After a few days on dry land in Singapore, we’re now swapping it for extreme amounts of the wet stuff – courtesy of Queen Mary 2. This is the flagship of the Cunard Cruise Line and is the biggest/largest/heaviest/tallest in their fleet.
We’ve been lucky enough to do quite a few Cruises over the years, from smaller vessels (Royal Clipper: 227 passengers and Windsurf accommodating 300) right up to the whopper of a Ship: Celebrity Solstice topping-out at 2852. We’re now first-time passengers aboard this ever-so-slightly smaller ‘monster’ with just over a 2500-passenger capacity.
It’ll be interesting to see if ‘bigger is also better’?
We’re joining the Ship as part of its 2018 World Cruise, taking in some locations where we’ve never been before. We disembark in Dubai, and then fly home.
And maybe not surprisingly, the Ship is full! We sail at 1pm (today, the 5th) and then, of course, the connectivity gets a bit unreliable as we head out to sea.
For the next few days, we’re in Malaysia, so, see you on the other side!
This is an interesting and newish attraction (opened in 2008), standing at a stunning 165m tall – that’s the height of a 42-storey building – and some 30 metres taller than our famous London Eye. It’s apparently the tallest ‘Wheel’ in the world (excluding the US). It also has the dubious ‘first’ of being completely knackered since the beginning of this year, whilst they sorted out a spare part for it! The Wheel ground to a halt at 9am on 25th January, with over 60 people still on board – a bit of a PR disaster for this very proud nation.
It was eventually re-opened just a few days ago, on April 1st (Singaporeans clearly aren’t as worried about that date as us Westerners!) and so we’re one of the new batch of literal guinea-pigs to try it out.
When we left just after 9.30am, it was swelteringly hot and already very humid, so a Taxi was in order! (S$5, less than £2.50). Ten-minutes later, we arrived at the Flyer. It wasn’t too busy and we only queued for a matter of minutes before we were on our way up the escalator to our cubicle.. Tickets were S$33 each making it a total spend of just over £35 for both of us – not bad for a key tourist attraction!
Was it worth it? Yes, definitely! It was a thirty-minute experience, and a very smooth ride. The cubicle was nicely air-conditioned without being too cold, whilst the massive glass area offered the best views from all angles.
This had been a great experience all round!
It was then back to the Hotel for a short break before heading back out for our 2pm lunch date on the top floor of the Sands SkyPark.
Being a Hotel too – The Marina Bay Sands – meant that on the ground floor, it was heaving, with guests checking-in and checking-out and generally mooching around. To us, it was slightly puzzling as this is a premium hotel charging upwards of around S$600 (£350 per-night) for its 2561 rooms. Luckily, it had probably one of the largest Lobby areas we’ve ever seen – it seemed to go on for miles! – and that was just in Tower ONE! (of the three).
Our destination was ‘top-of-the-shop’ on floor 57 of Tower 2 (only pigeons get to go higher than this floor!) – and the Spago Restaurant (by Austrian Chef, Wolfgang Puck) where we’d pre-booked lunch. We arrived about 15 minutes before our booking, and on presenting our email confirmation, they remembered to wish Ann a ‘Happy Birthday’ – a nice touch!
We were shown to our Table and were soon looking through the extensive Menu – carefully avoiding one Wine priced at S$4500 per bottle (£2500)!
Luckily, the majority of the food was more sensibly priced, and we opted for the Set Menu that worked out around £25 per-head. Ann chose Seared Pork Dumplings followed by the Grilled Iberco Pork Pressa, whilst I tucked into…
Chilli Spring Rolls
Aberdeen Angus Beef-Burger
..and so busy eating, I didn’t take a shot of the Dessert! – Pistachio Panna Cotta.
It was all super-yummy (and my first Chips in almost two months) served in a very un-hurried and professional atmosphere. You can see the full Lunchtime Express menu HERE.
After our meal, we had a quick look round the 57th floor and took a few snaps of the commanding view…
Back in our room, being our last day, we used the time that was left to get re-packed, ready for checking-out tomorrow and moving from land to sea. We join the Queen Mary 2 tomorrow around lunchtime for the next part of our holiday.
(So, just a reminder, dear Reader, that depending on the connection quality at sea, postings will be somewhat intermittent over the next two weeks).