Here we are, New Year's Eve and we're now into part two of our cruise. Our ship returned to Singapore yesterday where some 2,400 of our fellow passengers disembarked and we were joined by 2,400 new travellers. Around 400 guests remained on board for this second stage.
Since our last update we'd been taking things easy while cruising the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand until our arrival in Thailand to allow us a visit to Bangkok, the first time for us. The ship docked about 2 hours from Bangkok so it was a long drive there (and back at the end of the day).
While in Bangkok amongst other things we visited the Temple of the Golden Buddha and the King's Palace. We also went for a boat trip along the Chao Phtaya River which runs through the centre of Bangkok and had a late lunch at the Marriott Hotel.
More touring around Bangkok took place after lunch before our journey back to our ship in the evening. Prior to our arrival in Bangkok, and during our drive there, we had been warned that Bangkok has only three seasons; hot, hotter and very hot. Well this year they had a fourth - cold! The remnants of Typhoon Tembin decided to follow us to Bangkok and it brought with it light rain and cold winds. All a bit of a problem for us as, given we're in the tropics, we took with us nothing to keep us warm. Never mind, we survived and enjoyed our day.
Our last two days at sea before arriving back in Singapore were both beautiful, with reasonably calm seas, a clear sky and warm but not unpleasant days. All the pools and just about every deck chair got plenty of use for most of the daylight hours on these days.
While docked in Singapore we took the opportunity to visit the Gardens by the Bay, a truely amazing spot just a short taxi ride from where we were docked. While there we had a little bit of light rain but nothing to stop us enjoying the stunning gardens, water features and artworks dotted throughout the park.
The rain continued during the commencement of this second phase of our cruise so the sail away party on deck was a little damp. Not to worry, there are plenty of bars throughout the ship besides those on deck. Today the weather has again been beautiful with calm seas and warm weather. Lots of outdoor activities again today.
While we're looking forward to the New Years Eve celebrations here on board the Sapphire Princess we wish all our dear friends and family back in Perth and all around the world a very happy and safe New Year.
After a restful day for New Year's Day we arrive in Bali on 2 January.