I play guitar is a 7 piece band which acts as the pit band for the production shows on board, backing up all the guest entertainers that come through and doing big band jazz sets all over the ship. AMA

Proof: https://imgur.com/gallery/A45Rh

Comments: 1480 • Responses: 93  • Date: 

Shiwanshu1899 karma

You find a decoy snail in your living quarters, you realise that the real one's nearby, what do you do?

inbloom27805 karma

Run

dyncon671 karma

Have you plucked any passengers yet?

inbloom27959 karma

That's guaranteed to get you fired immediately. There's cameras everywhere, I already know people who have

DELIBIRD_RULEZ279 karma

What happens if you're fired immediately? Do they just throw you overboard or do they have the courtesy of leaving you stranded in an island?

inbloom27203 karma

Depends on what you did

girraween79 karma

You still didn't answer the question...

inbloom27271 karma

No I have a girlfriend back home. Though that doesn't seem to stop a lot of the crew

mister_miner_GL63 karma

so, staff is fair play though? seems like that's where the real fun would be.

e: phone posting is cool and good

inbloom27130 karma

Yup, lots of people sleep around a lot

soletrain88498 karma

Would you go down with the ship?

inbloom271379 karma

Fuck no

onthefly86d358 karma

What are you living quarters like?

inbloom27555 karma

A small room with bunk beds and a tv mounted at the foot of the bed (I have the bottom thank god), a desk, cabinets and closet type thing. Then a small bathroom.

Airazz267 karma

Without windows, I assume?

inbloom271417 karma

Of course, what are we humans?

Booey12346 karma

Is this royal Caribbean?

inbloom27116 karma

I'm not gonna say either way

Eleagl341 karma

Is it fun or soul crushing? How often do you go home/see your family? Who's your best friend?

inbloom27587 karma

I really enjoy it. Sometimes the music we have to play is slightly soul crushing but I find ways to enjoy myself no matter what. I have a lot of time to practice and work on things that interest me. This is my second contract. My first only being 7 weeks this past summer. Then I was home for 2.5 months. This time I am 1.5 months into a 6 month contract. Then I will be home but I get to talk to my family and girlfriend all the time. My best friend is my roommate and sax player in the orchestra

Inigomntoya297 karma

What song can you no longer listen to because a fellow performer butchered it so hard it left you wanting to van gogh yourself?

inbloom27420 karma

Well a few that too many guest entertainers have done are You Raise Me Up, Sway and New York New York. I could go the rest of my life without hearing them again. But I probably will have to play them next week haha. We just played for a sax player tonight who opened with Kenny G though, hurts my soul

FierceNack117 karma

I used to play sax in a jazz band and when people found out they would ask " so you play Kenny G kind of stuff, right?" Ugh no thanks.

bob-leblaw149 karma

But some Careless Whisper tho, right?

inbloom27247 karma

The sax player we played for tonight started with playing that lick in his memory. RIP

inbloom2710 karma

Haha so gross

mindflex246 karma

Do the boat staff party a lot. Is there of action going on below deck?

inbloom27455 karma

Yes. I have heard the crew bars sell more alcohol than most of the guest bars on board

limbomaniac229 karma

How many guitars do you have on board? What does your rig look like?

inbloom27380 karma

I came with one and bought another while I was here in New Zealand. My pedal board I brought which has a korg pitchblack tuner, CAE wah wah, EHX soul food, fulltone plimsoul, Dunlop volume pedal, Moore mod factory, tc electronics hall of fame reverb all powered by a voodoo labs iso5. On board, they have a Roland jazz chorus in every venue which is wonderful to play on

limbomaniac84 karma

Nice! What kind of guitars?

inbloom27217 karma

A 335 copy with Seymour Duncan P-rails and an Aria Pro II

BoringPersonAMA73 karma

Aw man, no flying V?

inbloom2774 karma

Nah. Though in our ship, one of the production shows with the singers and dancer is a big rock arena show where the guitarist is featured on stage. A Flying V would be perfect

aSadStateOfAffairs10 karma

Just get an AX8 dude.

inbloom2747 karma

I'm old school and an analog man. If I could have tube amps on board, I would

ShepardtoyouSheep229 karma

Can you make those towel animals on the bed?

inbloom27156 karma

I wish

MrCrazySoldier189 karma

I'm going to take a wild guess and ask if you are on the Celebrity Solstice?

inbloom27244 karma

I will neither confirm nor deny this guess

catipillar60 karma

Or Radiance of the Seas, or Sea Princess, or P&O.

inbloom2798 karma

Also will not confirm or deny these either

Sendmeloveletters97 karma

You're on the Gilded Lady. I know it.

inbloom27138 karma

You got me

goofball_jones153 karma

How are you treated on ship? Decent food, as in the same that the passengers get? Accommodations? Any relaxing off-hours activities, or are you constantly working the whole time?

inbloom27290 karma

Crew is treated fairly well. The crew mess can be shitty but as musicians, we are able to eat in the guest buffet and visit the restaurants when we have the chance. Room is small but liveable. We only work evenings so our whole afternoon is ours. The company puts on crew events too which are nice

goofball_jones66 karma

Ah, so not too bad of a gig. That's great!

