I think I have a new name now ^_^. It's around 1400H Shiptime and my third day on the Mariner and I have a respite from work until 1600H. Mariner's Shiptime is the same as Los Angeles (US Pacific) time. Three days and I already have a ton of new experience.
When I left Miami last saturday, I got stuck between two coughing people in my American Airlines flight to LA. No food served thank you very much :-/ and I paid $60 for my two baggages :-(. They don't have free check-in baggage allowance for domestic flights, a real bummer. LAX is a REALLY busy aiport. It's the first US airport where I saw people sitting on the floors and even lying(!) down there waiting for boarding. The La Quinta Inn & Suites where Steiner booked me for one night had a free shuttle from LAX so that wasn't any trouble. I just missed the first one I saw so I had to wait a little for the next one.
I checked-in, used the free wifi and used my new AT&T prepaid phone to call some people here in the US. I arranged for a super shuttle to take me to the Port of Los Angeles-San Pedro the next day and I was able to chat with my mom for a while before my good friend Rob took me to dinner in Westfield mall there in Culver City where the La Quinta Inn was.
The trip to the port wasn't long. The freeway didn't have a lot of cars maybe cause it was a sunday and it was 7am. I was too early they said and the shuttle dropped me off in the guest entrance so I had to walk half a kilometer (maybe) to the other end of the ship where the crew signed on. And of course I did this with one of my luggage's handle being broken (poor me). While waiting forever for signing on to start I made a new friend. Guilherme who's from Brazil. It's his first time to work on a ship too. He's a big fan of traveling and had the chance to go around LA the past few days. He'd arrived earlier than me in LA. The big bummer was that when he asked La Quinta to get him a ride to the port, they got him a LIMO! The stretchy one! They said it would cost him the same as the cab and so he got in and eventually paid for $60+ for it. Pfft. Thanks a lot La Quinta.
We signed in and I discovered this stupid Transnational had made it's biggest booboo yet... they didn't run a Hepatitis C test for me! Urgghh... This is really unacceptable, I paid for everything to be done and now, the ship's medical staff tells me that I have to get this test done (at $40 value) in Mazatlan when we make landfall tomorrow. This is really bummer. I really won't rest until I'm satisfied that I've tortured Transnational Medical enough when I have the chance.
I was shown to my cabin, it's for two people (a bunk bed) but it will house only me. It has a TV, a bathroom, and lights. The accomodation is fine but the bathroom stinks - I have to get to making it better. It's my responsibility but I don't have the time yet. I'm not sure if I'm willing to pay $20 a week for someone to clean my cabin. I don't even have that money to give away yet!
The Mariner is so awesome! Well, I've never been on another cruise ship but this one is really super. There are two canteens for the employees, one is called the crew mess and the other is the Officer/Staff Mess, I can eat on both and the food is OVERFLOWING. I see how my fellow countrymen eat and haha no wonder seamen are all round in the belly, they have like four cups of rice on their plate and two pieces of bacon! XD I'm enjoying all the protein I can. There are times when the dessert is so awesome I can't believe it but just earlier I ate a major fail gelatin sorta-something with blueberries.
I have got to get used with everything about shiplife soon. I always get lost - the ship is THAT big and I'm supposed to be very good with directions and orientation - but I'm slowly figuring it out. My worry is always not to walk into an area I'm not supposed to be into. I forget that as a doctor I can go anywhere but there's no harm in being extra careful is it?
Funny, when I walk around in my white coat people really talk about me hahaha. I can hear them, "Oh it's the doctor!" and I just have got to smile. I correct some of them that I'm not actually the ship doctor but that I work in the spa and is there to help them get more beautiful.
I'm still getting the hang of working in the spa and since everybody's busy and fully booked. I've got to give my questions a little fast or they'd be gone to their next appointment. I hope I get more patients next week when I've got all the kinks in my practice worked out.
The spa staff are all wonderful and beautiful beautiful people. Lorna, who's the Spa manager is from Scotland. She's real nice, tall and beautiful. There are four pinays in the spa and it's nice to have some of my countrymen in my team. The safety officer of the Mariner is named Kate and she's a beautiful lady. AND she's so energetic! When you encounter her you'd think she's just had a quadruple espresso. LOL. Yeah. Awesome, she took us to the bridge on a tour. WOW. I enjoyed hearing Phil's, the environmental safety officer, lecture on the companies policies and programs and the technology of the Mariner in dealing with pollution. I'll talk about this techy thing on my next post as it's an entirely different and long story. Mariner is like a floating country.