Cruises are perfect for a family getaway. Within a large and decorated cruise liner, you can indulge in satisfying buffets and get entertained by round-the-clock activities. They are perfect for elderly who cannot walk too much and children who have lots of energy to expend. If you get bored, there are land tours as well.
Depending on your budget, you can go on a cruise for as long as 100 days and travel the world, or go for a short 3-day weekend cruise to Malaysia.
Thanks to Singapore being the largest cruise home port in Asia, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cruise packages and deals.
Top cruise packages and deals from Singapore (2018)
Here are the top cruise liners and the packages available from Royal Caribbean, Dream Cruises, Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises. Prices are for a standard cabin (no windows) for 2 adults and 2 children under 12 in December 2018, inclusive of meals. Take note that children under 12 usually travel for free.
|Cruise line||Price per person for
3 nights (Malaysia)
|Price per person for
5 nights (Southeast Asia)
*Prices are inclusive of taxes and registration fees.
Costa Cruises packages (from $309 per person)
For this holiday season, when you sail with the Italian Costa Cruises, you will be sailing on board the Costa Fortuna. The humongous cruise ship has a massive, winding water slide that will definitely wow the kids. For the adults, there are 11 bars including a Cognac and Cigar Bar, a casino, a Turkish bath and a library.
One major USP of Costa Cruises is that you can get to Europe on the cruise ship. Their month-long cruise package ends up in Rome and they also have longer Asian cruises that go up to 15 nights.
A 3-night package to Malaysia costs about $309 per person, while a 7-night package that goes to the Far East cost $612 per person.
Princess Cruises packages (from $373 per person)
When you choose to go on a cruise holiday with Princess Cruises, you will either be on the Sapphire Princess for short cruises or Diamond Princess for longer cruises. The operator specialises in longer cruises, with Asian cruises going up to 21 days.
If you have any foodie in the family, you’ll be happy to know that Sapphire Princess is voted Best Cruise Line for Food Lovers by Food & Wine Magazine. Gourmands will enjoy the Main Dining Room featuring dishes by award-winning chef Curtis Stone, and the Chocolate Journey programme where they can sample creations from the chocolatier on board.
There’s also a burger joint, a pizza place, an international café and, best of all, complimentary room service so you can have breakfast in bed.
For entertainment, enjoy nightly productions and movies under the stars, themed parties, as well as a casino.
The Diamond Princess, voted Best International Ship in Japan by Cruise Magazine Reader’s Poll, has all the facilities of its sister ship with the addition of a patisserie for café-style coffee and croissants.
The most popular 3-day cruise stops at Port Klang in Kuala Lumpur, so you can eat shiok Malaysian food on your land tour before boarding the cruise ship back home.
Dream Cruises packages (from $429 per person)
Until the Royal Caribbean sailed along, Star Cruises — now called Dream Cruises — was the cruise operator of choice for Singaporeans.
The award-winning cruise ship is operated by Genting Hong Kong under Genting Malaysian group, and has won accolades such as the “ocean’s most luxurious rooms”. You’ll find a floating Zouk, a glowing bowling alley complete with UV balls, a sportsplex for outdoor games, a rock-climbing wall, a ropes course, a water slide and a mini golf course.
Royal Caribbean cruise packages (from $433 per person)
Royal Caribbean’s main cruise liner this season is the Voyager of the Seas. It is a thrill-seeker’s ship, all decked out with a rock-climbing wall, 40-foot wave simulator for wakeboarding and ice-skating rink.
If you’re tired of the included meals, you can go for a more unique dining experience at Johnny Rockets, an American diner styled in red and chrome. It originated from Los Angeles and offers milkshakes so thick you’d have to eat with a spoon.
There are nightly shows, themed parties and live bands, as well as a host of kid-friendly activities. Your kids can occupy themselves with adventure sports, scrapbooking classes, arcade games, game show challenges and daily parades.
At the same time, mum and dad can have finally have a date night. There is an adults-only indoor-outdoor retreat called the Solarium where you can lounge by the pool or sit in the bar kids-free. If you like, there are a few bars and pubs where you can have a drink while listening to live performances.
The Port Klang 3-night cruise and the Penang 4-night weekend cruise are especially popular as you can tour Kuala Lumpur and Penang respectively on Day 2.
Cruise promotions & other money-saving tips
Kids or seniors travel for free: Most cruises have a kids-travel-for-free programme for children under 12. The Royal Caribbean and Dream Cruises offer the same deal for seniors who travel with a paying adult.
Beware of high-peak price inflation: Not all dates are equal and even during the holidays, prices can vary tremendously. For example, a 4-night Port Klang & Phuket Cruise with the Royal Caribbean costs $329 per person in early November but $579 in late December.
Use credit card promotions: From time to time, credit cards have cruise promotions. Citibank cardholders can enjoy an exclusive promotion with Dream Cruises such as free upgrades from Window rooms to Balcony Staterooms.
Take advantage of travel fair deals: Travel fairs often offer cheaper prices. During a promotional season in September, Royal Caribbean was selling their 5-night Spice of Southeast Asia cruise for $688 per person, which is a great deal as normal prices begin at $909.
Cruise promotions can help you save money: Cruise lines often offer Early Bird Discounts, 1-for-1, 4-to-go and Birthday deals, so check their websites often. Dream Cruises, for example, is giving up to 40% discount if you book early and 20% off on Suite Cabins during this period.
Save by getting unsold cabins at the last minute: Sometimes, cruise operators offer very low rates for one or two odd cabins that didn’t get sold. You can sign up for their newsletter to receive updates. Recently, the Royal Caribbean offered $299-per-person for a 4-night cruise, which is about half of the usual price.
Will you be going on a cruise holiday soon? Which cruise liner will you go with?
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