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Marella Discovery Itinerary Change. Colours of the Far East (Merged threads).

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Back home after a gruelling 13 hour flight yesterday.  Thank you to the ignorant couple in front who, yet again, reclined their seats fully right after take off and kept them that way for the whole 13 hours just like the flight out.  I digress, before leaving the stand in captain said that they were hoping for full propulsion from the weekend.  Why I don’t know, as no repairs done but this is the ship that made no mention of it during our cruise until leaving day and seemed to be operating in a bubble regarding Coronavirus.  Not a word about it or how to be hygienic, thank goodness nearly all the ports took our temperatures before going through.  Perhaps trips to markets are not a good idea.  Manchester airport didn’t even check our temperatures and allowed a whole plane load of cruise passengers to disappear into the ether, relying on honesty about coughs and fever.  The same couple in front coughed continuously throughout the flight but seemed to make a miraculous recovery when the announcement was made on arrival at a Manchester.  Here endeth the lesson, glad to be home after a very long day.  First week good, second not so with too many sea days and Cambodia and Vietnam not worth the long journey, in my opinion but others might disagree.  Highlights, Langkawi, Koh Samui and Singapore for us, plus some beautiful temples, sea eagles, monkeys, etc.  Thank goodness we flew into Langkawi as it is a small but well appointed airport only half an hour away, Bangkok is a two hour drive.

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If you fly into Bangkok the airport in U-tapeo which is not actually in Bangkok .It is about a 45 min /max 1 hr transfer to ship .

i am glad we started in Laem Chabang as we started with the weaker week and ports got better as we went along finishing on a real high in Koh Samui. We also really enjoyed the long stay over two long days in Langkawi in the middle. It felt like we were there for ages and was very enjoyable. Also if you start in Langkawi the first few days are very hectic after the long flight out . Starting from Laem Chabang is a more gradual start. Hope this personal opinion may help anyone looking to book in future .

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Glad to hear Bangkok airport is not so far away.  We seem to have done a lot of long coach excursions the last fortnight.  Best one was not long though, Singapore, with a great guide who I think was called Jimmy but we called him Mr Woo after the character in Benidorm as his laugh was identical and so funny, anyone who has seen it will know what I mean. Great guy who appreciated the British influence there. Paul, the MC, has finished and was on our flight home and had us in hysterics as he took over the PA for a few minutes, a great double act with captain Chris who hopefully will be back for you after next week.  Apparently he has to testify in a murder trial, a dastardly murder which happened elsewhere where, rumour has it, a passenger allegedly strangled his wife and tipped her over the balcony.  Hopefully not true but ladies keep an eye on your husbands while on the balcony😉.  Jet lagged brain isn’t working now so off for a nap.  Oh yes, guess what? No refund yet.

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On 2/14/2020 at 12:04 PM, rickg8 said:

Does anyone know if there's an ATM in the cruise terminal at Langkawi?

Anyone, maybe @ecko or @Southendweather? I'm going diving in Langkawi but only just organised it, so probably too late to order currency before we leave. Wondering if I need to pay over-the-odds at the airport or if I can just use the ATM when I get off the ship. Thanks!

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Okay, I can add a little more. At the Captains speech tonight (1/2 hour ago) he informed us we had left Penang later as the repairs had been tested and were complete. So we will be staying longer in Singapore and Koh Samui and Malacca is back. This a great news for us and anyone yet to cruise on Discovery, but a bitter sweet pill for those who missed out.

 

Re currency, because we booked many excursions with the ship we don't need a lt, so we changed £50 to Malaysian on the ship, lousy rate, but we find with the trips we never got time to find a ATM. If we did purchase anything larger I would probably use my card.

 

AT Langkawi Airport we had to collect our bags off the carousel and carry them to the van.

 

Keith (Southend)

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35 minutes ago, rickg8 said:

Anyone, maybe @ecko or @Southendweather? I'm going diving in Langkawi but only just organised it, so probably too late to order currency before we leave. Wondering if I need to pay over-the-odds at the airport or if I can just use the ATM when I get off the ship. Thanks!

There is no cruise terminal in Langkawi, the local are happy to take US$.

