How Much Does a Cruise Ship Entertainer Earn?

Updated March 23, 2017

Over the years, cruise ships have become a favourite way to enjoy a relaxing and exciting vacation. These hotels on water cater to thousands of guests during each trip and take them to locales across the globe. To ensure that everyone on board has an enjoyable trip, cruise ships hire hundreds of people to address most needs. Entertainers are an important part of every cruise and, from dancers to musicians, they can earn a reasonable pay while sailing the high seas for free.


Cruise ships are sure to hire comedians to keep guests laughing, especially during the evening hours. To qualify for the job, a prospective hire must have plenty of experience and material for up to three 30-minute performances. If selected, a comedian can make between £1,040 to £1,560 per month. Additionally, a special headline comedian with name recognition may be hired for a cruise. This individual will be paid much more than other comedians, and his pay will depend on his negotiated hourly rate, can amount to £11,700 or more per month.

Dancers and Dance Instructors

When travelling on cruise ships, guests can take advantage of several activities and performances. In the evenings, dancers make up a significant portion of cruise ship entertainment. These men and women perform on stage, and first-time dancers can earn about £1,040 each month. More experienced dancers can earn £1,950 every month. Speciality dancers -- those who specialise in adagio, ballroom dancing or acrobatic dancing -- can earn even more. These dancers also act as dance instructors, teaching the guests how to perform the flamingo or the two-step, for instance. Dancers can earn even more than the £1,040 to £1,950 salary noted.

Singers and Musicians

Singers and musicians are also an essential part of the entertainment offerings on a cruise. These individuals must be those with extensive experience and the ability to sing a range of musical styles from pop to jazz. They not only sing on stage but also sing in the many lounges, lobbies and dining rooms across the ship. A singer can earn from £1,040 to £1,950 per month. On some ships, a lounge singer will make up to £3,120 per month. If part of a band or duet, they can earn upwards of £4,550 and may be expected to play one or several musical instruments. Singers who are part of a larger production number can make between £1,560 and £2,470, but the pay will depend on the cruise line as some pay more than others.

Disc Jockeys

Regardless of the time of day, disc jockeys are expected to play top tunes and get the guests excited while on the cruise ship. Disc jockeys must be knowledgeable about various musical genres and have experience. They can make between £1,105 and £1,755 per month.

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About the Author

Sydelle John is a lawyer who started writing professionally in 2007. She has written for the Guardian's Comment is Free and Pambazuka News, which focuses on pan-African issues. John has a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vassar College.