A Travellerspoint blog

Phuket Town in Thailand

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

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

We arrived in Phuket with only vague outlines of land in sight due to a serious fog. The ship dropped anchor a considerable distance from the port, this was to be the first tendered port on this cruise. In addition to the ship's tenders there were a number of local boats that added significantly to the carrying capacity, The ship had deployed two separate docking points which enabled the simultaneous loading of two boats.

Our booked tour was in the form of a coach ride into Phuket Town and back with about three hours to do your own thing. The whole process went smoothly and we were aboard the coach by about 10:30 but due to massive congestion in the port we didn't go anywhere for about 30 minutes. Despite expectations of a massive traffic snarl, once we left the port the run into town was fairly free of delays. We were dropped off at the "Ocean Shopping Mall" by 11:45 with instructions that the first return bus would leave at 15:00.

After about two hours we were ready to return to the ship and made our way to the rendezvous point and found a number of other passengers who were also ready to return. The tour company staff made a quick count and confirmed there was a bus-load so called the bus forward. By just after 14:30 we were back at the tender jetty. Spent some time looking around the stalls and disposed of some small change by buying a tray of delicious paw-paw. Out onto the jetty and we were directed to one of the ship's tenders that was at the point of leaving. Last two to board and back to the ship.

The air-conditioned bliss of the ship was a welcome relief. It took barely minutes to strip off and jump under the shower. Started writing this journal, then dressed for dinner - excellent as always. After dinner went to the Explorer Lounge to listen to Jo Little a singer with a wicket stand-up comedy act. We'd missed her previous show in the Theatre and are thankful to have caught her act. She claims to be 4 foot 11 inches, with heels she was over 5 foot 3 inches. An amazingly powerful voice and her jokes came thick and fast. She finished her act to enthusiastic ell deserved applause.

Returned to the cabin and Alston asked if we'd been advised of a change of cabin. The background is that we had noticed that our cruise card was valid only to 28 Oct (Singapore). I had some days ago confirmed that we were book through to Sydney so we were not too worried. Jenny heard from her fellow knitters that there were people who had to transfer cabins while in Singapore. Back to Customer Services : "Yes, we will need to move you to your original cabin, Deck 5 Cabin 207." We were a bit surprised and told Alston and made sure there would be no laundry in the system on that day. At Alston's request I went down to Customer Services again, this time their response was "It would appear that you will be staying on Deck 12 Cabin 325." It will be interesting to see what comes of all this over the next two days.

Clocks forward another hour and we are on a mainly Southerly course to Singapore with another sea day tomorrow.

The chaotic nest of cables on a telephone pole impressed me and I've used that for today's image; you can view my photo by following this link to the image of those cables.

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

Posted by greynomadm 07:05 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Phuket Tomorrow - Day Three at Sea

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

As expected the published sunrise time was off by about 50 minutes. Despite an extended wait there was no rewarding image. I took some insurance shots in the Adagio Bar on Deck 16 and knocked some of them together as a collage. After a disappointing start to the day had breakfast with Jenny and prepared for our respective days. Jenny joined the Knitters and I retired to the International Cafe to read.

Attended Peter Anderson's talk on the planet Jupiter, that planet's characteristics are incredible and were a true revaluation to me. His talk was followed by an edited preview of the Reflections DVD, an on-board production encompassing images from events on-board and ashore. We've already decided to buy their production as their coverage is much more extensive than my images.

Just before lunch, Evon provided a concise and coherent overview of the War in the Pacific from the pressures that forced Japan to attack Pearl Harbor through to the Battle of the Coral Sea which marked the turning point. She will present the conclusion on the next sea day.

After lunch with Jenny I went off to listen to a fellow passenger in the Explorer Lounge. Merry Simmons provided an impressive array of tips and advice on how to inexpensively publish in print. She created the impression that there were many ways to avoid editorial and setup costs in taking a book to the Print On Demand market. She has self-published a number of romantic novels and hinted that while she hasn't made a fortune, she covers her costs.

Returned to the cabin to find that Jenny's key-card had failed her again and she had forgotten that I was attending that talk at that time. I suspect she called me many unkind names thinking I was asleep while she bashed on the door.

Italian Night in the dinning room and almost exclusively Italian dishes on the Menu. Lovely meal as always. Off to the Theatre to check out the Comedian. Tom Briscoe from New York managed to deliver a series of jokes, one liners and outrageous stories that had an air of truth about them. His reluctance to visit a doctor hit home with most in the audience.

Due to arrive in Phuket tomorrow morning where we have a tour booked. We will also experience our first tender operation on this ship. Using the collage of the Adagio Bar for today's image; you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the collage.

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

Posted by greynomadm 07:19 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

East of Sri Lanka - Day Two at Sea

Monday, 24 October 2016

There is the promise of showers today and there is a slight swell providing some gentle motion to the ship. Heavy clouds low on the horizon prevented any startling sunrise images. Usual routine, breakfast, Jenny off to the Knitting group and I have just two lectures this morning.

