New look for Royal Caribbean ships in Asia

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager and Quantum of the Seas will be returning to Asia with completely new looks this year. The Voyager has undergone a SG$132 million refurbishment and will have a number of firsts when she returns to Asia for her wave season from October 21. New facilities aimed at families include waterslides and a laser tag course. The Vitality Spa and Fitness Centre, Solarium and the staterooms and suites have also been refurbished. Voyager will be sailing on a number of three to five-night Southeast Asian itineraries from Singapore, with seven sailings to Penang, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang).


Voyager also has a special repositioning cruise from Asia as she heads for Australia. And from Sydney, she will sail nine to 12-night South Pacific cruises, starting November 30. When Voyager leaves to complete the wave season in Australia, she will be replaced by Quantum, also fresh from her drydock. Quantum will be homeported from November 2019 to April 2020, and returning for another season in October 2020 to April 2021.


Plant-based menus taking over cruise lines

Cruise lines are moving towards holistic menus which cater for every type of diner. Luxury line Regent Seven Seas offers more than 200 gourmet options at breakfast, lunch and dinner. New vegetarian dishes will soon be on the menu, including wild-mushroom tart with brittle pie crust; mushroom duxelles and red-pepper coulis; falafel fritters with harissa mayo, cucumber, mint and capers; spiced potato and pea samosas with tamarind chutney; and, for dessert, summer-berry pudding Chantilly.


Other highlights include power bowls, poke bowls, hearty pastas and noodles, light and refreshing salads, soups and decadent items such as the Impossible Cheeseburger and a peach and blueberry cobbler with cornmeal-almond topping.


The line’s vice-president of food and beverages, Mr Bernhard Koltz, added: “This is an emerging, modern specialty cuisine that allows our guests to enjoy more flavourful foods that are in harmony with their current tastes and pushes the boundaries on Regent’s acclaimed culinary creativity and imagination.”


New lounge for fly-cruisers

Changi Lounge has recently opened its doors to guests at Jewel Changi Airport. Lounge facilities include a seating area, free-flow refreshments and internet connectivity. For guests looking to rest and rejuvenate before the next leg of their journey, shower and napping amenities are also available. The lounge’s nap pod also features in-built high technology features. Nappers will be able to enjoy a composed sleep and timed waking through a programmed combination of lights, music and vibration. Prices for lounge facilities are $38 for three hours, and $50 with shower. Reservations for Changi Lounge may be made by contacting +65 6513 8743 or reservations.changilounge@changiairport.com.

NEWS


Grand Princess brings MedallionClass to Asia

When Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess makes her debut in December next year, she’ll be bringing a world first to the region.

The 2,600-passenger ship comes with a new piece of technology – the Ocean Medallion, a wearable device which allows you to unlock your suite, order drinks and food from anywhere on the ship, and navigate your way around the ship.


“We are absolutely thrilled to announce Grand Princess homeporting in Singapore – this marks a significant milestone for Princess Cruises,” says Mr Farriek Tawfik, Princess Cruises director, Southeast Asia. “This gives us an opportunity to deliver new enriching experiences, creating excitement and sparking interest among guests while providing travel advisors with a brand-new product to add to their portfolios.”


The Grand Princess will replace the Sapphire Princess and she’ll be sailing on itineraries from four to 21 days around Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.


Besides the new ground-breaking technology, new top deck dining venues will be available on board Grand Princess as well. These include Slice Pizzeria, The Mix, Salty Dog Grill, Coffee & Cones and upscale specialty restaurant Crown Grill, which was named among the “Best Cruise Ship Steakhouses” by USA Today. Crown Grill offers a variety of premium beef and seafood, cooked to order in an open, theatre-style kitchen.


Another exclusive, only available on Grand Princess, is Leaves Tea Lounge and Library. This specialty area is designed for guests to custom-blend a variety of base teas with herbs, fruits and spices. Assisted by a trained tea sommelier, guests can create up to 500 different tea blends.

Five highlights of Princess MedallionClass vacations


1. Fast check-in

Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents like passports uploaded to their profile can breeze through the check-in process. Princess Cruises PR and marketing director Ms Charmaine See Thoo road-tested this amazing piece of technology and found the check-in process really simple when boarding the Caribbean Princess, another MedallionClass ship. “The check-in process was definitely seamless. You just step into the port and provide your passport and boarding pass. They then pass you your Ocean Medallion, and you can just walk onto the ship. You don’t have the hassle of providing your credit card or other details,” she says.

