After I uploaded my short videos about our cruise adventures on our Tiktok account and Youtube channel, we got some questions from possible future cruise adventurers and I’ve decided to list them down on a whole new blog entry because I realized I didn’t jot it down on the previous entries. Oops~
As this is my first cruise and wasn’t sure of what to bring or do, we did consult Dear’s sister who gave us some nice useful tips. So it’s my turn to share as well after my experience.
What to bring:
Passport – Very important because you’re heading out of the Singapore water territory. Some doesn’t know you need a passport when going on a cruise.
Bedroom slipper – The cruise doesn’t provide any. It’s good walking around the stateroom in it, especially when your stateroom have a balcony.
Toothbrush & toothpaste – Not provided, so bring yours for the trip.
Shampoo & body soap – They do provide, but it depends on individual. We prefer the ones we use at home, so we’re always bringing ours instead of using the ones provided.
Towels – This is also optional. But we do bring ours cos Dear have sensitive skin and can’t use the ones they provide.
Wet wipes – To wipe down the seats and table at the balcony before use.
Lanyard with card holder- To put your stateroom’s key card. You need to use it often if making purchases onboard the ship or when you’re debarking the ship to explore the port of calls. Easy access to the card is good and a lanyard comes in handy.
Sports wear and shoes – For sports activities
Swimsuits – For water activities
But of course things to bring is up to individuals. So bring what you need, but there are things they prohibit onboard. Such as extensions and mini cooking pots. Was told these will be confiscated during boarding and you can get it back before you debark the ship.
We didn’t purchase the WIFI plan onboard the ship because we think we didn’t need it. Besides, we bought the Malaysia SIM card to be used when we arrive in Malaysia’s port of call. But you can purchase their WIFI plan if you need to be connected to the world. Here’s a heads up, connection is really poor even with our Malaysia SIM card when we arrived at our port of calls. For better connection, sit at your balcony or head up to the outdoor areas. Sometimes its good to just relax on a vacation and be disconnected away from the world.
We have a few netizens asking us how to get the room upgrade. Well, you need to bid for it on their website, under the RoyalUp. After you’re done with the bidding, the rest is just wait and may you be the lucky one.
Do note that once you got the upgrade, you can reject it but there won’t be any refund. So I would suggest to just go with the upgrade and enjoy your voyage with Royal Caribbean. But after our stay at the Junior Suite, we realized that we’re happy enough with our initial stateroom with balcony though it’s good to experience a room upgrade too. I mean, there’s no harm moving to a bigger room.
Activities wise, there’s no longer much covid restrictions, so go ahead and have fun! But of course, the swimming pool area can be crowded as families with kids are usually there for some water fun activities. We enjoyed the cruise experience more than we though we would, and we hope you will too.
Woke up, looked out of the balcony and we’re sailing on the vast sea heading back to Singapore. Breakfast at Main Dining Room where I ordered their plain pancake while Dear had the egg benedict. And yes, the egg yolk does ooze out. I’m not a very breakfast person, usually I skipped it unless I’m really hungry. I didn’t finish my pancake although it’s just two slices.
It’s back to stateroom for a rest because very tired and have no energy for anything. We wanted to join some onboard activities, but sleep monster says no. So it’s practically a eat and sleep day onboard the ship. Ever since we recovered from Covid in February, we became easily tired and it’s like our stamina dropped.
After our rest, it’s lunch at Silver Dining then it’s back to our room for a rest again. Before which, we went to join the queue to collect our passports back from the Royal Caribbean. We didn’t like how the lady in front of us treated the staff. Like us, she had her stateroom changed. She got agitated when the staff was trying to find hers and her friend’s passport after she’s given him their stateroom’s number. I mean there’s a lot of passports and of course it will take some time for him to find the right one. I guess maybe the lady didn’t work in the service line before and doesn’t know how to treat service line workers with some respect.
