Most frequent questions and answers
HOW CAN I APPLY AND WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE DIFFERENT POSITIONS?
Please visit the Jobs & Auditions page of our website, where you will find all the necessary information and possible positions to apply and the job description, necessary skills and requirements.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE AUDITION?
Once your audition is complete we will evaluate your performance and determine what options are available to you. Keep us updated on your availability and we will let you know when we have a job to offer you.
IS THERE ANY SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS TO WORK ONBOARD?
Yes, all crew must have the following:
– English knowledge
– Valid Passport
– Pass a Medical Exam
** ALL NATIONALITIES CAN APPLY. We will let you know if you’ll need to obtain certain kind of visas once you have a job offer and ship assignment.
HOW LONG ARE CONTRACTS ONBOARD?
Typically, contracts span from 4 to 6 months in duration. Please note that the minimum duration is generally not less than four months, although the actual length of the contract depends on your position and the specific cruise line. It’s essential to understand that the contract represents a continuous period without any vacation or work breaks in between. If you desire to work beyond your assigned finish date, contract extensions are often possible, allowing you to decide for yourself after gaining onboard experience.
CAN I BRING WITH ME MY MUSICAL EQUIPMENT?
Certainly! In most cases, musicians are responsible for bringing their own . Here are some specific guidelines for various instruments:
Please bring at least one guitar, a pedalboard, and sufficient XLR cables for connecting to an amp. No need to bring an amp.
Bring your bass and at least one XLR cable for connecting to the system. You won’t need to bring an amp.
- Sax Players:
Depending on the cruise line, sax players are expected to bring at least one saxophone, a flute, and a clarinet. Trumpet and trombone players only need to bring their respective horns.
While a drum kit is usually provided onboard, drummers should bring their own cymbals, hi-hat clutch, sticks, mallets, rods, brushes, and other personal accessories.
- Pianists and Vocalists:
There is no requirement for pianists and vocalists to bring their own gear. However, if you prefer to use your own keyboard or microphone, it is acceptable.
We recommend all musicians consider bringing a metronome for practicing purposes.
- ** Please note that these equipment guidelines may vary slightly depending on the specific cruise line.*
DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR MY FLIGHTS AND HOTELS?
You’ll be glad to know that the cruise line takes care of all transportation-related expenses. If you need to stay in a hotel during your transit to the ship, the cruise line will cover those expenses as well. Moreover, at the end of your contract, the cruise line will arrange and pay for your travel from the ship to your home city. So, you can rest assured that you won’t have to worry about any of these.
HOW MANY HOURS A DAY SHOULD I WORK?
The typical number of working hours for musicians on a cruise ship ranges between 3 and 5 hours. However, this can vary based on several factors, including the ship’s itinerary, the target audience, the preferences of your supervisor and higher management, and the policies of the cruise line itself.
It’s important to note that the maximum number of working hours, including small breaks between sets, is generally capped at 5 hours. However, in practice, the actual number of working hours is often significantly less than the maximum. The Showband may have reduced playing hours compared to other performers since they may perform in multiple lounges throughout the night.
Additionally, it is customary for all musical groups to have one day off per week, providing you with some well-deserved rest and leisure time during your contract.
Please keep in mind that these working hour and day off arrangements may vary depending on specific ship contracts and operational requirements. It’s always helpful to clarify any specific details during the hiring process or with your supervisor onboard to have a clear understanding of your working schedule.
DO I HAVE SIDE DUTIES TO DO ASIDE MY PERFORMINGS?
Indeed, there are some safety-related duties that musicians may be involved in during their time on the cruise ship. The most notable is the mandatory safety drill that takes place at the beginning of each cruise. During this drill, all guests and crew members participate in a 30-minute session to familiarize themselves with the emergency procedures and safety protocols.
As a musician, your role during the safety drill will likely involve assisting and guiding passengers to the designated emergency areas on the ship. You may also be responsible for supervising guests until the completion of the drill, ensuring their understanding and compliance with the safety instructions.
In addition to the safety drill, some cruise lines may conduct crew boat drills, which are specific drills for the crew members only, to practice emergency response in case of an actual emergency. The frequency of these drills varies depending on the cruise line’s policies.
Furthermore, the nature of any additional duties for musicians beyond safety-related responsibilities can vary among cruise lines. Some cruise lines may assign musicians to assist guests during embarkation or debarkation, while others may not have any extra duties for musicians apart from their musical performances. Exclusively on European River Cruises the musician is entitled to choose to assist other departments to get extra tips at the end of the month.
It’s important to note that the specific responsibilities and tasks can differ based on the cruise line’s policies and operational requirements. Upon joining a cruise ship, you will receive detailed information about your duties and any additional responsibilities expected of you as a musician.
TO WHOM WILL I REPORT ON MY DUTY?
Your direct supervisor onboard the cruise ship is known as the “Musical Director.” This individual holds the responsibility of overseeing all musical entertainment activities throughout the ship. If you are a member of the Showband, you will directly collaborate with the Musical Director, who serves as the band leader for the Showband. For other musical groups, the Musical Director is the point of contact for ship-related matters such as schedule changes, equipment issues, guest interactions, and more.
The Musical Director will keep you informed about safety trainings, department meetings, and the ship’s rules and regulations. They will be available to address any questions or concerns you may have and assist with minor issues or challenges that arise during your time onboard. While the Musical Director is your primary contact for ship-related matters, you can also reach out to Studio 16 Entertainment for any questions, concerns, or problems you may encounter.
