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Written from newest to oldest (except Prologue)
Monday, February 19
It was up at 7:00 for our 9:00 “Charms of Old Manila” excursion:
sites that reveal Manila’s tumultuous past, many of them within the
Intramuros district, which is enclosed within a thick wall that the Spanish
built in the 1500s. Here, you will tour notorious Fort Santiago, where
prisoners were once held and tortured. Look for the symbolic bronzed
footsteps of Dr. Jose Rizal, a national hero who was imprisoned in the
fortress before walking to his execution, the penalty for his anti-colonial
writings. You will discover more about the city at Casa Manila, a replica of
a lavish Spanish colonial house decorated with period furniture. It was built
as a pet project of the Philippines’ former first lady Imelda Marcos. You
will also visit Agustin, a World Heritage site church constructed in 1606.
Its baroque altar is particularly stunning. Following a photo stop at Rizal
Park, you will see the luxurious Manila Hotel that General Douglas MacArthur
used as his command post during much of World War I.
were supposed to have a jeepney tour today, but that got cancelled before we
left for the cruise, so we had to reschedule to this tour which covered most
of what the other tour was to have covered.
This was probably one of the most boring tours I have taken. At the fort,
there was not a lot to see and what was supposed to be a 15
minute stop turned into an hour and a half, a lot of the time waiting
for the bus to return. The church was interesting, but too much time there
too. The shopping stop was just an antique store where nobody bought anything.
I skipped the park and stayed on the bus as there was only a monument to see,
and at the hotel, which was supposed to be a 10 minute
stop, it turned into a half hour of looking at the lobby. We got back over an
hour later than scheduled. We have yet to have a tour end on time. Not a good
reflection of the destination department that lays out the schedule and times.
Also one of the problems is that if there are a lot
of guests that want one particular tour, there may be 4-5 busses all going to
the same place at the same time. This causes crowding at the stops and also
when you return, all the people on those busses all try to go to lunch at the
same time and the restaurant gets overcrowded and there are not enough tables
to handle everyone. Today upon return, we lucked out and found a table that
had to be re-set for us, and then other people were getting mad because they
could not find a table to sit at.
After lunch, I went up to the top deck for an hour of sun. It is still quite
warm. Today was in the 90’s. Matt stayed in the cabin. I then went out on our
balcony on our long lounge in the shade to play some Sudoku.
We had no internet during the stay at the port, so could not do anything on
We then fell into our pattern of dinner in Compass Rose followed by our nightly
visit to the casino.
Sunday, February 18
Up at 7:00 and shortly
after we were greeted into the port with a drum corps, flag girl and baton
twirlers on the pier. If passengers on the ship were not up yet, they
certainly were when all the drums started. We went to breakfast in La Veranda
before our 10:00 “Snorkeling Adventure” excursion:
Snorkel two reefs and a sunken shipwreck
teeming with marine life before relaxing on a beach that precipitous
limestone cliffs shelter. You will reach the sites on an outrigger boat that
will make the adventure all the more enjoyable. There is no telling what you
will observe just off Balinsasayaw Resort although
fish are especially abundant. Twin Peaks
Reef is another favorite snorkeling spot where you may see an even greater
variety of marine creatures. Graceful stingrays, bi-colored parrotfish and
scissortail sergeant majors are commonly seen around the coral reef. Then,
there is Skeleton Wreck, a snorkeling and dive site named for the skeletal
remains of a World War II Japanese gunboat. It lies in about 15 feet of
water. A bit farther down the coast, you will stop at Beach 91, a beautiful
stretch of sand that invites relaxing and doing nothing more ambitious than
basking in the sun.
This was one of the better excursions that we have
taken and it got better as we went along. We started at the wreck, went to
the “beach”, where there was no way to bask in the sun, the nice snorkeling
off the resort, and the best, the twin peaks reef which had some of the best
coral we have ever seen.
Back to the ship at 2:00 and lunch on
the pool deck before going back to the room where I went out on our balcony
and Matt did some self laundry.
The tailor showed up and did my pants measurement. They will be back
was in Compass Rose followed by, you’ve got it, the casino, where we broke
Saturday, February 17
Last night we turned the
clocks ahead one hour, losing an hour of sleep. We were up at 8:00 and had
breakfast before the required “Quarantine Inspection” by the Philippine
Government. This meant that every passenger had to go up to the Observation
Lounge, check in and walk by an infrared camera. It was a process that took
all of 5 minutes.
