kids activities · reviews

Review & Giveaway: Underwater World Singapore

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Only a little over 24 hours since we came back from an amazing trip to the Maldives, I dragged the kids down to Underwater World Singapore at Sentosa. You’d think we’d have enough of fish already since we had been snorkeling for 5 days, and the boys protested because they wanted to stay home and play with their toys. But I’d already arranged the visit with Underwater World Singapore, and more importantly, I thought it was a great chance to reinforce the learning that we’ve done over the last few days. Since our diving days, I’m a little bit of a fish fanatic, a nerd (or a nut?) about fish identification, and I was annoyed with myself for not bringing our fish identification resources on our trip! But no matter, we had a wonderful trip, and my 2 year old toddlers can rattle off nomenclature like triggerfish and parrotfish like a pro.

My trusty sidekicks. I was probably fleeced for the
My trusty sidekicks. I was probably fleeced for the Maldives fish card (USD12!?) even though it folds out to 8 pages, but now that I’ve been using it with the kids, it’s worth every penny.
But more about our trip later. I’m sure most of you know about Underwater World Singapore, which has been around for ages (1991, in fact) but this poor attraction has been outshone by the bigger bolder RWS SEA Aquarium in recent years. You know what Singaporeans are like, we always like the latest, newest thing!

Seals doing tricks
Seals doing tricks
We arrived shortly before 11am on a weekday, just in time for the dolphin show, and even made it to sit in the front row. The show is just under 20 minutes, which is great since you know how long the attention span of some kids are. Yes, not long. Mid-show I was actually asked once when we would be leaving!

The pink dolphins
The pink dolphins
And because we were in the front row, we were like a metre away from the sea lion! Who kept walking up and down, doing tricks, going swimming etc. Even the dolphins were much closer than any other show, and even if it was only 2 dolphins and 2 sea lions performing, it was way better than having more marine life but having to sit so far away. Compare: Ocean Park Hong Kong, and Underwater World.

After the dolphin show, we walked around the touch pool and ray area. Now, Mittens was really lucky and sighted a spotted eagle ray in the wild while snorkeling earlier in the week, so it was even more meaningful to see one up close here. He spent a lot of time feeling the sharks too.

I totally did not know some of these fish had spikes!
I totally did not know some of these fish had spikes!
Further into the aquarium, we loved reading all the little nuggets of information about the fish, there is sure plenty to learn! We proceeded down to see the various crabs and octopuses, reef fish, jelly fish, and were lucky to be just in time for feeding at the shark tank, which is where the famous tunnel is. Fish (sharks and even reef fish) really go into a frenzy during meal times, which was interesting to watch. Come to think of it, frenzy is probably the right word to describe the kids when we first walked into the aquarium because they were just SO DARN EXCITED TO SEE EVERYTHING! Of course, like all good mummies should *ahem*, I reminded them that THEY were the ones who actually did not want to come along, but I knew it was going to be awesome for them. I am so going to use it against them the next time they whine about going anywhere.

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We spent A LOT of time in the tunnel. I think we might have gone 10 rounds in total. The kids loved the travelator, but also the tunnel is also great for observing the undersides of rays and shovelnose guitarfish, as well as all the fishes from big to gigantic. The funny story is, Mittens kept pointing out fishes and asked if they could be cooked. Like the giant grouper, and the pompano, which looks like a promfret. My boy sure has his priorities sorted out.

I was most amused by a fish getting squashed by a shovelnose, but actually it was one of the dead fish for lunch
I was most amused by a fish getting squashed by a shovelnose, but actually it was one of the dead fish for lunch
There is a decent range of marine life overall, and abundance of sharks and rays, even juvenile ones. They even have a huge turtle enclosure at the entrance of the aquarium, which is easy to miss.

