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Live Blog: Millennium 30 March 2019 - Shanghai to Tokyo

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7 hours ago, mazza said:

Yes they will be - some were changed last night, and more affected cabins will be done today. Not all cabins were affected though - ours wasn’t.

 

Which cabins were affected or area of the ship please?

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5 minutes ago, yvrdave said:

 

Which cabins were affected or area of the ship please?

Only Deck 9. I thought Deck 8 was involved originally, but it wasn't. I only know of my two sisters' cabins being affected, although it looks at though there might have been maybe 6 or so cabins that needed new carpet. One couple had to be moved to a new deck (not Aqua Class). That's all I know.

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Posted (edited)

Sea Day

A sea day is always a good thing in my book. The ship's time moved forward an hour overnight, so it was an extra early rise this morning - I had an 8am massage and Alan had an 8am cycle class in the gym. Alan's cold was making him miserable and didn't want breakfast, so I went to Deck 10 myself to get some food. Then to my massage which was good but not the best I've had on the ship. I get massages regularly to deal with a combination of me clenching my jaw, a partial rotator cuff muscle tear a couple of years ago and arthritis in my neck - the massages help keep everything loose.

 

The seas are still churning a bit but nothing bad by my standards. We have lost the sunshine though and it's quite overcast.

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Morning view with one of our frequent sailing companions.

 

I met everyone at Cafe al Bachio after the massage for an early morning tea. We wandered to the 'nothing over $10 sale' then - I lasted about 30 seconds in the shop which was full of crazy people, grabbing things and pushing. Next stop was the photo gallery to check new photos but I still need a better one of me and Alan tonight (Chic night) - I like being able to scan your card and see your photos without having to search for them on the walls - that saves time. Then we headed back to the cabins for a minute, as Jenny and Elizabeth had to be out of their cabins by 11am for their carpet to be replaced or dried further. 

 

Alan and I went to the Cafe again, and I stood in line for take away and he looked for a table - he found one before I got served so we sat down - it's really busy of course, although one couple are taking up four seats playing some sort of dice game with no tea or coffee in sight. This annoys me and it's discourteous to everyone else who wants to sit and have a cup of tea. Yes, there's no games room but I noticed that the Rendezvous lounge had a table set up on a couple of seatings areas that could easily double as a games table. Anyway. 

 

We headed back to the cabin, realised we didn't have our SeaPass cards, and immediately assumed we didn't get the cards back at the Cafe. Of course, we would never forget to pick them up from the table would we? We asked at the counter is they had our cards - no and someone came and looked at our table with us where someone else was already sitting, and he had found one card and the other was underneath a plate - who knows how it go there? We apologised and slunk off feeling just a bit stupid.

 

We stayed in our cabin to do some work, and then joined Jenny and Elizabeth in the OceanView Cafe for lunch. Tom and AL were in the casino testing their luck. Jenny, Elizabeth and AC went to a 1.30pm show with the Stevie Wonder singer and the magician/comedian from last night's performance but I had to finish my work and I'm now writing this post. The plan for the rest of the afternoon is gym, rest, pre-dinner drinks and dinner at Blu. The show tonight is Elysium:

 

In the land of Elysium, a fairy tale unfold between the forces of good and evil as the kingdom is threatened ... an original story that touches the heart. 

 

I'm hoping that there's some aerial performances in it but we shall see. I'll do a quick update post at the end of the evening.

Edited by mazza

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What a fantastic review...we did a land tour of China few years ago.  This cruise sounds interesting.  Hope your hubby recovers.  Good thing you had a sea day to let him rest.

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7 hours ago, bunnyette said:

What a fantastic review...we did a land tour of China few years ago.  This cruise sounds interesting.  Hope your hubby recovers.  Good thing you had a sea day to let him rest.

Thank you. The cruise so far has been great. The sea day has helped Alan, but not yet 100% and I suspect he's given the cold to me but I hope not!

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Sea Day: Evening

Gym was a bit quieter yesterday afternoon and there was actually space for me to so my weights on a bench for once which good. I have been sitting on the bike doing my 30 minutes watching this never ending movement of men on the benches. I have been doing my weights on the mat until now which has worked okay in the interim. 

