Monday, 14 September 2015

Super star Gemini Cruise Trip




4 days 3 nights – Super Star Gemini Cruise

Dates: June 28th to 1st July 2015
Duration: 4 days 3 nights


Package: SIN-PENANG-LANGKAWI-SIN
                                
We went on Superstar Gemini for 4 days 3 nights trip from Singapore to Penang & Langkawi. This was my first cruise trip and it was a wonderful experience all along!


Price: We booked only 1.5 months before the trip. So the price was 620 SGD per person. We booked Ocean View Window Cabin. (Tip: Try to plan and book well in-advance, preferably Balcony class..look out for cheap deals/offers)
Check-in and Boarding: Boarding was a little chaotic because the Ferry terminal was overcrowded due to boarding of two large cruise liners on the same day. Getting our boarding passes took hardly 15mins and even luggage check-in was very quick. But actual boarding took almost 30-40mins of waiting time in long serpentine queues.


There were welcome drinks and party organised by staff during on-boarding…unluckily we missed the welcome drinks due to delay in our boarding :(

Auditorium
About Rooms: We had booked the Oceanview Window room. Rooms were clean and quite comfortable for 2 people (definitely stuffy if you have a kid). The room had 2 separate single beds,  sofa set near the nice, big window. The bath was small similar to the ones in aeroplanes, but  had amenities like hair dryer, towels etc... Our room was on deck 5 and well located.












Facilities: They had a normal sized pool, Jacuzzi, Spa, Parlour, Gym,KTV/Karaoke Lounge, Children’s activity centre and 2-3 Café and Bars.

There were different restaurants – Blue Lagoon, Oceana (BBQ/Indian), Dynasty (Chinese), Mariners (Indian) & Our most favourite Bella Vista (Fine Dining Western).
 
Staff was very nice always and prompt with service.There were many activities happening throughout the entire day.  Cruise provides itinerary called “Star Navigator” for the next day was sent to every room so that we could plan our day in advance.
 
DAY1:  Boarding started at 11am at Harbour front ferry terminal. We grabbed some quick breakfast of sandwiches at Mccafé located in Harbour front Mall level#1. The cruise departed by 3pm from Singapore. Most of the time was spent exploring different decks, enjoying breath-taking view of the vast, blue sea and attending the welcome party and game shows organised throughout the evening.
The cruise also organised a Bollywood disco nite priced at 12sgd per person from 10pm to 12am which was fantastic and the in-house DJ played some latest, peppy dance hit songs.


DAY2 - Initial half of the day was spent roaming around the different decks, attending dance classes, doing some fun photo sessions and then getting ready for Penang. The cruise reached Penang at 4pm on Day2 and we opted for sightseeing on our own as Penang doesn’t have major attractions to be seen. We could bargain and hired a taxi. The taxi driver was very friendly and explained us details of the various heritage buildings and history of the place. Driver’s name is Syed Ali is 017 41 40435 (Penang number)


We visited the reclining Buddha temple, which was already closed by the time we reached (6pm) but still we got the glimpse from outside the door. This was a beautiful temple.
And then we went to a famous beach which was nice and many people were doing parasailing and Jet Ski etc. The water sports were comparatively cheaper here.


We were back to the cruise by 8pm and went for dinner and then attended the  juggling show which was very entertaining and hilarious. It’s a Must watch :)
Till late night we roamed around the deck and it was very beautiful!


DAY3 - Early morning by 7am the cruise was already in Langkawi. We left by 11am after having breakfast and hired a taxi and went first to Eagle Square. From there we went to Pantai Cenang beach. It is a beautiful area with a lovely beach and lane full of small souvenir shops.We enjoyed delicious coconut water, ice candies and bought some cute souvenirs (Langkawi T-shirts and fridge magnets). Langkawi is a great place that you should plan a separate trip to enjoy this city. It has lovely beaches and one of the most happening places in Malaysia. Couples planning for honeymoon can consider it as one of the options.


We returned back to the cruise by 3pm and had lunch in the cruise. After a short rest, we got ready for ‘Gala Dinner’. Before the dinner we also attended Captain’s Gala Cocktail Party….followed by “Sparkles” – special Broadway-type performances by cruise staff and external theatre performers. The show and dances were spectacular – great choreography, costumes, and performers!


Sparkles Broadway Type Show
Gala Dinner is a special and formal dinner where you are expected to dress in your best formal attire, seated royally at reserved tables for your group. Men can dress up in blazer, shirt and trousers. Ladies dress up in formal dresses suited for the occasions like these one.  Lot of people do dress in casuals but appear to be different in the crowd who have come formally dressed.


