25th November 2018
This is our last day in Hong Kong before we set sail this evening. We've planned a walk along "The Dragon's Back" so have come armed with typed instructions of all the MTR and bus stops we need to get there and back. So we're up at 7.30am and eat breakfast in the Oceanview Cafe before catching the complimentary shuttle to the Hollywood Plaza Mall. Unfortunately the morning is dull and drizzly not ideal for a walk with spectacular views. Regardless we get on the MTR and due to some very similar station names manage to get off two stops after the one we needed. We only realise this when we try to find the bus terminus and end up in some back water car park with a small bus stop. Luckily a kind stranger comes to our aid and with his impeccable english tells us about our mistake with the stations. So back on the MTR and we get off at the correct station Shau Kei Wan. From here it is easy to navigate to the bus terminus and find the number 9 bus we need to take us towards Shek O. There are long queues of people waiting for the bus - obviously as it's a Sunday people are planning on making the most of it in spite of the weather. Not to worry though as no sooner has one number 9 bus left the station another comes along and we are quickly on our way.
We disembark at the given point and start the ascent up the stony path onto the main route of the walk which stretches out in front of us just like a Dragon's back.
There are beautiful views on both sides down to beaches and a golf course but the rain becomes heavier and the going gets really rather slippery. Luckily we have on our walking shoes so manage not to fall over but we decide to cut the walk short as it is slow going due to the muddy conditions. Like drowned rats we reach the bus stop just as the right bus is pulling in so we board and take the journey back to the MTR station and then to the Mall.
[Kev - Tam in full 'drowned rat' mode. I know she'll appreciate me putting this particular photo on the webpage.]
We'd read that we needed some visas for Vietnam so paid to get some photos done for 60 HKD to save paying the inflated fee the ship was going to charge for the photos ($13) - but more on this later.
Back on board we hand in the visa for our overnight Vietnam stay in Halong Bay the next day and these cost $28. We enjoyed a salad in the Oceanview cafe for lunch before relaxing in the cabin and getting ready to go out early as muster drill is at 7.45pm in Rendevous Lounge (for our cabin).
[Kev - We arrive in
the Rendezvous Lounge early for the 7.45pm muster drill at 7.00pm
as we know it will get very busy and we decide to have a drink
and get a seat so its a bit more relaxed. We have a
cocktail and then decide a glass of Chardonnay would be nice so
we can sit happily watching the muster drill. The servers are a
bit busy and the bar has a few people around it, so I tell Tam
that Im going to nip up the stairs to get the wine from
Cellar Masters. The bar there is quiet, so I am served quickly
and return with two glasses of wine to the Rendezvous Lounge
or at least thats the idea.
The staff are getting ready for the drill and there are crew members stationed at the door to the lounge to tick you off the list and make sure you know where to go. A young Eastern European lady stops me as I enter the lounge and begins one of the strangest discussions Ive ever had.
drinking during muster drill she tells me.
But my wife is in there sitting at a table with a drink
No alcohol she repeats.
So what am I supposed to do with these two glasses of wine?
You must drink
Now I know I like a drink or two, but slamming two glasses of wine is asking a bit much even for me.
there are loads of people sat at the tables drinking I tell
No alcohol. Is water
If thats the case, that ladys water is red I inform her.
No. Is water.
this time its gone from annoying to farcical. Theres
no way shes letting me in so I have no option but to leave
the wine on a table outside the lounge and go and join Tam where
all the people on the tables around us are happily enjoying their
drinks. I cant even be angry about it as its just so
ridiculous all you can do is laugh.
I understand that there are probably rules about allowing people to walk around with alcohol during the drill, but a little common sense should be applied sometimes.
Heres an idea Celebrity if you dont want people to drink during the muster drill, dont hold it in a bar and dont serve people alcohol right up until the time of the drill.
Of course, when the drill is over we leave the lounge to find the drinks gone. Its no big deal as we are on the drinks package, but if Id been paying for the wine you can bet Id have been visiting Guest Services with a complaint. Still, it gives us something to laugh about for the rest of the night.
Whats that youre drinking?
During the course of the afternoon we'd heard from Tony and Lorna who were doing the overnight in Halong Bay tomorrow with us. They had been told UK citizens didn't need a visa for it and we explained that we'd asked twice at guest services and been told we did. Anyway we went back and asked someone who double checked and they said no we didn't so they refunded the fee we'd paid - wish we'd known for sure as we wouldn't have dashed round the Mall trying to find the photo booths.
So after the drill we buy two more glasses of wine and head back to the cabin for sail away. It is still raining slightly but we take some slow motion video of the beautiful Hong Kong skyline slipping away.
[Kev - ah that's a better photo.]
[Kev - We've experienced some wonderful sailaways on our various cruises (Sydney, Miami and Santorini spring to mind), but this is the most impressive of them all.]
Up to Sushi on 5 at 9ish for chicken and ginger gyzo, 3 fish roll and pork ramen to share - it was all delicious. I had a cocktail which I really disliked as it tasted too "grassy" but it turns out it was the green tea in it the waiter said so I won't be asking for that again- we finished with gingerbread and wasabi ice cream pudding which was really weird but actually quite tasty.
[Kev - Tam had this beer. 6%. She's going to be a handful later.]
[Kev - This was the pork ramen. I have to say it tasted better than it looks here.]
Find a quiet spot in Rendevous lounge and listen to the string duo before retiring for the night
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