Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Rhapsody of the Seas off Lahaina, Maui

Shipwreck off Lahania, Maui

I rented a moped on Kauai for $10 per hour and went to a couple waterfalls and a ride through the mountains...enjoy

yet another waterfall

and a couple river shots


Sunday, September 18, 2011


Here I sit in my treatment room waiting for my next and only patient of the day. It’s 4pm local time in Hilo, Hawaii and our first port day after a five days at sea traveling from Vancouver, Canada.

The view from "my office" as we travel near a glacier

The voyage was nice but uneventful for the most part. As those of you already on ships know it’s the sea day that are the long days and in turn where the revenue is made.

My treatment room is the top left corner of dark windows.
This shot was at the dock in Vancouver, Canada before we leaft for Hawaii

Here is a shot of Vancouver from my office

On this cruise that was the case for the first three days though I was busy on my fourth as well finishing packages that patients had previously booked. Usually my seminars have between 12-20 people but the last two have had a total of one person, which did end up booking an appointment. I also had a walk-in consultation that ended up a package of three and that is who I am waiting for this evening and then she will finish her package tomorrow.

The rest of the cruise is island hopping the Hawaiian Islands. I am not expecting any treatments if at all as the ship is basically deserted for this next week. Still I am near $8000 for this week.

I did have a few hours off today to visit Hilo. There is not really much you can do with only a few hours off between “drill” this morning and work this afternoon. That will change somewhat tomorrow as there is no drill and I do not have to be back onboard until 3:30pm to get ready for my one lone patient yet again.

After that it changes as I have two full days off in Maui where we have an overnight stay. Next is Kauai and then Honolulu, Oahu before heading to French Polynesia.

Now lets catch up with pictures on how I got to where I know find myself...

From our mooirng in Seattle before heading to Alaska

First port of call - downtown Juneau, Alaska

The view from Juneau

Another shot of outside Juneau

Moored in Skagway, Alaska

Just at the edge of Skagway

The creek running through town was loaded with salmon....100's of them

A billboard Skagway style...
yes graffiti even here in Alaska

On the way to a glacier in the Tracy Arm Fjord

Getting closer...



Headed back to either Seattle or Vancouver
along the Inside Passage

Along the Inside Passage

Sunset in the Inside Passage

Leaving Vancouver for Hawaii!!!

First let me mention a little of what I have discovered about working with patients and improving the numbers of packages sold and my retail. I think on my first contract of four months in retrospect I held back somewhat. Since then I have more have become more direct in some ways. Rather then talk to them about coming in for a treatment and then deciding how many treatments you would like or how many bottles of herbs they should buy I firmly state that “you need 3-5 treatments and 2 bottles of herbs and one instant refreshing gel.”

When Stephanie first approached me with this method of treatment procedures during training and again by Lisa during a fleet visit I just thought it’s not my style. I’m not about pushing treatments or retail on anyone and I’ll suggest what I feel they need.

That has not changed but what has changed is my confidence in the products Steiner offers. I have not only used but have had enough feedback from crew members and by patients that I now know the quality and the results possible if the patients follow through and do what I suggest.

Here is an example. Last week I had a patient come in for low back, upper back and hip pain. I told him that for best results he needed 3-5 treatments, as this worked on the root cause of the problem not just the related symptom and he agreed to 3 treatments. After the first treatment using the below points he felt 40% better.

I typically use a lot of needles for this treatment but I am also doing three separate treatments at once. I have found for years these points to be very successful. For upper back/neck – SI 11, SI 13, SI 14, Bl 11, GB 21 and occasionally GB 20 depending on the amount of pain in the cervical spine. For low back/hip I use Bl 23, Bl 25, Bl 32, Bl 33, Bl 34, Bl 53, Bl 54, Bl 40 and GB 34. At times I will also use GB 30 if more hip is involved or GB 36 and GB 37 if the pain extends down the back of the leg. I may also use Bl 18 for the livers side function of nourishing tendons and Bl 20 for the spleens side function of nourishing the muscles plus these point are on the erector spinea and pairs well with Bl 23 and Bl 25.

I then stated that he should get one tube of instant refreshing gel and 2 bottles of herbs that he bought. I explained this by stating the homeopathic arnica is quick acting and the herbal formulas are long lasting. I use this rational on every patient. If they are unable to use herbs due to meds I then say they need supersoak and musclease for the long lasting results as they also treat the root cause.

The next day the patient returned for his second treatment. After the treatment he now stated that he was 60% better. He then express that he came on the cruise to get healthy again. I then suggested if he wanted quicker results he should get the supersoak and musclease as well as they soak right into the skin at the exact location of the problem. Again he took my advice.

