Well, I can finally say I have experience entertaining on a cruise ship. My wife and I took a trip on a Carnival cruise over the Thanksgiving holiday. We boarded the Carnival Victory and took a 5 night trip through the Caribbean. OK… so I wasn’t actually hired as an entertainer on the cruise ship, but I most definitely entertained.
Your first time entertaining on a cruise ship?
One of the best parts about having a great team of musicians is that all of us at Felix and Fingers come from different backgrounds. I’ve never played on a cruise ship simply because I never tried to. After college I spent much of my time acting and singing around Chicago with various theaters and opera companies. I performed with equity theaters like the Black Ensemble Theatre, and more classical-esque companies like The Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company. It was the route my life took me for several years until one day I decided to try dueling pianos. I never though this would be what I would end up doing, but I was good at it, and I have a ton of fun doing it, so now my life is going in this direction!
One of our other player, Mike Potts, does have a lot of Cruise Ship experience. Before we knew each other, when I was off entertaining Chicago, Mike was traveling the world on cruise ships. He worked primarily for Royal Caribbean Cruises, P&O Cruises, and Cunard Cruises. Mike tells me that the Titanic was a Cunard ship. I’m sure they vastly improved their safety procedures in the last hundred years….
Mike was in the same boat as me. No pun intended. He was working on a cruise ship, not fully knowing his Dueling Pianos destiny awaited!
Okay, okay…. How did you entertain?
Well, the first night there I went to the piano bar on the cruise ship. The piano player was hosting a game of “Name that Tune,” a game which Felix and Fingers love to host. I sat and watched the game, and then I continued to stick around for his actual set after the game was over. But no…. that’s not where I entertained. It turns out that there are tons of entertainment options on cruise ships.
Aside from the piano bar, there were nightly shows, comedians, and of course, Karaoke. I don’t love Karaoke, as I’d always rather be supplying the music myself, but I decided to do my specialty, “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem. For the rest of the cruise I needed to perform nightly Eminem songs and all over the boat people waved to me and shouted, “Hey Slim!” I even tried to do other songs, but the DJ would always queue up Eminem instead. I even got a badge that said, “Artist.” That’s pretty legit.
Goodbye Cruise Ship (sung to the tune of “Goodbye Stranger”)
I had a blast on the cruise ship, and I know it won’t be my last time hitching a ride on one. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings, and if you want get in touch with us, contact us here!