We then went back to our cabin to send out laundry, something we do every
day, as Regent offers free laundry service to all passengers. If we did not
have the 3-day pre-cruise and post-cruise, we would not have to pack as many
socks and underwear as we did. One could get by with 3 pair (2 if you work it
right). We also made our menu choices for our return flights next month. It
is nice to be able to choose some things that are not available if you don’t
make the choices ahead of time.
Bingo followed with no wins for us. Then lunch, which had a Chinese theme,
then an hour of sun for me and movie for Matt.
The casino was open this afternoon, so we decided to visit. No win.
Rest time followed while we waited for dinner. Tonight, dinner was in
Chartreuse, the French restaurant. Nothing really exciting for me there, but
it was fine.
We went to the casino (no win) and called it a night.
Just another sea day.
Friday, February 16
Nha Trang, Vietnam
We both awoke at 6:30
for some reason, so really took our time in getting breakfast and ready for
our 9:30 tour. As we are anchored, we watched them put the tenders in the
water and they were bouncing a bit, so we doubted we were going to be able to
go ashore. Shortly after, the announcement came that we were indeed going.
Our tour was “A Guided Pedicab Ride through Nha
Sit back in the comfort of a pedicab and
ride through the enchanting streets of Nha Trang,
taking in the most remarkable sights along the way. With a routing map in
hand and wearing headphones to hear the enlightening narration, you will
follow the guide in your individual pedicab through the city’s most scenic
areas. Tran Phu,
a pine-shaded boulevard that hugs the beach, is one of the favorite and most
picturesque locales. The exact route will depend on traffic conditions, but
you can expect to view a variety of attractions that you may wish to visit
later on your own, including restaurants, shops and museums. Photo stops will
be made at the most significant points of interest. Upon reaching the
bustling Dam market, you will be transferred back to the ship or you may
remain to shop and return later on your own.
pedicabs were one person per bike. You sit in the front and your driver is
behind you. They use a modified electric bike, so they don’t have to peddle a
lot. My driver was a bit aggressive and liked to ride up on the pedicab in
front of us, but he never hit it, nor any cars that we swerved around. There
were about 60 of us all lined up back-to-back down the streets of the city.
Our tour guide did the narration through small walkie talkie type devices,
but he was at the rear of all the pedicabs and we were in the front, so
whatever he was explaining, we had passed several minutes before.
At the market, we looked for shirts for me as the other 2 we bought in
Cambodia were shrunk in the laundry. We have not found anything that we like.
We got back to the ship around 12:30 and had lunch before I went out in the
sun for another hour and Matt did the bookkeeping of our account. They do
things weird on the ship and he wanted to make sure they had everything
right. That took him some time and even having to go to the front desk to see
what some of our credits were. They are not described on what we see on the
Now it’s not only that I spend an hour or two tanning (any
more and it would be sunburn time), but I am also listening to Jon
Cryer’s Book “So That Happened” via Audible. It is read by Jon. If you are a
fan, it is quite enjoyable.
Back to the room for a bit of a rest before dinner. Made a call to the front
desk to make an appointment with the onboard tailor to hem a pair of pants. I
was told that they do not have a tailor onboard. On our way to dinner, I ran
into the General Manager who told me that the tailor would be onboard in 3
We had dinner in the Main Dining Room and then off to the casino.
Matt went to the production show while I went back to the room.
Thursday, February 15
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Everybody up at 5:45
with room service breakfast at 6:30 in preparation for today’s 7:30
excursion, “Highlights of Saigon”:
Gain an overall understanding of Saigon
through landmark architecture that reflects the changing face of the
metropolis known as Ho Chi Minh City since 1976.
In the lively Chinatown district of Cholon, you will find Giac Lam,
the city’s oldest pagoda. A haven of tranquility where Taoism and
Confucianism merge with Buddhism, the pagoda compound includes ornate tombs,
a rare bodhi tree and an elegant statue of the Goddess of Mercy. For a more
contemporary perspective, you will view Independence Palace, also known as
the Reunification Palace, a modernistic white building that was home to the
president of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Notre-Dame Cathedral
Basilica of Saigon presents a glimpse into colonial life, as the French
constructed it in the mid-1800s. The ornate Central Post Office is another
French-built colonial gem. If not for the large portrait of Ho Chi Minh
inside, you might think you were in Paris.
The excursion was quite nice although I
wish that when passengers are told that it is a 15 minute
stop, they would be back on the bus in 15 minutes. We seem to lose 15-20
minutes at each stop making the next one even shorter. This excursion did
offer a variety of things to see, although, we did have to miss the pagoda.
Also included in the tour was a stop at the large market where we were given
20 minutes to shop.
