Gig&Tell: Holland America Cruises

  • Great Experience    
    02/05/2018  9:45pm

    Did a contract through RWS with Holland America. There are pros an cons to be found in any situation, and I will say the hardest part was being away for so long. My sea contract was 7.5 months (total contract was 9 months including rehearsals in NYC), but it's not like that was a surprise because everyone signs their own dotted line.

    My particular rehearsal process with RWS was extremely organized with a very timely, efficient, and passionate director/choreographer. I foresee my time on my HAL ship being a favorite for the rest of my life. I saved a LOT of money, had minimal duties on board (every crew member has a safety function for with life boat drills, but that was it), met amazing people from all over the world who I hold dear to my heart, and got to travel the world while singing and dancing - and getting paid well to do it. Was a once in a lifetime opportunity and am really happy I took the job.

    As mentioned in another post, you do have In Port Manning fairly frequently, but with such long contracts you get to see every port in your itinerary plenty of times. IPM felt like a huge deal at the beginning of our contract at sea, but once it sunk in that we as a cast had more than enough time to cross everything we wanted off our bucket lists, it got less frantic. I also thought the food on board was generally really great. Room service privileges are amazing, as well as the ability to make reservations in the specialty restaurants.

  • My time with Holland    
    06/01/2017  8:02pm

    I have worked for several cruise companies, one of which being Holland America. Like any ship line it had the good and the bad.

    The Good:
    reinstated allowing crew to have liquor
    my singers cabin was pretty big
    big bed too
    a lot of the "rules" we more like suggestions
    I got paid more than any other line by a lot
    cool new theatre
    the itinerary changed (if in the caribbean would change different islands instead of the same 2 week run for 5 months)
    their new internet policy was awesome
    room service

    The Bad:
    1 in 3 IPM...that's a lot
    The food. Even in the nice restaurants it lacked to every other line I've been on.
    crew bar prices slightly more than other lines
    Dutch officers, preferred Greek and British
    Lido, literally the same every day
    Not a lot of parties. The cast threw like 3 costume parties, maybe a few half assed parties on the ships behalf other than that.
    OB small and cramped

    Overall it was a pretty good contract. You kind of get left alone as long as you don't create problems, unlike other lines where you are watched under a microscope. The IPM is a lot and you end up staying onboard A LOT, but it is manageable because if someone gets on early you can jump off...but you can never have full cast outings like on other lines. The food is lame sauce and they need more snacks around, but you can bring on lots of food that other lines don't allow and there is always eating off the ship. Plus they seem to just do 6-7 month contracts instead of like 8-11, so you aren't ready to pull your hair out by the end!

    IPM?

    06/27/2017  6:54pm

    In Port Manning...you are in port but you can't get off the ship, even if it's a day off

    07/09/2017  10:14am

    I have worked for 3 cruise companies and this is by FAR the worst. They paid the least and have RIDICULOUS in port manning schedules that ruin the contract by making you and at least a 3rd of your cast stay on the ship while in port. And there are quite a lot of duties they make you do that they don't tell you about ahead of time. Handing out tender tickets for 3 hours!? No thanks. Standing in front of the Lido making people use hand sanitizer?! The guests are awful, RWS was awful, the whole experience was just terrible. Work for other cruise lines.

    11/08/2017  12:57am