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Around the World on Amtrak, KLM, and HAL

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Thank you Denise, Krazy Kruizers, Keith, and molole.

 

Day A14, Sunday, October 15, 2017, Yokohama

 

The Oosterdam is at sea from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas on an Atlantis charter. The Prinsendam is at sea from Rijeka to Itea.

 

This has been a challenging day. My nights of sleeping through the night ended at one. Up about 4:30 I took a very early walk of about 7 laps on the lower promenade deck. There were lights all around the ship but most were from other vessels in the area. The lower promenade deck was covered but when I crossed the sea view pool deck on my way for coffee, I found that a light rain was falling, and it continued to fall pretty much through the day.

 

Coming from Kushiro we sailed south of Yokohama and then headed north into a bay, and passed under a bridge about a mile from the dock. We approached the terminal and had lines out about 7:45.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/yokoarrival.jpg

 

My plans for the day had been to meet a friend who had disembarked the Volendam a few days ago but she came down with some back problems and decided the meeting was not a good idea (perhaps rescheduled to Crystal Serenity’s visit to Long Beach in January).

 

I had thought of possibly taking the train into Tokyo but with the rain it didn’t seem right. There is a shuttle from the ship to one of the nearby train stations, Sakuragicho. I left the ship about 10 and rode the shuttle, about a mile into town. I did look at the ticket vending machines but they didn’t seem very English friendly, and decided to just explore the area around the station a bit.

 

Crystal has always been my first love in cruising and one site on the map immediately caught my attention. For most of it’s life Crystal has been a subsidiary of Japanese shipping company NYK and the NYK Maritime Museum was beckoning me. It was pretty close to midway between the station and the pier and I ambled off in that direction once I had my bearings.

 

The museum is housed in a 1936 structure built as NYK’s Yokohama office and houses a collection of artifacts and models of the types of ships used over the years. In the first half of the 20th century NYK, like Holland America, offered a full range of ocean services with large fleets of both freighters and ocean liners. As air travel flourished NYK abandoned the passenger business in 1960 and was out of it for 30 years before establishing Crystal Cruises for the North American Market and Asuka for the Japanese market in 1990. NYK still operates Asuka 2, the former Crystal Harmony while Crystal ownership was transferred to another company in 2015.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/nykmuseum.jpg

 

When I left the museum my GPS showed I was nearly as close to the pier as to the shuttle dropoff so I walked the rest of the way back to the ship in a steady drizzle and did not really feel a need to venture out again. I have long noticed displays of plaques from various port displayed usually around stairwells. I have known that this is part of a plaque exchange, usually on maiden calls, but rarely see the plaques given to the ports by the ships. A display case in the terminal caught my attention and among the mementos displayed was one from the Amsterdam noting a call in Yokohama on the 2010 World Cruise.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/amdmyoko.jpg

 

Lunch was fries from DiveIn. On the way up I stepped out on deck 6 forward to check out a ship that had caught my attention. It was the NYK Hikawamaru, an ocean liner now preserved as a museum ship. If I had known what it was earlier, I could have toured it as an add-on to my visit to the NYK museum.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/hikawamaru.jpg

 

While enjoying my fries I also noticed the Superstar Virgo which had docked on the opposite side of the terminal sometime during the day. I had not noticed it when returning from the museum.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/virgo.jpg

 

I did not do a lot else in the afternoon except use the wifi in the terminal, installing some updates and changing my hotel reservation in Miami after the Prinsendam.

 

Attendance was sparse at the Interdenominational Worship at 5 and also in the dining room. I was the only one at table 43, enjoying a hot and cold soup as well as a salad entree. With a small crowd service in the dining room was very fast; I was finished in well under an hour.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes15.jpg

 

While the dining room was quiet, there was a big crowd for the local drum show in the Queens Lounge. I am working to wrap up this post early as I have a 6:45am tour on Monday.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/drumshow.jpg

 

My parting shot will be a wish for a quick recovery for Carolyn, well before that long flight back to the US.

 

Roy

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Good morning Roy!

I read your post twice! Appreciate you giving us such a great discription of all you see! With the pics I felt I was there. Wish there was sunshine for you. Sorry to hear you were up soooo early. Our body clocks take a beating with all the time changes. I liked the pic of the tile of The Amsterdam world cruise 2010 displayed at the museum 👍

Getting my coffee and look forward to more adventures with you!