Went for Harry Potter Trivia. Was a little late, but we managed to find us a seat. Had to get a piece of answer sheet and a pencil from the stage to jot down my answers. It was fun and surprised to see quite a few young Potterheads being as excited as I was. There were a few questions that stumped me but after the session, I’m glad that I got majority of the answers right. Maybe I should read the books again as an adult, probably I’ve a whole different perspective of the series. (Might make a slide video of the Harry Potter Trivia for those who are interested.)
We sort of idle away our day on the cruise. It’s like we’ve already maxed out our energy the past few days exploring the ship and Penang that we’ve no interest in other activities available for the day. Dinner at Main Dining Room after a rest as Dear wanted to try their aged beef. A wrong move for us as we both ordered the same and didn’t really enjoy it. It’s not as wow as we thought and the portion was rather huge for me. What I enjoyed most during the dinner was their mini farewell “concert”.
We did went for two shows that night. The Silk Road and Show Girls, no videography or photography is allowed. It’s free seating so go early if you want the best seats. We had restricted view when we went for The Silk Road, but we had the a better view when we went for Show Girls. If you were to ask me which shows are worth going, I would say Show Girls. Apparently the Show Girls that we went were their debut night for the performers. Lucky us! It’s fantastic and they’ve put up quite a show!
Waited for 10:30 pm before we head over for the Virtual Fireworks Party! It’s like a child friendly clubbing experience for us. It’s fun for all ages though Dear didn’t enjoy it when the Baby Shark songs was played. Wait for the virtual fireworks to “boom” before we called it a night.
Set the alarm clock to get up early because we’re still confused about the timing to disembark the ship. Got welcome back with a beautiful sunrise at Marina Bay Cruise Centre which wraps up our nice voyage with Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas. After we’re done washing up, we packed our stuff and head out to join the other adventurers to alight from the ship. Holiday is over but we went back with a nice memorable experience.
Day 3 of our voyage and we’ve arrived at Port Pinang. Can’t remember what time I got up and the first thing I did was head out to the balcony for some fresh air.
I immediately regretted my decision. It was a hazy morning in Penang and I went back to our room right after taking a picture. The reason I took a picture was to inform my closest aunt that I’d arrived at the next port of call safely.
After our breakfast at WindJammer, we debark the ship and head off to explore Penang. But first, like many adventurers, we decided to take pictures of the humongous ship with its awesome name! Very tourist behaviour but I don’t care.
Felt very welcome upon arrival with the locals singing and greeting tourists that arrive at the port. Entering Penang was a very different experience for us and we felt like mountain tortoises. There was no immigration check when we arrived and just like that, our exploration started.
Once out of the immigration checkpoint building, a group of private or taxi drivers started asking if you need a ride and offering their services. As we walked past the eager to get your attention drivers, we overheard one offering a 3hours ride around Penang for RM$50.
Address: 13, Gat Lebuh Gereja, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia Sun-Thur: 8am-6pm Fri-Sat: 8am-10pm Note: here’s the address of the one we went to because I realised there are 2 Norm cafes. They’re sister cafes, so they’re related hence the same cafe name.
First stop, Norm. A nice little cafe is hidden in a corner with no signage at all. At first, we thought we were at the wrong location but Google Map (the only GPS we relied on that day) said we’d arrived. Then we overheard the locals whose friend was lost too, said where the entrance was. Like what we always do, follow the humans and enter the cafe.
Limited seatings and it was packed full of humans. Staff immediately came to greet us and asked us to wait while they clear a table (diners just left) for us. They handed us a set of menus to look through while waiting. One menu was drink and dessert, while the other was for the mains.
Here’s what we ordered:
Cortado (similar to picolo latte)
Aussie Latte (cold latte with a scoop of vanilla ice cream)
Chocolate Macadamia Fudge (dessert)
I like my Cortado coffee and Dear enjoyed hers, especially the ice cream that comes with it. She was shocked by the quality of the ice cream and very impressed that they didn’t use lower-end ice cream to go with the coffee. I tried a little of it, and I would say it’s quite a rich creamy vanilla ice cream. The chocolate macadamia fudge was good too. Very chocolatey, not too dry. A nice dessert to go with our coffee.
