Our first family cruise – Mariner of the seas (Royal Caribbean)

Royal Carribean ship

It has been 2 years since we last went on a family holiday to Sweden. Now, with the addition of Baby Little YT, we decided a cruise might be the best holiday to enjoy with so many young kids. So, we joined my parents and brother’s family for a 4D3N cruise on-board Royal Caribbean’s biggest cruise ship in Asia “Mariner of the Seas“. It spans 1020 feet, 15 decks high (imagine a hdb block!), has 10 pools/whirlpools, and 17 bars/clubs/lounges, etc… We were prepared to be wowed by the amazing size, endless activities, exceptional crew service and excellent amenities on-board!

Open deck pools!

Open deck pools!

Rooms
We checked in as early as we were allowed to and checked into our rooms. We had a balcony room and promenade room that oversees the shopping street. Yes, you heard (read) it right! A shopping street that has a Coach store among others on-board the ship!

Our room with Balcony view

Our room with Balcony view

The kids relaxing at the Balcony

The kids relaxing at the Balcony

Overlooking Marina Bay

Overlooking Marina Bay

This is what greeted us in the room!

This was what greeted us in the room after we returned from dinner

Promenade - the shopping street onboard!!

Promenade – the shopping street on-board!!

Dreamworks Decorations

Dreamworks Decorations

Welcome on-board parade
After settling down and eating at the Windjammer Cafe’s sumptuous spread of Asian buffet, there were already lots of activities happening at various floors. We watched the welcome parade from the comfort of one of our rooms. I ran down to Deck 5, the Promenade, to press shutters on Dreamworks characters like Kungfu Panda, King Julien, Madagascar’s Alex and many others! Royal Caribbean staff really made us feel welcome!

Welcome Parade 3
Kids watching the parade from the Promenade Room

Kids watching the parade from the Promenade Room

Welcome Parade 2

There were meet and greet sessions with the Dreamworks characters for the next few days. We missed some though but more than compensated at the exclusive Dreamworks character breakfast that requires early reservations and has really limited seats.

Meet and Greet with Shrek

Meet and Greet with Shrek. Little YT seemed afraid of the green ogre!

On-board Activities and Performances
If anyone think that cruise is boring, he should see Royal Caribbean’s list of happenings on the daily Cruise Compass. What’s that? That’s a programme list of all the events and activities happening on that day and is different for every single day. You will never be at a loss of what to do for each single hour. Instead, you’ll be torn between many activities to go to and there’s always something suitable for everyone, young and old, and for the entire family. The timings are usually so well organized that you do not need to fret about missing dinner or the performances while you are at one of them.

We watched all the evening performances and out of the three nights, 2 nights are performances by invited guest stars and the last night was a Broadway show brought by the Royal Caribbean performance crew. The performances are world-class and you will never find them boring.
On the first day, we brought 6 kids minus the babies to have a go at the ice-skating rink. The kids loved it and it was too bad that the session was only half an hour due to the long queue. YH fell twice on his butt and got bad muscle aches 2 days later which was a downer for him. Other than that, the kids loved the experience so much that they pestered to go to J-Cube Skating rink in Jurong once we are back in Singapore.

On the second day, we watched the Ice Show performed by Royal Caribbean Ice Skating Crew. We were in awe of their skating skills and the kids were excited when they spotted the handsome skater to be the same person handing out skates and helmets to them just the day before!

Ice-skating

Ice show
I must say, if you want to define international, Royal Caribbean crew certainly is one of the best representation of the word INTERNATIONAL. They have people from all over the world to serve all the guests on-board, Romania, India, China, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, etc. The best part is that they serve with passion and you can feel their warmth, friendliness and sincerity through talking to them and their excellent service. This is the second time we are on Royal Caribbean cruise, the first was with Kel on Legends of the Seas. We had such a good time then that we knew this time round it would be as good. We were right!

We went swimming, enjoyed jacuzzi and took part in the pool volley vs the Royal Caribbean recreation crew and we won!

