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Crew Member Speak

Here's what the crew have to say about Lime and their life at sea


Living on a ship can offer anything. When I told my family that I was coming out to work on a cruise ship as a musician, they told me it sounded more like a "work-cation" than actual work. They were somewhat right because although it takes a considerable amount of work to play everything as it needs to be played, I get to watch the sun go down on the ocean every single day, and I'm in at least three different countries every single week. It truly is an adventure. My favorite aspect of working on ships is that you can make your time into whatever you want it to be, and you have a lot of it. Personally, I've gone through three phases of how to spend my time: partying, practicing and fitness. Living on a ship can be very social; there's usually just one bar for the crew members, so if you want to drink and party you'll likely make friends from all over the world. As an example, I'm traveling to Bali and the Philippines within the next year, and I'll be staying for free at the houses of friends I made in the crew bar that I didn't even work with directly. After I had my fill of socializing, I became very ambitious about practicing, which I was told would be a difficult avenue to pursue on ships. Whoever said that to me was completely wrong. As a musician, you find that time is your greatest commodity, and you can make anything you like out of your time. Generally speaking, a musician on a ship will never have to do anything before noon, and will usually not have to perform until the evening. Some musicians can manage to practice during the day before they have to perform. I've never been one of those people, so I started going into the main lounge after midnight with my headphones and committing myself to four-hour, uninterrupted practice sessions. I could never have guessed at what considerable improvements I was able to make by utilizing just part of my time practicing whatever I pleased. On a ship you'll play all kinds of music, so practicing doesn't feel as dogmatic as it did when you were learning in school; I would practice anything from walking bass lines to pinch harmonics to figuring out new voicings in a single session. In the end, I was able to greatly better myself as a musician, go to sleep at four in the morning and wake up at noon, feeling fantastic, then go outside to watch the sun on the ocean. Although practicing has persisted, exercise has become a part of my daily routine. On land, I never exercised because gym memberships are expensive, and finding the time to travel to and from the gym is usually a hassle. On a ship the gym membership is completely free, and it takes less than a minute to get there. With even just an hour of free time, it is incredibly easy to get in a day's worth of exercise.PETE FERNANDEZ, Showband Guitar


I worked on the Carnival Conquest as a Showband Vocalist for almost 8 months. I made amazing friends from all over the world, not to mention get an awesome tan from going to the beach every week. I went on crazy adventures in beautiful ports and got to work with some great musicians who challenged me and made me a better player. Come to think of it, I never really even considered myself a "musician" before I came, but with this job, I got to be one. My sight-reading got better, my ear, my ability to adapt on stage, work for the crowd, and improve my voice in all the different venues and styles that we played in. I got to be creative with my delivery, and with 4 different music directors and about a dozen different band members, I increased my repertoire by a ton. I essentially played with about 8 different bands -- some were better than others, but you learn from the 'meh' just as much as the great. And above all, I got to do what I love as a job, and not have to worry about anything else while I did it. I paid off credit cards, saved money, collected way too many souvenirs and pictures, and also met my amazing fiancee, who proposed in the middle of a set in front of hundreds of cheering guests. Needless to say, I made some of my favorite memories playing on ships, and I'm lucky enough to keep making more because of it.KATIE BROBST, Showband Vocalist


While ship life can (and does) vary wildly from ship to ship and line to line, I would say the number one thing you gain is the same in every situation: life experience. There's nothing like living and working on a ship to teach you about patience and flexibility. In the space of six months, you could play the same music with 30 people (depending on the size of your band and the exact job you have). It's a great lesson in working with other musicians as well as people from a HUGE variety of countries. Another thing you'll get from working on a cruise ship that you won't get anywhere else is the enormous travel experience. What other job would put you in a different country practically every day? I can remember days where we'd spend all day laying on the beach, getting Indian food, walking around St. Maarten, getting drunk and then heading back to the ship to spend sailaway drinking on the back deck with the entertainment staff. And that was all before dinner.ADAM WIGGINS, Showband Pianist


Working on a cruise ship offers many opportunities and unique experiences. I did two, three-month contracts on Carnival Cruise ships between my Sophomore/Junior, and Junior/Senior years at college. This was the best job experience I had had to date as it was an actual, professional music job that helped prepare me for working in the real world. I had plenty of time to practice as well as time to work on my original music. Although we did not perform any of it on the ship, I was ready with new things once I got back home. Playing the production and fly-on shows helped keep up my reading chops while multiple jazz sets a week kept up my solo chops. Cruise ship work also helps introduce you to people from all over the world. Because of the close quarters you are living in, you are able to get real friendly and close with them. Being in a tropical paradise every day isn't so bad either. All in all, I would recommend working on a cruise ship if you have the opportunity. As with any job, there are pros and cons; however I think that the pros completely outweigh the cons.LUCAS FRITZ, Showband Trumpet


