Are you interested in working as a musician on a cruise ship?

Download our comprehensive guide: How Do I Get a Cruise Ship Musician Job?

There are two ways to get a cruise ship musicians job – first, through a talent agency and, second, directly through the cruise line itself. There are benefits to both.

Talent Agencies

The talent agency will find you a job faster and, assuming you do well, keep you working for as long as you would like – and for that service they will take a percentage of your paycheck. The standard agency fee is 12-15%.

Some talent agencies claim that they don’t take percentages from your paycheck – but, of course, that’s nonsense. The agencies perform a valuable service and they are paid accordingly. Whether it comes out of your paycheck before or after you see it is not important.

Always remember – talent agencies are not necessarily on your side. They make money because of their positive relationships with the cruise lines, and it’s in their best interests to keep those relationships positive. Expect your talent agency to give you a reasonable amount of support – but don’t expect them to take your side if things go sour on your gig.

Talent agencies get you a job, and when you’re done with that one they’ll get you another. That’s what they are best at and that’s what they do to earn their fee. They aren’t (necessarily) there to make sure you are comfortable and happy.

The Cruise Ship Talent Agency Directory

The Cruise Ship Talent Agency Directory ($24.97 $14.97 via PayPal, immediate download, PDF) contains lists of all of the talent agencies in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand and directions how to apply. 107 companies are included.

The largest talent agency in North America is Proship Entertainment, headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Other major agencies include Landau Music, Oceanbound and Stilleto.

The easiest way to get a job would be to apply to one of these agencies, complete and audition and take a gig. But The Cruise Ship Talent Agency Directory allows you to really do some research and shop around if you feel like it.

Proship and the other large talent agencies spend a lot of their resources stocking ships with the showband and lounge musicians on ships. If you are a guest performer you should dig deeper into the list of talent agencies and find a smaller, boutique agency that can give your act more attention.

Cruise Lines

Applying directly to a cruise line for a musician job allows you to circumvent the agency fee, but that does not mean they will give that agency fee to you – you might make the same amount as you would through a talent agency.

Also, it may take much longer to get a job directly through the cruise lines. The major cruise lines are all large corporations, and things move slowly in large corporations.

There are perks, though – if you show yourself to be valuable to the company, it’s likely that they will continue to employ you after your first contract ends. And because you are part of the company you might be able to choose your itinerary, your ship, and maybe other perks.

The Cruise Line Entertainment Directory

If you want to try this voyage solo and skip the talent agencies, The Cruise Line Entertainment Department Directory ($24.97 via PayPal, immediate download, PDF) contains a list of 50+ cruise lines and the information about how to apply directly to their entertainment departments.

This is a great option for guest entertainers or musicians looking for long-term career relationships with cruise lines.

Buy both lists for $39.97 $35.97 (immediate download, .zip files containing two PDFs with over 150 leads). Start your new gig right away!

Auditions

Getting a job through the cruise lines will also require an audition – sometimes in person, but increasingly, over the phone. The audition will include a lot of sight-reading if you are auditioning for the showband position, and the sight-reading portion of the audition can be quite difficult.

Questions

You’ll likely have a lot of questions about what it’s like to work as a musician on a cruise ship.

Your talent agency or cruise line will give you some information when you are hired, but you can find the answers to the most popular questions in our eBook ($4.97, immediate download, PDF).

Can I get a gig on my summer vacation? Can my girlfriend get a job too? How old a most cruise ship musicians? It’s all contained in here.

And if you have questions that are not covered here, visit the Chronicles of a Cruise Ship Musician and read through the first hand accounts from cruise ship musicians, guest entertainers and talent agents.

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253 Responses to How to Get a Cruise Ship Musician Job

  1. [...] read our guide on How To Get a Cruise Ship Musician Job. Chronicles of a Cruise Ship Musician, General [...]

  2. [...] For more information on this job, see How To Get a Cruise Ship Musician Job. [...]

  3. Craig says:

    Just wanted to ask about booking a combo/trio on a cruise ship…

    I have a project with female lead vox, dance entertainer.
    Male lead vox w/guitar…

    Sometimes we play w/percusssion…

    I have custom background trax…. I recently filled out ap for proline on-line…. just wanted to see if there was anything you might suggest…

    Thank You,
    Craig

  4. Hi Craig –
    Booking a group for one of the lounges on a ship is essentially the same procedure as getting hired as a sideman. I would suggest sending your stuff to talent agents and then contacting the cruise lines on your own while you wait for the agents to get back to you. You’ll need to put together a nice press kit and everything, but it’s likely you already have that.

    By Proline do you mean Proship?

  5. Liza says:

    HI!

    This blog is really great. btw, I’m a violinist from the Philippines. I just want to ask something. Do cruise ship hire violinists also? and If ever me and my friend would apply, do we get on the same cruise? Thank you so much! :)

  6. [...] I understand from my contacts in the cruise industry that talent agencies have more musicians than they know what to do with right now, but I’m not convinced that’s true.  I still see advertisements for Landau Music, and I’m sure some smaller talent agencies like Landau or Oceanbound would be glad to have more talent in their books.  Try Proship anyway, although you can expect that a influx of available musicians means that you’ll have to take whatever terms they offer you in the contract.  Hello 6 months on a boat. Check out our guide, How To Get a Cruise Ship Musician Job. [...]

  7. Eileen says:

    Do you know what cruise ships hire violinists? I also play piano and dance. How/where do I begin? thanks!

  8. Adam says:

    Dave,

    I have experience from being hired directly by the cruise line. I emailed the office and they emailed back to set up an audition over the phone. I’m a drummer and they asked me to play several different styles (rock, swing, shuffle, funk, bossa nova, samba, etc.). At first, they wanted them played separately, then they gave me random combinations and from single time to double time and so on. Then they emailed me 3 charts and called me back after giving me 10 minutes to look it over. When I finished they offered me a contract on a ship 2 months out.

    I agree that a lot of people would benefit from the administrative side by going with an agency. A lot of musicians aren’t exactly paperwork-oriented. But one issue is that even after you finish your first contract on a ship, you are usually locked in to your agency because of the initial contract you must sign. Most contracts are worded that as long as you stay with that particular cruise line, then you must pay the agent fees. Even if you set up your next contract with the cruise line, you owe your agent. I know some guys who have done one contract with a different cruise line and then come back so that they are then released from their contract with their agent.

  9. richard says:

    Hi, what is the pay on a cruise ship these days?
    Thanks

  10. Robert says:

    Hello,

    I recently was offered a contract on board an R6 ship (formerly of Rennaisace cruises) and I was wondering if you have ever worked on this type of ship? It’s about 30,000 tons and holds 700 pax and 300 or so crew. I have worked on a larger ship before, but am concerned about living space (can it get any smaller??) and a place to practice. Just curious if you’ve ever done a contract on one and how you felt about these issues. Thanks.

  11. Hey Robert –

    Try your question in the cruise ship forum. I think we could discuss it better there.

  12. tuesday says:

    how bout those violin questions? do they ever hire violins, i looked on a some job websites and they never mentioned string instruments. i imagened a cruise would be like the titanic, with quartets everywhere, but now i’m not so sure. any hope?

  13. Some ships do hire string groups, I had one on my first ship. The rumor is that eastern European string groups – who can sound good and work for relatively less – are given preference in the hiring process. That’s just a rumor though.

    Again, though, please ask these questions in the forums, so that others can find the answers more easily. I much prefer answering questions there than in the comments or through email.

    Thanks!

  14. As for work possibilities for strings, try Holland America. They hire string quartets and trios on their ships. David is right as he also worked for Holland America: The two I saw on the two ships I did were from Romania and Hungary. They were truly superb musicians!

  15. You may also want to try Cunard, SilverSea, Seabourn, Oceania, Regent and Crystal. They are high-end lines that cater to the very wealthy who love classical strings.

  16. Iam professional ex seaman , deck officer, also music school educated cantauthor. Naw I am interested for aboarding on cruisers not in my nautic deck officer proff, than as musician and top performer
    I am one of greatest European polly musicians , singer ,cantauthor, guitar aqustic virtuous , pianist and keyboard player . Iam one man band with about 500 songs able to perform . My voice color is particullar , and when I play Dylan for example seem he is playing , or Boccelli , Ramazzotti . STEVENS, SPRENGSTEEN. Having great experiences , and being able to mixing on workstation and singing , also performing American music , Italian pop and canzonas , I have programm very interesant .
    Be so kind and help about with advice.

    Sincerelly Yours ANGELO DI SOLENTIA

  17. David,

    Does Cruise ship hire genre specific bands?(eg. jazz, reggae,ska,slow rock etc.)And how sensitive they are when picking a band? I’d like to know more about this David, hope to hear to you more.

    thanks,

    Kenneth Posey

  18. Dear David,
    could kindly mention other agencies for gigs on the ship beside proship and oceanbound?

    Many thanks.

    Best,

    Alfons

  19. Great information Thanks! looking forward to my first cruise job :)

  20. Dale says:

    David,

    As a touring, singing, drummer out of Nashville on tours with Brooks & Dunn, Mickey Gilley, 38 Specaial.etc…my quiestion is, do bands ever need musicains/ drummer, for a lounge band ? I do not want to put together a band..I would just like to hook up with a dance/ lounge /cruise ship gig…I sing , play exceptional, clean, no drugs , and will travel…I live in Florida and Texas..I am on tour in Europe right now , back August 5,2009….Who can I contact to get hooked up with a cruise ship band…I do not want a show band deal…I do not want to have to read charts…Help??

  21. Hi!I am interested job for musician.Help my,please!

  22. mike bourque says:

    Hi there
    Heres a comment to David
    The gig you want is actualy called “showband” . There is the “orhcestra” wich is actualy a show band but what they call “showband” is basicly a 4 pc band in the lounge you play on average 2 hours a night for 6 nights a week with royal carribean average is $500-$600 US a week and they are 14-24 week contracts and also with that cruise line the showband is status as :guest entertainer” so u can eat anywheres the guest can

  23. Samuel says:

    Hi!
    I have an audition next wednesday with proship and I would like to know some informations about the sight-reading..I’m a litlle bit worried. It’s very difficult? I am a pianist… Thanks!!!

  24. Elyse Louise says:

    I have been thinking about auditioning for cruise ship jobs. This article helped me figure out what I need to do.

  25. justin says:

    hi Dave. I’m trombonist from S.A. i would love to do the cruise ship gig, but would like to know how do i go a bout getting in from down here. Are there any auditions set up in S.A, or would i audition via skype, send in an audition cd or do it over the phone?

