Posts Tagged ‘Legend of The Seas’
I miss those days onboard Legend of The Seas…
Complimenti a tutti e due!! Congratulations to both Darren and Yee Leong for winning the Grand Prize, a 7D5N Western Mediterranean Fly-Cruise onboard Liberty of the Seas!
A BIG THANK YOU to those who voted for me (^_^)v It’s also great to know that you guys love reading my Royal Caribbean posts! Once again, thank you Royal Caribbean International and OMY!
It’s a journey I’ll never ever forget ♥
0700, 10 Dec 10, Romeo & Juliet Restaurant
I plodded my way to the Romeo & Juliet Restaurant, a half pace behind Mui Yee. It was time for breakfast, and following that, it was time to say goodbye.
As we worked our way towards the Romeo & Juliet Restaurant, I relived the first time I had breakfast at Windjammers. I remembered how astounded I was at the sumptuous spread, and I remembered how excited I was, decking my plate up high with various niceties. There was no appetizer, no main course, no desserts – it was all one plate – everything and anything the plate could hold at one time. If only we could have breakfast at Windjammers today. A wistful smile spread across my face even as Mui Yee turned back.
“Cherie, they are all there already. Come let’s join them,” Mui Yee started.
I looked up at her, the same smile still on my lips, “Yeah, time for our last meal together. I miss sleeping with you already.”
“I am so gonna miss all of you.”
Mui Yee nodded as a sigh escaped her lips. Well I guess all of us had such fond memories of our shared moments aboard the Legend of The Seas and the tours on shore.
I settled into an empty seat beside Alvin and ordered the massive American breakfast platter which consisted of sausage, bacon, eggs and toast in addition to a dish of grilled herring and a platter of fruits to complement my hearty breakfast.
Everyone looked in a rough shape. I guess it must be a function of the ungodly hour that we had to congregate here at Romeo & Juliet Restaurant for our breakfast in addition to the activities we had over the last few days coupled with the constant lack of sleep thereof as we each whiled the nights away in the company of the OMY Group.
Even so, the mood was unusually somber this morning. As if in a waking dream, my mind drifted back to the beginning…
Thank you Royal Caribbean International and OMY for allowing me to partake in this wonderful cruise journey. “Cruise To Paradise” is specially written and dedicated to each and every one of you. I hope you like it ♥ We started off not knowing each other, then, we became friends that we can’t stand to be without. Like how I will always remember the times we shared together, I will definitely come back for more. How about a 7 Night Bali & Semarang Cruise?
Read all about my Royal Caribbean Experience
0930, 9 Dec 10, Centrum, Towel Folding Demonstration
I grinned in delight as I raised my towel poodle for all to see. Everyone had been talking about the goofy towel animals on board and it felt great to do one myself.
I examined my handiwork and decided that it was not too bad for a newcomer totally unskilled in the fine art of rearranging cotton towels into cute replicas of animals. Well, I couldn’t have done if without the guidance of the two fantastic instructors on stage of course, and also the occasional assistance of Philip who was beside me to give me a hand as well as to snap away at my creations with his camera.
Other than the poodle, I also tried a hand at creating the towel versions of a monkey and an elephant.
And then it was time for Pâtisserie Cherie to take the stage.
1030, 9 Dec 10, Centrum, Make a Cake Challenge
Donning on my apron and chef’s hat, I was in the mood for cakes, making them for once, instead of eating them as I had been wont to do for the past 4 days aboard the Legend of The Seas. I stood at the Centrum taken over by the rush of excitement as I came to terms with the fact that I was about to make a cake in front of an audience on board the Legend of The Seas.
The task was to create and design a Blackforest cake and I sunk right into my task, beside a fellow competitor and Pastry Chef Baktha. Chef Baktha was great but I was in my element and determined to prove my worth as a Pâtisserie on board the Legend of The Seas. Despite my relative novice status, I managed to keep pace with Chef Baktha (well I guess he was just trying to encourage me) as I joined the layers of chocolate sponge cake flavoured with Kirsch syrup and dark cherry filling on top of each other and applied a smooth layer of cream as a final coating.
The decoration was decidedly harder. First, I created a dappled coating of dark chocolate flakes, after which I piped 8 small dollops of cream on the rim of the cake face and 1 larger dollop in the centre of the cake. This was followed by anointing each of the cream dollops with a bright red cherry and mint leaves.
I beamed with pride when Chef Baktha appraised my work with an experienced eye and decided that it was fantastic for an amateur. I was happy as a lark!
“Voila!” Cherie’s Blackforest Desire.
1030, 9 Dec 10, Kitchen Tour
The troupe of 10 bloggers filed into the kitchen aboard the Legend of The Seas. This had to be the highlight of the day. For days, we have eaten till we could eat no more and yet still found space to pack a little bit more. For days, we have wondered how the amazing chefs on board delivered gastronomic wonders with panache and poise that leave us begging for more. For days, we have been blessed with culinary delights and today, we will how they were all invented and replicated in this kitchen on the seas.
The kitchen was a tantalizing mix of aromas. My nose tingled as fragrance of freshly baked bread, of juicy grilled meats and various crispy fried meats mixed with the fresh green smell of veggies. This was a pilgrimage to the source of fine dining.
Executive Chef Suresh Ballal promptly appeared and arrested our attention. He educated us on the various departments at the kitchen – there was a baking segment where fresh bread was baked everyday, there was a dessert segment where the sole function of the chef was to turn out sinful sweets and desserts, and there was the main segment of sous-chef and chef de partie who specialized at creating appetizers and main dishes of every cuisine.
