Monday, May 6, 2013

Our Honeymoon Plans

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I am so busy with work that I barely have enough time to sleep, let alone plan for our wedding.

I volunteered for the midnight shift because I thought that I can handle the emails and minimal calls during the night and have some free time to do some wedding planning research.. cos the previous 3 months I had to cover the midnight shift for 2 days a week when the midnight shift colleague is on her off days and it was manageable.

Ever since I started taking the night shift, from the very first day... it has been crazy busy! Partly also they brought forward the shift timing by 1.5hours to cover the busy period so I have to take a lot of calls in that time slot and work on the requests before I can go and do all the emails for the entire team who is at home sleeping! Sometimes I have to wait till 4hours later before I have the time to breathe and read through my inbox which is usually full of requests from other colleagues to call this hotel, that hotel or some other endorsements.

The past 2 weeks were just horrible!!! I had to stay back minimum 2hours each day, work through my break times and lunch hour (yea, lunch at 2.30am, go figure). And it's non-stop typing through the night! I am a fast typist so it's not about my speed but the workload!

Most annoying of all, people who have never worked the night shift before still dare to talk shit about how easy it is to work at night cos it's so free and we can watch YouTube videos yet still get paid. HELLO? Fuck lah! I AM ALONE AT NIGHT IN THE ENTIRE OFFICE! One person! If it's so easy, why don't YOU come and do it? Why? No balls? Scared of ghost? Fuck you lah! I really want to stab people in the eye with my pencil and twist it in deep to poke their brains cos they really don't use their brains to think. Working the night shift is tough firstly cos our schedules is upside down. Our human bodies are programmed to sleep during the night and be active during the day. We are going against that timing and that's already so difficult... plus with this kind of heavy workload.. Wah lao! I've worked night shifts before and this is the toughest one yet!

God please give me strength to not have murderous thoughts towards imbeciles who don't use their brains.

Happy thoughts.. happy thoughts......

Today I wanna share about our honeymoon planning, not about the kind of lousy colleagues I have (some are really good, but there are the shitty ones that just ruin my mood).

When we started planning for our wedding, I immediately thought of our honeymoon!! It has to be somewhere really memorable because both of us travel a lot together (and we plan to travel even more after we are married), so our honeymoon has to be "special". Come to think of it, Le bf and I really flew to many places in the past 1.5 years! He must have broken the record for "most frequent flier with Jasmine" or something. LOL! And we don't know any other couple who has travelled as much as both of us in the span of 1.5years, especially to far away countries.. Really blessed. ^_^

Since many people know that we always travel because of our pictures on Facebook and Instagram (some even dubbing us "Le Couple who travels"), there is already quite a lot of interest and curiosity on where we will be going for our honeymoon.

Le bf is luckier than me.. he has been to more countries and cities than me with his family. My parents always bring us to Genting Highlands and Star Cruise so they can gamble at the casinos.. I get to go to many nice places when I was working as a tourleader but that's for work.. he goes on holidays! His parents bring them to faraway places like USA, Europe, Egypt, blah blah.. So lucky lah! But he says it's not fun cos he was young and more concerned about playing gameboy or something.. Hahahahaha!

Long ago, when I was a little girl I wanted to go to Paris or Los Angeles for my Honeymoon. Main reason was there are Disneylands in both cities! LOL! And of course Paris is the romantic capital of the world. However I've already been to Paris twice, once alone and once with Le bf last year. We just went to Los Angeles in January this year and most probably planning another trip next year so that's also out.

A lot of people go to Europe for their honeymoon but I don't want to do that. It's not special anymore! Especially since I've been there with Le bf before the honeymoon! I do want to go travelling around Europe with him, especially Italy, but just not for our honeymoon.. Also, it's gonna be quite hectic.. driving around, taking trains, changing hotels, lugging my shopping bags around (heh), etc. Europe is for shopping! For our honeymoon, I want to chill, relax, laze around in bed with him and cuddle all day long without any distractions!! =D

So I thought : "Why not go on a cruise?". Not just any boring lousy Star Cruise or the lower end cruise liners, but a luxury cruise that won't bankrupt us because the ultra luxurious cruise goes upwards to 5-6 figure sums.

My first choice was SeaDream Yacht Club.

They did a presentation in my office last year and I was convinced that it will be a good choice for a honeymoon trip because of the staff to passenger ratio, unique itineraries and beautifully appointed suite rooms.

Commodore Suite

The meals and activities are all-inclusive, and there is no stress of changing hotels each night because we will wake up to a different city everyday and since the boat is small enough, it can maneuver through smaller rivers and hug the coastline so we can see more beautiful scenery!

