Last March, I, Mr. Eats, wrote about my first-ever EATSperience of being on board a cruise ship. I really enjoyed it and I really wanted to go again and EATSperience a full on cruise trip. Luckily, just this past week, I was invited to go on board SuperStar Virgo once again! I thought it was a dream or even a prank when I received the message that I was going on a 5-night cruise. It just felt so surreal, hehe! Well, enough about being overly dramatic. It was a dream come true for me. Imagine being on a trip where everything you eat is literally free while still being able to do so many things because of all the activities and amenities. Everything just seems so perfect, right? To find out if it is indeed a perfect EATSperience, make sure to keep on reading about my Star Cruises – 5 Nights on board SuperStar Virgo EATSperience!
Day 1 with Star Cruises – SuperStar Virgo!
Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo is still at “home” in Manila’s Pier 15. This cruise EATSperience of mine took the Halong Bay, Vietnam to Sanya, China route. This trip was 1st of the last 7 SuperStar Virgo trips from Manila this season. There will be trips this coming December 19-24, 24-29, December 29-January 3, and January 3-8, 2019. Make sure to check out their website for more details.
It was surprisingly a way smoother check-in and immigration process this time compared to what I experienced back in March. I would like to commend all the staff of the Manila port, Star Cruises, and the Immigration in making it so seamless for travelers. I was in my room in no time and my bag was already there when I arrived. Awesome job, Star Cruises!
Same as last time, I shared a Stateroom with Balcony Cabin with Richie Zamora of The Pickiest Eater in the World. And yes, our beds were together, haha! The room was still very nice and well-maintained. The last set of travelers went down just a few hours before we boarded that’s why I love the fact that the cleaning staff can clean the rooms in such a short period of time. Thanks to all the cleaning staff of SuperStar Virgo for keeping our room fresh and clean during the whole trip!
The room with a view! If you’d be going on a cruise trip with Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo, I would suggest you go get a room with a balcony. Why? Well, it’s to appreciate the view and get some air every once in a while. Also, it’s a great way to just know where you are already. All in all, the Stateroom with Balcony is a value for money room that’s perfect for two of a small family.
After checking-in and settling down, it’s time for lunch! Before the ship sets sail, SuperStar Virgo served its guests lunch in their inclusive restaurants. Our group chose to have lunch at Star Dining, a Western-inspired fine dining restaurant in Deck 6. We all EATSperienced a 4-course meal with a choice of mains. I had the Cajun Chicken which was extremely satisfying and tasty!
Perfectly cooked chicken with filling veggies on the side! Make sure to order this when you encounter this on Star Dining’s menu, okay?
After lunch, I went on a little tour of SuperStar Virgo with friends from the Philippine Media delegation. We went around key places of the ship like Duty Free Shopping, Resorts World by the Sea (casino), Suites, Galaxy of the Stars, Activity and Gaming Center, Kids’ Corner, and so on. If you want to avail of the tour, make sure to ask the reception about it on your first day on board because it’s really helpful as the ship is really bigger than you might expect it to be.
Sorry for the blurry shot, hehe! But this is the Kids’ Corner, this is the place to be for your little ones and it just outside the Activity and Gaming Center on the 10th Deck.
And yes, another blurry shot! So sorry, guys! This is the Beat Ship, it’s located on the 10th Deck, too! SuperStar Virgo hosts movie screenings and parties right here if the weather permits.
Early dinner by the Parthenon Pool on the 12th Deck! The ship hosted a welcome barbecue party that had all sorts of food! Steak, Lechon, Noodles, Shawarma, Seafood, Sushi, and so much more. Of course, I ate lots and lots of steak, hehe! It was a great way to kick off my first-ever full cruise with SuperStar Virgo.
Lechon by the Filipino Chefs! Maraming salamat po!
The gentlemen of the Steak and Sausage Station! Thank you, chefs! I think I had my seconds or thirds because of the tender steaks you grilled. Awesome stuff!
The first day ended with a show at the Zodiac Theatre, Love Around The World! When you go on a SuperStar Virgo Cruise, please make sure to watch all the shows. They are all worth your while and a hundred percent free except for their Adult Show, The Goddess.
Day 2 with Star Cruises – SuperStar Virgo!
We’re now somewhere in the middle of the West Philippine Sea / South China Sea! Breakfast, of course, at The Lido! The Lido is SuperStar Virgo’s famous buffet restaurant that is inclusive and absolutely free except for the drinks that you will order. The menu here changes everyday so please make sure to check first before you swipe your card at the entrance. They serve breakfast, am snacks, lunch, pm snacks, dinner, and even supper here everyday!
