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The Big List of Cruise Ship Auditions

Updated: Summer 2018

Entertainment is an industry full of travel opportunities. Performing aboard cruise ships is a great way to make money while roving around the world and pocketing a paycheck. Today I’m dishing what I know about securing a job performing on cruise liners.


What’s so special about cruise ship auditions?


Cruise ship auditions are free and open for anyone to attend—we call this an “open call” or a “cattle call.” No agent necessary! I got both of my contracts aboard ships without an agent.

You’ll find auditions touring globally at most major cities in North America, Australia, and Europe. With the help of social media, keeping up to date on these auditions is easier than ever. If it’s still too far to make an audition in person, many cruise companies now accept online submissions of performance material and show skills in video reel form.

Beneath each cruise line company below, I’ve listed whether their casting departments hire from digital submissions.

Dust off your talents and get yourself a headshot. The audition season for ships never ends!

 **Below is what I know to be current and accurate. If you see info that needs updating, let me know in the comments.





Celebrity Cruises Entertainment

A modern luxury large-ship fleet, Celebrity has undergone some serious rebranding in the last decade. Their newly refurbished ships are modern-chic with clean lines and a contemporary feel. Celebrity just produced 18 NEW shows which feature contemporary pop and rock. Their shows are edgy with lots of circus elements (think hand balancing, silks, lyras, and pole artists).


Royal Caribbean Productions

RC is known for bringing Entertainment from the likes of Broadway to the high seas. RC was the first to install Broadway shows onboard like “Hairspray,” “Chicago” and now “CATS” and “Grease.” The team at RC are always innovating. Expect to see entertainment of all kinds aboard Royal Caribbean ships like high divers, ice skaters, BMX cyclists, gymnasts and circus artists. With one of the largest fleets in the world (24 ships!) RC has a lot of theatres to fill. They’re creating shows of all genres, from classic Motown to Cirque-style to Vegas-style, and the aforementioned Broadway features.





Princess Cruises Entertainment

Princess has a large fleet of eighteen ships of various sizes. Their entertainment is classic production show style (think Elton John medleys, Motown mashups, Country Jams). A lot of cruisers gravitate toward this nostalgic variety-show entertainment. To perform these shows you need to be skilled in dancing an array of styles. New shows with contemporary music can be found on their bigger ships, like the Royal Princess and the Regal Princess. Princess has recently partnered with Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked, Pippin, and Godspell. Schwartz has crafted custom shows for Princess Cruises inspired by Princess’s exotic itineraries like “The Golden Silk,” performed on East Asian itineraries.





Holland America Cruise Lines (RWS Entertainment Group) & (Belinda King Creative Productions)

Holland America Line (HAL) does not have an in-house production company. This means they employ third-party production companies to design shows for their fleet. Holland America currently commissions entertainment from RWS Entertainment Group, a New York City-based entertainment company known for staging shows in theme parks and industrials across America. The result is a line up of new, high-energy, contemporary shows that feature top Billboard hits. As of Summer 2018, RWS is beginning a transition away from full-time production casts. Instead, they are training casts to perform onboard for shorter stints as “guest entertainers,” in an elite dance show called “Step One.” This means dancers are onboard for 3-4 months at a time and receive a higher standard of living.


Norwegian Cruise Line (Norwegian Creative Studios)

Norwegian is another line of ships pushing their entertainment to land-based standards. Like Royal Caribbean they’re bringing near-full-length Broadway shows to the high seas with the likes of “Legally Blonde” and “Million Dollar Quartet” to name a few. These shows attract cutting-edge talent and fresh new dancers. Norwegian is expanding and just adopted Regeant Cruise Lines and Oceania Cruise Lines under its umbrella of entertainment. So when you audition for Norwegian, you can also be considered for these smaller lines as well.


Carnival (Playlist Productions)

Carnival cruise lines is doing something with their Entertainment. They no longer hiring large casts of Principal Singers and Ensemble Dancers. Rather, they’re recruiting smaller casts of uber-talented triple-threats called  Singer/Dancers and Dancer/Singers. So that means you have to have strong singing chops, in addition to real movement ability. Their shows feature newly installed LED screens and incredible lighting.

Carnival Cruise Lines Audition Schedule

Rehearsal Facility: Pembroke Park, FL, USA


Disney Cruise Lines

At no surprise, Disney Cruise Lines ranks high among onboard entertainment. Disney cares about entertainment and knows how to invest in it. Unlike most cruise ships built and designed by the rigid minds of nautical engineers, Disney ships were built with Entertainment in mind. Passengers that choose to cruise with Disney do so because of the brand they’re familiar with from the theme parks. Disney is a family-oriented cruise company (duh) so expect the passengers to follow in that vein; the ship will ooze that family feel. You can find audition details at the global Disney Audition site.

Rehearsal Facility: Toronto, Canada


Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara is a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean. You’ll find their audition details on the same website as Royal Caribbean Productions. Being a small ship fleet, the entertainment cast is small and the performance experience more intimate.

Rehearsal Facility: Hollywood, FL


Viking Ocean Cruises

As of 2018, Viking Ocean cruises will no longer be hiring onboard full-time production singers and dancers and will transition exclusively to guest entertainment performers.


Regent Seven Seas Cruises:

This luxury all-inclusive line just got absorbed by Norwegian. Therefor, if you audition for Norwegian, you’re often considered for Regent shows too. Find details at their audition page. Expect Regent to demand high-class entertainers and cabaret-style performers who appeal to their ritzy clientele.

Rehearsals: Tampa, FL


SilverSea

SilverSea Entertainment is currently produced by Luna Rossa Productions out of London, England. I don’t know anything about these productions. But their shows look regal, which would match the luxury brand that is SilverSea.