  26. Alan says:

    Hey Dave,

    I am an undergraduate in college, music major. I was wondering if cruises hire college students for summer gigs or shortened trips (no more than 3 months)

    Thanks,
    Alan

  27. Josanne says:

    Hi!
    I am an undergrad music major in university and i master the steeldrums. do cruise ships hire college student bands for 3 month summer gigs?
    Josanne

  28. Hello Dave,

    I am the lead singer of a 3 piece pop/funky rock band. We have been playing original music and recording albums for a few years now but have decided we would like to try the cruise ship route.
    we do play covers but normally we play the ones we like which are probably a bit too obscure for a cruise. Where could i find a sample list of covers that we would need to learn to get a cruise gig? we are all able musicians so would have no problem putting together a blues set or jazz standard type set if need be.

    any advise you could give us would be great!

    thanks a million
    Jess

  29. Hi Jessica –

    Try this list:

    Top 100 Piano Bar Songs

    That might help, it’s much of the same rep as cover bands. See what you think.

  30. Dave Jay says:

    Great blog…thanks for all of the enriching insights!

    I do an original one man show in which I portray each of The Beatles; it is a theatrical piece in which I morph between each of the 4 (dresses as an amalgam of all 4), play a bunch of their hits, give back story, interact/improvise with audience (one portion of the show is taking impromptu questions from the audience and answering them on the spot), though with larger audiences, I can have them write their questions on cards before hand/during the show.

    I also do an act especially for kids and one especially for senior citizens.

    My questions are:

    1. How would you recommend I try to get bookings for this/these acts…?

    2. Would these pay well/afford me my own cabin?

    3. Would I be able to earn more, by say, performing for the kids in the morning, the seniors in the afternoon and The Beatles show at night…?

    Any thoughts you have would be helpful.

    Also…

    4. I’ll need to pay my bills on land…like rent, etc.; is this complicated or do you have opportunities to mail at regular intervals…?

    Thanks very much.

    Dave Jay

    • @davejay – Mail is complicated. See:

      Mail and Shipping Packages to Your Cruise Ship

      I’m not really sure, actually, how to get booked as a guest performer act. I never did that directly. Perhaps start with contacting all of the cruise lines and researching talent agents that deal with cruise agencies. That shouldn’t be too hard to find.

      If you are a guest performer you’d definitely get your own cabin.

      I guess it’d be feasible to make more money if you worked more. I know magicians that do extra acts for more bread. Maybe you could negotiate that into the contract. Try Norwegian Cruise Lines – that’s where I saw magicians doing extra shows on the side.

    • Michael J says:

      Hi Dave,

      Are you still interested in performing this show?

  31. Joe Lackey says:

    What would you say is the most beneficial part of playing on a ship?

  32. Craig K A says:

    Hi Dave

    I’m a bassist looking for cruise work,i’m 18 and can play very well but i’m currently learning to sight read and am average at it. Just wandering whether my age and lack of efficient sight reading skills would hold me back atall

    Thanks,

    Craig

  33. Margaret Greene says:

    Curious about smoking policy. Celebrity has a no smoking policy for cabins and hallways. Does that apply to crew members as well? In general does the no smoking policy for passengers also apply to crew?

    Thanks for responding.

  34. Hi Dave…
    Im currently majoring in jazz performance in alto and soprano saxophone at the University of Cape Town South Africa. Firstly im 21 years of age, do you think im too young for a cruise job?
    Secondly, as i have stated above I only play alto and soprano sax… will they accept me if i cant double on clarinet and flute?

  35. Jason says:

    What about the health requirements…i’ve heard people mention it..have not seen anything about it posted here..I may be wrong..thanks for viewing anyways

  36. Maureen Sullivan says:

    Hi:

    I live in Orange County, California and we have a local talent that has amassed a pretty huge following over the years locally. How do I go about submitting his audition to the cruise lines? We are looking to get him booked on special local cruise and several hundred of his fans will book the cruise. He is very popular with all ages and we would love to have him on a cruise.

    Any assistance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Maureen

  37. Edy Newport says:

    Hi, I am a drummer living in Kent United Kingdom and I would like to get some work on a cruise ship. Is there an organisation in the UK where I can get an audition? I can read band parts in the swing, jazz, rock, Latin genera. I played in Jazz bands, big bands, groups’ country and rock. I have worked professionally at a holiday centre for a summer season. I am now on my own (my wife has passed) and want to get more involved with the music side of my life. I have been playing for over 50 years and have a wealth of experience in bands of all types.

    Regards

    Eddy Newport
    Rainham Kent

  38. It has been an extensive search for employment on a cruise ship as a solo saxophonist. There are categories for solo pianist/guitar/vocals but when it comes to the sax it apprears to be all orchestra.

    I have been performing for a number of years on a grand scale and was told that I am perfect for a cruise ship entertainer. I have emailed a number of cruise ships from my web site. The problem lies in my classification, Show Band, One Man Band etc. I am desperatley trying to persue the ships to consider this option. Do you have any suggestions on how to further persue this?

    Is there a link where you can submit all your infor and promotional requirements and they inform you of prospective job opportunities or is my best bet just to call each cruise ship and inquire about getting an application or book an audition.

    Your site has really been a great help. I am determined to showcase my talent on a cruie ship! I have been trying for three years now just to get a reply from on back.

    Thank you for your insite
    “The Saxman”

  39. fred killian says:

    i have been playing 45 years tired of bars and single i had 25 years on the road. been on stage with steve warner forrister sisters mel mcdaniel so many i can’t name them all. need to work i sing back up harmany as well.thanks fred

  40. fred killian says:

    what is pay how long out how manny shows a day room and meals included

  41. fred killian says:

    i love to travel would be great time

  42. Spencer says:

    Craig, could you tell us about the people you play for on cruise gigs? What are their ages? What styles do they like?

    I’m a healthy 60-something lifelong jazz guitar player who would like to try a cruise gig after I retire from my day job. I like and respect all styles, but it would be nice to focus a bit more on the standards, bossa, swing, etc. Is there a place at the table for guys like me?

  43. Varun says:

    Hey,
    I’m a vocalist and a guitarist. I play with a band called SummerPint jUNkie and we are based in Mumbai, India. How can I apply for the job of a musician on board a cruise ship? Please fill me in on the process for Indians to get on board cruise ships as musicians

  44. Joseph jessome says:

    Hi,
    My name is Joseph Jessome.
    For the last couple of years i have been working as an insurance broker.
    I live in South Florida.
    Without going into a rant, there have been significant changes at the governmental level affecting my industry.
    I have played drums since I was 12 and am in my 40′s currently.
    I have worked professionally and been “on the road” for upwards of 1 1/2 years at a time. I can also sing it it would help.
    I actually did have a call about a year ago from a guitar player who asked if I’d be interested in working with him on a ship.
    If anybody knows anybody, please contact me via email?

  45. Jerry Palmer says:

    If you are a solo performer, ( I am a solo guitarist) is there an available spot for someone like me if I don’t read music?

  46. Hi David,
    I’m a 30 year Professional bass Gtr/ Gtr & lead vocalist frontman playing all the hits os the 60′s thru today, I was managed by Billy Joel’s management group when I had my rock band and had top 20 hit song success. I now perform solo in Fl., and as a duo when on land with my brother in law.( who can’t leave his court job) I was told many times that my voice is true quality in wide ranges and un-believable! and I need to consider cruise ships and vegas. I’ve been doing things solo even though I also play with other bands and duo’s. I record all my own tracks in my studio and fill in the blanks as a bass gtr. player and a frontman vocalist (live). I pride myself on bringing the audience into my show with everything from singing with me to coming up on stage! We bring the house down together. I have much success everywhere I perform, but would like to do some bigger venues, (cruises). Some agencies had seen me live and said they were blown away, but I wonder if I can get on the ships as a performer being self contained, having my own music tracks to accompany me and just have the ship provide the particular venue and Equip?. I surely fit in the party band venue! Also is the money really there? I’m being told since I was a national act once my credentials would bring that. Thanks for your time, Mr. Vito Ameruoso

    • Hi Vito –

      It sounds to me like you’d be right for the party band venue, for sure. I’ve seen acts in those lounges that just have backing tracks and 1 or 2 singers, sure. The ship provides the backline and venue, yes. As far as the money goes, I guess I don’t know for sure. You’d be paid better than the showband musicians, but not as well as the guest performers. You’ll have to ask an agency or a cruise line entertainment department.

  47. deb rauh says:

    Hi If you had a live audition would they tell you right off if you passed?

    • Hi Deb – Probably not. They often have you audition in front of a video camera and review the tapes back at the head office. So it’ll take a few days or weeks to find out.

  48. dave rauh says:

    Hi Dave, My question is if ive auditioned over the phone for Landau do you think they would get in touch to let me know one way or another if i got the gig and what is the general timeline that a cruise ship gives a call back or do they? thanks for your time

  49. Mike says:

    Hello David,

    Is there anyway to find out if the agent booking the gig is legitimate? It would be my first cruise gig and just wanted to check what to look out for.

    Many Thanks

  50. David Bernstein says:

    My name is David Bernstein and I play both electric/upright bass.How do I get started working on a cruise ship?

  51. David Painter says:

    I toured on cruise ships for a few years(piano player) and went through proship entertainment for a number of my contracts. I also had gone directly to the cruise line but I got a better deal when I used proship agency even after their commission. You’re right about not knowing what to expect – in fact I am writing a booklet I’m hoping the agencies will use detailing what to expect and how to prepare…a sort “guide to the life” on ships. I think it’s an experience that most musicians would be glad they did – but it’s not for everyone. I got to tour much of the world and am planning to do another contract again someday.

  52. Carl Nevitt says:

    I worked a few ships too. Got the gigs through Marco at Oceanbound. He was really helpful with all the paperwork, and also made a point of keeping in touch.

  53. Greg Morgan says:

    Dear David,
    I am currently an underemployed piano and voice teacher. I moved to Atlanta last year and taught elementary music. I loved my job, but I got downsized.
    Anyway, I have 3 main questions. 1. Do I need a video of myself? 2. Do I need a website. 3. I am about 60# overweight so, do I need to lose it?
    Thanks,
    Greg

    • Hi Chris –

      1.) A lot of the auditions are live – mine was – so you might not need a video.

      2.) No, you don’t need a website for this stuff. I bet it might be helpful, but not mandatory.

      3.) I don’t see why you’d need to lose the weight for this gig unless it caused secondary health issues that made you fail the physical.

