Beginning the Next Cruise

March 20, 2017
Our first cruise on the Celebrity MILLENNIUM ended in Hong Kong where we spent an overnight before starting out on cruise #2.

Hong Kong — March 10th
The weather was quite overcast and cool so we didn’t feel like taking any extended trips especially since we’d be back in port for three consecutive days at the end of cruise 3/beginning of cruise 4. We took the complimentary shuttle from the cruise terminal to Plaza Hollywood where we did find a nice place for lunch, and then out for a stroll. There is an amazing garden and nunnery right there in the middle of the city, and so we sent a couple hours walking around enjoying the sighs and serenity of the Nan Lian Garden.

Aerial photograph of garden layout

Highways pass directly overhead

A delightful pagoda

One of many interesting rock formations

The first “Rockery” I’ve ever visited!

More great rock formations

Sign over some rocks

What the sign says

Another amazing rock

After visiting the gift shop where Darlene got a nice pair of earrings, we crossed the overpass to the Chi Lin Nunnery that is mostly closed to the public.

Louts flower lamp

Decorations on enormous doors

View along the roof edging

Keelung, Taiwan — March 13th
After a rather stormy 36 hours at sea, we pulled into the port of Keelung, gateway to Taipei. Because we’d be returning to this port on two other cruises (for one day and for t days, respectively), we opted to just walk off the ship and into town. Our first stop was in the Passenger Terminal where we exchanged some more for local currency.

They’ll take most Asian currencies

We then headed off for a walkabout.

Let’s go to the “park”

There were a lot of steps

The mist made for careful walking

Green was the color of the day!

Those leaves were huge!

We passed one small pagoda

Our destination — visible from ship

We took the steps DOWN from the Martyr’s Shrine

We did see some interesting plant formations along the way.

Just hanging there

Visible roots

Looks intriguing

Pansies were the popular flower

We crossed the river and noticed that each bridge had different animal symbols

Bridge 1 – Dog

Bridge 2 – Rooster?

Bridge 3 – I thought Monkey; Darlene thought Bear

We worked our way into the famous Miaokow Night Market; most night markets are also open during the day. All the local delicacies are there.

One of the main entry points

This did NOT interest us!!!

Our meal – crab soup and rice

Where we ate

There’s an ornate temple in the market area

Dedicated to ships and sea merchants

Even a dark-skinned statue

Nagasaki, Japan — March 15th
We began four consecutive port days with a stop in Nagasaki, Japan.

A temple, a shrine, and a church — all close by

We ordered way too much food!

We continued our walk up the street and entered Glover Garden.

There were escalators to take us to the top of the hill

The namesake Scot

Flowers in front of his house

More flowers

Inside the house

View from building at top of hill

Windows in the house

Puccini set “Madame Butterfly” in Nagasaki

Madame Butterfly

Our three next ports of call were in South Korea where we didn’t do much — we were saving energy and health for our upcoming 3-day/2-night stay in Beijing!

Happy Travels!

Stuart Gustafson is America’s International Travel Expert® who speaks on cruise ships, writes novels, sends out an infrequent newsletter (almost every month!), is an avid TripAdvisor reviewer, and loves everything about travel. Visit his website at You can also connect with him and other travelers on his International Travel Expert page on Facebook at

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