Voyage number 11339B

Voyage number 11339A

I saw two itineraries on their website in October that I am interested in and they both go to Italy! :) I contacted the sales rep and his boss was very sweet and offered us discounted rates because it's our honeymoon but....... after checking my leave application and discussing with Le bf, we have to give up this plan because we will have to fly in to the cities for the cruise and we have to add in some days in front/back so we can have more time to tour the place. 5 or 7 days is just too short to properly have a good holiday if we are flying so far out. Our flying time is already 1 full day and we need to pre-book or post-book hotels according to the itinerary.

I don't have enough leave because I am using up 2 weeks for our wedding. 1 week before and 1 week after. I need to ensure I am not bogged down by work stress cos I know if I mix work + wedding stress together I will just explode or kill someone. Moreover, I need the time after the wedding to pack up all my stuff to move in with Le bf. Moreover, I also used up a lot of my leave for our USA trip in January and Perth last month. Considering I was in USA for 2 weeks and Perth for 2 weeks plus 2 weeks for the wedding, I am already very lucky to have enough leftover for our honeymoon without taking unpaid leave! (Company don't really encourage or allow us to take unpaid leave anyway)

So I had to abandon that plan... After discussing with Le bf, we agreed on a "maximum 1 week" holiday instead of a long one because of my leave constraints & his work commitments.

Also, October is a very neither here no there season. It's Autumn in many countries but the in-between period towards Winter. I am not keen in both seasons. I prefer Spring time where there's lots of flowers and no snow. I hate snow. It's fun the first few times you see it but after a while it becomes a pain in the ass cos you have to suit up every time you want to go out and if you walk over the roads where the snow melts and freezes into a thin layer of ice, each step brings your heart up to your mouth because it's so damn dangerous! I've fall before in the past when I did not wear proper shoes with grip, but even with good grip shoes you still can fall if you are not paying full attention to the floor! I don't want to walk with my eyes on the floor, fearing for my life... I want to look around the and enjoy the scenery! I don't want to run into a heated shopping centre to warm myself and out into the cold to brave the crazy winds.. No thank you! Shivering like a crazy woman and always finding warm places to hide is not my idea of a fun & romantic holiday.

Well, both of us really want to go to Japan during the Sakura Season.. I don't care that Korea, China, Taiwan even Washington DC also has Sakura trees.. It's just different in Japan. I've been there so many times but never seen the Sakura cos it's always the wrong season. Summer, Autumn and mostly Winter but never Spring. :(  Le bf and I always this dream to go for a month long self-drive holiday together in Japan. But it's the wrong season (6 months too late).. AND his parents + my dad are worried about the nuclear radiation scare that may affect my child-bearing ability or cause some unknown horror on our future child, so we have to abandon that dream until we have children.

#ShelveSakuraDreamAside #KeepOldFolksHappy

So the requirements for our honeymoon are:
1. Short duration (less than 6 days)
2. Short flying time (less than 6 hours)
3. Romantic
4. Relaxing
5. Luxurious

Two things I am very particular about when I go on holiday trips are the flights and accommodation, other than the company. That's the first thing.

I don't want to be stressed out or frustrated by flight delays, flight cancellations, long layovers, multiple connections, lost baggage, lousy service, horrible seats, etc etc at the beginning of the trip. . Also, I will not "rough it out" or stay in budget properties.  Well, it's a holiday trip so it has to be enjoyable! I didn't work so hard during my work days to be more stress on my holidays! I also don't want to go to nearby countries for 3 days 2 nights to "relax". Omg.. To properly relax, one must be out of their usual environment for at least 1 week. No work, no schedules, no stress. Go far far away and see the world! Why go Bangkok or Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur? It's the same as Singapore.. high rise buildings, pollution, many people.. Cheap shopping? It's all cheapo lousy quality stuff! You haven't seen the factory outlets in USA yet.. branded goods at reallllyyyy cheap prices. That's cheap and good! Why spend money to buy cheap but substandard goods that you won't use after a few times?!  =_=

And I work in the travel industry lah! I get to see so many nice hotels and places and also able to obtain agent rates discounts for my personal trip so why should I be "budget"? Best way to budget? STAY IN SINGAPORE! STAY AT HOME! Turn on the aircon, watch TV and eat junk food. Cheap, stressful and no need to plan anything.

I was grousing to Le bf  and asking him why do people not dare to venture further yet always complain about stuff. Why don't they dare to move out of their comfort zone? Go to somewhere faraway and see the world for themselves... The flight ticket to a further destination is more expensive but the prices for hotels/food there is cheaper or better than somewhere nearer! So if you go for a long trip, the price of the ticket is justifiable! Right?

They like to say "I have a lot of commitments, unlike you". Like hello??? I am the one living by myself for the past donkey years and for the past year I've paid SGD20000+ in rental fees! ONE YEAR! You all live with your parents!! Single!! No kids!! How much do you give your parents a month? I pay more than 50% of my salary to my rent so if you give your parents half your salary, then good for you. If not, why are you complaining about commitments?

