The People You Meet

You may be surprised to learn that living on a ship is a very transient lifestyle. Obviously I jest, but the fact remains. Every single cruise upwards up 50 new crew members sign on, which in turn means that the same number are leaving. Some crew members are going home for vacation, others transferring to another ship, and occasionally someone is leaving for good for another job, retirement, etc… Either way the fact is that each week a friend, a co-worker, and person that you see everyday leaves at the end of their contract. Transient as it may be, it is often not the last time you will see these friends. Continue reading “The People You Meet”

When New Becomes Familiar

It’s a funny thing that happens when paradise becomes your backyard. In the last two years I have spent more time in the paradise islands of the caribbean than I have in the states, let alone  anywhere I have ever called home. Occasionally you’ll join a ship where the itinerary is constantly changing, and you end up in four new countries each week. Other times you will be on a ship which has a repeating itinerary, and find yourself in familiar surroundings week in and week out. In both instances, specifically the latter, eventually you find that the places have become less exciting to you than they used to be, from time to time even skipping the port entirely (just staying on the ship for the day). This is an interesting thought seeing as how everyone else on board is spending their hard earned money to see some of these places. This has me thinking about my first time in a foreign port, or the excitement of a new port after a long stint in the same few repeating ports, as opposed to the feeling of walking off the ship into a port for the 5th, 15th or 50th time. Continue reading “When New Becomes Familiar”

Four Day Booze Cruise

It’s always been amazing to me how different the crowds can be from one cruise to the next. You’d think that with 3,000 guests per week that largely the same type of people would be drawn toward the same sort of activities. However, the crowds that we attract week in and week out can vary widely. Sometimes our most popular set is Motown, and others it is 80’s rock. Sometimes we get a large group of dancing couples, other times we get the young party crowd. Generally speaking, the shorter the cruise length, the wilder the crowd. The term “booze-cruise” has quite a bit of truth to it, and that is exactly what our last 4 day cruise was like. Continue reading “Four Day Booze Cruise”

So, what’s it like?

We all get asked this question on an everyday basis, but rarely do have the chance to get deeper into the answer. Here’s another inside look into the life of a cruise ship musician.

“So what’s it like?”

It’s the first question you are asked when meeting someone for the first time or once you’ve gotten to know a guest after a couple days on board. The stock answer of course is that you like it. I have said every variation of “What do I have to complain about?” or “I sing and travel and somehow get paid to do it!” And these are all truthful answers. Working as a musician for the cruise industry has many upsides, and benefits, but there are also times when it gets hard. There are challenges that come from being away from home all the time, and challenges from the job itself. Though, these often go unspoken. To preface, I couldn’t be happier with the amazing opportunity I have to be able to perform music for a living. To quote famous composer Jason Robert Brown, “Some people never find success with their art,” and I know plenty of wildly talented people who are serving tables, working some temp job, or simply unemployed and deserve to be under the brightest of lights. So I do know how extremely lucky and blessed that I am to be able to do this, but with any positive, there is also negative.

Continue reading “So, what’s it like?”

First Day

I was challenged by Jimmy to try writing in longer format. He suggested I write about my first day on board of cruise ships. Here it is.

I had never even been on a cruise. This thought was weighing heavily on me as I was preparing to board the ship for the first time. I had never even spent more than an hour or two on a boat prior to this, and now I have signed up to spend six straight months working on board. Would I get sea sick? Would I even like it? We were about to find out!

Continue reading “First Day”

Off Again!

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Packing your entire life into a couple bags is harder than you think. You would also think it gets easier the more you do it, but i find it is just the opposite. It’s hard to decide what you do and don’t need for six months at a time. It’s nothing short of hilarious how I can’t decide if a t-shirt comes or goes, it shouldn’t be this hard. I need to figure out why I don’t have this on lockdown yet. It should be down to a science at this point… But it’s not. No matter how hard it is, and how long I put it off and procrastinate it always gets done, and here it is.

I always have such mixed feelings leaving home to head out to sea for so long. On one hand, I have about the greatest job ever, sing, travel, meet wonderful people from all over. Though, I do hate being away from home, friends, family, etc… Regardless, I am excited to be heading back to work, to learning, and making music again. That is, after all, the dream. Singing for a living. Miami here I come!

Life is good.