German and Italian are on the Menu

Day 22, Grand Asia 2017

Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 – At Sea

As we sail toward tomorrow morning’s port of Tianjin, China, the ship traffic surrounding us continues to increase, and we pass dozens of fishing boats. After so many sea days crossing the North Pacific Ocean with no sights of other marine traffic, it almost seems surprising to look out and see a ship or boat passing.

DSC07298We seem to have left the rain behind in Japan, at least for now. In a week or so, we may miss these cool days with highs in the low 60s. But for now I am tired of my warmer clothes and ready to switch them out for summer whites and sun dresses. I thought I was packing too many clothes, but now I wish I had slipped in a few more. (I do get tired of my clothes while at home, too.)

img_0212I could order tailor-made clothing on board from Princeton Custom Tailors, who will deliver the finished products in Hong Kong. Their samples are beautiful, but when would I ever wear them back at home? They may be a bargain at $750 for a beautiful Asian jacket, but I am passing on the opportunity.

The Amsterdam crew helped us to enjoy the sea day with a Biergarten Festival on the Lido, described as a “good old oompah-fest with beer, sausage ‘n kraut and so much more.” Some passengers came prepared to dress for the occasion. Most of us came to the lunch prepared to eat the delicious German food.

Tonight I ate in Canaletto, the Italian-inspired specialty restaurant featuring small plates for sharing, as a guest of my travel agency, Cruise Specialists. The sampling of four gelatos was my favorite. Earlier, a new speaker gave the first of five lectures on North Korea and his 11 months spent there when as the navigator on the USS Pueblo he and the rest of the crew were captured. Unfortunately, he is detailing his ordeal on the two sea days between Shanghai and Hong Kong, when I will be traveling overland to see the terra cotta warriors.


Tomorrow morning after clearing Chinese immigration I am joining a small group for an independent tour to Beijing and the Great Wall. As it is a two-hour drive from the port, we will stay in Beijing overnight. I’m not taking my laptop, so I won’t be posting on the blog until my return.