Published: March 17th 2008March 17th 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Today is another sea day so it is filled with activities like eating, going to the fitness center, eating again, playing BINGO, and then eating again. You might have to roll everyone off the ship in Japan - although many are staying on until Hong Kong, and came on 14 days before us by touring Australia and the south island of New Zealand. I can handle 3 weeks on board by not sure right now I want to do a 53 day voyage. Maybe someday, but not now. The show tonight was a Statendam Cast show, On Track - again one we had seen before, but they still do a pretty good show. Well tomorrow we are on land - and the ship will be restocking with vegetables and fruit - Yeah! They have been running out of things in the last few days and we haven’t seen lettuce in a while. They even went out and bought some stuff on the economy in Yap so the chefs could have some onions to cook with and some other fruit - like papaya and mango.
Monday, March 17, 2008
We are in Guam today, the largest island in Micronesia, the southern most of the Mariana Islands. It was created from the peaks of two ancient volcanoes that sank into the sea and fused together millions of years ago. Guam is an island territory of the United States located 900 miles north of the equator in the Western Pacific. As part of the US, we have to go through all the US immigration and customs. Because we, along with half the ship, had a tour today we had to be downstairs between 6 and 6:30am to collect our passport and then go through the line for immigration and customs. Of course the Customs folks didn’t get onboard until 6:30am and the immigration people at 7:00am. There were some hot people in the theater - in fact they ran out of room in the theater and the line was pretty long after that. People that arrived at 6:15 still had to wait an hour and a half. Dennis and I ended up as the first and second people to go thru the line because I cannot take my wheelchair down the steps in the theater so we bypassed some folks and ended up in front - but we were down there early you can be sure.
Our tour was okay - there could have been a lot to see, but our tour guide was having problems with his English and so he forgot to tell us anything until we returned to the bus - early because we didn’t know what we were seeing. Other tours left earlier than ours and got back later than ours - all of us on a 4-hour tour. Ours lasted 3 hours on the dot and that was with going to an extra place. It was interesting to see some of the places where the Japanese and American militaries had their strongholds on one another. Also to learn about the time the Spanish were in control. It wasn’t that our guide Elliot didn’t know, he just does the tour in Japanese more often and he cannot translate it to English very well. He also was born in the Philippines and so speaks one of the dialects from there, as well. Not sure which dialect he speaks from there - he didn’t say.
We returned to a very quiet ship as many passengers had taken the shuttle bus into town to the shopping mall - not sure why they needed to go to the mall when they come to Guam. Some then went on walking tours around the town from there, others rented cars or taxis for tours, didn’t have to pay for them to come all the way out to the pier. In the evening on the ship a group of young people (probably in their teens) came and performed some dances for us. It was a beautiful show - they did local traditional dances, dances from the Spanish influence in the area, and some that crossed between their local traditional dances and more modern day dances. It was a wonderful show. After that they showed the movie “Letters from Iwo Jima.”
Tomorrow we are in Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.