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...

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