Our Holiday – Twelve


Thai Restaurant Opposite Our Hotel


Apple Cider

We had dinner at a very popular Thai restaurant opposite our hotel. Toy declared it to be authentic. He also ordered an apple cider, which was served upside down on a bed of ice in a glass. It was popular with locals there.


On the Tram

The next day we decided to do a Hong Kong tour by bus. We had enjoyed the “hop on hop off”  bus experience in Singapore so much. We took a taxi to the Star ferry where we bought tickets. In Hong Kong the service is called the “Big Bus”.For our first trip we toured the island including the Peak Tram.                                                                                       


The Big Bus


View From the Peak Tram


On the Top Deck of the Bus


Entrance to the Peak Tram


The Peak Tram


Our Holiday – Eleven


The Lights of Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon Side

The square outside our hotel was a pedestrian mall, lined with many restaurants. Most buildings had Christmas decoration lights As well there were groups singing Christmas Carols and other activities. It was a popular area for families and young people.


Christmas Lights


Christmas Lights


Christmas Lights


Christmas Lights

Our Holiday – Ten


Click to Enlarge


Departing Sanya

Internet on the ship was very expensive. Depending on the whims of the satellite it was sometimes unreliable or painfully slow. All in all a frustrating experience.


Sunset from the Wharf

We returned to the ship after our bus trip to Sanya and had a snooze. We sail for Hong Kong tonight so it will be our last day at sea. To celebrate the occasion we watched the sun set from the Topsiders’ Bar. Toy discovered a new drink….Angry Birds Cider.


Gatsby’s Bar

We had our last drink in Gatsby’s Bar and had dinner in the Dining Room.


Hong Kong Harbour


A Wheel Chair Was Available

In the morning…there was Hong Kong. Disembarkation went smoothly. Our luggage, which we had put outside our cabin door the previous evening, was waiting for us in the customs area.This time a wheel chair was waiting for me!


The Regal Kowloon Hotel


The Business Lounge

We caught a taxi to our hotel,the Regal Kowloon, and checked in.We were offered a room upgrade package which included a Happy Hour for three hours every evening and a cooked breakfast in the Business Lounge each day. We accepted the offer.


Hotel Room

The hotel room was very comfortable indeed


Angry Birds Cider

Our Holiday – Nine


Futuristic Hotel Towers

This morning we arrived in Sanya, Hainan Island China.This modern major tourist destination is still under development. The futuristic towers of a major hotel is near the harbour entrance and immigration facilities. It is an impressive entrance to Sanya, which has been called the Hawaii of China.

Disembarkation  for tours in Sanya was nothing short of a disgrace.


Sanya Chinese Immigration

 The ship provided only one gangway exit point .Part of the blame probably lies also  with the authorities by not allowing faster clearance.It took over one hour to disembark passengers. Immigration authorities had to inspect passports one by one.


Sanya on Your Own Bus


Toilet Facilities

We had booked a Sanya on your own tour  which included a bus to a mall in the city centre returning on a regular basis to passengers pick-up. I checked out the facileties. They were about the usual Chinese standard!



Seafood Restaurant

We had lunch at a great seafood restaurant. As usual not munch English is spoken, so ordering was by sign language.Anyway we had delicious fish, oysters, and scampi.

Obvioously Sanya attracts a lot of high end Chinese and Russian tourists. Shops were stocked with leading retail brands and a lot of shop advertising was in the Russian language.



Scampi and FIish




The Beach at Sanya

Our Holiday – Eight


On Board Art Auction

 Our bad luck continues. We were due to berth at Nha Trang, Vietnam, today, but it was too rough to use tenders. So another day at sea…who cares! The next morning we berthed at Chan May, Vietnam. I was not supposed to disembark here but due to some beaucrastic stuff up I was given a landing pass. I expected to be shot as I walked accross the wharf but nothing dramatic happened.


LangCo Beach Resort


Reception LangCo Resort


Shuttle Bus to Resort

I only wanted to go to the souvenir shop at the end of the wharf but, we discovered shuttle bus there to the Lanco Resort 8 kms away for US $10  return eacdh. So off we went for an adventure in the drizzling rain!


Me and My Vietnamese Friend

We had a cup of Vietnamese Coffee and a walk arond the resort. Because of the inclement weather  a strong surf was running. After a while we got tired of pestering by maotor cycle taxi operators and headed back to the ship.




Our Berth at Chan May


Our Berth at Charn May

Our Holiday – Seven


Entertainment in Gatsby’s Bar – Our Favourite Bar


Just Relaxing


Our Daily Folded Towel


A Good Way to Lose Money


On Deck


More Folded Towels

There is always something to do on board. Each morning a new edition of Freesthle Daily is available, which highlights the day’s activities.

Our Holiday – Six


Our Porthole

Our cabin (called a stateroom) was very comfortable. It was on Level 4 of 12 levels. Only staff cabins were below ours. We had a porthole which could not be opened but we had a view of the ocean and the outside weather. It was not claustrophobic.

We had one standard Singapore three pin 240 volt power outlet and one three pin USA 110 volt power outlet. We took a small power board with us. This was sufficient to power all our appliances eg. I Pad,.two iPhones , two electric shavers, etc. We had a small refrigerator and a TV(some satellite channels). Shower space was perfectly adequate but the toilet was a little cramped.


NZ Mussels


Le Bistro


Tenderlion Steak

As a previous cruise passenger, Don was entitled to certain latitude privileges. One of these was a complementary dinner for two in the Le bistro restaurant. We took it for three and I paid the extra. We all ordered Tenderloin steak It was delicious


Our Holiday – Five


At Sea At Last

We sailed on13th December. Our lifeboat station was B2. Getting used to shipboard life is easy.






Grand Atrium

Grand Atrium


On Deck


Pool Deck


Inside the Stardust Theatre


Buffet Cafe


Outside the Stardust Theatre


Breakfast at O’Sheenhan Bar and Grill


Folded Towel

Our Holiday – Four


It’s Gettng Late

Well we waited and waited. The Captain announced we would be late, 7;30 or after. Finally he admitted there was a technical problem and we would not be sailing that night. It would be necessary to bring in experts from Europe and USA to advise.


The Casino Is Closed

As a result of this technical issue, the speed of the ship would be restricted and we would sail a revised itinerary.We would call at Nha Trang and Chan May in Vietnam and Sanya in China. We would be bypassing Koh Samui and Bangkok.We sailed on the evening of 13th December. Our arrival in Hong Kong would be on schedule on 22nd December.

As a gesture of goodwill we would be offered a full refund on the cruise as well as a 50% future cruise credit. More than adequate compensation!

Our Holiday – Three



We were due to board the Norwegian Star at noon.When we arrived at the cruise terminal at about 11:30 am, there was already a fair crowd there. I had pre-arranged a wheelchair embarkation, but it was nowhere to be seen Eventually I joined the incapacity queue and in time a wheelchair turned up. Embarkation was a nightmare really.The authorities seemed to be panic-stricken that all passengers had the correct visas in their passports. They were taking all passports away for checking.The captain later apologised because checking in was so time-consuming.

Immigration on the other hand was a breeze. Suitcases were to be delivered to our cabins later


Toy’s Guest Card

So off we set with only our carry on bags to discover our cabin and have lunch at the Buffet Cafe


A not so Crowded Buffet

After settling in to our cabin,we headed for the Topsider’s Bar to await the sailing party and to make sure the guest card worked for our complimentary drinks package!


Cabin 4550


Cabin 4550


Topsider’s Bar Awating Sailing Party