It was a much anticipated wait for Dear1 and Dear2 for the Voyager of the Seas! First, it was bigger the Legends of the Sea, secondly we had just nice memories of the Legends, then it was the inaugural port at Singapore, and finally it was the maiden cruise from the new Marina Bay Cruise Centre, how exciting!
Alas, the 4D3N trip to Port Klang was more disappointment than fulfillment.
1. Too big a ship (aka too many people?)
Yes, this ship is much bigger, but bigger also means it can carry more passengers. 3000+ pax seems like an awful lot of number – there’s longer queues at the restaurants, food counters, rock climbing, lifts (yes, incredibly every lift seems to be packed and we all got irritated with the waiting and waiting….), pools, BINGO, photo taking etc etc etc. We even had to stand throughout the Ice Show even though everyone’s supposed to be able to fit in with the carefully planned schedule. Oh well…
2. Bad crowd
On the Legends, the crowd were more laid back. Things moved at a slower pace. Relaxing slow, not waiting slow. This time, everything felt like a big rush. Everywhere we went, there were people moving, rushing, snatching. The crowd felt more rowdy than before. There was also a lot more foreigners, from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, China, India, etc. Probably they’re here to catch the biggest cruise ship to dock in south east asia.
3. Retro…… Themed?
Hmm.. There doesn’t seem to be a central lobby on this big ship. Instead there’s this aisle called the Royal Promenade where live bands are staged. Even the Captain’s reception is held there too with everybody’s dressed up drinking champagne on this street. The shows feature some old school western pop which Dear1 and I can’t appreciate, and we finally conclude it’s because of the era…. The shows are probably tailored to the western crowd since the ship just arrived in Singapore.
4. 3N too short to feel pampered
We reached the new terminal at 10.30am on Day 1, finally board at 12.30noon, had a casual ‘fine dining’ on that evening itself, 1 proper Fine Dining on Day 2, 1 more casual fine dining on Day 3, and it was disembark at 9am on Day 4. Too short, too rushed for a short, pampering getaway…
5. Salty pool water!
Yucks! We didn’t believe it when they say the pool water was salty, but it really was, and VERY indeed. Is it sea water, or is it too much urine in the pool. I dread to think further… We didn’t swim in the pool during our stay on the Legends, so we didn’t know cruise pool water is salty.
6. Non-existent Royal-Tots
We were told and we read that there was going to be Royal-Tots programs for 18-36 mths on this ship. That was one of the reasons we booked this cruise. However, our room attendant told us there wasn’t such a program onboard. Eventually, we found the program sheet from the Ocean Adventure attendant. We followed the program and made our way to the Conference Room where it was held and found it empty. We visited the Conference Room again at a later scheduled time and found it occupied by another company’s event instead. We called the guest service operator and was told no Royal-Tots program was scheduled. So who is right? Disappointed…
7. No drinking water?
Our room attendant told us the water from our stateroom toilet is not portable. Even after boiling. He recommended us to get (free) drinking water from the Promenade Cafe. Imagine throughout our cruise we had to bring bottles to the Promenade Cafe to fill. We saw other cruisers doing it too. For Baby1’s milk, we had to bring our thermal flask and ask the restaurant staff to fill with hot water from the kitchen. We also simply ask for room service for a flask of hot water once. Stateroom water not portable? Then why is there a kettle in the room?
Disappointed. It was a good $700+ per pax (SGD2130.82 total) for a short 3N holiday. The food (fine dining) was great, and so were the friendly staff and the fantastic shows – even Baby1 sat still throughout all the shows. The taxi experience to Aeon (Jusco) was interesting too – that uncle who coordinates the taxis and his boy are still there! And how they have improved their taxi booking system in these 2 years, haha! But for $700, it could have been spent on a holiday that feels more like a holiday, haiz…
Well, there was a big surprise (and disappointment). When we checked in, we discovered that we were upgraded from our Oceanview Stateroom (deck 3) to a Balcony Stateroom (deck 7)! We didn’t know why we were upgraded but Dear1 postulated that it was because we were Anchors & Crown Gold Members (i.e. because we had cruised with Royal Caribbean before). Nice! But because of the last minute room change, our luggage had already been checked in to our previous room number. Luggage crew confusion ensued and it wasn’t until multiple communications with the onboard crew and 9pm that night that we finally received (retrieved) our luggage, haiz…
We enjoyed ourselves, just that it didn’t live up to our expectations.
Mariner of the Seas is coming to port inaugural in Singapore next year (2013). As big as the Voyager but newer. Would we go on cruise again…?
– Dear2 (Dear1 added some too)