Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Star Cruise Virgo – 4 Days 3 Nights Cruise – Singapore, Penang, Phuket

Sister and I booked the Star Cruise Virgo tickets well back in July 2012. Time flies and here we’re with the cruise! It’s my third cruise, and I’m still as excited.

Sunday, 27 Jan 2013 – Singapore – High Sea 

After checking out from MBS at around 12pm, we took taxi straight to Harborfront. The check-in started on 12.30pm. There are many counters around, so waiting time was almost zero. We settled the keys + Phuket Visa on arrival ($100 each for Taiwan’s visa) within 10 mins. It’s my first time using Singapore’s Passport. I was a bit nervous if there would be any issue – everything went on smoothly.

Singapore Cruise Center - Never know it has been revamped till so nicely!
My PASS!! :D To be kept as souvenir
The path to 24 / 7 of buffet
By 1.30pm, we had happily gone into the ship, put our luggage in our cabin, and enjoyed the free buffet. Smooth experience. At Royal’s, I remembered being checked for liquor and asked to wait while they were preparing for the cabin. We even have to share a table at the restaurant. Well, maybe timing does matter.

The Internal News - Star Navigator :D Very important to know when and where free meals are served
Our mini-yet-complete State Room! :D
Welcome to the world of Buffet :P
A decent Tea Break *tried my best to control myself for upcoming dinner
After a nice “tea break”, we toured around the ship, and then joined the mandatory assembly at 3.30pm. The ship sailed punctually at 4pm and I was lucky enough to be at the deck to see it moving away from Harborfront. Bye Singapore! Till the next few days!

Family Pic! Noticed the big swirling thing behind? Yes I concurred that!
With the Super Star Virgo's miniature! It was apparently for sale...
The place is quite spacious and it feels like sailing on my own ship
It’s quite good to sail during weekday – the crew told us that there are only around 1600 vs the usual max capacity of 2300. The service is all good and we didn’t have to queue for anything :D Once sailed off, we went for a quick swim before getting ready for dinner at 7pm.

Private Jacuzzi with sea view! 
The main hall!
The pic with Super Star Virgo's Mascot!
There are three free restaurants in the ship (and few chargeable ones). The free ones are Mediterranean buffet, Bella Vista (Western), and the Pavilion room (Chinese). These are good enough to keep me full 24/ 7. After dinner at the Bella Vista, we decided to pay a visit at the Pavilion for second round :p Yes, there is no limit on how many restaurants you can go everyday. We came out with rotund belly at around 8.45pm, just in time to catch the performance at 9pm.

Dinner! 3 courses fine dining @Bella Vista 
Second round at Pavilion - I'm hungry again looking at all these
The first day performance was a Muppet show – not really to my liking, but the last performance on MJ’s moonwalking was quite good. The showed ended at 9.45pm. We walked around and I stayed until 12am to check out the supper menu. I slept at around 12.30am after supper.

Watching the first show @ The Lido - a disappointment compared to Royal Caribbean...
The sleeping arrangement :p
The night view from the ship!
Monday, 28 Jan 2013 – High Sea - Penang 

Theng sis woke up and managed to catch the sunrise, while I chose to sleep until 8am. We had a nice breakfast by the sea in the morning. After breakfast, we went and settled some stuff – booking tour tickets, reserving Tuesday gala dinners, and then having a light lunch before landing at Penang for a quick walk.

Penang was super hot, so we decided to take a taxi to Komtar to get some aircon. We bought few items at Giant, and then walked around that areas for local delicacies. At 3.30pm, we went back to the alluring ship to rest and surround ourselves with more food :p

Penang Market! Somewhere near Komtar
A pic to prove that I was really at Penang before going back to the ship
I had so much food that I decided to get another swim at around 6pm. There was a BBQ by the pool at night, which was really chilling and relaxing. The 9pm performance was a dance and comedy by the cabin crew. The highlight was the famous Oppa Gannam Style. I managed to get some pics with the talented crew after the play. We joined for a round of Bingo and then went to sleep early.

My nephew acting all cool during our golf tournament. Oh well, he won, then I went to swim
BBQ by the pool! Feel so rich!
My BBQ plate - lots of watermelon to reduce my guilty feeling
9PM Performance - Nice show, crews!
A pic with the friendly crews. Most of them are from Philippines!
Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013 – Penang - Phuket 

I woke up at 6am the next day, getting all ready for Phuket :D My motivation for waking up was… breakfast! After a nice filling breakfast, we took a tendering boat to Patong Beach. We gathered and took some pictures.

The tendering boat to Patong Beach. Reminds me of the boat I used to take from SG to Batam
My jump shot @ Patong Beach
It was around 10am when the tour finally started. First destination was… Cashew Factory :D They had free sample of more than 40 flavor of Cashew nuts! I kept eating and they kept adding more to the container. That’s what I called good service :p I ended up buying a 2000 baht worth of peanuts.

