A day in the life of a cruise ship musician: Last Sea Day
The Last Sea Day is right before Embarkation day. It’s pretty much like the first sea day only that it’s the last day of the cruise and not the first one. Who'd have thought...
At this point guests already know the ship. Instead of walking around exploring the ship, they go straight to their favorite spots. Guests prepare their luggage, buy some more souvenirs from the gift shop and do all the things they wanted to do before going home.
It’s an insanely busy day for guest services as many guests have questions regarding the debarkation process. Some have complaints and other guests just go to the guest services desk because they see so many people in line that they think they need to go there as well.
Last Sea Day is quite busy for most departments just like the First Sea Day. Shore excursions though have it much easier. They only need to finish some of the numbers and reports for the cruise, prepare stuff for the next cruise and they’re done. Their busy days are embark, SD1 and the port days. On Last Sea Day, when I go to the crew bar before starting at night, I usually meet them there, already a few beers in.
Guests want to take pictures with the band before leaving the ship
For musicians Last Sea Day is special because some guests approach you after the sets and thank you for the whole cruise. Sometimes guests approach you that you’ve never even seen before, but they tell you that they’ve listened to you all cruise long and appreciate your music. The last night of the cruise can be a calm and quite one but it can also get pretty wild. It depends a lot on the cruise. The last day/night is really the one where crew gets to bond with guests the most. After finishing the night though, you don’t want to spend too much time talking to guests as there's usually farewells at the crew bar.
The crew bar gets really busy on the last night. There are always people signing off the following day. Friends, people you’ve worked with, girlfriends/boyfriends, bosses and employees. Some people you’re really happy to see leave, others you feel indifferent about because you’ve never even met them and others are people that you’ve made friends with. Once they sign off, the ship is not the same anymore. I always say the people make the ship and not the ship itself or the ports. Depending on who’s leaving the dynamics within a department, in the crew bar, or within the band can change drastically.
The entertainment team on the Carnival Conquest, 2015
First contracts (the ones who are currently on their first contract/ship) often ask me which ship they should request. First contracts have the idea that there are good and bad ships. I always tell them that it’s not the ship that makes the difference but the people you’re with. Of course, if you want to see as many different places as possible then you’ll have to request specific ships. But many different ports or big new ships aren’t going to keep you happy for several months; friends will. There’s no way of knowing which ships have “good” people on them, as the crew constantly changes. In my experience smaller ships tend to have a more familiar feeling to them than bigger ships. That doesn’t mean though that you’ll find better friendships on smaller ships.
Anyways, on Last Sea Day nights the crew bar usually gets busy and emotional. Saying goodbye to friends can be hard as they’ve become family.
Meeting new people and saying goodbye to friends is a big part of ship life.
I think we’ve roughly covered all days of a cruise and you can now imagine a little better what it’s like to live and work on ships. There are still many aspects of ship life that we didn’t talk about, but new posts will follow. If you don’t want to wait, you can email me with your questions directly.