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I've just finished catching up from the time you left home until now.  I'm completely exhausted (LOL) and we haven't even started the cruise yet.  What an awesome adventure you are taking us all on.  Thanks for your time and effort!!

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30 minutes ago, USCcruisecrazy said:

I've just finished catching up from the time you left home until now.  I'm completely exhausted (LOL) and we haven't even started the cruise yet.  What an awesome adventure you are taking us all on.  Thanks for your time and effort!!

 

Hello there, USCruisecrazy! Love your name by the way!  Think I should be called GBCruisecrazy!  LOL

 

Great to have you along.

 

Wow! I’m impressed with your stamina - you’ve read the whole thing! Well done! You definitely deserve a medal.

 

Think you may need to lie down in a darkened room....🤣

 

Lots more adventures to share - it’s Sydney next!

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18 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

Nice hotel for your tea.  Glad you had a relaxing afternoon

 

Yes, we certainly did. It was a lovely experience, and one we will remember with great fondness. 

 

When all this madness is over we would love to return. 

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3 minutes ago, ellie1145 said:

 

Hello there, USCruisecrazy! Love your name by the way!  Think I should be called GBCruisecrazy!  LOL

 

Great to have you along.

 

Wow! I’m impressed with your stamina - you’ve read the whole thing! Well done! You definitely deserve a medal.

 

Think you may need to lie down in a darkened room....🤣

 

Lots more adventures to share - it’s Sydney next!

That's supposed to be USC, as in University of South Carolina, cruisecrazy!  LOL!  By I like the idea of GB cruisecrazy...I'll pass that idea on to our British friends visiting this weekend for the 4th of July.  I look forward to many more pages and lots of cool pictures!!

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Glad you got to enjoy tea at Raffles.  The JW Marriott we stayed at in January 2019 was across the street from Raffles which was under construction.  They did have a bar open that served the famous Singapore Sling, an experience to do once.  It was tasty but it was by far the most expensive drink I've ever had!  Looking forward to continuing the tour.

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1 hour ago, USCcruisecrazy said:

That's supposed to be USC, as in University of South Carolina, cruisecrazy!  LOL!  By I like the idea of GB cruisecrazy...I'll pass that idea on to our British friends visiting this weekend for the 4th of July.  I look forward to many more pages and lots of cool pictures!!

 

 

Oops!  Well I actually think you should be US cruisecrazy!  It’s a great name! 🤣

 

More tomorrow, as we are nearing the end of our Singapore sojourn. Sydney, here we come!

 

Happy 4th July by the way!  

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What an elegant tea!

 

I have done a few teas on trips to Britain and also  at the Empress Hotel in Victoria B. C. but this one takes the cake! If/when we ever make it to Singapore again -- this is a must. We have enjoyed the Singapore Sling in the bar there several years ago, I thought it was pricey then and I am sure much more today. But I definitely want to see the renovated Raffles.

 

I am so enjoying this trip and can hardly wait  for Sydney and "our" cruise.

 

You are an amazing story teller Ellie.

 

Gail

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2 hours ago, azbirdmom said:

Glad you got to enjoy tea at Raffles.  The JW Marriott we stayed at in January 2019 was across the street from Raffles which was under construction.  They did have a bar open that served the famous Singapore Sling, an experience to do once.  It was tasty but it was by far the most expensive drink I've ever had!  Looking forward to continuing the tour.

 

Did you like the JW Marriott?

 

We didn’t try the Singapore Sling as we aren’t great drinkers, but we realised it was pretty expensive. But as you say, it’s an experience.

 

Glad you are still hanging on in there!

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19 minutes ago, cnd crsr said:

What an elegant tea!

 

I have done a few teas on trips to Britain and also  at the Empress Hotel in Victoria B. C. but this one takes the cake! If/when we ever make it to Singapore again -- this is a must. We have enjoyed the Singapore Sling in the bar there several years ago, I thought it was pricey then and I am sure much more today. But I definitely want to see the renovated Raffles.

 

I am so enjoying this trip and can hardly wait  for Sydney and "our" cruise.

 

You are an amazing story teller Ellie.

 

Gail

 

It was elegant and so relaxing, and we didn’t actually feel out of place amongst the rich and famous. They were so welcoming.