2. On-demand services and keyless staterooms

Using their smart devices, guests can order drinks, food and retail items like sunscreen with OceanNow and have them delivered directly anywhere on board, including their stateroom. “When we used OceanNow, we could even track how long it takes for drinks to be delivered,” says Ms See Thoo. “The server will also be able to see your photo to identify you. If you’re at a public place like the pool, they can serve the drink directly to you.” The MedallionClass experience also includes keyless stateroom entry, with each guest being securely validated as the room door automatically unlocks. Personalised greetings − including loyalty level recognition − welcome guests on their door portal. “I really enjoyed the keyless room entry,” says Ms See Thoo. ”You could even be holding a drink or luggage, and your room instantly unlocks without the hassle of inserting a card! Everyone else found this very convenient as well.”

3. Easy navigation

The Family and Friends Locator allows guests to find travel companions and directional ship information. Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass uses the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family on board. It also enables point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship, with guests being guided to their next location. According to Ms See Thoo, the OceanCompass was one of her favourite features. “I took the cruise with my peers, and we loved that we could chat with each other and add one another as ‘shipmates’. It was also fun trying to locate our friends who might be shopping somewhere or track them down when we needed to pass items to them,” she says.

4. Seamless Wi-Fi connectivity

MedallionNet delivers land-like Wi-Fi connectivity, letting guests stream their favorite shows, movies, music and sports. Passengers can stay connected to the internet everywhere on board to text, post photos, video chat and more. On using the MedallionNet, Ms See Thoo says, “It was really fast. It’s similar to being hooked on to WiFi at home. We would be having conversations during dinner about a movie trailer, and we could instantly stream it on YouTube and show it to our friends. We could also Facetime friends and post live videos. In fact, the WiFi speed on board was faster than our own auto-roaming when we got offshore.”

5. Interactive games

On portals located ship-wide and using smart devices with PlayOcean, guests can play interactive games, go on a digital scavenger hunt and even customise avatars. PlayOcean also transforms guests’ mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the Movies Under the Stars screen.

NEWS


Grand Princess brings MedallionClass to Asia

When Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess makes her debut in December this year, she’ll be bringing a world first to the region.

The 2,600-passenger ship comes with a new piece of technology – the Ocean Medallion, a wearable device which allows you to unlock your suite, order drinks and food from anywhere on the ship, and navigate your way around the ship.


“We are absolutely thrilled to announce Grand Princess homeporting in Singapore – this marks a significant milestone for Princess Cruises,” says Mr Farriek Tawfik, Princess Cruises director, Southeast Asia. “This gives us an opportunity to deliver new enriching experiences, creating excitement and sparking interest among guests while providing travel advisors with a brand-new product to add to their portfolios.”


The Grand Princess will replace the Sapphire Princess and she’ll be sailing on itineraries from four to 21 days around Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.


Besides the new ground-breaking technology, new top deck dining venues will be available on board Grand Princess as well. These include Slice Pizzeria, The Mix, Salty Dog Grill, Coffee & Cones and upscale specialty restaurant Crown Grill, which was named among the “Best Cruise Ship Steakhouses” by USA Today. Crown Grill offers a variety of premium beef and seafood, cooked to order in an open, theatre-style kitchen.


Another exclusive, only available on Grand Princess, is Leaves Tea Lounge and Library. This specialty area is designed for guests to custom-blend a variety of base teas with herbs, fruits and spices. Assisted by a trained tea sommelier, guests can create up to 500 different tea blends.

Five highlights of Princess MedallionClass vacations


1. Fast check-in

Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents like passports uploaded to their profile can breeze through the check-in process. Princess Cruises PR and marketing director Ms Charmaine See Thoo road-tested this amazing piece of technology and found the check-in process really simple when boarding the Caribbean Princess, another MedallionClass ship. “The check-in process was definitely seamless. You just step into the port and provide your passport and boarding pass. They then pass you your Ocean Medallion, and you can just walk onto the ship. You don’t have the hassle of providing your credit card or other details,” she says.

