Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Family Getaway with SuperStar Aquarius Cruises

Unlike the previous three years whereby I started my brand new year by travel abroad; Phuket back in 2012, Johor Bahru & Singapore together with Boyfie in 2013 and travelled to Myanmar last year with a group friends of mine. But for this year itself, I did it differently by having short weekend getaway with my dearest family members by taking cruise vacation with non other than well-known Star Cruises.

 Star Cruise Aquarius 01
#1: SuperStar Aquarius Cruises and me! 

It was actually part of the birthday gifts I bought for my mom last year (check out what I bought for my mom for her birthday - click here) and at the same time, my dad always wanna go for Star Cruises vacation but he always busy with his work. And because of that, instantly I grabbed this opportunity to sponsor my whole family, including my two younger brothers who were on semester break currently for a cruise holiday which we've been waiting for more than 10 years.

Among all the impressive fleet, SuperStar Aquarius is the one that sail from Kota Kinabalu port and I booked 1 night highsea cruise only due to my dad's hectic worklife but I glad I do so. It was our first time sailing on the luxury cruise but we had one of the worst and bad experience throughout the cruise. Will talk about that later. 
Star Cruise Aquarius 02
#2: Check-in Hall in Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal

It's advisable to reach early cause it's ran out of parking lot when we arrived. Ended up, we parked in a muddy and bumpy road.

Star Cruise Aquarius 03
#2: Before get on the board, an identification card or passport is needed to exchange for access card and bear in mind, this card is super important. You can never ever lost this card not matter how.

Here's come our first horror experience before we could go up to the ship itself. Due to the berth congestions in Kota Kinabalu port, we had to take the tender boat from the port to the ship. For your information, the tender boat could only accommodate up to 50 people and can you imagine there are almost 1,000 people queuing up for that? We were on the queue for almost three hours. Hot and stuffy, and at the same time, we're hungry too. Blame the hidden monsters in our stomach. When we approached few peoples who went on this cruise before, they said this is the first time they experienced this cause all this while, they just directly hopped on to the ship from the pier instead of taking any tender boat. What unlucky day!

And so, after we waited for almost three hours, finally we managed to get up the fine and luxury cruise. My first impression of this SuperStar Aquarius Cruises while inside the tender boat was, "Wow! It looks alike Titanic. Touch wood! Touch wood!", I said to myself. I've seen many huge and giant ships before but I have never seen them so close to me. Oh boy, let's forget about the long queue and I just can't wait to get up to this ship.

Upon entering the ship, our identification card and passport were being retained. At first, I was a little bit worry that they might lost or even misplaces my identification card with other passenger but so far, it never happened. Their security were indeed very tight and strict whereby we have to get through all the scanning and checking procedures, similar to airport situation. Once we done with that, my family and I immediately went to the restaurants which located on Deck 9.

Dining Experiences
Although the packages we bought comes along with buffet, but not all the restaurants within the ship are free for the passengers. From what I came across, only four restaurants were tied with packages - Mariners Restaurant and Dynasty Restaurant on Deck 9 and Oceana Barbeque and Spices Restaurant on Deck 11. You can dine-in all at a time, only if your stomach has plenty of space for foods. The rest, you have to fork out from your own pocket.

Star Cruise Aquarius 04
#3: Mariners Restaurant serves western style (Halal)

Star Cruise Aquarius 14
#4: Breakfast buffet on the next morning consists of nasi lemak, sausages, hash brown, eggs, fried noodles, baked bean and more. 

Among four of them, my family and I prefer the Mariners Restaurant cause it has more buffet spread comparing the rest. And I believe because it's the most favourite choice among the passengers, therefore once again, we were required to queue for almost an hour before we could eventually dine-in - our second horror experience. Queue queue queue. That's what my family and I experienced throughout this luxury cruise.

