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SLSD

Live from Kobe to Vancouver May/June 2019

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13 hours ago, rols said:

You can pick up seasick pills at Seabourn Square. We've found even in the roughest seas if you take them before you feel ill, you never feel ill. 

 

Just make sure that you read the (very tiny) fine print on the rear of the seasickness tabs packet.

NOT  to be taken if you have cardiac conditions, breathing problems, asthma and other lung conditions, prostate etc (and the list goes on ) !!!

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4 minutes ago, SKP946 said:

 

Just make sure that you read the (very tiny) fine print on the rear of the seasickness tabs packet.

NOT  to be taken if you have cardiac conditions, breathing problems, asthma and other lung conditions, prostate etc (and the list goes on ) !!!

Well the ladies wont have any prostrate issues...

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4 minutes ago, kowhairob said:

Well the ladies wont have any prostrate issues...

 

True, but I would think that most of the male pax on Ovation at the moment could, looking at the age group 🤔🙄😳

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39 minutes ago, kowhairob said:

Well the ladies wont have any prostrate issues...

Prostrate maybe, prostate no!!

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Just to clear up any misconceptions, here is a photo of the rear of the packet of  Motion Sickness Medication that is issued at Seabourn Square:-

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If the seas are rough enough both male and female would be prostrate on the bed, deck or otherwise.

Panda was once prostrate on a sofa in a lounge unable to move due to sea sickness. No single malt whisky involved, thankfully. Such was the sudden intensity of the swirling waters as the river met the seas as we exited the river in Vietnam.

Ginger is the go for qeasy tum's, we always sneak some dried ginger in our knapsack.

We hope the seas improve as otherwise you are having a swell time😏

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Most pills come with some rather scary disclaimers and if you have any of the conditions listed it would be good to be cautious. I have found however that if you can take them and take them early they work in the most ridiculous bad seas. I am very prone to seasickness and after two of those I slept the night and was the only person at breakfast on a day you had trouble stopping the sausages rolling off your plate. 

 

Thank you to whoever posted the picture of the warning label. I've never quite had the eyesight to read it before. 

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Day Three:  I am late in reporting about day three due to the less than adequate internet connection I have had aboard Sojourn.  I actually typed out a report earlier today, but evidently it did not take after I submitted it. 

 

We have had another good day at sea.  In review:  We had lunch in the MDR and service really let our table down.  There were four of us who arrived for breakfast at 8am, but did not receive our orders until 8:45am.  Even my very patient husband said it was unacceptable service.  I figure our order was not turned in timely, and then the mistake was discovered.  Our table companions never received their full order. 

 

We followed breakfast with another art class.  This was involved making mono prints.  My husband was quite please with his efforts and may continue to pursue artistic endeavors once we are home. 

 

We attended a morning lecture by a member of the Ventures team.  The topic was volcanoes in general and volcanoes in Japan in specific.  The presentation was well done and informative.  I look forward to more presentations by this speaker. 

 

We enjoyed lunch on the patio by the pool and i had my first Napa Burger of this voyage.  It was delectable as always. 

 

I have to admit that we napped in the afternoon, but enjoyed tea at 4pm.  

 

Tonight was a formal night.  We joined some new friends for dinner in the MDR.  Everyone in the MDR was very nicely dressed.  There were women in long gowns, men in tuxes and dinner jackets as well as women in cocktail dresses.  There were others (like me) in little black dresses and men in suits and sports coats with ties.  It all worked well--so I would suggest any of these choices would be appropriate.  

 

Service at dinner was top notch.  It was unobtrusive and efficient.  There was a delightful caviar appetizer.  followed that with asparagus soup which was tasty.  The lobster tail was a disappointment--perhaps overcooking was the main culprit.  

 

We popped into The Club after dinner for the first time on this voyage.  I liked the fact that the casino was less obvious than on Encore/Ovation.  That is a plus in my estimation.  There was a trio playing and they were enjoyable.  We didn't stay long as we have an early morning tomorrow as we will be in the port of Aomori, Japan and will be taking an excursion.  

 

Our laundry issue has been passed on to the Executive Housekeeper.  Stay tuned.  