Back on the ship, we had lunch in Prime 7. They now rotate lunches in one of
the restaurants each day, offering a variety of choices.
At 2:00, departed the pier and the Captain told us that we will be
encountering winds and that he doubts that we will be able to anchor in Nah
Trang, Vietnam tomorrow, which means we will most likely have 2 sea days in a
After lunch, I went up on the top deck for an hour of sun while Matt watched
We then went to the “Top Tier” event for passengers with many days of
traveling with Regent. This included performances by members of the
Production Team. This was followed by dinner in Sette
Mari (La Veranda is turned into an Italian style restaurant in the evenings).
Dinner was only fair. My veal scaloppini was tough and Matt’s golden fried
chicken cutlet was not fried, had a weird texture and the tomato sauce was
“horrible”. We will not be going back there for dinner again.
We went back to the room where Matt watched another movie and I did some
Wednesday, February 14
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
We got up at 6:30 and
had breakfast before our 9:00 “Mekong River Delta” excursion:
Experience the rural lifestyle in the
fertile Mekong Delta, much of which you will traverse by boat. As an
introduction to the local culture, you will first visit Vinh Trang, an ornate
temple surrounded by meticulously manicured gardens full of ornamental
shrubbery and bonsai trees. Despite its beauty, the flora is no match for the
fecundity of the Mekong Delta, where you will cruise pass terraced rice
paddies, seemingly endless fruit orchards and fields of soybeans and
For a closer look at village life, you
will disembark on Thoi Son Island and interact with the locals. While
enjoying a cup of honey tea and a selection of fresh fruits, you watch a
folkloric music performance. A traditional lunch of dishes such as elephant
ear fish and grilled pork follows, after which you will return to the
water; this time on a wooden sampan
identical to the ones used to transport fruit through the canals.
This tour began with an hour forty five minute bus ride to My Tho
City, with a 30 minute visit to the Viny Trang Pagoda. Then it was a short
drive to the boat pier for our short ride on the Mekong River. These were
covered boats to get from the mainland to an island. We then went to a village for an hour to
see how honey items were made, how coconut candy was made and to listen to a
few songs. We then went on a canal ride on sampans, uncovered 4 man boats
with 2 oars people guiding our way through the small canal (and hitting other
boats). At least the canal had a canopy of palms, so that kept us out of the
sun. Back to our main covered boat and off to our lunch venue. They served
Elephant Ear Fish, Ribs and chicken. Back to the covered boat to get to our
bus, then a 2 and a half hour ride back to the ship.
What was supposed to be a 5 ½ hour tour turned into 7. I am hitting long
excursion burn out
We were going to go to the “Grand Deck BBQ” on the pool deck, but because we
were tired, we took our time getting ready and had a nice dinner in the
Compass Rose Restaurant. We did go up to the pool deck for desert.
This was followed by a folkloric show in the theater. We had originally
scheduled an evening excursion to a folkloric show in town, but the timing
did not work out to be able to even have dinner before and it was a 3 hour event. Many onboard complained, so they added the
show in the theater so those who wanted could cancel and still see a
That finished at 10:15, so that was
enough for the day.
If I get my energy back, I’ll do tomorrow’s excursion, otherwise it may be a
forced “sea day” for me.
Tuesday, February 13
Finally another day to relax!
We got up around 7:00 and took our time to get ready for breakfast in La
The ocean is more of a brownish color here than the blue we are used to
seeing on cruises.
As I mentioned, it was a relaxing morning with really nothing that had to be
done (other than getting our daily laundry out). We played Bingo at 11:00
(where Matt won a game) and then went to lunch in Compass Rose with Neil and Massi. New to Regent is the opening of one of the
specialty restaurants for lunch. It is on a rotating basis and just gives
another option of a menu driven venue rather than the buffet. We will be
trying that out one day.”
Today was Tex-Mex day by the pool. We skipped that, but found out that
Compass Rose was mostly Tex-Mex also. They should at least offer different
things in there rather than being the same as outside.
Afternoon brought my tanning time. The main pool deck was completely full, so
I went to the infinity pool at the back of the ship and found a spot in the
sun. The wind has started to come up and we are finally rocking just a little
bit. Meanwhile, Matt went to the cabin
to watch a movie.
I did get a little red in the face. The sun here is intense.
Tonight was the Seven Seas Society Cocktail Party. This is for those who have
been on the ship at least 21 nights. They break down how many people are in
each level of the society.
