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Across the Seas & Through the Stars - Actually a cruise live blog - Quantum 1 March


LogicallyLazy
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Getting home and dropping my bag onto the floor, tearing my mask off and slumping into a seat after an exhausting day at work, I thought to myself "I really need a vacation"

 

That's really the catalyst of what got me booking a cruise in the first place. For all intents and purposes, this would basically be my first cruise. I know I went on one when I was a really young kid, but all I remember from it was the inside of the cabin. ? Having not left Singapore in over a year and a half, I was getting stir crazy on this little island. I needed to get away from all of it, and low and behold, Royal announced the resumption of cruises to nowhere in Singapore. It was a no brainer.

Of course, I'm not one to jump head first into something without thinking it through; I'm paranoid like that. I did some research on cruising and stumbled upon a little website called Royalcaribbeanblog.com. I watched countless videos, browsed the message boards and I knew I just had to do it.

That was that, the start of my journey onto what I'm guessing is going to be a new addiction. So, come follow me on my journey as I experience cruising for the first time and get the full star class experience at the same time.

I would also like to thank everyone who has answered my questions and help me get the ins and out worked out for this sailing. Special shout out to @Lovetocruise2002 @WAAAYTOOO @twangster and of course @Matt for all the insight you have provided.

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18 minutes ago, Matt said:

Can’t wait to see your live blog.  
 

It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare, and photos really are worth a thousand words.  
 

What plans do you have for the cruise so far?

My main goal with this trip is to really kick back and relax...and food...lots and lots of food. ?

Of course, all the usual stuff that we'll get to do onboard as well. Bumper cars, north star, shows, food. Wait...did I mention that already? 

 

My genie is already on it, planning everything for us.

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Who's going?

Mum, Dad, Sis and myself. Decided to treat the family after a rough year. Plus my dad's retiring and thought it a good way to celebrate.

 

Pre-cruise stay

I live 20 minutes from the terminal so...my house?

 

Itinerary

3 night ocean getaway. It's a cruise to nowhere so basically no port of calls. Sea day, all day, everyday

 

Cabin

Owner's Loft Suite 8720

 

Booking and Pre-cruise prep

Originally, I was booked in a sky loft suite and as the days passed, I learned a fair deal more about Star class. Thinking that it's something I may want to experience, I thought what better way than to simply try for a RoyalUp to a grand loft. At the time of the bid, all the grand loft suites were still available, so I thought my chances were pretty high of getting an upgrade. But in the course of 1 week, I noticed the rooms disappearing and knew that the chances were getting slimmer and slimmer.

When there was one grand loft suite left, I decided to simply call in and upgrade to the grand loft instead. The amount increase was only a few hundred more of what I bid anyway. Waited for the next morning and to my horror, noticed that all the grand lofts were fully booked.

star wars no GIF

Saddened but ultimately taking solace that Sky was was still a very good way to cruise. I shelved the idea, until 2 days later when I went in and saw that the owner's loft had become available. Called in immediately to upgrade and the rest is history.

 

Check in on App

I was waiting at the 90 day mark to check in on the app and managed to get the earliest time slot of 2pm. When I upgraded to the Owner's loft, I noticed that My check in time got reset. Luckily, I was still able to get a 2pm check in time. It's definitely something to take not moving forward as I think any changes to your booking (i.e. you get a new invoice with update information) be sure to re select your check in time.

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First contact with Genie

With the date of the cruise approaching, and by that I mean 1 month before sailing, I was antsy to get my first email from my genie. So, I waited with bated breath, always hoping that the next new mail I got would be the one from the genie. I swear I felt like a high school teen awaiting a text from my crush. Yeah, if you haven't figured it out by now, I was a little bit too excited for this cruise. Lol

Then the day came. 5 Feb. That was the day I finally got my email and the name of my would be Genie. None other than Elizabeth (Eli) Wong. Now, I don't really know much or follow specific genies and who are well known, but I know I've heard the name go around before, so I guess that's a good sign.

 

1998161045_Genieemail.thumb.png.eb6f8e3c793d77366d6d9d025e96a59a.png

And let the planning begin!!!

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5 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

@LogicallyLazy, there is no mention of COVID testing in your email from Eli.  Will you be required to produce any negative test results before boarding ?

