Saturday, February 20, 2016

Royal Caribbean Day 1

Awhile back, I went on a weekend getaway onboard the Mariner of the Seas, kindly sponsored by Royal Caribbean! I was especially excited before the cruise trip because it came shortly after being impressed by the ship during the Nuffnang/Churp Christmas gathering.

Although my cabin was sponsored for two, I really wanted to spend the holiday with my whole family so we paid for another cabin so that my parents could stay in a room while my sis share my cabin with me.

We went on the 4D3N Singapore-Pork Klang-Singapore weekend cruise so we only had to take one day leave on Friday as we come back to Singapore by Monday morning. Yes, I went straight back to work immediately after the awesome holiday. Haha. It was an especially tiring trip because we had so much to do on the ship, contrary to popular belief that cruises are boring. I enjoyed myself a lot on the trip and felt really reluctant to leave when it came to an end.

Although the ship leaves at 5pm, check in starts from 11am and we got to the departure terminal at Marina Bay Cruise Centre around 2pm. The check in process was quick and fuss free, with friendly staff guiding the way.

Upon boarding, the first thing we did was to put our luggage in our room and head to Windjammer for their lunch buffet!

There was a wide spread of asian and western food available. I initially read online that there is only western food but actually there was quite alot of rice and noodle choices too.

There were so many different types of curries, I tried afew! Got one super nice!

Saw this hot dog section and the hot dogs looked SO GOOD!!!! Unfortunately, after checking the label, I realized it's beef, which I can't eat. zzzz. My sister and mum both exclaimed how juicy it is and gave the thumbs up for it.

Here you can see the promenade view rooms, which are actually interior staterooms but instead of being windowless, they have big windows facing the promenade! These rooms are good for people who prefer to watch the parades, dances, and shows in the comfort of their own room.

I like this photo of my parents!

Prior to sailing, there is a guest assembly drill to help guests familiarize with the safety routine.

Moving on to our rooms! Me and my sis stayed at the Oceanview Cabin. Some can accommodate four people, perfect for families. With a round window to view the seas, it's almost as good as getting a balcony room! I like how the sunlight streaming in through the window brightens up the room, it looks nothing like the typical type of cabins which are small and cramp. The rooms at Royal Caribbean feels like a legit hotel room!

Our room came with two single beds which can be joined together to form a queen size bed, a sofa and coffee table, as well as a dressing table! Oh the TV screen can also be swiveled to face either the sofa or the bed. I slept very late every night because of the interesting variety shows! Remember to bring your travel adaptor because the plugs are different from the ones we have in Singapore!

So happy that my parents got the balcony room at a very good price! We are the type that usually choose interior staterooms because of the cheaper price, but I feel it's really quite worth it to top up a bit more for the balcony if you have spare cash - at least once! It's an experience not to be missed!

The washroom came with all the sanitary amenities we require.

View from the balcony!

It felt quite shiok to stand at the balcony, take in fresh air and enjoy the sea view and breeze. But it's also abit scary for me and I held onto my phone very tightly because I was scared it will fly out into the deep blue sea! No idea why bf loves the sea... I'm terrified of the big unknown!

The ship start sailing already! Woohoo!

Because I was busy taking photos at the balcony, we missed the Dreamworks Parade! :( It is one of the highlights on the cruise, so remember to head down to the promenade when the ship starts sailing!

During this time, most people would be queuing at the guest relations counter to book their shore excursions for the next port stop. The staff were courteous and helpful here :)

I also went to activate my internet plan! At USD20 per day, guests can use wifi onboard for one device. You may choose to log in via your own mobile phone or use their computers which are free for use.

Went up to the top deck after we finished settling everything. It was just after a rain so skies were still gloomy, but many people were already playing at the basketball court. Looks like everyone's having fun! Opposite this court is the rock climbing wall, a table tennis table, and a jogging track.

So breezy up here!

Nice view of the top deck.

My parents happily taking photos on their own. Haha. Yes, there is a mini golf course on the top deck too!

We took so many photos up on the deck and luckily we did, because for the rest of the trip, we were so busy with the activities and facilities that we didn't have the leisure to walk around the deck to take as much photos as day one already. I also recommend to take it slow and use the first day to explore the ship and plan the activities for the next few days!

How often do you see such a beautiful view?

