Musicians FAQ

Before Boarding

It takes an average of about a month, depending on certain factors including which country you are from. Medical examinations can take up to 4 weeks to complete and Visa applications take different amounts of time, again, depending on your nationality.
Yes, a physical examination is required for all team members before they are allowed to commence shipboard duties. Our medical team has approved a number of facilities that are certified to complete a Princess Cruises Medical. You are responsible for scheduling your own medical appointment, along with all costs. Princess Cruises will reimburse you up to $100.00 toward the cost of your medical
Yes, in order to work on board you will need a valid passport, this includes United States Citizens. If applicable, a visa may be required to work on board our vessels, if that's the case we will assist you with the process.
Yes, you will receive a Letter of Employment which you will need to present to US Customs & Border Protection along with an emailed copy of your Seafarers Agreement. Two hard copies of your Seafarers Agreement will be provided to you on board for you to sign.
Travel details are sent roughly two weeks before your Sign On date by our Shoreside HR Team. It will contain your travel/hotel/transportation details. Princess Cruises will cover all travel expenses from and to your nearest major airport. Princess Cruises will not cover any expense in getting your from your home to the airport.
While you will need to pay for these fees initially, keep your receipts to present to the Crew Office once onboard for reimbursement consideration. Princess Cruises Music Direction has a generous baggage policy, details of which are spelled out in the Musicians Manual

