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As retirement approaches, this is something I'm considering.
Has anyone here done this?
If so, how was it?
Thanks for your time!
B
 
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It sucks. Tiny rooms. You are expected to be part of the crew and have to do daily evacuation training. A loud speaker in your little tin can room constantly blowing a loud horn and making announcements 24/7. Huge crowds of people, line-ups fore everything. Etc...
 

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I've done it. Brought my little traveller guitar me. Oh, you mean to entertain others. Lol. Well bought the pub guitarist a few rounds throughout the cruise. He liked it. Was considered a guest so had his own room. Otherwise you have to share. Don't go as crew, that really sucks. This is he. Danny Rodriguez.

 

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As retirement approaches, this is something I'm considering.
Has anyone here done this?
If so, how was it?
Thanks for your time!
B
Merlin plays on cruise ships, though I believe he plays a wind instrument of some sort.
I have indeed. I've also done a few videos on the subject of playing on ships in my YouTube Channel, Woodwind Doubling.

There are various different possible gigs for a guitarist. One (the best one, IMO) would be as a solo guitarist. This would usually be playing classical guitar, though having a broad solo rep including pop and jazz tunes. There are guitarists in the showband on some ships. This is a reading gig, with improvisation required too - usually some knowledge of jazz is necessary. The other would be as part of a party band. This usually means joining an existing band and learning their songlist.

If you're serious about it, contact Proship in Montreal. You can do the audition with them.

Be aware that playing will not be your only duty; musicians generally have to staff muster stations and have lots of safety training to do. You also have to pass a Transport Canada Marine Medical. If you have a lot of pre-existing conditions, a cruise company may not want to take you on, as they have to provide medical coverage for you on board.
 

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I've only played two cruise ship gigs and they were very insignificant ones as a walk-on on a Great Lakes cruise, years ago. The cruise company was booking acts from each port of call, ie, we didn't sail. In both cases I was a member of a band, not solo. The gig rooms were awful steel and glass surfaces with a hard industrial carpet floor, horrendous acoustics, power sources were limited, some god-awful humming coming from somewhere that seemed to find its way into the p.a., but the crew was helpful with loading in and out. The passengers were almost entirely wealthy retirees who didn't buy product. I forget what the pay was like.

I wouldn't take such a gig as a solo, I'm not a human jukebox.
 

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Just got back from a Celebrity cruise. We had 4 music acts taking turns playing every afternoon and evening from about 4pm to midnight. We had a single guitar player, an excellent duo, a quintet of brothers handling reggae, jazz, rock, a quad of Phillipinos playing pop and occasionally the ships orchestra ( we called them "The Angry Inch") showed up to play jazz, dance music. All were great. I saw one of the guitar players acting as a labourer so he may have had two contracts. They seemed to do 3-4 45 minute sets a day with the third or fourth day off. Ate with us in the buffet.
 

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All depends on if your are considered crew or an independent contractor. My buddy has it big time. Eat anywhere, only play shows. 6 evenings a week. He's got it good.
This what Danny did. He wouldn't do it as crew. Too much of a hassle. You'll find yourself peeling potatoes one day and staffing the mini-bar the next.
 

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This what Danny did. He wouldn't do it as crew. Too much of a hassle. You'll find yourself peeling potatoes one day and staffing the mini-bar the next.
The showband musicians are always signed on as crew. The only additional duties are safety related, and on Carnival UKs ships include tender duty (basically, assisting pax on and off the lifeboats used to shuttle at anchor ports).

The practical upshot is that on a typical day, the first service a showband musician does is a rehearsal (usually after sailing time) -generally 5:00 pm, followed by two evening performances.
 

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The showband musicians are always signed on as crew. The only additional duties are safety related, and on Carnival UKs ships include tender duty (basically, assisting pax on and off the lifeboats used to shuttle at anchor ports).

The practical upshot is that on a typical day, the first service a showband musician does is a rehearsal (usually after sailing time) -generally 5:00 pm, followed by two evening performances.
This guy wasn't part of that. Guess he lucked out. He played the pub at night from about 20:00 to 02:00 or so. During the day, all his time was his own to do as he wished. He was pretty happy with the arrangement.
 

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This seems appropriate to this thread.. My wife sent me this yesterday upset we missed John Mayer on a cruise



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I think your timing is way off...seems like a young guy doing this gig would get vast amounts of pussy, mostly from other staff.
 

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I noticed that the band Trent Severn has a plum gig on the Tobermory to South Baymouth ferry, Chi-Cheemaun. Not a cruise ship, but still a cool gig. That's one I would be willing to do.

We saw live entertainment on the ferry from PEI to NS in the early 2000s, was coincidentally acquainted with the (solo) performer. Good gig for him then.
 
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