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Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 3: Redang - Singapore

It was our last day on the cruise ship. Didn't do much except restaurant hopping. :D First, we had dim sum at the Pavillion. Yeah, I couldn't get enough of porridge.

Clockwise: Fish congee with dried oyster and chicken floss, deep fried pork ball, butterfly wonton, siew mai and red bean bun

We still had a couple of hours left before reaching Singapore. So we went up to the upper deck and had another mid morning breakfast at the Mediterannean restaurant hehehe...

The Mediterranean restaurant had an outdoor seating area. We could see more and more ships as we got closer to Singapore.

Finally saw some other ships.

We were reaching Singapore.

And we were home.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 2: Redang

This morning we woke up to the dark sky. Oh no... hopefully it didn't rain when we reached Redang.

Dark clouds

First, we headed to The Pavillion, a Chinese restaurant for some dim sum.

Clockwise: Steamed shrimp dumplings, spring rolls, baked century egg puff pastry, dough fritter, pork congee with salted and century eggs, yam bun.

The shrimp dumplings couldn't make it, it was the thickest har kao I've ever had hehehe...

She had the porridge with chicken floss. Yummy!

Afterwards we headed to the Neptune Pool for some fun.

The sky had cleared. It was a beautiful day.

Full speed to Redang. Yay!!

Playing with a water gun in the wading pool.

Warm water in the jacuzzi. It felt so good to soak in here.

Feeling hungry after swimming, we went for lunch at Bella Vista. Let's eat eat eat!

Clockwise: Chicken Caesar wrap with tomato salsa, Hungarian goulash, Roasted Turkey Cobb salad, coffee and vanilla ice cream, semolina chocolate pudding

Kids menu: half portion of chicken caesar wrap and fries

Daughter took a nap after lunch while we were preparing for the excursion to Redang. This morning the ship crew told us that the snorkelling trip to Marine Park was cancelled because of the low tide. The other paid excursion that they had was the open sea diving. Oh... what a disappointment. So in that case, we just followed the crowd to the main island of Redang.

Speedboats to Redang.

Arrived at the Laguna Redang Island Resort

The resort beach

Many street vendors at the beachfront.

Cheap burgers!!

And also free entertainment hehe..

It was pretty happening at the beach. We had a dance party, music playing non stop and many vendors selling snacks. Also, the sand here is very very soft!! It is comparable to the one at Gold Coast, which I think is the softest.

Our daughter was so happy when we brought her to play with the waves. She was so ecstatic going up and down, up and down. The bigger the waves, the happier she was. Even I was a bit worried. :P After we thought she had enough, we left her with our helper at the beach and we tried to do some snorkeling at the rocky areas.

We were pretty lucky that there were some corals near the rocks. Usually when there is a coral, there should be some fish around. We spotted quite a variety of fishes. The area was pretty rocky so we couldn't really swim. Instead we just tried to float around the coral and the fishes swam towards us.

We didn't snorkel very long because the sky suddenly turned very dark and soon after it rained. When the rain started to get heavy, we spotted a baby shark that swam passed us. That is our first!! After that, we quickly went back to the beach and took a cover.

The whole excursion only lasted for three hours. It was definitely not enough for us, not to mention that we failed to visit the Marine Park. Next time we will just fly here and stay for a couple of days.

At night we had our dinner at the Pavillion. Here they also served an ala carte buffet and the food was pretty good.

Clockwise: Braised spinach with oyster sauce, braised sea cucumber, red bean soup with gingko nut, deep fried prawns, rice with preserved meat and salted fish, double boiled fish head and pork stomach soup with salted vegetables

After dinner we went to the Galaxy of the Stars and saw a staircase that goes to the ship navigation room. Why we didn't see it for the first time? The room was totally in the dark.

Computerized navigation system, no more looking via telescope. :P

As a routine, the kid went to bed and we went to watch some performances hehehe.. The first show was a musical and acrobatic show at Lido, followed by singing and dancing at Galaxy of the Stars.

