Links to the previous parts:
Day 15: Saturday 20th, May 2017
Juneau, Alaska, USA
Today was my first day off since starting the cruise. I spent it doing the only things I wanted to do today: reading VLR and sleeping until 4pm. Honestly, I did absolutely nothing interesting today, so I apologise. I did squeeze around 2 hours of learning new songs for tomorrow’s rehearsals in, so my day wasn’t completely unproductive.
I choose not to get off the ship, as I have slept most of the day away, and the fact I will be here another 16 times before this cruise is over means I’ll have something to write about next time I’m here. Also, TIL that Juneau is the state capital of Alaska.
As the actual content of my day was uninteresting, I’ll start out this edition of Lost at Kinksea with an update on my band’s setlist.
We have 150 songs in the setlist; we play around 130 of them consistently. We have a song turn around rate of around no repeats every 3 days. We do have to repeat songs, however, due to the fact that both my drummer and I only sing a select few songs each, so our choices are limited. As well as this, our setlist has way too many ballads in contrast to party music.
Leaving our previous 2 contracts we had around 190 songs and 170 songs for each venue. The reason our set list has shrunk is due to band members leaving and certain songs we have played in the past not being suitable for a cruise ship environment (basically around 30-40 hip hop songs and 10-20 modern party songs).
Day 16: Sunday 21st, May 2017
Skagway, Alaska, USA
My first drill of the contract awaits me. I crawl to my muster station on the opposite side of the ship while struggling to stay awake. Somehow, I have slept far too much the previous days and I’m now absolutely drained. The abandon ship signal is called and we all head to our lifecraft... I realise I’m going to die, as my lifecraft is the completely opposite side of the ship to where my muster station is.
The weather outside is awful as we stay up and are counted for attendance. Finally, before we are made to actually jump into the survival craft, the drill is ended and I head back to my room. I think about going back to sleep before deciding today I will finish VLR, and I power through the rest of the game during my 6 hours of free time. Our cabin is inspected, but we cleaned up in advance so we pass.
Finally, it’s show time in the Foyer. We begin our set and our singer runs off stage (reasons unknown), so my drummer and I begin trading songs until she returns. The rest of the set is party party party as we have people (Albeit way less than 2 days ago) dancing consistently).
I head back to my room and grab the name badge I had forgotten and go to grab food with my bass player in Oceanview. we talk band matters and he tells me he got in trouble for using the Pirate Bay in port. He recommends me to get off the ship next time we are in Skagway and I agree (weather permitting).
We head to do our two sets in the Sky Lounge (he goes via floor 0 to the smoker’s bar). The first set is fine and we run over by 5 minutes. We start the second set 5 minutes later to compensate but the last set is definitely one of the worst sets we have played since I have joined the ship. The crowd still enjoyed it, however, and we pack up at the end of the night way more tired than we should be.
I head to X Club for an entertainment department party, and quickly realise that this is not somewhere I’m going to enjoy being. I stay 20 minutes before heading to the crew bar with our guitar player and singer. I hang out with them for an hour or so before heading back to my room and starting Zero Time Dilemma.
Day 17: Monday 22nd, May 2017
God, why do I still have training?! I thought I finished this shit last week. I get forced awake for training at 10am and when I get there I’m told “Well sorry you’re the only person, who showed up, so we’ll do it next cruise”. Anyway, bitching aside, I decided to go to top deck straight from training, then realise it’s a terrible idea in just a T-shirt. I head back to my room to dress warmer. Today is the furthest north we will be on the ship for the duration of my stay, and the captain sails within 2 miles of the massive Hubbard Glacier.
After 30 minutes outside, I head back to my room and consider sleeping before remembering I have a department meeting at 12:30. I also get back into writing this post, as I have not touched it in over a week, and come to the realisation that damn, I sunk way too many hours into VLR the last week. I decide here to give video games a break for a few days and give my head a rest from escaping rooms. ZTD will have to wait for another time; I’m going back to anime and actually being social.
The music office is locked behind a watertight door, so I have to go through the theater. On my way I find the orchestra playing, and I’m told that our band manager is in quarantine so the meeting is cancelled. I head back to my room and attempt to sleep; I fail to fall asleep until 3:00pm, and I wake up at 5:50pm... The issue is that I have a set at 6:30 today.
I get ready as fast as I can and run over to the Grand Foyer via deck 2, then begin setting up my keyboards. I’m told as I get there that there has been a terrorist attack in Manchester, England by my bass player - as in, he told me about it, the attack wasn’t by him - and then I get to actively pretend to be happy on stage while taking in how fucked up the world is. After this set, I grab my schedule for tomorrow and I search for my band members, giving a copy to each of them.
I end up eating dinner with some people I just met while searching for our bass player, and they say they’ll come watch us play later in the sky lounge. Tonight’s sets are 80s-themed so we’re asked to play 2 sets of 80s music... Our singer ends up putting in 80% of our 80s material and then 6 songs from the 70s (which I can’t be bothered to point out to her). There is an hour break between our sets tonight and there is an 80s music quiz in which the band comes in second place.
