Moving on, even when I was busy and depressed, I still had an exciting birthday cruise. Actually it was long overdue. I've been planning to experience a cruise for 5 years now. Finally, I ticked this off my bucket list, and the timing was just perfect.
Star Cruises - Superstar Virgo
Planning a Cruise Trip
As early as January, I had began my search for a cruise trip sometime my birthday month. For the record, I planned to experience a cruise in Thailand. However, the duration and schedule of the cruise were out of my allowed vacation leaves. I alternatively searched for the cruise which departs within the Philippines, but this cruise is only available on the months of November to January. To cut the story short, I settled for a 4D3N High Seas cruise in Hong Kong, by Star Cruises. Together with my housemate Kat, we booked (online) in advance and got the Oceanview Room with Balcony for P35,000. This includes the accommodation, buffet meals, onboard entertainment, and use of facilities. Come to think of it, the all-in rate for this cruise is not bad afterall. Of course, we have to shoulder our flights to Hong Kong.
hello HKIA, we meet again!
on my way to Ichiran, Causeway Bay branch
Boarding the Cruise Ship
Kat and I made our way to Hong Kong's Ocean Terminal ahead of boarding time. To our dismay, we saw a very chaotic queue. A lot of Asian families were patiently waiting to check in, despite the very disorganized system. To be fair, there were lots of ushers around, but the queue still looked stressful. At this time, we started to regret that this cruise may not worth our money. We could just had a grand vacation somewhere in Palawan or Boracay - and we knew it could be less expensive than this cruise.
Luckily for us, I did an online check in. I informed one of the crews, then we were immediately assisted to an express counter. This really saved a lot of time. We gave our online tickets, surrendered our passports, and we were given our cruise cards. It's now time to board the ship.
Onboard Superstar Virgo
All our disappointment vanished when we boarded the cruise ship. It looked awesome and grand. The cruise staff warmly welcomed all of us. The lobby caught everyone's attention, specially ours. The entertainers were singing Sitti's "Para Sa Akin". And they were just the first group of Pinoys who work in this cruise ship.
Superstar Virgo's Grand Piazza
the entertainers welcomed the passengers, and hey they are Pinoys!
At this time, we purchased 6 drink coupons each using our credits. Passengers with oceanview state room accommodation were entitled with these credits. Anyway, these drinks can be any beer, softdrinks, and Spanish red and white wine.
Ocean View with BalconySo obviously, this cruise could be cheaper if we settled for the most basic kind of accommodation. But since it's our first time, we thought why not spend a little more. Aside from the fact that the Ocean View with Balcony accommodation comes with credits, this also entitles the passengers to use the steam, sauna, and indoor jacuzzi pool.
cabin rooms on the 11th floor
Ocean View with Balcony
with welcome fruits
that's the balcony behind the sliding door
The Ocean View with Balcony cabin looked and smelled so nice! It's totally like a hotel room, only with smaller space. Aside from the bed, there's a television, fridge, single sofa chair, center table, and full glass mirror. Superstar Virgo also provided towels, robes, and slippers.
As for the bathroom, it is small but the water in the shower, sink, and flush worked effectively. The toiletries were provided too.
shower, sink, and toilet
We could not complain for anything except for the limited food for the room service. This room is worth the extra money.
Exploring Superstar Virgo
Even before we had our 1st dinner, Kat and I couldn't contain our excitement in exploring the cruise ship. We immediately went to the upper deck to check the pool and the view from there.
way to upper deck
the Superstar Virgo at night
Canon 60D, 16mm, F3.5, 0.8", ISO 100
Hong Kong skyline viewed from Superstar Virgo
Canon 60D, 22mm, F4.5, 2", ISO 100
Superstar Virgo with Hong Kong's skyline
Canon 60D, 12mm, F3.5, 0.8", ISO 100
The view from the upper deck was absolutely stunning! This is the first time I've seen the skyline from this angle. And thanks to my non-shaking hands, I've got no problem in taking these night shots. Angas!
next time, I'll board my sign - the Gemini
The pool looked so inviting even at night. The Parthenon place has a swimming pool which is 6 ft deep, 4 jacuzzi, and a mega slide.
one of the 4 jacuzzis
6 feet deep swimming pool
another jacuzzi on the roof deck
The most awaited part for us was to experience dining at this ship. Superstar Virgo has 9 restaurants which serves Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. Actually only 2 of the restaurants are inclusive of the cruise rate we already availed - Genting Palace and Mediterranean Buffet. We set our expectations low since we read reviews that the food may not be enough or satisfying for everyone. Well, we were wrong! The food was great and enough for all. The selection was good as well. There's a lot of shrimps, fish, beef, chicken, soup, salad, bread, and even dessert.
It's not surprising that we loved the food specially when the chefs are mostly Pinoys! I can't deny we got special treatment from our kababayan.
Genting Palace - Chinese and Western cuisines
another batch of Pinoy crews in this cruise ship
ribs, salmon, and wine
Filipino chefs at Mediterranean Buffet
overflowing good food from breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper
the area I always skip. not a fan of dessert.
Genting Palace could be classy but we love the food more at Mediterranean Buffet
Random Photos at Superstar Virgo
It's the first time I actually boarded a ship as huge as this one. The decks and endless hallways reminded me of Titanic. There's a thousand of cabins and around 2,000 passengers (not including the crews) were on it. So it's true that it's definitely not easy to find another person in a ship as huge as this. Hehe
the reception area on the 7th floor, and Duty Free on the 8th
hallway full of restaurants
show lounge / theater
aquaswim / exercise pool
library with a view
way to casino area
view from our own balcony
The Cruise Life
It was short but I must say that I really enjoyed it. Actually I'm glad that I experienced this cruise at this age since I'm not engaged with super physical activities anymore. *winks* The room, facilities, and food were all great. What we loved most? Our room! We had no activity in mind but to sleep, eat, and swim. Oh yes, we also experienced the steam and sauna areas but sleeping while cruising was just better. #LolaDiaries
another handheld shot. di na uso ang tripod.
Of course, I have to mention that I loved the success stories of the Pinoys who work at this cruise ship. It made me proud that their being madiskarte brought them here. No amount of hardship can stop them from giving better lives to their families back home. Cheers to Pinoys who work at cruise ships!
cheers to the cruise life!