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  1. #1
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Question Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    I'm kinda intrigued about this option if I really do end up moving to FL...my boyfriend's house is just minutes away from the major ports, Port Canaveral and Cocoa Beach.

    I know there are some agencies that book this type of gig. Have any of you performed or taught on cruise ships before? What was the overall experience? Benefits and caveats? Which agency did you use?

    I've heard some kind of sketchy things - you'll have to pay room and board, or contribute to shipboard duties. Which brings me to my next point - is BD on a cruise ship too good to be true?

    Talk to me!


  2. #2
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Saqra just did that. Saqra - belly dance classes, supplies, calendar & tips in greater Seattle (Kent, WA) and Portland, OR. But it was a cruise organized to be a belly dance cruise. So that probably means that a percentage of the passengers were there for the "belly dance cruise." Those ships hold a LOT of passengers.

    I went on a cruise once, I thought the whole thing was pretty bizarre. If you like being in a gigantic hotel with a bunch of other people for a week, then it's great. Some of the ports were pretty interesting but the stops were short.

    The entertainment that I saw was more like Broadway musical style and the dancers/singers looked very young and very thin.

    I made friends with some of the staff on the cruise and the ones I spoke to were mostly from Caribbean islands. They are on duty for 6 months before getting leave to go home. Entertainment may be different though.

    Shireem's 6th annual Shimmy at Sea Belly Dance Cruise EUROPE Sail on Royal Caribbean Voyager Oct. 11, 2009 departing Barcelon


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer LiesaB.'s Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    I see that Ava Fleming & Angelo Prato have done some of these. Jim Boz too I think.


  4. #4
    Master BHUZzer Michelle75's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    If you work on a cruise ship it is through a six month contract and they are usually strict. You get one day off a week and that's it. Your room and board are in the lower decks of the ship and they are nothing to brag about.
    I too, went last May and chatted up several of the staff and the entertainment organizer. Most people I spoke with were using this as a stepping stone towards other entertainment jobs or just to get out and see the world.

    ETA
    The only people who come and go are the comedians. They embark and disembark at certain stops.
    Last edited by Michelle75; 01-25-2010 at 12:04 PM.


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    That's interesting, Michelle. I've heard kind of similar things, which is why I asked for more details.

    I only asked because I'm unemployed and feel like doing something fun and different during this rare time in my life when I have no real attachments. But on second thought, something about that kinda gig just sounds iffy to me.

    Definitely keep the insights coming, though...


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle75 View Post
    ETA
    The only people who come and go are the comedians. They embark and disembark at certain stops.
    You mean they're the only ones who are ALLOWED to come and go? scratches head


  7. #7
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Those ships have a lot of different little restaurants and lounges and nightclubs inside of them, besides the main theater-style entertainment. Perhaps you could approach an entertainment director for a cruise line to find out about employment in one of those. You'll never know until you ask.

    I get the impression that folks working on the ships work very hard, long stretches, etc. But if you are young and at a good time in your life, and you want to check it out, why not?

    There are crew members from all over the world, you might meet interesting people.


  8. #8
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    I'll probably talk to one of the agencies firsthand if and when I make it down to FL. Bearing in mind some of the potential caveats, I'd still like to know what options are available!


  9. #9
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle75 View Post
    If you work on a cruise ship it is through a six month contract and they are usually strict. You get one day off a week and that's it. Your room and board are in the lower decks of the ship and they are nothing to brag about.
    I worked with a dance teacher at a studio a while ago who had been a chorus dancer for a cruise line. He said pretty much the above. He also mentioned that although you can enjoy the ship's amenities when you are off the clock, his line was very strict about conduct off the clock. There was a dress code, you had to be conservative how much you drank, and there was an expectation that you be social with the guests if they wanted to chat with you.

    Another thing he brought up was having to perform even when the seas were rough - apparently having to keep your balance and such when the ship is rocking from side to side is not fun.

    He liked doing it, but after about 4 contracts, the novelty wore off and he decided not to go back.


  10. #10
    Mega BHUZzer mahsati's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    In general, unless you are a headline act, you will be considered part of the entertainment staff. That means you will be required to act as security at other acts' shows, be a backstage hand, and perform in your own shows. Some cruise lines give you free passage, others charge you room and board from your pay. It varies a lot.

