May 21, 2917 Majestic Princess to Singapore
After spending a relaxing week in Rome, we finally got to board the Majestic Princess. Wow, wow, wow. I was blown away by it from the minute we walked in! My experience was so positive.
We planted ourselves in our favorite room, Emerald 319 and obstructed balcony with no real obstructions! I’ve spent close to 55 days in that room on the Regal/Majestic in the last 6 months! I am a creature of habit I guess. Anyway the room is identical to that on the Regal, and for the most part the ship is the same except for a few important changes. Bed Linens and the new robes were fantastic, much nicer than I’ve ever seen on a Princess ship. They now use sheets between the comforters and I like it much better. The top of the bed is also covered in a lovely while sheet. Our room steward was
The Casino is still in the same place but it looks different, however I did not spend any time there and cannot tell you how. The casino is no longer open to the floor above, so shopping is not as stinky now, more on that later. The vista lounge has changed but only a little; in the back of the room are Mahjong tables which are accessible for trivia players when trivia is held in that Lounge. Those tables are rented out at $10 an hour, including the whole set up, and the room is now called the Vista Gaming lounge. It is still the place where many parties take place. Club 6 is gone, totally MIA and in its place is a bar and smoking room. I barely went through it once.
There are mid ship stairs in place now, making many people happy. The center atrium is the same except a few shops have moved. The regular store with candy and basics, well lots of candy, is on the 5th floor, opposite to the International Café.
Service was fantastic, from the Barista’s to the Buffet (World Market Place) the servers were kind, hard working, and lovely to interact with. The food was magnificent. Yes, it was the best food I ever got on Princess. We were in the traditional dining room on the 6th floor aft, and our servers were incredible. There were so many dining options and for sure we did not hit them all in the 28 days on the ship. Frankly the food was so good in the main dining room we did not want to leave it ever! We had specialty dining given to us by our wonderful travel agent and we ended up turning it in for credit! I did hear that the Chinese food specialty restaurant was wonderful.
There is little Pizza on the ship, you have to go to Alfredo’s to get any, and of course you can still order it from room service for $3, and its good. There isn’t any Pizza near the pool now, instead is a delightful little noodle bar with its yummy and different menu. Its next to the grill, which still serves up Hotdogs, burgers, and yummy fries.
Next to Princess live is a Boba tea bar with the most incredible drinks (non-alcohol) and I became addicted from the first one I ordered. This bar also has some fancy coffee, no more cookies and no booze there.
There was a ton of activities offered, many of them were basically sales presentations, seeming to be a normal part of the patter these days! As my friend Bob say’s “I applaud them as a stockholder and am alarmed as a cruiser” or something like that. Anyway trivia was offered too many times in Princess live, at least now they are giving teams writing boards, well board. Now there is a giant window outside of P.live so people can observe games in progress, or even play while outside. I met a gentleman (happy dentist) who had made his own boards for his trivia mates using cardboard and rubberbands, they were so cool and he got the materials by asking his steward for the cardboard (lots of boxes on the ship) and rubberbands! Brilliant idea.
Ports were fantastic as they always are, my 2 private tours in Athens and in Petra turned out wonderful. Especially Petra, which was the tour of a lifetime! We visited Naples day two and had a tour with Fabrizio of course. We visited Paestum, one of the best Greek ruins in Italy, and it was amazing and quite educational. Thankfully we had hired a guide to educate us about the ancient Greeks who lived here long ago. We all loved the tour and stopped to eat and shop but I didn't buy anything. We also went to a diary and water buffalo farm where we had a lovely lunch with the most incredible fresh cheeses and breads and OMG it was amazing. I would be so fat if I lived here, am grateful that this food is not available at home, there is nothing like fresh cheese in Italy. I'm drooling now!
Next we went to Athens and since I was not feeling well Ken had to be me and managed the group tour that I had put together. He did great and for this cruise we decided that he would be me and I get to be him! This in and of itself is a total vacation for me and Kenny keeps saying how hard my "job" is! The universe is divine in its lovely little lessons. Ken said the group had fun and he also enjoyed it, I on the other hand stayed in bed and lolled around. Later in the day I called Barb and Gary and we went to the duty free shop and bought some food/munchies. Not that we need it her on the ship, it is like a food orgy here and man the food is very good.
