Royal Caribbean – Mariner of the Seas (Day 1)

Before i begin, or actually i don’t look forward to posting about our 1st cruise trip cause to me, it was a disappointing trip. Having to recall what happened and those angry cum upset moments, making me regret the decision of having this trip. Before booking the trip, i only saw those positive reviews about them. Until i experienced it on my own, it was different from the reviews or maybe i am unlucky to have to go through this.

Last year when there were huge discounts on Royal Caribbean cruise held at Suntec under Cruise 1st, last minute the husband and I rushed down, we decided to go ahead with my parents. So here, on the 2nd day of the year 2018, we woke up really early for breakfast before our private coach came to pick us up. Then to pick my parents up. It was cheap to pick all of us up at only S$55. Since it was a short distance between our house and my parents’ house, hence no additional charge for extra pick-up location.

Headed to Marina Bay Cruise Centre, after alighting off, there are staffs at the entrance collecting your bags and luggage. The check-in process was too long and troublesome! If memory didn’t fail me, there are 3 rounds of checking. After 1st round of checking our passports with sea sail tickets, up the escalator to fill up a slip for each individual before proceeding to “check-in” the cruise. Although there are many counters still, the queue was super long. Although we made the booking together but because my parents are staying in a different room so we can’t do the “check-in” together. Upon suggested to do the “check-in” together with my parents, got rejected. As my parents aren’t good at English and since their room cards gonna link to my credit card hence i ended up having to go left and right. Because the husband just can’t do the check-in alone -.- It was frustrating especially when the kids are cranky too. Beorn was down with fever and Belen was having a runny nose. Worst, the 2 counter staffs that are serving us confused each other. Instead of realizing that they’re confusing themselves, from their angry faces and impoliteness, can tell that they blamed on us for the confusion.

Before going on-board, you will have to walk a long long way up. Then, another round of check again! It was also where you have to pass your passport to the staff for them to keep. Oh, remember to smile at the camera! They will take an individual shot of each guest going onboard.

Once we got onboard, we are lost. We asked a few staffs around on where to get to our staterooms, all of them have no idea too. 1st disappointment. Because we have kids, we didn’t know that we can just cut across the casino as the staffs didn’t mention too! Finally met another staff who finally can help us! So we can actually just cut across the casino with the kids!

Look into the casino entrance flooring!

This is how the room card looks like. Treat this card like another credit card of yours. If you lose it, someone picks it up and uses it to purchase drinks etc, it will be charged to your credit card. There isn’t any verification. You go to the bar, order your drinks, pass them your room card, they will swipe it and ta-dah, charged to your card already. That simple and risky. The dinner seating timing is to be fixed via their website. Either 5.30pm or 7.30pm i think. As the kids sleep early hence we have early dinner.

Then down the escalator, having to queue again for another round of check on passport via room card.Then queue again for custom checking. Finally, we saw the huge ship waiting for us! It got us excited! It was hard to get a shot with the ship at the back as many will be crowded around waiting for their family/relatives or friends done with the custom check.

I’ve been trying to book the Dreamworks breakfast dining experience online as mentioned by Cruise 1st staff but there was no option to it or reservation. Despite i emailed Cruise 1st a few times inquiring about it, they still insisted can only be booked online and only 2 months before departure date. I approached a cruise staff and asked her about the Dreamworks dining experience reservation, she was lost. Then told me no such activities. They only have the Shrek performance. Oh great -.- So never mind, we went down to check out our stateroom first. We took the connecting rooms so easier to for us to reach to my parents.

If you require bunk beds, you’ve to inform the housekeeper beforehand.
It will be directly above the bed. I would say it is unsafe for the children.
Since the bed was big enough, we’ve Belen with us and Beorn slept with my parents.

Daily newsletter with activities and shows availability.

While the kids and my parents settling down and admiring the sea view, the husband and I went up to level 5, Customer Service counter. So i enquired about the Dreamworks dining experience again, the lady mentioned if upon logging in, i can’t see any reservation for it means it is fully booked. I was shocked! Then the most shocking news was she mentioned people can actually make reservation years ahead?! Yet the Cruise 1st mentioned only 2 months before departing date?! I was feeling angry, disappointed and felt cheated. Because one of the reasons why we decided to have this cruise trip was for Belen’s belated birthday celebration to meet his favourite dreamwork character, Kungfu Panda.

Back to the stateroom and we went to deck 11 to have our late lunch at Windjammer Cafe. The dining area was huge but still, we waited quite awhile to get a table. I thought i was a true kiasu Singaporean at home, eyeing and dashing for empty table or seat until i was on board, i realized there are many who are more kiasu than we, Singaporeans =P We are considered gentle as compared to others. Even though we gotten a table, there was another family came beside and decided to squeeze between us and another table. Yea that tiny space in between, they sat there and we can’t even get out of our chairs! If you love Indian cuisine, it is gonna be a heaven for you! Not much Chinese food. A little of Japanese and western food. Taste of food: 5/10

After a terrible lunch, we headed down to deck 5 to catch the Dreamworks Move it! Move it! Parade. Waited impatiently as the kids got cranky. You can watch it via the video at the end of this blog post. Back to the stateroom to rest before we have early dinner at Rhapsody in Blue (main dining).

Dining at Rhapsody in Blue was way much better! At least there are waiters and waitresses serving. It is like you’re dining in a high-end restaurant. Some food is served in fine dining portions. But no worries, you can order the same food or try others if you’re not full 😉 How awesome right! But of course, try to cut down on food wastage. If you’re unsure of the ingredients served, you can always ask the waiter and they’re happy to serve! You get to choose the appetizer, main course and dessert.

After seeing the menu came another issue. There is no suitable food for my parents! Though they served vegetarian dish too, my parents don’t take onion and garlic. So apparently i chose the special requests via their website before i board the cruise, it didn’t capture it although it stated: “saved”! After voicing out to the waiter, he immediately approached the floor manager to come out with dishes for my parents. 15 minutes later, my parents’ main course was out! Impressive! We don’t expect much due to the last minute request. It was also nice that the floor manager personally apologized to us. Which made us felt important. Their desserts are always so amazing! Because there are 6 of us, we got to try almost all stated on the menu for the day!

Taste of food: 8/10

Back to the stateroom for a shower then rest. While the kids are enjoying themselves in my parents’ room, me being the one planning for the next day’s activities. They enjoyed the sea view until midnight. Since we’re still awake and little Belen couldn’t sleep due to his eczema flared up, we brought him up to enjoy the night breeze. It was really cold! The wind was strong too!

Then to the 24 hours cafe, Cafe Promenade to have sandwiches and drinks. The food and beverages are complimentary. Of course, don’t have high expectations since the food are free? Haha! Taste of food: 4/10

Watch our day 1 video here or below. Enjoy!