How to Get Work on a Cruise Ship as a Guest Entertainer Part IV | Entertainment tips

Dress CodeOne of the advantages of being a guest entertainer is that we have passenger status
while on the ship, allowing us in to public areas where other crew members are not
allowed. We get to mix and mingle with passengers and over the years you will keep
meeting the repeat passengers and you can develop some very nice relationships.
On ships they usually have dress codes such as semi-formal and formal nights. You
are still employed by the cruise line, and like being employed in any job you are an
ambassador for the company, therefore you are expected to adhere to the dress
code for the evening and also dress in a smart and appropriate manner during
daytime hours.
Formal nights most men will wear tuxedos and the ladies are dressed in evening
gowns, on other nights I always wear a dress shirt and smart pants.GratuitiesYou are expected to pay gratuities to your cabin steward at passenger rates at the
end of the cruise. On some ships where we are in staff areas then the gratuities are
sleightly less because they only come in once a day and you won’t get the full
service as if you would if you were in a passenger area.
If you eat in the dining room then you must tip your waiter and busboy. As a rule if I
chose to eat in the dining room I always tip after my meal, but that isn’t very often
as I usually eat in the Buffet or Bistro.
On the ships now they often have an automatic charge of $10 per person per day
gratuity added to your bill, however you do not have to pay this unless you chose to.
This is what the passengers pay and it covers all gratuities including the dining
room. As I said, I never eat in the dining room and so only my cabin steward gets a
gratuity. If we chose to eat in another restaurant on the ship, rather than the buffet,
then of course we leave a tip. They usually recommend $3.50 per day for the cabin
steward in passenger areas.

DiningYou are allowed to dine in the passenger dining room and a buffets. Priority to
passengers must always be observed.Usually the maitre d’ will have a special table put aside for guest entertainers,
although on many ships they have placed us with passengers. There are usually two
main sittings, one at 6pm and the other at 8.15pm. On the modern ships now they
promote open dining so you no longer have to have a seating assignment. Also with
the larger ships there is much more choice of dining from 24 hour Lido, Pizzeria,
Italian Restaurants, Chinese Restaurants and a Steak House. Of course each ship
differs with various restaurants. On the larger ships there will be a cover charge in
some restaurants such as the steak house charges $15.00 for the meal, the Italian
restaurant charges $25.00 per meal. All crew and passengers pay the same amount
to go to these specialality restaurants.On vessels with alternate dining facilities, a cover charge will be made to all staff,
guest entertainers, and officers which are usually no more than $2.00. When you
join ask if there is such a list with the various charges, or ask another guest
entertainer who can tell you.Dining in the officers’ mess is by invitation only.GamblingShips are now like traveling resorts with all types of activities, one of the most
popular is the casino. You will need to check out what the rules are pertaining to
gambling on the ship you are to be working, but I know that the rules for the
company I work for state that guest entertainers and their guests and NOT
permitted to gamble onboard. This includes the casino, bingo, horse racing, and any
other gambling activities.
Note: Update, as of re-reading this article Guest Entertainers are NOW allowed to
gamble in the casino for the cruise line I work for.Laundry and Dry CleaningAgain, this varies from company to company, something you will need to check.
Ships are equipped with passenger laundrys where you can do your own washing.
However be warned … they can be dangerous. Many comedians joke about going to
the laundry room and seeing fights and arguments as passengers try to get hold of
a washing machine or dryer. Depending on the ship you might be allowed to use the
officers or crew laundry room which will not be so bad, but always check to make
sure it is okay. If you wish you send your laundry out for cleaning, then Guest
Entertainers are charge at the crew rate for their laundry and dry cleaning, again
check the regulations for the cruise line you are to be working for.

