Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our 115 day World Cruise, day 71, Singapore!

The Amsterdam is in Singapore for the next two days.  As of yet Jeff has not posted pictures and Bill and Mary Ann also have not posted.  I will add their post both as they post themWe are also following the Princess World Cruise and they are arriving in Japan tomorrow.  They will be off line while in Japan as the government makes them shut down their satellite while in their ports.  I thought this was most interesting and at the same time a little scary!

Today we met Mark and Joshua for breakfast.  We went to the Good Egg and were able to sit outside in the nice spring weather.  90degrees today but they had on the outdoor heaters.  It only got down to 64 degrees last night....why did they need heaters...they were really hot!  Being my usual self...I forgot to take pictures...check yesterday's post for pictures! lol!

After breakfast we went and had our finger nails done and we were most surprised when it was already 2:00 when we were finished.  The shop was very busy with a lot of people coming and going and an elderly woman fell down trying to get into the shop!No, I did not take a picture!

Next stop was Sprouts where we got lettuce and tomato basil wheat tortilla.  I hope they are good!  We also bought something new that we are going to use in the mornings with our protein drink at Starbucks.  These little pancake looking rolls are from the Ozery Bakery and are called Morning Rounds.  They are a nice size and are really good.  We got them at Sprouts.  Of course, we had to try one to make sure they were okay for our breakfast! lol!

We stopped at QT for the second time today and picked up a sandwich to take to Rosines.  We thought we would share it and have some chips while we visited with her.  Of course, she wanted to know why we had brought our lunch and had we not had enough to eat 4 hours ago when we had breakfast! lol! I wanted to ask her why she has lunch everyday when she has breakfast...I did not think that it was in the best interest of me wanting to have a long life! lol!

We are home now and for some reason I am feeling very tired.  This seems to me that I should retire to the cabin and call for room service.  I will say...I have had room service more on this cruise than on all the other cruises combined!  lol!

                                                                 "WE DON'T WANT TO DANCE!"

                                                          We just want to sit and relax and be left alone! lol!

Where we did not go today....but the Amsterdam did!

Postcards from Paradise!

 Singapore, Republic of Singapore March 17, 2013 Sunday Day One

We never did figure out why we had to arrive late to Singapore. Usually we are here and docked before we wake up. However, today our arrival time was 2pm, cutting our first day here in half. Good thing we are spending the night and will have a full day tomorrow to enjoy the sites until 9pm. Sailaway is planned for 11pm.

It was quite apparent that we would not escape the equatorial weather this afternoon, because upon sailing into the busy harbor, the skies turned black, followed with lightening and thunder. It rained big time. Singapore is known for hot and humid weather, with little variation throughout the year. From November onwards, monsoon rains can be a daily occurence. It wouldn't be Singapore without it.

Here are a few facts about Singapore. It is an island country, the smallest in Southeast Asia., and is located on the tip of the Malay Peninsula. Once a Malay fishing village, Singapore was colonized by the British in the 19th century. It was occupied during WW2 by the Japanese Empire, a stressful period in their history. Today, Singapore has the highest standard of living in Asia, and boasts being the 22nd wealthiest country in the world. Strict is the name of the game here. Prohibited items include chewing tobacco, chewing gum, cigarette lighters that resemble guns, endangered species of wildlife and their by-products, firecrackers, and obscene articles, publications, video tapes, discs and software. Smoking is extremely limited and littering is forbidden, as is spitting. And there is no question that drug traffikers under the Singapore Law get DEATH. Period.

With all that in mind, we set off to spend the afternoon as soon as the ship was cleared. For a change, the exit went rather quickly. It is not easy getting off the ship here. Everyone has to go through the security check with the customs and immigration officials before entering the city, or in this case, into the Harbourfront Mall, connected to the pier facilities. Our passports were logged into their system once it was determined that we were who we said we were. Next comes the xray machine, the same as the ones used in all airports. Once through this screening, we were free to go. Coming back onboard, the same procedure was used in reverse.

Our destination was the MRT, the local metro system, which is the best and quickest way to get to everywhere in this fun city. Armed with the metro map and a two day pass card (Singapore dollar $16. plus a $10 deposit (refundable) for each of us), we charted our plan for the best use of about 5 hours. We did want to be back onboard for dinner, even if there was possibly only the two of us. Harbourfront is the end of the line, so it was easy not to get lost. Following the signage through the mall, we located the entrance to the MRT easily. It does help that we have done this before, although the ticket office was moved to another area.

Little India is an interesting place to see, and being that today was a Sunday, we knew it would be busy with many people. What we had forgotton upon leaving the station, was that there is more than one way to go out of the MRT at every stop. Important to follow signs, we did not recognize the surroundings as we seemed to be headed towards a race track. Back-tracking, we found the right exit and walked through the major market with cafes for the local Indians. You really are in a "little" India with the many spice and fabric shops that line the narrow streets. One of us was in "fabric" heaven when we found the same shops we went to last year. What is different here is that the shop keepers only sell sari-sized fabric lengths, or 5 meters. It is priced for that measure, instead of by the yard. Where else can you find a silky fabric suitable to make a formal dress for the whopping price of $20 Singapore dollars ($16. US).

It was probably a good thing that the rain started, because we may have purchased more than we needed. Back to the MRT, we continued our journey to the Bayfront Station to go to the Marina Bay Sands Shoppes and Hotel. We happened to go a little too far on the metro by accident, but found our way back without wasting too much time. This shopping complex is a place that one can be amazed by the architecture as well as window shop the many highend stores. It can be described as the largest collection of the world's most coveted designer boutiques and celebrity chef ultimate destination for dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Across from this massive mall is the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, a trio of hotel towers that are crowned with a Skypark that includes a restaurant and a celebrated 150 meter-long infinity swimming pool, 200 meters up in the air on the 55th floor. From there, you have a dizzy 360 degree view of the Marina Bay and gardens and the entire city of Singapore.

Needing to relax for a bit, we located the Mozza Pizzeria, located on level B of the mall. It was pretty busy even though it was late in the afternoon. We enjoyed the same shared pizza and sodas like we did last year, remembering how much more expensive everything is here compared to our last port in Vietnam. Goes with the territory we guess.

We headed back to the Harbourfront Station with one transfer point on the way. This time we got it right, because we followed the signs perfectly. Most of the travelers seemed to be going in the opposite direction, as they must have been going home. Tomorrow we shall choose another direction, and depending on the weather, we will visit more of our favorite places.

We were not alone for dinner tonight. Everyone showed up except Joan, who we think had a date to go to the Night Zoo and dinner. Martha's husband, Bob, arrived today and was rested enough to join us for his first dinner onboard. Was nice to welcome him to our fun group. Carol and Van had gone overland to see Angkor Wat, the ancient temple complex in Cambodia. Despite having three very long and busy days of sight-seeing and flying in planes, they showed up for dinner tonight with many great stories to share with us. You know you have a great table when everyone can "let down their hair" and be themselves, never fearing of being judged harshly or whatever. We are all "quirkey" in our own way, and when things work, they work. So if we sound a little exclusive at times, please don't misunderstand, since we love meeting new folks, but are really careful about permanent residents at our table.

Hope the rain stays away tomorrow. And by the way, Happy St. Patrick's Day. It was a little celebrated one this time, because we are in a port where many folks left the ship at dinnertime. So decorations.

Mary Ann & Bill

 Siem Reap, finishing the trip to Cambodia!

Well, another fabuolous day in Siem Reap....  We went out early with our guide to vist 3 temples in the Roulous Group.  We visited Prah Ko, Bakong and finally Lolei....  It was a nice finish to our Cambodian adventure.  The drive through the countryside was also delightful.  Now we head to Singapore where we rejoin the ship and spend a day exploring Singapore.....

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