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About Flamin_June

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    culture, art, cinema, anthropology, museums, s,d & r&r
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn, obviously
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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291 profile views
  1. Very succinctly put, Two4Sea - mirroring many of my own thoughts these last several days, as we wait to see if Ovation Singapore to Dubai does indeed take place. If they abandon Singapore as the embarkation point, where to instead? And the logistics of getting supplies and crew redelivered or re-routed to Phuket or Yangon?
  2. Thanks everyone, for the recommendations - we will be checking them out on the web in between keeping an eye on local flood alerts. Needless to say it continues to rain here - we have been lucky so far..... I'm due in London tomorrow, but it's uncertain if the trains will be running on time or at all... Three new cases of C-19 reported in Singapore. The situation there continues to be stabilised and well-contained, so we remain hopeful. Has anyone ever noticed how time speeds up as embarkation day draws near? When we were 180 days to boarding the time seemed to creep by, after what felt like weeks one would check the days and it was still 175 to go. Now I look at the calendar and am alarmed to see it is just over two weeks before we head for the airport and time is hurtling along! Rushed into town to stock up on cat food and wild bird food* , bought gallons of fresh sun lotion (I come out in an extremely itchy rash if I don't have sun screen over every exposed mm.), Imodium, re-hydrating salts, anti-bacterial wipes and hand gel - and that's just for the trip tomorrow. A has almost completed her packing while I am still at the socks and underwear stage, but I know her suitcase will be back up on the bed in a day or two to be re-assessed and reconfigured, and then there will be some negotiations about spare capacity in mine. I do her an injustice - she is actually a phenomenal packer, thinks of everything, precious items in clear bags with labels, everything folded beautifully, arranged in the order that it will need to come out of the suitcase in SGP. Prompted by another thread here, I double-checked our insurance documents for exclusions, but couldn't see any mention of pandemics, epidemics or outbreaks. War, civil strife, nuclear reactor meltdowns, sonic booms, volcanic ash - you name it, they are excluding it, but nothing about viruses. Hopefully we will not have to put them to the test, but it is a small comfort. *Shakey, our cat, is getting on a bit and while he still manages to persuade himself that it is not a waste of his time stalking birds, the birds have got him pretty well covered. Not to the extent of taunting and mocking, but both parties seem to coexist happily. Chairsin - I hope you enjoy Wallace. The Malay Archipelago is interesting, evocative, fascinating in places and, for a serious 19th century work, quite readable, but compared to Twain it is hardly a barrel-full of laughs.
  3. If anyone wants to know why Singapore continues to be one of the safest places to travel to, despite ( or perhaps because of) the number of cases reported there: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/singapores-response-to-coronavirus-outbreak-praised-by-experts-and-observers just read three more cases reported today in Singapore, two from known clusters, one from someone with Dengue fever. c. 80% of cases are 'mild symptoms'. One wonders how long the virus was out there before Dr Li Wenliang started to raise concerns...
  4. Thanks for the good review, Koala! And Chairsin:- no, I haven't read The Innocents Abroad - not read much Twain at all in fact, quotes and passages and bits about him, but I have checked it out on Amazon, and what I have previewed appeals immensely. I am ordering a copy, thanks. I do like these glimpses of the sailing/cruising/exploring life from the not too distant past. Before we did the Ring of Fire trip on Sojourn in 2018 I read Alfred Russel Wallace's The Malay Archipelago, where he wrote about his voyages to Banda, Ambon, Ternate, and other places we have visited, Kuching and Borneo, for example. Your comments, and thinking about Wallace, helped put things in perspective - in times not that long ago people travelled without malaria pills and deet, no vaccines, the risk of cholera and worse, ships were often quarantined, and everyone just got on with it. So to hell with this pesky virus. Let us banish fear and take a leaf from the great travelers of the past. I'm prepared to gird my loins ( whatever that entails... must look it up), stride purposely forward into the comfort of the Business Class Lounge, and from thence prepare to confront whatever iniquities may come our way. I WILL make sure the stewardess leaves us ALL the soaps and WILL insist on an extra fluffy towelling mat for the bathroom. More rain and grey skies to day, with more to come in the next few days. We could really do with a flooded house just now. A is in full packing mode as I write, excavating our holiday gear from the depths of the wardrobe and chest of drawers. Why is it that when I say "No! Don't throw away that stripey t-shirt. You may have taken it on our last six cruises, but I think you still look great in it." all I get is a look of pitying contempt? By the way, can anyone recomend some ladies non-slip flip-flops for poolside wear ?
