Bangkok – Visit Many Countries in ONE DAY! (7 September 2022)

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Breakfast buffet, Holiday Inn

Breakfast buffet at Hotel Inn again. It’s chicken porridge and I just had to try it. I conclude I prefer their prawn porridge more. I tried their plain butter croissant but didn’t like it as it wasn’t crispy. It’s more like a soggy croissant which makes it difficult to chew. Their pain au chocolat tastes better though the pastry was kind of soggy too. Wished they could help toast a little to make it even more perfect.

San Fransico, the highest level in the mall

Took BTS to Terminal 21, a themed shopping mall. Each level is a different country and you’ll get to be whisked away whenever you step onto an escalator either going up or down. It’s a very interesting shopping mall which kind of made me look forward to which country I would be “visiting”. It’s a very Instagram-worthy mall, very suitable for those social influencers to visit.

We were looking for some bath bombs since the day we arrived because our hotel room has a bathtub, perfect for soaking in. But sadly, we didn’t manage to find any since we arrived. All we could find was bath salt from the nearest mall and it wasn’t cheap. Thankfully, there are a few shops at Terminal 21 that sells bath bombs. And we bought them from Khas as they were having some promotion, buy 2 get 1 free. Though it will be our last night in Holiday Inn, at least we managed to get the bath bomb and enjoy a relaxing soak before we checkout the next day.


As we slowly head down towards the basement, we came across a board game event happening at the mall. Boardgames were on sale too but most of them are in Thai, making it difficult for us tourists to purchase though the price was tempting. Dear took a while to explore the area as she was communicating with her closest friend who is keen on board games as well. Since I have no interest, I got distracted by the nearby store that was selling donuts. No, I didn’t buy any because I managed to resist the temptations.

Ikan Bilis

Since we were still early for our lunch reservation, we continued shopping at the supermarket. Saw a packet of flavored Ikan Bilis that looked nice and decided to buy it. It was amazingly yummy and thankful that I managed to buy the last packet off the shelf.

Took a bus ride to our next destination which was around 3 bus stops away. You don’t pay the fare to the bus driver, instead, you take a seat after you board the bus, and a bus conductor will approach you. We asked how much will it cost to get to our destination, paid the fare, and were given the bus tickets. Both the bus driver and bus conductor were helpful to us as they both informed us when it was about time to alight.

Niku Sho

We walked towards Niku Sho from the bus stop, a place where Dear made a lunch reservation. Dear’s mum and sister recommended it and so we’re here. It was a Japanese BBQ restaurant. We were taken to a private room for our meal even if it was just the two of us. After looking through the menu, we ordered what we wanted and what Dear’s family recommended we try.

The garlic fried rice was one of the dishes Dear’s sister said to order. It’s not on the menu and we had to ask to make sure it’s available. It came in a hot plate kind of bowl and the staff helped you to stir and mix the rice well right in front of you before serving it to you. I didn’t enjoy it as I find the rice was too mushy for my liking. The taste was alright but not fantastic. I’ve had nicer garlic fried rice, so to me, this was just average. Their beef don was good though and I’m impressed. Weirdly, the rice wasn’t as mushy as the garlic-fried rice. The portion was a little too much, but thankfully I’m sharing it with Dear.

Ordered some meat for the bbq. It wasn’t fantastic, especially the marinate. I personally think the Yakiniku Go that we usually frequent in Singapore is so much nicer, even the quality of the meat. Then we had the beef shashimi which Dear’s mother and brother-in-law were raving about. I didn’t find any wow factor it in and didn’t really enjoy it. At the end of the meal, Dear said she spoilt us with nicer food and this was just average for us despite the good reviews. Oops.

Since we had the energy and were a few BTS stations away from On Nut, Dear decided to head over to the lotus supermarket. We love grocery shopping and when there’s an opportunity, we wouldn’t say no even when we’re overseas. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I feel that the lighting at Lotus was very bright! It was a nice change of grocery shopping as most people visiting Thailand would want to visit Big C which made it a little too crowded.

