A Great Cruise: What Azamara Cruiseline Does Right

We enjoy cruising.  Really, what’s not to like?  You are provided with food, lodging, maid service, entertainment and alcohol and get to visit beautiful spots in the world.

When my children were very young we embarked on several low cost cruises that allowed the five of us stay in the same 120 square foot room.  What the heck were we thinking?  What parent doesn’t want to get into a closet size room with their spouse and three active children?  My kids loved cruising because there was 24 hour pizza, ice cream and a family vacation all rolled into one.  But once we went to bed,  NO ONE could get up, unless everybody got up.  Since there were bunks on top of bunks, I’m pretty sure at least one of my three kids needed to step on another to get in or out of bed.

Things have changed.  We’re retired now and our adult children don’t usually cruise with us.  When we choose a cruise we look for great itineraries .  We found a fabulous itinerary on the Azamara Journey eighteen nights from Singapore to Sydney with stops in Bali, Komodo Northern Australia and The Great Barrier Reef.  We had never heard of Azamara before but after some researching, we decided to try this cruiseline owned by Celebrity.  Customer ratings were positive so we booked our cruise.

Things Azamara does differently

1. The food was exceptional.  Because the kitchen staff is only preparing meals for 600 or so passengers the quality and preparation of the food was spot on.  At every meal you can eat at either the Windows Cafe or Discovery dining room.  There is not assigned, fixed seating so you have an opportunity to either enjoy your meal as a couple or ask to be placed at a group table.

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Lobster tail from specialty restaurant

2.  The entertainment was diverse.  Guests can enjoy dance lessons, card games, painting, trivia, destination lecturers as well as small and larger scale musical shows.  One interesting note about the entertainment was that the Cruise Director, Eric was also an amazing performer. He sang, danced, skated, told jokes and performed in drag on our eighteen day cruise. There is really nothing quite like watching a six foot six performer skate, sing and dance in drag.

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Cruise director Eric with my friend Pat

3.  On every cruise Azamara hosts a White Party where guests and employees alike all dress in white and enjoy a sumptuous lobster barbecue on the deck, complete with drinks, entertainment, line dancing and also a few people in the pool at the end of the night (myself included). The night was a brilliant seventy degrees with clear skies and a full moon.

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Enjoying White Party with new friends Jeff, Jennifer, Gail and Marilyn
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The ladies decided to take a dip in the pool at The White Party
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Dancing in the pool at the end of the White Party

4.  The people that work at Azamara are friendly.  Not the fake smile and nod friendly, they are really friendly.  From the room steward to the captain everyone greets you on the ship and they will engage you in a conversation.  You can’t fake that.

5.   Azamara also hosts an AZAMAZING EVENING at one of the ports where locals provide a night of culture and entertainment for the guest. On our night in Cairns we were treated to  face painting, dance and music as we learned more of the natives aboriginal culture.

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Face paint courtesy of the performers

6.  Azamara has only two ships, each hold approximately 600 passengers. They are often able to get into much smaller ports than the mega ships. The ships were refurbished recently and are decorated in warm gray hues. They change the itineraries frequently and often stay at a port late or remain overnight. This really allows the opportunity for passengers to spend time enjoying the destinations. For my husband and I, really IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DESTINATIONS.

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Bali 

7.  I may be new to Azamara but we are not new to cruising. Azamara does things differently.  They use technology throughout their ship, from the USB plugs by the bed lamp to photos from the ship’s photographer that can be viewed on your stateroom television.  The same was true for your bill.

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A nightly treat with our fresh fruit and flowers

8.   Azamara Includes the price of your basic alcohol and tipping with the price of your cruise. It makes it so much easier to budget cruise costs this way. You do have the option to buy premium alcohol packages, internet packages as well as dining in the two specialty restaurants.
9.  We usually choose an inside stateroom.  Basically we would rather spend our travel dollar on more travel rather than on a more expensive cabin.  We also were very pleased with our room, the comfortable bedding, linens and the fruit and fresh flowers in our state room daily. Who else does that?  Especially for an inside stateroom.  Azamara has some terrific common space that made it easier to spend time getting to know new friends.

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The “Living Room” offered a place to enjoy conversation, drinks and tapas with friends

9.  Timing is everything. Our ship, The Journey arrived at our final port of Sydney at sunrise.  Passengers were all informed that we would be sailing by the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge as the sun was rising.  We were met on the top deck to greet the new day in beautiful Sydney with mimossas and pastries.

