Why take a cruise? Two members of the Pattaya City Expat Club gave their reasons when they shared their recent cruise experience at the Club’s Sunday, July 22 meeting. Last January, members Roger Fox and Richard Smith with their “significant other” in tow embarked on an eight day cruise from Singapore to two ports of call in Indonesia.
Roger began by first asking what adjectives would you use to describe a cruise experience. He then offered his own suggestions which were pampered, lavish, posh, and big. The latter he explained was the word his Thai partner used to describe the enormous size of the Legend of the Sea. This recently refurbished Royal Caribbean Cruise ship has 12 decks and accommodates more than 2,000 passengers.
PCEC member Roger Fox introduces fellow members to the delights of taking an ocean cruise – a very pleasurable activity which can also be quite economical.
Roger then said, why cruise? The reason he said is that it is all inclusive; providing accommodation, food, entertainment, recreation, and transportation to and from your destinations. You can spend your time doing nothing or you can be on the go every minute. You are in lavish and comfortable surroundings with everything running efficiently and you will never go hungry as you are in food heaven.
Roger described the various amenities that were offered by the Legend of the Seas including several lounges, dining areas including a two story atrium style main dining room, various shows in all the venues, swimming pools, and even a rock climbing wall. Roger also showed pictures of the cabins noting that on most cruise ships today, they have more cabins that have windows.
Also, since there is so much to do and you spend only a little time in your cabin, he would recommend that you book one of the less expensive cabins instead of paying 2 or 3 times as much for a cabin that may be a bit more luxurious, but is still basically the same size.
Roger and past chairman Richard Smith share some of the lighter moments of the cruise which they took with their partners, from Singapore to Bali, on the Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Sea. Roger suggested www.vacationstogo.com for more information on cruises around the world.
Roger then explained that they booked the trip through the online cruise booking service of Vacations to Go (www.vacationstogo.com), which offers a listing of the various cruises offered by almost all cruise lines around the world. He also said they offer very good discounts that are probably better than you would get by booking through a travel agent or the cruise line itself. He then explained how bookings are made through them and that they advise you of what, if any, travel documents you will need for the countries that will be visited. Roger did suggest that if you find a cruise you want at a good price, don’t delay. Tomorrow it may cost more as the cruise and cabin type fills up.
Dr Quack (aka Sig Sigworth) presents his medical advice of the week – with a little help from Cliff with the fine print.
Although Richard and Janet were also on the cruise, Roger said that about the only time they saw each other was for the evening dinner in the main dining room where they had arranged to be seated at the same table and sitting. It was at that time they were able to compare notes on what great things they did that day. At this point, Roger turned it over to Richard Smith to describe his impressions and the things to do at the ports of call.
Richard first mentioned the great service from their wait staff and cabin steward. He pointed out that these individuals earn their livelihood based on tips; consequently, they do their best to make sure everything is done to make sure you enjoy yourself. The cruise line recommends the amount of the tip that should be provided, which for their cruise totaled about US $11.60 per day per passenger.
Although everything is included, there are some other expenses to be considered. The next time, he will be sure and join the ‘wine club’ which is a set price paid at the beginning of the cruise which it turns out is a much better deal than ordering and paying for wine by the glass. They offer a similar “club” for soft drinks such as colas.
Richard then showed pictures he took at their two ports of call in Indonesia. He and Janet enjoyed shopping, sightseeing, and trying the local cuisine. They also obtained the services of local guides to ensure they made the most of their time ashore.
Overall, Richard said it was a wonderful trip and, yes, they would do it again – he is already contemplating a 14 day cruise in the not too distant future. Likewise, Roger said he has one in mind that is also 14 days and ends in Dubai when there you make your own way back.
After Richard and Roger answered several questions from the audience, Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg updated everyone on upcoming events and called on Judith Edmonds to conduct the always interesting and lively Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand; Pattaya in particular.
Read more about the Club’s activities on their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.