    I've known a number of dancers and performers that worked on cruise ships over the years. It can be a great experience or a terrible one.

    This is different from the "belly dance cruises" that different dancers offer - those are essentially workshop/show combinations being offered on the ship, but not by the cruiseline.

    I'd recommend looking at the hiring requirements and expectations for entertainment staff on the different cruise line websites. Carnival is a relatively popular one in Florida - Carnival Entertainment

    Again, I've known dancers who loved every minute of it and made good money and I've known a dancer whose pay barely covered her room/board and who was stuck on board working 12 hours days for 3 months. Just be careful and make sure you get all the facts before you get on the ship!


  11. #11
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Here's another thread that might be helpful.

    I thought it was a purely Mediterranean thing, but it looks like Karolinka's cruise was Caribbean!

    http://www.bhuz.com/forum/belly-danc...rtainment.html

    p.s The link is strictly about teaching on cruise ships, rather than performing
    Last edited by Lauren_; 01-25-2010 at 01:14 PM.


  12. #12
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    I did some research on this a while back and both Michelle and Mahsati are right one with what I learned. In addition (and sorry for being vulgar), the staff is young and, well, horny. So it's a great job if you want to get laid a lot with multiple partners. I'm not judging. I only mention this because I think you should know what kind of environment you'd be working in.


  13. #13
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Quote Originally Posted by aazura View Post
    I did some research on this a while back and both Michelle and Mahsati are right one with what I learned. In addition (and sorry for being vulgar), the staff is young and, well, horny. So it's a great job if you want to get laid a lot with multiple partners. I'm not judging. I only mention this because I think you should know what kind of environment you'd be working in.
    Oh my. Well, that shouldn't be a surprise I guess.

    When I travel, I stay in hostels. Young horny folk are always hooking up all around me. It doesn't bother me too much, it alternately amuses and saddens me. But that's another whole subject... At any rate, I never felt any pressure to participate ..l;, (mostly because I'm old enough to be their mom. I'm invisible to young horny folks)


  14. #14
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Yeesh! That sounds scary. Bad enough dealing with sleazy mens on dry land, but being in the middle of the ocean on a ship with them? Yuckkkk.

    I think I'll file this under "It sounded like a good idea at the time!"


  15. #15
    Master BHUZzer BreaMorgiane's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Hi Satin - pm'd you.


  16. #16
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Remember that there are three different conversations going on here. It would be helpful if people were clear which their posts refer to.

    Being a headliner (I think only Tanya LV had this experience, AFACT so far, and that was with the magic act, not bellydancing, so maybe this option isn't typically available to us?)

    Being a staff member (so you don't hang out on board and have a cruise because this is your job; long term, moving from ship to ship, earning a living). This is, I imagine, like being a staff member at Disney World or working in a restaurant. It's your job, you don't get to play. Apparently some of the chorus-line type entertainers are staff, but they also have to pick up other staff duties to make their employment full-time? I have a friend who worked cruise ships in this way for a couple of years when she was young and loved it, got to see a lot of the world for free without joining the military, made her happy! As a job, she said it was comparable to restaurant work or retail, though.

    Edutainment staff: like the Sixth Star link. working an hour or two per day as barter for free or massively discounted cruises. You get to enjoy being a passenger on the cruise in exchange for an hour or two per day of teaching. To me, this is barter, not working for free. (but I have a personal policy against bartering for anything I wasn't going to buy anyway). As I read the Sixth Star Terms and Conditions, they only ask that you not embarrass them by doing obscene things while you're drunk in your off hours. Other than that you're free to do what you want. I doubt you'd really be fraternizing with the staff much in this type of arrangement.


  17. #17
    Advanced BHUZzer LiesaB.'s Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    O! I thought you meant the Bellydance workshops held on cruise ships, such as Ava et al have held! OK I'll slow down...


  18. #18
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Thanks so much for the clarification, Lauren!

    This thread makes a lot more sense now

    And to add, I'd be interested in more of the edutainment aspect than anything else.