The Jazz Band and other crew from earlier come to watch our second set. Our guitarist’s amp stops working just before the solo in “Sweet Child o’ Mine” (The last song of the night) so we all laugh while the rest of us continue playing... “where did he go now” indeed… and I head down to watch the Jazz Band playing a special “wine and cheese” event in the Italian restaurant on deck 5; I then find out that they also had technical issues and couldn’t play tonight. I stay there until 1am and head back to my room.
I finally break down and end up buying 6 hours of wifi for $50, and end up using 45 minutes of it reading through Reddit and watching YouTube videos and sending messages to friends. I set an alarm for 7:30 in a hope to get off the ship early tomorrow.
To Future Kinksy; WAKE THE FUCK UP SO YOU DON’T GET STUCK ON YOUR OWN AGAIN.
Day 18: Tuesday 23nd, May 2017
Sitka, Alaska, USA.
To Past Kinksy; Fuck you, I woke up and I got down to the gangway before everyone else!
I pack up my laptop and tablet and I wait around outside in the rain until 2 of the 3 people I’m waiting for turn up. The ship is docked in port, rather than our group having to tender, so we end up taking a shuttle bus to the downtown area of Sitka. We’re informed on the way that it rains here on average 300 days a year (which is slightly more than England I’ll have you know). As it’s now around 8:30, we set out trying to find a place to eat breakfast.
This turns out to be an extremely difficult task, as everywhere seems to be shut until 11am in this town. One of the girls I’m walking around with dubs this place “Shitka” as our search for a good breakfast seems more and more futile. However, finally we find a coffee shop that is open, and they lead us to a local hotel which serves breakfast in the morning. The same girl from before asks “Do you guys just not DO breakfast here?!” and we all struggle to keep a straight face. We end up finding many other crew flocking to this location, including the last person I was meant to meet at the ship. This place also has something I have searched for since Canada... FREE WI-FI! OH GOD I’VE MISSED YOU.
... Anyway, after breakfast we head out to explore Sitka, and we head back to where the shuttle bus tours are. We decide not to head to the bear and eagle sanctuary (mainly because I forget to bring cash) and instead walk to the totem pole park, and here’s some pictures:
<HEY KINKSY, DON’T FORGET TO ACTUALLY PUT PICTURES HERE. LOVE, THE ONCE AND FUTURE KINKSY>
Anyway, that’s enough poles. I head back to town, and the other crew I’m with head back to the ship. I head to salvation (hotel wi-fi). I stay there for 2 hours, speaking to friends and downloading videos to watch when I’m back on the ship. I catch one of the last shuttle buses back to the ship, and after being checked by customs, I check to see if my laundry from 2 days ago is clean yet. I’m told to come back tomorrow. I pass out in my cabin for an hour, as my first set is at 6:30 today. With less than 5 hours sleep... today is going to suck. The breaks between our set are relatively long being 30 minutes (Usually 15) and then 2 hours. I end up eating in the shorter break, as there is a show going on in the theater today that everyone recommends I go and see. And so I do...
As mentioned last post I don’t like musical theater but I attempted to go in with an open mind, and I absolutely could not enjoy the show whatsoever. The show called “Amade” was sold to me as Mozart pieces and modern styles fused together. This only made up around 10% of the show and the rest was mostly random pop songs from the last 10 years in no logical order, while wearing 16th century style dress and one guy dressed up as Mozart. I almost walked out halfway through, but I stuck through it until the end... and I want my 50 minutes back. It’s the second worst thing I’ve seen done to Mozart since Classicaloid
Anyway, our last set of the night is at 10:30-11:15, and of course, because my singer hates us, we have rehearsals an hour after we finish (which doesn’t give me time to have a nap any time before this). We only get through half the songs we are meant to because our singer calls it quits, and it’s 3:30am due to crossing a time zone. I get back to my room and attempt to sleep, and end up falling asleep an hour later.
Day 19: Wednesday 24th, May 2017
Oh god, I feel like shit today. It’s 11am and I can barely drag myself out of bed. Why do we always rehearse when the clocks go forward, for fuck’s sake? I head to my band leader’s room at 11:20am and knock on her door, as she promised to show me the way through the theatre to bypass the watertight door (mentioned earlier). Of course, they left without me, so I have to try and find my own way in. I bump into the Jazz Band, and thankfully they know the way.
Our boss warns us not to eat the chicken because it nearly killed him, and then gets on to more serious matters. He tells us that we need to Kronos better, but everything else he says doesn’t really apply to me so I start zoning out. I head straight back to my room and pass out because I’m missing a massive amount of sleep from the previous day. Another boring day where I have ended up sleeping my day away. I get ready for the first set of our night.