Even as Chef Suresh moved on to the finer points of rank and positions denominated by coloured scarves within the kitchen, my attention wandered onto a delectable array of mouthwatering dishes displayed in a single long row on one of the longer counters in the kitchen. For that moment, I totally forgot that Chef Suresh was speaking.
This food had to be mine to eat!
1300, 9 Dec 10, Ship’s Bridge Tour
I peered out of the Bridge from my position of power. There was nothing but clear blue skies and cerulean seas. It was a brilliant day at sea. Whisking the Captain’s cap off Captain Ryan, I was quick to appoint myself as the new commander of the Legend of The Seas by placing the emblem of stewardship on my head. I am Captain Cherie!
I scanned through the wide array of navigation and communication equipment and laid my eyes on the wheel. I was about to assume direct control of the ship when Captain Ryan took his rightful place at the wheel, denying me my opportunity.
I was only Cherie, a blogger with no power, at the bridge simply by nature of the grace of Royal Caribbean who had invited us OMY Bloggers for a tour at the helm. Semi-chastised, I excused myself and wandered over to a picture board where I conjured up a state of wonderment at seeing the massive Legend of The Seas at the dry docks.
2000, 9 Dec 10, Romeo & Juliet Restaurant
It was time for dinner and the OMY Group settled down into their seats for our nightly routine of expanding our waistlines. As usual, I found Dong Biao nearby.
“Dong Biao! Today is our last night! Will you miss us?”
A warm smile spread across his face. “Of course! Now there will be no one to serve my honey her honey!”
My heart fluttered for a moment, touched and as I was by the sincere kindness and hospitality of Dong Biao. There was a “Awwwww…” coming from behind me at the OMY table. I felt a warm feeling on my cheeks. Was I blushing? Well I was definitely flattered by the attention.
From behind, someone wondered aloud, “Dong Biao is so nice, I wonder if I told him that I had no money, will he give me some?” A round of chatter and merry laughter followed right after that comment.
Brushing aside their comments, I continued chatting with Dong Biao and found that this was in fact his last trip with the Royal Carribean as he would be returning to spend time with his family in China. Just as we were resigned to leaving with a heavy heart the next morning, Dong Biao was also trying to come to terms on his last voyage. I reckoned it must be difficult to for him to leave such as wonderful place, where he has the opportunity with work with a gold anchor service crew, travel the world and interact with people from so many different countries and places.
I felt that I had found in Dong Biao the model waiter for Royal Caribbean. He was attentive to his designated table, was friendly and had the ability to make excellent conversation and connect with the travelers on board and across the last few days had built such a strong rapport with us that we felt our cruise would have been incomplete without him being around.
The OMY Group settled down and had our excellent dinner as usual. But something was different; there was a decidedly unusual mood in the air. I guess it was part solemnity, a lingering sense of sadness that took over some of us subconsciously as deep inside we had already started to treasure the camaraderie we have shared this last 4 days.
Before the end of dinner, I noticed more and more of the crew filed into the Romeo & Juliet Restaurant. Just as my curiosity peaked, the crew started clapping and cheering and the head chef took over the microphone to address the room.
He was then swiftly drowned out (of course this was planned) by an uproarious crew which started to sing love songs in Italian and Chinese, “O so le mio” and “月亮代表我的心” respectively.
It was a magical moment for me and I was deeply touched. I glanced around and noticed many of us with tears brimming in our eyes. This was a kitchen crew that made a connection with each and every one of us on board, and it was stunning that they have decided to come out to give thanks to us even as I believed that each of us should thank them for feeding us with delightful food on a daily basis.
2200, 9 Dec 10, Royal Caribbean International Shops on Board
The Legend of the Seas was such a delightful experience that I knew I could not leave this ship without a trusted souvenir to remember her by. Pictures I had, and these pictures I will keep. But I wanted something that was of this ship, something that I could immediately connect with and place in clear view on my office table or my bedside table to remind me of the wonderful times I have had aboard The Legend of the Seas, courtesy of Royal Caribbean and OMY.
“Lets go shopping! I want to grab a souvenir to remember this trip by,” I announced. Both Mui Yee and Calvin signaled they were ready to go. Each of them had the same in mind. Without delay, we moved the shopping district aboard the cruise.
“Hmmm…” I thought aloud. “What can I buy?” My eyes ran over the shelves of the shop, looking at the various perfumes and liquor. No, not those.
I moved around the other end of the shop and found myself looking at T-shirts which bore the Royal Caribbean Logo and other smaller paraphernalia. After a while, I settled on a square shot glass bearing “Legend of The Seas, Royal Caribbean International”. I brought it right to the counter, a satisfied grin plastered across on my face. I could already imagine where I would place it in my room.
2330, 9 Dec 10, Room 6094
Mui Yee was not around when I returned to the room. I placed the shooter glass safely in a corner of my luggage, well padded by my clothing and other items and looked forlornly at the room, a small room but a cosy one, and one I have come to love and to call home. This was my castle on blue seas, a bastion of peace, a place to recharge every night even as I looked forward to exploring the brand new day ahead.
Tonight was the last night aboard the Legend of The Seas.
I gazed out of the porthole window of the stateroom. There was nothing but darkness outside. Sitting on my bed, peering outside, I ran through my amazing journey in my mind. Tomorrow, I will be back on land again. I will miss everything aboard this cruise, especially the people who made it such a wonderful journey.
I collected myself as I wandered out of the room again, looking for the rest who were somewhere peddling ghost stories but basically just sharing more moments with each other.