We were amazed that their crew was so talented, the person serving you meals could well be a balloon sculptor and the person issuing the tickets was one of the best skaters. Over at the Main Dining Room, the service was exceptional too. We had personal waiters serving us, and they remembered our seating places. At the next dinner, our baby high chair was already in place, the cup in front of Little YT and the kids’ glasses came with straws which we had requested on the first night. Our table was served with extra lemons as what the kids wanted on the previous night and each kid’s exact seat was served a small bowl of fruits. They even prepared fish or chicken congee specially for Little YT for lunch and dinner at the Windjammer Cafe and the Dining Room. Just pre-order to them in advance on your first day on-board and they’ll bring the bowl of congee to you everyday, lunch and dinner.

On the third day, we went to the recreation deck to play mini golf and climb the rock wall. We dropped off the kids at the Adventure Ocean programme for 3 hours and had some peace. It wasn’t easy to tug along 7 kids wherever we go. Kel and I finally had some time, not to ourselves as Little YT was still with us. There’s a nursery for drop off of babies too, but we didn’t want to since Little YT doesn’t like strangers. We went to the Royal Babies and Tots play area which was full of Fisher Price toys. Little YT couldn’t bear to leave even after 40 minutes of play. We then went to check out the Promenade shops and relaxed by the Balcony.

Kel and XX had a successful climb at the Rock Climbing Wall.

Kel and XX had a successful climb at the Rock Climbing Wall.

Royal Tots play

Royal Babies and Tots play

Food
There are plenty of restaurants on the ship. Most of which are already included in the cruise fare. The Windjammer Cafe serves a spread of Asian cuisine in buffet style. They serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. There are plenty of options to please everyone.

Windjammer Cafe
Over at the Main Dining Room is a classy restaurant setting with romantic ambience and beautiful sea view. It serves full course dinner with Appetizers, Main courses, Desserts, Tea or Coffee. You can order wine to go with your meals too.
Dining Room

There’s a Cafe Promenade that opens till 5am in the morning at Deck 5 Promenade. That serves Starbucks Coffee if you are craving for some coffee fix. It is opened for all 3 meals too.

There are specialty dining restaurants that come at a charge. These will be perfect if you are looking for something special or you just want to eat at a less crowded place. We decided to go to Johnny Rockets which is something like Billy Bombers with old-fashioned American setting in the fifties and sixties. They have juke boxes that, unfortunately, was not working while we were there. The Beatles songs were played over the stereo while we enjoyed our burger, fries, Ramen and milkshakes. The food was delicious and the milkshakes were splendid! The waiters were fun-loving. They sang and danced for us even though we were the only customers in the restaurant in mid-afternoon! Everywhere we went, we felt we were being served happily, including here! Johnny Rockets cover charge per person is only US$4.95 and you can eat all you want. I feel it’s worth it for a different ambience with good food, great music and fun, friendly staff.

Meal at Johnny Rockets

Meal at Johnny Rockets

Waiters dancing at Johnny Rockets

Waiters dancing at Johnny Rockets

Check out here for more specialty dining options.

Dreamworks Character Breakfast
We pre-booked Dreamworks Character Breakfast prior to our trip. We were anticipating a fun-filled breakfast for the kids! We had cute menus that served hotdogs, scrambled eggs, french toast, etc in the Main Dining Room. There were some games and photo-taking with King Julien and Gloria the hippo over breakfast. They have different characters for each day. This breakfast has limited seats. You have to book it fast. It’s not to be missed for the young ones.

Dreamworks character breakfast menu

Dreamworks character breakfast menu

Yummy breakfast!

Yummy breakfast!

Kids having fun at Dreamworks Character Breakfast

Kids having fun at Dreamworks Character Breakfast

Photo session with King Julien

Photo session with King Julien

On the last night of our cruise, Royal Caribbean had their unique ways of biding us farewell among different crew teams. One of the highlights was the performance by the Main Dining Room service crew. They congregated from 3 different levels and took stage at the center to sing for us! All the guests were entertained by Gangnam style and Bollywood dance moves by the otherwise prim and proper waiters and waitresses. It was a nice surprise!

