21 December 2010

Legend of the Seas - Isles of Southeast Asia

It has been 11 days since I'm back from the cruise and I haven't posted a single blog entry about the trip yet. The reason? I don't know where to begin. Normally, it doesn't take me so long to create a post but with this trip, I'm just too overwhelmed by the onslaught of new experiences that my fingers got short-circuited.

But after spending much time looking through my photos and videos, I've finally managed to organise my thoughts and I'm finally ready to share in detail all my adventures and tales onboard the Legend of the Seas' Isles of Southeast Asia 5D4N cruise. There was LOTS I did, LOTS I-SEA (see)!

The chapters of my cruise adventure will write themselves over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for travel tips and useful information for a holiday onboard Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas...
So in the following one month, I will unfold for you a sea-faring legend of epic proportions. It is going to be epic not just because the cruiseliner was big, but because of the larger-than-life encounters I had. I came face-to-face with some of nature's most majestic handicrafts, discovered that a cruise holiday is anything but boring, and experienced a level of service so personal, it seemed surreal.

Onboard LOTS, the permutations for fun are endless and the anecdotes of amusements many. Since what you can do on the decks are not so much limited by time but energy, my posts will not be a day-by-day account of what happened during the trip but presented as chapters about the things you can expect from Royal Caribbean's multiple award-winning standard in creating unforgettable cruise memories.

The Isles of Southeast Asia used to be a key trade route between Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the surrounding countries in the early years of the region's maritime history. Common cargoes in those days included ceramics, tin, fish and local produce.
Our journey took us from Singapore to Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur) in Malaysia and to Thailand's defacto destination for a beach holiday, Phuket. This historic route was once an arterial passage where early Chinese junks and sail ships plied for trade.

It took the olden seafarers weeks to reach the distant ports with much perils (archaelogical finds in the coastal waters of the route uncovered nurmerous ships who met their watery graves), but with our modern-day LOTS, we could shuttle between this ancient route in a matter of days with time to spare for shore explorations at the ports of call.

I've been to KL countless times and vacationed at Phuket in 2006 and 2007. I thought I know these destinations well enough but the shore trips offered by LOTS showed me there's so much more to see and appreciate. In the ensuing chapters, I will not only bring you into the heart of the ship, but will share with you the interesting facts I learnt during the docked explorations as well. Are you ready to set sail with me?

As you probably know from my previous entry, I'm not travelling alone but with nine pedigree bloggers picked from an earlier preview excursion onboard LOTS. Having spent the few days with them, I have a feeling readers would be in for a real treat with plenty of eye candies, sharp wit, spot-on observations and no-holds-barred reviews!

You can visit our combined blog about the cruise experience at http://blog.omy.sg/royal-caribbean/. Do vote for your favourite blogger and stand to win S$3,700 in prizes!

Fellowship of bloggers with the ship's towering captains! This was a virgin cruise ride for many of us and we got to sample almost all the facilities & activities on the ship. Even with the ten of us combined, we didn't manage to cover everything because we were spoilt for choices.
From the above photo (left to right), with me on this trip are Fong Yee Leong (Yiliang), Calvin Timothy Leong, Phan Mui Yee, Eunice Khong, Estelle Kiora Cheng, Cherie Lee, Christine Ng, Catherine Ling, yours truly, and Philip Lim (aka Keropokman).

You can click on their names to view their personal blog but let me warn you, they are very addictive! Their blogs are not just entertaining with great percepts, but are very informative over a wide range of topics from food, travel, lifestyle and modelling. Anytime you need a pick-me-up during the day, pop by their blogs and have fun!

If you would like to know more about them, you can visit Catherine's very succinct and accurate descriptions here. She didn't talk about herself in the post so I shall say that Catherine is one of those rare breed of wordsmiths whose words exudes warmth and great creativity. She's also ever humble and an award-winning food blogger.

Different as the 10 of us are, each with unique abilities and views, we have a common quest... a mission to find our bliss (or lack of) onboard Legend of the Seas.

No doubt that this trip was born out of the generosity of the good people at Royal Caribbean, but we weren't given any special treatments or privileges that any fare-paying passenger cannot enjoy. All the things we had or participated in are available to every guest.

The quest is to get into every pothole and cranny to find out how and why Legend of the Seas makes for an unforgettable cruise adventure.
Like I mentioned earlier, I will be sharing with you the different aspects of the cruise and land tours in later posts so for now, I shall leave you with a glimpse of what to expect in upcoming chapters. I will be talking more about the cruiseliner and its stability, a showcase of the culinary delights, a sneak preview of the amazing 'live' shows, the activities, the crew, the services, the land tours in KL and Phuket... Are you catching your breath yet? I am! There're just so many things to talk about.

We may be couped up in a ship all day, but yet, there's no greater freedom one could ask for to enjoy an amazing vacation. Food, shopping, entertainment, sports, casino, clubbing... everything is in one place, within easy reach. It's a floating oasis! Needlessly to say, I was on cloud nine those few days. I had a great cruise experience.

I survived paradise.

Whether it is an all-you-can-eat buffet, fine wine & dine, or a quick snack, this is the one place where gluttony is not a sin. Rather, it would be a sin not to eat!

I may not be a food blogger, but I have got greedy eyes and Giorgio Armani tastebuds.

Need a companion in bed? How about a towel pet? Look out for a chapter dedicated fully in teaching you how to make this adorable dog and many other towel animals!

It's never a dull night with world-class entertainment, musicals and a pool party! I'll be sharing more about the entertainment onboard in a later chapter.

Rock climbing, waltz & line dancing lessons, cake making challenge, Bingo, lucky draw... the activities are endless. I wish there was three of me so that I could do everything!

What does Kuala Lumpur mean? What are some of the unique sights? Is there more to KL than just great shopping and food?

Join me on an exploration of the Hindu sacred mountain shrine at Batu Caves, learn more about Malaysia's history and an insider look into the factory of one of its national treasures, Royal Selangor Pewter.

I've been to Thailand's famous island paradise, Phuket, twice and had totally enjoyed myself. I wonder what more can the land tour offered by LOTS do to top my previous thrills.

Chilling by Phuket's beaches with ice cold beer... we'll have none of that. Join me instead for an awe-inspiring sea canoe adventure to explore the sea caves near Bhanga Bay! I even met a 'sea monster'! Watch for this exciting chapter!

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