Marine Life Park: S.E.A. Aquarium – review

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With 10 aquarium zones and the world’s largest aquarium viewing panel, the Marine Life Park’s S.E.A. Aquarium is set to marvel and immerse guests in the fascinating world of vast oceans and other marine habitats.

Update 20/11/2012: Marine Life Park will soft open on 22/11/2012. Both S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark will be open to the public.

Here is my review and photo tour of Marine Life Park – S.E.A. Aquarium, a new attraction at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) that will be open to public soon. This is a general review of the Aquarium and will be followed by a series of shorter entries to give each zone a spotlight.

Review

I visited the S.E.A. Aquarium during a preview session on the 17th. Right at the start, guests were informed that not all exhibits are available. Some aquariums look barren, with just a few creatures swimming in them. According to some crew members, several tanks are still incomplete. So treat this review and photo tour as a “first impressions” review. I should be re-visiting the Aquarium again after and append second opinions to this entry if necessary.

There is a lot to see and take in at the S.E.A. Aquarium. A typical trip might take about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Visitors may also be delighted to know that access to Maritime Experiential Museum (MEM) is also included in admission to S.E.A. Aquarium

While the smaller enclosed aquariums are beautiful and breathtaking, the “mangrove” and “coastal” displays were not. The lighting could be improved at those areas.

The Aquarium Tunnels (Strait of Karimata and Java Sea, Shark Seas) actually have an “open air” tank. While this offers natural lighting, it is actually hard to view the exhibits in these aquariums due to reflections being more obvious.

The Open Ocean Gallery was a little disappointing. It just does not look as amazing as advertised. Yes, it’s HUGE and earns the Aquarium bragging rights. However, the overall presentation is not as impressive as the Shipwreck Habitat. Hopefully it will improve when more specimens are added. However, there were too many distracting elements: The line of Ocean Suite windows at the top are the worst offenders. The Ocean Dome also looks very intrusive. I was also surprised at the viewing panel at the ceiling.

Transitions between Aquarium zones are minimalistic – just walls, either plain, some with artwork and some with video screens. I was hoping some dramatic theming like the Grand Aquarium at Ocean Park Hong Kong.

Despite these flaws, S.E.A. Aquarium is a must-see for people with an interest in marine life. The entire Aquarium is nicely designed and is definitely both an educational and relaxing experience. If you loved Underwater World (another aquarium at Sentosa), then you will definitely want to see this one. This is also a potential hideaway from a hot day at Universal Studios Singapore, being completely enclosed and air-conditioned.

Marine Life Park – S.E.A. Aquarium is expected to soft open sometime next week (actual date unknown, but could be between 19/11/2012 to 23/11/2012).

Marine Life Park will soft open on 22/11/2012. Both S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark will be open to the public.


Ticketing Information

Here are the Marine Life Park: S.E.A. Aquarium ticket prices:

UPDATE JUN 2013 Pricing changes for One-Day Pass

With effect from June 2013, One-Day passes have a $3-4 increase for peak days. Also, sometime in August 2013, the Off-Peak price has also changed – it is now consistent with Peak days.

One-Day passes (Peak and Non-Peak days)

$33 Adult (Ages 13-59)
$23 Child (Ages 4-12)
$23 Senior (Ages 59 and above)

One-Day passes (Off-Peak)

$33 Adult (Ages 13-59)
$23 Child (Ages 4-12)
$23 Senior (Ages 59 and above)

$29 Adult (Ages 13-59)
$20 Child (Ages 4-12)
$20 Senior (Ages 59 and above)

$20 Student discount (Show Student ID pass at RWS Ticketing Booths to enjoy discounted price for student) (Discontinued??)

Priority Queue / S.E.A.A Express Pass

$10~15 per guest
Includes admission to Typhoon Theatre and access to priority queues for admission to S.E.A. Aquarium. As of August 2013, the price is allowed to float and can go up to $15 per pass.

