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Come sail with me on a virtual cruise on Majestic Princess to Fiji!


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Ellie-We are all here and you are not talking to yourself! I find it amazing that you have such recall, organization and knowledge of the areas you detail. So interesting!

Have you ever posted a "live from" during previous cruises as this journey is exceptional and so valuable to all of us.

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The Secret Garden

Perhaps my favourite of all the areas within the Cloud Forest, the Secret Garden is a magical place, full of prehistoric ferns and moisture loving plants. It is a lush and mysterious environment, made up of limestone forests, pools and caves. 

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It has over 7,000 plants, from more than 135 species. These include orchids, begonias and gesneriads, the African Violet family, as well as Maidenhair Fern, Tree Ferns, Bird's Nest Fern, Blue Star Fern, mosses, and the Schefflera Umbrella plant.

 

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Humid and shady, with towering trees, cascading water, and secret pools it is a magical area to explore.

 

Here you can see some of the sculptures that abound - in the forefront are several huge limestone snails by Wang Rong Hai. 

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You really can believe that you are in a tropical rainforest.

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The Limestone Forest

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23 minutes ago, Loucat said:

Ellie-We are all here and you are not talking to yourself! I find it amazing that you have such recall, organization and knowledge of the areas you detail. So interesting!

Have you ever posted a "live from" during previous cruises as this journey is exceptional and so valuable to all of us.

 

Phew, that's a relief! Didn't want the men in white coats to come and take me away.....🤣😉

 

I have never posted anything before. To be honest I was too nervous, as sometimes there can be some less than kind comments on other threads. But this has been an absolute joy as there have been so many wonderful people following along. 

 

I don't think I could ever do a 'live from' as we are always too busy and the days simply fly by.

 

I am very impressed by the person on Mein Schiff, as they are posting some wonderful pictures etc. It looks a beautiful ship. 

 

Anyway, I prefer to relive the experience from a distance, as it enables me to take my time. Apart from which, the internet on Majestic Princess was really bad, one of the worst we've ever had, and that's even with her being a new ship. However, it could have been the isolation of the Fijian island perhaps, I don't really know. But we had great internet on Ruby Princess in the previous May when we went to Hawaii. 

 

Anyway, thanks again for staying the course! 

Edited by ellie1145
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5 hours ago, ellie1145 said:

 

Phew, that's a relief! Didn't want the men in white coats to come and take me away.....🤣😉

 

 

Still here and thoroughly enjoying revisiting Singapore.  We stopover there almost every year as SIA is our favourite airline whether heading east or west of Perth (always long flights from here!).  Hope you can reconstruct some of your past cruises you would have many followers!

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7 hours ago, Westaussie said:

Still here and thoroughly enjoying revisiting Singapore.  We stopover there almost every year as SIA is our favourite airline whether heading east or west of Perth (always long flights from here!).  Hope you can reconstruct some of your past cruises you would have many followers!

 

So glad you are enjoying Singapore again. I'm sure you must really miss your visits - we do, and we've only been 3 times! 

 

Sadly, our adventure is nearly at an end, but I will certainly see if I can revisit our Hawaii cruise in April 2019, if anyone else is interested. 

 

Now it's back to the amazing Cloud Forest!

 

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This tree trunk is providing a home for orchids to grow. These beautiful flowers are epiphytes, which means that they grow in the air, rather than in soil. Their thick white roots are able to absorb moisture, without the need for soil.

 

Orchids comprise the largest family of flowering plants with over 30,000 species and 200,000 hybrids. They are found all over the world and have an amazing ability to adapt to its environment. 

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This beautiful lion's head is made of polished lychee wood, and it adorns the doorway of the Secret Garden. There are two such doorways, providing entry and exit to this area.

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The lion's face was carved from a solid tree stump, and the artist cleverly used the roots to form the lion's radiating mane. 

 

These pieces were carved in Bali, Indonesia, with wood obtained from China. Although lions are not native to China, they were often given as presents to the Emperor.

