Friday, March 24, 2006

cruisin'...

I know I know its been awhile. Sorry la been too busy after getting back to post about it. As the few of you (actually just 3 but a few sounds bigger) who read my blog knows, I recently got back from a 5 nights cruise via StarCruises onboard their Superstar Gemini with someone special. Unlike most Star Cruises, this was via Port Klang (instead of Singapore) and it went up Straits of Malacca stopping along the way in Langkawi, Krabi, Phuket (the main destination) and Penang. Not going to blog about Langkawi and Penang since I've been there and done that and it wasn't much to shout about. Plus due to the heat I didn't even get down at Penang. Did get off at Langkawi though as the option of getting two duty free 1 liter bottles of liquid gold (whiskey) was hard to pass. ;)

Let me start off by talking about the ship. This was the first time I went on a cruise and I must say its a wonderful way to travel and spend your vacation. Not much thinking is needed as the majority of your time is on the boat. Great for relaxing and pigging out. Sadly the cost would deter most. The experience of being in the open ocean and enjoying the breeze is something not to be missed. Especially when you can sit out on the deck, enjoy your dinner with some drinks and stare into the darkness. You can't really put it in words. The ship I was on was rather small compared to most cruise ships. I think it holds about 800 passengers. Which is a good thing as the passenger to staff ratio was smaller. This in turn made things very friendly. The Superstar Gemini had a very nice family vibe going and they made you feel like one of them. The staff on our ship comprised of people from 20 nations. Majority being Fillipinos. The bridge crew of course were mostly Scandinavians. Guests are mostly from Australia and New Zealand. Only like 5% were from Singapore or Malaysia. This is good as I find most Asians too shy/private and that would make situations akward and boring. The Aussies made it more friendly and cheerful although some of them do get out of hand after a few drinks and you wish you could slap them across the face. =)

Most would expect the ship to feel claustrophobic, stuffy and swaying about but surprising its not. First its not shaky at all, not once did I feel woozy. Plus they make very good use of the space. All major locations (dining area, the lounge & theater) were very spacious and comfy. The rooms were not bad either. They used mirrors to make everything seem wider. To cut cost I opted for a inside stateroom (windowless) and it wasn't that bad. Only downside for not having a window is I didn't know when it was morning or night. Hehe. Since I was on a holiday it didn't really matter actually plus I had my trusty mobile to remind me. Maybe next time when I strike it rich I'll get a balcony room. I'm sure that would be so much better. Imagine having breakfast or some drinks at the balcony looking out to sea. Peaceful and serene. The rooms all have similar amenities. Theres a TV with about 5 channels, a writing table, closet, personal AC control, multiple lights to set the mood, bath robes, ice bucket, cups, kettle and a daily supply of mineral water, coffee packets and tea bags. All the linen and towels were of top quality. Even the loo had very good water pressure and temperature. All to make your stay as comfortable as can be.

Now lets get down to the most important part, FOOD! *Droool* I still crave for some of the goodies I had on the ship. Everytime I went for a meal there was something to binge over. From something as simple as fruits (which were always fresh and sweet) to baked mousakka. Everything was freshly made and extremely tasty. They also provide a good variety of breads. Something I really miss during my days in US. Plus the desserts. OMG. There is always about 8 varieties of something sweet, colorful, creamy or moist. Their tiramisu is simply to die for I tell ya! The only downside were the drinks. Only water, tea and coffee was complimentary while cocktails, juices, mocktails or beer need to be purchased. Now that wouldn't be bad if they actually sold them at market price or duty free (being on international waters and all) but NOOOO. They actually charge almost 2 to 3 times more. Arrrgghh. Captive market my ass. That was the only let down from the whole cruise and due to being on a strict budget it can really hamper ones mood.

Being on a ship to many can be really boring. Which I would agree unless of course you are going with a bunch of mates or with someone special. Its NEVER for going solo and don't really hope to pick someone up. The ship however does try to organise activities practically every hour except from 2am to 6am, whereby you're expected to be asleep of course. Now the activities can be a toss. Some people might find it fun while others would think 'Huh?'. Now I say this because I felt that way. LOL. Events like line dancing, sudoku challenge, bingo and karoake don't really rock my boat. I did however enjoy the movies shown at night as well as the stage shows held. If you're a health freak theres always the gym and swimming pool. Plus if you walk around the mid deck 5 times it would equate to 1 mile. Which isn't all that bad. Theres also a library with a pretty decent collection of novels and 2 desktops where you can get online (at a price of course). If you have money to spare you could always head to the spa. Which I bet would be lovely.

Yaaawwn. I think I've crapped enuff about the cruise and its getting pretty late. Gotta wake up for work tommorrow. I'll blog more about Thailand when I get the chance. I'll leave you with some pictures taken while on the ship. Gd'nite folks!

welcome folks...

drinks with the capten...

superstar gemini from a fisherman boat...

catchin' some Zzs on the deck...

off port swetenham (sp?) in penang...

2 comments:

Hybernating Bear said...

Lucky ass basket!!

a. said...

I miss you bubu, you still look so handsome : )