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LIVE - Coral Princess - Circle the Pacific - 09-19-2018

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Looks like you are experiencing a couple of Typhoons. At least you didn't get the 40cm of snow that fell in Calgary.

Hope the weather gets better by the time you pick us up in Shanghai.

 

I hear Cruisers are reserving seats in the Theater.

 

Mr. Rabbit, munch, munch, is Cheryl making money by sewing for the Ships crew, or is that quilt finished.

Is she taking requests.

 

Ask her if she needs needles, thread or some quilt material. I can bring a bit out of my stash. If, so what colour and design does she need or like.

Inquiring minds want to know or just plain snoops!

Heather

I have not heard her saying she needs anything yet. Doing a repair, she had to scramble a bit. Found some regular needles in a travel kit we got from the hotel in Sydney 9 years ago. She has had 1 request, but not from the crew yet. She has started her second project.

Wine supply is holding out.

When they crank up the ships speed at night it has been a bit rough the the DW has had no problems. Theater seating for the late show has been ok.

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Could someone tell me if the balconies have doors that open into each others balconies. I'm interested in Baja deck aft rooms 637 and 639. Thank you

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Could someone tell me if the balconies have doors that open into each others balconies. I'm interested in Baja deck aft rooms 637 and 639. Thank you

Our balcony has a connecting door on both sides.

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I'm so happy to come across this Live report. I can't wait to read as you start porting in Asia. Thanks for taking the time!

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The Hotel sewing kit is one of the least used items we take but thankful when we needed it.

 

Glad to hear the wine holding out. Hopefully you haven't needed to replenish your "cellar" with a bottle or two on the way. With the weather you have experienced, having a glass and pleasant conversation is good way to spend an evening.

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10-06-2018 – At Sea To Yokohama

 

Finally a reasonable night’s sleep with no time change. Smooth water, no wind, warming breezes and some pretty good tunes to dance to. Nice complete night.

 

Just a reminder that the Shanghai Meet and Greet has moved to the Explorer’s Lounge.

 

Yokohama immigration will most likely be a zoo. Since this is our first port into Japan we have to have a face to face and ‘biometric’ examination. Two forms to fill out, one per person (mostly already filled out by the ship) and one per family (customs declaration). At 0700 they will start a ‘tender ticket’ type numbering system for the whole ship. First come, first served. As each group of numbers are called, we proceed off the ship, go through immigration and stay off the ship until they ZERO the ship. That’s not an issue since we are heading to Sankien and then Chinatown with CL and Meei (Steiner2010). But if history is any guide, there are some that will not understand the zero the ship requirement. The good news is that Osanbashi is a very nice cruise terminal to be stuck in. Not like Long Beach or Seward.

 

But I suspect it will go better than if we are in the US. The Japanese are very efficient in their manning and usually conduct these inspections with a lot of personnel and Osanbashi is a major cruise terminal. There will be the initial chaos, but that should smooth out quickly.

 

People on Princess tours will meet as stated in their tickets and will most likely get priority in immigration, or a different set of lines.

 

Not much else going on. I will update the blog when we get back from Yokohama…

 

Later!

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Japanese people are very helpful but most are afraid to try English so you wont find many who speak it. However most have taken English in school just like us for French or Spanish. If you print in English what you want to find or to eat or to buy on a piece of paper they can probably figure out what you want and will find a way to help. This worked well for me many times on all of the 4 main islands. Do not offer money as that is insulting to them. Another thing to be aware of is when they give the hand motions that to us means shoo or go away, in Japan that means come here.

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Do the televisions have connections that allow you to plug in an external device to watch your own downloaded entertainment?

 

thanks,

Becky

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Do the televisions have connections that allow you to plug in an external device to watch your own downloaded entertainment?

 

thanks,

Becky

 

We are currently on the Coral. The tv's in mini-suites and maybe in other cabins have composite (RCA), component (RGB), a video and 2 HDMI ports plus 1 VGA port. The provided remote control will allow you to switch between ports.

 

Hope this answers your question.

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So Charles will we have to do this also when we stop at Okinawa?

 

From the paperwork we just filled out, yes. The landing card is only good for 3 days in Japan. plus we go to China before we get to Okinawa.

 

But, on the other hand who knows! Like the US, immigration practices vary dramatically from port to port depending on whose in charge...

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We are currently on the Coral. The tv's in mini-suites and maybe in other cabins have composite (RCA), component (RGB), a video and 2 HDMI ports plus 1 VGA port. The provided remote control will allow you to switch between ports.

 

Hope this answers your question.

 

Thanks, very helpful! We will be joining you in Shanghai!

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10-08-2018 – Anchored in Tokyo Bay – Low Fuel Light!

 

Someone forgot to fill up the tank yesterday so we are anchored on Tokyo Bay awaiting a gas station to show up. Probably jeopardizes our stop in Osaka. Not going to be a fun time in the ship today!

