Have you ever thought about speaking on cruise ships?

Now, I’m not talking about chit chat at your assigned dinner table here.

I am talking about standing in front of five hundred to a thousand people in a gorgeous show room (or smaller lounge) and sharing your passion and expertise on your subject.

You? Yes, you! In fact, speaking engagements on ocean liners can involve all sorts of topics. You name it - -it could be anything from teaching a technical skill you have to sharing some fun on a subject you just happen to know a lot about.

As you know, every cruise ship has a daily agenda of interesting and fun things for the passengers to do while at sea. Maybe you’ve been there yourself. What do you do when you’re cruising along and you already have a sunburn or you hit rainy weather?

Well, let’s see: there’s the inevitable dance instructor ready to teach you how to do the latest dance steps. There is almost always a comedian to keep things lively.

And there will be someone encouraging business investments or giving great motivational speeches that just may change your life. Why can’t that person speaking to a waiting, built-in audience be you?

Why Do I Want to Speak on a Cruise Ship?

To be honest, speaking on cruise ships is not for every speaker? Why you say? Why wouldn't a speaker want to visit exotic locations, lose money in the casino, eat nine times their body weight… get full and eat some more?

Well, the reason is simple: Your first instinct is you think you are getting a big payday when hired to speak on a ship. Unfortunately, you won't. Nope, no big bucks here.

Then you think, "Aren't those passengers paying an awful lot of money for their 7-day cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico or Greece? Yes, they are. But you're not getting any of it.

Your best bet is to immediately lower your expectation regarding your "usual fee." In fact, this type of job pays little in actual dollars. You are in essence bartering your talents for a free cruise.

In some instances, you might have to pay $25 to $75 a day. It all depends on the cruise line.

But for the most part, you can get a free cruise ship vacation that can be worth thousands, depending on your port of call.

Oh, and there's another perk: You can sell your books and audio products on the ship to eager passengers who are hanging on every word of your speech after your presentation. Depending upon your notoriety in the field, and how well you speak you could pick up hundreds even thousands of extra cash that way.

Who is Hired?

Do your due diligence. Do NOT call the cruise line. You will have to do further research on the cruise line you want to work on.

Start here: Try contacting entertainment departments of any of the 25 cruise companies listed as members of Cruise Lines International Assoc.@

They may in fact direct you to following agencies that specialize in placing
speakers and workshop facilitators on the cruise ships:


Yes, there are agents who book FREE speakers for the cruise line. (And yes, for the most part, these agents are reimbursed by the cruise line.)

Also, you have to understand that depending upon the cruise line and agent, you will most likely have to be a semi to professional speaker.

This includes possibly having written a book on the subject, a website, DVD demo of your performance, and professional speaking credentials. Having these things will prove to the agent and the cruise line -- that you are the real deal.

I mean, just think, anyone reading this article who thinks he is an authority on Ancient Rome or Middle-east torture techniques will think "Hey, I could cruise for free… all I have to do is show the agent my scrap book, right?

No. You will have to show them that you've spoken before to other audiences and groups and that you really know your subject matter.

The best part of speaking on a cruise line is while on board you will have FULL passenger guest status. When not giving your seminars, you’ll be allowed to enjoy the vessel and all it amenities. (Most likely going on tours will not be comped.)

What can you expect to receive for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm will fellow passengers? Well, this job sent from heaven will get you a free cabin on board (and meals) But do not expect a porthole in that cabin.

You’ll have to leave your room to see anything (and I do mean anything!) Those inside cabins are dark when the lights are out).

But, what do you want for a few hours of sharing what you know with your fellow passengers? Luckily, you will not be living in the engine room, deep down in the bowels of the ship. (As a comedian on a certain cruise line that remains nameless -- I was near the ship's bakery, I kid you not!)

Meals on cruise ships are the stuff of legends. The food is always great and there is plenty of it! And when you are guest-speaking on cruise ships, they’re not going to let you starve.

So how do I get one of these dream jobs?

Getting a speaking job on cruise ships is not an impossible task but you need to know the tricks of the trade.

First, you have to match your know-how with a particular cruise ship’s destination. Simply put, don’t apply for a job that has absolutely nothing to do with the destination. Passengers going to Alaska probably won’t be too interested in learning about the history of Jamaica. (Well, you never know -- who knew there was a Jamaican Bobsled team?)

Let’s say you’re a huge Beatles fan and have read all there is to read about them. You don’t have a Masters Degree in Beatles Lore but you do have a lot of knowledge (and have proven to the agent you have spoken to other audiences on the subject.

You can speak about the group with some expertise on a cruise bound for England. If a stop is in the port of Liverpool, you probably have a built-in audience.

Match your knowledge with the right cruise destination. Again, do some research, and go the websites for further exploration Enjoy your audience and have a wonderful and stimulating ocean vacation at the same time!

Author's Bio: 

Peter "The Reinvention Guy" Fogel is a sales writer, corporate speaker, and award-winning humorist who has worked on over 18 television shows, including Married With Children, [Whoopi with Whoopi Goldberg, and HBO's Comedy Central. He is a National Speakers Association Keynote Speaker who gives presentations to corporations and associations on reinvention, copywriting, and public speaking. For more information on his products and to sign up for his FREE 7 Days to Effective Public Speaking E-Course (a $75 value), go to www.publicspeaklikeapro.com.