Imagine you living the good life. You’re playing two gigs every day. And in-between the gigs getting served at your beck and call whatever is your heart’s desire. With a shrimp cocktail in one hand and a fresh pina colada in the other hand. Lounging back taking in the Caribbean sun. Traveling the world.
Sounds pretty good, huh? Sounds like the life of a rock star, right? What is it, you may ask. Probably not what you are thinking, not too many people think of making this a part of their career as musician, but as you can see it definitely has a benefit or two.
Cruise Line Entertainer
What are we talking about? A cruise line entertainer. Probably a new idea for you, but this is definitely a pretty sweet job. You will be playing an average of 3-4 hours a day, so you will be getting lots of practice time to get better. And what do you do with the other 20 hours of your day? What ever you want, you are on a cruise line. If you have never been on a cruise liner, these are some things you can expect.
What You Can Expect
Buffets that never close for the night. Full Las Vegas style buffets that have everything you can think of. Not just any run of the mill cooks either. Cruise ships hire the best of the best. Some of the chefs in the world work on cruise ships. It is not uncommon to see whole art galleries made up entirely of fully editable chocolate sculptures.
Many of the cruises make stops in different countries. If you’re not working (I mean playing your guitar) guess what, you can go check out the island. We are talking about Caribbean paradises, the places you see on the post cards.
As we all know cruise ships are for vacations, so as you can guess the general atmosphere is a constant party. This is a lot of people’s only vacation for a while, so they are looking to have fun. So whatever you can think of that a person would want on a vacation, there is probably something of the sort of the ship. And the best part of it is, most people pay a decent sum of money to be there, while you are getting PAID a decent sum of money to be there.
What You Need To Be
Sound’s pretty good right? Do I have you convinced? If I do, good, it is a pretty plush job, but once again nothing comes easy. They do not want just any guy that played in a garage band for 6 years. You have to be GOOD. You need to be very versatile, you need to be able to play many types of music.
And once again the type of music you are going to play is going to stray away a little bit from the typical heavy metal. For the most part that is not something you are going to play a typical cruise ship.
To give you an idea of what they are looking for, it is good to know that the majority of the music in cruises is either easy listening music or dancing music. Caribbean style bands are also seen a quite a bit.
Another area that might be of a little more interest to a lot of you is solo guitarist/vocalist. These typically play in a bar type atmosphere. Often times they are required to play rock, country or popular music.
In all cases on a cruise ship, you need to be a versatile, highly skilled musician. Also formal training is almost a necessity. Even the guys that play as a solo guitarist/vocalist in many cases are required to play with an orchestral at times. Which usually means being able to site read music; I know what you are thinking.
I’m not going to collage to play music. You don’t learn rules to rock out, you just feel it. While this is true many of the tips that are talked about on this site come straight out of music theory, the stuff you learn when you go to collage. They can really help you to be a better musician no matter what genre of music you are playing.
Even if playing this type of music the rest of life isn’t your goal and your dream is to be great rock star, getting paid to perform 3 hours a day while getting endless drinks and food isn’t a bad way of working up to your goal. For more information on being a cruise line musician you can visit Ocean Bound.com. Here is also a list of Cruise Ships that hire these types of entertainers.
Carnival Cruise Lines