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Friday, 7 March 2014

That time I skipped CNY and went on a cruise.

The last time I skipped CNY, I went to London with my mum.
She went for a work trip and I tagged along because, come on, London!! Who wouldn't skip CNY for London?

~~

This year, my family and I went on a cruise!
It's by Royal Carribean and the carrier is called Mariner of the Seas: MOS for short.

The ship is HUGE.
One of those balconies belongs to the cabin I stayed in.

Coincidently, I work under the Port and Shoreside Services for the company.
At least now I know what it is like on board the ship :)
Read on to see how my experience was like!
(Caution: pretty long post full of photos ahead!)


It was a 5 Day 4 night cruise docking at Langawi (Day 3) and Port Klang (Day 4).
We pretty much stayed on board the whole trip.

There are loads of things to do on board, in my opinion, from rock climbing to ice-skating...
Or even just watching movies in their movie theatre! (It's quite small but go early, and you have a seat)
I managed to catch The Great Gatsby on the ship!
(Oh Leonardo DiCaprio, how you make my heart beat)

That said, if you're not up for doing anything, even lounging on the top decks is awesome.
Get your ear worms on or listen to the waves and enjoy the endless sea view.
Total relaxation.
Tan away in the sun and sea breeze.

~~

Outfits of the day/night on the cruise can be found here.
I didn't really detail what I wore each day in that post but...
I pretty much survived in cruise clothing = shorts + t-shirts....
and, not forgetting dressing up for fine dining each night, except I missed the Formal night.

They had a dress code for the evening meal stated on the Cruise Compass however, although on Day 2 it said Formal, my mum told me it will say Captain's Night instead.
I listened and that was the story of how I missed my Formal dressing night.
And to think I was stressing over what to wear for that one special night.
Oh well.
Crisis averted.

~~

 Heads up:
All photos were taken with my mum's Samsung Note 2.
Pardon the gritty images, if any.
I tried my best.


Of First Day Wonderment


First meal onboard (buffet) with a lovely sea view. Can you spy my cap? :)
 By the way, the mashed potatoes are SO GOOD.
Possibly the best I've ever had.


They have a sauce tray thing! Is Marmite a sauce though?  >.< Hate that thing.
Windjammer's Cafe on Deck 11. Where everyone goes for almost every meal.

"YOU ARE HERE."
They have this...layout of the ship on almost every deck at both the front and back of the ship.
Pretty handy. Especially when you're lost.

That first day, there was a Dreamworks Parade to welcome all of us!
I have to say, the kid in me was pretty excited.

I swear, wearing a cap that day was like a beacon to the people in the parade. Got the attention of them alright, the knight on the left tipped my cap off with his oh-so-long lance. Hmph.


Here.
A photo of me and my mum that day to end this section.


Pretty Food

The title says it all. Don't drool!

Day 1 dinner (left to right): Escargots, Cod fish, Broiled steak, Peach and Strawberry crumble, Banana crème brulee
Day 2 lunch (left to right): Greek Salad with Squid, Enchiladas, Singapore Style Noodles, Lamb Pita with Tzatziki Sauce, Panna Cotta, Apple Parcel with Vanilla Ice-cream.









Day 2 dinner  (left to right): Yakisoba with beef, Surf 'n' Turf, Grand Marnier Souffle, Mango Sticky Rice with Nian Gao.









Day 4 dinner (left to right): Antipasti, Pasta, Lemon and Yoghurt Cake, Tiramisu, Vanilla Ice Cream with Macerated Strawberries











The rest of the meals were dealt with at Windjammer's Cafe's buffet-all-meals.
If you've been reading the captions, you may have noticed that I missed Day 3 dinner.
No? Look up. See? :)

That day, we have a pretty late lunch at about 2pm. Our dinner seating time was at 5.45pm.
There was no way we could have sat down and eat our way through another 3 course meal.
So we skipped dinner that day.

~~

Food on board was decent, average even.
I'd say more misses than hits but still somewhat palatable.
One thing I must acknowledge though, they excel in their potato dishes.
Their mashed potato and fries are the best I've ever had.
I'm still drooling over them even now.

The best selling point of fine-dining has to be that you have your own waiter/butler and his/her assistant to your table.

Our really nice and attentive waiters for our table: Philip and Bao! Thank you!!

Art Aboard

So. The ship has art pieces everywhere.
One at every staircase level, and random ones here and there.
Here's two.