  5. Thanks to one and all for the good vibes and positive messages. Chairsin, major surgery sounds daunting, but you come across as an indomitable spirit in you posts, so I will wish you a speedy recovery. As you note, it's probably a good time to have a pause in your travels. Likewise Julie, I hope your Keith is now well on his way to a full recovery. And dear rols. What a shame you are off to NY in three weeks. If things work out that's when we will be arriving in Singapore. You have been the voice of sanity, reason and useful information over these jast few weeks and it would have been great if we could have organised meeting up for dinner one evening with you and your partner. More optimism; I read that there are only two new cases in Singapore today, both warded individuals from known clusters.Like rols i am still expecting a few more downs to temper the ups, but this is an encouraging trend. In futher developments on the home front, A took matters in hand this afternoon and frogmarched me to one of the better menswear shops in town ( we call them 'the gentlemen's outfitters') and proceeded to spend the best part of some consultancy fees I'd just recieved on making me 'look presentable'.
  6. Woke this morning to a lull in the weather - patches of blue skies and sunlight, a stiff breeze rather than gusts and gales. We were let off lightly by Storm Dennis, unlike other parts of the country - the Welsh Borders, where we have family and friends was badly hit: Crickhowel, where a friend of A's lives, cut off by flood waters; fallen trees and surface floods around Abergavenny, where our daughter works. After the unremitting dark grey skies of the last 10 days or so it was a blessed relief and uplifting, like sailing out of choppy, churning seas and into calm water. A new daily morning ritual: check for emails from SB, check Straits Times for C-19 updates, check BBC news for anything elsethat might be arriving to darken our doorstep in the next few days. No new cases in Singapore at present 🙂, no emails from SB 🙃. The news from Westerdam is depressing, and as rols states elsewhere, puzzling, but with speculation that the incubation period may be as long as 24 days, HAL/Seabourn have to be cautious and have take a risk-averse approach, thus the extended cancellation for Ovation. We can speculate about other factors that my be informing their decision making, but SB aint saying, so who knows. The fact that they haven't also cancelled our 14th March sailing leaves a glimmer of hope and we all have to wait and see. In the context of people who have caught the virus, or who are known contactees, or the people whose jobs and livliehoods are at risk as the Asian tourist industry withers on the vine, our trials and tribulations are kind of trivial. But it is so frustrating - do we pack? Unpack? Do I go ahead and purchase ( sorry, long list alert) sun lotion, Voltarol, Immodium, razor blades, extra toothpaste and a new toothbrush, shirts, chinos, flip-flops for the pool? We are caught in a web of indecision. Well, I am, A is going shopping for her 'bits and pieces'. Normally, three weeks short of going to the airport, we would be focussed, with a clear agenda, upbeat and ticking things off on the to do list, at home and at work. Now I am rehearsing the cancellation emails I might have to send , and still wondering whether to take the Tux for one last hurrah. I do feel sympathy for SB management, having to wrestle with logistics, crew movements, potential quarantine arrangements, costs, losses, and the unpredicabilityof everything, but I do wish they could communicate more effectively with those of uswho still have a stake on this.
  7. And I'm sure SB are waiting to see how people ddisembarked today from Ovation are going to fare over the next 10 days or so. Hmmmm. just confirmed on another thread here and on FB SS, Feb 29th sailing now cancelled. Full refund + 50% FCC, and SB will 'look at' other related expense claims on a case by case. Maybe I should pull those chinos out of the charity bag and start some serious comfort eating.
