My Experience in Singapore

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#1
237 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Here's my experience in Singapore--

Slowest immigration at the airport I've ever experienced. Took us 40 minutes to get through.

Got cash at an ATM then tried to use Uber to the hotel. Wouldn't go through so went and got a taxi instead. Under s$30 to the hotel at 9pm at night. Found taxis to be very cheap, nearly as cheap for 2 as trying to use the bus or subway. s$5-8 to most places and didn't have to hassle with cards or paying the fares.

Used Uber a few times as well. Found out that for Uber, it might fail to connect to a driver if I tried to pay by PayPal, but cash seemed to work better. Used PayPal once and cash a few other times. Tended to use Uber when we were on a side street out of the way and needing to call a ride, but just stepping out of the hotel tended to use a taxi from the taxi stand. Uber almost seemed more expensive than the taxi (maybe because some Uber used taxis and they added the fee to call them?).

Funny in Little India watching the Uber guy go around the block several times trying to figure out how to get to us. A van driver knew we were trying to use Uber and talked about how they never could figure out how to get in there. Finally that guy gave up and they connected us to someone else.

A week later Uber sends me an email for s$5 off each of my next 10 rides. Since we are stopping for 1 more day in Singapore, guess how I'm saving money getting around?

Did the HOHO bus for 2 days. Liked the bus transfer to the night zoo (very convenient). Liked we could sit on the bus and just ride it. Very good free Chinatown tour scheduled by the HOHO line. (tried to do the India tour but arrived too late). However, it was too hot or too rainy to sit upstairs, and was often crowded. And we often waited 30 minutes for the HOHO bus to come. One time rather than wait, we just jumped on the city bus to take us to Chinatown (one every 3 minutes). Driver told us how much to pay. In the end, for about s$3 more we could have just taken a taxi.

If there is a next time, I'm likely to learn how to use the city buses and buy a pass instead of the HOHO bus. Or just take taxi. (Subways are hard because my wife can't always do stairs, and while many seemed to have escalators, you seemed to have to walk up some stairs to get to the escalator).

Gardens by the Bay was terrific. I like taking pictures and the lines from inside the domes make for some cool shots. Watched the light show, then walked to Satay by the Bay (seemed similarly priced as other places). Caught Uber back to the hotel from there.
#3
Vancouver
396 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
What hotel did you stay at. Planning a trip next year. Thank you


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#4
Southern California by way of Kentucky
22,097 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by molly2kit
What hotel did you stay at. Planning a trip next year. Thank you


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Not the OP but I can surely recommend the Royal Plaza on Scott's Road...great hotel and location.
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#5
237 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Stayed at 30 beencoolen had good promotional rates. Now at holiday inn express Clarke quay. Both are nice places and short taxi to anywhere.
#6
Delray Beach, Florida, USA
1,251 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Thank you for all this helpful information. We will use it to plan our 3 days in Singapore. We arrive in Singapore the day after tomorrow!


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#7
North Carolina
6,137 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
We stayed at Oasia Downtown and it was fabulous. 6 days (I did some work in SIN before our cruise). Botanical gardens tried to kill me - I have allergies at home but rarely when I travel so wasn't taking my meds. Thankfully I had Benadryl in my medicine kit :-) Was worth it though!
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#8
2,234 Posts
Joined May 2000
We'll be visiting Singapore prior to our cruise this coming year so I've enjoyed reading this thread. Lots of good information. Thanks for sharing.
#9
North Carolina
6,137 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I'll add we did the HOHO bus but only because our hotel gave us passes for free. Otherwise, we used subway (our hotel was just next door to a station and the system is very easy to use - but not if stairs are a problem) and Uber. Our hotel was in easy walking distance to the Maxwell Rd hawker stalls as well as Lau Pa Sat
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Seabourn 11 night Alaska 8/31/2018
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Pacific Princess 12 day Black Sea 9/4/11

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#10
237 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Holiday inn express Clarke quay is really convenient to walk the river and find a place to eat. I walked all the way to Merlion Park and the even lau pa sat. But it was a good bit of a stroll to go that far.
#11
237 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Also, the HOHO bus to the night Safari was good, but to catch the bus back we about only had time for the show and the tram ride. I would have liked to walk the trails as you can better see all the same animals you can see from the tram.
#12
Singapore
6,089 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Very soon, there will be no more Uber in Singapore (or South East Asia).

