Cruising to a new life? Maybe…


Well here we are on day 4 of our three week holiday and day 3 of being on board the Celebrity Millenium Cruise ship on our way from Singapore to Hong Kong via Bangkok and Vietnam.

This trip was planned about 8 months ago and we are travelling with our great friends Robbie and Rodney and are part of a larger group of gay and lesbian travellers booked through Pied Piper Travel from the USA, but more on them later.

We arrived in Singapore after a smooth flight from Perth and booked into our hotel for an overnight stay before we boarded on Sunday for the beginning of our cruise.

This is the third cruise in my life and I have to say the first two were not great successes. The first one took place when I was 15 and was to Fiji from Sydney and the second one from New York to Bermuda about 7 years ago. On both of these trips I discovered that sea sickness was a bi product of me going on a cruise – to the point on the way to Bermuda that it was the roughest crossing they had for a number if years and I was so sea sick I got black eyes from throwing up so much…and so you may ask why I wanted to potentially put myself through this possibility again…some may say I am a gluten for punishment but I have always been fascinated by the notion of getting on a cruise ship and enjoying a trip with lots of activities, great food, good friends, and different destinations every couple of days.

The other telling factor for this particular cruise was that it is in a much larger ship than I have been on previously and it is on the fairly calm waters up the straights of Melaka so I remain ever hopeful that they all will add up to a smooth cruise…and as of this post that is exactly what we have gotten. Sometimes I even have to look out the window to be reminded that we are moving.

So back to what has happened so far. The first day was Singapore and tasting some great local cuisine and then the day we had to embark on the cruise we hit Orchard road for a little pre cruise shopping. I have always loved the shops in Singapore and was again. to disappointed by what we found…a few clothes and another lunch of great local food and we headed back to our hotel to pick up our bags and head to the boat. Originally we were told that check I would start at midday but the previously sailing had seen over 40 people come down with a gastro bug and so they needed to take extra special precautions in terms of cleaning and preparing for our embarkation before we could get on and start exploring. Se we arrived at 130 Sunday afternoon and the process of getting on board was a relatively easy one that took about 40 minutes from the time we got out of our taxi to the time we were in our stateroom.

The only hiccup to this point was that the drinks package that we had included when we booked was not on their system and so as of this writing we are still waiting for PiedPiper to sort out for us, which is annoying to say the least and not what I would have expected but hopefully it will all be done by this evening when we head to our first of three formal nights.

Oh and the other hiccup concerned Robbie and the fact that Celebrity lost one of his bags from when they were dropped at bag drop and when we had all the luggage delivered to our staterooms. He eventually found out that his bag had been loaded onto another ship docked next to ours and that when we got to Thailand his bag would be delivered to him…he was heard to muse that he could not understand how a bag that was labelled correctly could be put on the wrong ship but for all his troubles the ship credited $200 to his onshore account by way of apology.

This is a much larger ship, as I said before and has great facilities on board. There are 6 restaurant options, 8 bars, a theatre, a casino, 2 pools and 5 spa baths, a gym, a sauna, a geletaria, a day spa, a healthy eating cafe, a nightclub, kids club, shopping arcade, art gallery and lots of great spaces to just sit a relax in. There are over 2000 guests on board and things have been great to date.

We pre purchased the premium 5 dining package before we left home which entitled us to 5 dinners spread over our trip in two of the signature restaurants on board ‘The Olympic’ and ‘Qsine’. The first night we were on board we had dinner at the Olympic and it was like taking a step back in time to a long forgotten era with a traditional French style menu of dishes such as Dover sole, chateau briand and crepe Suzette and all of the theatre that goes with table flambé and wonderful service. This was a great starting point for the cruise as we would not sail until 5 the following day so we could disembark if we wanted to and head off to the Marina bay Sands for some last minute shopping before we upped anchor and headed to Thailand. Robbie needed some running shoes as it was going to be three days until we hit Thailand and would get his bag back and as he is a bit of a gym junkie like me he could not contemplate not being able to go to the gym every day, especially given all the food options there were on board!

Then before we knew it we were back on board and pushing back from the dock and on our way. Here we are on day 3 of the cruise and have today and tomorrow at sea before we hit Thailand and to date, as I said before it has been a smooth sail and we are all really enjoying it.

The other people that are here with Pied Piper ( of which there are about 45 of us) are all really friendly and we have so far had a welcome cocktail party and all eat dinner together in the main dining room at 4 long tables which encourages communication and the making of new friends.

Today has been rest, gym, eat, relax and we also did a great tour of the galley to see where all the food is reproduced and how it works so well to service the restaurants on board, oh and the there was the talk of the Tanzanite jewelry and the chance to win a string of pearls…Trevor had a sleep and the three of us caught up with a couple of fellow travellers from Melbourne and duly went to the talk…and Rodney won the pearls…it was so funny to see all of these older women giving him the death stare when he stepped forward after having his name pulled out!

Now the afternoon is drawing on and this was the first time I have had to think about writing a post but it will of course not be the last as there is much on the horizon over the next 2 1/2 weeks of sailing and exploring.

So I hope you will join me on this delightful journey I am on over that time as we head up the straits of Melaka and continue cruising!

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