      • David Painter says:

        They audition over the phone now. The way it works is you’ll have a phone appointment. They will email you the music approximately 45 minutes before they call and you’ll print it out and play it to them by putting your phone up to the speaker. I also had to video myself doing the audition and mail them the tape so they knew it was actually me playing. The guy to talk to at Proships is Carl. You can reach him at: 888-477-6744 ext. 240.

        Good Luck!

    • Most cruiselines have a BMI policy in place. It would be best to check.

  54. Raden Arif Wicaksono says:

    My name is Arif.. I had a classic western country band style,and almost all is oldiest&country songs. my band 6person all is male. now we are home band in sol melia purosani hotel group on my city Yogyakarta-Indonesia. it’s been 8years i’ve done this job by hotel to hotel in my country. we can gig a live music performance show by acoustic or electric band. our instuments is 2guitar/singer,banjo,bass,fidle violin,and drum. How do i get start working as a musician or band on a cruise ship? Thanks

  55. Max Granderson says:

    Hi David,

    I was hired through Suman Entertainment Group in Miami, you should probably mention them in your article. I was hired for work on Norwegian Cruise Line, of which they book the majority of, and they also have musicians on a lot of other lines too. I was extremely happy with their representation. The website I was referred to was:

    http://www.sumanent.com/cruisehome.php

    Just thought I’d throw that out there since I saw this, and they seem like pretty big players that weren’t mentioned.

  56. Vladimir Peres says:

    Hello, I´m a professional guitar player and I work alone, with my Duo or like a freelancer or band/orchestra member.I a lot have experience playing in Casinos, Hotels, Lobby-Bars, Lobby Stages and Big Stages…!
    I´m looking for every kind of gigs or jobs. I´ve got an extense reportory with Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop, Lounge, Funk, Hard-Rock, Groove…etc!
    I let my CV and Demos available if you need!

    • Hi Vladimir,

      One Call.
      Endless Opportunities.

      Please contact Martin, the guitar recruiter at the Proship Office at +1.514.485.8823 x249. Proship has openings for one-man band guitar player, utility guitar player, showband guitar and guitar-based duos.

      Daniel

      • Tallon Reazin says:

        Does this information also apply to bass players?

        Thanks,
        TLN

        • Hi Talon,

          Actually, Martin Heroux is also coincidently the bass recruiter at Proship. The jobs offered are quite different for guitar than for bass and he’ll be able to explain that. Martin is himself a bass player and has worked ships for many years before joining the Proship recruiting team, so you are in good hands. Give him a call right now and ask away.

          Daniel

  57. Before concentrating on my television career, I played clubs, bars, restaurants…even large venues – all in the ’70s and ’80s – all in California.I play guitar and bass and read charts, some vocals.I’ve always loved smooth jazz and tasty R&B. Because I have produced television programming for the past 20 years, I am sensitized to the ‘entertainment value’ which audiences appreciate. The total ‘package’,i.e. the music plus just enough interaction (showbiz) is the real payoff which cruise patrons will remember. I’m looking for a classy lounge on-ship where the music is primarily smooth romantic standards. A gig where a tux wouldn’t be out of place. A five star lounge where requests for ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, ‘The nearness of you’, etc. would be the music which diners would appreciate to complete a romantic dinner conversation. I wouldn’t care much for playing ‘Proud Mary’ or Lynard Skynard for a raucous crowd…(no weddings, either). I’m a nondrinker, non-smoker mature hipster who is looking to fulfill his dream of cruising the world and playing tasty music where the emphasis is on smooth and relaxing. Honestly, I would do this gig for free…no kidding! I hope you can give me some insight. For my bio, background and photo…please google me and visit my website. Thank you.

  58. Oswald says:

    Hello Mr. David. I recently came back from work on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. I want to know the possibilities to get hired from these agencies (you mentioned) for latin american musicians like me? I’m a drummer and i want, with another friend, to make a band and cruise while we play music (our passion).

    Is it difficult for latinos to make it?

    best regards

    • Hi Oswald,

      We hire people from all over the world. One key factor for everyone, regardless of your background, is the ability to communicate in English at a high level. This requirement is based on maritime law which requires it.

      Many cruise lines hire Latin Bands, however RCI is the industry’s north american latin specialist. Another major spanish speaking employer is Ibero cruises.

      If you specialize in latin repertoire, you will be categorized as such and fall into that niche. If you widen your repertoire to include all types of party music, you’ll be able to play almost anywhere and attract the top wages. That would be my recommendation.

      For more information, feel free to contact our own spanish speaking recruiter who happens to specialize in party bands. His name is Andres Velilla, he is a native of Columbia, and we are proud to have him in our Montreal office.

  59. Cam says:

    Great posts. It’s been a few years, and I’m giving it another shot. I have an audition packet on the way now. Thanks for all of this tremendous information!

  60. Eddie says:

    Very relevant information: from all the guys that I’ve known to get hired out on cruise lines, they all said they were just in the right place at the right time.

    Your ringtones are nothing short of hilarious and epic.

    Thanks for the article,
    Eddie

  61. Jimi Lafferty says:

    Where is the best place for a teenager just out of high school to apply for or audition for a chance at this?

  62. Tom G says:

    I had a horrendous experience with Proships. Your comments about their judgement system rings a bell. They play a game with you. They put you down and make you think it is highly unlikely that they’ll be able to get you hired. This way when they do hire you, you’ll accept any salary they offer. This is a way for them to get more money out of you whether from the line or you. I’m a solo guitarist and when they called me I could not believe the conversation. I felt as if I was talking to some scam boiler room. It was all some reverse psychology game. It really was a joke. This may work for kids right out of college but for musicians with a little more experience under their belt, we won’t fall for a scam agency like this one. Go direct if you can.

  63. Um, I am sorry the anonymous writer didn’t qualify for one of our ships. The level of Proship’s musicians is in fact really high. Let’s have a listen and hear if this sounds like kids right out of college:

    http://blog.proship.com/2011/03/wow-the-queen-mary-2-orchestra-in-action/

    I think its important to note do not charge a fee to musicians and our clients pay the industry’s top dollar.

    • Nick Rosaci says:

      Daniel, that band has to be THE pride of your company! They sound great! So the Queen Mary 2 still uses nine pieces? That’s pretty uncommon these days, from what I’ve been hearing. It’s good to see some ships still have a fuller group, rather than just one to three horns. It was kind of a drag to play “big band” sets with only six players. I felt like there was no energy with such a small group.

      • Thank you for the comment. Actually it gets better than that. On Cunard we have two orchestras on each of the three vessels, one nine piece show orchestra and one 8 piece strict tempo ballroom dancing orchestra with a singer, all of whom manned with individuals of that caliber.

        And then the Proship synergy kicks in: once per cruise the two orchestras merge for a ‘Big Band’ night complete with lead vocal, 3 trumpets, 3 saxes, 2 trombone, piano, upright bass, guitar and drums.

        Now, I wouldn’t want you to think that our orchestras on Crystal, Regent Seven Seas and our other clients are any less, but its true that no one else in the industry currently sponsors a full big band.

    • Jerry says:

      I suppose the ad you have up now for piano bar entertainer for $3050 AUD ($3200US) is top dollar? I don’t work in the cruise line industry anymore but that would be an insult even 10 years ago when I was making much more than that.

      This site brings back so many memories :) I enjoyed my days at sea and seeing the world. A wife and kids changes all of that though I wouldn’t change a thing.

      • Hi Jerry,

        Congratulations on starting a family. I appreciate your sharing of memories. I also very much enjoyed my time at sea.

        To answer your question, the P&O Australia piano bar entertainer position is not the industry top dolllar. Different lines have different budgets and some pay more than others. What it doesn’t offer in salary, P&O Australia offers in a very unique experience with Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific itineraries, musical synergy between bands and PBE on board and permission for tip jars and CD sales which does make a difference.

        Currently, our top dollar for a PBE is $5800 US per month.

        • $5,800/mo is pretty good. Daniel – would you say that the PBE is the highest paid non-guest-performer gig on ships? Or is there more potential elsewhere?

          • Yes David, the Piano Bar Entertainer is the highest paid non-guest-performer musician gig on ships. And for a good reason, the PBE is directly responsible for the revenues of the piano bar.

            It is a very demanding position, not to be mistaken with an atrium pianist, a singing cocktail pianist or a one-man band. The individuals that succeed are a triple threat: outstanding vocalist, outstanding piano chops AND energy to set the piano bar on fire.

  64. I have many great comments about our company from satisfied musicians who have worked with us. Example from one of our band leaders who have been on Princess for years.

    Gavin Starkey of Evolution: Having an agent is a great idea. They can do the hard work while artist can concentrate on the business of entertaining.
    I did not believe in agents for a long time because of the treatment and representation in the past. But since joining Proship my faith has been restored.

    Cindy you rock thanks for the faith even when I gave you a hard time.

    I have many comments from musicians who have been happy with the service our company provides.

  65. Tom G says:

    Let’s see if we can get any more Proship employees to come on here and add their unbiased comments . The truth is most of the band leaders I’ve talked to have told me the Proship musicians they get are crap. And there musicians tell me they wish they could get out of their proship contracts.

    And for Daniel, if I am so unqualified for one of your ships then why am i currently employed on one? And why am i always making more money than anyone that has an agent?

    • Dear Anonymous Tom,

      If I actually knew your name, I could go in your file and find out why we turned you down. With your permission I would be happy to post our evaluation comments on your performance.

      First I would like to say, your situation is not uncommon. We choose to represent the best and the good, which doesn’t mean a borderline performer can’t get hired, it just means we didn’t choose to risk our reputation on you.

      Why you got hired? Who knows, maybe they were stuck, maybe you improved. Or, it could be your charming personality which goes a long way to elicit cooperation.

      • Tom G says:

        I think you’ve got it wrong. You guys called me, I didn’t call you. But this was years ago and I was just recollecting my experience. I’ve been in the business long enough to know your reputation. I even know some of the guys in that video you posted. I haven’t had an agent in 4 years and things have been great. I plan on keeping it that way. gday:)

  66. Nick Rosaci says:

    Whatever the disagreement is, I would think it would be in the best interest for both parties to address it privately. David and Cameron do a great job working hard to keep this site classy, and keeping it that way would do them a great service, as well. After all, this is a one-of-a-kind website and many musicians will be in and out of here.

    We all understand disagreements happen; probably more so in the business of music. But this website is not for bashing companies or musicians, which is something both David and Cameron have mentioned a number of times in reference to their own articles.

  67. David J. Hahn says:

    Tom and Daniel – That’s enough. Take it off the site.

  68. David says:

    I just want to add to this exchange between Tom and Dan that I was a piano player placed through Proship and I am good. I am insulted at Tom’s comments about Proship musicians. Furthermore I made more money going through Proships even after their commission then when I went direct.I realize not everyone has the same experience but I don’t appreciate the insults from someone who didn’t have a good one.

