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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Eric Dowis: Cruise Director Turned Comedian Sets Eyes Back on the Sea

PHOTO: Eric Dowis and Kari Ringer. (photo courtesy of Eric Dowis)

When Eric Dowis first took to the stage onboard Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam, I was instantly entertained. The nearly two-decade veteran cruise director was absolutely hilarious. The sailing was the first “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” champions cruise, and as a guest judge, among the likes of Derek Hough, Tristan MacManus, Kym Johnson, Jaymz Tuaileva and Sharna Burgess, his color commentary and comedic dance routine quickly became a highlight of the entire voyage.

On Dowis’ website, the story goes, “Eric discovered his sense of humor at a young age when he realized being funny could get him out of school work. Today, Eric is working harder than ever on a career that, at first, was deemed a ‘distraction.’” But before he was a professional comedian he was a cruise director, where on each sailing he would conduct a popular “Life at Sea” Q&A which before long evolved into a comedy show.

Onboard he met his now wife and vocalist Kari Ringer and asked her to sing a song to open for his sessions. “As Kari and I got closer and our relationship more public people had questions for her as well,” he said. “The Q&A became more of the Kari and Eric Show. We kept adding new comedy bits and more songs until it just naturally evolved into a show.” Despite its success and positive response to his comedy during the “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” cruise, Holland America Line was not interested in pursuing his and Kari’s act at the time.

So, they decided to call it quits onboard. “I resigned afte

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