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ekco ...How did you book ? We eventually found out that because we had booked through a TUI shop we had to go into a shop to process refund ! We didnt realise we had booked through a shop ! We booked over the phone and the call was routed to the Mansfield shop ,about 150 miles from where we live.We were able to sign for refund in local shop but it was processed through Mansfield ! No one actually told us this ,we only found out when we rang to ask where refund was ? !

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3 hours ago, ekco said:

Glad to hear Bangkok airport is not so far away.  We seem to have done a lot of long coach excursions the last fortnight.  Best one was not long though, Singapore, with a great guide who I think was called Jimmy but we called him Mr Woo after the character in Benidorm as his laugh was identical and so funny, anyone who has seen it will know what I mean. Great guy who appreciated the British influence there. Paul, the MC, has finished and was on our flight home and had us in hysterics as he took over the PA for a few minutes, a great double act with captain Chris who hopefully will be back for you after next week.  Apparently he has to testify in a murder trial, a dastardly murder which happened elsewhere where, rumour has it, a passenger allegedly strangled his wife and tipped her over the balcony.  Hopefully not true but ladies keep an eye on your husbands while on the balcony😉.  Jet lagged brain isn’t working now so off for a nap.  Oh yes, guess what? No refund yet.

Our friends had the £250pp as soon as they returned paid onto their card. They did book through a TA. That was three weeks ago. 

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We booked online Margaret, it’s the same old story with no information.  Same on the ship with the cabin coffee machines, no pods, always coming tomorrow.  We had to go to reception to find out we could get coffee charged to the ship at the coffee lounge.  It seems we were the only ones to find out about this as the manageress knew us by sight.  We will wait until after the weekend to see if the refund appears on the credit card we used on our ships account but I’m not holding my breath.

 

Regarding currency, it’s difficult if you only need small amounts as you get a lower rate.  They will rip you off using US dollars and give you change in their currency to their benefit so on consideration you might as well change on the ship to save the bother.  In Singapore they use English on all signs so I would think using an ATM should be easy.  In Thailand it was not as easy as we thought it would be, the ATM’s are in the Thai written language so impossible to understand and not worth the risk of putting your card in.  As I said earlier there are change booths on the jetty in Koh Samui which I wished we had used as little stress there, US dollars not much use for spending there so changing pounds would be better, take a photocopy of your passport in Thailand.  Not as cheap there as we thought it would be.

 

Regarding Koh Samui if you can take a sandwich or a sausage for an extremely thin but friendly big black and white dog to the right side from the jetty I am sure he would appreciate it.  His ribs and spine are showing, very sad.  We had nothing with us unfortunately.

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Hi Ekco glad you had a great cruise Was CD Paul Evans from Rotherham? If so he was our CD on a Transatlantic 2018 back to Palma and was fantastic fun. It was his last cruise as his wife had recently given birth and he was getting a job at home So I wonder if he was acting as a locum I.e. Just doing stand ins for short term cover

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That’s the one, he did say he was officially unemployed at midnight on the day before we got to Langkawi so not sure if he meant permanently as the show team and a lot of the spa girls came back on the Birmingham and Manchester flights.  It is now 3.30am and I have been in bed since 8pm so all over the place, lol.  The weather is wild here tonight, I find wind very unsettling.

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48 minutes ago, Southendweather said:

image.thumb.png.26566f9bda7dccf579970301ef2d1d48.png

Wow!! Looks amazing! Did you do a trip or visit on your own? What would you recommend?

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45 minutes ago, Jane25 said:

Wow!! Looks amazing! Did you do a trip or visit on your own? What would you recommend?

Did a trip, it’s about 1 1/2 hours by coach from the port, the port there is nothing.

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1 minute ago, Southendweather said:

Did a trip, it’s about 1 1/2 hours by coach from the port, the port there is nothing.

Free WiFi in the port shops, what I am using atm

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27 minutes ago, Southendweather said:

Did a trip, it’s about 1 1/2 hours by coach from the port, the port there is nothing.

Great. Thanks for the info.

