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Gig&Tell: Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Horrendous Company    
    08/06/2018  9:23pm

    Promises made for yellow cards, was painted a really pretty picture of privileges that we would have, and then they were all denied once getting on the ship. So many changes and rules added to make sure those “privileges” were not feesible to any of us. Made clear by memeber of the ship that we were not wanted in guest areas, or denied access. Even on a brand new ship and new show, we were met with unnecessary difficulties and unprofessional commentary. Absolutely terrible experience and the feelings are shared with the entire cast. Also, don’t do a new build or install of a new ship. That’s also a terrible experience. Every grievance mentioned above about past struggles have NOT changed. Those problems still exist and are a huge issue.

    Curious, which show and ship did you have this experience with?

    08/27/2018  8:10pm
  • Horrible experience. 12/16/2015  5:43pm

    NCL is a horrible company. They don't issue contracts in a timely manner, they change terms of agreement, and they do not pay competitively...or on time (I know of several people that worked for more than four weeks without payment).

    I concur to the above. As yellowcards we still have privelages like dining halls and passenger areas that Disney and Aida don't have, but even that is being threatened right now. Shoreside take a around 2 weeks to get a response from, and when your money is in question it is very nervewracking Go,just be waiting, having to send numerous emails.

    I Woudlnt say horrible, but it seems to be a harder cruise job than others in terms of red tape and bullshit and politics.

    The main issue is the don't mess with peoples contracts.

    12/27/2015  10:21pm

    Can you be more specific in terms of contract changes? Are you only paid weekly/monthly upon arrival shoreside? How quickly does this get remedied?

    01/06/2016  8:11pm

    NCL just merged with Oceana and Regent and have adopted their alcohol policy of .05. If you are a small female dancer, this is essentially one drink. And yes, they do watch your drinking habits on cameras and will fire you. Zero tolerance. We lost a company manager on the breakaway.

    The current rock of ages cast has started rehearsals and does not have a Drew, Joey Primo, or Dennis yet. Stacee has not cleared medical. The remaining cast members were flown down early from their homes to sit on their asses, and WILL have to fight to get paid for those days. They are currently a mess.

    03/08/2016  1:53pm

    I’m going to start with the positives, because they DO exist, though there aren’t many. My experience with the creative team and rehearsal process was wonderful. I can't say enough good things about the time spent in the rehearsal studios putting the show together. The cast I spent my contract with was amazing, and the money is of course a great draw.

    That being said, I will never work for NCL again, nor will I ever step onto one of their ships as a passenger. Some things to keep in mind:
    -NCL does not honor the start date of their preemployment contract in regards to pay. They will pay you from when they decide to fly you down to Tampa and include you in rehearsals. Not necessarily from the date you agree to make yourself available for them by quitting your job and subletting your home.

    -NCL tells you to be prepared for 2 weeks of rehearsal without a paycheck. In reality, our cast wasn't paid until our last day in Tampa, and the cast before mine was fighting for rehearsal pay even after they got onto the ship.

    -NCL will give you a hard time about reimbursements. Get a PHYSICAL COPY of your boarding pass if you want to be reimbursed for luggage without a problem. Travel day meals must be actual meals from an actual restaurant - you won’t be reimbursed for that yogurt and apple you bought to eat healthy before you enter a contract that requires you to weigh in week after week. You will not be reimbursed for luggage or medical fees until you are well into your contract. They’ve changed their medical procedure with the recent merger, but read the fine print so you know just how much you will be on the line for.

    -Do not expect any communication, support, or basic respect from shoreside once you board the ship. Our cast was in constant flux due to two unfortunate medical issues, and instead of being proactive and responsive to repeated requests from our dance captain and on board team for replacements (or even INFORMATION regarding replacements), shoreside left everything to the last minute. Every time. I’m talking about multiple cases of roughly 24 hours notice. The absolute worst instance of this just happened on our final week, when complaints about the show going dark finally reached the upper upper management. NCL’s fix? To fly in two of the incoming cast early and add two shows AFTER we were supposed to have already closed.

    ~BAC (blood alcohol content) limit is .05. (Yes, less than the legal driving limit) That is roughly one drink for a female at dancer weight, and maybe two drinks for a decently sized man. And it is enforced.


