A Travellerspoint blog

India Tomorrow - Day Three at Sea

Friday, 21 October 2016

Same old routine, Internet upload, await the sunrise, have breakfast and prepare for another sea day. First event was the destination presentation for Phuket. We were hoping to do an 'on your own' tour of the town but there appears to be some issue with the taxi drivers who will only do four-hour hires. At about $150 we were wondering if it was worth while. The Shore Excursions have provided a 'last minute' option for $40 each so we will go that way.

Next up was Peter Anderson with a talk on the planet Mars, the many speculations and misconceptions. He was followed soon afterwards by Evon who provided a detailed expose of the life of Prince Charles and the events that culminated in the death of Diana.

Found a letter in the cabin from the Legal Department of Princess Cruises regarding the India Visa situation. It clearly states their policy and their limited responsibility for the variations in conditions imposed by the Immigration Department. In short, they apply the rules as they are known at the time. It won't satisfy many who feel hard done by.

There is word that the passenger who was air-lifted to Oman is recovering from a heart-attack. The afternoon passed quietly and we both had an enjoyable dinner. Our practise of requesting the same table each night has allowed us to develop a great relationship with the waiters.
Tonight's show is a repeat performance and we decided to return to the cabin.

We continue to sail SouthEast towards the West coast of India.

I've used a my best image of the sunrise, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the sunrise.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 07:54 Archived in India Comments (0)

Heading for India - Day Two at Sea

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Started the day by doing battle with the flakey Internet, today requiring three re-connections to get through. The Daily Patter had the wrong time for the sunrise and we spent an extra 30 minutes scanning the horizon for any sign. According to the Patter it was due at 06:16, the first hint was visible at 06:38. This inaccuracy is remarkable as the predictions are normally within a minute.

Breakfast and then my regular lectures. Lyndon Jolley, the Destination Expert on what to do and where to go in Cochin. Following on Peter Anderson provided his insight to the practicality of Space Travel and Extra Terrestrial Life. Neither even remotely likely in the foreseeable future. A quick break for lunch and back to the Theatre foe Evon Anderson's lecture on the sinking of the "Lusitania" with its tragic loss of life.

Made a bad decision and stayed in the Theatre for the Afternoon Movie. I was seduced by the name Joanna Lumley. The totally ridiculous movie was "Absolutely Fabulous - the Movie" I'd have left but was in the middle of a long crowded row.

There are lots of grumbles about the India Visa. Some paid for the Visa because they were convinced that they couldn't board the ship without one. It now appears that the Visa is only required if you intend to go ashore. Then there are wildly varying costs quoted, up to US$500 for a couple, ours were AU$85 each. No doubt Princess will cop the blame.

Enjoyed our dinner and decided that another vocalist in the Theatre was too much so we retired to the cabin and the Kindles. Clocks go forward by 30 minutes tonight so no doubt the sunrise time will be a bit of a lottery.

We continue to sail SouthEast towards the West coast of India.

I've used a my best image of the sunrise, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the sunrise.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 16:58 Archived in India Comments (0)

Destination India - Day One at Sea

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The first of three days on our way to Cochin in India. The sea and sky are devoid of any character and the sunrise through the prevailing mist was well short of spectacular. The daily routine started with a very slow connection to the Internet but managed to upload yesterday's journal.
After breakfast there was inevitable delay to the start of activities. For me the first was Peter Anderson's talk on the 'Enigma That Is Pluto' where he explained that Pluto was only one of many objects in the outer reaches of our Solar System.

Evon Anderson presented an interesting insight to the decline of the Tsar of Russia and the uprisings of the Bolsheviks. We were called to a 'Face to Face' with Indian Immigration officials where our Landing Cards were signed and stamped.

At about lunch time the Captain announced that a seriously ill patient was to be evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Oman located 40 miles or so to the West. The total operation lasted over an hour with some considerable time devoted to ensuring there were no exposed passengers below the pick-up location.

Time to put on the monkey suit and join the many elegantly dressed people in the dining room. There was an unusually large early crowd and lots had made an effort to present formally. Jenny claims she had the very best meal so far this cruise, mine was pretty good too. The whole atmosphere achieves a lift when the guests and the staff are at their finest.

There was a delay at the Theatre as final preparations were made for tonight's show. Quite a crowd had gathered by the time the doors opened at 19:00 for the 20:00 show. There was standing room only well before show time. The in-house production team staged a spectacular Musical Show under the title of "Magic To Do". The sets were superb, the costumes spectacular and the singing while a bit weak in places was better than other shows of its kind in the past. There were also some neat magic tricks in with the general mix.

Sunrise is forecast for 06:16 but this morning's forecast was off by an hour so not sure if it can be trusted.

We continue to sail SouthEast towards the West coast of India.

I've used a my best view of the Jumeirah Mosque for today's image, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the Jumeirah Mosque.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 17:41 Archived in India Comments (0)

Dubai - Day Two Burj Khalifa

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


View 2016-09 Southampton to Sydney on greynomadm's travel map.

