Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Adrift in the Andaman Sea

Our ship is not adrift – it is us; our plans for organization, our vows to not overeat or indulge, my scheduled plan of blog posts to keep you up to date on our whereabouts and experiences. . .all are adrift. 



Strait of Malacca between Singapore and Phuket





















We’ve been lulled into the world of cruising – a timeless sort of being when the days are charted by ports of call and the passing of time by the rising and setting sun.

 I’d written a post further describing Bangkok to you but so many have written with questions about our ship and our whereabouts, that I bumped it in lieu of an update from the ship.

 
 
Oceania's Nautica - our home for the next month


And the wonders of technology are allowing me to write and post as our ship takes us to Yangon, Myanmar (Rangoon, Burma) on the 1,200 kilometers long Andaman Sea, a part of the Bay of Bengal.  However, the wonders of technology did fail me, right after I wrote that sentence.  I am cutting and pasting this blog post together. So bear with the photo size and captions!


Our cabin - teeny tiny home sweet home

Our home has been Oceania’s Nautica since we boarded in Bangkok nearly a week ago. We’ve visited Singapore and Phuket, Thailand since sailing last Wednesday. (more on those as time allows – I don’t want to wear out the welcome in your inboxes or feeds). This mid-sized ship by industry standards is small in comparison to ships we’ve recently sailed. It has only 11 decks, 9 of which serve passengers.  We are not sailing at capacity, only 550 or so of the 684-passenger capacity was filled when we boarded; a few more came on in Singapore and some are disembarking in Mumbai. Flexibility is a plus with this cruise line.




The Lobby décor reflects the ship's elegant decor



Our cabin is small, very small. That was our mistake when we booked the ship – we’ll definitely book the larger room should we return to Oceania someday. The bathroom is beyond small – as The Scout describes it, ‘don’t drop your soap!’ in the shower that is 3-feet long and 19-inches wide.

The ship and staff are above board – the same high quality we’ve experienced on Celebrity and Holland America cruise lines. The culinary department is producing excellent morsels for us each day and alcohol prices are high (like all cruise lines) but tempered with a daily 2-for-1 Happy Hour that takes the edge off the over-the-top prices.

The Weather


Balinese day beds and lounges on the Nautica

It is hot. It is humid. Temperatures have hovered at or above 90-degrees the last few days and humidity has also been in the 90 percent range.  We have beautiful Balinese day beds that surround the pool – but there is no clamoring to occupy them – it is simply too hot. (And we’ve consumed gallons of bottled water, which on this ship is provided for free – another big plus!) And for my fashionista friends out there: the Chico’s hasn’t come out of the closet – way too hot to wear. I’ve purchased thin cotton tops on shore to wear – and they tell us the weather will be even hotter in India!

Our Fellow Cruisers

As I mentioned they didn’t fill the ship on this cruise but the cruisers who are on board are a great group of like-minded people.  They don’t wring their hands worrying about safety nor do they discuss age and health issues. They are too busy preparing for their next shore adventure – and a plus for this cruise line is that you can have those adventures on your own; you don’t need to be part of a ship’s tour unless you desire to do so.

Who are these people? Well let me introduce you to a few of them:






* A couple from Florida will have been on the ship more than 60 days when they finish their trip (this segment is 35-days). They were in Singapore a few months ago and Myanmar in December and last year took the first river cruise offered by Ama river cruises through Burma.

* A couple from Australia boarded in Singapore and between cruises and land adventures they have planned, won’t be home for another five months.

*On a small world note, one couple who live full-time in Arizona, still have a home in Kirkland, Washington (we’ve been catching up on Kirkland news with them).

*Even a smaller world tale is two attorneys from San Francisco who have done work in Wenatchee, Washington State and one of whom one of The Scout’s law partners from back in our Yakima days.

* We shared a cab back to the ship in Singapore with a woman who is sailing with her 91-year-old father.  She pushes him around in a wheelchair, but that didn’t stop either of them from taking the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour in that city.

* Another woman is traveling with her 93-year-old mom (who only uses a walker).
Sunset from the Horizons Bar - Nautica



It is an adventuresome, fun-loving group of people we’ve surrounded ourselves with – we meet for cocktails to discuss our day’s adventures and plan for future outings.

We are all off in different directions when we reach Myanmar tomorrow.  A couple from England is sharing a taxi with us as we are all heading to a hotel in Yangon for an independent (on our own) adventure.  Four other new friends are part of a ship’s tour that involves flying to Bagan, a heritage town in the country.

That’s it for now. Safe travels to you and thanks for your time. You can catch more frequent updates on Facebook.

