A journey of discovery and bonding for my family and janiqueel.
The honor of being the Official Child of janiqueel.com carries with it responsibilities. With the burdens, however, come rewards. His three nights aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise – Voyager of the Seas to Penang and back was one of the latter. He loved it!
Mr. C’s first cruise, and he was aboard an elegantly-appointed cruise craft. Out trip, dubbed the ‘Malaysia Getaway Cruise’ sailed from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre to Penang. As we approached the pier, I was struck by the immensity of the ship. As we boarded, the sounds of a pool party in progress met our ears. Mr. C and I had to reluctantly give up our Saturday at Happy Fish Swim School for the cruise, so we were both delighted to know that we would soon be in the water frolicking with our fellow cruisers. When the wee lad sees water, especially pools, he raises his arms reflexively as he’s been conditioned to do and readies himself for the plunge. To do so onboard the Voyager of the Seas? Now, that’s really special! He could sense it.
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Something else pretty special was the chance for Mr. C to be with Grandma and Grandpa for the voyage. As it has been a long time since I was on a big boat, I was as thrilled as my son. His first responsibility upon entering our balcony stateroom was to climb aboard the bed, test it thoroughly for bounciness, and ensure the pillows had good tossability. “MaMa,” he declared. With vocabulary sometimes in short supply, one must be aware of subtle intonation. In this case, I knew he was pronouncing the room to be first-rate, Mate.
Nearby, his proud grandparents shared an Interior Stateroom. No windows, but to make up for the lack they had a ‘Virtual Balcony’ screen with a real-time view of the ports and the sea. So clever! Having no big screen at home, Mr C was as enamoured of this set up as the real view from our digs.
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This was the first trip that the four of us had shared. For me, it was a thrill to see the reactions of my elderly parents, especially as they showed their grandson the sights both inside and outside the ship. On board bonding at its best!
Eating with our young charge is usually a casual affair, so we opted for ‘the uncomplicated goodness of classic Americana’ at Johnny Rockets. Jukebox, burgers, shakes, fries, desserts – it perfectly hit the spot for our small crew. Giovanni’s Table, Izumi, Chef’s Grille are among the other options onboard for the more elegant diners – most without a small sailor in tow.
Between meals and deck lounging, I tried the activities on offer. Rock climbing was probably my favorite. Yes, rock climbing, on a cruise ship. Who knew? It was a thrill, especially as the deck below rocked and rolled beneath. I even had a dance lesson on the Royal Promenade. I did really well, at least I thought so. While I played, one part of my mind was always on my three fellow passengers. The Voyager of the Seas is, as I’ve mentioned, is a BIG ship. Could they get lost? Well, I suppose they could, but, after all, there is a limited loss-factor circumscribed by deck size. Besides, by the first day, almost everyone, at least on our deck knew and had dandled the young charmer. The youngster flirted. Soon I worried more about kidnap than loss (just kidding).
On some evenings, after putting an exhausted Official Child to bed, I would sneak away and visit the Schooner Bar, or the Diamond Club and meet fellow cruisers. I can reliably report that everyone I talked with was having a most enjoyable getaway – a Malaysian Getaway. And so were my parents and my child and ME!
Once we reached Penang, a shore excursion awaited. We toured the old town, dined on Peranakan cuisine, and bussed to the Butterfly Park where the exotic plants are almost as captivating as the butterflies. Mr. C ducked and closed his eyes whenever they fluttered by. He was a bit chary of the odd creatures that sometimes brushed his head and face. I made a resolution to get him out in nature more often.
Alas, all good thing must come to an end, or so they say (whoever ‘they’ are). The journey home was a relaxing time as we sailed down the Straits of Malacca bound for the Lion City. I’ve lived here all my life, but those geographic names still conjure exoticism even for me.
‘I must go down to the seas again.. ‘ wrote John Masefield.
Me, too – with my Sailor Boy. We’re hooked.
‘And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover.’
Royal Caribbean contact: +65 6305 0023