We want to cruise

They have been deprived of their favourite leisure activity since March. Rebecca Rachel Wong chats to cruise fans to tell us what they miss.


The pent-up demand for travel among cruisers speaks loud and clear, especially amongst Royal Caribbean fans. They’re simply itching to head out to sea. One such cruiser is 27 year-old Goh Mei Hui, who has cruised with Royal four times on Voyager, Mariner, Ovation and Quantum of the Seas. As Ms Goh tells us, her love for Royal Caribbean stems from its constant innovation and unique experiences for guests. “When Quantum class vessels were first launched, Royal Caribbean was the first to have an iFly wind tunnel fitted on a cruise vessel, along with other amazing features such as the Bionic Bar, the FlowRider surfing experience and the Seaplex,” she says. “When I went onboard Quantum of the Seas last December, they even introduced new features such as laser tag and Escape Room too.” She adds that the fantastic service is what keeps her coming back, and why she’ll continue to cruise after the pandemic. During Ms Goh’s last voyage on Quantum, she recalls how one of the dance performers assisted her travel party with show and activity reservations. “There was a long queue and we were making reservations for several activities and passengers in different staterooms,” she relates. “Yet he was very patient and assisted us for about 40 minutes without any complaint or sign of irritation.” Ms Goh continues, “We also appreciate all the little gestures that the crew do for guests, like folding towels into different animals when guests return to staterooms, and stage performances in the dining room on the last night of our voyage.” Fellow avid cruiser Faith Leong, 31, also cites the service staff as a major reason why she’s a fan. Leong has cruised five times with the Royal, on Voyager, Mariner and Quantum. “The service staff are excellent and always give off a really friendly vibe,” she says. “The never-ending food options are great too, and I absolutely love their oatmeal cookies!” While she appreciates the grandeur of newer vessels like Quantum, Ms Leong adds that older ships such as Voyager have their perks too. For one, less crowds due to the smaller capacity, and a good mix of sports and family-friendly activities. Now that the sailings are suspended, the fans definitely miss cruising and the unforgettable experiences they’ve had on board.

“What I miss most is the stress-free environment, with so many planned activities to choose from and food that is always ready for us 24/7,” says Eugene Chan, 29, a three-time cruiser with Mariner, Voyager and Quantum. “My most memorable experience was the ice-skating show on board Mariner. It was so well-coordinated with skilled dancers and amazing special effects − not something you see everything!” As for Ms Goh, she misses the adrenaline-inducing experiences on board such as iFly and laser tag. “My first iFly experience was onboard Ovation in 2016,” she recalls. “I’ve never done indoor sky-diving before, and to ‘fly’ on a cruise with scenic sea views around me was incredible.” Ms Leong adds how much she enjoyed her VIP experience on board Quantum. “This was the only ship where we tried the Key membership programme,” she says. “We got priority boarding and disembarkation at ports-of-call, a sit-down lunch (instead of crowding at the buffet), dedicated Flow Rider, bumper car and laser tag timings to avoid crazy queues and flexible check-out times.” And though the pandemic has shaken travellers’ confidence in cruising, these Royal fans remain undaunted. Ms Goh has already reserved a sailing on board Quantum in November, and is keeping her fingers crossed that it will go ahead as planned. She is also excited about cruising on Wonder of the Seas, which is expected to arrive in Asia in Q2 of 2021. “Wonder is Royal’s first Oasis Class vessel to be sailing in Asia, which has never happened before in history,” she enthuses. “I can’t wait to try its amazing amenities, like the Central Park, the Aqua Theatre, new dining experiences and stateroom types.” Ms Leong is also looking to do a year-end extended family cruise on board Quantum, with a travel party of 27 including grandparents, parents, kids and helpers. Looking ahead, fans share that health-related protocols and flexible booking policies are the top priority in inspiring confidence in cruisers. “Guests would feel more assured if cruise lines can share detailed protocols of how they intend to isolate infected passengers,” notes Ms Goh. “I think most cruise ships currently do not have very adequate medical facilities to manage such infections and that would be critical in instilling traveller confidence.” Chan also observes that dinner dining arrangements can get messy, increasing the risk of viral transmissions. As such, he suggests better crowd management systems, to handle the large flow of passengers at specific meal times. “I actually have lots of confidence in Royal’s health and hygiene protocols, having seen them swarm into action the moment my child vomited on the floor,” notes Ms Leong. “The future of cruising lies in the hands of socially responsible people - protocols won’t help if people are not socially responsible when they are sick.” Despite the limitations, Ms Goh is happy that cruises have implemented flexible cancellation policies. For example, Royal has done a great job with their ‘Cruise with Confidence’ policy, allowing guests to opt for a full refund and maintain cruise credits, she says. In contrast, she laments that airlines have been comparably inflexible with cancellations, and don’t allow guests to maintain discounts for future itineraries. Ms Goh adds, “I am still optimistic about cruising and I believe many are as well. Compared to other modes of travel, cruising may be safer as health measures can be better managed and controlled.”

