En Route to Singapore through the Gulf of Thailand
After a 45 minute flight from Cambodia and arrived in Bangkok in the late morning. We went by bus to the port which was about two hours away. We were fortunate that our bus opted out of the potty/snack break so we were one of the first busses to arrive. We are still waking up at 3 am so we used the time in the bus to nap. Embarkation was very efficient and we (and all of our luggage - a leap of faith as we trusted that the luggage we left at the hotel in Bangkok before the trip to Cambodia would actually get from the hotel to the ship) was in our cabin by 2pm. We unpacked everything for the next three weeks, popped a bottle of champagne, and chilled out on our veranda. This is a big plus for cruising as a way of travel.
Regent Seven Seas is an all inclusive cruise line. This means all food, all specialty restaurants (there are 3 in addition to the main dining room), all tips, all excursions, all booze. If you have on-board credit you are a bit hard pressed to spend it. OK, you can spend it to send out laundry, go to the spa, or buy something frivolous in the gift shop. We were on the Voyager with about 700 other passengers. All the cabins are suites with a sitting area, a balcony, a bed area, walk-in closet, and a bathroom with a tub and separate shower.
Libations for our cabin:
Reclining chaise lounges on the balcony - bliss with a pillow and a sea breeze for naps.
The public rooms are spacious and varied and the dining room has no fixed seating times. You can eat whenever and with whomever you want. The dress code is "elegant casual" after 6pm which really means no jeans. The crew is lovely and fellow passengers are what you would expect in a venue like this - from salt of the earth to spoiled brats. Fortunately, we had more of the former than the latter.
These are the popular Horizon Lounge and Observation Lounge (scene of our daily pre-dinner cocktail):
This is the aft of the ship - wonderful for sail-away!
Since we could never manage to stay up late, we missed most of the entertainment. However, there were two destination lecturers on our cruise that were top-notch experts on Asia and India. We never missed a lecture and learned a great deal about the history and politics of every county we visited.
One last comment about the ship - we were on the Voyager in 2012 and, at the time, I commented on the lovely, understated, original artwork throughout the ship. Voyager went through a refurbishment in 2013 and much of the artwork is new and the large, abstracts did not resonate with me. To each his own, these paintings just aren't my aesthetic. Since we had 21 days to take them all in, I voted this one as my all time least favorite.
Our first port, Ko Sumai, was cancelled due to a pod problem which necessitated going slowly to Singapore where it was repaired. This meant two sea days and we missed our elephant ride. I think that most of us who were on the Cambodia trip were not at all disappointed with this development as we were exhausted and the prospect of immersing ourselves in another day of heat and humidity was not a pretty picture. This also relieved our guilt about how elephants are treated in SE Asia. Three days touring Buddhist temples makes you think more seriously about karma. There was a bas relief at Angkor Wat that depicted a man in one of the levels of hell, trapped in a cage. This was karmic payback for keeping pet birds during his lifetime. I don't want to be a tourist attraction in my next life, nor do I want to carry corpulent Americans on my back!