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Sailing from Bali to Singapore

2016 – SE Asia and Total Solar Eclipse cruise

Volendam's route from Bali to Singapore
Volendam’s route from Bali to Singapore

It takes two full days for Volendam to sail across the Java Sea from the Island of Bali in Indonesia to Singapore, giving everyone aboard some days at sea.

Mar 14, 2016 – Monday – At sea heading to Singapore

Our morning out of Bali starts with a fire alarm at 7AM in the crew’s laundry area, which is quickly investigated and dealt with. The Captain addresses the ship over the PA system to keep us informed. I do a load of laundry this morning since I need some fresh clothes, and manage to beat the crowd. I end up washing everything that is dirty in order to fill the load, and I’m all done with the self-serve laundry in less than an hour. I decide to have breakfast in the dining room, but there is a huge line and the dining room is close to capacity. Crowd mentality on a sea day takes over!

Chris at the Explorations Cafe espresso bar aboard Volendam
Chris at the Explorations Cafe espresso bar aboard Volendam

Same goes later on for the Explorations Cafe, where crowds gather to order specialty coffees all morning as I sit in the library area working on my journal. I love sea days where I can drink cappuccino and work on my MacBook Pro annotating photos and journalling. This is all preparatory work for my JoeTourist travelogues.

Mar 15, 2016 – Tuesday – At sea heading to Singapore

A media Polywog kisses the fish - King Neptune Ceremony aboard Volendam
A media Polywog kisses the fish – King Neptune Ceremony aboard Volendam

The King Neptune Ceremony is held on the stern deck at the Sea View Pool today. There are some seriously cute shirtless young crewmen, including a stunning Merman as part of King Neptune’s court, and two male dancers from the ship’s troupe. The officers and crew have fun with the ceremony, and the passengers enjoy the spectacle of the mock court trials, kissing the fish, sliming, and dunking of the polliwogs. I later receive my third Crossing the Equator Certificate as a member of the Royal and Ancient Order of Shellbacks, signed by Captain James Russell-Danforth and Hotel Director Jason Hale.

Mar 16, 2016 – Wednesday – at the dock in Singapore

Today is weird. I’m ready to return home, but my flights don’t leave until tomorrow. I meet friends for brunch at a downtown hotel, who are using the MRT passes, so they pick me up just inside the cruise ship terminal at the nearby VivoCity Mall’s HarbourFront station. We navigate downtown on the MRT, and afterwards, I find my way back to the cruise ship terminal without a problem, and get busy packing. After a month, it takes some effort to get everything back into my big checked bag!

Rotterdam Dining Room aboard the Volendam
Rotterdam Dining Room aboard the Volendam

I was going to join some fellow passengers for an early dinner of Chilli Crab in a local restaurant ashore, but I end up having dinner in the dining room on board the ship one last time. I have prime rib and pavlova for dessert. I’m going to have a shock when I return home and have to prepare all my meals again! After finishing my packing, I go to bed around 9PM, and sleep soundly until my alarm wakes me six hours later at 3AM to catch a shuttle to Changi Airport.

French Polynesia to San Diego – day 4

March 13, 2014 – Thursday – Cruising from French Polynesia to San Diego aboard Statendam – Day 4 Sea Day

As expected, the last few days of this cruise are becoming a bit tedious. I don’t really participate in many of the activities that are listed in the newsletter each day. I attend about half the shows in the Showroom, which are generally well done, and sometimes exceptional. I attend all the enrichment lectures, and really appreciate the astronomy speaker Jonathan Nalley. I’m glad I have my MacBook Air notebook computer with me, since I spend about an hour each day working on my travel journal, and extracting material every few days to post on my JoeTourist blog.

Taking photographs is probably my main diversion on this trip. The subsequent task of filling in the metadata (title, keywords & location) for each photo takes considerable time and effort, but at least it keeps me busy while we are at sea, and it makes the job of updating my main JoeTourist.ca website much easier after I return home. I purchase another 100 minutes of Internet time this morning for $55, which will give me lots of online time until our arrival in San Diego. There is a bonus 20 minutes offered for this deal for today only. I decide this is better value than purchasing the ship’s DVD videos of the trip at $80 for the set of four. Last cruise I purchased the DVDs, and they just sit on the shelf at home after I watched them once.

9:30AM – To Pluto and Beyond – Jonathan Nally “details three space missions currently underway-one that’s heading for a landing on a comet (Rosetta), another that will investigate the giant planet Jupiter (Juno), and one that will give us our first close-up pictures of the dwarf planet Pluto and other icy worlds beyond (New Horizons). All three spacecraft have been zooming through space for years now, and excitement is mounting as they begin to close in on their destinations.” I enjoy this lecture very much, despite knowing a fair bit about all three missions previously.

Entrance to the Rotterdam dining room with Indonesian & Fillipino decorations
Entrance to the Rotterdam dining room with Indonesian & Fillipino decorations

There is a great deal of hacking and coughing on the ship right now. I’m hoping to not catch a cold before I board my flight home, otherwise flying will be a painful experience. I give my two Indonesian cabin stewards their tips this morning, since they have worked so well to keep my cabin neat and tidy. Dinner in the Rotterdam dining room this evening has a Filipino and Indonesian theme. The waiters are in costume, the room is decorated, and the menu has both ethnic foods featured, making things very festive.

After dinner, I decide to skip the show and do laundry one more time, since I want to wear clean blue jeans on my flight home. The washer only takes 25 cents before starting, so that saves me from the usual $2 charge – bonus!