Feb 23rd – Singapore (again!)

Well Singapore again! No tours for us just some shopping and sight seeing. But first, by now, the infamous Singapore Customs and Immigration which went well leaving the ship given our previous experience here last week. By shopping I mean a trip to a drug store for cold remedies 😱 and then it was off to the Marina Sands Hotel viewing roof. Although a grey day it still yielded beautiful 360 views of Singapore. We had hoped to have a drink and perhaps lunch but the bar doesn’t open until 5pm (oh the horror) so it was back to the ship for us. One must clear Customs and Immigration to get back on the ship. This took over an hour and was chaotic to say the least. That evening the 930 passengers doing the entire world voyage were treated to a banquet ashore by Cunard at the beautiful Gardens by the Bay. Unfortunately, guests were kept waiting 2 1/2 hours by Singapore Customs and Immigration! Many, many passesengers have said they won’t come back and one wonders if Cunard will consider not stopping here in the future.

As per previous posts, Singapore is a beautiful treed city with little pollution or traffic congestion. It boasts the #1 education system in the world, 80% home ownership and the best airport in the world. The streets are clean and there are almost no overweight people. Of course, this success comes at a cost. The fines for littering are high and the cost of smuggling drugs is your life. The autocratic gov’t has tight controls over protests and the opposition—although there are several parties only one has held office since the country’s independence in the 60s. One citizen was arrested and jailed for being a protest of one as he held up a cardboard sign with a smiley face on it.

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