Edited by Jane25

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*Asia 'Enchanting Far East Cruise' weather overview*    
                   
14th February 2020              
                   
Max °C Min °C Rain (mm) Bar(mb) Trend Hum% Wind (mph) Weather Location
31.9 26.0 - 1010.6 F 53 SW 5 Haze Laem Chabang(81m)
34.5 27.1 - 1009.5 F 57 SE 6 Haze Bangkok Metropolis(3m)
29.8 27.4 - 1008.8 F 36 Calm 0 Haze Ko Samui(7m)
32.2 26.4 TR 1010.3 Fs 74 SW 6 No change Langkawi(8m)
33.5 25.1 TR 1009.6 F 73 SW 6 Haze Penang(4m)
33.9 25.4 26.0 1009.2 F 68 SW 10 Haze Kuala Lumpur(27m)
33.9 24.9 - 1010.1 * 62 NE 8 Haze Malacca(9m)
31.9 26.1 - 1010.3 * 60 NE 10 Haze Singapore(22m)
31.0 24.2 - 1010.8 F 63 SE 6 * Ho Chi Minh City-Nha Be(2m)
x 22.5 - x * * - - * Kompong Som/Ville Ex Sihanoukville(16m)
                   
(At Langkawi)  

 

 

           

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Lots of immigration forms to sign for Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam. The ship print all your details out, all you have to do is sign and hand them in. Incidentally the ship keep our/your passports when you check in. I believe we will be given these back tomorrow as you need them to get in and out of Singapore, then they keep them again. Singapore does look like having the most faffing about getting in/out. I have also heard the screening is is a bit more stringent. Just thought I would make this known. Nothing to worry about atm.

 

Keith (Southend)

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Ekco thanks for reply Gavin Carroll had told us that Paul was working as a car salesman so I do hope he has a job to go back to but keeping his finger in the pie by doing locum cruises - he is such a talent

Also pleased to hear the ships engines have been fixed I was beginning to wonder if when we got to Malta we might have ended up in the dockyard to complete the repairs, which is where she was for a few weeks maintenance before she set off for the Far East

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It’s like going in and out of an airport at Singapore, bags screened and passports checked, we’ve been off the ship twice, no queues so no issues. I’m sure the Marina Bay Sands Skypark is where the conference centre is that all the problems started here at Singapore. Loads of temperature screening, but never causes any delays 👍

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Just checked my Three mobile account, data has been part of my allowance here at Singapore so no extra charges. I think Vietnam 🇻🇳 is also the case with Three.

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You were lucky, we queued for an hour to get off then the same to get back on in Singapore. The first week is very full on, every day is busy so we took time out in Koh Samui to wander around and find the beach and then walked up a country lane inland.  The other Thai days are very long and busy and the port is a container port and noisy so a day at sea after that is welcome to regroup. No chance to diy at this port.  The temples in Bangkok are magnificent, I haven’t posted photos as it would be like telling someone what is in their birthday present before they open it.  Enjoy.

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*Asia 'Enchanting Far East Cruise' weather overview*    
                   
15th February 2020              
                   
Max °C Min °C Rain (mm) Bar(mb) Trend Hum% Wind (mph) Weather Location
33.4 26.5 - 1011.2 F 50 SW 8 Haze Laem Chabang(81m)
35.2 24.5 - 1010.7 F 57 S 5 Haze Bangkok Metropolis(3m)
29.7 25.0 - 1009.9 F 28 W 4 * Ko Samui(7m)
32.3 26.3 TR 1011.9 Fs 79 SW 6 Cloud Decr Langkawi(8m)
32.0 26.6 - 1011.8 R 71 SW 10 Haze Penang(4m)
32.6 25.0 0.4 1012.3 F 70 NW 8 Haze Kuala Lumpur(27m)
31.7 24.6 - 1012.4 * 72 W 8 Adj. Ppn Malacca(9m)
32.7 25.1 - 1011.7 * 56 NE 7 Haze Singapore(22m)
31.7 24.2 - 1011.8 F 56 S 6 * Ho Chi Minh City-Nha Be(2m)
x x - x * * - - * Kompong Som/Ville Ex Sihanoukville(16m)
                   
At Penang                  

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