Easter @ Sea

Two years ago, when we sailed in the Diamond Princess from Sydney to Singapore we celebrated Easter during the cruise. In that year Good Friday was the 25 th March and Easter Day 27th March.
History repeated itself and once again we celebrated Easter during a cruise, on the same ship.

In 2016 we were in Melbourne for Good Friday, and Adelaide for Easter Sunday – this year we were at sea.

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Easter egg display in the Atrium – 2018

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Part of the 2016 display

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This year we had more rabbits . .

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Club Fusion Bar

Princess Cruises had arranged for a Protestant ordained husband and wife team to officiate at the Palm Sunday service, followed by the Good Friday & Easter Sunday services. I think the ministers were from the Uniting church of Australia.
Maureen and I decided to attend the services, and we were surprised at the large number of people who also attended.

The service took place in Club Fusion, which is right aft on deck seven and had an open area where the service leaders could stand. The picture below shows just a small area of the service.

It was standing room only if you didn’t get there early enough, and the area was quite large, which was used for many different functions from entertainment, evening bar to exercise classes.

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The Good Friday service, slightly blurred because I had to use max zoom. We right at the back, but managed to find a seat

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The Easter Sunday service, being a happier event, was decorated with flowers.

As we entered Club Fusion we were presented with a service sheet, on which the various hymns had been printed. Overall in was well done.
Palm Sunday and Good Friday services lasted for thirty minutes and Easter Sunday was a little longer.

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Overall the services were simple and straight forward and all started at 8.30 am and were finished by 9.00 am for the first two, and 9.30 am for Easter Sunday.

Immediately after the end of the services Club Fusion reverted back to an entertainment area – trivia pursuit was one of our favourite, which stimulated our brains and gave us the opportunity to meet new people.

As always from around 11.00 am pre-lunch drinks were on the menu.

DSC00479rCrooners Bar, pre lunch drinks on Easter Sunday.

 

Diamonds of Japan

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Three guesses for our next destination. I was eighteen when I first visited Japan and have always wanted to take Maureen, so when a positioning cruise came up, at the right price, – I booked Diamond Princess. 

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We sailed in the Diamond Princess from Sydney to Singapore in 2016 so hopefully it’ll be like coming home. If you like days at sea, which we do, look for a positioning cruise because they are nearly all cheaper than a standard cruise, as long as you don’t mind flying home.TYO VoyageWe sail from Sydney to Darwin, Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Phu May (the port for large vessels visiting Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) in Vietnam, Nha Trang (Vietnam), Hong Kong, Osaka (Japan), Shimizu (the main port to see Mount Fuji in Japan) and Yokohama (also listed as Tokyo) The transit time from Sydney to Tokyo will be twenty two days.

Once in Yokohama many of the passengers will leave the ship and be replaced by a large number of local Japanese for a coastal cruise, which will also call at Busan in S. Korea.

When I made the booking I offered to the cruise company that we would do a back to back i.e buying a further cruise, as long as we didn’t have to move cabins.  They agreed, so we have extended our time onboard by a further seven days for the coastal cruise.

JapanWe sail from Yokohama to Busan (S.Korea), Sakaiminato (Japan), Tsuruga, Akita and finally Yokohama where we leave the ship and fly home.

I’ve not been to S. Korea, nor the western side of Japan, so this trip will be new for both of us.

The passengers will be predominantly Japanese, so it should be an interesting trip. I’ve been dragging the old grey matter in an effort to remember a few polite Japanese greetings. When I was at sea, the company for which I worked, traded between the Persian Gulf, Japan & China so I made a point of learning some Japanese and Cantonese. The Cantonese didn’t help much on the China coast, because they didn’t speak Cantonese outside of Hong Kong!

We are hoping that we will be able to repeat the pleasant time that we had in 2016, when sailing from Sydney to Singapore. I doubt that the same piano player, Paul Burton  will be still around, he was very popular.

We sailed from Sydney in 2016 on the 23rd March, and this year (2018), we sail on the same ship on the 22nd March.

This will be our second Easter at sea, and on the same ship – 2016 Good Friday was 25th March, which was in Melbourne, and this year it is 30th March, when we will be at sea.

Easter Sunday 2016, was in Adelaide, and this year we will still be at sea. It’ll be interesting to see if Easter at sea is acknowledged as a Christian celebration, or just a choco-holiday.

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The picture shows 2016 Easter on the Diamond Princess, but as the ship was in port, passengers had the choice of churches in Melbourne & Adelaide.