I am sorry about you not being able to see your friend who had back issues. That would of been a nice event to tour with her! Hope she gets well quickly!

Denise:)

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Roy,

That repo cruise I'm taking on Zaandam is the same one where I will be returning to Florida on the Empire Builder. I can hardly wait.

 

Your current cruise is sounding like our 2016 So Pac cruise - once we left Hawai`i.- except there was no cold factor. Hope things improve for you.

 

Carole

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Thank you, Roy! Enjoying your reports and photos.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'd noticed this thread but somehow the title didn't grab me... I'm sure glad that I finally checked it out. I'm more or less fascinated. If only I could go on such a voyage someday. It seems in the foreseeable future, I'll only have cruises, which I'm grateful to have even if they provide a mere hint or taste of a true voyage.

 

 

Now to read the first eleven pages. Thanks!

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I’m so sorry Roy.I am still pretty much laid up,with a stiff neck and muscle spasms from time to t8me making movement uncomfortable.I am resting mostly.The rain and cooler weather do not help those of us with back issues ( my disc is essentially gone now at L5 s-1 as I saw from an mri a couple of months ago,and it is too narrow there from what I understand to have surgery for an artificial disc).. I am disappointed I didn’t get to see you here in Japan as it would have been great fun

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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I’m so sorry Roy.I am still pretty much laid up,with a stiff neck and muscle spasms from time to t8me making movement uncomfortable.I am resting mostly.The rain and cooler weather do not help those of us with back issues ( my disc is essentially gone now at L5 s-1 as I saw from an mri a couple of months ago,and it is too narrow there from what I understand to have surgery for an artificial disc).. I am disappointed I didn’t get to see you here in Japan as it would have been great fun

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

I so hope you are comfortable and will be up and about soon! A lot of positive energy going your way for a quick recovery!

Denise:)

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Ty I have steeped some green tea and all things being equal, there are a lot worse things than sitting around in a hotel with a comfortable bed drinking green tea in Kameido Japan?(I could be back home in Los Angeles)

 

 

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I’m so sorry Roy.I am still pretty much laid up,with a stiff neck and muscle spasms from time to t8me making movement uncomfortable.I am resting mostly.The rain and cooler weather do not help those of us with back issues ( my disc is essentially gone now at L5 s-1 as I saw from an mri a couple of months ago,and it is too narrow there from what I understand to have surgery for an artificial disc).. I am disappointed I didn’t get to see you here in Japan as it would have been great fun

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Hope you will soon feel better. I know all about back problems as well. I am now 3 inches shorter and the surgeons can do nothing for me.

Have a safe journey back home.

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Great reports, Roy.

 

Sorry to hear wearesiamese is laid up and you two didn't get to connect.

 

Wearesiamese hoping you feel better soon.

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Ty I have steeped some green tea and all things being equal, there are a lot worse things than sitting around in a hotel with a comfortable bed drinking green tea in Kameido Japan?(I could be back home in Los Angeles)

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

 

 

 

Thank you

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Thank you all

Day A15, Monday, October 16, 2017, Yokohama

 

The Oosterdam is in Cabo San Lucas on an Atlantis charter. The Prinsendam is in Itea.

 

Just as we thought the weather had to get better it turned the other way. I did start the morning with 4 laps around the lower promenade deck and it turned out to be the day’s only dry place to walk.

 

My tour was to Hakone National Park and was very much an all day tour. We met in the Queens Lounge at 6:45 and were leaving the pier by 7 for a 2-hour drive to the park. The park’s key feature is Mt. Komagatake, an extinct volcano with a large (circumference 20 km) lake, Ashinoka, in the Caldera. A good size ferry plies the lake and we disembarked the bus for about a 25 minute ride to a cableway running to Komagatake’s peak.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/boat2.jpg

 

The day was a damp kind of chilly. I had worn my gortex jacket and taken a fleece top “just in case”, by the time I boarded the boat the fleece went on and I never regretted it.