Rehearsals: London, UK


Thomson:

Thomson is Europe’s version of Carnival Cruise Line. It’s a family-style cruise line that offers short, inexpensive cruises affordable for the middle class. Their shows are put on by Peel Entertainment. You can submit to them directly, or through Entertainer’s Worldwide.

peele talent thomson

P & O Cruise Lines

P & O is a mid-size cruise ship company mostly based out of Australasia. Their Entertainment is done by Headliner’s Theatre Company and Grayboy Entertainment. They produce contemporary commercial shows that demand highly talented performers from all over the world.

Rehearsals: Southampton, England or Sydney, NSW


*If you find any of the information in this article to be incorrect, do not hesitate to let me know and I will correct it. Have any questions about auditions? Ask below!\

31 Comments
  • andra caston

    for Princess cruises and P&O cruises where can you find there information for video submissions on their websites

    October 25, 2016at5:06 pm
  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the info!

    March 21, 2017at6:14 pm
  • Very interesting! Not a performer myself, but I love reading about the different professions that are out there. This is pretty cool!

    May 6, 2017at3:29 pm
  • For someone who cruises often, I for one am always so impressed with the quality of the show on board the various ships.

    Since many of your readers are performers ,I will take this time to thank all of you for making our cruise ship experience a very entertaining one.
    Regards and cheers from all over the world!

    May 7, 2017at12:44 am
  • I am very interested. singer / entertainer

    May 31, 2017at9:29 pm
  • Jenn

    My son is auditioning but is not a stellar dancer but is an amazing vocalist do you think he has any chance if he is not a dancer?

    July 15, 2017at4:21 pm
  • Laura

    This was really helpful, thank you!

    September 30, 2017at12:16 pm
  • Annamarie Metev

    My daughter is currently in a magnet performing arts high school and is looking forward to one day audition as a Dancer for the Cruise ships. Would you recommend the length a video reel should be and if it’s fine to submit the same to various companies? Also in your opinion is a cruise ship a stepping stone perhaps to Cirque du Soleil?

    December 16, 2017at7:21 am
  • Em

    I’ve danced in several different, auditioned performance settings (show choir, dancing for indoor percussion groups, a couple of dance companies), but I have mainly taught myself how to dance. The technical help I’ve received has come in the form of spotty private lessons and maybe 3 years of studio dance total. I am able to pick up on choreography and new tricks quickly and have a strong stage presence, however. A lot of dancers I know have been dancing in studios from the age of 3, yet I keep up with them perfectly fine. Would my lack of studio experience deter any cruise ships from hiring me? I know that the dance team at my university wouldn’t allow anyone in without previous dance team, kickline team, or more years of studio experience specifically.

    December 27, 2017at5:02 pm
  • So glad I found this list! I’m very interested in auditioning for multiple cruise lines after I graduate with my 1st degree.
    I’ll stay tuned to this blog. The content is great!

    January 2, 2018at10:29 pm
  • Linda

    My daughter recently auditioned as a dancer for RC. She made it through all cuts and was put on their “hire list”. At the time of audition she was filmed and had photos taken. This along with her resume and head shot is being reviewed by the casting department. What does this mean?

    January 12, 2018at6:21 pm
      • Linda

        Thank you Kelsey – I will pass along to her. Very helpful info!

        January 15, 2018at3:49 pm
  • Anonymous

    hi my daughter has auditioned for loads of cruise ships she gets through has photos taken filmed but never hears back from them she has started to wonder if its her height its started to knock her confidence she has wondered if its time to give up she’s 5ft 2

    February 15, 2018at12:57 am
  • Erin T.

    Hi there! I’ve been a dancer for 14 years and am looking to audition for some cruise lines, but I’m really struggling to find any where I don’t have to sing– and I’m not much of a singer. It seems every time I think I’ve found one, I get further into the details and find that even dancers will still be expected to sing at the audition. Any advice for finding auditions without singing??
    Thanks!

    February 16, 2018at4:27 am
  • Anonymous

    Hi Kelsey, I am from India & completed our classical dance bharatnatyam when I was in 8th standard. I have even trained and performed for other folk dance like lavni and even contemporary and hip hop. I am starting with ballet from next upcoming month. I am looking my dream job to get into cruise and work with a company.
    Please guide me, through the long lasting cheerful process of getting one.

    June 10, 2018at1:38 pm
  • David W Gant

    Hi! My daughter is a Freshman Musical Theater major at a conservatory and is hoping to work on a cruise ship during the summer as a performer… do you know if any of them hire for summer or are most of the contracts longer?

    October 10, 2018at8:55 pm
  • selahattin

    Hi! I was wondering one thing that are these cruise ships accept foreign dancers auditions? I live in turkey and ım looking for the audition to dance one of these ships. ıf is it yes do ı have any chance as a contemporary dancer.

    October 29, 2018at7:41 am
  • Laura

    Hello, my daughter is 17 (18 in September). She wants to audition, as she is a great dancer, acrobat and contortionist. Can she still audition to be potentially on the On Call list for when she is 18? or does she have to wait to be 18 to audition? It only says you have to be 18 to be hired.

    January 3, 2019at2:04 am
  • Tdm

    Hi! Your articles have been so helpful! I auditioned for Norwegian this month and was filmed for all dances, made it past all the cuts. However, at the end the director held a small group of dancers back to chat and said the rest of us were done (unless we intended to come back for the dancer/singer portion). There wasn’t communication that we had been cut, just that they needed to speak with this smaller group for a bit. Does that mean I am on the “hire list” awaiting an opening?

    April 29, 2019at8:28 pm
  • Zsolt Bagdi

    Hi Kelsey! I love your article, very very helpful. Will you be able to direct me to entertainment casting contact?

    December 11, 2019at6:02 pm