Read all about my Royal Caribbean Experience
0800, 8 Dec 10, Rock Climbing Wall
“Just a little bit more,” I urged myself breathlessly. “Don’t give up Cherie! You can do this!” Rivulets of perspiration were creating watery pathways down my arms even as other droplets were dripping down my face, getting into my eyes. I squinted even as my forearms were trembling under the stress. I felt that my palms were wet. Will I be able to maintain my grip? I shifted my weight to my lower limbs as I sought desperately to relieve the tension borne by my arms. I looked down, and almost immediately regretted my action. It was a long fall to the bottom.
I could not give up this close to the top. Staring up the rock face, I pictured my route up to the top. I was barely four holds away from the top, safety was close.
With a last burst of strength, utilizing my calf and thigh muscles to push me up the rock face whilst using my forearm strength mainly as stabilizers to ensure that I didn’t fall off, I struggled upwards. I gave a triumphant grunt as I reached the top and pumped my right arm victoriously into the air. It was a mistake, I felt myself falling as my left arm lost its hold.
Even as I screamed, fearing that the belaying system will fail to work, I woke up sitting on my bed, decidedly in a situation without peril.
“Arghh, it was just a dream!” I was slightly irritated with myself for being sick when the others were having a glorious time out there climbing the rock wall. I was feeling feverish and had not joined the others after breakfast, choosing instead to head straight for the comfort of my bed covers.
1030, 8 Dec 10, Explorer Academy Waltz Dance Class, Anchors Aweigh Lounge
Soft lilting tones of music played in the background. I was washed in a surreal sense of peacefulness as I gave in to the music and moved gracefully in tandem to Yee Leong. His arm was firm behind me, supporting my weight, and joining my rhythm to his even as my left hand joined with his right in a clasp.
The appearance of grace and sensuality of the Waltz was broken in the next instant when Yee Leong promptly stepped onto my foot and I broke off from his calamitous embrace and sought safety more than an arm’s length away.
“Ouch!” I was almost tearing even as I gripped my poor tiny toes. Yee Leong held back a throaty laugh even as he tried to attend to my poor toes, though I could still see the grin in his eyes. With a smile, I promptly recovered and got back into position.
The OMY group was enjoying a refreshing lesson of Waltz with the instructors at the Explorer Academy. This being the first attempt at classic ballroom dancing for most of us, minor injuries and hiccups interrupted the lesson somewhat, and such hiccups were always trailed by laughter as each of us realized we looked decidedly unglamorous as we suffered in learning the new art form of Waltz.
After the Waltz, we moved on to the more vigorous moves of line dance. Those vigorous moves were much easier to understand and definitely more suited to our talents! Not that I couldn’t move with the music, but my dancing background was definitely more hip hop in nature and took me a short while to get accustomed to other forms.
Picking up a new dance act in the middle of the ocean was a refreshing experience and allowed us to further bond as we mucked and played around, lending our own personality to new moves, created solely by us, on the Royal Caribbean.
1300, 8 Dec 10, Legend of The Seas Arrives in Phuket
We stood on the stern of the ferry and waved goodbye to the magnificent hulk that was the legend of the seas. The ship’s deep draft meant that it could go no further into the bay and we had to squirrel ourselves onto a smaller craft meant to bring us to the golden shores of Phuket. Not that we were engaged in anything illicit, but, it definitely felt a tad less glamorous than our cruise ship.
The OMY group was armed to the teeth with their cameras and many had already started shooting, capturing the ferry and the oncoming shorelines, as well as pictures of each other. Everyone was brimming with excitement, which I could easily tell from the merriment in their voices as they spoke. I myself was not unaffected by their mood. It was going to be a fantastic day.
Before long, we hit the white sandy shores of Phuket, where tourists were already thronging the beach to enjoy the sun, the sand and the sea.
The sight was majestic. I was struck breathless by the view as I stood at the top of Khao Rang Hill overlooking Phuket Town. I gazed at a jigsaw of contemporary buildings amidst the sea of green below, as both modern architecture and nature sprawled all the way from the base of the hill to blue expanse of the ocean far beyond.
1400, 8 Dec 10, Wat Chalong Temple
The sun beat down on us from its perch on the azure blue skies. Clouds were a scant few on this bright and sunny day.
I almost forgot about the heat when I stepped off the coach and was met by the resplendent white and gold façade of Wat Chalong Temple. This imperious structure stood about 3 stories tall. The exterior of the first and second level was rimmed by golden statuettes of Buddha ensconced in windows carved out of the white walls. Higher up, there rooftop balcony gave way to the tip of the pagoda which reached up towards the sky with a pointy gold tip. This structure was further accentuated by an ornate fence, with 4 mini pagodas for its guards on the edges of a square and 4 gateway entries between each mini pagoda.
The other buildings of Wat Chalong were just as impressive. Each building consisted of white washed walls adorned with gold paint, capped by lofty layered red bricked roofs decorated by golden, blue and green filigree and adorned by figurines of gods, demons and beasts from ancient Thai myths. Inside the temple, were even more statuettes of various Buddha carved in gold and white marble.
Wat Chalong was indeed a treasure and true beauty. I left with deep respect for the artisans who carved and created this work of art which is a true testament to Thai culture and architecture.
1500, 8 Dec 10, Sri Burapha Orchid, Cashew Nut Factory
Sri Burapha Orchid is not an orchid in its traditional sense nor is it an orchard. It actually is a name for a factory which prides itself on producing cashew nuts and related products.
The fragrant aroma of cashew hung in the air as we took a tour of the factory and were shown the process of achieving ready-to-eat nuts from the parent fruit.
1600, 8 Dec 10, Metropole
I was in a beautifully adorned room. The lady serving me gave me a warm smile and greeted me in accented English. Her voice was light and lilting, typical of Thais, but her command of simple English was good. She placed a towel and bathrobe and some more private paraphernalia on the bed before retreating outside to give me some privacy.
