The last time I was on a cruise.. was a long time ago! I think that easily 10 years had passed since I last went on a cruise holiday with my family. I do remember that it was on Super Star Gemini though, and it was a cruise to some Malaysian port (probably Malacca).
This time around, we were going on Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Voyager of the Seas, and boy was I excited! (: After doing a little research on the Voyager of the Seas, my sights were set on the flowrider, which I enjoyed tremendously (spoiler alert!).
On the day of the cruise, we took a train down as we only had carry-on luggages, and it was quite a quick journey down to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre (nearest MRT: Marina South Pier). The walk from the MRT station to the cruise centre took about 7-10min at a leisurely pace. There was a sheltered walkway from the MRT exit, but it stopped just short of the cruise centre, right across the road.
Upon arriving at the cruise centre, we proceeded to check-in our bags so that they would be delivered to our cabins. Baggage drop-off was outside the main building on the 2nd level. On hindsight though, we should have rolled our carry-ons with us, since we were able to enter our cabins around 1pm. Bags that are checked in would be delivered up to 9pm, although luckily ours was delivered around 5pm!
Before registering for the cruise, we had to pass through security screening, although liquids (and alcohol) are apparently allowed. I overheard the staff saying that up to 2 liquor bottles were allowed per cabin (if you’re so inclined).
We were handed cruise forms to fill in right after security screening. These had to be completed before proceeding to the registration counter. At the counter, we handed over our forms, and had our pictures taken (and tagged) to our personalised cards.
These cards were essentially our IDs once onboard, and could also be used as a credit card at the shops and restaurants on the ship.
We cleared immigration quite quickly, although my automated lane had issues and the flappers failed to open after my fingerprints were successfully taken.. I was slightly annoyed that I had to backtrack and redo the entire process again when I had already cleared sigh.
It was a short walk from immigration to the ship, and once we got onboard, we had to surrender our passports. Without our personal cruise cards, we were essentially ‘aliens’ with no nationality! :O
With that sobering thought left behind us on the gangway, lunch was next on the cards! We headed straight to the Windjammer cafe for our buffet spread. The Windjammer cafe is open (almost) 24 hours, and serves up a buffet spread for breakfast, lunch, dinner & supper. There was a wide variety of food displayed for our consumption, and various cuisines (Indian, Italian, American, Chinese, etc) were represented.
Unfortunately none of the dishes were particularly memorable, and were rather average in my opinion. The desserts were forgettable, and even the ice cream machine dispensed ice cream that was so-so.
Near the front of the Windjammer Cafe, there was a bar where drinks (both alcoholic & non-alcoholic) could be ordered. Naturally, this was not complimentary, and there would be an additional charge. All prices onboard the ship were in USD, which is important to note! 😉
We went to tour the upper decks after lunch, and took some pictures of the ship and the Singapore skyline. Sadly, it was a hazy day, and the sky was rather dirty grey in colour.
At around 3.45pm we were ushered to the Star Lounge, which was our designated emergency holding room. The captain announced over the PA system that an emergency drill was required prior to the ship setting sail, and he was going to sound the horn (7 short, 1 long) to signal the start of the emergency drill.
We had to report to our group in-charge, and tick off our names against her list. After listening to the captain’s briefing and welcome speech, we were dismissed at around 4.30pm. We hung around the Star Lounge as it was the distribution point for tickets to the ice show, and we wanted to get tickets to the ice show. The tickets would be distributed there on a first-come-first-serve basis. As true-blue Singaporeans, we were near the front of the queue and managed to get tickets for the 10.45pm show later that evening! :p
As the ship blared its horn to signify departure from the harbour, we headed up to the top deck. Feeling the cool breeze in our faces as the huge vessel picked up speed was rather exhilarating! I even managed to get a shot of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in its entirety, with MBS and the Flyer in the backdrop! (:
Movies were screened at the poolside periodically, and Inside Out was the movie that was being shown as we sailed out of port.
Working out was next on our schedules, and we quickly changed to sports attire in our room before heading to the fitness centre on deck 11.
The gym was quite large and well-equipped with many treadmills & stationary bikes.
There was also a free weights section & a variety of weight machines for those interested in keeping their muscles a-working while on a cruise vacation.
Interestingly, there was a whirlpool right in front of the gym, probably because the fitness centre was linked to the spa.
After working out on the treadmill & with some weights, we went back to our cabins for a quick shower before dinner.
Dinner was a sit-down affair at the Sapphire Dining Room, and we had to register for a specific timing (either 6.30pm or 8.30pm) prior to setting sail. We were also assigned a table where we would have our dinner at over the duration of the cruise (should you choose to go for the sit-down dinner and not the buffet options available).
Naturally it was pretty chaotic as a throng of people surged into the dining room at 8.30pm, and it took a while for everyone to be seated at their respective tables and for the waiters to come around with the menus. After ordering, the wait for the food took quite a while too. The appetisers came about 40min later at 9.10pm, while the mains only came around 9.25pm.
Although they came around with a bread basket while we waited, the bread was cold and hard; not ideal at all.
The scallop gratin was not too bad, and the olive bread served with it was soft and yummy. There was supposed to be melted garlic-herb butter, but the taste was rather mild, and could have been stronger.
The salmon was pretty good too for frozen food, and was actually rather soft to bite into.
The prime rib (well-done) was so-so, while the butter chicken tasted more like curry chicken than butter chicken. It was ok I guess, but I was hoping for creamier and thicker butter chicken.
We were presented with the dessert menu after we finished our mains, and we ordered a few desserts to end off our meal. The desserts were the true stars of the dinner, and were really yummy! The blueberry peach crumble was super crumbly, and was served warm, thus tasting amazing with the cold strawberry ice cream served with it.
The apple dome was warm & fluffy, and needless to say, paired perfectly with the vanilla ice cream! (:
We left the restaurant at 10.30pm, as we had tickets for Ice Odyssey (the ice skating performance). The performance would be held at Studio B, which contained an ice rink (pretty cool for a ship). Do note that you will need long pants to be allowed to skate when the rink is opened to guests. Sadly i did not bring any long pants other than for the formal night dinner, so no skating for me on this trip. ):
The ice show was quite interesting, and we were entertained by gaudy costumes and cool moves on the ice. At one point, they even got an audience member to sit on a ‘throne’ in the middle of the ice and skated around her! She was seated near the front so you know what to do if you wanna be part of the show! 😉
The partner skate was really cool though as they did many stunts that were really high in difficulty level! :O There was even this Ukrainian skater who performed really cool moves with a wheel, and on ice! That was really really impressive.
After the ice show, we retired to our rooms for the night, as it was already close to midnight, yawn.. Before turning in for the night, we remembered that we could order breakfast for the next day. Using the room service forms provided in our rooms, we ticked off the items we wanted, and hung the forms outside our doors. Breakfast forms have to be left out before 3am, or there would be no breakfast delivered in the morning!
Btw, room service is free (except between 12 midnight and 6am).
Stay tuned for the next few days ahead!