After Athens we visited Santorini, one of the Greek Islands. We sailed into what used to be the center of the island but thousands of years ago there was a humongous volcanic eruption which blew half the island away, now scattered around the main island. Most of the island is high above the bottom and you half to take a donkey, walk, ride a gondola, or hire a cab and drive to get to the towns. I have a picture of my mom riding a donkey here, so I am always thinking of her as we go. We visited the picturesque towns or Oia, and Fiera, and another that I forgot! This is the most picturesque of all the Greek Islands and a first time for us!
After Santorini, we were tired and ready for the two sea days it take to transit the Suez Canal, which was interesting and quite picturesque. On one side of the ship were the great sand dunes of Egypt and on the other side small towns and roads, as well as pontoon bridges and guards. As we sailed into the gulf of Aiden, there are guard boats everywhere. We are on Pirate guard now and being my mother’s daughter, I am not afraid and instead excited that I might see a pirate! Of course no such luck. We have lots of security on the ship as well as off the ship with boats all around us filled with armed guards. And all the railings have giant hoses wrapped around them which is used as a good defense. We sail for three days as we make our way to Petra.
We finally reach Aqaba on the Jordanian coast of the Red Sea. Gary and Barbara keep reminding us that this is where Moses parted the Red Sea! We don't see that, but we are off to Petra, which I missed last year because I was sick, for a change! I always get sick on cruises and so far I am pretty good. Hope I didn't just jinx myself, lol.
I organized a private tour of Petra for $155 pp, in a small group of 13, instead of taking a princess tour with 40 at $300 pp! Our Guide is Ali and he is amazing, speaks perfect English and takes amazing g care of us. Throughout the tour he call us the “adventurers” and we all like that! We go inside caves that none of the other tours get into, and yeah I am able to walk the whole 3 miles down! Petra is a blow mind, just amazing. The Siq is a narrow slot canyon made of amazing red rocks, we could begin Utah/northern Arizona the only other place in the world that I know of that has these kinds of slots! As we walk Ali illuminate’s us with stories of the ancient Nabateans who lived here long ago. At the bottom, as the tour ends, I don't shop much to Kens amazement, instead we try to walk on but I am pooped and shaky and it is almost 100 here. Ken puts me on a Donkey (just like my mom who was here some 30 years ago) and takes me back to a shady spot where Barbara and I wait while Ali finds us a horse drawn carriage to talked us to the top. Ken and Gary walked back up the 3 miles, such determination and Gary is in his mid 70's. We aspire to be just like them when we reach their ages.
The entertainment was great, both in the piazza and in the Theater. We saw several new shows, and lots of interesting acts including a duo called Branden & James, they were fantastic and I bought their CD! Also of great interest to me was Pete Best, the Beatles first Drummer who was fired before the band became famous. He gave a Lecture and answered some questions from the audience, most importantly he did not know the reason why he was fired! We got a good seat because we came early enough. We had just participated in a Beatles trivia which was fun.
The ports continued to be intriguing including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cochin, Sri Lanka, Penang, and Kuala Lumpur. For the most part, the Princess tours were not so great, consequently we canceled many tours and opted to go on our own to various places and many malls. We had all been to most of the ports anyway.
After 4 weeks, we were ready to get off the ship. Singapore was a mess, at least the disembark was not so fun because there was a huge line for taxi’s. We had booked a 2 night stay in Singapore’s Katong district, at the Hotel Indigo. I loved this hotel so much, it was immaculate and the room was so comfortable. Although I did not have a tub room, I did make great use of the foot soaking bowl, which was very traditional. The food was very good. The staff was excellent, from the manager to the bellhop, and desk staff, they were all magnificent. While we waited for our room, we were given traditional tea and coffee drinks and the room was available quickly. They provided water daily, which was greatly appreciated. Finally, the neighborhood was incredible! We have stayed in downtown hotels, and a hotel at Changi airport but for sure this was my favorite neighborhood. We walked for miles getting to see old row houses, two story shops, and right across the street we discovered a wonderful store named Choo with hand beaded purses and so much more. We will definitely come back here!
This room is a obstructed deluxe balcony with out any obstruction, and therefore a tremendous value. I'd stay there on any ship, and have.
Visited paestum and a Buffalo Milk farm where we had some delicious cheeses. Great FunView All undefined undefined Reviews