 

Hope you get the chance to experience it if you ever return to Singapore. I sincerely hope the world will return to some sort of normality before I’m too old and decrepit to do the long journey to Singapore and Sydney. 

 

We try to do afternoon tea in as many places as we can. My son and I went to Dubai together a few years ago and he treated me to afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab, which was a great experience, though we thought the hotel itself was not to our taste, a bit too showy. 

 

Thank you for your kind words, Gail. I’m pleased you are still enjoying my story.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, ellie1145 said:

 

Did you like the JW Marriott?

 

We didn’t try the Singapore Sling as we aren’t great drinkers, but we realised it was pretty expensive. But as you say, it’s an experience.

 

Glad you are still hanging on in there!

 

We did enjoy it.  We stayed there two nights pre-cruise and then as I had mentioned earlier we splurged for one night at the Marina Bay Sands post-cruise.  The JW Marriott had a fantastic executive lounge that we got to enjoy given our Mileage Plus status with United Airlines.  It had a massive breakfast laid out and a great selection of foods during happy hour that we had for dinner each night.  They had an open bar for a couple hours at night as well.  We got it all for free last year but for our stay next year we will simply pay for a "club" room which includes access to the lounge.  Marriott no longer does the same status match with United so we don't get that perk.  It was good while it lasted!

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Just now, azbirdmom said:

 

We did enjoy it.  We stayed there two nights pre-cruise and then as I had mentioned earlier we splurged for one night at the Marina Bay Sands post-cruise.  The JW Marriott had a fantastic executive lounge that we got to enjoy given our Mileage Plus status with United Airlines.  It had a massive breakfast laid out and a great selection of foods during happy hour that we had for dinner each night.  They had an open bar for a couple hours at night as well.  We got it all for free last year but for our stay next year we will simply pay for a "club" room which includes access to the lounge.  Marriott no longer does the same status match with United so we don't get that perk.  It was good while it lasted!

 

Gosh, azbirdmom, that sounds great. 

 

Any photos?? 

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12 minutes ago, ellie1145 said:

 

Gosh, azbirdmom, that sounds great. 

 

Any photos?? 

 

Oddly I didn't take any pictures of the executive lounge but do have this picture of the menu at the bar at Raffles.  The price is SGD of course.  And from the pool level at the JW Marriott that I've posted below.

 

I also have a video of what we called the "friendly toilet" at the JW Marriott.  When you approach it, the lid would lift and a light around the seat would illuminate.  It also had a remote control for, urrr, cleaning.  It was quite the topic of conversation!

 

 

IMG_5682.JPG

 

JW Marriott view from the pool at night.

IMG_5695.JPG

 

Friendly toilet at night

Edited by azbirdmom
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For anyone interested, there's a very good documentary on the restoration of Raffles Hotel.  It's a 2 parter.  I was last in Singapore in 2018 starying at the Fairmont just across the road from Raffles.  It was interesting to watch the workers replacing the tiles on the roofs of the various buildings but sad to see the various courtyards bare of greenery. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VatPkX5RnoA

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On 6/28/2020 at 2:35 AM, ellie1145 said:

THE SENTOSA EXPRESS

We get off the gondola at Merlion Station, and outside we find a water feature, and the Merlion which used to be open to the public.

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Next stop - The Aquarium!

 

 

 

Can people not go up the Sentosa Merlion any more?  Such a shame, I did it a few years ago (2016 I think), there was a museum and the story of the Merlion down the bottom, then you went up to the top and rang a bell for good luck, while looking out his mouth, it was a lot of fun!

 

Isn't the aquarium great!  I was there in August and it was a quiet day, when i bought the tickets, they asked if we wanted to go to the maritime museum too (for free), so if you purchase tickets, ask if this is an option. My son (age 9) wasn't to keen on the thought of the maritime museum, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it, it was interactive and we both learnt a lot!  It ended with a 4D film about the shipping trade in Singapore, at the end of the film there is a storm (you will get a bit wet with water splashes), the ship "sinks" (floor actually goes down, like an elevator) and it appears like you are going under water, then when you emerge from the film, you have actually entered the aquarium and are amongst the fish!  It was fantastic! 

IMG_6829.JPG

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Thank you azbirdmom for posting the info about the Singapore Sling. As you say, pretty pricey!

