There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cruising to Nowhere

Cruising to nowhere is not something new to anyone anymore. People usually associate this to gambling ship.  However, last Friday, we had an unforgettable experience of cruising to nowhere which I was hesitant & skeptical in the first place when I was told on the phone of this short trip. Out of my wildest dream, we were actually boarding on the Star Cruise Pisces – one of my wish was to be in any of the Star Cruise liners no matter of its size. I did not even know of this till I was stepping into the cruise but merely knew that  the whole family would be on board a cruise to nowhere for a night.

 Star Cruise Pisces docked at Swettenham Pier (source from the Star)

It was seriously a mad rush for us to check-in considering the fact I was working and little piggy was in school for that day too. The Friday evening traffic & the rush hour were adding up to the stress level of the possibility of missing the boat with regret. I could not believe myself to be on board the well known liner though I have been to similar one once  many years back (a smaller one indeed). A fully sponsored trip by my father in-law for the whole family of the Choos was in fact cherished in silent as the shown of affection in Choos are usually hidden in their own ‘closets’. I’ve got lots of high anticipation as well as my son. For the 1st time, he went to buffet line to get something back for his mamy & I was totally moved by his offer.

 the 3 little piggies

Cruising in the 12 storey,  177m long liner felt as if you were actually holidaying in China. This is because out of the 600 staffs from around 40 different countries, most of them were Chinese citizens.  Plus, there was  this strong feeling of similarity to Genting Highlands as you were offered a string of entertainment outlets plus a not to be missed casinos. Honestly, I wanted to capture beautiful pictures for this intended post but my skill of photography was not at passing level yet & it was also very dark outside preventing me to capture some panoramic  view.

Meanwhile, little piggy was really excited to have all his close family members with him, having companion from the cousin brothers, having so much freedom of choice on his own food selection, having fun filled splish splash time at the mini pool on level 10 & eventually to be able to overnight with his favourite cousin brothers too. One of the brother who is now 12 was smart enough to bring the younger one out exploring the facilities and also to the extend of knowing how to use the access card to purchase goods on board. No cash transaction on board except the use of the access cards that also act as the cabin key card. 

 My key card or access card

Excited kids in the small cabin

A sign of I love U or I love this ship?
A truly happy grandma to have all the grandsons there

While there are various services & outlets on board, most of the later part in the evening especially  after YY went to bed was actually spent in the ktv lounge where even my mother in-law also chilled to hear his son rendering some old tunes. The best part was I could even walk back to the small cabin for a quick shower before returning to join them. It felt so much like a home with convenience and with no worries of getting drunk. Oooops! I was not really drinking though.

The cruise experience was indeed not enough. It should be perfect if the trip was at least 2 nights. As we rushed to disembark, little piggy missed out to bring home his old water tumbler. As such, he formed his imagination that he should be going back to the cruise this Fri & to search for his missing tumbler. 

In short, while each cruise line may have its claim of differences, you can be assured that your experience onboard Star Cruise Pisces coupled with the people whom you bring along will definitely be as pleasant and wonderful as what we had – short vacation without compromising on the value of fostering the family bonding.

P/S: I won some from the casino, betting on baccarat. Don’t ask me how much but it’s significant to make me happy ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Will he sustain long term interest in the game?

Chess, a board game I never could have imagined originated since 6th century from north-west of India that developed and evolved through centuries to be then represented by pieces we now known as pawn, knight, bishop & rook. I’ve not acquired the skill in chess nor strategy but do know how each of them works and until much recently only did I know the names of those pieces in proper terms. Thanks to my son for his new profound interest and for him to enlighten me the right terms.

A game with him last night proven of how I’ve underestimated his ability with informal lessons he is enduring almost daily subject to availability of his ‘chess master’ or my cousin brother. I’ve seen him arranging the pieces, following blindly instructions on some moves written in chess books and also guidance from my cousin brother. But, throughout the game with me, he has not even opened the book and still able to strategize, maneuvering his pieces to attack & subsequently a checkmate.  I LOST! Perhaps, I am just too bad in the game.  I was again surprised when he could count the point of each piece he won against me.
 Referring to book to arrange the pieces.
Real informal lesson from his chess master
Another informal lesson on weekday.

To children, instilling interest in the game of chess is rather crucial I guess as it involves evaluation of chess positions and setting up goals in their strategizing against their opponents. This is also useful in developing their foresight to look into future, considers consequences of their moves and to be cautious in making quick actions. The above reasons is more than enough for me to want him to go deeper into this board game especially for his brain development and that’s the only time I see him sit still instead of his usual active self of physical activities. It’s such a bliss to me when he is on the game.

All in all, I’ve not discovered how deep his interest in this but would definitely give him whatever support and encouragement needed.