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Once again, as we walk round the Secret Garden, we see several crocodile sculptures hidden among the foliage surrounding the pool. 

 

Many cultures around the world subscribe to an animist tradition, and endow such things as animals, plants, and even rocks, with a soul. Such beings must be placated with gifts, in order to earn merit . The Crocodile is one of the most powerful creatures within the Animist religion, and is revered. It is often named 'King of the Waters' or 'King of Ancestors.' 

 

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Edited by ellie1145
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The Secret Garden is home to tree ferns descended from the age of dinosaurs, and begonias that are so rare that they may soon be extinct.

 

There are also orchids so tiny that they have to be viewed through magnifying lenses, which are thoughtfully provided. 

 

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Driftwood Eagle

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Sculptures are also used as seats, which are scattered around the area. At first sight they might appear as just a rather interesting piece of wood, but look closely and you will see that its unusual shape forms the basis for several carvings, such as the fish seen below. 

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Edited by ellie1145
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Time to Leave - the Tardis is Powered up and Waiting....

 

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We find ourselves back at the entrance. It's been an amazing time here in the Cloud Forest, and I have to admit that I love this area the best of the two wonderful conservatories. 

 

I know that there is much more to see, and that I could spend another day here, as around every corner there is something unusual, not to mention the fantastic plants and flowers, which I have so enjoyed photographing.

 

Poor DH is eminently patient as I stand in front of flower after flower, trying to focus up and get the best possible angle. 

 

The Lion King stands guard as we leave.  It is fitting that this is the final sculpture as it was crafted from a very special wood, Golden Silk Nanmu, a very precious wood that is unique to China and South Asia.

 

This lion was made from a single trunk of this wood, and you can see golden silk-like threads in its grain. This is the same wood that was used during the construction of the Forbidden City. 

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We pass the staircase between the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome, and see close up some of the large masks and shields originating from Papua New Guinea. 

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These masks were meant to protect you from black magic, and represent spirits that will ward off enemies. These pieces of primitive art are carved and painted, with large eyes and protruding tongues. Some of them are decorated with seashells and animal hair. 

 

As we wait to get back into the Tardis we see that outside they are cleaning the glass of the conservatories. What a job that must be!

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But before we go there is just time to  pop into McDonalds, where, of course, AF-1 is already in the queue, with ice creams for all of us - hooray! 

 

Just what the Doctor (Who of course!) ordered!

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So here we are, dear Cruising Adventurers, back at the door of the Tardis, ready to transport us back to the 'plane, for the final few minutes of our flight, and the end of this fantastic journey together. 

 

Hold onto your hats and keep your fingers crossed we make it! 

 

Edited by ellie1145
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Hi Ellie

What an exciting adventure this has been! I am thinking when I next travel to or through Singapore, I have to book a few days at the airport and explore the conservatories "live". This is the kind of place we could visit over and over and always find something new. Your photos are exquisite, I am so glad your DH has been patient and we were given sure a wonderful guided tour.

Thank you so very much.

Hawaii here we come! I for one will be joining you on that cruise. You can't imagine how much I have looked forward to tuning in every day to follow your journey through Australia and the South Seas.

 

Gail

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1 hour ago, cnd crsr said:

Hi Ellie

What an exciting adventure this has been! I am thinking when I next travel to or through Singapore, I have to book a few days at the airport and explore the conservatories "live". This is the kind of place we could visit over and over and always find something new. Your photos are exquisite, I am so glad your DH has been patient and we were given sure a wonderful guided tour.

Thank you so very much.

Hawaii here we come! I for one will be joining you on that cruise. You can't imagine how much I have looked forward to tuning in every day to follow your journey through Australia and the South Seas.

 

Gail

 

Thank you so much, Gail. It’s been such fun having you along on this adventure. It’s given me a purpose in life, and boy do we need a purpose at this difficult time!

 

I think you would enjoy seeing the conservatories for yourself as they are always changing the plants and so it is likely to be even more interesting. Let’s hope we can both do that sometime in the future. 

