The Traveling Steve's

Happy New Year’s Eve 2023 from Singapore Airport!

It’s now December 31, 2023 as I write this from the Singapore Kris Silver Lounge in Terminal 2 at Singapore Airport. (Sorry for any typos; I didn’t get a change to proof-read this before our flight). Steve (DOS) and I are flying out tonight at 10:20pm on United flight 28 from Singapore (SIN) to San Francisco (SFO). The flight on the Boeing 787-900 should take just shy of 15 hours, and with the day we are gaining back, arrive into SFO still on Dec 31 around 9pm. We will then clear immigration and customs in SFO and spend the rest of New Year’s Eve at the Grand Hyatt SFO Airport, and fly back to Orlando (MCO) tomorrow morning (New Year’s Day 2024) at 9am, thus ending our 7 week trip which started in Athens back in mid-November.

On my last post Steve (DOS) and I were in Raffles Hospital Singapore, being treated for Dengue Fever, most likely caught on one of our shore excursions in Cochin India where we were on a houseboat, followed by lunch at an eco-friendly, jungle-like resort. We still don’t recall getting bitten by a mosquito, but this would have been the logical place for that to happen. 

We were in the hospital for 3 days, which seemed like an eternity, although we received excellent care. Raffles Hospital Singapore (which is a private hospital) is supposedly one of the best hospitals in Asia. DOS and I, at our request, were able to get a large double room with 2 beds for our stay at Raffles. While we both were being treated for Dengue Fever, my situation was a bit more serious due to my recent heart surgery last year, and it affected me a bit harder than DOS. We had great nursing and doctor care, including a Cardiologist that stopped by each day, and monitored my blood and other tests, along with the assigned hospital staff.

Since we were outside the United States, our regular health insurance was not valid, but fortunately as I always say, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, have good travel insurance when going overseas, which we had of course. Raffles Hospital charged us $6,000 a piece upfront, and we paid the additional balance when we “checked out” 3 days later around 1:30pm. Compared to the US, the health care costs were quite inexpensive, but we will submit the bill to our travel insurance when we get home. 

We also had to extend our stay in Singapore for 3 days until the doctor felt we were strong enough to travel, and he even provided a written letter to us as well for insurance. We did have to buy two Business Class tickets on United to get home, which was actually a much better itinerary than our originally booked flights on Turkish Airlines via an overnight in Istanbul, and also a layover in Miami, which was required if we did that itinerary as we would then have to take the new Brightline train back to Orlando. At least with the United flight, we have a nonstop flight to SFO, a 12 hour layover, and then nonstop home to Orlando the next day, a much better journey home.

While we were in the hospital, a couple from Australia (Peter and Shane) that we had met on our Seabourn Cruise stopped by to see us. They were staying on in Singapore for a couple weeks, and we kept in touch after the cruise, so they came by for a visit, bringing us a Christmas candle as well, as it was Christmas Day in Singapore!

The Raffles Hospital was only 2 blocks away from our hotel, the Andaz by Hyatt, but when we checked out, we took a cab that short distance as we had a few things to take back to the hotel, even with that short hospital stay. 

As we were originally scheduled to fly home the next day (Dec 28th), we weren’t able to keep the same suite at the Andaz, but we were moved to a nice King Super Deluxe on the 37th (top guest floor), which actually had a much nicer view, and had to be the widest bed (no kidding probably 10 feet wide) we’ve ever had!

Our three extra days in Singapore were spent mostly resting up for the long trip home, and this was welcome for us as we were both pretty tired out from the long trip, not to mention it was rainy season in Singapore, and it was quite dreary outside as well. Fortunately we have been to Singapore before, most recently right before COVID for Chinese New Year, so we’ve toured the city quite a bit on previous trips. We had lunch and dinners at the hotel, and even a brewski each night in the “lobby” bar, which was actually on the 25th floor, as the first 24 floors were office building space.

While we didn’t swim in the 25th floor infinity pool, it was a nice and tropical location to rest, overlooking the skyscrapers of Singapore.

I’m going to sign off for now as it’s 8pm and relax for the next hour or so here in the Singapore Airlines Terminal Two lounge, as we head to the gate around 9:30pm for our 10:2pm flight. One unfortunate side effect I had from being in the hospital again, was my legs (mainly my right ankle and knee) became inflamed a bit from not walking for 3 days (similar, but not as bad when I was hospitalized/recovering in Seattle last year for a couple months). Because of that, we didn’t feel like touring around in Singapore this trip, but it was rainy to so that wasn’t a problem.

As our flight doesn’t depart until 10:20pm, and we could only get a late checkout at the Andaz until 4pm, we had our luggage stored for an hour and a half and went down to the “lobby lounge” on the 25th floor for a drink and some burger sliders. New Year’s Eve celebrations were already underway, and we got a pic taken by the bartender of us in NYE Party hats!

 DOS did order a wheelchair for me as this airport is HUGE, and arranged to have a skycap assist us to the gate. Poor DOS had to push me all the way to the lounge here, along with our 4 carry-on’s, two of which we could put underneath the wheelchair. Here’s a couple pics of the Singapore Airport Terminal 2 I took on the wheelchair ride to the Singapore Airlines Sliver Kris airport lounge.

So that’s where we are this New Year’s Eve 2023. This was a great year, although unfortunately ended on a sad not with our hospitalization. Still we are doing much better and had an awesome Seabourn cruise thru Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. To be continued when we get home, and/or SFO if we’re not to tired after the 15 hour flight and have time.

Happy New Year’s Eve! Cheers from Steve and DOS!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *