Get me outta here!

May 20, 2019

Kalibo International Airport Transfers (KLO) for Boracay - Klook

Booked via Klook: Kalibo International Airport Transfers (KLO) for Boracay

Kalibo International airport to a Boracay Amor Apartments
Upon arriving at the airport entrance, there was already a few ladies wearing uniforms holding a card with some names. I spotted mine quickly and was directed to a big 40-seater bus, sparing myself of the agony of having to bargain. Waited for an hour for the bus to set off as we have to wait for everyone to arrive on the bus. The seats can be reclined and are pretty well maintained, so my husband and I managed to sleep through the entire trip. Took two hours for the bus to reach the jetty. We were then introduced to another guide, who told us where we have to sign some forms. Then we waited a bit at the jetty waiting area and quickly was ushered to a boat.

After the boat journey, we were directed to a small bus, though it was cramped, it served our objective. Like GrabShare in Singapore, people who stayed closer to the jetty dropped off first.

I stayed at the far end of Station 1, hence my journey was much longer than the rest. They have arranged for individual, dedicated porters for each guest waiting at each stop, guiding them to the hotel and helping with the luggage for a small tip, which is a really nice surprise.

The whole journey takes 3 to 4 hours and is really hassle-free, with its competitive price.

Zuzuni Boutique Hotel to Kalibo International airport
It was a little scary for us to book our return trip by Klook, after all, we have no idea if they'd forget to pick us up or will be late and we end up missing our flight. Surprisingly, everything was very well-organised again.

On the evening before the flight the next day, our hotel already has a letter prepared for us stating what time Island Star will pick us up, putting us at east. We had a friend who booked via Klook one day before his flight back and got a confirmation by 7am on flight day itself - pretty quick, considering that it was a last-minute booking.

By 8.55am, we received a call that the porter has reached our hotel and was waiting for us. Wearing his uniform, he was all smiles when he saw us. We checked out and he helped us with our luggage (for a little tip) and led us to the roadside to wait for our bus. We waited for a little, and after a while, he told us the allocated bus had a punctured tyre, and another bus is coming. Initially, alarm bells went off in our heads, but a little while later, a bus came and picked us all up.

Going back was a smoother journey, after all, this is their hood. By 12pm, I was already at the airport.  It took around 4 hours. Which is way too early, so we had to hang around the airport for lunch because there's nothing much to see at the airport.

May 18, 2019

Voyagers of the Seas - Port of Call Bintan

Port of call: Bintan

Summary: Unless you're travelling on the ship's designated tour excursion, I'd rather not leave the ship for this port of call. Fill your tummies on the ship for free, because I don't see any food that's worth shelling out for, that you can't find in Singapore.

Tender boats (aka rescue boats)

Located at the far, Northern end of Bintan, the Bandar Bentan Telani jetty looks pretty well-furbished. The only main shopping area that I know for Bintan is Tanjung Pinang City, and the city is 1 hour and 20 mins away from the jetty. Back and forth, that will take like 3 hours. Honestly, it'd take much less effort if you took a ferry from Singapore and back.


There're some tents set up along the shore, with complimentary photo-taking sessions, a young girl explaining what we can do on this part of the island, giving out some very well-designed brochures in Chinese, Korean and English. There's a currency exchange counter because you'll need to change money for the hop-on-hop-off shuttle bus which costs IDR100K (SGD10) per person.

Tents set up along the shore

Get your bus tickets here! Or, a private taxi. No haggling allowed!

A receipt is issued after you make payment. Pretty legit huh.

A paper tag around your wrist to show that you're on the shuttle service

The bus is pretty comfortable.

On the recommendation of the young lady at the jetty, we decided to go to Lagoi Bay. As there're supposedly some beaches and shopping I can do at this place. Upon reaching the place, I saw that 70% of the shops were vacant, or were in unkempt conditions. That was when I knew this place is not going to excite us.

 The beach... is pretty drab. With lots of algae as well.

 Some serious effort went into the performances, but it wasn't enough to save the place.

Shops sold stuff like this... not very cheap as well. 

This could pass off as a display stand at Sentosa. But unfortunately, we're not dressed for any sports.

Some tents, which are closed, or closing at 3pm.

You can also take the shuttle bus to Treasure Bay, but make sure you bring your wet attire along. The admission ticket costs IDR120K per pax. Not cheap for a family.

