Spectrum of the Seas

Built for the Asian market, Royal Caribbean International’s Spectrum of the Seas packs in plenty of fun for all ages, an impressive line-up of dining options and relaxing resort vibes to present a vacation that will not be forgotten too soon

As Quantum of the Seas concludes her successful and extended season of cruises to nowhere in Singapore, in sails Spectrum of the Seas to give cruise fans more reasons to get back onboard.

Spectrum of the Seas sets a milestone for Singapore cruising, as it is the first cruise ship allowed to welcome more than just Singapore residents since the pandemic hit in 2020. All cruise-to-nowhere operations from Singapore in the past two years have been restricted to local residents as part of Covid-safe measures.

With Spectrum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International will offer both cruises to nowhere from April 11 and regional sailings to South-east Asian ports from October.

Spectrum of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean International’s award-winning Quantum Class line-up. What stands out here is that its facilities are designed for Asian guests. The Asia-centric focus is most apparent in Spectrum of the Seas’ F&B collection. Of the 19 distinct dining venues onboard, three are new and specifically offered to provide familiar comfort food to Asian guests.

As its name suggests, Sichuan Red is all about Chinese Sichuan cuisine, which has seen immense popularity across South-east Asia in recent times. Dishes take in authentic Sichuan spices, and diners can ask for the spice levels to be toned down or tuned up. Diners can also choose to have individual sets, or enjoy a communal meal with many dishes to share among family and friends.

I found the sweet and spicy kung pao prawns and savoury, peppery duck soup most enjoyable. The latter brought back memories of Sunday lunches in the compact kitchen of granny’s home.

Dinner at Teppanyaki was full of dramatic comedy. Set meals are offered here. Portions are generous and the mains are cooked with liberal amounts of immensely fragrant and flavourful garlic butter.

The third Asian dining destination is The Hotpot, which I did not get to try during my two-night sailing – there is always next time!

Spectrum of the Seas’ dining collection also includes familiar favourites like Chops Grille for some of the best steaks around; Wonderland for creative molecular cuisine with an Alice in Wonderland storyline; Jaime’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, and more.

Before you think that feasting is all one can do onboard, allow me to introduce the myriad recreational facilities that have earned the cruise line a strong following of action-loving cruise fans.

There is no time to rest if one intends to do everything onboard – Flowrider surf simulator, RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, North Star observation capsule, rock climbing walls, a variety of sports games in the day and bumper cars at night at SeaPlex, arcade games, so many indoor and outdoor swimming pools and whirlpools to take a dip in, a large fitness centre, and dance and art classes.

New and unique to Spectrum of the Seas is the Sky Pad. Recognised as Asia’s first virtual reality (VR), bungee trampoline adventure on a cruise ship, Sky Pad transports guests into a zero-gravity zone where they could smash sweets in a sugar-coated world or travel light years into the future. The VR option was not available during my sailing, but my companion had fun working his core muscles and legs on the trampoline.

Little cruisers will have plenty to do too. Aquanauts offers structured play throughout the day for children aged three to five, while older children can join group activities, such as dodgeball, themed parties, art jams, and science experiments.

After dark, be sure to catch signature musicals like The Silk Road and Showgirl. I enjoyed both, but Showgirl especially was stunning with elaborate costumes and music that got my feet tapping.

Make time for movies under the stars and live music performances at the many bars and lounges onboard too.

The Ultimate Family Suite is the place to bond and play (photo credit: Karen Yue)

There are 2,137 staterooms dressed in soothing shades of cream, blue and turquoise set against light wood. Room types range from staterooms to a variety of suites. The Suite Enclave is designed for guests wanting a more luxurious and exclusive stay. Here, suite guests enjoy private access to exclusive restaurants and lounges, a Solarium, The Balcony and The Boutique as well as other service perks.

An outstanding accommodation product is the Ultimate Family Suite. It takes in a slide that goes from second floor to the first, a private cinema that doubles up as the karaoke stage, games table, vibrant interiors and plenty of space for multi-generational families to get together.

Spectrum of the Seas checks all the right boxes for a fuss-free vacation – accessible and quality dining, even in the included restaurants; endless fun throughout the day and for all ages; and plenty of space to relax, read or get my daily steps in.

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