Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Living the Good Life...

Couple things I forgot to mention.

Buy about 5 small to medium size locks. In my case these will be for two desk drawers, wardrobe and two drawers under my bed. You need two minimum, that is all I have but at times wish I had a couple more. I do know people that have things taken from their rooms. I lock all valuable up whenever I leave my room. Do not bring anything like an iron, teapot, cup warmer etc. as the will be confiscated for fire safety reason.

The Dream off Belize Earlier This Week

Local Bar in Belize City

View from my favorite place for fish tacos, $2 each, in Costa Maya

Spa Girls Natalie and Sophie stopped by last night 
to see if I wanted to go to the show

Now lets talk paperwork. I’m a fairly organized guy, somewhat metal in TCM. The night before embark I post my schedule on the spa computer, my Macbook and organize my weekly work sheets for each day. Theses are appointment sheets with times available to book people throughout the week, essentially my schedule. I use a pencil to write down the name and cabin number of the patient in case of changes and I use a yellow highlighter to mark times that are not available such as lunch, dinner, time off, seminars etc.

During embark and throughout the week I use this to book consults and appointments. As soon as I do during embark I tell the receptionist on duty to enter it into the computer so it is not double booked and the rest of the week I enter the information myself.

This gives you three points of reference, the spa computer, which I constantly check throughout the day for added appointments. The spa computer is the master schedule and my Macbook is the slave and I post appointments on it according to the spa computer.

My daily/weekly worksheets are used to book appointments during my seminars, embark etc. Always transfer appointments to the spa computer making sure you were not booked. When I give seminars and book appointments after them on my daily sheets I tell the patient that I will check the spa computer and let them know if the time had been booked during the seminar and will call if there is a conflict to reschedule. This happens very seldom but it does happen. You must keep in mind that the “master schedule” is the spa computer, not your personal computer or worksheets. I’ve found this system to be very easy to use and avoid any scheduling mix-ups.

During the seminar I also have a sign up sheet for those that attend. I have them fill this out while I am waiting to give the seminar. This enables you to see who is at the seminar and why. This way you can gear your talk to address their specific needs. I usually have a very high percentage of those at the seminar sign up for consults or appointments.

The problem I am having is getting people to the seminars. This has just happened over the last few weeks and we think it is due to the “spring break” demographic. That and the weather has been exceptional so everyone is outdoors enjoying the sun. We have done cabin drops, display boards talking about seminars, the morning show…everything but to no avail. They are just not showing up.

What gas carried me through is I have had very high embark numbers. That is until this week. This has been the slowest embark since I joined the ship. Very few people on the spa tour and very few of them interested in signing up for free consultations or the 20% discount we began to offer for embark night only.

Usually how I now start my embark speech as I have few little time with the guest is to say “My name is Larry and I am the onboard acupuncturist. It is my job not only to welcome you aboard but to also tell you how I can make your cruise and your life a little nicer. One way is to relieve any stress that you may be going through. They other it to relieve you from any pain you are experiencing. Acupuncture is good for any type of pain form back, neck, shoulders, knee, elbow etc. Are you experiencing any pain?” Usually they will say yes and then I say “there is no reason to answer yes etc.”. Then follow up from there telling the person how you can help them. I also always have my testimonial book with me and show them what others with similar conditions have had to say and how much I have helped them. This is very important and has helped my book a number of appointments. Remember you only have minutes to get the point across that you can help them.

That is it for now. Let me know if you have any other questions etc.

Right now I am sitting in the local crew bar/hangout in St. Maarten and decided it was time to catch up a little with my blog.

Boat ride to St. John

Yesterday while in St. Thomas I decided to take a boat to St. John. Once in St. John it was off to Trunk Beach, which has been rated one of the top 10 beaches in the world. If it wasn’t for all the people I would have agreed.  It certainly was beautiful and the water was an amazing color and was unbelievably clear.

So without any further talk I'll let it speak for itself….

From the taxi on the way to Trunk Bay below

Trunk Beach

Other End of Trunk Beach

The Beautiful Waters of Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


...Days Like Today

It's long hours and a lot of hard work but when you have time off to relax and party with friends it makes it all worth it.

