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NutsAboutGolf

Review: Singapore, Airport, Exploring & NCL Embarkment

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This was for my NCL cruise last month.

 

AIRPORT The SIN airport was outstanding airport, jewel was amazing although the water feature was closed for maintenance during my visit.  After deplaning, you go through immigration where they'll check your passport, you then go to the baggage claim, (tip, you CAN use the duty free stores upon arrival), there's then two lines to leave the airport, one if you're declaring anything and the one if you aren't declaring anything.  There were several 711s at the airport which offer 7 day travel sims which even has a subway card.  Grab is the rideshare app, taxis are regulated and there's a taxi line; my taxi was $21.59 USD to go from SIN to the Hilton Garden Inn.  It's extremely easy to use the Singapore subway, if you're looking to save money it's not a problem to roll your luggage on, terminal 1 and 2 have a direct entry into the subway station, I believe terminal 4 requires you to take a shuttle to Terminal 1.  For $32 USD I did find a private transfer with meet and greet service online where someone will be standing with a sign with your name on.  I think you should just take a taxi over that option.

 

EXPLORING SINGAPORE/disembarkment.  I really can't say much about disembarkment as I did the self carry off; as I learned two cruises ago, if the ship is scheduled to let off self carriers at 0700, there's no reason to get there early or even right at 0700, simply wait until about 715, there will be zero line which was the case for us.  Now if you are disembarking with luggage, know that there are port valet services for some airlines, others allow an early check in and if you do have early check in.  If you are doing early check in, might as well do that now by going to the airport which you could do by subway, check in, drop off your bags and are now free to roam the city and won't have to wait in the check in line later.  If you have a non-participating airline (United <cough cough>), there's free baggage storage at the MBS casino, in fact they have baggage storage at both of their levels, second and third floors I believe.  Baggage storage location is at the casino entrance, you can't miss it.  I think it was less than $10 USD to take a taxi from the cruise port to the MBS but you could have taken the subway.  At the luggage storage facility, the guy before me dropped off his luggage and walked away from the casino; when I dropped my luggage the person asked if I was playing and I said yes.  While inside the casino has free water, coffee and strong wifi, I have no idea if you'll get in trouble if you don't play but can't imagine anyone will care.  With luggage out of the way, it's time to explore MBS as this will be the least crowded it'll be.  I would then recommend grabbing lunch.  There are so many affordable Michelin rated food hawkers, you could spend hours trying to do them all a day.  Arguably the most famous is the Liao Fan Hawker Chan Chinatown which has their chicken rice for $5 SGD, it's also in an air conditioned restaurant yet can get crowded.  Chinatown is the best and cheapest place to buy souvenirs.  I personally went to multiple food hawkers would recommend doing so.  If you're a couple, order one dish per location and split it so you don't fill up too quick.  Once your done I would recommend the Cable car if that sounds appealing, if not visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens.  While there is the ferry wheel, you can get the best views of MBS from roof top bars.  I don't know how many there are, I went to two, Level 33 brewery and The Lantern (happy hour daily from 11am-6pm) which is inside the Fullerton Bay Hotel; I highly recommend them both for the best views of MBS.

 

EMBARKMENT  Singapore was so good that we timed it to be board the ship at 4pm and as expected, there wasn't any time.  I brought on two bottles of champagne I purchased at duty free, the security guy (non-NCL employee) told me I can't take it on board which was overheard by a NCL employee who ran over and said I could bring them on but he's charging me a $15/bottle corkage fee.  Unless that security person for some reason just started his shift, I'm surprised he wouldn't know you are allowed to bring on bottles, the ship started boarding at least four hours prior to my arrival.  Once I got in my cabin, I checked the TV bill and sure enough $30 was charged on the spot.  When I tried drink a bottle for dinner, I was told I'd need to be charged a corkage fee, I said I already paid it, was told they're supposed to get tagged.  I said then they forgot, you can please check my on board account to see my corkage fee charges?  It happened so quickly, the funny thing was he walked away WITH the bottle (lol) and didn't come back for nearly 20mins.  Therefore, if bringing alcohol on board and embarkment security tells you you can't, get a NCL employees attention.  If you're told you're going to receive a corkage fee charge, ensure it's tagged if you're bringing it for a meal.  At the terminal, there was any CAS check in yet if you get there late it won't matter as there won't be a line.  Another datapoint, it'll probably depend on where your cruise is going you may need to surrender your passport at embarkment.  We had an overnight in Phuket and elected to stay overnight in Phi Phi island which required our actual passports although we later learned some hotels only require a photo of them.  

Capture2.JPG

View from Level 33

 

IMG_2063.jpg

View from The Lantern

 

IMG_2082.jpg

Embarkment terminal

 

IMG_2042.jpg

Michelin rated chicken rice for $5 SGD

Edited by NutsAboutGolf

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I would like to add that when disembarking in Singapore that when you first get off the ship there are taxis.  These taxis are extremely expensive compared to normal taxis.  Just ask someone where the actual taxi line up is located and they will tell you to keep walking.  The regular priced taxis are just outside of the terminal.

 

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FYI, traveling from terminal 3 to terminal 4 is either a long walk or a $14 taxi ride. We had to stay overnight at Crown Plaza hotel which is attached to terminal 3 but our CP flight departed from terminal 4. There was a free shuttle from 3 to 1 & then from 1 to terminal 4, but at 6am in the morning flight, we didn't want to take a risk or time to take the shuttle.

