The captain informed us last night that we are not going to stop at Palau. Gerrit is very unhappy as he purchased a new snorkel in Sydney and is anxious to try it out.
The reason we didn’t are many: (1) the dock facilities are awful, it’s a tender port and only 20-25% of the passengers would have been able to get off the ship. Anyone with any sort of disability would not have been allowed to go on the tender as the conditions were considered dangerous. (2) The port wanted the ship to pay $16 US per passenger who did come on shore and (3) Palau and the Philippines are having a little spat, similar to Canada and Dubai and no Philippine crew member would have been allowed to go ashore. We have 227 Philippine crew, so it has been decided that we’ll proceed immediately to Manila and have 2 days there instead of 1. The crew and passengers are just delighted and Gerrit is so pleased that our stewards will have more time to spend with their family. Roll on Manila, I see a party coming up!