Peter Anderson talked with great enthusiasm about encounters with Solar Eclipses and the extraordinary efforts made followers to be in position to witness them. His talk was followed by Evon who followed on from yesterday's talk to the final chapters of the JFK Presidency.

We're getting closer to Singapore, the final port for about 30% of the those aboard. Today we had to complete the Singapore Immigration Document. The task was made simple thanks to the succinct instructions prepared by the ship's administration. A simple lunch on Deck 15 and spent most of the afternoon with my head buried in the Kindle.

It was a formal night but I lacked the energy to do the dress shirt studs, bow tie and cummerbund thing. Black trousers, black shirt and Jenny-approved tie was considered adequate.

After a delightful dinner we decided to attend a Classical Recital with Vladimir Markowsky in the Explorer Lounge. It proved to be an inappropriate venue because the back of the lounge is the main thoroughfare from midship to aft on the Promenade Deck. Many casual passersby would stop and talk disrupting the very fine music being played. The distraction became too much for us and we left after the fourth piece. Pity because the playing deserved much more respect.

Clocks go forward another hour overnight as we continue to sail Eastwards across the Bay of Bengal. Another day at sea then Phuket in Thailand.

There wasn't much of a photo this morning have used one of the ship heading into the sunrise, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the ship Heading Toward the Sun.

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

Posted by greynomadm 07:11 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Destination Phuket - Day One at Sea

Sunday, 23 October 2016

A grey morning with dense clouds over the Eastern horizon. Fortunately no rain. Uploaded to the Internet last night and could have spent a bit longer in bed because the sun was a 'no show' this morning. Jenny had a rough night and had trouble sleeping.

Jenny off to Knitting in the Nightclub while I spent most of the morning in the Theatre. First up was the Destination lecture on Singapore, that was followed by the Astronomer who provided an insight to the history and behaviour of Comets. A short break for lunch and back to listen to the Historian on the topic of JFK. Covering his life up to his election as President of the USA. Tomorrow she will cover his presidential term.

Lovely dinner again with excellent choice of dishes and friendly service. Trying to get Chris to say "G'day Mate" with something like an Australian accent. Very funny.

Tonight's show featured Greg Andrew who claims to have been mistaken for Elton John. Bit of a name dropper and not half as good as he thinks he is.
Another day at sea as we sail South of Sri Lanka into the Bay of Bengal.

There was no appropriate image today, have used one of the Cochin Fish Nets, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the Fish Nets.

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

Posted by greynomadm 07:39 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Cochin - India

Saturday, 22 October 2016

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

A torrential down-pour greeted us as we drifted into the port of Cochin. That put paid to any idea of a sunrise, the grey sky met the grey sea and it was impossible to distinguish the horizon. My attempt to upload the blog failed with the slow link reporting a 'time out'. The ship berthed between an aircraft carrier and a coastal passenger ferry.

We assembled in Club Fusion for our shore excursion. With surprising little fuss we were ushered ashore and onto our coach. We were destined for the old colonial sector of the city. Traffic was amazing with a mix of scooters, tuk-tuk, trucks and buses each determined to occupy the same piece of road.

The area has been under the influence of the Jews, the Chinese, the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the British over the past 400 to 500 years. Each having left their architectural mark.

We walked down the street which still forms the centre of the spice market. The were also stores selling fabrics and a variety of souvenirs. We visited the Dutch Palace Museum and viewed the synagogue although there are only 5 Jewish people remaining with almost the whole population having move to Israel in the 1950s. Although labelled a market in most cases they are no more than a sidewalk stall along a particular street.

We returned to the spot where we'd left the bus and boarded a boat for a cruise on the major waterway. The boat had plastic chairs tied to the rail and it did have a collection of life-jackets. The 'cruise' was interesting and we saw one of the iconic fishing nets in operation. At the end of the cruise we arrived at a classy hotel where we were served refreshments.

Back on our feet and we walked to one of the oldest churches. It would appear that being very old made a structure a tourist feature. Not sure that I agree but after the third or fourth I'd seen enough. Fortunately we were spared the rain but the humidity was oppressive. Along with broken pavements, uneven steps and occasional mud puddles there was a constant swarm of vendors trying to sell their trinkets. Many of them were most persistent.

Eventually we met up with the bus again and drove back to the pier where over 30 hawker stalls were open for business. We dragged our weary limbs past about 10 of them and invested all of US$11 in some souvenirs to take home.

Back on board just after 14:00 we made our way to the Horizon Court for some fruit and refreshing drinks. We visited the Customer Services to sort out Jenny's defective key-card. While there we questioned the expiry date on our cards and it appears that our 'upgrade' was only from Southampton to Singapore. In Singapore we will be relegated to our Ocean View cabin on Deck 5. The staff will transfer our gear while we are ashore.

Spent some time relaxed in our cabin before preparing for dinner and enjoyed a lovely meals. This little old man had trouble staying awake and Jenny echoed a similar feeling. With another half hour time adjustment tonight we determined that we were too tired to attend the show.

Cruise ship, Aircraft Carrier and Hawker's tents, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the Cochin Pier.

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

Posted by greynomadm 07:56 Archived in India Comments (0)

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