March 10, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 65

Day 65 – At Sea. We continue on our way to Cambodia. The seas are absolutely flat, the only waves are our wake which can be seen for several miles. We are currently in the South China Sea and will be entering the Gulf of Thailand this afternoon. Temperature is in the low 80's and the skies are slightly cloudy.

With no alarm, no shore excursion, and nothing I had to do, I sleep for almost 12 hours. I must have needed it. I miss Barbara's talk on Singapore in the morning, but will be able to watch it later on TV. There are no lectures this afternoon as the singers and dancers are rehearsing for their first performance this evening. I will take a walk on the outside deck.

Henk, the Hotel Director left us a message last night that they would be doing maintenance on the water system between midnight and 6 AM. At times there may be no water, and is always the case when a water system is shut down, there may be discoloration (rust) in the water when it is first turned back on. I fill my water bottles with clean water just in case.

All that was predicted took place as planned, but what wasn't planned is that when I went to shower this morning the hot water was at best 90 degrees. By mid afternoon there still is no hot water and I report the problem to the front desk. I was given the impression that mine was the first report of the problem.

While I'm in the office area I stop at the shore excursion desk to change one of my tours to one with less walking and shopping, and no lunch. On the way back to the cabin half an hour later I pass a staff member on his phone telling someone that he has confirmed a cabin down the hall from me does not have hot water. Time will tell if this is just another botched "maintenance" job, a cost reduction step, or a temporary situation.

As we round the southern tip of Vietnam we pass a large fleet of small fishing vessels. I have no way of telling if they are working together or if 35 fishermen independently determined the same location was a good fishing spot.

At 3:30 we pass a cruise ship several miles off to starboard. With my naked eye I think it is a princess ship by it's shape. Borrowing a pair of binoculars from a fellow passenger on deck I am sure it is a Princess ship because I can make out the logo on the stacks. Then, overhearing our discussion about which ship she was a gentleman joined the conversation with his Nikon camera. The optical zoom was so good he could fill the entire frame with just the ship, and by zooming in we not only could clearly read the name, Sapphire Princess, but we could see people on the upper deck. My old canon point and shoot doesn't look so good anymore, but it still easily fits in my pocket.

I have mentioned in several posts about the amount of trash in the ocean. It continues here, and probably is worse. In addition to the numerous small pieces of floating debris there are 55 gallon steel drums, logs, and many larger plastic items such as coolers, plastic drums, fishing net floats and boat fenders. If there were any floating parts from the missing airliner of two years ago, they would be very difficult to spot amongst all the other debris. I would think the logs and steel drums are large enough to damage even our large propellers.

There were not a lot of passengers that joined the cruise in Hong Kong, but I think the number of children under 12 more than doubled. As I was walking thru the Lido to get to the aft deck they were all lined up with one of the staff leaders to get ice cream. We also will be loosing a number of passengers in Singapore. More than a few are staying in Singapore a few days and then boarding another HAL ship to eventually wind up in Vancouver in a couple of months.

The new singers and dancers do a good job. Perform this show twice tonight, and then start rehearsing for the next show. At least they don't have to contend with scenery. There is no scenery, just leds in the back curtain.

When I return to my room, I still have no hot water, but I have another notice from Henk that they will be shutting the water off again tonight. The few other passengers I spoke with aren't experiencing the hot water problem, just my lucky section of deck 2.

Tomorrow we dock at 6:00 AM and my tour leaves at 8:15. Another alarm clock morning, but not too ridiculously early.