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6 hours ago, SLSD said:

  We had lunch in the MDR and service really let our table down.  There were four of us who arrived for breakfast at 8am, but did not receive our orders until 8:45am.  Even my very patient husband said it was unacceptable service.  I figure our order was not turned in timely, and then the mistake was discovered.  Our table companions never received their full order. 

 

We walked into breakfast at 8:30.  Very obvious this was not the place to be.  Had cup of coffee and departed.   

 

 

 

 

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Saminina,  We MUCH prefer having breakfast in the MDR to the Colonnade. We like it because it is quiet and serene.  The food has been quite good.   The previous day, service in the MDR had been excellent.  Next time, we will request to be seated in the area where we had excellent service.  I avoid buffets as much as possible, so the Colonnade for breakfast is not for us.  We are having room service breakfast this morning ahead of arriving in the port of Aomori. 

 

When we returned to our suite last night, there was a lovely arrangement of flowers waiting on our table.  I photographed it--but am having difficulty getting that photo to this forum.  I know how to upload here, but can't seem to get it from my phone to this forum.  

 

We are taking a ship's excursion today.  I'll report back later.  

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Great to hear you're having a mostly excellent time, shame there are still a few slip ups. The only one I recall on our cruise was one of the TK evenings in the colonnade, chicken night, where they err forgot to start our chicken which then arrived very late indeed and a little past the point we were hungry enough to do it justice. We got a portion for 4 as we were dining with friends and honestly if we'd had chicken for 2 it would have been enough. 

 

It's a little annoying about the pool maintenance. I suspect of the whole cruise those mostly sea days may be the least likely anyone would want to be outside much so perhaps they scheduled it for then but yes it is irritating when major maintenance is done when you're on board. 

 

You're right about the TK grill being very intimate on the smaller ships, we ended up having some nice chats to the people on both sides of us the two times we went. 

 

I hope they don't mess up breakfast again, it's a nice way to start the day and there were often only 2-3 tables occupied. We got better service on the port side than starboard. (I had to think for a while which end was the sharp end before typing that). In fact I've so missed the English muffins since disembarking I made a batch this weekend and we reminisced. 

 

Please keep posting and enjoying the cruise, not in that order

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Day Four:  While our internet connection has continued to be abysmal, I think I MAY have gotten it sorted out enough to post some photos tonight. 

 

We had a wonderful day today.  It was our first port for this itinerary and we took a ship's excursion which turned out to be very good.  It was called Art and Nature in Aomori. We were in Aomori, Japan.   Our guide whose nickname was Nako spoke excellent English and had quite a sense of humor.  ed

 

Our first stop was a National Park.  We drove through lovely birch forests as well as flat plains, and then up a winding highway toward the mountains.  We boarded an air tram going up to 4,000 feet to view a truly beautiful countryside. There was snow on the ground and a gorgeous view all around below.  Hopefully, there are photos below.  Next, we visited a Buddhist Temple which boasts of having the largest statue of Buddha in Japan.  It is bronze and it is huge.  The temple is surrounded by beautiful grounds with a number of shrines, waterfalls, sun dappled woods  and special statues honoring children who have died before their parents.  I found this to be the most poignant part of the temple.  The pinwheels in one of the photos below were placed by parents of deceased children in hopes of providing cheer for their deceased children.  

 

After the Buddhist temple, we had lunch at a hotel and were treated to a fabulous dance/song/drum performance of festival  music from the area.  We loved the performance and especially the fact that several children were in the troupe performing.  We later visited the museum which houses the huge  lantern floats from the festival parade.  These very large floats are made from wire and paper which is painted in colorful designs.  

 

The day continued on the ship with tea, dinner at Earth and Sky (it was close to way too cold to even think about eating there), a post dinner drink in the Observation Bar, and finally the show in Grand Salon.  

 

Tomorrow, we will be in Otaru, Japan. 

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Edited by SLSD

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I want to add that I was taken aback by several SB passengers making snide comments about Buddhism in front of our guide.  I find it shameful that some are not able to respect the cultures of others.  

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Love those pictures! We did a similar Aomori tour in 2017 but it was a week or so earlier and weather prevented the cable car ride. We totally loved the museum with all the parade floats. I think we also did an archaeological site and museum in the morning. 

