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Best of Japan cruise Spectrum Of The Seas October 1 - 8 2019 , a new experience.

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19 hours ago, FManke said:

Your right about the cultural differences. I think anybody who would consider a cruise like this or anywhere "different" should take these things into account. Many years ago, some friends were going to Mexico for the first time and said they were going to take a jar of peanut butter with them because they were afraid about the safety of the food. My first thought was, "Why are you going then?" 

Yes , I am asking myself that every time , it seems that some people would go to such places only with Hazmat suite , but as you said its missing the point. regarding food the key every were is very simple. If you see allot of people eating somewhere most likely its Ok due to the fact that food is not exposed too long for the elements. 

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Hotels :

As currently I am using mainly IHG and Marriott (which is now also Sheraton) I was looking to stay in one of them (using points or gaining points).
For some reason all the IHG hotels (Intercontinental, CrownPlaza , Holiday in/express) are not located near the touristic/business center so  I choose the Marriott near the  people square. One of the reason was that most of the one/half day Shanghai tour meeting place are near or in the people square. 
As part of the peroration I also translate the address of the hotel and the port to Chinese (Or shell I say Mandarin ? )  so we will be Ok with the Taxi drivers, just to be on the safe side. By the way its a good idea to do in any country which not using the regular Latin alphabet. 

Now I am counting the days before the vacation , find it hard to constraint in all the meeting but doing my best. Yesterday went for a short trip near the hotel and encounter the local substitutes for casts 🙂 , just hope they are from the nice kind and not relatives of the one from Monty python  Holly grail. Anyway it reminded me some places near Seattle.

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At least most of the packing done , now just need to wait for my flight back.

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I just started reading this and I'm so excited for you.  I lived in China for a few years.  I love your attitude of an open mind.  A few tips: 

  • It will sound like everyone is always mad and shouting.  They aren't, it is the language and tones.  Just take some getting used to.  
  • You do need to be demanding and firm if you want something.  You can't wait for your waitress to bring you the check, or another drink, but you need to ask for it.  It is considered rude to bring the check before it is requested.
  • Don't stand in line waiting your turn.  You will need to push yourself ahead or you will be left waiting forever.  There is no personal space, it will be ok.  
  • Bring addresses of places you want to go written in Chinese characters, not pinyin.   Many taxi drivers can't read pinyin and our translation of Mandarin is terrible as we can't do the tones.  If you can't do the tones, they have no idea what you are saying.  

Have a great time!  I LOVE shopping in Bangkok but love the islands even more!

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9 hours ago, melski94 said:

I just started reading this and I'm so excited for you.  I lived in China for a few years.  I love your attitude of an open mind.  A few tips: 

  • It will sound like everyone is always mad and shouting.  They aren't, it is the language and tones.  Just take some getting used to.  
  • You do need to be demanding and firm if you want something.  You can't wait for your waitress to bring you the check, or another drink, but you need to ask for it.  It is considered rude to bring the check before it is requested.
  • Don't stand in line waiting your turn.  You will need to push yourself ahead or you will be left waiting forever.  There is no personal space, it will be ok.  
  • Bring addresses of places you want to go written in Chinese characters, not pinyin.   Many taxi drivers can't read pinyin and our translation of Mandarin is terrible as we can't do the tones.  If you can't do the tones, they have no idea what you are saying.  

Have a great time!  I LOVE shopping in Bangkok but love the islands even more!

Thanks for the inputs.

As I hate non organized queues I think this will be the most challenging thing for me but we will survive. Regarding people sounds mad I am quite use to it as working allot with people from China , also being told by many of my colleagues and customer than when they hear us talking in our native language (not English) it's also sounds we are arguing and fighting 😂. I also spend few years in relocation in an South East Asian country and enjoyed that, I learned allot during this period (also on myself). 

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My sister worked in a casino hotel that catered to tourists from that region.  They had a problem which I can foresee also happening on the ship, that is people spitting anywhere, even on the casino’s (carpeted) floor. My sister said they passed around cups as a solution.

I’ve read somewhere that Disneyland Hong Kong also had that problem.

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51 minutes ago, RatedPG said:

My sister worked in a casino hotel that catered to tourists from that region.  They had a problem which I can foresee also happening on the ship, that is people spitting anywhere, even on the casino’s (carpeted) floor. My sister said they passed around cups as a solution.

I’ve read somewhere that Disneyland Hong Kong also had that problem.

