How many miles from Texas to Singapore?

We set sail on The Mariner of the Seas on April 21 on a 41-day journey to the other side of the world — From Galveston, Texas, to Singapore!
In my blog, I’ve tried to give an up-close and personal experience for my readers — taking them along for the ride to 10 countries and 13 ports of call.
I hope that each description of our excursions helped to make the journey real for my readers.
This cruise consisted of three, two-week cruises…each one spectacular in its own way.
It was amazing how the miles seemed to go by so quickly, even though the average speed of the ship was about 18-20 knots.
We were amazed as we checked on the ship’s TV channel daily to see the speed, sea depth, and total distance from the last port.
The first leg of the cruise was from Galveston to Barcelona, which totaled 5,456 nautical miles. From Barcelona to Dubai, we covered another 5,048 miles. On the third and final two-week cruise from Dubai to Singapore, which ended on June 1, a total of 3,693 nautical miles were logged.
Drum roll please! Our 41-day cruise from Galveston to Singapore equaled a combined total mileage for the entire journey of: 14,197 nautical miles!!!
At around 1:00 a.m. on June 2, we boarded Emirates Air for our flight back. It took seven hours to fly from Singapore to Dubai, with about 4-4.5 hour layover in Dubai. We left Dubai on an 18-hour flight straight to Houston, for a total return trip time of 29 hours!
This would explain why my internal clock is still mixed up, and why I’m dreaming about far away, exotic lands.
Until next time…
(Look for a link to Trilla’s Travels at http://www.ourtribune.com)

Docked in Singapore, here is my last glimpse of the Mariner -- I'm going to miss her!

Docked in Singapore, here is my last glimpse of the Mariner — I’m going to miss her!


We were surprised to see our flight path back to Houston!

We were surprised to see our flight path back to Houston from Singapore, via Dubai!

Aqaba and Petra, Jordan – Spectacular!

The crowds of people, camels and vendors swarmed in front of The Treasury -- favorite site in Petra!

The crowds of people, camels and vendors swarmed in front of The Treasury — favorite site in Petra!

May 14, 2013
Our experience in Petra today has topped the list of most exciting tours on this 41-day cruise from Galveston to Singapore on The Mariner of the Seas. This tour followed our visit yesterday to Safaga and the Valley of the Kings, and coming in a close third is the excursion we took to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. These exciting port stops are all part of the second, two-week cruise from Barcelona to Dubai, with one more that will begin in Dubai and end in Singapore. (See previous blogs.)
When we entered the Port of Aqaba, Jordan, this morning there was no way to know the excitement awaiting us at the end of a 2-hour bus ride. Our tour guide said that Aqaba is referred to as Ayla in the Bible and it is part of the Holy Land. Today, it is best known as a sea resort town with phenomenal snorkeling and diving locations. Can you believe its ancient origins date back to 4,000 BC? Many cultures have passed through, including the Ptolemies of Egypt, the Nabateaeans of Arabia, the Romans, Muslim pilgrims, the Crusaders and many more.
Thankfully, we had very pleasant weather for the trek up and down a steep hill in and out of the siq at Petra. The magnificent treasures that awaited us around every bend were well worth the long walk. In the end, we decided to pay for a horse and buggy ride partway back up the mountain. One could also ride by horseback, as well as take a short camel ride, which were optional.
Neither words nor photos can do justice to the fascinating, ancient site of Petra. Hidden between 300 ft. high solid, rose red rock walls are the tombs of the ancients. One tomb in the vicinity is said to be the tomb of Moses’ brother, Aaron. What are so incredible about this site are the facades of buildings carved into the solid rock walls. Most impressive of these were the Temple of the Four Obelisks and, especially, The Treasury site with four enormous pillars. This particular rock carving is said to have taken many years to complete, working from top to bottom.
We spent the day looking up, as we meandered between the high rock walls, not believing what a magnificent hidden fortress this had been, serving so many in keeping safe the remains of their leaders, their treasures and preserving their customs. There are no dwellings at this site, which still harnesses many secrets, as the stories we hear are, for the most part, just theories.
A scene from the last Indiana Jones movie was shot at Petra, and sure enough there is an Indiana Jones storefront on the way to the siq. Many souvenir vendors hawked their wares but were not as intolerable as the ones in Cairo at the Pyramids of Giza or at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. It’s a matter of learning to ignore and to be aware of their conning tactics.
We had an excellent buffet lunch at the Movenpick Hotel in Petra, including excellent local dishes such as baby lamb. I don’t eat lamb, but I did try a bite and found it to be tasty, along with samplings from many exotic dishes. The dining room of the hotel is especially charming with mosaic tiled ceiling and wall decor. Loved the atmosphere there!
I could go on and on about Petra, but my blog on this topic must end here.
The Mariner of the Seas is now headed for Dubai, and we will be doing our pirates drill in about an hour in preparation.
Until we meet again…have a nice day! (Note: Internet connections are sporadic so please excuse any errors!)
Look for a link to Trilla’s Travels at http://www.ourtribune.com.