All Dining Room staff performing for farewell

All Dining Room staff performing for farewell

Our last night was a formal night

Our last night was a Formal night

There’s so much to do and see on-board the cruise ship, we skipped the onshore excursion altogether and chose to stay on the ship. When you are on-board a cruise ship, you are practically eating every few hours! The spread has so much variety, we threw away all thoughts of dieting. That can come later. By the 3rd day, most of us were just eating salads and Kel prepared for me a super delicious Caesar salad that my mum and niece took more than half of my share!

Beautiful open deck view at Sunset

Beautiful open deck view at Sunset

Kel relaxing in the beautiful sunset

Kel relaxing in the beautiful sunset

Little YT enjoying his dinner in the cool breeze

Little YT enjoying his dinner in the cool breeze

Back in 2010, Kel and I enjoyed our first cruise on Legends of the Seas. We talked about bringing our kids and picture having 3 kids on the next cruise. True enough, we have our Little YT together with us on this ship and this is going to add on to our beautiful and much treasured holiday memories.

Disclosure: We paid fully for the cruise experience. The lovely dining at Johnny Rockets was with compliments from Royal Caribbean Cruises.

75 thoughts on “Our first family cruise – Mariner of the seas (Royal Caribbean)

  1. Oh my goodness! I have never seen the inside of a cruise ship. I am blown away! They are massive. Chad and I have considered doing a short “kid friendly” cruise with Z at some point and now I am thinking it would be a blast! Thanks for all the pictures and info on this!

  2. I have considered going on Royal Caribbean cruise for many times after reading all the review. But the thought of paying full price for my kids really puts me off. After reading your post, I’m tempted again! Ha.

    • I think if your kids are not school-going age, you should go in off peak period. They have kids cruise free and the ship is not so crowded. I would much prefer going in January if not for my kids starting school. If you do go, I would love to read your experience too!

    • We went on a 4D3N with Port Klang as the only port of call. The other night was cruising in the open sea. We did not leave the ship at all because there were so many activities on-board that we wanted to try them all out! There was no need to go on shore excursion. I would if ours was a 4N cruise. I feel that 4D3N is not enough. 5D4N would have been perfect with 2 ports of call (Port Klang and Phuket), the last time Kel and I only left the ship for Phuket, otherwise, the ship is bustling with lots of activities or you simply just relax in the pool with the kids. 2N would be really too rushed.

  3. I’ve never wanted to go on a cruse because I thought it would get boring……and then I read your blog! Wow, it looks awesome…..I have a feeling I might change my mind now. 🙂

    • That’s what most people think about a cruise. If you are the kind who love activities and fun, I think Royal Caribbean staff are really fun people around and the activities they plan are interesting. If you are those who simply love to laze around, it would be totally perfect to lie on a pool chair and enjoy the breeze!

    • Oh I am sure they have good cruises in Europe! Search around! Royal Caribbean has cruises in many parts of the world. It’s interesting for the blackberry boys, I am sure. Best of all, you do not need to worry that they will be lost, that’s a huge plus point!

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  5. Hi there, I’ve been reading all your blog posts since the most recent and working my way backwards. I think you’re an amazing mom- handling work and three kids and with no domestic helper! Seeing how you put your kids first and how you plan for them and teach them is inspiring to me.
    And reading this post about the Royal Carribean cruise is making me really tempted to go on one with my family despite my tendency to get seasick. So I was wondering- is the ship rocky at all? Did it rain on any of the days and when it did, did the ship rock more?

    • Thanks for reading my blog and loving it! This is certainly a big encouragement from my reader 🙂 I do hope you have good takeaways from my experience and thoughts. Do share with me your thoughts too if you have!

