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Interesting! As far as I know, the bill is on me. I have good insurance, but the $160 for them to "review" my documents really sucks.
Yeah, that's a rip-off. There really should be no unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses associated with applying for a job, unless the expense is for something that provides a permanent, personal benefit to the applicant, e.g., a new pair of dress shoes. A "review" of your medical documents for use by a prospective employer therefore should be paid for by the employer, not by you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Well, got in yesterday morning to do my SMFE (Medical). One of the irritating things is it is supposed to completely completed by either a MD or DO, so the doctor got REALLY annoyed by having to spend his time filling out a 6-page examination. He even left the room at some point, got a nurse, told her it was pissing him off, and asked her to do a few things so he could get back on schedule. He said he'll probably "refuse" to do those in the future because it took so much time. (Imagine if it was not a healthy 23 year old?)

-Bubba-
 

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Picked up a sax in 2002 and here I am.
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Well, got in yesterday morning to do my SMFE (Medical). One of the irritating things is it is supposed to completely completed by either a MD or DO, so the doctor got REALLY annoyed by having to spend his time filling out a 6-page examination. He even left the room at some point, got a nurse, told her it was pissing him off, and asked her to do a few things so he could get back on schedule. He said he'll probably "refuse" to do those in the future because it took so much time. (Imagine if it was not a healthy 23 year old?)

-Bubba-
Dr. Douchebag!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Wish I had more to update, maybe I started this prematurely, but I wanted to include the whole process.
Just waiting on my paperwork, working on my playing, and checking things of my shopping list (waterproof phone case, repair gear, new cases...)

I'll try to post a sample SMFE (Seafarer Medical Fitness Examination) when I get back from the lake (Read: vacation).

-Bubba-
 

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Just spent 5 days listening to the band on the Carnival Triumph, a great group. Fantastic horn charts for the side show in the casino and their Motown shows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Went back in to the doctor to pick up my paperwork and get my last vaccination and and they forgot to do a chest x-ray and a long list of blood tests. The head nurse lady was very nice and got me setup to do the x-ray later today, and the blood tests later this week.

Here's what the document my doctor had to fill out... IT'S 7 PAGES.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4s5qCUGtDmmMFN0Y2w2blNqb1E/view?usp=sharing

Just spent 5 days listening to the band on the Carnival Triumph, a great group. Fantastic horn charts for the side show in the casino and their Motown shows.
Great! Since I haven't finished my Medical, I haven't gotten any information yet. Do you have any insight into the productions? What about the size of the groups? I'm sure it could all change, but I'm still itching for information.

-Bubba-
 

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Went back in to the doctor to pick up my paperwork and get my last vaccination and and they forgot to do a chest x-ray and a long list of blood tests. The head nurse lady was very nice and got me setup to do the x-ray later today, and the blood tests later this week.

Here's what the document my doctor had to fill out... IT'S 7 PAGES.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4s5qCUGtDmmMFN0Y2w2blNqb1E/view?usp=sharing

Great! Since I haven't finished my Medical, I haven't gotten any information yet. Do you have any insight into the productions? What about the size of the groups? I'm sure it could all change, but I'm still itching for information.

-Bubba-
I'll reply later with some more details but here is a video of the band during one of the casino shows, I regret I didn't get more but my phone malfunctioned the next day.
 

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Hey Bubba, hope you're safe from Irma. All the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Blood and drug testing tomorrow...

I'll reply later with some more details but here is a video of the band during one of the casino shows, I regret I didn't get more but my phone malfunctioned the next day.
Much bigger horn section than I was picturing! I wonder if that's what I'll be playing in. I wasn't expecting them to be reading either.

Hey Bubba, hope you're safe from Irma. All the best.
Thanks Merlin, you too! No worries, I'm safely in the Midwest until October.

-Bubba-
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Blood and drug testing tomorrow...
Well, submitted my paperwork and they got back to me that my doctor didn't run all the tests he was supposed to run.
So basically there's another week delay before I can get more information, or Carnival can book my travel.