YourBrainOnJazz158 karma

Professional musician here. Compared to most regular bar and club gigs cruise ship gigs are fan-fucking-tastic, but lots of us professionals won't do them because you end up kinda loosing a lot of your freelance contacts and your out on a boat for 6 months often playing corporate music, and not necessarily what you enjoy most.

inbloom27167 karma

Truth. I'm only in this for maybe one more contract. All my bands has fizzled out at home so this was a perfect opportunity for me at the time

Davylectric130 karma

Ex-cruise ship musician here. I've done 11 contracts on a total of five years for 2 different companies, the best advice I can give you is, getting out early is better than staying until you feel like the walls are closing in on you. I've seen a few people getting crazy there, and I got pretty close to it during my last contract. The moment you realize you're not enjoying it anymore, get out. Until then, have fun!

inbloom2789 karma

Thanks! I have already met musicians like that. I knew from the get go I only wanted to do 2 or 3 contracts anyways. The cruise life is not the life for me but it's fun right now!

JuanDoethe1148 karma

How does working, work. Do you guys have 3 months on 3 months off? Do you guys switch between ships often or stick with the same one? What's the craziest thing you witnessed?

inbloom27173 karma

People typically do 6 month contracts then home for a month to 3, depending on how good your agent is and if you can find work. Most switch ships but I have met a few people who like to stay on one. I will get back to you on craziest. I haven't been around for long to see much but I have heard stories

goo_lagoon147 karma

Favorite unheralded destination?

inbloom27293 karma

I had never heard of Malta before we went there. Super beautiful country with a rich history

kvothe568857 karma

I heard about Malta somewhere with game of thrones production news or somewhere. I don't know

inbloom27197 karma

We went to a port in Croatia that is kings landing and I got to see black water bay!

thejesiah136 karma

How'd you get the gig? Any pointers for other aspiring musicians and entertainers on what to expect in the process?

inbloom27285 karma

I found a Craigslist ad for my agent. The audition was 5 pieces of sight reading in different genres and both chords and a notation. Also there was improvising over a blues track and a jazz standard. Just be well versed in many genres and be able to play and blend well with a band

Slardybardfast104 karma

Do you get time ashore at each port?

inbloom27121 karma

Every day!

Skivmo93 karma

Im an audio engineer and have considered working on cruise ships, but my friends that have done it say the enviornment is extremely strict and limited, do you feel this way?

inbloom2791 karma

It can be but as far as audio engineers, I love dudes who like what they do. if you do stuff for the theaters, you have some freedom on mixing and working with different settings and shows.

prototype__91 karma

What's your fav song? Which is the one most requested by the cruising crowd?

inbloom27174 karma

My favorite I've played is the note for note parts of bohemian rhapsody with a Freddie Mercury impersonator. In the position I'm in, we don't have opportunity guests to request songs

Templarum88 karma

Are you paid well? Do they give you free food?

inbloom27185 karma

Paid well enough. Especially seeing as I don't pay rent and have certain bills. Yes food is free

Sendmeloveletters51 karma

How do you maintain your place back home?

inbloom27113 karma

I lived with my parents before I left so I have no rent to pay back home

powabiatch26 karma

Have you gained weight? I know I would.

inbloom2769 karma

Unlimited pizza did it to me. I'm in the process of working out more often and eating better though

captainsassy6975 karma

Can you play free bird?

inbloom27209 karma

Of course but I won't

Firebat1260 karma

When you were growing up did you ever imagine yourself doing this?

inbloom27120 karma

It's something I have wanted to do since I took my first cruise when I was 14, 10 years later it's a reality

Firebat1244 karma

That's actually pretty awesome. Following your dreams and such.

inbloom2767 karma

Indeed it is! It's only a temporary gig but its excellent to cross this off my bucket list

greenisin52 karma

Do you get to fraternize with the passengers when not working?

inbloom2797 karma

You can sometimes. Most of the time, it's people recognizing you as a musician and chatting with them a bit.