    I will never tell another person to not take a job that’s offered to them, I know how hard it can be to find work, and the branded shows on NCL are great ways to do awesome work and get paid really well. However, I do not believe that NCL is honest in how it conducts business, and everyone should know what they are walking into before they accept employment. I hope this helps people in their decision making process, and maybe even helps to encourage change in the NCL offices.

    03/27/2016  11:25am

    Does anyone know if they issue 3 month contracts?

    06/04/2016  4:29pm

    I have worked at some sketchy places, I have worked at theme parks and I have even done non equity one nighter tours, and still NCL is literary the worst company I have ever worked for. All the other reviews are true and then some. I just wanted to add that they are truly an awful company.

    07/11/2016  7:48pm

    Tyler Gray.... stay away!

    Cruise Director who will exploit and have you do more than you are contracted to do just to make himself look good. He will put you in terrible situations to save his own ass, and if it doesn't go well, it's on you and not him. Oh and if he doesn't like you, he'll even look for ways to fire you regardless if you're follow all the rules. Lots of performers sent home because of him.

    That's Tyler Gray on the Escape
    Seems like a bro, but really wants to be the only child. Don't work with this guy...

    Oh and as for the company. Good things happen here (beautiful islands, lots of time off, guest privileges), but be prepared to feel more like a number at times... You're an entertainer at rehearsals before you get on the boat, but NCL is governed by rich ass holes and navy vets who don't understand quality and just care about the bottom line... did the show happen? good on to the next thing. There's not enough support from the people who hired you because they're on land and there's like 3 guys who are in charge of all the entertainment in the fleet...And they're philosophy is, "it's not a problem until it's a problem" which means if you're having serious issues (i.e. being forced to do something you didn't agree to) they will handle it very slowly or not at all hoping you will cool down and deal with it by yourself or just take it up the butt and be quiet.

    Be weary... good luck

    02/23/2017  5:26pm

    I was contracted for 7 months (one month in Tampa and six at sea) doing Rock of Ages on the Breakaway. I had an incredible experience. I will say that the medical exam for new hires does take a very long time, ESPECIALLY if you list any pre-existing conditions; serious or minor. I've heard horror stories about cast members not being cleared for rehearsal until the week before installation. The more proactive you can be with this, the better!!! Also, make sure that you have all of your contract details worked out and corrected WHILE you are in Tampa to avoid any headache once you are on board. It's true what they say- shoreside is pretty useless once you are on the ship so try to dot all of your i's and cross your t's beforehand.

    Once you are off and sailing the best advice I can give is to remember that you are working for a larger corporation with expectations for all employees and so you have eyes on you. Use your discretion and follow the rules and you will have a great experience. This comes easier to some than it does for others, but I promise you that they will leave you be as long as you are behaving correctly.

    It was such a treat to do Rock of Ages with the original direction, choreography, set design, costume designs, etc. Most of the passengers LOVE the show. We even had a few special passengers who came back to cruise multiple times on the breakaway because they loved the show so much.

    03/19/2017  10:37pm

    I have worked for Oceania and Regent for them and it was an amazing experience. The only negative is that they cast VERY last minute. But I love the creatives and the shows and being on board was incredible!

    11/08/2017  12:48am

    Terrible company, terrible communication skills.

    12/20/2017  9:45pm

    It really all depends. NCL has made a ton of changes since this first initial post. Here’s the T for the start of 2018.

    If you book a “book show”- do it. They pay so well, and depending on your management team and other onboard management like your hotel director, cruise director, could be a dream contract.

    If you book “production cast”- you will work your butt off. It’s a much more intensive schedule than “book shows” but they also pay well and I learned a lot about my time management and teamwork. But in this situation it’s way more important to be humble and get along with people because you are working in the theatre with your cast far more often.

    NCL has a ton of ships, and if you do a good job and pull your own weight- they will keep you around and offer you other contracts. However if you don’t put in the work, it WILL get back to the head offices.

    Basically- if you are a hard worker and you are easy to get along with- NCL is a fantastic company to work for. They pay super well (even better than some broadway contracts at the moment, or so I’ve been told) and you have the opportunity to work with some big wigs in the business.

    Only beef I have is sometimes it’s very hard to get in communication with them but my spidey senses say they are seriously working on this.

    01/24/2018  11:21am

    DO NOT do an Oceania or Regent contract!!! You've been warned.

    03/12/2018  1:17am