Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Woke up quite early, minds buzzing a bit with thoughts of the ship and our voyage ahead. Bob
headed off at about 9am to Wan Chai metro to turn in our Octopus cards and get our deposit and unused fare credits back. He also went to the bank and changed our Hong Kong dollars into Chinese RMB. I stayed behind and packed up. We went down to the lobby at about 11 to find it packed with people waiting for the cruise pickup.
We were all being picked up in rather swish limo-taxis, in slightly staggered times. Ours was at
1130 and we thought we’d be on the ship in about 20 minutes but the traffic was terrible and it took an hour to reach the drop off point in the cruise terminal. It was the strangest check in
ever! The desks were in an atrium of the mall. The posh mall. Today it was crowded as not only was Arcadia moored up alongside but also one of the Star cruise liners from Singapore. Formalities were quickly dealt with and we came on board and found our cabin. We
are on A deck near the stern which I really like. We are one deck down from the Belvedere
buffet, which is convenient for breakfast and we are also directly under the
rear terrace swimming pool and deck. My favourite sunning place. The cabin is not huge but I think it is marginally bigger than the one on Aurora, nicely decorated and appointed.
The two cases we’d sent on ahead were waiting outside the cabin door and so we immediately unpacked those. The clothes weren’t too creased, maybe a few of Bob’s shirts will need an ironing. We’d forgotten how much we’d packed in the way of booze. There are 10 litres of
wine and a bottle of champagne. We thought we’d packed two bottles of champagne and a litre of gin so we must have taken one of the champagnes and the gin out at the end when we weighed the cases.
We were hungry as we’d had no breakfast so we went up to the buffet and grabbed a light salad lunch. Then we went back and found our other cases had arrived so we unpacked
them too. It all fits in very well,plenty of hanging and drawer space and all the cases fit under the bed.
Decided to go into the mall and investigate the M&S food hall and see if there was any gin there. The mall was a madhouse with two ships in and large numbers of crew members and passengers lurking around and using the free wifi. We managed to briefly chat to Lu who was on her way to work but the connection kept dropping. So many people using it I suppose.
Came back on board and had a lie down for an hour or so. Our cabin steward, Paul, came and
introduced himself. Seems very nice.
Met Mick and Maureen for a g&t in the Crows Nest bar at the top of the ship. Went outside to the open deck and watched the Festival of Light show. The lights were lovely even given the
mistiness and even though we couldn’t hear the music or the commentary. Spectacular lights and lasers. Once that was over we went into dinner. There is only one main restaurant on Arcadia (several other speciality ones). It’s two storey and downstairs is club dining (set times) and upstairs is Freedom Dining, which we always have. A nice if unspectacular dinner. I had cod cheeks as a starter and then a sirloin steak, no dessert and a double espresso. Bob had waldorf salad, steak and ale pie and brioche bread and butter pudding for dessert.
After dinner, Bob and I hived off to the theatre to see the show. Tonight they had brought local
Chinese speciality acts on board. First two ladies playing traditional Chinese instruments, a sort of zither and a lute??? Beautiful music. Then a group giving a Chinese Dragon dance
which was quite spectacular. 2 ladies who gave us a Chinese Ribbon dance which was graceful and lovely. Finally a Changing Faces performer from Chinese Opera who changed his face mask many many times with a sleight of hand and acrobat moves. A really good show. Most enjoyable. We walked along the ship and said goodbye to Hong Kong. I’m sure we’ll be back again. We sail after midnight so tomorrow when we wake up we will be at sea on the way to Beijing.