May 29, 2008
Wynton Marsalis simply swings! Enough said…
May 29, 2008
Wynton Marsalis simply swings! Enough said…
May 28, 2008
An audition for a cruise ship gig, any audition for that matter, can never determine with 100% certainty that a particular musician will be the right man/woman for the gig. Thus we would like to mention one more time how important it is for you to inform yourself about what the gig entails and ask yourself if you believe you can do the gig. This, of course, works only if you’re honest about it.
You know your own playing the best. You know what your weaknesses and your strengths are. You’re doing yourself a disservice by holding back on that knowledge during auditions. Remember the goal is not to get past the audition, but to be able to do the job properly.
Auditions are meant to give the auditioner the best possible idea of the quality of a musician. For obvious time constraint reasons, these auditions thus focus on evaluating the more obvious elements such as finger technique, embouchure, sight-reading skills, tone, musicianship etc. and thus may neglect some of the less obvious skills.
In the professional world of music, for example, it is necessary for rhythm section players especially to know tunes by heart. Very often, tunes are called with little or no notice at all and thus it helps if you know chord changes to some of the most common standards and, ideally, how to transpose them.
This is a typical area where auditions can’t do a great job because we couldn’t possibly ask people to play a large number of standards to make sure they know them.
This is just one example and there are many more. The point is that musicians need to have the integrity to analyze what they can do and what they can’t and be upfront about it. If you barely get through the audition and end up on a ship, your weaknesses will be exposed for sure. There’s not “getting by” once you face the music and chances of getting fired are still pretty good, even if you’ve passed an audition.
Bottom line: the people that are auditioning you are your friend, not your enemy. Misleading them during auditions is most likely going to hurt you and your career in the end. Being upfront about your strengths and weaknesses is the best you can do for yourself.
May 23, 2008
For a while now, the two gigantic ships that Royal Caribbean is building, were only knows to us as “Project Genesis”, but not anymore.
The company that had announced its first ever “Name That Ship” contest a while ago, will be announcing the names for the two new ships today. George Weiser fo Livonia, Michigan has won the contest and will be invited to cruise on one of the ships, each of which will cost $1 billion to build and be 40% larger than the largest ship afloat. The 220,000 ton ships will debut in late 2009 and 2010.
May 21, 2008
Cruise liners are not good for the environment. They burn a lot of fuel and thus create a lot of exhaust fumes that contribute to our environmental problems. But that doesn’t mean cruise lines aren’t trying to become greener.
Fred. Olson Cruise Lines have come to an agreement with Bio Driven of Canterbury, U.K. to have their cooking oil turned into high quality bio diesel they’ll use to power the ships.
The used cooking oil will be collected from the ships in special containers and transported to the company’s factory where it will be turned into fuel through a carbon negative process. Also noteworthy is that fact that Bio Driven will donate 5p per litre to projects in Zimbabwe.
On a similar note, Earthrace, the world’s fastest eco-boat is currently on it’s way to to Marshall Islands in an attempt to raise awareness to carbon neutral alternatives. The ship runs on bio-diesel and doesn’t skimp on performance.
May 20, 2008
After Brenda and Gerald Moran made it a habit to archive and publicize their complaints on CruiseCritic.com the company finally had enough and banned the couple.
You can read up on the story here.
Do you think the company was right in doing so? Do you find it appalling that the cruise line would scour the net to single out people that post negative reviews? Do you think the cruise line should do the same with people that post positive reviews and reward them, just to be fair?
Let us know about it.
I just find it sad to see that some people focus so much on the negative. It’s a vacation for crying out loud.
May 19, 2008
In our previous post, we failed to mention some of the other large cruise lines that will sail Quebec waters.
Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess, AIDA cruises’ AIDAaura as well as RCI’s Explorer of the Seas will join Eurodam to sail to ports such as Quebec City, Saguenay, Baie-Comeau, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Gaspe and Iles de la Madeleine. One reason for this increase in traffic is the renovation and modernization of such important infrastructures such as the airport in Quebec City.
May 16, 2008
Holland America Line has answered to Montreal’s plea for more cruise visits. The company has added Canada/New England cruises to their existing product line and Montreal will be one of the home ports people can choose to sail from.
As a Montreal-based company we’re glad to see that more cruise traffic is coming our way. Maasdam and Eurodam are two of HAL’s ships that will undertake some of these new cruises.
May 15, 2008
After you’ve passed an audition successfully and before you embark on a ship there’s paperwork to be done. In order to demystify this issue, I thought I’d list the things that need to get done. Keep in mind that, unfortunately, the cruise lines have not come up with a standard yet for this paperwork so changes are always possible.
1. Information sheet – This is some form that lets cruise lines (and us) know who you are, address, passport information etc.
2. Background check – Most cruise lines require one of those these days. It depends on the company whether you can just walk to your local police station and ask for a police record or whether they prefer to go through a company that will run a background check on you (in which case all you need to do is fill out a form to give them permission to do so).
3. Medical Exam – Again, different cruise lines have different medical exam procedures. Some are more involved, some less. Some cruise lines want you to go to a pre-approved doctor, some don’t. Some pay for it, some don’t. Most include a drug test – and, yes, weed counts.
4. W4 – Some cruise lines make you fill out a W4 before you get on the ship, some get this done only when you arrive at the ship.
5. Direct Deposit – Some cruise lines let you set up direct deposit on the ship. Depending on the line, you’d do that before you fly out there, some others let you do this while you’re on the ship.
6. Seaman’s book – A few countries still require ship’s crew to have a Seaman’s book so that they can record time and date of landing. If the ship goes to such a country, the company will let you know that you’ll need a Seaman’s book. Depending on which kind of book you need to get, you will either have to get it yourself or the company will apply for you.
7. Company contract – The cruise line will get you a contract that states your employment terms. Sometimes you’re given this contract only once you’re on the ship, sometimes you’ll have to have it to answer to nosy customs officials.
8. Letter of employment – This is not your contract but rather a confirmation that you have a job. This is for customs officials.
These are some of the most typical forms you’ll come across. As I said earlier, cruise line companies all have their own routine so what you have to fill out will change accordingly.
May 12, 2008
Jesus Gomez, bartender on Celebrity Cruises’ Summit, was awarded the “Bartender of the Year” award by Bacardi. The drink that got him the price is named “Eureka” and consists of cucumber and basil, cranberry juice, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin, and Triple Sec.
May 6, 2008
Two ship, Journey and Quest are sailing under the Azamara brand which is positioned between premium and luxury cruise lines. This means they have several extra services on board and sail to more unusual destinations.