Saturday, May 20, 2017

Setting Sail on the Yangtze

The main motivation for this trip was a cruise on the Yangtze River. Rather than paying $7000 per person for a Viking River Cruise, Steve found a Chinese company we have been very happy with for significantly less than half. After an early supper (in a fancy hotel restaurant that wasn’t really ready to serve yet) Diana escorted us to the port where the Jia Ling and the Yangtze Rivers come together. Our boat (to the left of the one with the red and blue smokestack) is the Century Legend.

Due to construction of new apartments, the road is closed to vehicles right now.  Diana contracted with a porter to carry our luggage about a fifteen-minute walk.

He was well worth the tip we gave him. He got off easy compared to some of the loads we saw when we got to the boat.

I see I cut off the steps down in this picture. I was more concerned with the floating gangway and dock we went through to the white boat beyond.

We have traveled enough with Mom that I keep assessing what she could and could not do at 91 on this trip. (Mostly way too much walking without obvious wheelchair accessibility) At the bottom of the steps I asked Diana, “So what would you do if someone needed a wheelchair?”

“Oh, we would hire someone to carry her.”

In fact, as I explored the ship later, I saw a woman with a bandaged foot being carried piggyback by a porter. She was not a small woman either. So Mom, are you up for it?

We had only booked a standard room since on previous cruises, we found we didn’t spend any time there anyway, but when we got here, Diana encouraged us to upgrade. They gave us a significant discount to upgrade at the last minute. The boat is full and I’m sure they wanted to make room in the standard area. We also upgraded our meal package to one that included Western options in a private dining room. It felt kind of elitist to avoid the main dining room with “all the Chinese people,” as Diana put it, but we have found the culture can be very pushy and pushy crowds are not pleasant. I was glad to see this morning at breakfast that there were plenty of Chinese people in the private dining room as well. So I guess we are classist, but not racist.

All the rooms have private balconies. Nice since public lounge space is somewhat limited when you consider the number of people on board and the rain.

In the evening we went up on the 6th floor sun deck where you could see out to the city although to our left was construction and to our right another boat. (Their passengers boarded through our lobby.) Brightly lit dinner/party cruise boats floated by. We could hear the music across the water.

When we set sail (if you can call it that on a river boat), we floated downstream among the lights of the city. It wasn’t actually raining, so I sat outside on the fifth floor with unobstructed views. The lighted building on the right is a theater. The color and design changed every few minutes.

So we are now off on an adventure (as if this whole trip hasn't been an adventure.)

1 comment: