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ruthdelacruz | Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Ruth dela Cruz is a travel and lifestyle blogger in the Philippines. She loves writing about her travels. Drop her a note at admin@ruthdelacruz.com. The internet knew her as @ruthilicious.

Snaps @ruthilicious

December 22, 2018

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

Life sailed me into a new adventure and cruised through a different experience.

I went to my first official cruise! I say, it was official because the first time I went on a cruise was during our Greece Travel where we tried the Day Cruise and visited different islands. While my first experience inside  a ship was during a High Seas Sailcation with Star Cruises' SuperStar Virgo 





My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

Related Read: sailcation on high seas with superstar virgo + travel visa-free
greece travel: hydra, poros and aegina day cruise from athens

Star Cruises is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong, a leading global leisure, entertainment and hospitality corporation. A pioneer in the Asia Pacific cruise industry, Star Cruises has been operating its fleet since 1993, taking on the bold initiative to grow the region as an international cruise destination with a fleet of five vessels including SuperStar Virgo, SuperStar Gemini, SuperStar Aquarius, Star Pisces and The Taipan.

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

 SuperStar Virgo welcomed me once again to an exciting cruise where we visited countries like Vietnam and China. I was both excited and hesitant to go - maybe it is the kind of vacation that I try to avoid. But I packed my luggage and said yes to this new experience.

Star Cruises' SuperStar Virgo theme during our cruise is Spider Man

Spiderman Cruise

What to Prepare Before the Cruise

1. Passport and photo copies of your bio page. Your passport should be at least 6 months valid. Visa is not required when you are visiting countries as part of a cruise/shore excursion. 

2. Prepare your mind and body. The first day and night of the cruise might be a little challenging as your body and brain would adjust to the motion. I heard about Sea Bands that one of the staff was wearing during the cruise. They press against your pressure points and help keep sea sickness at bay. You may also bring medicines to prevent motion sickness. Make sure that you get enough sleep before the cruise and do not take alcohol before embarkation.

3. Bring your spare local currencies or activate your credit card for international travels. If you have spare local currencies from your previous visits, bring them during the cruise as you can use them to buy stuff at the local stores during shore excursion. 

For SuperStar Virgo, the ship currency is in HKD. You can exchange money inside the ship - but personally, I prefer using my credit card for purchases (not much of a big loss on currency exchange and I do not get left with spare local currencies). 

4. Your Packing List. It is safe to pack resort casual wear and two sets of outfits per day. Always check the weather of your destinations to determine what kind of clothing you would bring for each shore excursion.

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

Sharing some essentials I always pack for travels:

Jacket - I  always bring jacket every travel - but the temperature inside the ship can be very cold - it would be good to pack another set. 

Formal/Dressy Outfit - Men can go for suit, or slacks and button-down polo. Women can think of the "Sunday Best". There is a Gala Night on your last night in the ship. It would be just a simple dinner with a fun performance by the ship crew. It is always nice to dress nicely. 

Sleepwear - comfortable and something you would not be ashamed to be seen wearing in case of emergency 😀😀😀

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

Swimwear - there is a pool, sauna and spa inside the ship. You have to take advantage of these facilities!

Sunscreen and skin care - treat the cruise as if it is a travel and staycation. Your cabin will be provided with the usual toiletries (but they do not replenish them everyday. There is an additional charge for extra set). Bring your skin care holy grail!

Sanitary Pads - girls, always bring a pack. Stuff inside the ship can be a little too pricey. 

Your gadgets and chargers  - I  always bring work wherever I go (meaning, I bring my camera, smartphone and laptop). Make sure that you bring your chargers with you especially if you have really unique gadgets (like mine!). I lost my type C charger during the shore excursion. I have to remind myself to always bring a spare one in my luggage during trips.

WIFI - you can buy wifi package inside the ship that costs around HKD 505 for 6 days. Or bring your own portable WIFI so you can still get connected even during Shore Excursion.

You can rent a Tep Wireless Device via this link.
You may use my code: RUTHILICIOUS for 10% discount

tepwireless discount code

5. Bring your favorite comfort food! During the cruise, I craved for a bag of Cheetos! Bring your comfort food with you. 

Boarding and Embarkation

Boarding the ship is the same as that of boarding an airplane.  Always double check your port embarkation. You need to check in your luggage (passengers are only allowed 1 check in luggage) and go through the immigration.

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

You will be given a card (DON'T LOSE IT!). You will need it to get inside the room, access facilities, pay for your purchases inside the ship, and for disembarking to port destinations and returning back to the ship.

