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Make money and travel the world on cruise ships with your voice, Part 2 of 2

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BLACKBURN INTERNATIONAL UK LTD. Suite B 26 Craven Court Stanhope Rd. Camberley Surrey GU15 3BS United Kingdom Tel. 01276 686661, 01276 686662, 01276 685534 Fax: 01276 681415 Website: http://www.blackburninternational.com/

One of the oldest established cruise booking agencies, with more than 50 specialised cabaret acts plus bands and groups working on top cruise ships. The company also provides production shows, most recently on Holland America's flagship Rotterdam, when seven different productions were mounted for the world cruise. Veteran booker Allan Blackburn can be found at the head office in Monte Carlo. His son Jonathan, himself an experienced cruise director, is based at the English office.

BROADWAY BOUND INC
830 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York City, NY 10003, USA
Tel. 212-674-8631
Fax 212-475-1567

Office hours are Monday through Friday 10a-6p EST

Email: castingcoordinator@broadwayboundinc.com
questions@broadwayboundinc.com
Website: http://www.broadwayboundinc.com/

American company supplying artists and production shows to leading cruise lines.

CHANCERY CRUISING
2-3 Cursitor Street, Chancery Lane, London EC4A 1NE, UK
Tel: 020 7405 7056
Fax: 020 7405 0903
Email: holborn@dial.pipex.com
Website: http://www.chancerycruising.com/

London company which specialises in jazz and big band cruises, using ships at the top end of the market from lines such as Holland America and Cunard.

IAN CLARK ENTERTAINMENTS
20 Blackwall Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 0NU,UK
Tel: 01233 63 5422

Agency based in Ashford, Kent, which has long specialised in ferry entertainment, the main clients being Brittany Ferries and P&O Stena Line Irish Ferries. The Brittany Ferries vessels carry a full entertainment team, including vocalists, bands, children's entertainers and magic acts and this year sees the arrival of the largest ferry in the fleet, Mont St Michel. There is a surprising amount of entertainment on the Irish crossings, including duos, trios and vocalists and, interestingly, tribute bands.

CRUISING MUSICALS CONSORTIUM
Suite 3, Waldorf Chambers, 11 Aldwych, London WC2B 4DG, UK

New company founded by noted theatre producers Paul Elliott and Chris Moreno aimed at the cruise market. Currently has a range of shows aboard Oriana and Aurora, two ships in the P&O Cruises fleet.

HIRE NOTES
Email: castinghirenotes@aol.com

Full service production company with offices in Las Vegas and Orlando specialising in live entertainment for the cruise ship industry. Clients include Disney Cruise Line, NYK (Japan), Japan Cruise Line and Holland America. Also supplies bands and individual musicians, musical arrangements and soundtrack production. Its staff includes a full-time choreographer, Gail Davies-Sigler, costume designer Adolf Von Spee, scenic designer Pieter Grove and musical director Robert Sigler.

ROGER KENDRICK CRUISE ENTERTAINMENTS
6 Orchard Road, St Annes on Sea, Lancashire FY8 1RY, UK
Tel: 01253 726046

Roger Kendrick has concentrated on booking cruise entertainment ever since he came ashore 25 years ago after working for cruise lines as a bandleader. Based in St Annes, near Blackpool, he is a major supplier of musicians and acts for Royal Olympic and Costa Lines. The international nature of the industry means that he has associates in most European countries.

KEY SIGNATURE INTERNATIONAL
Key Signature International, Suite 550, Andover House, George Yard, Andover, Hampshire SP10 1PB.
Telephone (+44) 01264 335344
Fax: 01264 351353
Email: piano@keysignature.co.uk
Website: http://www.keysignature.co.uk/

Andover music agency operated by Stephen Warnett, himself on the ships for a number of years. Supplies solo pianists and reading musicians to most of the cruise lines, and reports a neverending demand.

Mike Maloney Entertainment, LLC
Mr. Mike Maloney
P.O. Box 371059
Las Vegas, Nevada 89137, U.S.A.
Tel. 702/243-7456
Email: mmec@mmec.com
Website: http://www.mmec.com/

This agent hires mostly guest bands for a number of cruise lines (Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises) and also books for even better paid hotel gigs in the Far East.