After our morning coffee break, we head off in search of Tambun Biscuit. It’s Penang’s speciality and one of my favourite snacks. Although I said if we couldn’t find any, it’s OK. But Dear insist we find it because I want.
We walked around George Town and Dear showed me the Instagram-worthy wall art which is quite popular. And yes, I did take a picture with it because there wasn’t any crowd when we arrived. We head off to the next popular wall art, but it was crowded with tourists waiting for their turn to take pictures with it. I didn’t want to wait and join the crowd, so we head off to explore Penang.
Entered a shop where I bought myself the popular Octopus that can change from a frown to a happy face. We also bought Dear’s sister a gift since we’re there and found something she might like. Dear prefers to buy gifts that are useful and that the receiver will definitely like. She’s a good gift gifter, unlike me who just buys anything cute even if it’s useless.
Went shopping for Tambun Biscuit and I bought more than I could finish. Here’s a list of where and what I bought from the shop:
Ming Xiang Tai They have a few outlets and I couldn’t find the address of the one we went to. This was recommended to us by the shop’s staff where we were gift shopping at. She said it’s one of Penang’s popular Tambun Biscuits. Did a quick google search and I found out it’s called Cantonese pastry on their website. We bought salted egg pastry and pandan salted egg pastry. In our opinion, we both prefer the pandan salted egg pastry as it’s more flavourful and fragrant.
Ban Heng They have a few outlets as well. This was Google’s recommendation with positive reviews. After trying their sample, the taste brought back childhood memories and I bought a box of pandan-flavoured tambun biscuits. After trying all the ones I bought, this wasn’t as wow as I remembered.
Tean Ean We booked a Grab to head back to the port and the driver asked why were we at Ban Heng. After knowing we were here to get some tambun biscuits, he said the locals don’t buy Ban Heng! *shocked* He introduced us to Tean Ean and drove us there. He said this is where the local Penang mostly buy their tambun biscuits and it’s mostly freshly baked. Bought a small box of original after trying it and I would say it’s definitely better than Ban Heng. The crust of it already won! It’s softer, crispier and not as dry as Ben Heng’s. (Personal opinion. Don’t bash me for this) It’s worth the detour to purchase a box of delicious tambun biscuits.
Head back to the ship for lunch after our shopping spree. Lunch at WindJammer, as usual I had the Chinese food cos I saw they had bee hoon and I just have to try it. Dear went for the Indian food cos she saw new dishes too. Then it was back to our stateroom to rest and idle our time away. Had tea and coffee at our balcony as we watch the ship sailing away from Penang at around 6 pm. The staff at the port shouted goodbye and I happily waved back without thinking if they could actually see us from where they were. Besides, probably there’s other adventurers doing the same too.
Dinner at Main Dining Room. Dear ordered risotto which she didn’t really enjoy and she ordered herself a steak (the one that I was having) because she said it’s nice when I gave her a piece to try. Weirdly, I enjoyed the vegetable that comes with the steak but we weren’t sure what vegetable it was. The staff said it’s bok choy, but it doesn’t look like the usual bok choy we saw at the supermarket. After a awesome mains, I had dessert! The apple pie (can’t remember the exact name) is really good! Try it when you’re at Main Dining Room. One of the must try dessert!
Then it’s round two dinner at WindJammer. Although I’m already full but Dear wants another round of dinner, and so we went. It’s Chinese and Indian food again. Saw the same vegetable that I had at Main Dining Room, I decided to get more. The fry noodle wasn’t good but the fried rice is. Saw that they have siew mai, and so I took some as well. Dear enjoyed her Indian food which I have no idea what she took. And yes, we called it a day after our dinner at WindJammer. And she’s already planned where to have breakfast for the next day! 0.0