Linking I hope this week with:

Budget Travelers Sandbox – Travel Photo Thursday

23 comments:

  1. Hello Jackie and Joel,
    I loved reading and felt I was travelling along with you on this cruise. Burma is of particular interest to me as I had a dear friend who was born and lived there for the first 18 years of her life when she then went to Calcutta. She is the late mother of best friend.
    Looking forward to hearing all about it - I was hoping you would have an audinece with Aung San Suu Kyi - pay her my respects should you see her.
    Helen xx

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    1. Helen, I have to admit I've paid a bit -- but not enough!-- attention to "The Lady" as she is lovingly called here. I will certainly be paying more attention in the future and will keep my fingers crossed that the laws are changed in time for her to run in the fall election. Thanks for visiting~ hugs, Jackie

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    2. Helen, while I was writing a reply to your comment, Joel was downstairs asking about a highly rated by Trip Advisor restaurant here. He just walked in and said we were going there tonight and 'it is out by The Lady's House' -- I nearly fell out of the chair. I will give her your regards should we end up at her house by mistake!! ;-)

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  2. Replies
    1. So fantastically different!! And wonderful - it IS a lot of fun. (Hot, but fun)!

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  3. What a lovely group of people you've encountered! :-) I feel like I'm in an Agatha Christie novel and that any moment now a dastardly deed will occur and Hercule Poirot will mince his way across the deck to solve the crime and we'll get to know even more about all the suspects. :-) Hope you continue to have a beautiful time and aren't too dreadfully hot. XO

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    1. Oh that is so funny! I hadn't thought of us all that way, but will certainly do so from now on. I'll have to think of a story line to go along with the cruise ports. Thanks for the visit! Hugs, Jackie (It is 104 in Yangon - pretty warm for this NW gal!!)

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  4. You've got a great cast of characters accompanying you on your trip. When I looked at that first photo, I remembered what I dearly miss the the most about Malaysia -- waking up in my bedroom to a fantastic sunrise over the Andaman Sea. Then, I read some more and remembered what I hated the most -- the heat and humidity. Expensive electicity kept us from running the AC very much, so the condo was usually at 88F all day. You are having so much (sweaty) fun, and I wish you well at your next stop.

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    1. We are melting, Michele! 104 yesterday and high 90's today have us sweating (the not pretty run down your face kind) within blocks of setting out. But Yangon is so amazing, as was Singapore, as was Bangkok that we are bucking up to the heat and making the most of every place. We set sail tomorrow for India!

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  5. So fun to compare your current cruising experience with ours on the Norwegian Epic. We too are feeling adrift as the time zones change and the days melt one into another. An altogether nice experience!

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    1. Anita, it is an amazing experience to sail through time zones isn't it? Somehow it seems far more gentle than flying into a new day. Safe travels to you~

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  6. It's sometimes great to get lost. Cruising is one way to help you achieve that blissful state. Loved this post~

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Irene. I felt as if my thoughts and focus in writing it was as adrift as everything else this week!

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  7. Sounds like a fabulous trip, and you're right drifting along without having to care about pesky details is a great way to go. Aren't you enamored with the SE Asia water sunrises and sunsets. Nothing compares. And we're freezing here in Mallorca after being there for six months. You do get used to the heat.

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    1. Betsy, the sunrises and sunsets have been spectacular -- the water quality, or lack of, and pollution though has been shocking. Now that we are in the Bay of Bengal it has finally turned blue again.

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  8. I know that not a lot of people like them but for me cruises are amazing. This one sounds like loads od fun!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Fabian! And yes, we are hooked on cruising -- and they can be what you want them to be, that's for sure!

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  9. Jackie, I appreciate all your details, critiques, and opinions on all of your adventures, and since I have never taken a cruise in my life, this post was very interesting. Yes, you are surrounded by a group of lively people who are very positive minded, and eager to explore all that life has to offer. I guess the various discomforts of a small cabin is a small price to pay in comparison to everything else.

    Thanks for the update, and keep them coming...

    Happy weekend!

    Hugs,
    Poppy

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    1. Yes, Poppy we are surrounded by a group of adventurous travelers - we need to be. . .tomorrow we have a pirate attack drill!!! More soon. Hugs, Jackie

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  10. It's so fun to virtually sail with both of you. This looks like such a great and fun itinerary. How neat that you've got a great group to sail along with in this adventure. We'd love to sail on various cruises when the kids are all grown up.

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  11. I love to cruise and as I read you post it brings back great memories of my own experiences. Your exotic ports sound amazing as well! I look forward to reading more!

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  12. Jackie and Joel, I am soaking all of this up! I was recently saying how someday, I'd love to go on a 'round the world cruise! Glad you are surrounded by an adventurous bunch! Looking forward to hearing more! Enjoy!

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  13. Fellow travelers can make a cruise so good (or bad). I'm on a very active cruise in Fiji and the vast majority of the other people are from Australia or New Zealand. They don't complain, they'r'e very friendly and love being active regardless of age! Your cruise sounds like a nice itinerary and size - not one of those ships with thousands of people on it!

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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