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.
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:
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.