Since it has been quite awhile ever since we last went on a cruise (our previous cruise was onboard the Superstar Virgo a few years back, before we started our Japan craze), so we decided to give the Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas a try. This ship will be in our area (Singapore) for about 3 months (if I'm not wrong, until end January 2014) before moving on elsewhere.
Luckily my aunt (who was also going on this cruise with my uncle) reminded me that we have to board the cruise from the new Marina Bay cruise center (and not the one at Harborfront), or else I would have blur blur headed to Harborfront instead.
We cleared immigration and boarded the ship at around 12noon. We chose to bring our luggage along with us instead of checking them in, because checked in luggage will only be delivered to the room around evening time, plus were able to check-in into our rooms after lunch (around 1pm plus) so it wasn't too much of a trouble lugging our luggage around.
|This ship is bigger than Superstar Virgo|
After boarding the ship, we were being ushered to the level 3 main dining room (Rhapsody in Blue) for our lunch. Since our cruise was operating on a full capacity, so I guess that's why they opened up the Deck 3 dining room for lunch as well, instead of just the Windjammer buffet area at Deck 11.
Both Deck 3-Deck 5's Main Dining room as well as Deck 11's Windjammer's meals are all complimentary.
For the 4 of us (my aunt, uncle, hubby and myself), we find ourselves preferring the food we had in this dining hall over the buffet food at Windjammer. The service from the waiters at Deck 3 Rhapsody in Blue dining hall were excellent as well. Will talk more about this later on.
|The main dining room which spans from Deck 3, Deck 4 to Deck 5. Deck 3 is called Rhapsody in Blue.|
|The Von Trapps|
So, what's for lunch?
|Mashed potatos, rice and some other stuffs|
|I absolutely LOVE this Honey Stung Chicken.|
|What I had: Rice, Honey stung chicken, and some soup.|
After lunch, it's time to check in into our room. My room is actually larger than normal (even though it is also considered just a regular balcony class room) because it is wheelchair accessible. I had to resort to booking this room because at the time of my booking, there was only this particular room left on Deck 7. If you don't need a wheelchair accessible room and there are still available regular sized balcony class rooms available at the time of booking, then you shouldn't book this room (even though it's tempting) and leave it for those on wheelchair who actually needs it.
|Our large wheelchair accessible room.|
|Wheelchair accessible bathroom for our room.|
|There's a mini fridge in the room.|
Oh, by the way, I would advise people who likes to spend time in their room watching tv/reading/relax while munching snacks (like us), it would be advisable if you buy some snacks (chocs? chips? bottled drinks?) and bring onboard because they don't sell packet snacks on the ship. They do sell bottled Evian Mineral Water though, but it's kinda expensive, so we brought our own bottled drinks with us since there's a mini fridge.
After I'm done taking photos of my room, time to go knock knock on my aunt and uncle's room.
Their room is the regular sized balcony class room on the same level as us (on Deck 7 as well) and they also paid about the same price as us.
|Regular sized Balcony class room.|
|Regular sized bathroom|
Our Day 1's cruise schedule
|View of Singapore skyline from our balcony|
|Yup, my well-travelled buddy went on this trip as well.|
We then headed out of the room for a stroll around the ship.
First stop, Casino.
The Casino uses US currency, so you might want to change some USD if you intend to play.
|Poor hubby still responding to some work emails while sitting outside the casino.|
Up next, is the Promenade on Deck 5. This is also where the Dreamworks parade will be held at.
|This 24hr cafe offers complimentary snacks when you are feeling peckish between meals.|
They serves cookies, jelly, sandwiches, cakes, and pizzas.
|Complimentary snacks from the cafe.|
Even though we already had our lunch, but we went to Deck 11's Windjammer buffet area to take a look.
The place is pretty big, with large variety of food (mostly continental, with a very small selection of Chinese food). For people who only eats Chinese food (eg. my grandparents), they may have a problem with the limited selection of Chinese cuisine on this ship, compared to say the Superstar Virgo, because there's no Chinese restaurant on this ship.
Food at Windjammer
|make your own burger|
Outside Windjammer, near the swimming pool area, there's a corner with complimentary soft-serve ice cream.
There are 2 different swimming pool areas on this ship.
The first 1 is the Solarium (not sure if I spelt this right). This area has a small pool and 2 warm water jacuzzi.
However from what I understand, Solarium is only for those above 16yrs old.
And this is the 2nd pool area. This is a much bigger area with 2 pools, as well as jacuzzi. This area is for people of all ages.
|We then had to attend a compulsory emergency drill (deck 4 for us). This took about 30mins.|
|After the drill, we went to the cafe at the Promenade for some snacks while waiting for the Dreamworks parade to begin.|
|Everyone waiting for the parade to begin|
|Puss in Boots|
|Shrek and Fiona|
|After the parade, the mascots had to take lifts to leave the area...we were at the lift lobby taking photos of them while they were waiting for the lift.|
|Interestingly, they change this floor plate daily.|
1 reason why I really enjoyed this cruise is that they have complimentary room service (but will have to pay about USD3.95 if you order after midnight). So I really liked to order food to my room and then eat while watching the seaview at the balcony. Oh, and their hot chocolate is really nice. Think I must have drank more than 8 cups on this trip.
|My first room service order. Hot Chocolate + Prawn gyoza.|
|Had my gyoza at the balcony while watching sunset.|
|well, a cloudy sunset.|
At 8pm, it's time for our dinner at the Deck 3 Dining Hall (Rhapsody in Blue). As mentioned before, this is a complimentary dining and the place spans over Deck 3 to Deck 5.
Upon booking our cruise, we chose to have our dinner dining time as 8pm. This means that at 8pm, you won't need to queue and you will be seated at the same table throughout the cruise for every night. Of course, you could go to the Windjammer instead to have your dinner if you prefer buffet, but I would recommend the you have dinner here because we enjoyed every dinner we had here.
|At exactly 8pm, the door opens and all those who chose 8pm seating will be able to enter the dining hall to be seated at their table.|
Food selections for the dinner on our first night.
|Hubby had 3 consecutive nights of Escargots...|
|My main course: Fried egg noodle. Not bad.|
|My Aunt and Hubby's main course: Prime Rib, and he loved it.|
|Uncle had this. Chicken I think|
|Hubby and Uncle chose this. Creme Brulee|
|Aunt chose this.|
|Hubby, Aunt and Uncle shared this.|
|Hubby, Aunt and Uncle shared this as well.|
After dinner, time for the movie Man in Steel in 3D.
|Wearing 3D glasses|
Since I'm not really a fan of Superman, so I left the movie halfway to return to my room to order room service for supper. Since I placed the order before 12 midnight, so i didn't had to pay for the midnight service charge therefore it is complimentary.
|My 2nd Room service order: Fried Honey Stung Chicken. Not as nice as the one I had for lunch, but still, this wasn't too bad.|