Kiwi Musician releases the first ever ship crew album “Ship Life”

Jul 25, 2017

How can you describe crew member’s ship life? The cruise ship, as many cruise directors love to say is crew member’s home away from home, and as funny as it seems they are right. This is not your typical nine to five job, when after you go home to your wife and kids and for weekends relax and enjoy. Cruise employees work, live, fall in love, and party together 24/7. Being away from home for six to seven months contract on a cruise ship many crew members have tried to capture it in books, website blogs or vlogs. Some have even written songs about their ship experience however, Eli took this to entirely new level. This young and talented musician and songwriter published the first ever music album about crew life on a cruise ship entitled “Ship Life”. All 12 songs describe his experience as a crew member while onboard, and I’m sure many of you will connect with the songs. His album “Ship Life” is the story of a young man’s love, loss and discovery, something each crew member can relate to.


“Working on cruise ships entered my world as a possibility when I was still studying music and university, in Auckland back in 2008. Having an Aunty that had cruised and living with her regularly pushing me to play on ships helped get me along to look up how to apply and audition, and so since 2013, I've worked on HAL's Oosterdam, Crystal's Symphony and Serenity and the NCL GEM (6 contracts total), playing in the showbands. I actually did an album release performance with the full band and some cast singers on the GEM. The crew welfare officer there was fantastic, and facilitated a great night in the crew bar, where the crew there got to be the first to hear the album.” Says Eli.

The music on the album is very diverse, reaching across elements of jazz, folk, country and musical theater, and touching on world music and rock. The use of genre was often a decision based on what would help the song say what I wanted it to say. So, "I Got This" - track 2 of 12 - is a heavy, riffy rock song - not unlike some Led Zeppelin or AC/DC -because it was from that moment on my first night of my first contract, where I finally felt like I knew what I was supposed to be doing because I was on stage at the keyboard, ready to rock out. 


"Lost In Palamos" is the celebration of the travel side of crew ship life. Especially when you're in the Med or around a continent like South America, you get to see somewhere new every day and do a lot of walking around, getting lost. It became my pattern, walking off in summer clothes, getting wi-fi, getting lost and then eventually wandering back to the ship, with some great food and a beer in me. I wrote these lines: 

"With my singular look of a singlet and red Sanuks, I walk the plank: a seasoned tourist with my laptop bag, set to collect the sights after emails to write. So I pick a pretty place by the sea and hope for a gentle breeze...a little bit of English, please.." uh, unos beer-os?".