Wanted to spend the whole afternoon blogging about the vacation but got bogged down with last minute translation work as asked by the church staff. Didnt want to do this next week since the term starts tomorrow! (omfg I cant believe it). But it’s okay! Will keep it short and sweet!
Okay so I wont elaborate on the Mariner of the Seas’s background cos many websites are repeating that.
My uncle volunteered to bring us to Marina Bay Cruise Centre. There will be staff there helping you to collect your luggage if you want to check in. Checked-in luggages will be delivered to your stateroom around the evening 6pm so make sure you pack your needed stuff in your hand carry. Alternatively you can choose not to check-in. After filling in some health declaration form and scanning the online check in documents (use online check-in. It is more convenient) and other blah blah paperwork we are ready to board!
My phone cant capture the entire ship cos it is too huge! The ship crew is international, but PRCs and Americans form the majority of the director staff while stateroom attendants and waiters/ess are mostly southeast Asians and PRCs. Dont recall seeing any Singaporean though.
And every passenger will be issued a seapass card after their passports are handed over to the staff for safekeeping. The card is everything! It is used as identification when you get off the ship for shore excursion, it can be used for payment for onboard shopping(will elaborate how to settle your onboard purchases later) and to open your stateroom door. Anyway mine is hole punched after registering for ice-skating and rock climbing.
Went to check out the stateroom after that. Dad booked the oceanview stateroom at deck 7 (no balcony and no separate bed booooo) and it was a double bed. Shared a room with my aunt. Our rooms are located right at the front of the ship so I can secretly look at people doing silly things there through the window *smirks*.
There is a kettle provided in every room to boil water but we found it rather dirty so we didnt use it. Nope we didnt end up drinking sea water, we just asked the restaurant people to help us fill up our bottles. Anyway the TV here is located at a rather inconvenient angle from the bed.
The toilet is rather crampy and it doesnt provide toothbrushes and slippers (just in case people take freebies home) so do bring them along.
Every room will have a cruise compass which shows the timings of daily activities and performances, as well as opening times and all. Well I would recommend you to bring them along (its just a piece of paper) because it is difficult to remember the exact timings when so many things are happening consecutively. Chinese versions are available at the guest services. On the 1st and 3rd day, the ice rink is open for passengers to skate while the rock wall is only available on the 2nd to 4th day. 1st day for rock climbing is just registering. Tilt your head please.
After that went for lunch at Windjammer. It serves all kinds of food but mostly western in nature. My aunts were complaining about the lack of chinese food but I thought the food variety was quite a lot. For chinese food fannatics, Windjammer serves rice during lunch as well so you can go make your own chap chye bng. Anyway Windjammer and Jade are both the same thing, while you need to pay for Giovanni and Chops Grille.
Hygiene is very important on the ship so there are hand sanitizers located at every entrance of the eateries around the ship. And one cant escape under the watchful eyes of the waiters/esses who stand at the entrance.
Spot the minion.
After that went to look around the ship before a compulsory fire drill. Library at deck 7 is open for 24 hours. No librarians though.
The Royal Promenade at deck 5. Duty free shops selling designer brands, a cafe (I think is cafe promenade), shore excursions desk and guest services are located here. Other than that events like dreamworks parade, shopping sales and indoor partying are held here. Reminds me of the streets in USS!
The casino at deck 4. Apparently it is located right smack in the middle of the ship. So when you are trying to get from the theatre to the dining room you have to pass by here everytime. When the ship is on international waters the casino doubles up as a gas chamber cos of the suffocating cigarette smoke.
The swimming pool at deck 11. Dint swim this time round cos it’s the time of the month. But it would be pretty chilly to walk from the pool to the stateroom as the air condition in the interior is rather strong. The old folks were complaining (seriously one does not simply go on a vacation to complain.)
Free flow of soft serve ice-cream at Arctic zone. There will be a waiter helping out with the machine or you can choose to self-help.
Many deck chairs everywhere at deck 12
Sports deck is located on deck 13 and 14. There is a mini golf course for noobs and a in-golf simulator which you have to pay 25 bucks (US dollars). My mum held the golf club as though she is holing a mop HAHAHA. (Actually I dont know what is the proper way to hold a golf club also).
Other sports deck facilities include the rock climbing wall (next post), running track and inline skating path. Then it is the compulsory fire drill! The very big alphabet and numbers on your seapass card indicate your assembly station in case of emergency. For us it is at the Lotus Lounge at deck 5. Yeah it is indoors -_-
Dreamworks parade at Royal Promenade which was really crowded. Luckily we stood at deck 7 to watch which was a rather decent view.
The ship departed from Singapore around 7pm although it was stated 5pm. Cheat my feelings! But anyway since Singapore is so near to Malaysia it doesnt matter.
After that my dad went to queue up at the shore excursions desk to buy the tour package for the 3 of us for Port Klang and Langkawi. I would rather pay for the tour beforehand to avoid the long queue but there were changes to the excursions offered. Anyway, they will also cancel a tour and refund you the money if there is insufficient sign-up. Usually shopping are the more popular ones. #badluckhistorystudentcantvisithistoricalplaces. Minimum sign up is 25 but if there are 20 people they will still proceed on with the tour. Alternatively you can choose to stay onboard although it would be rather boring in my opinion, especially if your trip is 3 or 4 nights. Will elaborate more on shore excursions later.
I think we went for dinner after that at Rhapsody in blue. Very atas place. There are 2 seating timings at 5.45pm and 8.15pm respectively cos the passengers are too many. There is an option for my time dining but my dad didnt choose that while booking the trip. 8.15 is fine for my family since we eat late but not for them.
Each table has a head waiter and assistant waiter, but both waiters will be serving about 3 tables. Our head waiter is a Filipino-Spanish while the assistant is Indian. Anyway my mum and I nicknamed the assistant waiter as 面包仔 (bread boy) cos part of his job is to carry a huge plate of bread of different kind and ask us whether we want bread. And the bread is freaking hard like a rock! But do try the one with melon seeds as it is fragrant.
Now onto the main course. Will skip the soup cos I cant remember what I ordered. Dinner day 1 is salmon. Pretty okay and serving is just nice.
Dessert time! Den Den calls it “Time for yummy yummy!” (Damn cute). This is low fat mango pudding, Looks aesthetically pleasing but couldnt taste any mango at all.
At the end of the meal Den Den asked for our feedback which is really nice and professional of him. So my aunts complained about the lack of chinese food and said they wanted fried rice. Then he said he could help us request for chinese food but made no promises since the decision with food lies with the kitchen.
After that went to catch the Gallery of Dreams show at Savoy Theatre. This is the part where you have to pass through the casino from the dining area. Inconvenient max. As you can see it is nearly full house and some of the audiences ended up standing. If you want a good view, they are usually at the centre block at the upper and lower deck. AND BE THERE EARLY!
Before the performance, the hosts were reading off the numbers of the nationalities of the passengers on board. The Indonesians topped the list with about 1300+ (cant remember exact figure) while Singapore was 2nd most. So yeah the ship was sailing at full passegner capacity instead of an empty board. The show didnt have a storyline, instead it was just random changing of scenes and singing. But still it was a world class standard performance and everything from the visuals to singing and dancing complemented each other well. Side note: Side section seats arent good for taking photos.
This is how the theatre stage looks like when the show hasnt begun
Elsewhere there are performances at the various bars by onboard singers.
Didnt go for much night activities cos they are usually the partying and disco stuff which I wasnt interested in. So turned in early for the night. Usually by 7pm the cruise compass for day 2 will be delivered to your room so you can plan for the next day.
Alright now onto day 2!