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The movements of the ship became intriguing when Captain William Kent turned to ship to the west just short of the equator; the reason, to provide passengers with a glimpse of the solar eclipse.

At the height of the eclipse, Sea Princess stopped completely. A ships tender was dropped into the water and loaded with photographers. A ships tender is a lifeboat and at least ten are located on each side of the ship on level seven. While circling the ship the “lifeboat” was a “reminder” to passengers what they would experience during the journey. Incidentally, the “lifeboats each hold about 150 passengers.”

A mention was made of Captain William Kent, Master of the Sea Princess. Wikipedia say, “A Sea Captain is a high grade licensed mariner in ultimate command of the vessel.” That raises the question, when the Captain stops at the Patisserie bar for a coffee, how do you address him? The crew call him “Sir,” or “Captain.” “Mister” is a term Captains once used in addressing less senior crew. The Captain is, it has been said, “Master after God,”  so he is a very important person. Nevertheless, he is a person and over coffee, a quite amiable and friendly person whom the crew politely address  as “Sir.” That address seemed fitting and was adopted. His visit to the Patisserie was due to the performance of his wife Maggie, a professional entertainer, at the Princess Theatre.

Of course, as expected in Singapore, PiandO made a beeline for Raffles Hotel and the Long Bar. Enough said?

An overnight cruise brought the Sea Princess to Phu My, Vietnam

Then in Ko Samui, Thailand a chance to try the lifeboats (Sorry, Ships Tenders) were lowered into the sea. Boarding was orderly and void of hysterics or other anxieties. Ship to shore was swift. A taxi with a driver who spoke little English was aware of what was needed and set off on an anti-clockwise tour of the Island to  visit attractions. A heavily populated island and towns with many Shrines and monuments, above all, friendly and polite people added to the pleasure of the visit. A blessing by a Buddhist Monk and it was back to the ship.

Again, a visit to the Patisserie Bar for coffee by another important Crew Member, the Chief Engineer; Enda Caldwell who took  time  for a informal discussion. They do get around.

Hong Kong is a city that is frequently visited. Of course, the first stop, and last incidentally, was the Peninsula Hotel at Tsim Sha Tsui. The quaintly named “The Bar” was the attraction; a pleasant interlude to say the least. Perhaps you should not get excited over Louis XV111 Cognac available, of course, at The Bar. On the ship it is much, much less expensive.

The next heading was for Shanghai Shortly prior to entering the crowded shipping channels a metallic screech echoed through the ship which came to a dead stop. A propulsion shaft had malfunctioned and so Chief Engineer Enda Cadwell and his team were busy for a few hours to enable a clearance into Shanghai. The result being that Sea Princess missed her slot for entry.

Shanghai is a thriving city with miles of wharves, berthing ships from all parts of the world. Cranes dot the horizon and ships are continually moving in and out in a crowded harbor.

The next stop was Busan (Pusan) in South Korea. A feature that was obvious was Border Security in the nations visited. An example is Singapore and Hong Kong where foreign visitor are welcome so long as they work and support themselves.

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Painting: Tiger Lily in the Long Bar, Raffles Hotel, Singapore.

Above: Chloe; a $5 m painting in Young and Jacksons Hotel, Melbourne.