I shrugged off my red sundress and changed into their items before calling the lady in. With a smile, she set herself to work. She started first on my lower limbs. I closed my eyes and relaxed, letting her do her work.
I felt her hands, small, yet with a firm grip, kneading my muscles, targeting various pressure points that I guess only Thai masseuses like her knew. At times, it was a luxurious experience, at other moments, pressure was applied in ludicrous positions which left me laughing uncontrollably and at other times, I was contorted and bent and cracked as the masseuse utilized her unique prowess at releasing the knots and stresses in my muscles. It was excellent. After the dedicated one hour, I changed back into my dress again and left feeling thoroughly relaxed.
“คุณขอบคุณ” (thank you in Thai)
It was time to go and we piled into the bus, which angled its way back to the ferry along quiet streets under the cover of a grey-tainted sky. It looked as if it might rain tonight.
2200, 8 Dec 10, Poolside
We returned to the Legend of The Seas tired, hungry and wished that dinner was not yet over. Apparently, it was not.
We were notified that a poolside party, anchored by an excellent spread, will be specially put up for everyone! Wow! This was great news. Everyone took some time to refresh themselves from their adventures in Phuket before congregating back at the poolside.
I was heartily laying into a piece of grilled chicken and talking to Calvin when the sky decided to grace our poolside dinner event by sending its compatriot rain drops from the sky. The staff nimbly moved the buffet spread to sheltered corners on the deck even as the party dissolved from the poolside and people clustered in smaller numbers under various shelters.
Interestingly, I found myself face to face to David Dimuzio!
“That’s another lovely dress you have on, Cherie” David quipped before I even said hi. I grinned stupidly at him as half my mind took in the praise (which promptly resulted in a rosy warm feeling on my cheeks) and the other half worked doubly hard to make conversation with the talented David.
“Thanks,” was all I could manage to reply in the interim.
“How was your day?”
To my amazement, I managed to contain my excitement sufficiently for conversation. We took a seat, and I continued devouring my chicken as I shared with David my activities with Calvin for the day.
The night drew long and I found out that David was actually fluent in Tagalog, having spent a few years co-producing music with artistes such as Nyoy Volante in Philippines and that he actually likes sleeping in his car due to the sense of freedom and liberation he achieves from the act.
“Wow, that’s new. Maybe one day, when I have a car, I will give that a try as well!”
We chatted a while longer before I bade him good night and returned to my room with Mui Yee. It was time to rest for another exciting day ahead.
Sleep tight Cherie.
Read all about my Royal Caribbean Experience
0800, 7 Dec 10, Port Kelang Jetty
Calvin greeted me with a toothy grin. Sporting a green NewUrbanMale tank top, a black haversack as well as a pair of stylish Havaianas, he looked well prepared for our caper in KL.
“Wow, stunning dress for a day trip out! I am happy to be your partner for the day!” He shot me another dashing smile.
“Come Calvin! Stop looking! It is time to get to the buses.” I turned on my heels and moved towards the jetty, with Calvin catching up swiftly and walking alongside. We headed for Bus 8 where we were warmly greeted by a plump and motherly lady who was to be our bus guide and a swarthy man with a grim face who I reckoned to be the driver of the day.
0900 – 1700, 7 Dec 10, Interesting Locales in Kuala Lumpur
We were discussing about places of interests in Malaysia when the bus rolled to the stop in front of a beautifully preserved heritage building. Calvin and I wandered about, taking photos of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building which was built according to Moorish architecture and style.
“Wow!” this is the tallest flagpole I have witnessed in my life. Standing at close to 100 metres tall, the massive flagpole at Independence Square, also known as Dataran Merdeka, made me felt miniscule. I found out that it was here that Malaysia first raised its flag in 31 August 1957.
My thoughts of architecture broke off abruptly as I focused my attention towards my favorite dessert – chocolate. I stepped off the bus and was greeted by an odd piece of art – it was a statue depicting the implosion of a chocolate mixture as various fruits were dropped into it. At the base of the statue, a round proclaimed the following “Most Innovative Chocolate Award”. I had heard that this Cocoa Boutique was renowned for its chocolate products which came in an amazing variety of flavors and unique concoctions.
I noticed a beautifully adorned holly wreath before I stepped in through the dark-colored oaken door frame. Inside, I was impressed by the efforts the shop had made in connection with the Christmas season. A Christmas tree stood unobtrusively at the entrance, before the shop space opened up and I laid my eyes on a tantalizing array of chocolates displayed on the shelves and racks.
Well if it is so good, I got to give it a try!
“Mmmmm…” I moaned in joy as the chocolatey concoction exploded in my mouth. The feeling was exquisite. Silky soft durian paste rolled around in the recesses of my mouth, caressing my tongue, delivering tingly waves of pleasure down my spine even as the harder bits of milk chocolate created a sweet counter-taste and crunchiness which only served to accentuate the bittersweetness of the durian. If I had a brain at the moment, it must have been blown to bits by the quality of the Belgian Milk Chocolate filled with Rich Creamy Durian.
It was a struggle to bring myself to Earth from Chocolate Heaven. The Cocoa Boutique carried a mind-blowing array of chocolate treats and each was refreshing and unique in its own way. I licked my lips as I started on other new exciting pieces of chocolate. Whilst I breezed through piece after piece of Chilli Chocolate with aplomb to the amazement of the local staff, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at Calvin who felt as if his tongue was set on fire and he went about fanning his injured tongue. I especially loved the Chilli Chocolate, Durian Milk Chocolate and Tiramisu flavours.
Today I am not a Chinese.
