Arrived in Manila this morning- home port to a large number of crew so great excitement amongst the crew, many of whom will be catching up with families after 6 or 9 months at sea. Their families are also invited onboard today to see where they work so a big day for the Phillipines crew.
A warm greeting on shore and a shuttle bus into ‘Robinson’s Mall’ where we had one of our best Chicken Curry and Pad Thai meals - was the extent of our visit though.
Strolling the ‘strip’ in Okinawa, Japan - very much like Surfers with tourist gimmicky ‘stuff’ everywhere, but then I guess I’m the tourist here! No idea what half the packaging reads, not a lot in English but a point to a purple ice-cream and I’m good!
NNAGASAKI - A visit today to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb ground zero location, museum and Peace Park. One of those humbling places to visit with lots of photographs, statistics and stories of what happened back in August 1945. A little one-sided with no mention anywhere as to why Nagasaki and Hiroshima were bombed in the first place. Just lots of stories about the aftermath however no blame placed anywhere. A lot of memorials jotted around the Peace Park region, from a number of different countries including Australia and NZ, and all statues within the park were representative of something, many of them representing the women and children who were killed whilst the men were away at war.
Sakaiminato - the northernmost venue of our cruise in Japan. Scattered along the sidewalk are an amazing number of tiny bronze statues sitting atop rocks - not sure what they all represented but fun to check them out anyway. A quaint little Japanese fishing port with not a lot of touristy things to do so many of us simply disembarked the ship and strolled the main street. Amazing how tiny the streets are but then so are all vehicles - a little like box shaped cars, I guess because the parking spaces themselves are so tiny. Found a small seafood restaurant marked on our map, entered and sat down. I had a translation app on my phone so my first question was 'Prawns?' - shake of the head.....
Our ship - Holland America 'Westerdam' Many of our cruises have been on Holland America ships but this one seems to have had an upgrade in some rooms. Where once the TV's were tiny little things sitting on a desk, the wall artwork previously in place has now been replaced by big screen TV's - even bigger than our TV at home with much better clarity as well. I suppose the technology of a 2 year old TV is superior to the 10-15 year old TV's one would think?? Our bathroom has also had an overhaul - previously a shower over the bath and a single hand basin, we now have a separate shower only and a double vanity bench. Things are looking up!
A day at sea yesterday through the South China Sea from Shanghai. Lots of small fishing boats out there as we cruised through, probably from both Japan on one side and South Korea on the other. An interesting dusk helicopter retrieval for a very sick patient who had to be airlifted off. We have a large tv in our room and watched the whole thing on the forward camera. Ship had to stop, turn into the wind and no-one allowed on decks or the forward bar areas. Calm seas, smooth sailing so far.