Tuesday, June 19, 2018

KDK Fans for our Home - U48FP

[Product Review]

We had stayed in our current 3-room HDB flat for almost 2 decades already and had always relied on our air-conditioning for cooling. As crazy as it sounded, we had NEVER opened our windows EVER since moving in! We do have standing fans though, but I never knew how it felt to be sitting at home under a ceiling fan, or what comfort one would bring. We finally took the opportunity to install ceiling fans during our recent renovations after the purchase of our neighbours’ unit.

The right is the unit we just bought and renovated, while the left is my old unit.
The plan was actually to renovate my neighbours’ 3-room unit in phase one first so that we can move into it and follow up with phase two renovation of our current unit, so that we will finally end up with our own HDB jumbo unit! As of writing now, we have only successfully completed about 95% of our renovations, with some carpentry and minor touch-ups to go. It was a long wait, but totally worth it!

First time ceiling fan user

For the new unit we bought, I had initially planned on only getting just one ceiling fan for our living room and another in our junior master bedroom since we will be installing new air-conditioning system for the entire house anyway. But having stayed at the new unit for the past few months now, we came to realize that the installation of ceiling fans was truly one of our best decisions we made for our home. We may have been so used to having air-conditioning in the house, but I also had some of the best sleeps with just the ceiling fan turned on in the room these days too. The breeze generated by the fan, even on low speed, was cooling and surpasses any standing fans we had! Not to mention that we also had considerable savings in our utilities bill as well!

What was putting me off installing one?

I really have reservations about installing ceiling fans in the beginning actually. There is always this fear that the fan may drop, the blades may fly off or my kiddos may accidentally throw stuff into the turning blades! HDB ceilings are rather low too, and installing one can seem to be rather dangerous! So when we finally decided to try ceiling fans, we made sure we chose the safest, best-reviewed and most affordable there is. Hence it was not by chance that we finally decided on KDK!

My fingers would reach the blades if I tip-toed and stretched out. But otherwise it is pretty safe for the rest of my vertically-challenged family members.

So why choose KDK?

I must first quantify that I had never used any other ceiling fans before, but after using KDK fans for the past few months, let me now share with you some of the reasons why you should consider getting one too – 
  • We chose U48FP which is both a ceiling fan and a light as well! I did not like how dim our previous place was and hence had 8 down-lights installed in the room, even though we chose this model. Guess what? I ended up never turning on the down-lights at all! The LED light from the fan was bright enough to illuminate the entire room! Because my kiddos prefers some form of light on in the night, I could even dim it to the lowest brightness at night when we sleep! 
  • The remote controller was also user-friendly and intuitive to use. There were no need for guessing what the respective buttons were for. One can easily set the timer to turn on / off the fan or choose the correct speed out the available 9 speeds! 

  • Utilizing the fan is energy saving in more than one way. Its DC motor meant less use of energy and on days when we still wish to have air-conditioning in the room, we can set the air-con timer to turn off earlier too, leaving the fan on to continue keeping all of us cool! 
  • Do you have the fear of ceiling fans falling on you? To be honest, I do too but I am happy to know that KDK fans are all equipped with safety features such as the safety wire to prevent the motor from falling off, cut-off safety switch to ensure that the rotation stops when wear and tear of the shaft or bolt is detected, thermal safety fuse to protect the motor from power surges as well the safety hook to hold the blades in the unlikely event of breakages! 

We were so happy with the performance of the two U48FP fans we bought initially that we decided to get another two for the other side of our house even though they were not in the plan and would bust my renovation budget! With 5 kiddos to look after, you cannot really blame me for being super cautious when it comes to spending money right? I would often try my best to find the cheapest deals, and I even considered going across the causeway for this fan.

But at the end of the day, when it comes to household appliances, I really do not want to take any chances with safety. So I still got them from our local distributor for the peace of mind, and also because of the following official statement – 

 “Only Singapore KDK models that come with a Capital Distributors warranty meet stringent safety standards and are safe for use in your home. Ensure your KDK fan bears the SPRING SINGAPORE Safety Mark for your protection.”

KDK is committed to environmental sustainability and is REWARDING energy-efficient households who are using KDK fans and have utilities bills that are less than the national average, or had shown a reduction in energy consumption from previous months! You should check out their on-going promotion here

For those who are renovating and looking for a reliable ceiling fan, look no further because we have a special 10% off code "steven10" for you to make your purchase over at https://www.kdk.sg! Do note that the discount is valid from 20th June 2018 to 19th July 2018.

Disclosure: This blog post is in collaboration with Capital Distributors for a honest review of the U48FP fans. I wished the fans were sponsored but they were not, however we did get them at a discounted price! ;)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Vacation with Monsters onboard Genting Dream!

I am sure you would have watched the trailers for Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation by now, because the third installment to the animated movie will hit our cinemas on 12 July 2018. And guess what? We recently went on a cruise with our own little monsters just like Drac and family, and it was our very first time on board a cruise too! It was a very last minute 5-night vacation for the family that required some serious legwork on our part because we had an expiring passport for a member of our family. Thank goodness for the efficiency of our immigrations department, we were able to get the renewal done in THREE working days, but I would recommend that you plan your holidays well, rather than to have to go through such a "heart attack"!