Another heavy heat haze to greet us at sunrise and a forecast high of 30 °C/86 °F. The rendezvous for today's tour is at 07:30 in the Wheelhouse Bar. While we waited I watched the baggage for the departing passengers being unloaded and taken to the luggage collection area. There are some 200 people leaving and about the same number embarking.

Our comfortable luxury coach took us to the high-rise district to the world's tallest freestanding occupied building; the Burj Khalifa. It sits atop of the sprawling Dubai Mall. We arrived before 10:00 and enjoyed an uninterrupted walk to the base of the tower and entry to the lifts. Our destination is the observation deck at Level 124. There is barely the sensation of movement as it soundlessly and smoothly whisks you to a hight rarely experienced except inside an aircraft. The views are incredible and we were fortunate in that the heat haze had diminished. Back down to a lower level and we spent some time wandering around this most opulent shopping complex.

Back on the coach and we are off to visit Ski Dubai located in the Mall of the Emirates. This bizarre facility provides a short ski run set in an Alpine Scene. The whole idea of a ski run in the dessert is almost beyond comprehension. As someone commented "Dubai is all PR and Marketing". Elsewhere in the Mall there was a display of a planned "Community" an extensive complex of many different styles of homes on offer from small apartments to extensive villas. Prices ranging from US$250,000 to over US$ 1 million. We declined to leave a deposit.

Back on the coach again to drive down to the open beach area for another view of the impressive Burj Al Arab Hotel. The location was identical to yesterday's visit and I didn't attempt to improve the image. Then off to view the Jumeirah Mosque in another repeat performance. This time I found an improved vantage point but still not totally pleased with the capture.

Without further attractions we returned to the ship in much better shape than yesterday. Most of the six hours having been spent in air-conditioned comfort.

A simple hamburger and fries for lunch along with some fresh fruit. Returned to the cabin, made some notes, examined the images and the inside of they eye-lids 8-).

Marvellous main course tonight, braised beef spare ribs, the meat so tender it fell apart without the use of a knife. The gravy and mashed potato were luscious. Tonight's entertainment was provided by Claude Eric a vocalist with a brilliant voice and impressive range of songs.

We have a new Captain aboard, Martin Stenzel commanded our first Princess ship in March 2012. Very proper, very British. Tomorrow is a formal night again, something I don't mind but Jenny is growing tired off.

Clocks go forward a hour overnight as we sail SouthEast towards the West coast of India.

I've used a view from the impressive Burj Khalifa for today's image, you can view my photo by following this link to the image from the Burj Khalifa.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 17:55 Archived in India Comments (0)

Dubai - Day One

'Monday, 17 October 2016


View 2016-09 Southampton to Sydney on greynomadm's travel map.

We drifted into Port Rashid in the city of Dubai, arriving along with a procession of heavy aircraft landing through the mist and early sun. We have until 08:00 to rendezvous in the Wheelhouse Bar for our shore excursion. We left the ship and walked a red carpet into an extensive terminal building. The passport check was friendly and brief and we were soon on our coach.

Despite a log-jam of traffic we were taken to a location where we had a view of the impressive Burj Al Arab Hotel, the view was largely uninterrupted and the air relatively clear. I managed a reasonable image of this iconic symbol of the UAE.

Back on the coach for a drive to view the Jumeirah Mosque, reputed to be the largest of the many mosques in the country. Our next destination was the Dubai Museum in the grounds of the historic Al Fahidi Fort. An extensive and impressive museum but the experience was marred by many coincidental tour coaches and a number of school excursions crowding the space. A short walk brought us to the Abra (water taxi) Station on the bank of the creek in the heart of the old city.

Crossing the Dubai Creek delivered us to a maze of stalls, shops any alleyways that makes up the Spice Souk and an amazing Gold Souk. There are a number of malls and complexes that claim a Gold Souk but can't imagine this precinct which claims aver 270 separate gold sellers being surpassed. Another stroll in the hot sun brought us back to our coach for a convoluted route back to Port Rashid. The approaches to the Port is an endless construction zone with many detours and road blocks. The commercial cargo port is located well away from this congested area.

We were thankful for the air conditioned comfort of the ship and a refreshing shower. Lunch of some fruit and lots of iced water was followed by an hour or two relaxed in the cabin. Yes, I was horizontal AND my eyes were closed.

A relaxed dinner with the crew in the dining room and then off to the Theatre for an amazing Folkloric Show. Exquisitely gowned dancers and dizzying whirling dervishes delighted the audience. Two very tall and scantily clad belly dancers drew some gasps from the audience in response to some of their contortions.

Need to get some rest so that we can do justice to tomorrow's tour. I've used a view of the impressive Burj Al Arab Hotel for today's image, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the Burj Al Arab Hotel.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 18:48 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

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