Hola~ And Day 1 of our long-awaited Royal Caribbean cruise onboard the Quantum of the Seas arrives!
It’s been so long since I’ve packed for a long trip, much less bring out my passport which has been collecting dust for awhile now lol.
And here we were at the Singapore Cruise Centre to take our ART test before we could be all cleared to get onboard. Tbh, I was worried here because if you are tested positive for COVID at this point, you’ll be turned away from your cruise – RIGHT before the trip = ultimate disappointment. So I was curbing my enthusiasm till I received my results.
The process was very smooth and efficient with plenty of staff around to guide you to the necessary areas. First, to the lifts to the area where you get tested, then to the testing tents, and then to waiting area where we were furnished with a bottle of water each while we awaited the results. It was all mainly outdoors, but relatively well ventilated so you won’t feel too hot.
The waiting time wasn’t too bad either, and we were done rather fast. The results will come to you in the form of SMS, or your TraceTogether app, or when they call your number.
Once done, you’ll be guided to the departure area and immigration. Goodness, you’ll be reminded of all the usual airport procedures from scanning your luggage, checking in, scanning your passport and all the usual checks albeit with tightened security and safety distancing management naturally.
Boarding is also done in droves, depending on which boarding group you are assigned. For reference, we went for the earliest check-in time of 1230pm, and was done with everything around 130pm or so. The earliest boarding time begins around 2pm so this is the best time if you want to be onboard the ship the earliest.
And why is that important?
1. Chiong to book all the shows onboard the moment you get connected to the Royal Caribbean WiFi.
2. Dash to Guest Services to book all the meals in the unlimited dining package (if you topped up for it).
2. Is actually more important than 1, I feel. Some people also literally dragged their luggage to the counter before even checking in to book the meals first before anything. For us, we dumped our luggage while booking the shows (on the way), and then at the Guest Services area for our meals.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get hold of the original reservation timings I wanted, nor bookings in fact as most of them had been snapped up so you just have to make do with whatever booking slots you have left, while making sure it doesn’t clash with your booked show timings (if any).
In fact, I had to rework almost my entire itinerary to accommodate to the tweaks in the meal reservations/bookings – which we did, later in our room after successfully making about 90% of our reservations.
Alright, and once those were pretty much formed up.. time for a room tour of our spacious Balcony Stateroom!
The space is relatively spacious, like your regular hotel room – a dressing table by the side with power sockets (US socket), complimentary 2x bottles of water, face masks and cleansing wipes, alongside the kettle, cups and tea/sugar. You can find the mini fridge (more like a chiller) under the table next to it, and a hairdryer plus a box of tissues in the drawers.
Here’s our very comfy bed for two, actually two single beds combined into one but very comfortable and plush.
There’s definitely no lack of storage space in the room with plenty of cupboards with drawers/hangers to store your stuff – including a safety deposit box for safekeeping.
Not forgetting our spacious balcony which we paid an upgraded price of USD 50 each for (this is the spacious balcony room). It’s not really worth the upgrade tbh, but since we bidded for it and got it – we made sure to use it often! The key difference between this and the usual balcony rooms is just more space (longer) so it’s not cramped. We had plenty of space to walk around and even hang our clothes (we brought a clothes line).
And finally, this is our toilet! This is a pleasant surprise as it was much better than I thought it would be. It’s not exactly very big but clean, functional, sufficient and quite nicely designed. No bathtub here, just a shower wand!
In terms of bathroom amenities, only a two in one soap + shampoo as well as a bar of soap were provided (if I recall right). You’ll need to bring your own toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, razor etc and the like.
Time for a change of clothes as we had a dinner appointment at our first specialty restaurant of this trip at Wonderland later that night!
But first, time to explore the ship, snap solo ootds ..
.. and have a quick bite at Seaplex Dog House (complimentary) to stave the hunger pangs away.
There were four types of hotdogs and three types of bread available and we opted for the Thuringer Sausage and Smoked Bratwurst with a white/black sesame bread and cheese bread respectively topped with onions.
Both were pretty good but the latter (smoked bratwurst) was nicer. Yums!
More hiao (vain) photos all around and it was time for our dinner at Wonderland!
For context, you can only book a dinner at Wonderland ONCE while on the UDP (Unlimited Dining Package), and honestly, it’s also only worth that one time experience just to try.
It’s touted as a gastronomy experience dining but don’t expect too much from it okay?
What I will have to say is that the service is excellent there were a dedicated wait staff to your table and he took care of us very well!
The experience starts off with dipping your paintbrush into the magic water to reveal the full menu showcasing a variety of dishes categorized under the Sun/Ice/Fire/Sea/Earth elements.
You’ll get to choose ONE main from the Sea and Earth element category, of which we opted for the halibut and terroir beef.
Other than that, you’ll be served almost all the dishes from the different element categories one by one with the server explaining each dish to you. Feel free to order more if you’d like (other than from the mains in the Sea and Earth category).
Presentation was pretty nice = it tries. Taste wise, like I said – don’t expect too much heh. My favourites would be the shrimp kafiti, terroir beef and oceanic citrus.
You can’t forget about desserts under the Dreams element which came in a separate menu here.
Honestly, we were stuffed but decided to go ahead and order The World and Magical Mushrooms to try.
The latter was a cute presentation but only the mango sorbet was nice. Everything else was just for visual purposes, didn’t taste good to me. The World was much better as it came in a nice chocolate sphere and was revealed when our waiter poured the warm caramel sauce over it. I enjoyed this one much more though my partner thought it was too cloyingly sweet for him.
Definitely stuffed after this meal with more to come over the next few days. Help, expect weight gain after this trip hahaha!
For the rest of the night, we went for a couple of back to back shows – the live Kinetic band performance at the Music Hall, bumper cars (you can only play it ONCE!), checking out the arcade, our first headliner show (a magic show featuring John Taylor) and appreciating some beautiful guitar music at Boleros Bar..
.. before ending off our night chilling a lil at Cafe Promenade for some pizza from Sorrento’s and a cuppa hot peppermint tea + peach pie for the Mister.
Definitely a great Day 1 of our cruise trip and we were looking forward to more exciting activities and dining experiences in Day 2.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more daily reads and thanks always for reading!
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