We're all back on land. And having cruise withdrawal symptoms.
All of us are now congregating on Facebook and Twitter, reliving our experiences and reminiscing about the food and fun times aboard Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas.
I hadn't factored on missing the cruise and companions so much. Now I know why families and big incentive groups love booking cruises. It's really good for bonding.
Yes, we could fill many blog posts about the food and fun, and you will definitely be seeing lots of those, but the most priceless thing we got from this ship was friendship.
So I am going to dedicate the first of my cruise travel posts to all my kakis on board who made it such a memorable trip!
We will be blogging our 5D4N experiences collectively on the omy.sg Royal Caribbean mini-site. For many of us, this was our very first time holidaying on the high seas. You'll be able to vote for your favourite from 20 Dec onwards, and stand to a two-piece set of luggage (there are 20 sets up for grabs). Your vote might just also send one of these bloggers below to the Mediterranean for a 7D5N grand cruise next April!
So let me introduce them. The bloggers in alphabetical order are:
CALVIN TIMOTHY LEONG
CalvinTimo, at 23 is the youngest one of us all. He's still in university, finishing his degree in International Hospitality Management - hey, doesn't that make him a perfect candidate for a Royal Caribbean staff? Plus he is pleasant, humorous and easy-going. Calvin is also a food blogger so naturally he is fanatical about food.
With her sparkly eyes and winsome smile, it's easy to see how Cherie captures the hearts of even the staff on board Legend of the Seas. Waiters fall all over themselves to present warm water with honey to her when she is feeling unwell.
Cherie has appeared on TV in several shows. She also loves food and cooking, so she joined the food bloggers on our omy.sg video segments. Oh, I found a kindred spirit - she's allergic to alcohol (like I am, sometimes) and perfumes.
Stylishly fabulous, and always game for a challenge, Christine is one of the Omy 2010 Best Modeling Blog finalists. This babe is tough as nails, and sharp as a tack. She's also the only one among us who scaled the toughest part of the rock climbing wall, beating even the fittest of the guys. So watch out if you're even thinking of trying anything funny!
Darren is ever vivacious and full of life. He truly epitomizes his blog name "Celebrate Life Lah!" with his exuberance of cheer. Besides being Best Lifestyle Blog 2010, he's also the Urban Homme icon, with a lean figure that makes both men and women envious. Darren also has a very good eye for photography, and is very creative with photos. Dude loves his tipple and gets even more cheerful (and cheeky) after a few drinks!
ESTELLE "Take picture!" KIORA CHENG
The bikini girl who made waves at the preview. This chirpy lass talks 800 kilowords per minute and never runs out of steam. Throughout the cruise, she's diligently taking photos and videos, or asking people to "Take picture! Take picture! Take video! Take video!" of her in various poses and acts, or interviewing the crew and sundry. Estelle is full of perky enthusiasm, and comes with bright, body-hugging wardrobe. Loveyouwrongtime, darling.
Nothing goes better together than food and travel. So as a Singapore food blogger, I was very happy to have Eunice, travel blogger, as cabinmate, or rather, stateroom-mate. She runs the award-winning TravelerFolio.com, which has a beautiful template that she designed herself (with coding help from hubby). Eunice is steadfast, down-to-earth and very practical. She also overcame her fear of riding elephants bravely on her excursion to Phuket!
PHAN MUI YEE
This is no plain Jane, but a stunningly talented multi-linguist. She's fluent in so many languages, including business-level Japanese (having lived in Japan for a few years). She blogs in Chinese. And being Malaysian (she's from Sabah), I know that she has Malay and English under her belt too. I hear she also knows French! Mui Yee never runs out of stories to thrill us with, and she's also very willing to share knowledge, tips and tricks. Some people you just know are genuinely nice.
*drumroll please!* This is the ever elusive Keropokman whose real identity has been kept a mystery...until now. Now we will all know who he is, and what he looks like! It's about time you let people recognise you, Philip! Anyway, Philip is a very popular food blogger and he keeps several blogs which he updates quite regularly. You'll also find he is one of the nicest guys around. If you ever need tips on shopping for IT or household gadgets, he's the guy!
FONG YEE LEONG aka YILIANG
Immaculately well-mannered and a gentleman throughout, Yiliang is also an exceptionally skilled photographer. It's pure ecstatic joy when he gets a good photo, and that kind of elation is simply infectious. We had such fun experimenting with "starbursts" in our photos. He also makes a great chili padi buddy! I have personally seen him down them with nonchalant ease! Malaysia boleh! Yiliang blogs in Chinese too, another feat I always admire.
We had the pleasure of being accompanied by omy.sg folks and Royal Caribbean hosts. They also made the journey memorable.
HK trip! Stanley from the ad agency was also a very good
One of the things I really appreciate about omy.sg is that they give exposure to all kinds of bloggers, and help to keep the community thriving. Whether you are well-known or not doesn't matter. What matters is that you have something interesting to say or have an interesting personality. This helps up-and-coming blogs gain prominence in the sea of online voices.
We also had content producer Han Weiding from Omy, who acted as interviewer for our video segments. James (operations) and Phyllis (marketing) from the Royal Caribbean team also accompanied us and hosted us graciously each evening at the fine-dining Romeo & Juliet restaurant. We really appreciate everything the Royal Caribbean staff did for us on this trip.
And here's Nicole from Royal Caribbean who celebrated her birthday on the final evening on board the Legend of the Seas! That's a nice birthday tiramisu there, after we all gathered and sang Happy Birthday!
I also realise that the grand 7D5N Mediterranean cruise (sails April 25) also concludes around my birthday (May 1) next year! What an idea. It will be such a bonus if that happens but even if it doesn't, maybe I can try a nearby cruise with my whole family - it will certainly be a different way to celebrate!
And speaking of birthdays, if you are going to be 21 soon, like me (all right, many years ago), you might like to consider the YES 93.3 21st birthday bash aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise. It's a 3N Best of Malaysia cruise and sails Jan 21, 2011 to Penang and Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur). Lots of freebies and fun activities with the 93.3 deejays on this cruise, from S$505 excluding taxes. Students sail for S$325 all-in! For more details, click the link above.
My next posts will chronicle our journey's activities and the shore excursions we got to try. And of course, the FOOOOD. So stay tuned.