Brian Goh


About me

I went on a cruise recently. It was a five-day, four-night cruise with Royal Caribbean, on board Spectrum Of The Seas. The ports we visited were Port Klang and George Town, Penang.

It was a pretty exciting trip for myself. First time on a ship, I had an open mind and had no idea what to expect. The boarding process was pretty quick. We confirmed our registrations with the Ship’s crew, cleared customs and within 25 minutes, we were already on board. The crew were really friendly and their service staff were great. Room service was awesome as well.

My room was a Suite. It was the first cruise so I thought, why not spend a bit more on a fancy cruise? Did I regret it? Not at all. The room was extremely spacious, with an attached toilet and a bathtub. The balcony was a private one and it was pretty large as it could hold two deck chairs and one table with still room to spare.

I got the meal and drinks package so meals and drinks were free throughout the cruise. Lunch on the first day was in the Wind Jammer dining hall, free for all buffet. The remaining meals were split between Izumi, Chop and Grills (my favourite) and Jamie Olivers. Drinks were mostly from the bars onboard the ship (Yes, I got the alcohol package). Schooner’s Bar, Music Hall and 270 were probably where you would find me on board for the most time during the night. That’s where most of the live events and bands were. The musicians were good and the shows were entertaining.

Activities on board were never dull. There were all sort of trivias ongoing, from topics such as “Songs from the 2000s”, “Airport Names”, “Countries flags” and many more. There were also Sudoku challenges and Word Search puzzles for those who want to pick their brains. The facilitators were extremely entertaining and pretty funny as well.

The ship had port visits at Port Klang and George Town, Penang.

Port Klang was kind meh. It was merely a pier for a cruise terminal and that was pretty much it. It is required to travel further for activities and with the short shore time, I’d decided it was probably best to remain on board the ship.

George Town, Penang was a lot more entertaining. I disembarked at approximately 9.30am which was pretty early and the town probably haven’t woken up yet. Most shops remained closed till 10.00am and the town was livelier then. I dropped by to visit the Food Museum and it was a pretty educational tour. The displays were about various types of food enjoyed by different races in Malaysia and their origins. The end message that was brought across summarised: Not to waste food. If you’d like to know why, do drop by the museum for a visit. I went to visit a Hantu (“Ghost” in Bahasa) Museum as well. Having being brought up in an Asian society, superstition has always been a small part of our culture. Whether you believe these myths or not, it is entirely up to you. I personally do not, but I thought it was pretty interesting to find out more. The tour was pretty cool, they displayed not only Asian ghosts but even those of Western beliefs as well. All in all, pretty interesting. There was a tourist street as well (along Lebuh Armenian street). I got a couple of souvenirs as mementos of this visit (An owl and a Mr LanJiao). Some other souvenirs we bought back were traditional Asian pastries for family and friends.

On the last night on board, I was at Schooner’s Bar having a conversation with the bar tenders. They were amazing people, extremely friendly. Questions like what made you choose to work on board and how long they have been working were traded. But the deepest conversation went something like this.

Me: So, what made you want to work on a Cruise Ship?

S: It pays the bills, no?

Me: Yeah, it does. I’ve always wanted to be a bar tender because I love working with drinks. Being on board a cruise ship is a plus.

S: I’d rather have your job and work in my own country.

S: But that is just life, right? Sometimes we don’t get what we want and have to make do with the best opportunity we are given.

I have so many thoughts which ran through my mind when the bar tender said that sentence. So many. But I’ll elaborate on my thoughts in another post. I just felt the need to share this because it was one event which struck me pretty deeply while on board.

To those who I interacted with on board Spectrum Of The Seas and the crew in general, I know I wished you before I disembarked but I have to wish you once again. All the best in everything that lies ahead of you. Thank you for the wonderful cruise experience. Your friendliness was really deeply felt by me. To those whom I’ve had conversations with, the experience was unforgettable. I really had a great time conversing with everyone and I hope that maybe one day, somehow or somewhere, we’ll meet each other again.

Till then. Calm seas and Safe Travels. Stay safe everyone.