Friday 20th February. 73C somewhere in the South China Sea. Rough, Stabilisers out!
Since our last update we’ve visited Penang, Port Klang near KL,Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam. Enjoyed finding our way around as the photographs show and it’s given us an opportunity to glimpse local life. We’ve seen lots of Temples, some with monkeys and others simply pretty and peaceful. We’ve visited markets, eaten locally and survived each experience so far. Sadly one story from Cambodia involving a Tuk Tuk accident ended badly for an American couple (who had the assistance dog) . The brakes failed coming down a mountain road and the TT turned over. They were badly injured and eventually flown back to the USA. No news of their dog. Our driver in Vietnam frightened our group of 9 witless with a hair raising drive back to Vung Tau.
We nearly visited China, but Chinese visa applications became so complicated we decided to give the high rise City of Sanya on Chinese New Years Day a miss. By all accounts made a good decision. We took the opportunity and had a tour of the Ships galley which was fascinating and enormous. We’re constantly in awe of the logistics involved in keeping this floating hotel going. 15,000 meals are prepared every day by the 160 chefs, our restaurant has up to 1,200 meals per sitting, over a period of 7 days 50 tons of Fresh fruit and 20 tons of meat are consumed, 9,500 Canapés are prepared during a voyage and 700 English Scones are served daily. Sometimes it feels like we’ve eaten this between us!
Life on board remains tranquil and we are ensuring we don’t over indulge making regular trips to the gym and plenty of swimming now as the pools are much cleaner. We are constantly meeting new people and some of their stories are hilarious. Glenys, lovely lady with strong Brummy accent told her story of buying children’s clothes in a market. She was using US dollars. As everything is very inexpensive here, she didn’t seem to grasp that $1 dollar to a market stall holder is worth a fortune, she was about to hand over $10 for a 10 year old child’s dress, when she asked for another in a smaller size to fit a 4 year old, and the price promptly dropped to $4 for both!
Our laundry room on deck 6 has been a great source of amusement and hot gossip and even violence. On some days the machines are in constant use and a queue forms. One day two ladies came to grief and disagreed in their order in the queue. A member of staff was summoned to adjudicate and somehow got walloped for his trouble. They were sent to the naughty step, with some even thinking they may have been sent home. A top notch medical centre but rather pricey, $350 for 2 stitches and antibiotics! The Ships morgue can take 4 bodies, and according to some is already full. By all accounts the next one goes over the side! Derek’s polishing his medals just in case there is a ceremony!
Dancing continues although our beloved teachers get off in Hong Kong. We took to the floor on one occasion during a novelty dance and I found myself teamed up with a 5’2 Belgian we have become friendly with, Josef. He’s a hoot, and manfully during our slow waltz he found his head buried in my bosom as I was wearing my 3” heels. After several steps he looked up at me and in his beautiful thick Belgian accent(think Poirot) said “Penny, I cannot zee where we are going”! I thought Derek and our friends were going to explode in mirth!
Since Singapore there is a large Chinese contingent on board. They don’t queue naturally and opening the door of our lift on one occasion, a group of about 14 got in, pinning us to the back of the lift. We then continued riding up and down various levels, as others got on and off. As our pleas to get off were ignored Derek and I eventually made a break for it, scattering people in all directions!
En route now for Hong Kong and very excited. Big turn around with guests and we will miss our new friends as most disembark there.