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31 day Trans-pacific & Orient cruise (9-24-09 to 10-26-09)

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Taking the advantage of the good cruise price (US $2952.44/ea.); our retirement time; and my daughter, Peggy, to take care of the dog and our house, we took this opportunity to join the 31-day Trans-pacific & Orient cruise on “Ms Volendam” of Holland America Line visiting ports of Hakodate,Otaru,Aomori,Yokohama,Kobe,Nagaski and Naha of JAPAN; Pusan of SOUTH KOREA; Dalian,Xingang(Beijing), and Shanghai of CHINA;  and  Keelung of TAIWAN from 9-24-09 to 10-26-09. We flew to Seattle,Wahington to board the ship at the Seattle port and joined passengers from first boarding port of  Vancouver, BC.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our port call at Yokohama on 10-8-09 due to Typhoon “Melor” and stayed at Kobe for one extra day. Also we canceled the port call at Keelung (Taiwan) on 10-24-09 due to expected arrival of Typhoon “Luipt” and stayed in Hong Kong for one more night. Hong Kong was the last port of the whole trip for us, but the ship will continue to sail to Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia for another trip.

After disembarking at Hong Kong Ocean Terminal 0n 10-26-09 at 9:00 am, we went immediately to Kowloon Empire hotel where we would stay for four nights when coming back from Thailand to store our big luggage first and then went to Airport to meet our cousin’s couple to fly to Thailand where we hired a van with driver taking about one hour and 45 minutes to Sheraton Pattaya Resort. We stayed there three nights and went back to Hong Kong for 4 nights and then flew back to California on 11-2-09. The whole trip took about 37 days. We had been to many cruises but not this lengthy one of 31 days. This is our first time to experience the long duration of the cruise but we consider it was worthy of the trip as it took us to visit Japan and Korea too which we have never been before. We only joined two Shore Excursions which are normally expensive. Mostly we or sometimes with friends toured on our own when it was within walking distance from the ports or had free shuttle buses from ports to downtown areas.

The ship provided three meals a day besides afternoon tea and mid-night snacks. It had lots of activities and facilities to make you busy. We had the same nice cozy room for the whole trip eliminating the trouble of packing and unpacking between hotels in different locations when we are on land tour.

Unluckily on the third day of the trip, I dropped my digital camera on the hard marble floor in the men’s room and damaged the LCD screen, but fortunately my camera has the view-finder and is not a touch-screen type. Otherwise it is useless at all. Therefore, I can still use it by its view-finder plus my guessing judgment of the shutter-speed and the flash. At least, it enabled me to take some photos of memorable moments, but I was not confident to take more from this damaged camera. I just used the video camera in stead. I did not have the slim chance to buy a new one in other countries we visited because of the tightly scheduled hours of the itinerary. However, we are glad we could succeed in using this damaged camera for the whole trip.

we did have good and enjoyable time of short stays in Hong Kong and Pattaya of Thailand.


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31-days Trans-pacific & Orient cruise

Hakodate,Otaru Aomori,Kobe,Nagasaki,Naha,Pusan,Dalian,Xingang(beijing),Shanghai and Hong Kong, Japan,China,South Korea,Taiwan,Hong Kong