It was a fine day to set sail, but we do it in style so instead of just riding a run of the mill boat we're so used to in the Philippines, it was my first time to ride in a cruise ship. Yes, there actually exists one which docked at the South Harbor of Manila. Meet Star Cruise's Superstar VIRGO. This almost 76,000 ton ship will now be making Manila as it's home port in March so it could cater to Filipinos, other nationalities who would want to travel to Japan and Taiwan even without a Visa, and we're not even joking!
The promise is to take you on a cruise ship for 6 days and 5 nights so you could go to summer destinations from Manila to Naha and Ishigaki in Okinawa Japan, then Keelung Taiwan starting on March 5, 2018.
Ms. Andre Solis Manzano says “The ship will be back here in March 5, and we are very happy to announce that Star Cruises called Manila home last year together with Hong Kong and Kaoshung with the help of the Department of Tourism. The itinerary will include Manila, Naha Japan, Keelung Taiwan, then back to Manila. We will have 18 sailings, you’ll have 6 meals a day, luxurious accommodations, our swimming pool, gym, entertainment for kids and adults. You’ve seen that a while ago. This would be a perfect way to celebrate your summer with your family, barkadas, office mates, on these unique sailing days. We have theme dates The Greatest Hits from March 5-10, The PBA Legends from March 30-April 4, Labor Day Party Cruise from April 29-May 4 with Patty Tiu and Tom Taus. On May 9-14, we have Mothers Day Cruise with Daryl Ong. We also have PORORO The Little Penguin, which will also be experienced by Filipinos if they choose to go to Star Cruises Superstar Virgo!”
Chef Chong Hooi Chua their Executive Chef says “Normally we serve what we forecast but we know how unpredictable people coming on board. We replenish our supplies in Shanghai and Japan, fresh products included and we chill them according to shelf life, we have facilities here. We don’t run out of them because we stock more than what we need. Every location, we change the menu and I’ve been in the country for a while so in the Philippines it’s mostly western and something to pair with rice. It’s a hard task for doing it for 2000 people, we have 130 chef’s to also work with us and more than 20 kitchens that can produce dishes at the perfect temperature, we also carry small kitchens in some stores. I oversee all food standards, 6 meals a day but we do it right. We have all of them stored in decks, not easy but we do it. We have Filipino Chefs too and they work quite hard. Around 55%”, they are hard working and work hard for their families.”
|This is the ship up close. Isn't it huge?|
|I also saw the one and only minister of defense Jerry Codnieñera who with his PBA compatriots will hold basketball clinics for Dads and their kids as a bonding activity during the Superstar Virgo's themed weeks (probably to celebrate Father's Day!).|
The ship was huge, you could tell by this restaurant which has a huge seating capacity. It's got very detailed walls, murals, paintings, all for a fine dining experience while you are on deck. I knew we were going to enjoy the food too!
|For starters we had frisee, salmon with caviar and proschiutto wrapped asparagus with shaved cheese and a little truffle oil.|
|This one is Mushroom Soup done the right way. They also had it on a bowl with baked filo dough, all hand made.|
One of the highlights of the cruise for me was the Lobster Thermidore. You see, I'm allergic to shellfish and certain crustaceans, but if it's lobster I'm taking medicine before and after having it LOL. It was darn good and totally worth every morsel. It was warm and creamy.
This was sea bass I think enveloped in rich soy glaze. I chose the steak for the main course (which was super good by the way!) but this was also good according to the people beside me.
The desserts were heavenly. Tons of chocolate pralines, bonbons, ice cream, fruits, that log on top had marshmallows, you'll go to heaven and back to the sea. Now imagine, this is just one of the many restaurants they have on deck (they have 25 I think) so whatever tickles your fancy, you can have it on the ship!
We were then lead to the Zodiac Theater which was also HUGE, they went in and showed us what kind of entertainment we could enjoy while we were there.
Michael Co of Star Cruises says “This is not my first time in the Philippines, I have old friends here and it’s great to be back. The Genting Cruise Line and Star Cruises welcomes you to the Superstar Virgo. This return is like coming home, we are really excited about it. Today we look forward to our engagement here in March. It is our goal to make this our contribution to tourism in the country and we will continue to work closely with the DOT and other local agencies as we bring Superstar Virgo to your shores. This is a fleet of 6 vessels that will now include the country as a destination. From Okinawa Japan, Taiwan, you cam embark on new adventures with no Visa required. Thank you for joining us today and enjoy your day!”
There were European acrobats who showed us a thing or two about flying in the air and how strength plays into it. I mean look at the guys pecs, I don't want to work out anymore after seeing this LOL.
Oh and did I mention that one of the themed cruises will also have PORORO and his friends because it's just gonna be a good time with kids and the whole family in Superstar Virgo, that's crazy but I enjoyed when he came out to the stage hahah!
So in a nutshell, it's going to be a good themed cruise party everytime they set out sail. You just need to do the legwork in finding cool people, good food to be with. Oh wait let me show you the rooms!
They showed us around and got is to decks 7 and 9 so we could take a look at the rooms. On our way there, we saw a couple of restaurants and their central ballroom where most of their events and socials happen. Check this out!
This was the Chinese restaurant, if you want to be more fancy and less people you could dine here instead. There are restaurants that are not part of the package, but you get what you pay for.
Want to shop? Don't worry because their lobbies are filled with small kiosks so in a sense, you've got your own little mall in the ship too.
This is the center of the ship, it's super grand and there's a band who regularly plays here. During our visit they made sure to play Manila sound, of course, they also have very talented Filipino bands to do it too.
I forced them to participate in my Elevator selfie, if you want to get from one deck to the other, this is the way to go. They also have stairs like in Titanic, all wooden and posh. Then we headed on to some of their bars.
I was trying to look for the sign, but found this projected on the red carpet itself. Again, the bar had Filipino musicians in it and they comprise a majority of the workforce, so you'll feel right at home wherever you dock.
For those who didn't bring cash, they also accept Alipay on the ship, so Alibaba fans won't have any issues if they needed a drink or two.
Just right at the right corner of the bar is a Humidor lounge. So if you fancy a cigar or two, you can smoke here.
The seats are all fancy!
This one is a library. Yes it is a functioning one and they've got lots of books which you can borrow while on the ship. They've got lots of seating too so if you want to be a little alone time, this would be a great venue!
They've also got a jacuzzi which are indoors. But check out this deck at the center of the ship. It's like Greece in the middle of the ocean.
They also have a swimming pool, more outdoor jacuzzi's and day beds so you can bask in the heat of the sun and get your tan.
We went a couple floors down to see the suites and cabins where most of the people stay. All 4-5,000 of them!
The Cayman Suite (Executive) is intended for 3 people. It's got good beds, your own private jacuzzi, and a spectacular view on your own balcony.
The hallways are just super long, it's actually tiring to walk from end to end.
The Balcony Cabin on the other hand can fit 4 people, ample room for sleeping and leaving your things. This is the practical choice if you want to just eat and sleep while you have 6 meals everyday inside the ship.
And of course if you dock in Manila, you'll love the sunset which you could only see in Manila Bay. This is the port in the South Pier of Manila located just behind the Manila Hotel.
Thank you to the kind people who served us curry when we passed by this restaurant. They have mediterranean and south asian specialties also served here.
This man was just showing off. He had the teppanyaki table and decided to do a show for us, it's one of the more private restaurants inside the ship.
For the rooms, you also have butler services so don't be too worried about not being pampered. Wether you are inside the ship or arranged to have tours in Japan or Taiwan, you will get the same kind of service and even MORE fun at the Superstar Virgo. They currently have sailings to Naha Japan and Keelung Taiwan, while the other is from Ishigaki Japan then Keelung Taiwan.
Their promo fares for cabin categories range from US Dollars 570 - 1365 on low season while mid season ranges from US Dollars 640 - 1607 depending on what cabin you are going to get. These rates are only valid until February 28, 2018. This would be the perfect gift for your whole family. You may call +6328366080 if for reservations and inquiries. You may also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and there are nice people who would be able to answer your inquiries. Hurry because as I said it will only happen from March 5 up until May 29. Don't get left behind!
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