Saturday, February 2, 2013

Celebrity Millennium cruise

Celebrity Millennium cruise from Singapore January 6, 2013.
Links to videos and pictures from all ports of call and Celebrity Millennium.
Cruise Ports:
Departing from Singapore; Lombok, Indonesia; Komodo, Indonesia; Benoa, Bali, Indonesia; Port Klang, Malaysia; Penang, Malaysia; Phuket, Thailand; Singapore.

Watch the videos from the cruise port of call:
6 January - Singapore
Singapore and SkyPark, Celebrity Millennium Cruise
Celebrity Millennium Tour the ship
7 January - Singapore and departure
Crossing the Line Ceremony, Celebrity Millennium,
Celebrity Millennium Departure from Singapore
8 and 9 January at Sea
10 January - Lombok Island
Lombok, Indonesia, January 2013
11 January - Komodo National Park
Dragon Adventure, Komodo
Kampung Komodo Village
12 and 13 January - Bali
Tendering Benoa, Bali
Bali Way of Life
14 and 15 January at Sea
16 January - Port Klang
Kuala Lumpur on your own
17 January - Penang Island
Penang Island Tour
Penang Temples
18 January - Patong, Phuket Island
Patong Beach, Phuket Island
19 January at Sea
20 January - Singapore
Singapore City Tour
Celebrity Millennium Cruise Ship Tour

See videos from previous cruises at

Celebrity Millennium - the ship

A tour around Celebrity Millennium:

A short video from the 14 night Gems of Southeast Asia Cruise with Celebrity Millennium  06 JAN 2013, from Singapore
Pictures from around the ship:
00:03 Cabin 7197,Deck 7
00:15 Oveanview Cafe, Deck 10
00:43 Guest Relations and short excursions, Deck 3
00:50 Shopping arcade,Deck 5
00:58 Solarium pool area, Deck 10
01:07 Fitness, Deck 10
01:14 Casino, Deck 4
01:22 Cellar masters deck 5
01:42 Cosmos Lounge at Deck 11
01:51 Metropolitan Main Daining restaurant Deck 4 and 5
02:03 Martini Bar, Deck 5
02:07 Olympic restaurant,  Deck 3
02:24 Library, Deck 7 and 8
02:34 iLounge, deck 6
02:38 Michaels at Deck 4
02:45 celebrity Theatre deck 4 and 5
02:58 Pool area at Deck 10

Friday, February 1, 2013

Itinerary Map with link to videos

Map with itinerary and link to videos - click on blue mark to watch video

Show Gems of Southeast Asia on a bigger map.
Cruise Ports:
Departing from Singapore; Lombok, Indonesia; Komodo, Indonesia; Benoa, Bali, Indonesia; Port Klang, Malaysia; Penang, Malaysia; Phuket, Thailand; Singapore.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Back in Singapore - Last Day of the Cruise

Singapore - walking tour through the city - a short video.
Disembarkation was smooth and well organised. As you disembark you clear customs and immigrations. We found our cases very quickly. 
As we cleared customs we delivered our suitcases for storage and took a taxi from the cruise terminal into Singapore city - was dropped at Raffel hotel - and from there we went along Bridge Road to Little Arabia - here we went through some very picturesque streets towards Serangoon Road and a very colorful Little India with shops, markets and restaurants.
We walked back toward the city center down to Singapore River - fascinating to see how old meets new. We ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant on the quay at Singapore River. 
From here along South Bridge Road to China Town - again a very picturesque area with busy people.
From China town we went up to the modern shopping areas along Orchard Road - a great contrast to the fields in Little India and China Town.
Finally back to the Marina Bay Cruise terminal to pick up our luggage, change our close and prepare for the long flights back home.
From the cruise terminal we took a taxi to the airport.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

At Sea

So it's another day at sea - and unfortunately the last. We sailed through the Bay of Bengal to Singapore - last destination of the trip.
The day we started with breakfast in the Olympic restaurant.
After breakfast we walked around the ship - had a meeting with 'future cruises' and kept in touch with the outside world in iLounge. Before lunch we read and after lunch there was both time Fitness and sundeck.

The suitcases had to be packed before 11pm and placed outside the cabin. When the suitcases were out the front door, it was time for the tour last glass of red wine in the tropical night air on our balcony.

