March 02, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 57

Day 57 Hong Kong. The seas did settle down a little around midnight, and the captain increased our speed to just under 18 knots, less than three quarters of full speed. A speed which caused a resonant vibration in my cabin. Needless to say, despite my best efforts, sleep was sparse. Incidentally, my cabin is fairly close to the bow, about as far away from the propellers as I could get.

The increased speed allowed us to arrive on time in Hong Kong this morning. The air is very hazy, probably pollution more than anything else. When I go out on deck to watch our arrival the temperature is a cool 57 degrees. The high for the day will only be about 65. Skies are partly cloudy.

I take a 9 hour tour "The Best of Hong Kong". Traffic is very manageable. A better title for this tour would have been "The Best Shopping in Hong Kong." We visit the flower market, bird market, jade market, and the stanley street shopping area. One shopping stop worthy of mention was "Hong Kong Jewelery" in the area that previously housed factories before most manufacturing was moved to the China mainland.

After we heard a sales pitch in a very small room, we were led into the sales room. Once inside, the door was locked. All the walls in the 30 x 50 foot room were mirrored floor to ceiling, and any exit was not obvious. I understand the security, they showed jewelery pieces selling for over $100,000 USD. But being in a foreign country, and being led into an unknown room with no apparent way out made many of the passengers quite uncomfortable. The exit turned out to be a small mirrored panel that could only be opened by an employee pushing a hidden button. I don't think they sold anything.

We also took the tram to the top of Victoria Park where we had a delicious lunch, and took pictures of the harbor and city. We encountered a group of school children that wanted to ask the "foreigners" questions, part of their English language education. Lots of fun.

A 30 minute ride on a sampan among the many fishing boats and private yachts anchored in the harbor, and past the world famous "Jumbo Floating Restaurant" concluded our tour activities.

Our tour guide, Carol, did a good job. A native of Hong Kong, she attended college in Texas earning a degree in nursing. She returned to Hong Kong as had been a tour guide for many years. Her 3 children are now attending college in the US.

When I arrived on the ship at about 7:30, it was nearly empty. I grab a quick dinner in the Lido and then head to deck 9 to watch a laser light show across the harbor on a number of the skyscrapers. The majority of passengers are unimpressed. If you have ever been to Disney, the laser shows there are much better.

There is no show tonight, only a movie. We will be in Hong Kong for two more days, I have a tour each day.