Today, I am a sultry, fair-skinned, North Indian lady modeling the latest saree designs available in Little India. Indian ladies will look at me in jealousy before presuming that the same saree will do them the same justice and proceed to buy it off the shelves at Madras. Indian males will gawk and wish their day away, continually replaying the image they have just caught of me walking around in a saree around town.
I smiled to myself as I tested fabric of the saree. It was like silk, smooth to the touch. The light floral prints was agreeable to me but what truly caught my eye was the translucent centre. This was one sexy saree. As the lady proprietor of the shop assisted me into the traditional Indian garb, I found that it was a tad heavy, probably due to the pure mass and length of the fabric as there was definitely more cloth than my average dress. My first time in a saree was a pleasant surprise even to myself.
Calvin was smiling all the way as I tried on the garment. I guess he must have liked the saree.
A romp around Little India was decidedly incomplete if we did not order the requisite Indian Briyani. As the clock ticked towards 12pm, and our tummies started growling, Calvin found us a homely Indian restaurant, Insaf.
Our tummies found salvation when the food arrived. The fragrance of the spices such as turmeric, cumin and masala mixed into long-grain basmati rice lingered in the air together with the saliva-inducing aroma from the Lamb Shank, Masala Chickken, Papadum and accompanying curry on a platter. We tucked in with relish, thankful for the skills of the Indian chefs in the kitchen.
1800, 7 Dec 10, Anchors Aweigh Lounge
Tonight was the big night. Tonight was the Captain’s Night and everyone will have an opportunity to meet the Captain and his crew at the Anchors Aweigh Lounge followed by a formal dinner at the Romeo & Juliet Restaurant. It was essentially a gala dinner for everyone to dress up like princes and princesses. I had selected a sexy black dinner dress which hugged my curves at the right areas and also left a significant portion of my back uncovered. I grinned cheekily as I imagined myself to be the sexiest lady on board.
Captain Ryan cut a suave figure as he appeared at the front of the lounge. As I had rushed to the lounge earlier in order to grab the choice seats at the front, I was close enough to catch a close view of him. Moving with a sure gait towards the microphone, he exuded an aura of command and confidence. The heavily decorated shoulder epaulettes signaling his rank and mastery of sea craft which adorned his pristine white jacket only served to accentuate that aura. Even though I reckoned that Captain Ryan had to be older than 40 due to his seniority of rank, his broad shoulders, trim physique and ready smile made him seem as though he was not a day past 40.
I managed to catch Captain Ryan for a moment to chit chat and he gamely posed for a picture. I was over the moon to be able to get a photograph with him! Here I was with the man who was piloting my wonderful holiday with the Royal Caribbean!
2000, 7 Dec 10, Romeo & Juliet Restaurant
“I prepared this specially for you. Honey is for your throat.”
I was momentarily caught unawares when Dong Biao appeared at my side. With a flourish, he set down a glass of warm water and a few packets of honey.
A rosy flush came to my cheeks as the OMY group all glanced over at Dong Biao and myself in amazement. Apparently, Dong Biao had remembered when I told him the evening before that I had a sore throat and couldn’t take cold drinks. I was flattered to have him remember.
Here was one waiter who was delivering unparalleled service. This is the Gold Anchor Service promise which I had mentioned earlier on Legend of The Seas, Memories of a Lifetime. I was deeply touched to have experienced such superb service.
“Wow, Dong Biao is great! He remembers,” Catherine noted, and all others concurred.
As Dong Biao retreated to continue his normal duties, our group of 10 settled down to dinner. The food was marvelously prepared. I started with a rosy-coloured Lobster Bisque laced with whipped cream and Cognac, followed by Asian-style Duck glazed with Hoisin, medium-well masterfully flavored Fillet Mignon and Golden Seabass. The seabass was pan-seared to perfection, leaving the fish decidedly soft and tender despite a crisp exterior served on a mound of creamy black olive polenta and accompanied by fried capers and Spanish sofrito that lent the fish a tangy Mediterranean flavor.
2200, 7 Dec 10, That’s Entertainment Theatre
Our night continued with a captivating performance ala Broadway-style musicals by a team of 12 which wowed the crowd with their song and dance routine.
Alessandro stood out, mesmerizing the audience with his powerful vocals and vivacious moves. Yee Leong and myself enjoyed the performance so much that we started moving to the beat of the music for the entire hour.
2330, 7 Dec 10, Viking Crown Lounge
The night was turning out to be an even more enjoyable night than the first with “The Macho, Macho, Men” taking center stage. With a flamboyant move, he stripped off his shirt and started gyrating to the beat. His toned physique was pleasure to the feminine senses.
The ladies in the crowd were paying rapt attention to this sensual dancer. Muscles moved and rippled as he moved gracefully yet containing bursts of vibrant energy which displayed his undeniable masculine strength and endurance. He was hot.
Sometime about 1230am, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself conversing with a charismatic man with dark tanned skin and short cropped hair smooth backwards. He was in fact Behram, Director of International Trade Support & Charters of Royal Caribbean! Bob, as he introduced himself to the OMY group, bought us drinks before settling down beside me. He was very well read and learned. We shared a long conversation across topics such as psychology, travelling experiences and even food. Here was a connoisseur of food who could have his pick of culinary arts onboard yet retained his appetite for more homely and common food in the areas he had travelled to as well as having a desire to try unique fare. Off the cuff, I recommended him to Valentino’s, a cozy rustic feel family run restaurant in rifle range where it’s head by Executive Chef Valentino, served up a variety of splendid Italian fare and also the Durian Milk Chocolate from the Cocoa Boutique.