UPDATE JAN 2013 Changes with One-Day Pass

From January 2013, there are some changes with one-day passes. In short, One-Day Pass comes with Typhoon Theatre admission on certain days.
Also, the Student discount appears to be discontinued.

Peak/Off-Peak differences

On Off-peak dates, One-Day passes include the following:
Admission to S.E.A. Aquarium, Maritime Experiential Museum and Typhoon Theatre.

On Peak dates, One-Day passes include the following:
Admission to S.E.A. Aquarium and The Maritime Experiential Museum.
For admission to Typhoon Theatre, a Priority Queue add-on is required.

On Peak dates, Priority Queue passes can be purchased as an add-on. It provides:
Admission to Typhoon Theatre and access to priority queues for admission to S.E.A. Aquarium.
Priority Queue may not be used on its own for admission to Maritime Experiential Museum or S.E.A. Aquarium.

Refer to the calendar here for Peak and Non-Peak dates

UPDATE 23/11/2012: Upgrade to Annual Pass:
According to S.E.A. Aquarium, One-Day passes can be upgraded to Annual Passes by paying the difference in cost. That means a $59 top-up for Adults and $38 top-up for Child and Senior. Students above the age of 12 will need to top-up $68 for an Annual Pass.


UPDATE MAR 2013 S.E.A. Aquarium Annual Pass is no longer available.

Annual passes

$88 Adult (Ages 13-59)
$58 Child (Ages 4-12)
$58 Senior (Ages 59 and above)

These annual passes entitle its holder to unlimited admissions to S.E.A. Aquarium and Maritime Experiential Museum for a year, and includes benefits* such as:

  • Free entry to Typhoon Theatre on Non-Peak dates. (A fee of $10 applies for Annual Passholders during Peak dates.
  • $3 discount for Marine Life Park admission tickets (S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark)
  • $1 discount for Typhoon Theatre at Maritime Experiential Museum
  • Priority Lane to enter S.E.A. Aquarium
  • 10% discount at Marine Life Park F&B outlets
  • 10% discount for guided tours and educational programmes at Maritime Experiential Museum
  • 10% discount for merchandise at Maritime Experiential Museum (which includes S.E.A. Aquarium souvenirs)

Entering the S.E.A. Aquarium

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I’ve already revealed some of the initial parts of S.E.A. Aquarium, including the entrance in this Sneak Peek entry. The entrance to Marine Life Park – S.E.A. Aquarium is located at the Maritime Experiential Museum (MEM). Let’s take a walk inside S.E.A. Aquarium.

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Strait of Karimata and Java Sea

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The S.E.A. Aquarium experience begins with the Shipwreck habitat, which links with the Typhoon Theatre’s storyline.

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I was quite surprised to be able to see the roof of the Aquarium.

Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea

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This zone is a break away from the usual aquarium presentation. There are floor aquariums and lens aquariums. The Discovery Touch Pool should be a hit with the younger ones, as they get to touch sea stars and sea cucumbers.

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Guests are supposed to wash their hands at the nearby sink before touching anything. It was funny to see some kids dipping their hands into the pool right after they were kindly told to wash their hands at the sink.

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There is a nice cylindrical aquarium here called Coral Garden.

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Here’s a floor aquarium here too, although nothing much to see during the preview.

Bay of Bengal and Laccadive Sea

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The exhibits here showcase mangrove and coastal habitats.

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There are two convex dome aquariums, which were pretty cool.

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Dolphin Island

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Nothing here at the moment except dolphin sounds. Divers can be spotted doing some work here.

Edit 19/11/2012: Some dolphins have arrived at Marine Life Park and are undergoing quarantine.

Ocean Journey

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In this section, guests go deeper into the ocean and discover the mysterious species. Sea jellies seem to be the highlight here with several Aquariums showcasing different species (and in different ways).

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Open Ocean

This is the epic exhibit. The Open Ocean is the world’s largest aquarium viewing panel, at 36 metres wide and 8.3 metres tall. The panel is said to be 70cm thick.

