Cruise tips and tricks in Singapore

With affordable flights a pipe dream these days, many of our friends and family have turned to cruises for well-deserved getaways. But if you think that cruises are just an endless cycle of eat, sleep, repeat, you’re probably a) a greenhorn, or b) not maximizing everything there is in store. 

For all those planning to cruise off this holiday season, here are 11 tips and tricks to know before setting sail. From money-saving hacks to securing bookings for popular activities, we’ve compiled a list of “unofficial” things you should know about going on a “sea-cation”.

We’ve included tips for both Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas and World Dream Cruises.

1. Purchase WiFi and drink packages before your trip

cruise tips singapore

WiFi basically lies in the bottom row of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for all of us, and the good news is that Quantum of the Seas and Dream Cruises both offer various onboard WiFi packages for all our social media needs. Prices vary depending on the speed tier, length of stay and number of devices you have. 

While you can expect to fork out anywhere from $21.80/day on Quantum of the Seas for a single device, pre-purchasing internet packages on their app (iOS, Android) before boarding may get you some nifty discounts. WiFi can only be purchased onboard Dream Cruises from $9/day.

cruise tips singapore

For both cruise types, soft drinks and alcohol packages are said to have been spotted at discounted rates pre-boarding as well.

2. Check the weather forecast as some deck activities close when it rains

Image credit: SQ Talk

The last thing we want on a cruise trip is wet weather, but sometimes, Mother Nature just does us dirty like that

You’ll want to spend a quick minute checking the weather forecast of the area before departure since certain deck activities such as rock climbing will be closed during heavy rain. Even after the rain stops, you’ll likely have to wait for the area to dry up first before being able to participate.

Save wet weather days for indoor activities such as dance classes and live shows instead.

3. Head down earlier than the specified boarding time 

Much like boarding a flight, it’s always good to head down earlier than boarding time for your next cruise to nowhere. 

Dream Cruise: Guests are required to take an ART test at the cruise terminal on the day itself. You’ll want to have some buffer time for queues and miscellaneous waiting time before boarding. 

Royal Caribbean: For trips from 2nd December 2021 onwards, you’ll need to complete an ART test at the Raffles City Convention Centre before heading down to the cruise terminal. Be sure to allocate an extra hour or two for this!

4. Make reservations for speciality restaurants early for date night

Enjoy hotpot with a stunning sunset view on Dream Cruises

If you’re on board for an anniversary with your SO, consider making a reservation at one of the speciality restaurants for a unique date night. From celebrity restaurants to themed dining experiences, you can easily find a fancier meal on board both cruise lines. Most first timers only find out about this when it’s too late as slots are often filled quickly.

Royal Caribbean (book in-app up to two days before sailing): Chops Grille, Izumi, Jamie’s Italian and Wonderland

Dream Cruises (book in-app once on board): Mark Best’s Prime Steakhouse, Seafood Grill, Hot Pot and Umi Uma

5. Save money by bringing up to two bottles of wine on board

cruise tips singapore

While alcohol isn’t particularly expensive on board, most of us can agree that a little penny pinching can go a long way. Specifically for Royal Caribbean cruises, guests are allowed to bring up to two 750ML bottles of wine or champagne per stateroom. Provided you’re of drinking age, that is.

6. Book activities as soon as you are on board

An endless supply of food aside, cruise activities are undoubtedly one of the most exciting parts of the journey. For the go-getters gunning to try everything there is to do, you’ll need to properly plan your trip’s itinerary to tick off as many activities as possible.

Image credit: @im_feliciaa

Royal Caribbean: Popular activities that get booked out in a jiffy include bumper cars and Seaplex games such as ping pong and Xbox. All repeat visitors will know to book those as soon as you board the ship. Activities that don’t take bookings include the FlowRider surfing simulator – head down early to queue up for this iconic ride!

cruise tips singapore

On Dream Cruise, most of the activities cannot be pre-booked, so you’ll want to swing by at off-peak hours to avoid snaking queues. For the water slides, the best time to head down is right after lunch. Get to the zipline early to secure a slot during a scenic sunset. Read our insider’s guide to Dream Cruise for more useful hacks.

Pro-tip: Both Dream Cruises and Quantum of the Seas provide in-app and physical copies of their itinerary planners with an overview of all the activities available. Chiongsters can use this to formulate a game plan.

7. Sign the children up for complimentary kid-friendly activities

cruise tips singapore
Adventure Ocean Youth Program on Quantum of the Seas
Image credit: Cruise Be

Get some alone time with your husbando or waifu on when you park your kids at one of the many kid-friendly activity spots. 

On the Royal Caribbean, let the little ones live a Suite Life on Deck-worthy experience when you sign them up for the Adventure Ocean Youth Program with games and events all planned out. Meanwhile, the grown-ups can skedaddle to one of the bars or a soak in the adults-only Solarium jacuzzi pools for some R&R.

Little Dreamers Academy At Sea is also available with Dream Cruises, with complimentary activities like craft workshops.

8. Get your tickets during “sales season” to save hundreds of dollars

cruise tips singapore
Image credit: @thevampireweekend

It’s quickly becoming an open secret that no one has to pay the full price for a cruise trip – all it takes to save a couple of hundred dollars is some – once again – pre-planning. During 11.11 and Black Friday, cruise tickets for both have been spotted at insane discounts. 

12.12 is right around the corner and we’re already spotting $12 flash sales for Dream Cruises. Be sure to periodically check third party booking platforms such as Klook for more promotional prices.

Check out this Genting Dream Destination Cruises by Resorts World Cruises deal.

9. Be enthusiastic and join quiz nights for prizes

One of the most underrated things on cruises are quiz nights. Most people make a beeline straight for the live shows and casinos, but if those aren’t your cup of tea, spend your evenings answering trivia questions instead.

As my colleague Jessica shares, it’s not hard to get a seat at the event since most people aren’t aware of it, and the prizes are easy to win as well. 

10. Double-check your disembarkation time 

cruise tips singapore

It’s incredibly easy to lose track of time on a cruise – but if there’s one date and time you need to remember, it’s your disembarkation details.

Royal Caribbean cruises can arrive back in Singapore as early as 7AM. This means you may need to pack your bags the night before and that you may have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning for breakfast.

11. Sign up for Genting rewards for free casino credits

cruise tips singapore
Image credit: Indulge Express

You won’t be the only one trying your luck at the slot machine for the first time while out at sea. After all, cruises are wildly popular for their casinos.

Before purchasing your gambling chips on Dream Cruises, remember that new Genting Rewards members get to play a free Spin to Win game where you can win up to $10 worth of casino credits. Existing members also get $10 free credits for the jackpot machines.

Of course, always play responsibly and if you find that lady luck is not on your side that day, there are plenty of other activities to try your hand at instead.

Important tips to know before going on a cruise

Enjoying a cruise can simply mean being the ultimate potato, but for those keen to make the most out of their journey, you’re now equipped with these nifty cruise tips. If there’s one thing to remember, it’s to do plenty of research and plan everything in advance so you don’t miss out on anything and bag some savings along the way.

For more pro-tips and hacks, read:


Cover image adapted from: @im_feliciaa, @thevampireweekend

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