Royal Caribbean responds to TikToker's claim of 'waiting 3 hours to get onboard' for cruise to nowhere

PHOTO: Reuters, Screengrab/TikTok/vonsterbelle

Guests going aboard Royal Caribbean's cruise ships from Dec 2 onwards will be informed to take an antigen rapid test (ART) at Raffles City Shopping Centre on the day of sailing before their departure at Marina Bay Cruise Centre.

According to Royal Caribbean's website, all guests are currently required to take an ART test at the cruise terminal before they are allowed to board the ship.

Responding to AsiaOne's queries, Royal Caribbean's spokesperson said on Wednesday (Nov 17) that the change in testing location is part of their efforts to "improve the overall guest experience" and "simplifying the check-in and pre-cruise testing process".

"Guests will also no longer have to wait for their ART results and can quickly swab and enjoy the mall, as they will receive their results via SMS," the company's spokesperson added.

In a two-part TikTok video series titled S*** About Royal Caribbean That People Don't Care About — with over a million views since it was posted on Monday — Yvonne Ling showed the "three-hour wait" at the cruise terminal before boarding the Quantum of the Seas.

@vonsterbelle

Things to note before you book a trip on a cruise to nowhere  ##travel ##cruise ##royalcarribean ##singapore

♬ Spongebob - Dante9k

Documenting her cruise to nowhere experience, the TikToker also showed there were time limits for specific amenities. These include the pool, bumper cars, and having "tens of couples staring at you" while relaxing in the jacuzzi.

Comments in the videos have been mixed. Some netizens appreciate Ling for "speaking the truth", while others felt that their cruise to nowhere holiday experiences are "not as bad" as what the TikToker had portrayed in her videos.

Health and safety is "top priority"

Royal Caribbean told AsiaOne that the health and safety of their guests and crew is "top priority". The cruise operator has implemented health and safety protocols onboard all sailings, such as sailing at reduced capacity and ensuring social distancing measures are adhered to at all times.

Its spokesperson added: "Cruising with Royal Caribbean has been a safe, adventure-filled getaway for our guests, even amidst evolving local regulations, and we have seen many guests return again and again."

In another TikTok video shared on Tuesday (Nov 16) — with over 35,000 views — Ling showed "the awesome s*** about Royal Caribbean that everyone talks about".

@vonsterbelle Those who complain say I negative, here’s the good part la hor, stop complaining ITS A GREAT VACATION ✨? #travel #cruise #royalcarribean #singapore ♬ STAY - The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber

"Those who complain say I negative [sic], here's the good part la hor, stop complaining. It's a great vacation," Ling wrote in the accompanying caption.

ALSO READ: 'Hours and hours of queuing': TikToker shares what her cruise to nowhere vacation is really like

chingshijie@asiaone.com