Welcome aboard the Texas Country Music Cruise! I’m so happy to have such a strong lineup on this year’s cruise, which is our return to the water after a three years of absence due to the pandemic. My name is Eric Lenington and I am the Music Director for the cruise. I was a touring bassist for a little shy of 20 years, most of which was on the TX circuit. My focus moved to promotions after my kids were born, and I’m happy to continue work in the TX Scene.
The Texas Country Music Cruise is a private group within the general population aboard the Liberty of the Seas. Everyone involved (audience members, crew, musicians) are booked as normal passengers on the ship. We are required to follow all protocol and procedures passengers are required to follow.
Each individual will need to check in on their Royal App or royalcaribbean.com as early as 6 weeks before the cruise. Check in deadline is 1 week before the cruise.
Your Royal Caribbean passenger number will allow you to check in online before the sailing and purchase shore excursions or drink packages. TCMC rents concert space and hires personnel from the ship for our private shows to TCMC patrons. The ship runs on a very tight schedule, so we only have the venues for the allotted times they have allowed us. We always push hard for as much time as the ship allows us, and we do our best to maximize utility of that time. Shows need to end on schedule to allow hired stage personnel to finish their jobs on time. Ship’s hands are required to cap their hours, so we can’t go over.
ALL TCMCers (staff, musicians, and crew) are required to board the ship in the same manner as the other cruisers. Traveling internationally by cruise ship has many of the same requirements as international air travel. Boarding will feel similar to boarding an aircraft.
TOUR MANAGERS: We will need the full legal name and birthday of each person in your group. Once a cabin is assigned it is impossible to change both names without cancelling your booking and rebooking at a much higher last-minute rate. Because of this we need one person per room to be room captain and not cancel. I know bands have frequent personnel changes, so chose room captains that are dependable, long serving members of your organization.
ID requirements: PASSPORT or Driver’s license AND birth certificate.
“US Citizens require a passport book with a minimum of 6 months validity post the return of your sailing and the corresponding visa required for entry and exit from the country.
It is important that the name on your reservation be exactly as it is stated on your passport or other official proof of nationality. If your name has changed since your document was issued (e.g., marriage or divorce), it is required that you update the document with the new name or provide an official supporting document (e.g., a state, county or province issued marriage license, divorce decree or legal name change document) of the name change. All documents must be the original or a notarized copy. Additionally, if you are using an identification (e.g., driver’s license) and a citizenship document (e.g., birth certificate), then BOTH documents must match the name on your reservation. Otherwise, it may result in delay or possible denial of boarding.”
Sunday October 16 Boarding Schedule:
Arrival at the pier: 11:30am. We encourage everyone to arrive at 10:30am before the crowds develop, but I know many folks are making a drive that morning.
Musician’s meeting at 1pm in the conference rooms. We’ll have a short meeting going over showtimes, load ins, and other details. We’ll hand out checks afterwards.
Backline: We will be providing full backline. Loading large equipment through the general terminal is prohibited. We will be loading in backline through a required cargo company that takes gear through the cargo dock. We will be bringing a monitor rig with wedges, drum set, guitar amps, bass amp, keyboard, stands. The ship will provide vocal mics. Bands should bring guitars and pedal boards only. These items can be stored in the conference room.
We will be renting two electric guitars and a bass. You can use these as your primary or as backups to lighten your load. I’m thinking of a telecaster and Gibson guitar, and a four string Sadowski jazz bass. Talk to us if you have an opinion on these rentals.
Pier 2 arrival: Log into your royal account to print and attach your luggage tags. These luggage tags will have your cabin number which allows them to be dropped at your cabin door. Luggage drop off is at the beginning of the Pier 2 loading area. Bring a few dollars to tip the porters or carry your tagged bags into the garage door area and drop them with the loaders. Don’t drop your guitars or pedal boards. Tour managers or drivers should take vehicles to long term parking after dropping off the rest of your band at Pier 2. Carry your guitars and pedal boards with you onto the ship. The check in process is similar to boarding an airplane.
As of August 8th, vaccinations are no longer required for cruisers. There may be pre-cruise testing required, and I’ll check in with you as we get closer to sailing.
Onboard food and beverages:
All cruisers are provided all meals on board. Juice, coffee and tea are also provided. Alcohol is priced at bar prices (EXPENSIVE). I recommend purchasing the deluxe beverage package if you drink five or more a day. Watch for a 25% off sale, which happens regularly. You’ll be able to purchase this through your Royal Caribbean account once you are booked an in the system. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/booked/beverage-packages
Specialty dining packages: the ship has several premium restaurants. I find the food in the included main dining room to be excellent, but if you want to go fancy check out the specialty restaurants. You can get a package deal or book a meal when you get on board. Lunches are cheaper and the menu is similar to dinner.
Click for premium dining options:
We will be providing beer and water back stage of Studio B for the performers that night. We’d love to drop some kegs and do it steamboat style, but RC charges us full price for each bottle. That comes to $50 for a case of water and $168 for a case of beer.
I recommend guided excursions booked through Royal Caribbean through their app using your cruiser number. If something happens and you are late they will hold the ship for you. If you aren’t on an excursion booked through Royal they will leave without you. THE SHIP RUNS ON SHIP TIME. Even if we change time zones the ship won’t, so be aware of ship time before you disembark so you aren’t late getting back. THE SHIP WILL LEAVE YOU.
Cozumel shore excursions: There are great excursions to enjoy, but I recommend renting a scooter or car and driving around the island loop or going to one of the resorts.
Cayman Excursions: the beaches here are some of the best in the world, so I recommend enjoying them.
Jamaica shore excursions: the area directly outside the port gates is rough. Hundreds of locals will hit you up for everything, so I recommend taking a organized excursion somewhere.
All that said, you don’t have to leave the boat when we park at an island. The ship empties out, so it is fun to have a run of the place.
No merch on board:
We don’t have a place to sell merch onboard. Royal Caribbean demands a huge percentage of anything sold, and there is an extensive process they require to vet each product. They would also require us to pay staff to count in and out. We don’t have a way to bring merch cases on board anyway, so logistics and cost make it impractical.
Show schedule will be posted soon. We are counting the days until we are on the water again! Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions.
Music Director (512) 658-5163
TCMC owner (832) 298-9898
Stage Manager (706) 516-6906
Hunter Saint Marie
Sound (512) 665-7013