Dolphins are such sweet creatures and I must say I’ve always felt an affinity for them. A self-professed spiritual guru once told me that my spirit animal is the dolphin. Sounds about right but the irony is I can’t swim to save my life.
Dolphin Island in Resorts World Sentosa Singapore brings you up-close and personal with the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. It’s a bit sad to see them in captivity but the experiences provided by Resorts World are also educational.
Visitors get to learn facts from guides, like why a dolphin’s skin is so smooth. Answer: They grow new skin every hour. Or how do they communicate besides using their unique high-pitched whistles? Answer: They also use their teeth to indicate their liking of other dolphins so if you get up-close, you may see some scratches on their bodies.
The highlight of the visit was a chance to meet the latest addition to the posse, a female calf born to proud mum, Tian Tang. Oh, yes, dolphins live in a female-dominated society and are “polygamous”. A competition to name the cute calf has just concluded; everyone, say hello to Isabelle.
Unfortunately, my plans to video this encounter was dashed by the calf’s extreme shyness. She just popped her head out for less than a second before swimming underwater. Maybe she was scared off by the huge crowd of regional media members.
At Dolphin Island, many activities are offered, and all involve some sort of interaction with the dolphins, including a session swimming with them.
There’s also a wide range of activities that caters to different preferences at the Adventure Cove Waterpark. But for a calmer yet still exciting experience, the S.E.A Aquarium is well worth a visit. Be prepared to find yourself losing all sense of time when you encounter the more than 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species from 49 different habitats. Recently rated the No.2 aquarium in Asia by TripAdvisor travellers, it is modelled on another award-winning aquarium – the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
You will be flabbergasted at the sheer number of things to see and marvel at here. Strange-looking creatures, fishes that inhabit the murky depths and intimidating giant sharks and manta rays. Enjoy bonding with younger family members as you get as thrilled as them.
Right now, there is a special exhibition on marine conservation. There are many options at the aquarium, from guided to VIP tours, screenings and even spending a night at the aquarium. While we don’t know if you will be woken by a seal licking your face, there will be lots of surprises awaiting.
One of the “stars” of the resort is Universal Studios, voted the No.1 amusement park in Asia by TripAdvisor travellers last month. While it is smaller than some of the other Universal Studios in other parts of the world, take it from me – one day might not be enough to cover all of its attractions. And over the weekend there’s even more going on.
It is Resorts World Sentosa’s fifth anniversary this year. It is appropriate that this year they introduced their newest roller-coaster ride, Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey, in April. It is the world’s first ride named after the franchise.
Situated in the Far Far Away themed zone, the Giant’s Castle is entwined within a giant beanstalk. You ride on a quest to help Puss and Kitty Softpaws go in search of the precious golden eggs. It might be a bit tame for the adults but it’s perfect for the whole family. A great quest to encourage the family spirit!
Now this was the part that I was eagerly awaiting in anticipation. The thrilling roller coaster ride Battlestar Galactica: Human vs Cylon is up and running again after a refurbishment. Previously, the rides were four-seaters per row, which is a bummer for those in the middle. Not anymore, as now it’s a two-seater.
This ride is a duelling ride where two sets of vehicles, basically starting from opposing sides, battle it out. And the bonus is you can do both sides if you want – of course you will have to queue up each time. I was greatly blessed to have an express pass so my queue time was only a minute.
I did the Cylon one first and even though I’m a major fan of roller-coasters, I was not expecting the extreme pummelling that came with it. Twists and turns, loops and suspension at high speeds made it quite intense. Surviving the first ride, I quickly queued up for the Human version. It was a great ride but not as extreme as the first.
One more ticked off for one of the great rides in the world!
Of course, there are other rides available and also zones like Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, Madagascar, New York and Hollywood. Oh, by the way, expect lots of people taking selfies, wefies and the lot with the iconic Universal Studios Globe.
Of course, after all that activity (which might have include gambling at the casino), it would be good to sit back and relax. There’s quite a diverse choice of accommodation available at the resort.
The media stayed at the Equarius Hotel which is next to the ESPA, the luxury spa here. There’s also the Festive Hotel that’s closest to the casino, Hard Rock Hotel, Hotel Michael that displays the flair of American architectural icon, Michael Graves, Crockfords Tower for ultra-luxury and the Beach Villas, which is an assortment of water bungalows and beach cottages.
Foodwise, there is a range of choices from restaurants in hotels or food outlets outside Universal or inside Universal Studios.
There are regular shuttles to take visitors to all the different hotels and attractions.
You can also opt to stay outside Sentosa; a good choice would Genting Hotel Jurong. It is the first major hotel to open in what will soon be Singapore’s second Central Business District. It will also be next to where the terminus is for the coming High Speed Rail link with Kuala Lumpur. Presently, there is an MRT station five minutes away.
The 557-room hotel is fresh and colourful and also provides free 24-hour shuttles to the Resort which is about 25 minutes away.
So check it out next time you’re visiting!