The food line up. Don't judge me just because I have ONE photo of the food - this is not a food blog leh.
The food line up. Don’t judge me just because I have ONE photo of the food, you can easily Google yourself some photos.  This is not a food blog leh.
When we decided we needed a lunch break (you know it’s lunch time when one of the kids starts whining), we headed to Island Cuisine, the restaurant within the aquarium premises which offers a buffet for both lunch and dinner. The normal price is $24.99++ per adult, which is pretty decent considering a bowl of lousy fish ball noodles at the Singapore Zoo will set you back what, $6.90? To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised that the food was very decent. I was really not sure what to expect, since I have developed an aversion to nameless mid-priced eateries, but we enjoyed the chicken rice, fried bee hoon, and a wide range of vegetable dishes (yay!). I found the mee siam a little bland, but it was perfect for Abacus who had 2 bowls and declared it the best thing ever. There’s also dim sum, cakes, and ice cream, which is a perennial crowd pleaser. I found out later that Island Cuisine is run by the Sentosa group, which, in local speak, “got standard one”.

A mimic octopus pretending to be... a starfish! (just kidding).
A mimic octopus pretending to be… a starfish! (just kidding).
After lunch, the kids decided they wanted more of the aquarium, so back we went, and in total we spent over 3 hours there! I wasn’t expecting it at all because it is a small aquarium. But kids are simple creatures, and it usually doesn’t take much to impress them. I think they enjoyed that there was so much to look at, and it wasn’t too crowded so we never had to jostle with anyone. At some point we even had the entire tunnel to ourselves!

Kids:
Kids: “Why do they keep going round and round??” Me: er…..
And although the place might look a little sleepy, the staff were quite responsive and cohesive. I had pre- arranged this visit, but when I reached I realized that my email would not load the confirmation attachment, but they promptly sorted me out, and I was impressed by how organized and communicative they were with each other, even right down to the manager at Island Cuisine who was expecting us for lunch. Honestly, I think I was expecting disgruntled and lackluster service given how the building looks a little worse for wear. Sorry for judging the book by its cover! But I think having spent 3 hours there is testimony that it is well worth bringing the kids to, especially if there is an ongoing promotion! (Also that jacked up my parking to $14.80, but that’s another story altogether.)

Which kid does not like this?
Which kid does not like this?
From now until 28th June, Underwater World Singapore are having a promotion of $19.90 for entry and a meal at Island Cuisine (more information and terms and conditions here). That’s like a crazy deal considering the usual entry price is $29.90! If you ask me, everyone should GO!

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And now, a giveaway!

All you have to do is to leave a comment on this post ON THIS PAGE, letting me know who would you want to bring to Underwater World Singapore, and what significance would the trip be to them?

Please log your entry on the Rafflecopter HERE. Rafflecopters make my life infinitely easier!

The contest runs until June 18th midnight, so if you win and want to bring MORE than 2 people, you can still make use of the $19.90 offer! Sweet, right?

Some points to note:

  • Redemption period for winners will be 3 months within receiving the tickets
  • Each winning ticket only permits a complimentary entry into UWS and a one-time buffet at Island Cuisine
  • Each winning ticket does not include the additional perks as stated in above poster

*Terms & Conditions I’m obliged to let you know about for this fish-tastic contest:

  1. Promotion is only applicable to local residents of Singapore. (i.e. Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, Holders of Employment Passes, work Permit or Dependent’s Pass)
  2. Promotion is valid for both adult and child.
    3.     To qualify, visitors are required to produce relevant identification, subjected to one admission ticket per local ID.
    4.     This promotion is not applicable with any ongoing promotions.
    5.     This promotion is not applicable for group tours.
    6.     This promotion is only valid for watching the dolphin show. Charges are applicable should invited visitors wish to participate in the dive or have contact with the dolphins.
    7.     Point-of-exchange for promotion: Underwater World Singapore ticketing counter.
    8.     Promotion is only valid for communicated date of visit
    9.     Guest must retain and present this invite for entry
    10.  Guest must retain and present this invite to redeem buffet meal at Island Cuisine.
    11.  Guest are only allowed to use this invite once.
    12.  UWS reserves the right to refuse redemption, entry and/or participation if the above conditions are not fulfilled.
    13.  UWS Shall not be liable for cancellation of any programmes due to wet weather or unforeseen circumstances.
    14.  Island Cuisine will offer local delicacies in a buffet format daily from 11.30am – 3pm (Last seating: 2.30pm) and 5.30pm – 9pm (Last seating: 8.30pm).
    15.  Island Cuisine is not a halal certified restaurant. Dishes do not contain pork/lard.
    16.  UWS reserves the right to substitute the buffet meal with another item of equivalent value.

