Cruise Expose Part 3- The Cruise Director

June 30, 2017 by Michael Cordeiro

The November DJ cruise is coming up quick. If you haven’t booked already, why? This cruise on board the Carnival Sensation is going to provide the perfect mix of seminars, networking and relaxation. What could be better than sneaking off to the Caribbean for a week and writing it off as a business expense (talk to your accountant of course)? In this segment of our cruise ship entertainment expose I go behind the scenes with Carnival’s most requested Cruise Director Reverend Doc E (Eversen Bevelle).

Carnival Cruise lines has several different size ships in it’s fleet. On the smaller ships the roles of cruise director and entertainment director are entwined. Once the huge Vista class ships rolled out it became necessary to separate those jobs into two distinct entities. The cruise director handles the front of house duties and the entertainment director handles all the back of house duties. Think of their jobs in relation to most of the venues we spin at. You have the office and kitchen staff and then the room captain or banquet manager / event coordinator.

The cruise director is the literal face and voice of the ship. Reverend Doc E is the most sought after cruise director in Carnival’s fleet. People literally plan their cruises based on which ship he is directing. After spending a week watching him work and entertain, I can easily see why. The man is a force of nature. He is like Eddie Murphy, James brown, Jamie Foxx and Keenan Ivory Wayans all rolled into one. After a few days on board Rev Doc E finally had a few minutes to sit with me.
MikeC: The past few days have been a lot of fun watching you entertain. Have you always been this out going?
RevDocE: Yeah, since I was a kid I always liked to entertain people. It’s always made me happy to create a sense of joy in people.
MikeC: Do you have a background in entertainment?
RevDocE: My background is in television and media. I worked for a TV station in Alabama doing weather and news casting.
MikeC: How did you go from TV to cruise ships? That’s a big jump.
RevDocE: A friend of mine, Kirk, was working on the ships and I wanted to travel. I thought it would be something different.
MikeC: Did you start out as a director?
RevDocE: I started as a host then quickly moved to Assistant Cruise Director. In 2014 the new position of Cruise Director for the Vista class ships opened up. I applied and here I am (smiling).
MikeC: Why was it necessary for Carnival to separate the Cruise Director position from the Entertainment Director position?
RevDocE: With Carnival it’s all about the guest experience. On the Vista class ships it just became too much for one person to handle everything. There’s just too much going on everyday.
MikeC: Your focus is on entertaining the guests, right?
RevDocE: The Entertainment Director sets all the scheduling of the shows and activities on each cruise. My job is the execution of the activities. I make sure the “fun” happens.
MikeC: Did you go through a formal training program, like the DJ’s do with Spiniversity?
RevDocE: Just corporate training. On board it’s been kind of learn as you go. This is still a newer position for Carnival, so we’re still writing the rules.
MikeC: I’ve been watching your shows. You really know how to work a crowd. How did you get so good on the microphone?
RevDocE: Thank you. You really have to love people to be good at this. The mic takes lots of practice, but most of I what I do just comes naturally.
MikeC: I hear ya. Helping people celebrate milestones is worth the aggravation of playing bad venues and dealing with annoying guests. Have you ever had a bad cruise experience?
RevDocE: Knock on wood, no. People go on a cruise to relax and escape. They have fun on their minds when they board. I just bring it out in them.
MikeC: I think it’s a little more than that. After watching you perform, I gotta say you really have a way with people. How do you keep that energy level going?
RevDocE: Thanks, Mike. I think you have to be a strong observer. Every six or seven days a few thousand new faces from all over the world come on board and you have to make it awesome for them. They’re expecting you to make their vacation amazing.
MikeC: Does it get boring or repetitive? You know, week after week doing the same shows and parties.
RevDocE: No, it’s always different. It’s like what you do. Every week you have a party or a wedding, but they’re always different.
MikeC: Good point. How do you stay in such great shape? I mean, you’re on a cruise ship seven days a week. Nothing but food and drink everywhere.
RevDocE: By choice. The temptation is always there to kick back and relax and I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy myself, but I couldn’t perform my best if I slacked off. I workout hard everyday.
MikeC: So far this week I’ve seen you lead a Dr. Seuss parade in costume, Emcee a hairy chest contest, Host a huge deck glow party, host game shows on stage and a dozen other events and we’re only halfway through the cruise. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
RevDocE: Meetings.
MikeC: Really?
RevDocE: yeah, really. I hate meetings. I love being out with the guests. As long as I’m moving I’m fine.
MikeC: DJ Dawkness explained that the DJ’s usually do a three or six month contract at sea. Is that the same for you? Do you switch ships or stay on the Magic?
RevDocE: The Cruise Directors usually have a six month contract. I do change ships, but stay with the larger ones.
MikeC: Do you share a cabin? Are you restricted from any areas on the ship like some of the other crew?
RevDocE: I have my own cabin, which is great after a long day. My job is to interact with the guests, so I go everywhere on the ship. No restrictions.
MikeC: I hear you on the ship radio every morning singing. How did you come up with that jingle? Do you do other things on the ship?
RevDocE: That’s my good morning jingle. It’s on Itunes. I get a lot of questions about that. I needed something fun and it just kind of came to me. I’m also working a show for Carnival which is shown on the ship TV station called “Crew Confidential”. I go under cover and do different crew jobs to see what they’re like.
MikeC: Kind of a cross between that show “Below Deck” and “Undercover Boss“?
RevDocE: Right, but without the craziness.
MikeC: So how did you get the name “Reverend Doc E”?
RevDocE: Well my first name is Eversen, that’s the “E”. A band on board a few years ago said I was like a preacher and started calling me “The Reverend”. The name just came together from there.
MikeC: What advice would you give to someone that wanted to apply for this job?
RevDocE: Don’t (laughing). I would say you have to be super energetic and love people. I mean really love people. This job is so rewarding, but it is a grind. You have to stay healthy and sharp.
MikeC: That really applies to what I do as well. Great advice.
ReveDocE: Thanks. It’s not for everybody. I would say start in the entertainment department as a host to see if you like ship life first. You can always move up.
MikeC: How can people follow you or find out more about you?
RevDocE: My website is and I’m on twitter at: @thebevelle. I have social media links on my website also.
MikeC: Thanks for sitting with me today. I can’t wait to see what you do for the rest of the cruise.
RevDocE: Oh, there’s plenty more. Wait until the send off party in the atrium. Lots of balloons!

Reverend Doc E did not disappoint. The rest of the cruise was filled with fun interactive shows and the send off party in the ten story atrium was huge! We can all take a lesson from Eversen. Our job is to bring the fun to each event and make sure the guests have an unbelievable experience. We have no time to be shy, tired or disengaged. Not everyone is going to love you or enjoy what you do or how you perform; but don’t let the negativity of others stop you from being amazing. Be your best, do your best.

Michael Cordeiro Michael Cordeiro (55 Posts)

Mike Cordeiro is the owner of M.C. Entertainment. A small RI multi-op. Mike got his start in the entertainment field while stationed in Frankfurt Germany in 1990. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Entertainment & Event Management from Johnson & Wales University and has appeared on TLC’s Four Weddings, hosted an episode of Toddler’s & Tiaras, and does background acting for movies.

Filed Under: Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Misc