Nicely Cashew Nuts! Look at the overflowing samples!
Second destination was the temples. Visit to Thailand is not complete without a visit to its temple. According to the tour guide, being a monk here is seen as fidelity to the parents. They believe that the parents will go to heaven if the son has been a monk before. And! Anyone who wants to get married is normally asked to be a monk first for few years! I thought monk isn’t supposed to get married. Monk in Thailand sounds a bit like National Service Man in Singapore. The time spent was long enough for us to taste the Thai’s coconut for 30 baht. It’s really sweet and soft. Love max!

One of the temples - don't even bother asking if I remember the name
Oh yeah, the young tender sweet coconut. Look at how smart they are to turn the skin to spoon! Very effective
A row of stalls selling souvenirs. Nothing to my liking :p
Next stop is the main highlight of the tour – elephant riding! Before the ride, we were brought to a mini Monkey and Elephant show. It’s my first time riding on elephant – they prepared a nice seat and all, but my butt still hurt after the 15 mins ride. The feeling is quite similar with horse riding.

The clever monkey - start of the monkey show!
Infront of the elephants. I did feed them too but no one took pic of me T_T anyway, they are all female.
View from the top of elephant. So shaky that it felt like you could drop anytime.
Before lunch, we were brought to Wang Talang – a place that sells all type of jewelries. The tour guide didn’t even try to ask us to buy anything. He just informed us that there is a free drink at the end of the shop, so I just went straight there. The drink was really refreshing during the hot day.

Thanks Wang Talang and Nescafe for the refreshing orange, tea, and coffee! Best during hot time!
Lunch was a buffet (again) at Daowadueng ThaiNaan Restaurant. Food was decent. I was in love with the Tom Yum – they have all the spices around for us to add to the soup. Oh was it hot. I’m glad that I didn’t get stomachache afterwards. We reached back the ship at 3pm, and we sailed off Phuket at 4pm.

The Tom Yum is nothing like what you find in Singapore. The spice just tasted so original.
Our comfortable coach which sent us back to the ship
The beach was so calm and I feel like taking few pics. Reminds me of Life of Pi
We rest for a while and then went to the Gala Dinner at Bella Vista. The food was nicer than usual and there was a thank you ceremony from the captain after the dinner. After dinner, I decided to check out the happening at the ship and bumped into the cocktail party. Got my free 3x white wines + 1x champagne there. I watched the 9pm performance at Lido Theater – an acrobatic act. My face was still kind of red when I reached the Casino at around 10pm. In the end, I won $30 that night with $50 capital ^^;

Finger foods served during the cocktail party. The waiter was *kinda* annoyed as he has to wait for me to take pic
My free white wine *hiccup
The best show - I didn't know that photography wasn't allowed until midway through the show.
At 12am, we decided to go and watch Nikita Show, a topless show that was the main attraction of the ship. Ticket was $55. The security was really tight; they actually checked your body for any camera or phone. The show was decent, nothing special. I slept at around 1.30am that day.

Since no pic is allowed during the show, let me present the poster
and one more :p

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 – Phuket - Singapore 

Time flies! It’s the last day in the ship. I slept until late but still managed to catch the breakfast before it closed at 10am. After breakfast, I decided to spend sometime relaxing at the swimming pool reading Steve Job via kindle. Finished reading, we went to play mini golf, and then went back to cabin and started packing. We played the last round of Bingo and Lottery, and then checked out at around 4pm.

The last breakfast at Star Cruise Virgo. I'm so gonna miss the free foods!
After checking out, we went for Bella Vista for early dinner, then spent time hanging around at Mediterranean buffet chatting until 6pm. The ship docked in Singapore at 7pm sharp. We went to Lido Theater, started queuing, and finally off boarded by 8pm :)

One last look at the Mediterranean Buffet - The first and last restaurant we visited in the ship
Hi, Keppel Bay! I used to see Star Cruise when I jogged around the area. Now it's the other way round
Reached back hotel at around 8.30pm and had a good rest for the day. The overall experience was a good one :) The ticket was $1,800 for 4 people, which is – in my opinion – a very good value for money for 4 days accommodation and free flow of food and travel to 2 locations :D If, if I ever go cruising again, I would like to try the balcony class! Heard that the experience is really different.

Now T_T How to lose all these fats?


Sbipk said...

Thank you nice article.
your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
Thank again.

Phuket Yacht Charte said...

I love phuket, I love white beaches and crystal clear waters.
I would like to suggest Yacht Charter Phuket.

Jamie said...

Enjoy Superstar Cruise Aquarius and indulge in gastronomic delights with an exciting choice of dining options or unwind with the cozy ambience of our bars and lounges.

Anonymous said...

I am also planning a cruise but I am worried that I cannot obtain a visa for Phuket. Can I know how you obtained the visa on arrival for Phuket? Did you buy it at Harbourfront Centre? Are holders of Chinese passports eligible?

Thank you so much for answering my question.