Anyway, there is a lot to take in here. Thankfully, this entire area (also known as the Ocean Gallery) has three tiers and anyone could stand anywhere and marvel at this massive window into the ocean.

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The mysterious line of windows at the background are Marine Life Park’s Ocean Suites. 11 Suites that offer a private viewing panel into the Open Ocean.

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There is also the Ocean Dome, a more enclosed area with windows along its side and a large window above (showing more than it should).

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The view at the ceiling doesn’t look as appealing.

Arabian Gulf and Arabian Sea

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The Arabian habitats feature shallower waters, a contrast from the deep and wide ocean experience earlier.

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Red Sea

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The Red Sea zone has a central focus on coral reefs.

East Africa

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This is the smallest Aquarium zone… I think.

South China Sea

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Shark Seas

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Lastly, Shark Seas feature several species of sharks… except Whale sharks. We all know what happened a while ago.

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It’s a bit hard to spot certain species though (or they’ve not been added).


As I’ve said earlier, some aquariums are still incomplete. I might revisit S.E.A. Aquarium for a second look.

In other news, it seems that the tired/sad/shy dolphins have been replaced:

blog_MLPSEAA1Before and After

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The Open Ocean

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27 Responses to Marine Life Park: S.E.A. Aquarium – review

  1. Luke November 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    The pictures look stunning. Although I have imagined the Open Ocean exhibit to be a bit bigger than in the photo, I am sure I shall be impressed when looking at it in person!

    • Dejiki November 17, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

      Hi Luke, thanks! I did not capture the entire Open Ocean’s viewing panel in one shot actually, it’s a lot wider than my photos show.

  2. Zooish November 18, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    The Open Ocean is exactly as I had feared, poorly executed. The placement of the Ocean Suites windows is truly offending and completely destroys the desired illusion of a boundless ocean. Well, I guess making money is important than maintaining aesthetics.

    • awangku November 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      AGREE!! This looks a bit disappointing. n i hope they improve by the time they officially open. n the ticket price doesnt seem worth it.

      • Zooish November 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

        The admission is not unreasonable compared to other aquariums (including the existing Underwater World). The larger fish such as the manta rays were not on show during the preview. As for the Open Ocean, it was a poor design decision to have the suites opposite the viewing gallery. The only potential remedy is to have powerful spotlights shine along the centre of the tank to create a ‘curtain’ of light between the gallery and the suites.

    • Jordan76 November 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      The Open Ocean is impressive enough but the windows at the back really spoils everything…

      The Ocean Dome is bearable at least…

      • ken November 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

        The ocean dome panel is nice but fewer fishes swim across it, personally i like the overhead panel in Seaworld Orlando awesome…a lot cownose ray swim above….however what i can said the MLP ticket price was far cheaper than i predict…

  3. Joel November 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    woah! nice review! anyway what camera are you using? :D

    • Dejiki November 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

      Sony NEX-5N. One of the best APS-C sensor camera. ;)

  4. eric November 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    The original idea was to have a whale shark and shark feeding session for visitors, guess both no longer in the agenda

  5. eric November 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Guess they should have a 3 in 1 pack (Universal studio, Marine life park and adventure cove, so that cost can be kept to affordable level for all

  6. huimin lee
    Twitter:
    November 21, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    hi
    does the annual pass entitle entry to both the aquarium and waterpark?
    really cant wait!
    thank you

    • Dejiki November 21, 2012 at 6:06 am #

      The Annual Pass for Marine Life Park ($88) is good for only one attraction at Marine Life Park. If you want to have unlimited entry to both Aquarium and Waterpark, you will have to buy two Annual passes.

      • ken November 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

        It seem the underwater world singapore facing real challenge from MLP…

  7. Rachel P. November 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I love the pictures and being a big fish fan, I want to get the annual pass. Do you know if they have any opening promotion? I think it is quite strange that they do not have any launch promotions.

