Constellation wrap up.

Tomorrow I will be signing off the Celebrity Constellation after finishing a 4-month contract in the Celebrity Orchestra. This is the 4th ship I’ve been on and it has one of the best itineraries. I joined the ship in Amsterdam on the 1st of August and from there we did Baltic cruises stopping in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, and Denmark. Later in the season we repositioned to the Mediterranean and had stops in France, Spain, Italy, and Greece. Then we repositioned to Istanbul for cruises in the Black sea, with stops in Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Turkey. As I write this we are finishing crossing the Atlantic to Ft Lauderdale, Florida after stopping in Morocco and the Canary Islands.


The orchestra’s primary job onboard is to work in the theater backing up guest entertainers and production shows. The guest entertainers come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many of the singers have worked in the West End and often perform tunes from shows they have been in. Selections from Les Miserables, the Lion King, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, and Evita are very popular. Other entertainers are instrumentalists, performing on violin or piano typically. These guys often require the band to play many different styles in one show. A typical pianist show might have a ragtime number, some boogie woogie, a hooked-on classics medley, and some show tunes.  My least favorite group of entertainers are the jugglers ventriloquists, and comedians. These guys generally don’t have much for the band to do and aren’t very good at explaining what they want. Also, it’s pretty tough to sit through the same comedy show a few times and not look totally bored.  There are of course exceptions, like Pete Matthews, comedy-juggler extraordinaire. On the Constellation, the orchestra only plays one production show with the singers and dancers. This show is sort of a tribute to hollywood with numbers dedicated to old black and white movies, 70’s disco, dirty dancing and more recent animations like the little mermaid.

Bandies - Version 2

Some of the band onstage with Allison, one of the singers from the production cast.


In addition to working in the theater, the orchestra also plays big band, jazz, and dance music in several of the lounges. The book on this ship mostly consists of old style big band tunes by the likes of Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington. The band also plays a lot of cha cha’s, waltzes, and other dance music.


The largest lounge onboard, called “Rendezvous.”

rendezvous alto


Many sea days with nowhere to go were spent in the bunk beds watching tv all day.

The Brothers McPoyle

The Brothers McPoyle

There are a few speciality restaurants on the ship, including an Italian themed one called Tuscan and  this one, called Ocean Liners. Musicians can eat in these when there is time.



Many people onboard do not speak english very well and signs like this one are common and hilarious! I’m not sure who the authorized presonnel (sic) are but i’m pretty sure it’s not me.

best sign ever


My personal favorite sign.

bitter end