This was my 2nd cruise with Royal Caribbean and my 4th cruise overall. I have never cruised this part of Asia and thought that it would be a perfect time to explore this part of the world. Our cruise took my husband and I to Laem Chabang in Thailand and Phu My in Vietnam for 7 wonderful days.
It was a bright and sunny morning when we arrived at the new Singapore Cruise Terminal at about 11.00am. on Saturday. There were already many people there before us but surprisingly, our embarkation process was pretty smooth and within 45 minutes we were able to board our ship.
We were told to proceed to the Windjammer for our lunch as our cabin was not ready yet. It was rather hectic and crowded but we managed to find a table for 4 which we shared with a friendly couple based in Hong Kong, Peter and Debbie. There were lots of food to choose from and the main difference was that there were more Asian food offerings compared to our previous cruises. I liked the Indian selections which had lots of curries paired with Indian breads.
We normally begin our day with a breakfast at Windjammer, followed by lunch at the Main Dining Room during sea days and dinner again at the Main Dining Room. We did not try the alternative restaurants as we were happy with the selection at the Main Dining Room. Overall the food was good, the service was excellent - lots of friendly smiles from some of the wait staff. Our waiters were Heri and his assistant Joko who were from Indonesia. We enjoyed their warm and friendly service. However their supervisor was Kumar, the Head Waiter, who never dropped by our table during the 7 days we were there. This was a huge contrast between him and our previous Royal Caribbean cruise Head Waiter, Jeffrey who was very attentive and meticulous. Apart from this, we were also pleased with our menu selection. I remembered with fondness the delicious Prime Rib dinner which was very tender and my favourite dessert was the Tiramisu. There was also a good variety of fruits served at the Windjammer. I tried the Dragon fruit which is a beautiful bright pink fruit that tasted like the Kiwi fruit and the Jack Fruit.
There was however no soft serve ice cream at the Windjammer. Instead we had to rely on the Arctic Zone which served Frozen Yoghurt only between 11.30am to 6.30pm. I had suggested this in writing to the F&B Director, Christophe Poitevin but I never heard from him personally.
The other thing we missed was the "Tutti Salad Bar" that used to be served in the Main Dining Room during sea days Royal Caribbean took this out with the new menu they now introduced. I remembered having a Chicken Satay during lunch but it was really hard and dry. I am sure it was sitting a bit too long in the bain marie before it was served. On the positive side, I enjoyed the Laksa for lunch.
Overall it is well thought out - there was the singer, Tamara Guo who sang a mixture of English and Chinese songs, the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers who presented "A Gallery of Dreams", "Center Stage", Thai Classical Dancers, Australian comedian and illusionist Doug Cameron, Chinese contortionists - Ballet on Shoulders. I think my favourite show was the Ice Skating Show featuring "Ice Under The Big Top" which was really good.
Apart from all that, there was fabulous 70's Dancing in the Street Disco Party and the Dream Works Parade by the Royal Promenade. It was lots of fun for the young and old alike. I loved the Mariner Macho Men who were the Village People performing YMCA. Lots of razzle and dazzle, shimmering disco wear, bell bottoms and colourful wigs.
Our Cruise Director, Gordon Whatman, did an excellent job organising this. He also sang at the Farewell Show.
Port & Shore Excursions
My husband and I organised our own transportation into Pattaya when the ship docked at Laem Chabang. It was about a 45 minutes drive from the port. We hired an English speaking Driver, Ed and he drove us around Pattaya for 5 hours. We went to the Central Festival Mall, the largest mall in Pattaya, There were lots of shops and restaurants. We also drove by Walking Street which was very colourful but somewhat seedy. Then we went up to the top of the hill by the lovely Royal Cliff Hotel for a scenic view of Pattaya. We had already been to Bangkok on previous visits and we were worried about the demonstrations and riots happening at that time, so we did not go into Bangkok.
We also did not go down the ship in Phu My as Ho Chi Minh City was a good 2 hours drive away but instead spent a relaxing day by the poolside on the ship.
We had the Promenade View Cabin on Deck 7. It was good value for money and located Midship, a great location as it is close to the Royal Promenade and not too far from the Library. Our cabin attendant was Komang from Indonesia. He kept our cabin spick and span and made cute little towel animals.
Fitness Centre and Ship Activities
I loved the Fitness Centre, lots of machines and there was a hot tub located there too. For a such a big ship, they only had 1 Personal Trainer - Alfred from Poland. Poor guy, he was down with flu one morning but he still had to conduct the Morning Stretch Class. I also enjoyed the Line Dancing classes and made lots of friends there. There was one class where we danced to live music performed by the American group, Dynamic Duo.
It was very orderly but we had to wait about 45 minutes for a taxi at the Singapore Cruise Centre as the queue was very long.
We enjoyed ourselves overall, met many people and made some new friends. It was not perfect but we had a great time relaxing and enjoying ourselves. We hope to plan another Royal Caribbean cruise in the U.S. either in the Caribbean or New England soon.