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MUSICIANS / FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Before Boarding

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How long is the pre-employment process?

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.

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Will I have to complete a medical exam before I can work onboard?

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 Carnival Medical. It is recommended to wait until we extend a contract/offer to you before you start your medical. You are responsible for scheduling your own medical appointment, along with all costs. The cost of your medical will not be reimbursed.

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Do you have an official list of specific countries and the islands I will be visiting during my posting so I can seek medical advice about immunizations I may need?

Once you receive your ship assignment, you can check your itinerary at www.carnival.com at any time.

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Do I need a passport?

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 our casting supervisors will assist you with the process. Should you need a visa please save your receipt and turn it in to the staff office once on board for reimbursement.

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Will I receive a copy of my contract before I sign on the ship?

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. One you will keep and the other will be kept on file by the staff office. Typically contracts are 6 months in length.

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When will I receive travel information and will I need to pay for flights or hotels?

Travel is sent roughly one week before your Sign On date by our travel coordinator. It will contain your travel/hotel/transportation details. CCL will cover all travel expenses from and to your nearest major airport.

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Do I need to pay for baggage fees?

While you will need to pay for these fees initially, keep your receipts to present at the staff office once onboard for reimbursement. CCL reimburses two pieces of luggage up to 50 lbs each and up to $100 for any excess or overweight luggage fees you may incur going to your ship and at the end of your contract. It is recommended that you verify luggage guidelines and charges with your airline before your arrive at the airport in order to eliminate the risk of any unexpected extra fees for overweight, and/or oversized luggage.

Once Onboard

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What can I bring onboard?

Once hired you will be provided with a Know Before You Go (KBYG) guidebook 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 for up to 6 months.

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Can I bring my pet?

No, pets are not allowed onboard.

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Do I need to bring money?

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.

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How do I get paid?

Team Members 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 Team Members have the option to receive their payments with a JP Morgan MasterCard account. You may use the JP Morgan Mastercard at any institution that accepts Mastercard as well as all onboard ATMs, free of charge. You can also wire money through the JP Morgan website or through Western Union & Money Gram on board the ship.

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If I have an issue with pay while onboard, who should I contact?

Contact your onboard Paymaster. If you are off the ship, you can contact Shipboard Payroll.

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As I am working at sea, will I have to pay tax on my wages?

All United States Citizens will pay federal taxes but not state taxes while at sea. All other Team Members are exempt from taxes.

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Do I have to pay for food or accommodation on board?

No, your accommodations are provided to you as part of your employment package. Food is also included free of charge however some guest-area restaurants may require a nominal fee.

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Can I smoke in my cabin? Where can I smoke onboard?

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.

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Will I get trained in safety and emergency operations?

Yes, once you arrive on board you will receive safety training, followed by shipboard orientation training during your first voyage. Periodically throughout your contract, as it becomes necessary you will receive other trainings.

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Do I get benefits?

Yes, after being with CCL for 6 months you will get cruise benefits. More details can be obtained onboard and can be found in the KBYG guidebook.

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Will I need medical insurance?

No, every ship has a Medical Center staffed with doctors and nurses. While onboard, you'll be covered for all medical expenses except those related to pre-existing conditions. You'll be asked to sign a letter acknowledging that any pre-existing conditions will be personally covered by you.

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What facilities on board am I allowed to use?

Musicians are allowed to use any crew area facility (except those with restricted access) as well as most guest area facilities. Restricted guest areas include but are not limited to the casino area, arcade, as well as other specific spaces that may vary from ship to ship. Some spaces may be available to musicians only at certain times or on certain days to allow guests needs to come first.

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Will I be able to get off the ship in port?

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.

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Can I go home at times during my contract?

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 emergency status 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 personal 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.

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My friend/colleague/family member is interested in applying to work for Carnival. Where should I refer them to?

Please refer them to www.carnivalentertainment.com

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What do I do if I decide I don\'t like the job and want to go home?

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 6 to 8 weeks you still don\'t think that ship life is right for you, please speak to your department head and HR director and they will be able to assist you.

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How do I communicate with my family and friends?

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 KBYG guide booklet.

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Am I allowed to receive mail/packages while onboard?