      For the Royal Caribbean Cruise, you will have totally no feeling that the ship is moving except for the lovely breeze. The ship is so HUGE that you don’t feel at all you are on the ship other than seeing the sea out there 🙂 There is only 2 open decks and the rest are air-conditioned and enclosed. No worries about rain or storm. In fact, for South east asia cruise, I don’t think we will be experiencing great storm at all even if it rains. Not too sure for those in Europe though. Anyway, it’s totally different from a small sampang in a big sea 🙂

  6. Hmm… Just booked with them for a seven nights late jan 2015 trip! Haha! As we are bringing babies along, could you share how you got hot water for your baby’s milk feed? Also, how to pre-book the character breakfast ah?

    • Hi Yoga! 7 nights is such a luxury! But I think you will enjoy yourselves to the fullest with ports of call and endless activities on board. You can take it leisurely 🙂
      For hot water, most of the times, I will ask from the cafes or restaurants for them. Otherwise, I return to my room to fill up. I would recommend a small hot water flask to bring along if you are bringing stroller everywhere.
      As for the character breakfast, you can pre-book online and you have to be fast. It’s usually taken up pretty fast. However, they will leave some bookings for those who book on the first day they are on board. I advise you to check in about 11+am and the first thing you do, is to hit the customer service at level 3, or 4 to book the character breakfast.
      Next week in U weekly, there will be a feature on Royal Caribbean Cruise, for more reviews and reading up 🙂
      Enjoy your trip!! Tell me about it when you are back! 🙂

      • Haha, I was under the impression that the Characters Breakfast is free! But it actually costs 25SGD per adult. If I book online, I don’t have to confirm my reservation again when I am on board, right? 🙂

      • Yoga, I didn’t know it’s charged. And I don’t remember paying for it. All we did was to book online or in other friends who tried it, they booked at the information counter the moment they boarded the ship. Maybe you can check again. This Character breakfast is very popular and with limited seating. I hope you enjoy your cruise experience! 🙂

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  9. Hi there, I have never been on a cruise and is hesitant on doing one cos I get sea sick easily.
    But looking at the photos you posted, it looks amazing and lots of fun too!

    Am considering this for my kids Dec holiday, would the Dec period which is supposedly the monsoon season in this region, the sea be rough?

    • Scary cat, I love your pen name haha.
      No, not rough at all. We went in December too and because the ship is so humongous, you won’t even feel you are on a ship. You forget you are on a ship! Don’t worry about seasick, I think it should be fine for you. My gal has motion sickness on all modes of transport and she was absolutely fine 🙂 I do hope you go and tell me about your experience back here 🙂

  10. Hi Christy! My whole family are going in Dec. Whenever we are travel (esp now with a kid), I will always bring along slow cooker or electric lunch box to cook for my child. But, these are the prohibited items that we are not allowed to bring onboard. Christy, do you bring any baby commercial prepack food? Care to share how you take care of your child every meals for this trip… My child will be 16mths in Dec. Thank you!

    • Hi Agape_Love,
      Thanks for asking this question!
      It is very easy with 16 mth old. I brought along instant cereal mix like those from Nestlé in powder form. Just mix to water and it’s cereal for baby. However my baby was starting to wean off baby cereal. On board, you have lots of variety for buffet and it’s easy to make something for your child, for example, mashed potatoes, bits of cheese and tofu, rice mixed with cream soup, mashed carrots and broccoli. I usually cut or mashed what we eat and my toddler eats the same.
      And you’ll be glad that Royal Caribbean serves porridge for little ones as long as you tell them only once during lunch or dinner and they’ll serve porridge in all meals. Up to you to choose whether you want or not, they serve it to your seat hot for you.

      As mummies, we are worried about children’s food, but you’ll be surprised it’s really easy to bring young ones out if you adapt to whatever environment you are in and what kind of food you eat when travelling. It’s a good time to introduce new foods to little ones too 🙂

      I hope you enjoy your family cruise trip 🙂

  11. Hi Christy

    Loved your review (plus many other reviewers) about the Royal Caribbean that I could not help myself and went ahead to book a cruise trip with them! LOL!

