Family Cruising Without Breaking the Bank

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January 10th 2011
Published: January 16th 2011
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Legend of the SeasLegend of the SeasLegend of the Seas

This weekend cruise from Singapore to Melaka cost us only US$306 per person.
Who says cruising can break the bank? My family and I have been planning our own mini-cruise but had to wait till this great deal came along. It was a dream come true for my family. And it suited our budget too.

Royal Carribean's Legend of the Seas is going to Malacca, Malaysia for the very first time! Just for the weekend. A very short cruise from Singapore to Melaka. Of the 1,800++ passengers, about 1,000 are Singaporeans who could have taken the road but opted to enjoy the pleasures a cruise ship offers. When we checked out of our Singapore hotel before noon, we called for 2 cabs to take us to the cruise terminal. Just a 10-15 minute ride. We planned on taking our brunch somewhere in the Terminal as we have not had our breakfast yet, having slept through most of the morning. But the Royal Carribean crew welcomed us in , processed our papers seamlessly, and invited us to instead enjoy our lunch on board. We dropped our bags in our 4 cabins (twin sharing for the 8 of us) and proceeded straight to the Windjammer's Buffet for a sumptuous lunch. My, we weren't

Taken just after a fine dinner. The boat must have that effect on kids. ;-)
shy at all as we enjoyed our first meal on the boat. We ate the equivalent of a big breakfast, a big lunch and a big snack. 😊 Not content with that, the kids asked for their Ben and Jerry's ice cream (this one at an extra cost of US$4 each) on top of their desserts from the buffet spread. Hmmmm.

To Swim, To Sleep or To Eat?

We enjoyed our tea and coffee on the deck, while the kids had more ice cream (the free ones this time, not Ben & Jerry's) and prepared to cool in the pool. There was an outdoor pool, and a Solarium. The younger ones swam in the outer pool, momentarily surprised that the swimming pool water is saltwater. The older ones donned their suits , took a dip, and then slept in their wet bathing suits on the deck chairs. Does that surprise you? I've seen that many times before. Lol.

Before long, the Food and Beverage crew are grilling away some burgers and hotdogs. Pizzas from the oven. Fries from the frying pans. The aroma is so inviting. Dear God. If one loses all control and
Cocktails or Movies?Cocktails or Movies?Cocktails or Movies?

The Captain's Night was held here. We also watched movies in this lounge.
discipline, he or she would be rolled out, literally, off the ship. Even if he/she actually swims laps in the pool! We had to remind ourselves that our fine-dining reservation is for early dinner so we can enjoy our champagne at the Captain's Welcome Night after the dinner, and then a show at 8:30 pm. We weren't sure how long the kids (or the adults) would last. But energy was at an all time high. The first-time cruising experience for most members of my family must be like an adrenaline shot that kept those energy levels up despite the late nights, all-afternoon walking the day before, swimming, and what-nots.

Elephants On My Bed, Monkeys Hanging On The Wall

Having skipped the sausages and burgers grilling away at the Top Deck, we checked out the other facilities of the ship. Martin putted away in the mini-putting link at the Sun Deck, Patricia checked out the Library/Reading Room. There was also a Spa and Parlor, which looked inviting especially for those who can really afford it. (Not us 😞) We trooped back to our cabins and were pleasantly surprised to find the towels arranged like monkeys or
The Spa BeckonsThe Spa BeckonsThe Spa Beckons

.....but we can't afford it :(
elephants or dogs. I had the same pleasant surprise when I tried other cruises, but remember this is a first for the little ones. I attempted to check how it was done, then later decided I'd never remember. 😞 Cute-sy. We managed a bath in the just as cute-sy showers and toilets. (Tip: Be sure to turn around a full 360 degrees while taking a shower. No sidesteps, no backsteps. Just turn around while the shower is on)

Fine Dining and Some Entertainment

For our first dinner, Martin asked for freshly-squeezed orange juice. We let him sign up for it too. That was when we realized that this little boy does have a "signature". Not just your run-of-the-mill writing of his name. He actually knew how to sign. He must have practiced that signature several times before now. I reminded myself to refrain from telling him that he can actually shop on the boat and just sign for it. 😊

Having enjoyed our first dinner on board, we proceeded to the Captain's Welcome Night to errr, meet the Captain. Wine for the adults, Punch for the little ones. From cocktails, we went
Monkey Towel?Monkey Towel?Monkey Towel?

