Nothing beats a short getaway on a cruise, to escape from the stress of life, without having to be reminded of the hectic routines of a regular day on land. The well-equipped ship has all the essential needs, facilities, entertainment, and more than enough food you can stomach.
A cruise trip is what I’ve been anticipating for the last 10 years (or more).
My memories of my first cruise – which was when I still wasn’t tall enough to reach for the standard light switches – vaguely revolves around eating (but not a lot because as a kid my appetite was still pea-sized); scouting around for seasick passengers (but in vain); and pouting for not being able to enter places with age restrictions, such as casinos and bars –not that I wanted to gamble or drink, but it was mere curiosity (hence my trip was declared incomplete in my books).
It was after more than a decade of hankering that I could finally step on board the very same line of cruise I once experienced as a child, and I cannot be more thankful to my two fabulous friends, Jasper and Wee Teck, who made this trip yet another unforgettable chapter in my life, amplifying the vibrancy of my blogging journey to a new high.
In January 2012, SuperStar Virgo had undergone a US$25 million refurbishment. The cabins, restaurants, entertainment, bodycare, shopping, sports and recreation venues are now donning on a new and fresher look.
Anticipation heightens as we left the departure hall, to finally board the cruise.
Malacca is no stranger to me, but embarking on a different mode of transport to a familiar town brings nothing less than excitement. We get to spend a day in Malacca during this 3 Day 2 Night trip, while the cruise transports us to and fro during the nights.
We were greeted by the glitz and glitters of the grand interior, and warmly welcomed by the staffs on board SuperStar Virgo.
Then came strutting out are dancers who display slender and toned figures, capturing the crowd’s attention instantly with their dazzling performance.
The cameras in the audiences’ hands were too preoccupied with capturing the zestful dance moves.
Upon entering the room, I was pleasantly surprised by these sweet treats, accompanied by a personally addressed welcome note.
The Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony, where I slumbered in for two nights, is simply well appointed, as one would expect of a reputable hotel’s room.
Perks of Balcony Class Rooms include dining credits of up to $300 per cabin, which are redeemable at all food and beverage outlets on board. For a 2-night trip, I was given $100 worth of dining credits. Other privileges include complimentary welcome drink upon boarding, complimentary access to the sauna, steam rooms and Aquaswim facilities, and the best seats at dinners and shows.
Complimentary fresh fruits are replenished daily. I love to snack on them to ward off the hunger pangs that strike at crazy hours in the night.
Just as most hotels on land would provide, there is the electric water boiler on board the cruise, along with coffee and tea making essentials.
The bathroom is nothing palatial, but certainly adequate. The built-in hairdryer definitely comes in handy, so are the well-stocked bathroom amenities.
I wouldn’t have bothered to pack my toothbrush and toothpaste if I knew they were providing such good quality ones!
Stir-fried Garden Green with Cuttlefish and Pine Nuts
After freshening up, we proceeded to the Pavilion, a Chinese family-style restaurant, for a group dinner with the rest of the media.
Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Dried Top Shell and Chinese Herbs
The Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Dried Top Shell and Chinese Herbs is immensely flavourful. I would inhale another serving if there be.
Roasted Duck accompanied with Mayonnaise Prawn
The Mayonnaise Prawn is one of my favourites! The prawns are succulent with a light crunch, and lusciously coated with creamy mayo.
Honey Glazed Baked Cod Fish with Egg White
As much as I love to eat fish in general, the egg white nestled underneath the fish turned out to be exceedingly appealing to my taste buds, in which its texture I absolutely adore; it totally outshone the fish despite its simplicity.
Braised Ling Chee Mushroom with Superior Oyster Sauce
Also part of our 6-course Chinese communal dinner was a simple but satisfying plate of quality mushroom and crunchy broccoli, steeped in a thick toothsome sauce.
Combination of Mango Cream Pomelo and Vanilla Ice Cream
Our meal ended on a refreshing note with the Mango Cream scattered with bits of juicy pomelo that isn’t too sweet. Those with a sweet tooth will be appeased with the accompanying scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Gate closes at 10.30pm, and that’s when we bid Singapore goodbye, and eagerly count the hours until we arrive in Malacca.
The night is still young, if anyone is even considering heading back to the cabin to call it a day. Entertainment starts from 10pm all the way till the wee hours, which includes themed performances and breath-taking magic shows. Private Karaoke Rooms are available for booking till 4am.
After taking a short tour around the cruise, we found our way to Mediterranean Buffet, a massive international buffet restaurant, with a seating capacity of 590 diners. The Indian dishes mostly hit the mark; especially the naan bread and vegetarian curry that left me with huge cravings till date.
However alluring the comfortable bed is, I sacrificed my much-needed sleep to catch the sunrise, which turned out to be totally worth it. SuperStar Virgo was still on its way to Malacca’s dock as I opened the sliding door to the balcony; the soothing sound of waves crashing greeted me, accompanied by strong winds that threatened to sweep my camera away. The sight was simply breath taking nevertheless, and utterly romantic (if only I had my beanie bear with me).
I spent my waking hours by the balcony, watching the sun emerge from the infinite end of the vast, rippling sea. The vigorous waves began to subside to an idyllic tame, as the sun began to rise.
This was how I spent my morning.
Tempted to get a tan, but my stubbornly fair skin simply didn’t allow that to happen.
Soon it was time to gather at The Lido, and Malacca awaits us. Check back for my post on our trip to Malacca, and more on dining on board SuperStar Virgo.
Visit StarCruises.com for more information (http://www.starcruises.com/), and book your trip for the upcoming June Holidays!
Pictures in this post are taken using the Sony NEX-3N and iPhone 4S (if instagram-labelled).