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Skai and I were planning for a holiday with Aidan, our toddler and we were thinking of a few destinations. We had visited Genting earlier this year via coach and was thinking of a cruise. Both Skai and I have visited cruises in the past and we loved the all-inclusiveness of cruises. Aidan was about 18 months old and have been eating solids. We thought that the cruise would be perfect for him. Meals were taken care of and if he needs his naps, we could go for it anytime!

We decided to book the Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas cruise. Here's our experience with our toddler!

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Here's my experience with Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas with a 18 month old toddler and my suggested things to do!

1. Request for a playpen or any toys earlier.

Although Aidan still co-sleeps with us, we felt a playpen would be useful and it did! There were times where one of us was with Aidan and needed to use the washroom etc, we felt safe with Aidan in the playpen.

We had also brought a few toys so during playtime, Aidan played in the playpen with them.

Pro-tip: You can borrow toys from the Royal Babies & Tots nursery. As we brought our own, we decided to give this a miss so that other parents could borrow them!

2. Choose a good room.

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We chose a room with a balcony which cost a bit more but we felt was a good move. It felt more spacious plus it was nice dining out in the balcony.

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I think Aidan also found it interesting as he kept looking at the sea. Just to take note to always keep the balcony doors locked!

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Pro-tip: Room service is chargeable except for breakfast. Do take the opportunity to order breakfast in bed! Or well, by the balcony for us!

3. Enjoy your food options.

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Mariner of the Seas has a great variety of food options. While most people may prefer the buffet options at Windjammer, Skai and I love having our meals at the Main Dining Hall. Reason being, there are kids options there and having a dedicated server was extremely lovely.

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Our server remembered our preferences and always prepared Aidan's meals in advance. And as fellow parents will know, feeding the kid first will save your sanity. HAHA. We did try out the food options at Windjammer etc but the Main Dining Hall was our personal favourite.

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There are also cafes all around the cruise areas where they serve snacks such as hotdogs, pizza and ice-cream. Perfect for munchies!

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Pro-tip: There are packet milk at Windjammer. Suitable for your kiddos. Also ask for the kids menu at the Main Dining Room. You can also make special requests for your meals e.g. without salt etc.

4. Take naps when needed.

While there are plenty of activities on board, please take things slow. Especially with a toddler. When needed, just take a nap. That's the whole point of traveling on a cruise, I felt!

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Never ever fight the zzz monster. You'll just end up with a cranky kiddo.

5. Try out the various indoor activities.

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Lots of interesting activities! We brought Aidan to watch various shows from magic shows to a 3D movie to lots of singing performances! His favourite would have to be the ice-skating show! It was amazing how he was captivated from start to finish. He got a bit restless at the 3D Batman Lego movie though so I conclude he loves live performances!

There are activities for everyone. Plenty of lovely shows, parades and activities!

6. Have fun at the outdoor activities.

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While some of the activities were not suitable for Aidan e.g. like the rock-climbing and tennis, we made do! We had fun at the mini golf while I do not think Aidan knew what was going on, he had fun just playing!

7. Top up for experiences.

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I know that cruises are all-inclusive and some people may not feel inclined topping up. But seriously, some experiences are really worthwhile! We topped up for the Dreamworks breakfast where we had a special breakfast menu and got to meet and enjoy performances from some of the Dreamworks characters!

Pro-tip: The Bottomless Galley Tour was extremely value for money. Free-flow of champagne and delicious food. Must go for the alcoholics! Aside from that, it's also worthwhile topping up for some meals. We got the steak and Skai loved it! On some days, there are special promos for meals, keep a look out for it!

8. Just have fun!

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Most of all, have fun! Don't sweat the small stuff especially traveling with a toddler. There are days/moments that won't be as ideal but don't let those moments spoil the rest of your trip!

We really enjoyed our Royal Caribbean experience! Mariner of the Seas was a great experience and I can't wait to go try the other Royal Caribbean cruises.

Definitely a great family holiday and I highly recommended for family holidays especially with kids. Toddler and above would be ideal! Here's just our humble sharing of our Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas Cruise experience with a toddler.

Have you ever been on a Royal Caribbean cruise? If so, tell me what's your favourite experience! ūüėÄ

For those who were asking, you can find out more about Royal Caribbean at www.royalcaribbean.com.sg

Do check out my pregnancy and baby blog posts here:

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As some of you guys may know, I love my staycations. Skai and I used to go for couple staycations all the time. And ever since I had Aidan, we love staycations even more! We love bringing Aidan for swimming sessions as he really enjoys being in the water.

When I first heard about the Family Fun Escape Staycation package by Swissotel Merchant Court Singapore, I was extremely intrigued.

While some of usual staycations that I go have interesting activities and decor, this really took the cake. The rooms are set up in 'Home style' (in my own words) where it's decorated in a very homely manner according to the respective ages of the kids.

The package comes with the following:

- Two rooms dressed up with kid's amenities such as themed bedding, toys and games
- Swissotel Kids’ Room set-up and age-appropriate amenities upon request
- 2 Adult and 2 Child USS admission tickets
- Complimentary ice cream during your stay for children 12 and below
- Guaranteed late check-out till 4.00pm

As our little family #nadskaidan is basically the three of us, we felt that having two rooms were too much for us especially because we co-sleep with Aidan.

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It's been a while since I cooked. But due to "house arrest", I've been cooking recently. Recently I tried my hand at risotto. I've always loved risotto especially after watching Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen shows.

My personal favourite would have to be Scallop and mushroom risotto and I was aiming to cook that recently till I realised that I need to clear some of my ingredients that would be expiring soon thus I made this Chicken and mushroom risotto dish.

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I used this recipe from Food.com however I skipped certain ingredients such as the white wine.

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This is a Foodie Fridays - TGIF! It's time to get fat on Fridays! entry under my themed blog posts! For more info about this Singapore Food themed blog posts, do read the entry here.

[Invited tasting]

Jamie Oliver at Forum Orchard Road

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A few months ago, Skai and I were invited for a dinner tasting at Jamie's Italian at Forum, Orchard Road. We've heard so much about Jamie Oliver's restaurant but this was actually our first time in one of them.

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