With overseas travel from Singapore still on the back burner, we decided to hit the high seas again. Royal Caribbean are operating their ‘Cruise to Nowhere’ on Quantum Of the Seas until October. You can choose between a 2, 3 and 4 night stay. For the moment, the cruise is only open to Singapore residents. This was our second time on Quantum and once again, it served up the good times. Whilst I’m gutted I can’t travel overseas to see my family, I remain grateful that opportunities like the ‘Cruise to Nowhere’ exist. With strict testing protocols in place, it really did feel like the safest place to be. If you’re considering a trip or booked to go, here are my top tips.
Get lanyards for all the family! Every passenger is allocated a seapass and you need to tap in and out for all the activities. You can buy them cheap as chips on places like Shopee. I don’t know why I didn’t get one for myself and cursed having to reach inside my handbag each time. I spent the cruise envying my friend Fay’s stylish leather lanyard…
Book Coastal Kitchen
If you are in a Suite you have access to the beautiful a la carte Coastal Kitchen restaurant. Depending on your level of suite, you may be able to access it for all three meals. We were in the cheapest Suite (a Junior Suite) and were allowed to eat there at dinner. You can’t reserve this in advance of the cruise so as soon as you get onboard, head to the 14th floor and make your reservation. I highly recommend the chocolate praline tart!
Get a hotdog
One of the great things about cruising is the amount of free food available. On our first trip I spent so much time stuffing myself with pizza at Sorrento’s that I neglected the ‘Dog House’. You’ll find this at the back of the SeaPlex. There are a variety of hotdogs available and they are DELICIOUS. Also a bonus tip, if you’re into sweet drinks and banans, order a banana colada! Not available everywhere but I reckon it’s Mr Jetlag’s favourite part of the cruise..
Eat outside at Windjammers
The buffet restaurant, Windjammers, can get quite hectic. For peace and quiet head to the back of the restaurant. Better yet, go alfresco through the doors at the back and see if you can spot dolphins.
Explore the live music
It’s easy to get caught up in the main shows and neglect the smaller acts. Covid has deprived us of live music and it’s so wonderful to hear talented musicians play. Go see Carlo Rafanan and his amazing guitar/singing skills. He also takes requests!
Go early to the activities
Royal Caribbean has already increased the guest capacity on Quantum of the Seas. However there are still very strict social distancing measures in place for the shows etc. This means if you’re really keen to do an activity, show up 15 mins early to ensure a spot. It’s astounding how many people are keen for a trivia quiz at 2.15pm.
Take tip money
The staff onboard are quite simply, spectacular. They work so hard day in, day out to ensure the guests are having a great time. Of course, they are also the lucky ones in that so many people are out of a job in the cruise industry. The Quantum team have been onboard since November and with the cruise season extended till October, I’m not exactly sure when they are getting off for a rest day! So take your currency (be it SG $, US $, whatever) and tip generously. They leave a few tip envelopes in the room and you can collect more from Guest Services on the 4th floor.
Escape the kids and have a pina colada in the solarium
I appreciate that not everyone can take advantage of this. But if you have kids who are old enough to amuse themselves, get yourself to the Solarium. This haven is only open to 16+ and you can perch on your sunbed watching the waves. The Solarium Bar makes the best pina coladas onboard and you can take your cocktail into one of the cascading pools (albeit for a short time as there might be a queue of people to get in).
Book a massage
The Vitality Spa offers a huge range of treatments (one friend even got her teeth whitened). You need to prebook your treatments in advance as the Spa is very popular. The massages in particular are excellent.
Departure time is not set in stone
On your penultimate day you will be notified of your disembarkation slot. Ours was a sprightly 7.30am which I wasn’t too happy with. However, Guest Services informed me that actually, you can disembark any time before 9.30am. The time is merely a suggestion to help with crowd control, particularly if you need assistance with luggage.