Yokohama, Japan – First Visit

Wednesday April 11th 2018

Today being a “turn around” day the ship was a hive of activity as guests departed with sad faces, and the crew prepared their rooms for their “replacements” while others awaited the arrival of ‘“stores”, to be consumed over the next 14 days.

For us, this was a day to be lazy and prepare to see what shoreside offers to investigate.

In the early morning, in the Crow’s Nest, I was impressed by the massive harbor tug, that delivered the harbor pilot; an impressive example of the Japanese Maritime industry.

Passengers who are continuing to sail on the Volendam, are issued “in-transit’ passes to show to immigration as they exit and re-enter the ship during the day. So, after saying goodbye to our new friends, Eugene and Lorraine, from Hawaii, at breakfast, we gathered our selves together and hit the “wood”.

The ‘Wood’ of which I speak are the multi-million board feet that make up the floors and walkways and roof of this magnificent cruise terminal. They are an attempt to imitate the ‘Nightingale or whisper floors’ that were used in living quarters of the Japanese power class of the ancient days. Because these floors are constructed in such a certain way, they ‘whisper’ when walked upon, thereby sending a warning to those sleeping occupants.

The boards are practically knot free, as I could only find one or two knots, as I walked the roof.

Ashore, we were enjoying a beautiful (naturally) park, when everyone there was surprised by an unexpected downpour that sent us scurrying for cover in the “Lawson Rest House”. While we waited out the rain, we contemplated – now what! The ‘rest house’ was unique in that it was part of a small grocery store and coffee shop, and the unique part was an area with tables, chairs, USP ports, free WiFi and a raised play area for children, complete with toys. Several families were enjoying their ‘picnic lunches’ and fellowship.

There is a chain of Japanese restaurants, named Jonathan’s, so we figured since it was close to noon, we would eat there, and we were not disappointed – yummy food. Since the rain had changed our plans we decided that after lunch, Barbara would visit the Silk Museum next door and I would return to the ship.

And that folks, was pretty much our visit to Yokohama.

Back in our stateroom, there was a voice message on the phone advising that the internet was down because it was being “upgraded”! As I later learned, the upgrade was only to line the corporate pockets of HAL, as a new pricing policy was being introduced – “Premium package”- $29.99 PER DAY, “Surf Package” – $24.99 PER DAY, and “Social Package” – $14.99 PER DAY!!! In the fine print it indicates that there are “Voyage Packages” however I can not find where they are or what they cost!

In that regard my blog posts may have to wait until I can use my cellular “day pass”.

I will try to add a couple of images, using my old package, but don’t hold your breath, under this new “upgrade” policy.

At Sea with HAL

Jack W Cummings – Far East Adventures 2018

One thought on “Yokohama, Japan – First Visit

  1. Hi, Jack and Barbara. We experienced HAL’s “upgrade” on the Westerdam a year ago.
    There was no 250 minutes/$100. I think it cost me $170+ for 100 minutes. Also, we
    could NOT access Hot Mail/Outlook AT ALL the whole trip. I had to create a new
    G mail account to communicate with my family. The computers regularly went down
    in a wave, starting at one end of the internet cafe and working across the room. We
    could get back on line almost immediately, but it interrupted whatever you were
    working on. Also, there was no attendant or even a “librarian” to communicate our
    problems. We had to go to the purser’s desk and one of employees there would accompany us to the computer room and do their best to solve the problem.

    I’m enjoying your texts and pictures. I hope you can keep them coming.

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