Garry Brown Associates, Ltd.
Mr. Garry Brown
Chairman/Chief Executive
Garry Brown Associates, Ltd.
27 Downs Side
Cheam, Surrey, England SM2 7EH
Tel. 020 8643 3991, 8643 8375, Fax: 020 8770 7241
Email: gbaltd@compuserve.com

This agency hires showband musicians, solo pianists, guest bands, dancers, magicians, jugglers and variety acts for a number of cruise lines and also for major international hotel chains.

Showmasters Entertainment
Mr. Larry Harmon
Showmasters Entertainment
31740 Elders Mill Road Senoia, GA 30276, U.S.A.

This agency hires entertainment personnel for various cruise lines.

Big Beat Productions
1515 University Drive, Suite 108 A
Coral Springs, FL 33071, U.S.A.
Tel. 954/755-7759, Fax: 954/ 755-8733
Emails: talent@bigbeatproductions.com
rlloyd@bigbeatproductions.com
gladka@bigbeatproductions.com
nyousefi@bigbeatproductions.com
msmiley@bigbeatproductions.com
Website: http://www.bigbeatproductions.com/

This agency is booking solo acts, specialty acts, comediants and musicians for several cruise lines.

GARY PARKES MUSIC
172 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 2AT, UK
Tel: 020 7794 1581
Fax 020 7431 5537
Email gary@garyparkes.com
Website: http://www.garyparkes.com/

Agency run by a musician with many years cruising experience. Books solo pianists, duos and trios for cruise work and is now looking for classical musicians for Cunard.

PARTNERSHIP EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
39-41 Devonshire Street, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD21 2BH, UK
Tel: 01535 690707

Fast-growing company based in Keighley, originally creating events for stately homes, museums and the like but now very much involved in the cruise market. The company, headed by Martin Pearson and Susannah Daley, specialises in creating themes for cruises, not merely shows but special events, liaising very closely with the cruise company, devising theme nights, producing shows, selecting cruise directors, visiting acts, children's entertainers and musicians. Festival Cruises has entrusted the entertainment programme aboard European Vision to Partnership Events and Entertainment, which has 45 staff onboard.

Don Casino Productions
Don Casino Productions
20880 West Dixie Hwy.
Suite 105
Miami, FL. 33180
Tel. (305) 931 7552
Fax: (305) 931 7553
Email:info@doncasino.com
website: www.doncasino.com

This agency contracts novelty acts, solo acts, comediants and musicians for various cruise lines.

Greg Thompson Productions
Greg Thompson Productions
Attn: Connie Corrick
921 Elliot Avenue W.
Seattle, WA. 98119, U.S.A.
Tel. 206/281-0885
Email: casting@gregthompsonproductions.com

Singers

PERFORMANCE SKILLS:

Dancer:_________

(types)_______________________________________

Singer:_________

(type/range)__________________________________

Act:________

(type)________________________________________

INFORMATION RECEIVED VIA E-MAIL:

casting@gregthompsonproductions.com

Resume __________ Picture__________

INFORMATION RECEIVED VIA MAIL:

Audition / Casting Information

(Print and send in with your audition materials)

PERSONAL:

Name:_________________________ Phone: (Home)_____________

Address:_______________________ (Work)______________

Street Number

____________________________

City, State, Zip

Height:_______ Weight:_______ Citizenship:______________

Dancers

Current photos. Include a full body and a head shot. If you do not have professional photos, snap shots are acceptable. Please label each photo with name and phone number.

Current resume with dates and references.

Audition video of you performing a strong jazz combination. Include double or triple pirouettes on each side, kicks to show flexibility, strong arms and contemporary movements to show style. If you also tap, do adagio or acro, sing, etc., you can include this on the end of the tape.

