Seeing Asia on Seabourn: Day 4

(CruiseMates contributing editors Richard and Barry Wright are also performers who have sung their way around the world aboard the finest cruise ships.)

We awoke to sounds of the pilot boat pulling alongside. Before we knew it, the ship was docking in Malaysia at Port Kelang, the gateway to Kuala Lumpur. KL, as the Malaysians call it, is a good hour and a half drive from here. We had a quick breakfast on deck and disembarked thereafter.

The shuttle bus dropped us and several other cruisers in the center of town while the bulk of the passengers went on a tour. We always enjoy exploring on our own whenever we can, and this is one of those opportunities. Making our way towards the Petronas Towers, the tallest buildings in the world, we are impressed with the radically futuristic architecture of the "New Malaysia."

The towers are awe-inspiring and a truly monumental sight. Since the observation bridge that spans the towers is closed today, we circled it on foot with camera in hand and took a ton of photos from every angle. After a quick stop at the food court on the premises for some dim sum (steamed dumplings), we taxied to the city's old railway station, admiring its well-preserved historic colonial architecture, reminiscent of the British-built stations in places like Bombay, India.

Then we set off to the central market to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs, but to our disappointment, we found that it's not really worth a visit. Returning to the drop-off point at 3:20 p.m., we boarded the bus for the trip back to the ship. When we arrived, we found two white-gloved waiters with a tray of chilled juice, water and stemmed flutes of champagne waiting for us at the gangway. We dashed to the cabin to wash up, and rushed off to the forward lounge for tea and treats before it closed. What a welcome and relaxing moment! This is becoming a daily habit.

This evening is casual-informal, and we went to dinner around 8 p.m.--a taste of the Orient, with lobster steamed wontons and Caesar salad, some dry-grilled grouper, and finally some fresh sliced fruit, a wedge of Gorgonzola cheese and a banana and berries sorbet. A stacked tray of petit fours is always on the table. Will power, will power, will power! Tomorrow the gym--no excuses!

Tonight the entertainment is cabaret again. This time it is Jill Galt, our cruise director, whose gifted voice takes us on a musical tour of pop and standards from Andrew Lloyd Webber to Jerome Kearn. She is a warm and talented lady and the audience loved her! We were impressed by her show, and could see that there was a serious decision by management to hire staff and entertainers who are mature, talented professionals who can relate to the people who come in contact with them on a one-to-one basis.

After a quick nightcap at The Club and conversation with some interesting passengers we met (more about this later), we headed back to the suite for bed, but not before the usual ritual of listening to CNN news on the TV and putting the finishing touches on this correspondence. We don't tie up at our next Malaysian port of Langkawi until noon, so we'll sleep in a little longer. Damn those orange-scented chocolates on the bed!

Click here to read Days 1 and 2 Click here to read Day 3 Click here to read Day 5 and 6

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