The night carried on, there were drinks aplenty, and all of had a few glasses of champagne and wine to celebrate the night. In the end though, Darren got a wee bit tipsy and had us all laughing at his antics before we decided to return to our rooms for the night.
I’m so excited to experience the wonders of Thai Massage on Day 3!
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0900, 6 Dec 10, Bedok North
I jumped out of bed and scampered around the house in preparation for leaving. Today I am about to embark on the grandest adventure in my life (at least for year 2010, that is). Today I am joining 9 others on a 5 Days 4 Nights Isles of Southeast Asia Cruise to Kuala Lumpur and Phuket on the Royal Caribbean, Legend of The Seas, courtesy of Royal Caribbean International and OMY. Today I am about to be late.
I cursed under my breath as I ran around the house picking up items which I had left out packing over the weekend. “Dadddddy! Send me to HarbourFront! I will be ready in 20 minutes!”
1000, 6 Dec 10, HarbourFront
The silver-grey Kia cruised into the taxi stand. Dad stepped out and strode towards the boot. As soon as he put down my bright orange Royal Caribbean luggage on the road, I snatched it from him, gave him a hug, kissed him good bye and tore off towards the Cruise Centre as quickly as my orange burden would allow me.
“I will be back Friday morning!” My voice carried over my shoulder as I hurried away.
1400, 6 Dec 10, Room 6094
The first thing I noticed when the door swung open was the porthole on the far side. The sea view outside was just a preview of the beautiful panoramic marine scenes I will soon behold in the next few days.
“Yipeeeee!! Welcome to our home for 4 nights!” I giggled as I glanced back at Mui Yee.
“We are going to sleep together!” *chuckles* and gave Mui Yee a sly look as though I’m going to devour her right there and then.
The room was great. It was cosy and homely for two of us. The bed was plush and looked comfy and the bathroom was larger than I had expected. If we wanted to, we could gaze out of the porthole window at the side. The luggage was already in the room, courtesy of our friendly porters who had worked even as we lunched away at Windjammer Café earlier.
1600, 6 Dec 10, Deck 4 Station 10
“Ladies and gentlemen, please gather at your designated Muster Station. Prepare your life jackets.” There was a heavy patter of feet as people moved towards Station 10. I grabbed my life jacket and followed the crowd closely, breathing heavily. Just this morning I was safe and sound on dry land and now, my life is in jeopardy.
With a smile, I blinked the images of danger out of my mind. I wasn’t in danger; in fact I was safe aboard Legend of The Seas where even going for the mandatory emergency drill was an exciting escapade in my mind’s eye.
1700, 6 Dec 10, Various Locations onboard Legend of The Seas
The air on board was tingling with vibrant energy. Everyone seemed to exude a youthful and energetic aura, and this overlaid a certain feeling that was softer, which seemed to portray romance and contentment. This undercurrent of excitement, joy, and pleasure got to me as I wandered about on the deck, exploring to my heart’s content.
Her face was a picture of bliss, tinged with the rosy flush of passion. He was a modern knight, not in shining armour, but a sculpture of strength, charm and love. As he encircled her waist from behind, nuzzling her hair and neck lovingly, she tilted her head back slightly, yearning for his soft lips upon hers. She let her hands touch his strong arms about her waist in a light and dainty fashion. So light, yet proclaiming beyond doubt, that she was his and his only. The sky slowly darkened as evening fell, but they didn’t move from their perch by the railings on the deck. The world passed by, but this moment was theirs.
I stood a distance out, taking in the view on the deck. It was not my nature to partake in other’s private moments, but I couldn’t help but notice them, and the lingering aura of sweet love about them. It was a touching sight to behold. I wished, for a moment, if only I could be like her, sailing away into the sunset with her beloved.
I was moving along the inner hallways, when I caught the tune in the air. Someone was singing! Bemused and intrigued, I followed the pathways of music, and moved closer to the source. The song was up-tempo and carried an energetic beat that drove my heels to skip along to the music and my gait altered to become semi-dance-semi-walk. Before I knew it, I reached the Centrum. Well apparently I was not the only one surrendering to the music. I saw a middle aged man bogey-ing away in a corner, urging his wife (I am assuming she is his wife) to join him. And she did!
As I venture out to the other side of the ship, a youthful giggle caught my attention. A splash of water reached my ears and even as I recognized the sound, I felt droplets of water pattering at my feet. An Asian couple looked up at me sheepishly from the pool even as they signaled their daughter to move further along the pool towards a region where there were less people. I nodded my head slightly and flashed a brilliant smile, or as brilliant as my braces would allow, to acknowledge that it was okay and that they shouldn’t stop having fun on my behalf.
The little girl was looking at me, and gave me an innocent sweet smile, a smile that kids were wont to give – a declaration that she was happy and also a semi-invite to play together. I grinned from ear to ear. She was so cute! I want to pinch her rosy, flushed chubby cheeks!
Evening was here. I sat on the deck as the sun began its inexorable descent towards the horizon. The sky was striated in darkening shades, from deep purple to a soft glowing orange and each moment brought the sky darker. The clouds were rimmed an orange-grey momentarily before they themselves took on a rosy dark pink hue. The sky soon darkened into the indigo twilight sky. I sat there the whole time, mesmerized by the sight.
2000, 6 Dec 10, Romeo & Juliet Restaurant
Our hungry tummies led all 10 of us to congregate at the Romeo & Juliet Restaurant. Many of us came in on the back of a first round of dinner at Windjammer Café where we had attacked the buffet line with relish but left sufficient space for the pleasures promised by the Romeo & Juliet Restaurant.
I was in a world of my own, enjoying the treasure trove of food placed on my table.
