I was offered an amazing opportunity recently to be a guest entertainer on a gorgeous cruise line and if you know me you'll know I am always up for jumping on a plane (or boat!) for an exciting adventure, so how could I say no?!
It was all very last minute, I was contacted due to the need of an urgent replacement for a Singing Guitarist on a Viking cruise around the Mediterranean for up to two weeks. As I already had gigs and weddings booked in and could only do 5 days at a push, I thought they would find someone else but to my surprise they booked me and my guitar on a flight out to Venice a couple of days later and that's where it all began!
I thought I would be put in the crew quarters for my stay but I was a̶b̶s̶o̶l̶u̶t̶e̶l̶y̶ b̶o̶u̶n̶c̶i̶n̶g̶ o̶f̶f̶ t̶h̶e̶ w̶a̶l̶l̶s̶ pleasantly surprised to learn that, as a guest entertainer for a short space of time, I would have my own guest room with access to everything that any other guest on the cruise would have...this meant access to the spa, to the infinity pool, the restaurants and bars... I was in heaven! Also, all of the guest rooms on Viking cruises come with a veranda, so I went from expecting a tiny crew cabin with no window to having a gorgeous guest cabin with my own private balcony...LIVING THE DREAM!!
I have holidayed on cruises before and I am a big fan, I geek out on the details of each individual ship and what they offer, so this opportunity really was a dream come true for me, especially with being on a line such as Viking.
So, I boarded the Viking Sky in Venice, had a wander around the ship, jumped up and down with excitement in my glorious room and then got straight into the working side of it! I would pop my name badge on in the evenings and go from guest to performer and I loved every single gig that I did on the ship. The guests were lovely and seemed to really enjoy my style of music, it was nice to get to know them and to grow a little fan base even in the short amount of time I was there. When not performing I had from morning to afternoon to do as I pleased, as long as I was back onboard for sound checks and rehearsals. I managed to get off the ship and explore the wonderful cities of Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia, as well as the delightful port of Kotor in Montenegro. For this stop I woke up at sunrise so that I could watch us sail into the bay through the fjords, all from the privacy of my veranda! It was stunning.
Most nights I performed 4 x 45 minute sets of music in different areas across the ship. I would start with 2 chilled out sets in the Explorers Lounge starting from 6pm. The Explorers Lounge is a beautiful two story room at the front of the ship, with a bar, comfortable seating and lots of interesting things to keep you occupied such as books, telescopes, globes and panoramic views of the sea. A lot of the time you can catch the sunset from this part of the ship so it was a lovely place to be early evening.
After my lounge sets and a quick bite to eat in the World Cafe buffet restaurant I would head down to Torshavn, an intimate live music bar, here I would perform on the stage and do a few more lively numbers late into the evening.
On my final day on the ship I was so excited, and definitely a bit nervous, to be performing in the Star Theatre. My show 'Chloe In Concert' had been advertised in the daily cruise itineraries, on the screens around the ship and even across the tannoy to the whole ship and anyone else in the vicinity! I had been talking it up during my other gigs too and to the guests I spoke to around the ship but because it was a late show I was unsure if many people would make it, a few had said
that they would be in bed by then but they would watch the live broadcast that went out to all of the TVs on the ship, direct from the theatre, however when I walked out to see a full audience in the theatre that night I was overjoyed.
I performed a selection of my original songs and told the stories behind them, along with some of the songs from artists who have inspired me during my musical journey so far. In that moment, performing some of my favourite songs to an audience who sat listening to every word, I was so honestly so happy to be there. It was the perfect ending to an unexpected and unforgettable few days.
I loved my cruise job experience and as I am so fond of cruising, travelling and making music, I am sure it won't be my last!