Posts tagged: omy

‘Legend Of The Seas’ – Or Legends In Our Own Minds?

By , November 25, 2010 1:41 am

Captain Pete and Mark TwainMonday this week seemed like just the ideal opportunity to take a vacation day off work! Little did I know that instead of just attending a tour of a cruise ship followed up with a wonderful lunch, I would actually be getting teased so much with pure luxury and the atmosphere of a tropical holiday, that I was seriously contemplating how I might be able to deceive security and customs and stow-away for the real voyage… *still singing Agadoo in my head (push pineapples, shake the tree) to relive the atmoshpere*

Royal Caribbean ‘Legend Of The Seas’ – that’s the name of the cruise ship… but included among the invited guests were the ‘Who’s Who’ of the Singapore Blogosphere… Real legends in their own right! (or at least in our own minds) 🙂

Some of the 'Who's Who' of the SG Blogosphere

Some of the 'Who's Who' of the SG Blogosphere

The tour organized by OMY, has spurred mine (and my wife’s) interest and yearning – you see, neither of us have been on a real cruise (for vacation) in our lives. Over recent months, Sammi has been hassling me to organize our next holiday – amazingly enough, I found each one of her preferred destinations included in one single package advertised in the brochures handed out – Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Given that we travel back home to the in-laws in Shanghai often, a cruise that starts out there, stops at Okinawa, Taipei and then Hong Kong would earn me huge brownie points!

The great thing about this 5-night cruise package, is firstly the price. The cost for the two of us in one of the luxurious suites is actually significantly cheaper than flying to each of the destinations and paying for hotels. But wait, there’s more! – our first discussion on the idea of a cruise vacation, was around what to do with the kids. Problem solved – not only would we be checking into the family suite, which is absolutely huge with separate rooms and balcony (it’s like an apartment on the ocean), Royal Caribbean have the award-winning ‘Adventure Ocean Youth Program’. “Led by qualified staff and designed for children from six months to 17 years old, the kids will find themselves having fun and making new friends”… Don’t get me wrong, we would want to spend most of the time experiencing the awesome holiday with both of the boys – but at least we have the comfort of knowing that we would still have ample opportunity to sneak off to the casino on our own sometimes, or maybe even bask in the sunshine for some romantic kanoodling by the pool. 🙂

Shanghai - Hong Kong (Itinery)

For my friends and regular readers, you will know that Casey’s way too young when we’re in Shanghai for CNY, 2011 – he’ll be just 4-months old, but that’s ok because when the weather will be quite cold then – I’m guessing the perfect time would be the 8th October, 2011 cruise… *mind starts wandering again in anticipation*

Shanghai to Hong Kong (Cruise Details)

Anyway, I digress. The cruise ship tour has completely caused the travel bug to bite. The only real issue, is that once we get into the family suite, it’s going to be difficult to leave the room. With all of the activities available, we could be risking not making the most of the cruise – perhaps we might have to take two trips back-to-back. Whether it’s playing mahjong, relaxing in the library, eating (and eating), gambling, rock-climbing, golfing, swimming, or partying until the wee hours – I’m not sure how to fit it all into 5-nights. It’s certainly going to require some serious scheduling on our part.

Don’t take my word for it – check it out for yourself:

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A huge thank you to OMY and Royal Caribbean for the opportunity on Monday. You have successfully gained a true fan and future customer (and online influencer) – James, our tour guide did a wonderful job, and it was thoroughly enjoyable to break the diet at the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ dining room for the mouth-watering lamb shank and ‘chef’s surprise’ dessert.

Royal Caribbean LogoOMY Logo

Aside: there’s one major thing that I didn’t tell my wife for fear of a credit card blow-out… the onboard shopping is akin to an upmarket department store – with a price guarantee!! (that is, if something is cheaper at any of the stopover locations, they will match the price on-board – what the?? – that’s almost like a guranteed perpetual sale). 🙂

Do yourself a favour – join Royal Caribbean and sail the high seas in luxury on board ‘Legend of the Seas ‘- we, without doubt, certainly will be!!

Blogger's Prize

2010 Blog Award Winner – Post-Event Reflections

By , July 14, 2010 1:00 am

It’s been a few days now since the OMY 2010 Blog Awards and as the excitement subsides, it’s really only the calm before the storm.

The whole idea of actually winning first place in this esteemed Singapore Blog competition in my category is in fact, very surreal. Even with all the media attention, huge social networking activity and the constant congratulations and support that I’ve received through email, phone, tweets and all manner of other communications, it’s still quite difficult to believe.

The original Aussie Pete blog has been some years in the making, and as any aspiring blogger or website designer will attest, it takes quite a lot of time and no small amount of effort to create, maintain and stay creatively motivated. So winning this award has made it all feel worth while.

With Yong Wei

With Yong Wei - runner-up in my category, and a very talented young guy (and also now a good mate). Did anyone not get their photo with Yong Wei?

Over the years, I’ve had an absolute ‘kick’ out of watching traffic increase (slowly at first and then exponentially as the blog has become popular), seeing the huge amounts of google (and other engines) searches displaying the blog in the first ten results (front page) from literally hundreds of key words. This has all come about through self-taught SEO – of course I tried all of the trappings when I started… link sharing, directory submissions, etc – which in fact do very little for increasing traffic or popularity, and can often lead to negative growth of a website. But over time, I’ve really worked out the formula – hard work, fresh content, interesting articles, clean HTML and following good webmaster practices and guidelines. I really don’t think there’s any other easy way!!

Anyway I digress somewhat – I’m not here today to lecture on SEO-101…

With Darren Ng

With Darren Ng - author of 'Celebrate Life' and winner of the 'Best Lifestyle Blog' Award... see you in HK, mate!!

I firstly again want to thank all the readers and subscribers to Aussie Pete, the team at OMY and of course my fellow bloggers (especially the other finalists in my category, who have also worked very diligently to get their blogs to where they are today).

Next, I want to announce the next stages of the award-winning process. Like I said, now is the calm before the storm… the weekend after next, I’ll be heading off to Hong Kong with nine other award winners to take part in the Dragon Boat Festival (part of the larger summer festival). This four-day event will keep us quite busy, with the highlight being paddling up the river in a bathtub, in which I will be teaming up with one of the other winners to represent OMY in the media race. How very cool that will be!!

As you can see, this is a new blog hosted by OMY, and I feel very priveleged to be invited to post some of my articles here as a guest blogger. I will still keep maintaining the original blog, along with another few side projects I’ve got going on (in between real work of course), but will be posting some of the more interesting Aussie Pete articles here regularly for all of the OMY fans! Why not bookmark me now??

With Ang Geck Geck,winner of 'Best Modelling Blog' award

With Ang Geck Geck,winner of 'Best Modelling Blog' award

I’m off for now – need to go for a gym workout and get in shape for the bathtub race!!       🙂

The winners of all the various categories in the OMY 2010 Singapore Blog Awards

The winners of all the various categories in the OMY 2010 Singapore Blog Awards

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