The next day when he came in for his third treatment he told me he felt so good after the treatment the previous day that he and his wife went dancing until 2am. He also stated that he woke an hour later and his legs really hurt and he was in a fair amount of pain. He then applied the essential oils and the instant refreshing gel and woke the next morning and felt 85% better. He was so impressed with the results of the treatments and products he booked two additional treatments.

After his fifth treatment he said he felt so good and had no pain for the first time that he could remember. He then asked even though he felt better if there was anything I could do for his energy levels and he booked two more treatments for a total of seven in all.

I changed the point prescription to raise the body’s qi and after the last two treatments he stated along with no pain he now has more energy then he ever has. I also sold him musclease synergy to follow up at home along with his other products.

Now I admit this is the exception but it goes to show that if they follow your advice they and you can achieve amazing result. But I will say that if you are firm, talk to the patient with confidence and in a professional manner as a physician they will take your advice and the numbers of packages you sell and your retail will increase also.

There is really no reason why the majority of the patients should not receive a package of 3 treatments, a bottle of instant refreshing gel and 2 bottles of herbs or a bottle of instant refreshing gel, supersoak and musclease. This is my goal per patient. Does it happen with every patient, no, but it does happen with the vast majority.

Using this method I have had my best numbers yet for 7 day cruises, two near $8,000 with retail averaging around $3000 and one at $11,103 with $4500 in retail since my contract started a month ago. I did have one low week of $4100 from a charter jazz cruise where nobody showed for seminars and the entire spa was very slow as there were many events and concerts for them to go to…they just were not spa people. Still over $31,000 in revenue for my first month back is not bad.

Day 1 – Hilo Hawaii
As soon as I stepped outside I was sent back to 1976, which was the first time I was in Hawaii. It was the smell, I remember that smell. The South Pacific has a distinct smell. It’s the fresh air, the humidity, the type of rain and the heat combined that makes it unique.

As it was raining and I had to be back at work a few hours later it was just lunch and catching up on the internet. So much for Hilo.

Day 2 – Kona
We are tendered in Kona so we were not able to get off the ship until 11am.

I headed to a beach a few miles south of the town with friends. Once there here myself and a couple ended up at the resort next to the beach and had a great lunch in an outside style bar/restaurant. After that it was sitting in the pool enjoying the afternoon, sunny skies and a couple beers.

I did decide to venture out for a few pictures of the palm trees. I was about to walk through some bushes when I stopped just in time. They were loaded with huge spiders. They were everywhere and only a foot apart. I would have been covered with them. Sure glad something stopped me.

At the resort/beach in Kona

More Kona palms

A the Kona spider

Day 3 and 4 – Maui
Tonight is the first time I do not have to be back at work. I left with James (trainer), Irish (bartender), Hadder (bartender) for a $20 taxi ride, which seems to be the norm everywhere we go, to a beach to relax. We are also in town overnight and plan on going to one of the clubs later tonight when Irish gets off work.

We ended up at the Maui Westin Resort and relaxed on the grounds and on their beach. We also enjoyed a couple beers at the resorts bar as well and just said we’d rather pay cash then put it on our room.

With the boys crashing the Maui Westin
Irish, Hadder, James and myself

After the Westin we headed back to town to find a place for the internet and lunch. This too seems to be the norm as none of us are really up for playing tourist at all the high priced shops and bars.

I ended up with the spa staff at Bubba Gumps for a bite to eat and then to Moose McGillicuddy’s for a few beers before heading back to the ship around 2am. It was very strange being off the ship at night.

It is now our second day in port in Maui and I plan on playing tourist, looking for the odd tidbit here and there for a couple people that are special to me and posting this blog and pics.

Sorry it has been so long between posts and keep your emails and questions coming and I’ll do my best to answer them from my experiences. But know I still have a great deal to learn myself about this life but so far so good.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Well here I sit in my one of my two treatment rooms located on the back of the ship, deck 9. I have a great view from one room and the other is an inside room. Right now I am looking out the window at a glacier about a 1/2-3/4 mile away in the Tracy Arm Fjord, which is the highest point of the Inside Passage of Alaska. What a view!

I made it; I’m on the Rhapsody. Check on was very fast and actually very easy. I was able to get to my cabin and have plenty of time to unpack, shower and relax before reporting to ship training at 1pm.

One of the major differences between Carnival and Royal Caribbean is the amount of ship safety training. It is almost double with RCCL and I had 22 hours of training alone on my first week and have more training this week although not as much. It is also much more hands on, everything from boarding lifeboats to handling fire extinguishers.

After training on “embark” I literally had 20-30 minutes available for spa tours, which meant very little time to book clients. Fortunately the spa staff here is really on top of things and booked a number of treatments the next day for me. I was able to book one for that evening and two the next day myself.