Went into the arcade and already so many people playing! I personally think that the Mariner of the Seas is very suitable for families because the programs and facilities cater to all ages, including the young. There is a complimentary Adventure Ocean youth program, activities for babies and toddlers, teen lounge and disco, family games and contests, etc!

Walked into an indoor activity room~

Then my parents suddenly turned into kids and played this thing with so much excitement that I just had to take a photo to capture the moment.

A small room with tables, seats, and some board games. Mariner of the Seas making sure we never have a dull moment onboard. I just remembered, there's also a library on the ship!

Went down to mum's favourite place in the ship - the Casino! This time I didn't play at all, but I did press the button for mum several times. Counted or not? Haha. If you intend to play, remember to change some USD cash. During evenings, this place is bustling with activity and I even saw someone win a stack of USD notes from a toy-catcher machine. People were crowding around and cheering for the guy. So shiok to soak in such a happening atmosphere!

They change this carpet mat in the lifts everyday to remind guests of the day. They are so efficient that one day we entered the lift just past midnight and they already replace the mat!

Time passed extremely fast and soon it was dinner time already. We went to Giovanni's Table, courtesy of Royal Caribbean for me and my mum, while my dad and sis went to eat at the Main dining room. My favorite thing about holidaying on cruises is that all meals are free. Once you pay for trip, there's really nothing else you need to pay for, unless you choose to top up for special restaurants or services. Giovanni's Table is one of the special restaurants that is chargeable on the Mariner of the Seas. However, it's really worth it as you only need to pay a cover charge of USD20+ per person to enjoy the Italian course meal with full table service.

We could choose several dishes from the menu and have it family style or in individual courses. We decided on the latter since it was just two of us.

For our first course, we ordered crusted scallops. We both agreed that it was a good start to the meal.

We chose the tomato based seafood soup, which was appetizing. It has bits of seafood in it too. More restaurant should serve this!

Mushroom Risotto for me - I love how fragrant it was, and the mushroom bits were super yummy!

Mum chose pasta, which was not bad too. I particularly like how the portion was just nice for a course meal. Not too little, not too much, just nice. But out of the two starters, I think I like the risotto more!

Mum ordered the Jumbo Shrimps for main course after seeing it being served to another table. And indeed, when it came I also regretted not ordering this one! The shrimps were big and looked so good. So happy when mum offered me a piece hehe. I didn't expect seafood on the cruise to taste fresh, but so far, the seafood I had were excellent. The shrimps were well seasoned and very delectable.

Luckily, my main course was delicious too! I ordered grilled lamb chops which was served on a pile of vegetables in merlot reduction. I've had plenty lamb chops outside but not many do it well - some too hard, some too bland. However, Giovanni's Table managed to serve superior lamb chops, with its tender meat and nice sauce.

We were so full by then but it was time for desserts. I had a cake while my mum chose two from the rack of desserts for us to choose from. Don't you now feel that the cover charge is really worth it for everything? Just choose one night onboard to indulge in the specialty restaurants just to pamper yourself!

Highlight of the night was the Ice Show - Ice Under The Big Top. Every guest has an allocated timing, and ours was on the first night. I heard from a friend that it's one of the best shows on the ship so I was quite excited for it too!

The show was so entertaining and the dancers did several impressive moves on the ice, everyone was awed. CANNOT MISS THIS SHOW - MUST GO.

At night, we walked around the area and saw this pretty sauna with starry lights. We're gonna enjoy the pool facilities on the third day!

The promenade quite empty past midnight~ Yea... We unknowingly stayed out till around 2am on the first night.

From our cruise compass we saw that there is this Cafe Promenade, which is 24 hours and open for snacks so we went there for supper! Hahaha.

The food were mostly sandwiches and cakes which are so-so, but the cheese pizza is warm and yummy.

Plus so-so coffee but better than nothing! It's all free so it's actually a bonus. Haha. If you prefer normal cooked meal-ish suppers, can go up to the Windjammer where they also have a spread for late night hunger pangs!

Oh do you know, every night we came back to different towel placements on our bed. It was quite hilarious on the first night because we were wondering what it was supposed to be (Pic 1 from left), before we realize it fell down and was supposed to be a swan (middle pic). Hahahaha.

Good night sleep after that! Gonna continue with Day 2 after this. Hope you enjoyed this entry because I took a long time sorting the photos and writing this! :) Love writing travelogues... More holidays please!

Read the rest of my Royal Caribbean stories!

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