Last week, I shared about the super-dee duper awesome facilities you can find at Renaissance Okinawa Resort. This week, I shall elaborate on the activities you can find at the resort.
Renaissance Okinawa Resort Activities Program Guide
The very first thing you do after checking-in, would be to pick up a copy of this program guide.
It is 30-pages full! So you just imagine the array of activities available. Beach activities, marine activities, diving, snorkelling, animal program, dolphin program etc etc. For full list of activities offered, you can visit Renaissance Okinawa Resort’s website. In this post, I shall focus on the more family-friendly activities that we participated in.
Club Savvy Benefits
Last week, I mentioned that if you stay at least 3 nights during non-peak / 4 nights during peak period, you will be enrolled into Club Savvy. One of the best benefits of Club Savvy (on top of free breakfast and lunch), is the free & discounted activities!
Not all activities are free / discounted. Inside the program booklet, activities labelled ‘Savvy’ are FREE for Club Savvy members, and ‘Savvy50’ means members get 50% discount and ‘Savvy20’ means 20% discount. Let me show you some examples.
If you take a look at short program below, those with the brown ‘Savvy’ logo (i.e. banana boat, kayak, snorkel rental) were FREE for Club Savvy members. Others like the tubes, parent-child jet ski were half-priced. MF really wanted to go for the banana boat and jet ski, but he missed the 110cm height requirement by a weeeee bit. Hence, we did not do any of the above activities. But if your kids are above 110cm, they can go zipping around on the banana boat all they want!
The Haryu Boat Cruise (a dragon boat with glass bottom) was FREE for Club Savvy member – we went for this. (Update – December 2016: Haryu Boat Cruise is no longer free for Club Savvy members. See our update at the end of the post for more details.) The speed boat was free as well, but again minimum height requirement 110cm. Fishing rental was also free.
The Coral Adventure Cruise was amazingly FREE for Club Savvy members. As well as daytime yacht sailing. We went for both, which you will see later The sunset sailings were not free, but half-priced for members.
Diving was generally not free, but half-priced for members.
I didn’t know how to dive, so I went for the Seabed Walk. It cost only 2500 yen (before tax) instead of the usual 5000 yen. We spent 15 minutes underwater and we were given bread to feed the fishes in the water. 🙂
Snorkeling was generally FREE for members, except for the blue cave snorkelling which was half-priced.
Programs suitable for young children
Our kids were aged 2 and 4 during the trip. Hence, we went for as many of the activities that were suitable for them as possible.
Coral Adventure Cruise
This was my absolute favourite. Partly because it allowed us to get away from the terrible summer heat. And it was absolutely FREE for Club Savvy members.
The boat drove us out to the shallow water, and the lower deck of the boat was slowly lowered when we reached the corals.
Once we were submerged, we could see the beautiful corals and fishes around us.
The cruise was 50 minutes long. It was so fun, we could have gone for it again and again since it was free! But we didn’t, since there were many other stuff to do.
Note: Coral Adventure Cruise is not available in the month of January.
Daytime Yacht Sailing
The morning yacht sailing was again FREE for Club Savvy members. No underwater / coral experience, but it allowed us to enjoy the sea breeze and admire the beautiful blue sea around us.
It drove us out to where the blue cave was, where we saw many people going in to dive / snorkel.
We could even go down the stairs to dip our feet into the refreshing sea water!
Note: Yacht Sailing is not available from beginning February – late March.
Haryu Boat Cruise
The Haryu boat was essentially a glass-bottom boat in the shape of a dragon.
It was again FREE for Club Savvy members. (Update – December 2016: Haryu Boat Cruise is no longer free for Club Savvy members. See our update at the end of the post for more details.)
The 20-minute boat trip took us out to the shallow waters where we could see the corals and fishes through the glass bottom.
Kids Occupation Experience
On top of the beach and marine programs offered by the seaside resort, Renaissance Okinawa Resort also had a program for children to ‘help out’ in various occupations in the resort!
The target age group was 4-12 year olds, and it cost 3000 yen (before tax) for any 2 of the above experiences. Certain occupations had a minimum age requirement of 6 years old, but there were enough for 4 year old MF to choose from.
The first occupation that MF chose was to be an animal keeper. He was given a set of kawaii ‘Okinawa Marine Research Centre’ uniform to wear! Once he was dressed, he and the other kids followed the instructor up to the Warabi Park.
Their first task was to clean up the leftover turtle feed.
Once that was done, they were rewarded with a chance to interact with the turtles.
Their next task was the sweep up the grass around the Warabi Park. It was real hard work for the kids!
Then they had to brush the goat’s fur.
And finally feed the goats.
After all that hard work, the kids receive their pay! Yes, they do get paid. Nobody likes to work for free.
Haryu Boat Cruise Crew
The second occupation MF chose was a Haryu Boat Cruise crew. Again, he was given a uniform to wear, matching the real Haryu Boat driver!
And he was all dressed and ready to go! Took a photo before the life jacket covered up the uniform.. Hah!
His first task was to sound the gong to indicate that the cruise was starting!
And when we reached the shallow waters, he was given bread to throw into the water to attract the fishes over.
And again, at the end of the cruise, he received his pay!
Note that if you would like to follow your kids when they are on this experience (I’m sure you would want to right?), you would need to book yourself on the same cruise.
This is where Club Savvy benefit is really important, because remember the Haryu Boat Cruise was free for members? That was why hubby, MY and I were able to follow MF out at no additional cost! (Update – December 2016: Haryu Boat Cruise is no longer free for Club Savvy members. However, you can still use your ‘paradise coupon’ to redeem a free ride on the Haryu Boat Cruise. See our update at the end of the post for more details.)
MF did not participate in this, but we saw this taking place in the lobby. Basically for this experience, the kid would learn the dance and perform in front of the guests at the lobby.
When we went for our daytime yacht, there were two kids who were on their occupation experience as the yacht crew. They helped to set up the sail. And later on, they even got to go behind the steering wheels of the yacht!
Passport and Souvenir Stamps
Each kid participating in the occupational experience received a little passport, which you have to bring along when they go for the activity. They will receive a chop inside to certify that they have completed the activity!
How to use their reef dollars
The pay they received came in the form of reef dollars. Each reef dollar was equivalent to 1 yen. Every occupation paid differently. For e.g. the animal keeper role paid 500 reef dollars and the haryu boat crew paid 600 reef dollars.
The reef dollars could be used at 4 locations: Dolphin Shop, Sailfish Cafe, Lobby Lounge and Tip Top Poolside Cafe.
Kids being kids, MF decided he wanted to spend his pay at the gift shop.
With the 1100 yen he earned, he had enough money to buy toys for both himself and his brother!
I thought the whole experience was just super value-for-money. For only 3000 yen, MF had so much fun, and went home with 1100 yen worth of toys.
Another activity suitable for children of all ages was the Flipper’s School. We did not participate, but saw a session taking place while we were just hanging around the reef garden one day.
The staff brought the group around the reef garden and marina to show them the various marine life available, and they could even touch some of them, such as the star fishes.
It cost 1500 yen per participant (free for children below aged of 3). However, the whole session was conducted in Japanese.
There was a craft shop with tables and chairs for children (or adults – nothing stopping you) to complete the craft work. You can purchase a kit and bring home your very own handmade Okinawa souvenirs!
Saving the best for the last, the dolphin program was the highlight of our stay! Initially, we were thinking of skipping it, because there is a similar dolphin program at Singapore’s Resort World Sentosa (RWS). But we met a Hong Konger during our stay who told us that RWS charges 3 times the price. Furthermore, according to him (I didn’t bother to verify), RWS didn’t allow children as young as ours for their dolphin program. So we decided we should do the dolphin program here.
There was a wide range of activities, all different priced just to make it all so confusing. (RWS does the same thing btw.) The most popular activity among adults was the Dolphin Odyssey (where you hold on to the fin of the dolphin and ride along), which cost 15000 Yen (off peak) / 20000 yen (peak) per participant. But for children, we took the Hong Konger’s recommendation to do the Dolphin Encounter which cost 7000 Yen (off peak) / 10000 Yen (peak) per participant. Since even 2 year old MY needed to pay, we decided to leave him out, and only hubby and MF went for the dolphin encounter.
The Dolphin Encounter allowed the participants to get into the water to interact with the dolphin.
They could play ‘catch’ with the dolphin using the hoops provided.
They even learnt hand signs that were used to train the dolphins.
But before getting the dolphin to obey them, they had to bond a little with the dolphin via some tender loving care.
With that done, watch MF make the dolphin spin!!
And that was just the first dolphin. They got to interact with 2 dolphins!
If you ask me, 7000 yen is pretty reasonable price to pay for the above experience!
Note: All the prices stated in this post are subject to consumption tax (which is currently 8% but set to rise to 10% in October this year).
There was just so many activities to be done at Renaissance Okinawa Resort. I highly recommend meeting the minimum number of nights to qualify for Club Savvy. It is an extremely good deal.
Peak season is July – August. If you would like to save money, please avoid these 2 months. We went in June during the Singapore school holidays and it was a great time to visit. It was non-typhoon season (though no guarantee – a few weeks before we were there, Okinawa was hit by typhoon) and we paid non-peak price.
Our stay cost about SGD1000 for 3 nights (excluding the additional activities i.e. kids occupation experience, dolphin program and my sea bed walk). It was extremely value-for-money considering activities such as the coral adventure cruise, yacht sailing and haryu boat cruise were included, and so were breakfast and lunch, under Club Savvy benefits. If you kids are above 110cm, you can benefit even more from the free banana boat and speed boat rides!
And this is not forgetting all the facilities that I have mentioned in the earlier post such as indoor pool with slides, access to land and sea animals PLUS free laundry! (I just can’t get over the free laundry.. LOL!)
So if you are visiting Okinawa with kids, I highly recommend staying at Renaissance Okinawa Resort.
Update (December 2016)
When my sister was at Renaissnace Okinawa Resort in December 2016, she told me that they had changed their activity pricing and system.
When she was there, each guest received some coupons which they could redeem for activities. They called it the ‘Seven Seas Paradise Coupon‘. Each guest who stays 2 nights or more will receive 3 coupons during their stay.
However with this introduction of the paradise coupon, benefits from the Club Savvy program were reduced. Some of the activities that were free for Club Savvy members previously such as the Haryu Boat Cruise is no longer free for Club Savvy members. But if you notice in the broucher above, you can still use a coupon to redeem a Haryu Boat Cruise during your stay, so it kind of evens out.
Pin it Up for Later!
Information on Renaissance Okinawa Resort
Address: 3425-2, Yamada, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa, 904-0416, Japan
Telephone number: +81 98 965 0707 (key in 0989650707 for GPS)
Map Code (what is this?): 206 064 443
Parking: Available at resort for FREE. Drive to the hotel lobby when you arrive and pass the key to the valet.
For booking, please visit Renaissance Okinawa Resort’s official website. I highly recommend booking directly from the resort to ensure you get the Club Savvy benefits if you meet the minimum number of nights of stay.
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