Thursday, April 7, 2011

Monday – another day at sea relaxing and playing cards, computer, reading etc. Tuesday 5th April – We had a late arrival into the port of Saipan in the Mariana Islands. Not much here unless you are interested in the activities of the US during the 2nd WW. We chose not to do a tour but if it wasn’t so hot it would have been nice to go to one of the little beaches – no part of the tours. Instead we just took the shuttle into the town and were dropped off at an expensive shopping complex. No bargains to be found. Electrical/electronics outlets seem to be non-existent in this part of the world. We were interested in buying a small digital clock running on 60 megahertz (American) rather than 50megahertz (Australian) to use in our cabin when we go cruising. Maybe we’ll find one in Guam tomorrow. We like to know what time it is in the middle of the night when we need to take a little walk or if we are restless without putting a light on. We haven’t any tours planned for tomorrow either but I hope our docking port is more interesting than most of them have been on this cruise. We have booked a tour for Rabaul in New Guinea which should be interesting. Well we are about to go off for Sundowners and then dinner. Tuesday 5th – We had an interesting send of when we left Saipan. The Police vehicle was on the wharf sounding every siren available to him and driving up and down and playing loud music as well. The local customs were shouting Ozi Ozi Ozi to the usual response from the people on ship of Oi Oi Oi, over and over again till the ship was just about out of hearing range. One of the most tumultuous send offs we’ve experienced in all of our cruising. Wednesday 6th April – We docked in Guam about 7.30 then it was go slow till the US had checked us through thoroughly – getting sick of filling out forms for the paranoid US authorities. We weren’t able to do a tour in Guam as they were all booked out before we came ashore. They would only let 4 shuttle busses on the dock at any one time and no cabs. So you can imagine how long it took to process about 2000 passengers and get them to where they were going. We finally took the shuttle into town. Seems that it’s expected that passengers have plenty of money to burn because the shuttles always take us to the “Galleria” which only seems to sell upmarket clothes, handbags and jewellery. Well after we have been through our umpteenth “Galleria” (no bargains) we then took the shuttle to Kmart – yes you read right – to Kmart. We found the clock we have been looking for and had a tasty junk food lunch and the GD bought a couple of pairs of shorts and I bought some pants. We are finding that all of our clothes have shrunk – Ha Ha – must be the water we’ve been washing them in. We then made our way back they way we came. It appears from the bus window that Guam has a number of pretty beaches but nothing has been set up with the shuttles that allows for us to enjoy them at all. Seems this tour is geared to spending upmarket and war memorials.
Monday – another day at sea relaxing and playing cards, computer, reading etc. Tuesday 5th April – We had a late arrival into the port of Saipan in the Mariana Islands. Not much here unless you are interested in the activities of the US during the 2nd WW. We chose not to do a tour but if it wasn’t so hot it would have been nice to go to one of the little beaches – no part of the tours. Instead we just took the shuttle into the town and were dropped off at an expensive shopping complex. No bargains to be found. Electrical/electronics outlets seem to be non-existent in this part of the world. We were interested in buying a small digital clock running on 60 megahertz (American) rather than 50megahertz (Australian) to use in our cabin when we go cruising. Maybe we’ll find one in Guam tomorrow. We like to know what time it is in the middle of the night when we need to take a little walk or if we are restless without putting a light on. We haven’t any tours planned for tomorrow either but I hope our docking port is more interesting than most of them have been on this cruise. We have booked a tour for Rabaul in New Guinea which should be interesting. Well we are about to go off for Sundowners and then dinner. Tuesday 5th – We had an interesting send of when we left Saipan. The Police vehicle was on the wharf sounding every siren available to him and driving up and down and playing loud music as well. The local customs were shouting Ozi Ozi Ozi to the usual response from the people on ship of Oi Oi Oi, over and over again till the ship was just about out of hearing range. One of the most tumultuous send offs we’ve experienced in all of our cruising. Wednesday 6th April – We docked in Guam about 7.30 then it was go slow till the US had checked us through thoroughly – getting sick of filling out forms for the paranoid US authorities. We weren’t able to do a tour in Guam as they were all booked out before we came ashore. They would only let 4 shuttle busses on the dock at any one time and no cabs. So you can imagine how long it took to process about 2000 passengers and get them to where they were going. We finally took the shuttle into town. Seems that it’s expected that passengers have plenty of money to burn because the shuttles always take us to the “Galleria” which only seems to sell upmarket clothes, handbags and jewellery. Well after we have been through our umpteenth “Galleria” (no bargains) we then took the shuttle to Kmart – yes you read right – to Kmart. We found the clock we have been looking for and had a tasty junk food lunch and the GD bought a couple of pairs of shorts and I bought some pants. We are finding that all of our clothes have shrunk – Ha Ha – must be the water we’ve been washing them in. We then made our way back they way we came. It appears from the bus window that Guam has a number of pretty beaches but nothing has been set up with the shuttles that allows for us to enjoy them at all. Seems this tour is geared to spending upmarket and war memorials.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sat 2nd – Sun 3rd April Hi Emily, we were thinking of you on the 1st of April but we weren’t able to get an email out to you to wish you Happy Birthday. I’m sure you had a good one anyway. Busan, Korea was a half day tour as I mentioned. I didn’t make it all the way to the temple as the climb was too much for me. When one sees all the apartment blocks – one after the other – we realize how well of we are in Oz. These apartments cost around $250.000 US. Their wages are quite low in comparison to ours so you do the sums. The people here are well dressed on the whole. The air is much cleaner that Chinese cities. The roads are exceptional and all the vehicles are pretty new. The bus we were on was decorated rather like a gypsy wagon with curtains with tassels and pretty trimming every where but it was very modern with a big TV up the front to either view TV or to view the road ahead. After the temple in the mountain, we came back down to “Auntie’s Fish Market”. You may have seen it on one of Rick Steins Cooking shows. It’s quite interesting and all looks very fresh. Considering it was a fish market the smell wasn’t too bad. I’ve smelled worse in Woolworths fish section at home. We spent the rest of the time ashore wandering around the market place. Feeling a bit hungry we tried the most delicious and crunchy waffle at one of the street stalls. They speak little or no English. We have found throughout this cruise that there are very few bargains to be found. Not like it used to be. Saturday, a day at sea, part of it in Japanese waters. As such, all phone and all satellite communications were blocked till 3 pm when we entered the Pacific. I played cards in the morning and the GD went to a herbalist seminar. The usual Nana nap in the afternoon and then to dinner and a show. It was a formal night with the Captains cocktail party before dinner. Sunday, another day at sea filled much the same as yesterday except when I went and played cards the GD went to the church service. We are going to the “Sterling Steak House” for dinner tonight with the group from our table – 9 of us – a nice bunch of people. This restaurant is the only one that you have to pay $20 for a 3 course dinner, but we are told it’s exceptional, specialising of course, in steak. The weather is warming up considerably and we are just about up to present Queensland temperatures. We’ve packed away the woollies till we get home.
atellite glitch!!! Unable to post Dairy, will try later this after noon