Mike, Dalian was not the greatest port, but it was very nice compared to Petropavolosk Russia. A beautiful setting, but the streets are lined with empty vodka bottles, the opposite of clean Japan. Our favorites besides Beijing, were Nagasaki, Osaka, and Tokyo. We really fell in love with Japan and its friendly polite people and clean streets.
There was a cycle between your cruise and ours and that's when the virus really broke out. when we got on in Hong Kong the ship was in "code red" (frequent hand washing, no hand shaking, no self service in the lido. everything, even coffee was served to you and salt and pepper was in little envelopes only. Chair backs and hand rails constantly being disinfected, library closed. hand sanitizer in constant use etc. They did everything they could, and although about 300 eventually got sick, it did work because eventually the virus was eradicated and the restrictions lifted. Also about 100 of the crew who were sick were taken off and replacements had been flown in, (at Hong Kong) so things were pretty confused for a few days. We even had a different captain, Peter J. Maurik, but Regemorter was still hotel manager. Every sick or quarantined passenger was compensated. Even though we and about 500 others stayed on in Osaka for the repositioning of the ship to Alaska, we were all required to be off for several hours before the new passengers embarked so they could fumigate the entire ship. Overall, it was no more than a minor inconvenience.
You will be jealous to hear that the weather for the great wall was perfect, clear, 72 degrees and no wind! Indeed the weather for the entire cruise was great and the water was the smoothest of any cruise we have ever been on. even the Bering Sea was tame except for one day.
We had great lectures on the Pacific rim, volcanic and seismic activity, globalization, the rise of China and sports. We also had hands on cooking classes from Hsing Chao Ching, the food editor of the Seattle newspaper. (We can do great Pot Stickers now).
I have posted a few pictures to the photo gallery and am adding to them as I get them worked up. No Japan ones yet.
Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.
Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10