14th October 2012 to 17th October 2012
I went on a cruise to Krabi & Phuket with StarCruise Superstar Libra last week. I think I was on StarCruise Superstar Gemini before some 10 years ago. So this was my second time cruising with StarCruise. It was quite an enjoyable journey.
We took a bus to Penang and got to the Penang port 30 minutes before 1 pm. Checking in was breezy and before we know it, we were already on board. The cabin was small because it was for twin sharing basis. I remember I was on a quad sharing when I cruised with Gemini and the bed wasn’t even this small! The cabin was just nice for two person. The only grouse is probably the size of the bed. It’s just too small for me. Or perhaps, I should lose some weight! Haha!
Penang bridge view from Penang Port
After freshening up, we went to Deck 10 – the highest deck to check out the scenery. It was scorching hot in Penang so we quickly took some photos and leave!
I still remember when Penang bridge was first opened to the public, many people took the opportunity to snap photos at the bridge. Since we were young, dad used to stop his car illegally at the side and asked us to get down for a quick photoshoot! We didn’t know we could come to Penang Port for this view! Perhaps then, not many people is aware we could see the whole of Penang bridge from this port. I didn’t know the ferry has changed its iconic green color to blue instead.
The cruise started to leave the dock around 5 pm and patrons were invited to participate in a safety drill. Well, I guess after what happened to Costa Concordia in the Italian Strait earlier this year, I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry. I didn’t bring the life jacket out and stroll along with others to huddle together at our designated places of assembly.
After that, we went to Deck 9 for the welcoming party. There was a festive camaraderie at Deck 9, patrons were entertained by beautiful singers and dancers and were asked to join them to dance the evening away. At about 6 pm, we were treated with seafood BBQ and assorted food on board that we couldn’t simply finish in one sitting! Compared to Gemini, I think the food that were offered by Gemini were more international standard. If I remember correctly, I wonder if there were oysters? But I do remember, there were plenty of seafood to go about. One piece of advice, go for dinner after 7.45 pm when the crowd died down. That time, you will have plenty to eat, and place to sit.
Beautiful dancers – Dasha & Dimi
Our first night ended with entertainment on board at Stardust lounge. I truly salute the crew. The men doubled up as lady boys in a comedy skit, at the same time, manning the lighting.. and becoming hosts! And they can dance and sing! These people are truly talented and fun! There are many nationalities working here – Thailand, Philippines, China, Nepal, India, Malaysia, etc.
Reflection of Wat Chalong
The next day, we docked at Phuket Port at 12 noon Malaysian time. We took turns to get down the ship in orderly manner and haggled with the hired vans outside the port. You may hire a van for Rm250 to Rm300 depending on your haggling skills. However, you will need to know where to go because, these vans normally would take you to touristy places to get their petrol chits for the day – the cashew nuts factory, the bee farm and also the jewelery place. We took interest in the cashew nuts factory and bee farm but not, the jewelery. We stop by Wat Chalong after that and went for lunch. After lunch, we were taken to Robinson and the Big C shopping mall – where you could get groceries or for the ladies, underwear at cheaper prices. I only bought some Glico bread sticks – ham & cheese flavor as well as larb ( I think it’s minced pork flavor, looking at the photos). After that, we insisted to go to Patong Beach, much to the van driver’s chagrin. He insisted that, it’s not worth it to spend our money there because the prices are much higher compared to town. He was right. However, I think we quite like Jungceylon, the new shopping mall and the short distance walk to the beach.
Beautiful Poda Island, and can you see the StarCruise ship?
On the third day, we cruised to Krabi and got off the ship at 10.30 am and went island hopping to Phranang Bay, Poda Island, Chicken Island and the connecting islands of Mor and Tub – which seemed to be everyone’s favorite. My favorite is probably Phranang Island. It was a very short shore, but since it’s near the princess cave – the place is rather shaded and good to swim in. If you want to go to Poda Island, the landing part of the island is rather dirty. You should bring a mat for a short picnic – find a cleaner spot around the island. It has a good photo opportunity too. Beware of spiky sea urchins though! A colleague’s husband stepped on one and he grimaced in pain, all the way back to the ship!
We were treated to a good gala dinner with 4 course western meal on the last night on cruise. I chose the salmon and tuna appetizer, the herbal mushroom soup, beef medallion steak and finally, tiramisu. I guess to make the dinner even more perfect, we ordered two bottles of Asti Martini to complete the perfect night. You can get the wine with a really good price of only RM187 for two bottles! So, bottoms up!
All in all, it was truly a relaxing and enjoyable trip. For more photos, check it out here.