Gala Dinner at Bella Vista


Food was similar to what was served to us on other days too. But still this is very well arranged. There was a dance performed by that restaurant staff which was very appreciable. There are two time slots for the gala dinner in two different restaurants. We attended the 9.30pm slot. We also had a meet the captain session before the dinner and got a chance to click photo with the Captain!!


An adult dance show was performed at 11pm. Tickets were priced at 50sgd per person for normal class, 80+ sgd for VIP class (first 2 rows). The show was quite ok.


DAY4- This was the last day of our trip L We had late breakfast, some photo session around the cruise, lunch at our favourite Bella Vista, High tea again at the same place and finally checkout by 5pm. Bill settlement can be done at the reception in the morning. After 2pm, they set-up settlement kiosks in the auditorium and there was  long tiring queue to get the dues cleared and get our passports back…still overall smooth and effective process! Checkout was done from rooms by 5pm. We roamed on the deck till 7pm and finally off-boarding was done by 7.30pm :(((
These 4 days got over so soon...lovely trip..lovely memories!


**Special Mention - Excellent customer service and management by the ever-smiling and helpful Cruise Staff all through-out the trip. Hats Off to the entire team..worth experiencing! Please note that couple of staff members speak Hindi as well. It helps many of our Indians who may feel comfortable conversing or asking questions to the crew staff.


Tips & Suggestions:


  • You DO NOT need a Malaysia visa for this trip. If you have a valid multiple entry Singapore visa, it should be fine.
  • Book as early as possible. Remember, you may not get tickets even 2 months in advance.
  • Carry some water bottles before boarding the cruise as the complimentary ones provided in cruise are very small. Buy water at every halts as buying water on the ship can be expensive.
  • Remember to register for “Gala dinner” on 1st day itself because list gets full very fast
  • Do some research and try to opt for self-designed tours at the destination spots rather than the one organised by cruise.
  • If possible settle your bill early on checkout day (last day of the cruise), else this might take long waiting time. The cruise accepts multiple currencies.
  • You can hire a photographer to click your photos all over the place. You would have to pay a moderate price for it.
  • For foodies, there are many options and plenty of food available throughout the day. You may choose to eat at any of the restaurants of your choice at the times mentioned.
  • Wi-Fi on board is slow. You may use it in case of emergency but do not keep high hopes on the speed.
  • (For Girls) Avoid wearing very short dresses for the temple visit. Dress decently.
  • Cruise is very punctual with boarding timings at its destination points, always take care and be on time.
 If you are planning to book for the cruise, feel free to leave a comment here. We will be more than happy to help as much as we can.

33 comments:

  1. Superb !!! Amazing... Thanks for writing this blog ... It's very helpful. I already have booked the same cruise with exactly same travel plans on 7th Feb with my wife and my daughter who is only 2 years old . I have booked window ocean view room on 7th deck.

    I have heard that there are so many shows and activities going on board ... How should we prioritised? You recommend any particular shows which we should not miss or any particular activities?

    Secondly any activities for children's? We are more worried abt our daughter as she is only 2 years old and she may feel sea sickness .

    How much of food vouchers you get complimentary ..??


    Thanks for your suggestions......,,,,

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    1. Thanks Karim :) You have made a good decision to opt for this cruise and you all are definitely going to enjoy it!
      1) Yes, there are lots of activities, games, quiz shows etc lined up in the entire day and evening. Most of the important and Not-to-be-missed shows are kept during the evening time. Do attend the Juggler's show (it is very funny and usually has 2 shows on Day-1), Sparkles show (Broadway type performance) is also a must watch! There are few show by the cruise staff and that also you should try to attend. If you make some good friends on the cruise who are ready to babysit your kid along wth their kids, try to see the adult show too with your wife (only if you are interested...we did see one couple who left their child with some family for this show :))

      2) Hmm..there are lot of childrens activities through out the day, dance activities. They also have childrens play area, kids pool area etc. But 2yrs is very small and you may have to definitely take her around.

      3) Frankly speaking, the cruise is very large and you usually dont feel sea sickness. There were very few instances when we felt the cruise moving. But do take childrens medicine for sea sickness and other common ailments. They also have an in-house clinic and doctor on-board.

      4) We didnt get any food vouchers complimentary. I understand those are only for balcony class or above. However, the meals are abundant and served through-out the day and late night too. Just keep checking the itinerary for the restuarants and their timings.

      All the best and have loads of fun :)

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    2. Thanks a lot for your valuable suggestions . I should compliment you for writing this blog and i must say that yours is the only blog which i find worth reading as far as star cruise Gemini is concerned .