GOOD LUCK!!!! And if you do go to Underwater World, enjoy!!

Thank you to Underwater World Singapore for inviting us to a wonderful, educational afternoon.

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20 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway: Underwater World Singapore

  1. My friend’s daughter, from Germany, is staying with me for 2 months and she loves dolphins and marine life. It’ll be her 13th birthday soon and i hope she’ll have a wonderful and memorable birthday here in Singapore if I could win her the opportunity to visit UWS underwater world! She’s right now beside me and screaming in ecstasy as I’m typing this. Haha. We want to jump at the opportunity to swim with the Pink Dolphins too!

    Melanie, this is for you and may lady luck shine on us!

    Thank you UWS and MummyED for hosting this wonderful giveaway 🙂

    Like

  2. I certainly hope to bring my 10year old niece Melinda and 12 year old nephew Zachary to a trip in a submarine-style elevator to the depths of the ocean, where a glass ‘Ocean Tunnel’ walkway through a huge overhead tank enjoying a spectacle of different shark and fish species!! This will give ALL OF US an unforgettable view of life in a tropical ocean.

    I’m also ecstatic to know that we can buy fish food to feed them n my younger ones will love the immersive experience at touch pools, something they can never learn in classrooms!

    I really hope to UWS and MUMMYED give me n my cute adorable Melinda and Zachary the chance to visit the wonderful underwater wonderland!

    Thank YOU!

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  3. Oooh sounds fun for a June holiday morning! Since it looks less crowded than the SEA Aquarium, we might actually be able to enjoy looking at the fishes, eh? Noah would probably have a good time, at least on the travellator! 😉

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  4. It would be a great mini getaway for me, my husband and our 18mo gal! Plus it would be a fun way to celebrate our anniversary! Hope to win the tickets!!

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  5. It would be a great way to celebrate my wedding anniversary with me my husband and my 18mo baby. And it will definitely be a totally new experience for my baby! Hope to win the tickets!

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  6. I hope to bring my grandmother to the underwater world, together with my children. She doesn’t spend a lot of time with her great grandkids because she is always full of activities even at 83. She is still active in the temple and will head in daily just to volunteer or meditate. Unfortunately she just got diagnosed with dementia. Sometimes she will speak incoherently and other times, as clear as water. I hope with a pair of winning tickets, I can convince her to a family trip out to Sentosa! It’ll be a significant day out for everyone if she agrees.

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  7. Been to the Underwater World twice and never got sick of it. I don’t mind going again especially since the hubs hasn’t been there!

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  8. Both my older boys enjoy visiting the RWS SEA Aquarium and the Aquaria KLCC. I am sure they will also dig the UWS as they are fascinated by marine life.

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  9. It’ll be an an astounding experience if I could bring my Junior Jon to witness the largest aquatic tank with a wealth of sea creatures including sharks which is one of the aquarium’s main attraction and other special species!
    The ultimate mind-blowing experience for us will be the touch pool zone where we can actually touch fishes and sting rays as they swim up close to us! It’s going to be real fun and exciting! Hope to win this awesome opportunity. Thanks!

    Liked and follow on Facebook

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  10. Because we’ve got to go check out these lovable creatures on our own with my entire family of 4! Hope to win twice! (I know I’m greedy) LOL!

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  11. I will bring my 4yo girl. It will be a great mother and daughter date. I’m sure she will enjoy the sights of marine life and an encounter with the Dolphins.

    Like

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