It’s the D-day to board the Voyager of the Seas! Since our boarding time was in the afternoon (3 pm), I only took a half-day leave and worked from home in the morning. Everything has been packed nicely into our luggage and the luggage tags have been secured. In my previous post, I mentioned that there are two options to bring your luggage on board. Quick tips, if your boarding time is early (e.g. 11 am), you can choose to hand-carry your luggage or check in the luggage and pack some clothes such as swimsuit for changing. However, the queue at the custom may be long for a foreigner (non-Singaporean and non-PR), so bringing a luggage (or more) may not be too convenient. Our boarding time was written as 3 pm but in the trip reminder email, it was stated as 2.30 pm. So we went to the Marina Bay Cruise Center at 1.30pm and reached at 2 pm plus. (See the last part of my previous post on how to get to the Cruise Center)
Boarding the ship!
Upon reaching the cruise center, the bag drop counter was very obvious. There was staff to guide us as well. No scanning required, as long as you have the luggage tag attached, you can just pass the luggage to the staff in charge. As we went into the center, there were signage and staffs along the way to guide us to the immigration checkpoint. You have to get your Set Sail Pass ready. If you book the cruise through a travel agency, they should have done the online check in for you. Otherwise, you may do so yourself at the Royal Caribbean website.
Make sure you empty your water bottle in your hand-carry bag before passing the custom. Also, do not bring prohibited items as well as opened food items. You may check the RC website for the “What Not to Pack” items. There are two lanes at the immigration checkpoint: one for foreigners and one for Singaporeans and PRs. After passing the immigration, we were guided to the boarding area. We had to fill in a health declaration form as well. (Tips: if you are unsure where to get water on the ship, refill your empty water bottle now at the boarding area.) Though the queue can be quite long, there were a few counters in operation. Basically, they need to see your passport and the Set Sail Pass. The staff will take a photo of you and issue you a Sea Pass Card.
Once that is done, you are set to board the ship! Woohoooo! 🙂
In the ship!
The embarkation area was on Deck 4. The crew scanned our Sea Pass Card and we walked into the giant ship! It was so huge that you won’t feel that you were on a ship. It’s more like a shopping mall instead. Royal Caribbean (RC) Voyager of the Seas is 15 Decks tall and 1,020 feet long. Some of its highlighted facilities include 10 pools and whirlpools, basketball court, ice-skating rink, FlowRider surf simulator, mini-golf course, rock-climbing wall, Casino Royale, arcade, theater, dining room, bars, and lounges. Its guest capacity is 4,269 and it has 1,176 international crew! It’s really amazing to see people from all over the world working together on a ship! (Reminds me of Pirates of Caribbean)
Deck 4 is an ideal spot for some nice photographs. As the ship was at the port, the Casino Royale was not in operation. We took some photos before finding our way to our rooms at Deck 3.
Our bags were already at the door when we reached our room. That was fast! However, one of the bags was misplaced at 2 rooms away. We entered the room using the Sea Pass Card. It was a small nice cozy room with a round window facing the sea. The room could fit 4 people as there was 2 additional bed on top of the ceiling which can be pulled down.
4 pm: Muster Assembly Drill
We didn’t stay in the room for long. We went to Deck 5 to explore and we found the Café Promenade packed with people. We had a coffee in a paper cup and there was an announcement made. All guests were required to gather at the assembly point on Deck 4 or 5 (where the rescue boats are) for the Mandatory Muster Assembly Drill (for emergency evacuation). At the sound of the ship’s whistle and alarm bells, we proceeded to our muster station. The muster station number is printed on the right-hand side of the SeaPass Card, where it’s written as an alphabet and a number, e.g. B11 for us. We had to mark our names and room number with the crew in charge when we arrived. I think we were standing there for more than 30 minutes waiting for all the guests to gather. There were old folks who couldn’t take the standing and heat and have to sit on the floor. Poor them. 😦 There were some missing guests who didn’t assemble at the location and they were given serious warning. Some people commented that the announcement was made in English and probably the missing guest couldn’t understand it. (From my observation over the few days, most of the guests for this cruise were from India, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and China.) At last, the crews demonstrated how to put on a life jacket in case of emergency.
Then, back to the room! We were greeted by our friendly room attendant and we got our Cruise Compass! Well, not exactly a “compass”, it’s just a piece of paper which includes all information you need to know on board. Cruise Compass includes information such as:
- Featured events of the day
- Weather forecast
- Sunrise and sunset timing
- Open Hours of facilities, cafe, and restaurants
- Timing of different activities
So, here’s what we do on Day 1 for the rest of the day.
