical acts. Other agencies provide representation to production singers and dancers and are helpful to the candidate in finding upcoming auditions.
Keep in mind that job-seekers should not pay fees upfront for representation or “audition fees”. Instead, legit entertainment or talent agencies charge a percentage of your wages once you are working.
Tips on Applying for Entertainment Cruise Jobs
Whether you apply direct with a cruise line or use an entertainment agency, you must know how to promote yourself. Your application package should include at the very least a cover letter, resume, head shot, and promotional materials. How well you exceed the expectations of the hiring manager will depend on how well you present yourself.
When attending a live audition give the recruiter what they want. If the cruise line’s website states what they expect you to wear, wear it. Come prepared with copies of your application package and promotional materials. Show up on time means confirming the location and requirements ahead of time, making sure you know where to park, etc.
Consider the big cruise lines that recruit their entertainment staff in-house. Use this as a template for what other agencies want to see. For example, Royal Caribbean’s entertainment website has a “Submit Talent Information” launch form. In case an applicant is unable to attend a live audition, they can apply online. Sample fields to complete include the following:
1. Choose a position (“Talent Discipline”) to apply for
2. Include an URL link to a talent video
3. Upload two different head shots
4. Upload a Resume and Cover Letter
Alternatively, Siletto Entertainment, the entertainment agency for Holland America gives a bit more detail on how to put together a video audition. For example, they remind applicants to state their name and the city they are from at the beginning of the video and also to explain why they want to work on a cruise ship.
Entertainment jobs are more than just the technical side of the performance. Of course, recruiters want to make sure that the applicant can sing, dance or play an instrument as they are hired to do. But, above that, recruiters want to hear that you sound cheerful and charismatic rather than boring and mono-toned. They want to be sure you will be a good fit to work on a cruise ship.