Videotapes need to be labeled with location and date. Include a close-up shot of your face stating clearly: name, address, area code and phone number, weight and height (next to a tape measure if available). Pull out to a full body shot with no extra clothing wrapped around the waist (i.e. sweatshirts). Also, no baggy clothing. The idea is to see what body type the performer has. Female dancers should wear character shoes. Perform 2-3 combinations. Please check the tape before sending it in to make sure everything is clear. Footage can be of previous show work as long as you write out a position by position description of where you are (i.e. "I'm the girl in the pink hat who enters from stage left and then dances with the guy in the blue jacket.").

PERFORMANCE SKILLS:

Dancer:_________

(types)_______________________________________

Singer:_________

(type/range)__________________________________

Act:________

(type)________________________________________

INFORMATION RECEIVED VIA E-MAIL:

casting@gregthompsonproductions.com

Resume __________ Picture__________

INFORMATION RECEIVED VIA MAIL:

Audition / Casting Information

(Print and send in with your audition materials)

PERSONAL:

Name:_________________________ Phone: (Home)_____________

Address:_______________________ (Work)______________

Street Number

____________________________

City, State, Zip

Height:_______ Weight:_______ Citizenship:______________

This contact is producing shows and booking entertainment for the cruise industry.

SHOWBIZ INTERNATIONAL
Rossall Point, 83 Princes Way, Fleetwood, nr Blackpool, Lancashire FY7 8DX, UK
Tel: 01253 771000
Fax: 01253 777711
Email: showbizinternational@btinternet.com

A cruising consultancy, now in its eighth year, in Fleetwood run by John and Carol Crossley, who between them have spent 35 years working on cruise ships. They supply speciality acts and musicians to several lines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines, and are always on the lookout for solo pianist/singers.

PETER GREY TERHUNE PRESENTS
PGT Entertainment
P.O. Box 715, Cape Canaveral, FL. 32920, USA
Tel: 321 4532313 ext 15
Fax: 321 4536511
Email: info@pgtpi.com
Website: http://www.pgtpi.com/

Auditioning for new talent is an ongoing process for PGT Entertainment, and each year the production organization holds open auditions in locations worldwide including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London and Milano.

For further information please contact Casting Director, Emmett Murphy at casting@pgtpi.com

Auditions

PGT Entertainment, a Florida based production company, is casting for singers and dancers for casino, touring and luxury cruise ship production shows in various cities and popular audition theater conferences year round. Additionally, a private audition can be scheduled at the PGT Entertainment headquarters if you are visiting the Florida area.

SEEKING: Excellent, attractive and versatile singers with the ability to sing Broadway, pop/rock and classical styles. Also seeking: attractive male and female dancers with strong technique in ballet, theater, jazz and tap. Height requirements: Females 53"-59" Males 59-63". Competitive salary.

BRING: Please bring a photo, resume. Singers: 16 bars of several contrasting pieces of sheet music. Accompanist provided. Dancers: Please wear appropriate dance attire and shoes. Female dancers should wear character shoes; no black leggings, skirts or baggy clothing.

Audition Submissions

In order for PGT Entertainment to consider you for employment, you must attend a live audition or submit demo material (not by email).

VIDEO/DVD/CDV/CD SUBMISSIONS

"Thank you so much for your interest in PGT Entertainment. Although live auditions are preferred, we do realize that they are not always possible. PGT Entertainment accepts submissions of demo material (not by email). Personally, I get the most information from a video taped performance edited down to 4-8 minutes. As PGT Entertainment produces revue shows encompass various styles of music, song and dance, please reflect this in the material that you are submitting. If a video taped performance is not possible, please submit any type of material that best shows your talent, skill, versatility and performance ability. In addition, please include at least the following with your packet.

-Headshot or photograph. Photographs that include your body are always helpful.

-Resume

-Talent ability. (Example Dancer: Ballet, Acro, Tap and Jazz or SINGER: Tenor:G ­ B flat)

-Complete and permanent contact information (VERY IMPORTANT)

-A cover letter explaining what you are interested in, availability and special skills or requirements.

The more you can submit, the more clearly PGT Entertainment can clearly see who you are and what you do. This is often the deciding factor when it comes to casting from a submission. Please be aware that all of the material that you submit will not be returned to you.