      Thanks & regards,
      karim meghani

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  2. Hello !! We are planning to go to the same cruise as well . I just wanted to know what kind of formal dress is better to opt for the gala dinner? I am a little too confused about it.

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  3. Thanks for posting your comment. Gala dinner is an exciting event and it is good if you can dress formally for the event.

    For gents, it can be formal trouser and full sleeve shirt. Blazer is optional and you may look little overdressed for Gemini Cruise gala dinner....avoid casual T shirts and jeans for this event.

    For ladies, go out in your best evening dress,long skirts...keep it formal..put on good make up and accessories..and that "smile" and click loads of pics :)

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  4. Excellent blog, worth reading. We are going on this cruise next week. Any update on the Lankawi tour and who helped you in the tour? like Syed Ali!

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    1. Thanks :)
      You will be reaching Langkawi morning 7am and will need to be back to cruise by 2.30pm ...so not much time to explore! I would suggest either take any available tour being offered by the Cruise (better option) OR hire a cab and visit few key places (might be cheaper option). You will get lot of cabs near the Ferry Terminal once you disembark. Key places to visit - Eagle square, Pantai Cenang beach (you can do water sports here).
      Cable car ride is awesome but located very far, so not sure if you can cover in this trip.
      Enjoy and have a wonderful trip :)

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  5. Hi! Thanks for writing this blog. I wish i had seen this before booking my trip. Not much info out there about Superstar Gemini!

    I have booked a 4 day 3 night cruise SIngapore-Port Klang-Penang for travel in end June.

    Similar to what you have suggested, i have decided to get a cab and explore Penang on my own.

    Also, there is an unlimited drinks package (Beer and sodas) available for booking. I was considering booking it. It's costing me SGD80. Do you think its worth it. Also, do you have any idea about the average pricing of drinks on board?

    Thanks for your help!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anurag...so sorry for delay in replying! And thanks for your comments about this blog :)

      Drinks onboard are priced to a little higher end, so suggest you go ahead with the unlimited drinks package.

      Not much to see in Port Klang...would suggest you can relax in Cruise itself.
      Wishing you a memorable and happy time on your cruise trip :)

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    2. Hi! Sorry about the delay in reply!

      I did manage to make the trip and am posting a few tips here, in case it helps other travelers.

      1. If possible, avoid Star cruise. Get Royal Caribbean or princess cruise if available. For a little more money, you get much better service.

      2. Penang Taxi:- No need to pre-book the day trip from cruise. Waste of money. Instead, get way out of the cruise terminal, till you reach outside. Cabs charge an hourly rate here, and i paid 25 ringet for an hour. In contrast, people who booked from the cruise centre, ended up paying much more.

      3. Port Klang:- Do not book cruise package. You can easily get a taxi from the cruise terminal.

      4. Unimited Drinks Package:- Cost me around 80SGD (Rs 4,000) for a 3 nights package. My suggestion - No need to buy, unless you plan to drink around 6-7 beers a days. Heineken and Tiger (the only beer on offer) costs around 5 to 6 SGD. So, you have the flexibility to drink as much as you want.

      Do let me know, if anyone else has any other questions.

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    3. Thanks Anurag for sharing your experience. The information that you have shared will be useful to many of our readers.

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  7. Do we need to change currencies if we will roam around Penang and langkawi? Thanks so much for this blog..

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    Replies
    1. We are glad that you liked the blog. Please recommend the same to your friends whenever you can :)

      Yes, you would need local Malaysian currency for visiting those places.

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  8. Hi. Thanks for writing this wonderful blog. Any idea on how accessible are things for a person in wheelchair. Are the decks disabled friendly? When they meals included in price, is it like all the food is included (evening or late night) or just fixed meals? Can I carry drinks from outside? is it allowed?

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  9. Thanks Varun for your comments and we are glad that you found the blog useful. Please recommend the blog to your near and dear ones whenever you get a chance.

    The decks are accessible for people on wheelchairs. There are lifts for moving from one deck to another. Restaurants and other places can be accessed with people on wheelchairs.

    There is plenty of food of different variety available on the decks from morning till late in the night. All these meals are unlimited.

    For the driks, we are not really sure. We do not think they checked it anytime. However, I would request that you check it in your ticket or with your agent for the same. If you get an answer for this, please let us and our patrons know about it.

    Have a great trip!

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  10. Hey I am sending my parents for same cruise and your blog was very helpful.Could you tell me how much is unlimited drink package for and what all it includes. Also how much did the taxi driver take from you in Penang? and any suggestions for langkawi.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We will answer your query in 3 parts for easy reading:

      Re: Drinks on the deck

      One of our patron Anurag recently shared information about his experience on the same cruise. He specifically wrote about the drinks. He writes "Unimited Drinks Package:- Cost me around 80SGD (Rs 4,000) for a 3 nights package. My suggestion - No need to buy, unless you plan to drink around 6-7 beers a days. Heineken and Tiger (the only beer on offer) costs around 5 to 6 SGD. So, you have the flexibility to drink as much as you want."

