7th December 2018
We awake to the glorious sight of the Singapore skyline. Last time we were here was after our Australian cruise and that morning was misty and murky, this is a complete contrast with sun glinting off the iconic buildings. We are so looking forward to having 2 days to explore Singapore as we only saw it briefly on a taxi ride to the airport last time and there's so much we want to see and do we are eager to disembark and get out there.
After breakfast we head off the ship and walk along the path to reach the MRT - Mass Rapid Transit - we buy a ticket and are soon on our way to the Gardens By the Bay. This beautiful place was opened in 2012 and consists of many different areas. Our first stop is the Flower Dome - a huge dome with areas representing the cool and dry climate of the Mediterranean and showcasing the exotic plants found in 5 continents in 9 different gardens. It is the largest greenhouse in the world and it is truly stunning. As it is now December there is a huge Disney display of Tsum Tsums in Christmas costumes in the middle of the dome, which was a bit overwhelming I thought and it would be good to see it when they weren't there. Nevertheless there are some wonderful things to see and it's interesting reading about the inspiration for some of the displays and some of the sculptures and works of art in amongst the floral displays.
[Kev - C'mon - they must groom some of these cacti to look phallic. I guess this is confirmed by the little sign which reads 'Members only'.]
[Kev - both Tam and I particularly liked this sculpture. It represents a family of travellers.]
[Kev - I sort of understand Tam's point that this display is a little overwhelming, but it's just for the festive season. On the other hand, Disney is for life not just for Christmas.]
The next dome is called The Cloud Forest - this is a cool, moist conservatory which houses the world's tallest indoor waterfall at 30 metres and a surreal mist filled Cloud Walk and Treetop Walk. The colour of the orchids on the waterfall and the atmosphere created by the mists surrounding it add to the atmosphere. We get the lift to the top of the waterfall along a path which takes you to an area where we find an incredible selection of carnivorous plants and from up here you can see the great views over Marina Bay waterfront. Then we walk on the Cloud Walk which takes us down to the plateau below and from here the Tree Top Walk takes us close to the canopy for a bird's eye view of the treetops.
[Kev - the photos really can't do this justice. It's a spectacular place to visit.]
This is a real highlight for me - the colours and smells of all those incredible plants displayed so beautifully really is stunning. We head out of the dome to explore outside - the Supertree Grove and OCBC skyway. The manmade trees here are between 25 and 50 metres tall and are designed with large canopies to provide shade during the day but at night they light up in a spectacular light show. There are 12 of these incredible structures in the Supertree Grove and a further 6 in clusters around the gardens. They were built with a number of environmentally sustainable features including photovoltaic cells to produce solar energy to power the trees for the light show and others are integrated with the cooled conservatories to serve as air exhaust receptacles. Each structure is covered in plants includings ferns, orchids and climbers and they collect water which is then used to irrigate the gardens. We go up the OCBC skyway and walk round in awe as we take in the view of this magnificent city from this vantage point and in particular the Marina Bay Sands Hotel with it's iconic top floor.
[Kev - we were very lucky with the weather. Despite the grey clouds we didn't get rained on at any time in Singapore.]
After a walk through the gardens enjoying the sights there and in particular the sculpture of the Planet - or as we called it the Incredible floating baby and also the dragonfly sculptures on the water we head back to the ship to get ready for tonight.
[Kev - anyone else find this just a little bit creepy?]
We have a table booked for 6pm at one of the restaurants at The Marina Bay Sands Hotel - Ce La Vie. We walk through the downstairs lobby of the hotel which is huge, complete with river with gondolas, shops and some lovely Christmas decorations.
[Kev - now you can't be a Disney fan and not see a comparison to the Contemporary Resort in WDW. Mind you, this place must be about 5 times the size.]
Firstly we have time for a drink at one of the rooftop bars which looks one way over the bay and I have a Singapore Sling as it seems like the perfect place to enjoy one. We then go to the restaurant for our reservation. We've timed this to coincide with sunset and we are lucky and get a great table so we can enjoy the view and from here we can see the floodlit golf course and also the Supertree Grove where we enjoy the first showing of the Garden Light show.
[Kev - the drinks and the meal at the top of the Marina Bay Sands were very expensive compared to anywhere else we went in Singapore, but it was so worth it for the magnificent views.]
[Kev - I was amazed by how many ships are moored up just off the coast in a seemingly haphazard way.]
After a lovely meal we get the lift back to the ground as we are keen to watch the Spectra Light show which is a projected light and water show at the front of the hotel accompanied by music .
From here it's a dash back to the gardens to watch the Garden light show close up and to be able to listen to the music. It's a really magical thing and the way the super trees light up in time to the music and change colour whilst the Christmas music plays is wonderful and really makes me feel Christmassy which feels weird as it is so warm and humid.
It's been a really wonderful first day in Singapore and we head back to the ship very happy that we have been able to see so much of it and still have more to enjoy tomorrow.
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