  8. Perhaps this should be called the Medical Misery Tour of Asia. However, I feel an obligation to try to keep things positive in the thread titles, if nowhere else. And, this could well turn out to be an epilogue rather than a prologue, as there is some uncertainty as to whether or not we will set sail at all. I've often thought that the planning, reserching and, putting together of travel iteneraries is almost as enjoyable as the journeys themselves, and was toying with the idea of doing a pre-blog blog before current events took over. So here we are, booked on the 14th March sailing of Ovation out of Singapore, calling at Phuket, Yangon, Colombo, Mumbai, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It's our (continuing the optimistic tone) first Milestone Cruise Award, with Biz Class flights to Singapore and 5 nights pre-cruise jet lag recovery before boarding. It might be our last cruise for a while, because I've just recently retired and there is a downward adjustment of income and many plans involving property upgrades, moving, supporting grandchildren and great-grand nieces and the like. So we wanted this cruise to be a bit special. Actualy I wanted to be on Sojourn on April 29th, Sydney to SF for 30 days, but A , quite understandably put a veto on that, as the month of May is prime gardening time where we are, and there is no way she is leaving her precious babies to fend for themselves, or worse still, suffer the inept attentions of our cat-sitter. And then we found this Ovation trip, which had its itinerary adjusted slightly, creating something quite attractive to us. Eleven sea days - we like sea days -, two overnights at Yangon, an overnight in Colombo, an overnight in Mumbai. We have had truly memorable times in all these cities; so here was a chance to revisit, perhaps for one last time, fondly remembered places and stay overnight at some of our favourite hotels. Bingo: we were going to do a Farewell Tour of Asia! Well, the whole shebang took a lot of planning, corresponding, booking hotels, transfers, organising early check-ins. Things were looking good and then along came Covid-19, fear, panic, misinformation, re-jigged itineraries, cancellations, grey skies, dark clouds, a couple of storms, the normally placid river whose banks and antiquated flood-defenses lie about a 100 yards from our home transformed to a raging debris-filled torrent. It's all cast a bit of a shadow on proceedings, I can tell you. According to my sources, the current word from Seabourn is that there are no plans to cancel Ovation's February 29th and March 14th sailings out of Singapore, and that they will advise passengers of any changes as soon as they know ( let's hope they know sooner than 24 hours before sail away...). In the meantime, my suitcase remains less than half-packed, the cat has decided to take up permanent residence in it, I've just had to consign my two favourite pairs of chinos to the charity bag (having lost some weight, they now look like clown's baggy trousers) and our flight departs in three weeks. At least we don't have to suffer anxiety over which suite we will be assigned and when. And staying upbeat and positive, there were only three new C-19 cases reported from Singapore last time I looked, all from known clusters, and for 80% of people the bug is no worse than a seasonal cold. Ovation is in dry dock, so she'll be all spring-cleaned when we board, and we have a thermometer, so we will be packing that.
  9. When Ovation docked in Phuket yesterday, Bangkok Times reported 495 passengers and 470 crew onboard...
  10. There are at least two or three sperate parties who have just or recently flown in and are now having to get flights back out. A lot of annoyance that if one did not book with Seabourn Air/Flight Ease there is no help or support in arranging return flights or accommodation. What a mess. We just have to wait and see what the plans are for Feb 29th and March 14th sailings. I get that SB have their hands full just sorting out the disembark. There are people on board who had back to backs booked for another two weeks.... I'm half packed ( well... underwear and socks ) and do'nt know what to do, meanwhile the cat has taken up residence in my suitcase. At least at the moment it appears Seabourn are offering full refunds + 100% credit on a future cruise, which I think is a generous offer.
  11. They are disembarking in Singapore, then it's wait and see. Plenty of discussion and speculation on the Seabourn Sailors page on FB
  12. Thanks Chairsin We first booked HFC after reading your mention of going to try it 18 months or so ago - Glad you liked it also. This trip was going to involve staying at 'heritage' hotels at all our overnight stops - Governor's Residence in Yangon, Galle Face in Sri Lanka, Taj Palace in Mumbai + meeting up with local friends and acquaintances. We are going to have a platefull of cancellation emails to send out if it is a dead duck.
  13. Thanks for the kind words, rols! Business Lite was a really good deal, and if it is a trip you are definitely going to take, may be worth the risk as one would expect Travel Insurance to cover in the event of a 'normal' cancellation. In this case am not so sure - I won't check with my Insurer until I have a more definitive set of circumstances. Yes, sensible to see if SGP becomes a no-go zone - as you say, it feels like it will only be a matter of time now... However, we still don't know what SB plan to do with our cruise. Rang our well known and often mentioned UK TA and they had no info - we have even discussed taking our flight to Singapore and having our five days there anyway. We were both soooo looking forward to returning. 5 nights booked at Hotel Fort Canning (that's on a no refunds basis as well 😬). We have really enjoyed the lovely pool there, walks to and from the Colonial District across the park.Had plans to dine at Candlenut and Peking Duck Imperial Treasure (not having to worry about making reservations!) both for first time.....the old Botanical Gardens.....A was planning to get a cheongsam made up.... some tropical warmth to banish the cold icy winds that have penetrated to our bones these last few weeks.... revisit the Asian Civilisations Museum ( one of my favourite museums in the world)....lunch at Empress. Sigh.... SGP has so much to offer.
  14. runny nose is good, I'm led to believe, as it is not a diagnostic symptom for Covid-19, nor is sore throat. Hopefully just a common cold!!!🤧😏
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