    Now am seriously praying that my baby and myself don’t get seasick as this would be our first time on a cruise. :p

    Would like to find out from you what are the amenities in the room? I have been told by the staff that there is a hot water boiler in the room. But I had also read posts on Royal Caribbean’s FB that they do not even provide toothbrush, toothpaste, slippers, etc. This is beginning to scare me as I am worried that I may have to pack my whole house along! -_-!

    Also, for the dining timings at the Main Dining Room, did you tell Royal Caribbean before hand – such as during the time when you booked the cruise – the timing that you would like to dine at? Cos I was not offered such an option and when they invoiced me, I realised that they placed me at the later timing of 8+ and it would be tough to meet that timing due to baby’s sleep time. I tried calling their service staff to request for a change in timing, but was sadly dismissed by the staff who showed a lack of empathy for the situation.

    I seriously hope that this does not bode the kind of service standard that I would be receiving on board the ship. *worried look*

    Appreciate your response!

    • Hi Dee,

      Thank you for asking your questions here. I am glad to share my experience. In fact, I feel like I am representing RC haha!

      You are right about the amenities, minimal toiletries, unlike the 4, 5 star hotels that you will get. I would say, bring all your favourite toiletries. There are towels, so leave them at home. No slippers for sure. But you will survive fine. Just bring along small bottles of travel packs of shampoo and bath. They do have, in a dispenser type of shampoo and bath in one.

      For the timing, if you book via counter sales, I am sure they will ask you about the dinner seating time. I went 2 times and were given my preferred timing. Unless you book late and they had full capacity, then it could be that you will be placed at the later slot. However, try asking for a change once you board the ship. Try boarding early like noon time. You can start enjoy the facilities. I remember in my first trip on board RC few years back, we could ask for a change in timing for dinner seating. Not too sure if they accomodate this change now. You can try.

      I will feedback to the friendly staff who had extended her great hospitality to me about what you say. I am sure they will be glad to receive feedback like yours. Good service should be all the way from counter sales to customer service call to on board service 🙂

      I hope you enjoy your trip with your family! Tell me about it when you are back 🙂

      Cheers.

  12. Hi, just read your experience on the cruise! Looks like good fun!
    We are planning to explore royal Caribbean too next year, and have 3 kids just like you. Is the balcony room big enough for all 5 of you? Thinking which room should we go for. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Sharon, the balcony room is nice! However, due to RC policy, we could not have 5 people in the room. In fact, for big family, it is good to have a suite instead. You can enquire with the RC people on how best to accomodate all of you.

      For us, we had to split into 2 rooms, a normal stateroom and a balcony room. The reason is because we booked quite late and all the family suites were taken up. So, my hubby shared a room at night with one of my kids, and me shared with the other 2 kids. The rooms are really more for sleeping other than anything else because all our waking hours are having fun on board! 🙂

      Do tell me your experience on board if you do book a cruise with RC 🙂

  13. I’m glad you had a great time Christy. We chose Independence of the Seas as our first family cruise – http://www.portsofcall.co.uk/royal-caribbean-independence-seas-7-month-old-review/ – and found it to be a mixed experience. It was a great holiday but lacked the more family-friendly features I would have liked. We didn’t have the DreamWorks experience (I love those penguins!) for example. We also chose an inside cabin rather than a balcony cabin which was perhaps a bad choice given how much our son needed to sleep.

    Would you sail on Mariner again or would you be looking for something bigger next time?

  14. Hi Christy!Thanks for ur detailed write up on the cruise. I’m going to join 5d4n wif my 20 mths baby. I just wan to check whether I can bring the stroller to the cruise?do I need to inform the crew earlier?the check in time is 12.30pm, so I can check in earlier 11am to avoid the crowd?Anything I need to prepare earlier or beware of during the trip. Thanks!

