cheap affordable deals. But the problem is not every cheap deal has a promising experience. Now when I saw New Century Tours put up a deal on Fave, I was, as the young ones say nowadays, shookt.
Singapore: 2D1N Cruise on Aegean Paradise Cruise with World Cup Special Screening for 1 Person
$28 for ONE person for an overnight cruise?! Too good to be true??? I scrolled through the terms and conditions multiple times to see if I was missing any fine print. To make my money’s worth, all I had to do was eat a lot of high-value foods.
In a nutshell, $28/pax for:
- Buffet meals provided (at specific timings)
- Live screening of World Cup
- 1 complimentary beer
- 18 years and above
- Minimum 3 to travel
- Complimentary Porthole cabin given for every 3 pax travelling
- Departure time: 8.30pm
- Check-out time: 12.00pm
- To depart from the cruise by 2.00pm if not additional costs of $20/pax will be incurred
I was sold. The deal was valid only on certain dates, according to the World Cup dates so I ended up enticing my parents with this ‘sweet vacation’. Called up beforehand to check if the dates we wanted had availability and double-checked on any hidden additional costs (none that I didn’t know of already). Booking was done smoothly via email. I had and have no interest in World Cup, I was only excited about using the swimming pool and buffets!
The travel plan (more details here):
- Depart from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (Singapore)
- Transfer ferries at Nongsapura Ferry Terminal (Batam)
- ~10 minutes ferry ride to Aegean Paradise Cruise
We didn’t know what to expect when we arrived. Everything was such a mystery to us and paying $28/pax set our expectations really low. First impression: I was amazed.
This was a ‘money-making/money-losing’ cruise. If you don’t get my drift, it’s Genting Highlands compacted into a cruise. & I have never been on any of these such things… So this was already beginning to be quite an experience for me.
We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the cabins. If my memory doesn’t fail me, cabins in other cruises can be pretty small and claustrophobic. This was about the size of a standard room of a budget hotel. Shower gel and towels are provided. You do need to bring your own shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste. Worth it for the $28 I paid, so far so good!
It was late so there wasn’t much to do except check out the restaurant and explore the ship. Well, in all honesty, there isn’t much for one to do if you’re not a risk-taker. The food is decent with a few really nice dishes. The spread is all local, not international so don’t be expecting some baked beans and sunny-side-ups.
SO. Apparently, the cruise operates on Singapore time and not Indonesia time. We booked the return ferry timing for 12.30pm, checked out at 11.00am and thought we gave ourselves ample time to have lunch before heading home.
The cruise makes announcements to remind passengers to collect their passports and head to the exit when the departure time is nearing. So at 11.15am we heard announcements for a Tanah Merah departure and found it really odd because we were familiar with the timings and knew there was no ferry at 11++am. Asked my dad to check with the staff and it turns out they go by Singapore timing and at that point it was 12.25pm so we had to abandon our lunch and rush down to collect our passports.
Overall, I had a great time even though all I did was eat supper, sleep, eat breakfast and eat a tiny bit of lunch. Would have been better if I could’ve used the pool but still definitely worth the deal. Almost everything is in SGD so there isn’t a need to change money. We didn’t even spend a single Indonesian Rupiah or any money for that matter.
Would I return? Meh, perhaps not cause the main attraction doesn’t entice me enough. I don’t think they’ll run deals anytime soon but you can check out their rates here. It’s actually still pretty affordable. You can have a ‘staycation’, celebrate birthdays or even have a hen’s night party?!
This started off seeming like a shady deal but we weren’t tricked into any hidden charges so I’m pretty satisfied with the experience!
Do cheap deals exist? Hell, yeah.
Are they all out to scam people? Not necessarily. Just gotta be smart about it.
Till the next adventure!