2. On-demand services and keyless staterooms

Using their smart devices, guests can order drinks, food and retail items like sunscreen with OceanNow and have them delivered directly anywhere on board, including their stateroom. “When we used OceanNow, we could even track how long it takes for drinks to be delivered,” says Ms See Thoo. “The server will also be able to see your photo to identify you. If you’re at a public place like the pool, they can serve the drink directly to you.” The MedallionClass experience also includes keyless stateroom entry, with each guest being securely validated as the room door automatically unlocks. Personalised greetings − including loyalty level recognition − welcome guests on their door portal. “I really enjoyed the keyless room entry,” says Ms See Thoo. ”You could even be holding a drink or luggage, and your room instantly unlocks without the hassle of inserting a card! Everyone else found this very convenient as well.”

3. Easy navigation

The Family and Friends Locator allows guests to find travel companions and directional ship information. Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass uses the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family on board. It also enables point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship, with guests being guided to their next location. According to Ms See Thoo, the OceanCompass was one of her favourite features. “I took the cruise with my peers, and we loved that we could chat with each other and add one another as ‘shipmates’. It was also fun trying to locate our friends who might be shopping somewhere or track them down when we needed to pass items to them,” she says.

4. Seamless Wi-Fi connectivity

MedallionNet delivers land-like Wi-Fi connectivity, letting guests stream their favorite shows, movies, music and sports. Passengers can stay connected to the internet everywhere on board to text, post photos, video chat and more. On using the MedallionNet, Ms See Thoo says, “It was really fast. It’s similar to being hooked on to WiFi at home. We would be having conversations during dinner about a movie trailer, and we could instantly stream it on YouTube and show it to our friends. We could also Facetime friends and post live videos. In fact, the WiFi speed on board was faster than our own auto-roaming when we got offshore.”

5. Interactive games

On portals located ship-wide and using smart devices with PlayOcean, guests can play interactive games, go on a digital scavenger hunt and even customise avatars. PlayOcean also transforms guests’ mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the Movies Under the Stars screen.

New look for Royal Caribbean ships in Asia

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager and Quantum of the Seas will be returning to Asia with completely new looks this year. The Voyager has undergone a SG$132 million refurbishment and will have a number of firsts when she returns to Asia for her wave season from October 21. New facilities aimed at families include waterslides and a laser tag course. The Vitality Spa and Fitness Centre, Solarium and the staterooms and suites have also been refurbished. Voyager will be sailing on a number of three to five-night Southeast Asian itineraries from Singapore, with seven sailings to Penang, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang).


Voyager also has a special repositioning cruise from Asia as she heads for Australia. And from Sydney, she will sail nine to 12-night South Pacific cruises, starting November 30. When Voyager leaves to complete the wave season in Australia, she will be replaced by Quantum, also fresh from her drydock. Quantum will be homeported from November 2019 to April 2020, and returning for another season in October 2020 to April 2021.


Plant-based menus taking over cruise lines

Cruise lines are moving towards holistic menus which cater for every type of diner. Luxury line Regent Seven Seas offers more than 200 gourmet options at breakfast, lunch and dinner. New vegetarian dishes will soon be on the menu, including wild-mushroom tart with brittle pie crust; mushroom duxelles and red-pepper coulis; falafel fritters with harissa mayo, cucumber, mint and capers; spiced potato and pea samosas with tamarind chutney; and, for dessert, summer-berry pudding Chantilly.


Other highlights include power bowls, poke bowls, hearty pastas and noodles, light and refreshing salads, soups and decadent items such as the Impossible Cheeseburger and a peach and blueberry cobbler with cornmeal-almond topping.


The line’s vice-president of food and beverages, Mr Bernhard Koltz, added: “This is an emerging, modern specialty cuisine that allows our guests to enjoy more flavourful foods that are in harmony with their current tastes and pushes the boundaries on Regent’s acclaimed culinary creativity and imagination.”


New lounge for fly-cruisers

Changi Lounge has recently opened its doors to guests at Jewel Changi Airport. Lounge facilities include a seating area, free-flow refreshments and internet connectivity. For guests looking to rest and rejuvenate before the next leg of their journey, shower and napping amenities are also available. The lounge’s nap pod also features in-built high technology features. Nappers will be able to enjoy a composed sleep and timed waking through a programmed combination of lights, music and vibration. Prices for lounge facilities are $38 for three hours, and $50 with shower. Reservations for Changi Lounge may be made by contacting+65 6513 8743 or reservations.changilounge@changiairport.com