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Old August 11th, 2007, 03:36 PM
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Default New Hire--example contract for musician?

Hi, I am a musician and recently was hired for work in a couple of months on board a large cruise ship for Celebrity Cruises. I have not seen a contract containing the details of my engagement and obligations, but I have supposedly been processed into the system and filled out some generic paper work with my employment dates and ship assignment. I have read that sometimes you will not see the full contract to sign until right before "deployment", but I am aching to know what I should watch out for in the contract to make sure it is included and how to go about making sure it is in there given a short window of notice. This question is especially for other musicians/entertainers of this nature who have experience with this. Here is my checklist:

--hours of performance including how many sets per day (can this or should this be specified in the contract? btw, I am in a trio, not a showband, and am playing in a lounge/bar)

--equipment provided (I was told most equipment could be provided but was curious if I should make an effort to have this in the contract, or if it isn't a big deal.)

--Extra Crew Duties (I was told that this would include safety drills for the most part...anything I should be weary of or watch out for or be sure to include in the contract regarding this?)

--Health Insurance (was told it would be provided, so I am assuming I should watch for it in the final contract).

--Anything else?? Am I forgetting something or should I know of something else to look out for? The ship assignment and dates have already been put into writing.

Thanks for any help!
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Old August 11th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: New Hire--example contract for musician?

Quote:
Originally Posted by klemperer
Here is my checklist:

--hours of performance including how many sets per day (can this or should this be specified in the contract? btw, I am in a trio, not a showband, and am playing in a lounge/bar)

--Extra Crew Duties (I was told that this would include safety drills for the most part...anything I should be weary of or watch out for or be sure to include in the contract regarding this?)

--Health Insurance (was told it would be provided, so I am assuming I should watch for it in the final contract).

--Anything else?? Am I forgetting something or should I know of something else to look out for? The ship assignment and dates have already been put into writing.
Thanks for any help!
My husband was the band director in the showband, so not sure if it's the same. As far as extra duties, yes you will do safety drills on occasions and probably the passenger drill every sailing.

Set hours per day!!!!!! Those words don't apply on ships! I know from my experience as a shoppie, schedules and routines change often!

You will have a certain number of sets to do on a regular basis, but with all the private functions and events they have now on ships, you more than likely may have to play a private function, like a wedding or birthday event. That I'm not 100% sure, just guessing.

It may be in your contract to play during the afternoon while in port and at short notice be told to go and play in this or that lounge.
Just be prepared to be flexible and go with the flow. Don't get on the cruise directors bad side! Unless it's changed, the cruise director is your immediate supervisor onboard.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 06:43 PM
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Thank you for your reply and information. Ok, I was told that we would play about 5 sets per day while at sea and 4 sets while in port. each set is about 45 minutes with 15 minute break...this was all verbally communicated and even then it was qualified with a "PROBABLY." That's why I am not sure how to handle it and if I should make sure that's in the contract...or if I should not make a big deal of it. I am not concerned with what time we play (night, day, whatever), more so with the amount of time...I don't want to be asked to play 7-8 hours or more a day randomly by a supervisor. I don't mind playing 5 sets everyday, but I do not want to get stuck with random extra performances on top of that which would be a bit too much for the pay in my opinion.

Also, just wondering for bass players out there or folks who had to bring equipment on board....our bass player may have to bring his bass on board which means he will have to fly it out there.. This is not covered by the company initially, but supposedly we can take the receipt for the expenses to the music director and get reimbursed. Is this how it works...and what are the chances that my bass player will actually be reimbursed?
thanks again!
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Old August 11th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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From my experience, they are good at reimbursing people for any expenses.
As far as the contracted hours, I wouldn't make a big deal about it If they've told you you'll do 5 sets, then that will be your average amount.

Remember you are on a contract, not an hour thing. So like lots of contract work, you may work 4 hours one day and then 8 the next. But that wouldn't be the norm. I'm just saying, things are flexible and at sea, things can change and just be prepared to do what you have to.

For instance, if it's rough and they skip a port and have a sea day, you will have to work regular sea day hours. Highly unlikely, but, you may have to fill in if something happens and one of the other bands can't do their lounge gig. The pay is what it is, it's long hours and hard work. It's the experiences that make ships worth it.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 07:23 PM
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Forgot, would it be a better option for your bass player to rent a car and drive the how ever many days to the port? Wouldn't that be safer than putting his bass on as luggage?

If that is what he needs to do, they should pay his car, hotel and mileage expenses I would imagine.

Hope you get another bass players input on that.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 10:34 PM
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thanks for your help tracey. He would be driving across the country to get to the ship, so I think it might be cheaper and definitely easier to just put it on the plane and fly there. I just know how "unofficial" reimbursements can work (or not work) sometimes, and he doesn't want to spend any more money than necessary since putting a bass on a plane can get pricey depending on the airline and policies. I assume it would be advisable to get the receipt to the Music Director asap if that is possible the first day? Or would it be better to wait until the cruise gets settled in? I am also trying to get the MD's email to clear it and let them know about it before-hand. Hopefully, the receipt won't get lost in a 'sea' of paper work later on.

I'd still be interested in hearing from bass players or other musicians about this or about what details to make sure are in the contract (and when one usually sees that contract....?).

thanks.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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this musician's blog:

http://www.preservationrecords.com/blog2/index.asp

The musicians have some of the best schedules on the ship!
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Old September 11th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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In my experience, they will provide a bass amp and direct box, but not a bass. I don't think I see the big deal about the expense of flying a bass out there. If it were me, I wouldn't take a collectable, expensive bass on the gig. I would buy a nice playable bass for a few hundred dollars and use that. Leave the P-bass at home.

If you really want this job, don't make a fuss about little things before you have the job naled down - they just might find a reason why they no longer need you.

Don't worry about the health insurance, every ship employee is on the same plan, you get full coverage with their doctors.

As for sets, 4 or 5 a day sounds like a lot to me, unless they mean something like one session during the day (two sets) and one at night (three sets). That is a cakewalk compared to the hours the waiters do.


Extra duties - safety drills. This will only take up a few hours/month. One short drill every week and a longer one once/month. You will not be asked to vacuum the nightclub or anything else. You may have a band leader who calls rehearsals in addition to your regular sets.

Relax and just go wih the flow - its a good gig for a musician.
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