-Bubba-
 

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So I heard Carnival is ditching the regular thing where a musician signs on and does a six month run and doesn't come on at the same time as everyone else. Musicians normally come on staggered. So yeah, you are on the thing where the whole band signs on and leaves together. I haven't heard from anyone whether this works and has been successful. I would trust my gut and say that it won't be. But yeah, you will do rehearsals just like the production cast does (in Miami I think). It honestly seems like a giant waste for musicians and ONLY makes sense if the music is truly excellent. (This is highly unlikely)
Anyway, have fun! I look forward to following this thread as I check out Merlin's every so often too!
If you ever need any ship advice, feel free to message me. (I spent just over two years physically on ships working)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
FINALLY cleared "Fit for Duty" this weekend! Looking forward to getting the details from the line now.

So I heard Carnival is ditching the regular thing where a musician signs on and does a six month run and doesn't come on at the same time as everyone else. Musicians normally come on staggered.... But yeah, you will do rehearsals just like the production cast does (in Miami I think) ...
If you ever need any ship advice, feel free to message me. (I spent just over two years physically on ships working)
That seems consistent with what I was told, but I'm looking forward to get more details. I appreciate the offer, I'll let you know if there's anything that comes up!

-Bubba-
 

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FINALLY cleared "Fit for Duty" this weekend! Looking forward to getting the details from the line now.

That seems consistent with what I was told, but I'm looking forward to get more details. I appreciate the offer, I'll let you know if there's anything that comes up!

-Bubba-
Good!

I had an offer to do a two month contract on Cunard, but I turned it down to work on my show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Just got my ship changed to a 6 month contract out of Miami. Same pay. No rehearsal period.

Two different routes:
Miami -> Georgetown (Grand Cayman) -> Mahogany Bay (Honduras) -> Belize City -> Cozumel
Miami -> Half Moon Cay (Bahamas) -> Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) -> San Juan -> Grand Turk

That's a much better selection as far as I'm concerned.

-Bubba-
 

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Your schedule change does sound like a good thing! More variety in ports, and a shorter initial commitment.

Congrats & best wishes
 

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It's been 12 years since I've done a cruise ship gig. My first one in 1999 was with a 12 piece band (4 rhythm + 8 horns). The last one I did in 2005 was with a six piece and I was the only horn (2 keyboards). Apparently things have changed and they're hiring more horns now.
Have fun, but be careful with the booze. I've seen a lot of musicians abuse it. Sometimes their entire pay would get eaten up by the bar bill. Try to have a routine (practising, exercising etc...)
 

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Just got my ship changed to a 6 month contract out of Miami. Same pay. No rehearsal period.

Two different routes:
Miami -> Georgetown (Grand Cayman) -> Mahogany Bay (Honduras) -> Belize City -> Cozumel
Miami -> Half Moon Cay (Bahamas) -> Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) -> San Juan -> Grand Turk

That's a much better selection as far as I'm concerned.

-Bubba-
Not bad, but you'll get bored of the ports pretty fast. I like the P&O contracts, since they'd alternate Caribbean, Mediterranian and Baltic/North Sea ports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Your schedule change does sound like a good thing! More variety in ports, and a shorter initial commitment.
Not bad, but you'll get bored of the ports pretty fast...
You're both correct; I was not looking forward to the thought of going back and forth to Mexico for 8 months.

...The last one I did in 2005 was with a six piece and I was the only horn (2 keyboards). Apparently things have changed and they're hiring more horns now.
Just got word of what types of groups I'll be playing in... A Rock Band, Latin Band (which is different from the last ship!), A 3-horn Instrumental/Jazz group, and a Musical/Pit type group.

Have fun, but be careful with the booze. I've seen a lot of musicians abuse it. Sometimes their entire pay would get eaten up by the bar bill. Try to have a routine (practising, exercising etc...)
I've heard that before, so it's definitely something to keep in mind. Good advice.

-Bubba-
 

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Boredom is the enemy. I've known players to become habitual drinkers simply because there's not much else to do after the gig, & they think they might get lucky if they hang out at the bar. Bring plenty of things to read, listen to, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Starting to get things together...
I'm just received a Dropbox link with a big library of tunes. Looks like they do specific style nights: Motown, Classical Rock, 70s, Disco, etc. They also said there's an iPad onboard with all the sax parts pre-loaded.

-Bubba-
 
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