Oh yeah, it wasn't mentioned by Eli but yes there will be a swab test conducted. I will update in a few posts the procedure for getting it done

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Here are some of the documents Royal sends to you when you book a cruise during the Covid period. It details some of the measures as well as the requirements before boarding.

Covid_19_Supplementary_Privacy_Policy.pdf

COVID_19_Supplementary_Terms_and_Conditions.pdf

Once check in is complete, you'll also receive an email detailing the some of the same information as well as required contact tracing apps.

1966852780_Checkinemail.thumb.png.963efdbc62b697b791e082d66cc6c333.png

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So while sending over some of our plans for dining and activities, Eli gave a little snippet into the boarding procedures at the terminal. 

1635501802_CheckintimeStarclass.thumb.png.010bf7379398a62c72a39000aeb71313.png

Seems that while everyone is asked to adhere to their boarding time to ensure social distancing, priority boarding would still be in effect for Star class guests. I guess that's good to know as some Star guests may not have been able to snag a 2pm check in time. I'm guessing the same would be in place once cruising resumes in the rest of the world.

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5 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

You cannot have had COVID in the past 6 months !  That's incredibly restrictive.  Overkill, IMO.

That's probably a rule imposed by the Singapore Government. If I've learnt anything, is that the government here takes an overly cautious way of handling covid, which is not to say a bad thing, but can feel very restrictive. However, being an Asian nation, there is still a very strong culture of following authority.

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10 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Thanks so much for providing those documents.  This one really stands out :

image.png.2873577e98755958e1dd8d5c7f95ed51.png

You cannot have had COVID in the past 6 months !  That's incredibly restrictive.  Overkill, IMO.

WOW, that is crazy!!  especially considering that someone who had covid and recovered is now immune for about three months to that strain they had.

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So, with these cruises to nowhere, all passengers will need to undergo a rtPCR Covid test and have a negative results before being allowed to board. This is carried out in partnership with Eurofins and TrustOne. We received our email just a little more than 2 weeks before the cruise to book an appointment to the the swab test.

The swab test needs to be done between 3 days and 24hrs before the cruise, which means that we were given 2 dates to choose from, namely 26 or 27 Feb.

342041160_PCRTestBooking.thumb.png.26b755a78226cb15ccd254c79c69f358.png

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310513496_PCRTestBooking4.thumb.png.c6e16ffb37fbc25b410805f6629d881b.png

 

Overall, the booking procedure was straight forward and really easy to set up.

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T - 10 days to boarding. The anticipation is building everyday. Does the days seem longer all of a sudden?

Initial packing has started, pulling suitcases out of musty stores after being neglected for so long. Feels surreal that I’m actually packing for a trip of any sort. 
 

Luggage tags printed and at the ready. 56FBBB44-A5EE-4E4C-9D4C-64838C613C2E.thumb.jpeg.d97d1113f680c0ec9c95c3b1c002a5ae.jpeg

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4 hours ago, Matt said:

Thanks for sharing all the info about what Royal Caribbean is sending you in the days leading up to your cruise.

No problem Matt. With all the ambiguity surrounding cruises restarting, I thought to share most of the things that Royal has in terms of covid measures and does special arrangements in that regard. While, it may not be indicative if these measures would be in place outside of Singapore, it gives a good baseline 

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1 hour ago, LogicallyLazy said:

No problem Matt. With all the ambiguity surrounding cruises restarting, I thought to share most of the things that Royal has in terms of covid measures and does special arrangements in that regard. While, it may not be indicative if these measures would be in place outside of Singapore, it gives a good baseline 

Remind me again, how far in advance did you book the cruise? Curious how pricing has looked and how sold out or not your sailing is.

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9 hours ago, Matt said:

Remind me again, how far in advance did you book the cruise? Curious how pricing has looked and how sold out or not your sailing is.

They announced the cruises some time in October if I’m not wrong. I booked the sky loft for 4 on 21 Nov and paid SGD$3778 (~USD$2854). Got a reprice a few days later to $3578. 
 

Upgraded to the owner’s loft on 18 Jan with a new total of $5382. (~USD$4066)

Not sure how that compares with other sailings as from what I see so far, other sailing seem way higher priced 

 

In the beginning, my sailing was one of the cheapest ones as it’s a few weeks before the school holidays here and had the a lot of vacancies. It’s slowly filling up but definitely no where near capacity, unlike the Dec cruises or the past Chinese New Year sailing. 