Star Cruise Aquarius 05
#5: Spices Restaurant on Deck 11 serves mainly on

Star Cruise Aquarius 06
#6: Dynasty Restaurant on Deck 9 - Mainly on Chinese cuisines and it's non-halal

Cabin Type
I booked two oceanview staterooms which located on Deck 8 for the six of us. When I entered my cabin, I noticed there was additional bed whereas my parent's cabin didn't have. Actually, the cabin we booked can accommodate up to 3 adults and the extra bed will be provided upon request. With the approximate size of less than 200 square feet, we're pretty expecting the fully-furnished cabin to be smaller.

Star Cruise Aquarius 07
#7: Oceanview stateroom but our view was blocked by the life boat. So unlucky!

Star Cruise Aquarius 08
#8: The lavatory comes along with towels, basic toiletries and even hot shower

Facilities & Entertainment 
Done with the dining experience and cabin checking, it's time to explore this luxury ship. First, we went and check out the swimming pool on Deck 11 and turned out with disappointment. Just when I thought the pool will be huge and long, it seems like only 10 people or maybe less could eventually swim within.

Besides swimming pool, most of the facilities are located in Deck 12 such as gymnasium, mini golf putting range and basketball court. There even have karaoke lounge, hair & beauty salon, mahjong room, reflexology lounge and etc within the ship.

Star Cruise Aquarius 09
#9: Facilities within the ship

Star Cruise Aquarius 10
#10: Production shows produced by the cruise entertainers

Star Cruise Aquarius 11
#11: You can even do your shopping as they sell fragrances, beauty products, bags and merchandise. But to be honest, I don't find that the fragrances are cheap.

Star Cruise Aquarius 13
#12: Star Cruises access card -
Keep it with you all the time cause this is one and exclusive card to everything

Star Cruise Aquarius 15
#13: Magnificent Mount Kinabalu view before heading back to Kota Kinabalu port

Wondering will I be back for another Star Cruises experience? Frankly speaking, Star Cruises should actually have a proper management so that the passengers can actually enjoy the cruise. From my experience, it was like a chaos happened within the ship. Overcrowded, no proper management and supervision, lack of information given by the crew members and so on. Unless someone willing to sponsor me, maybe I could consider to go up one more time for another different experience, perhaps.

Available Sailing date
November 2014 : 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 29.
December 2014 : 03, 04, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18.
January 2015 : 07, 08, 09, 10, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29.
February 2015 : 04, 05, 06, 07, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22,  23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.
March 2015 : 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07.


Peak Season:
December 2014 : 24, 25, 26, 27, 31.
January 2015 : 01.
February 2015 : 18, 19, 20, 21.

5 comments:

  1. am surprised. They have been in operation for a decade i think. That itself should have ensure the smooth operation. Why did chaos happens? Sorry for the bad experience that marred your trip.

    Wow...the room size quite big. Thought it would be much smaller

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  2. i always see the cruise every time i drive pass the port. but havent got a chance to get on it. whoaa the inside looks so great & luxurious. i feel sorry for your bad experience. but its a nice getaway though, right? ;)

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  3. Yesterday received the parcel. Thanks a lot, I like the goodies that prepared by you :)

    Last year, my friend had took cruise to Puerto Princesa, it was fun that made me also wish to take my family for a cruise trip but I think I only manages sponsor for highsea cruise as the cruise to Puerto Princesa quite expensive.

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  4. I read all your lines very carefully to compare with my recent cruise trip on board Star Cruise Libra from Penang to Phuket / Krabi to Penang. I am not sure which ship is bigger but I could only say that the Aquarius pool looks very small while Libra Ship has 2 bigger pools. We enjoyed the hassle free trip and only took small boats to Krabi from the ship as Krabi has no port to allow such a huge ship to sail in. Your rooms look bigger and very nice compared to my experience! Food wise, the restaurants are huge and we need not have to wait or queue. Only 1 restaurant needs to pay but we enjoyed the free packages plus shows and winning inside the casino. We were not allowed to snap photos during the live shows. The shopping was cheap with so much duty free stuffs at bargain prices.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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