After Lotus, we head back to the hotel for a rest before dinner. Dear decided to bring me to Jodd Fairs as it’s a newly opened night market. It was crowded and the majority of the stalls there sells food. The weather wasn’t kind to us as it started to rain when we just got there. No shelter and seats were available, so we decided to order takeaway and return to the hotel for a meal.

Our dinner from Jodd Fairs

We might have overbought our dinner. There’s rice, noodle, baked potato, beef skewers, Taiwanese pancakes, and mango sticky rice. It was a nice spread of dinner, and we both were full at the end of it. We love almost all the food we’ve ordered, and we’re quite surprised by the Taiwanese pancakes.

Taiwanese pancake – custard boba

There’s this particular flavor, custard boba that I ordered. It’s mainly for Dear as she loves custard, and I didn’t think much of the boba. But there’s actually a boba pearl in it! It’s chewy and it goes well with the custard. Quite an interesting flavor and I would highly recommend you get it when visiting Jodd Fairs.

Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas – Day 1 (7 July 2022)

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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)
Traveller’s Card “Ticket”

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.

Lunch at WindJammer

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.

Ripping off the envelope for our room’s key card

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.

Feet Analysis – our foot print

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.

Peach Shortcake

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.

Things to Do Before Cruise Trip

We’ve rescheduled our cruise trip to July. Was supposed to embark on a cruise to nowhere in February, but we were down with covid. Royal Caribbean was nice to allow us to reschedule and refund our trip in cruise credit. But of course, we had to top up the difference when we rebook our trip. Sadly, it cost more now compared to when we booked it in August last year.

In early June, Royal Caribean sent us an email updating our cruise itinerary. Instead of cruising to nowhere, we’re having a cruise to Malaysia. We’ll be stopping at Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur) and Penang. And we’ve got a list of what we should do before embarking on this new adventure.

MySejahtera App

MySejahtera App on Play Store

Download the MySejahtera app on Google’s Play Store or Apple Store on your phone. You need this app when travelling to Malaysia. It’s like our Tracetogether for contact tracing purposes and to check your vaccination status.

MySejahtera App

After you’ve set up an account in the app, look for “Traveller”.

Traveller’s Page

You need to fill up your travelling information and vaccination details. It takes about 7 days for your application to be approved. You’ll receive a Blue Traveler’s Card on the app which you need to show during boarding day in order to debark in Malaysia.

Found this website on how to complete the digital traveller’s form on the app. It’s helpful and glad that I found it. Was clueless on how to fill up, especially when I have to key in a Malaysia address and contact information.

Note: it’s quite frustrating to fill in travelling information in order to get the blue traveller’s card before the trip. Not only do you have to wait for the date to reflect on the app, but you also have to wait for the time too for both departure and arrival. Just my thoughts when using the app.

Royal Caribbean International App

Royal Caribbean

Download the Royal Caribbean International app from Google Play Store or Apple Store. You need to check-in through the app and update your vaccination records.

Royal Carribean Check-in on app

The day before boarding, you need to fill up the health and safety questions to complete your in-app check-in.

Activities on Spectrum of the Sea

Before sailing day, we get to scroll through the app to see what activities that’s available when we’re cruising with Royal Caribbean. You can book tours to attend after you debark to enter Malaysia.

Singapore-approved Supervised Rapid Antigen Test

All guests, regardless of age, must schedule a Singapore-approved supervised rapid antigen test. It is not included in our cruise package, so we’ve to pay for this out of our own pocket.

Check your email as they’ve all the information given with the options on where to book for the rapid antigen test.

We booked an appointment with a MOH-approved supervised rapid agent test clinic near home. You’ll receive an SMS from MOH after your appointment is booked. You will also receive a reminder a day before your test.

The supervised rapid antigen test was much faster than I expected. Maybe because the one we went to is a test centre and not an actual clinic. Lesser human traffic helps speed up the process. It cost us $30 for two pax and we received an SMS notification of our results within 15 minutes. Heard that the telemed is more costly, but you’re paying for the convenience if you do not want to travel to a clinic or a test centre.

Once done with the above things to do, it’s time to head off for your cruising adventure!