    • Hi Cassey,

      We brought along the stroller too if you see my pics on the blog 🙂 No need to inform earlier. We checked in 11+am too to enjoy the facilities and had lunch there.

      It will be good to bring your own toiletries, I would say. They do have a soap dispenser for bath and shampoo. Bring your own if you do not like 2-in-1. Apart from that, I just heard that Dreamworks Character Breakfast is charged at $10 per adult. We didn’t pay for the breakfast when we went. I think probably it is due to overwhelming booking of this breakfast.
      Bring sports wear for the adults for some sports activities. For the baby, they serve congee and do have mashed potatoes and other soft foods in the buffet line for a 20 mth old.

      Hope I have answered your questions! Have a good trip!

  15. Hi Christy,

    Thanks for sharing your cruise tips. Your photos look wonderful!! I’m going for RC cruise in 2 weeks time, Can’t wait as it will be my 1st time on RC with my 2 year old gal. May I ask how did u pre book the character breakfast? I can’t find it anywhere in the website.
    Thank u!
    Ling

  16. Haven’t been up on the Mariner of the Seas. The large photos well taken will be a guide as to what to expect at least when I make my journey there. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Tan,
      There are a few dining places on board RC that you do not have to pay a single cent as they are part of the package. For those under specialty dining, they have a charge. The link that you gave is a consolidated list of various ships. So, if you are going to Mariner of the Seas, then I would say the Main Dining Room, Cafe Promenade and Windjammer are FOC. They cater to wide ranging taste buds and different atmostphere.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  17. Hi Christy, can i get some advice? I am trying to book the dreamworkz breakfast but there is absolutely no where in my cruise planner that I can book it. The website is soooo unfriendly too. May I know when did you start booking online? Any advice helps! Thank you.

    • Hi Elle, you can try calling them up to help you book it. This has limited seating and may be closed for registration. So, on the first day of cruise, go straight to Customer service level on board to book your timing for this breakfast. I suggest you had better call RC up to ask on this. They may have changed the arrangement now.
      Hope this helps and enjoy the trip!

  18. wa so much pictures. lol i was expecting something shorter! thanks for the write up. by the way how do u find yr room? is this E category balcony? which level was this? they allocated us at the back of the ship… really far behind n i am pretty worried abt sea sickness… hmmm any advice? thanks!

  19. Hi Christy,

    Thanks for the details and photos you posted here and because of your review here, me and my husband were so excited planning for our first ever family trip on cruise. We did not think much and quickly book a room the night after reading your blog. and guess what, we managed to book a grand suite at a discount of $2k! such a great deal! Btw, i would like to askbyou a silly yet important question, did you manage to sterilize milk bottles on board? How did you do the washing of bottles? Sorry if this is a silly question but this is our first family trip ever since i gave birth to my #1.

    Warm regards,
    May

    • Hi May,
      I am happy that you are going for this cruise 🙂 I really think you will enjoy yourself very much because I did!
      You had a good deal. When I booked it was quite ex because we booked it last min and it was school hols.

      Regarding sterilizing of bottle, for me, I really did not do it partly because I think my baby who was 1+ years old was old enough and non sterilized bottles would not hurt his tummy. However after washing, I did rinse his bottle with boiled hot water before I make milk for him. Seriously when I was breastfeeding and pumping milk at work, I did not sterilized my pumps and only rinse with hot water. My baby was totally fine and perhaps we parents sometimes are too careful. However different babies have different immunity and some indeed need sterilized bottles. Healthy babies in my opinion should be fine.

      This is certainly not a silly question 🙂 All first time parents are very concerned about their child and it is normal 🙂
      Now hearing your excitement, I wish to go again too. If I am not wrong, next June Royal Caribbean will have a new cruise ship and I am going to book that for sure! But I am not sure if that will be as family friendly and kids oriented like Mariner of the Seas. So enjoy your cruise and do tell me about it ok?! 🙂

      • Hi Giselle,

        We booked a balcony room, not really a suite like one of the readers here did. The suite was fully booked when we did the last minute booking. I think 3k seems to be roughly the rate and it is a good deal if each pax pays only $750.