After this place, I went back straight to the ship, disappointedly. 

Voyager of the Seas - Junior Suite

Second cruise with Royal Carribean, this time with our family!

About the Junior Suite on Voyager of the Seas

Our stateroom number is 9284, photos as below, video here:

Yep, it comes with a bathtub with sufficient space for you to spread out.

Worth it for a Junior Suite?

Here are the two factors that I considered:

  • Price, not too much of a difference
    The price wasn't too much of a difference from the Balcony stateroom.

    For me, I'd never stay in a room without at least a Balcony as I love to hear the sound of the waters while cruising in the evening while glossing over the Daily Compass, and the feel of the morning sunrise on the waters. I get accessible fresh air. 
  • Size of our partyAs we have a bigger group this time - 4 people, the extra space is very much needed, for luggage and all.

    It comes with a walk-in closet! Which is very useful when you have four luggage, four hand-carries and other miscellaneous, and it serves as a private changing room while the other person is having a bath in the bathroom.

Walk-in Closet

If you ask me if you'd get treated any differently from other categories of staterooms, or special treats, I'd say there is none that will significantly impact my decision for Suite upgrade other than the two factors above.

April 21, 2019

Packing List for a Royal Caribbean Cruise Trip

After our last experience with Dream Cruise, we're very excited to cruise again with Royal Caribbean!

Depending on your embarkation time, you could hit the decks as early as 11.30am.

Suite, Pinnacle, Diamond Plus, Diamond, Emerald and Platinum Guests may check-in at their convenience between the hours, 11.30am and 3pm.

This time, as we've booked a Suite (A junior one!), we're allowed to embark at 11.30am. We're going to max our time there!

Screenshot of the Cruise Itinerary

Tip: Bring 1 x Hand Carry, 1 x Luggage

The luggage will only be sent to your room late in the afternoon. If you put your swimwear inside, you can't use the pool. 

Technically, there's no weight limit... But don't think of bringing your own iron or kettle. They confiscate them at check-in. 


Here's what I think you should pack for a 3-night cruise trip.

For Day 1 only - What should at least be in your Hand Carry:
  • 1 x Swimsuit
  • 1 x Swimming gear (Goggles, Cap, Sunscreen, Sunglasses etc)
  • 1 x Jacket/Cardigan (If you're one of those that trembles under in air-con)
  • 1 x Small sling bag (For easy carry around the ship and tours. Not handbags, so you have both hands free to do things.)
  • 1 x Lanyard to hang your SeaPass card around your neck 
  • Cold, Hard Cash
    • *Must-have* US Dollars, for shopping and well, gambling.
      Although there is no admin fee charged by RCI if you use your Credit/Debit card to withdraw USD onboard, there is still the currency exchange fee charged by your bank.
      For the last cruise trip, there were some legit S-A-L-E-S, luxury brands such as Gucci small handbags at S$250 only, Swarovski ear studs at S$50. After all, it's duty-free!
    • Other currencies as needed in your trip. 
  • Cards - Credit/Debit cards
  • Passports

What should at least be in your Check-in Luggage:
  • 4 x Daily wear (Tank top, shorts etc)
  • 2 x Sports attire (Top + Bottom)
  • Another 1 x Swimsuit (so one can dry while you wear the other out)
  • 2 x Socks (Min. 2 pairs for your sports activities, otherwise it'll stink to high heaven)
  • 1 x Sports Shoes
  • 1 x Slippers
  • For Formal night
    • 1 x Formal attire
    • 1 x Formal shoes
  • For Ice-skating
    • 1 x Long pants
    • 1 x Long socks

Others that should be in your Check-in Luggage:
  • Another 1 x Jacket/Cardigan (IMO, walking past the casino really makes your clothes smell so this might be a good idea for those who have sensitive noses)
  • Undergarments
  • Nightwear
  • Essentials: Comb, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Facial wash, Makeup remover, etc.
  • Highlighter (For your Daily Compass)
  • Walkie Talkie for each of traveller (Super useful for communications around the ship, if you're travelling with family/friends with different objectives, e.g. Casino vs Clubbing)

June 27, 2018

Dream Cruises: Genting Cruise (Part 2 of 2)

You're reading Part 2 of 2 of our Genting Cruise trip.
Read Part 1 of 2 here.