Sagnew43 karma

How crazy do the top secret staff bars get? $1 drinks?

inbloom2789 karma

$1 beers every night

00011101141 karma

Do you read about sinkings like the MV Estonia and plan your escape route, should your vessel start to capsize?

inbloom2759 karma

I don't but we do crew drills once a week so we all know what to do in case of the need to abandon ship

Krycklund37 karma

What's the most fun you've ever had playing with the band?

inbloom2776 karma

For a Freddie Mercury impersonator or for a piano and guitar player who did some country/blues music then also some pseudo pop classical medleys

UserFriendly35629 karma

What's your favorite performance guitar?

What's your favorite personal guitar?

inbloom2763 karma

Well I brought a 335 copy with Seymour Duncan p-rails in it with me which is my favorite. But the electronics are screwed up (currently at a shop in Sydney getting fixed) so I bought an Aria Pro II which I am quickly falling in love with. My baby though is a 1979 Electra les Paul with custom paf style pups that my uncle gave to me when I first started playing. That axe stays home and will never come on the road

CrazyCapitalist29 karma

How's the weather?

inbloom2756 karma

It's been pretty windy and cooler than I packed for. But I'm from the states so no snow this time of year is good enough for me

SpontaneousDream28 karma

Craziest story you have?

inbloom2779 karma

A crew member so drunk he started throwing wheelchairs over the side of the ship

doubleflusher27 karma

What are your long-term professional goals? Do you enjoy these types of gigs?

inbloom2741 karma

I do but I hope to start teaching more full time when I go back home. Possibly try to work as a music director for theatres and such. And also continue performing as a singer and guitarist in original and cover bands

gutterandstars26 karma

most hated song frequently requested?

inbloom2746 karma

We played New York New York for two or three different guest entertainers in the span on a week. So I could do without that song again. The group I'm in isn't really in venues or a position to ever take requests

Moose17626 karma

As a drummer, what you do is kind of a dream job for me. Care to explain how you got the position?

inbloom2739 karma

I found an agent who was accept auditions. The audition for me consisted of sight reading 5 different pieces, all different genres then improvisation over a blues track and a jazz standard

IAreBirdy24 karma

Do you have any plans of finding a highborn looking lady and painting her naked like one of the french girls?

inbloom2745 karma

Already have

lazrbeam23 karma

How many times do you have to play "smooth" by rob Thomas/Santana?

inbloom2719 karma

Actually never so far. Though I used to do it every weekend with my cover band

shemp3323 karma

Is ther much comradre among the fellow band mates and other staff aboard in general?

Quick second question: how do the kitchen folks keep their sanity? I imagine breaking eggs or peeling potatoes all day every day has to get to you after a while.

inbloom2729 karma

There is, the whole entertainment department here and on my last ship where all very friendly and open.

I would imagine so, I dunno though. Don't know any kitchen staff

ThePenguinMassacre22 karma

I hear a lot about outbreaks of illness on cruise ships, how bad is it?

inbloom2726 karma

The cold tends to go around sometimes. I haven't seen anything bad yet luckily

Maythan21 karma

I recently auditioned as a bassist for Proship entertainment. They offered me a contract, but I had to turn it down due to various obligations at home. What is the likelihood they'll offer me another contract?

I spoke with my agent about the audition, and they said that I had some problems with my audition on electric bass, but the contract they offered me was for a double bass position in a combo - which I'm totally okay with and would prefer. I guess my second question is: how good is your bassist?

Is tone or reading more of an issue for the bass spot in the show band?

I've got a ton of experience as a pit musician for many local theaters, have two degrees in Music (both in Composition), and have a pretty kick-ass Performance CV for my age. I think it was just a bad audition on my part... What are some other agencies you know of and would recommend?

Finally, does anyone on board play Magic: The Gathering, or any other games for that matter?

Sorry for so many questions! I'm just trying to figure out if I should really hit this hard or not.

inbloom2721 karma

Reading is the biggest part of it all. Our bass player right now is a bad ass. Great at all styles and is able to change his tone depending on the style. Message me if you have any questions about agencies. I haven't seen anyone playing magic. Doesn't mean people dont though

Alpinestarhero20 karma

Do you ever just wanna light it up on that fretboard and go full on steve vai?

inbloom2723 karma

Fuck yes

aritina19 karma

Have you had to deal with being sea sick?

inbloom2732 karma

Yup and it sucks balls

ndpugs13 karma

What gear do you transport on the ship?

inbloom2718 karma

I brought a guitar, a pedal board and a backpack with my wah, volume pedal and other doo dads that I might need

Mumblecrustt12 karma

How difficult (reading-wise) would you rate the charts you have to read? For example, when they stick a chart in front of you, is it mostly slashes and changes, or do you see a lot of lines that you need to play?

