Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 57 - Naha (Okinawa), Japan

The seas were really rough last night after leaving Taiwan.  Ray got seasick pretty quickly so I went to dinner by myself.  I would have sat with other people, but there were so few people in the restaurant that they just put me at a table by myself.   I brought a basket of bread back for Ray to get something in his stomach.

It was tough sleeping with the rocking, rolling, and occasional shudder of the ship. By morning it calmed down a little and we managed a few hours sleep.  Ray was still sick so I had breakfast by myself too.  It was too late to go to the restaurant downstairs so I went up to the buffet.  All the waiters we know kept asking me about Ray.  The crew here is so nice.

Naha, Japan

The ship didn't get to Naha until 1pm. We had a tour scheduled for 2:15, "Okinawa Preferral Museum & Shopping," but decided to skip it.  The tour choices here didn't really interest us and we still have 2 more interesting ports in Japan later in the cruise.   Ray needed time to settle his stomach and I needed some sleep more than a military museum and shopping.

We still had to go through Japanese immigration.  They called passengers by tour so people could get to their tour buses on time.  After all the tours they called everyone else.  I think we may have been the only people left on the ship, at least the only ones not still in our room.  We walked around the ship and saw no one but crew.

Voyager Lobby
Immigration was more involved than prior ports.  We picked up our shore passport form (already filled out for us) from the crew first, then got in line.  Japanese agents took our temperature, then sent us to one of the agents at a table in the front of the theater.  There we handed in immigration and import forms (saying we weren't bringing anything into the country that isn't allowed) and they fingerprinted our index fingers, stamped the shore pass and sent us on our way. The shore pass was only needed for going off the ship and had to be handed in before we left port, so we just handed them in again before dinner.

This is the first time I walked around the ship with my good camera, so I finally got some photos of things I like on the ship.  There are 2 photos I'd like to share.  First, in the center of the main lobby, at the foot of the stairs, there is a lovely sculpture of a sailing ship.  I took this photo from the floor above.

Chocolate Voyage Map
In the lobby on the floor below the main lobby, just outside the restaurant, the chiefs have created a chocolate map, showing where this ship has traveled on the current around the world tour.  They started in Rome and I believe the world tour finishes either there or in London. There are a few passengers on board for the entire voyage.  Each time we get to another segment of the cruise, the chiefs add a few more things to the map that represent the areas we will be visiting.  This last photo is a close-up of the current additions. 

There were children performing the Lion dance with accompanying drums on the pier as we left port.  We were at dinner so we couldn't get a photo of them.   Our next day of sailing promises to be smoother.

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