Ladies and gentlemen, Singapore has a brand new kids water park that is so fantastical, it is not only going to blow the kids away, it’s going to blow you away too. Port of Lost Wonder (POLW), on Palawan Beach, Sentosa, is a life sized pirate ship that doubles as a water park – it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s easy to get to – either catch the monorail from Vivo City and get off at the last stop (Siloso Beach) and head to the left as you face the beach from the station – you can’t miss the signs – or it’s right next door to the Beach Car Park and only a 50 metre walk.
POLW is a brand new adventure destination for kids, opening April 14 2012, but it’s also a brilliant place for adults to hang out, with day beds under the trees. I couldn’t see my kids for most of the time we were there, as they ran up the stairs and down the slides, up the stairs and down the slides over and over, so I gave up and lay back under the trees. Although, if you’re happy to swan around in your bathing suit, you can get in on the action and enjoy the water park with your kids – either way, you’ll enjoy it. A lot of the parents used it as a chance to catch up while the kids had fun. I have to say, it’s the first kids park I’ve taken the boys where they didn’t want my attention at all – and that’s saying something.
Apart from the quality of the park and it’s attraction for adults, one other great thing about it was the staff. They were all happy, silly and really making sure the kids had fun. They were spread throughout the ship and keeping control of the slides, but they did it in such a wonderful way, I couldn’t help but be impressed. Their role makes it even easier for Mum and Dad to relax, although naturally, parents’ of wee ones need to stay pretty close to the kids. I really hope the staff keeps it up, because it is so unusual to see and I really appreciated it.
A couple of observations. It’s very sunny and anyone on the ship is in the sun all the time, so make sure they have loads of sun protection, and I highly recommend sun tops if you have them. I saw a lot of very red skin – kids and adults alike. Also, as it’s brand new, it’s still experiencing some teething problems, so try and be patient as they sort it out. The line for tickets was very slow and directly in the boiling sun, so tempers started to fray. With that said, there was an obvious solution – if everyone lined up around the corner, everyone would be in the shade. I always find it funny how humans need to line up in a straight line. May I respectfully suggest the management put ropes up so customers are forced to line up around the corner in the shade – just an idea?
Food-wise there is a terrific restaurant, called Port Belly. It sells high quality healthy food, alcohol (including cocktails ;)) and lots of kid-friendly drink options – the best bit? The prices are not out of this world (for Singapore), so if you want to, you can definitely enjoy a meal here and they deliver throughout the park. With that said, if you want to keep costs down, it’s a perfect place for a picnic as well, and there was no indication that bringing your own food wasn’t welcome. There’s also a gift shop, but you are not forced to exit through it, so you can avoid it if you want to.
Cost-wise it’s cheap – especially at the moment with its introductory prices. I took the boys straight from school on Friday afternoon and it cost $13.60 for both of them. Adults are free and kids under three are free as well, although apparently if your toddler goes into the ship they have to pay. Everyone wears a coloured bracelet, so I’m sure this is how they keep track of that, but with the chaos on the ship, I’m not sure how it can be monitored. If you want all of your kids to enjoy the park, perhaps just pay for all of them?
Opening Costs are
- Weekday – $6.80 / child, going up to $8.00 +$50 worth of curios
- Weekend and PH – $12.75 / child, going up to $15.00 + $100 worth of curios
Membership at the moment is $72/year/child (going up to $90 soon), which includes 600 Curio Coins, 1 Port Pass and unlimited admission. I definitely think we’ll buy a membership. The boys will certainly be happy to go anytime we’re willing to take them.
This bit doesn’t make sense to me yet, but upon entry, kids get “$50” worth of Curios during the week ($100 on weekends), and these curios (or coins) can be spent at the park. While we were there, Pot Belly did a “$50” deal on ice cream, which meant $6.80 covered both entry and a tub of ice cream. I’m not really sure how it works yet, but I’m sure it’ll make sense the more we go.
Overall, I thought it was terrific value as a kid’s adventure activity.
This place is so great, I’m sure it’s going to be crazy on the weekends, so get there early (opens at 10am), and last ticket sales are at 4.30pm, with the water park turned off for the day at 6pm. If you’re still there at the end, you’ll see the staff doing a little closing dance, which was surprisingly un-corny.
Once you’re done at the water park, and if your kids still have energy, you can keep wandering along Palawan Beach, crossing the suspension bridge, which links beach-goers to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia (and also Asia’s closest point to the Equator). It’s beautiful here. Or you can stop at the bars and restaurants on Palawan Beach for more sustenance. But I don’t think you’ll need to do this…
Let us know what you think when you go OK?