  69. Thank you David, I do enjoy your website. This is not a forum for insults. Best place for that would be Dark Showband Musicians on Facebook! LOL

    • Thank you for putting an end to this exchange. I felt important to defend the reputation of the great musicians that have worked for us since 1987 by letting the music speaks for himself. Thank you for the great site.

  70. Nathan says:

    Hi there

    I have two questions.
    Firstly, is it possible to get cruise ship work as a summer job between studying at university. If it is, how could i go about this?
    Secondly, is there much demand for a young contemporary male singer, trained in various styles of music?

    thanks

  71. Nick Rosaci says:

    Hi Nathan,

    Most ships require a six month contract, especially if it’s your first time out. I’ve seen exceptions, but this is very rare. But it doesn’t hurt to ask during the audition, of course. I actually tried this after having gone out, because I don’t want to be away from my local scene when the fall business picks back up, but most ships are getting more strict on this rule again.

    If you’re wanting to sing, there are a few options: sometimes, the ship’s jazz combo uses a vocalist. Or you have the party band. But those typically are hired as a full band, not individually.

    The other option as a singer is to be a part of the production cast. The production singers get paid the most, have their own cabins, and the least amount of rules and restrictions compared to the rest of the staff and crew (at least on my gig and in most of my friends’ recollections). However, you sign a seven month contract, I believe, because you have to rehearse for a month with the cast before meeting the ship at port. And you also have to have basic dancing experience.

    Of course, as an instrumentalist, this is to the best of my knowledge.

  72. milan says:

    Hello
    My name is Milan and I have some experience with cruise ships,I did one contract for Celebrity Cruise line (duo band,keyboard player/singer) .
    I am just interesting is any cruise line interested in the duo band of this type?

    Thank you in advance
    Sincerely Milan

  73. Greetings,
    I have tons of land experience and have powerful performance and connection with crowds – but am overwhelmed and concerned about the quality of clips I put together. Every cruise I have been on – the event hosts and other guests tell me I should be on cruise ships as event director or entertainer and I am so driven to make this happen… I have emailed my resume to everyone in your article and have DJ equipment ready to go but curious if I should consider putting together a band before I submit? I would love to be part of a band but currently do not have musicians willing to join me on a cruise?? Suggestions? Do they match up lead vocalists with other musicians??
    http://www.-mad-mel.com samples

    • Melissa – all good questions, and I’m afraid I don’t know the answers. I’m not very familiar with how singers get work on ships.

      Try researching Stilleto Entertainment as well. This is their casting information. I know they hire singers, although it might not be in the same context that you’re referring to. See what they say.

  74. Pablo Rodriguez says:

    Hi

    i wanna ask you if people with diabetes 1 can work like musician on board

    thank you

  75. Tania says:

    Hi,
    I’m a 25year old classical tromboneplayer (almost have my masters). I have a lot of experience as a freelancer and conduct 2 communitybands. Just worked 1 year as band assistant at the international school, my basic english-skills should be good enough.
    I can play various styles and am a good sightreader but cannot improvise very well. I also read on proship.com that you have to know jazzsongs from ’20′s till now. which I can’t either. I think I play good enough because the sample audition on that site is really easy..
    Do they only look for jazzplayers?
    Is it a problem if I cannot improvise?
    Do I need more jazzexperience before I audition? (Have a classical sound on my instrument)
    Is it a hard life on board? (never left my house more then 2 weeks.)
    Thank you,
    Tania

  76. Simon says:

    Hi.

    If you are employed as a Function/Party Band are you still required to be an advanced sight reader and play in the Productions? I can sight read but I am still really working on it as I do not feel it is up to this standard. Hence I was hoping to get onboard with a covers band.

    Any advice would be great. Brilliant site.

    Thanks

    Si

    • Nick says:

      Hi Si,

      No, you are not required to play in the productions or read. However, if you are asked to play a tune and don’t know it, it’s probably a good idea to learn it for the next date.

      A note to add: The solo guitar player was asked to play one of our once-a-cruise shows that needed a guitar player, and the show band did not have one. So, sometimes, expect to be asked to play something not in your job description.

  77. i am a jazz drummer from Israel, Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary music, Berklee College of Music, U.S Army Bands looking to joined jazz bands on cruiseship, play all styles and sight read any charts.

  78. Richard Baer says:

    I’m a bass player who recently auditioned for a talent agency. The agency told me that they can get me a contract starting at about $1900/month. I have another audition directly with a cruise line soon. Do you think that I will be able to make more money by getting hired directly from the cruise line? If so, how much?

    • Hi Richard. I am a musicians recruiter and I would be happy to answer your questions. Do contact me at toll free 1-888-477-6744, ext. 249 if you are in North America. You can also reach me at 1-514-485-8823, ext. 249.

    • Hi Richard,

      Most agencies will deduct their fee from your pay, so you would make more money booking directly. At Proship we don’t do that, we get paid by the cruise line in addition to your wage.

      Also, we are the exclusive supplier for some positions at Crystal Cruises, Cunard Lines, Regent Seven Seas and P&O Australia where experienced sidemen can make up to $2,600.

      By working with a good agency you can have a lot more options to choose, grow, travel and make more money. $1,900 is a starting salary for some of our other clients and sometimes its a good place to start to get your experience depending on your skill set.

  79. Jeff says:

    Somebody, please tell me how to get a job at cruise.
    I am a Drummer. I think that I have that quality. But I want to have a chance to perform it. I have my own compositions and truly a Big Fan of Beatles, Jimmy & Mattalica. Please help me I am too eager to have my life in Music.

  80. Don Correu says:

    I am a Berklee graduate and have been performing professionally for several years. I was curious as to more specific information that hasn’t been provided in the comments.

    I am also wondering if there are other fellow grads either from Berklee or other music schools around the country.

    Please reply to my email provided.

    Thank you.

  81. Reynaldo V. Castillo says:

    Hi! I am Mr. Reynaldo V. Castillo, a band leader of Studio 1 Band a four piece experienced group, a party band musician, plays all types of party music from the Philippines. A year ago, we joined the cruise ship The Royal Caribbean. I just would like to inquire on how we can get into another cruise ship job as a musician. Would you mind giving me some information on how we can start the process.

  82. josh koop says:

    hi my name is josh koop i am a drummer from melbourne australia. i graduated from the victorian college of the arts secondary school and am now studying at the VCA, melbourne uni. i am a profitiant sightreader and improviser and have lots of experience with conductors. i have had alot of bigband band experience aswell as latin band small ensemble and orchestral playing. my question is who do i best contact to get started being in australia?? thanks you. josh koop

    • Mira Dahn says:

      Hi Josh,

      My name is Mira and I am the person that takes care of drummers at Proship Entertainment. If you are interested in applying for a job on a cruise ship as a showband drummer, you can go to http://apps-public.proship.com/application-forms/application-musician.php to fill out an application on our website. If you have any questions you can contact me directly by email or phone.
      By completing one phone audition with us, you are auditioning for all of the lines that we work with at the same time. We hire musicians for major lines such as P&O Australia, P&O UK, Crystal, Regent, Cunard, Holland America, Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Azamara, and a few others.
      It’s an easy (and free) way to figure out what your options are and find the best job for you.

      All the best,

      Mira
      phone: +1-514-485-8823 ext. 237
      skype: miradahn-proship
      email: mdahn@proship.com

  83. Mike says:

    Hey David, thanks for the great article.

    I just wanted to let any musicians out there who are interested in working on a cruise ship know about M One Studios. M One Studios is an entertainment booking agency based in Los Angeles, CA. They audition and hire musicians and performers for all the largest cruise lines including Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and Holland America Line.

    They have gigs for professional musicians, dancers, and many types of entertainers including: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, piano bar, classical ensemble, jazz band Top 40 band.

    To audition for cruise ship music and performing careers, you can register at cruise ship musician jobs

    Thanks.

  84. Darin Nicolle says:

    Hello.

    I am an electric and upright bass player just trying to get started as a professional musician. I’m currently really interested in cruise ship work and am in the process of making an audition tape. I was wondering if you had any advice on making an audition tape (length, type of material, etc) as well as how to do a “musicians resume”.

  85. Cam says:

    Darin, I’m a bassist as well, and have taken several auditions. If you are going through an agency, contact them to setup a video & phone audition. Over the last few years, I have talked to/auditioned for: M One (still talking to pending my ship out date for Navy Band), Landau, Ocean Bound, and Pro Ship. I’ve yet to take the M One audition, so I’ll speak mostly about the other three.

    There are two main bands/gigs for bassists, one is electric heavy (show/main band) & the other is DB heavy (dance band/combo bands).

    Electric Bass & Show Bands: Your reading has to be impeccable. Not just good, but think crazy good…and not just typical bass part type reading. The thing that kicked my teeth in on every audition was Tower of Power type lines. Fast, highly syncopated, and very staccato. That is the hardest thing on the auditions (IMO). You will also do some type of style study where you’ll play (from memory) basic examples of blues, samba, bossa, rock, and some type of 12/8 feel.

    DB & Combo/Dance Bands: Standards, walking, and basic latin feels. Your reading still has to be great, but I’ve yet to see the same level of reading needed (at least at the audition level) compared to the electric side.

    You can check my website for a basic musicians resume. I based mine off of the way actors format their resumes.

    If you’re serious about wanting a cruise gig, here’s some stuff you should have: Passport-I still need one and Digital Video Camera-at least a web cam & printer for auditions.

  86. premel says:

    hi .. i’m looking for company’s that specialize in latin music and specificaly congueros … to cruise on ships..thank you.

  87. I have a question that I was hoping you might help me with. I do somthing called beat box flute its me beatboxing and playing the flute at the same time(hip hop flute with a jazz feel).I improve everything I do based off the scales I know. So I was woundering if they would be interested in what Im doing?

  88. Tory Graham says:

    First of all, David, thank you so much for the great work you’ve done on this site! It’s a great resource for any musician considering a cruise ship gig.

    That said, in reading through these comments, especially the conversation between Daniel Thibault and Tom, I’m reminded of the constant battle and biased opinions that exist far too often in so many areas of the music and entertainment industries. As someone who has been a working professional musician for many years both on land and on ships, I think there’s a few things to clarify here:

    First of all, as stated many times on this site, there are of course pros and cons to any gig that any musician does. I don’t think it does anyone any good to pretend that working on a cruise ship is this absolutely incredible experience that is so sought after. I had a great time on the ships and had to chance to meet and perform with some great musicians. I also met and performed with some absolutely horrible musicians who were hired by several different agencies, clearly based on the commission that these agencies were receiving and not on the musicianship of the individual. This has been going on for years, and I don’t think it’s fair to pretend that it doesn’t happen.

