Cruising in Singapore is a fantastic introduction to Asia, as the country is thought of as a microcosm of the continent. With the population being made up of predominantly Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian immigrants, it’s no surprise that so much of the food, music, and other cultural traditions are an eclectic mix of these influences – as well as European due to historic events. To give you something of an idea about what to expect, we’ve put together this handy top tips guide.
The most commonly used language in Singapore is actually English, but in fact most of the population are bilingual – speaking one of the other three main languages too. These are Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. If you do want to mix in with locals and use a few popular phrases, try:
- 'Lah’, at the end of a sentence, to emphasise what you’re saying – for instance, ‘That food was delicious, lah!’
- ‘Ni hao’, meaning ‘hello’ in Mandarin
- ‘Terima kasih’, meaning ‘thank you’ in Malay
- ‘Wah lau’, is used to express shock – for instance, ‘Wah lau! That’s expensive!’
The currency used in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar. At the time of writing $1 equates to £0.55. Wining and dining in Singapore can be just about as cheap or expensive as you like, owing to the fact that there is a fantastic range of bars and restaurants. To give you a rough idea, a meal in a hawker centre will cost around $6 (£3.33), and a trip to a museum, for instance, won’t cost you more than about $20 (£11.10).
Singapore is largely thought of as one of the easiest places in Asia to navigate as a tourist. Probably the simplest way to get around is by using the MRT trains and buses. If you’re doing a cruise and stay holiday with a few extra nights in Singapore, it’s worth considering buying an EZ-link card. These can be topped up and used to access both of the aforementioned modes of transport. Alternatively, taxis are relatively easy to come by, and are good value during off-peak hours.
One great thing about Singapore is that the weather remains pretty consistent throughout the year. The temperature range is generally 24 – 30°C, and you’re likely to find rain and haze quite regularly. The country actually has two monsoon seasons – a southwest season is usually June to September, and northeast is December to March. The quantity of rainfall at these times can be quite astounding to new visitors, and is a truly exciting sight, but generally it will last for just a few hours. This means that the rain will far from hinder your plans when it comes to things to see and do.
Other Useful Things to Know
- Medical expenses can be high in Singapore, so make sure you arrange adequate travel insurance before you leave, just in case.
- Eating and drinking on public transport is not allowed.
- Singapore is very wheelchair-friendly. Thanks to a government initiative, there are wide footpaths, ramps, and lifts found in most public spaces.
- It’s illegal to bring mainstream chewing gum into Singapore.
- Plug sockets in Singapore are the same as those in the UK.
Cruise to Singapore with Costa Cruises
Renowned for fantastic Italian hospitality and onboard comforts, Costa Cruises is a great option for your cruise to Singapore. Let their ship become your home away from home whilst exploring this exciting and exotic destination.
In Singapore, Costa Cruises host some brilliant excursion opportunities to help cruisers get to know this one of a kind destination. For example, there’s the cultural heritage tour, which takes you to Chinatown, Little India, and Arab Street, or the gastronomic experience, on which you’ll visit Lau Pa Sat Market before heading to the Corner House Restaurant to dine. You can well and truly discover the delights of Singapore on one of these amazing shore adventures.
Time spent onboard your Costa Cruises ship at the end of a long day out exploring will leave you feeling fresh and ready for the next day. If you haven’t dined whilst out and about, you can find a range of culinary options onboard, from a traditional evening in the main dining room, or casual buffet options, to speciality venues for something a little different. Local food is not for everyone, so rest assured if you fancy a hearty steak dinner you will find it onboard.
As well as the food, Costa Cruises know how to treat their guests when it comes to onboard activities and entertainment. There are plenty of bars and lounges to choose from if you’re looking to simply socialise and enjoy a few drinks, or there are full-blown production shows, casino games, and nightclubs if you want something a little more lively.
Browse through Costa Cruises holidays to Singapore to find your next cruise adventure.