Cruise Ship Auditions: How To Get One & Best Cruises To Work On

18th February 2022

Cruise Ship Auditions: How To Get One & Best Cruises To Work On
Georgia Carter

Georgia Carter

Do you want to perform on a cruise ship and to find cruise ship auditions, or you’ve just booked that role to perform for 6 months and need some advice? How do you get a cruise ships audition, how do you prepare and what are the best cruises to work on as a performer? We’ll give you the lowdown so keep reading. 

Did you know that Jennifer Hudson worked on a cruise ship before she got famous on American Idol and Kerry Ellis before landing the role in Wicked she would perform on cruise liners? You never know, that could be you!

cruise ships

How To Audition For A Cruise Ship?

Are you thinking “how can I find cruise ship entertainment auditions?” They will advertise for roles on their website, they may even hold open calls which you can audition for. 

It is wise to also check on Twitter or Instagram to see if cruise ships are hiring. Follow the big names and keep up-to-date. Do your research on the prospective company as you would for any on-shore gig/audition. 

cruise ship

Cruise ships can hire a variety of talent, ranging from musicians, dancers, acrobats, singers, DJs, comedy acts, magicians and the list goes on. Their contracts can last for anytime between 6-9 months, so you have to be committed. 

There can be some criteria they may ask of you before auditioning, like having strong technical training in some styles of dance or being able to sing or speak in another language. 

Some cruise liners may ask for an age range when auditioning, or if you are a singer, they could prefer a certain vocal range and great acting skills would be highly beneficial. 

If you land a cruise ship gig, you will be expected to rehearse before setting sail. These may vary but it will give you a chance to meet your fellow performers and the most important thing to remember is to be flexible and open to change like you would with any other job. I’m sure everybody has had more experience of having to adapt in the past few years and I’m sure we are all pros now.  

dancers in cruise ship auditions

Benefits Of Being A Cruise Ship Performer

Your room and board will be paid for, and you can use the amenities on the liner when not working, including the gym. You may even get certain benefits depending on the company after you have worked for them for a certain amount of time, which may include a retirement plan or free cruises in the future. 

You will also get to travel the world, and meet a whole variety of people in your job. 

You may be performing in more than one show in rep on the cruise ship, which gives you more of a chance to show off your skills.

There can be discounts for further expeditions and these could be free as a crew member as well. There is time to just take a break, away from the outside world and relax when you’re not working. We know how tough it may be to juggle jobs and audition for jobs, so on a cruise ship, you can just focus on the job and your well-being. You will be saving money too in the long run, whilst creating some truly unforgettable memories.


How To Prepare For A Cruise Ship Audition

The best way is to really hone your craft. If you sing, have those audition songs nailed, especially those belters if that is your thing or the dance choreography that you learned and have been going over again and again in the studio, make sure it is 100% so that you blow the casting director away and book that role at the cruise ship dancer audition. It is going to be easier for you if you can sing, act and dance as there will be more jobs available to you, and remember you are there to entertain. If you are a comic, really think about the audience and what sort of set you will be performing each night. The better you know your material and can tweak it to the audience watching your show, the more praise you will get. 

Best Cruises For Performers

Now, you ask how do I audition for cruise ships, what are the best ones? 

The following liner companies are the cream of the crop!

  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Holland America Line
  • Princess Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • AIDA Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Marella Cruises
  • Crystal Cruises

If you book a role with any of these cruise liners, then your career as a cruise ship performer is set. They may vary in types of entertainment, so of course, a Disney cruise may not be the same as a Norwegian Cruise Line, but the best way to find out what works for you is to explore each company and get your foot in the door. You can achieve your lifelong dream of being a cruise ship performer and sailing on the open seas giving it your best Tina Turner or Cinderella! 

cruise ship auditions

How Much Do Cruise Ship Entertainers Make? 

Production cast members can earn up to $700 per week and vocalists can earn up to $1,000 per week. It can be more for headliners, but it has to be said that as a cruise ship entertainer, you can earn a considerable amount of money – start paying off those debts fast! Also, productions have really made their mark in the cruise ship entertainment industry and even begun putting on Broadway and Broadway-level productions.  

What Are The Second City Cruise Ship Auditions? 

The Second City is an ever-growing US company where diversity is the beating heart. They welcome performers from every economic and cultural background, orientation, ethnicity, and points of view. It is essential to them that BIPOC, Latinx, APIMEDA, and LGBTQIA+ communities, persons with disabilities all feel respected and welcome. 

A well-known alumni of The Second City is Cecily Strong, who you may know from SNL. She graduated from The Second City Training Center’s Conservatory Program, was then hired by Second City Theatricals, and after touring with the theater aboard Norwegian Cruise Line. And the rest is history. Why not follow in her footsteps and find courses in Chicago, Hollywood, and Toronto? 

cruise ship


That’s all folks and I hope you have learned a lot about how to audition for cruise ships and we’ll see you on the high seas. They can be the springboard for future work and you can meet so many incredible people during the experience.

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