As the title of this post suggests, I’ve been cruising (on a ship) but it was more like sailing the Singaporean seas, as opposed to the seven seas and let me tell you, it was magnificent!
I recently embarked on a cruise onboard Royal Caribbean and I’ll admit, it was my first cruise ever. I’ve never really thought about going on a cruise, it simply wasn’t on my list of ‘things to do’ but it will be now. I was pleasantly surprised at how this particular cruise on Quantum of the Seas shattered all my preconceived stereotypes of cruises. It wasn’t full of older folks, I didn’t get seasick, I was in no way bored when we were out to sea and I didn’t have to wear a fancy gown to every meal. What it was, was full of, was amazing food, fantastic shopping, epic activities and world class facilities.
This particular cruise required me to fly into Singapore but as of December 2016, you’ll be able to sail this bad boy through Australia and New Zealand yourself. Making it more convenient and cost-effective. Ovation of the Seas (sister ship of Quantum of the Seas) will be a unique experience tailored to the Australian market. With 18 restaurants including Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian, the North Star – a 360° observation capsule, iFly Skydiving, Two70 – a spectacular transformative venue, bumper cars and so much more, Ovation of the Seas will change everything you know about cruising. It certainly did for me.
Only question is, when I arrived on the ship was how I was going to fit it all in to 3 days (including a day trip to Kuala Lumpur)? With great difficulty! The ship exuded action and relaxation all all the same time. The options for activity or pleasure were endless and I could have spent more time on the ship in order to fit everything in (particularly the food). Alas, I had to return to work, so this is how I spent my three days of adventure on sea:
Day One: Board the vessel and settle in. Part of this process is meeting your Stateroom Attendant – the man who will deliver your every need and make you cute animals out of towels to surprise you when you return to your room after dinner.
Speaking of dinner, on the first night, we opted for Jamie’s Italian, yep you heard right and the best part is there’s no queues on this ship as opposed to his eatery of the same name situated on Pitt St in Sydney. And the food is just as delicious. The plank is insanely scrumptious and a great starter to share amongst friends. Then no matter what your relationship is with carbs, you MUST order a pasta, it’s Jamie’s speciality.
In terms of the food on ship, there are five of the 18 restaurants with which everything is free and part of your package. Now, Jamie’s Italian is not one of them BUT all you have to pay at this speciality restaurant is $30 and an entree, main and dessert is all yours! Drinks are determined by a daily package, so depending on what you choose, your booze is unlimited based on the level you purchase. For example, I had a $50 a day ‘Premium Package’ which meant I could have unlimited wine, beer, spirits and cocktails – no matter what the cost #winning. Did I mention there’s a bionic bar? Yep, a robot bar!
Day Two: On the second day I went into Kuala Lumpur, a place I’ve never been and one littered with spiritual vibes and loads of monkeys. The day trips will vary depending on where you board but I’m more than happy to share a few happy monkey snaps with you…
Back on the ship, we dressed to the nines and ventured to one of the inclusive eateries, American Grill – an authentic steak house where the meat was the star. What fascinated me was being able to go behind-the-scenes and see how the food is prepared and cared for. The produce is fresh and the staff friendly and well-trained in the food industry and the kitchen itself was huge. I mean these kitchens are catering for up to 5000 people a day, up to three meals a day. It’s a monstrous effort. Apart from the massive amount of kitchen staff there’s also loads of entertainment with world-class shows and performances.
Day Three: This was the day where I could finally get up and explore the ship in the light of day. It began with some solitude on my ocean-front balcony, followed by a session in the state of the art gym on the top level. It was so comforting to know that after all the delicious food and drinks I’d been consuming, there was somewhere to go and burn it all off. After that, it was iFly (sky-diving simulator), wave rider, dodgem cars, getting up to mischief in the video arcade and checking out the Captain’s quarters where he guides a highly qualified team of capable sailors. Our final night on board was spent dining at the incredible, Wonderland. Think Heston Blumenthal meets Alice in Wonderland. A degustation of decadent delights mixed with some chemistry, biology and weird science. Suffice to say, it was simply scrumptious!
After dinner, it was off to Schooner Bar where my favourite piano man, Patrice was belting out the tunes and I sat with my red wine in one hand and request sheet in the other and let the hours pass by. This was by far the highlight of my cruise experience.
After bidding adieu to my Stateroom attendant and Patrice the piano man it was bon voyage ship and arriving safely back on shore. I was genuinely surprised at what an incredible time I had on board Quantum of the Seas. As a 28-year-old girly girl, I never would have envisaged that cruising was my thing but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
For what to wear – JUST PACK STRIPES #nauticalalltheway x x