Yap , not the best subject. again its more something you will see with old timers as I understood less the young generation. Again culture difference as on the other side for some people it look very strange the fact we use handkerchief and keep it 🙂 . I know that there are lots of effort from the authorities to change this habit, also I undertood that some time RCL will say something.   

 

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Counting the minutes until I will take the train to the airport so I will be able to initiate the vacation time .
Quick flight home (hopefully) , last minute packing (and maybe some laundry) few hours sleep and of we will go to the airport to start our China travel. 
I have just learn that not only its the golden week in China but also they are going to celebrate 70 years to the Communist state  on our sell date , wonder if RCL will organize some fireworks on Spectrum 🙂 .

Meanwhile Enjoying the local food and practice semi exotic fruits before the real one next week   

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38 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

What was your impression of the dragonfruit / pitaya?

Well I love the dragon fruit (mainly the red one) , but I think the white one here is  other member in the Pitaya family the Kobo  , I prefer the Dragon fruit and when I am in Singapore at the first day when I just land I  go to the market buy myself few of them and when coming back from another long meetings day I will eat a cold one. I also buy them from time to time back at home , this is the session were you can find them in the supermarkets but the price is 5 times what I pay for them in the far east.

By the way the red dragon fruit (there is also a yellow one) is consider very healthy and contains allot of antioxidants

Edited by Traveler

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Well here we start 🙂 

The flight back home was OK although I almost did not slept , not sure why , but it was quite short flight so I survived.
Quick taxi ride home and I went to sleep for a while . Last arrangements , some more packing and even had time to go and visit my father  before my long trip , had to help him configure the Youtube from the IPAD to  be shared with the  TV screen and upgrade his souse  Fitbit. 
As we had early flight decide to try and go to sleep. We both set our alarm clock and I said to myself I will decide later if to add to the suitcase another bottle of wine or not . I order a taxi for 3:40 am and went to rest my eyes. I open my eyes and looked on the clock - 3:33 am , uffffffffffffff   , for some reason the alarm did not worked , go trust google assistant. 7 minutes to get ready , in that 7 minutes , I took a shower (must for me at the morning) , shaved, dressed up and answered the taxi driver call, And what you know we both were ready (I guess  there are  some things your learn while in the army you never forget). Currently , the only thing I found that I forgot are the headphone  but I bought new one in the airport.
So we are in the lounge waiting for out first flight , 

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16 hours ago, Traveler said:

First vacation breakfast 

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What's in the middle of the eggs? Ham? And looks like there's something under the eggs and toast?

Definitely a breakfast I think I'd enjoy! Way better looking than typical airline food.

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19 hours ago, Traveler said:

The flight back home was OK 

Just curious where home is? I've read a lot of your live blogs and enjoyed them very much. Not sure if you've ever mentioned where you're from. Just curious. If you'd rather not say, I'm good with that.

Happy Cruising and looking forward to your impressions of Spectrum!

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3 hours ago, JLMoran said:

What's in the middle of the eggs? Ham? And looks like there's something under the eggs and toast?

Definitely a breakfast I think I'd enjoy! Way better looking than typical airline food.

Yes , it was ham and cheese , the toast was good the eggs on the dry side but OK , on the next flight I had for breakfast a sunny side up which was first time I saw during a flight, it was very good.

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47 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Home is Tel Aviv , IsraelPhotoPictureResizer_190929_090241197.thumb.jpg.06ae720e8b95aae1932f754d8d33a90c.jpg

Thanks for the picture and for sharing! I know in some of your blogs, you apologize for your English. Don't! Your English is much better than my Hebrew which is pretty much non-existent!  

I know a little Yiddish, but it's not for mixed company!

Happy Cruising!

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Good morning China , we arrived. 

We actually landed around 6 am , immigration was around 20 minutes , they have automatic machines to take your finger prints so the save time. Luggage arrived fast and we went to take a taxi which was also easy although required to walk quite a while. It took us almost 1.30 hours to arrive to the hotel (30$) as there were traffic jams entering the city. Check was very fast and luckily we had our room ready. 

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Here our nice room we got

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And here is our view

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In the distance you can see Shanghai tower which is the second tallest building in the world.

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The flight from  Viena to Shanghai is around 10 hours and most is over Russia. It's a day flight so not so easy to sleep but still I catch few hours in between. Food and service were excellent. They started with assortments of salads and tartars 

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Continue with cauliflower soup:

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For main we took the duck and my spouse took the beef , both were very good for a fish served in a flight.

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We also got cheese and ice cream but the best was the coffee menu with many options , we both took the baylis coffee 

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