Star Cruises: Day 1 – Welcome Aboard!
After boarding, you can have some photos beside the ship. The entry is not so far so you can really just hand-carry your luggage. There is a welcome photo ops where you get to pose with some actors from the cruise. This photo will then be sold for a “minimal amount” (I was not able to find out how much) later. Then proceed to Deck 7 (Piazza) where they served welcome drinks. Housekeeping was still working on our cabin so we just left our bags and went to Deck 7.
Read the Star Navigator
Every day, there is an issue of Star Navigator, a 4-page reading material that lists all activities for that day. Be sure to read this as it is really helpful. We saw in the Star Navigator that there is a Ship Tour at 4PM so we immediately availed it while waiting for our room to be ready. We were toured to the different important parts of the ship.
The ship is composed of 13 decks (floors/levels). It is divided into 3 parts: Forward (front part), Mid (middle) and Aft (back part). Two sides are the starboard (right-hand side facing forward) and portside (left side).
There is a Welcome Party and BBQ Dinner at the Parthenon Pool. Look for a table first before you get food from the buffet. Join the games and have fun! If the weather is fine, you can observe the beautiful sunset at the Manila Bay. And since it is Saturday in March, there is also the fireworks display in the Mall of Asia.
Later, before the ship sailed, a safety drill was conducted. Now, this is very important. It is observed by the Philippine coast guard. Here, attendance is checked and if you fail to participate, you will do it on the following morning. In your access card, your muster point is indicated. You have to be there so that your attendance will be checked. Also, almost all establishments inside will be closed and activities suspended, while the safety drill is conducted.
I have been asked what the cabin looks like. Even my mother, who I am with, assumed that it is just like a commercial ship where the toilets are common, etc. It is not. The cabin is like a hotel room. In our cabin, we have two beds with comforter, toilet and bath, closet, TV, bottled water (replenished daily), kettle, bottle opener, slippers, towels, hair dryer, toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, lotion, shower cap, sanitary bag) and I heard you can request for a robe.
There is also a safe in the room and three extra pillows (other than the two already in your bed). There is a couch and one chair and bedside lamps, plus the accessibility of the bedside light switch. It is really very comfortable!
Very important to do on your first night:
Buy shorex. This is the tour packages in Taiwan and Japan or wherever the ship will dock. This are limited and are in first come first served basis. If you have not booked online, you have to book right away. If you have booked online, bring the confirmation at Maxim’s at Deck 8. Though, you also have the option not to buy any packaged tour and just DIY your tour.
Book for the Gala night. Don’t waste that beautiful dress! Book immediately for a table on the gala night. There is limited seating. I suggest you book at Star Dining or Lido as it offers international dishes, while the Pavilion only serves Chinese food.
There are three inclusive restaurants. Meaning, these are free and part of the cruise package you have paid for. But sometimes, you have to wait to be seated. So be there early. Also, do not eat more than once for the same meal period weather on the same or different inclusive restaurant as the second and so on meal will be charged to you.
In this sailing there are three inclusive restaurants:
Star Dining – International buffet. I love breakfast here as they served eggs and omelets but you have to tell the waiter that you want one. Coffee is also served by the waiter. Salad bar, breads, fruits, noodles and the main buffet are available.
Pavilion – We only eat here twice (lunch and Gala night) as it is not a buffet setting. They served Chinese food.
Lido – International buffet. This is good for lunch and dinner. This is near the Parthenon pool where they had two BBQ nights.
Taverna – If you are an early riser, enjoy your coffee or tea and breads here. This is at Deck 13, overlooking the Parthenon Pool. But prepare as it is so windy here.
Every night there is a show at the Zodiac Theater. For the first night, the show is “Love Around the World.” I am not a fan of shows or dances but I was so amazed but what I saw. Indeed, it is a world-class show. It is good that you will come early (as in 20 minutes before the show) so you can get a very good seat. It is a 45-minute show and you will love every minute of it. If you can’t catch up the first show at 7PM, there will be another same show in a different time slot.
We ended up the night with the supper at the Lido. We ate some breads, pancit, chicken strips and some coffee. It was a great night and we were so excited for four more nights in this ship.
Watch out for more posts on this trip!