Edit Blog Post
Published: March 27th 2014
A warm welcome to the Palau Dive Resort
The Republic of Palau is one of the smallest countries in the world and boasts some of the best diving and snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean. There are roughly 28,000 citizens spread out over 250 islands. Only 391 residents live in the capitol city, Ngerulmud, due to its remote location. Palau is in a special relationship with the United States and its people have dual citizenship. We were surprised to see a U.S. Post Office here. Several years ago Palau accepted six prisoners from Guantanamo in exchange for economic assistance from America.
Tourism is the main source of income in this tiny republic and especially dive tourism. We went into the town of Koror and noticed many Japanese and Asian restaurants. Although English is the official language, most people speak a local patois.
We were able to use the facilities of the Palau Pacific Resort where we enjoyed some great snorkeling. Giant clams are everywhere and measure about a yard across and are covered with what looks like brilliant blue velvet moss. It was amazing to watch them clam up when we approached them. Palau has stingless jellyfish and has been declared a shark sanctuary. Although I’m sure they
US POST OFFICE
One of the odd USA amenities in an independent nation.
aren’t biteless sharks.
That evening we had an Asian themed dinner for our Cruise Specialists guests. Glenn, Thuy and I had met with the ship’s chef to develop a menu for this special dinner. Most of the guests dressed in Asian clothes and the restaurant did an outstanding job of serving up the platters of Asian delicacies family style. We gave out Chinese charms and bracelets and chopsticks to everyone. It was a lovely evening complete with sake toasts. Kampai!
On the ship you could feel the excitement building as we sailed into Filipino waters. Silversea made arrangements to welcome aboard hundreds of the crew’s family and friends when we reached Manila. It turned out that over 800 showed up to hug their husbands, wives, mothers, sisters and brothers and to see where they work and live. Lunch was provided to all the visitors in the crew mess and they got to tour the ship. We stayed around all morning so we could meet the families of some of our favorite waiters and bartenders. It is so touching and heartwarming to see all the love.
We took Suzanne to the Manila hotel where we had arranged a
SILVER WHISPER AT ANCHOR
In front of the Palau Resort.
private tour of the Douglas MacArthur suite. He used the penthouse suite of the hotel as his office until WWII. Madonna, a hotel hostess, showed us Doug’s digs which are quite impressive. After MacArthur was forced to flee the Philippines the Japanese occupied the hotel. Since then the Manila Hotel has housed the likes of Ernest Hemingway, James Michener, JFK, the Beatles and Michael Jackson.
As we cruised out of Manila two marching bands bid us farewell. Crew and passengers hugged the rails hoping for a last glimpse as we sailed away from the homeland of the hardworking people who staff the cruise ships around the world. The Filipinos are the heart and soul of the Silver Whisper and they represent their country well. To paraphrase General MacArthur: "We shall return!"
Tot: 2.249s; Tpl: 0.082s; cc: 13; qc: 42; dbt: 0.0659s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.3mb