March 10th, 2011, 6:55pm
My phone keeps doing odd things. When I first arrived on the ship, it set itself two hours behind ship time sometime during the night, making me late to my second training. It stubbornly remained set to this time, and so I compensated by setting my alarm two hours early. Then last night it jumped back ahead two hours, skipping over my scheduled alarm, a situation that would've led to me missing training AGAIN if I hadn't woken up around 8am on my own (I think that's when the engines stopped, I'm beginning to learn by the feel of the ship what we're doing without looking outside).
After training I had my first day ashore visiting the Cayman Islands (well, technically I only visited one of them, but whatever). I took the tender boat ashore with some friends, and after walking around a bit caught a taxi to the "Treasure Island" resort located on the seven mile beach (this was the place I was told to check out by the other members of the band). Getting off the taxi and crossing the road, we walked under a large hotel and emerged in a space between several fancy apartment buildings. Here there were several pools (some with waterfalls and multiple levels, all of them sparkling and spotless), palm trees, and a bar/restaurant that you could swim up to (complete with barstools set a few inches under the water). Just past all of that was a small bit of private beach with its own stone breakwater. It was a heavenly little spot.
I swam a bit, laid in the sun, had a bacon cheeseburger wrap with a rum and coke, and generally enjoyed myself. Around 2:45 we headed back to the port, as the last boat leaves at 3:30 and you really don't want to miss the ship as a crewmember. Hustling up to the day room on deck 2, we all got paid as well which was excellent. We're paid in assembly line style -- they take your name at the front and hand you a piece of paper. Then you get an envelope filled with cash ($(removed so I don't get fired) for me, pretty good for five shows), sign for it, and then comes the fun part. The very next person in line shows you your ship bar bill (anything from the bars, internet usage, and purchases from the Slop Chest (snacks, soap, etc.)) and you pay that from the cash they just gave you. I had $15 to pay, mainly from buying soap, toothpaste, and one expensive drink at the schooner bar on formal night, but some people's bar bills ran in the hundreds of dollars. I think I will try and avoid that myself.