2015 Holiday Southeast Asia Cruise

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December 16th 2015
Published: December 18th 2015
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December 15 – 16, 2015

Our family is excited about our new adventure, visiting Asian countries we have never been too. The trip will also be a celebration of Marcy’s life as her wish was to spread her ashes at sea while we all went on a cruise as a family.

We left our home around 6:45 am to head to the airport. Since we had several of us in the car we used the HOV lane to avoid the dreaded Houston traffic. After parking at the Parking Spot, we headed to Terminal D at the Houston IAH airport. Before checking in, we waited for Erv, Tim and Gayle to arrive. Since we were on the same reservation we thought it would be better to check in together. Once the rest of our family arrived, we checked in. Between the amount of time to check in and get through security, there was not enough time to visit the United Club.

When going through security, Todd’s carryon bag detected something they want to further investigate. Once they opened my bag, there was a box that contained Marcy’s ashes. My heart dropped with fear that they would not allow for me to take this on the plane. After explaining what it was, I was able to get through security. I am so thankful I made it through.

We board an ANA All Nipon flight, code share flight with United. Our entire family was flying coach and for some reason we were seated at the back of the plane. However once situated, the seating arrangement wasn’t too bad for our 14 hour flight to Tokyo. Cindy’s dad did sit in coach, however they did give him a seat in economy plus, more leg room.

After about two hours of flying, we were served dinner. The selections were noodles or seafood. Some of us took the seafood option and the others selected the noodles option. A special treat for dessert was Hagen Dazs vanilla ice cream.

The entire 14 hour flight it was daylight. It is always amazing to me that you travel that much distance and never see darkness. When over the US, we were able to see the Rockies covered in snow. I took a few photos, so spectular.

About mid way through the flight, we were served small sandwiches. This really helped cut the hunger edge off.

Several of us watched movies; however our favorite was the Minion movie. What a fun movie to watch.

About two hours before landing in Tokyo, we were served breakfast. Breakfast options were cheese/egg/chicken combo meal or just plain eggs with fruit and a very yummy probiotics orange drink. The breakfast food was actually not bad.

The flight attendants did a nice job and did something very special for a younger girl seating a few rows back. It was her birthday. That presented her with a fruit plate and in chocolate wrote Happy Birthday. What a really nice touch and great customer service.

People frequently ask us how we survive such long flights. Our response is being patient and watch lots of movies, play games or just sleep. It really is not that bad, particularly when you know you reach your destination, it was all worth it.

We arrived in Tokyo, Narita airport around 30 minutes late, however it was not a big deal for us since we had a 3.5 hour layover. The immigration lines were so long and the waiting area was super warm. Interesting, it was in the 40’s outside the airport, but boiling hot in the waiting area. Once we finally made it through immigration, we starting heading to our connecting flight gate. I so love the Narita airport. There is so much fashion and shopping. It is always so bustling at this airport.

Since we arrived at our gate 2 hours before departure, we visited the United Club and rested, charged our electronics, and enjoyed a little snack. One of my favorite snacks was the curry nuts. They were so good. Michael took a shower because he felt gross. The kids love taking showers in the lounges when we travel.

At around 6:00 pm we boarded our United flight to Singapore. Once again, we all sat together. It was nice all being together. Even though this flight we rested more, it is nice being close together. We all watched movies again (Pet Detective, Hot Pursuit and Family Vacation) and eat a fairly deceit dinner. The options for dinner were chicken curry or pasta. Dessert, package brownie. Although the food was good, ANA All Nippon food was much better.

Our flight left on time and arrived in Singapore on time. This leg of the trip was 8 hours. The entire flight it was dark outside and we landed at 1:15 am. We quickly exited the plane and then went through immigration. The Singapore airport is beautiful, clean and organized. One of the amazing things is how they incorporate nature into the airport. Something else that I have never experienced is when in the arrivals hall, the ceilings were very high, possible 5 stories. The interesting part here is there was not echo at all. Most times, when in a large hall like this, there is a lot of echo.

Immigration was very quick and then we heading to pick up our luggage. It was a joyous moment to know that our luggage all arrived. You never know with international travel. There have been a few situations where our luggage has been delayed for multiple days.

We hired a van service to take us to the flat we are staying at. By now, it is 2:00 am in the morning. We are tired, but still alert to make the journey from the airport. We arrived at the flat around 2:30 am.

The driver dropped us off at the wrong basement entrance area. We ended up calling security and they walked us over to the area we needed to be at. After some figuring out, Michael was able to locate the correct elevator that would take us to the flat. This elevator takes you directly to the flat entrance door, accessible only by a remote. Michael and I had trouble trying to figure out opening up the door, we ended up calling the flat owner back in the states for additional instructions.

Once into the unit, everyone settled in nicely and Michael and I went to the 24 hour grocery store in the parking basement of the complex. We purchased breakfast items for the morning (or later in the morning).

When it was all said and done, we were in bed by 4:00 am. Long two days of travel, however totally worth the time.

We will start exploring Singapore once we wake up in the morning. Stay tuned for our first day in Singapore.

Additional photos below
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