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Quantum of the Seas calls at Singapore for the first time

One of Royal Caribbean International’s newest and most revolutionary cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, has arrived at Singapore for the first time on June 11, 2015. The 18-deck, 168,666 gross registered ton ship is the largest ever to call at Singapore and with the highest number of guests onboard, totalling close to 4,000 from around the world. She is on a 14-night cruise from Dubai which has also called at Muscat, Cochin and Penang.

Traditional plaque exchanges are conducted with Captain Srecko Ban of Quantum of the Seas with Ms Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board and Mr Yacoob Piperdi, Executive Vice President of Singapore Airport Terminal Services Ltd to commemorate the ship’s maiden call, in the presence of local government officials, media, business partners and Royal Caribbean staff in Singapore.

Quantum of the Seas at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore

The Quantum of the Seas at the Marina Bay Cruise Center in Singapore

Jennifer Yap, Managing Director, Singapore and Southeast Asia of Royal Caribbean Cruises said, “We are excited to bring Quantum of the Seas to Singapore today, which is a huge milestone for Royal Caribbean in terms of ship size and amenities. The Quantum Class is the next generation of cruise ships filled with innovations in entertainment, technology and culinary that take guests to new heights on the high seas, which we are sure will unleash a new wave of excitement and cruise boom among Singaporean vacationers. Deploying Asia’s largest Quantum class ship here also underscores our heightened confidence in the region’s potential and deepened commitment to growing our regional presence, and we hope a ship of her size and innovative amenities will once again redefine cruising in Asia.”

Quantum of the Seas introduced many firsts-at-sea features such as the North Star elevated glass capsule, RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator and the Bionic Bar. She also features transformative venues such as the Two70 multi-purpose multi-level room, which offers 270 degree panoramic views out of the back of the ship and the SeaPlex indoor activity area, which is the largest active indoor area at sea that features bumper cars, rollerskating and even a circus school.

With 18 different restaurants on board, guests will be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. Guests can look forward to dining at specialty restaurants created in conjunction with award winning chefs Jamie Oliver, Michael Schwartz and Devin Alexander, or at one of five complimentary restaurants available onboard.

Every room on Quantum of the Seas comes with a view thanks to the introduction of Royal Caribbean’s Virtual Balcony available in all interior staterooms. Multi-generational families now also benefit from new Family-Connected staterooms, which connect three different stateroom categories into a special layout with separate bedrooms and bathrooms for all.
Making a return are signature features found on other Royal Caribbean ships such as the H2O Zone kids’ aqua park, rock climbing wall, FlowRider surf simulator, Adventure Ocean children’s programme, Royal Babies and Tots Nursery and DreamWorks Entertainment.

Quantum of the Seas is currently on her 53-night epic Global Odyssey which departed from New York en route to Shanghai where she will homeport year round. As part of her Global Odyssey, she will also be embarking on June 12 on a 3-night round trip from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), followed by her 9 night long cruise on June 15 from Singapore to Shanghai, calling at Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Xiamen. Her sister ship Ovation of the Seas which will be launched next year will also be sailing out from Singapore in June 2016.

 

Travel

Get Lost in this Not-so-distant Island Safari Paradise

LOST IN PARADISE

Tao Philippines Crusoe-style deserted island camp paradise is perfect for those who understand the luxury of simplicity and disconnection.

by Melo E. Esguerra photography by Scott Sporleder

Just when you think Palawan is fast becoming a second Boracay, where congestion of concrete buildings and human bodies have begun to define the island experience more than the pristine beaches of white powdery sand, the Lostboys of Tao Philippines came up with a new island project that guarantees an escape to paradise. They call the island Camp Ngey Ngey.

The Lostboys have taken over the abandoned resort of Manguengey in Busuanga, a remote island in Palawan. They have kept the ruins from the typhoon and built their signature bamboo Tuka huts around the main beach of the island, which serves as the camp area. Just a short walk away you’ll find jungle trails that lead to three other wild beaches, preserved reefs and windswept cliffs encompassed by crystal blue waters. And on certain days, when the winds are strong, one side of the island becomes a good site for surfing.