  20. Hi christy,

    thank you for the lovely review. I’m going to on board mariner of the sea coming Nov 2015 with my hubby and then 11-mth lo plus in laws. I was really excited to go on board immediately.
    My concern is about dining option for my in laws who are typical chinese, don’t favour western food. You mentioned the Main Dining Room does serve fish and chicken congee for baby. When must I order and how much do they charge? How do you shower your lo?
    THanks alot. Steffy

  21. Hi Christy,

    Thank you for sharing your lovely review. I will be on board the ship with my hub, in laws and my then 11-mth old baby this coming Nov. I’m really excited about it.
    My concern is the dining option for my in laws as they are typical chinese who don’t favour western food. You mentioned the Main Dining Room serve fish and chicken congee. these congee are not especially prepared for baby only, meaning is for everyone, am I right? Did you bring any pre-prepared baby food in storage on board the ship? What are those and is the mini fridge cold enough? Lastly, how do you shower your lo? thanks alot!

    Kind regards,
    Derrick on behalf of my wife.

    • Hi Derrick and Steffy,
      Thanks for leaving your comments and question here. I am happy that you asked. We travelled with our parents and they liked the variety of the dining options. Ok, the windjammer cafe is an international buffet spread with Asian and Western food. The Dining Room is a formal dinner setting and they serve very good western food, like escargo, soup, main course (you can order as many main course as you like) , desserts, cakes, and coffee/tea. Our parents prefer the food in Windjammer, however, imagine eating all the meals in Windjammer, that will be really sick to the stomach for the same food for those few days. Hence, they actually enjoy the main course at Dining room. They change their menu everyday. In fact, I mentioned in the post about the Johnny rockets, they serve good ramen and milk shake, fries and burgers. For US$5 per pax, it is quite good food indeed. You may like to try that too.

      For Congee, we told our waitress at the dining room on our first day, so we only get to have that congee the next meal. You may like to pre-order that earlier at the concierge. Upon ordering, the congee will be prepared every meal for you no matter which restaurant you are in. Just tell the waiters or waitresses, that you like to have congee for your little one, they will serve that to you. The Congee is served with little chicken or fish. When I was in Windjammer, I mixed a little vegetables, fish, chicken in the congee. I gave my toddler mashed potatoes too. We are very adventurous with food for toddlers, so food wise is never a problem for us. The congee is prepared for kids, but it is served quite a big bowl, and I believe you can ask for more for the elders if they like.

      I brought Nestle cereals to mix with water for my toddler too. It is very convenient. You can get warm water in the restaurants. I seldom do pre-prepared food for my kids. I am a lazy mum lol! Mini fridge is normal cool I think, I have not much impression on that.

      Showering my little one is always easy no matter where we go. Just bring a container and let him play, shower him using shower head while he sits on the floor. Cruise ships have very small shower area. Not too sure for suites though.

      Kids are relatively easy to bring along for travel. You need not worry unduely. In fact, kids can adjust better and faster than us! 🙂

      I wish you a safe and enjoyable trip!

  22. Hi Christy, Many thanks for the valuable information! We are planning a trip around mid Feb 16 from Singapore through RC. I have the following questions:
    1. Do you think it be uncomfortable for a pregnant lady in first trimester /sea sickness?
    2. Would you recommend a 3 nights or 5 nights stay?
    3. Are there good vegetarian food option on board?
    4. What is the risk of storms and the ship sinking in that region !!! I know you don’t predict weather, but generally curious – it will be our first time!
    5. What is it that you didn’t like on board?

    Really appreciate your feedback. Thanks in advance.