Once Onboard

Once you confirm your assignment you will be provided with a Musicians Manual which will contain this information and recommended items. Basically you will need to bring your instrument and any accessories, your clothing, and anything else that you may want to have while on board. Be advised that electronic heating or cooking appliances are prohibited, as a power strips with surge protection.
No, pets are not allowed onboard.
It is recommended that you bring at least $250 in cash and, if possible, a major credit card for emergencies or to cover costs until you receive your first pay.
Musicians can get paid through a variety of different channels. If you are a United States Citizen and have a valid US Bank account, we can arrange for you to be paid via direct deposit. All other musicians have the option to receive their payments via a cash card. Details are available once you get onboard. UK Citizens must be paid in GBP.
Contact your onboard Music Manager or Crew Manager.
All United States Citizens will pay federal taxes but not state taxes while at sea. All other musicians are bound by the tax implications of their relevant countries and payroll taxes may be deducted.
No, your accommodations are provided to you as part of your employment package. Food is also included free of charge, however as musicians you do have access to some guest-area restaurants that may require a nominal fee
You cannot smoke in your cabin and all cabins are fitted with highly sensitive smoke detectors. There are designated smoking areas on board for the crew to use. These areas are accessible 24 hours a day. Smoking in non-designated areas, including guest areas, can and will lead to termination.
Yes, once you arrive on board you will receive basic safety training, followed by an STCW Exam and other shipboard orientation training during your first voyage. Periodically throughout your contract, as it becomes necessary you will receive other trainings.
No, every ship has a Medical Center staffed with doctors and nurses. While onboard, you'll be covered for all medical expenses. Any activity off the vessel while on shore leave is not covered by Ship Board insurance. Please be careful when ashore and avoid dangerous activities.
Musicians are allowed to use any crew area facility (except those with restricted access) as well as some guest area facilities, with permission of the Hotel General Manager. These are privileges and not rights, therefore, they can be rescinded as required to accommodate passengers. Restricted guest areas vary from vessel to vessel, but the Casino is universally off-limits. Once you get onboard the Music Manager will clearly spell out appropriate access areas.
Yes, as long as you are not required to work or participate in any required safety drills, trainings, or other duties. You may not get off the ship if you are assigned to In-Port Manning. This duty will be explained in full once you are onboard.
You cannot go home during your contract except in the case of an emergency at home. If you should in fact need to leave the ship on an Own Will-Short Leave Basis then you will be required to purchase your own travel arrangements to leave and return to the ship without the possibility of reimbursement. If you need to leave the ship for a legitimate medical emergency then travel and accommodations will be organized by the medical department and you will be required to remove all of your belongings from the ship in case of the unlikely event that you will not be permitted to return to work.
Life onboard a cruise ship is quite different from that on land. There is an adjustment period that most new team members experience. This adjustment period is different for everyone so do not get discouraged if you feel that it is taking you longer to adapt! Patience is key. If, after an appropriate amount of time you still don't think that ship life is right for you, please speak to your Music Manager and HR Director and they will be able to assist you.
There are many different ways to communicate with your family and friends while onboard. These include telephone cards and Wi-Fi packages. For more information please refer to the Musicians Manual or the Crew Office.
Yes, mail is received every time the ship is in its Turn-Around Day (TAD). In addition to the address of the ship, it is important that your name, position and department are clearly written on all incoming mail. Appropriate mailing addresses will be made available to you once you join a ship.
Yes, it is acceptable to date other team members; however, overly familiar fraternization with guests is strictly prohibited.
If you are prone to this condition then you may get sea sick. However, sea sickness medication is provided for no charge at the Medical Center. Most musicians tend to get their “sea legs” fairly quickly. The ships are all very stable and safe.
Your working hours will vary each day according to scheduling and itinerary needs. Typically musicians will perform up to 5 hours each night with the possibility of additional hours relating to trainings and/or drills. We typically require 35 hours of performance time per a 7 day week. As stated, if you have a heavy work day the Music Manager will try their best to ensure the next day is a little less intense, wherever possible.
The majority of musicians will be paired with roommates from the Musicians Complement but sometimes, due to manning constraints, you may have to share with someone from a different department. They will, however, always be of the same gender.
Yes, you may bring your cell phone on board however please check with your network carrier in regards to using your phone while out of the country in order to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that you may not use your cell phone while working or participating in any safety training or drills or while in a passenger areas.
Princess Cruises automatically provides flights for all of its musicians to join their ship and to return home to their original airport. You must fly to and from the same airport and, in most cases, you just leave on the most appropriate first flight out of the country.
Once on board, Security will direct you to the Music Manager who will escort you to collect your cabin key, complete your initial sign-on paperwork and begin your vessel familiarization documents, including a complete tour of the ship with emphasis on safety aspects and locations. Upon the completion of these brief trainings your Music Manager or another representative from the Entertainment Department will escort you from the training and continue to assist you as you begin your first day on the job. After you complete your first day on board you will take and STCW Safety exam and you will also receive your official Crew I.D.. Your Crew I.D. is your access key to enter and exit your ship. In the first few days it is common to be feel confused so if you have any questions at any time just ask any of your fellow team members who will be happy to assist you. Everyone remembers their first day on board and can relate to that experience!
All musicians are in double occupancy cabins except for Music Managers.
All other musicians are responsible for providing their own attire.
There are no extra duties aside from your standard role which includes Port Manning, Passenger Safety Drill and various safety trainings and drills. For more information please refer to the Musician's Manual.
You will need to talk to your Music Manager and, if you have one, your agent. Once your final (or midterm) evaluation has been submitted and we have a vacancy, you will then be offered, based on your performance a subsequent assignment.
While we will try to keep you on your confirmed assignment, there is always a small chance that operational necessities may require you to move to another vessel.
No, you will need to remain flexible and move about the vessel as required by Shipboard Management. You will get a full, daily schedule made available that will clearly spell out your location assignment.
This time period varies for everyone however we try to offer opportunities at least two months before the contract starts in order to allow time to process whatever remaining items need to be completed. Often times we have openings that need to be filled quickly and we may reach out to you on the chance you might be available.
We don't have a set rule for notice; we try to give a period of at least two months before an opportunity starts as it allows time to process whatever remaining items need to be completed. Often times we have openings that need to be filled quickly and we may reach out to you on the chance you might be available.
If you have an agent, all correspondence must go through that agent. If you are a direct hire than you are free to contact Music Direction as required.
We do offer Scholarship @ Sea Music Classes that involve a musician teaching facilitator. This is usually a paid, part-time job.
All Princess House Bands are 7 piece bands including a 4 piece Rhythm Section and 3 horns. Party bands, Wheelhouse Dance Bands and other assets vary in size from single performers up to 6 piece self-contained Party Bands
All musicians are expected to be available to perform up to 5 hours per day or 35 hours per 7 days. Normally, if scheduling permits, a heavy work day will be followed by a lighter work day to balance out the schedule.
All House Band Musicians and String Duo's are expected to be expert sight readers. Other musicians are encouraged to bring that skill set to the vessel.
We recommend that you purchase an insurance plan for your musical instruments before you leave home. Princess Cruises does not provide a musical instrument insurance package. We recommend you speak to a financial planner for more information and that you purchases ATA approved Flight Cases for all your equipment.
We require all Party Bands and Dance Bands to have vocals, and all of our Guitar Player/Vocalists are obviously singers. Intermission Pianists, String Ensembles and House Band Musicians are not required to sing, but vocals are welcome, if professionally presented.
CD sales are allowed, but require prior approval from Shoreside Music Direction. If you'd like to sell your CD on board, please provide a copy to the Music Manager who will forward the hard copy to Music Direction for approval. All CD's must meet a very strict set of requirements before approval.
Typically we look for a minimum of 300 songs in varying styles. Some cruises can be very long so variety is key.