Sample breakfast plate from the buffet spread at The Lido! They always have fruits, salad, rice, breakfast favorites, and so on.
The highlight of my second day of cruising with SuperStar Virgo was the group lunch that we had at Samurai Restaurant (non-inclusive restaurant but super worth it)! Samurai is the premiere Japanese restaurant of the ship that serves traditional Japanese food and teppanyaki. I was really happy when I found out that I will be able to EATSperience teppanyaki in the ship because I love teppanyaki style dining and the mini show that comes along with the amazing food. Chef Jerry (the one in the photo above), who is a Filipino chef, did an amazing job cooking and entertaining our group. It was literally and figuratively a LIT EATSperience at Samurai!
Yellowfin and Salmon Sashimi for starters is always a good idea!
I chose the Teppanyaki Set with the Angus Ribeye! I just can’t simply say no to having a ribeye because I love the cut of beef with tender and flavorful meat with the right amount of fat in it. Of course, Chef Jerry cooked this one perfectly and with flair! I highly suggest you try dining at Samurai to EATSperience something else aside from the inclusive restaurants. In this season, they also offer a HKD 218 a la carte all-you-can-eat Japanese food! Don’t forget to tell me about your very own Samurai EATSperience, okay?
That’s me together with PH Media Friends! We were all smiles after an awesome Teppanyaki meal at Samurai Restaurant. Happiness!
Later in the afternoon, the whole ship was treated to a free show from no other than The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra! I was really thrilled to witness their greatness for the very first time. It was so surreal listening them play Christmas songs and songs that Filipinos are very familiar with.
After a sumptuous lunch at Samurai, I decided to just rest and go to the gym to workout for a few minutes to burn off some calories to prepare myself for dinner. Yes, the cruise life is probably as good as I imagined it to be, eat, sleep, enjoy, repeat. Dinner was at the Pavilion, a Chinese family-style restaurant located at the 6th Deck. My first EATSperience of the food at the Pavilion last March was somewhat mediocre because I just simply didn’t like the dishes on the menu. I guess I am really used to having the more Cantonese-style Chinese dishes, dishes that we are all used to having here in Manila. Good thing, Pavilion made it up big time! The menu was amazing! This time we had Goose, Mackerel, and even Crabs (locally known as Alimasag) which were all pretty tasty.
Yup, we had goose somewhere in the middle of the sea! Thank you, SuperStar Virgo!
I finished Day 2 by watching the ship’s resident magician, Mr. Vincent Vignaud! He is still pretty amazing and he had some new tricks up his sleeve this time. Again, please make time for this! Magic show like this will surely shoo away any sea sickness that you will be feeling in case you experience rough seas.
Day 3 with Star Cruises – SuperStar Virgo!
Shore Excursion – Halong Bay, Vietnam! I was lucky to be part of the Philippine Media Group because Star Cruises gave us all a chance to EATSplore Halong Bay with this excursion. My advice is to book your excursions online or ahead of time so that you won’t be lining up at the reception anymore and you can research on what’s the best itinerary for you.
We were brought straight to a Night Market (they opened only for us, SuperStar Virgo guests) for some sightseeing and shopping! Before you get all excited, please make sure to exchange your money to Vietnamese Dong first before your trip. This will save you bucks, too! Also, make sure to put your game face on when shopping and haggling because the vendors here are pretty persistent. Lastly, try bringing down the price given to you to at least 50% and see if it’s already affordable enough for you.
The products you will see here are souvenirs, coffee, clothing, accessories, bags, shoes, and so on! Most of them, of course, are knock-offs so don’t expect to find something genuine here aside from the souvenirs and coffee.
Lunch time at the Panorama Restaurant in Saigon Halong Hotel! Look at that view of Halong Bay… It was pretty foggy and cold when we were there that’s why I wasn’t able to get a clear shot of the islands and the clear blue skies and seas. I enjoyed the cold weather, though. It even reached 14 degrees Celsius before we left Halong Bay in the evening.
Fried Spring Rolls for the win! This was finished in no time. Clearly a crowd favorite because it was crispy and really delicious with or without its dip.
Can’t go to Vietnam without having Pho – Vietnamese Noodles! I usually go for beef pho but we were served chicken which was surprisingly good. I finished this one right away. It was really good and comforting. Perfect for the cold cold weather!
