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The Splendor of the Sultan

Follow my journey from Hong Kong to Miami during a 70-day partial world cruise on the Oceania Insignia.  Today I experienced the grandeur of Brunei.  Following is a pictorial of a few of the sights.

Brunei is a sovereign state located on the north coast of Borneo, in the South China Sea.  This small country has the largest number of oil fields in Southeast Asia.  With its vast gas and oil reserves, Brunei’s immense wealth is obvious from the opulence depicted in the photos within this post.

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The Istana Nural Iman Palace, home to the Sultan of Brunei, is an impressive sight.  The $400 million residence includes nearly 1,800 rooms; 257 bathrooms; and a 5,000 seat banquet hall.

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DSCN7057Within the Royal Regalia Museum, one can view exhibits from the Sultan’s lavish coronation, including His Majesty’s royal chariot and various gifts from visiting foreign dignitaries.

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Jerudong Playground Park is the smallest and most expensive amusement park in Southeast Asia.  The park was built and funded by the government of Brunei and had no admission fees and free rides when it first opened.  Although the grounds appear to be impeccably maintained, only few rides remain; most are for sale or have been sold.

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The Empire Hotel is a Brunei landmark, so opulent that its lobby chandelier costs more than a million dollars.

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Majestic Kinabalu

Follow my journey from Hong Kong to Miami during a 70-day cruise on the Oceania Insignia.  Today’s adventure took us to Mount Kinabalu Park to hike the Silau Silau Nature trail.  Read the rest of this entry

The Charms of Old Manila

Follow my journey from Hong Kong to Miami during my 70-day cruise on the Oceania Insignia.  Today’s segment continues our city tour of Manila, touching on the milestones of the history of Manila and the Philippines.

We visited Rizal Park which was built in honor of the country’s hero, Dr. José Rizal.  Dr. Rizal was a doctor and novelist who was shot by a firing squad in 1896 on grounds that he was organizing a rebellion against the Spanish government.  Read the rest of this entry

Traditional Manila

Follow my journey from Hong Kong to Miami during my 70-day cruise on the Oceania Insignia.  Today’s segment takes me on a city tour of Manila, Philippines.

Here are a few pictures from my tour of Manila. Some say it has changed little in the past decades.  Life goes on in the heart of Manila… locals go about their everyday routine.  Read the rest of this entry

The Journey Begins

I recently returned from a 70 day “half world” cruise.  Well, it wasn’t exactly half of the full 180-day world cruise that commenced in Miami back in July; but I like to think of it as such.  My husband and I boarded the Oceania Insignia in Hong Kong in October, 2015, and remained on board for 70 days until the cruise ended in Miami on January 4, 2016.  Read the rest of this entry

50 Years of “The Love Boat”

Princess Cruises marked its upcoming 50th anniversary in 2015 by using the theme of the old television series The Love Boat during the christening ceremony of its newest ship, The Regal Princess, while the ship docked in Port Everglades prior to embarking on her maiden season to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale. Read the rest of this entry

River Cruise or Ocean Cruise…Can’t Decide? Now the two are now combined!

Ocean cruising and River cruising; two totally different experiences, right? Celebrity Cruises has recently announced that they will be partnering with Amras Cruises, a Boston-based company, to create a combination ocean and river cruise package.  Amras Cruises represents Amadeus by Luftner Cruises in the North American market.  Amadeus by Luftner Cruises is an Austrian company. Though the company is well-known in Europe, it has worked at breaking into the North American market throughout the past couple of years.  The partnership with Celebrity Cruises just might be a win-win for everyone. Read the rest of this entry

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