The room attendants did this. Monkey on first night. Elephant on second night.
straight on to the Show scheduled that night. Not content with that, dear Patricia asked me to accompany her watch a movie in the theater lounge. I had to will myself from sleeping , and snoring during the movie.

Melaka for the Day, Then Back to the Boat

There were tenders the following morning to take us to Melaka's jetty port. I earlier blogged on this already and you can go check out Who is Hang Tuah? on what the family did for the day. The boat departed from Melaka at 6 pm sharp but we got onboard way earlier than that. Need I tell you? The kids were eager to get back on the ship knowing fully well that it would be their last night onboard as we head back to Singapore.

We enjoyed another 5 star fine-dining, complete with a parade of chefs and restaurant staff singing "O Sole Mio". Amazing. Not one of them is even Italian. The staff assigned to our Table #11 at the Romeo and Juliet Lounge (yes, that is how it is called) is Chinese who really attended to us very well, especially to Patricia and Martin. We
Look at all that EXCITEMENT!Look at all that EXCITEMENT!Look at all that EXCITEMENT!

Royal Carribean had a seamless registration/check-in, and soon we found ourselves boarding the ship in no time.
so loved their Pumpkin Soup, Minestrone, Lamb Shanks, Grilled Prawn , Alaskan Cod, Five Spice Noodles, Baby Shrimp Salad, Sherbet, Sugar-free Mint Chocolate Cake, Pecan Pie, and so much more! Get the idea now? I know , I know. So much food, and at so short intervals!

There were 2 shows in the theatre --- one is called Acro-Magic, some acrobatic show combined with magic. And there was a Musical starring a pianist by the name of Linda Gentille. The shows were good but as you may have guessed, the little ones were yearning to get back on deck and wait for their pizza, burgers and fries! There was a full midnight buffet on deck and I was floored that some went on to enjoy their congees and fried rice dishes at that hour. I have yet to digest my dinner and there is this buffet spread. Surely, most people who go on cruises must have gained at least 2 pounds . And ours is just a short cruise!

No, It Won't Break the Bank

So now, how much did it cost us to join this cruise?

This Singapore-Melaka-back to Singapore
Imagine these guys singing O SOLE MIOImagine these guys singing O SOLE MIOImagine these guys singing O SOLE MIO

The restaurant staff paraded and sang an Italian song for us on the last night of the cruise. And not one of them is Italian!
cruise for the weekend meant 3 days and 2 nights on the boat. We got the interior stateroom which is the cheapest . At twin sharing, it cost us US$306 each inclusive of port taxes and gratuities. Remember that this all-in price tag includes 2 nights accommodations, 3 shows, 2 movies, 2 breakfast buffets, 2 lunch buffets, 2 fine dinners, cocktails (@Captain's Welcome Night), 2 midnight buffets, endless snacks or in-between meals, unlimited coffee, tea and ice cream. Plus the use of the swimming pools, Solarium, Library, Rock climbing and putting on deck. The cruising experience for big families like mine is truly a dream come true. If you want some luxury, this is one way of doing it. And without really burning a hole in your pocket.

Since we also got our Manila-Singapore-Manila airfare online, it cost us US$270 each. There are cheaper fares, like Jet Air which flies out of Clark north of Manila. Or there could be better deals for Manila-Singapore round trips as low as US$100 depending on the Season or how lucky you are to snag a deal. The single hotel night in Singapore was another US$75 triple sharing, so that's only US$25
Martin Signing For His Orange JuiceMartin Signing For His Orange JuiceMartin Signing For His Orange Juice

This little guy is signing up for his order of "freshly squeezed orange juice". And he does have his own signature! Cute-sy.
each. Plus we took taxis from the airport to the hotel, then to the cruise terminal, as well as taxis in Melaka. Of course, you can save more if you walked in Melaka or if you took the subways in Singapore.