 

It was about a 5-minute walk to the gondola station with a number of stairs to climb but everybody pretty much took it in stride.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/cableway.jpg

 

It was about a 7 minute ride up to Komagatake’s 4400 foot summit, passing the downward cable car about the midpoint of the journey. As we ascended the winds howled pretty viciously.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/cablecar.jpg

 

There was a shrine at the peak, about a 5-minute walk from the upper cableway station. The winds howled outside the station door (I would guess about 50kt), and there was a mist the consistency of pea soup fog. Nobody stepped outside or even cracked the door open. Photos in the upper station showed the view to be seen on a clear day.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/clearview.jpg

 

As we descended the view we got was quite a bit different from the photos at the summit.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/ourview.jpg

 

Lunch was a buffet at a lakeside hotel with quite a nice variety of foods and a lovely view of the lake with the fog even abating a bit for a few minutes.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/lakeview.jpg

 

Our final stop was at an outdoor sculpture garden. It would have been fantastic on a warm sunny day but not so much today. The pillow gift for our second gala night was an umbrella and it came in quite handy.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/museum.jpg

 

We were back at the ship at 4PM with all aboard at 4:30 and sailing at 5. I like watching ships go under bridges and was up on the sun deck when we passed under the Yokohama Bay Bridge just in time to go down to the dining room at 5:30.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/yokobridge3.jpg

 

Everybody at table 43 got through a less than ideal day and enjoyed a relaxing dinner. I went for the parmesan crusted chicken breast and blackberry sundae.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes15.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was classical pianist Tomono Kamamura. A native of Japan she now resides in London and is only with us for 1 very nice performance. She played a nice combination of pure concert repertoire and some pieces that have also migrated into pop culture.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/kawamura.jpg

 

It’s been a busy day and I won’t have a chance to look at any questions or answer anything beyond what I’m posting. Some days are not ideal but will nonetheless be memorable. Another morning tour on Tuesday.

 

Roy

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It's a shame to travel so far, take such a long excursion, and have such miserable weather that you didn't get the most out of it. The view from the top would have been worth it right there!

But with the way you get around, maybe there will be a 'next time'. I sure hope so. At least you took it in stride.

 

May your weather improve!

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What Ruth said! Hope your weather improves, too.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I so agree with Ruth Roy!!!!

The photo of going under The Yokohama Bridge was great!

Take care Roy!

Will enjoy another blog from you soon!

Denise:)

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I had fallen behind on your postings, Roy, but I'm all caught up now. Sure seems like you have had more than your share of bad weather so far. Hope it improves for you soon. I am really enjoying following along with you on your journey. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

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Thanks everyone. Just back from another rainy tour, all aboard in 30 minutes, finishing up in the terminal.

 

Cabin 2599 on the Amsterdam

 

Too long ago someone asked (I think as a blog comment but it may have been on Cruise Critic) for something on my cabin. It seems like I delayed a long time for a port so I could see the cabin from outside the ship but it finally happened.

 

Most of my cabin photos are now published on a well known site that I can’t mention on Cruise Critic.

 

I’ll add a couple of additional thoughts about my adaption to the cabin. Oceanview and interior cabins on HAL’s older ships do not have fridges. While they can be rented cheaply ($2/day) they take up space and an electrical outlet and are not worth it for me. In addition to the ice bucket I use an insulated mini packing cube purchased from LL Bean.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/ice.jpg

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/mycooler.jpg

 

The walls on most r-class ships are not steel and will not hold magnets. For this trip I am using a couple of magnetic clips set back to back with hardware store magnetic clips attached to the hangers on the wall. It would work just as well with a simple allegator clip but I like the ship magnets. If on a full grand voyage on the Amsterdam I think I’d look for a small magnetic bulletin board I could hang from the hangers.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/magnettrick.jpg

 

Roy

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Thank you for sharing your voyage with us, Roy! I had fallen a bit behind, but I'm all caught up now. Your pictures are fantastic, and I am also enjoying the stories of how you have spent your days. Life on a Grand Voyage such as you are currently on is so very different than life on our Caribbean cruises!

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Roy,

 

Thanks for your suggestions on alternate hanging spots - I've never considered the hangers. You and many others have convinced me to bring along my own 'ice container' for my two trips on the 'R' ships in OV accommodations. Thanks for the heads-up.

 

Carole

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Smart idea on the cooler Roy. Very clever.

 

Your cain pics are great. Thanks for sharing :)

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