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Published: November 18th 2019
First Coffee for the day
Just before the Coffee Club closed at midnight!
Our travel friends Mary and David had planned to do a P & O relocation cruise Singapore to Brisbane and invited Marg and I to travel with them.
However, I (Rob) had a bowel cancer screening test that was too close to the departure date to risk a booking. The good news was that the report cam back no pullups, no cancer, all clear. Having contacted a local cruise specialist agent, I found we were able to get a reasonable cabin right at the last minute.
Several attempts to get accommodation and flight details from David proved evasive and fruitless, so in the end I just had to ask more directly advising that we had been able to book a two berth cabin.
They had booked a Singapore Airline flight, but we got a great deal on a joint QANTAS/Emirates 777ER flight. The down side of this flight was the 2:35am departure time from Brisbane. Marg is not a great traveller by air, so we both were a little concerned about the 7.5 hour flight how she would cope. As part of our preparation, we had purchase travel neck supports that would be best described as foam sausages,
Lights came on and loading started about an hour before take off.
which, when domed up, stopped the majority of neck movement. These worked great on a trip which was moderately turbulent for the majority of the flight, particularly crossing the Gulf of Carpinteria.
Our first drama happened at emigration at Brisbane airport. Our passports were about 8 years old and did not include the modern iris and thumb print records, so they needed to be added. I did fine, but due to weakness in Marg's hands (The side effect of very aggressive cancer treatment 17 years previous) she could not put sufficient pressure on the scanner to get a clear reading. Much perseverance finally got her through. Next, at the body scanner it was my turn for an awkward moment. "Empty your pocket, phone, Camera" followed by "Take your pants off". I balked at that until the command was clarified to "Take your belt off". Marg got through slightly easier with another officer patting her down
Our flight left Brisbane pretty much right on time and after some general fiddling and discovering the features of the Emirates 777, we were under way. At one point Marg asked me how far we had travelled, and I said we were inland
Thanks to Nose Cam we watched the fnal approach on the smoggy morning.
from Rockhampton. The next time she asked we were west of Darwin and approaching Indonesia. She had slept in between and was really surprised how far we had travelled. After some more sleep we were served breakfast in preparation for landing at Changi, Terminal one.
We had heard that many travellers come and never leave the Changi precinct with shops, hotels and lots of interesting things to see and do right at the airport. The floral displays in Terminal One were beautiful, and the famous Vortex Waterfall is a highly photographed. Before we could enjoy the facilities, we had to go through immigration. Poor Marg was in strife again with those thumb print scanners. "Push - Push - Push" the officer yelled. Marg constrained herself and did not say that she was in labour and about to deliver a baby. However, finally she got through, and this time, no patting down.
This was our first trip to Singapore. In preparation we had studied maps and transport system and had decided that we would after clearance taxi to our hotel. We were through customs and nosing around the terminal by 9:30 am and found a taxi in minutes. The
Blue Cabs are all metered and seem reasonable charges, so we jumped in. For less than half the amount we could have taken the MRT to Lavender Station and walked 300 meters to the hotel, but dragging bags in an unknown city didn't seem a bright idea.
When we booked the Hotel Boss in Singapore, they told us we could book the room for early arrival for a fee, but if the room was already vacant and serviced, we could have access at no extra cost. We struck luck there, but I suspect the check-in lady and supervisor did a quick switch to a ready room and off we went very quickly. All the staff were very courteous and porters moved our bags to the room for us.
Like many things in Asia, they are smaller than we would expect in Australia, and that was the case with our room. Just enough space to walk around the bed, a good bathroom be it only a little larger than our caravan bathroom suite, and limited baggage storage. Had we known, we would have packed a bag with what we needed for our 2 night stay and left the cruise
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