Always stay in touch with PGT Entertainment. In the months (or years) to come, let us know what you are up to. This communication will help keep your file active. A quick phone call, post card or email is sufficient. It is often the most persistent people who get cast!

Thank you so much and I wish you the very best with your search."

Emmett Murphy,
Casting Director
SINGERS ­ SINGERS/DANCERS

PGT Entertainment is looking for excellent singers that can handle and understand VARIED STYLES OF SINGING.

At least 2 varied and contrasting selections of each:

Broadway. For example: Oklahoma & Hairspray
Pop. For example: 50's & Elton John

Classical or Opera (if this is appropriate to your training). For example Josh Groban & Verdi / Sarah Brightman & Mozart

It is not necessary to sing the entire song but do display the money notes. Be sure I can hear your range from top to bottom. When possible, use actual show clips, which will help me, determine your performance ability.

PGT Entertainment produces shows that vary in style (broadway, pop, opera, swing). When choosing and performing material, please be sure to display as much appropriate style in each song as you can.

All singers are actual Leads and Ensemble singers. If possible, please include a selection that shows SATB, trio, and/or duet styles.

All of our singers must move well or in some cases dance. It is helpful to see you your skill level. Actual show clips would be very beneficial.

DANCERS

Please emphasize Jazz (include Swing & Tap) and Ballet. Please use as little hip-hop as possible.

Please include any demonstration of your technique turns, leaps, Russians, splits, and extension. Any acrobatics or specialties are important to include.

Please wear dance clothing that shows your body in the most flattering way. No black leggings, if possible.

All dancers will do some partnering which will include lifts.

If your tape includes show clips with others onstage, please include a note identifying where you are on the stage.

An American company, based in Florida, which presents classy productions for up-market cruise lines, notably Radisson Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises. Cast units vary in size from four to 14, always with a vocal quartet at its core. For that reason the company is always looking for singers who can move well, dancers who can also sing and dancers who do not sing. Casts assemble in Cocoa, Florida for three to six weeks rehearsal, then join a ship for a six-month period. Many of the performers are recruited through auditions held in London.

VALENTINE PRODUCTIONS
51 Wern Goch, Llanederyn, Cardiff CF23 7AB
Tel/fax: 029 20 311 476
Email: valentineprod@ntlworld.com

Formed in 2000 by former dancer/choreographer Catherine John. Supplies exclusively to Mediterranean Shipping Company but books dancers and performers for several cruise lines.

The Working Vacation, Inc.
Specialized in recruiting gentlemen dance hosts, presenters, lecturers, dance instructors, religious services.
Lauretta Blake The Working Vacation® Inc.
12544 West 159 Street
Lockport, Illinois 60441 USA
Phone: 708-301-7535
Fax: 708-301-6202
Corporate Office - California

Administrative Office - Illinois

If you would like to be considered as a candidate for The Gentlemen Host® Program, please, fill in the application request form at:

http://www.theworkingvacation.com/text/info_request.html

Questions about presenters, lecturers and dance instructors aboard cruise ships can be answered by emailing:

trish@theworkingvacation.com

General questions can be answered by emailing:

info@theworkingvacation.com

Elite Artiste Management Ltd.

READING MUSICIANS: Piano/MD, Electric Bass, Drums, Guitar, Saxes (Alt, Ten, & Sop), Keyboard/Synth: Click track experience and excellent sight reading required for contracts throughout the year.

LOUNGE BANDS & ARTISTES: Cocktail Trios/Quartets - strict tempo, standards, 2 vocal minimum required Contemporary Quartets/Quintets - 50s, 60s, through to Top 40 dance, contemporary standards, 2 vocal minimum required Duos - Piano/Keyboard based, cocktail music to contemporary, 2 vocals required.

SOLO PIANO/VOCALISTS - sing-a-longs, cocktail music, memorised repertoire ranging from standards to contemporary and SOLO COCKTAIL PIANISTS - similar memorised repertoire.

LIGHT CLASSICAL TRIOS - Piano, Double Bass, Violin, repertoire ranging from popular light classical pieces, show tunes, and contemporary standards.

