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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cruising, Fun On A Star


Barely before sailing we have one of the most efficient and fastest safety briefing ever. By the time we arrive at our muster station it is practically over.


Snapshot 1 (1-30-2016 9-14 AM)Just like that our “Fun On A Star” begins.

Fun On A Star

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Philippines, Manila Cock Fighting


Although we had been led to believe “Cock Fighting” was a popular venue in Manila we are having a difficult time getting information about it. After several attempts talking to different locals we finally find someone with some good 411.


IMG_20151115_084737With this information in hand we make plans for an early get up on a Sunday morning to head to Pasay City Cockpit.





Having been to a bull fight once I am not really to fond of this outing. However, our son is excited about it so I basically tag along for the experience.

We watch a few fights with a mostly male audience who almost go in a frenzy betting on the fights. A few of them even tried to solicit us into playing along although we felt much safer just being spectators.

Interestingly, there is not always a winner and loser in the fights. Unfortunately some roosters that survive get a trip to “The Rooster Doctor” for repairs to later rejoin the circuit.



IMG_20151115_095444The Rooster Doctor


What an experience to watch him do his magic and even perform man to rooster mouth to beak resuscitation.

To my surprise cock fighting was much less unpleasant than watching a bull fight and another good lesson for me in how we are all so culturally different.

Experiencing these things for us is truly a part of the joy of traveling.

Cock Fighting In Manila

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cruising, On A Star Under A Bridge


Our first cruise out of Tampa, Florida and of 2016 turns out to be surprisingly a lot of fun with an early highlight of sailing under “The Skyway Bridge”.



IMG_20160110_182029Skyway Bridge


For a 93K ton ship not only is navigating the channel to the bridge impressive but even more so is passing mere feet under it.

NCL Star Under A Bridge

Philippines, Manila By Night


Part of our night exploration of Manila has us going against the flow of traffic on a busy street as we pass by The National Museum. Our destination is Chinatown one of the oldest such market area outside of China.



IMG_20151114_181308For us the area turns out to be a bit of a disappointment but probably not as bad as it could have been.

We learned from a taxi cab driver the day after visiting that it is not one of the safest places to be in Manila especially at night.




Our second night is spent enjoying one of the locals passion, karaoke. We end up at the Star Of Manila which has one of the best karaoke set up we have ever seen. It is not too busy the night we visit and we end up having the good fortune of meeting one of the bar owners, Steve. This turns out to be a treat as we get to learn more about business and Manila life from a foreigner’s perspective.



IMG_20151116_002008Star Of Manila


We finish the night with a walk towards the American Embassy with Steve and his bodyguard who then escorts us back to our hotel.

Tomorrow, we set out for another unique Manila experience but this time only two of us will be a part of it.