Silver (21-74 nights): 277
Gold (75-199 nights): 153
Platinum (200-399 nights: Matt is in this category): 56
Titanium (400-999 nights: I am in this category): 29
Diamond (1,000-1,999 nights): 1
Commodore (2,000+ nights): 1
After the party, we had dinner with Neil, Massi and
Bruce Van Rooyen (the ships Cruise Consultant) at Prime 7.
Because we are so close to the shoreline of Vietnam, the casino was closed
for the night, so Matt went to see the performer in the theater. She is doing
an opera/broadway show. Meanwhile, I went back to
the cabin to do this.
Monday, February 12
I got up at 6:30 to
watch the Super Bowl. Although there was a “Tailgate Breakfast Buffet Party”
right before the game in the atrium, I did not attend. They did show the game
in the theater and also on TV in the cabins. I decided that watching in our
room was easier.
We got our laundry back and the 2 shirts that we bought no longer fit me
(they shrunk). They now belong to Matt.
We had 2 excursions today. The first was a short 1 hour
tour of the area, “Sihanoukville By Open-Air Vehicle. It began at 10:30:
Sit back in the comfort of a tuk-tuk and
zip through the streets of Sihanoukville, taking in the most historical and
culturally important attractions. From inside the tuk-tuk mini-car, you will
enjoy a street-level view of the city highlights while listening to
commentary that describes them. After passing a sugar-white beach
shaded by palm trees, you will see the
Golden Lion Monument in the center of a roundabout and learn what its statue
of crouching lions represents and how it became a symbol of the city. You
will also pass Phsar Leu, a market with more than
1,000 vendors offering most everything imaginable. Chances are, the enticing
aroma of food cooking on braziers will be wafting through the air. Toward the
end of the tuk-tuk tour, you will pass the city’s somber War Memorial in
It is interesting that the description of the tour given to us on the ship
states that we would be making short stops at 4 of the sites. We did not. It
was just a ride through the city. It was hard to see or even take pictures
out of the tuk-tuk. I told Matt that it would have been easier to sit on the
floor and see out rather than leaning down all the time. While we were out, a
family of 3 on a motorcycle stopped at a stop light next to us. The father
was in front, mother in the back and a girl, about 4, in the middle. She
looked over at me, I waved, and she had the brightest smile I have ever seen
and a little wave. It made the tour.
We got back at 11:45 and had lunch in La Veranda before our next tour, “ Ream National Park By Boat” which began at 1:30:
Spend a magical day exploring Ream
National Park, a wonderland of evergreen forests and mangrove swamps teeming
with wildlife. Established by Cambodia’s former King Sihanouk, the park
provides a protected environment for animals such as birds and monkeys. Your
exploration of the park will begin with a boat ride down the mangrove-lined Prek Toeuk Sap River. Watch for
flying fish and dolphin breaking the water’s surface, and birds such as
Brahminy kites, grey-headed fish-eagles and white-bellied sea eagles in the
estuary. Storks and egrets usually congregate along the mudflats here. You
will spend the next few hours on a guided walk through the woods, where you
will likely see monkeys in the trees, butterflies flitting around the path
and even more birds, as at
least 150 avian species thrive here. You
will also tour a village in the park and relax on an unspoiled beach nearby.
No animals were spotted during the tour…a
disappointment to Matt. The tour also lasted 45 minutes longer than expected
which made us hurry to meet new friends for dinner at 6:30. I made it just in
time…Matt was 15 minutes behind me.
Very nice dinner, then off to the casino
for some fun. Came out even tonight.
Back to the room to relax and get ready for a full sea day tomorrow.
Sunday, February 11
Up at 7:00, breakfast in La Veranda,
then off at 9:30 to the Pattaya Floating Market:
Get a genuine feel for river life by
exploring the Pattaya floating market, which vendors in small wooden boats
supply with all sorts of local goods. The market is divided into four
sections, each representing a different region of Thailand. Although just
opened in 2008, the market looks much older as it was designed to replicate
an ancient floating market, most of which have long been abandoned. During
free time at the market, you might sample items such as dragon fruit and
mangosteen—the national fruit of Thailand—and linger over a freshly prepared
lunch that is characteristic of one of the four regions. With so many aromas
enticingly wafting through the air, it will be hard to resist dining. But the
floating market offers much more than food. You will also find unusual
silverware, handmade bags and silk
clothing. The atmosphere couldn’t be more inviting. Browse the incredible
array of merchandise at the Pattaya floating market.
Not the most exciting spot. Just think flea market
along a wooden walkway near a man-made canal. We were there for an hour and a
half, then the 1 hour bus ride back. It’s funny how
sometimes an hour and a half goes by quicky and
other times where it seems like a half a day. This was the latter. We did buy
2 shirts and a framed Eliza (“King and I”) enamel charm.