Elite Artiste Management Ltd.
2, Fieldsway House
Fieldway Crescent
London
N5 1QA
UK
Tel. +44 (0)207 619 0220
Fax: +44 (0)207 619 0330

Email: info@elite-artistes.com
Website: http://www.elite-artistes.com/

Ellie Jay Entertainment Consultants
53 Theobald Street,
Borehamwood,
Hertfordshire
WD6 4RT UK
Telephone: 0800 833136

ESI Entertainment
Kurt Glenn
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Tel: 952.470.9000
Email: kurt@esientertainment.com

First Class Entertainment, Inc.

First Class Entertainment, Inc., is a full service entertainment agency specializing in event planning for corporate events, cruise ship entertainment, casino and resort attractions and more. FCE offers performing artist representation and personal management.

All entertainers who would like to be considered for representation should send the following:

  • VHS Video Tape (in NTSC format only)
  • Photo (8 in. x 10 in.)
  • Bio and/or Resume
  • Song List (If musical performer)
  • CD/Cassette (If musical performer)

Mail to:

FIRST CLASS ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
New Talent Department
483 Ridgewood Road
Maplewood, NJ 07040-2136
USA
Tel. (973) 763-0591, Fax: (973) 763-0570,
e-mail talent@gotofirstclass.com
Website: http://www.gotofirstclass.com

Live Business Grosvenor Productions

SOLO VOCAL ENTERTAINER (with instrument)

Playing either piano, keyboards or guitar Lounge entertainers working with backing tracks or midi files. Must have comprehensive repertoire covering standards, easy-listening and pop from all eras (a minimum of two hundred songs is required)

VOCAL/INSTRUMENTAL DUO

As above Boy/Girl line-ups, both with vocals ideally featuring some ballroom selections.

4/5 PIECE BAND

An entertaining, versatile and exciting live band featuring male & female vocals and good BVs. A large pad is essential covering themed deck parties, 60s, 70s, C&W, R&R also lounge and easy listening sets.

SOLO VOCAL ENTERTAINER

Working with own tracks or live band. A quality voice and endearing personality with a comprehensive repertoire of standards and current pop to work as opening act for theatre production shows and various other rooms around the ship.

Please note that references are required for the above positions.

Please send info to:

Peter Chittenden,
Music Department,
Live Business Grosvenor Productions,
6 Calico Row, Plantation Wharf,
London, SW11 3UF, UK
Tel: 020 7924 5550 | Email: info@livebusiness.co.uk 

They also hire:

Singers/Dancers - Email: info@livebusiness.co.uk , Subject: Job Title: Singer/Dancer. (Please attach a recent photograph).

Cruise Host/Light Entertainer - Email: info@livebusiness.co.uk Subject: Job Title: Cruise Host/Light Entertainer. (Please attach a recent photograph).

DJ-s - Email: info@livebusiness.co.uk , Subject: Job Title: DJ

Stage Technician - Email: info@livebusiness.co.uk , Subject: Job Title: Stage Techician.

Cruise Director/Entertainment Manager - Email: info@livebusiness.co.uk , Subject: Job Title: .Cruise Director/Entertainment Manager (Please attach a recent photograph).

Solo Act - Email: info@livebusiness.co.uk , Subject: Job Title: Solo Act. (Please attach a recent photograph).

Band or Musician - Email: info@livebusiness.co.uk , Subject: Job Title: Band or Musician. (Please attach a recent photograph).

Don't forget to attach

your CV in PDF or Word 97 format.

INTERNATIONAL CRUISE SERVICES
36 MIDLOTHIAN DRIVE
GLASGOW
G41 3QU
SCOTLAND
Tel: (44) 141 649 8644
Fax: (44) 141 636 1016
WEBSITE: http://www.cruiseservices.co.uk/

This agency hires:

ART ACTIONEERS, CRUISE DIRECTORS, ASSISTANT CRUISE DIRECTORS, CRUISE STAFF, DANCERS AND SINGERS, CHOREOGRAPHERS,

DISC JOCKEYS, GENTLEMAN HOSTS, INTERNATIONAL HOSTS, LIGHTING AND SOUND TECHNICIANS, LOUNGE GROUPS, PORT LECTURER,

STAGE/PRODUCTION MANAGERS, ASSISTANT STAGE/ PRODUCTION MANAGERS, SOCIAL HOSTESSES, SPECIALIITY ACTS.