    Bottom line – cruise ship agents make money from commissions. Musicians wanting a cruise ship gig usually need an agent. If you get a bad agency or agent, chances are you will get a bad musician. Unfortunately, many agencies don’t have a perfect track record, including Proship. I’m not trying to single out Proship here, I’m just stating a fact about agencies in general and Proship was specifically mentioned in this thread.

    I think that for musicians, a cruise ship gig can be a great experience, especially for young musicians just staring out. Personally, for someone wanting a long-term career in music, I don’t think it’s a healthy place to work for more than a couple of contracts at the most. Partying and drinking is fun. So is relaxing by the pool. But in reality, how are you supposed to expand your career potential if you can’t even necessarily check your email or make a phone call when you need to? Meeting people from around the world is great, but where and how do you go to get hired once you get home on land? These are things that each musician should carefully think about before heading out on a ship. It is easy to fall into the trap of taking concurrent contracts on a ship, and if that works for a specific person, that’s great. But for many it doesn’t, and I think it’s something that should be addressed a lot more than it is.

    I wish everyone heading out to the ships a lot of luck and a great time! I know I had a lot of fun, but honestly, it did nothing to further my musical career on land other than tweak my sight reading skills a bit, and my beer drinking skills. But again, that is just my experience. I hope that more musicians will visit this site before embarking on a cruise ship gig as you offer many different points of view about the job.

  89. Wynn says:

    As a (much dreaded by “musicians” it seems) vocalist who has 20 years in the business as an opera singer, musical theatre actress, and a solo cabaret artist, can someone tell me what is the best was for a vocalist to get work as a big band singer/or guest solo artist on cruise lines. I’m full time retired now and my chops are still great. Though I’m not really able to commit 6 months at sea at a time… I would like the chance to perform The Great American Songbook along with my own cabaret shows with cruise lines.
    Thanks for all the POSITIVE FEEDBACK here!

  90. Dave Caley says:

    I fronted my own 6 piece band for 22yrs I did 99% of all singing.We did country,bluegrass,50 60′s a little gospel I’ve recorded over 90 songs, my latest is a Journey tune
    I also been in 8 music videos. I would like to work as a headline entertainer and work with the ships band. I contacted proship entertainment but they never replied.Could you steer me in the right direction?
    Dave Caley

  91. Simon Daly says:

    Hi David, Im a 20 year old guitar player from ireland and I was wondering would you know the best agency to get in contact with around britain and ireland?

    • Hi Simon –

      That’s a good question I’ve gotten before, but I’m afraid I’ve never had an answer. I don’t know how the Brits and Irish get their gigs. Sorry – anyone else know?

      • Louis Q says:

        British companies such as P&O and Cunard now also use ProShip to find musicians for the Orchestra bands. I know that P&O have recently replaced the Guitar position for an extra Saxophone in the Orchestra, but I am not sure if this is consistent with all of the ships, and I don’t have any experience with the Cunard line. I think most of the guest bands on the ships are booked through external agents

        Hope this helps

    • Hello David.

      I am a musicians / bands recruiter. Even though the agency I work for is based out of Montreal, Canada, we get musicians hired from around the world in the cruise ship entertainment industry. Feel free to contact me anytime by email, leaving me your phone number and I will call you as soon as I can to answer your questions, even the ones you haven‘t thought of asking yet!

      • Tina says:

        Hey Martin, I’m a singer from Zimbabwe, how may I contact you with regards to getting a good singing job? Do I have a chance at all?

        • Martin – this is a question I often get. Does Proship ever hire musicians/singers/acts from Africa? Do you know of any agencies that do?

          • Hi David!

            Yes we do hire musicians and singers from around the world including Africa. What is important is to know the repertoire to be performed on those cruise ships and to be excellent a performing it on request, being entertaining and energetic. In a nutshell it is American popular dance music from the 1940‘s to now. The vocalist has to know a lot of songs in order to be able to perform about 6 nights a week without repeating the same songs too often, and be versatile enough to cover smooth jazz standards, Latin standards as well as top 40 party music.

        • Hi Tina!

          you can get in touch by writing to me at mheroux@proship.com, I‘ll give you all the information you need.

          • Julia Chudova says:

            Hello Martin,

            I have a question about Proship – do they hire acoustic duos (violin and piano)? I filled the form on the website, but didn`t get an answer yet. Or I need to contact a certain person?

            Thank you!
            Julia

    • David,

      My email address address can be found at our website.

  92. bernardo alvero says:

    i am a singer and a composer in my own little way. i want to do something crazy! like getting rich through this.. i want in! can you do me a little big favor.. i need to perform.

  93. Get your Passport updated.Have a full complete physical. Make sure you know your airlines, flight numbers and flight gates. Pack your luggage in a ” Criss Cross ” manner. Make sure you have a copy of your entertainment contract with you and a copy of your medical. If you are a U.S. citizen and resident, make an additional color photocopy of your passport and keep it with you at all times after you hand-out your official passport to the chief -security officer aboard the ship.

    Pack a nice tuxedo and a nice dark blue or black suit, a few shirts and ties, two pair of nice dressing shoes, and a pair of sneakers. Everything else should be minimum and at your discretion. Your carry-on should not exceed 28 pounds. Your luggage should not exceed 57 pounds. If you carry an expensive guitar let the airline guest relations desk attendant know. If you are nice and polite they will offer to place your expensive guitar in the aircraft executive class closet.

    Be polite, be on time; preferably fifteen minutes before your downbeat. Be responsible and log your hours if it’ s required of you. Wear an honest smile. Be grateful. Wear your name tag so the guests will be able to address you and be familiar with you. Do not wear sunglasses if you are performing indoors. Be respectful of your sound tech’s. Be elegant and well groomed. Do not be arrogant .Smile some more. Do not extend yourself on your sets.

    Go to all your safety training classes on time. Be careful and be safe. Do your job and do it with excellency. Mind your own business. Do not get involved in needless gossip. If you do not know something ask; remember you are responsible for your actions, you are not responsible for other people’s actions. If you see an unusual looking bag or an unusual piece of luggage in an unconspicuos place aboard the ship; do not touch it and call security immediately. Learn all the safety measures when you are aboard the ship. Keep your bathroom clean and fresh, specially if you are sharing your cabin with another crew member. Pack a good bathroom shower curtain and a pleasant air freshner.

    Get smart, get safe, get paid and get back home in one piece till your next contract. Most of all remember you are representing the Agency that got you the gig. If you do your job with sterling excellency you will be paid top dollars for your services.

    I wish you all the very best.

    Daniel De laurentiis
    Magna Events Producer
    Credited Film composer
    Credited Songwriter
    Actor
    Grammy Award Winner
    Guest Entertainer
    Vocalist and Guitar Virtuoso

  94. Sailor says:

    You have some cool tips man. I will soon write about your cool article and link back to this specific story. Cheers.

  95. Safeguard Cruise Protocols for Entertainment Personnel.

    1-Don ‘ t ever loose your Boarding Pass Picture I.D Card.
    You loose it and you will be denied access back to the ship.No questions asked, no matter who you are.

    2-Don ‘ t ever be late returning to your ship.
    The ship will leave without you.No questions asked.No matter who you are.You would be responsible to catch the ship on the next port ,permitting you still have your Boarding Pass Picture I.D. Card with you.

    3-Don ‘ t ever get intimately involved with a female cruise guest.There are thousands of camera’s aboard the ship.You will be caught .You will be terminated immediately. No questions asked. No matter who you are.

    4-Don ‘ t ever set a date when you go on land with a female cruise guest.You will be caught.You will be terminated immediately. No questions asked.No matter who you are.

    5-Don ‘ t ever touch any females when you are in the exchange of conversation , keep your hands to yourself.Cruise Ship Protocols are strict on their sexual harassment policies.This includes female crew members as well.One single complaint against you and you will be investigated.If the evidential odds are against you, you will be terminated immediately.No matter who you are.

    6-Don ‘ t ever place your arms or hands around a guest waist or shoulders ,when you are asked by a guest to be in a picture, Keep your hands in front of you at all times.

    7-Don ‘ t ever peak inside a guest cabin when the door is open. You will be terminated immediately. No questions asked.No matter who you are.

    8-Don ‘ t ever extend your hand for a hand shake with the guests , wait until the cruise guests extends theirs first.

    9-Don’ t ever use control substances when in a contract.If you are under the need to use a control substance medication prescribed by your physician , make sure that you let the ship’ s medical doctors and / or nurses know so as to protect yourself from any future misunderstandings.

    10-Don ‘ t ever leave your cabin door unlocked when you are performing.If your cabin door does not lock properly reported it to your crew manager and put an immediate request to repair it.

    11-Don ‘t ever place your earned wages in your cabin ‘ s safe box unless it’ s firmly and securely bolted to it’ s bottom surface.If your safe box is digital make sure you remember your safety code.If it’ s manually closed by means of a bolted lock, make sure your lock is of excellent quality.

    12- 1rst – in – Padlocks . com LLC
    Available locks in the 41 series
    Phone : { ” 603-889-9887 ” }.
    Available in KD, KA, or MK
    DuraShackle – High tech metal alloy for increased resistance to cutting, prying and rusting
    Color vinyl bumper for easy identification and added protection
    Heel and toe bolting
    Unique keyway drill guard

    13-Don ‘ t ever eat anyfood before washing your hands first.Wash your hands after you eat.Wash your hands at all times.This will protect you from gastro-intestinal viruses.

    14-Don ‘ t ever assume your daily entertainment performance schedule is final.It could be subject to change.Confirm your performance schedule with your band master if you noticed any unsuspected changes in your performance scheduling.Make sure you understand any changes in the downbeat time and the location were you are to perform.

    15-Finally , when you are done with your contract and before you can disembark and go home , you will be asked to attend a Sign-Off briefing.You will know exactly what things to do.What must be done.Who to see.And who needs to sign your documents , in case an official signature is required.Before you go make sure you have the following items in proper order:Your passport. Your copy of medical Your airline electronic ticket.Your copy of performance appraisal.Your letter of employment.All your luggage and money {remember to declare it }.Bring your checklist to the gangway at sign-off time .Receive your passport from the crew administration officer when you are outside on the gang way. Your checklist must be complete.You will be assigned to a meeting point for pick-up by first group or second group before disembarking.Stay with your group at all times.When you are called by the immigration officers given them the documents they ask you for.After you undergo your X – Ray luggage search you will be given your documents back. You will be assigned to a transportation vehicle according with your group and you will be transported to the airport for your flight back home.

