Life on a cruise ship

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by Thevor, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. Thevor

    Thevor Pianissimo User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Next to the Volcano
    I was fortunate to spend this last week on the Mariner of the Seas Cruise ship (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line) to the Caribbean. The pic below was taken in the Savoy Theater which holds 1600 passengers. The shows were very enjoyable. If you look closely, behind the trombone player is the bands lead trumpet, Nicholas Dyson. (a name familiar to some on both TM and TH) Cruise/The_Band.jpg

    Just an idea of how the band broke down geographically:

    Lead Trumpet - Idaho, USA
    Alto Sax - California, this was her first week on board
    Trombone - Wales, UK (I never saw this guy sober)
    Bass Guitar - New Zealand
    Guitar/Director - Canada
    I never met the rest of the band so I can't tell you where they were from.

    The drummer, alto Sax and 2nd trumpet were all new to the band the week I came on board. Other than the drummer the rest of the band were decent players. Nich was sh*t hot and nailed everything. Most of his stuff was above the staff so it was pretty tough. Usually there were two shows a night (and some shows during late afternoon or early evening)
  2. lonelyangel

    lonelyangel Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2003
    Hats off to Nick for holding down and nailing what is one of the toughest gigs out there. Getting a gig on a cruise ship for a few months can e3ither make or break your chops - they typically have a hugely demanding schedule: 2 shows a night plus rehearsals for next weeks show during the afternoon plus playing for dinner and late night dances, with just the occasional night off when thye ship is in port. Plus as a memeber of the ships crew you will have safety drills and duties to perform outside of the musical contract. It is one of the best ways of getting yourself some 'road chops' and learning a huge amount of material on the job.

    I know this first hand from my one foray into naval life - a 3 week cruise on the Canberra for P&O in about 1988 - that was the venerable old cruiser that saw active service during the Falkland/Malvenas war in 1982 as a troop carrier, now sadly decommissioned. On top of the heavy work load you have the added stress of life at sea - away from family and loved ones. For that reason band memebers tyend to be eitherc relatively young or else unattatched and view the ship as their floating home. It can also be quite an ordeal entering this insular and isolated community as a dep or sub (ha ha) as I did on this trip. Maybe that is why I decided that life on board was not for me - but I do know dozens of pros now working in London who paid their dues and served time on the high seas. Hope it's going well Nick and do get in touch if you ever make it to this side of the pond on your travels.

    By the way Thevor - did you mean that you were always drunk when you saw the trombonist? :)

    All the best. Noel.
  3. Thevor

    Thevor Pianissimo User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Next to the Volcano
    Ha! I guess this could be interpreted either way. Honestly, I have no idea how the man managed basic human functions let alone played an instrument.

    There were many gifted and talented people on board, from singers, comedians, jugglers and very fine instrumentalist. There were bands that played the night clubs and the main band that played a minimum of 2 gigs a night.

    I think the most notable thing among the crew members was their loneliness. Life of crew or staff, is one of doing a very repetitive job, week after week. There is no family or "buds" to hang with. Its the job, the ship and the bar for most.

    If you can handle the rigors of travel, the exposure to a variety of music, personalities and nationalities would hone anyones skills. It's definitely not a job for the insecure.
  4. orchtrpt

    orchtrpt Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    That cruise ship scene must be a tough gig. Ive never done it but know some people who have. Some people seem to have nice experiences and it seems to me many more have horror stories.
  5. Nicholas Dyson

    Nicholas Dyson New Friend

    Feb 8, 2004
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Cruise Ships

    Ships are an okay way to make do for a bit.... it's a great place to learn the stuff you need to learn to make a living as a professional musician. Presently, I am the musical director/lead trumpet on the RCCL Serenade Of The Seas. Not a bad job, but the production shows we have to play here are f*ckin tragic. Those of you who know, know how it is....

    The band on the Mariner that George showed the picture of was actually pretty good. But, that is the cruise director you see in the foreground, Kirk Detweiler, who was in the middle of singing "Come Sail Away" on the Welcome Aboard Show. Tragedy. Yeah, the ship's book was tough, but it was great experience for what will be a real job someday in the future. Definately a great place to learn what's supposed to happen, and definately what's NOT.

    If you have questions, send me an email.....

    [email protected].... same as always.

    Peace out yo.

  6. mheffernen5

    mheffernen5 Pianissimo User

    Wow! A trumpet celebrity just joined TM :)

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