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Sydney’s iconic Harbor Bridge and Opera House at sunrise

 

We know that we will sail with Azamara again.  They are not the cheapest, the largest, the newest, but for our money they are the best.  They are a cruiseline with heart.

Australia:  My Travel Fantasyland

My visit to Australia is a dream journey, that is not only meeting, but exceeding my expectations.  Ever since I was very young and viewed a copy of National Geographic Magazine featuring the Great Barrier Reef, I knew in my heart that I would some day visit the Great Barrier Reef.  I longed to see the bright colors and spectacular undersea life there.  This past week my husband and I have traveled to several cities in Australia where a childhood dream became a reality.

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Port Douglas, Australia

Our ship pulled into Port Douglas and after a sleepless night we were at Port Douglas.  It is a lovely  town filled with shops and a harbor filled with boats ready to take the willing to The Great Barrier Reef.

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In reality, the Great Barrier Reef is a series of several hundred reefs along northern Australia.  Climate change, warmer water, pollution, human behavior and some predators have changed the reef.  But the Great Barrier Reef is not dead.   Although it is obvious that it is not as healthy as it could be.   It is one of the seven wonders of the world.

We boarded a gigantic catamaran from Quicksilver with two hundred and fifty of our closest friends.  We traveled to a  location nearly two hours away to a diving platform on the reef.  Quicksilver charges about $200 per person to snorkel or ride the undersea submarine.   We reached the platform which included changing rooms, observation decks, a restaurant, a helicopter landing pad and a variety of places to observe the sea life, including an underwater observation chamber and a mini sub.  Even with all of the  infrastructure and the people, the reef is simply magnificent.

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The Great Barrier Reef

I’m not going to lie, my expectation was more of an intimate experience with nature.  But, with that being said it was a fantasy, a dream come true to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.  We snorkeled with a marine biologist and about five other people into the choppy current.  We put on our stinger suits, which are similar to a full body Spanx and along with our snorkels, goggles and fins we jumped into the water with lots of enthusiasm.

Our marine biologist braved the water with us and showed us up close some of the magic under the sea.  We held jelly fish (the nice ones), watched giant clams open and close their shells, followed turtles playing, and watched the colorful coral dance.  This was something my dreams were made of.  Yes, even with the helicopter flights, the mass of humanity, the trip was fabulous.  My husband and I were absolutely exhausted when we finished but as we dozed on the return trip back to town we both had smiles on our faces.

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Colorful coral at the Great Barrier Reef

Our next port was Cairns, where we booked an excursion to the Franklin Islands for more snorkeling and beach time.  Normanby Island could have been from the TV show Fantasy Island.  It was filled with breezy palm trees and coral covered the beaches.  Snorkeling from the beach so close to the Great Barrier Reef was a joy.  This was a small excursion, there was ample room for snorkeling and the water was calm and clear.

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Normanby Island, part of the Franklin Islands Australia

We saw a great deal of fish, stingray and the coral colors were vibrant.  Towards the end of the trip, we hiked with the marine biologist and learned about a rare tiny star shaped protists  that is found only on Frankli Island and Okinawa, Japan.

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Rare star shaped protists that leave behind their skeletons making a star sand beach

At Hamilton Island we took a Reef Rider speed boat to Whitehaven beach.  On the way there I was unexpectedly surprised with a ride that was reminiscent of a log flume but it goes on for over thirty minutes.  Who doesn’t like a bumpy, wet, scary ride on the shark infested ocean in a foreign country?  Me.  No, I didn’t like it!  In fact I screamed through most of it, until Greg reminded me that even the children onboard were not screaming.  Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.   Yeah right. But we all survived and loved the silky sand and cerulean blue ocean.  The ride back to civilization was a bit better, beacause we were going with the tide.  I did consider asking the pilot of the float plane to take pity on me and bring be back to Hamilton Island.

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The Reef Rider, AKA wet, rollercoaster
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The float plane that refused to take me back
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Beautiful WhiteHaven Beach, Australia

Hamilton Island is a wonderfully small, idyllic and expensive island where you can expect to pay about 9 bucks for an ice cream cone.  Billionaires live here among the palm trees, flora and fauna.  They arrive via their small private planes and come and go as they like.  Pretending to be local, we rented a golf cart (no cars on the island) with friends and explored.  We stopped for a drink and I learned what is in a Pimms, which will become my new summer drink.  It’s a gin based and when soda and fruit is added it is both refreshing and delicious.