If you're thinking about working out on a cruise ship, do it! I worked as a drummer in the show band, jazz trios, and lounge bands for more than five years, and I can say without a doubt that being a musician on a cruise ship is hands down one of the best jobs in the world. There are days when you are sitting on the world's most beautiful islands and the only work you have to do is on your tan. And when you get back on the ship you get to do what you love for a living. You get to do nothing but play music everyday. This works wonders for your chops and your skills. The cruise ship played such a vital role in my development as a drummer. There is no better practice than performing for 4 hours a day. All of this is great, but I will be honest, the best part of working on a cruise ship is the fact that you don't have to cook, clean, pay rent, buy food, or drive for months at a time. You have your own room steward that makes your bed everyday. You won't be getting towel animals though, and that sucks, but it's the price you have to pay to travel the world for free, play music everyday, eat as much free food as you can handle, and get the cheapest drinks on the planet in the crew bar. Working on a cruise ship is a blast. Do it! You'll have the time of your life.JOSHUA KINSER, Showband Drums


Anyone up for a changing adventure should do this. No matter what your background or status in life this gig can be a starting block, stepping stone or a great career change for you. It has always been my desire to meet many new people, while still being around like-minded individuals, and this job has fulfilled that. Fun and very challenging, playing music onboard a ship is rewarding and never dull. you never know how each day will unfold or who you will meet. See the world and make your passion a reality. And ultimately, working on a ship is best described through first hand experience.RICK LOPEZ, Showband Guitar


Joining Carnival as a musician and singer/songwriter was the best move i could have made to further my music career. The gig has provided me many new opportunities in many areas of my life. I highly recommend performing on the ships, It really has helped me grow as an individual and a musician.JUSTIN ABRAMS, Piano Bar Entertainer


Being a musician on ships introduced me to lots of types of music that I never would have played otherwise. I also really liked the opportunity to visit places that I never would have visited without working on ships. My favourite thing was the social life. I met lots of really great people and made some really good friends.AJ BRINKMAN, Showband Bass

Cruise Ship Gigs & Jobs for Musicians

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  • American saxophonist Keith McKelley has spent a lot of time on the big stage, where he’s also made a name for himself with the Aerophone, Roland’s model of the EWI.  Originally from Ohio, he moved to Los Angeles in 2013, where he’s worked as a live and session musician, as well as a producer.

    Keith has shared the stage and the studio with an assortment of artists that includes Usher, Phillip Bailey, Mary J. Blige, Rapper Logic, Jhene Aiko, John Lindahl, Gin Wigmore, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, David Foster, Tyrese, Larry Dunn, Bob James, Harvey Mason, Raphael Saadiq, Andrew Gouche, Solange Knowles, Bill “The Buddha” Dickens, Micki Howard, Angela Bofill, Marcus Johnson, Marc de Clive-Lowe, and others.  He’s also performed on Carnival Cruise Lines and released three original albums.

    Keith continues to be an integral part of the LA music scene, always striving to create music that is at a high level, that will last, and that is absolutely heartfelt.

  • Portuguese guitarist Nuno Monteiro’s varied career includes musicals, tours, cruising, conservatory teaching, a degree in Flamenco guitar, and projects ranging from jazz to blues, pop to rock, and funk to Latin.

    He has enjoyed collaborations with Steve Larkins, Kim Purling, Paul Baker, Mark Anthony, Glenn McNamara, Nijel Rawlins, John Bressler, the Corleone Big Band, and four years of touring with the international vocalist Jose Alberto Reis.  He also toured as the lead guitarist for Mamma Mia! for two years, performing over one thousand shows for over two million people.

    Nuno has also spent multiple contracts performing with Princess Cruises and traveling much of the world.  He currently resides in Porto, where he continues to play, teach, and consistently produce tasty lines on his guitar.

  • Lewis Sutch is a British pianist who has performed all over the world, both solo and with various renowned acts. Conservatory-trained in both jazz and classical piano, he’s since broadened his scope with gigs ranging from pop to blues to rock, through everything from ships to tours to the circus.

