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Travel Diary: Bali, Indonesia

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

Saturday, Sunday March 16 -17, 2019:


There is really no way to adequately describe the approximately 28 hours we spent in Bali. We did none of the customary things one does on a first or even a tenth trip to Bali. What we did was spend a magical day and half with our friends Don and Patty Smith (hereinafter “P & D”). We met this most extraordinary couple on a previous cruise and became friends.. They are from Perth, Australia and frequently visit Bali which is about a three and a half hour flight for them.

It is not appropriate to invade our friends’ privacy by saying too much about them. Suffice it to say that they are both unbelievably nice, and extremely competent at everything they do. Patty is fluent in multiple languages including Indonesian (when they visited us in Florence, she spoke Italian like a native) and Don is one if not the most extraordinary businessman I have ever met. They both have great personnel skills and everyone loves them.

Louis Armstrong, my musical hero, used to listen to the great King Oliver play the trumpet. When asked what he did when he heard King Oliver playing, he said “I just went in and took my lesson”. That is how I feel when Don starts talking about his business matters, mostly real estate, and when I see how carefully he plans everything.

Don and Patty took us on an unbelievable journey. Keep in mind that they have visited Bali for decades and come several times a year. Also, keep in mind, that, to borrow from a famous Billie Holliday lyric, “the difficult they do right now, the impossible takes a little while”.

We were met immediately as we disembarked (an hour late). No one is allowed to be at the bottom of the gangplank other than Oceania personnel, dock employees, and customs officials, but there they were.

They had a special car with seats rearranged so that we could face each other as we drove almost literally from one end of Bali to the other. First, we went to Puri Sintrian a beautiful resort in the Sanur section of Bali. We sat on the patio to have very good coffee, very good macaroons, and to see why Bali is considered, perhaps, the most beautiful place in the entire world. Skipping ahead, every passenger we spoke to upon returning to the ship said that Bali was their very favorite place and many were already thinking about when they could come back.

P & D describe Bali as “a third world country” but there are numerous six star hotels, and driving across Bali for about an hour and a half to lunch, we saw so many great shops, restaurants and other sights that we knew we could spend several weeks just walking around.

We went to a very nice “light lunch: at La Lucciola in the Seminyak section. Another gorgeous view .

After driving all the way back to the other side, we arrived at the hotel P & D chose to stay so that we could be their guests at one of the nicest places we had ever stayed—The Laguna Resort & Spa. Our accommodation, which we shared with our friends was “over the top”. As Nixon said “it would be wrong” and it would be wrong to provide the details of our stay, from the cocktail hour with great food and drink and LIVE MUSIC to a great dinner and a great breakfast the following morning. I will say that we were told to bring bathing suits, and, the morning, we walked just outside our living room to sit around and go in a private pool almost as big as the ship’s pool, but with beautiful birds flying around that we could feed.


We loved the Indonesian food, more fully described on the exhibit. BGM had what was probably her favorite meal not just on this trip but in her lifetime.

We drove around Bali some more seeing additional sights and then returned to the ship.

We give our experience in Bali A plus, plus

Sebastian Pena Lambarri, Photographer (Unsplash)

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