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    2. Re: Taxi in Penang
      Taxi fare can depend upon the number of points that you choose. Taxi driver will give you an idea about the various points that you may want to visit. You can choose whatever spots that you would like to visit and then negotiate the fare. We visited a temple, some coffee shop and then the beach. I think we paid somewhere around 150 Ringets.

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    3. Re: Suggestion for Langkawi
      Since you are sending your parents on this trip, I would suggest they can opt for the sight-seeing package offered by the Cruise. Else, they can book a taxi on their own for few hours and select spots to visit.
      Best things to view - Eagle Square (must visit - carry umbrella as its an open ground and was burning hot both times when we visited), Pantai Cenag beach - Good beach with water sports, coconut water and souvenir shops :) Langkawi Cable Car - Worth visiting. But not sure if you can cover this in the cruise permissible timings. Because this is located quite far-off.

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  12. hi, do we need to transfer fm cruise to penang/port klang ports via small boats? Is the small kettle in room to boil water? thk u

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    1. Hi Fisy! No, the cruise will be anchored very near to the shore/port in Penang and Port Klang. We directly off boarded on the port. It is very easy process.

      Yes, kettle provided in the room can be used to heat water.

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  13. Hi Fisy! No, the cruise will be anchored very near to the shore/port in Penang and Port Klang. We directly off boarded on the port. It is very easy process.

    Yes, kettle provided in the room can be used to heat water.

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  14. hi thks for yr quick rply. will b goin end nov. hope my kids will enjoy the cruise :)

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  15. Hi
    Excellently detailed review. I have few doubts

    I will be traveling in December first week for the same cruise for 3N with Penang and langkawi.

    Is the multiple journey Singapore visa sufficient for this for an Indian national ??

    How's the embarkation and disembarkation??

    Any specific documents to produce regarding cruise when you first time enter Singapore from your home country(India) ??

    Thanks in advance

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    Replies
    1. Hi Saumil, Many thanks for your appreciation. We request you to please recommend our blog to your friends and relatives.We wish you a great trip! Coming to your queries:
      1. Yes, multiple entry visa for Singapore is sufficient for the trip. To add, there is no other transit visa required for your trip.

      2. Embarkation and disembarkation is made very simple by the crew and is totally hassle-free. There are more details about it in our blog.

      3. We suggest please keep copy of all trip related documents, cruise and hotel ticket copy in case Immmigration officer wants to check in Singapore.

      Happy Cruising :-

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    1. We had done the booking through authorised Star cruises agent. However, I have also checked that usually online booking always provides you option of booking with the type of room you want to book (Standard cabin, With balcony etc).

      We are not allowed to book specific cabin...this is different from how we book seats in flight and theatres.

      Once you confirm the booking, the reservation desk will allot you the cabin on their own. You can mention your prefrences in remarks.
      Frankly speaking, cabins are well located. You can ask for one close to elevator...so that its easier for you all.

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  17. A great Blog with so many useful tips. Kindly let me know if the food is paid for in the ticket and are we assigned to particular restaurants or can we eat at any restaurant free of cost. Thanks

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  19. Hello
    It was a great blog with lots of information. Thanks !! :)
    I am trying to book 2 rooms from star cruises official website. I am from India and the price of the rooms are changing based on the country the guest resides in. Indians has to pay more than Singaporeans :)
    May I know how did you book rooms ? thru their website or any other websites or any dealers and how to check for any deals/offers ?
    I am planning to book in the month of september which is very well in advance, so hope your information helps me in getting some good discounts :)
    We will be travelling with my in-laws who are above 60 years and my daughter who is 5 years old. Will there be any sea sickness or any precautions that we need to follow beforehand ?
    Your information would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

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    1. Sorry for the delay in replying :(
      I am sure you would have done your bookings by now.
      1) We too had booked the rooms through star cruise authorised agents in Mumbai, and somehow we felt the prices were better as compared to prices being shown online (in Singapore). However, now we feel the prices were same online too.
      2) Try to book a room with balcony for better view and facilities.
      3) If there is a history of travel sickness for any of your family members, I would advise you to carry some medicine for such case. The ship is huge and you rarely feel the movement except during anchoring. Personally, I never felt any such uneasiness/nausea etc. during the trip. However, I also know of another friend who did get a little sea sickness, so I guess all depends on your body type. Please go prepared.

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