    Over the course of two seasons on tour with Giffords Circus in London, he performed to 80,000+ people across the UK, including notable celebrities such as Adele, Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Knopfler, Jennifer Saunders, Jamie Cullum, Hugh Grant and Vivianne Westwood. He’s also had the privilege of playing some of the top venues across England, including Blenheim Palace and Ronnie Scott’s.

    Subsequently, Lewis has traveled to 6 continents as a pianist and musical director for Holland America Line and Royal Caribbean, most recently finishing a year-long run with Postmodern Jukebox on Deck. He currently splits time between the UK and the US, continuing to perform and hone his craft.

  • Oscar Cordero is a trumpet player with a wealth of professional experience, in styles ranging from classical to pop to jazz, and across three continents.  He won the position of Associated Soloist at the National Philharmonic of Venezuela at the age of 17, and would eventually move to Europe for various performance opportunities.

    Among the musicals he’s played are Les Miserables, Chicago, Saturday Night Fever, Beauty and the Beast, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Spamalot, and On Your Feet.  And his performance and touring credits include international artists such as Ray Barreto, Cheo Feliciano, Adalberto Santiago, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Isaac Delgado, Paloma San Basilio, Malu, Luisito y Robert Quintero, and many others.

    As has been the case in his native Venezuela as well as Spain, Oscar has become a top-call musician in the Netherlands, where he currently resides, performs, and continues to blast high notes for days.

  • Omer Idan is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger from Eilat, Israel, and there are few places on the planet he hasn’t visited with a guitar or bass in hand.  While studying jazz at the Rimon School in Ramat Hashasron, he formed the fusion ensemble The Boogie Knight, and would go on to tour with other groups such as Los Omres and the Groove Ambassadors.

    Starting in 2015, Omer took his talents to the sea and spent several contracts as a musician and musical director with Holland America Line and Seabourn Cruises, during which time he performed on all seven continents, with hundreds of artists from all over the world, to audiences all around the world.  He’s also had the pleasure of collaborating with Tararam, Laila Malcus, and many other artists.

    Omer has settled back in Tel Aviv, where he continues to perform, produce, and create groovy, innovative music at an alarmingly high level.

  • Hailing from Texas, Mike Brehm is a trumpet player, arranger and composer whose wealth of gig experience ranges from cruise ships to the US Navy.  After graduating from Texas State with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, he went on to play lead trumpet for Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises for several years.

    In 2016, he joined the ranks of the US Navy Fleet Bands, and has spent the past three years stationed outside of Seattle, Washington, performing and arranging for the Navy Band Northwest.  Through his performing career he has played alongside Tony Vega, Rufus Reid, Bob Mintzer, Michael Philip Mossman, Bob Shephard, and Marvin Stamm.

    Mike has recently accepted a scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and will move cross-country with his rad family later this year to begin his Master’s degree in Jazz Performance and light up the northeast with his playing.

  • Argentinian-born Leandro Garcia is a pianist, arranger and composer who has performed on the stages of major cities all over the world, including Barcelona, Rome, Paris, London, Boston, and New York City, in addition to extensive touring and festivals in his native country.  

    He’s also familiar with much of the world’s waterways, having served as a bandleader for Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Lines over the course of several years.  His writing and composing during this time led to his recognition at the Fondo Nacional de las Artes, in the jazz category, for his solo album Despierta, in 2017.

    Leandro also spent time in the Buenos Aires musical theater scene, where he has performed shows such as Chicago and Les Miserables; he’s also been featured as a pianist and vocalist in top jazz clubs around the city, and currently continues to teach, perform, and craft sweet lines on his piano.

  • Hailing from the country of Colombia, Mario Criales is a bassist, vocalist, composer and author who, after winning several awards for bass performance in his youth, has enjoyed a career of touring and performing that has taken him from Honduras to Kenya to Italy.  He has also sailed much of the globe as a bandleader for Holland America Line, and is endorsed by Aguilar amps.

    Much of Mario’s career has been spent as an ambassador of joropo, a hybrid style of music originating in his native Colombia.  To this end, he has given masterclasses at prestigious institutions such as the Berklee School of Music, released an original album entitled Influencias, and published a book, El Bajo y el Joropo Llanero, in 2017.  

    That said, Mario’s passion for joropo has never compromised his love and dedication to other styles, from jazz to pop to classical.  He currently resides in Amsterdam, where he continues to perform, teach, compose, and churn out intoxicatingly groovy bass lines.