2200, 6 Dec 10, That’s Entertainment Theater
A well-built guy stepped up to the stage. He had hair cropped closely to his head, and a beard of similar length adorning his masculine jaw structure.
David Dimuzio wasted no time in getting the crowd up on their feet. He was a juggler of unparalleled expertise. Starting the show with 3 balls, he frantically upped the ante by adding ball after ball, reaching a grand total of 7 even as the lights went off.
He switched through styles and changed the motion of his ludicrously luminous balls through various intricate cycles. I could only see swathes of color at this time, as he pitched ball after ball into the air, orchestrating them into a dance of light.
The lights came on. David retired his balls and retrieved his new apparatus with a flourish. This time, he declared that he was going to show us his art with knives. The glint of shiny metal sent shivers down my spine. Somehow, despite his prowess at juggling, I still felt uneasy that I was in the same room with a person flipping knives for entertainment’s sake.
David beckoned for a volunteer up on stage and he was soon joined by a middle-aged man. The volunteer moved around with as if on tenterhooks. He didn’t look too comfortable sharing the same stage as David. He looked decidedly worse when David almost got a piece of meat off him whilst trying to impress the audience that his knives had a sharp edge. I found it refreshingly comical from the safety of my seat, further at the back of the theater.
It was then David found himself a unicycle and promptly rode it with the poise of a circus performer. At his behest, the volunteer passed David his knives before scurrying away to safety. The crowd was holding its breath – a sense of expectation filled the atmosphere. The first knife went into the air. It was followed swiftly by 2 others. The crowd was excited and craving for more. David flipped his knives incessantly in myriad patterns, slicing the air without restraint, all the while smiling at us, his adoring fans.
The crowd went wild. I gulped, heart in mouth, as I witnessed the breathtaking show of dexterity with my bare eyeballs. My awe soon transformed to an unreserved show of support as I clapped and cheered loudly as any other.
He reminded me slightly of David Beckham, and also partly of Jason Statham. Obviously, his talents were a mix of both, being skilled at controlling both balls and knives (remember Jason Statham and his knife throwing feats in The Expendables alongside Sylvester Stallone and Stone Cold Steve Austin?)
David had more than just magical hand-eye coordination.
Right after setting down his knives, David whipped out a guitar and under the play of the colorful stage lights, started crooning in Mandarin. That really raised my eyebrows. I was in full admiration for this amazing guy. A lilting and slightly accented “月亮代表我的心” followed by his superb rendition of “童话”. *mesmerized* It was perfect in my heart nonetheless.
After his performance, I slinked away from my seat, leaving the other bloggers behind as I sought David out. I wanted a picture of this wonderfully talented guy.
“Hi David, can I take a picture with you?” My heart was fluttering as I smiled shyly at David. Without waiting for his reply, I moved beside him and the cameras went wild.
I was teleported to dreamland which explains the half asleep face. “You were really impressive on stage. I really loved the way you sang “童话“.
“Thank you. Anyway, that’s a cute dress you have on. Suits you. Nice.” David replied, a flirtatious hint in his voice.
0300, 7 Dec 10, Room 6094
The day winded down and both Mui Yee and I returned to our room. The first day on board Legend of The Seas was a blast. We prepared quickly for bed, wondering what tomorrow would bring. I fell asleep to the tune of “童话” incessantly replaying itself in my head.
Sweet Dreams Cherie.
Read all about my Royal Caribbean Experience
“Daddy! Daddy!! Guess what?”
Daddy barely shifted his attention from the TV screen to me. He harrumphed as he continued watching “爱 Love”, his favorite show at the moment, as if it was the answer but I knew that Daddy merely meant that he had no idea what in the nine worlds I was asking him about.
“I WON A 5 DAYS 4 NIGHTS CRUISE TRIP ON THE ROYAL CARIBBEAN! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!”
Daddy reacted this time around. He gave me a curious look and beckoned for me to share more details. And sis’ curiosity was also piqued.
“How did you win this? Can you keep me in your luggage? Pretty please?”
And so I told them about how I joined OMY for a half-day tour for “My Royal Caribbean Cruise Adventure” onboard Legend Of The Seas, wrote about it and that I was part of the special 10 who were invited for a 4 Nights Isles of Southeast Asia Cruise to Kuala Lumpur and Phuket from 6th to 10th December. Sis immediately scampered over to the computer take a look at my blog entry.
“Ooo!! When is the trip? I’m so happy for you!!”
“MONDAY! And I have to pack, like NOW! I’m so excited I’m not sure if I could sleep tonight!” *jumps about*
“Toothbrush is in, all toiletries are in. Now, what am I missing?” I looked up from my almost-full luggage and scanned my room, wondering if I had anymore items I needed to pack. Then it struck me – my bikini! Well, how can I leave on a glorious cruise without my trusted bikini? Maybe I should bring 2 or 3 sets, so I can wear a different one everyday or depending on my mood!
I rummaged through my cupboard and set my pretty little pieces into my luggage.
“Toiletries, beauty products – so I can look like a princess on board, sunblock, clothes, swimwear, cap, camera and charger.” Guess I am done packing! I am all set for a brand new adventure on the high seas – A Cruise on Legend of The Seas!
I zipped up my luggage and put it beside my cupboard before lying back on my bed, thoughts running through my head. The thrill and excitement of my upcoming trip was pumping through my blood. Yes, I know this sounds dumb. It is not as if I am planning for a mad-cap shopping spree to Bangkok or Hong Kong. But, what else can trump winning a cruise trip on Legend of The Seas. It will definitely be a whopping fun experience with new friends.