I’m sorry to hear that people were disrespectful at the temple. 

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Stunning photos SLSD , I am enjoying your travelogue very much. Thank you, you are sharing an experience I can only dream of.

I am sorry to hear some ignorant bad mannered travellers upset you. It makes you wonder why folk bother to travel if they have no interest in other cultures. Whilst they upset our senses, they are the ones who miss out on the joy and enlightenment of this fascinating world rich in it's wonderful cultures and people.🐨🐼

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14 hours ago, SLSD said:

I want to add that I was taken aback by several SB passengers making snide comments about Buddhism in front of our guide.  I find it shameful that some are not able to respect the cultures of others.  

Call them out ! That type of behaviour needs to be nipped in the bud . Almost as bad as fingers in the food at the buffet or not washing your hand after the bathroom.  All inexcusable and all it takes is for someone to say

" Hey please dont make comments like that " or  '' Use the tongs please"

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Day Five (a day behind):  I am a day behind in my reporting due to a poor internet connection yesterday. On day four we were in Aomori Japan.  We took a ship's tour with a delightful 73 year old guide--a man who told us that he had been a banker in his previous life and made a change about 6 years ago and enjoys serving others.  

 

First, we went to Mt. Tengu aboard a cable car  From up high we could see the city of Aomori and our ship in the harbour.  On top of Mt. Tengu, there were several small Shinto shrines and a lovely forested area.  From there, we went to a large villa built around 1920 by a herring magnate.  The villa was lovely with a lot of intricate woodwork, sliding doors, beautiful ceilings and porcelain bath fixtures.  Attached to the villa was a restaurant where we all had lunch banquet style.  The food was quite good and beautifully arranged on a tray with both glass and pottery dishes.  Our last stop was the Nikka Whiskey Distillery.  It was quite a large campus of patterned concrete block buildings with red roofs.  Our tour included the tasting room where two kinds of whiskey were samples as well as apple wine made at the same distillery.  My only complaint is that the tour group was too large (about 32 people on our bus) compared to a tour group yesterday of only 17 which was much more comfortable.  

 

Last night we had dinner for the first time in the Colonnade--it was the Keller ribs, corn bread, baked beans, and salad.  It was tasty.  The Colonnade is not our favorite place for dinner as it is noisy and a bit boisterous.  We prefer quiet and serene.  

 

The photos below are from Mt. Tengu---a Shinto shrine and some of the faces in a small museum there based on the legends from that place.  Also a photo taken from the Colonnade looking out on the deck with the city of Aomori beyond.  

 

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Here are a few more photographs from yesterday in Aomori.  They include a view from the Top of Mt. Tengu which includes our ship (The Sojourn) in the distance.  Also photos of the villa belonging to the herring magnate (and its gateway), our food from the banquet in the attached restaurant, and photos from the Nikka Whiskey Distillery (the red roofed buildings, inside a processing building, and a photo of the barrels the whiskey is stored in while it is aging).  Photography was not allowed inside the villa.  

 

Another side note from our voyage.  Someone here said that my husband could request sausage from the Colonnade for his breakfast in the MDR.  We have not been able to make that happen.  Also, the maitre'd is not intuiting that we want to sit in an area with the same wait staff each morning.  My husband will not allow me to tell her that we get better service on the side we prefer, so each morning I have to say something like "would you let us sit with our favorite waiter?" and she grudgingly allows it.  Since I drink iced tea for breakfast each morning and it takes a while for them to get it made, it makes sense to have the same waiter each day.  As we left today, we told him we would see him tomorrow, so perhaps they will have the tea made?  Stay tuned.  

 

Also, we ordered the crystalized ginger candy from room service.  We feel fine at the moment, but bad weather is ahead the captain says.   So thank you for that recommendation. 

 

 

Yes, we are having fun!  In another post, I'll do a comparison of Sojourn to Ovation/Encore.  

 

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Even though we were in Japan on this itinerary past the cherry blossom season, we were fortunate to see a few trees still in bloom.  

 

Also, we thoroughly enjoyed festival music singing/dancing/drumming in Aomori---including  the young children who are learning this traditional music.  

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SLSD, thank you so much for taking the trouble to write this blog, you write so well and your photos are excellent !