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On 2/21/2021 at 6:06 PM, LogicallyLazy said:

They announced the cruises some time in October if I’m not wrong. I booked the sky loft for 4 on 21 Nov and paid SGD$3778 (~USD$2854). Got a reprice a few days later to $3578. 
 

Upgraded to the owner’s loft on 18 Jan with a new total of $5382. (~USD$4066)

Not sure how that compares with other sailings as from what I see so far, other sailing seem way higher priced 

 

In the beginning, my sailing was one of the cheapest ones as it’s a few weeks before the school holidays here and had the a lot of vacancies. It’s slowly filling up but definitely no where near capacity, unlike the Dec cruises or the past Chinese New Year sailing. 

Make sure to look and see if they charged gratuities on your account summary. Star Class is supposed to have complimentary gratuities; however, I have booked a couple Star Class SG sailings and each time they incorrectly added gratuities. I had to call to get the charges removed. 

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On 2/12/2021 at 10:38 PM, LogicallyLazy said:

None other than Elizabeth (Eli) Wong. Now, I don't really know much or follow specific genies and who are well known, but I know I've heard the name go around before, so I guess that's a good sign.

Eli is exceptional! We have done 2 SG cruises recently in SC. We were assigned Eli on our first cruise and requested her again for our second one. She will take great care of you!

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5 hours ago, Mykl said:

Make sure to look and see if they charged gratuities on your account summary. Star Class is supposed to have complimentary gratuities; however, I have booked a couple Star Class SG sailings and each time they incorrectly added gratuities. I had to call to get the charges removed. 

Thanks for the info. Luckily, I was aware of the complimentary gratuities. I had to call in to upgrade and had done a mock booking online to see that the gratuities were added and highlighted this over the phone. At the time, there was a system glitch where they were unable to input the comp grats, so they just omitted the final payment of it. It was a few weeks of seeing “Pay remaining balance” on the cruise planner before I they finally removed the charge 

 

4 hours ago, Mykl said:

Eli is exceptional! We have done 2 SG cruises recently in SC. We were assigned Eli on our first cruise and requested her again for our second one. She will take great care of you!

That’s awesome! So far all the communications with her have been phenomenal. She’s been able to answer all my questions and even managed to go above and beyond with some of our requests. And we haven’t even started cruising yet! ?

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Of course, I have no way of knowing why Chops isn’t open but I can tell you that on my last SC cruise, which was on Oasis Dec 2019, Chops was closed on embarkation day as well.  The reason was very similar to your guess.  The Chops staff was engaged in serving the Key folks in the MDR.  They didn’t have the staff to cover both venues, so they closed Chops.  In my case, I was offered Jamie’s as an alternative to Chops.  It doesn’t sound like that is an option for you. Frankly, I would be surprised if they were serving Key personnel and not providing SC with a specialty option.  My guess is that no specialty dining will be operating for lunch on embarkation day.  They didn’t leave you with much of an option, did they ?  Personally I think the CK lunch options are rather -meh-.  Maybe ask the Genie what options you have for in-suite lunch.  I know....I just posted a long diatribe about NOT ordering lunch in-suite on boarding day, but it really seems like they are offering little choice.

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20 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Personally I think the CK lunch options are rather -meh-.  Maybe ask the Genie what options you have for in-suite lunch.  I know....I just posted along diatribe about NOT ordering lunch in-suite on boarding day, but it really seems like they are offering little choice.

Yeah, the lunch menu doesn’t have as much...excitement to it. Based on @Lovetocruise2002, I actually wanted to compare the fillet at CK to Chops personally, but I feel like going for CK twice in one day when we have speciality dining is a little bit of a waste, especially on a 3 night cruise. 
 

But I’ll take what I can. If I was originally in Sky class, I would have gone to CK for lunch anyway. 

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11 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

My advice is to find out when the CK is serving their filet and make sure you go.  It’s very, very good.  You should be able to make it to Chops a different night or for lunch during a sea day.

I definitely don’t think you want to do CK twice in one day since you have so many other specialties to try !

Based on the menu Eli sent over. Day 1 dinner is filet night at CK? It’s okay though, with any luck I can always try it on another sailing in the future. Fingers crossed

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