I can’t wait for Monday. It seems so near, yet, time seems to run excruciating slow. It is always at times like this, that the anticipation is almost unbearable. Yes! I don’t have to go to work on Monday. No more Monday Blues, cause’ I’m going on a Cruise! Goodbye people, whilst you are working at your table, I will be sailing away into the sunset on Legend of The Seas!
Read all about my Royal Caribbean Experience
I walked up the gangway, my fingers softly caressing the rail. I felt the salty tang of the sea in the air. It was remarkably refreshing.
“Daddy, come on up! Welcome to Legend of The Seas!”
I turned behind and looked at Dad, he was making his way up, arm in arm with my sister, a soft smile upon his face. Sis was beaming – she was literally grinning from ear to ear.
Looking ahead, I saw the crew of the ship, warm welcome smile upon their face, greeting me with familiarity, like I was here yesterday and they already knew me. It feels good, to step on this cruise ship once again.
I walk past the greeters, and images of the past came floating back to me as I walked through well-furnished aisles…
1995. I was 9 then.
“Daddy, Daddy! Faster walk! The ship is soooooo HUGE!”
I burst out running onto the gangway, or at least I tried to, until I felt the restraining force of Mommy’s arm.
“Mommyyyyy, quick, it’s the Legend of the Seas, I want to go up now!”
Mommy, being Mommy, never relented and held on firmly against my tugs. Sis was skipping along, the same wide grin plastered on her face. Her eyes, like mine, were glazed over as we pondered the fantastically large ship in front of us. We had never been on a cruise ship before then.
“Wait Cherie, don’t rush, you can play all you want later okay. Say ‘hi’ to kor kor and jie jie first.”
As I was a good little girl, I waved my tiny palm at the greeters nearby and said “hi” to them in my whimsical manner. I remembered all their wide, pleasant smiles. One of the good looking jie jie smoothed my hair as I walked past and commented on how pretty I was! Now I was a happy girl.
First day on this gigantic ship! My tiny legs are so tired! I ran and I ran and I don’t know where I ran to. I don’t think I can ever explore the whole ship. There is so much I want to see! We were staying in the Royal Suite! I think the whole family went crazy when we entered our room. It’s HUGE! Not forgetting our lovely housekeeper, Nizam who greets us with a lovely smile :) It made our day!
Today, Daddy brought us to the swimming pool. It was so fun. Sis and me kept splashing Daddy with water and he couldn’t see! Hee hee and we had Ben & Jerry’s by the pool, an ultimate bliss!
Sis and I went to Adventure Ocean and we were Voyagers! We made many many friends while playing Gagaball and some cool science experiments! Paula, the Adventure Ocean Manager and the rest of the Adventure Ocean staff are really outgoing and smart!
Mommy took some time off for the Vitality Program and practiced Yoga at the Fitness Center. Mommy also pampered herself silly with an enjoyable soothing Full Body Signature Treatment at the Shipshape Spa & Beauty Center.
While Mommy was busy pampering herself, Daddy took the chance to build up his endurance and need for adrenaline! He climbed the signature 9m Rock Climbing Wall, surfed on the Flow Rider and played Golf. Seems like Legend of The Seas is obsessed with innovation and she has so many activities catered for the whole family on board!
We were dropped off on some island. Sis and me followed Daddy and Mommy to a beautiful white beach and built sandcastles. I was wearing my favourite pink swimming costume! We got back to the cruise and had a wonderful dinner at two-tiered glass-walled Romeo & Juliet Dining Room. Justin and Dexter were such amazing staff, I would definitely miss them when I head back home. They were so funny and attentive to us. Justin even remembered my Sis’s teddy bear’s name!
The whole family caught a musical production at the Theatre and had buffet lunch at the Windjammer Cafe! There’s an awesome selection of food, we were spoilt for choice! Following that, we changed into our swimwear and made our way to the Solarium Indoor Pool for a nice tan indoors! It even comprises of a sliding roof! How cool!
We ended our short and exciting trip by shopping at the Royal Caribbean International Shops on Board. This place is like Orchard Road on propellers! Thank you Daddy and Mommy for bringing Sis and me out on a cruise on Legend of The Seas ~ My favourite holiday as a Family!
2010. I am 24 now.
It is night. There is nothing but darkness out there in the high seas. I stood at the balcony of our room. Nothing much has changed. Legend of The Seas remained a fantastic family getaway. Service as usual was phenomenal. This Gold Anchor Service promise is something I could really get used to. Being treated first as a friend and second as a VIP 24 hours a day makes me feel that this holiday cruise will deliver its usual promise of being a truly enjoyable and relaxing trip.
I look back into the room and gazed at Daddy, snoozing gently in his bed with Wonder Chef switched on in the background and I smiled from deep within my heart. Thank you Legend of The Seas. Thank you for a lifetime of wonderful memories. Nothing beats being with my family out on this ship. It’s amazing how the array of activities could provide togetherness for us!
You would think, across this vast expanse of breathing sea, you would never see another ship, but I can. It’s none other than Royal Caribbean, Legend of The Seas.
Have you seen my post on Family Ties? I am sure it will urge you to treasure quality time together with your family. Life is short, treasure your love ones, live life to the fullest and never look back. Be like me, take them out on a cruise on Legend of The Seas where everyone has an ocean of choices! Royal Caribbean helps you to escape from the stressful and routine life including with package of impeccable services, the pleasures and amenities of travelling in safety and comfortable conditions. Embrace The Nation of Why Not now!
Disclaimer: Please do note that the above post is fictional and written stylistically to ensure that my severely limited creativity and composition writing skills still maintain their not-so-sharp edge. Hope you enjoyed it! Thank you OMY and Royal Caribbean for the wonderful opportunity onboard Legend of The Seas :)