  • Carl Mörner Ringström is a Swedish guitarist, arranger and composer.  Since graduating with a masters from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Carl has offered up his musical wisdom through clinics, workshops and masterclasses, and has performed everywhere from tours to cruise ships to various other big stages around the world.

    Notable collaborations include Henrik Linder of Dirty Loops fame, Louis Cole, Virgil Donati, David Binney, Wayne Krantz, Claudia Campagnol, Sidsel Storm, Malene Mortensen, Marius Neset, Snorre Kirk and Vivian Buczek.  He was also nominated for a BMW World Jazz Award in 2015, and is endorsed by Yamaha and Line6.

    After stints in Copenhagen and New York, Carl is currently based in Stockholm, where he continues to write, teach, perform, and transfix listeners with everything from adult chords to thrash metal solos.


  • Multi-instrumentalist Giacomo Riggi’s career has taken him all over the map, literally.  He’s won many awards in his native Italy for both composition and performance in piano and classical percussion; toured Europe, Asia and the Americas with orchestras and jazz ensembles; and sailed around the world as a bandleader and musical director on cruise ships and with Cirque du Soleil.

    He’s collaborated with a long list of artists that includes Danilo Rea, Mauro Grossi, Tony Scott, Garrison Fewell, Marlene VerPlanck, Paul McCandless, and others, and he’s sung with Bobby McFerrin multiple times.  He’s also performed his show Sonic Odyssey as a headliner on Royal Caribbean cruises.  And he’s released three albums as a leader, including Izevarm and Into My Life.

    Giacomo is currently based in Tuscany, where he organizes concerts, explores the musical boundaries of everything from the vibraphone to the harpejji, and continues to learn, experiment, share, and stay curious.

  • Latin Grammy-nominated Felipe Castro is a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist whose 26-year career spans performing, recording and arranging in a variety of styles — from jazz, bossa, merengue, and salsa, to pop, funk, gospel, and house music — for countless Spanish and international artists. 

    His touring credits include names like Tony Succar, Carlinhos Brown, Bonnie Tyler, Matthew Herbert, David Bisbal, Inna, Chino and Nacho, Mónica Naranjo, Ana Torroja, David Civera, Natalia Jiménez, Merche, Malú, and many others, and he has also performed his headlining show on P&O and Princess Cruises.  

    Felipe currently resides in Holland, where he continues to arrange, tour, and crank out earth-shattering solo after solo.

  • Ben Todd is a drummer, percussionist, composer and bandleader from Adelaide in South Australia.  Over the past 10 years, he’s been touring the world with Cirque du Soleil as a featured drummer, percussionist and now-bandleader with 3 of their shows, Corteo, Kooza, and most recently, Volta. During this time, Ben has performed in Japan, Russia, the US, Spain, Canada, France, Belgium and England for a total of over 1500 shows. 

    Prior to joining Cirque, Ben performed with a wide range of artists back in Australia including Kate Cebrano, Paulini, Ben Folds, Doug Parkinson, Rhonda Burchmore, James Morrison, David Campbell, Barry Humphries and Glen Shorrok, as well as pit orchestra work for many musical theater shows including the Australia / New Zealand tour of Cats, Miss Saigon, Grease, Metro Street and The Candyman.

    In 2007, Ben was selected as a James Morrison Jazz Scholarship finalist.  The following year, he was a featured artist at Ultimate Drummers Weekend in Melbourne, Australia, and he would be asked back to perform again in 2015, this time in a duo format with multi-instrumentalist Adam Page.  He’s also released three albums as a leader, including 20Ten and The Ben Todd Quintet.  He continues to tour, perform, and do awesome things behind the drum kit.

  • Originally from central Michigan, Jim Lutz has appeared on stages, in recording studios, and in broadcast media across dozens of major cities around the world, with credits that include Cirque du Soleil, Disney, and the TONY® and EMMY® award-winning production Blast!” 

    From 2010-2015, Jim was the music director and played trombones, keyboards, sequences, and effects on Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza.   More recently, Jim was the associate conductor and trombonist for Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour in New York, served as associate music supervisor for Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour das Musical in Hamburg, Germany, and was the Ableton designer for Cirque du Soleil’s Twas The Night Before.

    Jim currently resides in the greater NYC area and continues to perform, compose, produce and, as he sees it, tell stories, stir emotions, and help to bring a little bit more beauty into our world through music.