He told me not everyone thinks like us and everyone has their own preferences and opinions.Well, true. So that's my opinion. Wanna be cheap? Stay at home. Don't go on a holiday and spam pictures of your trip to show off but stay in dodgy hotels and fly budget carriers and eat maggie mee in the rooms.

Take the holiday for yourself to relax and unwind, not to make others envy or jealous or to show off.

Well, it's not really easy to make me jealous cos I know how to be contended with life. I've already been to so many nice places and met so many nice people!! Moreover of the people I know have not even ventured out of Asia before! It's always the same old cities and boring places they repeatedly visit year after year after year. Buay sian ah?

Back to the topic..

Cracked my head over where to go because the countries that are within 6 hours flight from Singapore are mostly South East Asia countries. Even Japan is minimum 7 hours away!

Thought for a long while and I finally decided on Maldives! :) It's only 4.5hours away by flight yet feels like it's much further! However October is considered one of the peak season months so most of the hotels are quite expensive.. Good thing is the weather will be perfect and I think it's turtle hatching season!! :)

There are plenty of 5 star properties in Maldives so we are pretty spoilt for choice. Only main consideration will be the price because the rates range from USD1000 to USD5000 per night depending on the property and size of villa. That's for room and breakfast, excluding meals and transfers. Seaplane transfer is around USD150 to USD400 per person depending on how far the property is from Male (pronounced as Mah-lay) International Airport. A typical meal costs between USD60 to USD300 depending on how exclusive or special the meal and setting is. So for a 6 days 5 nights trip, you are looking at around SGD10,000 for a nice luxurious hotel, airport transfers and 2 way return flights on Singapore Airlines Economy class (excluding food & drinks).

Maldives is actually quite a "cliche" place for a Honeymoon. Think of Honeymoon destination and most likely the first thought will be "Maldives". Maybe it's the strong marketing & hype, like how you must buy a diamond ring to propose to your wife, but I will give it a shot because Tabby went on a honeymoon with Doug to Maldives earlier this year! She said the place was gorgeous but there's not much activities to do..

Well, exactly what I like! Nothing to do so we can be isolated from the world and just enjoy being newly weds!  They stayed at the Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa and it is a gorgeous property! However it has 221 rooms and that's too many for me... I need something more private, more smaller scale.

The usual safe option that most people choose is Club Med Kani because it is a full-board property where all the meals & free flow alcoholic drinks are provided (good for you if you love to drink, but Le bf & I don't drink alcohol so we are "paying" for something we don't need). The resort includes airport transfers and flights as a package deal but I don't need this because I like to book my own flights and have control over the booking (control freak alert). I think the biggest draw of this property is because sometimes they have 1 for 1 offers during off-peak season, buy 1 adult and 2nd adult is free, that sort of deal. There are 240 rooms at Club Med Kani and it is a family oriented resort with lots of kids running around. I want a quieter, more exclusive property where it's couple oriented.

Yes, I am such a fussy girl to please, I irritate myself sometimes.. LOL! That's why Le bf left the planning up to me provided I stay within the requirements that we agreed on.

Searched and searched and in the end I decided on Gili Lankanfushi, previously called the Soneva Gilli.


There's only a total of 45 villas and they are all over-water! :) I also got quite a good deal with them for a 5 nights stay! Super happy and excited for our trip!

I usually don't get so excited about my upcoming holiday trips and spam post pictures of the hotels or places but I MUST POST THESE PHOTOS!!! Cos I am so excited that I want you to feel excited for me too! Hahahaha!

 This is the Villa Suite that I booked for the trip..

Whole villa by itself over the water! :)

The bedroom

The living area

 Can just walk down to the beautiful ocean!! 

 Private sundeck

What I like most about the unit is that there is a private 2nd floor with a big day bed where we can snuggle and gaze at stars at night! The hotel will prepare our breakfast everyday to have it here or at one of the restaurants.

Can't wait!!!!!!

So we've booked and paid for the flights and accommodation! We are only going for the honeymoon 2 weeks+ after our wedding cos I will be moving in with Le bf and his family after the wedding and I need to pack my stuff and settle in. It's alright though cos we will be spending my birthday there!!

Come to think about it, another of my wish came true.. I always wanted to get married before I am 28 years old and it's gonna be fulfilled! My other wish is to have a baby before I am 30 years old!! Hahahaha! We are planning to wait for at least a year before trying for a baby and I hope that wish will be granted too! :)

Now I just need to find my bridal gown & wedding rings.. Eh yes, it's only 4 months+ to the wedding and we haven't found the dress yet.

Should I start to panic now?

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