 

But first the good news. I hurt. Every muscle and joint hurts. My ankle is killing me. I have a blister that has formed on the blister from San Pedro. Sleep was a bit fitful last night. But this morning I feel great. Yesterday, in spite of all the troubles (and there were many), was a great day in China town. We walked about 10 miles, carrying one of my infamous backpacks, had some great food, saw some awesome sights and a lot of people. It was hot, really hot, with a beating sun. Exhausting, but very, very satisfying.

 

We did Choyo-Mon for lunch with CL and Meei (Steiner2010). Good thing he can read Chinese/Japanese. We had a fantastic Moo Goo Gai Pan and a variety of Dim Sum. It was fantastic. No English spoken at all, but it was really fun getting our points across.

 

For dinner Judy and I wandered back to China Town to Keikyu. OMG, this was really, really good. Very little English spoken, but we managed to order a pork in black vinegar, a fresh marinated cucumber dish and a stir fried rice. Topped off with a Kirin beer and it was fantastic. Once again language was not a real barrier as pointing to a picture and smiling go a really long way.

 

Yama****a park was full of people since it was Sunday, and they had a food festival going on. Almost joined in, but it was so hot Judy was starting to fade so we went back to Osanbashi to cool off for a while.

 

BTW – There was a special taxi service to Sankein Gardens from the front door of Osanbashi for 1500 per person.

 

Chinatown was packed. There was enough “room” for another couple of people, but not much. That’s the one downside to the Tokyo area. There are a lot of people. A lot. And they were out in full force in Chinatown yesterday. Not as crowded as the Meji shrine in Tokyo last April – you could actually move in the crowd. Even after dark, the crowds were all over the place.

 

Had a lot fun with CL and Meei who could read Chinese. As we went down the streets, they would translate various signs, menus and advertisements. Even found a Taiwanese roasted chestnut vendor that CL had a conversation with. Saw a Taoist Temple and CL gave us a quick history lesson in buddhist and Taoist religions. The temple was one of the most brightly colored we’ve ever seen with all kinds of dragons and phoenixes and statuary of all sizes and colors. CL and I, being engineers, were also fascinated by the power and telco wiring on the poles along the streets. Every kind of wire, junction box, isolator, connection in a somewhat scary hodgepodge of spaghetti wiring was present. Pretty cool to photograph.

 

The ferris wheel in Minato Mirai puts on a great light show at night with lights on the spokes. A digital clock on the hub tells you the time. The skyline at night was gorgeous. Buildings with all different colors of lights reflecting off the water and the small boats all lit up going back and forth across the harbor.

 

So at this point we need to talk about the negatives. From the prior paragraphs you would think all was right with the world, but those of you familiar with my Live Froms know that I take the lemons life throws, make lemonade, add vodka and throw a party. So while some things were really bad yesterday, and will get really bad in the next couple of days, I am busy making a whole bunch of lemonade!

 

Immigration was a nightmare. Docked at 0700. Last persons off the ship at 1500. Not really Princess’s fault. Computer failure and lack of immigration agents screwed up everyone. They used a tender numbering system for the around 1000 people not on ship’s tours. We were 71 to 74 and we got off the ship at 1000. I just talked to a person around the 170’s and they got off at 1115. So the above 500’s didn’t probably get off until around or after 1200. Everyone was told that the ship had to be zeroed. That meant all passengers off. Some passengers apparently hid, according to one security officer, on the ship and had to be escorted off. People waiting to get back on had to wait until 1500 to be let back aboard because of this. If this is true, this is being extremely inconsiderate. Still, not Princess’s fault.

 

I really felt bad for those on private tours. Pam got off almost immediately and then spent 2 hours waiting for other people in her tour group. Others had similar problems with some members having numbers in the high 2 or 3 hundred. I’d like to say that I anticipated this issue, but can’t really. I expected the typical Japanese efficiency. Not happening yesterday!

 

However, we are still anchored in Tokyo Bay. Awaiting fuel. Apparently the fuel barge did not show up yesterday and the Diamond Princess is due this morning into Osanbashi. So we are sitting here at anchor about 3 miles off shore awaiting fuel. We are supposed to be headed to Osaka for tomorrow’s docking. That is most likely not happening on schedule either. There is going to be a lot of very upset people today.

 

A couple of important lessons learned. Prior to this cruise I purchased a Teppy (International MyFi hotspot) with data day passes (1GB high speed, the rest at 2G) for $9 per day. Being at sea for 8 days and having 1 Ipad, 3 iphones and a Windows 10 PC, basically resulted in burning through 1GB in about 20 minutes as we entered the Yokohama harbor. As a plan b, T-mobile has introduced 512MB LTE speed data passes for international travel at $5 per pass, maximum of 2 passes in a 24 hour period. This didn’t work for me at all. The ordering website went down due to traffic and I never saw anything like high speed data all day. The normal T-mobile plus package includes unlimited 2G data and that was all I saw.