Lunch was going to be in La Veranda, but
the selection was poor, so we ordered from the pool grill. Matt got a burger
and I picked the Cuban Panini.
I then went out by the pool for some sun time while Matt watched TV and
washed the shirts we purchased at the Market.
Dinner was in the Compass Rose. The food quality really has not been the
best. It’s ok, but not as good as in the past. The “salt sticks” which used
to be my favorite item on the ship has been changed to a different dough.
Just not as good. It seems that they are also lacking seasoning on many of
the items. We followed dinner by a visit to the casino where we came out
about even and then to bed.
Saturday, February 10
We were up at 6:30 for
an 8:30 tour. Because there is another ship in our docking area and will not be
moving until 8:00, we are not able to port until 8:30. This
pushes everything by one half hour. We are really porting in Laem
Chabang, Thailand, which is 2 ½ hours away from Bangkok, so we have a long
drive to get to Bangkok for the actual tour, which is “Bangkok In A Day”:
Gain insight into life in Bangkok, past
and present, by cruising the meandering Chao Phraya River and intersecting
canals and then visiting key landmarks.
During the cruise, you will see houses
on stilts, floating grocery stores and water taxis zipping about. Few
experiences offer such a candid look at life on
Bangkok’s waterways. In time, you will
arrive at Wat Arun, the glorious Temple of Dawn, whose main spire soars more
than 200 feet into the air. A traditional
Thai lunch follows, after which you will
explore the Grand Palace, an extraordinary example of an ancient Siamese
court. Thailand’s kings lived here for more
than 150 years, and today it is used
primarily for royal ceremonies and state occasions. You will also visit the
Emerald Buddha Temple within the palace
complex. It holds a 14th-century statue
of Buddha that was carved from a single piece of emerald-green jasper.
We did not get out of
to the busses until 9:45 and it was indeed, a 2 ½ hour bus ride to Bangkok.
Upon arrival, we boarded the river boat and cruised the canal for a bit and
then the rain hit. It became a downpour and almost blocked our view across
the river. They had to put the tarps down on the side of the boat, so we
could not see out and things became very humid.
As we got near the Wat Arun, everyone decided that we would just skip it as
it was still pounding rain, and move on to lunch.
This was a wonderful buffet at a hotel and we had one hour there.
We re-boarded our bus and went to the Grand Palace. We arrived just before
they closed the gates at 3:30 PM, viewed the Emerald Buddah,
then given a quick tour of grounds.
At 4:30, we started heading back to the ship. Being Chinese New Year, the
freeway was jammed. Our guide said that there are really 3 days where things
happen. Day 1: Purchase gifts for family members. Day 2: Stay home and pray.
Day 3: Travel to visit with family. We are on day 3. It took us until 8:00 to
The restaurant, La Veranda, was open for us with an “International Buffet”.
That consisted of Chinese food and pasta. It looked as though it had been
sitting there all day. We tried a bit and decided to go back to our room and
order food from Compass Rose.
We had had enough for the day and just stayed in our cabin.
Friday, February 9
Ko Samui, Thailand
We awoke at 6:00 and
had breakfast at 8:00 in La Veranda before meeting in the theatre to get our
excursion tickets and boarding a tender. The process was much better than
past cruises as they had things under control.
The problem was, it’s a tender port and that makes things go slowly. In fact,
they were just over an hour behind. Our 9:00 tender boarding time was pushed
It was a 30 minute tender ride to the dock at Ko
Our bus was waiting, and we were off on the “Ancient Temples and Monkeys”
tour. Here is the description:
Delve into the spiritual side of Ko
Samui by visiting three prominent temples or wats and then enjoy a lighter
moment by watching trained monkeys pick coconuts.
Although Khunaram Temple is rather modest, it still
draws quite the crowd for its unusual, macabre display. A mummified Buddhist
monk wearing sunglasses sits in a meditative pose in a glass case, as he
requested in his final wishes. Although contemporary, the Big Buddha Temple
is much more traditional, as its attractions are the namesake enormous statue
of Buddha and a collection of huts for meditation. The depiction of Buddha
laughing and the statue of the 18-armed goddess Guayin
are more whimsical and colorful at Plai Laem, a
contemporary temple in a tranquil, lakeside setting. The mood will be even
lighter at a nearby plantation, where you will watch nimble monkeys assist
with the production of coconuts by picking them from high in the trees.