 

Back to the cabin where  I took a photo of the fog which started this afternoon and is now enveloping the ship. The captain was sounding the horn every so often - I think this is close to the thickest fog I've been in so there's nothing much to see in the photo!😄

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Pre-dinner drinks then Blu for dinner which was as usually a great meal. I managed to take a photo of my stuffed chicken which didn't have much stuffing that I could see but it was delicious.

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The show - Elysium - was a production, with the singers and dancers. This was the first show I've been too and the lead singer has some voice - I think she's been trained for opera. I used to go to the shows all the time on our early cruises but don't go very much now for some reason I can't really pin down except that I get a bit bored I think. Last night I had a tickle in my throat and I was coughing a bit - the onset of the cold. Everyone else has loved most of the shows, and I'll get there feedback for a separate review of the entertainment. 

 

Back to the cabin but then downstairs again to get some tea and a cake for Alan - he had pointed out to me earlier the ones he like, so I know which one to get - the ones I had been getting didn't meet his standards apparently! 😊 Tea, bad movie, sleep.

 

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Mazza, really appreciate you sharing details about your cruise with this live blog. We'll be going on our first Asian cruise in January (Hong Kong - Singapore) on the Millie, so finding your story quite interesting!

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Posted (edited)
I was up early again today - we needed to meet our tour guide at 8.40am, with the ship due to  be cleared at 8am (it was around 7.30am in reality). We had breakfast in Blu on our own, Jenny and Alan were having tea and coffee and pastries in the Cafe and Elizabeth and Tom were still asleep. The fog has cleared so I got a sunrise photo and the weather was quite pleasant this morning. Sunny and it was actually warm on the balcony for the first time this cruise. 
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Sunrise at JeJu
1D0FA53D-7FFE-4BA2-855E-60E1A1C6A6DF.thumb.jpeg.e003006c9387972edc8d62085ff16e6f.jpegOne of the two pilot boats that arrived to guide the ship into the narrow harbour entrance
 
Eventually, we were all up and fed, and hanging over the balcony railings talking to each other to sort out what we were doing. We agreed to meet at 8.20am and get off the ship, even though as far as I know only Immigration Group 1 and 2 had been called - we were Group 10. While we were hanging out on the balcony, we realised how small the harbour entrance was and perhaps why there were two pilot boats this morning. I didn’t pay much attention to docking until I saw we were moving sideways to get to the pier. 
 
Getting off the ship was fine, then we hit the Immigration queue. They were letting batches of people into the Immigration area because there wasn’t much room for queuing and we didn’t have to wait all that long. Alan tells me that queue he’s in will always be the slowest and that proves to be the case this morning with the others getting throught the face check and passport stamp process very quickly, so they headed out to meet Mr Go, our guide for the day, from I Am Your Guide (Wonder Planet), a company that specialises in South Korean tours. It took us another five minutes to get out and we were very quickly walking to the van and on our way.
 
I’d organised three stops: Seongeup Folk Village, Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak) and the Mangjangul lava caves - the last two are UN World Heritage Listed. Go - our guide asked us to call him this (his surname) saying his first name was too hard to pronounce - suggested we first go to the prettiest part of the Island first where we could see cherrry blossoms, so we agreed. It was 50 minutes drive away and when we got there, the parking lot was packed, music was playing and runners were coming through a huge conola field to finish some sort of race. Their finish involved running around and dodging tourists who were spread out across the path staking positions in the midst of the canola to take photos. So we took one too. This was a little odd but the vivid yellow of the canola was impressive.
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Husbands in the canola fields
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Three sisters in the canola fields
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On the way to the canola fields - a race was on, and these wind turbines dominated the landscape
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Cherry Blossoms
 
On the way back to the van, AL bought some local snacks as he is prone to do, but we are eventually on our way to the Folk Village, but not before stopping for a final roadside photo opportunity of cherry blossom trees. We arrive at the Folk Village in about 10 minutes, a quick walk across the road avoiding people and buses and we were at the gates, where we learn about the history of stone statues that are a characteristic of JeJu - these are Dol Hareubangs, always in a pair, one representing a professor and one a soldier. There are 45 original Hareubangs left from around 600 years ago, and thousands of modern replicas.
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Two Hareubangs at the entrance to the Folk Village
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Group photo at the entrance to the village
 