Not exactly sure how that shows teamwork but yeah! TEAMWORK.

Ironing boards as art, never thought of it like that.
Makes me want to decorate my ironing board now....maybe not.

Also, our room attendant is a man of many talents.
I would like to think all rooms greeted the patrons with these wonderful towel sculptures for that 2 nights.
Such a lovely surprise.
Thank you, Xavier! :D

On the second night of cruise, a rabbit came to visit!!

Look how cute this towel elephant is!!

First Stop: Langkawi

I WOKE UP AT 6.30AM.

Literally the left and right view from my room's balcony.
Isn't this awesome!!!

To have breakfast while looking at the sunrise.

Sunrise.
Breakfast. (Free room service on board!!)

Watching the sun rise was worth everything.

We had docked at Langkawi's cruise centre by the time the sun started to rise.
So it was not a sunrise over the infinite sea view per se but still, it was beautiful.

My family and I decided to get off and explore the place a little.

Down the ship we go! 

Spend about an hour or so walking around the nearby area.
Turns out, there's a Resorts World Sentosa - Langkawi right by the seaside.
Saw some people playing water sports some further down the coast line.

Left to right
1. I know. It says Star Cruises. It's a tourist thing (only board that says Langkawi)
2. The Resorts World Sentosa but in Langkawi resort place!
3. They have a boardwalk!!! Imagine sipping on a cocktail as you watch the sun set~ T'is the life.
4. Probably can't tell but there are signs on the post that tells you how far certain countries in which direction!
Singapore (the bottom one on the left): 634 KM!

This is pretty much everything that's around the Langkawi cruise centre.
Trust me, this is so much better than Port Klang.



Second Stop: Port Klang

Welcome to the place devoid of civilization. Almost.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to thee, Port Klang.

Yes. This is the only building going on for miles.
No, we didn't get off.
The nearest city, Kuala Lumpur, was a 3-hour van ride away.
 You have to leave at 7am and be back before 4.30pm.
It's not like I've never been there before.
Thanks, but no thanks.

Life on board was pretty chill that day.
Most of the facilities were closed as the ship was docked so there was not many activities to do.
Nonetheless, we managed to entertained ourselves (read: slack away/shopping)

What the itinerary of the day looked like:
Woke up late, had a pretty late breakfast, shopped a little, watched an ice-skating show, had dinner, watched a musical, shopped more, chilled at a bar with live piano playing & singing, retire for the night.


FREE SHOWS

Well...not really.
Considering that we did pay for the cruise.
But there were musical shows every night and an ice-skating matinee show too.

Honestly, I was quite disappointed in the night musicals featuring Royal Carribean's very own sing & dance company. There was not much plot going on, just a bunch of people singing and dancing. Granted they were all excellent at singing and dancing but it would have been nice to have a plot of some sort. This has to be the first time that I had no idea what was happening in the show at all.

I was amazed by the ice-skating matinee show though.
To see all of them skate gracefully and professionally on the same ice-ring that I couldn't even skate forward properly.
Very awe-inspiring indeed.

No photos of the on-going shows because I'm an upright citizen and I obey copyright laws.
Hehe.

One stop theatre for all the night shows!
First musical. 
Farewell Showtime. Highlight: Ballet en-pointe on the head. 

Set-up for Ice Under The Big Top. Two thumbs up for the amazing show!

PARTY TIME

I might have skipped CNY on land, but the festive spirit is definitely in abundance on sea as well.
We had a countdown on board.
First time counting down with a whole ship of strangers. Novel but super fun experience.


COUNTDOWN: 1MIN!!!

Fun waiting to be released.

All the important crew of the ship (captain and gang) out to celebrate with us.

video

Balloons!!


"SPOILS OF CRUISE"

Can't not partake in my favourite activity - shopping - especially since there's no tax nor service charge and of course, with the addition of the magic word, discount.
Bought 3 things in total: a cup, a watch and an eyecream.

My first watch since secondary school days. Been wearing it everyday since I got it. Love it. 

~~

And this concludes my really long and overdue post of how I spent my CNY!
Did you enjoy your CNY? :)
I definitely did cruise through it.

If you are now tempted to go for one, do!!
It is really wonderful to just do what you want at your pace.
Also, non-peak periods are not as expensive. Look out for discount deals too!

Have you been on a cruise?
Share your experience with us!
I'd love to hear how yours was :)



Till next time.
Love,
Christine xoxo


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