 


Eddie Brock, one of the founders of Tao Philippines, explains how this concept of an island safari came about. “When we took over Manguengey Resort, we were stuck with the idea of how to run it. We do not know how to cater to resort guests, the individual choices and needs, and menus,” he admits. “Tao’s expertise is to show travelers something new, something more raw and adventurous. We decided that we will not worry about things we don’t understand, and stick to what we do best. One of the best aspects of a Tao trip is creating an atmosphere of connecting with other travelers, disconnected from digital clot—without the worry of planning, wallets and keeping a status. Five days out in the remoteness with the islanders in control leads to a positive attitude: guards down, inhibition is off and open to meet new friends.”

The camp is accessible through the three day/two night boat safari from Coron, with beach and reef stops en route the camp and back. Guests will be joining other travelers, staying in individual Tuka huts dotted along the beach. There are lounges, a dining and kitchen area, and open hang-out places. Currently, the big mansion from the old resort is being restored into a villa that can accommodate a family or group of friends.

The island can be reserved for big events like weddings, parties and other meaningful gatherings.

In the island, there is no room service, no menus, no WiFi. You will arrive as strangers, you will eat together, swim together, laugh together, drink together, and get to know each other offline. Become part of the magic of Tao, and see what happens!

For more information on how the trip to Camp Ngey Ngey works, log on to www.taophilippines.com

 

(This article has already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s June 2017 Men’s Issue, “Lost in Paradise” on pages 110-113.)

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Travel

THROWBACK THURSDAY. Our Stylish Voyage on a Boat with Loida and Richard

FOR SAIL

With hosts Loida Montesclaros and Richard Forteau, we take entertaining to the high seas.

by Shari Quimbo photography Steffen Billhardt

The sky was decidedly gloomy on the Sunday afternoon Loida Montesclaros and Richard Forteau invited a small group of us for a sail, the clouds getting darker as I make my way to Porter’s Marina, where the Blue Planet was docked.

“Richard built the boat himself in Cebu,” Loida explains, going on to share that he was the former honorary French consul in Cebu. “It was built here, and I designed the interiors.”

All that work certainly paid off—Loida and Richard would often sail the boat out to different Philippine destinations such as El Nido, Siargao, Boracay and the Gigantes Islands in Iloilo. These could mean days-long journeys that sometimes meant dealing with some rough seas. Quick day trips, much like the one we were about to embark on, were also a regular past time.

Loida gives me a quick tour of the boat then shows off her tropical spread. With its bright blue and white floral seating, the cabin’s dining area is already a pretty festive site. “I wanted to keep it simple,” she tells me, arranging her fresh fruits around on the banana leaf-covered wooden slabs she was using as serving trays. “And I wanted it to look more local, more tropical. We are on the water, after all.”

The bamboo slats of the dining table were the perfect backdrop to Loida’s spread, which featured tropical fruits alongside an entire roll of lechon belly, fresh lumpia, empanada and steamed shrimp.

The highlight of the table, though, was the chicken liver pate, a dish that Richard makes himself. “Luckily, the French love to cook,” Loida jokes conspiratorially.

Finally, it was time to take the vessel out onto the high seas, and the group makes its way above deck to enjoy the view. The cool sea breeze was a bit stronger than usual, something that had to do with the dark rain clouds looming above us—something that would have deterred any other group, but not this adventurous bunch. Armed with a glass of champagne in one hand and a biscuit smeared with pate on the other, many stand against the railing, admiring the sight of the sky turning orange above the Mactan Channel.

And then it starts to pour. No matter, though—as the rain pounds against the deck, the party finds its way down below. A bottle of wine is opened, and then another, while a second pot of pate is transferred on a plate. Our captain waits until the waves calm before he brings us back ashore.

(This story has already been published in the printed edition of Zee Lifestyle Magazine’s November 2016 issue as one of the Entertaining Features on pages 82-85.)

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Culture

Experience authentic Korean Barbeque at Da-In Restaurant

Filipinos are crazy for Korean barbecue. As such, there are a lot of places that are offering Korean barbecue. But Da-In restaurant isn’t just one of those restaurants.

Located in Salinas Drive in Lahug, Cebu, Da-in restaurant is a joint project between the Creative Cuisine Group and Da-Won restaurant. With state-of-the-art grilling stations in each table and various Korean cuisines ready to be served, Da-In would surely sate your Korean barbecue cravings without any hassle.

Visit Da-In restaurant today!

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