Star Cruises Access Card
Star Cruises Access Card


Make sure that you keep a copy of your passport with you, as passports would be collected upon entry to the ship and would be given back to you after the sail. 


My Cabin 

SuperStar Virgo offers 4 different room types:  Inside Cabins, Oceanview Cabin, Balcony Cabin, and Suite. 

I was assigned to a Balcony Cabin which I was originally set for me to share with another roomie, but for the entire trip, I got to enjoy the room by myself. 

The room is good for 2 adults and 2 kids, or maybe 3 adults. 


My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo


My cabin has 2 single beds, sofa (which can be converted into another bed), TV, dresser, safety box and the usual ammenities like coffee and tea, bottled water, shower and toilet with toiletries and hot & cold shower. The best thing about the room is the view. I love looking at the sea in the morning while having coffee (I kind of miss it now just by typing this blog entry). 

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

Do not, however be discouraged if you feel that you cannot afford a nice balcony cabin just yet. SuperStar Virgo has a really decent Inside Cabins and you would mostly spend your day outside the room anyway.  If you have extra budget, you go for the Suite Room.


My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo


Things to Do Inside the Cruise Ship

On the day of the embarkation, make sure that you attend the Safety Drill/Briefing (you would receive a memo and be required to attend the makeup class if you miss this!!! ). This is very important to know how to properly wear the lifevest (this one is different from that of the airplane) and where to assemble in case of emergency. 


My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

After the briefing, make sure that you go to the BBQ Party/Welcome Dinner.

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

The first day of the cruise is usually spent sailing to the destination country for the shore excursion. 
Take advantage of the services inside the cruise. Some are FREE which you need to sign up for or book in advance. You will receive a newsletter everyday in your room that lists all the activities and itinerary for the day.

Gym
Golf
Pool
Sauna
Casino
KTV
Library
Arcade Room
Kid's Room
Duty Free (be alert on the Flash Sale that they announce - usually happens from 2 to 4 PM at Deck 8)

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

Some of the activities that we joined include:

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
Sushi Making
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
I would never get hungry inside the ship!
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
The Bridge Tour where we got to meet the captain and learned more about sailing
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
Kitchen Tour!
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
Special Holiday Concert by Manila Philharmonic Orchestra
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
... that ended with a fun disco afternoon.

Every night, we attend the nightly show in Zodiac Theater that features magic and acrobat shows. We have seen Love Around The World,  Mystical Land, Vincent Vignaud Magic Show - Spirit and the adult-only topless show Goddess. 

I thought that I would get bored while sailing and I decided to bring my laptop and "work", but I ended up enjoying the cruise ship (despite its constant rocking). I think we spent most of our time eating. It is true that you get to eat 6 times a day in a cruise!

Blue Lagoon
Palazo
Pavilion
Samurai
Silk Road
The Taj
Cafe Gelato
Celebrity
Coffee Nook
Star Dining Room
The Lido

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

My favorite dining experience at the SupeStar Virgo is the Japanese Cooking Demo at the Samurai Restaurant. I love the live performance and showmanship that shows the chef's creativity, skills and wit. The food is cooked right in front of you - and everything tasted so good!

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo


Shore Excursion: Vietnam and China

Shore excursion is when cruise ships dock in port for a couple of hours giving cruise passengers the opportunity to explore the land. This sounded so exciting after spending almost 2 days in ship!

During our SuperStar Virgo trip, there is already a booked tour that was arranged for our team. Passengers have the option to explore on their own or join group tours. Just make sure that you return to the ship before it started sailing again. 

Before Disembarkation: 

Make sure that you have exchanged local currency (if you are planning to buy from local stores that do not accept credit card).
Bring your access card and copy of your passport. 
Fill out necessary forms required by the immigration of the destination country. 
Wear appropriate clothing based on the weather (it was cold in Vietnam when we arrived).
Take note of the time difference of the destination country and the ship's time

Here are some snaps from our #SuperStarVirgo cruise Shore Excursion as lifted from my Instagram:




A post shared by R U T H D E L A C R U Z (@ruthilicious) on




A post shared by R U T H D E L A C R U Z (@ruthilicious) on

I have previously been to Vietnam and China (Beijing), so it is awesome to have experience different parts of these two countries. 

Gala Night and Dinner

Gala Night happens during the last night on board where the captain would join guests and introduce the ship's crew. It usually starts with a cocktail and dance presentation at the Reception / Deck 7 and is followed by Dinner (at the restaurant of your choice). Our host already arranged and reserved tables for us at the Star Dining. I suggest that you make your reservation before hand. 