  19. #19
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Quote Originally Posted by LiesaB. View Post
    O! I thought you meant the Bellydance workshops held on cruise ships, such as Ava et al have held! OK I'll slow down...
    LOL make that four different conversations happening at once!

    Satin, check out the linked thread and google for Sixth Star entertainment, if you click on edutainment openings you can even see exactly which cruises they want BD instructors for.

    If you're interested, I say apply. Like any job, you can always say no if you decide you don't like their offer. Or e-mail them directly with questions.

    But I do advise to think of it as barter for a cheap/free vacay rather than as a 'job.' After all, they're not asking you to commit much, either.


  20. #20
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Ah! Just read the Sixth Star thread.

    http://www.bhuz.com/forum/belly-danc...rtainment.html

    Doesn't really sound like this kind of gig is for me, but in case anyone else is interested ..g.:


  21. #21
    Master BHUZzer BreaMorgiane's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Hi all -

    I teach through Sixth Star and I enjoy it very much. If anyone would like to know more, feel free to PM me.

    ..g.:


  22. #22
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post

    When I travel, I stay in hostels. Young horny folk are always hooking up all around me. It doesn't bother me too much, it alternately amuses and saddens me. But that's another whole subject... At any rate, I never felt any pressure to participate ..l;, (mostly because I'm old enough to be their mom. I'm invisible to young horny folks)
    I'm with you, Lauren! Ahhhh, to be young and stupid again... and horny... ..l;,


  23. #23
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    I have worked with people who have worked on cruise ships for several years, but not as dancers - as photographers. They really enjoyed their experience (and in fact it's where they met, hooked up and they're now married with a little girl) but they did say that while it was quite party-hearty afterhours, there were strict rules about what they could and couldn't do, and they did work extremely hard.

    I would say your chance of getting work as a dancer on a cruise would be much higher if you were able to offer more than one (highly specialised and not to everyone's taste) dance style. You won't be a headliner as you are not a famous dancer. But you are young and thin and attractive, and if you can learn dances quickly, and to their satisfaction, you could be in.


  24. #24
    Advanced BHUZzer jamielynn's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    I have some friends who teach Tango lessons on one of the Nudie cruises. They aren't nudists themselves, but they did say that some of the people coming to their classes certainly were! So there's a whole nother avenue for you!


  25. #25
    Mega BHUZzer gothique's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Are there any Day Cruises there?

    Some gambling boats in our area used to have belly dancers on them.
    Maybe some still do in your boyfriend's area?

    I danced on a dinner cruise.
    (Hawaiian/Tahitian)
    You do have to get used to the rocking of the boat.

    (Just another option that might be out there)

    :-)


  26. #26
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    You know, I was actually just thinking about that. There are a couple of casino boats in the Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral area.

    What part of FL are you from, Gothique?


  27. #27
    Advanced BHUZzer showtime's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Info from a friend that married a guy she met on a cruise: all crew quarters are on the lower levels - read that as no windows or portholes anywhere. The crew has their own lower deck restaurant and bar - no eating or drinking with the guests. Long hours are the norm. When docked a minimum # of crew members are allowed to leave the ship, the schedule is on a rotating basis. My friends met at-sea. He was working, another crew member noticed the attraction between them and reported it. He was fired. Had to arrange his own transportation from the next port. He said it was a great experience but one has to be versatile.

    If hired to teach dance lessons it is normal to be assigned other duties during your shift. During my last cruise during the day I recall seeing dancers in the huge nightly gala shows also working with guests pool-side in regard to games and contests. Also helping with various indoor activities.

    Most people enjoy it - at least for a while. It is certainly a change from 9-to-5. If I were younger and did not have family obligations I would certainly research the possibilities.


  28. #28
    Mega BHUZzer gothique's Avatar
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    Re: Belly Dance on Cruise Ships

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    You know, I was actually just thinking about that. There are a couple of casino boats in the Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral area.

    What part of FL are you from, Gothique?
    (Sorry it took me a while to get back I logged off)

    I'm from New Port Richey.

    The dinner boat cruise was out of Clearwater.

    There were belly dancers on gambling boats here in New Port Richey, but they quit entertainment for non-gamblers.
    Personally I think that was a stupid move! That's the main reason I went on the boat!

    I'd definetely look into it if I were you.

    :-)


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