The temples were not ancient, but very interesting. Our guide got a little
slow, so Matt and I kind of ran ahead to get photos of things before there
were people in the way. One stop not mentioned was a stop for free soda at
the Coral Hotel. It was a nice excursion that ended at 3:30.
Once again aboard the tender and back to the ship just after 4:00. Matt ran
our safari pants down the laundry room as we will need them again tomorrow.
Days with visits to temples require long pants.
While he was doing that, I ordered room service, as all of the restaurants
are closed at that time. There was a backup and delivery was
We worked on photos and rested a bit before our 8:00 dinner back at Pacific
Rim. We had made this reservation long ago, not knowing that Neil and Massi were going to make the reservations last night.
After dinner, we went the casino where
we came out a bit ahead, then to bed, as we have a LONG excursion tomorrow.
Thursday, February 8
We turned our clocks
back one hour last night so we were supposed to get
an extra hour of sleep. However, we were both up at 5:30, so we took our time
getting ready. When the self laundry room opened at
7:00, I went down and ironed 3 shirts for the day for both of us. Then it was
off to breakfast in La Veranda, back to the room, down to the computer room
to print out our calendar, then to destinations at 9:00 when they opened.
They had made a mistake and scheduled 2 of our excursions on one day both at
the same time. I proved we had reserved a morning and an afternoon excursion.
They got it corrected.
At 10:00, the boutique opened and Matt and I checked out their offerings.
11:00 was Bingo time and I ended up winning the last game (blackout) and won
We had the buffet lunch, which was not that great.
I then went out on the upper deck to catch some sun. It is 85 degrees out
with a bit of humidity, but the breeze of being at sea did help. Meanwhile,
Matt went to the salon to purchase a few items.
Before we even came aboard the ship, we had to watch a safety video two
times, then when you come on board, they now just show you where the muster
station is and you are on your way.
Because we arrived on the ship late, they did not have anyone at the entrance
of the ship to show us where the station was (although we knew) nor show
anyone where to go on the ship to get to the elevators (we knew). So today we
get a letter on our door at 2:00 saying we have to have a safety meeting at
5:00. Mind you, the Captains Reception is at 6:00. Matt went down to talk to
the front desk and they said it a decision they made and that they would wait
for everyone to arrive and then it would be a half hour drill.
Matt told her that it would not leave enough time to get cleaned up and
dressed in time for the Reception. She did not care.
I went down and talked to the General Manager of the ship and told him the
situation. He called the Safety Manager who confirmed the time. The GM was
NOT happy with that decision and could not understand why they said it was
going to be a half hour. He then told me to come with him. He took me down
the staircase one floor, showed me the theater door and said “that’s your
muster station”. Matt did not have to come down, and we are done with that.
We feel sorry for the other 48 passengers who were on our pre-cruise that are
still having to go at 5:00.
Back to the cabin at 3:15 and rested until we had to get ready for the
I attended the Reception alone, as our laundry had
not returned yet. When I came back to the cabin, Matt was sorting though all the clothes that had just been returned, We then had dinner at Pacific Rim, the Asian Restaurant,
with Neil and Massi. Then it was off to the casino
and then to bed.
Our first excursion takes place tomorrow. It is a tender port, so we shall
see how that goes. Usually the process of getting
everyone ready for their first excursion is a mess in the theater where we
meet. Adding to that, being we all have to tender 30
minutes to get ashore, it should be very interesting.
Wednesday, February 7
Another early morning.
We awoke at 4:30 as we both could not sleep. Got ready and went down to breakfast
at 6:00. Back up to the room to gather our bags and met in the lobby for the
bus ride to the airport.
It’s an hour drive, then the check-in. It is amazing how many times we have
had to show our passport at this airport alone. Front entrance, check in,
immigration, 3 times at the gate. Igot called back
to security right after check-in and found out that they did not want my
camera in the check-in bag. Took it out and all was ok. Through immigration
quickly and then for the wait to board the plane.
It was a 9:10 boarding for a 9:50 flight which lasted just over an hour to
get to Bangkok, where we had a 3 hour layover.
Regent had arranged for all of us to use the Coral Lounge at the airport.
Boarding time for our flight to Singapore was 1:10 for our 1:50 flight. It
was about 2 ½ hours in the air. Through immigration AGAIN. We are all getting
tired of showing our passports.
Flight arrived at 5:10, through immigration, 1 hour bus ride to the ship and
finally aboard at 7:10 PM.
I had to run down to the front desk to take care of a few things and have
already run into Bruce, the cruise consultant and Andy Heath, our cruise
director. Both remembered me from past cruises.
