Category Archive Tips

ByRick Deutsch

What do you wear to meals on cruise ships? Standards vary by line.

This is not the 1990’s. Things change everywhere and that includes how to dress on cruise ships.

If you are reading this, you probably want to be a speaker. Free cruises for two are a good deal. If not, welcome – we provide a lot of real-people news that you can use.

OK, in the real ”old days” people wore a coat and tie all the time. Those days ended with the moon landing. Today, anything goes – within bounds. Not that long ago, we wore that uniform to work…then we saw casual Friday, then Hawaiian-shirt Friday…now if you show up in more than torn jeans and a TShirt you are subject to stares.

There are 4 classes of cruise ships: 1. All inclusive, 2. Luxury, 3. Contemporary, and 4. Premium.  If you can’t guess the difference, 1 & 2 are expensive. Think dressy. 3 & 4 are cheaper and they attract passengers that may not even own a tie, so they allow more basic clothes.

Class 4 ships entertain the “club med” crowd and don’t use speakers, so we’ll skip them. Here are the basic definitions:

Casual: Sport shirts and slacks for men, sundresses or pants for women.
Smart Casual: Jackets and ties for men, dresses or pantsuits for women.
Formal: Suits and ties or tuxedos for men, cocktail dresses for women.

Bare feet or bathing suits are not allowed at any time in the dining room and shorts are not permitted at dinner.

Formal Nights are being phased out. Hauling a 10-pound tuxedo monkey-suit cuts into the 50 lb airline limit. Many women (my wife) does not like to pack 2-3 gowns just to impress total strangers. I get by with a dark suit for my talks and the formal nights – if we even attend. Hamburgers by the pool work for us.

As a speaker, you represent the ship – look good at all times. Toss in 3 neckties and you answer the mail.  Ladies – you are on your own here. We have no women on staff at SpeakOnCruises. Send us an application!


The former Captain of the Costa Concordia will be wearing an orange suit – after appeals, he’s now marching off to serve 16-years in an Italian prison. READ the backgrounder.

ship captain

Francesco Schettino heads to prison.


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ByRick Deutsch

Five ways to ensure you get invited back to speak on a cruise ship

man lecturing

Look like professional speaker

Speaking on world class cruise ships is a good gig.  Not everyone has the ability to do it. You need to know more about your topic than most other people. You can’t just read a book and claim to have credentials.

At SpeakOnCruises, we can help you with the imposing task of getting selected. Since you found us, we trust you have been through the website and read the blogs. We hold nothing back. OK, enough of the sales job.

Tips on getting your speaker-breathing technique

Once you are a bona-fide speaker with an assignment, here are five ways you can get follow up assignments. You need to impress you agent with your professionalism and out-right ability. On most ships, you will get rated by all passengers. I think this is very unfair. On a ship with 2,000+ guests, they ALL will rate you (along with the matre’d, housekeeper, waiter, the ventriloquist and the other functions. Seems like only people who heard you should “vote.” You better get an 8 out of 10 or your feedback from the ship to the agency will not be stellar. And surprise, even though the Cruise Director never heard you talk, he (I’ve never heard of a she CD), will give his comments about you to the home office Entertainment Dept.

Get your pencil out:

  1. Dress like you are a professional. You only get one chance to make a first impression. People will assume you are worthy of their time. Many will like you if you look sharp….like me:>)
  1. Be confident – KNOW your subject matter. Do not stumble looking for the words. Do not rely on notes. None. Own your subject and own the stage. You are a celebrity. Oprah knows her stuff. Be a celebrity. The guests will think you are.
  1. Have high quality images to support your talk. I ONLY use images. They are essential. Let the audience LOOK at pictures. They do not want a college class – B O R I N G. Bullets – NO! Ever hear of “Death by PowerPoint?” – That doesn’t actually mean Microsoft {PowerPoint. I like it and most ships require that you use some presentation software. PowerPoint is the grand daddy of them all.
  1. Talk slowly and clearly. Pause. No odd acronyms. Develop your talk was if you are giving it to your grandmother. That just might be the age of your audience. KISS – Keep it simple, stupid!
  1. Wrap up your talk on a high note. There needs to be a “punch line” that wraps up your talk….you know – a “take away.” Get off the stage in the time assigned. That seems to be more important than you r actual talk. You don’t want to keep your audience from bingo or their next activity. AND whoever follows you in the room will bark to the CD if you run over into their time.

Share your thoughts – send in a comment. No experience needed.

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ByRick Deutsch

When cruise staff mingles with passengers it’s good for business

When you are a lecturer on a cruise ship, the job is more than just talking for your assigned 45 minutes then heading to the pool.  You will be thought of as a ship employee – you are not, but most people have no idea.  You often wear a namebadge and you dress nice.

Remember this as you take an assignment. The cruise line wants to put their best image out on display. Always defer to passengers.  If there is a line, let them go ahead. an exception is for meals. You’d never get in if you stepped back.

Next, after you give your award-worthy talk, hang around….but outside the venue. Many of those folks want to head out to their next activity. AND the room might be needed for something else. That leaves 15 minutes for each of those things to happen.  DO NOT “give more” by talking extra. You will get to walk the plank!

Men talking

Meet with guests after your talk.

If, after your talk, you have time and the coast is clear for extra facetime, hang around and meet your audience. Many will be enthralled with your subject and want a piece of you. You’ll get some good questions…and, sorry some dumb ones.

Often, some will tell you that you did not cover their favorite topic in your talk.  Yes, it happens. I tell them – you are right — that’s a great subject, but I;m only given 45 minutes and cannot cover everything.

READ:  Is the cruise ship speaking future secure?

By mingling with guests you will develop a small groupie following which is good for your success on board.

Got a question or comment? – talk to us!  If you have not taken our class…why are you here?

Sail for free. Give presentations. I’m going soon to South America…wife too…free!

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