The village is interesting, especially since Go grew up in a nearby area living in the houses we are seeing here. We walk from one end to the other, stopping to see homes and hear more about life 600 years ago and today, and crossing paths with two Celebrity tour groups. One of the advantages of smaller groups here is that Go took us into a residential space, with access defined by the number of poles crossing the gate (3 means the owner is away for a few days, so we were okay. Two means two days, one pole means a couple of hours). Here we had a closer view of how people live in the village today. 
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Original house
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Another original building
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Bathroom area - the black pigs kept this area ‘clean’
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Where some residents live today9266136C-3F04-4B9A-B1EF-99238A6E03C2.thumb.jpeg.35f250b1677f53ad0e55efa48f6d1b42.jpeg
Meeting house
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Very big, old tree in the village
 
Our next stop is the Sunrise Peak, which is being followed by lunch. I had read about this tuff volcano crater and saw pictures of the path to the top, but in reality, it was clear that I wasn’t going to make it to the top. AC, of course, was off, hanging on to my phone so he could take some photos. AL went with him, Jenny and Tom walked the scenic path, and Elizabeth and I headed up the slope and steps that never stopped. There are resting points on the way where you can take in the view which is a good thing. We reckon we get about 1/3 of the way up before we turn around and return to regather with Go, who introduces us to his family who he’s talking to on FaceTime - that was fun - and Jenny and Tom. We head to the shops and to spend some of our Won currency that we have left, and AC and AL join us when they return. A group photo and then back to the van, where I realize I’ve left my coat and my shopping beside the statue we were photographed in front of, so I am off running to retrieve it - still there, all safe and sound. It was only a couple of minutes but my brain lapses continue to remind me I need to be more mindful. Here are a few photos Alan took on his climb to the top.
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Group photo at the bottom on Sunshine Peak - my bag and coat are on the right
 
Off now to a local restaurant for Ginsing and Chicken soup, a popular local dish. It arrives in a sizzling individual bowl, with a whole chicken swimming in the soup liquid. It is not a first good impression I have to say. Go shows us how to push the chicken into the soup and to get the chicken meat separating from the bones, which you put in the bone dishes on the table. Now this is a twice slow cooked chicken soup, and includes the whole chicken. I found this description (http://www.passportchop.com/asia/south-korea/ginseng-chicken-soup-abalone-jeju-seogwipo-review/of it (with photos) that will give you and idea. The men loved it and gulped it down, we women ate about half and were less impressed. It cost 12000 Won each which is about $USD10.
 
Back on the road to our final stop - the lava caves. On the way, Go suggests we drive along the coast to see a scenic beach and we do that - the water here reminds me of the South Pacific, but I’m tired and sleep for most of this leg of the trip, so no photos. When we arrive, Go gives us some instructions about how to see the caves, including ‘be very careful, it’s wet and slippery’, which is certainly was! We have caves in Australia and we’ve walked on the lava fields in the Galapagos but I’ve seen nothing like this. Steps down and down, and immediately it becomes obvious we have to step carefully here. The lava is not untouched and so is not flat but shifting in nature from relatively flat to jagged rocks to undulating lava. The caves go from narrow to very wide and at the end is a 7+ meter lava column, where this lava has dripped from the ceiling over time.
 
Of course AC and AL are off, and Elizabeth and I are next. Jenny and Tom bring up the rear. As we decide to keep going to the end of the cave, I fail to pay attention, kick a rock and trip, thankfully not falling thanks to putting my hands out on the rocks - ouch, that stung for a while, but no damage was done except to my pride. Jenny pulled me back to upright and we continue on. By this stage we are all together again including Go who has followed us in. Another group photo in front of the lava column and I am hanging on to Alan’s arm on the way back out to prevent any more tripping.
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The roof of the cave
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An example of the floor of the cave
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Heading into the cav
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Lava Column lit up so we could appreciate it fully - it was pretty impressive
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Heading back to the entrance - thus was one of the brighter areas of the cave
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More cherry blossoms in the car park
 
It was cold in the cave - 9 degrees Celsius - but 21 degrees on the surface. We climb into the van for our trip back to the port, about 50 minutes, but I think we made it in 40 minutes. The weather had turned and light rained started as we got closer to the port. We drive through built up areas along the coast and the see the Millennium - and there’s that sigh when you see the ship. We use most of our remaining Won to give Go a tip - it was a great day, we saw local life, local nature and ate local food. It’s a unique little spot.
 