We met with our butler, Rigel, who is being WAY too formal for us. We are
pretty relaxed about things in the room such as not having him set up a full
table service for us. We prefer he just leave everything and we’ll take care
of it. He is having a hard time not doing it. He still insists on calling us
by our last names even though we have asked him to call us by our first.
Don’t worry…we’ll break him.
We ordered room service dinner choosing items from Compass Rose, the main
dining room and unpacked until 10:30. It’s hard to try to get the right
things in the right drawers. I’m sure we’ll be adjusting things over the next
Matt spent time getting our clothes ready to be sent out in the morning. We
have 5 full bags to be either just pressed or laundered.
Finally, it’s time to get into relax mode. It sure as a “hurry, hurry, rush,
rush pre-cruise, but I’m so glad we got to see Angkor Wat.
At least we turn the clocks back one hour tonight, so we can get an extra
hour of sleep.
Tuesday, February 6
We got up at 6:00 and
before going down to breakfast, I bumped my leg on the corner of the wooden
bed frame and started bleeding. Of course, we had no bandaids
here as they are in our main bags back in Singapore. Thankfully, Neil and Massi are staying right across the hall from us and Matt
was able to get one from them.
It was down to breakfast where we joined Neil and Massi.
Off on small busses (11 in ours) to Angkor Thom and the Banyon
Temple where “Lara Craft, Tomb Ranger” was filmed.
The weather was hot even as we started the tour and only got hotter and more
humid as the morning went on.
We then went to a local restaurant for a nice lunch and then to a store that
was a tourist trap of imported items.
Scheduled next was a tour of the Satcha Project
Center where young artisans are learning various crafts such as silk weaving,
pottery, wood sculpturing, leather cutting and more. All of the other people
on our tour bus took the option of going back to the hotel, which was on the
way to the Center, leaving only Matt and I on the bus with the guide and
driver. They took us to the center where they gave us a very quick overview
of each craft as the artisans were working. We purchased 2 of the leather
items. Although a visit to the Old Market was to also be included, we had
purchased what we wanted and as it was close to the 3:00 return time, we
decided to skip the market.
We had 3 hours of time to go back to the room to cool down and then it was
time for the “Dinner and Cultural Show” that they do 3 times a week at the
hotel. It was a very nice outdoor setting with areas where they displayed and
offered appetizers (and bugs). Then came a display of ancient fighting, then
everyone moved to the stage area where large tables were set for our dining.
They began with a dance, then served a course, then another dance, another
course and so on until a final dance after dessert. A nice way to end our
visit to Cambodia. We will be back as part of the actual cruise later on.
Back to the room to pack for a full day of travel and embarkation tomorrow.
Monday, February 5
We got up at 3:30AM
and picked up our “bagged breakfast” at 5:00 (pastries, tea and water).
We met up with Neil and Massi from Australia. They
have been on several cruises with us and we made plans weeks ago to have
dinner together tonight at a steakhouse on the hotel property. At 5:40 we
were off to the airport for our Singapore Air flight to Siem
Reap, Cambodia. There are 54 people on this tour.
Arrived at the airport, ticketed and then went through their version of
security which is to scan your passport, a camera takes your photo, and you
are on your way. Very quick.
Through our American Express “Priority Pass” card we were able to go to the
very nice SATS Lounge for the one hour wait to board the plane.
Because this is a group tour, we are in coach...Row 55, at the back of the plane…and of course, I would end up
in the center seat.
Boarding for the 8:40 flight began at 7:40, but because we were in group 5,
and they boarded from the back forward,
there was no wait to get onboard.
With the one hour time change on the 2 hour flight,
arrival in Siem Reap was at 9:45.
We were divided into 2 groups for the bus ride that went directly to the
temple site to have our pictures taken for the visit to the temple later in
the day. We then drove the 5 minutes to check in at the Borei
Angkor Resort. It is a beautiful hotel/resort in the middle of a sketchy area
of the city. The room is one of the best we have had on any of our pre or
The decision was made that instead of starting our temple tour at 3:00
instead of 2:00, as the afternoon heat and humidity is a bit much in the
early afternoon. The guide did mention that the heat wave started yesterday,
of course. So, we had 3 hours to rest. We were both full from the food we ate
at the airport lounge and the breakfast that was served on the plane.
At 3:00, we Took the bus to Ankgor Wat Temple. It
was an amazing place. Only took 300,000 people to build. We climbed many
stairs to get to the 3rd level of the site. We also got to see
several monkeys on the site. We were there for just 3 hours before returning
to the hotel for a quick shower and then met up with Neil and Massi for a wonderful dinner at the Ox Club Restaurant
which right off the front entrance to the hotel.
