They will be vying for lucrative entertainment jobs on board some of the world’s biggest and most luxurious cruise ships.
Carnival Cruise Line, one of the world’s most popular cruise liner operators, will hold its first Irish auditions at the CIT Cork School of Music today as part of its global search for on-board entertainers for its huge fleet.
It has 24 ships operating voyages around Europe, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Bermuda, along the Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
The company, which has a reputation for running ‘fun ships’, was invited to hold auditions here by Cork-based Premier Entertainment Ireland, a cruise entertainment agency.
Run by Julie La Fontaine, from Tipperary, and her husband, Ian, from St Lucia, who met while working onboard cruise ships for Princesses Cruises eight years ago, it specialise in finding and placing musicians and entertainers with international cruise ship firms.
Ms La Fontaine said Carnival was impressed by the CIT Cork School of Music, and in particular, by its new popular music degree.
While almost 80 people applied for audition slots, 17 were selected to perform for Carnival’s casting supervisor, David Brady, today.
“Carnival’s entertainment team is out on its own in the cruise industry,” Ms La Fontaine said.
“Successful applicants will embark on an exciting adventure, travelling the world earning a steady income doing what they love. The Irish have an unparalleled reputation and we are internationally recognised for our ‘craic agus ceol’, our warmth and friendliness, making our performers a much sought after addition to cruise ships.
“But Irish musicians aren’t fully aware of the employment possibilities within the cruise ship industry. They can earn really good money and live a charmed life on board.”
All candidates, who must be at least 21, can expect to work seven days a week, with a starting salary of around $2,500 (€2,200) a month. Contracts can be as short as three days, but the average length is four to six months.
Earnings are tax free while working in international waters but income made abroad must be declared. As a general rule, musicians get free time in the various ports for sight seeing. Entertainers’ airfares, hotel, accommodation, food and work laundry costs are covered but they have to pay for internet, phone cards, drinks and snacks, which are discounted for crew members.