Wednesday, 12 September 2018


NFMC  TRI-NATION  TOUR ,  DAY #3:: 27 AUG 2018  
            On Day#2 the Veterans team had checked out of Hotel Copthorne for a short Singapore City tour, before being dropped off at the Changi Harbour Cruise Terminal for an extensive check-in and immigration formalities that took about two hours at noontime, which wasn’t irksome, as the veterans enjoyed interacting with each other. Post lunch onboard and after relaxing for a few hours, a short briefing was held followed by the entire group watching the 7pm Live show ‘China’s Got Talent’ at the huge onboard Auditorium Zodiac.
          On Day#3  at 5 O’clock Cdr Joseph Sukumar escorted his sweet-heart for a complete walk around of the cruise-liner while all were still in their Dream-world onboard the Dream Genting. Cdr V Vadhera had in the morning itself tied up for a 10:15 am an interactive session between Ship’s Capt and all Veterans and we all were excitedly looking forward to it. The meeting was arranged at the Officers’ Ante-room below the Bridge. Capt Magnus was one of the most humble Master Marine that one could come across, who shook hands with each and every one of us. Capt Magnus excitedly saluted RAdm SVS Chary, on being introduced to an Admiral before a firm handshake. When Cdr V VAdhera introduced our SOPA, Capt SS Sethi to Capt Magnus and they firmly shook hands for quite a while, it was like coming together of two maritime generations and the moments were frozen in foot-prints of time. It was so very emotive and nostalgic for Capt Sethi, who had logged 17 long years at Sea in his Naval career of 25 yrs, with his first shore appointment only after becoming a Commander. Capt Magnus was kind enough to pose for all the couples in turns, after which Cdr Vadhera requested Capt Sethi for the presentation of Naval Veterans Cap to the Captain. There was a huge round of applause as Capt Magnus immediately donned the Navy blue veterans cap and became one with us. He readily agreed for our Bridge visit at 2 pm on Cdr Vadhera’s request. The Captain once again smilingly shook hands with us and escorted us to the door, after a Group photograph.
      We then headed for the Zodiac theatre for the captivating ‘Rhythm Divine’, a Latin Ballroom Dance show. We could feel the heat of passion with ballroom dance champions from Spain, Slovenia, Ukraine and Italy. Watching the incredible performance, we were totally lost in the vibrant music of night rhythm and melodious vocals of Silvia and Ecaterina. I for one felt I’d backtracked to my past life from a previous Birth. The round of applause failed to die down for a long time after the 45 mins show.
     The ship came alongside at the Penang jetty a little before  2 pm and 9 Veterans lead by Cmde SS Tarate went for an excursion organized by the Ship and the rest of us having enjoyed our lunch at Lido were escorted by a deck officer to the Bridge, where Capt Magnus not only briefed us on the performance data of the 335m long Ship from the Bridge-wing station but also about its history since its keel laying. It was quite an eye-opener for us how a huge passenger liner could be built in 18 months flat by a maritime family that was in shipbuilding for the past 300 yrs. The Capt educated us by answering all our queries on its weight and balance and positional accuracy of 5cms by the 4 Sat Nav systems, showing us the deck glass window through which one could see the jetty vertically down below. A lady in a lighter vein queried if he could do position-fixing by star sight. He was forthright in admitting that he was a bit rusty, but after referring to the books he could get his hands back in no time. Cdr Vadhera requested him for our visit to the Foxle for the famous Titanic snap by individual couples. The Capt detailed a Security Officer to escort us to the Foxle. After the Group photo on the Helo Deck in the afternoon Sun, all couples got themselves snapped in the Titanic pose.

      In the evening Mrs Neena Sethi,  Meena and Mrs Joseph went for a swim in the pool and to relax in the Jacuzzi. For Dinner, everyone assembled at the inclusive Restaurant Lido for a sumptuous Buffet that was followed by a few of us visiting Zouk for the Best of 90’s music by the Cross-over Band. Meanwhile, the excursion team from Penang returned at 9:30 pm, much before the ship’s midnight departure for a scheduled 10 am arrival at Langkawi. We are all looking forward to a shore excursion to the Eagle Island of Malaysia post Lunch, but prior to some thrilling stories from Penang excursion team. …… Jai Hind. 

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