Jimmy Cricket talks about performing on cruise ships in his latest newspaper column – and how it’s not always as idyllic as it sounds!
In the 27 July edition of the Lancashire Post, Jimmy recalls one particular time when things did not go to plan.
He posted a copy of his column (above) on social media and a full transcript of it is below.
As a postscript to his message, Jimmy said: “Hi folks! Here is my July @leponline
“Sadly I have to report that this wonderful Passenger Shipping Company is no longer trading, and is now a casualty, and another repercussion of Covid 19. #StaySafe”
You know I met my good lady on a cruise ship.
We stood on the deck looking out on the moonlight glimmering on the waves and she said, “You know you remind me of the sea”.
I said, “You mean I’m rough and rugged?”
She said, “No, you make me sick!”
I wish I had a disinfectant cleaned ten pound note for every person that’s said to me how much they envy me sailing round the world seeing all the sights and tucking into scrumptious grub and getting paid for the privilege.
Now I don’t want to seem ungrateful for all this.
And I’d be telling a lie if I said I didn’t pinch myself whenever looked out of the cabin window, as the ship sailed into breathtakingly beautiful places like Venice.
Having said all that, being a passenger and an entertainer on board are two very different things, especially if you are a comedian.
If you tickle their funny bone on the night it’s your turn to perform, you can strut around the decks the next morning with your chest out drinking in the compliments.
However, if your humour doesn’t appeal to them and you struggle during your spot, you feel like you want to hide in your cabin and get your meals pushed under the door.
Here’s the thing folks it may not be your fault because cruise ships, like life itself, can throw you a curve.
I’m going to give you an example and l warn you, if you’re of a nervous disposition then look away now.
A few years back, I was booked to do a stint on a cruise ship with one of the big cruise companies.
I flew to Honolulu via LA and joined the ship.
The next night after I arrived on board the Captain himself came on the intercom in the cabin to say he was very sorry but the ship had developed engine trouble and that when we docked in Auckland, New Zealand, it would have to stay there for a few days and we wouldn’t now be visiting Bora Bora, Wellington.
As he reeled off the names of these exotic places I could almost hear the collective groans of the passengers.
Remember this was a round-the-world cruise and most of them had paid a small fortune to be on there.
Some had even made arrangements to meet friends and family at these ports.
An air of despondency settled over the ship and the next morning a group of angry passengers attended a hastily arranged meeting to see what legal action could be taken against the shipping company.
The next night I was due to do my spot and I toyed with the idea of jumping over board and heading for the nearest shore.
It was either that or play to a roomful of disgruntled passengers and from where I stood on the deck the sharks seemed a much more pleasant option.
I finally succumbed to my senses and did my show. I won’t say I did badly but after my show they held a minute’s silence.
You’ll be happy to know, dear readers, that I’ve shook off the emotional scars from that incident and in Easter 2021 (lockdown permitting), I’ll be doing cabaret on a Maritime Cruises ship, The Columbus, and we’ll be stopping off at ports around Great Britain and the Channel Islands.
Stay safe and healthy.