- David N.
Here is some stuff I sent to the CBC. You can pick and choose what you want of what I wrote below. Also the good news today has been that today was the first day since our quarantine started that there were no reported cases of the Coronavirus.
Brrr I hear it is cold in Fredericton.
All the best Dave
I will attempt to paint a bit of a picture of our life aboard during this crisis. A key element has been being in the know. Communications aboard have been accomplished in a number of ways. We get regular updates from the Captain about 3 to 4 times a day. The captain started providing these right from the first and has given us all the feeling that we are kept up to date with events as they happen.
The updates from the captain included details on the ships operations, changes introduced by Japanese Quarantine Officials, the number of cases that have occurring each day and taken to hospitals in the area. They still also include schedules to allow passengers out on deck.
From the start of the quarantine period Princess has purchased from their satellite suppliers increased bandwith and increased download and upload speeds well beyond normal cruise ship board internet protocols, to allow for unlimited calls and video to and from family and friends for all passengers and crew. The captain commented that the Diamond Princess has set a record of having the most internet users as well as the fastest internet speeds of any ship ever.
We have made contact and receive communications from the Canadian Consulate in Tokyo just as a precaution. However we have not felt the need to pursue this further and hope it won't be necessary.
We are getting a daily synopsis of the news in a small newspaper published on board as well we receive copies of the New York Times International Edition from Japan.
Entertainment aboard is limited to what can be accomplished in our cabin. We get daily updates from both the English and Japanese cruise directors.
We have been given crafts such as Orgami with lessons provided on tv, do it yourself note card making which can be decorated and a set of colored pencils for those like my wife with an artistic touch.
We have been given playing cards to play card games in our cabins which we do several times a day. And I have downloaded Scrabble to my phone and we play Scrabble several times a day as well.
They have added more television stations to accommodate mostly the Japanese and Chinese passengers aboard but also one or two new English speaking stations.
In addition I have my kindle with over 1,100 books as another source of pastime.
We also have been following and doing Tai Chi exercises presented on our tv. Pat has been more religious about fast walking around the inside of our cabin twice a day for about 40 minutes. My excuse is there isn't enough room for both of us to do it at the same time.
We get all of our meals delivered to our cabins morning noon and evening. Pat is on a low salt diet and they even manage to accommodate that requirement. We get a limited menu on our tray to indicate what we would like for the next day. We are now required to wear a face mask when we go to the door to collect our meals or even when we are sitting out on our balcony. It is always interesting to see what they have sent us to eat. The food has been pretty good so we might gain weight. Lol
We get regular updates of activities by the English and Japanese cruise directors on an early morning show. It includes such things as instructions on how to wear our face masks properly, messages from the president of Princess Cruisers, Jan Swartz, and other company executives explaining items of interest to us all.
It was announced by the Captain on the noon briefing on Thursday Feb 13 that there were a further 44 passengers determined to have the Coronavirus.
Also there has been a change in policy by the Quarantine officials for those passengers over 80 years of age who have not tested positive. They will be given the option of spending the rest of the quarantine period in Japanese government controlled housing ashore.
A lot of our friends probably saw something about this policy on the news and have asked if we are getting off the ship, but the policy doesn't apply to us.
When we last came back from our sea excursions the ship docked on its port side to shore so we lost our view of the ambulance activity. Pat is happy about that because seeing all the ambulances made her very nervous. The good thing about the change is that we are now on the sunny side of ship so it has been very pleasant to sit out on our balcony and read.
Yesterday when it was our turn to go out on deck Pat called our neighbors across the hall in an inside cabin and asked if they would like to go out in our place, which they gratefully accepted.
It is now February 14th with 5 days left to go. Keeping our spirits up.
Dave and Pat Strang