All inclusive? Almost!

I never knew what it is really like to be on board the Genting Dream Cruise, but I did have quite a few friends telling me what to expect. And basically from what they described to me, the cruise can be summed up as "eat, play, sleep and repeat", which proved to be very true indeed. It was essentially a vacation where I can leave any worry about the food and entertainment expenditures behind. All the essential, such as the meals as well as most activities, would have been covered in the cost of the booking. Unless of course if you wish to try the more upmarket restaurants such as the Umi Uma (premium Japanese cuisine & teppanyaki) or Bistro by Mark Best (contemporary western), or do shopping in the duty-free shop! In any case you can make most, if not all, purchases via your room card and only settle the bill at the end of your trip. Hard pain one time at the end can already. 

We had two rooms but we can easily fit into just one!
The cabins were very well-maintained and was big enough for our family of 6! Although we must quantify that we are used to sleeping together in a room.
Came with the sofa bed!
Comes with a spacious wardrobe and the usual safe box as well.
The bathroom may not be big, but was clean and well-organized for sure!
I watch repeated runs of Hotel Transylvania 1 & 2, multiple times right from the moment we entered our cabin!
Family Fun

Now that we are already back from our cruise vacation, I am having serious withdrawal symptoms. The ease of waking up and getting to The Lido at Deck 16 for our buffet breakfast, followed by a whole day of activities for the family, and then back to having more food, really makes me feel like getting back onto the cruise soon. I am darn sure my kiddos feels the same way too because I have overheard them talking amongst themselves, and the older ones had already asked me when would our next trip be! Having experienced it firsthand ourselves, I can now confidently say that a cruise vacation would be great, as well as hasslefree, even for families with young kids.

WiFi & Activities

There were numerous activities for everybody throughout the cruise, and you would really have to download their "Dream Cruises" app or refer to their Dream Daily newsletter so that you do not miss out on them! From daily charges of $19 for the basic plan, WiFi charges are not exactly cheap but then again you also would not require WiFi to access the information on their app. Just take it as mobile-free time to bond with the whole family. We met a mermaid onboard who gives talks and mermaid classes (extra charges) too, and the kiddos also took part in many of the onboard challenges hosted by the very entertaining staff. We also took part in the Captain's Bridge Tour (fees applies), gained access into the bridge and could see for ourselves how the officers work to navigate the ship! It was followed by a rather "hot" tour to the helipad as well.

The staff sure kept the energy level high for the kiddos!

This is Mermaid Kat, a professional mermaid and advocate for the ocean.

A relay game that the kiddos took part in.
Steffi and Louie's team came in tops!
A medal that Leroy won for another competition!
Having the jacuzzi all to themselves.

Listening in to how the ship is berthed during our Captain's Bridge Tour. 
Cautiously checking if the glass would break under their legs!

A clear view, all the way down!

Not the captain but probably the first officer if I remembered correctly. A friendly guy nevertheless.

From where we were above earlier, to the front where the helicopters land.
The kiddos could hardly smile, because it was awfully bright!
Cool pose, under the hot sun!
Shore Excursions

The only grouse we have is that there were far too many activities, but too little time onboard for us as we took the land tours as well! But you know kids, even if we did not partake in the land tours, I doubt there would be enough time for all of us too! Our ship stopped at the ports of Laem Chabang, Ko Samui and Redang Island on our trip, and it felt rather exhilarating to wake up to a new place every morning! We boarded the ship on a Sunday evening and reached our first destination, Laem Chabang on Tuesday morning. When the ship is berthed, one can either go totally free-and-easy from the port, book one of the many shore excursions available at the booth on Deck 6 (MID), or even choose to stay onboard to enjoy the many facilities.

Bangkok City

For us, we took a bus out from the port and reached the heart of Bangkok City in time for lunch, prayers at Erawan shrine, following by some shopping and massage! We only wished the shopping lasted longer but given the traffic condition, we really cannot afford the risk of missing the last boarding time! The journey from port to the city takes between 1.5hrs to 2hrs one way, depending on the traffic.

Waking up in Laem Chabang, Thailand!
Rows of coaches were ready to handle the mad crowd of passenger disembarking and making their way to Bangkok city!
Dropped off at Central World and walked over to Erawan Shrine.
Having expensive "Korean" Bingsu in Bangkok.
We only visited the malls withing walking distance in view of the time, because we also HAD to do body massage too!

How can we miss out having mango sticky rice? My wife's favourite!

This pretty much sums up our BKK day trip!
Back to the ship for dinner. It is less crowded at the outdoor area and seats are aplenty.
Ko Samui

We took the Landmarks of Ko Samui Tour the following day, which is essentially was very well-oiled programme meant to give first time visitors just a quick overview of the island. We visited the Na Muang Falls which was quite a disappointment for the kiddos because they cannot get into the refreshing waters, followed by a biology lesson by yours truly at the Grandfather and Grandmother rocks and ended with some temple hopping. By the time we got back onboard 'mothership', it was already dinner time and we had worked up a hearty appetite by then of course!