inbloom2715 karma

Honestly, it varies. I've had the simplest shit with just major and minor chords to full on jazz charts to crazy 16th note runs that even threw me for a loop

mazorca8612 karma

Do you have a fixed salary or does it depends on tips?
How much can you make?

inbloom2711 karma

No tips. We get a flat monthly wage. Paid twice a month

ClimbRockGuitar11 karma

Do your fingers ever get sore or any other injuries? How many hours of play time do you have back to back?

inbloom2719 karma

Yes they do but there is rest time. We play for a max of 4 hours a day, minimum 1. Then my own practice on top of that from 30 min-2 hours

JustHach9 karma

[deleted]

inbloom2737 karma

1) See an above comment for my whole rig. I just took the essentials from my personal pedal board with me. Though didn't have to leave too much behind. 2)it's something I have always wanted to do and knew some people who had done it who had given me contacts. But I finally ended up finding my agent through Craigslist, submitting my audition and a month later, I was on a plane on the way to my first contract. You have to be a really really good sight reader of all genres and be able to improvise. 3)most people have a university degree in music. I am one of the few people I met that does not have one. I have played in bands all my life and some pit bands around as well. I also played saxophone all through middle and high school so I have formal music training that I have applied to guitar and studied on my own

Salavin7 karma

Buddy of mine got injured due to faulty equipment while playing music on a ship. The company gave him something ridiculously low like 10 bucks a day while he was recuperating. He could not work for a few weeks. Are working conditions generally bad in the industry, or would this be an isolated case?

inbloom276 karma

Seems like an isolated incident. I feel safe working aboard

burning-sky5 karma

Besides sight reading for the audition, how much sight reading is for the actual gig? I have decent reading chops, and I can read read changes no problem, but my sight reading is a little bit slow. I have had a lot of friends that have done the cruise ship route, and most of them seem to enjoy it. I have a fairly good career as a musician, but I'd be interested in branching out a bit and traveling and playing like this as a fun detour. I'd like to PM you a few other questions, if you don't mind.

inbloom277 karma

The position I'm in is 80% sight reading. If you're not fluent in it, you won't have a great time. Feel free to message me!

Imthejuggernautbitch4 karma

My old music teacher played one of these electronic wind instruments on a cruise ship. Ever seen anyone doing that?

Seems kinda cheese.

inbloom275 karma

I love EWIs. They are kind cheese but you can do some sick stuff with them

detectivebunk13 karma

How do you even metal with that weak ass pedal board and amp? What's the heaviest shit you guys play?

inbloom271 karma

Haha we don't metal really. The heaviest has been like 80s rock and hair metal stuff. My rig cranks when I want it to though. Just like a Marshall stack

Barron_Cyber3 karma

who do you most want to perform with?

inbloom273 karma

I dunno. Most of the people I have performed with I hadn't heard of before so any big name person isn't going to be doing the cruise ship circut

Barron_Cyber5 karma

well than anyone from history or whatever? no holds barred. who do you want to perform with in your dreams?

inbloom276 karma

Jimi Hendrix or George Harrison, they are my two musical idols

mind_the_gap3 karma

Do you know Rick the trumpet player?

inbloom274 karma

Nope

angry_biscuit2 karma

What's the pay like?

inbloom278 karma

Better than any minimum wage job I've had before. Not bad for playing music full time

GrandfatherRat2 karma

What kind of rig are you using? Ah, another fiend asked already i see...

inbloom272 karma

Yeah just look above

awdrifter2 karma

Do you listen to any podcast while on the ship? If so do you listen to Hello Internet?

inbloom277 karma

I don't but would like to start. Currently I'm bingeing game of thrones

MaryTheMerchant2 karma

Have you seen anyone die of a heartattack? Cruise ships have the highest death rate lol

inbloom274 karma

I have not thank god

ALittle2Raph2 karma

Who is your favorite ninja turtle?

inbloom272 karma

Was never into the ninja turtles to be honest

jokeaway141 karma

You worry about dying poor?

inbloom274 karma

No because I'm doing what I love currently and am able to save the majority of my money while doing it. Also, this is setting me up to teach and perform more when I get off

catipillar-15 karma

Do you do side jobs for art? If not, you suck BIG TIME. Do you DO side jobs for art? If so, you're a wonderful human being.

inbloom275 karma

What do you mean?

catipillar-2 karma

You must have an Art Auctioneer on board? Art Auctioneers pay musicians about $500 a month to help them do things like "bubble," "wax off," and registration.

inbloom271 karma

Ahh no I don't. I'ver never heard of a musician helping with the art staff