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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Cruise Ship Jobs? in the General forums; Hey all, I was wondering what it takes to be a cruise ship musician. Is it difficult to get the ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
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    Oct 2010
    East Lansing, MI

    Cruise Ship Jobs?

    Hey all,

    I was wondering what it takes to be a cruise ship musician. Is it difficult to get the job? Is it a fun job? I'm currently a music major at Michigan State and I'm looking at jobs for after I graduate next year. Any experience or knowledge that you guys have would be great


  2. #2
    Utimate User gmonady's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Dayton, Ohio

    Re: Cruise Ship Jobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by ColinWhite View Post
    Hey all,

    I was wondering what it takes to be a cruise ship musician. Is it difficult to get the job? Is it a fun job? I'm currently a music major at Michigan State and I'm looking at jobs for after I graduate next year. Any experience or knowledge that you guys have would be great

    For me... a scopolamine patch
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  3. #3
    Forte User jiarby's Avatar
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    May 2011

    Re: Cruise Ship Jobs?

    Some guys love it, some hate it. It sounds fun at first, but ship life (when you are not playing) is not for everyone. The pay is not so good. What you take home is about the same as being a waiter at a busy Applebees... as long as you don't hang out in the crew bar and drink up your profits.
    Last edited by jiarby; 02-03-2013 at 03:20 PM.
    tobylou8 likes this.

  4. #4
    Mezzo Forte User robrtx's Avatar
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    May 2012

    Re: Cruise Ship Jobs?

    I've worked on cruise ships but not as a musician.

    I think for someone just out of college and single it might be a good gig for having fun and seeing different places. I doubt that the pay would be anything to write home about but living expenses will be minimal (room and board provided).

    You should expect cramped quarters with at least one room mate, and a bit of a regimented lifestyle (some duties/responsibilities outside of your normal job duties). You will also need some basic shipboard safety training (likely provided by the employer/union when you get the job).

    Schilke B1 & S42 (Bb), Conn 38A Connstellation (Cornet), Bach Strad 183 (Flugel), French Besson Classic (C)
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  5. #5
    Fortissimo User
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    Dec 2010
    Lloyd Harbor NY.

    Re: Cruise Ship Jobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmonady View Post
    For me... a scopolamine patch
    I was going to say Alprazolam and Gabapentin, but there you are......

  6. #6
    Forte User larry tscharner's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    dubuque iowa

    Re: Cruise Ship Jobs?

    Colin. Having NEVER been on a cruise ship with or without my trumpet, I feel well qualified to have an opinion. If its anything like the LOVE BOAT tv show, I say go for it. Send your resume and demo tape to the cruise lines and Disney. Follow up with inquiries to their HR depts. or talent agents. If you have no wife or GF it sounds like a great way to start out a career but I suspect that it wont be a long term thing. If performing is your thing then you may eventually want to move to studio or symphony work that would be more satisfying. I think there may be some union issues and you may need your own agent here. The professionals here on TM will be able to enlighten you in pretty short order as to what you will be getting into. Here in Iowa in February we dont see many cruise ships. Best wishes.

    ps. Watch out for Julie, she'll break your heart. and tobylou8 like this.
    Larry tscharner!
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  7. #7
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    Jun 2011

    Re: Cruise Ship Jobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by larry tscharner View Post
    Here in Iowa in February we dont see many cruise ships.
    ...As opposed to other times of the year in Iowa?
    Note to all you lawyers out there...the above statement is merely my opinion, and is not presented as fact, or as any better that anybody else. I am not a pro or a teacher, nor do I claim to be. I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken by anyone reading my comments. For entertainment purposes only.

  8. #8
    Forte User
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    Nov 2005

    Re: Cruise Ship Jobs?

    know of a local guy who did the cruise ship job, he was a fine player when he took the job and came back with some really great chops. said it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be, long hours and didn't pay that well but over all a good experience for someone starting out.
    formerly known as old geezer Dave
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    Re: Cruise Ship Jobs?

  10. #10
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    Jackson NC

    Re: Cruise Ship Jobs?

    My wife and I went on a Caribbean cruise, which we would not have had it not been a retirement gift to my wife. For the most parts my personal thoughts afterward concluded that I should have stayed home. My health at the time made it impossible for me to enjoy port calls in the Grand Cayman Island or Cozemel in Mexico as it was only with exceptional effort that I could walk from the ship to the dockside tourist trap outlets and back to the ship again. Walking about while on the ship was about the same exhausting chore. Thus, most of the time I spent sitting or napping. The bed in our stateroom was extremely comfortable, and the food was overwhelming. Thus, I watched the shows and listened to the musicians.

    Now I'll say the musicians weren't outstanding, but they were quite capable ... their detriment being the program book they were required to play which most likely they had no control of selecting. What I did notice was that the trumpeter wasn't playing a Bach or an Old's or other piston valved instrument, but a rotary valved instrument I couldn't identify, but it and the instruments of others appeared no better looking than those we used in high school. Well, I'll make one exception and that is the pianists (3 different ones I counted) that played almost continuosly on one piano or another at locations about the ship.

    Lastly, I'll say there was good coffee available 24/7 albeit my wife and I purchased thermo cups that included continuous Coca-Cola refills without additional charge throughout our cruise.

    At the formal dinner, I was one of 7 wearing a tuxedo, a one of only two men wearing a white dinner jacket. Well, it was my wife's party and she enjoyed it ... and she drove all the way to Ft. Lauderdale FL and back to Jackson NC for it. My only souvenir is a ship's baseball cap that I seldom wear now and a whole package of photos taken by ship's phorographers plus ones my wife and I took.

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