After lunch, we went to a Vincom Shopping Mall and on a Halong Bay tour cruise to cap things off for our Shore Excursion. I didn’t do any shopping in the mall because we already have so many malls in Manila. However, the bay tour was really lovely. It was great going around Halong Bay and seeing traditional boats and the Halong Bay skyline.
Back in the ship after a long day at Halong Bay! Dinner was at Star Dining and we chose to have their Asian set. It was very filling and extremely delicious. We had Fried Chicken, Beef Ribs, Octopus, Veggies, and soup. A great meal and a fitting end to our short trip to Vietnam. TIP: When dining at inclusive cruise restaurants, make sure to check the menu of the three restaurants at the 7th Deck, just outside the Zodiac Theatre.
Day 4 with Star Cruises – SuperStar Virgo!
Shore Excursion – Sanya, China! Second excursion of this cruise trip was at the tropically beautiful island of Sanya. Yes, China has a lovely tropical island parallel our very own Luzon Island. I was pleasantly surprised when the ship docked because it wasn’t what I expected a place in China to be. Sanya is a pretty modern looking place with lots of beautiful resorts and has long stretches of clear waters and white sand beaches. Sanya is like China’s Hawaii, if I may say.
I was lucky enough to witness the welcome ceremony when SuperStar Virgo docked at the Sanya port. The Chinese officials welcomed the captain of the ship and there were lion dancers and cultural dancers, too.
Our tour bus headed straight to the Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone and there we saw the beautiful statue of Guan Yin towering over the whole place. The place was very well kept in spite of having thousands of tourists everyday. I love how our guide was able to maneuver around all the human traffic just to lead to the good spots to take photos and to appreciate the beauty of the place.
Lunch was held at one of the hotels in the area and we sampled some pretty tasty Hainanese dishes. Of course, there was Hainanese Chicken and Duck. I was really stuffed after lunch because of the 8-10 dishes that were served. Our table was really happy afterwards, thanks for the amazing food!
After lunch, we went to a Coconut Produce Store where tourists can shop for pasalubong and try out different kinds of delicacies. Then, we went to a shopping mall to look for more things to buy since we’re already in China. I just bought an ice cream cone since it was pretty hot that day. Aside from that, I just chose to look around and appreciate Sanya’s natural beauty.
Day 5 with Star Cruises – SuperStar Virgo!
I started the last full day on board with a lovely and relaxed breakfast at the Star Dining. Here, they have a great selection of breakfast buffet dishes and the menu includes a special of the day which is prepared a la carte. The service is also pretty different as servers manned certain stations to assist guests and to make sure that they have a great time. My favorite Star Dining breakfast stations were the Congee and Omelette stations. The chefs make really really good congee and eggs! I kept coming back for more.
After breakfast, I joined a tour of the Bridge to learn more about the details of manning and being on a gigantic ship like SuperStar Virgo. The captain of the ship told us about so many things that were really informative and helpful. Guests can book this kind of tour with a very minimal charge. Make sure to ask the reception about it!
Next up, is a Galley Tour! I was really excited to go on this tour because I have always been very curious of what the kitchen of cruise ships look like. It was such a delight to see! The various kitchens for the respective restaurants of the ship were all very big and squeaky clean. Everything was really impressive to see! My favorite part of this tour was just listening to our Chef Tour Guide’s stories and learning about how the kitchen works so efficiently just to cater to all the guests of the ship.
Our last full day on the SuperStar Virgo was pretty packed! Not complaining though, because I enjoyed every bit of it sea sickness aside, hehe! This photo was during the Sushi Making Workshop at Samurai Restaurant with Chef Evanrey from the Philippines. I learned how to roll a sushi which was kind of hard but fun, thanks to the patient chefs and servers of Samurai!
Lastly, it was time to attend the much awaited Gala Dinner before the SuperStar Virgo arrives in Manila. I was experiencing a really bad sea sickness during this time but I was still able to power through, thanks to the amazing fine dining meal served to all of us at the Star Dining. I chose the Beef Tenderloin as my main course and it was huge, tasty, and juicy.
That’s it for my SuperStar Virgo EATSperience! I had so much fun and food over the 5 nights on board this amazing ship by Star Cruises. It’s something that I would want to EATSperience again, hopefully with my family next time. Would I recommend it? YES, a hundred percent! It may be really tiring and a little bit scary for some and even for myself but it’s still an experience worth trying at least once in your life. I would like to thank Star Cruises and all of its amazing crew and staff for making this EATSperience truly memorable! If you’d like toEATSperience being on board SuperStar Virgo, please do visit their website thru the link below!
SuperStar Virgo – Star Cruises
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