    16-Remember , you could be represented by a reputable entertainment agency or you could be representing yourself as a free – agent , it varies with each individual case , nevertheless , that being said ;whatever your case is , maintain a high level of professionalism and maintain your performances at the highest status of excellency, Be respectful and be grateful.

    Daniel De laurentiis
    Magna Events Producer
    Credited Film composer
    Credited Songwriter
    Actor
    Grammy Award Winner
    Guest Entertainer
    Vocalist and Guitar Virtuoso

    Cheers!

  96. Willem-Paul says:

    Hi I am from South Africa and I am wondering how to get a cruize ship job from here.

  97. Hi Dave,
    We are a string trio playing both classical and contemporary music. We play 2-3 gigs a week in resturants, weddings and special events. We would like to explore a cruise ship summer gig for 1-2 months. Is there any chance of this kind of gig? We would just like the experience, but would have to return school in the fall.

    Thanks,
    Emily, violinist

  98. Dave Caley says:

    David I’ve sent info on a guest entertainer to a cruise how long does it take to for them contact you back

    Dave Caley

    • Hi Dave – There’s no way to know. It depends on if they need people right now or not. It could take a week, it could take years. Sorry I can’t give you a better answer.

  99. Alan says:

    I’ve played bass for years, can sight read pretty well, and I am working on my chart reading for jazz. What should I focus on most and is there somewhere I can get a list of standard (non jazz) tunes I will be expected to know? Also can someone list the styles I should be familiar with in order of importance. Thank you in advance for any help and I’m sorry if my questions were already asked and answered.

    • Nick Rosaci says:

      Hi Alan,

      You don’t really need a vast memorized knowledge of tunes working on a ship. Everything’s a reading gig. Where it does help is knowing a good amount of jazz standards to play, since they will be called quickly and you won’t want to feel like leafing through the book. It also helps knowing the old school groove tunes, like stuff from Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, and Fire, etc., but it can really be just about anything else, too.

      The show band spots are really tailored for musicians trained in the jazz idiom. From what I’ve noticed is that most of the lingo and notation is going to be geared towards these guys. The absolute best thing you can do to prepare, in my opinion, if you’re not used to playing jazz, is to join a local municipal jazz band. That will help you understand what’s expected in the show band.

      A good bassist is knowledgeable in as many genres as possible. Jazz is the foundation on cruise gigs, and then a lot of the old 80s groove stuff is what I’ve noticed is the other important aspect. But start to get familiar with everything you can. That’s what makes you in demand as a bassist.

    • Cam says:

      Alan, I’ve taken a number of cruise agency auditions on bass. I didn’t get any of them…the stuff that got me on this last round? Syncopated and fast Tower of Power type lines, and latin styles that I wasn’t familiar with.

      My background is musical theatre with a dose big band & combo jazz playing. I thought I was a good reader going into the auditions, coming out of them? I locked myself in my practice space for three months, only leaving for work & to buy groceries. In other words, I got schooled pretty hard.

      So, here’s what I’d recommend shedding…
      Tower of Power lines-all of them that you can get yours hands on.
      Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie heads.

      All this paid off. I passed an audition to play with one of the Armed Forces bands, so once I get qualified on the military end of things-I’m joining that.

      • Nick Rosaci says:

        Cam is right. Though, from what I’ve noticed, different lines like different things. Mostly, if the line stays around Florida and the Caribbean, you’ll probably want to look into afro-cuban salsa.

        Tower of Power, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Motown, etc., will all be good things to brush up on.

        As for the Dizzy/Bird heads, I think I know who auditioned you on that, if that was what you were alluding to. I had that stuff called on a phone audition once. That person asked me if I’ve ever learned the head for Scrapple From the Apple or Joy Spring. When I told him no, he told me to open up my fake book to each of those tunes and sightread them. I didn’t do so hot, and was told I would probably not be good for a ship gig, as this would be the general level of music to be played. This was after I had already signed a ship contract and didn’t really need to audition. After playing my first ship contract, I learned bassists will NEVER get anything this hard, and after talking to some bass friends in this line, they told me they were using the same guest entertainers and big band books in my line. So that audition was overkill.

        That being said, learning those heads is a great way to get your chops up.

        • Cam says:

          I didn’t have any Bird/Dizzy heads called on me, but I like them for reading stuff that is pretty different from typical bass lines.

          • Alan says:

            Thanks for all the useful responses, I’m adjusting my practice regiment. (Side note, I like that Earth, Wind, and Fire, was written with all the commas) In all seriousness, thank you it’s good to know what to expect this site is a great tool. In addition can anyone point me towards books or bands to study for afro-cuban salsa, as I do live in Florida. Thanks again.

  100. miguel says:

    Hello, do you know anything about el-live productions? They are like a cruise agency but its on land. They basically send you to asia to play in 5 star hotels. Have you ever worked or know anyone that worked for them before?

    Thanks,
    Miguel

    • Jason Demonteverde says:

      Thanks a lot Daniel! I guess the next question is, are there specific ones that you could think of right off the bat? If so, I live in Toronto and it would be great if i can find one near. Thanks again Daniel.

      Cheers,

      Jason

      • I am guitar player very versatile, can read half decent, play different styles-tone technique, stage presence etc.
        I think I might be a perfect fit for a party band situation looking for a guitarist–I have played in a number of cover bands. I am 56 playing quite a while.
        How can i find these opportunities?

  101. Hi Miguel – you should put this in the forums.

  102. Jason Demonteverde says:

    Hi, Ive been wanting to get on a ship as an entertainer. Last time i read music was in high school and ever since it’s been all ears. Is this gonna be a problem?

    • Hi Jason,

      Happy Labor Day! Good day to talk about work… Many cruise ship musicians positions require reading. But not all, depending on your skill set you could get a job as a Piano Bar Entertainer, One-Man-Band guitar player or with your own party band, etc…

      Daniel

  103. yamila says:

    Hey there!
    I would like to work with my duo cello and piano in a Cruise next summer but we are in Europe.Do you know some agency that work in Europe.
    Thanks!

  104. Dave Caley says:

    Just like to say when I tried getting a job from an agency for a Headline Guest Entertainer,I was told that I couldn’t get a job like that.

    I just got offered my first gig as a Headline Guest Entertainer with a major cruise line today I got it by myself and I don,t even play guitar.

    • Dave Jay says:

      That’s awesome! Congrats. Good for you that you stuck with it. What do you do and how did you go about getting it? Thanks.

      • Dave Caley says:

        What kind of a show do you have

        • Dave Jay says:

          I do a unique solo Beatles tribute act in which I am dressed as an amalgam of all four lads, switching smoothly between each character…give backstory, perform brief renditions of their songs, take questions from the audience and improvise with them.

          I also do a separate act for kids, so I plan on pitching myself as a “double threat”–perform for the kids during the day and the adults at night.

          What kind of show do you do?

          Thanks.

          • Dave Caley says:

            I’m a Vocalist and do several styles of music I also play the fiddle. I won’t use it much in my cruise ship gig at first. You need to contact the cruise line directly and tell them about your act to see if there’s interest.
            I have already been contacted by another agency that is interested in my show for cruise line gigs as a Headliner. So keep at it
            Best Always
            Dave Caley

  105. From: Jerry Goldstein and Daniello De laurentiis .

    To: All professional performers in the entertainment industry
    Business and professions Code & 16600 provides that ” every contract by which anyone
    is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession , trade or business of any kind is to
    that extent void ” .
    Please be adviced that any contractual agreement with any Entertainment Agency that is expedited as a ” ” NON – COMPETENT CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN PRODUCER / AGENCY AND ARTIST / PERFORMER ” , is totally illegal in the State of California.

    Daniel De laurentiis
    Magna Events Producer
    Credited Film composer
    Credited Songwriter
    Actor
    Grammy Award Winner
    Guest Entertainer
    Vocalist and Guitar Virtuoso

  106. Gino says:

    Do i have to audtion with a band? Or can I audition as a bassist looking for a band?

    • barry says:

      Depends on what you can do as a bass player.If you have great site reading skills and can play many styles you can audition over the phone for a show band gig.You will play 3 production shows a week, plus back live entertainers(singers,jugglers violinists etc)Do jazz sets and maybe some other playing.You work about 5 hours a day.If you cant cut the gig the first week you get to go home.If you have a band you can mail a DVD of the band performing and possibly get a gig that way.lots of agents take cuts from bands to forward material to the cruise ships.They dont do much more than that so read the fine print as to how long you will be liable for agents fees.All cruise lines pay differently.Do your home work,explore all the opportunities.Some pay less but you get to see more places.All depends on what you want.

  107. John Mahoney says:

    I went on a cruiseship to Alaska last summer as a passenger, and the man band was able to play almost any song I could think of. They asked for requests and I yelled out “North to Alaska” and they laughed, but found it in thier fake books and pulled it off. The guitar player looked to be in his 70′s and yet he could play ROck and Roll and all kinds of stuff.

    Here is my scenario: 52 years old, unemployed, Based out of Seattle WA. I played bass guitar in high school, and college stage bands, as well as Jazz combo’s. That was in the late 70′s and early 80′s. I also play Rock and Roll bass, Country Bass, Bluegrass, Southern Rock. In the 90′s I picked up the Banjo and the Fiddle, and I can play the crap out of both of them, and also can play the Guitar as well as the Ukelele. I sing but have a baritone voice, and do some hillbilly comedy stuff every once in awhile.

    Just wondering how to hook up with a band that can use my skills, I can fill in for almost anyone on bass, banjo, or Country Style Fiddle. I can play lead and rythm guitar but that is not my specialty at all, more bass, banjo, and fiddle. I also like the Ukelele a lot, as it is up in C tuning goes well with a baritone voice, and plays a lot like the banjo.

    I am sure a good cruise ship director could keep me busy all day long doing something, for somebody. I tend to play by rote, not read music anymore, although I used to read very well. And I can read treble, and Bass clef, and it is wierd as I think differently when I am playing the violin, then when I am playing bass. If playing bass I think bass clef, if playing violin, I think treble…

    It scares me to have to read blind charts in front of people though as I am kind of a perfectionist, and play best when I have some time to practice a bit first. Kind of a trap people fall into, I know, but that is the honest truth.

    So anyone have any suggestions? I was making about 50K a year at my last job painting walls, and would certainly like to go abroad although I think I would have to find my girlfriend a job as well, that could be a problem…

    We saw Steve Morris on the Ship we were on, he was really funny… but he could have used a banjo player to ridicule on stage, that is kind of the roles I play, they make fun of me…

    Hey, it pays the bills right!