Passports were returned to us on the last sea day. Instructions were left in our cabin, giving information of where and when to collect them. We were asked to take the passport receipt when collecting them. This was organised and there was no queue what so ever when I collected my passports. Nice to get the passports back with all the visa stamps.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Patong Beach, Phuket Island

Visit to Patong Beach, Phuket Island at our 14 Night Gems of Southeast Asia Cruise on Celebrity Millennium.
We anchored in Patong bay with about 20 minutes tender-voyage to Patong Beach.
A typical Thai resort town and very touristy. We walked along the beach and through market streets. Lots of stalls where you could buy counterfeit goods and food vendors. The short video does give a feeling of the city tour.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Penang - Circle the Island and temples

A video from our Penang Circle the Island tour.
From the hustle and bustle of Georgetown's waterfront to the countryside of Penang. Circle the island to see some of the most interesting sights. Visit the Thai Buddhist Temple, which houses the 4th largest Reclining Buddha in the world measuring 108 feet long. The Burmese Buddhist Temple sitting across the road spices up the already rich cultural diversity of Penang. Leisurely drive towards the northern tip of the island passing beautiful coves and bays of Batu Ferringhi. Nearby is the Craft Batik workshop, where the intricate and timeless art of printing  the cloth with wax and dyes is demonstrated. Scents of clove and nutmeg  follows as your driver pass through the hills. Stop at a local fruit & spice stall for a firsthand look at the fresh spices and local fruits. See the other facade of Penang, the tranquil Malay Villages, called  Kampung. Return to the ship.

A short video from Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram, Thai Buddhist Temple and
Dhammikarama, Burmese Buddhist Temple in Penang, Malaysia

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kuala Lumpur on your Own

We docked at Port Klang which is located about 45 km west of Kuala Lumpur
After breakfast we went on tour - 'Kuala Lumpur of your own' where we were driven by bus to Bukit Bintang in the center of Kuala Lumpur.
It is difficult and hot to walk on foot in the city. So we took the monorail and metro from Bukit Bintang to China town, where we walked through the market streets around Jalan Pataling and visited a temple the markets.
From China town we walked to the Central Market and then on to Merdeka Square and the Royal Selangor Club. We passed the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Masjid Jamek on our further way to Little India - a very colorful area.
Here we walked through the shopping street Lebuh Ampang, and then we went back to Bukit Bintang and passed Bukit Nanas Forrest Reserve which is a piece of rainforest in the middle of the city - unfortunately we did not have time for a visit.
Back at the Plaza Rakyat in Bukit Bintang we took the bus back to the ship.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

At Sea

Celebrity Millennium Main Dining Room.
Today we again passed over the equator and is now back in the northern hemisphere.
We read and got some sun (in the shade) in the morning and in the afternoon we went to a 'tea party'.
There was also time for a trip to the gym - and the evening dinner at the Metropolitan restaurant - with a single glass of wine before dinner.
A relaxing day at sea within the next three days tour.

Monday, January 14, 2013

At Sea

We are now heading north and we sail along the north coast of Java.
In the morning we read and for lunch we were invited to a Captains Club event in Cosmos Lounge with entertainment.
In the afternoon a little more reading and sun (in the shade) - we are close to the equator and the temperature at 33C.
Late in the afternoon a walk in the gym and before dinner we got a Manhattan in the Cosmos lounge bar and dinner at the Metropolitan restaurant.
After dinner we walked around the ship and closed the evening with coffee and cake at Cafe al Bacio.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bali Way of Life

Bali Way of Life tour at our 14 Night gems of Southeast Asia cruise on celebrity Millennium.
We were tended into Benoa harbor, where the tour bus was waiting.
First stop was at a silver smithy in Celuk - the silver smithy was not so interesting, but it was very interesting to see the property and how the rich houses are decorated.
We continued to Bangli where we visited a Hindu temple - here they were getting ready for a big ceremony next week and the temple was being dressed up for the celebration with plenty of decorating. Everybody entering the temple are required to wear a sarong .
After the temple we drove to Penglipuran, where we visited a traditional Hindu village  where we had free time to wander around the village. The local people were very friendly and keen to show us their homes and tell us about their life and culture - we got a nice insight in the way of living.
Then we continued to Kintamini in the northern part of Bali. Here we got a  lunch of traditional Bali dishes - incredibly interesting to try the different local dishes. The restaurant had a great view of the volcanoes Abang and Batur with crater lake (Batur lake).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tendering at Benoa, Bali