We are told by our singer than the drummer and I will only need to sing one song each in the Foyer tonight, and that we have rehearsals after our last set (because we didn’t finish all the songs we had earlier). As there is an acoustic open mic night in the crew bar tonight, this is annoying, and I would rather have taken a chance to do something else, as I slept through the rest of the day. With the first set down, I head up for dinner in the Oceanview with the bassist. After we eat, I decide to head back to my room, and instantly run into my singer and guitarist eating, and sit with them to chat.
Finally I head to the Sky Lounge and we play our two sets of the night. In our second set, we start playing slower music, as less people are around; playing heavy party music seems pointless when nobody is dancing. I have 5 songs to sing up here today, compared to the 3 that I would usually have. I get given the schedule for tomorrow before we start playing, and I find out I have more fucking training at 9:00am tomorrow. I ask if we have to rehearse tonight due to this, and I get a stern “Yes.”
Rehearsals tonight end with our drummer and guitarist getting into a heated argument, as the drummer is struggling with one of the more challenging songs. When we’re done, we try to speak about this, and he seems unhappy with the amount of free time he has had to give up due to our heavy rehearsal schedule. I head back to my room and I fail at sleeping until around 4am. I can already predict tomorrow will be painful, but I have to make the most of it as I may not get another chance to get off in this port for the next 3 months.
Day 20: Thursday 25th, May 2017
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
I fucking hate this ship sometimes. I barely got a wink of sleep last night (probably just over an hour’s sleep) and I get up for training, only to be told again that I didn’t need to be there. I am absolutely livid right now. I’m going back to bed.
I wake up around 1pm today and finally collect my laundry, and realise that I probably won’t see my next lot of laundry for another 3-4 days. My next task is getting off the ship and finding wi-fi, as always. The shuttle bus to downtown is $11 so I promptly decide “fuck that” and pick a direction to walk in.
I end up taking a scenic walk through Something-hill Park, and end up bumping into one of the musicians from the orchestra halfway through. As a picture says a thousand words, I’m just going to spam photos I took, as the journey was mostly just chatter with me stopping to take pictures.
Eventually we decide to give up randomly wandering and ask someone local for directions. We end up getting in a conversation with them about music as they direct us to downtown Victoria. We finally get there and start heading down one of the main streets.
Of course, we pass 4 Starbucks during the trip before we sit in McDonalds for lunch and wi-fi. After eating and connecting, we head down to the waterfront and start our walk back to the ship. We pass several shops (and stop in a few) as well as many buskers (Violinist, Guitars, Accordion player etc).
We finally end up back at the Solstice after walking around 6pm (4 hours after I originally left), and I meet my singer and guitarist. Of course, it wouldn’t be a nice day without having 17 songs dumped on my lap to learn for Motown Night in 3 days’ time.
Well, fuck learning those today. We only have two sets tonight, and I’ll be heading to the crew bar to say goodbye to some of the people leaving the cruise tomorrow. The two sets in question are both in the Grand Foyer and we finish around 10:30. Once again, we manage to have a full dance floor for the majority of the night, and end the cruise on a high note (no pun intended).
I plan to go up to dinner with the rest of the band, but I get caught by guests that want to chat with me for 45 minutes, so I end up getting their way later than I had planned. Most of the food is gone. Finally, I end up going to the crew bar, as mentioned earlier, and stay there for an hour to say my goodbyes before heading to my cabin to sleep.
Day 21: Friday 26th, May 2017
Seattle, Washington, USA
Well, here we are, back in America. Time to explore Seattle!
... Or at least that’s what i would like to say, but nope! I wake up at 1pm, and of course we have a PAX drill as it’s the beginning of a new cruise. I’ve also realised that every time I finish one of these posts it will be the the first day of a new cruise, but I don’t really want to change the format now because I’m committed.
Anyway, it gets to 2:45 and I’m sitting in my room waiting to be called for the PAX drill... and nothing happens. I throw on my high-vis and head to my designated station, where there are a few other crew members standing around, just as confused as I am.
Eventually, just after 3:05, the ship’s emergency signal is sounded and the drill begins. This would be fine, but we had a pool set (long time no see) scheduled at 3:45 today, and the drill ends up finishing just after 4. And then, of course, the staff captain helpfully yells out that our band is playing in 30 minutes by the pool and I have to rush to set up.
I arrive just in time and clock into Kronos. We play a set out in the sun, and it’s very windy as we sail away north. As the drill was slightly delayed, there isn’t a large crowd by the pool today, but it was still a nice change.
Unlike the previous cruise, we have 3 sets instead of just 2 today, so we end up finishing at 12 at night rather than 11:15. I again get in trouble with our singer for questioning her song choices mid set.
One final little tidbit: my guitarist and singer are on an intensive exercise and diet program, and today one of the crew gave the band a batch of homemade cookies. I was given them to look after, but I knew I could not be trusted and I would eat them all if they were left in my cabin overnight. So I did the only sane thing, and gave the pair on a diet the cookies to look after!
And with that minor act of torture there isn’t much else left to say. Until next time... I need to get back on the ship.