All aboard...

Darwin Travel Blog

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There he is!
So after a humid night in Darwin, it was time to finally meet the Dawn Princess. I shall refer to this ship in the masculine form, as I find it strange that people refer to ships in the feminine form.

My first thought was: hmm, he isn't THAT big...however, it must have been an optical illusion, as his “contents” is out of proportion to the external dimensions:

14 floors, an enormous atrium, restaurants all over the place, a spa, a gym, swimming pools, an amphitheatre, an outdoor running track, an outdoor movie theatre, a helicopter landing pad, a runway to land a medium sized boeing....ok, the last one is a lie, but you get the picture.

My second thought was...”oh sh*t, here comes trouble”.
A passenger (and potentially soon to be patient) climbed into the lift with me. She was overweight, with swollen ankles and a thoracotomy (open chest surgery) scar. She was accompanied by other elderly and some short of breath passengers. If I was a businessman, I would be seeing dollar signs in my head. Instead, I felt my own heart sink and hoped they would disembark soon.

Passenger decks are from level 5 and upwards. Dip below this level and you will discover an underground network of passages, busy crew and all sorts of equipment. This is equivalent to the backstage area of a theatre; except, there are no famous artists to meet.

The medical centre is small, but impressive and well equipped. In addition to the 2 consulting rooms for the doctors, there is an isolation ward, a treatment room, a short stay ward and an intensive care unit, where I presume thoracotomy lady will soon be visiting.
Medics in Cabin

My official duties only commence in a few days, as I am currently in a “hand-over” or induction period. The staff is very friendly, particularly the medical tream. Both doctors are South-African, as well as 2 of the 3 sisters, which is lank kiff.

The ship has a strict hierachy, not unlike the army. As a doctor, one is automatically an officer of rank, and almost the highest one. 3 stripes for the doctor and 3,5 stripes for the senior doc. Only the captain and one or two others have 4 stripes. Being an officer grants access to most passenger areas and facilties, whereas the crew or non-officers have to stay below level 5 in the termite areas.
This also means that I have my own cabin, with double bed, shower, tv, 2 portholes and even a cabin steward. The officers mess is even more of a treat: waiter served area with buffet and a la carte menu, carpeted floors (which makes all the difference) and flat screen TV's. I ordered a pasta dish. I can see how people gain weight here, I need to be careful.

I'm looking forward to seeing what these next few days bring...

In summary: weird, exciting, overwhelming, fancy, scary, unreal and a bit insane!
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There he is!
There he is!
Medics in Cabin
Medics in Cabin
Termite passages
Termite passages
Medical Centre
Medical Centre
Consultation Rooms
Consultation Rooms
Deon and JC
Deon and JC
Pool on the princess
Pool on the princess
Officers Bar
Officers Bar
Darwin
photo by: Sunflower300