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The Harbor at Hamilton Island, Australia

Hamilton Island is our last port in Australia before Sydney.  One of the things I really wanted to do was to see a koala bear.  The koala is a marsupial not a bear but in my mind all I wanted was to see that gorgeous, gray fuzzy cherub.  As luck would have it, and I do have a lot of luck; Hamilton Island is home to a Wildlife Sancuary with KOALAS!!!

We inquired about seeing the koalas and were told to come back in the afternoon for an “koala encounter” and photo for twenty bucks.  This was a far better deal than my ice cream cone so I booked it.

Anyone who knows my husband Greg, knows he is a saint.  He is calm, organized, generous and selfless.  He knew how much I wanted to see the koala so he waited around for Koala time.  There are specific times for koala holding (only in the morning) and only one time in the afternoon for an “encounter”.  I would be allowed to pat the koala, but not to hold him.  When the time finally came I was so excited.  My new friend, Billy the koala came out to the eucalyptus trees.  He allowed me to pet him, he was so soft and fluffy.  He watched me and we even exchanged a loving look at one another.  I’m pretty sure he will be visiting me in Arizona soon.

This is the stuff dreams are made of.  Koala amore.

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Billy, my new koala love

Dragons,Termites and Snakes Oh My!

Our cruise ship, Azamara Journey stopped at Komodo Island.  It was a rainy day but we decided to continue to our excursion without umbrellas or jackets.  Along the way we passed some other beautiful islands in Indonesia.

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Picturesque islands in Indonesia 

We joined a tour with Go Komodo Tours.  Komodo Island is a national park, but because of the inhabitants, entrance is only permitted with a guide carrying a very large stick.

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The guy with the big stick that we followed closely

 

Komodo dragons are the main inhabitants of the island.  They are the world’s largest lizard, they hunt their prey in groups and kill  with their bite and poisoinous saliva.  As we are walking into the jungle, it looks and sounds like the beginning of the Jurassic Park movie.  The ranger explained to us about the habitat of the Komodo dragon and their diet of birds, wild boar, deer and an occasional tourist.

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Komodo dragon
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Up close and a little too personal with the komodo dragon

Not far into the tour I began to question my sanity.  I really don’t like lizards, scary jungle and being eaten up by a dinosaur.  Our guide did take us to a Komodo dragon and we were able to get a great pictures with him.  After viewing a few more komodo dragons, we hit torrential rains.  We exited the jungle and boarded a small covered boat where we enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by our guide.

Next we took off is very questionable seas to a magical pink beach.  The local water taxi service of a ten year old and his dad provided us with a lift to the beach.  The water taxi was powered by what looked like an old lawn mower engine.  We boarded the risky boat, knowing we were strong swimmers and headed to the beach for some great snorkeling.

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The pink sand beach that we snorkeled at

 

Following two days at sea we arrived at Darwin, Australia.  We booked a tour recommended by people on Cruise Critic with Way Outback Tours.  We had a lively group of Canadians, Brits, Aussies and Yankees.  Together we toured Litchfield National Park in the Australian outback.  We saw beautiful scenery, got close to several huge termite mounds and had the opportunity to taste the local ants, which were reported to have a lime flavor, oh hell NO!  The termite mounds are made with the poop and saliva of the termit.  No, I do not wish to touch the mound either.

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The twenty foot tall mound of the cathedral termite made of poo and saliva
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Not sure of the official name of this ant, but Iwill refer to them simply as lime flavored

For me the best part was the captivating waterfalls.  We hiked a bit more in yet another downpour, but this time we were smart enough to bring an umbrella.

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Waterfalls in Litchfield National Park,

After the tour we were treated to an Australian barbecue and took some pictures of the wild wallabies.  Everyone was then given the opportunity to hold a “children’s” python.  I did hold her but was not too happy about it.

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A Children’s python that I was terrified of

 

At the end of the tour we were all wet, well fed and I, for one was happy to not see any more bugs.

