Last nights entertainer was Pingxin Xu playing a hammer Dulcimer. I must admit I never heard of such an instrument before. Essentially it is about 3 foot wide with about 150 strings that are played by striking them with a very narrow hammer, thus its name. High notes to low notes are arranged just the opposite of a piano.
This show falls into the same category as many of the entertainers on board. Yes it was very enjoyable, but would I spend $50 for a ticket and drive 30 miles to go to the same performance locally? Probably not.
It probably was inevitable that it would happen sooner or later, but I have been stricken with the feared noro virus or something similar. I am restricted to a liquid diet, and confined to my cabin for at least a day. No, liquid diet does not mean beer and gin. I am not sure if this is the result of my shore excursion in Indonesia, or came from another source.
The ship treats any illness very seriously. To help them spot any common sources I was asked to complete a detailed questionnaire about what and where I ate for the four previous days, a task I could not complete in the detail asked. In case what I have is contagious, I am isolated to my room until released by the medical team. A special team has been to my cabin to sanitize it from top to bottom, and to do the chores my room stewards normally take care of. Free laundry is available if needed. If I am unable to take any tour excursions, I will be given a full refund. Most surprisingly HAL will issue a future cruise credit for each day in confinement. All steps to encourage reporting any illness and to encourage compliance with procedures to prevent any illness from spreading.
Looking at the good side of this, tonight was another formal night, and the only show is a brief second performance by two previous entertainers. Missing a formal night doesn't bother me in the least. Room service has been prompt, food has arrived hot or cold as appropriate, and someone always calls about ½ hour after delivery to verify everything is OK.
While on the subject of illness, I can only say with confidence that some passengers have passed, I have no idea how many. There have been other passengers that were transferred to shore facilities with serious but not life threatening conditions, and others that went to shore facilities for treatments or diagnostic procedures that then rejoined the ship.
There are about 200 passengers getting off the ship in Hong Kong, no word yet on how many are boarding. A number of passengers are also leaving the ship for several days to take side trips to the Great Wall, Beijing, Xi'an and the Terra Cotta Warriors or other destinations.