Mandarin Oriental Singapore

We left the ship around 9am and checked in to the Mandarin Oriental Singapore for three days post cruise. The Mandarin is beautiful, as to be expected. It is supposed to be shaped like a fan and you can kind of see that from the shape of the hallway.

They were decorated for Christmas starting with this beautiful anchor tree underneath a gorgeous endlessly draping chandelier in the elevator lobby.

Even the public bathrooms are filled with orchids and little touches of beauty

Our room wasn’t ready yet so we decided to check out the rooftop pool. There are worse ways to kill time.

This is the kiddie pool area. Pretty darn nice for wee ones

Originally we set up shop in chairs just under an umbrella

But a cabana opened up and I did not pass go nor collect $200 in my mission to get to it. My pale, easily burned Irish skin prefers complete protection from the sun 😜 Not having to reapply sunblock constantly is a total Yahtzee!

The cabana also had a refreshing ceiling fan and a speaker you could connect your iPhone to to play your own music.

The wonderful cabana boy brought us drinks and food. I got the Hibiscus Margarita and Patra got the Mandarin Sling. We then shared a caprese sandwich and truffle fries

I waited my 20 minutes after eating (okay, no I didn’t) loaded up on sunblock and took a dip in the pool. And by dip I mean I was obsessed with just soaking on these leaves. Sooooo relaxing and serene

One last walk around the rooftop pool before heading down as our rooms should be ready. The pool has great views of the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer. Turns out our hotel was in a fabulous location. We could walk almost anywhere we wanted to go.

The room was a basic room with two beds and a pretty nice bathroom

It did include these nice local drinks. They both tasted great but I really loved the apple

Turned on the TV and good God, they’re everywhere! Now with mandarin subtitles.

What Does A Typical Sea Day Look Like?

Most mornings I wake up and ring our awesome butler, Dhiraj to please bring me a pot of coffee. He always did with a big smile

Once fully awake, I’d hit the gym and use the bike. I eat a lot on these cruises so I have to move a lot!

Breakfast for me is usually at the Coffee Connection coffee bar. I like to grab a yogurt and some nuts/seeds and berries but there’s quite a few other options for a quick breakfast and a full coffee menu.

On one day they did a nice brunch in the main dining room, Compass Rose

And every Sunday morning, Regent does a Champagne and Caviar Breakfast in La Veranda where the daily breakfast and lunch buffets are served

Noon on sea days means Bingo, which is held in the Horizon Lounge

I don’t usually play Bingo but wait for my friends who play on the back deck right off the Horizon Lounge


Lunch is either a sit down in Compass Rose or a buffet at La Veranda and the Pool Grill. Today was a liquid lunch in the form of this glorious and refreshing frozen margarita and this gorgeous blueberry tartlet because… I’m on vacation!

I then lounged around for a while and took a dip in the pool and hot tub.

While not very exciting, I like to pack light and take advantage of the free laundry on Regent


Mind you, I’d rather be here but my knickers weren’t going to wash themselves

4pm begins my favorite hour on board. It starts with daily afternoon tea, many with themes. The two best on this cruise were donut and brownie. In addition to the themes, every afternoon tea also included fruit, cookies, finger sandwiches and scones The pastry chef was great and creative.


Trivia is immediately following in the observation lounge

Regent passengers take their trivia VERY seriously and to place is hotly contended. Mensa follows and you can earn points for both to win prizes like T-shirt’s and hats at the end of the cruise. Sample Mensa quiz below. You can pick these up in the morning in the Library to work on them throughout the day.

After trivia I get a quick walk in on the top deck. Deck 12 is sports deck. There is a jogging track (7 times around is a mile), shuffle board, croquet, tennis courts and a putting range.

And a little time relaxing on our private balcony before getting ready for dinner

Because we haven’t eaten in 10 seconds, our butler also brings us daily canapés before dinner. They ranged from prosciutto wrapped melon to cheese plates. We requested potato chips and mixed nuts daily.

This evening was an exciting one for us because we were asked to dine with the ship’s chief engineer and hotel engineer, whom it turned out couldn’t not have been lovelier or more engaging.

The service, food and company could not have been better and the Chef even came out to meet us

We really made some great memories that dinner

There is nighttime activity on board but we usually just go back to our room. There is a casino on board we occasionally hit and every now and then we’ll go to a lounge for an after dinner drink and some music or occasionally shop at the stores on “Main Street” (the main corridor on deck 5. The full days activities available are listed in the Passages. We are not show people but some on board love them.

Overall, I love a nice mix of sea days and ports. I love to see the world but I don’t want to come home exhausted

Connoisseur’s Wine Lunch

Our last day on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager was a sea day and we opted to do the Connoisseur’s Wine Lunch. Almost everything is included on Regent from most alcohol to excursions to business class airfare but this was an extra fee and well worth the $169 (especially since we used our cruise credits to pay for it!) We’ve done a number of these on past cruises and they are always a highlight. The pairings are excellent and the head sommelier is always informative.

The reds were breathing and the whites were chilling

The lunch was paired and organized by the Voyager’s Head Sommelier, Rajesh. He is a level three master sommelier which is very impressive

Upon entering Chartreuse, the Voyager’s specialty French restaurant, we were greeted with champagne with Kir Royale. So sweet and tasty.

They then brought out the really good champs, a 2009 Dom Perignon paired with a ceviche of scallops and lobster with mango salad and orange vanilla syrup

The whites came first and I’m not a huge white wine drinker but this Sauvignon Blanc (Alphonse Mellot Sancerre Edmond 2017) was fantastic and my top two of the day. It was especially divine paired with the warm goat cheese and raspberry tomato salad

Next up was a Chardonnay I did not like at all but the banana bread pairing was unexpected but delicious

Yay! The reds are coming…

My hands down favorite combo was next. The Tommasi Amarone Della Valpolocella with the roasted beef tenderloin. The tenderloin was a perfect match and was literally like butter. No knife needed. The carrots were like candy!

