adventures abroad, travel

Day 8: Christmas At Sea

I wake up Christmas morning, easing into the morning, trying to time when I can call home to try to catch the family together for the holiday. Ultimately I can’t get through until later than planned but I happily use my last 15 minutes of connection to talk to my sister, BIL and the girls. They look happy and festive for Christmas Eve, while I am windblown on the sunny promenade deck on Christmas Day. Continue reading “Day 8: Christmas At Sea”

adventures abroad, travel

Day 7: Ko Samui, Thailand (Christmas Eve)

I wake up for another tour planned for this morning, and every fiber of me is screaming to just skip it. I’m a swirl of negative anticipation: The monkey demonstration will probably be a depressing experience of animal misuse, there are two more temples to tour, when I simply cannot face any more temples, and a beach stop. I’m not beachy. I’ve already been to Bangkok Thailand so it’s not a new country seen, and I feel so over it. Continue reading “Day 7: Ko Samui, Thailand (Christmas Eve)”

adventures abroad, travel

Day 6: (Laem Chabang) Bangkok, Thailand

I was supposed to get my passport back so I could depart to Bangkok today, but I got in after they stopped handing them out at 10PM. G as well, of course, in that he was up talking to me to all hours.

G and I are supposed to meet for breakfast before the excursion, but when he gets there, he explains that he left his cabin without his key card. In other words, he’s locked himself out of his cabin (and his ID to get on/off the ship) and has to go to guest services. So since we also have the passport issue, and he has fast-pass status, we both skip breakfast and go … he gets a new key and we both get our passports. Ready to go! Continue reading “Day 6: (Laem Chabang) Bangkok, Thailand”

adventures abroad, travel

Day 4: At Sea

Late night notwithstanding, I’m up reasonably early. It’s a strategic decision, not to go back to sleep: tomorrow my excursion meets at 7am. No sense in getting all off schedule.

Breakfast is at leisure at the buffet, and I share a table with a nice couple from Pennsylvania.

After breakfast I’m at loose ends. A podcast on the open deck. A stroll around the promenade deck. Looped around. The shops browsed. The internet checked. I find a trivia game in progress and sit in on that for a spell.

And this is why I never consider repositioning cruises: days at sea without ports are deadly dull to me, no matter now many activities they pack in.

Around lunchtime I bump into G, just startig his day in earnest, and T, just back from breakfast. G and I go for a light bite – lunch for me and breakfast for him, and we plan to meet up with T for tea and scones at 3pm.

In the mean time, we stop at the shore excursions desk. There are days that G doesn’t have any excursions, having already been on the ship for 10 days and seen some of the ports. He adds excursions to join me on mine – he’d like to get to know me, he says, and that needs time. Since he can’t make the cruise longer, he’ll settle for maximizing opportunities to have time together. (Later, he’ll change the tours he did have, so they will align with mine. When I point out, teasingly, that he’s giving me the sense he maybe likes me lilbit, he says, More than maybe. And more than a little.)

At 4:45 there’s a cocktail reception, T G P and I attend. A glass of wine goes to my head. Afterwards we stroll down to the Wheelhouse Bar to meet ND who is up for a very large Fosters, and T has another champagne. (I just have water. There will be wine with dinner but I’ve had enough for now.)

Even so, halfway through dinner I will just be feeling waves of love for this awesome group of people. They are ALL so fantastic. (And also, I’ll be missing awesome people from previous trips, anew.)

Over dinner we sort out who’s doing what and who has excursions together tomorrow, and we go up for the Stargazing event that proves to be a total bust.

But it’s just as well because by then it’s late, and the wine has overcome me, and I am anxious to go to sleep.

Night: Aft deck pools from the upper deck
adventures abroad, photography, travel

Day 3: (Phu My) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I am far off time and don’t sleep well, so I oversleep in the morning, racing out without my excursion ticket (retrieved) and without my Fitbit (realized too late). We get into dock and cleared by Vietnam immigration an hour late, but T and I are among the first people off the ship to join the tour.

Continue reading “Day 3: (Phu My) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam”

adventures abroad, photography, travel

Day 2: Nha Trang, Vietnam

First port and first shore excursion!

On the way off the ship, I see G from the singles group from last night – he is on my same tour but arrived after me, so we’re not in the same tour group.

Our tour guide, Van, will take us to myriad stops – a breakneck pace to visit 7 in all – to see a traditional fishing village (being transformed by the growth of Nha Trang), a Hindu tower, a Buddhist temple, a pagoda where we are treated to traditional music, a facility where we are treated to traditional dancing (and coconut water), a visit to an embroidery ‘factory’ (workshop/museum), and of course some shopping stops. Continue reading “Day 2: Nha Trang, Vietnam”

adventures abroad, exploring and revisiting, travel, ups and downs

First post of the year, for first visit to Asia

My first trip to Asia came via a cruise over the Christmas holidays, courtesy of Princess Cruise Line.

Cruise Itinerary Map, courtesy of Princess Cruises.

Getting there would take 30+ hours, however, with connections through New York and South Korea Dubai, Continue reading “First post of the year, for first visit to Asia”