Monday, January 9, 2017

Seabourn Encore: The Inaugural Cruise - Part II (Getting to the Seabourn Encore - Seabourn Style)

My travels from Lake Tahoe to Singapore to meet the Seabourn Encore ranged from horrible to, well, Seabourn-esque.  What follows is a classic tale of how stuff happens and you can focus on it...or be wow'd by how the problem is solved.  I almost always go with the latter.

Introducing the Seabourn Encore
Long story short, American Airlines not only jerked me around with delayed flights and not protecting me so that I could make my connecting flight on Singapore Airlines…resulting in my making my connection (for which I had a 4.5 hour window) with only 10 minutes to spare…but its baggage handlers rifled through one of my locked bags by cutting the lock and stealing a number of items.  

Singapore Airlines Premium Economy is 'premium"
with larger, comfortable, seats, calf and foot rests, Book the Cook
dining options and more
And then things changed for the better.  Singapore Airlines was excellent.  My confirmed seat was somehow lost, but they put me back in the best premium economy seat - there was about 6 feet of space in front of me - with nobody sitting next to me.  Singapore Air has a Book the Cook option where you can pre-order specially prepared meal and each one was presented as ordered:  Lamb biryani, Dim Sum and Kimchi Fried Rice; and they were each quite tasty.

After a 2 hour scheduled layover in Seoul, South Korea we arrived about 30 minutes early in Singapore at 5:30 AM. Seabourn provided a private transfer to the Four Seasons Singapore, a beautiful property (though a bit out of the way), and my room was waiting for me along with an excellent and diverse breakfast.  (I, of course, chose the Asian options.)

Four Seasons Singapore's room are spacious and well appointed.

A very nice Seabourn touch.  Note the marzipan cruise ship!
It was then that I discovered that, among the other things, American Airlines stole from my bag was my camera!  (As so obviously American Airline's responsibility, it immediately authorized the replacement of my camera.)  I asked the Isley, the Four Seasons Singapore Concierge where the best place was for me to purchase a replacement camera.  She asked me if I knew what model I wanted.  I told her and she said she would call me back.  She contacted over a dozen camera shops and eventually found one for me.  I took a taxi to the shop and, ironically, the camera I really wanted was located in the shop next to it.  Problem solved…due to excellent service; and a bit of luck.  So my disgust with American Airlines turned to appreciation of Isley, the Concierge at the Four Seasons Singapore.  Alas, the little things are the ones that matter the most!  

Isley - Four Seasons Singapore Concierge
She became my personal shopper extraordinaire
After a bit of a rest I connected with Tua, one of the Seabourn Ventures expedition leaders.  While this giant Cook Islander specializes in celestial navigation, finding his way around Singapore was on me!  So off to Chinatown we went…

Eric Goldring and Tua, a Seabourn Ventures Expedition Leader
(I love the lucky placement of Chinese woman in the background!)
the day before the big Chinese New Year celebration (and of course, the Seabourn Encore’s Inaugural Celebration).  

Year of the Rooster...obviously!



I wonder what kind of bands and dignitaries
were to show up the next day
The locals were so excited that a number insisted we come back the next day…but we had other plans!



After wandering about and checking out all the culinary opportunities




catching up on life, a few beers and 

Spicy Chili Crab
a spicy chili crab (mandatory when visiting Singapore…even more so than a Singapore Sling at Raffles) at the same tiny restaurant I was at in November, it was time to head back to our respective hotels and get ready to board the Seabourn Encore the next morning.

After a great sleep and another delicious Asian breakfast at the Four Seasons Singapore, it was time for my private transfer to the Seabourn Encore...and there she was!




If you are interested in learning more about the Seabourn Encore or, better, want to book a cruise on this magnificent ship, please give me a call or email me...even when I am onboard her!

United States:             (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom:       020 8133 3450
Australia:                   (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else:      +1 530-562-9232

Or email us at eric@goldringtravel.com