Through Immigration again and then the long walk to the ship. I get some tea and cakes and Alan and I rest in the cabin until 5.30pm when I go down to the Rendezvous Lounge to meet everyone for a pre-dinner drinks; Alan joins us later. Off to Blu for another excellent dinner but I don’t have wine because the cold that AC kindly gave me is ramping up and I’m not feeling all that wonderful. Post dinner, AC and I retreat to the cabin and to bed pretty quickly; everyone else goes to the show which is Empower, another production show. Our last sea day tomorrow. 😞

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Edited by mazza

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This is fantastic Mazza! A group of us are are going on a similar itinerary on Milli early next year! I love the depth you go into for each day!! The photos are amazing as well! Will you be posting some photos of around the ship!

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51 minutes ago, Nick00712 said:

This is fantastic Mazza! A group of us are are going on a similar itinerary on Milli early next year! I love the depth you go into for each day!! The photos are amazing as well! Will you be posting some photos of around the ship!

Thanks Nick00712. I can post some ship photos - anything in particular though?

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1 hour ago, mazza said:

Thanks Nick00712. I can post some ship photos - anything in particular though?

I found some random shots I'd taken since we got on board. I'll take some more if I can get my brain to remember later today and tonight. Otherwise, let me know anything you are interested in, and I'll do my best to get them.

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Looking towards Guest Relations from Deck 4

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Same place, but looking upwards to Deck 5 and Cafe Al Bachio seating

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View of Shanghai Cruise Port from our Deck 9 cabin, showing overhang. This rarely gets in the way of taking a photo - here I was trying to capture the smog haze in the distance.

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Deck 9 corridor

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Random piece of ship art that we liked

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Not of the ship exactly, but at lunch today, it appeared the stock of plastic water bottles had been depleted as this is what I got when I ordered a bottle of water.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, mazza said:

I found some random shots I'd taken since we got on board. I'll take some more if I can get my brain to remember later today and tonight. Otherwise, let me know anything you are interested in, and I'll do my best to get them.

IMG_0393.thumb.JPG.54f023c2444c6951168191f6d850aabf.JPG

Looking towards Guest Relations from Deck 4

IMG_0394.thumb.JPG.637c3bc2cf871d1d05052b626d4ae977.JPG

Same place, but looking upwards to Deck 5 and Cafe Al Bachio seating

IMG_0395.thumb.JPG.e2f868c3d837ab7a4f1a4fa1e23bf29d.JPG

View of Shanghai Cruise Port from our Deck 9 cabin, showing overhang. This rarely gets in the way of taking a photo - here I was trying to capture the smog haze in the distance.

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Deck 9 corridor

IMG_0467.thumb.JPG.ab436adcfc789b54c5f3798f9e9d4a8c.JPG

Random piece of ship art that we liked

1414765976_IMG_08701.thumb.JPG.937c4e8c21e8fb14410ba8096b0e0837.JPG

Not of the ship exactly, but at lunch today, it appeared the stock of plastic water bottles had been depleted as this is what I got when I ordered a bottle of water.

 

 

 

 

Thanks Mazza! 

Oh if it's not a hassle the Cosmos Lounge and the view, rendezvous lounge, maybe some of the other bars and meeting areas around the ship and the gym(seeing as you said it seems cramped now) but thanks for those snap shots!

 

Nick

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No problem - we leave early tomorrow for a tour but will aim to get some shots tomorrow night.

 

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Can you tell me if the balcony dividers can be opened? Thanks so much!

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6 hours ago, FLOTR said:

Can you tell me if the balcony dividers can be opened? Thanks so much!

Sadly no - we are in three cabins side by side on Deck 9 midship and the dividers are bolted to the railings. 

