How to Get a Singing Job on a Cruise Line

Great performers become great performers by performing. To find performing jobs you need to be “in the shipping lanes.” Here’s one job that is literally just that – in the shipping lanes. And, coincidentally, CS Music just confirmed that free auditions will take place for this job at the May 26, 2019 CS Music Convention.

With days at sea, Cruise lines turn to great entertainment to occupy their clients. Over the years the entertainment quality has dramatically increased. No longer will audiences accept Vegas glitz shows, but demand full hour shows that have a variety of entertainment from night to night. One night it might be a comedian or – can you believe it – a classical and musical theater singer. The key is each hour show must be a highly professional performance. Performers, not singers are in demand.

You do NOT need a manager to book you for Cruise Lines. In fact, once you’ve been performing for cruise lines, you can take your contracts to the manager of your choice and ask them to book future gigs for you, and not just on cruise lines. You have now proven yourself to be an act the manager can make money from and thus has a fiduciary motivation to represent you.

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Broadway coach and star of many stages Darin Adams decided his career needed a change — something to propel him to the next level. So he and his wife Sheri, an accomplished performer in her own right, worked up a show and auditioned for a cruise line. They made it and spent the next three years performing constantly to appreciative crowds. And they were well paid. After three years they decided they wanted to start their family so they disembarked the cruise business and embarked on a new performing adventure, armed with great experience, confidence, even better voices and performing credentials. It opened the door to even better work.

We are posting below most of the cruise lines that might employ you as an entertainer. Some, like Cunard, Royal Caribbean (RCC), Norwegian, Princess, and Carnival have huge ships with marvelous theaters and staff. Others like Costa and Regent have smaller ships but have clients that demand fine music. Still others like Windstar and Viking use even smaller theaters or their large lounges where singers entertain.

Cast your lines into all the seas. Once you’ve applied to one, the next one is easier. Once you are accepted and deliver a memorable performance on one, you’ll be in demand by the others.  

A Note on Becoming a Headline Entertainer

Cruise lines will likely hire you as one of a group of singers until you prove you have the chops to hold and move an audience on your own. As a part of the group your wages will be around $3,500 or more, plus all ship board expenses included.

To become a Headliner, you’ve got to have a “schtick” or a unique act; something that sets you apart. Something about your performance that’s memorable for the audience. You’ll get paid far more and your career will have currency.

From one site: “Become a member of a Fly-On Entertainer program which offers the best of both worlds – a shipboard entertainer who not only travels to different ships and visits exciting ports of call but also still can entertain guests ashore. Please be prepared to submit a letter, resume and prospectus; stage acts should also include a video of a LIVE performance and a promotional photograph.”

Most cruise lines want you to apply On-Line. Most have audition dates posted. If you have a one-man or one-woman or a group show, apply as a Headline Entertainer, “Fly-on Entertainer” or Guest Entertainer, not as a singer or musician. Those are full-time jobs in the chorus productions. Be prepared to download your Availability Date, Resume, and voice clips and, DVD clips.

Here is a talent agency which books many of these cruise lines as well as major conventions. You should contact the cruise lines directly but also contact this Talent Agency:

Sixth Star Entertainment & Marketing

21 NW 5th Street

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301 Phone 954-462-6760

Fax 954-462-0737

Here’s the complete list of cruise lines:

CS Music Staff

CS Music is THE community for singers, teachers, and pianists. CS began in 1986 with the first issue of The New York Opera Newsletter and later to the award-winning magazine Classical Singer. Since 2003 CS has expanded to included articles, audition listings, and events for both classical and musical theatre singers worldwide! Free online articles and listings are available at