 

I love your video of the ‘friendly toilet.’ How funny! I bet it gave you a bit of a shock the first time you saw it in operation. Trust the Singaporeans to come up with something as unusual as that! One question though, did it SHUT the lid after use and before flushing??

 

That’s my pet hate on ‘planes (And everywhere 😡🤬). Every time I use the loo, the seat is up. It makes me really cross, and it’s usually a man I’m afraid that does that.

 

Don’t they realise the amount of spray that shoots into the air when the toilet is flushed? I won’t go into detail about what those particles contain, I’ll leave that to your imagination. 🤦‍♀️🚽👎💩💩💩

 

With the advent of Covid-19 it is even more important to close the lid as the virus has been found suspended in the air after a toilet is flushed with the lid up .....

 

OK, off my soap box! 🤣

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9 hours ago, LC1950 said:

For anyone interested, there's a very good documentary on the restoration of Raffles Hotel.  It's a 2 parter.  I was last in Singapore in 2018 starying at the Fairmont just across the road from Raffles.  It was interesting to watch the workers replacing the tiles on the roofs of the various buildings but sad to see the various courtyards bare of greenery. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VatPkX5RnoA

 

Thank you, LC1950 for posting that link. 

 

They also run this video on Singapore Airlines ‘planes. It’s really interesting isn’t it?

 

I love seeing those people who are ‘regulars’ at Raffles, and who treat it as their second home. The staff really do make them feel like family, and seem to go out of their way to make their stay exceptional. 

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My pleasure ellie1145.  DH and I have visited Singapore many times over the years and I've always loved Raffles.  Can remember the old days when it was on the beach front before the land reclamation works.  LOL never been able to afford to actually stay there, but we always headed to the Long Bar for a Singapore Sling (me) and a Scotch (him).  There's something about eating peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor that to me, is very satisfying LOL.  Lovely memories.

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2 hours ago, mtn_couple said:

 

Can people not go up the Sentosa Merlion any more?  Such a shame, I did it a few years ago (2016 I think), there was a museum and the story of the Merlion down the bottom, then you went up to the top and rang a bell for good luck, while looking out his mouth, it was a lot of fun!

 

Isn't the aquarium great!  I was there in August and it was a quiet day, when i bought the tickets, they asked if we wanted to go to the maritime museum too (for free), so if you purchase tickets, ask if this is an option. My son (age 9) wasn't to keen on the thought of the maritime museum, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it, it was interactive and we both learnt a lot!  It ended with a 4D film about the shipping trade in Singapore, at the end of the film there is a storm (you will get a bit wet with water splashes), the ship "sinks" (floor actually goes down, like an elevator) and it appears like you are going under water, then when you emerge from the film, you have actually entered the aquarium and are amongst the fish!  It was fantastic! 

 

 

No, I’m sorry to say that the Sentosa Merlion is no longer open to the public. It closed on October 20th, 2019, soon after our visit. Had we realised that, we would have made sure to visit it, but we were short of time and just walked past it. 

 

Apparently it is going to be demolished to make way for the Sentosa Sensoryscape Project, which was due to be completed in 2022, although with the advent of Covid I guess that must have been delayed. 

 

This Merlion stands 37m tall and is too big to be relocated, although locals have been vociferous in their objections to its demise. It is, apparently, just too big to relocate. 

 

Interestingly, it was designed in 1964 by a British zoologist and curator of the Van Reef Aquarium, Alec Fraser-Brunner, to be the logo of the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board.  It is supposed to represent two myths about Singapore.

 

The fish represent the country’s beginnings as a fishing village, although in fact it was a thriving port in the 14th century. The lion refers to Sang Nila Utama, who named the city ‘Singapura’ or ‘lion city’ after he supposedly saw a lion. However, it is a myth, as lions are not native to this part of the world. Should have gone to Specsavers, I guess! (British joke, look up Dominic Cummings/Barnard Castle if you are puzzled...🤣)

 

The Sentosa Merlion was designed by an Australian sculptor, James Martin , and was built in 1995 at a cost of SGD 8 million, and around 19 million people visit it each year. 

 

An interesting bit of trivia for all you trivia buffs - the iconic water-spouting Merlion statue at Merlion Park, which was unveiled in 1972, HAS been moved, as it originally stood at the mouth of the Singapore River. When the Esplanade Bridge was built in 1997 it obstructed views of the Merlion, so it was moved to its present location in 2002.

