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I was on a cruise where a celebrity performed for one night. It was a major celebrity, not the cruise-line's entertainers - I understand they travel with the cruise. The entirety of the cruise was 28 days.

But in this case, the show was in the middle of seven days at sea, and I couldn't imagine they would stay on the boat for the whole cruise. My question is whether a major, one-night-only celebrity (in this case, stand-up comic Chris Rock):

  • Stayed on the cruise the entire duration,
  • Arrived four days prior in Barbados, traveled the seven days at sea (performing in the middle) and departed in Portugal, or
  • Had joined the cruise by a boat or helicopter (? is that possible) or some other means just for the evening.

We were a large group, arranged by a fortunate friend to be in several suites ($$$); presuming that is the section a star would stay and nobody would miss him about the boat, but we only saw the performance. I understand someone can spend the entirety of seven or twenty-eight days inside their suite, but I don't suspect they would.

Do celebrities spend the entire duration of a cruise, just the at-sea required days, or do they transport in somehow for the night of the event?

EDIT: If it needs clarification (for facilities that the celebrity could have used for transport), this was on board the Seabourn Odyssey between Barbados and Portugal.

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    I do not know the answer but sure as hell it's not a helicopter. boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1005339 – chx Mar 30 '17 at 10:13
  • @chx - that was my immediate thought as well - I've been in helicopters that land/take off from solid ground in great weather, and it was still delicate. – Mikey Mar 30 '17 at 10:39
  • I can certainly confirm that helicoptering on/off a ship at sea is a very delicate operation. I've experienced it a few times for work and the number of safety precautions in place was staggering. I can't imagine that being done just to transport an entertainer for one performance. – brhans Mar 30 '17 at 13:07
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    Bear in mind that there are often several "clubs" onboard a cruise ship, some of which you only get invited to at certain levels of ticketing, so he could have done other shows without you knowing. – Moo Mar 30 '17 at 13:22
  • How is this related to Travel? – JonathanReez Supports Monica Mar 30 '17 at 21:11
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Big stars don't want to be stuck in the middle of a few thousand tourists.

Cruiseships have totally separate cabin areas for crew members, including nice cabins for big name entertainers. There are also separate dining rooms, lounge and recreation facilities. And even within the crew area there can be further division with officer's facilities and general crew facilities, further allowing privacy for stars as they get to use the officers facilities.

Big stars will board and disembark at the ports that leave them onboard the least amount of time (likely Barbados & Portugal in the OP's cruise).

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    It depends. Some performers, particularly short stay, would prefer and are assigned revenue staterooms. There are no celebrity crew quarters since they would go unoccupied (unsold) most if the time. Regardless of their accommodation, they have access to all guest facilities. – Johns-305 Mar 30 '17 at 16:25
  • @Johns-305 - Cabins in the crew area are not part of the revenue stream, so occupancy % is irrelevant. And yes, while a big star might want to stay guest side, more likely since every passenger knows they are on board and a large percentage will be on the prowl for photos and autographs, staying out of public spaces would likely be the big star's preferred scenario. – user13044 Mar 30 '17 at 17:46
  • You misunderstand, there are no celebrity crew quarters because that would always be non-revenue space and too much area to sail empty most of the time. Many ships now have keyed access areas now, Royal Suite Class, The Haven, etc. – Johns-305 Mar 30 '17 at 18:09
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    @Johns-305 - If you look at modern cruise ships, the revenue generating cabins only represent a moderate portion of the total space within the ship, an extra VIP cabin or two in the crew area is not a problem. But we obviously both have our opinions. – user13044 Mar 30 '17 at 18:40
  • I think the key point is the first sentence. The one thing the big star will definitely not be doing is mixing with passengers. The cruise line has much more control over crew, including officers, and could prevent rudeness such as gawking, selfies, and autograph hunting if the star used a VIP crew cabin. Alternatively, they could stay in one of the larger suites, where they can eat meals with only their invited guests and have a private verandah. – Patricia Shanahan Mar 30 '17 at 22:51
4

Carnival is really good at this and they do the same thing with minor comedians.

Often times you will see two Carnival ships in the same port toward the middle of a longer cruise (7 days or longer). There the comedian teams will switch ships. The one that was on ship A moves to ship B, and the one that was on ship B moves to ship A. This gives variety of entertainment to the guests, does not cost the cruise line any additional money, and is only a minor inconvenience for the comedians. If they were on the road, they would have to travel to a new town and hotel anyway.

The same kind of thing could be done for major celebrities who may fly into the port of call. They fly in, get on the ship, do their routine, move to another ship, do their routine, move to a third, fly home.

Doing things this way allows the cruise line to advertise that "Chris Rock" or whoever, is on three cruises rather than one and gets the appropriate sales bump.

Or they might fly in to a port one day and only be on the ship until the next port of call.

Most decks of a cruise ship are spoken for, and there would not be much room for a helipad let alone have the skills for flight operations.

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    This was my instinct too; then I read the question: "Arrived four days prior in Barbados, traveled the seven days at sea (performing in the middle) and departed in Portugal". Which port, in the middle of the Atlantic, do you suppose Chris Rock got off at to switch ships? – AndyT Mar 30 '17 at 13:28
  • He was probably holed up in his room then. Perhaps he was working on new material. It is possible that he joined by boat (although a bit dangerous) that is how the harbor masters get on and off board. – Pete B. Mar 30 '17 at 13:30
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    As a contractor the performer should have crew area access so they theoretically could visit many of the restaurants or other venues through the back door. But realistically, seeing a celebrity isn't that big a deal. – Johns-305 Mar 30 '17 at 14:17
  • Good (and informative) answer +1, but I'm curious if the celebrity spent the entire seven days at sea for just one performance. I'd be very surprised if he was helicoptered in or brought in by boat, but I just don't know. – Mikey Mar 30 '17 at 20:21
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The cruise lines and performers are very flexible on this. So, there are several facets to the Answer:

  • The performers stay on the ship as long as their contract stipulates
  • The performers stay on the ship as long as practical
  • The performers can embark/disembark at any port, they would never fly someone to or from the ship. It's very dangerous and they really, really, really, really don't like transfer procedure.
  • The performers will often rotate ships at Ports of Call as well as Home Ports
  • The performers can stay on the ship as long as they want if part of the contract
  • The 'cruise' part can be part of the payment. The performer may have family aboard.
  • The performers can be hired directly by the cruise line or by the organization chartering all or part of the ship.

The contracting process is relatively similar for all entertainment so process wise, there isn't a huge difference between the show performers who are on the ship for weeks or months and the guest performers who do 1, 2, 3 performances.

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