Welcome the first in a series of reports about entertaining on cruise ships…

When Bobbie and I committed to giving you the “Truth of Working Cruise Ships” we were excited to do so. After all, combined Bobbie and I have around 1500 weeks of cruising between us. What subject would be easier for us to write the truth about?

Then we sat down to write the aforementioned truth, and we started to consider what that means: TRUTH. The dictionary says that truth is, “Being in accordance with the actual state of affairs, conformable to an essential reality.” That seems pretty concrete. Something is either true or it’s not. Right?

Well, not so fast. In this case what is true for one person may not be for another. “Truth”, for the entertainer working at sea, may be a little more fluid than concrete.

For some, ourselves included, working on board luxury cruise ships may be about the most perfect job in the entire world. Hands down the best of everything, the best theatres you could hope for, the best in food, travel, glamor and darn good pay.

For others, working on a cruise ship is way too confining. It’s a gilded cage. There are far too many people watching your act, grading and reporting about you to the upper brass that have too much say in your success.

What’s that? You want us to dish out all the dirt about cruise ship entertaining? It can’t all be beaches and Mai Tai’s can it? Okay, okay, you got us! To give you the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we will explore the good and the bad from every angle. We will try to be as objective as possible, but in the interest of full disclosure; as a couple and individually we have over 50 years experience at sea.  We really love it and might be a little biased toward how great it is.


Yes, a lot of it really is Mai Tai’s and beaches. Cruise ships go to ports during “season.” This means that a ship will avoid the Caribbean during hurricane season and avoid Alaska during the middle of winter. They tend to follow the sun.  

Cruise lines sail to the places passengers are willing to pay to travel.  In high demand are destinations with tropical beaches.  Sun and sand between your toes.  Cruise ships were designed to truly get away from the stress of daily life, so as a Guest Entertainer you too are enjoying Guest privileges, Guest Ports of Call and almost all Guest Amenities.  All your meals are free, they are cooked for you and you never have to do the dishes. Your bed is made for you every day; someone else takes out the trash for you; they stock your bathroom with fresh linens. You travel to beautiful places every day and are often treated like a celebrity by the guests and sometimes the crew. You are paid to do what you love and you are expected to work only a couple of hours a week. It is a constant vacation. What’s not to like? To Love?

The TRUTH is that even vacation can get old.  For many people being confined to a small cabin week after week can start to feel like a prison.  It might be luxurious; but it is still a prison. Even though you don’t work all the time you are “at work,” 24 hours a day seven days a week. You are somewhat cut off from friends and family. Communication with the outside world is difficult at times; it can feel isolating. You can’t just get in your car and drive to the store or get your favorite pizza. You’re on someone else’s schedule; there are rules, regulations and international laws which must be followed. Should you have a weakness for alcohol, you may be in a very dangerous situation. There is a bar in almost every public room with waiters ready to keep your glass full. These factors can make it unappealing to some people.

Living on a cruise ship is a pretty severe lifestyle change. Of course, most all of it is great. Who wouldn’t want to live on a floating paradise waking up in new countries every day? Clearly, we love it, will you?

In our next article we will look at the biggest stressor in the world of a cruise ship performer. Watch for the email!