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Speaking Engagements on Cruise Lines

Denise Corcoran

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I want to thank everyone for their valuable input to my inquiry about speaking on cruise lines.

-- Michael Lee

  1. They rarely pay speakers but rather simply give you a free cruise including meals. You must pay airfare and transfers unless you have a big name. Be aware that this can cost more than the price of a packaged cruise you buy on your own.

  2. They want general audience topics that are unusual. It must appeal to both men and women and be delivered with humor.

  3. Watch out for the late fall and early spring cruises due to the prevalence of bad weather. I once did a seminar in 20-foot swells. The audience was green and not with envy!

  4. You are better off putting together your own seminars. If you can book 20-30 cabins (depending on the cruise line) you get a free cruise. In addition, you will get PAID for your program. Look for groups that need to have continuing education (CE) program like lawyers, doctors and teachers. Get approved by their governing body and offer the seminars on a ship.

  5. Be aware of how many "days at sea" there will be. Short trips like the Mexican Riviera out of California have only 1 day at sea so you can only do a 1-day program. Many groups need two or more days of education to fulfill significant CE requirements.

-- Vicki Sullivan

  • 2 or 3 agents in country (Bramson Entertainment, NYC, gets mixed reviews; Working Vacations on West Coast you pay, Karp Enterprises)

  • good source: Cruise Travel magazine; many changes in the industry now (lots of mergers) so policies can change; speakers for cruises longer than 7 days;

  • topics: art tours, geography, naturalists, all depends on cruise;

  • key contact: entertainment department, cruise lines corporate offices

  • enhancement destination topics are the most asked for; many speakers worked for state department, diplomats, bulk of career in foreign service, professors. Perspective is important; academy at sea program: take classes on longer cruises, "how to run a theatre," cooking, sports, navigation; lifestyle issues OK, but not a priority; financial lectures not well attended;

  • very competitive market -- audiences very sensitive to promo of self/book/product

-- Sandra Schrift

Check out the Travel Resource Center. This Web site provides books, seminars, etc. focused specifically on delivering seminars, retreats and presentations on cruises.

-- Mike Larsen

  • Come up with topics of interest to older people with money, and test them first with local seniors groups if necessary.

  • Passengers will rate you on how you relate to them when you aren't speaking, so if you want to be invited back, be as nice as you can to everyone. This isn't hard because they're nice people.

SpeakerNet News is produced by Rebecca Morgan and Ken Braly. It is not affiliated with the National Speakers Association. Send comments or suggestions