The Cabin- Balcony Stateroom

  • We have never thought of staying in an inside stateroom, as we want to wake up every morning facing the sky and sea. The rooms are probably the same size as the Balcony Staterooms on RC's Mariner of The Seas, but the bathroom is bigger. I'm glad the furnishings aren't too tacky.

    See pictures of the Balcony Stateroom:

The balcony is tiny!

Spacious bathroom for a ship!

Onboard ActivitiesClick images below to see activities for all 6 days. 

  • Repetitions
    Events such as Bingo, Discounts, Clearance Sales etc. can happen many times over the cruise. However, if you see something that you really like and the price is right for you, snag it. But for Genting Cruise, the prices were not very attractive- check Carousel or Google back on shore, then wait for the next sale to make your purchase. 
World Championships at Bar 360

Every night is Bingo night!

The best usage for such a huge screen

Highlights of the ship!

Highlights of the ship!

It looks simple, but so many people have tried to no avail.

Book your shows the moment at the counters are open on the first night. 
Some timings were sold out already two hours after the counter opened.
The Dream Cruise app's booking system never worked throughout the trip.

Tour Talks- Selling your their package tours on the first night

China Got Talent
They have Zhao Wei and the other judges on the big screens, so the actors act like they're speaking to the judges on stage... it's kinda weird tbh. 

Glow Bowling Alley. Beside Zouk Club.

The Arcade

Don't expect fireworks to be on those like National Day. 
There were only one or two fireworks at every one time (like 'pok'.... 'pok'....)
so it didn't seem as grand as I'd expected it to be.

Currency Exchange

Exchange rates on the cruise were, surprisingly, very competitive. Worry not, if you accidentally spent all your Thai Baht on the second day already.

Shore Excursions

  • Tour or solo?
    On Royal Caribbean, the shore excursion prices were very costly. We were quite happy to find out that shore excursions were reasonably priced.
    For example, a two-way transfer (45 minutes each way) to a mall and beach strip from the port to Cha Weng Beach at Koh Samui only cost us SGD25 per person. On top of that, shore excursion participants get to go on tender boats an hour earlier than the rest of the passengers, which means you get an hour more for your excursion.
    Of course, there are crazily-priced tours, such as bespoke tours at $880, but the cheaper ones might suit you better. 
Shore Excursion tickets you receive when you purchase over the counter

Gathering at the Zodiac Theatre to get on the tender boats...

Ko Samui: The jetty from the tour bus

Ko Samui: The queue for the tender boats heading back to the ship

Ko Samui: Refreshing drinks and cold towels were given before boarding the tender boats

Ko Samui: These boats are soooooo much more stable

Ko Samui: Central Life Mall

Laem Chambang, Discovering Pattaya Tour: Sanctuary of Truth

Laem Chambang, Discovering Pattaya Tour: Rare finds at the replica Floating Market

Laem Chambang, Discovering Pattaya Tour: Would come back here again at night! ;)

Laem Chambang, Discovering Pattaya Tour: Central Life Mall... again. Different location k.

Pulau Redang: Avoid this corner if you hate crowds.

Pulau Redang: Yes, this corner when you alight the bus. 
Go all the way in, there're clear waters for snorkelling!

Pulau Redang: Waited very long for the tender boats to go back to the ship...

Pulau Redang: Going back. It can get uncomfortable on these lifeboats. 
Saw some people throwing up back on the shore...

Tours on the ship!

With hubby being a chef and us foodies, how can we miss this tour?
So for $20 per pax, we visited the Galley, otherwise known as the kitchen where they prepare food for almost everyone on the ship. Almost, because the Palace guests have their food prepared at a separate kitchen. An experienced chef brought us around, for 15 minutes for a quick walkabout. Pretty amazing, but nothing in-depth. No souvenirs to bring home as well.

Essentials Packing List

  1. Highlighter or Pen: To highlight activities on the daily schedule ('Dream Daily' on this cruise) that you want to participate in
  2. Sports Shoes: Forgetting this means you will miss a lot of other activities such as the Ropes Course and Fitness classes. 
  3. Beachwear: You will need them for the pool, as well as beach activities on-shore.
  4. Sunglass, Sunscreen & Aloe Vera Gel: With so many hours under the sun, do not forget to protect yourself from the harsh sun.
Thanks for reading Part 2 of 2 of our Genting Cruise trip!
Read Part 1 of 2 here.