I stand in amazement on how steady the ship was as if I’m walking on plain ground. It was my first time to try out a cruise and this Superstar Virgo Ship from Star Cruises is a good introduction. I take my sights out from the sea and look at the people walking around the ship’s upper decks. It was a mixture of people of different age and nationalities. It’s not all for oldies as I thought. We’ll be spending 2 nights here on board. Sailing from Singapore to Port Klang in Malaysia then back.
Boarding the Ship
There were the long queue in the Cruise Center from checking in our baggage, and passing through the immigration, but the line was moving as it should be. I think there there were hundreds boarding the ship. Each of us were given a card which would be our main ID while inside the ship since they are holding our passports. It is also the key to our rooms and each swipe would mean a use of their facilities or purchase. So we passed through several mascots and characters where they would take pictures with us for souvenirs (which we can purchase later) before reaching the actual ship.
It was like a maze the first time to go through the corridors. We were on deck 5 and I think we already walked half the length of the ship to find our room. We got in and found our cleverly arranged room good for four. At first it seems there are only 2 beds but there is another pull-over bed on the left side and a convertible sofa bed on the ground. Amazingly there’s Cable TV which I found I can watch HBO, Disney and some news Channel even on transit. Only a few outlets there available for charging our gadgets.
Even for a compact room, I though the layout of the bathroom was well planned. The water was strong and the toilet has a power-flush that at times I’m afraid I could be sucked in like a vacuum. Each of the beds also have their own lamps. All in all it could fit four people inside the room but it is already almost crowded. Our baggage arrived shortly.
The afternoon we arrived, we had a brief tour of the ship and its main facilities. I’m sure that in order to keep guests here entertained, there had to be tons of options to do for them. I won’t go to each and everyone of them just the ones that interest me like knowing that almost 40% of the crew in the ship are Filipinos. Other details you could find on the Star Cruises Website.
The Library is one of my favorite areas of the ship. It has that quiet relaxing feel with the furnishings and the wall of books. I found myself here several times just staring at the window while sitting on the couch while half-reading. The business center is also here for the internet but I wouldn’t really use it for the amount of US$.25 per minute.
There are several Dining Areas with different themes. We usual the Mediterranean for the International buffet especially for breakfast. On the first night of the cruise, there’s the usual pool-side BBQ at the Pool Pavilion. There’s also the Bella-Vista fine dining area where there’s a strict dress code to enter. The interiors and feel of this dining area is classy and elegant. As for the food, they are generally satisfying. Also note that beverages are not included and each order is a swipe of a card.
After all much of the eating, I was able to use the gym at the Fitness Center. The treadmill was smooth and operational. The machines and the weights were just appropriate for a moderate weight workout. I like that they provide towels and unlimited drinking water.
There’s also the Lido Theater for the inboard entertainment. We caught “Reflections of Russia” which is a 1-hour show of colorful dances and wicked acrobatics. I think my insufficient amount of sleep left me dozing on some weird dancing sequences but boy there were acrobatic performances that left my eyes glued. I wasn’t expecting Cirque Du Soleil caliber inside a ship so I thought this was really good and entertaining.
The Lounge Chairs
If it would go my way on a cruise, I’d definitely spend a lot of time on those lounge chairs probably with a book, watching the sea or the people passing by. I think cruises are an ideal way to luxuriously spend time being lazy while on a slow journey.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.