Last, but definitely not least (for me anyway) was the Inniskillin Ice Wine. I loves me some ice wine and may, or may not, have had mine and my neighbors. Paired with a delicious fig cake with red berry sauce and vanilla ice cream.

While everything was perfection, nothing came close to our Chateau Margaux in Chartreuse a few nights before. Margaux is my all time favorite. We had it with a delicious meal and some scrumptious desserts. The French know what they’re doing!

Kuching, Malaysia

We had a serene sail in to Malaysia

We watched these beautiful dancers and listened to these wonderful musicians from our balcony

We received this lovely and warm welcome from the locals once we got off the ship

As a crazy cat lady, I really looked forward to visiting Kuching, which means “cat” in Malaysia and our first stop was to the Kuching Cat Museum, the world’s largest cat museum with over 4,000 insanely quirky cat related artifacts.

You start at this adorable entrance

Then work your way through the four galleries with everything from cat statues, posters, other artwork and even a cat food display

Next we drove passed some cool architecture on our way to the Orchid Park dripping with gorgeous flowers everywhere!

One Night in Bangkok (technically two but…)

We hired a private driver and tour guide we booked through our travel agent before we left home. It turned out to be a great idea. Birt really knows his homeland and Noon was great driver.

Our first stop was The Grand Palace

There were beautiful etchings built in to the walls that if you brought charcoal and paper you could do them

A 2000 baht fine equals about $66 US

And they take the dress code and no Buddha tattoos very seriously. My knees and ankles were covered and I still had to buy a skirt for $3 US to cover the little bit of skin that was showing.

A few more videos around the Grand Palace and outside of it

Sailing Away from Saigon

Sailing away from Saigon and towards Nha Trang was surreal. Looked like something out of a movie with all the cargo ships in the distance first in the fog

And then day turned in to night with the sky still burning

Rough weather is expected overnight but that’s good sleeping weather. When the ship rocks like that it feels like you’re being rocked to sleep in a comforting way. For me at least.

Mekong Delta

We took a boat ride across the Mekong Delta.

And landed on Unicorn Island where we taste tasted the local honey.

We then moved on to tasting local fruit

Where we were serenaded by the locals singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands”

We then did my favorite part of the whole trip so far! A sampan ride down the Nine Dragons waterway

We returned to the big boat to cross back over the Mekong Delta as the sun began to set

They gave us fresh coconut water

And once again, Vietnamese traffic

And my girl, Hello Kitty!

Good Morning (Again) Vietnam (touring Nha Trang)

We arrived in Nha Trang this morning. Nha Trang is a coastal resort city in Southern Vietnam.

Watching arrivals from our balcony is a favorite part of cruising

These guys were fishing quite far from land in a very small boat.

We docked across from the resort Vinpearl. The cable cars bring you across. It’s very Disney-esque and there is quite a bit of expansion going on.

Once we docked, we took an “Ancient Civilizations” tour of Nha Trang.

Our tour guide is named Lien

We are passing these gorgeous beaches (and stop at one later). Lien said the people of Vietnam go to the beach very early, by 4am to do exercises. They then go home by 6am. He said if anyone is on the beach in the afternoon, they are likely a tourist. Then the locals come back to the beach from 6-9pm

First stop was Po Nagar Cham Towers. The Champa Kingdom has a long run in Vietnam beginning in the 700s and spread over a few centuries. This is the best preserved relic from that era. Located on the Cu Lao Mountain and at the mouth of the Cai River, it is dedicated to Yan Po Nagar, the goddess of Vietnam who is associated with the Hindi goddess Bhagavati.

You have to be wearing the usual knees and shoulders covered. I love they call it costume. And they provide long grey jackets you can borrow if you’re in an inappropriate costume

Some video of inside one of the towers

Some cool art

Next stop was the Dam Market or Cho Dam in Vietnamese. There is a wet and dry section and it goes on for blocks and blocks. It’s quite overwhelming and they sell everything under the sun. Haggling is not only expected, it seems to be a form of entertainment 

We then finally got to actually go to the beach and not just see it through a bus window. We stopped at the bar first and had a choice of Vietnamese beer

Soft drinks, I loved this pretty 7 Up can

Or Vietnamese coffee. It comes to the table in its own little coffee pot. The coffee drips into your cup and then you flip the lid over and use that to place the pot on when you’re ready to drink

The beach itself was stunning

And quite whimsical. There were decorative old cars and bicycles and even a piano

Our next stop was an embroidery center. This was amazing to see. All the pieces below are needle and thread. They look like paintings. Our guide told us it takes two women working 5 months to make the larger pieces.

We got to see some women working on pieces

And the progression of a piece from scratch drawing to completion

Some of the pieces are double sided and you do not see any knots on either side. Simply amazing!

Patra bought this beautiful piece. It was a little over $400 USD. It was perfect because she loves orchids and her mom loved butterflies

You could buy it with the frame or without. She did without so she could get it home easily. It wraps down to a small box!

We headed back to the bus and here’s some more crazy Vietnamese traffic for your viewing pleasure

Our last stop for the day was Long Son Pagoda. Long means Dragon

The pagoda was built in 1963 and intended as a monument to nuns and monks who died battling the government of the time.

These are the Buddhist flags of Vietnam

The highlight of this pagoda is an 80 foot white statue of Buddha that can be seen from all over the city. It’s 152 to the top

Back on the ship for sail away. Same scene from this morning all lit up