March 11, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 66

Day 66 Sihanoukville, Cambodia. This is Cambodia's only deep water port. It is not very busy, there was only one freighter that I could see this morning. Temperatures are expected to rise to the low 90's, skies are partly cloudy. The tour buses drive out on the pier right next to the ship. There is nothing at the port for tourists, the town center is about a 25 minute shuttle bus ride away. There is no immigration or customs checkpoint to deal with.

This morning I witnessed the worst passenger behavior I seen so far. Passengers taking tours are assembled in the main theater, and are called by tour name where bus number stickers are given out as you exit the theater. Several people were knocked to the floor behind me by a couple pushing and shoving.

Within a few minutes I settle into a bus with the most legroom I have seen on a tour bus. A few minutes later a couple gets on and bitches at everyone because they don't like the availability of empty seats. They expect someone else to give up a window seat so they can sit together. Nobody feels sorry for them and their profanity and name calling just hardens the resistance. They finally settle into the seats reserved for the handicapped at the front of the bus. Maybe mental issues qualify.

After about an hour, the same couple start complaining to the HAL escort that this was not the tour they had signed up for. I quote; "We would never sign up for a tour of a fishing village and a stop at the local market." After some verification of tickets I think it was confirmed they presented themselves for the wrong tour when they left the theater. After the theater, HAL employees and the tour operators just look for the bus number sticker.

After a few phone calls, two scooter taxis arrive to take them to catch up with the correct bus. As we drove away they were complaining about that, and were refusing the transportation arranged for them. I hope they don't suffer heart attacks before the end of the day, they are working on it.

People that have never seen otherwise often ask "Will the ship actually leave passengers behind that don't get back to the ship on time?" The simple answer is: yes. Several days ago we left a couple in Da Nang that had to find their own transportation to catch up with us in Phu My.

Cambodia is another very poor country, beggars everywhere. When the bus stops, it is surrounded by peddlers hawking everything. The fishing village was interesting to see. The fishing fleet goes out about 5 in the afternoon, returning about 5 in the morning.

At the tourist center which is adjacent to the ever present "market" police stand at the door to the bus to help protect the passengers from the peddlers. I initially planned to take the shuttle back into town this afternoon, but changed my mind after our tour stopped at the market for 30 minutes. I am sure there are some good bargains somewhere in the market, but I'm not a shopper in need of anything.

Last night when I logged onto the internet through the ships satellite internet connection I was surprised to see that I was connected to Google Hong Kong instead of the US Google I have been connecting to for the last two months. It works, but I wonder if the Chinese government is listening.

With free time this afternoon, after I shower, I do laundry. I'll pass on lunch as I had a good breakfast this morning in anticipation of being off the ship the most of day. Yes, the second attempt at the water system repairs appear to be successful. Rusty water for a few minutes, but there is now hot water in my cabin.

Sailaway is after sunset, there is not much to see, but I attend after dinner. The entertainer tonight is Annie Gong, an accordionist originally from China, but now living in New Zealand. Again a show I enjoyed but would never purchase a ticket to and drive 30 miles.

Tomorrow is a sea day as we head South to Singapore, our next port of call. We also turn our clocks ahead one hour tonight.