Both the Musical Director and We, Studio 16 Entertainment are dedicated to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for you as a musician onboard the cruise ship. We are here to support you, provide guidance, and help resolve any issues that may arise during your time onboard.
I’M I ALLOWED TO EXPLORE THE PORTS WHERE THE SHIP MAKES STOPS?
Totally! You are typically allowed to disembark from the ship when it is in port. As an entertainer, you benefit from this opportunity as well. In most cases, you will have the freedom to leave the ship for the entire duration that it remains in a particular port. Occasionally, showband musicians may need to return to the ship early for rehearsals, or soloists may have scheduled performances during dinner if the ship remains in port until late at night. However, these situations are relatively rare.
There is one significant exception that requires you to stay on board, known as “port manning.” This is a safety regulation followed by the industry, which mandates that a certain number of crew members must always remain on the ship. As a musician, you will be part of a port manning rotation, which means you will be required to stay on the ship for one or more port days every month or two. The good news is that you will likely only have to fulfill port manning duties a few times during your contract, and most of your time in port will be free for you to explore and enjoy.
I’M I ALLOWED TO STAY IN GUEST AREAS?
Certainly! Musicians are granted access to all lounges and areas of the ship, as long as they are attired appropriately. While there may be some rare exceptions, such as a specific “relaxation” zone exclusive to guests, or designated hours when crew members are restricted from the guest buffet area or the guest gym, these limitations are minor in nature. Essentially, you have the freedom to explore and move about the ship as you please. However, it’s important to note that guests’ private cabins remain strictly off-limits to crew members. So, please refrain from entertaining any ideas in that regard.
DURING DAY OFFS, WHAT STUFFS AM I ALLOWED TO DO?
The possibilities are vast, although not limitless. There are plenty of options available to keep yourself occupied and entertained. You have the freedom to engage in work-related activities such as practicing your music skills. If staying fit is your thing, you can hit the gym and maintain your physique. Basking in the glorious sunshine, you can relish the pleasure of reading a captivating book or immersing yourself in melodious tunes. If you’re up for expanding your horizons, the crew training center offers opportunities to learn a new language. And let’s not forget the pure bliss of cocooning in your bed, indulging in a marathon of movies until it’s time to dress for work. As a musician, one of the most exhilarating aspects of shipboard life is the abundance of free time at your disposal, allowing you to tailor your leisure activities to suit your preferences.
WHEN AND HOW WILL I GET MY SALARY?
Compensation for your services will be provided on a regular basis, with payment frequencies typically ranging from bi-weekly or monthly. The mode of payment can vary, either in the form of cash or through a direct deposit to your designated ship-specific account.
To facilitate your financial transactions, there are conveniently located ATMs onboard the ship. These ATMs allow you to withdraw cash directly from your account, ensuring accessibility to funds during your time at sea. Furthermore, the online platform grants you easy access to your account, enabling seamless money transfers and effortless management of your financial affairs.
It’s important to note that the majority of cruise lines utilize the U.S. dollar as the currency for employee compensation, ensuring a consistent and standardized payment structure.
WHAT ABOUT THE AVERAGE SALARY?
Salaries within the cruise industry exhibit significant variation, influenced by several factors such as the specific cruise line, your role onboard, the instrument you play, and the duration of your tenure with a particular line. It is crucial to note that the cruise line itself determines the salary structure, and we do not have control over these figures. However, we can provide a general overview of salary ranges for various positions.
For Showband musicians and lounge band members, monthly salaries typically begin around $2.000 and can range up to approximately $3,400. Soloists, on the other hand, have the potential to earn higher compensation, with monthly earnings starting around $2,500 and potentially exceeding $3,500.
Please bear in mind that these figures are approximate and can vary significantly depending on the factors mentioned earlier. It is advisable to consult with the specific cruise line or review their official guidelines for precise information regarding salary details for your particular position and circumstances.
WILL STUDIO 16 HAVE MY BACK WHILE ONBOARD?
Absolutely! We prioritize the satisfaction and overall experience of our clients. We are dedicated to ensuring your happiness and well-being onboard, both personally and professionally. While minor concerns can often be addressed directly onboard without our intervention, we are here to assist you with any significant matters that you feel warrant our involvement.
When you reach out to us, we will provide valuable advice and guidance tailored to your specific situation. If necessary, we will take prompt action to address the issue in a manner that best serves your interests and needs. Our goal is to swiftly resolve any concerns you may have, ensuring that you have a positive and fulfilling experience while onboard.
We value your feedback and are committed to your satisfaction. Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you encounter any issues or require assistance. We are here to support you and will work diligently to meet your expectations and provide the necessary solutions.
DO I HAVE TO PAY STUDIO 16 A COMMISSION?
Yes. At Studio 16 Entertainment, we have a commission system in place for our musicians. It involves a small percentage from your salary while working onboard a ship. However, it’s important to note that our audition process is completely free of charge.
When you audition with us, there are no fees or expenses involved. We provide a fair and transparent evaluation of your musical skills and suitability for our available positions. If you are selected and placed on a ship, you will receive all the necessary information and support to start your journey, and no charges will be incurred until you actually begin working onboard.
Our commitment is to ensure a seamless and financially transparent experience for musicians joining our team. We strive to provide opportunities for talented individuals without imposing financial burdens during the audition and placement stages.
Should you have any further questions regarding our commission system or the audition process, please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision and embark on an exciting musical career onboard a ship.