The chartered ferries picking us up for our trip to Ko Samui!

A quick photo op at the waterfalls.
The weather was really hot as it was high noon.
No prizes for guessing if this is Grandfather or Grandmother rock.
Checking out the temples as well.

Redang Island

The destination we visited was the famous Redang Island, where the kiddos wallowed in the shallows with their friends and checked out the sea creatures hiding amongst the tide pools. The main attraction would be the beach and the sea, but while the water is clear, you will be sharing the stretch of beach with half the cruise passengers. Basically this shore excursion is free and easy, and you just need to take the chartered boat (or the lifeboats) to the pier, followed by a very short ride on a tractor tram and you will reach the main beach. Seriously you can just walk directly to and fro the jetty and save all the waiting and jousting with the thousand other fellow passengers.

Reaching Redang Island while they were still sleeping.

Checking out the crevices for signs of life!
Took the lifeboat back and went on the top deck with friends as it was really stuffy inside. 
Restaurants Onboard

Many friend have asked us how was the cruise and if the kiddos enjoyed themselves. In all honesty, I found the cabins very well-maintained, room service excellent and the buffet food good. There were new items on the menu everyday, but unfortunately the enjoyment of food depends greatly on the presentation as well. Hence the timing you get to the buffet line will also affect your enjoyment, because no matter how well the chefs prepare and serves up the food, no one can control the behaviour of fellow passengers. It can get a little rowdy when the crowd comes and sometimes you will also get to see unhygienic or undesirable behaviours at the buffet lines. But do not fret, because you have other choices such as the western semi-buffet or chinese set at the Dream Dining Lower / Upper where you can sit down and order your food, away from the crowd. You can try the different restaurants at different mealtimes or days, but do not go restaurant-hopping because you will be charged $15 with 15% service charge for a second meal.  The inclusive restaurants would be -
  • Deck 7 AFT - Dream Dining Room Lower 
  • Deck 8 AFT - Dream Dining Room Upper
  • Deck 8 AFT - Function 8 
  • Deck 16 AFT - The Lido
Having western semi-buffet at Dream Dining Room Lower this time round. No crowd here but it may take a while for food to be served.

This was at specialty restaurant Umi Uma where we had teppanyaki! 
The chef was as entertaining as the food was tasty!
This was our dim sum breakfast at Dream Dining Room Upper one of the mornings when we opted for a change.

Oysters at specialty restaurant Bistro by Mark Best where extra charges applies.
Had the Wagyu beef which was delish!
Shows Onboard

We caught the theatrical representation of China's Got Talent which showcased pretty impressive acts that wowed the audiences. The set was quite realistic but as adults and knowing that the performers were not real contestants, it was rather amusing when the kiddos asked where were the judges followed by the look on their faces when they realized the truth. The other show that you had to watch would be the "Voyage of a Lover's Dream", a visually-stunning storytelling about the love story between two unlikely beings, an astronaut and a mermaid. It was surely entertaining and involved some potentially dangerous circus acts, but I am damn honest also. I cannot understand the storyline or see the link, BUT I will still recommend you to watch that as it is still worth your time!

Pretty amazing acrobats.

Keep me wondering how old she was. And she had an amazing voice!

Reminded me of Cirque 1903 actually.

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation Theme 

The one thing special about the cruise we just went on was that we also had two very special guests with us throughout our cruise. And they were none other than Drac and Murray from Hotel Transylvania. They were present throughout our trip, at the mascot parade, costume party, treasure hunts and even held a special bedtime storytelling session for the kiddos, much to the delight of all the little ones present. Selfies or wefies, there is simply no lack of opportunities with these two friendly monsters! They were the ones whom made this cruise especially magically for the little ones. I mean, who could actually count Drac (pun intended) and Murray as friends? I think the poor staff inside the mascots would have recognized and remembered the names of my kiddos by now! So if have little ones who are fans of Hotel Transylvania and needing to go on a family vacation at the same time, you should really check out www.dreamcruiseline.com for their special Dream Cruises x Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation thematic cruises that is ongoing till 31 August on both Genting Dream and World Dream lines. 

Photo opportunities aplenty with these two fellas!

Bedtime storytelling with Drac. He doesn't really talk, so he shows his support only. 

Meet Drac again on another occasion for a dance off with the other kiddos!

Dancing the last night away with friends.
There were fireworks too!

Time passes by so fast when you are having so much fun with your loved ones. Before we knew it, it was already our last night onboard, but we made sure it lasted as long as possible and partied the night away. Had a wonderful Dream Night, dancing away with the crew and fellow passengers, complete with fireworks too! Thank you for having our family onboard Dream Cruises, we had a magical monster vacation and we definitely look forward to coming onboard again!