Singing the 80's songs

And saving the best for last, we had a chocolate buffet at the poolside. Wow, it was such a huge turn out.

Chocolate party

We had 13 types of chocolate to choose from. We didn't choose, we just took one each. :D

Chocolate cakes in all shapes and sizes

Sugar overload!!

Well, it was a wise decision to bring some help. If not, we will be stuck in the cabin as early as 8pm and missed all the fun. :P

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 1: Singapore - Redang (Malaysia) by Star Cruise Virgo

Star Cruise Virgo has been docking in Singapore for many years but this is our very first on the cruise ship.  Better late than never!

We chose to go Redang because that was the only destination that we had never been before. Other destinations like Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Malacca didn't sound appealing. Besides, Redang is famous for its coral life, so it seems like a good choice as we like to snorkel.

Star Cruise Virgo

A day before the departure, I went to Star Cruise office at Park Mall to check in because I had read that the queue at the Harbourfront Terminal is usually very long. By doing this, we skipped the check in queue and straight away boarded the ship.

Our cabin was an inside stateroom located at Deck 6 which didn't come with a window. Hubby insisted that it was useless to get a window room since we could just go to the side deck to enjoy the sea breeze. True to his words, we hardly stayed in the room except for sleeping and taking shower. But having said that, I don't mind getting a free upgrade. :P

That's our cabin with a "nice seaview"

The bathroom

After putting the luggage in, we began to explore the ship starting from the upper deck.

Celebrity (Deck 13)

Celebrity is a vodka bar

The Taverna (Deck 13)

Poolview snack bar

Galaxy of the Stars (Deck 12)
I loved it here, during daytime it was empty and quiet so we came here to enjoy the seaview. At night, the place was alive with music and dancing.

Jackpot machines

It was also her favorite place for playing around. :)

Library (Deck 12)
Not sure what kind of books they had in their collection, but we would be too busy to be caught reading a book. :D

Cafe Gelato (Deck 12)

An ice cream parlor

Parthenon Pool (Deck 12)
The pool is such a disappointment. I always imagine that a large cruise ship like this will have a huge pool. But the pool here is really small.

A tiny pool

The slide is too mild, not exciting at all.

Childcare Center (Deck 10)
The child care center provided lots of activities for children but it wasn't free. The rate was $16 per hour. Well, we made the right decision to bring our helper. :P

The arcade games and the childcare center is next to each other. How convenient!

Neptune Pool (Deck 10)

Kids pool

Two mini slides

Wading pool

The Lido (Deck 7 & 8)
Lido is a two storey theatre with the seating capacity of about 800.  It screened movie during daytime and was used to stage performance in the evening.

Many windows seats like this along the corridor of Deck 8. Some seats have unobstructed view.

Our tour came to a halt as it was almost time for dinner and we had to dress up for fine dining. :)

Bella Vista (Deck 6)
A fine dining restaurant that requires diners to wear smart casual. No shorts and slippers is allowed. By the way, it is the only restaurant that has this rule. All other restaurants have no dress code to adhere.

Bella Vista

The dinner was an ala carte buffet and we could choose a Western menu or Chinese menu but not both. At first we ordered one item per course but the service was pretty slow. So on the second round, we ordered more items at one go.

Clockwise: Fried calamari, beef carpaccio, cheesecake, strawberry ice cream and pan fried snapper.

Kids menu: grilled chicken cube with mashed sweet potato and asparagus

Eating on her own :)

Grand Piazza or Main Lobby (Deck 7)
The main lobby is pretty grand with the statue of golden horses and spiral staircases.

Struck a pose with bare feet :D

Daughter was pretty tired by now so we concluded our tour here and sent her and our helper back to cabin. Later we went to watch a magic show at Lido.

The magic show was average. It wasn't anything spectacular as most of the tricks I had already seen it on TV. 

Magic show

The next show we watched was a Thai cultural performance at Galaxy of the Stars.

A Thai Impersonator singing like Beyonce.

The cultural show was a yawn, so we went back to sleep. :P