 

We ended up updating everything in the Osanbashi main hall on their free wifi in 30 minute bundles, signed up to good ole joe smith at aol dot com! It was funny. Basic wifi was really slow until 1515 when everyone headed back into the ship and then we were able to update almost everything in 1 hour.

 

So I am going to need a plan c for the World cruise. Back to google!

 

Later!

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Yikes! How does one spend 60 days on a cruise ship? Even if I was retired, and I’m not, I don’t think I could be away from my life that long. The longest vacay we have done is 2 weeks and that seems to be the amount of time that I’m really longing for my own bed and to get back to my routine.

 

I’m sure it’s a super fun time and an amazing experience, but even the thought of 60 days away makes me anxious! LOL

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Well that sounds pretty horrendous as far as immigration practices go. I'm almost hoping they cancel our Okinawa port stop. We have a tour booked with Judith Fleming but I don't know how we will get off the ship in time to enjoy it.

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Well that sounds pretty horrendous as far as immigration practices go. I'm almost hoping they cancel our Okinawa port stop. We have a tour booked with Judith Fleming but I don't know how we will get off the ship in time to enjoy it.

 

We guess that only the approximately 200 passengers boarding in Shanghai will need to go through the complete immigration process since the visa stamp they put in our passports in Tokyo says they are good for 90 days.

 

The Google app Translate worked very well on our T-Mobile android phones. It worked with text, camera, and voice.

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Thanks as always for your Live From Threads! I have enjoyed them for years, and we want to do this cruise someday so it's especially interesting to read this one. Sounds fortunate we do not tend to seasickness!

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Following! We were on the Coral for 4 weeks this summer. Michelle (Captain’s Circle host) tried to talk us into this cruise, but we passed. So now I’m going to lurk and enjoy your commentary. We’ll be on the Royal for Oct 26-Nov 9 repo from Quebec City to FLL. Thanks!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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We’ll be on the Royal for Oct 26-Nov 9 repo from Quebec City to FLL. Thanks!

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

I was on the Royal last December and it still has the old style beds. The new style beds do not get shipped on the Royal until 2019.

 

I got the pancake mattress, the worst the staff has ever seen, and suffered with pain. The staff tried in vain to get replacements from all the old mattress destined for the dump to find one for me to sleep on. Nothing worked. I was at the pursers desk every morning in tears and it ruined our vacation. My husband's replacement mattress was a degree better and he handles pain more than I do.

 

Finally the Jon the Head of Housekeeping and Christine from the Pursers Desk found a room to move us with the new beds: a Handicap Club Class mini-suite. I didn't like the cabin layout but I got a bed to sleep in. We were treated to CC dining to help ease the bad experience.

 

At home with TA and Princess we were each given $200 off our next cruise for sympathy.

 

We hope you have a mini-suite with the new beds or a cabin with a decent mattress to sleep.

 

Heather & Barry

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Charles, Thanks for the Japanese Immigration Spoiler alert! We are on a ship tour for Okinawa because we couldn't find an English guide and tour company. We booked it just before they closed the Cruise Personalizer site. How many Snickers Bars do you need for Japanese immigration days?

 

Weather problems and immigration have always been issues when cruising to other countries .

 

We hope you get some good weather and better footwear. "How come the 350 lb backpack doesn't have footwear or replacement bionic feet? How is Judith's shopping addiction adding to the load?. LOL

 

Can you confirm how many of us are joining the ship in Shanghai. Quartzsize Cruiser is saying 200+ but I think that is low.

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Yikes! How does one spend 60 days on a cruise ship? Even if I was retired, and I’m not, I don’t think I could be away from my life that long. The longest vacay we have done is 2 weeks and that seems to be the amount of time that I’m really longing for my own bed and to get back to my routine.

 

I’m sure it’s a super fun time and an amazing experience, but even the thought of 60 days away makes me anxious! LOL

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

It is a lot of sea days,but you have to remember many people like that and that is why they pick a long cruise,

Remember that is why there is the saying black and white. 28 is my longest could do a few more if it is interesting.

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There are around 300 getting off in Shanghai and 300 getting on, but they still have empty cabins as a few of our group have been moved.

 

We spent the day anchored in Yokohama awaiting fuel. Osaka was cancelled and we are now tied to the dock in Yokohama for a refueling day ashore. We leave for Hiroshima at 1800 tonight. Compensation is TBD at this point, but a lot of people are upset at missing Osaka and Kyoto. Can't really blame them. Princess dropped the ball on the refueling barge.

 

Internet was really bad in the harbor yesterday as everyone was scrambling to book additional tours and cancel Osaka.

 

Immigration in Okinawa may be smoother because of the aforementioned 90 day VISA that most of us have. But I'm not assuming anything at this point. In fact I'm really dreading Guam...

 

Now off to other websites to see what Plan C will be today.

 

Have to run!

 

Later!

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I was on the Royal last December and it still has the old style beds. The new style beds do not get shipped on the Royal until 2019.

 

Heather & Barry

Thankfully that date has been moved up to the early December 2018 shipyard maintenance.

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