    • Dejiki November 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      Hi Rachel,

      There is no opening promotion, although any ticket purchased during this soft opening period will come with a $5 rebate in the form of a Meal Voucher. You can use the Meal Voucher at Marine Life Park, or at any Resorts World Sentosa’s F&B outlets (except within Universal Studios Singapore).

  8. ken November 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    When compare the Open Ocean with Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium( smaller than MLP but with strong vision impact),MLP just to make it the largest aquarium acrylic panel seem to be meaning less….disappointed about the lay-out in the MLP and the suite ocean panel are seem to be small the as compared to Palm Atlantic Dubai, but of course the price more reasonable with smaller view panel in the suite in MLP.* And the RWS promotion marinelife video are take shooting in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium for their Open Ocean……what a..shame…..

  9. Cheryl November 26, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Hi I was thinking of visiting Marine Life Park during one of the days in December. Just wondering if it is possible to enjoy both S.E.A Aquarium and Waterpark in one day or you think two days would be better? Thank you.

    • Dejiki November 26, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      Hi Cheryl,

      It is possible to visit both in a day, though the entrances to both attractions are quite far apart. S.E.A. Aquarium could take about 1-2 hours to walk through and enjoy slowly. Adventure Cove Waterpark varies (depends on how crowded it is in the park), but about 4-5 hours is sufficient to enjoy everything.

      I would suggest heading to the Waterpark first, because some attractions, like Ray feeding at Ray Bay, has limited capacity and registration is required. The slots are quickly filled up in the morning.

      One possible plan you might consider:

      10AM~3:30PM: Adventure Cove Waterpark
      3:30PM~4:30PM: Break/Freshen up for S.E.A Aquarium
      4:30PM~6PM*: S.E.A. Aquarium

      *S.E.A. Aquarium opening hours:
      Now till 6/12: 10AM-6PM
      7/12: 10AM-1PM
      8/12 onwards: 10-AM-7PM

  10. Custom Aquariums November 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    I really like the atmosphere and the ambience inside the aquarium center. The lighting was very well planned.

  11. Des December 2, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Hi, does separate admission charges apply for one to dine at the Ocean Restaurant?

    • Dejiki December 2, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      To dine at Ocean Restaurant, you (and your guests) need to have a S.E.A. Aquarium Admission Pass.

  12. Jacquie December 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Visited the Ocean Restaurant at SEA Aquarium, Resort World Sentosa, Singapore. It’s a nice place for viewing the aquarium while relaxing and eating, however, their service is so terrible and the staff being so irresponsible. Tried to charge the guest twice when they are so nice to point out to them for charging a dishes less and no apology after. Should not inform them for the missing charges in the first place if that’s the case and let them be since it’s their fault, rather than have some conflictions and spoilt the whole day mood. Being said, your good intention and act might not always be appreciated by people. Overall, once is an enough experience for all of us. They should train their staff to be more careful so not to misplace their customer’s signed receipt which they have taken and kept away earlier on, rather than asking for their customer to re-sign their own copy and give to them. It’s kind of ridiculous, don’t you think so? A nice place, yet a very lousy service and attitude for the staff.

  13. Michelle March 10, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Hi,

    I am planning to get the package for SEA aquarium and adventure cove but not sure if i can finish walking adventure cove and sea aquarium in a day? Is it too little time ?

    Regards,
    Michelle

    • Dejiki March 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi Michelle,

      It really depends. If you tour around the Aquarium without stopping to taking photos, you can finish the entire experience within an hour. The rest of the day can be spent at Adventure Cove Waterpark.

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  1. "World's Largest Oceanarium" set to open by mid-2012 » Singapore - Page 4 - November 18, 2012

    […] has been posted on dejiki.com suggesting that the aquarium should be opening within the next week: Marine Life Park: S.E.A. Aquarium – review | dejiki.com And Zooish has uploaded some very interesting photos of the aquarium, taken from the aquarium's […]

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