You know how I’m into trying new things and new experiences, right? So for our year end holiday, we went for a 5D/4N cruise with Royal Caribbean International. You mean something like Star Cruises? Well, NO, I have to tell everyone. This is a world of difference from that. It’s hard to explain, but its something you’ve got to experience for yourself. They are very professional, friendly, everything (well almost everything) is luxurious, and your entire trip is packed with activities. As the cruise director says, you don’t sleep on Royal Caribbean, you can sleep when you go home.
One downside is that they don’t allow passengers to board in Port Kelang when they dock here, the nearest port to board is Singapore. The cruise we took goes from S’pore to Pt Kelang to Phuket and back to S’pore. They allow to disembark to spend a day in KL (we stayed on board the ship, of course) and about half a day in Phuket.
RCI (that’s Royal Caribbean International) has many world-class ships, but only one or two make the trip to Southeast Asia. Ours was Legend of the Seas.
There are lots of things to do on board. At any time of the day, every hour, they have an organized activity like line dancing class, cooking demonstration, shuffleboard tournaments, etc. They even had a sexiest man alive contest. I didn’t join, but the crowd reaction was understandably loud during this contest.
What else is there to do? Tons. You can go rock climbing, play mini-golf, there are 3 swimming pools, go jogging around the ship (it’s pretty cool to jog with the sea breeze blowing your face), gamble at the casino (its only open when the ship is sailing), play indoor games, watch a movie, work out in the gym, get a massage, etc.
If you have kids, not to worry. They have activities for them all day, you just need to sign them in and they’ll have so much fun they won’t want to leave.
One thing that we particularly enjoyed was the bingo tournament that’s held once a day. For USD$16, you get to play 3 rounds (6 cards per round) and kids get to play for free.
I spent a lot of time in the casino watching gamblers in action (I don’t gamble, I just like to watch). The casino here is a lot more relaxed and friendlier than in Genting, i also managed to chat a bit with one of the croupiers, they’ll gladly explain the rules of the games. There was a Texas Hold’em tournament on the last day, a young guy won the table of about USD$300.
About the food, well its a food-lovers paradise. For every meal, you can choose to have a fine dining meal, or the buffet restaurant. Both are equally good. We especially liked the fine dining – the food is served almost immediately and the menu changes daily.
One thing i have to say is that the staff and crew are really polite and fun, they remember your names and joke and chat you with you all the time. Its was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and i strongly recommend anyone to go. And now, I wonder how long it will take me to save for a cruise aboard Cunard…?