Cruises are luxury and are for people who have money to spare. Cruise vacations are for slightly older people or people on their honeymoon was the notion I always had. But recently I realized it is not so, they are not that expensive, as you save the cost on flights and you get everything on-board.If you are going on a a cruise for the first time, this is what you should expect and believe me you wont be disappointed.
Vish and I have been very lucky to have been able to take both our parents on a 3 night cruise from Singapore to Klang, Malaysia. The Cruise generally leaves around 3 PM on the first day and fourth day around 8:00 AM you are back to the port. So if it falls on a weekend you do not need many leaves except half a day, especially if you are in Singapore. We had planned for one such cruise over the weekend.
#Room Selection for our Cruise Trip:
There is a lot of consideration when you are booking a room in the cruise and to help you decide I have written all the details here: Cruise Room Selection.Eleven questions to help you decide.
We took two interior rooms, for 4 people and the cost for us was around 2000 SGD, which included all the meals and activities on board. You can buy alcohol and internet packages separately but they sounded expensive and not worth it. Everything on board needs to be paid using US Dollars and it is better to register your credit card as you do not want to carry cash around.
#Preparation for Boarding the cruise:
Before boarding the cruise you need your SailPass, luggage tags and Passports to be ready.Sail Pass would be emailed to you once you have made your bookings and have paid for the same. You need to fill up an online form with your particulars, passport number, credit card number which you want to use etc. One credit card is good for the entire group.
You also get luggage tags sent to you in email with room number printed out. It is good to drop your luggage and not carry on. They arrive at your room doorstep at the cruise earlier than you reach. The packing which needs to be done for a cruise is slightly different and hence here are tips to help you pack for your upcoming vacations Ideas on what to pack for your upcoming cruise holidays!
You need to reach the pier according to your deck numbers. If you have booked a suite you can board at your own convenience. For us boarding was happening till 3:00 PM. Once you sign the document and get you sail pass, submit your passport (The passport would be withheld by the cruise authorities for the duration of your stay). You just need to carry your sail pass everywhere you go. The interesting part was that our parents were allowed to visit Klang and Kuala Lumpur even though they did not have visas for the country.
#The luxury at Royal Caribbean:
Once you board the ship, you will be amazed by the beauty and the structure, these cruise ships our huge with glass and glitter and carpets and luxury written all over them. We headed for the Windjammer restaurant which was serving the lunch Buffet. It was crowded and there was no space, hence my first tip
Do not go for the buffet lunches immediately after boarding, it would be very crowded, there would be cafes in your cruise cafes which would be a better start.
After a little bit of struggle we did get out food and a place to sit. The food was amazing and there is such a widespread for all kinds of food. You have Asian-Western food, a lot of deserts, health fruits, veggies and salads. You can stuff yourself as much as you want. The quality and quantity (variations) are amazing but the taste could have been better. There are gourmet restaurants on board as well but they are expensive, so if you want to enjoy a luxurious dinner in the quiet with someone waiting up on you please make your reservations. Another tip.
Since there would be too much food on board, please be watchful. Move around the cruise and make use of the beautiful swimming pools, Gymnasiums looking over the sea, and wonderful jogging tracks in the open.
#First evening in our cruise vacation:
Before the Cruise journey begins there is a safety drill and instructions for 15-20 minutes. There are announcements for the same and you need to group together based on your deck numbers in particular locations. After the drill completion,the cruise disembarks from the port.
We all went to the huge open decks and balconies to enjoy the view of the departing port and the open sea. It was amazing, windy, not hot and wonderful to feel the sea breeze. We enjoyed feeling the sea breeze and resting on the deck chairs.
#The welcome programs on a cruise:
Most of the cruises have welcome programs/dances and shows. For Royal Caribbean the high point was the Disney Parade show. We all took our places in the promenade of the ship. The promenade is like this posh hotel lobby where you have the amazing cafes and bars on both sides and where all the cruise entertainment happens. We had amazing view and the parade was mind-blowing.
The music and the glitter and the ribbons followed by my favourite characters, Shrek and princess Fiona, Kung-Fu panda. Oh how I wanted to hold him and dance with him the fairy princess. Puss in the boot and other people dressed as wonderful character and dancing around you. The parade is the highlight of Royal Caribbean and gets you excited for your trip ahead. Even our parents got excited and you could hear laughing with glee.Kids were so happy to be part of this adventure.
#Cruise Compass to decide what to do on a cruise.
Generally for all the days, you get a cruise compass or the newsletter of the cruise which tells you of all the activities and the time and place where those activities takes place, it could be a mini golf competition, or games in Casinos or a meet up with a character or some trivia quizzes. You have a lot of options to choose from.
We went to our rooms to check out how they were and keep our luggage inside. The rooms were pretty good for interior rooms. There are multiple options available for deciding where you want to have dinner and you can choose from sitting dining in the luxurious three floor dining halls or eat at the various cafes.You can select the time as well; we had options of 5:30 or 8:30. We chose 8:30 and before dinner decided to explore the cruise casinos and the swimming pool on deck 12.
#Deck 12 on the cruise:
There are a number for swimming pools and all filled with salt water. I was not aware sea water is used in the swimming pools on board. Deck 12 also had amazing spas and parlours to explore. There are a number of hot tubs and Jacuzzi distributed around the deck which are very tempting and inviting. Also there was this ice cream softy shop serving three flavours of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Each one of us took one and sitting facing the sea, in the deck chairs enjoyed it. It was the most relaxing time of the cruise. It was a pleasure to just lie down under the sun and do nothing.
#My first experience at the Casinos in the cruise:
After this it was time to try some of our luck and we went to the Casinos. The casino in the Royal Caribbean ship is amazing they are beautiful and looks straight out of a movie. The glass panels, smart layout and so many options. Lookout for discounts and offers which generally runs every day. The cruise also has one hour lessons every day in the casinos to teach you about the different games and it is a good time to learn if you are keen. After a hand at blackjack which we lost by the way, it was time to go for our dinner.
#Dining in the Royal Three floor dining hall in the cruise:
Our dining was on 8th floor, the dining hall beautiful and waiters waiting for you with a smile. First day on board are generally casual dress ups.The dinner setting was royal. We got a menu from where we could order our three course meal. The food was amazing and it was amazing to taste. The presentation of the table, the cutlery, the drinks and the food was bang on perfect.
#Music and dance in the cruise
There was some light music playing in the background, a cameraman taking our pictures to sell us a copy later which we didn’t buy. Overall we really enjoyed the dinner
Post dinner we explores some of the night clubs, jazz music etc. All the places looked lovely and we sat and enjoyed the Jazz music. You have everything at one place, you can enjoy a dance or get high at the bar or you could enjoy a movie in the open deck or walk along the cruise and enjoy the sea breeze and the night sea.
It was super fun, our first day was amazing. Stay tuned for our second day at Cruise.
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