I kept waking up during the night; & basically took short cat naps from 4:30 until I got up at 6:30. I looked outside; & saw that it had been raining. The only persons visible were the security guys walking deck 7. I laid in bed pouring over the new shore excursion books. I studied the tour books at home for months before I made up my mind; & prebooked online. Here I don’t have the luxury of making comparison sheets, researching attractions online & matching what Crystal offers with what interests me. The next segment from Hong Kong to Osaka is the harder of the two. It’s another very port intensive itinerary; & there are lots of tours to choose from.Also on segment 4 is a 3 day/2 night overland program that is included in our cruise fare. The ship will be docked at the port of Tianjin, China which is approximately 3 hours from Beijing. Guests have a choice of packing a suitcase & staying 2 nights in a Beijing hotel; or they are free to stay onboard the Serenity. There will be meal service; but not much else. I have heard that there are about 45 passengers who are choosing to stay with the ship.
Between you & me, the 3 days of solitude; having the ship all to ‘myself’, sounds like heaven. I could catch up on reading & blogging & probably fully edit the over 3,000 photos I’ve taken so far. And when would an opportunity like that ever come up again? NEVER!
Even though I don’t want to ride around on a bus for 3 straight days, I’ll go. I know I’d kick myself when everyone else comes back raving about the Forbidden City, the Great Wall & the Temple of Heaven. When in Rome…..
So, back to today…..I went up to the Bistro at 10; & set up my computer intending to work on photos there instead of in my cabin. I took the first ‘water pill’; & for the next 4 hours I was race-walking back & forth to the bathroom. I’m very glad I wasn’t on a 12 hour bus tour in Phnom Penh. While I was away on one of those ‘happy stops’, Adrian brought over the last 2 Portuguese tarts before they shut down the breakfast buffet. I ended up wrapping them in a napkin & bringing them ‘home’ to put in the fridge for the next day. I didn’t have the heart to give them back to him.
I moved my ‘office’ up to the Lido to have lunch & continue working later. I had mustard & tarragon coated roast beef with creamy peppercorn sauce; grilled rock cod with panang curry sauce & roasted peanuts; jumbo prawns; ham, fontina cheese & sun dried tomato sandwich; & white cabbage salad with tomato & onion (that stuff is to die for).
About 4:30 I went down to the photo gallery to get passport photos taken. I then took them to the Concierge to put with my Chinese visa application. When the doctor’s office opened at 5, I went down there to pick up the prescriptions. I went out on the aft deck because the late afternoon sun was shining so brightly on the shoreline. I spotted a park area near the jetty where there were many families picnicking & watching the boat traffic. Since I chose not to tour today; & it was a slow news day, I thought I'd throw in a few photos of the locals at play & the area around Sihanoukville Harbor.
I went back ‘home’, put my feet up & took a nap. I worked on photos until Liz brought my dinner at 8:30. I started with an Asian vegetable salad with tofu & sesame dressing (so-so). My entrée was sautéed lemon filet of sole on king crab risotto, with asparagus & brussel sprouts. The risotto was excellent.
After dinner I was able to swap emails with my T.A., Luggage Concierge & my financial advisor (since it was just the start of their business day). By 11, there was a nice ‘shimmy’ compliments of the ship’s engines. I was wiped out; & ready to be rocked to sleep.