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

This time around, I skipped the cocktails (went for a sauna instead) and attended the dinner after.

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
PH Media Team

Disembarkation and Checking Out

The night before the disembarkation, you would receive a note/letter in your cabin with luggage tags. You need to prepare your luggage and leave them outside your cabin for collection (usually between 9;00 PM to 11:00 PM). Make sure that you already set aside the clothes and toiletries that you would need for the night and the following morning. 

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo


Settle your outstanding bills at the reception area (Deck 7). During the cruise, all purchases that you made inside the ship will be charged using your access card. If you are sharing room with a friend, settle the bill together so you can compute your purchases accordingly.

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
photo grabbed from Ms Jenny Cheng

Buy Your Printed Photo Souvenir. You can go and visit the Photo Area at Deck 8 to purchase your photo souvenir. I heard that you can even choose a background. 

Collect your passport. 

Go for the Health Safety Check. You would receive a yellow card that you would need to fill out - then proceed to the designated Deck for the quick scan (you basically would just walk through a scanner. You can do your Lava Walk if you wish).


My First Cruise Experience

I am glad that I have experienced cruising even before I even hit the retirement age. A cruise sailcation is the type of vacation that is relaxed and easy. Contrary to how we perceived cruising as only for the more older travelers, we saw groups of millennials during our cruise - as well as young families and couples. 

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

I enjoyed the cruise even if I lost sense of time and space. It is a different experience to be inside a vessel in a middle of nowhere, maybe between the stars and waves. 

The experience was made more memorable with new friends that I got to travel with. Thank you guys for the photos and for the fun memories! 
Thank you so much SuperStar Virgo for having me again!


My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo
photo grabbed from Ed Uy

Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

Check these awesome themed cruise by SuperStar Virgo before its final sail!

Festive Cooking Cruise with Celebrity Chef Sandy Daza
Departure date: December 14 to 19, 2018
Destinations: Ho Chi Minh and Nha Trang, Vietnam

Celebrity Chef Sandy Daza, also known as host of TV shows’ FootPrints and Casa Daza, will host cooking demonstrations on how to perfect his most-loved signature dishes perfect for the coming holiday festivities.  As a toting dad of four young adults, Chef Daza will also share his personal tips and experiences on how best to bond with children, especially if it’s over the love for food and cooking, all the while cruising through the wondrous country of Vietnam.

 Vacation at Sea with Bro. Bo Sanchez
Departure date: December 19 to 24, 2018
Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang, Vietnam

 Presented in partnership with Executive Resources, Inc., world-renowned best-selling author, entrepreneur, and preacher, Bo Sanchez will bring a unique flavour to this holiday sailing to Vietnam with inspirational sessions aimed to bring out the best you during the most wonderful time of the year. Guests onboard will also be treated to special daily masses mirroring the Filipino Simbang Gabi tradition scheduled throughout the cruise.

My First Cruise Experience: Packing List, Things to Do Inside the Ship + Themed Cruise by SuperStar Virgo

 Celebrations at Sea
Departure dates: December 24 to 29, 2018 and December 29, 2018 to January 3, 2019
Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang, Vietnam

Treat yourself and your family to the ultimate gift of a magical Christmas and New Year’s celebration onboard the festive cruises of SuperStar Virgo. Make merry and memorable your family celebrations on the high seas, as the ship will not only be decked in full festive designs, but also provide once-in-a-year activities fit for the biggest holiday celebration at sea!

 Grand Finale Cruise
Departure date:  January 3, 2019
Coron, Puerto Princesa, Kota Kinabalu

 Vacationers can also choose to embark from Manila to explore amazing tropical destinations with SuperStar Virgo, with the special 5-Night Coron / Puerto Princesa / Kota Kinabalu grand finale cruise with a single departure on 3 January 2019 to commemorate the completion of her seasonal deployment in the Philippines early next year.

Check out the SuperStar Virgo Hot Deals nnd Promos

Book your holiday cruise through any local travel agency or 
visit http://bit.ly/SuperStarVirgoinManila. For inquiries, call (02) 836-6080


Follow me @ruthilicious


I hope you find this post helpful! 
Feel free to drop comments or questions and I will try to answer them. 😊😊😊

Thank you for always following my adventures and for joining me through my Instagram Stories!!! I hope you enjoy them as much I do! 😘
Until the next adventure! 



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