Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Report # 66 Sailing Towards Singapore March 5, 2014 Wednesday Partly Cloudy, 75 degrees

We are now heading south towards Singapore
It only took the Amsterdam sailing overnight, for us to be back in pretty nice weather. When we went for our morning walk, the skies were mostly blue, something we have not seen for the entire time we were docked in Hong Kong. Not that everyone was complaining about the grey overcast, but those who had tours to Victoria Peak or Lantau Island were disappointed to be denied the views that are there to be enjoyed. We have been lucky in that respect, since we have visited Hong Kong this time of year, as well as in the fall while on the Asia/Pacific cruise. We recall that the fall was a much better time weatherwise to tour China and Japan.

We have two good speakers that gave lectures today. The morning session was delivered by Brian Stoddart who spoke about China's influences on the world, beginning many years ago. Has anyone heard of the phrase "Chinoiserie"? It is a mixture of Chinese design blending with Western taste. Mr. Stoddart explained further in his talk. In the afternoon, Mel Foster spoke about the turbulent history of Singapore, the Island Nation, and Sir Stamford Raffles part in its history.

With the new start of the third segment of the world cruise, we went into full service buffets in the Lido for 48 hours, which ended today at noontime. We think it is a great idea, but we doubt it is enough to stop another explosion of sore throats and upper respiratory infections. The "bug" has begun to go around once again, and has impacted some of our tablemates. One of our hosts has had three bouts of the illness, which does not get bad enough for a fever, but leaves one miserable with an annoying cough that hangs on for days. As for us, we did have a brief period with symptoms of a headcold way back in late January, but luckily, it cleared up without any meds. In addition to spraying the dining room late at night, we heard tank spraying being done around 1am in our hallways. Sometimes "bombs" are set off in the hallways, creating a dense fog of disinfectant, permeating every nook and cranny. If it helps, we are in favor of it. Just don't leave your room during the spraying.

We have not had a chance to mention exercise classes available to all. Starting early at 8am, Jodie, the Lifestylist and fiancee of Gene Young, holds a sit and be fit class. Something tells us that those who normally participate in that activity at home are probably not out of bed yet. Aqua aerobics are taught at 9am and 11am in the Lido Pool by Jodie. Between classes, she leads a guided meditation group at 10am. The rest of her day may involve personal training for a price, but we cannot confirm that. So who is one of the most fit person onboard? Well, Jodie, of course. She also has youth on her side........and Gene too.

Another popular activity with the folks is tai chi, taught by Master Cathy. It is not unusual to see people of all ages practicing the deliberate moves on the lower promenade deck. One of our longtime Asian buddies, Eddie, is a master himself at the art. We guess his age to be in the nineties, and his moves are learned from a lifetime of Chinese training, since he comes from there. While walking through Kowloon Park, we saw many locals doing tai chi, a daily ritual there. It is fun to watch, but much more difficult to do, we are sure.

A new musical group has joined us by the name of the Katherine Stone Band. They play in the Crows Nest, and according to Barb, they are OK, but very, very loud. So much so, that conversation is difficult. The last time we went up to the Crows Nest was for the first Cruise Critic meeting, and we have not been there since. The only place that is comfortable to sit for us is at the bar on the high seats. However, we are certain that every seat is taken by the regulars that began this trip in Florida.

Catching up on some of the late night entertainment, we heard that the 2 person Celtic group were very good, but were drowned out by the ship's drummer. We have heard no comments on the singers and dancers, but will ask about them during dinnertime. Tonight, Byron Johnston will be playing his guitar with classical and pop tunes. Poor Keith has been under the weather, and announced for the last two or more nights that he was not going to the show. Bed was a better option. We second that.

Surprise.....we had presents tonight.....two ballistic nylon carry on travel bags with wheels. Perfect, since we will be using these for our overland safari in Africa. They are the perfect size for packing essentials for that trip.

Two ballistic nylon carry on travel bags

Gift card

Flowers continue to open up

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