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Two curious wallobies

Beautiful Bali

We left Singapore and after two sea days we have arrived in Bali, Indonesia.  Through the use of the online site, Cruise Critic we were able to join another couple in hiring a driver and local guide for a customized tour of Bali.  The island of Bali is a relatively large island of approximately 2,200 square miles.  When we disembarked the ship we met up with our tour guide and driver from Tours By Locals.  We  established an itinerary of “must see” places and took off into the crowded streets of Benoa.  `

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Our first stop was a coffee plantation.  The most prized coffee served here was Lusaka, ( a coffee referred to as “cat poo chino” by our guide).  It is a coffee where the berries are eaten by the Asian Palm Civet once the beans are digested and excreted they are cleaned, roasted and then brewed into a highly desired  and expensive coffee. No thank you!  Some may think this rare coffee is terrific, but I prefer a regular cup of Joe, minus the involvement of the Civet cat.  We tasted many delicious varieties of coffee and tea and throughly enjoyed most of them.  We chose some coconut and vanilla varieties to purchase.

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Coffee and tea samples with dried bananas from Coffee Plantation

Our next stop was the Monkey forest, the entrance fee was about 40,000 rupees  ($4.00 us)    We entered a lush rain forest  loaded with happy, friendly and sometimes naughty monkeys.  I was eager to feed the monkeys, and for a few dollars I was handed a small bunch of bananas and instructed to hold them over my head.  I had already removed my sunglasses and earrings since they like shiny thing and sometimes can’t resist the impulse to take them away from the tourists.  Very quickly a monkey climbed up my shirt and was peeling a banana on my shoulder.  I did this several times successfully.  For the last banana I handed it to my husband, as I was taking the camera from him a very naughty monkey bumped him and stole the banana away!  Unfortunately we don’t have pictures of that.

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Feeding the monkeys
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Momma and baby monkeys

We walked along the jungle bridges and temples and were all just delighted to see the spectacular sights of nature.  The Balinese people’s respect for nature was evident everywhere.

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Temple inside the Ubud Monkey Forrest
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Enjoying a short hike in the Monkey Forest

We shopped in the small town of Ubud, where we bargained with the locals and took pictures of rice fields, local women washing the clothes in the river, and magnificent stone and wood carvings.

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Stone carvings of various Hindu gods and other symbols are visible throughout the island.
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Beautiful vista with our friends Tony and Pat in the forest

We had a lovely lunch of suckling pig at Warangal Babi Guling, a local restaurant.  The bill including Bintang, the local beer was less than $50 for the five of us.

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Lunch at a local restaurant

When we left the restaurant, a local woman was selling colorful batik cloth.  I made the mistake of taking her picture and not buying anything, she was not happy with me.

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A local woman selling batik cloth

In our tour we also visited a local Balines home.  The buildings are setup similar to a compound with a separate kitchen, some indoor and outdoor sleeping quarters and chickens and other livestock.

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Open air sleeping quarters in a typical Balinese home.

We had lots of opportunity to discuss many topics with out tour guide.  We would highly recommend Tours by Locals and Agung in particular.  You can reach his website at http://www.bali-agung-tours.com

He was terrific at explaining to us about Hindu beliefs and the Balinese culture.  At the end of our day we were all so pleased to have visited this piece of paradise and as we headed back to the ship, everyone was talking of wanting to all leaving us wanting to return to this magical land.

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Our fun loving guide from Tours by Locals in Bali, Agung R
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Deep in the forest
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Temples in the Bali home 
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Local women doing the wash by the rice field

 

Singapore: (Where Today is Tomorrow and I Have No Idea What Happened to Yesterday)

We had been traveling for over twenty nine hours to get from LA to Singapore.  But all of the Ubers, taxis, TSA security pat downs and planes were completely worth the effort to get here.  Singapore simply put, is spectacular.  It is a beautiful clean, metropolitan city that honors its history and diverse cultures.

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Singapore at night

The journey was relatively painless on Qatar Airlines. We left LA on a Wednesday and arrived Friday morning.  Somehow we lost a day but no worries.  We’ve never flown with Qatar before but would happily fly them again.  The courteous staff, tasty food and extras such as socks, headphones and entertainment system made for a comfortable journey.   We flew coach but had isle seats, a quiet plane and no annoying captain announcements about where we were flying over.  On the second leg of our flight I was sitting with a mom, her five year old and the most adorable six month old.  I held the little one to help her out and they were the best behaved children anyone could ask for.  I slept well on both flights.

By the time we arrived in Singapore I was well rested and ready to explore this beautiful city.  My poor husband had not slept but after a brief nap in our AirBnB he was ready to go out and show me the city.  The weather reminds me of Florida, hot and muggy with frequent afternoon rains.  We bought an umbrella that doubles as a walking stick.

