I've never had a burning desire to go on a cruise. Not sure why. I've lived at/very close to the coast for most of my life, and I love the ocean. Yet, I've never yearned to go on a cruise. But when one plan after another fell through for this Christmas holidays and a colleague asked if I'd consider going along on a cruise through Asia, it sounded like a fun thing to do.
So, tomorrow morning early, I'm off to Singapore. From there, we'll board the Ocean Princess, setting sail for Manila, Philippines, where we'll arrive on December 26.
12/26: In Manila, I'll spend the morning exploring with Cesar (a classmate from BGU) and his family. Then it's back on the boat and head to China.
12/28: Arrive in Xiamen, where a colleague from school will show us around his city. I've never been to Xiamen, so this'll be a fun chance to see the city through a local's eyes. Then it's back on the ship and head further north, to an even colder city, Shanghai.
12/30: Though I have several friends in Shanghai, all of them are traveling for the holidays, so I'll likely go to a museum or simply walk around the Bund. Then, head south to warmer waters. We'll bring in the New Year somewhere between Shanghai and Hong Kong.
1/2: Looking forward to seeing the Eitemiller family in Hong Kong. Jessica was in my youth group in Taiwan, and by now, she's married and has a baby! I'll also get to see her sister Joelle (who's also in college by now) and hang out with their wonderful family at their home for the day. Then set sail further south, back toward the equator.
1/4: This'll be my first time to visit Vietnam, so I'm looking forward to seeing Nha Trang. If the temples that this area's most famous for is too far, I'll see if I can get a dive in!
1/5: Next stop: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I bet there'll be plenty to see in this city before we set sail to return to Singapore.
1/7: Back in Singapore, and hop on a plane back to Jakarta.
Kiptoo's going along, and I think he's excited. He's not been doing much exploring lately, so he made sure he's got everything ready to have some fun. He and I will post updates as/when we are able.