My first week onboard was thankfully very busy. Turnout for all my seminars was about 20 people and I was able to book a number of treatments from them. The turnout for the herbal seminar was also good as was herb sales from it. All in all I had my second best week, close to $8500, since becoming an acupuncturist at sea.

I’d also like to say I am very pleased to find that yet again to have a great manager that has taken my under her wing to learn the routine here and show me the ropes. I am also very grateful that the spa staff are all very friendly and helpful as well and make my work place a pleasant environment. And to top it off and old friend, Peta Gay, from the Dream is working in the spa and it has been great to see and work with her once again.

Some have written me asking about tips. I must say I am very happy that the ship I am on has “auto-gratuity, it makes all the difference in the world. I set my personal best for tips last week and very good tips again this week.

There is a charter cruise of jazz aficionados onboard this week making it a much different cruise in terms of appointments and seminar turnout. The entire ship has been chartered and there are many events and jazz concerts from many Grammy winning artists. It’s been great to be able to listen to them play after work but work has been extremely slow.

My turnout for seminars is non-existent. I went from having approximately 80 people for three seminars last week to a total of 3 people for the same four seminars this week. You all know that you get your weekly patients from your seminars after your initial “take” from the spa tour. I expected to have a very disappointing week for numbers, especially after last week’s great numbers but was able to get just under $4500. Both myself and the manager were surprised to have reached this number especially with no turnout at the seminars.

Oh well next week we are back to a normal cruise so I am looking forward to another great week before we “make the crossing” to Hawaii on 9/9.

As for my cabin it is much smaller then my cabin on the Dream. Still it is nice and not too small. I have a closet with 6 small drawers, a refrigerator, a desk with 3 drawers, and bed with no drawers under it like I had on the Dream and about the same size bath. Oh yeah my TV is larger as is my. I’ve seen a couple cabins for the spa staff and they are bigger then the ones I saw for spa staff on the Dream.

One thing is that on this ship the cabin steward situation is not good at all. You may see him/her once every 2-3 days. Even then service is not very good for cleaning your room or for getting your uniforms back. From what I have been told those that are not up to par in guest staterooms are sent to clean staff and officer cabins. They are here for two weeks and then rotated.
The regular crew does not have cabin stewards at all. I’ve also been told I can go to housekeeping and request that I have no steward which I am going to do. It is just not worth the money to have someone come in a do a mediocre job. I guess I was spoiled on the Dream where my cabin steward was incredible in everyway.

Dining on the Rhapsody is better then the Dream for acupuncturists. We are considered 2 ½ stripe officers and can eat in the officer’s mess. The food a bit upscale from the Dream and we are allowed to order off the dining room menu but we do not take advantage of it often.

Now lets talk “Play Hard”. My first port of call was Juneau, Alaska. I did not have much time last week to explore it as I had to get back to the ship for training. I spent about an hour or two walking around mostly playing tourist and looking for some place to get on the Internet to catch up on emails etc.

There is a place in town called “Universal” on the main street where you can buy service. This week I went with James the trainer and Irish a bartender to the Imperial, bar with food and drink and sat at a window seat for free Internet service on Front Street. The food inside the Imperial is the Raven Cafe and though a little pricy was very good.

The town is small and as you would expect mostly filled with tourist shops and excursions. There is a Wells Fargo Bank if needed which was my case. Cell phone service is also available and with my carrier there were on roaming charges.

The next day we are in Skagway, Alaska that is a very small town. There is also a Wells Fargo here by the post office. Again it is filled with mostly tourist stores and a handful of restaurants. I ran into James and Irish and a couple other people at the Skagway Brewing Co. and had a couple beers. They are expensive here, $5.50 a glass. Although I didn’t eat there the food others had did not look that inviting and nobody said it was really that good, average and expensive for $12-$15 for a burger etc.

I walked around town exploring and eventually ate at the Starfire Cafe on 4th Street which serves excellent Thai food at a reasonable price of $12-$15 a plate. It may be a touch high in these areas but then again you are in Alaska.

After I ate I decided to take a hike. I followed a small creek filled with salmon to the Lower Lake trailhead. It took about 35 minutes to get to Lower Lake on a steep trail that was all up hill until you reach the lake. It is very green and wooded here so not any great views and the lake was very much like the vast majority of lakes in the northwest. Still it was very pretty and a great hike.

We are in Victoria on Thursdays and once again I was on the search for free Internet. I found it at the Starbucks but it is also right at the foot of the pier for a small fee. Victoria is a very nice place with cafes and shops lining its streets. I’ll have to report more on this after this Thursday as I had very little time there once again due to training. Today we are again in Victoria and I plan on going to Chinatown to get some herbs for myself etc.

So that is it for now. As always thanks to those of you that write me with your questions and comments. I also as always hope you find my blog interesting and informational….Time to go to work….

Photos soon to come...