|The magnificent SUPERSTAR VIRGO|
(Don't miss the cable car crossing over the cruise ship)
During the Diwali holidays in November 1999, we went on a trip to Singapore. There was my husband Venkat, myself, our kids, Vinitha (14 years) and Vignesh (10 years) who went on the trip. And there were Suresh and his wife Madhu, friends of ours. This was my first trip abroad and I was really excited.
|That's Venkat & me on the moving ramp that took us directly into the cruise ship|
My husband had booked us on the luxury cruise on SuperStar Virgo for four days. At first, I was not too keen as I was more interested in sightseeing. Little did I know the kind of experience we were about to embark on.
|That's me relaxing in the lobby of SUPERSTAR VIRGO with the welcome drink|
My kids were totally excited and my son had studied the ship’s map thoroughly even before we left Mumbai. After spending three days in Singapore, we boarded the ship. It was just AMAZING! There is no other word to say. The entrance was like that of a five-star hotel and the décor was quite magnificent. The ceiling of the hall was four stories high and we were just thrilled to step on to the plush carpet and accept the welcome drinks. I just sank into one of the luxurious sofas there and stared around in awe.
|That's Vinitha on the staircase leading off the lobby to the decks above.|
The lobby was four floors high and simply gorgeous
There were three elevators with glass walls that looked over the reception area. In a few minutes we were whisked into one of them and taken to the tenth floor – the one that has rooms with balconies. This is where we spent the nights of the next few days.
|That's Vini & Viggy posing in their bathrobes at the balcony off our cabin |
on the 10th floor of SUPERSTAR VIRGO
The cabin could be best described as minuscule but with all the facilities possible. There was a double-bed, another sofa-cum-bed that could be opened up during the night for my children. The wash area was divided in three. You enter the main section with a washbasin with a huge mirror and towel racks, hair-dryer and anything that one would require in a washroom. On the left was the toilet and on the right, the shower cubicle. Gorgeous liquid soap and shampoo were available to use in the shower that could be set at perfect temperatures to suit the most difficult person.
|I could not resist clicking a picture of the cute attached bathroom|
We ensured that we got our luggage all in before taking a round of the ship.
The ship, the size of a small town, had thirteen floors in all, with three of them submerged inside the sea. There were eight restaurants, including a branch of the Taj Group. Then there was the Mediterranean Restaurant that served food and beverages round the clock.
Luckily for me, there was a lot of vegetarian food available even as the delicacy most on demand was the octopus. They ran out-of-stock pretty soon into the trip. And the coffee was oh-so-deh-licious! It took me ten days to get used to the filter coffee back home after tasting the coffee there over just four days.
|That's Venkat, me and our friends Suresh and Madhu Shetty at the Taj Restaurant on SUPERSTAR VIRGO|
There was an auditorium that could seat about 500 people and we watched a wonderful floor show there. There was a discotheque where I danced to my heart’s content along with my kids before the late night crowd arrived. One night we went to the Karaoke Lounge and another was spent at the casino.
The ship had a gorgeous library with a stylish selection of books and stuffed chairs to relax with books. There was this shopping arcade that sold everything from electronics to clothes and jewellery to accessories and make-up. There was a card room, a gym, a sauna, a few Jacuzzis, a huge swimming pool and another small one for kids. We all had a great time at the pool while I did not have the guts to let go of the railing as I don’t have much confidence with my swimming skills although I had learnt the skill from a professional coach. :)
|Vinitha on the top deck (13th floor) of SUPERSTAR VIRGO|
There was a live band to entertain the swimmers while we sipped on exotic drinks and munched on yummy snacks.
The breakfasts, lunches and dinners were wonderful with mouth-watering desserts that I liked best of all.
We got off the ship twice, one-day trips to Phuket, Thailand and Langkawi, Malaysia. But I realise that the smartest thing would have been to stay back on board and explore the SuperStar Virgo as we could not manage to see the whole ship during our trip as it was so huge.
|That's Vignesh on the water slide at the water park for kids on the cruise ship|
The best part was when I sat on the easy chair on our balcony late into the night, watching the dark blue sea and a sky full of stars, all by myself. I could not get myself to sleep as I felt that it was a waste of time as there was so much to see. I just relaxed on the balcony, enjoying the sea breeze and the tangy salt of the wide open ocean that surrounded us from all sides.
I am so glad that my husband was very insistent about going on this cruise that was an experience of a lifetime.