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this is a fabulous review. You have done a great job. I enjoyed it very much.

Norma

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Thank you for posting more wonderful photos and descriptions. I love the photos of all of you amongst the canola blossoms😊 I hope you and Alan are feeling much better. I also hope your sister’s ankle strain healed quickly. 

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Posted (edited)

A quick post now and I'll catch up later today. We had what seems to be the usual chaos with Kobe Immigration - held on the ship for 2 hours before we accidently got off before our Immigration Group was called. Now this is a Japanese issue rather than Celebrity but it was seriously annoying. We were late for our tour and had a rushed afternoon instead of a more leisurely pace. And Nick, I've not forgotten your photos - I'll get them this afternoon when we are back on board - off today for a walking tour of Kobe. 

 

But after the glorious weather yesterday, this is what greeted us this morning.

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Edited by mazza

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On 4/9/2019 at 9:39 AM, Silkroad said:

Thank you for posting more wonderful photos and descriptions. I love the photos of all of you amongst the canola blossoms😊 I hope you and Alan are feeling much better. I also hope your sister’s ankle strain healed quickly. 

Thanks. That canola photo was a bit weird for us, but it was so obviously a 'thing' that the locals did that we had to do it too. Everyone is getting better, although I passed on my cold to Elizabeth and she's surprisingly not impressed.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mazza said:

A quick post now and I'll catch up later today. We had what seems to be the usual chaos with Kobe Immigration - held on the ship for 2 hours before we accidently got off before our Immigration Group was called. Now this is a Japanese issue rather than Celebrity but it was seriously annoying. We were late for our tour and had a rushed afternoon instead of a more leisurely pace. And Nick, I've not forgotten your photos - I'll get them this afternoon when we are back on board - off today for a walking tour of Kobe. 

 

But after the glorious weather yesterday, this is what greeted us this morning.

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No worries and thanks again Mazza! Enjoy your tour!! 

 

Nick

Edited by Nick00712

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This is an erratum post to correct an error in my very first post about how many ocean cruises Jenny had been on - I said one, but it's actually three - in addition to the South Pacific Cruise, she had been on one from Malacca to Singapore and one from Sydney to Melbourne to attend the Melbourne Cup racing carnival. Sorry Jenny!

 

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Mt Fuji

We are getting close to Shimizu where we dock today. The seas were REALLY rough last night - we were warned by Captain Alex ahead of time. I got up about 4.30am and there was spray reaching our cabin on Deck 9. I don't think I've seen that before. It's pretty calm by the time I finally get out of bed at about 6.50am.

 

And then after a Blu breakfast, Captain Alex announces we can see Mt Fuji straight ahead. Much excitement! We went up to Deck 11 to get a better view - it is quite beautiful and we are lucky. The sun is out the sky is blue, and the cloud hasn't crossed the summit yet. 

 

We were invited as Elite members to view Mt Fuji from the helipad but Alan has a work teleconference so I went. You enter through the Theatre on Deck 5 and here we saw queue jumping at its best - I know this is probably a cultural thing but any anyone would think they deserve to push in ahead of people who are already waiting defies any kind of logic. There were lots of people already on the helipad and everyone was generally pretty polite about swapping out places at the railing so we could all get good photogressivos. It was getting progressively crowded so after I'd taken 1001 photos of Mt Fuji 🙂 I took a couple of Shimizu and headed back downstairs. 

 

I got a couple of teas and took them back to the stateroom, one for Alan to keep him going during the usual 2 hour teleconference and I am typing this. I cannot however, after 5 tries, post any photos so I'll post this text now, and the photos will come ASAP, along with the photos and post from yesterday in Kobe which was fabulous day, despite a cold and rainy morning.

 

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2 hours ago, mazza said:

Mt Fuji

We are getting close to Shimizu where we dock today. The seas were REALLY rough last night - we were warned by Captain Alex ahead of time. I got up about 4.30am and there was spray reaching our cabin on Deck 9. I don't think I've seen that before. It's pretty calm by the time I finally get out of bed at about 6.50am.

 

And then after a Blu breakfast, Captain Alex announces we can see Mt Fuji straight ahead. Much excitement! We went up to Deck 11 to get a better view - it is quite beautiful and we are lucky. The sun is out the sky is blue, and the cloud hasn't crossed the summit yet. 