Key Signature International
Suite 550, Andover House
George Yard
Andover
Hampshire SP10 1PB, UK
Telephone: (+44) 01264 335344
Email: piano@keysignature.co.uk ; Subject: Cruise Ship Guidelines

This agency hires musicians, solo vocalists and tribute acts.

You could also fill in their online application form: http://www.keysignature.co.uk/musoform.php

KMC Agencies
P.O BOX 122,
48 Great Ancoats Street,
Manchester, M4 5AB
Tel. +44 (0) 161 237 3009
Fax: +44 (0) 161 237 9812
e: info@kmcagencies.co.uk
e: castings@kmcagencies.co.uk

This agency hires dancers.

Maritime Leisure Group
The Lloyd's Building
1 Lime Street
London EC3M 7HA, UK
Tel: 0207 929 5533, Fax: 0207 929 5534
Email: personnel@maritimeleisure.com
Website: http://www.maritimeleisure.com/

Mondiale Entertainment
47 Sonning Way
Glen Parva
Leicester
LE2 9RU. England
Tel: 00 34 659 546 295
Fax: 0044 (0) 116 2332775
Email: info@mondiale-entertainment.com
Website: http://www.mondiale-entertainment.com/

Sixth Star Entertainment & Marketing
Attn: Outreach Dept.
21 NW 5th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, U.S.A.
Tel. (954) 462-6760
Fax: (954) 462-0737
Email: info@sixthstar.com
Website: http://www.sixthstar.com/

This agency hires for the following positions:

  • Art Auctioneer
  • Asst./Deputy Cruise Director
  • Cruise Director
  • Disc Jockey
  • Guest Communicator (Desktop Publishing) - Disney Cruise Line
  • Headline Entertainers
  • International Host/Hostess
  • Musicians - Showband, Solo Acts, Duos & Groups
  • International Host/Hostess
  • Production Cast Members - Singers & Dancers
  • Port/Shopping Speaker
  • Social Host/Hostess
  • Technical Staff - Broadcast, Stage, Sound & Lights

Pepperpot Promotions
Suite 20b, 20-22 Orde Hall Street,
Holborn, London WC1N 3JW, UK
Tel: 020 7405 9108
Email: chris@pepperpot.co.uk
Website: http://www.pepperpot.co.uk/

Showbiz International Cruising Ltd.
Rossall Point Fleetwood,
83 Princes Way,
Nr Blackpool,
Lancashire.
FY7 8DX UK
Telephone : 01253 777711
Fax: 01253 773358

How to negotiate your first contract

Let's say that you have already passed the job interview with a cruise line personnel department or a concession (subcontractor) and it is time to sign your contract. Usually there is not very much room for negotiations in terms of salary, choosing a particular ship or itinerary when you sign your first contract and most likely you would be very excited that you have been offered the job and anxious to join the ship as soon, as possible. That's OK, but you could do certain amount of home work in advance and definitely clarify some important conditions (these points are highlighted in red further on). A very important clue for whether you have any space for negotiations or not, is how soon the cruise line calls you for an interview after you apply for the job and how soon you are offered the position after the interview. In case the whole process takes not more than 10-15 days, that is a good indication that the cruise line badly needs personnel for this position at the moment and you could have some room for negotiations. In any case, be cautious and reasonable. Do not forget that everybody is replaceable and there could be some other applicants, as well.

1. Ask precisely what kind of privileges you will be entitled to once you join the ship. Onboard privileges vary depending on your position, rank, department and sometimes on the cruise line.

Are you going to be able to go to passenger area on the ship when not on duty?

