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Anyone ever play on a cruise line?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by bopeuph, Mar 14, 2008.


  1. bopeuph

    bopeuph

    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I was just hired by Celebrity for a six month contract in Europe. It's for the show band, so it's on slab. I was told by the guy who auditioned me that there's a chance that there's an upright bass on my ship, as there is one on most of the ships in their fleet. But he said I won't know until I am able to directly contact the music director a month before I leave. My guitar player said he's lying through his teeth and not to trust him. My guitar player worked for Carnival, which openly admitted there is no upright on any ship when I auditioned for them. I'm also being told that musicians have never heard of a chance to get in contact with the musical director before they get on the ship, so I think I should watch out for this guy.

    What the two of us decided was a good idea for me is that if there is no bass on the ship, then I go find a cheap instrument to just keep my chops up on. A few hundred dollars in Europe will be cheaper than several hundred dollars to get my bass there, then several hundred to get it back. The home port is in Rome, and travels East in the Mediterranean and back, with two more ports in Italy, some ports in Greece and one in Istanbul. Does anyone have any good suggestions for buying a bass in Europe?

    Nick
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    There prolly is one; the last boat gig I did was on Seabourne line and they had one. But it was a cheap plywood, badly set up with bad strings and a Fishman BP100. We left out of NYC, so I just brought my bass. We were hired as a jazz group, although we did have to accompany some shows (and a freaking magician), but it was all upright friendly so I dint have to play slab at all. I did use the Roland amps they had onboard in the main lounge, the upstairs lounge, day lounge and dining room I played acoustically.
     
  3. bopeuph

    bopeuph

    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I don't need a great set up, just good enough to keep my chops up. I'm thinking about asking a local luthier to show me some things about doing some quick fixes, like a bridge adjustment, sound post adjustment, etc. I just don't want to come home and have to get my chops back, including the ever painful blisters. They can last a month or two without playing, but not six! I will bring my pickup and HPF with me, so that shouldn't be a problem if I want to plug it in.

    I do save my old strings when I change the strings on my bass, so I was also thinking about bringing an old set along with me as well.

    Nick
     
  4. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    You could spend around $600 and get a Palatino EUB new. I am mostly an upright player, tried this out at a jam session, and ended up buying one for situations of convenience and saving space. It has an ebony fingerboard that is a little over 41" long and it can be set up easily at whatever string height is comfortable for you. Fingerboard feels and looks very similar to my regular DB. It can easily be stored and takes up little space.
     
  5. bopeuph

    bopeuph

    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Actually, one of the first purchases I want to make with my saved up money is an Ampeg Baby Bass. Maybe after a month I can go ahead and buy one, but I don't know how easy it will be to find one in Europe when I'm there. The other thing is, besides taking my slab, I will definitely be taking my euphonium to shed, too. I'm going to try as hard as I can to get both of those instruments as carry on with the flight to Rome. I don't know how easy it will be to transport THREE instruments.

    Nick
     
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    That's ambitious. Remember, too, that storage space on ships is somewhat limited.

    BTW... I've never seen a DB already on a ship, but maybe I was on the wrong cruise lines.
     
  7. bopeuph

    bopeuph

    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I thought so with the storage space. However, if I never became a musician, I would be a light traveler. Besides the instruments, I won't bring much else.

    I'm wondering if the basses that are on ships are because of bass players with the same idea as me; buy a cheap upright, then just leave it on the ship when the contract is over.

    Nick
     
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Of course not.... after six months, you'll be steppin' off the ship in all new tailored Italian couture! :D
     
  9. bopeuph

    bopeuph

    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I was raised in the American-Italian culture; I wonder how different it all is in the Motherland.:D

    Nick
     
  10. bopeuph

    bopeuph

    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Oh, COUTURE! Wow, I gotta check my eyesight. :spit:

    Yeah, I'm gonna need to buy some fashionable stuff, too. Gotta look good, you know!
     
  11. bopeuph

    bopeuph

    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    So a fellow TBer PMed me. He said he sailed on a ship with Celebrity last summer. He named the ship - it's the one I will be on, and he said there was an upright bass there! He said he didn't see it get used but once during the trip, so I would venture to guess that the bass is there for the ship, and not a personal instrument.

    That takes a heck of a load off my shoulders. Thanks, guys.

    Nick
     
  12. tyggis

    tyggis

    Mar 11, 2008
    You will be on the boat for 6 months, isnt it worth paying to get your bass to Europe? I have traveled Europe - US without paying extra even.
     
  13. bassnutj

    bassnutj

    Dec 26, 2007
    I've done the cruise ship thing.

    If there's a bass on a boat already, I'd probably bet it ain't exactly set up the way Dave Holland likes; in other words, unless you've seen it, it's got wwaaayyyy high action and crusty strings and probably a crack down the back.

    But hey, the crew beers are a dollar!!


    Seriously, my advice would be to bring your own instrument, unless of course you don't care and just want to bang ship crew and passengers, which is cool.
     

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