 

But for now it’s nearly time to say goodbye..... until the next time? 😉

 

 

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Ellie,

Thank you a million times!  I have loved this adventure and though I never thought of visiting Singapore, it is now a must.

If you were to do a land vacation there, how many days to really SEE it all?  Two weeks???

 

Please pull from your memory another of your travels and take us on another journey!!!  This has truly been wonderful!!!  

 

 

 

Edited by ROWSE
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3 hours ago, ROWSE said:

Ellie,

Thank you a million times!  I have loved this adventure and though I never thought of visiting Singapore, it is now a must.

If you were to do a land vacation there, how many days to really SEE it all?  Two weeks???

 

Please pull from your memory another of your travels and take us on another journey!!!  This has truly been wonderful!!!  

 

 

 

 

Rowse, thank you a million times for reading it! Glad it’s whetted your appetite for Singapore. We like it more each time we go. 

 

We have only ever had 4 or 5 days, and it’s a rush. The zoo and the bird park are worth giving a day each to, but the conservatories you could do in one day. Sentosa has so much to explore plus a beach and a water park. Then of course, there is Raffles - afternoon tea is a must! 🍰🧁  Not to mention the Battle Box! And the museums! Goodness me, you would need a week at least to do a variety of different things, according to your interests. 

 

I will certainly do my best to see if I can do another trip, so keep your suitcases packed and your passports at the ready!  😉

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2 hours ago, Loucat said:

Thank you Ellie for this wonderous journey! I look forward to your next virtual for sure.

 

Thank you Loucat! I’ve enjoyed travelling with you, and look forward to ‘sailing’ with you again soon. ✈️ 🛳️

 

By the way, I am always curious about people’s names, so could I be so bold as to ask why you are called Loucat? 🐱

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 Ellie- I am a died in the wool animal lover. Used to have dogs and loved each. Life changes and I found my first stray kitten many years ago. She was the first of many loved kitties to share my life.

One special kitten's name was Lou. I found him in a shelter and he was a sweetie. When I joined CC, I used his name "Loucat".

I lost that little creature in 2008, 3 years after using Loucat as my handle. I often think I should change as it still hurts to remember him and what he gave as a young cat. 

Thank you for asking. You are the first person who ever asked about Loucat.

Diane

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Thank you so much, Ellie, for this wonderful virtual cruise!  I may not post much, but I have loved every minute.  Please, please, please take us on another virtual cruise (to Hawaii or anywhere else you choose) - after a well-deserved rest, of course.  

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22 hours ago, Loucat said:

 Ellie- I am a died in the wool animal lover. Used to have dogs and loved each. Life changes and I found my first stray kitten many years ago. She was the first of many loved kitties to share my life.

One special kitten's name was Lou. I found him in a shelter and he was a sweetie. When I joined CC, I used his name "Loucat".

I lost that little creature in 2008, 3 years after using Loucat as my handle. I often think I should change as it still hurts to remember him and what he gave as a young cat. 

Thank you for asking. You are the first person who ever asked about Loucat.

Diane

 

What a lovely way to remember your much loved cat, but I can understand that it is tinged with sadness, too. Thank you so much for explaining.

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17 hours ago, barbpretz said:

Thank you so much, Ellie, for this wonderful virtual cruise!  I may not post much, but I have loved every minute.  Please, please, please take us on another virtual cruise (to Hawaii or anywhere else you choose) - after a well-deserved rest, of course.  

 

Thank you for those lovely comments. I’m glad that our little adventure has given you pleasure.

 

I will certainly try to take everyone on another virtual cruise very soon. 😉

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In the blink of an eye we are back on the ‘plane. There is just enough time to watch another movie, as outside it is dark, and so I cannot take any more photos. Below us I can see twinkling lights, like a beautiful patchwork quilt, as we pass over Europe.

 

There is a flurry of activity as the crew pass through the ‘plane, collecting up trash and making sure everything is ready for landing. It’s time to pack away our bits and pieces. It’s been a good flight, for Economy, although it was very long. We certainly prefer a day flight to a night flight.

