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Eastern Cruise Feature - Superstar Virgo Cruise

Date Created: 01 November 2013

For decades the mysterious Far East has been regarded as a mecca for back packers and gap year students. Exotic, inexpensive and idyllic, destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket, Penang and Langkawi once offered the promise of shabby chic culture and accommodation to match. Yet if you long to experience all the glamour and magic of the Asia Pacific region without compromising on luxury or the quality of the experience, there is an alternative. The luxurious cruise liner SuperStar Virgo allows you to explore both the tropical islands and cosmopolitan cities of the Far East without even unpacking your case.

From the moment you board the SuperStar Virgo, you’ll know you’re in for a wild time. The extravagant décor is startlingly different with the opulent Grand Piazza and reception area flaunting classical marble columns, exotic swirly rugs, a curvaceous staircase, a vibrantly coloured Venetian style gallery and three gigantic prancing gold stallions. Just when you think you’ve fallen into a scene from a Baz Luhrman film, the interior goes all Bollywood with electric pink and green carpets decorated with seahorse and shells. And it is not only the interior design which confirms the Virgo as a floating mircorcosm of East/West culture.

The nine restaurants on board, four of which are all inclusive, offer extraordinarily varied examples of ethnic and international epicurean delights. The restaurants also operate a ‘Freestyle’ policy which allows you to eat where, when and with whom you want and the casual dress code means you can leave the tiara behind.

This relaxed approach to cruising is encouraged throughout the ship. Should you tire of lounging by the Pavilion Pool amidst Doric columns and Greek temples, shaping up in the well equipped fitness center or enjoying a soothing massage in the spa, you could always try endless sports and games or quiet times in the library and card room. This dedication to hedonism continues throughout the evening with entertainments ranging from sizzling shows to karaoke. If cocktails are your thing there’s no need to break the bank. The all inclusive nature of the cruise, plus a no tipping policy and reasonably priced drinks makes this cruise particularly accessible. And if you’ve chosen a Balcony Class cabin, you’ll not only receive first class service including priority disembarkation at every port and complimentary access to the fitness centre and spa but also a special dining credit which can be put towards those cocktails or a special meal.

But it’s not all fun for grown ups. One of the brightest ideas is the area devoted to children which includes their own pool, cinema, video arcade computer room and nursery. So if you have kids they’ll love splashing around in Neptune’s Wild and Wet and if you don’t, you won’t find them splashing around you. Like everything on this ship, it is the thoughtful attention to detail which really makes it something special. You don’t have to be an expert in astrology to know that a cruise on the SuperStar Virgo will be a truly unique experience.

Fab Things to Do

The relaxed nature on board ship means you can either explore the exotic destinations alone or with an organized shore excursion.

Take an elephant trek through the tropical jungle on the island of Phuket and take in the panoramic views from on high. During a Siam Safari tour you can also shake trunks with a baby elephant, ride on a water buffalo and see trained monkeys shin up the palm trees to bring down coconuts.

Don’t miss a delectable Thai massage conducted on the beach beneath swaying palm trees at the luxurious Cape Panwa Hotel and Resort on Phuket.

Explore the faded colonial grandeur of Penang from the dubious comfort of a tri-shaw. rickshaw. A visit to the fabulously opulent ancestral temple of the Khoo family Clan will lend an insight into the past and Chinese culture.

Join a Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo to see wildlife and rare species illuminated with all the subtlety and skill of a Hollywood blockbuster movie.

Where to Eat

For a genuine taste of the Far East, sample dim sum at one of Penang’s street side hawker bars. Or in Singapore trawl the extensive food courts and malls or the Little India and Chinatown areas for a truly ethnic culinary experience.

The speciality restaurants on board SuperStar Virgo offer everything from haute cuisine Indian to authentic Chinese.

Palazzo not only features a baroque crimson and gold interior but also a seriously exhilarating Italian fusion menu featuring Italian classics and new ideas such as seared Kangaroo glazed with Cajun spices.

If Sushi is your thing, book a table or a private Tatami room at Samurai. Served by a Japanese master who dramatically prepares each dish before your very eyes, this is a truly theatrical gourmet experience.

For further information about Star Cruises or brochures call 0207 917 6051 or visit www.starcruises.com

Written by Beverley Byrne.

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