Can you use certain passenger food facilities (buffet, pizzeria, bistro, restaurants) or you would have to use the crew/staff mess only? The word "mess" is a nautical term for the "crew dining room", usually that place is OK, but on some ships it could be quite messy

Can you use some other passenger facilities like gym (there is a crew gym, as well), swimming pools (most of the ships have a crew pool), sauna? Passenger facilities are always better than the ones "for crew only" and on most of the cruise ships some staff and crew members are allowed to use them at specific off-peak hours.

Can you sit down in a show lounge and watch a show or a movie, can you use a passenger bar and if you can, do you get a "crew discount" on beverages?

We are not trying to say that you should not accept the contract in case you do not get some or all of the above mentioned deck privileges (most of the time they are not negotiable, they just go with the shipboard position you are signing for), but those privileges make the contract easier, especially if it's a long one.

2. What kind of accommodation are you getting onboard? A standard accommodation is two persons sharing a cabin. Some higher ranking officers or staff members get their own cabin.

3. How many hours per week are you expected to work on the ship and what is your working schedule going to be on port days? Usually positions which require hours on duty during port times work on rotating schedule, so everybody gets to see the ports.

4. Are you expected to perform any duties not related directly to your shipboard positions? Many crew and staff members are required to perform certain safety-related duties while onboard a cruise ship (participating in safety drills once a week etc.)

5. Read very carefully your contract. Make sure that the dates of embarkation and disembarkation are exactly the same as promised and also that is very clear whether the cruise line is responsible to fly you to the ship and back home by the end of the contract.

6. Study the cruise line and the ship that you are about to join. This CD-ROM will provide some information (click on Cruise Lines Profiles). You could also pick up a few brochures from a nearby travel agency. Despite of the fact that these brochures are designed to attract passengers, by reading them carefully you should be able to learn many things about the company, the ship and the itinerary.

Your life aboard a cruise ship will depend quite a lot on the nature of your job and the itinerary of the ship. Certain positions might require working night shifts on rotation basis (navigational bridge, reception desk, security personnel). In that case you would have to sleep during the day. Other positions could require working until late at night (casino staff, musicians, entertainers) or starting very early in the morning (galley department, deck attendants). Basically you built your daily routine around your working schedule.

Ships itinerary can influence your lifestyle, as well. In case you get a contract in the Caribbean or the Mexican Riviera, most likely you will try to spend as much time, as possible on the beach on port days and at the crew pool on sea days. In case you are doing an European contract, chances are that you would devote your port times to sightseeing. In Alaska is less likely that you would spend much time at the pool, you would rather be hiking in the mountains, watching the glaciers or trying to spot some wildlife.

Whatever your position or the itinerary of the ship might be there are still some general onboard routine crew members get accustomed to. After work they work out in the gym and/or go to the crew bar/disco, have a drink and chat with friends. There are various organized recreational activities for crew members, as well (disco nights, theme parties, movie nights, bingo nights etc.) Another thing that we thought was worth mentioning is that it would be a good idea if you had some personal projects to work on while on the ship - learn a foreign language (with so many crew members from different nationalities onboard, you will always find somebody to practice with), get your school books in case you are attending a college or planning to do so, learn new computer skills, get into photography (there will be plenty of great photo opportunities). This way you could double or triple the benefit from your cruise experience - save money, meet new friends, see the world and have some constructive work done. Otherwise you can get caught easily in a "working-drinking-sleeping-working" routine (alcohol on cruise ships is duty-free and available almost everywhere at anytime). Officers and some staff members will get the so called "officer's account", a number very much like a credit card number, which could be used for purchasing drinks in crew and passenger bars and discos, purchasing goods in the onboard gift shop etc. Accounts are to be settled by the end of each month. Although this is quite convenient feature, be aware, it could be dangerous, too. We have seen crew members with accounts not far below their monthly salary.

The best thing to do would be to find a well balanced schedule - do your job onboard, keep yourself in a good physical shape (work out), work on your personal projects and enjoy life - visit the ports, party with friends. There is time for everything if you are well organized, after all you would not have to spend time for grocery shopping, cooking and washing the dishes on the ship (unless you work as a cook or dishwasher).

Good Luck To All You Guys And Your Singing Endevours,

-Ken Tamplin

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