Need to get away from it all? Take to the open seas on board a Singapore cruise ship. On Spectrum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest vessel, you’ll enjoy fab dining, sunny pool sessions, wave boarding and even some indoor skydiving!
Come boarding day, my friend and I arrived bright and early to Marina Bay Cruise Centre, a Singapore cruise port. The departure process was remarkably quick and fuss-free with the “Royal” app. The app serves as a digital boarding pass, map, and restaurant and activity booking portal. Less than half an hour after getting there, we were all set for our cruise from Singapore!
For our two-night trip, we’d be staying in the Silver Junior Suite. It was much bigger than what I’d expected! Being the newest ship, the rooms are modern and absolutely pristine. The bathroom included a tub, shower and separate toilet. Of course, the highlight here was the balcony with two loungers – the perfect spot for a cuppa while taking in the sunrise, or a beverage at sunset.
Hot stuff at Sichuan Red
I’d have been happy unwinding by the balcony but there was so much to see, do and eat while we cruise around Singapore. First was lunch at Sichuan Red, the cruise’s specialty Chinese restaurant. The venue features a modern-Asian design along with views of the ocean. Like most Asian restaurants, the menu here is geared towards sharing. There’s a particular focus on Sichuan dishes – I particularly liked the wontons with spicy sauce, and the boiled fish with pickled cabbage and dried chilli.
Taking in the sun
What’s a cruise without an afternoon in the sun? After changing into our swimwear, we headed to the pool deck and spent time lounging on the sun deck with a book in hand, swimming the occasional lap and sipping cocktails in the massive whirlpool tub. While the main pool is child-friendly, if you prefer a quieter atmosphere, you can always head to the adults-only Solarium.
Prime cuts at Chops Grille
For dinner, we made reservations at Chops Grille. The softly lit space was styled like a formal steakhouse, with a menu of all the classics you’d expect. For starters, we ordered the prawn cocktail – with perfectly cooked prawns – and the slightly unconventional jumbo lump crab cake, crisp on the outside and tender within. For the mains, I opted for the 9oz filet cut, medium rare. It had a lovely sear and came with house steak sauce, béarnaise, au poivre and bordelaise, but was perfectly good without. Complementing the mains were hearty creamed spinach, mashed potatoes and tater tots gussied up with rich gruyere cheese. A perfect end to our first evening.
International dining at Windjammer
The previous night’s meal would normally have put me in the mood for a sleep-in but there was so much to do. Before we got started, though, we made our way to Windjammer for breakfast. The dining hall features a fantastic array of cuisines, from Indian and Chinese to Western favourites. You’ll also find breakfast buffet essentials like a cheese and cold cuts counter and a live omelette station (my favourite!).
Skydiving at sea level
The last place I expected to find an opportunity to skydive was a cruise, so colour me surprised to find exactly that on the itinerary! RipCord by iFly is an indoor skydiving experience that comes pretty close to the real thing – only at sea level. After a quick 20-minute crash course on positioning and hand signals, we suited up in snazzy jumpsuits and helmets and headed to the windtunnel. Once you enter the chamber, the experienced instructors will help you get your bearings and you’ll be hovering quite comfortably in no time. After your session is over, the instructor will do a rather impressive display of stunts – ones that we were certainly not ready for after just a minute of flight time!
Getting competitive at SeaPlex
After our skydiving experience, we wandered over to SeaPlex, the ship’s indoor activity space. On the previous day, the main floor was configured for bumper cars; today, it was refitted for racquet and ball sports, so we spent the afternoon playing rounds of table tennis. The equipment here is top notch and very well maintained. After working up an appetite, we popped over to Dog House and grabbed a couple of hot dogs for a quick lunch – we were saving room for dinner tonight!
Dinner and a show at Teppanyaki
At Teppanyaki, dining is more than just a meal, it’s entertainment as well. Seated right in front of the chef, we were presented with a choice of meats. I opted for the “Izumi” selection, including scallops and lobster, and complimentary vegetables, fried rice and miso soup. The chef then began his show of culinary prowess – slicing and dicing at incredible speeds, cracking as many eggs as jokes and even building a steaming onion volcano. It’s not all just sizzle though; the grilled meats were fantastic and we left well fed and in good spirits.
Farewell to the Spectrum
After catching up on some last-minute pool time and a couple more cocktails, it was time to disembark. Our two-night voyage was packed with activities and fantastic eats and I felt there was so much more to explore. More reason to plan my next voyage on the Spectrum!
This article first appeared in the June 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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