 

We are on final approach and I can see London below us, and soon this big bird is gliding gently down, before landing with barely a bump.

 

What an adventure we’ve had! One of the best.

 

We are tired and anxious to get to our hotel for a rest, but there is still passport control to get through. Now I sail through, using the automatic machines where you have to look into a mirror and it scans you, and if you are not a terrorist (or an alien from Mars),  the gate opens and it lets you through.

 

Not so, DH. For some reason, without fail, he confuses the machine and it simply refuses to open the little gate. I stand there, behind the gate, hopping about, imploring him to open his eyes, and look straight at the camera, but it always ends the same way. The gate remains firmly shut and he has to be escorted to see an Immigration Officer. 

 

But at last we are through, and on our way to Baggage Reclaim, where we are relieved so see our cases are just sailing round the carousel. We breathe a sigh of relief that it’s all there. A brisk walk through customs and we are able to call our taxi company. It feels so odd to be here again, and it seems only a blink of an eye since we were excitedly making our way to check in.

 

The taxi drops us at the Crowne Plaza and we pick up our car before driving to our hotel. We are feeling really chilly, as we’ve enjoyed some lovely sunshine and warm weather, and it’s decidedly cold here in London. We check in and put the kettle on while we wait for our son to arrive to welcome us home. 

 

We spend an hour or so chatting, but then exhaustion sets in and we bid him goodnight and after a quick shower, fall into bed.

 

Tomorrow we will drive home, but we are already thinking about re-visiting this part of the world again. Little do we know what awaits us all, and how the world, especially the cruising world, is going to come crashing down in a matter of a few weeks. 

 

But for now we are just grateful to have been able to experience this wonderful adventure, and to have seen some amazing places. Life is good. 

 

 

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🎼  Time to Say Goodbye....🎶  (And to say Thank You!)

Time to say goodbye
To countries I never
Saw and shared with you,
now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you
On ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer,

 

(Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli)  

 

So, all that remains is to thank you, dear Cruising Adventurers, for sailing with me on our virtual cruise. It has been wonderful having you along, and I am most grateful to you all for staying the course. 

 

It’s been such fun, and I feel as if I know so many of you through your lovely comments, and the way you have engaged with the whole virtual adventure.

 

It has been quite an adventure in another way too - 69 pages, goodness how many words, thousands of photos, 63,883 views, and 1,719 replies. And only one negative post! Wow! When I started I thought maybe there would be a few hundred views, but I never envisaged this sort of response, so thank you all!

 

Your comments and interactions have kept me going, and I have to admit that there will be a void In my life now. This pandemic has wreaked such havoc with our lives that, for those of us who live and breathe cruising, all we can do is hope, and look forward to the day when we can stand on the deck of a ship in safety. What a day that will be! 

 

Thank you azbirdmom (and others) for your great pictures and for helping me along the way. It’s been great to have you there with me, re-living our wonderful cruise to Fiji. 

 

I hope that this thread will help those who are looking forward, as well as those who are looking back. I trust that some of the information I have passed on will enable others to plan, and to be ready for the day when those beautiful ships sail the seven seas again. 

 

So for now, thank you and goodbye, from me (and Mrs Doubtfire - Dude looks like a lady!).

 

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A rare photo of Mr DH. (Aka Mr Doubtfire). 😉  At Raffles of course!

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Edited by ellie1145
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It was finally nice to see our author and tour guide. You should have included more pictures of yourselves. Whoever told you that you look like Mrs. Doubtfire has a vision problem!

 

Thank you again for the wonderful journey. If you decide to do another, please post on this thread that you are starting a new trip in the Tardis as I will keep it bookmarked so I will not miss a minute.

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11 hours ago, ellie1145 said:

🎼  Time to Say Goodbye....🎶  (And to say Thank You!)

So for now, thank you and goodbye, from me (and Mrs Doubtfire - Dude looks like a lady!).

 

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Thank you for the awesome virtual cruise and finally we get to put a face to the wonderful words and images.

In the meantime be safe and maybe someday we'll meet on the Lido Deck!

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