It was a lot of hard (good) work doing 9 different shows, but it was a wonderful experience and we were always treated super well. Rehearsing in Hamburg was also amazing because you get to live in Germany and experience a new city while meeting friends from all over the world. Yes, of course there were things on board that were difficult, but it is a cruise company and we are hired as entertainers and it IS a JOB, so there will always be pros and cons. In general, a wonderful experience visiting unbelievable places and getting to do what I love every day. Something I will never forget!
Would love to hear more about what made the job difficult while at sea! The details of the "pros and cons", as you describe them. Thanks!
You will have 2 months rehearsal in Hamburg Germany. They will tell you they will have a car waiting for you at the airport. They may or may not forget they told you that. I also know someone who arrived and had to take the train directly to Rostock Germany for the safety course immediately when they arrived- if I had to do that by myself I would have cried.
Luckily, I had a friend who worked for them that warned me of all the issues before I worried for them so I knew what I was getting into.
I arrived at the airport and was picked up by a taxi with a little sign that said 'AIDA' and dropped off at the "hotel". It was actually a hostel, but the AIDA casting people told me it would be a hotel. Big difference in expectation. It was above a bar and super loud. Then after Christmas break, we were required to find our own housing.. In Germany... And they gave us a stipend. Airbnb was the best way to go.
We had to travel to Rostock Germany on the train the take a bus for the safety course. Luckily, I was with cast mates and we all worked together to figure out how to get there. I absolutely would not have been able to do it by myself or with one other person even.
The safety course was all in German. the people that spoke English pretty much slept the whole course. Just study the slides and ask the German people to help you.
Rehearsal was a bitch. The choreographer I had went super fast. It was easy choreography! But he would teach like half the song and then be like "ok?" I'm usually pretty decent at picking up stuff, but it was really difficult.
Then we flew to Dubai to start on the cruise ship. Arrived at 2am and had to be up at 6am to make 8am rehearsal.
None of us felt ready for any of the shows, but somehow pulled them together for the performances. Rehearsal was intense on the ship for the first 2-3 weeks then we started to get the hang of the shows. We did 8 shows and each of the singers had a solo show so singers did 9 shows. They alternated what shows we did each week. We did not perform until 9:30pm so we had a lot of time to go out and see things.
I lucked out with my dance captain because he didn't make us do too many rehearsals. I've heard of some of the Aida dance captains doing rehearsal the whole contract so you don't get to see as much.
They really treat you as the crew. You have crew duties and have to stay on the ship every 4th day in case of an emergency. Although you get your own cabin, it's so so small.
Don't get me started on the food they had for the crew. It was AWFUL. We got to request special dining days and eat where the passengers did, but only a few times during the whole contract. They pretty much served shit on a platter to the crew.
My advice is to make sure you ask a lot of questions before signing your contract. And throughout the contract, continue to make sure they give you tons of details. Don't party late in the crew bar every night. Wake up and go see the world!
Overall, I don't regret the experience. There was a lot of bullshit, but it's worth it if you make friends with your cast and all go through it together. Try to have a good attitude about it.
Thanks for the reply. Interesting and dissappointing about the lack of truth in their advertising...
How long ago did you tour with them?
A lot of this information is no longer accurate. The safety course is a ferry ride away from where rehearsals take place in Hamburg and they do give you housing options to choose from. It's definitely not "easy" for the first time doing it, especially if you're traveling across the world, but it is hard and fun work and you meet a lot of great people.
Also, I am on a ship currently and the food is really decent and my room is small but fine. It might just depend on the individual experience!
Just thought I would put my personal perspective out there for those considering working for AIDA!
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