That sums it all up at US$610 as follows:

US$306 cruise (Royal Carribean's Legend of the Seas. Interior Stateroom. Twin sharing)
270 airfare (Cebu Pacific. Leaving just past 6 am)
25 hotel night (Lloyd's Inn. Budget Hotel 3 blocks from Orchard)
9 taxi/transpo (Metered taxis from/to the airport in Singapore. Cabs in Melaka fr port)
=US$610 per person for this 4 day, 3 night adventure.

With cheaper airfares (my niece just booked her friend on a manila-singapore return trip at less than US$100!), you can bring this down further. Oh, not to forget, we had to pay for our Universal Studios (check out Zombies Meet Shrek at the Universal Studios Singapore) tickets too, but that is entirely optional on your part. Some of you may rather shop , or tour the sites in Singapore. Or do the Zoo or Night Safari. Maybe visit Sentosa Island. We've done all these before, so we chose to spend what's
Ben & Jerry's, anyone?Ben & Jerry's, anyone?Ben & Jerry's, anyone?

US$4 per cup, extra. Go up to Deck 9 and you get unlimited ice cream. But this little guy wants his Ben & Jerry's!
left of the day when we arrived at the Universal Studios Singapore. Just think US$610 per person (or lower) for a short cruise, a trip to Malacca, and a night in Singapore. You bet my family will be saving up for our next trip or next cruise. 😊

As for me, I am only too happy for this reunion. 😊

Additional photos below
Photos: 34, Displayed: 28


Welcome AboardWelcome Aboard
Welcome Aboard

Our first (of many) official photo onboard the Legend of the Seas. This one cost us US$20!
Father and SonFather and Son
Father and Son

Mabuhay! That's what we say back home.
LOS Entertainment CrewLOS Entertainment Crew
LOS Entertainment Crew

It was quite a show, but meant for an older audience. Kids liked it, but no big fans really.
The TheaterThe Theater
The Theater

Three Shows here --- A Dance Musicale, An Acrobat- Magic Show and a Piano Musicale.
A Breath of Fresh AirA Breath of Fresh Air
A Breath of Fresh Air

This was taken from the Deck soon after we boarded the ship.
Shelly and Her MugShelly and Her Mug
Shelly and Her Mug

Like me, you've got another coffee lover here. Shot taken on deck 9 poolside.
Myet and IMyet and I
Myet and I

This was taken at the Anchors Aweigh Lounge

17th January 2011

We share a lot!
Love your experience...this is high on Leslie wish list since he saw all those cruise documentaries on Discovery Channel/National Geographic. He dreams of day, still have some years to enjoy his teenager years. So...after didn't book the full stay at Banyan Tree for a week...just to get back in form, that would have killed the bank! Great to read your adventures...and let's have a great 2011!
18th January 2011

Can't afford it, Peter
Wish I can afford that, Peter. Got to enjoy these adventures, but remember to go on budget. So there would be moree times to do it! But we had a wonderful time. And speaking of Disney, my 2 grandchildren are making those plans behind my back. Lol
22nd January 2011

Great cruise!
What a great thing, to combine family time with a beautiful cruise! You made me feel as if I were right there! I really enjoyed your photos, too. I have a feeling I would gain more than 2 pounds with all that delicious food!! Anyway, I really enjoyed your story.
2nd February 2011

The Ultimate Tourist
My name is Jennie and i would just like to inform you that there now is a webpage called, where tourists around the world finally can get some use out of all the photos they have, posing by different tourist attractions. Here you can choose from over one hundred attractions and typical touristic activities, upload your photos and collect one tourist point for each photo. Reach different levels and everybody over 80 points will become Ultimate Tourists (Remember you have to be in the photos yourself, to prove you were actually there.. :). So if you want to compete with your photos, or just spread the word, go into Swedes are dominating the top 20-list for the moment. Challenge them!

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