    So anyways, I think the Alaska and Hawaii cruises out of Seattle is what I need to focus on, as I know how to get to the Pier and on the Ship. Just sign me up, and away I go… Where do you keep all your instruments on board? I suppose they have a secure area? I have some rare instruments I play, as they have the best sound…

    I think I envision something like being in college. Wake up eat breakfast, go to rehearsal for 2 hours. Perform at lunch or in the lobby on one of my other instruments, depending on the cruise and the theme desired. (Hillbilly, Hawaiian, Gold Rush, Etc.. Old Country, Cabaret, Etc…) Eat lunch, maybe help with tickets when passengers go to port. Hang out and jam with my buddies and get ready for evening show. Play whatever songs needed that evening, or play in a lounge gig if nothing really happening. If bass player in big band has to go home, I sit in and wing it, maybe not reall spectacular but I do not screw up anyone else…

    I know the program…

    SO any ideas and Salary expectations, maybe if I can be a busker even, but never saw that on board the ship.

    • John –

      I’m sorry man, I don’t mean to step on anyone’s ambitions, but there’s no way you’d get a sideman job on a ship. These are serious jobs for professional, full-time, trained musicians. People study for decades before they get these jobs.

      Learn to read, lower your salary expectations and spend the next 10 years in a practice room before you go any further. Being a musician isn’t something you can just decide to do one day. You gotta study, pay your dues and wait in line like everyone else.

  108. Lew says:

    Hi John (or anyone else that would like to jump in!),

    I’ve got the music end of it down, but have questions more about the job itself. I have never been on a cruise, so please pardon my ignorance. I studied music in college, played professionally for many years, and then got tired of being poor and went back to school for computers. I’ve been a programmer for over twenty years, but decided to get out of the business a few years ago. A couple of years ago, I picked up my horn and started playing again. I locked myself in a room and practiced for about eight months before I would even play in public. Then I started playing with a local big band and did a couple of other things and have found my playing to be getting on track to where it needs to be to call myself a musician again.

    So, the cruise job … the first question I have is, is age a factor in getting a job? I’m a very young 59 year old and need to find out if this is going to stop me in my tracks. Are they looking for young people or does it really matter, as long as you can play and sight read? Next, since I have been out of the computer business, I have been letting my hair and beard grow. I had a very professional look when programming, and can certainly go back to that, but I currently look like the hippie I was back in the 70′s. I would prefer to keep my hair long (the beard is not as important), but if I thought that I needed to have a business look, I would certainly be willing to go in that direction to get a good gig. So, shall I take the scissors to my head and a blade to my chin?

    It appears that you can get hired as a single musician to fill a certain slot in the show band or as an established group. Since I am looking to be hired as an orchestra musician how do they expect you to dress? Do they have a wardrobe for the musicians or does everyone come with their own tuxedos, suits and / or other attire? (That seems like it would be a bit mismatched.)

    Also, what about equipment? Of course, I have my own horns, but what about mics, mic stands, music stands … are these things that the cruise lines provide or do I need to bring my own? Also, do people bring backup instruments? If I were playing locally and had an issue with one of my horns, there is no problem, but out in the middle of the ocean …

    I went to the three sites you mentioned in the above article. Proship states that they do not take money from you, they get paid from the cruise line (except in rare cases). Assuming this is true, is the cruise line lowering what they would pay you directly in order to pay the agency their commission or would I make the same money if I went through Proship as opposed to going direct with the cruise line?

    I realize I have a lot of questions and some may seem to be silly, but not having any experience on a cruise ship, lots of things are coming to mind. Thanks for your help.

    • Lew says:

      Oops … sorry, that was supposed to be directed to David, not John!

      • Hi Lee – good questions. Most of them are answered on this site. Click on “Chronicles of a Cruise Ship Musician” up top and have a look around.

        • Lew says:

          Hi David,
          I have only started to go through your links and … WOW … there is a wealth of information there. Thanks for your reply and for taking the time to put all this information where it is available to others. It is greatly appreciated!
          Lew

  109. [...] The answer to the first is: Musicians are hired for cruise ship gigs either through a talent agency or directly through the cruise line. I wrote an article about it here. [...]

  110. Noah Castaneda says:

    I am 13 years old and a few months ago I went on a Hawaiian cruise. I met the muscians and was able to “fill in” in the piano bar and also was asked to “open” the cruise talent show. I also played in the late night adult only bars. I loved the experience and wondered if there were any type of “internship” on a cruise ship that I could go during the summer.

    • Hi Noah! Sounds like you’ll have a productive career ahead of you if you pursue music. Unfortunately, you’ll need to wait a few years before you can work on ships. My advice it to get through all your school and training, then think about ships again.

  111. Hi David, I’m trying to get a job as a guitar player in a cruise. I search on the web but the only position available I found was one in the main band in the ship. The thing is that I need the job as soon as possible any help that I can get from you I will appreciated. I play all styles, there in my web site you can find pictures of me and listen to recordings, I have my bio on the page. I have email my page to many agencies but nothing happens.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Christian – Your website looks good and your recordings sound pro. There’s no reason you can’t get a gig on a ship.

      Have you tried calling the agencies? Start with ProShip and see what they say.

      If that doesn’t work, pick up a copy of the talent agency directory listed above and just starting calling everybody one by one.

  112. Joe Heider says:

    So my question would be whether Lance got the Gig?

  113. kris says:

    Quick! what should i use for an “etude” of “fairly technical” qualities? Something from the 3rd Berklee Book or maybe something from the 7th book of Mel Bay? Please help!!

    • kris says:

      please excuse my lack of manners! i was just so excited and started freaking about “what should i play?!” these auditions mean very much to me!

      please and thank you! :D

      • kris says:

        I am interested in trying to secure an orchestra/big band gig…will classical guitar etudes work?

        • Nick Rosaci says:

          Settle down, brotha!

          From my experience, and likely many others’ who have done the audition, you won’t be asked to play anything prepared. They don’t care how incredible your chops may be. They just care about your sightreading, and that you are able to play satisfactorily with very little prep time.

          My auditions were like this:

          Play a blues
          Play a rhythm changes
          Play a standard
          Read 3-4 charts that were emailed about an hour prior.

          That’s what you should see, too.

          • kris says:

            this one said “We’ll also ask you to prepare one étude of your choice (which should be fairly technical)” so im just curious. i have something from a high school jazz band all-state audition years ago that’s 90% single line. But..i’m not sure if that’s what they’re looking for. Im just clueless and desperately trying to get a cruise line gig!

            • Nick Rosaci says:

              In that case, the all-state thing should work.

              I’m no guitarist, so someone else might chime in. But I bet the etude you mention, as long as it’s nice and polished, will be fine for the audition.

              This is the first time I’ve heard of this for a ship audition, though.

  114. Jose Antonio says:

    Hi David, I find this webpage very helpfull, thanks a lot for all that information.

    I am a guitar player and Im looking forward to play in cruises. I am wondering how I should prepare for my first audition, I am 29 and besides I have a lot of experience playing in bands, gigs, and musicals, I have never played in a cruise ship before.

    Thanks a lot and regards

    Toni

    • Hi Jose.

      I will be happy to answer all your questions about the audition process with our agency, do contact me at your earliest convenience at 1-888-477-6744, extension 249.

  115. Robert Morgan says:

    Good day, I am a member of a male singing group called To-Isis from Jamaica and I am wondering if the information listed would apply to us and if not, how would we go about getting to work on the ships. I look forward to your response.

  116. andy says:

    hallo dear David, i am Andy , i am 32 years old already this year,..guitar player , just wanna knowing about information how to get a job as a musician at cruise ship,..i lived at BATAM island INDONESIA,…would you like share with me,..i can play with chord and note, i had 10 years experiences in hotel,thank you very much
    me
    your sincerelly
    Andy

  117. Lajos Czuczu says:

    Hi David!I would like to inquire about boat work, I’m Hungarian violinist! we’re a duo, a piano and a violin! what conditions need to type them in please! … thanks

  118. souvik says:

    hi. i am a drummer from india. want a job in cruise line. how do i get it?

  119. souvik says:

    hi i am a drummer from India. i want a job in cruise line. how do i get it. thank you very much. :)

  120. PLEASE RECTIFY THE TYPING ERROR NON-COMPETENT FOR NON-COMPETE.
    {” NON -COMPETE CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS ARE ILLEGAL IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.” }

    Daniello De laurentiis says:
    JULY 19 2012 6;45 P.M.
    From: Jerry Goldstein and Daniello De laurentiis .

    To: All professional performers in the entertainment industry
    Business and professions Code & 16600 provides that ” every contract by which anyone
    is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession , trade or business of any kind is to
    that extent void ” .
    Please be adviced that any contractual agreement with any Entertainment Agency that is expedited as a ” ” NON – COMPETE CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN PRODUCER / AGENCY AND ARTIST / PERFORMER ” , is totally illegal in the State of California.

    Daniel De laurentiis
    Magna Events Producer
    Credited Film composer
    Credited Songwriter
    Actor
    Grammy Award Winner
    Guest Entertainer
    Vocalist and Guitar Virtuoso

    REPLY

  121. drstixks drstixks says:

    Hello musician’s
    So I’m professional drummer who has a day job,(possible career). I’m 27 yrs old and extremely technical drummer. Currently pursuing the cruise ship jobs. Music performance is my passion in life.

    1)My question is, what is the most important factor that cruises are looking for in drummers for the showband?

    I’ve spoken with some of my contacts, but they aren’t drummers or anyone who had any decisions in the “hiring process”.

    The advise they gave me to to play straight eights, four on the floor, shuffle’s, and swing grooves with little to no fills. Which is okay.

    To me that seems like they won’t even begin to realize my talent on the drums.

    2) It’s funny but I’m writing this at 12am PST and I be willing to bet I’m not the only musician who gets inspired in the middle of the night! LOL hahaha

    Thanks Kev.

  122. we are musicians (guitar and violin, 31, 27)teachers, very good in our job, perform all kinds of music. we are from Kotor,Montenegro and at the moment play in front of restoran called “SAN GIOVANI”.During summer in Kotor coming a lot of cruisers and we decided to work on one of them.As well we sing and many passangers from your ships listen us and they are delight.Please advice us how get the job on ship.

  123. Ship Jobs says:

    A job as a musician in a cruise line is like having the best of both worlds. You get to travel, pursue your passion, share your talent and even get paid for it. Cruise musicians enjoy a special privilege that musicians in other venues cannot have.

