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Teaching Fitness on Cruise Ship

by Paul
teaching on a cruise ship

Teaching On a Cruise

Teaching fitness classes period is very rewarding. I have been inspiring people to exercise their body soul and spirit since 1989.  I have taught in many places on land, including television for 20 years but never thought that at this time in my life that I would be doing so on cruise ship.  I will share my experience with you here.

The difference between teaching on land and ship is you that you never know if the ocean is going to be your friend or not.  Meaning rocking the boat!  I have been in fitness classes on a ship where it was a little rocky, you just have to be more mindful of your footing.  But that was not the case when I was teaching classes.  The one thing an instructor has to keep in mind is that on a ship you don’t really know what type of space you will be teaching in before you get there!  Don’t think of your local gym at home.  In my case it was literally a bar with most of the room having carpet.  So, I knew right away I would have to modify what I intended to do.  Not only the flooring but the spacing.  Again, take your local gym you teach at home out your mind, you will have to be creative.  The next thing you have to be concerned about is the sound system.  Did the cruise line provide with the proper type of mic to use?  The cruise provided me with a wireless mic, but it was a handheld!  I was not the first instructor to encounter this, I have been to other instructors’ classes on the ship and seen them dealing with the same issue.  If you are the type of instructor who can speak and project loudly you will be fine.  

The Participants

Just like on land your participants are going to come from all walks of life and fitness levels which is perfectly fine.  If you are a good communicator, you will do fine, even if they don’t speak your language.  Your joy of helping others will overflow and many will be grateful.

The Con Side

It’s not all rosy when teaching on a cruise ship.  You have to set up equipment on time, make sure you have our own backup equipment to rely to make sure that your class will go on.   I am mainly speaking of a mic or cables you may need to hoop up your device to their sound system.  You will not have as much time to go on excursions as the other people on the cruise because you are working.  So, I see teaching on a cruise ship as not a vacation.  The last part is to know and understand the terms of your contract.  Do you need to meet a specific quota of participants?  Do you have to pay for any part of your cabin or all of it?  Remember cruise lines are in the business to make money off the successful hard sweat accomplishments you made on land.  They see your success as one of their cash cows!  So, remember that. 


Teaching on the cruise ship is a lot of fun and a great experience, but I would not want to do it all the time.  I love my space and independence too much to give it up at this time in my life. 

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