As mentioned in my previous post, we together with Missuschewy's family, traveled to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
For our trip, we stayed at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa which was located very conveniently near the airport.
We had the most amazing room - the Kinabalu Club Family Room which offers two adjourning rooms. This room can fit 2 kids and 2 adults comfortably. We 'parked' our Bumprider stroller that we brought for our trip in the kids room heh.
The kids room had a bunk bed alongside a comfortable siting area and bean bag. There were also cute touches like magnets for them to play with. Check out my video of the room here! For the parents room, they had prepared items like a baby cot, diaper changing pad, kids toothbrushes, a steam steriliser and bottle warmer. These were really useful for us through the trip as I was breastfeeding!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
There are also cafes all around the cruise areas where they serve snacks such as hotdogs, pizza and ice-cream. Perfect for munchies!
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!
Never ever fight the zzz monster. You'll just end up with a cranky kiddo.
5. Try out the various indoor activities.
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.
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.
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!
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! 😀
Earlier part of the year, before Aidan turned 1, I brought Aidan to Genting together with Skai and other bloggers courtesy of the kind folks from Resorts World Genting.
This was our first family trip overseas. Were we mad to even consider taking a long ride up for our first trip overseas?!
It turned out better than expected! I'll be sharing on my experience and some key highlights of Genting that were our favourite!
Taking a coach is not as bad as it seems.
Long trip with a screaming kid? Luckily for us, Aidan slept pretty the majority of the bus ride to Genting however he did cry and whine a bit during our trip back to Singapore. Luckily, we had very patient fellow bus passengers who luckily brought their earphones.
PHEW. Disaster averted!
Tips: We brought our trusty Tula baby carrier and carried Aidan inside. He slept soundly inside when he was tired. However during the times where he got restless, he wanted to get out. Bring some snacks and toys to help distract your kids' attention from a very long and boring ride.
HAHAHA. No need for formula or what nots. We did prepare some food for Aidan and most of the places we ate at had some baby-friendly food so food for Aidan was pretty much covered.
We stayed at First Hotel Hotel and Awana Hotel. For both hotels, we requested for a baby cot for Aidan. We also bathed Aidan standing up. I know some parents prefer using a baby bathtub, I believe Qoo10 sells those portable baby bath tubs that you can consider buying!
Lots of good food!!!!
Unfortunately for me, yours truly has never been to London. I have heard so much about Burger & Lobster so when I heard that they opened in Genting, needless to say I was BEYOND excited!
It didn't disappoint for me. The chilli crab lobster was my favourite! Muslim readers would be glad to know that B&L in Genting is Halal!
Skai really enjoyed Motorino especially the fact that they had a huge variety of pizzas!
We also stopped by Cafes Richard for high tea and was wow-ed by their selection of snacks and drinks as one of France’s top roaster provides a classy Parisian-style atmosphere where customers can enjoy original coffees prepared in a variety of slow coffee methods.
We enjoyed a ride on the new Awana SkyWay in a glass-floor gondola which haves us a great view of the 130-million-year-old rainforest below.
Overall, a great experience! We'll definitely be back to Genting as a fan! <3
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.