Yes, mail is received every time the ship is in its homeport. In addition to the address of the ship, it is important that your employee number, name, position and department are clearly written on all incoming mail. Aside from receiving mail, it is also possible to send mail to anywhere using local delivery services from most ports of call. When sending items please remember to check with your Staff Office regarding current customs declarations information before bringing any item off of the ship.

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Can I date someone on board?

Yes, it is acceptable to date other team members; however, fraternization with guests is strictly prohibited.

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I found Carnival through a Casting Director or Agent, should I be contacting them with any other questions?

You can contact your agent with questions. However, if they or you are still unsure about anything, please contact CCL directly through your recruitment contact.

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Will I be doing the same job throughout the entire contract or will I change through positions?

You will not change positions.

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Will I get sea sick?

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.

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How many hours will I work per day?

Your working hours will vary each day according to scheduling and itinerary needs. Typically musicians will perform up to 4 hours each night with the possibility of additional hours relating to trainings and/or drills. No team member is allowed to work more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period and no more than 70 hours per week.

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Will my roommate be from my department?

The majority of musicians will be paired with roommates from the Entertainment Department 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.

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Should I bring a cellphone onboard?

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.

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Will I have to pay for my own flights?

Carnival automatically provides flights for all of its team members to join their ship and to return home to their original airport. These flights are usually generated within a week of your expected departure date. If you would like to fly to a different airport at the end of your contract, please notify your Music Director as early as possible but at least 6 weeks in advance of your sign off date. You will be required to book your own ticket and Carnival will reimburse you up to the approved amount based on comparable flights to your original home airport before you leave the ship or at the start of your next contract.

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Who do I report to once onboard?

Once on board, security will direct you to the Manager of Staff Administration (MSA) Office and/or the Crew Training Center (CTC) where you will collect your cabin key, complete your initial sign-on paperwork and begin your vessel familiarization trainings. Upon the completion of these brief trainings your Music Director 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 be instructed to participate in a brief Crew Wellness health exam and then you will also receive your official Crew I.D. and lanyard. Your Crew I.D. is your access key to enter and exit your ship as well as access some onboard services. 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!

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Do I get my own cabin?

All cabins will be double occupancy with the exception of soloists, piano bar entertainers and music directors.

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Do I need to buy my uniform?

With the exception of the shirts worn during “Just Ask”, Musicians do not have designated uniforms however there are different looks that each position aims to achieve. Examples of these looks can be found in the KBYG Guidebook. Rockband 2.0 musicians will have costumes provided for their themed sets whereas all other musicians are responsible for providing their own attire.

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Do I have extra duties?

Extra duties aside from your standard role will include Port Manning, Just Ask, and various safety trainings and drills. For more information please refer to the "Requirements On Board" section in the KBYG.

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Do I get a day off at any time?

Each week you will receive a designated night off from performing however due to operational considerations or unforeseen itinerary changes (i.e. extra days at sea) a full day off might not always be guaranteed. You will have time off each day however it is not uncommon to have added trainings or drills scheduled during a performance day off. Depending on your schedule there usually is plenty of time to disembark the ship and explore our various ports of call, including your home port.

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What if I want to do another contract? What is the procedure for requesting another contract?

You will need to submit your availability to your Musician Casting Supervisor. Once your final (or midterm) evaluation has been submitted you will then receive a list of available ships to choose for your next contract based on your performance during your previous contract.

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Will I spend my whole contract on one ship or is there a chance I will bounce from ship to ship?

If you sign on as part of a band you will typically remain on one ship for the whole contract. There is a chance your entire band may switch ships part way through but this is reasonably unlikely. Soloists and Piano Bar players may move to another ship during their contract.

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Am I paid during the rehearsal period?

Yes, you will receive your normal wage for your rehearsal time.

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What else is covered during the rehearsal period?

Accommodation, food, travel and medical cover are all provided during rehearsals. A per diem of $20 per day will be added to your first paycheck and any travel and luggage costs will be reimbursed once you sign on your ship.

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Will I have the same schedule every week?

Your schedule will remain relatively consistent but may change from cruise to cruise depending on itinerary length and guest demographics.

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I have just been admitted into the talent database, when should I expect a job?