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On 2/9/2020 at 5:33 PM, NutsAboutGolf said:

This was for my NCL cruise last month.

 

AIRPORT The SIN airport was outstanding airport, jewel was amazing although the water feature was closed for maintenance during my visit.  After deplaning, you go through immigration where they'll check your passport, you then go to the baggage claim, (tip, you CAN use the duty free stores upon arrival), there's then two lines to leave the airport, one if you're declaring anything and the one if you aren't declaring anything.  There were several 711s at the airport which offer 7 day travel sims which even has a subway card.  Grab is the rideshare app, taxis are regulated and there's a taxi line; my taxi was $21.59 USD to go from SIN to the Hilton Garden Inn.  It's extremely easy to use the Singapore subway, if you're looking to save money it's not a problem to roll your luggage on, terminal 1 and 2 have a direct entry into the subway station, I believe terminal 4 requires you to take a shuttle to Terminal 1.  For $32 USD I did find a private transfer with meet and greet service online where someone will be standing with a sign with your name on.  I think you should just take a taxi over that option.

 

EXPLORING SINGAPORE/disembarkment.  I really can't say much about disembarkment as I did the self carry off; as I learned two cruises ago, if the ship is scheduled to let off self carriers at 0700, there's no reason to get there early or even right at 0700, simply wait until about 715, there will be zero line which was the case for us.  Now if you are disembarking with luggage, know that there are port valet services for some airlines, others allow an early check in and if you do have early check in.  If you are doing early check in, might as well do that now by going to the airport which you could do by subway, check in, drop off your bags and are now free to roam the city and won't have to wait in the check in line later.  If you have a non-participating airline (United <cough cough>), there's free baggage storage at the MBS casino, in fact they have baggage storage at both of their levels, second and third floors I believe.  Baggage storage location is at the casino entrance, you can't miss it.  I think it was less than $10 USD to take a taxi from the cruise port to the MBS but you could have taken the subway.  At the luggage storage facility, the guy before me dropped off his luggage and walked away from the casino; when I dropped my luggage the person asked if I was playing and I said yes.  While inside the casino has free water, coffee and strong wifi, I have no idea if you'll get in trouble if you don't play but can't imagine anyone will care.  With luggage out of the way, it's time to explore MBS as this will be the least crowded it'll be.  I would then recommend grabbing lunch.  There are so many affordable Michelin rated food hawkers, you could spend hours trying to do them all a day.  Arguably the most famous is the Liao Fan Hawker Chan Chinatown which has their chicken rice for $5 SGD, it's also in an air conditioned restaurant yet can get crowded.  Chinatown is the best and cheapest place to buy souvenirs.  I personally went to multiple food hawkers would recommend doing so.  If you're a couple, order one dish per location and split it so you don't fill up too quick.  Once your done I would recommend the Cable car if that sounds appealing, if not visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens.  While there is the ferry wheel, you can get the best views of MBS from roof top bars.  I don't know how many there are, I went to two, Level 33 brewery and The Lantern (happy hour daily from 11am-6pm) which is inside the Fullerton Bay Hotel; I highly recommend them both for the best views of MBS.

 

EMBARKMENT  Singapore was so good that we timed it to be board the ship at 4pm and as expected, there wasn't any time.  I brought on two bottles of champagne I purchased at duty free, the security guy (non-NCL employee) told me I can't take it on board which was overheard by a NCL employee who ran over and said I could bring them on but he's charging me a $15/bottle corkage fee.  Unless that security person for some reason just started his shift, I'm surprised he wouldn't know you are allowed to bring on bottles, the ship started boarding at least four hours prior to my arrival.  Once I got in my cabin, I checked the TV bill and sure enough $30 was charged on the spot.  When I tried drink a bottle for dinner, I was told I'd need to be charged a corkage fee, I said I already paid it, was told they're supposed to get tagged.  I said then they forgot, you can please check my on board account to see my corkage fee charges?  It happened so quickly, the funny thing was he walked away WITH the bottle (lol) and didn't come back for nearly 20mins.  Therefore, if bringing alcohol on board and embarkment security tells you you can't, get a NCL employees attention.  If you're told you're going to receive a corkage fee charge, ensure it's tagged if you're bringing it for a meal.  At the terminal, there was any CAS check in yet if you get there late it won't matter as there won't be a line.  Another datapoint, it'll probably depend on where your cruise is going you may need to surrender your passport at embarkment.  We had an overnight in Phuket and elected to stay overnight in Phi Phi island which required our actual passports although we later learned some hotels only require a photo of them.  

Capture2.JPG

View from Level 33

 

IMG_2063.jpg

View from The Lantern

 

IMG_2082.jpg

Embarkment terminal

 

IMG_2042.jpg

Michelin rated chicken rice for $5 SGD

 

Hi NutsAboutGolf,

 

Thank you for sharing these great photos and information from your NCL cruise last month. I wonder if you would consider sharing some more insight into the ports and sea days from your journey in a more detailed review?

 

Recent reviews from fellow cruisers are among the most trusted sources of information that our members rely upon and in the current environment, your experience would be particularly interesting/helpful to our members.

 

If you feel inspired, we'd be grateful to you for sharing a review of your recent cruise experience in Thailand. You can start writing your cruise review right here

 

We hope you and yours, and everyone in our cruise critic community are safe and well. Do the 20 second hand wash and do it often 😉 🙌

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