After dinner, we transferred our photos from the cameras to the computer and
called it a night.
Friday through Sunday, February 2-4
The Longest Day
After a long day of
packing (and Matt having to finish running around with meetings with
sub-contractors on the new house), we were finally ready to start the
vacation. It was rush, rush, rush, right up to 6:30PM when Eric from Vintage
Limousine arrived in the SUV to take us to San Francisco International
We arrived at the airport at 8:15 and had zero wait at both the EVA Airline
check-in or through TSA.
We then went to the Air France lounge and waited for our boarding call. Boarding began at 11:10 and takeoff for
Taipei, the first stop on our way to Singapore, at 12:30AM.
The first flight was just over 12 hours. We had pre-ordered our dinner and
breakfast choices online a few weeks before the flight.
Breakfast was served at 3:45AM on Sunday the 3rd, as we crossed
the International Dateline and lost Saturday.
We arrived at Taipei Airport 6:15AM, walked a distance to the next gate and
at 7:10, took a shuttle from the gate to the plane. Takeoff for Singapore was
at 7:50 and shortly thereafter, another breakfast. This was a 4 hour flight, landing at 12:20. No line at customs and
baggage came quickly. We were on our way via private transportation at 1:15.
No line at check-in and we were up to our room quickly. We then re-packed for
our 2 day trip to Cambodia as part of the pre-cruise
package. Weight is VERY limited, so we can only have one small checked bag
and a 15 pound limit on one carry on. Our large
luggage is kept at the Hotel in Singapore and will be transported to the ship
on the 7th. They should be in our cabin when we arrive just before
departure. We rested the rest of the afternoon before walking over to Paulander Brauhaus for a German
dinner, which is directly across the street from the hotel, but you have to
walk down 2 blocks to cross the road. It was ok, but not the best meal we
Back to the hotel and asleep at 8:00.
August 11, 2021
First, we have to go
back to our March 2020 Asian Cruise that covered 8 countries, which was
cancelled just a few weeks before the cruise was to start due to the outbreak
of Covid in Asia. We immediately booked a similar cruise for 2022. In
mid-2021, Regent canceled that cruise, because Covid was still prevalent
in most of the countries to be visited. We had some future cruise credit
sitting with them, so we scheduled an October 2021 short cruise to Greece and
Turkey. Due to continuing Covid outbreaks, we decided to cancel that cruise,
as we did not want to wear a mask everywhere onboard and on all excursions as
was being required. We then waitlisted a 2023 cruise, but it only covered
Japan and China. Regent later released their 2024 itineraries and we noticed
our original full Asian cruise was being offered again, so we cancelled the
2023 cruise. Reservations for the 2024 cruise open on August 18.
August 18, 2021
Brenda at Travel
Leaders in Aberdeen was able to book the cruise for us very quickly. Our
first choices of cabins were already taken, so we ended up in our 5th choice,
although should there be an opening in the others, we should be able to get
it. As of now, we will be in Cabin 723, which does have a larger balcony,
which we prefer.
We will be doing a 3 day pre-cruise tour visiting
Angkor Wat in Cambodia and a 3 day post-cruise tour of Tokyo.
February 7, 2023
Temples and Monkeys
In A Day
Pattaya Floating Market
By Open-Air Vehicle
Ream National Park By Boat
Chi Minh, Vietnam
Highlights of Saigon
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Pedicab Ride Through Nha Trang
of Old Manila
Hong Kong By Night & Sky 100
& The Natural Wonders of Yeliu
Best of Shanghi
of Gyeongju & Busan
Nara On Our Own
Highlights of Osaka
Tour of Nagoya
July 13, 2023
Air Travel has been arranged.
We had tried for a non-stop flight from San Francisco to Singapore, but
Regent wanted $6,000 extra. We decided not to do that, but to fly from San
Francisco to Taipei then on to Singapore via EVA Airways. Our business class
seats have been assigned.
July 26, 2023
We have booked a tour
of Nara, Japan while the ship is in Osaka. I visited Nara back in 1974 on my
People-To-People World Tour. Matt and I have decided to use "Tours By Locals" once again. We have used them before when
visiting New Zealand and loved having a local guide take us on a personal
We chose an eight hour tour with Atsuko Tanaka who
will meet us at the Kobe-Osaka Cruise port and take us to Nara Park to feed
the deer that bow, visit Kofukuji Temple, Yoshikien Garden, Todaji Temple
and Kasuga Shrine amongst other local sites.