What work schedule can I expect on a ship?
You can expect to work seven days a week, at the cruise director’s discretion. Your schedule will vary from day to day. Some days you may not work at all, others you may work a lot! It all depends on your position.
What will the length of your contract be?
Contracts can be as short as three days or as long as six months. The average length is 4 to 6 months. Short contracts come with little notice, sometimes only 24 hours! As such, short notice means our clients need to fill a position quickly and therefore are prepared to adjust the length of the contract. Normally cruise line clients prefer to hire people for longer periods of time. On a regular contract, you will usually have four to eight weeks’ notice to prepare for your departure. Before you consider accepting any given contract, please remember that your verbal commitment is important to us.
Is there an age limit?
All candidates must be at least 21 years old
Do you have to pay taxes if you work on a ship?
Due to working in International waters there are great tax reliefs, some countries are even completely TAX FREE. However it is your duty to declare any income made abroad.
If you are selected for cruise ship work where will you live?
You will be assigned a crew cabin once you board the vessel. A musician usually shares a cabin with another musician. Space on ships is a valuable commodity: some cabins can be small and take a bit of getting used to. Cleanliness and personal hygiene must be practiced by all, especially in a shared cabin. If a non-smoker bunks with a smoker, the no smoking rule applies.life @ sea
Will you be fully insured when you are on board the ship? What steps need to be taken?
You will have full medical coverage while on board and on land (while the ship is in port) if you successfully complete a thorough physical examination prior to departure. A ship’s Pre-Physical Examination Form will be sent to you. This form contains a section that you can fill in yourself (relating to your health history), as well as sections that must be filled in by an approved seafarer’s medical practitioner (physical examination and test results). A chest X-ray (tuberculosis), a urinalysis (drugs, alcohol and diabetes) and a blood test (sexually transmitted diseases) may be required. You will be notified if any vaccinations will be needed. Cruise ship employees are discouraged from participating in dangerous activities such as bungee jumping, sky diving, rental of risky mopeds, etc., as these activities may affect insurance coverage. It is up to you whether or not to invest in life insurance; keep in mind that the cruise line offers no compensation for fatal injuries.
Are your instruments going to be insured?
Insurance for your instrument or equipment is not provided by our clients, nor is it compulsory. However, for your own peace of mind, we encourage you to obtain insurance. We have contact with a broker who specialises in musicians insurance.life @ sea
What about the dress code?
The dress code varies for different cruise lines. However, in general for men, you will need to wear a Tuxedo with a white pleated shirt, a black bow tie, black cummerbund, black shoes and black socks for formal night. On non-formal nights, you will wear a suit. For women on formal nights an evening dress is preferable, think along the lines of Bridesmaid. On non-formal nights, you will wear a cocktail dress, pants suit, skirt and blouse Some cruise lines will provide you with the non-formal night wear, a day time uniform and a name-tag that you should wear in passenger areas. life @ sea
Can you invite friends or family on board the ship?
Depending on the cruise line’s policy, you may have the privilege to invite friends or family to cruise at discount rates after a certain period of employment
How much time do you spend off the ship?
As a general rule, every time the ship is in port you have free time to go enjoy the ports attractions and sights. You may have a late afternoon rehearsal to attend or a lunchtime set to play depending on the day’s activities. If the ship stays in port overnight, usually a third of the ship’s crew must remain on board for emergency purposes. This is called in-port manning. In-port manning is rotated between all crew so it remains fair.life @ sea
What expenses will you incur on board?
Other than the expenses that you will incur while doing your site seeing and shopping in port, you will have very few expenses during your contract on board. You will have to pay for your internet, phone cards, drinks and store snacks but they come at discounted rates for crew members. Your airfare, hotel, accommodations, food and work laundry are free of charge life @sea
What if you have difficulties throughout your voyage?
We are with you every step of the way throughout your voyage. Your complete travel itinerary is monitored to avoid any problems or delays, and we’ll assist you in obtaining all necessary travel documents such as passport, visas, physicals and contracts. We’ll even arrange for overnight accommodations if needed. We are also available by phone or email to resolve any issues you may have while on board.life @sea