Cruise Ship Life: Summer Camp at Sea

Cruise Ship Life: Summer Camp at Sea

Cruise Ship Life: Summer Camp at Sea //

I love talking about cruise ships! Since leaving ships, I find myself starting conversations with random stories and facts from my travels. It’s a lifestyle that I enjoyed for a long time and  I’m lucky enough to be in a position to share that love with new artists. But before you decide that a sailor’s life is the one for you, you should know some things about working as a musician on cruise ships.

First of all, throw away whatever you think you know about cruise ships. I don’t care if you’ve been on a cruise ship or have friends that have done it. It’s a lot like an acid trip in that if you’ve never done it, then you just wouldn’t “get it.” That may be my most professional analogy yet. Anyways, obviously I’m here to try to bridge the gap, but I need you to throw out any preconceived notions about life at sea before we can go further.

Summer Camp at Sea /

The summer camp analogy is the truest way to explain life at sea that I can come up with. As a teen, I remember spending seven days with complete strangers who somehow became some of the best friends I’ve ever had. Those seven days seemed to be a lifetime that was gone in the blink of an eye. I thought I fell in love and tried new things. Cruise life is almost exactly the same, but with just a sprinkle of adulthood.Instead of seven days at some remote campground, your typical contract onboard a ship will be months. Certain positions have different minimum requirements, typically with a two month minimum. However, if you’re lucky enough to be in entertainment, your conditions will be much better.

In the same way your camp cabin may be filled with bunks of strangers, your cabin in the vessel will more than likely be shared with a fellow musician. This can be one of the most frustrating or rewarding parts of the whole lifestyle. I’ve always worked as a premiere artist onboard so I’ve never had a roommate, but I’ve become insanely close with my next door neighbors in the same way.

Photo provided by Carnival Cruise Lines
Now, we talk about your camp counselors. Unfortunately, living where you work has some drawbacks. Not only will you constantly be under video surveillance, but there will also be security guards ensuring your safety. That safety extends to how much you drink, your fraternization with guests, and noise levels. You essentially have a police force constantly on watch onboard every vessel. In your contracts, you’ll agree to an occasionally observed maximum blood alcohol content. Some lines don’t even allow their workers to indulge in spirits, instead only providing beer and wine for purchase.

“Cruise life is almost exactly the same, but with just a sprinkle of adulthood. “


Sprinkle of Adulthood /

Now I mentioned a sprinkle of adulthood. That’s the fun part. Cruise ships know that in order to attract the best personalities around the world, it has to be an exciting lifestyle. If waking up in a new country every other day wasn’t enough to get your blood pumping, there’s more. The parties onboard are better than any campfire singalong my fourteen year old self was a part of. The parties are incredible. Imagine a group of a thousand people from all over the world. These people have been recruited based on their Type A personalities, typically good looks, eagerness to travel, and diversity.
And wow, do people drink on cruise ships! In the same way that pirates needed a serious stock of rum before sailing, spirits seem to be a prerequisite to all things cruise worker related. Even little hundred pound dancers onboard seemed to down a bottle of wine nightly. Once again, there are always exceptions, but if it’s a party you’re looking for, there’s always a couple going on nightly, if not hourly.
Photo provided by Carnival Cruise Lines

If this wild life of travel, worldwide personalities, and entertainment is for you, contact me. I get people hired, partnering with multiple lines all over the world. If you think entertaining on a cruise ship is for you, I encourage you to SUBMIT YOUR MUSIC HEREOur team of professionals will review every submission and contact you to set up a phone call accordingly. Your summer camp at sea is just a click away…

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Vinnie Hines
artist / project manager