Specific questions about getting a MMC

First time post, so be easy guys…

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has posted about the basics (get a MMC, get a TWIC, etc.). You have been very helpful. I have seen a ton of “should I be a mariner” threads, so I’m trying to avoid basic, silly questions. Just some basic background, I’m 29, and most of my work background is as a cook in restaurants, much of that in fine dining, but I also have a lot of experience in volume cooking. That said, I am looking more toward deck than steward…

I just have a few specific questions; anyone who can answer, please do.

  1. Exactly what do I need to get a FH on my initial MMC? I only need to see a doctor if I want the FH, correct?

  2. Is the Piney Point apprenticeship worth waiting for (I hear it’s about a 6-8 month wait)?

  3. This kind of ties into the last question, but am I better off looking for non SIU work or waiting to get into Piney Point?

4.I live in Cleveland; is Local 5000 worth dealing with?

  1. If not, are there other good companies to deal with for entry-level experience around the Great Lakes?

  2. If Cleveland isn’t a good port, what is?

  3. Is the SIU hall in Columbus open?

I think this should do it, for now. Like I said, I appreciate anyone who has any experience helping a newbie out.

Thanks guys,