Tendering process in Benoa, Bali at the 14 night Gems of Southeast Asia cruise on Celebrity Millennium.
Tendering time from the Millennium into Benoa harbor was approx. 40 mins and in order to get all the passengers ashore in a timely matter, Celebrity had made arrangements with local companies and 2 large boats were doing the tendering in addition to the Millennium lifeboat tenders.
The local captains on the two large boats were not experienced with tendering and did have some problems getting alongside the Millennium. Also the sea was quite choppy.

In the early afternoon we took a tender into Benoa - a trip of about 30 minutes - here we took a taxi to Kuta a seaside resort on the southeast coast - we walked around town a few hours and then at the beach - here we were part of an English-hours because students were interviewing tourists - a very fun experience. We looked at urban life before we took a taxi back to Benoa.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Kampung Komodo

Visit to kampung Komodo - a short video
See pictures from Komodo  at this link (Komodo Dragons and Kampung Komodo Village).
The Komodo National Park is a national park in Indonesia located within the Lesser Sunda Islands in the border region between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara. The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones, with a total area of 1,733 km≤ (603 km≤ of it land).

The only village here is the coastal village of Kampung Komodo, a fishing Village in an east-coast bay. Kampung Komodo has 1,100 residents and 300 houses where the  ethnic Bugis fishermen have managed to coexist  with the 2,000 dragons who dominate the island. The remoteness of Kampung Komodo means that it is well behind your every day run of the mill village, especially with regards to the infrastructure, medication and education.  The villagers build their homes on stilts a the only new building is the school which was part funded by the Australian government.

Komodo Dragon Adventure

A video from the Komodo National Park.
See pictures from Komodo  at this link (Komodo Dragons and Kampung Komodo Village) - one of the New7Wonders of Nature.
At the entrance too the Komodo National Park we got information on the tour before we guided by a ranger entered the forrest to meet the dragons.
The ranger has enough experience in dealing with the Komodo Dragon and they always carries Y-branched wood stick, resembling Komodo dragons tongue.
We did meet several dragons and passed by a dragon nest - a hole in the ground used for nesting (time 01:56). The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also known as the Komodo monitor, the world's largest lizard which lives in the Komodo National Park. is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Padar.
The average male adult is about 2.5 to 3 metres (10 ft) in length and weighs in at around 50 - 70 kilograms (150 lb). They can move quickly and run at a speed of up to 20 kilometres per hour. It is a vulnerable species and is found on the IUCN Red List.
There are approximately 4,000 to 5,000 living Komodo dragons in the wild.
The tall grass on the islands provides good cover for the dragon, and most attacks occur from ambush when prey passes within strike range. If they cannot kill prey immediately they will try to bite the animal on the leg or on the throat. Later, they will follow and wait for the animal to weaken and die before they eat it. There are over 60 types of bacteria in the dragon's saliva and at least one of them can cause septicemia. After being bitten, the prey can take a day to a couple of weeks to die from blood-poisoning.
Deer is one of the wild animals living in Komodo Island, east part of Indonesia National Park and it always become food source for Komodo dragon.

Komodo has a surface area of 390 km2 and a permanent population of over 2,000.
The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones, with a total area of 1,733 km≤ (603 km2 of it land) in Indonesia.
The national park was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon and is one of  the New7Wonders of Nature

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lombok - Island Tour and Waterfall

A short video from the Island Tour.
It was the first large cruise ship that visited Lombok - so that local authorities were not experienced.
It meant little traffic problems around the harbor and problems with logistics - but we did however go on our tour of Lombok. The coastline on the east coast is very beautiful. On the east side of the island is cultivated mainly rice, while there is very dry in the northern part of the island. Housing and living conditions are very primitive.
We ate lunch at a restaurant and the island's largest waterfall.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

