Finally, the long-awaited holiday is here!
The night before, we decided to switch our luggage from a smaller to a bigger one. Realized that we have quite a few things to bring and the smaller luggage can’t seem to fit all.
There are lots of “obstacles” to go through before boarding the ship. Upon arrival, we head over to join the queue to check in our luggage. All you need to do is provide your stateroom number and you’re good to go.
What to get ready for “obstacle” checkpoints:
- Stateroom number
- ART test results – you can use the tracetogether app or simply show them the SMS notification from MOH.
- MySejehtera app (they need to check on the traveller’s blue card & vaccination status)
- Passport – for immigration
- Royal Caribbean app (they want to check on your check-in details)
After showing our MySejehtera app with our Blue Traveller’s card page and vaccination status, we received this physical “ticket” which we need to show together with our stateroom keycard before we disembark onto Malaysia’s soil.
Before embarking on the ship, we had to hand over our passports to the staff for safekeeping. We didn’t know and were a little shocked. Thankfully we didn’t panic but we got the gist of it since everyone was doing it. So a heads up, they’re helping you to safe-keep your passport. DO NOT PANIC!
Once we board the ship, our cruise adventure officially begins! As many know by now, the ship is Spectrum of the Seas. Asia’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s fifth-largest among their fleet of ships.
We planned to head over to flow rider before the crowds comes in, as that was the tip I could remember very clearly given to us by Dear’s sister. But sadly, we realised we were wearing shoes and our slippers weren’t with us. We checked it in with the luggage when we arrived at Marina Bay Cruise Centre. Big mistake! Don’t be like us if you want to head over for water activities first.
Since we can’t head over to our room because the stateroom areas will only be opened at 1:30 pm, we decided to head over to WindJammer for lunch. It’s crowded since it’s the same for everyone and it’s the only place where fellow explorers can gather to fill up the tumtum. WindJammer is buffet-style dining with lots of options to satisfy your taste buds. The menu changes daily, which is good considering we’ll be on board for a 5 days 4 nights adventure.
As covid restrictions are eased and relaxed, the self-serve buffet is back! And so I queued for Chinese food because I’m hungry and it’s the shortest queue. I’m amazed that their fried rice was delicious, but a little disappointed in their fried maggie noodles. The stir fry vegetable and chicken tasted well too, nothing to complain about. Dear had the Indian food because reviews online said it’s good. She always does her research on where and what to eat, while I’m the one that just wants to eat whatever I feel like it. Then probably complain after if the food weren’t to my expectation. Dessert was acceptable except for the mini cupcake and brownie. It’s too dry and hard for my liking. The blueberry mousse was good! The rest was just acceptable. Too full to try more, but it’s OK since we’ll be around for a few more days.
Staff will be walking around serving you drinks as well as taking reservations for other dining options if you would like to spend some money onboard the ship. Restaurants aren’t complimentary, you can get the information on their app. You get to see the menu as well as the pricing. All your purchases will be tagged to your key card, and at the end of your cruise adventure, you will be charged through the credit card you register on the app when you do online check-in. The price is stated in USD, so do check on the currency exchange if you’re not familiar with it.
As we have cruise credit on our account, Dear decided to make a reservation for Teppanyaki when the staff came over to ask. Since we’re on a holiday, I thought Dear just want to splurge on Japanese cuisine that we both like. And I thought it was a normal teppanyaki experience. (More of it in the next blog post.) Reservation was set for day 2’s lunch and I was already looking forward to it.
Went back to check on our stateroom. Your key card to access your room will be placed outside the room’s door in a sealed envelope. We booked for a room with a balcony which many told us to do so, just in case we got stuck up there due to a COVID positive adventurer on board the ship. If you do remember the incident last year for Dream Cruise’s cruise to nowhere adventure. Having a balcony helps in so many ways which we realized. Connection outdoor or on the balcony is so much better than when you’re in the room or in the ship exploring. A balcony is a great place for fresh air too if you would like to avoid crowded places on the ship. It’s your personal mini outdoor area where you can relax and drink a cup of tea.
Wiped down everything including the toilet and balcony with the alcohol wipes that Dear’s mother gave us. Because COVID is still around and Dear have sensitive skin. So wipe away the germs and hope for the best. The room was much more spacious than I thought because I was told that some rooms on the cruise can be small and cramped.
Went for our first activity, complimentary feet analysis. Learnt quite a lot about how important our feet are and that the way we walk affects our overall health and spine. We were introduced to Good Feet arch support, which Dear have been considering about it. She decided to research more on it once we have a stable connection upon arrival in Malaysia.
Got tired and headed back for an afternoon nap. Woke up and realised we got charged USD214 on our account. Off we went to customer service to check on it and realised we got a room upgrade. Dear did bid for a room upgrade before our trip and we didn’t expect that we could be the lucky one. It’s non-refundable and so we head back to gather our belongings for the shift. Our new room was a junior suite. Much bigger with a separate toilet and shower area with a bathtub!
With the upgrade, we get to dine at Silver Dining which is only offered to silver-tiered guests. They have a fixed menu option and a buffet area where the food changes daily. It is a good place away from the crowd if you don’t want to squeeze at places like WindJammer. A nice perk for adventurers who wished to have a nice quiet dinner.
Previously we’ve booked a reservation at Main Dining, but we’ve already eaten. We went ahead and appeared at Main Dining for desserts! A little bit disappointed with my peach shortcake. Was expecting something like the strawberry shortcake that we could buy from Four Leaves bakery, but it came in a cup like a mousse dessert. The size of the sponge cake came in a relatively small portion. It’s about the size of a teaspoon while the entire dessert was mousse/cream with bits of peach bits.
It was a nice first day on board the ship and it felt like we did a lot of stuff. Quite accomplished. A nice way to end the day.