Today at Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras

Chairlift to Mahogany Bay Beach

Mahogany Bay

Mahogany Bay

Mahogany Bay

Mahogany Bay

Mahogany Bay Touristville

And then there is partying with the Spa Girls...

Eanne and Sara

Sara and Katie

Katie and Sara

Me and the Spa Gang

Spa Gang Gets Wet

Spa Girls...and Raymond

Eanna and Katie

Peta Gets Her Rock On

We Will We Will...

Rock You!!!!!!!!

Sophia Rocks Too...

Monday, March 21, 2011

After 23 years....

...I finally got a room with windows! And talk about an office with an ocean view, talk about an office on the water…literally!!!!!!!

My new office…this view would be hard to beat for anyone.

Great sunset from "my office"

Other then that now lets talk about the room where I live and what you should think about bringing on board with you. I’ve read where others have said not to pack a lot. I have to agree even though I did over pack. I am going to end up shipping a few things back home so I don’t have to carry them off the ship when I leave.

So what should you bring? Bring a handful of civilian clothes and you don’t have to bring much. You really can buy anything you need at any of the ports that you find you need. At least this is what I’ve found in the Caribbean.

I wear mostly shorts and t-shirts although I did bring three nice silk Caribbean/Hawaiian type shirts. Although you can certainly buy them here for around $10. I also wear sandals for the most part as you have to take them off when you board the ship. So either sandals or slip ons is going to save you some time etc….think airport screening.

As far as work I brought 6 long sleeve dress shirts, 4 silk ties, 4 pairs of pants, 3 lab coats and one suit for formal night. You will find that your room steward and laundry will take care of your dry cleaning whenever you want. Your uniforms are cleaned and pressed for no charge. You will also find that there is a crew laundry for your regular clothes. Do not make the mistake I did by bringing an iron, as it will be confiscated.

On the subject of room stewards mine does an excellent job. My room is always clean and my laundry is always done. You pay them $10 per week cash. I also paid the last one I had a large “going away” tip when he left the ship.

A couple things I found very useful is a couple cups for drinking water etc. I use plastic bar glasses that in restaurant terms are called a “bucket”. I also brought a water filter pitcher like a Brita although I use a different brand. I found this saves a lot of money as I drink a lot of water. Water in the crew bar is $1 a large bottle. There is a small refrigerator in my room and it keeps things cool at best, certainly not cold.

Another thing I found useful is a bathroom “valet”. I bought mine from REI for about $25. It holds my toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, brush, shampoo and body wash. It saves a lot of space in the medicine cabinet for other things. I also brought two large bottles of Vitamin C to try and stay healthy.

And yes bring your laptop. Crew Internet is expensive at $20 for 200 minutes. So the trick is doing most of the Internet on shore as mentioned in a previous post.

I think that is probably that excluding personable items.

Spa Girls at Sunset off Cozumel

This week is the first time I’ve been able to leave the ship in some time due to corporate and my injury.

I spent one of my port days walking around Philipsburg, St. Maarten. I’ve been collecting gifts for my son and grandkids. I can’t say what as they read my blog and I what to surprise them. Of course I always end up at Paradise Point checking out the view and listening to live reggae.

Beach at Philipsburg, St. Marrten

Beachfront shops in St. Maarten

My next port days I took a few hours off and walked around Nassau and today did the same in Cozumel. Yes buying gifts for my son and grandkids. So that is about it for this week.

Plaza in Cozumel

Still in the plaza

Getting "arty" with hammocks

Cozumel Malecon

At some point I’ll play tourist and take some excursions. When I do I’ll let you know what I found and which ones I like the most.

My new home beginning July 22nd was moored next to us in Cozumel today

Take care and keep the questions and comments coming.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More Request Info

Right now I am sitting in a restaurant on the water in Philipsburg St. Maarten. The trick is to do internet when you get on shore as many places offer it for free as they want your business. It gets expensive from the ship with "crew internet". They usually give "crew" discounts for food and drink as well. Same goes for many "tourist" things like excursions etc. You can also get a lot of these for free. You just have your manager contact the excursion and away you go.

It is very long hours especially on Sea Days. But you get to make your own schedule and get a lot of port time off.

Just before beginning Pain Seminar

This weeks schedule is:
Saturday 1pm-9pm embarks from Cape Canveral at 4pm
Sunday Nasssau off from 8am-1pm and then work 1pm-8pm, ship leaves at 2pm. I also give a 1 hour seminar on Pain/Arthritis at 3pm
Monday Sea Day work 8am-8pm, seminar on Acupuncture for an hour at 1pm and 1 hour for lunch.
Tuesday St. Thomas work 8am until 11am, ships docks at 10am then took the rest of the day off, ship leaves port at 8pm
Wednesday St. Maarten all day off, ship leaves at 6pm
Thursday Sea Day work 8am-8pm, seminar on Pain/Arthritis for an hour at 11am and 1 hour for lunch.
Friday Sea Day work 8am-10pm, seminar on Herbs For Life for an hour at 11am and 1 hour for lunch and dinner. Also "port clean" which means we clean our room for about an hour.

Next week is similiar except we only have 2 sea days and go to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Costa Maya.
Saturday 1pm-9pm embarks from Cape Canveral at 4pm
Sunday Sea Day work 8am-8pm, seminar on Pain at 11am, lunch at 12pm and Acupuncture Seminar for an hour at 1pm.
Monday Cozumel and ship ports at 10am-6pm. I work until 11am and then take the rest of the day off.
Tuesday Belize 8am-6pm. I usually here as it is not one of my favorites 8am until 8pm and an hour for lunch and dinner
Wednesday Roatan and ship ports at 10am-6pm. I work until 11am and then take the rest of the day off.
Thursday Costa Maya and ship ports at 8am-3pm. I work from 3pm until 8pm.
Friday Sea Day work 8am-10pm, seminar on Herbs For Life for an hour at 11am and 1 hour for lunch and dinner. Also "port clean" which means we clean our room for about an hour.

I think I got all that right. We are under contract to do 52 hours but I seem to always do a bit more.

I've been told I got my next contract confirmed on the Radiance of the Seas starting 7/22
Schedule is as follows:

Alaska for 2 months from July 22 until mid-Sept.
Vancouer to Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier and Seward.

Then 2 weeks in Hawaii
Kailua Kona, Lahaina Maui, Nawiliwili Kauai, Honolulu Oahu.

And then from the end of Sept through Feb to New Zealand and Austrailia for the most part but also ports of call in Papeete Tahiti, Moorea French Polynesia, Bora Bora French Polynesia, Bali Indonesia, Noumea New Caledona, Isla of Pine New Caledonia, Ouyea Loyality Island, Vila Vanuatu, Lugnaville Vanuatu and Mystery Island Vanuatu.

In Austrailia we are going to Hobart Tasmania, Sydney, Brisbane, Airline Beach, Port Douglas, Darwin, Broome, Geraldton, Perth, Albany, Esperance, Adelaide and Melbourne.

In New Zealand it is Aucklane, Bay of Islands, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Napeir, Tauranga and Volcanic White Island.

Not too bad for a poor boy and old man of the sea....

So there you have it. What it is like to some degree. I'll probably extend in Feb so I can travel back through the Panama Canal.

Also you can do 4 or 7 month contracts and extend if you like too. This lets you find out if you like it and if it fits your needs. Also I think I told you that you also get your own cabin so you so not have to share living quarters, this is huge.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Some Pics of Play Time

Eanna and Vega at Enna's Birthday Bash (crew lounge)

Spa Girls Dressed to Kill in the Crew Bar

Eanna, Raj and Me at the Crew Bar

Cozumel - No Name Bar with the Spa Girls, Vega and Ben

Vega and the Spa Girls

Amorica and Sara

Too Much Fun in Cozumel

Me and the "Techno-Babe" Sara in Cozumel

Crew Hot Tub on the Dream after Cozumel

Today at Paradise Point in St Thomas with the Spa Girls

Paradise Point Fun with the Spa Girls

Too Much Fun - Paradise Point, St. Thomas

Behind the Green Door - St Thomas

Door #1 or Door #2

Old St. Thomas Bank

Hibiscus Row

Just liked the shapes, shadows and colors