http://www.straitstimes.com/business...-stake-in-grab

SINGAPORE - Singapore-based Grab on Monday (March 26) confirmed that it has acquiredUber's South-east Asia operations for an undisclosed sum - putting an end to recent speculation about the merger between the two ride-hailing giants.
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Royal Caribbean - 7 (Monarch, Legend 2X, Brilliance, Voyager 2X, Adventure)
Voyager of the Seas (14N Australia and NZ) Review (149,493 views and counting)
Voyager of the Seas Singapore to Shanghai June 2012 - Review (99,000 views and counting..)
Legend of the Seas Borneo Cruise March 2013 - Review (157,000 views and counting)
Adventure of the Seas Iceland and Norway Cruise June 2014 - Review
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Come Visit Singapore! Videos of my country in this Cruise Critic Thread.
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#13
UK , actually North Wales
20 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
WE also used Oasia Downtown in 2018 ( previously mentioned) we booked Club level which meant a higher up room, great views, private pool for club only, inclusive breakfast and two hours of free wine and canapés early evening. We didn't need to buy lunch, we also got an airport lounge pass for two for up to 2 hrs comp. Two minutes to metro which we used ALL the time - amazing system. 5 mins walk from Chinatown. we are going back in 2019 !
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#14
Delray Beach, Florida
159 Posts
Joined May 2010
Here's a portion of what I just posted on a roll call for our Mar 20 2019 Regent Singapore-Dubai cruise. Might be of interest to other folks going to Singapore.

Spent some time in Singapore from 1996-2000 when we lived in KL; revisited in 2013 after an Oceania cruise. Architecture is fabulous, and I'm sure in the intervening 5 years there will have been lots of changes.

Definitely recommend at least 1-2 nights on your own (if not doing the pre-cruise pkg). Great views from the Ferris Wheel, good Hop On/Off bus routes, orchid garden, zoo, China Town, Marina Bay Sands hotel rooftop view - fee for elevator if not a guest). There's a casino as well in the hotel, but smoking was still permitted when we were there so walked in and walked out just as quickly. Weren't impressed with Indian Town. A big tourist draw is a Singapore Sling (way overpriced!) at the Raffles Hotel (the Long Bar has been closed for renovations but should be open by 2019 -- have a Sling at any other venue)! A famous night time "food court" is Newton Circus (named for the traffic round-about). Eating at any of the outdoor food courts is very safe as sanitary conditions are very strict. Just be careful if you order any shrimp or other seafood as pricing is based on the "catty" (spelling may be incorrect) -- a weight measurement. We remember the king prawns (size of a lobster tail!), clams and lots of other goodies. Harbor boat rides a must as you see the bldgs. from the river (including Singapore's symbol, the Merlion fountain). Walk along Clarke Quay (pronounced Key) and choose a restaurant or bar and people/boat watch. Unfortunately last time we were there was during Chinese New Year's and many, many restaurants/venues were closed.
#15
Melbourne
531 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Great review Dszrew

Delraydoll, how do you book a pre-cruise package? It sounds interesting
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#16
New Cumberland,PA, USA
30,772 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by jayde43
Great review Dszrew

Delraydoll, how do you book a pre-cruise package? It sounds interesting
Will jump in. Many cruise lines offer pre and/or post cruise packages. You can sometimes find this info on your cruise line's web site and other times you might have to either call the cruise line (if you booked direct) of make an inquiry through your travel/cruise agency. Typically the packages will include 1 or 2 nights in a hotel and allt he necessary transfers. Our experience is that the cruise line packages are generally a lot more expensive then if you simply book your own hotel and make arrangements for your own transfers.

When it comes to Singapore, this is a very easy city for making your own arrangements. There are hundreds of hotels (in every category and price range) and taking a taxi from the airport to a hotel is very reasonable.

Hank
#17
Melbourne
531 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by Hlitner
Will jump in. Many cruise lines offer pre and/or post cruise packages. You can sometimes find this info on your cruise line's web site and other times you might have to either call the cruise line (if you booked direct) of make an inquiry through your travel/cruise agency. Typically the packages will include 1 or 2 nights in a hotel and allt he necessary transfers. Our experience is that the cruise line packages are generally a lot more expensive then if you simply book your own hotel and make arrangements for your own transfers.



When it comes to Singapore, this is a very easy city for making your own arrangements. There are hundreds of hotels (in every category and price range) and taking a taxi from the airport to a hotel is very reasonable.



Hank


Thanks heaps Hank, for your reply

So many choices but I know from what friends who have been to Singapore have said that it’s pretty safe.

Happy travels ⚓️⚓️




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#18
Delray Beach, Florida
159 Posts
Joined May 2010
We're booked in a Concierge class cabin on Regent so the pre-extension in Singapore was included. Frankly, we seldom use a tour company's pre/post options as we've travelled so extensively. But in this case, because Dubai is a bit more "exotic," we decided to book Regent's post-extension in Dubai (at quite a cost pp!) only because I didn't feel like booking a hotel thru my usual source (booking.com or one of the major hotel's website), then individually booking all of the tours that are included. Plus transport from port and after our 3 days/to airport is also included.
#19
New York
441 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Another vote for Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay. We stayed there before and after our cruise and had a great experience there.
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(MSC Seaside and Ovation of the Seas) not on this website/ticker