Sailing onward to destination Bermuda – West End

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We’re on a three-week cruise celebrating our 50th anniversary, along with the Caribbean Princess Cruise Line!

Our journey so far, after a delayed start from Houston due to severe weather, took us to Port Everglades in Florida (See my first post in this series.)

Trying to make up for lost time, the Caribbean Princess sailed away during the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, April 21, leaving Port Everglades in our wake and headed for the next port destination, West End – Bermuda.

Just call us lazy because for the past few days we have requested breakfast delivered to our room to enjoy as we watched a little news on TV, and kept current on the ship’s course. We decided to take our paperbacks out to the deck chairs for some contemplation and relaxation. We have settled into our lazy days, gourmet meals and live entertainment every evening.

Tonight will be our first formal evening, so we made sure that we had our party clothes ready to go to the Coral Dining Room on this always-fun occasion. The dinner was a culinary delight, unfortunately, I felt ill a while later and stayed in my room the remainder of the night. These things do happen and it’s a good idea to pack Imodium for such occasions. The next day is Friday and I thought it best to take it easy and do some reading on the balcony, which is really an awesome alternative! The weather is in the 70’s, mild and pleasant. The views of the Atlantic are spectacular in its deep, aqua-blue sereneness.

The Caribbean Princess is back on schedule. Today we would prepare for our arrival in West End Saturday morning April 23 around 7 a.m., by watching a presentation on Bermuda. The island offers glass-bottom boat rides, an aquarium, museum, zoo and several golf courses, plus lots of beaches and water adventures! We were planning a tour on our own and take a boat ride from West End to Hamilton, then take a bus back to the port area, or vice versa, with our friends Don and Margie.

This island is quite spectacular! As we near our destination, from our ship we can see the British Royal Navy WWII staging area in our sights. The weather is perfectly pleasant and in the 70’s.image

West End, Bermuda, is a bustling place full of tourists, buses and traffic. Buses have the right of way here, where every possible post boasts a sign that says, “Give way to buses!” I wonder what’s the rush, as buses fly by.image

Once in town, we walked the streets and found shopping malls, churches and restaurants. The history here is British, so traffic drives on the left, which makes American’s uneasy to say the least. There are narrow, winding streets, so our bus ride was pretty much like a fast ride at DisneyWorld. I could see pedestrians hopping out of our path as we barreled through, barely missing bus stops!

The City Hall and Arts Building caught our attention with its pristine white exterior and clock tower — very British!

Our walking tour led us to a church with beautiful stained-glass windows and tall steeple. The Anglican Church of Bermuda, Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, was consecrated in 1911. Beautiful!image

Walking around West End was exhausting on sloping streets, and often the walkway would lead to steps down to the next street level.

We decided to stop for a beer and snack at a restaurant with outside tables – Bone Fish Bar & Grill. Here was the best place to do some people watching, and enjoy our cold drinks during the heat of the day, which was still only in the 80’s.image

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Our boat ride across the bay by water taxi was uneventful, although the scenery was well worth the effort.image

We left West End, Bermuda, thinking that for a tropical island, this one’s climate was not too hot to enjoy the surroundings — I give it an A+. I would like to return for a longer visit one of these days…

The Caribbean Princess would now set its course for Liverpool, England. Yes, that means we won’t see land for about a week on this trans-Atlantic voyage.

(You are reading the second post in a series depicting my travels on the Caribbean Princess ship for three weeks from Bayport Cruise Terminal in Houston, Texas, to Ft. Lauderdale, Bermuda, Liverpool, Wales, Hamburg, Le Havre/Paris and South Hampton/London in the spring of 2016.)

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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!

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!

 

One week to sail date!

Exactly one week from today, The Mariner of the Seas will embark on a 41-day repositioning journey from Galveston to Singapore. That leaves only six more days to finish packing and set our sights on the horizon.
As luck would have it, the Lyrid meteor showers will peak during the first and second nights on the ocean, and I’m really looking forward to that experience – far away from the lights of the coast. The Lyrid meteor showers come along this time every year, and it just so happens to coincide with the kickoff of this cruise. We lucked out!
With the countdown to the voyage speeding by, it seemed like a really good time to soak up as much Texas as possible today, while on a day trip to visit with family.
The first thing we did was chose a place to enjoy some real Texas BBQ. We chose the Chappell Hill Bakery and Cafe, where it doesn’t get any better. This eatery was recently mentioned in Southern Living magazine. We sampled all the BBQ meats on the menu, including brisket, ribs, sausage and chicken, which were all very delicioso. The sides were very yummy, also! Then, of course, we had to sample a piece of pie and take home some Kolaches! They are famous for pies and fruit and sausage Kolaches.
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http://www.chappellhillbakeryanddeli.com/ordereze/default.aspx

Another “pure Texas” experience presented itself as we made our way back home. Just east of Chappell Hill, hundreds of Bluebonnet lovers had pulled over to take advantage of this perfect Sunday afternoon to snap their yearly “Bluebonnet Pics.” Non-Texans may not know about this very traditional spring activity in Texas. The larger Bluebonnet fields were so crowded that we decided to make do with a small patch beside the road…it was better than nothing!

Now back to my packing list…and dreaming about a Royal Caribbean cruise that will take me and my fellow travelers on this exciting adventure, thanks to our friends at http://www.kingwoodtravel.com. Next Sunday we leave the Port of Galveston and will dock in Nassau a few days later. After that, we sail across the Atlantic and on to the Mediterranean, finally ending up in Singapore after a total of 41 days. Pinch me to make sure I’m not dreaming!

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Journey of a lifetime! Finally getting those ducks in a row!

This 41-day, trans-Atlantic cruise has been booked for months and I can’t believe it’s now only 1 1/2 weeks away!

In just 11 days a group of 30 random people from my hometown in Texas will board The Mariner of the Seas in Galveston to begin an exciting voyage half way around the world — from Galveston to Singapore! Of course, thousands of other travelers will also board.

At first the mere thought of packing for such an ambitious undertaking seemed insurmountable. After brainstorming with a few friends and doing some online research, the lightbulb finally came on.

It suddenly occurred to me that packing for 41 days with the idea of flying back was truly impossible. However, my eyes suddenly opened with the realization that this voyage is literally three, two-week cruises combined to make one voyage.

So, all I need to do is pack for one, two-week cruise, then recycle everything for the next leg and, finally, the last leg of the cruise. Ta-Da! Now I’m ready to put this packing dilemma down.

Now, to take this idea of “packing light” one step further. One of my friends suggested that I consult an online list for packing light on http://www.rIcksteves.com, so I did. This list is not specifically for cruises, so I’ve had to modify somewhat, but it’s very helpful. Rick Steves suggests that you pack for 4-5 days no matter how long your trip. It’s a little different when you’re on a cruise because of the variety of activities calling for both casual and dressy attire.

A big sigh of relief! Packing for two weeks is the plan — including medications and toiletries for six weeks is manageable. And, we’ll be packing a hand-held scale to weigh the packed luggage before heading to the airport in Singapore.

Can’t wait!

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