The cruise industry is booming and that is good news for musicians. Currently there are over fifty cruise lines all with numerous ships floating around the world. For example, Carnival Cruises has 24 ships at sea, and with the average vessel employing between 18-25 musicians. That is a huge opportunity for musicians looking for work.
So which kind of entertainers are the ships looking for? The simple answer is "any", but that does not mean just any musician, entertainer, or band will land a gig at sea. So to make things easier here is a list of in-demand artists for ships right now:
Show Band and Orchestra Musicians.
These are the cats who play the shows, dance sets, and act as the Swiss army knife for the ship. You must have great reading chops, be able to play in almost any style, and pass an audition to make the gig.
In order of need:
Bass players (especially upright)
Sax players (especially those who double)
Trombone (lots of ships are ditching trombone players these days)
Four piece bands are easier to find gigs for. To really up your chances include solid vocals, especially harmonies. If you want to get out quicker know your modern party tunes such as Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga. There are a lot of "classic rock bands" looking for work, so the more modern your repertoire the better. If you can perform tunes from the Billboard Top 40 for the past three decades, you will do quite well.
Soloists & Duos:
There seems to be a change in what ships want for soloists and duos. Tracks and one-man bands are on their way out. Ships want unique line-ups with modern tunes and exceptional vocals. Just like the party bands, you stand a much better chance of retaining work if you know modern music as well as the classics.
Of course with so many ships there is a lot of opportunities for just about any style of musician, but if you mold your act to the above specifications you will stand a better chance of finding work and retaining it contract after contract.
If you are looking to perform on cruise ships please visit http://www.mmec.com/casting-auditions and fill out our Talent Questionnaire. Mike Moloney Entertainment is always looking for great musicians to perform on various cruise lines. Since we work with all the majors, and casinos as well, you will stand a better chance of finding and keeping work with the MMEC brand.