Cruise Articles - Cruise Reviews : Tips for Star Cruises (2)
by Byron Clayton
Tips for Cruising aboard Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo (Part 2)
Byron Clayton has completed four cruises on Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo and here continues his list of 11 great insider tips to enhance your own trip on the SuperStar Virgo.
6. Express check-out
An often overlooked detail is the option to arrange an express check-out. In order to do this, you need to fill out a small form and present it to guest services along with your credit card. They will pre-charge your credit card $500 Singapore dollars at the end of the cruise they will true up your account (only charging what you actually used less any cabin credit you have). This will save you huge headaches and avoid you needing to stand in a massive line on your last day. We have done this on all of our cruises and have always been charged correctly. Usually, we do this on the first day or after breakfast on the 2nd to get it out of the way as soon as possible.
7. Upstairs for the show
Another perk provided to Balcony passengers is the option to sit on the second level of the Lido theatre – upstairs on deck 8, entrance on the starboard side just past The Taj (North Indian restaurant). Seating is first come, first served for Balcony guests in the box seats. This is a great place to see the show and you will have more legroom and space to stretch out.
8. Eat like royalty
Star Cruises was the first major cruise line to de-bundle the cruise experience and introduce an array of extra tariff specialty restaurants – an industry first. In addition to the 3 no-charge restaurants, there are 6 specialty restaurants for an extra fee; The Taj, Noble House, Samurai, Palazzo, Taverna and Blue Lagoon. Additionally, room service is also chargeable. Our favourite is the supremely elegant Palazzo restaurant complete with Versace crockery. The Taverna perched high above the ship is a great place for cocktails and one of the Best Burgers at Sea. If you want to get away from other passengers on-board, both of these restaurants are great places to spend your balcony cabin credit.
For those who would like to partake in adult beverages (beer, wine, other) during the cruise, on the first day, some special drink packages will be available. The most popular is a wine package which the staff will be extremely happy to tell you about (balcony credit can be used for this as well as other alcoholic drinks and food). There is also a little known drinks coupon package that can be purchased (6 or 12 coupons at a time) during the first day but you need to ask for it. The coupon package can be used for can beer (Tiger), wine by the glass (house red or white), sodas, juices, etc. If you plan to drink a lot, this can come in very handy and save you a few bucks but you cannot apply balcony credit for this. Each day there will be drink specials offered at Taverna on Deck 12. Some of the deals can be quite good (towers of beer, pitchers of long island ice tea, etc).
10. Find tranquillity
On a busy ship, sometimes you just want to find a place where you can read a book, write a letter, have a quiet drink or just stare out at the endless sea. Here is our list of secret hideaways where you can find peace and quiet (with a few pictures for reference).
Starting at the very top of the ship, Deck 13 – Star Deck, you can find deck chairs outside of Celebrity Disco that are rarely ever used. Depending on the time of day, you can hide from the sun under shade or get a great tan.
At the opposite end of the same deck, the Heli Pad behind the funnel offers another location with rarely more than 6 people to found. This is another great spot to take photos or just look around when leaving port.
On Deck 12 forward, in the Galaxy of the Stars at the front of the ship, there are sitting areas above the bridge wings which provide incredible views down the entire side of the ship as well as forward. This area is technically called the Observatory. At the very front of the Observatory, there is an old style bridge mock-up complete with ships wheel and antique sailing instruments. If you look closely, you will notice that there are monitors located here that show one of the ships radars and give an overview of heading and speed (great stuff for ship junkies).
Of course, one of the coolest features not to be missed is just next to the bandstand at the front of Galaxy of the Stars. There is a spiral staircase that descends to the Captain’s Bridge Viewing Gallery.
On the same deck, you can also find the Library and Café Gelato (Swensen’s ice cream). Towards the end of the cruise, these two locations can also be great places to hang out after the initial novelty of exploring the ship wears off.
Further down the ship on Deck 8, Bellini bar has two of our favourite hideaways. On either side of the ship, two secluded alcoves exist with a few seats and great views of the sea. These prized seats are a wonderful place to relax and read or have a cocktail and watch the setting sun.
On Deck 7 – Promenade Deck, if you go outside near the Grand Plaza, you can find wooden steamer deck chairs in immaculate condition. For those wanting to avoid the sun, these are great places to read a book, nap or just watch the ocean pass beyond your feet. There are not many so if you plan to snag one or two, get there quick (usually after breakfast is a good time).
And finally, do not forget to spend time on your own veranda!
11. Go with the flow
Attitude is everything and being relaxed and expecting things to not always go as you plan will be essential to enjoying your vacation. Remember to smile and be courteous to the staff. Not all passengers on Star Cruises exhibit polite manners and investing the time to get to know the staff will ensure better service.
The Last Word – the SuperStar Virgo is a beautiful ship that is superbly maintained and Star Cruises offers a great value-for-money cruise vacation. Remember to stay relaxed, go with the flow and plan ahead. Hopefully our 11 tips for having an awesome cruise aboard the SuperStar Virgo will benefit you as much as they have us. Keep on cruising!
(These insider tips began in Part 1)
Photos courtesy Byron Clayton
For more in formation on Star Cruises visit www.starcruises.com/
Byron Clayton has been a freelance writer and passionate cruiser since 1984. He started the website Clayton Shipping in 2007, with a focus on ship appreciation in Asia. Byron has been living and traveling extensively in Asia for the last 10 years and he regularly publishes articles on shipping in Asia, UK and US.
Byron lives in Singapore with his wife and their two Pugs.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org