We want to cruise

They have been deprived of their favourite leisure activity since March. Rebecca Rachel Wong chats to cruise fans to tell us what they miss.


The pent-up demand for travel among cruisers speaks loud and clear, especially amongst Royal Caribbean fans. They’re simply itching to head out to sea. One such cruiser is 27 year-old Goh Mei Hui, who has cruised with Royal four times on Voyager, Mariner, Ovation and Quantum of the Seas. As Ms Goh tells us, her love for Royal Caribbean stems from its constant innovation and unique experiences for guests. “When Quantum class vessels were first launched, Royal Caribbean was the first to have an iFly wind tunnel fitted on a cruise vessel, along with other amazing features such as the Bionic Bar, the FlowRider surfing experience and the Seaplex,” she says. “When I went onboard Quantum of the Seas last December, they even introduced new features such as laser tag and Escape Room too.” She adds that the fantastic service is what keeps her coming back, and why she’ll continue to cruise after the pandemic. During Ms Goh’s last voyage on Quantum, she recalls how one of the dance performers assisted her travel party with show and activity reservations. “There was a long queue and we were making reservations for several activities and passengers in different staterooms,” she relates. “Yet he was very patient and assisted us for about 40 minutes without any complaint or sign of irritation.” Ms Goh continues, “We also appreciate all the little gestures that the crew do for guests, like folding towels into different animals when guests return to staterooms, and stage performances in the dining room on the last night of our voyage.” Fellow avid cruiser Faith Leong, 31, also cites the service staff as a major reason why she’s a fan. Leong has cruised five times with the Royal, on Voyager, Mariner and Quantum. “The service staff are excellent and always give off a really friendly vibe,” she says. “The never-ending food options are great too, and I absolutely love their oatmeal cookies!” While she appreciates the grandeur of newer vessels like Quantum, Ms Leong adds that older ships such as Voyager have their perks too. For one, less crowds due to the smaller capacity, and a good mix of sports and family-friendly activities. Now that the sailings are suspended, the fans definitely miss cruising and the unforgettable experiences they’ve had on board.

“What I miss most is the stress-free environment, with so many planned activities to choose from and food that is always ready for us 24/7,” says Eugene Chan, 29, a three-time cruiser with Mariner, Voyager and Quantum. “My most memorable experience was the ice-skating show on board Mariner. It was so well-coordinated with skilled dancers and amazing special effects − not something you see everything!” As for Ms Goh, she misses the adrenaline-inducing experiences on board such as iFly and laser tag. “My first iFly experience was onboard Ovation in 2016,” she recalls. “I’ve never done indoor sky-diving before, and to ‘fly’ on a cruise with scenic sea views around me was incredible.” Ms Leong adds how much she enjoyed her VIP experience on board Quantum. “This was the only ship where we tried the Key membership programme,” she says. “We got priority boarding and disembarkation at ports-of-call, a sit-down lunch (instead of crowding at the buffet), dedicated Flow Rider, bumper car and laser tag timings to avoid crazy queues and flexible check-out times.” And though the pandemic has shaken travellers’ confidence in cruising, these Royal fans remain undaunted. Ms Goh has already reserved a sailing on board Quantum in November, and is keeping her fingers crossed that it will go ahead as planned. She is also excited about cruising on Wonder of the Seas, which is expected to arrive in Asia in Q2 of 2021. “Wonder is Royal’s first Oasis Class vessel to be sailing in Asia, which has never happened before in history,” she enthuses. “I can’t wait to try its amazing amenities, like the Central Park, the Aqua Theatre, new dining experiences and stateroom types.” Ms Leong is also looking to do a year-end extended family cruise on board Quantum, with a travel party of 27 including grandparents, parents, kids and helpers. Looking ahead, fans share that health-related protocols and flexible booking policies are the top priority in inspiring confidence in cruisers. “Guests would feel more assured if cruise lines can share detailed protocols of how they intend to isolate infected passengers,” notes Ms Goh. “I think most cruise ships currently do not have very adequate medical facilities to manage such infections and that would be critical in instilling traveller confidence.”

Chan also observes that dinner dining arrangements can get messy, increasing the risk of viral transmissions. As such, he suggests better crowd management systems, to handle the large flow of passengers at specific meal times. “I actually have lots of confidence in Royal’s health and hygiene protocols, having seen them swarm into action the moment my child vomited on the floor,” notes Ms Leong. “The future of cruising lies in the hands of socially responsible people - protocols won’t help if people are not socially responsible when they are sick.” Despite the limitations, Ms Goh is happy that cruises have implemented flexible cancellation policies. For example, Royal has done a great job with their ‘Cruise with Confidence’ policy, allowing guests to opt for a full refund and maintain cruise credits, she says. In contrast, she laments that airlines have been comparably inflexible with cancellations, and don’t allow guests to maintain discounts for future itineraries. Ms Goh adds, “I am still optimistic about cruising and I believe many are as well. Compared to other modes of travel, cruising may be safer as health measures can be better managed and controlled.”