Pioneering performances onboard cruise ships

Amy Morris gives Rebecca Gibson an insight into how Pop Up Entertainment is revolutionising cruise entertainment and transforming the working environment for performers

Pioneering performances onboard cruise ships
“Our employees tell us that Pop Up is the best company to work for because we take care of them,” says Amy Morris

Amy Morris had two key goals when she founded Pop Up Entertainment: to revolutionise cruise entertainment and to transform the experience for performers.  

“We aim to be the company that performers want to work for and clients want to work with,” she says. “When I was a singer and dancer on cruise ships, I felt that the entertainment offerings were becoming dated, and performers weren’t being adequately looked after, so I established a company that would transform the industry.” 

Just a few years later, Morris is well on her way to achieving her goals. Pop Up is helping major operators like MSC Cruises and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines to reinvent their entertainment programmes to meet the expectations of a new generation of younger, tech-savvy cruisers seeking unique experiences. It is also attracting talented performers from places such as London’s West End. Morris attributes Pop Up’s success to its youthful, open, collaborative and supportive culture.   

“Pop Up is currently the youngest company in the cruise entertainment business – I’m 33 and all my employees are a similar age or younger, which is unusual in an industry that is dominated by older competitors,” she says. “My team has grown up in a digital world with access to platforms like YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram, so we have a different perspective and we know how to use technology to enhance our productions. Our entertainment is far more innovative than anything else out there.”  

The programme Pop Up has developed for MSC Cruises is a perfect example. “We’ve produced short immersive performances that take place around the ship throughout the day,” says Morris. “They’re designed to feel like exclusive mini shows that have been spontaneously created for whoever is watching at the time. It’s a unique approach that leads to many unforgettable moments.” 

Feedback to date has been resoundingly positive. “Our performers regularly get standing ovations and we receive letters from guests praising them for their talent and the time they take to make a cruise special,” says Morris. “I’m also very proud that our employees tell us that Pop Up is the best company to work for because we take care of them and regularly show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication.”

This article was first published in the 2022 Autumn/Winter issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.   

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
22 September 2022

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