MedicalIn most cases the company does not provide medical coverage and I strongly
recommend for you to arrange your own medical and health insurance plan. In my
contract it states that in the event of illness or injury during the term of the
contract, guest entertainers agree to look exclusively to their medical and health
insurers for payment of medical benefits and not to, in any way, hold the company
liable for such payments.
Visits to the ships doctor can be very expensive which is why medical insurance is
important, especially when traveling overseas.
If on the crew list then more often that not a visit to the doctor will not cost
anything, and if they want you to get an injection such as Yellow Fever of the Flu
Injection then they will not charge. It all depends on the doctor and ships policy.

Wedding Planning: Whom Should You Tip? | Entertainment tips

Wedding planning: Whom should you tip?Most of the vendors who provide services for your wedding will give you a flat rate or let you know what percentage of the final bill is expected for the gratuity. Be sure to ask up front about expected tips. Here are some general guidelines on who to tip and how much to tip.Apparel & Beauty VendorsSeamstress – You are not expected to tip for alterations to your dress. This service provider gives you a price based on the amount of time and supplies needed to alter or make your dress.Beauty Professionals – This is a professional who expects a tip. Fifteen to 20 percent of your total bill is expected for a hair stylist, makeup artist; nail technician or other beauty professional.Officiant Ministers or Priests do not usually charge for their services. However, it is expected that you make a gift to their church or other house of worship.Most Clergy or Ministers will give you a typical honorarium amount.The range is about $50 to $500.You are expected to pay travel expenses for a minister or other officiate traveling more than within their local area.

JP’s usually charge a flat rate. A tip is a nice gesture, but not expected.Transportation AttendantsTips are usually included in the rental fee for limousines and other travel providers. Make sure you get this in writing before your wedding.Valets should be tipped $1-$2 per vehicle.Various Attendants
Coat and restroom attendants should be tipped $1-$2 per guest.Food/Catering StaffWaitstaff – The catering bill usually includes a gratuity of 15 to 20 percent of the final bill for wait staff tips. Be sure to clarify this with your catering manager before the wedding.Bartenders – Bartenders should be paid in the same manner as waiters and waitresses. Their tip should be a percentage of the beverage bill as agreed upon with your catering vendor.Catering Manager – Most caterers include a charge of 15 to 20 percent of the bill for their services. Make sure this is in your agreement.Entertainment ProfessionalsChurch Musicians – An organist or other church musician’s fee is usually included in the rental fee. Be sure this is the case before the wedding. A tip of $25-40 per musician is adequate for exceptional performances.Live Musicians (Reception Entertainment) – You are paying a flat fee for the band’s time. Unless you want to tip above the fee for a stellar performance, a tip is not expected. $25 per band member is a customary tip in this case.DJ – Again, you are paying a flat rate for a DJ’s services. Tipping is not necessary. If the DJ did an outstanding job, a tip of $50-$75 is adequate.Audiovisual ProfessionalsPhotographers – This is another case of fee-for-service payment. Show your photographer your appreciation by purchasing more prints after the wedding.Videographers – As a fee-for-service professional, you are not expected to tip.Your wedding planner or coordinator is another fee-for-service professional. He or she will either charge you a flat fee or hourly rate for their services. Do not worry about a tipping your wedding planner.Other Wedding ProfessionalsFlorist – You are paying a flat rate for their services. No tip is expected. Be sure to ask about any delivery or set up fees.

Rental Staff – You are not expected to tip staff dropping off tables, chairs, linens or other reception supplies. This is covered in the rental fees.Who Handles Tip Distribution?The Best Man is usually responsible for making sure gratuities are paid to the vendors. If your best man does not want or cannot take on this task, you should find a trusted individual to do this duty.Make this job easy by providing labeled, sealed envelopes with the correct tip amounts before the wedding. Then all your best man will have to do is distribute the envelopes. Don’t forget to give him some extra cash just in case there is something that comes up.The tip should be presented to whoever is “head” of the service. For example, the catering manager is the contact for the food and bar services.Don’t forget about providing a meal for your service providers. The photographer and entertainers should have some sort of food and beverage arrangement prepared. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your caterer as part of planning your reception. Also, be sure to let the service providers know the arrangement beforehand.