At Sea

watch the video from the ship.
Wednesday takes us north of Java on the way to Lombok. Weather has been a bit cooler- now it's only 27C!
In the morning we were an hour on the sun deck before we went down to hear a lecture on Galapagos - pretty exciting and a lot of useful information before our cruise in the Galapagos in the fall.
In the early afternoon we went to a wine tasting seminar - not because we need to learn more about wine, but it is interesting to taste a variety of new wines against each other.
it was more for a few hours sun in the afternoon before we went into the gym.
There was a 'Welcome Back Party' for Captains Club members and then dinner at the Metropolitan, and we slutteded the evening with a glass of white wine in the martini bar.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

At Sea

After 3 hectic days, it's great having a relaxing day at sea - we sailed down between Borneo and Sumatra.
Fine weather, 33C and high humidity. Breakfast and lunch in the Oceanview Cafe.

The evening was the 'formal night' - we startde evening with a drink in Cosmos Lounge bar and dinner in the Metropolitan restaurant.
After dinner we walked around the ship - we were moved into a tropical rain - so we had to keep us inside doors.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Crossing the Line (Equator)

Crossing the Line ceremony when Celebrity Millennium was crossing Equator on her journey from Singapore to Lombok on the 14 Night Gems of Southeast Asia Cruise, January 7, 2013.

The Tradition of the Crossing The Line Ceremony.
The ceremony of Crossing the Line is an initiation rite that commemorates a sailor's first crossing of the Equator. Equator-crossing ceremonies, typically featuring King Neptune, are for passengers' entertainment on ocean liners and cruise ships. The ceremonies are also performed in the merchant navy and aboard sail training ships.
The ritual is a ceremony presided over by King Neptune (the ancient ruler of the seas) who wears a gold crown and holds a trident.
The proceedings consisted of several phases or 'acts'. As part of the ritual polywogs (those who have not previously been initiated) are dunked in water. This procedure is intended to cleanse the initiate of the 'dirt of the North'. Tradition stated that seamen had to be cleansed of impurities, both physical and mental. Once completed the polywog or initiate is designated as a shellback (Sailors who have already crossed the Equator).
personal weaknesses or embarrassing occurrences. On occasion this was an acceptable way to give a hard poke to an individual.

Celebrity departure from Singapore (tugboats at work)
Celebrity Millennium is departing from Singapore Harbor on her 14 Night Gems og Southeast Asia Cruise january 6, 2013.
Watch the tug boats guiding the cruise ship out of the Harbor and the pilot boat heading up along the side og the ship.

Singapore, and Departure

First day in Singapore at our 14 Night Gems of Southeast Asia Cruise with Celebrity Millennium.
We decided to go to the Garden by the bay. We only had a few hours; everyone had to be back on board by 12pm. The Marina bay cruise centre is not close to anything.

The gardens and lake area are free to wander around but if you chose to go in the domes (flower dome and cloud forest) or on the sky walk there is a fee 
Marina Bay Sands features three 55-story hotel towers which were topped out in July 2009. The three towers are connected by a 1 hectare sky terrace on the roof, named Sands SkyPark
From the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck there is a beautiful view to the city, Singapore flyer and the cruise terminal.

Visa to Indonesis (visits to Lombok, Komodo island and Bali)
Visa was organised by Celebrity. At check in guests were given a card for the Indonesian visa, these needed to be filled in and handed in with your passport prior to the ship departing Singapore. We were informed to go to Cosmos lounge on deck 11. At the Cosmos lounge our sea passes were scanned, visa card and passport was checked and a receipt for passport was given to us. The visa cost US$25 and was charged to room account. A visa was required for all passengers on board (except for Asian national and certain South American citizens). The visa was mandatory and was needed to be completed whether you intended to go ashore or not. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Arriving into Singapore

We arrived into Singapore in the after noon.I had booked transfer from the airport to the cruise terminal,
 It took less than an hour from the time we landed until we were at the cruise terminal
Upon arrived at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, we handed our luggage over to a porter and were directed inside.
Now we turn to the tropics and temperatures over 30C.
We went around to see the entire ship - this is  our first trip with Celebrity, so some new routines and locations we must turn to. We got unpacked and adapt ourselves to the narrow yet sufficiet space in the cabin.
At about 7 we ate dinner in the main restaurant and after dinner we went up to enjoy the evening on the deck and watch Singapore 'by night' from the deck.