How Much Money Do Cruise Ship Musicians Make?

By Alice Nichols

Cruise ship musicians are popular members of the entertainment staff on ships, providing music and entertainment to guests. Cruise ship musician salaries vary greatly depending on the musician’s experience, location, and cruise line.

Musicians who have prior cruise ship experience often earn more than those who are new to the field. Musicians commonly have a base rate plus overtime pay if they play extra gigs or shows. Cruise lines may also offer bonuses for certain performances.

The location of a musician’s contract also affects their salary. Contracts in Europe can pay significantly more than those in other regions due to higher demand for cruise entertainment and higher cost of living in Europe.

Cruise lines also differ in terms of how much they pay musicians. Some lines may offer higher base rates plus bonuses, while others may only offer a base rate with no additional compensation.

In general, experienced cruise ship musicians can earn up to $3500 per month, with some earning even more depending on their contract and performance bonuses from the cruise line. Newer musicians typically make less, but can still make between $2000-3000 per month depending on their contract and experience level.


Overall, how much money do cruise ship musicians make varies greatly depending on experience level, location of the contract, and which cruise line they work for. Experienced musicians can make up to $3500 per month while newer musicians typically earn between $2000-3000 per month.