Temple of Four Obelisks

Temple of Four Obelisks


The Treasury was carved into the solid stone mountain at Petra thousands of years ago!

The Treasury was carved into the solid stone mountain at Petra thousands of years ago!

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Navigating the Suez Canal

Cruising the Suez Canal

Cruising the Suez Canal

Sunday, May 12, 2013
From Alexandria, Egypt, we sailed on The Mariner of the Seas east to the Suez Canal where we cruised from one sea to another! The Suez Canal separates two continents – Africa and Asia. It’s fascinating that after many years of trying to join the east and the west, in 1858 the Suez Canal Company set out to build a man-made, salt-water passage between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The canal opened 10 years later making the connection between Europe and Asia possible, without sailing around the southernmost tip of Africa.
We entered the canal Sunday morning around 1 a.m., May 12, and could see from our port side balcony nothing but sand – lots of sand! That would be the Sinai Peninsula.
From the beginning of the canal at Port Said, through the Great Bitter Lake and ending at the City of Suez, the canal measures more than 100 miles in length.
This was a great day to enjoy the ship and spend some time on deck! Temperatures at this time are still mild and breezy.
Preparing for a big day tomorrow, Monday, May 13 – we’re going to Safaga, Egypt, and then take an excursion to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings!!! Can’t wait!
See you back here soon!
Look for a link to Trilla’s Travels on http://www.ourtribune.com.

Sailing, Sailing over the ocean blue…

This is the tune I’ve been busily humming to myself the past few days!

The excitement level around here is sky-high and climbing. It will culminate on Sunday, when we are actually on the shuttle bus that will drop us at the Port of Galveston, where we will board The Mariner of the Seas!

Kudos to Kingwood Travel for arranging transportation to Galveston for approximately 30 travelers from my area that are embarking on this 41-day cruise to Singapore. Parking our car near the port for six weeks would not be an acceptable option

Not only is Kingwood Travel arranging our shuttle, they have also planned a Bon Voyage cocktail party for our group on board The Mariner of the Seas at 4:30 Sunday evening. Then we will truly know that this unbelievable journey of a lifetime is actually happening!

Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines allows us to bring two bottles of wine per stateroom, per each leg of the cruise – or six bottles for the bon voyage celebrations! We’ve chosen a couple of bottles of celebratory wine — bringing just a little bit of southern comfort from Texas with us.

A favorite Texas wine!

A favorite Texas wine!

Every day this week was spent either sorting and packing or shopping for the last minute have-to-haves. I’m certain we don’t need half of what we’re taking.

Another chunk of time was spent with AT&T customer service sorting out what we need for calls and texting on the other side of the world! Jodi did a good job helping us out. Let’s just hope we made the right choices!

Did I mention that we are excited? Our son and his family live nearby and will drive us to our shuttle bus. They will have fun using the pool and looking after our place while we’re gone. They have promised not to throw too many parties!

We’re looking forward to chatting with our family members via Skype from exotic ports of call such as Medeira, Portugal, Barcelona, Alexandria, Egypt, Dubai and Singapore to name a few.

I’m also excited that my newspaper publisher has linked my blog to http://www.ourtribune.com!

Just two nights and one day left!

 

Can't wait to be a Mariner of the Seas!

It’s official now…a world cruise is in my future.
Planning, packing and putting all my affairs in order is the plan of attack for the next three weeks.
I’m excited, nervous and anxious, all in one, but mostly I’m thrilled to be taking a journey of a lifetime.
I’ll set sail on the Mariner of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines) in three weeks and I hope to take you along with me…in my blog.
We set sail from the Port of Galveston and will end the journey in Singapore with many stops along the way: Bahamas, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Jordan, India, Malaysia and Singapore, to name a few.

Hope you’ll come with me for the ride…

http://www.ourtribune.com/section.php?c=3&sc=117

Can’t wait to be a Mariner of the Seas!