Ready to sail the Seas of Entertainment in 2024?

Tony Parkins Cruise Cruise Employment Cruise Ship Cruise Ship Entertainer

If so, discover the life as a Guest Act or Cruise ship onboard Entertainer.

Working as an Guest Act Entertainer or onboard Entertainer on cruise ships is a unique and exhilarating career choice that combines the thrill of travel with the excitement of performing for diverse audiences from around the world. It's an opportunity to showcase your talents while navigating the open seas, creating unforgettable experiences for passengers. In this short article, we'll explore what it's like to live and work as an entertainer on these modern fabulous floating stages.

The Allure of Life at Sea:

  1. Travel and Exploration: One of the primary draws of working on a cruise ship is the chance to see the world. Entertainers have the opportunity to visit multiple destinations, often waking up to a new port of call almost every day. This constant change in scenery provides a dynamic backdrop for both work and leisure.
  2. Diverse Audiences: Cruise ships attract passengers from all corners of the globe. As an entertainer, you get to perform for a diverse audience with varying tastes and cultural backgrounds, making each show a unique and rewarding experience.

The Show Must Go On:

  1. Versatility is Key: Cruise ship entertainers often need to be versatile performers. Whether you're a singer, dancer, magician, comedian or visiting act known as a "flyback" being able to adapt your act to suit different audiences and themes is essential for success. Also, if employed as an onboard entertainer, the ability to work long hours including rehearsing at inconvenient times such as being in port or late at night must be recognised as part of your onboard contract. You may be asked to also host daytime or/and evening entertainment schedules. But still, it all adds to an enhanced experienced for you and your guest.  
  2. Variety of Venues: Cruise ships boast a range of entertainment venues, from grand theaters to intimate lounges. Entertainers may find themselves performing in various settings, each with its own ambiance and challenges. At all times you will have full technical support.

Living Onboard:

  1. Cabin Quarters: Living quarters on cruise ships can be compact, but often are comfortable with cabin steward services. Either as a Cruise ship entertainer you are generally accommodated in a shared cabin with 1 other entertainer within the crew quarters with an inside cabin but also you may get an outside cabin with the benefit of ocean views. As a visiting Guest "flyback" act entertainer you typically have your own cabin, providing a personal space to unwind after performances. Some cruise lines offer discounted accomodation for Guest act entertainers partners who wish to travel with them. But you would need to check the respective cruise lines guest act accomodation policy. 
  2. Shipboard Amenities: Cruise ship entertainers, have access to many onboard amenities including, free or discounted drinks package for both alcoholic and non - alcoholic beverages, dining options to fitness facilities and recreational activities, life on a cruise ship offers a unique blend of work and leisure.

Challenges and Rewards:

  1. Isolation and Homesickness: While the thrill of travel is a major perk, the lifestyle can be challenging. Cruise ship entertainers may experience homesickness and the occasional feeling of isolation, especially during longer contracts. However your team including your department head which is the Cruise Director supported by the assistant cruise director and stage manager will always be on hand to support you, as also is the Staff Captain and Crew Purser who ensures with the crew welfare team that there are always engaging & enjoyable events both onboard and ashore for you to participate in with other crew members from the ship.
  2. Professional Growth: Working on cruise ships provides entertainers with opportunities for professional growth and networking. Collaborating with fellow performers and learning from diverse talent can significantly enhance one's skills and career.

Navigating the Industry:

  1. Contract Lengths: Contracts for cruise ship Guest Act Entertainers  (“flybacks” ) which means you fly in, perform generally 2 x 45 minute routines and fly home the next day or stay on until the end of the cruise with onboard guest status.  But for onboard Cruise ship entertainers contracts range from a few weeks to several months. Understanding the commitments and expectations is crucial for those considering this career.
  2. Auditioning and Contracts: Entertainers often need to go through rigorous audition processes to secure positions on cruise ships. Successful candidates sign contracts that outline their responsibilities, schedule, and remuneration.


Working as either an guest act “flyback” entertainer or onboard entertainer on cruise ships offers a blend of adventure, cultural exposure, and the thrill of performing for international audiences. While the lifestyle may come with its challenges, the rewards of exploring new destinations, refining your craft, making lifelong friends and creating memorable experiences make it a captivating and fulfilling career choice for those with a passion for both entertainment and travel.

So, if you're ready to set sail on a journey of a lifetime, the world of cruise ship entertainment awaits, where the stage is set against the backdrop of the boundless sea. 

With over 50 operational cruise lines and 270 ships at sea and 11 new ships being built for 2024, the cruise industry is both buoyant and ripe for exciting talent to entertain.

There are many agencies you can contact to advise, such as the outstanding LIVE Business and exciting PEEL Talent.  Also, you can apply directly to the respective cruise lines through their websites and social media platforms learning about their cruise production recruitment news.

Let 2024 be YOUR year of creative expression and adventure and don't forget keep in touch and share your stories with us...

This blog was written by 25 year veteran freelance Cruise Director/Guest Act Flyback – Tony Parkins who is now a Travel Radio Presenter for

                                 tony parkins picture 


This article is for general information only. Each cruise line operates similiar yet different hiring policies. So due diligence and research is required by the reader before undertaking any legal employment contractual commitment.