  124. Michael says:

    Green Light Talent has a direct line to all of Carnival’s major lines and their fees go below 10% after your first gig. I got my first job 4 days after applying.

    • Sounds like a good place.

      • Michael says:

        The are relatively new, but he doesn’t mess around with getting people work. Their website is still being constructed, but their email is info@greenlighttalent.com if you have anyone looking for info.

        As I said so far they’re just working with Carnival’s Lines as far as I know but if you’re good enough I’m sure the market is open.

        • Wait a minute…Michael, are you the person in charge of Green Light Entertainment? You said above you got a gig from them, but now it seems like you’re running the agency. Which one is it?

          • Abe says:

            David,

            Good to meet you. I’m an aspiring professional Trombonist. I’ve had a couple of auditions and struck out so mainly do to my sight reading which is no problem, I have a a good attitude about it and am in the process of getting my act together. In the meantime of getting my act together with my reading I was wondering if you have any info on agencies that hire vocalist. So I can work on talent alone and when I get my act together with my reading then do what I really want to do in life.
            Any words you could send me would be greatly appreciated.

            Peace.

            Abe

  125. Pedro Rodrigues says:

    Hello everyone. I would like to ask your help. I’m an alto sax player (double on flute, clarinet and saxophones others), and I have my own project: a popular music big band (5 2 2) eight years old, whose repertoire goes through famous themes of Jazz, Funk, Disco, Latin, Brazilian, Ballads and Gospel.
    The entire repertoire consists of elaborate, creative and original arrangements. The lineup is variable, but is used to be 15 musicians, and most of them are also great arrangers)

    I’ve tried contacting some agencies and they all say that there are only two ways to join: individually (for orchestra) or in group of 2-6 pieces band (to party/cover bands). Sincerely, I think the both are a kind of cover (even the orchestra, ’cause they play identically famous compositions of Broadway) and I think both will be a regress to me, since I know I have an own and good work.
    I Would like to know your opinion and advice about “what I should do”.
    Is there an alternative to joining with my band?
    Should I give up the idea?
    Is often hiring a “guest bands” in that size?

    PS: I know that many companies have big band formations. Without being arrogant, my work is different. I’ve done some traveling on cruises (from different companies) and saw that the big bands (who its musicians weren’t integrated) was the result of relocation of various musicians, such as a rock drummer, a classical trumpeter and a classical saxophonist (who was actually a classical clarinet doubling on sax). All they were clearly playing without any rehearsal. Practically opened the songbook and started playing.
    What I mean is that my big band is original, with 8 years of career, has own arrangments and lineups, and also musicians are well integrated. It’s just different.

    Please, help me.

    Regards.

  126. Mike says:

    I run the agency. My nephew was politely advocating for me.

    And by the way, the market is hot for Sax players at the moment, particularly those who are capable of being a musical director as well.

    This is a great time to get in, right before the busy Carribean season.

    This is a great site, thank you. A lot of valuable information! Great job!

  127. Pedro Rodrigues says:

    Hi Mike.
    It’s a very good news knowing the market is hot for sax players.
    But when I said I asked some agencies, I meant both: “Talent Agencies” and “Cruise Ship Talent Agencies”.

    What do you suggest me?

    Dear Mr. David J. Hahn, Nick Rosaci and Daniel Thibault;
    May you advice me?

    • Nick Rosaci says:

      Hi Pedro,

      I would suggest just starting with whatever contract you can get, and if you like it, stick with them. If you don’t like it, go the other route.

      As for your band, most ships need a show band, which is put together by the company, a party band, which is a 4-6 piece rock band, and plays popular covers in the disco for people to dance to, and usually a jazz trio or quartet. The ship I worked with only used Latin jazz guys–but I have friends who do more standard and bop style combos. If you have a trio or quartet that’s ready to do that kind of stuff, look into it. Or look into the show band. I don’t know the monetary difference in the two, but you’ll most likely have a day off here and there in the show band to relax and enjoy. The contracted jazz and party bands that I’ve worked with only got half days–not whole days off.

      • Pedro Rodrigues says:

        Mr. Rosaci, thank you for advicing.

        It seems to me that cruise ships and big ensembles (well integrated) are opposites.
        I’m almost giving up. I think the money is not the point. I’m trying to join the money with what I like to do, that is the most important. I studied a lot during my life to write for 15 or more musicians, and I think this time, returning to quartets or sextets not justify all my previous efforts.

        Probably, the only chance I might have would being hired as “guest band”, which do not seems to be a frequent event.

        Anyway, thank you for your help.

        Regards,
        Pedro Rodrigues

  128. Simon says:

    Hi,

    I am a 26 yr old male guitarist/pianist from the north east of England very interested in working on a cruise ship. I learn songs by ear I am not the greatest at reading music, i am worried this will be an issue, any advice or guidance would be really appreciated.

    Thanks

  129. monika says:

    hello. I am a cellist from Poland and I am looking for a cruise ship job (couple of weeks ). can you give me any clue how to find one?? I can find a pianist to play with me. thx for all your help.

  130. Alberto Panza says:

    I want to thank very muck mr Hahn and everybody at MW for their priceless advices; thanks to your useful posts I’ll be joining NCL Jade in a week as a show band guitar intermissionist! Keep up the good work!

    Alberto Panza

  131. Chuck says:

    I play piano… I was classically trained from ages 6-15… that was a few decades ago. I have perfect pitch and virtually an audiographic memory… I can play just about anything I hear (I know how to play it as soon as I hear it). I play in the lobby of a medical bulding. But I don’t read music notation (at least not very well… no need to). Any hope for me getting a cruise ship gig as a pianist?

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Chuck,

      It depends on how good you are. I would suggest you visit http://www.mmec.com/casting-auditions and fill out our talent questionnaire. Don’t forget to include videos. Believe it or not there are many options for non-reading pianists on ships, it just depends on your repertoire, the way you handle the crowd, if you sing, and how great you are. Good luck.

  132. Greetings,

    I work as an agent for an entertainment company in Las Vegas. If you would like to audition or submit your demo, please visit http://www.mmec.com/casting-auditions. We would be happy to help you find a gig at sea.

  133. Mark says:

    My wife and I do blues/pop/classic rock covers with tracks – I play acoustic & electric guitar to the tracks. We both sing. Is this the kind of act that could find work on a ship?

  134. Diana L says:

    I am a music recruiter for Landau Music Inc and we are currently seeking showband musicians:

    - Bass
    - Drums
    - Guitar
    - Keys
    - Sax (must double on Alto/Tenor/Flute/Clarinet)
    - Trombone
    - Trumpet

    Sight reading is a big component of the audition and gig, so if sight reading is not your strength, this may not be the job for you. If interested, please contact diana@landaumusic.com

    Diana L
    Music Recruiter
    diana@landaumusic.com

    • Jon says:

      How long does it usually take after you audition for you to hear whether or not you passed the audition? And how long after that does it usually take to be offered a contract?

  135. Charles Thomas says:

    I would like more info about the Show band job, how do I audition etc…

  136. Jeremy says:

    I work as an agent with Mike Moloney Entertainment in Las Vegas and we source all the major cruise lines, a number of casinos, resorts, and hotels. We are always looking for quality musicians to add to our roster. I encourage anyone interested to visit http://www.mmec.com/casting-auditions and fill out our talent questionnaire. Best of luck in your search to play music at sea!

  137. Dane Danev says:

    Hello
    I am Dane Dane, Musician, Singer, Guitarist with long years of experience. The fact is, I am always professional and willing to every engagement and fittingly finishing the work for which I am engaged. For many years I have worked as an international musician on tourist ships and hotels. This year in 2012. I was hired eight months in MSC Musica from April to December.
    My repertoire is diverse, tailored to the guests.
    At its diverse repertoire with music from 50 until today:
    Country, Dance, Jazz, Latin, German, Italian, Oriental, Pop, Reggae, Rock, R&R and more…
    Songs of world stars:
    E. Presley J. Iglesias, T. Jones, Beatles, E. Humperdinck, F. Sinatra, R. Martin, D. Martin ,B. Dylan, J. Dassin and more…
    I’m available and ready to work immediately.

  138. mere sokula says:

    hi David!…..we are called tavasa band ad we are based here in Fiji in the pacific islands…we are a six piece band and we play cover songs ,we entertain in all the 5 stars hotel all over Fiji..and resorts all over the pacific…some of our band members have toured all over the world playing with big singers such as shakira in Canada!…morocco,Egypt,the whole band have toured Australia ,Zealand and other pacific islands playing for weddings and parties.our music ranges from contemporary,jazz,rock,blues, reggae,ballads,ballroom music to dancing music and to the top 40″s.
    we really want a chance to be working in a cruise ship..if you kindly help us.my email is mere_ezra @hotmail.com..

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Mere,

      My agency, Mike Moloney Entertainment, would be happy to look at your demo material. Six piece bands are tough to place, but four or five are doable. We are also looking for singles and duos with strong vocals, no backing tracks, and a good top-forty repertoire. You can fill out our Talent Questionnaire, and we will take it from there. All the best!

      http://www.mmec.com/casting-auditions

  139. mere sokula says:

    david!….if there’s an opening for a three piece band or a two piece band!..my partner is a jazz pianist,he grew up listening to black gospel,he is one of the best jazz pianist in FIJI and i am am a female singer.so if there’s a chance for a two piece job,pliz kindly email me on mere_ezra@hotmail.com.thank you

  140. gene says:

    A week or so ago I sent a comment with questions to this site. As soon as I did a notice appeared indicating something to the effect (I can’t remember the exact wording) that my message was in some sort of “interim” or “evaluation” process. My message was posted, but less than one day later it was removed. I’m aware that there’s only so much space to accommodate questions and comments but can’t help wondering if one reason my message appeared so briefly (without an answer) is the fact that I asked if in David’s experience he could recommend a cruise ship line that usually has a smaller percentage of smokers. I’m allergic to it (yes, at times it’s been a problem as an entertainer). Could my question have been removed so quickly because David perhaps is a smoker?

  141. Dave Hahn says:

    Dude, you are killing me. No, I’m not a smoker. No, there’s no conspiracy against you on this site. You posted your comment on multiple articles, so we only accepted one of them. I answered your question here over a week ago:

    http://www.musicianwages.com/cruise-ship-musician-employment-faq/#comment-42436

  142. Marco Ignacio says:

    Hi, I am wondering how to start. I am a jazz violinist and a show band violinist here in the Philippines. I do hope you can help me in meeting future band members, for a cruise ship job. Right now, my focus is playing Stephane Grappelli’s reperotoire, mostly jazz….but can sightread and play by ear. Thank you.

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