5 pm+: Promenade Café and Royal Promenade at Deck 5
We wanted to grab some snacks at the café but it turned out to be even more packed than just now. We saw some crews dressed up in colourful costumes and kids looked excited! It’s time for the DreamWorks Move It! Move It! Parade. It was full of fun and laughter with the familiar Madagascar, Shriek, Kung Fu panda and other characters dancing and parade along the Royal Promenade. (Tips: To get a up close view of them, especially when you have kids who love them, try to standby at Cafe Promenade area at least 15 mins before. The characters will standby at the stairways quite early and you can be sure curious people will start crowding there too. To get a full view, I would recommend you to go up to Deck 6 or 7 balcony where you can look out at the whole stretch of Royal Promenade.) We were quite late when we found out about the show (~5 mins before show start) and even the balconies are full. So we went up to Deck 8. We get a pretty good view too!
5:45 pm: Dinner Time for Main Seating at Deck 4
The official dining time for Main Seating is at 5.30 pm. As we were watching the parade, we were slightly late. The Sapphire Dining room at Deck 4 was already quite full but not to worry as everyone has an assigned table number. Note that some of the tables may be at Deck 3. The crew will check your Sea Pass Card before you enter the room. There were 2 waiters assigned to our cluster of tables and they served us for the other days as well. The main waiter is from the Philippines and the assistant waitress is from Russia. We were served with bread first and given a menu each. Basically we had to choose 1 appetiser and 1 entrée. But the waiter told us that if we were still not full or did not like what we had, we can have another course. We waited quite a while (about 20-30 mins) before getting our food. It turned out that one of the orders was wrong and the waiter quickly get the right one for us, so we ended up eating 4 courses for 3 pax. 🙂 When we were done with the main course, we were given another menu for dessert. Yumz! If you are not keen in the dessert, you can always order a fruit platter or coffee and tea. If you have kids, you could try ordering something the kids would like… like pizza, cakes, muffin… as long as they could find it in their kitchen, they would try their best to fulfill your request. The Waiters and Waitresses are generally very friendly and helpful!
6 pm: Complimentary Ice Show Tickets Distribution
While waiting for our food, I went to collect the Ice Show tickets with our Sea Pass Cards at the Studio B, Deck 3, just right below the Dining Room. (Tips: 1 representative to collect for all members will do, but remember to bring along their cards as well) There were a few timing options to choose from (both on Day 1 and Day 4). The best for us was at 8.30 pm. There was also a complimentary Welcome Aboard Pack given out at the Art Gallery, right outside the Dining Room. The pack includes 1 piece of printed art and other art auction information. You can also get a ticket for art raffle happening at 7.30 pm.
We went back to our room for a quick rest and bath.
7:10 pm: Welcome aboard show starring Duck Cameron the Magician
We missed it due to dinner. 😦
8:00 pm: Get ready for the Ice Odyssey! An Ice Spectacular
So we had our tickets ready and head to Studio B to watch the Ice Show. Studio B is at Deck 3 but it was disconnected so we had to go up to Deck 4, pass through the Casino, and down to Deck 3 again. The door opened at 8:00 pm and there was a long queue! At last we managed to find some good seats and can’t wait for the show! (Tips: Bring along jacket as it was really cold at the ice rink) I don’t remember how long the show lasted, probably 60 mins. It was so enthralling and captivating. My mom enjoyed it a lot! 🙂 We rated it 10/10. Oh, the best part is, try sitting at the left side, on the front facing first or second row. You might get invited by the performers to sit on the “throne seat” and you will be among them in the middle of the ice rink. They will interact with you and you will be the star of the night!
After the show, we went to Cafe Promenade for some supper. They have nice muffins, cheese cakes, pizzas, coffee and tea. They serve different range of snacks at different timing and open for 24 hours! When we came back to Deck 3, La Scala Theatre was showing 3D movie – Martian. We watched for 10 minutes and fell asleep. So we went back to our room and have a good night sleep.
Extra Tips for Day 1!
- If you are keen to go Casino, go for the complimentary gaming lesson at the specified timing. You may place a bet of $1 to enter into the $500 off your folio raffle.
- There were 2 sessions of Outside Movie at the Poolside. Great experience, but can be quite cold at night.
- Casino Royale is not smoke-free! As the casino is the “connecting point” between the front and rear deck of deck 2 and 3, it can be quite irritating if you are not into gambling and don’t feel comfortable with the smoke (with elderly and kids around). You could choose to go via Deck 5 as well.
- If you were to purchase beverage package, purchase it on Day 1 to enjoy the most. There are a few options. I think if you are getting the Soda package, you get a free bottle as well. They had a booth to sell the package before the boarding area. Not sure if they accept SGD though. You can also purchase it online.
- Explore and familiarize yourself with the Cruise Compass – check out the timing of different shows, dining timing. It’s really useful!
- Internet package is available too. But why don’t you just get rid of your Facebook for a few days and really spend some good time with your loved ones on the ship? 🙂
- Explore the shore excursion options online or at the Guess center at Deck 5.
Stay tuned for Day 2! 🙂