 

We were invited as Elite members to view Mt Fuji from the helipad but Alan has a work teleconference so I went. You enter through the Theatre on Deck 5 and here we saw queue jumping at its best - I know this is probably a cultural thing but any anyone would think they deserve to push in ahead of people who are already waiting defies any kind of logic. There were lots of people already on the helipad and everyone was generally pretty polite about swapping out places at the railing so we could all get good photogressivos. It was getting progressively crowded so after I'd taken 1001 photos of Mt Fuji 🙂 I took a couple of Shimizu and headed back downstairs. 

 

I got a couple of teas and took them back to the stateroom, one for Alan to keep him going during the usual 2 hour teleconference and I am typing this. I cannot however, after 5 tries, post any photos so I'll post this text now, and the photos will come ASAP, along with the photos and post from yesterday in Kobe which was fabulous day, despite a cold and rainy morning.

 

Sounds amazing!

Quick question; so with gaining access to helipad for such events as that you need to be a certain level within the loyaty progrom?

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1 hour ago, Nick00712 said:

Sounds amazing!

Quick question; so with gaining access to helipad for such events as that you need to be a certain level within the loyaty progrom?

It was for Elite and Elite Plus only. If I can get the photos uploaded, I'll include the invitation we got.

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Mt Fuji Continued

Still no luck with photos but a bit more our Shimizu stop. The clouds moved across by late morning and we never saw the peak again. Captain Alex told us that he and his wife had sailed to Shimizu five times and never seen Mt Fuji and this time when we saw it, his wife wasn't with him.

 

We all stayed on board until after lunch, after a slow and relaxed morning. Expect for Alan, who had work to do and wanted to go to the gym, we got off at about 1.30pm, and had to show our passports again at a Japanese customs tent on the pier. It was pretty perfunctory though. We then found our way to the Verkehr Shimizu Port Terminal Museum, about a block and a half from the ship. As we walked along the waterfront a woman came rushing up to us offering us local maps which we accepted with gratitude.

 

As we approached the museum which is behind a brown brick wall, there was suddenly much activity within - we could see through the glass doors, and a man appeared to open the door for us and welcome us profusely. We all got the sense they don't get many visitors here 🙂 It was 400 Yen each to go in so we paid and were then escorted on a tour of the ground floor. It's a small museum, two floors but quite interesting if you are interested in history generally and maritime history specifically. There are exhibits on the types of ships that sailed the port from centuries ago to the present day including some 1/10 size replicas which were intricate and quite fascinating. This was a tea port originally, and there was an exhibition room that show the tools used, and what working on the docks was like. The man who took us on the tour was delightful and knowledgeable, although two of his colleagues followed him around with clipboards, so it looked like he was being trained. He did a good job.

 

The first floor where we couldn't take photos was a collection of old posters and print material relating to the port. There was one particularly old piece, but as is typical for me, I forgot to ask what it was. The ground floor had English as well as Japanese but not so with the first floor. We were free to explore these small exhibits ourselves. We then thanked our guide and headed to the nearby shopping centre.

 

The weather had turned, and there were no sunshine anymore, replaced by rather fierce looking grey clouds. The ferris wheel that is here was not operating although I did see it lit up with lights as we sailed out later. We explored the shopping centre for a while, then had afternoon tea in one of the cafes and set off for ship. There were a row of local souvenir/craft stalls and the other headed to look at them while I cam back on to the ship. Alan was still at the gym, so I had an hour or so to try and upload more photos but couldn't.

 

A Blu dinner, everyone is at the gym and I'm finishing this. Seeing Mt Fuji was quite special - it's a beautiful sight. The little part of Shimizu we saw was not anything special but the Museum is worth a visit, if only to provide some visitors for the people who work here. There were some fireworks on the shore to mark the sailing out which was nice. I decided not to book a tour here because it seemed like we'd be away all day, in a bus for a long time, and paying a lot of money. I'm not disappointed with that choice and the day was restful after two busy days in Kyoto and Kobe.

 

Our last day tomorrow 😞 I'll post photos as soon as I can.

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