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#492593 - 01/02/08 03:05 AM cruise ships  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,061
Candywoman Offline
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Candywoman  Offline
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Has anybody here got any experience playing piano on cruise ships?

Please tell me all you know about the experience. How many hours did you play per week? Was there a second piano you could practice on in a practice room?

What were the food and working conditions like?
Thanks!

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#492594 - 01/02/08 09:41 AM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,137
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,137
Lexington, Kentucky
candyman, you may want to try posting this on the nonclassical forum, because I remember somebody posting there once about playing on a cruise ship. But danged if I can remember who it was... Tom K, maybe???


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#492595 - 01/02/08 10:59 AM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: Nov 2006
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argerichfan Offline
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Pacific Northwest, US.
I had an acquaintance who played on a cruise ship once. He was so distraught about his lack of tips and attention that late one night he tossed three deck chairs overboard.

And it seems to me that I posted this on another thread about cruise ships... but danged if I can remember where or when.


Jason
#492596 - 01/02/08 11:30 AM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,618
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
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PoStTeNeBrAsLuX  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2005
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Geneva, Switzerland
Jason:
...late one night he tossed three deck chairs overboard.

Not unoccupied ones, I hope wink

-Michael B.


There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.
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#492597 - 01/02/08 11:43 AM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 290
Guy Offline
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Guy  Offline
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Massachusetts
I know a trumpet player that did about 5 years worth of cruising, and then a trombonist that did one short contract.

The trumpet player loved the money (even though it doesn't seem like much, expenses are low, and no income tax for US citizen) and from what he told me, he was able to save far more than I did, even though I had a much higher paying job.

The trombonist didn't like it so much. He couldn't find a time or a place to practice (maybe piano would be different -- certainly you could bring on an electronic keyboard and use headphones). He also said that for passengers, there is a specific home port, but for a crew member it all blends together. Miami, for example, is just a six-hour stop during the week.

#492598 - 01/02/08 11:47 AM Re: cruise ships  
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argerichfan Offline
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argerichfan  Offline
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Pacific Northwest, US.
Quote
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:

Not unoccupied ones, I hope wink
Michael,

Didn't you mean occupied ones? Considering the reported "girth" of the typical cruise passenger, tossing a deck chair overboard containing an occupant could require a crane. laugh


Jason
#492599 - 01/02/08 11:58 AM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,134
Piano World Online blank
Piano World  Online Blank



Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,134
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
It seems most of the cruise lines are shifting to electonic pianos.

My sister used to work for Holland America and took me on a tour of one of their biggest cruise ships. There were a number of pianos that looked like baby grands, until you looked closely.

They were actually electronic pianos in a baby grand shaped case.
Makes sense when you think about it. They don't need to be tuned and their "strings" won't rust.

A couple of years ago I tried to organize a Piano Forums Cruise. I was hoping we could use a piano on the ship for members to play, and could cruise to somewhere that we could tour piano places (piano factories, piano stores, composers pianos, etc.).

Of course the primary advantage to playing on board is getting to travel to exotic places for free.

Sorry, didn't mean to ramble on.


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#492600 - 01/02/08 01:21 PM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: Oct 2007
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Janus K. Sachs Offline
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Janus K. Sachs  Offline
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Betelgeuse, baby!
Frank B., I'm surprised cruise ships are going electric. I mean, with all those lavish expenses, you'd think they can spare money for a decent grand or two, along with maintenance costs.
More than a decade ago I went on board the QE2 when it was docked, and was fortunate enough to play on two wonderful grands that were on board -- one of them used to be on board the original Queen Mary! I hope the QE2 still has those instruments on board.


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
#492601 - 01/03/08 10:42 AM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 88
Jamie Offline
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Jamie  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 88
Mt. Pearl, NL, Ca
I've cruised twice with Holland America in the last two years. In both cases, there was a mix of digital and acoustic pianos. As Frank stated, the digitals were craftily disguised in grand piano cases.

In both cases where I cruised, though, there were only a couple of digitals. I'd say there were around half a dozen pianos in total on board. The main dining room had a semi-concert grand (with disclavier, probably a Yamaha C7), the main theatre and show stage had a full concert grand, and the piano bar had a baby grand. There was also another lounge and coffee bar that had a semi-concert grand (I know that one was a C5). The dance club had a digital, and night club in the loft had a digital.

Due to the arrangements with the musicians, and the constant threat of virus contamination such as Norwalk (sp?), cruise staff are generally not fussy about passengers playing the instruments (as I learned for myself frown ). In the case of the two vessel's I cruised, the acoustics were all Yamahas. The digitals were a custom made job, the manufacturer's name I don't recall, but it's one not normally associated with off the shelf digitals.

#492602 - 01/03/08 10:56 AM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,797
Piano*Dad Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Piano*Dad  Online Content
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,797
Williamsburg, VA
Quote
I know a trumpet player that did about 5 years worth of cruising
I suspect most decent trumpet players would spend most of their waking hours cruising .....

Oh, you mean cruise SHIPS. Ahhhh ..... wink


We spent a week in St. John this past summer. We spent the nights on terra firma, i.e. a hotel, not a ship, though our days were mostly aquatic. A lot of the attractions are underwater, after all. Pardon me, I ramble.

The hotel (Westin) actually had an acoustic piano in the main restaurant. It was a nice sized Kawai. With just a tad of pushing, Piano*Son asked if he could play it during dinner. He expected a curt, "you want to do what? No! that might upset our diners ...." Instead, they shut off the muzac and let him go. Fifteen minutes later he came back to the table. His report .... Caribbean pianos are suboptimal. Well, I don't think he used that word. Maybe it was "they suck." He said it was way out of tune and the action was inconsistent and a bit sticky. The poor thing lived in an open air swamp, essentially.

I can easily understand why cruise ships would move away from acoustics. There is probably no positive return on the investment. A huge percent of the clientele wouldn't know the difference, or care, and the maintenance and depreciation is a killer.

Oh, BTW, the restaurant brought us a full set of desserts as a tip.

[Pardon me if I've told this story before. I'm getting older. What can I say!]

#492603 - 01/03/08 11:48 AM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 376
Tavner Offline
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Tavner  Offline
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Posts: 376
San Diego
I just returned from a cruise on one of the larger Holland American ships. As described above, there was a mix of acoustic and digital pianos. The digital brand has the name "Slam Grand" on the fallboard. Why the silly name is beyond me; maybe it would appeal to Jerry Lee Lewis?

The sound of the digital grands was pretty bad. I felt sorry for one of the pianists who actually tried to play some interesting arrangements, but the effect was disappointing because of the whiny sound. There was what looked like to be a Yamaha concert grand in the theater. Unfortunately, I had to sit through 2 shows by an "artist" (who will go nameless) who pummeled the audience with his tedious, 1000-notes-too-many arrangements of pop songs. I'm sorry, when someone has to resort to glissandi with both hands up and down the keyboard multiple times during the same piece then I totally lose interest.


Tavner
#492604 - 01/03/08 02:56 PM Re: cruise ships  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,618
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,618
Geneva, Switzerland
Jason (re tossed deck-chairs):
Didn't you mean occupied ones?

Nope. I was hoping that he did not miss a great opportunity wink

Considering the reported "girth" of the typical cruise passenger, tossing a deck chair overboard containing an occupant could require a crane laugh

There is that. Then again no-one has ever got anywhere in this world without a little bit of effort from time to time wink

-Michael B.


There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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