Before we left Singapore for our 18 month dalliance in Thailand, Perth, Brisbane and Noosa – the last major project I worked on was Resorts World, Sentosa. Not surprisingly for Singapore, this huge place was up and running in no time at all – it still amazes me. We have spent time on Sentosa during its various stages of evolution – including Universal Studios and the Aquarium – which you can read about in previous blogs.
Anyway, Andrea decided to take our eldest son Lex to Australia for her Dad’s 70th birthday recently, so to ensure Jax didn’t feel left out, we headed for a staycation at the Rasa Sentosa on Siloso Beach. We did lots of stuff together, but having never checked out Adventure Cove, despite various friends recommending it, we decided it was the perfect time to see it for ourselves.
For the two of us to get in we forked out $72 and I have to admit, that once inside it’s a little unclear what you’re supposed to do next! Naturally, there is the obligatory sign illustrating a huge list of do’s and don’ts, which is confusing, so we looked around and found a changing room facility near the main entrance where we got into bathing suits and sunscreened up. The trouble is – as we found out later – it’s quite a way from the main activity area, so if you need money, water, etc it’s a hike back to your gear. Therefore, my first recommendation is this – use the locker facilities located centrally opposite the wave pool (Bluewater Bay). Additionally, beside most of the rides and attractions there are racks where you can store your towels, etc.
By the time we got changed and geared up, we were so hot we needed to cool down, so we grabbed inflatable rings and had a lazy float down Adventure River, which is great for all ages. It winds around the park with waterfalls and rock features, also taking you past the dolphins and stingrays – which is cool. The only slightly weird thing is there is a lifeguard posted just about every 5 metres who seem to have been trained to be unfriendly, whistle-happy and bored out of their brains. That said, Jax got a real kick out of this activity and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Next up Jax was desperate to snorkel at Rainbow Reef, but when we got there, the line was horrendous. So we circled back to guest services by the entrance and got “Express Passes” (another $40 for the two of us) which are good for one ride each BUT only on two attractions; namely the snorkelling lagoon (Rainbow Reef) and the Riptide Rocket. However, the snorkelling was great and a good way to introduce kids to this. My only challenge was finding a buoyancy aide that fit…
After Rainbow Reef we went on the Riptide Rocket, which is touted as a “hydro-magnetic coaster”. I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone, so I’ll just say if you do nothing else, make sure you do this. The good thing is it does have quite a low height limit for kids (unlike other rides, which I’ll talk about later) as long as they are accompanied by an adult. This was totally bizarre to me, because it scared the absolute crap out of me as an adult.
We also bobbed around in the Bluewater Bay wave pool, which was really, really crowded. For anyone thinking about visiting, the loungers around the wave pool would make a logical place to base yourself, as it’s quite central, and there are a series of wooden Sala’s around the edge, which were available for rent. We didn’t take up this option, so no idea how much it costs.
From here we had quite a frustrating time being turned away from several rides because Jax was half a millimetre below the height limit – this annoyed me. The reason it got my back up is it was stated in all the literature that height restrictions do apply to some rides, but it seemed everyone was different. There were also various charts around the place which added to the confusion. The truth is, at six, while perhaps a little taller than many six year old’s in Asia, Jax is big enough for these rides, so this can be challenging for parents with 5-7 year old keen on an adventure. I hope you don’t experience the same disappointment.
Feeling sorry for the little guy, we decided to investigate feeding the stingrays at Ray Bay. To do this you have to hike back to the entrance to book a fixed time slots, each one of which seemed to have a maximum of six people per session. The number limit is actually quite good, although you do have a crowd watching you, which isn’t. I know Andrea wouldn’t do it.
At Ray Bay we handed over another $80 for the two of us and obviously this was only after Jax’s height had been checked (I’m not joking). Feeding the rays was good fun, apart from the fact the rays get a bit pushy which freaked out Jax. I’ve since been to Adventure Cove with Lex (our eldest) and he was totally enthralled by the experience, still talking about it this this day. For Jax, the highlight was being able to see the baby hammerhead sharks which are being bred in the same area – but obviously a closed off section.
Having not arrived at Adventure Cove until past 1pm, we stayed to closing time, and caught the bonus of walking onto a number of rides towards the end of the day with no lines.
Up closing time, we were also faced with running the gauntlet through the gift shop to exit and I must warn you – all the photographers who snap you, then snap your numbered wrist band are lurking here, waiting to pounce. Given Jax was missing his mum and brother I did actually succumb and got a couple of photos. My “deal” comprised one large print, one medium size print (both in a folder) and I got all the photos that had been snapped of us throughout the day burnt on a CD for $75. Bargain huh?
In summary, if your kids are happy in the water, it’s a cool place to go. I would imagine for parents of non-swimmers it would be a bit challenging, but there are life jackets everywhere and every 3rd person seems to be a lifeguard (with obligatory sunglasses and surly attitude) so please let that put you off.
The only other thing to mention would be cost – as you can see, we dropped $250 in an afternoon and I did feel slightly miffed by this considering the great value other attractions (such as the Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park) offer by comparison. Then again, Resort World, in general, does seem to be in the business of gouging you for every cent; which I get, given it’s a world class tourist destination.
Finally, it’s hot – and I mean really REALLY hot – so lots of sunscreen, hats and protection for the kids.
Stuck for ideas to spend a day and money isn’t an option, take a trip and tell us what you think?