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Chinese New Year The Year of the Rooster

We arrived on the eve of Chinese New Year.  We explored Chinatown did some shopping and had some delicious food from the hawker stands.  The area was packed with people anxious to celebrate the new year.  Stands were selling Chinese herbs, mandarin oranges, decorations and many items to celebrate The Year of The Rooster.  The streets were brightly decorated with colorful orchid lights, lanterns and giant roosters.  On the stage there was music, dancing and at midnight fireworks.  When visiting family and friends the Chinese custom is to bring an even number of mandarin oranges to wish one another an auspicious new year.  At the visitors center we were given oranges and welcomed.

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Streets in Chinatown decorated for the new year

We had some delicious dinner at the hawker stands, but chose not to have the dishes that included live frogs since we are not really adventurous eaters.  We left Chinatown at about two in the morning and the streets were still bustling.  As we walked back to our flat from Chinatown, we noticed even at this hour men were cleaning the streets from the celebration making Singapore a very clean city.

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City view from the marina

This week we have visited Orchard Road, where high end shopping is at its finest. Because we love to travel I spend my money more on experiences than on things.  We did stop for some snacks and drinks.  Apparently its a good idea to check prices before you order or you end up paying $20 for a glass of pear cider.  But it WAS really good cider.

We had the opportunity to enjoy a neighborhood dragon parade.  All of the kids had a chance to try on the costume and witness the dragon dance.  The best part of the parade was when they handed out confetti rocket launchers to everybody, including the three year olds.  Nothing says celebration better than an explosive in the hands of the three year old.  The neighbors were so friendly we really felt like we were part of the community.

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Dancing dragons and children playing with explosives, so much fun to celebrate
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Who doesn’t love a confetti rocket launcher?
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Colorful confetti exploded all around
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The best part of any parade is how much the children enjoy it

Must Do Activities

We went to the Gardens by the Bay and enjoyed the beautiful flowers and visited the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Shopping Plaza and the Float at Marina Bay.  There was a carnival like atmosphere.  Lots of families waiting for fireworks, and enjoying various “Fair Foods” like deep fried Oreo cookies, ice cream and squid on a stick.

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View of the Maria Sands Hotel

 

We love Chinatown for its food, shopping and overall active vibe.  They offer a Fish Spa treatment, where you place your feet in a tank and a bunch of fishies nibble on your skin.  The experience is worth the $30 and feels pretty good.

For dinner one night we went to Mama Chong’s to enjoy a Singapore specialty, Chili Crabs.  They are a pricey item,  about 40 bucks a serving, but well worth it.  The local beer here is Tiger and it is delicious, a nice combination of a mild yet slightly sweet beer.

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Singapore’s specialty chili crab

We rode the Singapore Flyer, a giant enclosed ferris wheel.  The views of the city, the bay and the night sky were phenomenal.  It cost 33 bucks each but the pictures and experience were unforgettable.

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Inside view of the Singapore Flyer

Get a MRT Pass to ride the incredibly clean and efficient subways to almost anywhere in Singapore.  It is well laid out and all of the signs are also in English.

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The clean and comfortable Singapore subway system MRT

I can not leave out the body and foot massages we treated ourselves to.  I had a sixty minute body massage followed by a thirty minute foot massage at Joneling Chi Spa.  My Fred Flinstone feet always hurt, but following my foot massage they were feeling fine.  During the body massage I was pretty sure that the ninety pound girl was accompanied by a three hundred pound suma wrestler.  All I know was that at some point she was straddling me and somebody was doing handstands on my back!  I was being massaged by her hands AND her feet.  I consider a massage a wrestling match, where I am loathe to “tap out” no matter how uncomfortable I might feel.  When our massages were complete both Greg and I had smiles on our faces and said we had never experienced anything like that before.

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View from the Singapore Flyer

 

 

 

 

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New Year, New Journey

We are getting ready to take a trip that will cross off a couple of items on my bucket list.  Every since I was a young kid I have wanted to visit the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  I saw pictures in National Geographic magazine and knew that it was a place I had to visit.  When we started planning our latest journey we wanted to visit as many places on that side of the world as possible.  We will be visiting Singapore, several cities in Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand.We start our trip in an airplane, of course for twenty three and a half hours!  Assuming we survive that little jaunt, we spend the next five days exploring Singapore.  We then board the Azamara Journey  for an eighteen day cruise from Singapore to Sydney Australia with stops in Bali, Komodo Indonesia and six cities in Australia including the Great Barrier Reef.

