Sun, sea, chatting with celebrities and waking up in a different country every day - where did it go all wrong for cruise ship singer Carey Hackett?
The Peterborough performer has been a cruise entertainer for the last 11 years, singing for guests and exploring dozens of countries around the world.
Carey (33) now works on board the MSC Divina which features on Channel 5 this evening (Friday, February 9) as part of a new TV series called Cruising With Jane McDonald.
So she is well placed to describe the unique experience of living at sea most of the year. She said: “I’ve been to Brazil for the World Cup, singing for a lot of famous people.
“It was basically a floating hotel. There were private jets to take people to matches and packages started at $20,000.
“I was going to the football matches for free, and to be the singer in that position was phenomenal.
“I’ve also been singing for governors in China - that was crazy.”
Carey, who lives near the Showground, is not on stage until 9pm every night so she has time to enjoy memorable experiences such as zip-lining through the Jamaican jungle or swimming with dolphins.
But, life on board a ship has downs as well as ups. Carey explained: “The staff have their own facilities - we have a restaurant, our own bar and a disco. The food is free, but if you’re having the same food every week for six months the novelty wears off.”
The staff have their own pool and gym and receive discounts for other facilities, but the lifestyle is not all glamour.
Carey said: “My last contract was nine months. I work seven days a week - you do not get a day off to rest your voice.
“You make sacrifices to be away from friends and family, but I’m very fortunate to travel for work and I wake up in another country every day.”
Famous artists to have joined Carey on the MSC Divina include singer Pharrell Williams, DJs David Guetta, Fatboy Slim and Tiësto, and rock band Def Leppard.
Carey said: “Def Leppard were really down to earth guys and happy to chat. Pharrell was quite private as you can imagine but happy to chat as well. I was very fortunate to have that time with him.”
Carey went to school at Orton Wistow Primary and Stamford High and performed in Key Theatre pantos and productions at The Cresset.
She later returned to the city for tours in the Blues Brothers and Rat Pack.
Her varied career has also seen her work in TV and film, as well as work as a presenter and model on Ideal World shopping channel which is based in Peterborough.
Carey is now excited to see how Jane enjoyed herself cruising through the Caribbean on board the Divina. She added: “It’s a wonderful ship and it’s going to be pretty spectacular to see the show.”