When the Royal Caribbean team reached out and invited me to join them for a cruise trip last October, I immediately said yes (after checking if I still have leaves left for the year of course!) We flew to Hong Kong on Day 1 and boarded the Ovation Of The Seas in Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Spent Day 2 cruising & went around Vietnam from Day 3 up to Day 5: Hội An-Nha Trang- Ho Chi Minh. Day 6 was another cruising day and finally docked in Singapore’s Marina Bay Cruise Centre on Day 7.I got a lot of messages from readers who expressed their interests in going on a cruise but have hesitations due to some common unconfirmed concerns. That’s why I’m here, taking this opportunity to clear things up and clarify cruise myths- giving you more reasons to just do it and book that cruise vacation!
1. Cruises are old school.
It’s 2018. I think only a few businesses survive without coping up with the needs of the modern citizens. Ovation of the Seas was sleek and modern. What I loved the most? Systems and processes were very much digitized, which made everything run efficiently.
2. Oh no, I won’t have wifi access 🙁 FOMO!
I was so happy that our ship had wifi on-board; it was powered by VOOM, the fastest Internet at sea. I was seriously amazed with the connectivity quality. Brought my work laptop and was able to work smoothly everyday- which is quite a feat as I always have a hard time loading my files and emails whenever I connect to internet outside our company’s system. Millenials, rejoice!
3. I’ll get sea sick the whole time.
I can’t assure you that you won’t feel it AT ALL during the entire trip but personally, I only got dizzy the first time we sailed + that one time when the waves were really really strong- both of which only lasted for a few minutes. For the rest of the trip, I didn’t even notice that we were moving. There were even a few times when I missed taking videos of us leaving the ports ‘cause I didn’t feel the ship has started sailing. And oh, cruise ships like Royal Caribbean’s are really huge in size and have stabilizers so these factors greatly reduce the chances of you experiencing nausea.
4. It’s always crowded everywhere around the ship.
Even if Ovation of the Seas can accommodate 4,905 guests, it measures 1,141 feet or (to give you a perspective), equivalent to almost 4 football fields, has 18 total decks, and 16 guest elevators so no, it’s not like a big market inside as people are busy doing different stuff that interest them. It’s a you-do-you environment on-board *wink*
5. It’s boring…
I was a victim of this and even downloaded A LOT of Netflix videos offline to prep me for down times. But I can’t stress enough how untrue this is! Proof? I watched zero of the films I downloaded after our 7-day cruise! Open rock climbing, stand-up surfing, sky-diving simulator, gym, indoor and outdoor pools, movie theater, skating rink, art gallery, bumper cars, gaming arcade, ship observation deck, to name a few- 7 days wasn’t enough to do all the fun stuff on-board!
6. Food is meh.
If you’re following me on Instagram, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen how much we’ve eaten during the entire trip! Ovation of the Seas offers a massive selection of dining options for its passengers- 25 restaurants for that matter, in which 14 are complimentary and majority of the rest, you just need to pay a minimal fee then you’re good to eat everything and as much as you want. Special mention to their cookies. They’re SO GOOD! We were eating at least 10 pcs a day, no joke!
7. All rooms look the same (and are also not nice.)
Ovation of the Seas has a total of 2,090 cabins and you can definitely choose what type of a room pleases you! 1570 of their cabins are balcony rooms, 373 are inside rooms (cheaper option that have virtual balconies that project real-time views of the ocean), 28 studio cabins for single occupancy, and even have Royal Loft Suites that are as grand as (or more than) hotel suites! I really liked our room and might have overstayed at times (instead of enjoying other activities outside) ‘cause it was really very comfy and homey! Favorite thing to do in the room? Enjoy the ocean view from our balcony!
8. You need to stay onboard the whole time.
You can definitely go off-board when the ship docks! For our trip, our stop-overs were 3 cities and towns of Vietnam- Hội An, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh. We were usually out of the ship by 8 in the morning, would travel to the heart of the destination, explore around, and be back by 4pm. The ship offers tour groups that you can join in (just reserve with the front desk), or you can also explore on your own (just need to be wary of the time and be back before the ship departs.) Of course, you won’t be able to really exhaust the areas given the limited time on land but for me, the time we were given was enough for us to see the highlights of those beautiful places.
Ho Chi Minh
9. It’s for the older travelers only.
I think we all have this idea that cruises are only for retirees- not true! First of all, cruise companies offer a lot of short trips these days (as short as 3 days!) so you don’t need long vacation leaves to go on one. Secondly, the cruise offers a lot of activities and mixer events that connect like-minded people (language classes on-board, arts and crafts workshops, single travelers parties, etc to name a few!) Also, you don’t need to experience that feeling in which you meet a new friend and worry about not seeing him/her again right away as you’re going to be in the same ship for the next few days 😉
Aside from family, I personally think it’s fun to go on cruises with good friends, given the wide array of activities that you can do together on and off-board. I only knew 2 people from the group of media I went with before the trip but ended up becoming close to them all as we bonded over good food, great entertainment, amazing facilities, and picturesque sceneries – it was definitely an ultimate bonding experience.
10. Cruises are crazy expensive, I’ll never be able to afford it!
For some reasons, we always think that cruises are expensive. Not going to lie, I had that connotation too. I mean, it definitely looks super luxurious to go on one, right? But you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that there are friendly rates that will suit your budget. You can look at it in another perspective- some of the destinations cruises offer are hard to reach via car or planes so this is definitely a value-for-money way of seeing those places.
Honestly, we all didn’t feel like the whole trip was 7 days. It’s true when they say “time flies when you’re having fun”. I can’t wait to go on more cruises in the near future! Would definitely love to experience to go on an Alaskan one!
Go on a cruise trip with ROYAL CARIBBEAN PHILIPPINES
3/F PCCI Corporate Center, 118 L.P. Leviste Street, 1227 Salcedo Village, Makati City
+(632) 892-27-01 to 03