For this trip we’re going on a new cruise line, Azamara  on a smaller ship of 650 passengers that is a destination driven cruise line.

In our marriage my husband, Greg is the planner. He’s the guy with the spread sheets, the budget guy, the analytical, logical one.  I’m the dreamer.  I am the flexible, creative, sensory seeking, impulsive one.  I guess that makes us a good combination.  We both love to travel and are eager to explore new places.

For this trip we will fly to Los Angeles today and get on Qatar  Airline for a sixteen and a half hours to Doha, Qatar and after a two hour layover we will get back on a plane taking us to Singapore.

Greg researched the price comparisons, the airline tickets and the cruises.  I looked for excursions that would provided us with a local perspective, unique experiences and maybe the opportunity to ride an elephant or hold a koala.

The year in review

This has been an epic year for my husband Greg and I.  I retired from a teaching job that I loved, learned to live with my husband full time, started blogging, traveled extensively and rekindled my passion for photography.

My husband and I have learned the dance of being retired together.  He has his hobbies and interests and I am learning to take time to do the things that I love.  First I had to figure out what those things were (writing, photography, crafts)  but now we give each other space, so that later we want to spend time together.  This year our European travels have included Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Amsterdam, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.  My husband and I are very different people, he is quiet organized and cerebral and I am spontaneous, outgoing, and attention seeking.  But the one thing that we agree upon is that we both passionately love to travel and meet new people from around the globe.

For this blog  I decided to include some of my favorite photographs from the year.  I hope you enjoy them.

 

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View of the Vatican at night from our balcony

This was a special gift we enjoyed nightly in Rome, our Airbnb was located in a fabulous area with shops, restaurants and so many sights to enjoy.

 

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A wonderful dinner at Alfredo e Ada with a young California couple in Rome

Sometimes you find you stumble upon a real gem of a restaurant, a family run place with homemade pasta and delicious specialities offered each night.

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Greg, enjoying a sweet gelato at the end of the day

 

The location of our Airbnb in Florence was just steps from the Ponte Vecchio.

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Pointe Vecchio in the evening inFlorence

The sheer size and beauty of David was worth the trip to Florence.

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Michaelangelo’s David

We spent five days in the beautiful area known as Cinque Terre, where we enjoyed the spectacular scenery, hiking and seeing the beautiful cities clinging to the cliffs..

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Manarola on the Cinque Terre coast
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My attempt at an “artsy” photograph from Nessun Dorma
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Trattoria Dal Billy a fabulous restaurant with even better views
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I love this photograph of a lovely Italian lady checking out the neighborhood

Following Cinque Terre we rented a car and explored Siena and Tuscany.

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Appetizers and wine with views of Siena from our backyard.
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Sienna at sunset
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Tuscany landscape

It was a great pleasure to turn in our car in Rome and board the Celebrity Equinox.  No unpacking for a week and we were able to visit some great new places on the way to Barcelona.

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Grass growing on the top of the Celebrity cruise ship
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View from the hilltop town of Eze, France
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We loved the sangria, beer and olives in Mallorca
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Street view near our flat in Barcelona
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La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s masterpiece

After a week in Barcelona we took a flight to Geneva, Switzerland to visit friends and see much of the pristine beauty of Switzerland.

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“The Void” on Mont Blanc, France
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Fabulous times with friends
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Sunflower fields in Switzerland

We left Switzerland and headed for a few days in Amsterdam, a city we loved because of its beauty, accessibility, friendliness and rich history.

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Greg standing by the canals in Amsterdam
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A different point of view
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Zaanse Schans windmills

Next, we flew to London for a few days before we boarded a cruise to the British Isles.

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The band playing Queens’ “Fat Bottom Gor;s”
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Belfast’s famous murals
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Falling for Giant’s Causeway with my friend Brooks
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Looking up from Giant’s Causeway
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Nearing the end of our journey, taking time to snuggle together.
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One last stop before we fly home, a lucky detour to Stonehenge 

 

 

I hope you enjoy seeing some highlights of Europe 2016.  I promise there is more travel to come in 2017.  I wish you all a wonderful, happy and healthy new year.