    • Dear Rahul,
      Thanks for leaving your questions here!
      1. No, there is no seasickness for anyone of us and those whom I knew who had cruised with RC. The ship is so big, you would not remember you are on one!
      2) My personal preference is 5 nights. 3 nights is very short to us, considering that the earliest you board the ship on day 1 is lunch time, and on the 4th day, you have to leave the ship around 7+ to 8+am. 5 nights stay include stopover which you may or may not leave the ship. It also gives you a breather if you think you prefer to do sightseeing.
      3. The buffet spread at Windjammer will have suitable vegetarian food and The Dining Room should have this option too. You may check with them before you book.
      4. Hmm… I would think the probability is small. I would not know of course but when we travelled in December, the supposed monsoon period, we did encounter rain, but no storm. We hardly heard about 2nd Titantic.
      5. Good question! It has been 2 years since we cruised, I really could think of nothing that sticks till now. Perhaps it is more of the crowded ship we went on both times. If you are going in Feb, it will be very cosy I hope. You will not have to wait for a table, or queue for ice-skating, activities, or queue to enter the performance hall.
      Hope my answers help!
      Have a great trip!! 🙂

  23. Hi Christy,

    What a great experience together with your 3 kids! Kids are quite a handful but you seems to be coping very well with 3..=D
    We will be going for 5D3N cruise next week with our 5yrs old and hubby’s ex colleagues with their kids.

    1) May I check how do you cope with your child’s nap? Returning to cabin?
    2) Do you think milk powder scooped out into other container is allowed during check-in?
    3) Any free Wifi onboard?

    Thanks for your reply in advance! 🙂

    • Hi Kerene,
      1) Yes we returned to the cabin for the child’s nap. Sometimes, he slept in the baby sling I carried. Nap time was never a big issue for us.
      2) Milk powder was ok, there was no strict restrictions on board.
      3) Wifi is chargeable. I think you can check up the rates online.

      Hope you enjoy the cruise! Sorry for the late reply as I am quite busy this period.

  24. Dear Christy,

    Thks for your interesting and detailed blog. The cruise has some charged packages – like drinks and photography. Did you take any of those and do you think they are necessary? At dinner, aren’t drinks like soft drinks and coffee provided free already? Thanks.

    • Dear Catherine,
      I didn’t take up the drinks, basically they are catered more for the westerners I feel. Some examples are Evian Water, soda drinks. There are drinks available, no need to purchase the drink package. In fact, you can purchase onboard too. It is available everywhere for purchase.

      For the photography, we didn’t want to purchase but in the end we saw many nice photos and hence paid for all photos for one price. If you have intended to purchase photos right from the start, I suggest that you take as many family photos at the professional booths as much as you can, to make the purchase worth it 🙂
      Hope this helps 🙂

  25. HI Christy,

    Great that you are sharing your experience with us. I will be going onboard Marina of The Seas next year January. I would like to ask if kettle is provided in the room to boil water? For breakfast, lunch and dinner do you mean that we have to reserve the dining time? Do we need to purchase the beverage option? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Leng,
      Thank you for commenting!
      I think there is a kettle if I don’t remember wrongly as we needed that hot water too!
      Reservation is only done for Dining Room Dinner and only one time either before you board or you made it on board. There are only 2 timings, one at 645pm and one at 8pm something like that. So, if you chose 645pm, then everyday, you will go at that time and a table at the same spot will be reserved for you. You will always be assured of a place.
      Breakfast and lunch need no reservation unless you are going for Character Breakfast.
      The beverage option is not necessary in my opinion. More for ang mos who love soda and coke. Otherwise the beverage at each dining place is more than sufficient. If you do change your mind to buy beverages, you can still do it on board.
      Enjoy your trip!

      • Hi Christy,
        Thank you very much for your help. I read that our passport will be retained by the ship? When do we collect them and where? And if we choose to go for the onshore excursion, do we pick up our passport before we go for the excursion? And they keep our Pp again after we board the ship?

  26. Wow Christy! Your blog makes us very excited going to RC!
    May I check, do you know if they have any restrictions on bringing freshly pumped milk there? Am a EP mum, not sure if you brought any freshly pumped milk to cruise?

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