A tip on the ships internet, download a internet speed ap. (I use “Speedtest” ) and try it in different parts of the ship at different times. I have always found early morning fastest ( everyone else is asleep) and the bathroom faster than near the window.

My fastest every speed onboard was standing at the TK entry desk the other afternoon, maybe it was piggybacking off the (closed) laptop there ?

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I have a correction to make for Day Five.  We were in OTARU (not Aomori).  Aomori was the day before!

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Day Six:   We are having our first in a series of three days at sea on our way to the Kamchatka Peninsula.   We started out our morning with a peaceful breakfast in the MDR  As usual, I ordered fresh pineapple and watermelon along with a western omelette.  I find the omelettes so well prepared on Sojourn.  Of course I had my usual iced tea.  My husband favors a breakfast of plain yogurt and granola.  

 

Following breakfast, we had the third in a series of Art Classes taught by a charming woman named Arlene.  During the first class, we made bead bracelets.  For the second class, we made mono prints.  My husband showed some promise as a mono print maker and I may be going to the art supply shop when we get home.  Today, we made bead necklaces and this included learning how to tie a slip knot.  We haven't gone to every single art class.  We skipped the one this afternoon which was watercolor.

 

Mid morning we attended the cooking demonstration by Chef Lindsay.  He prepared fresh pasta with a seafood cream sauce.  See photos below.  We always enjoy the cooking demonstrations.  

 

We had lunch in the MDR and both of us chose to have the baby shrimp cocktail (with herbs) and fish and chips with mushy peas.  While we are not British and cannot judge authenticity, we found it quite yummy.  

 

This afternoon, we are choosing to relax at Seabourn Square, doing a bit of reading, catching up on email and posting here.  We also ran into our shipboard next-door neighbor and enjoyed an hour long chat with her.  She is traveling solo and having a very good time.  I do believe that most solo travelers are invited to hosted tables most evenings.  

 

The seas are getting rougher!  My husband and I are contemplating returning to our suite to take something to get ahead any possible seasickness--even though we feel fine at the moment. 

 

Tonight is our second reservation at the TK Grill.  As we made a reservation for four, we have invited friends to join us.  

 

 

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Day Seven:  The second in a series of three days at sea on our way to Eastern Russia.  Last night, we dined with friends in the TK Grill.  It was a lovely evening.  I began dinner with a Kir Royale, enjoyed the giant prawns (again), the Sole, several good side dishes and the lemon sorbet for dessert.  My husband had the lamb chops and pronounced them nicely done.  

 

We didn't make it to the Tim Rice Show (thinking we may have seen this version before) and went to bed early, know we were losing another hour.  

 

We were up bright and early for our usual breakfast in the MDR.  And yes!  This morning, my iced tea was already prepared and waiting for me!  Also, the maitre'd knew where we wanted to sit. 

 

We're spending our morning  reading and chatting with other passengers.  We have dinner planned with our shipboard next-door neighbor.  It should be a great day!  I'll report more later.  

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Lunch in the MDR today---my iced tea brought to our table right away.  One of our charming servers (from Bosnia) told me that he has only been on the ship for 5 days.  He was previously on Holland America and had been trying to get hired by Seabourn for two years.  He is doing an excellent job and is happy to be here.  My husband is feeling a bit queasy as he wasn't willing to take the advice to stay ahead of any seasickness.  He had only sorbet in the MDR for lunch.  I had a lovely Tuscan white bean/vegeable soup with a workmanlike chicken breast with steamed vegetables.  While my husband naps the afternoon away, I plan to take my reading materials and go about the ship.  It is inclement weather so no one is going outdoors.  The MDR had extended lunch hours today (12:30-2pm).  We (or at least I) play to take in some sort of entertainment in the Grand Salon at 6:30pm.  I'll report back later.  

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1 hour ago, SLSD said:

 My husband is feeling a bit queasy as he wasn't willing to take the advice to stay ahead of any seasickness.  He had only sorbet in the MDR for lunch.   While my husband naps the afternoon away, I plan to take my reading materials and go about the ship.   

How foolish of him not to take your advice.   Let's meet up on deck 11 at 4 PM and we'll practice our putting.

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