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16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Well it was my first time going on a cruise so I think it was alright. Good thing Super Star Virgo (SSV) decided to port in Manila because finally I experienced going on a cruise! I didn't really know what to expect so everything is ... Read More
Well it was my first time going on a cruise so I think it was alright. Good thing Super Star Virgo (SSV) decided to port in Manila because finally I experienced going on a cruise! I didn't really know what to expect so everything is bright and shiny for me. Haha. I did read some of the reviews here hence the title. The other reviews kind of prepared me on what to expect but hey I still enjoyed my time on SSV. There wasn't much to hate about it at all. Even with a despicable smartphone and the corrupted micro SD card, I still had a good time during the whole cruise experience. This is going to be a bit long so read at your own risk. :) The theme of the trip was Spiderman inspired. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse stickers and posters were all over the ship. Even Spiderman cosplayers were onboard with us. They had Spiderman themed games for kids to enjoy and for adults to do photo ops with the cosplayers. Too bad I didn't meet my college batchmate while she was working. Haha. Good for her and her fellow cosplayers though. Work cruise ftw. Anyway going back to my review, during embarkation there weren't many people around the port so it was fine. I had thought it would be full of people like in airports but no, it was alright. Not too much lines at all. Imagine my first trip abroad was on a cruise trip. Haha. As for the staff or the cabin crew, they were all nice and spoke good English. There are many fellow Filipino crew staff too so we could also speak in Filipino when they were around. * * * * * ♦ Ship: My first impression was of course just being amazed at being on a cruise ship. The information lobby or the currency exchange area looks amazing. I forgot what it's called but it's the best looking place in the entire ship. SSV is big but we had fun going around and checking out the nooks and crannies we could. We were almost able to tour the "entirety" of it in one day. Of course only the ones open to the public but not everything in one day. We weren't able to join the initial ship tour though, not sure if it was "free". Subsequent ship tours had fees so meh. The pool is 7 ft deep so for those who can't swim well, you can enjoy the jacuzzis and the giant slide. Also the ship has centralized aircon. I didn't think it would but I still think it's worth mentioning. Hehe. * * * * * ♦ Dining & Service: I love the food. Don't worry about what other reviewers here say. If you aren't a picky eater and not rich at all, you will enjoy the food. The best is the buffet in The Lido. Mmmhmmm. I love having breakfast at The Lido. Bacon is crispy. There's milk and fruits and veggies and bread and oh it's just heaven for me. Lunch is good too but I wasn't able to try the dinner buffet since we ate at the other restaurants. In Star Dining we had a bit of an issue the first time we ate there. It took more than an hour for them to inform us they lost our order slip for the main course. Wow. But they were able to resolve it immediately upon us walking out because the Pinay staff outside overheard us talking about the bad experience we had. Good job in "catching" us! Lol. As for Pavilion, the food was good too. Overall, I was always full everytime I ate any meal, except for two incidents. Thank you Lord! * * * * * ♦ Entertainment and Activities: The shows are not so entertaining for me. It was enjoyable for my eyes but if you like a good storytelling like in awesome movies, don't expect much. The best show was the magic show. The rest are just a feast for the eyes. No we did not go to the adult show. We preferred the shore excursions. Lol. I did enjoy the Basic Chinese lesson. No reading or writing, just basic conversational Mandarin written in alphabet and translated to English like "Ni hao ma," etc. There's also the morning stretch in the gym. I joined once before I went to the shore excursion. Hehe. I thought going up the mountain/cave in Vietnam would be difficult. :P * * * * * ♦ Ports & Shore excursions: Before you go to the shore excursions, make sure to exchange your peso or HKD etc., to the local currency. The ship has a currency exchange so this shouldn't be a problem. Cruising into Ha Long Bay port was of course something to remember. There was plenty of time to take pictures before we even got to the port. It was my first time outside the country so seeing the mountains jutting out of the sea was awesome for me. Also the excursion was pleasant and nice. The climb up the steps to the limestone cave was not too difficult at all. Good thing I had my morning stretch that day. The tour guide was nice and thoughtful too. The people speak very little English but are nice and pleasant. In the Sanya, China trip our Chinese tour guide was always in a hurry and didn't care much about us so we did not enjoy much of it. Disembarking took a long time too as we had to go through the arrival port I think? How else were we gonna get into China? Lol. It took longer than we expected. (And they do not allow you to take videos in there.) Perhaps this was why the tour guide was in such a hurry all the time. And yes we already sent our shore excursion feedback while we were on the ship. Remember to use a mobile app to translate or communicate with people in China. I forgot to and never thought of it so I got stressed and frustrated. It's easier if you have a companion who speaks Chinese too. Even so, for some reason the people in Sanya, China didn't seem very nice at all. Or maybe Chinese people are normally rude? Anyway, I did not think of using any mobile app to speak to anyone. I'm old school that way. Haha. The places we went to were okay, we were able to take enough pictures. All I can say is it was a stressful shore excursion so keep that in mind when going to China. Also, if you're not an active person, better take advantage of the morning stretch activity before going to any shore excursion. * * * * * ♦ Recommendations: Overall I think it's best for seniors and kids or adults looking for a pleasant and nice vacation. It definitely does not have much of a night life. Yes they have ladies nights and such but I heard some parts of it but nah. It's best for families too maybe. My impression of everything on the ship was like being with seniors in their retirement activities. I wasn't bored at all thanks to the shore excursions but for me it may get boring without the WiFi and the food or the pool/jacuzzi. There are more things to enjoy so just explore the ship and always check the itinerary. If you get sea sick easily, ask for Bonamine from the information area or the housekeeping. If the waves get strong like it did when we were cruising back to Manila you will need it. A lot of us were getting sea sick because of the weather and the strong waves. Oh and open your TV because you will see the ship cruise channel where a live video of the front of the ship can be seen. Plus it shows a map of the ship location too! Cool huh. It would be much cooler if there was infrared or night vision video version at night, maybe so we could see what's out there in the dark? Lol. And that's it for my review. I definitely would go back if I could. Moolah come to mamah! hahaha. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I’ve purchased my booking via Malaysia Harmony travel agent. Here are some tips for those who’re cruising from Port Klang to Medan, Phuket and Penang. Things to prepare before check-in at Boustead Centre, Port Klang: 1) Parking ... Read More
I’ve purchased my booking via Malaysia Harmony travel agent. Here are some tips for those who’re cruising from Port Klang to Medan, Phuket and Penang. Things to prepare before check-in at Boustead Centre, Port Klang: 1) Parking outdoor is RM10.00 per entry. 2) For any baggage bigger than cabin size, you’ll need to first check-in your baggage before going up to 2nd floor for check-in. Your baggage will be sent to your cabin door. Only cabin size baggage can be hand carry. 3) Pls print out your cruise Confirmation Slip and enclose with your original Passport for check-in. (if you’re checking in a big group, just get 1 representative to queue up). 4) Photocopied 2 copies of your Passport (page with photo and signature in actual Passport size, do NOT need to enlarge which you’ll use for embarkation at Immigration Dept.in Medan/ Phuket/ Penang. Original Passport will be kept upon check-in). 5) After check-in, you’ll each be assigned with a Cabin Card that you’ll use on board for all meals and purchases. Guest only needs to make payment for all purchases the night before disembarking in Port Klang. Pls proceed to Immigration checking and then board the ship. For wheelchair guests, pls ask Cruise Staff for first priority access. Things to do once boarded ship: a) Get the current day STAR NAVIGATOR from Reception counter to see what’s inline for today’s activities. There’ll be different navigators distributed to your cabin door everyday. b) Proceed to your cabin to leave your baggage. c) For those who want to have lunch, can proceed to the restaurants (before sailing): Ocean Restaurant (Chinese cuisine) at deck 4 (set menu but can refill with small buffet varieties). Four Seasons Restaurant (Western cuisine) at deck 4 (set menu with small buffet varieties). Marine’s Poolside (International cuisine) at deck 9 (buffet style). Spices restaurant (for Muslim/ Halal) at deck 10. d) Proceed to Galaxy of Stars at deck 5 to register for Gala Dinner as there’ll be limited seats for each restaurants. Overall it was a pleasant trip but there’re certain parts that SUPERSTAR LIBRA needs to improve that is refurbish the Inside State Room (deck 2) as it’s too worn out and all the bathrooms as well. Apart from room, meals are ok but International cuisine should include Japanese or Korean dishes and should have more varieties for Chinese vegetarian guests as my relatives had been having almost the same dishes in Ocean Restaurant everyday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We Chose the cruise because it leaves departs 1 hour away from where we live, so we save a lot from not having to buy Airtickets to go on a cruise, which sometimes is half or same price as the actual cruise. Originally it was ... Read More
We Chose the cruise because it leaves departs 1 hour away from where we live, so we save a lot from not having to buy Airtickets to go on a cruise, which sometimes is half or same price as the actual cruise. Originally it was Manila-Naha-Keelung-Manila, but because of some problems with the top speed of the ship, it was changed to Manila-Miako jima-Keelung-Manila, which wasn't to our liking, so we rebooked for Ishigaki instead. Our family has cruised with RCL before, and that is the standard that we base other cruises on. Our kids are really vocal about comparing ships and cruiselines. 1. Pier 15 Manila Port terminal, it was surprisingly straightforward to check in at the port, they ask passengers to go to Hotel H20 and they have a Bus to bring passengers to the Terminal. However some with private cars have the option to go directly to the terminal, but that can quickly change if the port gets congested, my suggestion is if it does, just walk from the port gate to the terminal, it's not that far. I said Straightforward, but still meant a lot of queue time for checkin and immigration, baggage check in was a breeze. 2. Cabins, once we were on the ship, it was nice that at least this time, we were able to actually go directly to the cabin, most cruises would ask you to have a meal first as the crew are still cleaning the cabins. Not sure if this is normal for all SSVirgo cruises, but it's nice. Cabins were really quite clean, and our cabin had a "seaview" the window was quite big, kids were happy about it. We had to move around the Sofa bed in order for us to have our preferred sleeping positions (Sofa bed was in the middle of the two beds, the table was transferred elsewhere). Bunk (top) bed was mine, it was comfortable enough. Toilet (The head) was spacious, the Toilet and Bath is separated. Toiletries like Toothbrush, tooth paste, shampoo were all provided. 3. Ship sports amenities, only one of my kids was able to go swimming, and she didnt get to use the slide, The slide, does not end in the main pool, so it is a water slide all on its own, which I guess is nice to prevent Sliders hitting people on the bottom. Golf was nice, was able to teach my eldest basics of a golf swing, not many people use it, mini golf isn't full 18 holes, might not even be 9 holes I forget, but kids had fun. Basketball court is probably one of the most used sports facility there. NO Table Tennis was observed by the way, but I didn't really check. I imagine if there actually was I should have seen other cruisers playing them. Boardgames were nice enough, some games have missing pieces. Gym was okay according to my wife, she at least got to burn some calories which are always in excess when you cruise. Shuffleboard, on this cruise I wanted to learn how to play shuffleboard and the kids were game, but unfortunately turns out the ships' suffleboard set is incomplete and some are broken. They never even bothered taking away the broken cues (sticks) from the cabinet. Most of the crew does not also actually know how to play it. There were 2 sets of disks, but they were too small for the cues, and quite light. There were heavier disks (the standard pucks) but only 5 of them are left, and of different colors. We still ended up learning how to play, buy searching in the internet and modified the rules using only 4 pucks. There are also swimming pools at the aft of the ship, but almost no one uses them, this area is where the Foam parties are held at night, a bit difficult to get to though. 4. Meals- 3 complementary dining areas were Star dining, Pavilion and the Lido. The last one is a buffet. From time to time they would offer Complementary BBQ at the Pool deck, for some reason we only stumble on these by chance, not really announced or in the ship's Newletter. One of the biggest complaint the family had with this cruise, is that they have made restrictions on how we can eat. First they only will allow cruisers to eat at one of the dining areas per meal schedule, you can't eat lunch at Star Dining and go up to Lido (buffet) if you want the dessert there. You will get charged a fee if you do this. At the fine dining restaurants, you only get to choose 1 of the main dishes, and heck only 1 dessert. We were disappointed to learn this the first day, but then someone explained to us, that if we finish our first main course, we can order a second one which is will be complimentary. I imagine you can do this for dessert and appetizers as well, but we never tried. They do not understand that not all the food they serve is good, the first night we all ordered the beef medallion which looked good on paper, but actually it looked like it came from a can and tasted like it did, the winner was my kid who ordered vegetarian pasta, and that was really good. At the end of the meal most of us were disappointed, but it could have made a big difference if we were allowed to at least go to the Lido buffet or to reorder something else. My Family do not Waste food, as long as it is edible. So at the end of the day, most of us would end up eating at the buffet, at least there you can see the food that you are going to have. Oh, the buffet, the kids commented, felt like a Canteen or cafeteria, complete with Trays and Metal Rails. Star Dining by the way has the worse vibration/noise in the whole ship, it's right above the propellers I think. In Lido, if you sit at the Starboard side, try not to stay at the back (near where the egg stations are), it is right below the basketball court, so you can hear them running around up there. 5. Entertainment, here the whole family agreed that the entertainment was quite good. Magician, Dancers, production were all nice and the kids were awake the whole time :) I read a review from a fellow cruise critic that he felt there were some areas of the show that were inappropriate, my kids agreed that the guy in Red Spikey suit (Slack rope performer) could do without the really long spike from his groin area. People laugh at that bit, but awkwardly. I mean gosh they offer a Topless show for a fee and for adults only, which made me raise my eyebrows (realizing this isn't really a wholesome cruise after all), so they should leave inappropriate things like that in those shows and not the main shows. I'm am not a Prude, but the show is open to all ages. The activities however like learn to zumba, learn to ballroom dance, etc. though fun, would only last 30 minutes, it felt like they just wanted to make an activity for the sake of it. They could be more flexible and adjust/extend if the participants are still willing. 6. Shore Excursion- we booked our own Shorex, we were with our Japanese business partner and he arranged for a bus at Ishigaki to take us around, in Keelung we arrange for a bus as well, we were 18 in the group, so shore ex from the cruise would have been really expensive. Shore Ex were all fun, but the details for that I will review separately :) 7. Kids activities- This is also a disappointment, they should change their mindset about cruising kids. First though the parents decide when and which cruise to take, the kids are very vocal about their likes and dislikes, plus parents will also choose a cruise based on their children's needs as well. So, first after you checkin, parents will be offered an activity list for kids, but most of them have a $ sign with it. They would offer a package which is less than total if you paid for each of the activities. We opted for the package for our youngest, she loves Kids club activities, and we thought by signing her up, We'd be rid of her for an hour or so :) In our other cruises, we would not see her for 3 to 4 hours, she'd make friends and will talk about her activities during dinner. In SSVirgo? Not only did we have to pay, they also require to have a parent or a guardian present during the activities! Sheesh! So, basically in SSVirgo, if you have kids who are 7 yrs old and below, you will need to consider that he/she will need to be constantly with you during the whole cruise. There are some families who brought their own Nannies with them. 8. Service was Very good, overall. Unfortunately I might sound racist here and I am of course Generalizing, some of the Chinese crew (specially in the restaurants) are either rude, or just not trained well, or does not know how to communicate and turns out rude. My wife likes her bread warm, but she wanted croissants, when she placed her bread in the toaster, a Chinese waitress with tongs just suddenly took the bread out and placed it back on her plate, without even saying anything. No apology or explanation, there were also no signs, but realized after talking to a supervisor, that the toaster is only for sliced bread, as other bread can get stuck and burn (fire hazard), this is all understood, but this does not excuse a girl with tongs on hand just taking off bread and putting them back on cruiser's plates without saying anything. We have had Chinese waiters that were entertaining and helpful in other cruise lines, so I think SSVirgo just needs to train their Chinese crew some more with regards to customer service. It's too bad that we would experience these with some of the crew members when in general the rest of the crew of the SSVirgo were really nice and accommodating, including the performers. Would we go on SSVirgo again? Probably, but with adjusted expectations already. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Frequent cruiser on Star Libra and interested in the new port of call Medan. Disappointing to see the service has deteriorated significantly from previous cruises and the new port of call Medan seem to be poorly planned. The usual good ... Read More
Frequent cruiser on Star Libra and interested in the new port of call Medan. Disappointing to see the service has deteriorated significantly from previous cruises and the new port of call Medan seem to be poorly planned. The usual good range of food from the restaurants were gone, the service was poor. and the portion served is small. The new port of call Medan is very poorly organised. You have to walk approximately 3 Km from the dock to the arrival hall under the hot sun. This was later remedied by the offer of shuttle bus when they realised that very few passenger took the challenge to walk. The port is hours away from any places of attraction. The gaming room (casino) has been downsized with only few slot machines left which were mainly old and the table games were severely restricted. The opening hours restricted to 2 am closure. With the ship leaving port in the evening the opening time was cut down to 3 hours, hardly worth playing at all. The main reason given was due to lack of staff. The welcoming drinks has been removed and the disembarkation chaotic. Overall a disappointing poor experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My terrible cruise was on the superstar virgo with star cruises. i have been on 13 cruises, so these comments are from an experienced, knowledgeable traveller... This is by far the worst cruise i have ever been on! I thought costa with ... Read More
My terrible cruise was on the superstar virgo with star cruises. i have been on 13 cruises, so these comments are from an experienced, knowledgeable traveller... This is by far the worst cruise i have ever been on! I thought costa with their discount vacation was scrapping the bottom of the barrel, but star cruises, at twice the cost, was much, much worse! It appears this company does not survey or care what the competition does. It is also apparent their version of cruise is not very successful judging by the low quantity of passengers/occupancy. They need to have employees check out other cruise lines and see what a real cruise ship looks like, because this isn't it! We will never sail with star cruises again on any of their ships. i will advise all of my family, friends, coworkers, employees and anyone else i can think of to stay as far away from this joke of a cruise line as possible! Here are just a few of the problems we experienced: - i paid my gratuities in cash directly to the cruise employees (which was verified), but they would not let me leave the ship until i also paid their automatic gratuity, which is not required under the contract (passage terms). they made me pay my gratuities twice!!! - they changed the port from published naha island to ishigaki island without any notification. this required again a cancellation of private tours and arrangements. why in the heck would you change the destination of the cruise to a completely different island without notifying passengers in advance? - the web page is lacking greatly for pre-cruise planning or purchases. Most excursions are not even listed! Very few drink packages, excursions or other available options are listed or purchase even though they are available upon arrival. That mean you cannot purchase in advance like other cruise lines. - changed port arrival times in schedule from the one on confirmed ticket (said 12 noon but changed to 7am). This required private tours to be cancelled with a loss of fees as they did not give any advance notice and did not refund the cost of the tours, even though it was their fault! - buffet was terrible! Poor selection (about 1/4 of what we have seen on other normal cruises). Food was bland and another passenger called it "low end cafeteria food" which was a perfect description! - you can only eat once per meal period. In other words, if you have an early lunch and then want to go to the buffet later for a snack, you can't! This was ridiculous and a new low for a cruise ship. if you go back they will charge you a fee. for something like coffee or a muffin, this is ridiculous. - the mexican dinner served was one of the worst… the most armature of foodies would know that an empanada is not served as a tart dish. what they called chicken asada was no more than regular baked chicken. they obviously were clueless as to what mexican food is and how it is served, but tried to pass off the theme that night as “mexican” night… what a joke. they could have at least looked up the food on google and seen that what they were serving was not mexican food! - the “gala” dinner was a joke! overcooked steak they tried to say was tenderloin (if it was tenderloin, it was the worst quality filet ever). it was paired with chicken teriyaki and a very bad selection of sides. if this is what they pass off as the marque dinner that is supposed to be the best meal of the cruise, the head chef needs to go back to cooking school. - they did not allow us to bring coffee from the restaurant to the deck and stopped us at the door. that meant that i could not enjoy my coffee on the outside of the restaurant and instead had to finish in the loud, crowded restaurant. - balcony cabin was very small compared to other ships with two uncomfortable beds that had a big, hard gap when put together. The pullout foam couch was better than the main bed! - only 3 english tv stations, 2 of which always showed the same repeating asia news stories every hour. Strange considering 90% of the passengers were english speaking. - no pay movies on the tv which would have made the lousy station selection tolerable. - ship entertainment was sparse. Some piano playing and duets, but overall no real diverse nightlife, clubs, or discos like other cruise lines. Felt like an old folks retirement community with a few duets playing each evening. - bought an all you can drink package, but it can only be used in 3 places on the ship... Even when another location has the drink readily available... Go figure. - excursion in okinawa was a joke! 3 of the 5 stops were for shopping at their "partner" vendor locations (which the tour company gets a percentage of sales for bringing the cruise passengers). - had to wait 1 hour 40 minutes for a return tender boat back to the ship. When you add the 30 minutes commute each way, more than 30% of our entire time in japan was just for getting back and forth to he ship. Not what i paid for! - staff from the philippines was good, but many of the chinese staff were clueless when it came to customer service. Abrupt, rude, no smiles/greeting and treated us like a number. - magic show was pitiful! lame show with fake violin player, same trick 4 times with different variations, and so easy to see the trick method. My 5 year old was able to see some of the obvious ways they tried to pull off the illusion... pretty bad when a 5 year old can figure it out - kid's club isn't much. A few 30 or 45 minute events scattered over the 2 days at sea. Not much more. The fee was not worth it. - casino was poor as well. Very few games a non-chinese customer would recognize. No roulette, craps, or other popular games. - the advertising of " chance game called "key master" in vending machine was often in your face. Sad considering that it is almost impossible to win and the prize is so small. Again, another desperate attempt to rip off passengers ad make money. - carpets and chairs in restaurants were badly stained and ugly. Obviously not well taken care of, cleaned or replaced as needed. - a la carte restaurants were grossly overpriced considering the base cruise fare already paid. They could follow the model of other cruise lines and have a minimal add-on fixed fee to visit the specialty restaurants to supplement the already paid fare. - Dirty salty balcony (not washed regularly like other cruise lines) - very few activities on the ship compared to other cruises we have been on. of the activities you had to pay for many including things like ship tours. Charging for a tour... Are you kidding? sad thing is they are so desperate to make money and fill the list they put things like "pre-selling of bingo tickets" 3 times on the schedule! - they were so desperate to sell tickets to an adults only topless show that they advertise all over the ship every day and promote buy one get one passes nearly everywhere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
i am writing this review because i am very disappointed. 1st of all this is not a family oriented cruise. the dances and costumes are provocative not fit for children. one show the magic spirit show. one dance reminded me I am in an ... Read More
i am writing this review because i am very disappointed. 1st of all this is not a family oriented cruise. the dances and costumes are provocative not fit for children. one show the magic spirit show. one dance reminded me I am in an adult bar. the cocktail gala the costume of the dancer is very revealing and there are children present. The food buffet, star dining, lido and pavilion which are free are very bad. one menu which is ampalaya with beef . the beef is very hard like a rubber. the century egg congee you will be lucky if u see a century egg. we ordered a kobe beef in star dining which cost around HK$400.00 which I was expecting will be better. the beef is very thin around 1/8 inch thick 2 pcs. and very very salty. very different from the drawing of 3/4 inch thick. I am sorry but my maid which is not a chef with an education of 5th grade school cooks way better than the chef of lido pavillion and star. I cannot describe each and every problem of the food so to sum it all the food there is lousy and make me feel like they are just cooking it to feed people without caring if they enjoy it or not. so thats why we dined at silk road which is a paying restuarant. the silk road i would recommend the duck and the food are very delicious no complains. the disembarkation is very disappointing. we already are in ishigaki at 7:00 a.m. but we are only allowed to go at 12:30 pm because they prioritize people who get their land tour 1st which is unfair we reach the ishigaki port by a small boat around 1 pm. we have to be back by 5PM. which is not a lot of time but we have to be there by 4 pm because of a very long line going back to the ship. overall the ship is not worth the trip. the only thing i can recommend is the crew are very honest. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
i chose this cruise because the port of embarkation is in Manila. No need to travel by air as we have many senior citizens with us. No need to get visa to get to Taiwan and Japan. I was apprehensive at first since a critic got ... Read More
i chose this cruise because the port of embarkation is in Manila. No need to travel by air as we have many senior citizens with us. No need to get visa to get to Taiwan and Japan. I was apprehensive at first since a critic got disappointed on his last cruise. But i was so happy that I really enjoyed every part of the cruise... from dining to entertainment to shore excursions. There were variety of foods served in every restaurant. I liked Star Dining, Lido as they served sumptuous foods. Im delighted to see the magician Vincent performed his act. Very unique and awesome. I could even do my morning run at the top deck. Their gym has state of the art fitness machine esp the threadmill and rowing machine. Cant wait for their next travel itinerary next summer. This is a great bonding activity for the whole family. Worth experiencing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Check-in - there was a long line even if we already checked-in online. You had to go through the following: queue to go inside the port to drop your luggages, queue again to go inside the air-conditioned room to get your cabin card (they ... Read More
Check-in - there was a long line even if we already checked-in online. You had to go through the following: queue to go inside the port to drop your luggages, queue again to go inside the air-conditioned room to get your cabin card (they gave us bread and a bottle of mineral water), queue again to go through x-ray, queue again for immigration which took more than an hour (but there were seats). I received a text message at 7pm the night before that our itinerary was changed due to "technical difficulties" from Manila-Naha-Keelung-Manila to Manila-Miyakojima-Keelung-Manila. I also received an email confirming if we would still push through with the cruise despite the change in itinerary or re-book it. I actually joined the cruise because I wanted to bring my parents to Naha which has a castle, public market and shopping district. Miyakojima is an island known for its beaches and corals...yes, it would be nice to go there if you are NOT from a tropical country and if you are NOT with seniors! So it was a big disappointment. The day before we arrived Japan, they asked us to get numbers for the tendering (you need to take a boat going to the island). Good thing I queued in early so we were on the first batch (200 people per batch). We did not get the land tour offered by the ship because we did not feel like going to a botanical garden so we opted to do it on our own (they call it "free and easy). We arrived at Miyakojima 11:30am. Our time was 2:30pm since they prioritized those people who took the land tour. There was a problem with Immigration (they required face-to-face contact) so we finished at 5pm ship time (Japan is one hour ahead). Due to the delay, they also extended the departure from 5:30 to 8:30pm. Everybody should be in the ship at 8pm. Remember we were at the first batch of "free and easy" and we finished Immigration at 5pm (ship time)!!! That would leave us only 3 hours. We took a cab going to Don Quixote (about JPY880) and just went there. The Donki branch was small relative to the other branches in Japan but it was good enough. There was also a food center inside so we decided to eat ramen and takoyaki balls. At least my parents got to experience paying for their meal using a machine! Haha! I asked the cab driver to pick us up after an hour because I was worried that we might not be able to get a cab going back to the port. The following day, we docked at Keelung port at 8:30am. Again, they prioritized those with land tours but the wait was not that long for those who want to do it "free and easy". We got off at 9:30am, took the MRT going to Taipei, went to Taipei 101, ate at Din Tai Fung (even if we have branches here in Manila haha!) and took a cab to Chiang Kai Shek. We also took a cab back to the port (about NTD900) because taking the MRT back would take 1.5 hours and we had to be back at the ship at 4:30pm. Gala Dinner - all restaurants were fully booked. So we just had our dinner at Taverna. We had steak & seafood, and it was good. Lido Buffet - we ate here most of the time. Do not expect "Vikings", maybe around 5-7 viands, 5 counters so queue is not that long. I'm surprised that seniors eat a lot! Last year, my mother joined the Manila-Vigan-HK-Taiwan-Manila cruise. Passengers were only 900. In our cruise, there were 3000 passengers due to the Buy 1 Take 1 senior promo that Starcruises offered. Despite the hassle and disappointment, StarCruises gave us HKD675 dining credits per cabin for the change in itinerary and HKD375 each passenger for the hassle in Japan Immigration. Overall, my parents enjoyed the cruise. They enjoined the experience..as they say it's not the destination but the journey. I purchased the wifi on the ship. It was too slow, I could only use viber (and not even send pictures) to send messages. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Just came back from my first Star Cruise, it was my 80th overall cruise.... Sorry to say it was the worse cruise I have ever been on. Six days five nights of nothing but problems and a cruise line that cares nothing about passengers and ... Read More
Just came back from my first Star Cruise, it was my 80th overall cruise.... Sorry to say it was the worse cruise I have ever been on. Six days five nights of nothing but problems and a cruise line that cares nothing about passengers and customer first. All other major cruise lines pre-clear the passengers at the port stops, Star does not instead causing passengers to wait over two hours to get off the ship. This is the only cruise out of 80 that I have lost weight because the food was so poor. Only cruise line I have ever been on that limits food and offers a very small selection. Even on small ships of 100 passengers the selection and available food was much better and I was on your Flag Ship of the fleet, very poor and very overpriced for what you offer. But it is not about the money if the service and product is good, then overpaying is not a problem. But from the start of the cruise nothing seemed to be up to international standards including the muster safety drill. It seemed many people did not show up and those that did were late. The crew did not seem to understand what was going on and how to explain it. I did not feel safe or that Star Cruises cares about passenger safety. I think in a real emergency, being on the Costa Concordia sinking would have been safer than with our Captain and Crew. Everything on the ship was about profit. The ship even came back to Manila 3 hours late, and rather than accommodate passengers Star Cruises answer was to cancel all baggage removal services from the ship and told passengers to carry everything themselves off the ship. And then locked out the lifts so people had to use stairs. Really Star, you marketed this cruise in part to senors many in wheelchairs and then don't allow the use of lifts. You should not be called a cruise line, becasue you are a joke that is only interested in getting every last pesos it can. Would not go back on Star Cruises if you paid me and happy to tell everyone I know to stay far away. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
It was my first family trip on SuperStar Libra a week before Chinese New Year and the cruise was not too packed. It was a short 5D4N cruise from Port Klang-Phuket-Macleod Island-Penang. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank ... Read More
It was my first family trip on SuperStar Libra a week before Chinese New Year and the cruise was not too packed. It was a short 5D4N cruise from Port Klang-Phuket-Macleod Island-Penang. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank an honest staff of Libra cruise named Mary Rose working as F&B waitress at Stardust Lounge. We were having the intro-briefing before we embarked at Phuket at the Stardust Lounge and there I must have accidentally dropped off my packet of RM1000 cash while digging for passport and travel documents. I did not even realized it until the next day when front counter crew called me up asking me to proceed to font counter to verify something..... For a lot of people out there, the amount may not sound much! But for people working away from home earning a decent living, honestly returning lost valuables to the front counter, and the crews and security officer went the extra miles to locate the owner, verifying every lost item... that really touched me! The cruise actually planned out daily activities to cater for different interests & needs. As our family members are not the out-going active type of persons, we did not participate much but only as observers. We had really enjoyed the family time together without any disturbance from mobile phones!!! .... The nightly show at Stardust Lounge was what we looked forward every evening... And the food was good. However, kitchen should have more choices for vegetarians... Most of the crew members were very friendly & helpful. As this trip is just a local short-distant cruise, we never expect too much out of it especially we got it at a promotion rate. However, it was really a heart-warming experience that I would never forget... Thanks to all for this first ever memorable cruise experience for my family. And once again, thank you Mary Rose and the staff involved to return me the money. God bless and keep up the good work! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Choosing star cruise Libra is just a reasonable cost. This is first experienced to me. I’m worries on dizzy inside the deck and not able to enjoy the trip. When I got my Deck 8 , cabin was for 2 person, just for stay and shower it small ... Read More
Choosing star cruise Libra is just a reasonable cost. This is first experienced to me. I’m worries on dizzy inside the deck and not able to enjoy the trip. When I got my Deck 8 , cabin was for 2 person, just for stay and shower it small but for me alright. Because most of the time we were outside entertainment area, swimming pool, show, and etc. it won’t be so bored. When you are tired , just back to cabin take a napped. About the food, it has western food and Chinese tradition food. Indian food located on upper Deck same floor with the swimming pool floor. Just eat , eat , eat till you full. ☕️. At night, they do have super night. Food was delicious and some performance show by the cruise staff. If have children, can bring them to Deck 3, is a children playing games room. But it will charge per head. RM 200 for 4D3N is worth it right ? For elderly, they do have karaoke room, show room, Genting Casino for them to enjoy. This Trip was Company Trip, enjoy even alone. If you come with family and kids, remember to bring swimming clothes. Not need bring many clothes as most of the time in this ship just wear casual and relax. When you need go to Phuket and Penang trip, just bing 2 sets nice clothes is enough. For the meal, they are prepare 4 times in a day. And a lot of performance show with their schedule. I come back on 10 June 2018, this time is with my families together. will update more information. Thank You . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
It was my very first experience on having holidays with family on the cruise. Undoubtedly, the facilities, cabin, dining, entertainment, services as well as the ports and shore excursions are perfect and they were exactly matched my ... Read More
It was my very first experience on having holidays with family on the cruise. Undoubtedly, the facilities, cabin, dining, entertainment, services as well as the ports and shore excursions are perfect and they were exactly matched my initial expectations. The food and beverage was nice and not too oily. I like the dessert most xD. With the enthusiasm and politeness of the staff, my family and I received helps whenever we need. During the holiday on the cruise, it was coincidence with my brother's birthday. The staffs of the cruise gave surprise to my brother while we were enjoying Gala dinner. The manager also sent his wishes to my brother by offering him a lot of promotions. My brother was having his most memorable birthday ever. During the third day, we disembarked on Myanmar Andaman Beach. Driven by the staff, we engaged in a lot of activities on the beach such as volleyball, dancing and so on. I'll highly recommend everyone to have their experience on SuperStar Libra Cruise at least once in their life time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Don't waste your money. I chose this cruise because it started and ended in HK, where my son lives and we were looking forward to a short XMas family holiday together, visiting Vietnam. I had never been on a cruise, but so many ... Read More
Don't waste your money. I chose this cruise because it started and ended in HK, where my son lives and we were looking forward to a short XMas family holiday together, visiting Vietnam. I had never been on a cruise, but so many people told me that it's a great way to see different places, without much extra expense, nor the hassle of moving from hotel to hotel and that the food is always great.....sadly NOT SO ON THIS CRUISE! Everything cost extra, even playing Mahjong and attending stretch or spin class! The food was so poor, even in the restaurants, there was often more fat than muscle on the meat and I barely saw a fresh fruit or vegetable the whole time. If they are hoping to break into the Western market, which I understand they are, they will need to raise the bar a lot, in my opinion. It is a very new ship with some nice features, BUT.... these are some of the areas which led to such frustration and disappointment for me and my family: * before even embarking the ship, we were asked to sign letters to say we were happy to go ahead with the cruise, despite an itinerary change due to poor weather conditions. We were told we would each receive a discount on board and a free cruise to be used by June 2018, but have heard nothing about the cruise since. We were not given copies of what we signed, but should have taken photos, I know! * cabins/balconies were not properly cleaned. On arrival, we found mandarin peel inside and cigarette butts outside and our children found prescription medication in their cabin!! * staff were pleasant but mostly inexperienced and many couldn't speak English. When we asked about the beverage packages, which we'd received info. about on the Dream letterhead before leaving home, the first 3 people had never heard of such a thing! There ended up being only one Premium Package available, which was very limited and could only be used in certain areas. * gratuity fee which was automatically charged in advance (and I understand is quite standard on all cruise lines) could not be reversed, despite being told prior, that it could be, on request. I would have been very happy to pay, if we received good service, but everything felt like it was a challenge. * Restaurants were often booked out in advance and rather than costing a supplement of around AUD $20-40, as we had been advised by our agent, they were all a la carte and full charges applied. Given the quality of the food in the free buffets (especially breakfast which was particularly bad), we kept trying restaurants, hoping for something better. We fine dining Chinese the most. * Karaoke booths were also heavily booked out, but we managed to find just one time slot available, when we enquired. We had to agree to a minimum spend of food and drinks, but could not use the beverage package once we had hit that limit!! * We were told we could arrange visas for Vietnam on board and wouldn't have to take an excursion to leave the ship, but this was not the case. The excursion in Halong Bay (our only port in the end), went for 6.5 excruciating hours, 5 of which was travel time, with a non English speaking guide.We were charged not only for the excursion itself, but also a late fee for processing of the Visas. When my son asked for a second drink, he was told the charge included only one per person. * Shows had to be pre-booked, so we could not get a seat, when we first arrived for a show and were told we could enter only if there was room, once everybody had arrived. * I settled the accounts for 2 of our 3 cabins the night before we were disembarking, hoping to simplify the process on our last day, only to find new unexplained charges, which we spent 4 hours trying to understand, along with the very complicated billing system, before leaving the ship (in tears) to make our flight back to Australia.... The extra charges on board were 20 percent in excess of what I had budgeted for, based on all the information I had been given, when booking the holiday. All in all, a massive disappointment and far from the relaxing family holiday I thought we were signed up for. By the way, I did give the company the opportunity to address these concerns before writing this review, and they acknowledged some of the downfalls I highlighted, but offered me zero in the way of any compensation or true apology. The bad taste this experience has left me with remains..... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We went on the new Genting Dream cruise ship from dream cruises. (there was no option to pick it above). Dream cruise is just the premium luxury arm of star cruises which has been around for quite some time. The 1 yr old Genting dream ... Read More
We went on the new Genting Dream cruise ship from dream cruises. (there was no option to pick it above). Dream cruise is just the premium luxury arm of star cruises which has been around for quite some time. The 1 yr old Genting dream is the new large luxury cruise ship with the even newer ship the world dream being launched this year We went on a 6 day 5 night Christmas cruise to Indonesia (Singapore-Surabaya-North Bali-Singapore) on a dream deluxe suite. The pricing was quite steep since it was last minute and during Christmas peak season. Firstly, the ship is new and with all facilities new and functioning very well. There is a almost special pools and deck areas reserved for people who get a suite and more premium rooms. The reserved areas are very nice with much less people and crowds. the dining at the special restaurant for the premium suites are also very nice but with a big caveat which I will mention below. Other than that I cant really think of anything else about the experience. Now that we have gotten the niceties out of the way, lets move to the long list of what didnt work.: 1) THere is horrid lack of coordination, boarding was chaotic 2) Even though you get dining for the premium suites at reserved restaurants (palace restaurant) there is frequently insufficient sitting and the staff are extremely overworked. Even for the speciality restaurants, the space availabe is severly limited and there is no way it can accomdate even the premium suite passengers much less the passengers from the other classes. Frequently all the speciality restuarents are fully booked for all the days and meal times right from the first day. I guess this is the worst issue as you literally are forced to go to find food from other paying options due to the severe over crowding 3) The entertainment and programs per day are quite sparse and lacking compared to the competitors like royal carribean. There are very little main shows on the cruise, only one headline act on the first day. Everything else like the carabet show are paying shows and there is really nothing else for complimentary entertainment. That said, dream cruise like star cruises are part of the Genting group which are mainly a casino company. It could be possible the lack of entertainment is due to the greater focus on gambing and casino activities. Maybe in this respect, the ship is less suitable for family cruises and more for gamblers :p 4) The offboarding of the ship was also quite disastrous with total lack of coordination and planning. Most passengers had to wait for very long and there wasnt clear and consistent instructions on how to leave the ship after the cruise All in all, the cruise ship was new and very nice and excellent facilities and food options. The only let down was total lack of proper coordination and even a semblance of a plan to cater for the large passenger complemen. It could be due to the newness of the ship and the crew (i noticed most of them were fresh from school so to speak). Hopefully with more experience and feedback they can improve. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
If you are planning to go on the cruise with children, let me just stop you now. Your kids and you will have a much better time elsewhere. The childcare centre on the ship charges RM20/hour/child. If you have more than one child, it ... Read More
If you are planning to go on the cruise with children, let me just stop you now. Your kids and you will have a much better time elsewhere. The childcare centre on the ship charges RM20/hour/child. If you have more than one child, it would be pretty expensive. Other than the childcare centre, the children have the swimming pool to frolick in and some board games they can obtain from the activity centre. Entertainment for the children is quite limited. Some of the shows require a minimal charge. There are other resorts which offer FREE child activities all day long but they are not on a ship of course. The cabin is adequate. Cosy. The bathroom can be quite challenging when you need to shower your children. The cabin itself is clean, cosy and comfortable. Dining was a little nerve wrecking as most of the time we were greeted with "Sorry maam. We are full house already" To top it off, the closing time was not in accordance with the Star Navigator sheet we received daily outside our room. Most of the time we had to drag our 5 kids up and down just for a meal. Apart from 5 kids, we had 1 senior citizen and 6 adults. So we had 12 in a group. Imagine having to go from one restaurant to another. I would think that if you knew you will be having thousand plus passengers, your restaurants should remain open for an additional half hour or one hour. And you should stick to your opening and closing hours as stipulated on the Star Navigator(for those who do not know what this Star Navigator is...it is a sheet of information with all you need to know about the ship and its activities for the day) Please fill up your drinking water during your meal as once the restaurant closes, it is impossible to get drinking water. You might have to resort to the water fountain located at the side of the bar on deck 9. Please be very careful about leaving your valuables in the cabin. This is because front desk actually gave one of our rooms to a new passenger. We would not have known if someone from our group saw this couple opening one of our rooms. And when we brought this matter up with housekeeping, she just giggled and said that front desk heard her wrongly. I didn't think this matter was funny at all. I cannot imagine the number of times when this happened and no one knew about it. So please keep your valuables with you at all times. The scene at the swimming pool is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The children's pool was packed to the brim. Many passengers tried going in without the proper swimming attire. They were of course, asked to change by the "lifeguards" We found out that these supposed "lifeguards" were not trained to be lifeguards. That is why they do not allow children to go into the adults pool. If someone is drowning, they are not qualified to save them. What horror!!!! This information was shared by the lifeguard to us. We were advised to check out the night before so it would be smoother the following day. All went well until we wanted to pay. We were told the signal was weak. So we could not pay. We were told to come back later or pay the following day. You advise your passengers to check out early but cannot obtain good signal for credit card paying? Check out counter was open till 2am. The next morning, we were asked to be out of the cabin by 8.30am. We only disembarked at about 10am. Almost everyone was bleary eyed. When we asked the staff why it was taking so long...her reply was "I also do not know why its taking so long" This was our first experience on a cruise. I would say it was not unpleasant all the way. There is room for improvement. I just hope the management looks into it seriously. I think majority of the staff are from Philippines. They are a few from China who cannot speak English. I think all staff should be trained to handle any passengers questions. And since this is an international ship, your staff should be able to speak simple proper English. Having said all that, this was my family's experience. It could be different with yours. Bon voyage! Good luck! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was the first cruise when Star Cruise's SuperStar Virgo was home-ported in Shanghai for the first time, which will last till November. And here they offer a standard 7-night cruise to Japan, by standard I mean the world norm, ... Read More
This was the first cruise when Star Cruise's SuperStar Virgo was home-ported in Shanghai for the first time, which will last till November. And here they offer a standard 7-night cruise to Japan, by standard I mean the world norm, when in China the cruises are shorter. And because of the fast cruising speed of this older ship (funny that all competing state-of-art new ships simply cannot do a similar itinerary as they are slower), the visit calls to ports no less interesting than Osaka, Yokohama (Tokyo), Mount Fuji area, and Kagoshima. Thus they aptly call it the 'Golden Itinerary' with a good reason, and the ship sailed virtually full. Embarkation in Shanghai was a bit chaotic but I presume this will settle down soon, as my trip was the inaugural cruise. After a sea day where one can enjoy the multiple offering of restaurants, and entertainment Star is famous for, including Michelin-starred restaurant offers, we arrive the third day at Osaka. There is plenty of time to be ashore, as ship arrive midday and sails almost midnight. The port is easily and conveniently connected by rail to centre of Osaka in 30 minutes. The next arrival was Yokohama, in the afternoon, and again the sail away was near midnight. The Terminal is convenient and has free shuttle to connect with the train, from where Tokyo is only half an hour away. But Yokohama itself is a big port far more than enough for one's exploration for a day. Next call was a small town in the Mount Fuji area. A shuttle bus took more than an hour to reach a big Outlet Mall in the shadow of Mount Fuji. The outlet sells international brand-named products, and for me it is less interesting than the small vendor stalls at the pier. Final call was Kagoshima, where a free shuttle landed us near town centre for shopping again, which suits the Chinese passengers. Or there is plenty of things to do as we had long hours in port. Japanese passengers also come on and off each port. It makes a one week cruise of really interesting ports. Few Westerners are onboard and announcements are in Chinese and Japanese, but English is well-understood. The ship's strong point is food and some spectacular shows, and for a reasonable price it makes an itinerary-rich family holiday.. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
we are based in metro manila and this was the first ever cruise ship based in manila for a while. no planes, hotels needed. superstar virgo is large, she is a ship! still she has a distinctive design not inspired by LEGO as the more recent ... Read More
we are based in metro manila and this was the first ever cruise ship based in manila for a while. no planes, hotels needed. superstar virgo is large, she is a ship! still she has a distinctive design not inspired by LEGO as the more recent floating hotels it was a very filipino cruise, people would join as clans or at least groups or family with children. friends relying on wheelchairs would need to book early. only few cabins are equipped with wide accessible bathrooms. all other venues are very accessible. our cabin was of adequate size for a 5 day cruise and super clean every day. choice of western or chinese free restaurants. limited choices yet perfectly prepared food. great shows every evening. we enjoyed magician vincent vignaud , 1001 night, memory lane. all service ladies/gentlemen, filipino, malay, chinese, indian, nepal and many other worked very hard. no dock at laoag. we just hired a tricycle to visit the church. was fun. i am sure the friendly crew would have assisted friends using wheelchair. still it looked scary. embarkation/disembarkation was a very philippine experiance Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
It's the first cruise ship to embark from Manila might as well go for it. Filipino crew assists us very well in every area of the ship, you get to choose from 3 inclusive restaurants the Genting was our favorite because of their ... Read More
It's the first cruise ship to embark from Manila might as well go for it. Filipino crew assists us very well in every area of the ship, you get to choose from 3 inclusive restaurants the Genting was our favorite because of their Outlet Manager Miss Farra she's really amazing, Some passengers were not aware that they can dine in 3 different restaurant for free.The Navigator where the program for the day was written was of great help for you not to miss any shows or activities , Some passengers were not following the dress code it's quiet dissappointing while others were in their formal suits and gowns others were in shorts and rubber shoes. The shows were entertaining and the bars we spent most of the time to chill you have to pay extra for the drinks. Our cabin was clean and nice. We do the tours on our own but you have to find an english speaking driver/guide. Over all experience it was great because we travelled with our friends and we simply want to have fun and laughed at ourselves. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
They just opened Manila as their new homeport. My previous cruise experience from a different cruise liner left me with a delightful experience so when Star Cruise advertised that they will be opening a new route MNL-LAO-Khaosiung-HK-MNL, ... Read More
They just opened Manila as their new homeport. My previous cruise experience from a different cruise liner left me with a delightful experience so when Star Cruise advertised that they will be opening a new route MNL-LAO-Khaosiung-HK-MNL, we seriously considered it. I cant help but compare. The balcony rooms at the 11 deck were we stayed were quite small and the furnishing were spartan and quite dated. The buffet area(Mediterranean) was set like a cafeteria and not much variety. The cuisine in the seatdown restaurants were Chinese and Western but not very tasty. The only complimentary drinks were water and hot coffee and tea. If you want soda or other juices, you have to pay for it. There was one breakfast morning when I asked for a sugar substitute from a Chinese waitress and immediately she said there is none with out even trying to look for one. Almost all the items were not complimentary. Their gym area is quite spacious but then again if you want to go and do solitary laps in their mini (3 strokes) pool you have to pay for its use. Majority of their crew are Chinese who hardly understand English and clearly show their displeasure if you cant understand them as well. The saving grace for this cruise is their very efficient, hospitable, and always willing Filipino crew. They also put up very good live shows ala "Las Vegas". All in all my experience was just average and maybe I might not be interested in taking a cruise offered by the Star cruises in the future. Read Less
40 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We had low expectations for this cruise. We purchased it last minute and got a good price. The two destinations were Phuket and Krabi, Thailand. Pros: Great swimming pool, room was better than we expected for our budget rate, food was a ... Read More
We had low expectations for this cruise. We purchased it last minute and got a good price. The two destinations were Phuket and Krabi, Thailand. Pros: Great swimming pool, room was better than we expected for our budget rate, food was a little better than average, service was really good, ship entertainment staff were really nice, great deck for running laps (378 meters per lap) Cons: They advertise that they go to Phuket and Krabi, but they drop you off far away from anywhere you want to be. We had to spend over half of our money on taxi's just to get to a decent beach in Phuket and Krabi. We kind of wondered whether the cruise line is getting a kickback from the Thailand government to boost their taxi industry. Others have mentioned that this is a gambling cruise. This is probably true, but it also features alot of adult entertainment like strip shows, etc. We really would prefer to not even have this option aboard. Thailand is bad enough. The shore excursions were pricey. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I took this 7-night cruise Hong Kong-China-Vietnam and it was a most pleasant trip. I have cruised on Star Cruises many times but this cruise is different. Ever innovative (Star Cruises pioneered the freestyle cruising concept, NCL, ... Read More
I took this 7-night cruise Hong Kong-China-Vietnam and it was a most pleasant trip. I have cruised on Star Cruises many times but this cruise is different. Ever innovative (Star Cruises pioneered the freestyle cruising concept, NCL, previously owned by them, is only a follower) but now they are doing non-inclusive meals instead. The idea is not cutting back but it gives cruisers even better free choice. Yes, everything is priced now, but they give each passenger an onboard credit that you can spend what you will, on food, excursions, and purchases. The normally inclusive meals are now priced very reasonably, so that even if you take meals as if inclusive, you may come to spend less than your daily allowance of HKD280 a day. And great that, under a new Executive Chef, the food quality and presentation is improved too. This allowance is for all passengers, but those booking a Balcony cabin or a Suite are further given a set of vouchers good for discount, free meals and drinks. Balcony passenger can order continental breakfast delivered free. The entertainment is the best, not only one of the best, and production shows are large scaled with more dancers and entertainers on stage even than onboard a ship double the tonnage. The ship seems old but refurbished and well-maintained. Because of the new F&B system, people no longer congested in the 'free' outlets but now spread out in the some 10 eating outlets that includes Japanese, Italian, Indian, Southeast Asian and of course Chinese and continental European. There are offering of dishes from well-known Hong Kong Michelin-starred restaurants too. With the choices where to eat, this is a real gourmet cruise not priced at gourmet level. The HKD125 lobster dish is a steal. It turned out to be a more enjoyable and carefree cruise than what I have recently enjoyed on other cruise lines. The trip visits Shekow (Shenzhen) where most passengers embark, then visited Ho Chi Ming City and Nha Thang, both interesting ports but far from the pier. My allowance was adequate to cover the normal food expenses as well as the bus transport. Highly recommended, although sea may be rough in winter. I look forward to their new itinerary from March, from Hong Kong to Kaoshiung (Taiwan) and Manila. Although I do not award a 5-star to this trip, it certainly is 4-star plus and plus trip and I have an experience that exceeds my expectation. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Ship: Well maintained even after so many years and honestly, easy to navigate. For those who are unsure of your location on board the ship, simply look at the colour of the carpet. Red carpet means you're at the front, blue means the ... Read More
Ship: Well maintained even after so many years and honestly, easy to navigate. For those who are unsure of your location on board the ship, simply look at the colour of the carpet. Red carpet means you're at the front, blue means the middle and green is the back of the ship. Overall, ship is clean and neat. Not as big as Royal Caribbean buts till beautiful. Cabin: I would say neat but not really clean(?). I am not sure about the rest, but in my cabin, I found a balloon behind the couch that wasn't picked up and thrown before the new guests' embarkation. Also, the tables & cabinets were dirty. Dirty as in the surfaces of the furniture was dusty. I know the staff cleaning the room are not to be blamed as dust is something rather uncontrollable. However, a small part of me did wonder whether the facilities were even wiped. To add on, the cabin was rather small but at least the room was quite comfortable. I felt at home for the few days I was on board. Dining: My family and I weren't informed that the meals were not free, in a way. Unlike last time when free buffets were given on board by restaurants, this time we actually had to pay for whatever meals we were having. FOR THOSE WHO ARE CRUISING ON THIS SHIP, DO TAKE NOTE. THE FOOD IS NOT FREE. I believe the cruise uses freedom credit and on board credit that you can check using your cruise card. It should be stated on it. If you are unsure, ask the staff. Be very careful of your spending, it is very easy to overspend! Ok, overall, dining is rather good, I would say. I prefer the western cuisine to the Chinese one, even though I'm a Chinese myself. Food from Noble House was kind of oily and my personal favourite is Pavillion. The food gets kind of boring after a few days though, as there were not a lot of variety. Entertainment and activities: There weren't a lot of free shows.... Cruisers have to pay to watch certain shows. Jogging track is okay. Service: Good. Very friendly and approachable. Though there were very few staff that could speak english. Needs more bilingual employees. Excursion: okay. Not very interesting but I did learn more about the country. Didn't have enough time to go shopping as planned. Disembarkation: was a mess, in my opinion. The manager couldn't speak Chinese so the large number of cruisers from china couldn't understand. Those employees from china did not really help the manager either. Staff are rather inexperienced and like I previously mentioned, more bilingual employees needed. Read Less
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