I was not really sure what to expect when Boarding a Cruise Ship during Covid. It was not as challenging as I expected
03 Dec 2020 was the first time I had left Singapore since 06 Mar 2020, this is longest period of time I have spent in Singapore in one block. Definitely needed a change of scenery.
I am on board the Quantum of the Seas on a Cruise to Nowhere. So far so good, except of a couple of things. Drinking water is not that easy to get, guess I am used to there always being bottles of water available in your cabin and bars that are open most of the time. More on the bars shortly.
The other slight issue was my luggage, it was held due to there being a bottle of wine inside. No issue with that, just that there was no message letting me know, I ended up calling guest relations and finding out that way. One tip that I learnt after checking in is that I could have wheeled my bag on board myself and that way would not have had the issue, would have just shown the bottle at the security checkpoint when the scanned my bags… Will remember this for next time.
On Royal Caribbean you are allowed two bottles of wine per person per leg of the cruise. No spirits allowed, including Vermouth much to our chagrin. Martini Rosso is not the best Vermouth, especially when it comes to a Negroni.
In order for the cruise to be “allowed” by the Singapore Government there are a number of changes that had to be made by the Cruise Lines and tests that all passengers and crew must take before boarding. On Monday 30 Nov 2020 I did my SARS-CoV-2 (rtPCR) test, this is the one with long cotton swab that goes up your nostrils. A bit uncomfortable for a few seconds, but not that bad. The organisation and management of the testing was pretty good, from start to finish I was done in about 10 to 15 mins. Results were back by end of day on the 30th, also efficient. BTW I tested negative..
In preparation you need to ensure you have 3 apps on your phone, the Singapore Trace Together App, Royal Caribbean App and TrustOne App. Without these apps you don’t get to board. The TrustOne App is what is used to advise your Covid Test status. Royal Caribbean App has your boarding pass, lets you book restaurants and activities on the ship. Trace Together is the SG Government app used to do contact tracing. They do check you have these apps, though no one checked the results in the TrustOne app.
Before boarding a medical questionnaire needed to be completed on the day of departure, you can do this in the Royal Caribbean App. Fairly simple, similar questions to what you have to answer when arriving in Australia, plus have you been in Singapore for 14 or more days before the departure or in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with Covid.
Checking In was fairly simple, the major difference is that all have to wear a fit bit sort of device that tracks were you have been whilst onboard. It needs to be worn or on you whenever you are out of your cabin. First sign of the differences between sailing pre-Covid and during Covid.
Next sign is having to check in using the Trace Together App at multiple points between security and the gangway. On board, when in the public spaces, you need to wear a mask except when eating and drinking. When you go to different areas on the ship you need to get your Sea Pass, room key, scanned and temperature taken.
Definitely a different feel onboard, not as many people and bit more subdued that a normal cruise. Will see if that continues.
The biggest change on board is that ALL bars stop serving booze at 10pm and you have to finish your drinks by 10:30pm. This complies with the Singapore Government regulations. You can buy drinks to take back to your cabin, a workable solution 藍
Once on board the crew informed us that our Cabins were available, so time to check out the cabin. I have a Junior Suite this cruise, costs a little more, but I think it is worth it. Will see.
Not bad, nice balcony, the separate bath / shower is nice and along with a separate toilet.
What do you think?
My next posts will be about the more fun stuff and the great sail away from Singapore.