Congratulations! We\'re privileged to consider your talents for our onboard opportunities. Our casting process involves placing the best talent with the best opportunities; as such admittance onto our roster does not guarantee you\'ll receive an employment offer within a specific period of time. When we have an opportunity that would match with your talents we\'ll reach out and see if you are available. Finding the right opportunity for your talents may take anywhere from a week to even a year.

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Approximately how much time will I have between receiving a contract offer and actually, boarding a ship?

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.

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What kind of notice should I expect before a gig?

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.

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If there is a vacant upcoming opportunity that I am interested in, can I contact the casting department?

Yes, the Musician Casting Supervisor welcomes emails about potential gig opportunities.

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What is the typical repertoire for Rock Band 2.0 program?

Typically the band will perform themed sets throughout each voyage including but not limited to, 70\'s 80\'s 90\'s Country, Motown, Rock, Woodstock and Latin

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What areas on the ship does the rock band perform?

Designated lounge/stage space

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Will there be other musical roles/programs that I or the band takes part in, like the karaoke program?

Yes - Carnival Superstar Live! Both the showband and Rockband 2.0 will participate in our guest karaoke experience by being their own personal band. In addition, there may be other special events or holiday functions that you may perform for.

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Will there be other musical opportunities to take part in outside of the 2.0 program while on-board (recreational/support other musicians)

It is possible, depending on your schedule

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How many other musicians are in the band?

Rockband 2.0 will use a 4-piece rhythm section plus two vocalists while the showbands will use a 4 piece rhythm section, 1-2 vocalists, and anywhere from 1-5 horns.

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How long and often are performances and rehearsals each day on the ship?

Sessions typically are 4 hours long, 45 minutes per set and breaks. Rehearsals will be held at the discretion of the Musical Director

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Will reading play a part in the rehearsing and/or on-board process of the rock band 2.0 program?

Yes

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During the rehearsing process will there be any aural transcriptions?

There will be some aural transcriptions but the majority of the rehearsals will be reading. Rockband musicians may use more aural transcriptions than the showbands.

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Will I need to provide an mp3 device/laptop top/ any other equipment to learn songs alone/ away from group rehearsals?

You will need to provide your own device to play back audio recordings to prepare while away from rehearsals. In addition, all Rockband and Showband musicians will need to provide their own iPad, tablet or laptop to store and view PDF sheet music for rehearsals and performances. If using an iPad or a tablet, please also bring your own music stand/microphone stand attachment.

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What kind of music should I familiarize myself with prior to rehearsals?

We recommend that you listen to as many popular music styles from the 1960s through today as possible. You will receive a master song list of about 800 – 1000 songs once your ship assignment is confirmed. From there your Music Director will give you more specific information regarding the music library for your band and what to prepare before rehearsals.

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Will I receive the set list before rehearsals/leaving for the U.S?

No, however, some MD\'s use a Dropbox facility to allow you to access the song lists earlier. If your MD does this, they will inform you.

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Is instrument and equipment insurance covered in the flights Carnival provides?

We recommend that you purchase an insurance plan for your musical instruments before you leave home. Carnival does not provide a musical instrument insurance package. We recommend you speak to a financial planner for more information.

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Also, is there any chance you could send over some form of preliminary set list so that I can see what I am dealing with?

Most Music Directors will make the band’s music library, which may include set lists, available through an online storage link such as Dropbox before rehearsals begin. Set lists are subject to change at any point in the rehearsal period or after joining the ship.

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When will I be put in touch with the MD to provide me with a set list to get working on learning before I arrive?

The MD will typically contact you about 4 weeks before the start of rehearsals (or 1-2 weeks before joining the ship if he/she is already on board). If you do not hear from your MD or would like to contact him/her directly please contact your agent or your casting supervisor.

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Is singing required of the instrumentalists?

It is not required but recommended.

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Can I sell CD's onboard?

CD sales are allowed, but require approval. If you'd like to sell your CD on board, please let us know and we'll provide you with the proper instructions.

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Can I perform originals?

It is ok to perform original works however we prefer that they are limited to no more than 20% of your performance material.

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I\'m a lounge musician, how many songs should I know?

Typically we look for a minimum of 200 songs in varying styles. Some cruises can be up to 14 days in length so variety is key.

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