Cruise holidays are one of the most relaxing and easy holidays to plan. Choose a sailing date, ports of disembarkation that interest you and put in a booking for the cruise and you can start packing your bags. There is no additional research needed since all meals are provided onboard and there are also curated tours at the different port of calls you can book via the cruise company website at an additional cost.
Personally, my family is a fan of cruise holidays and we have been on most cruise ships that have visited our country. Our current favourite is still the Royal Carribean for its endless options for activities and food. Royal Carribean has a large fleet of ships and the current one that has been docked in this region is the Quantum of the Sea. Check out the cruise video from Royal Carribean above. You can also check the Deck Plans here
This is my 2nd time boarding the Quantum of the Sea so I am pretty familiar with the ship itself. I choose the 5 days 4 nights package to the Straits of Malacca for a good rest with the seniors and family. As I extensive family duties on board, I hardly took many pictures so I took many pictures from the official Royal Carribean site for more context. Brace ahead for a long blog post.
We booked the twin sharing balcony room which is pretty spacious for a cruise cabin. We walked into a room that resembles a small business hotel room. There is 2 full-length wardrobe on both sides of the bed as well as loads of storage spaces on top of the bed. Nearer to the balcony, there is a dressing table with a huge circular mirror and led lights for the makeup fanatic as well as a chest of drawers for more storage space.
There is a 3 seater sofa right in front of the chest of drawers for you to lounge on to read or play games on your phone. You can also swivel the flat TV to face the sofa for a better view if you are not sitting on the bed. The size of the bathroom is reasonable with an enclosed shower cubicle and dry area with shelves and the water basin. The shower cubicle might, however, be a tight fit for taller and bigger folks.
The balcony is quite spacious with 2 deck chairs and a coffee table for you to read, simply chill out with your drink or to have your breakfast private. Do note that the ship supports the green movement, the aircon will automatically cut off if the balcony doors are open.
Some of the featured activities include the iFly experience, North Star, Wave Rider, Xbox gaming area, rock climbing and also the Seaplex bumper cars. The iFly and North Star experience have since converted to payable activities. Something interesting about the Seaplex atrium is that it gets converted into different activities area during different times of the cruise.
During my time on the cruise, the atrium was used for basketball sessions, bumper car session, laser tag session where a huge blow-up castle was used as the fortress, badminton court as well as a trapeze training ground complete with nets and safety harness. Personally, I only tried the bumper car myself and my young nephew was at the Xbox area every day. One of the reasons why I could not take part in some of these activities was that you have to make a booking for them via the customer service counters and they are highly popular. My suggestion is to plan ahead on the activities you wish to take part in and make your bookings the moment you board the ship.
Other than these sporty outdoor activities, there are also other indoor activities like line dancing, towel folding classes, healthy eating talks, origami classes, bingo session and nightly music and dance performances put up at the theatre or the different music lounges. Something interesting I discovered this trip was a pop-up escape room which also requires pre-booking. I had tried to walk in for a session but was turned down as the sessions were all full. For families with kids, there are also face painting sessions, treasure hunts and many more daily activities. Just check in on their daily onboard newsletter which will show all the activities happening on a particular day.
In terms of food, there are many options for food included in your cruise fare. The windjammer at deck 14 which features daily buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything is self-serviced. The main dining hall which serves dinner daily, breakfast and lunch on some days. The main dining hall has a fixed table assigned to your booking which you can select the preferred dining time at the time of booking. A hidden bistro is the solarium bistro which serves breakfast and lunch and is served first come first served on available tables. For dinner, a reservation needs to be made beforehand at the counter. If you are feeling peckish at any time of the day, you can check up the cafe promenade and Sorrento pizza house which is pretty much open 24 hours serving pizza, sandwiches, cakes and drinks. The Seaplex doghouse also serves up legit hotdogs during certain times of the day.
Personally, the food quality at the Windjammer and main dining hall have dropped a lot since my first cruise with them and I wouldn’t waste too much of my calories with them. Although there are some dishes that are great, most of them are mediocre. The pizza, however, is quite legit and nice and always has a queue for them. Because of the passable food quality, I decided to pay and try some of their paid restaurants onboard which I will share in the next post.
This is my deck 4 walkthrough video which shows the available shops, music hall, lounges, guest services and restaurants.
This is deck 5 walkthrough which shows the paid restaurants, lounges, grand theatre.
The deck 14 walkthrough shows the Solarium and main pool deck with the jacuzzi as well as the Windjammer cafe. This is my first time during showcase videos so pardon me on the shaking and background talking.
Overall, my experiences on the Royal Carribean has been great with endless activities to entertain the young and old as well as beverage packages with free-flow drinks for those who love to get tipsy on their holidays. The only downside for me is the food quality being mediocre but if food is not your main concern, it is a pretty relaxing and fun-packed vacation on the ship. For parents with young parents, you can also leave your kids at the child care so you can have some time to chill out. Not forgetting the casino which is opened during open seas for those who like leisure gambling.
For those who have never been on a cruise ship holiday should give it a try at least once. I have always been told that it is boring as you are stuck on the ship but there is always ports of disembarkation where you can explore the local town cuisine or heritage either with the cruise’s tours or on your own. So don’t shoot it down and give the cruise a try.