 

The sculptor was a Singaporean, Lim Nang Seng, and his 8 children worked with him on the project.

 

Did you know that the Merlion has a cub? 

 

It is much smaller and stands just 2m tall, weighing in at 3 tonnes. It is perched on an ornamental pool, some distance behind the Merlion, and faces the city. 

 

0F59A155-4573-4C8F-B82F-7578C1CBC79C.thumb.png.352c82268e446985a31608203d806d9c.png

 

Sadly, we did not have time to visit the Maritime Museum, although it was included within our Explorer Pass. It looks really interesting, and if we are ever lucky enough to return we will be sure to visit it. 

 

i love the idea of the ‘sinking’ floor. Sounds like great fun. No wonder your little boy enjoyed it. What a lovely photo of him ringing the bell.

 

The aquarium is well worth a visit, isn’t it? Thank you so much for posting the information about the Museum and the photo. 

Edited by ellie1145
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55 minutes ago, LC1950 said:

My pleasure ellie1145.  DH and I have visited Singapore many times over the years and I've always loved Raffles.  Can remember the old days when it was on the beach front before the land reclamation works.  LOL never been able to afford to actually stay there, but we always headed to the Long Bar for a Singapore Sling (me) and a Scotch (him).  There's something about eating peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor that to me, is very satisfying LOL.  Lovely memories.

 

I love the idea of the peanuts! There are a couple of eateries in Florida where you can do just that. It always seems faintly naughty to be throwing the shells on the floor, doesn’t it?

 

Yes, actually being able to stay at Raffles is, I’m afraid, a pipe-dream for us. We’d have to win the lottery or rob a bank unfortunately, but we can dream, can’t we?

Edited by ellie1145
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Let’s Explore Raffles Hotel....

 

 

Afterwards we walk round the hotel and explore all the different areas. 

The hotel is actually enormous, with lots of internal quadrangles with palm trees and fountains, and a large shopping arcade.

 

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First, we step through one of the double glass doors leading out onto a huge lawned quadrangle, with soaring palm trees silhouetted against a blue sky.

 

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All of the trees, plants and grass were ripped up and replaced during the renovation. 

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It’s difficult to believe that these trees and plants are all new, and haven’t been there for years. The landscapers have done a wonderful job of restoring this area to its former glory.

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This is the corridor which leads to the accommodation, all suites and all with their own butler.

 

 

It’s surprisingly peaceful when you consider we are surrounded by the hurly burly of this busy city. It’s easy to imagine how it would have been in the years leading up to the fall of Singapore.

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13 hours ago, LC1950 said:

For anyone interested, there's a very good documentary on the restoration of Raffles Hotel.  It's a 2 parter.  I was last in Singapore in 2018 starying at the Fairmont just across the road from Raffles.  It was interesting to watch the workers replacing the tiles on the roofs of the various buildings but sad to see the various courtyards bare of greenery. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VatPkX5RnoA

Watch it last night on YouTube it is an amazing place.  The residents it’s home away from home. One big family.  Imagine having your own Butler. Will watch part 2 tonight. 

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 We walk down a corridor and find ourselves in another leafy courtyard, with tropical planting and a fountain. 

 

It’s beautifully landscaped and it’s easy to forget that you are surrounded by high-rise buildings on all sides.

 

50CD1CB2-C387-4655-9FAC-CBF4BF81B32E.thumb.jpeg.d44844ef95688b091653cdb2e90d7602.jpeg

 

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There are soaring palms of all varieties and seats where you can stop and watch the world go by,  maybe like Somerset Maughan, 

who was a great people-watcher, and who took inspiration for his short stories from listening to those around him.

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These pots are nearly as tall as me.

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It’s a calm oasis. 

1139A4FB-EBC6-4E99-861F-11351EB4AC76.thumb.jpeg.846c12f81441b0a4936abe71817bd00b.jpeg

 

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4 minutes ago, CrazyIrving said:

Watch it last night on YouTube it is an amazing place.  The residents it’s home away from home. One big family.  Imagine having your own Butler. Will watch part 2 tonight. 

 

We really enjoyed part two as it shows the huge renovation project which illustrates  the enormous and unexpectedly major task they faced once they started to remove plaster etc. They seem to have done a great job of restoring the original features. 

 

It is a National Monument which Singaporeans are justly proud of. 

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