I have just returned from Phuket, yes, the popular destination in Thailand! Nothing new then, you may think. But this time I did not travel there by plane or bus: I joined Star Cruise Libra, a luxury cruise ships from Penang.
Before I go any further, let me briefly share with you my experience to Thailand so far, a country also famous for its… elephants!
In the past three years I have been to Thailand four times. In 2014 I traveled to Thailand by road twice from Penang, passing Danok and visiting Hat Yai and Krabi. Then, a few months ago, I went to Phuket by plane with my good friend Ah Wen. I love Thailand, not only because it is a valuable neighbour to my home country Malaysia, but also because I love its food, its attractions and its culture. Going to Thailand again and again is amazing as this country is blessed with beautiful nature, surroundings, food and culture.
My recent visit to Thailand, a few months ago, was slightly different as this time I went with one of the biggest and best-known travel cruise companies in the world. This is what made my fourth trip to Thailand special. I had never been on a cruise before. Also, I remember seeing Star Cruise Libra ship near Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal, Penang Port, back when I was in Penang, and my dream was to one day join one of their cruises. Finally, my dream has become true, and I feel totally blessed!
What about Star Cruise?
Star Cruise is the biggest ship operator in Malaysia, with ships that function as a hotel and offer a wide range of services that entertain you along the journey.
SuperStar Libra was build in 1988 in Finland and was owned and operated by Norwegian Cruise Line as Seaward as Seaward. In 2005, Star Cruise company took over this ship and named it SuperStar Libra. As SuperStar libra, this ship has sailed to several places namely the Mediterranean Sea, the Adriatic Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Guatemalan gulf before ending in the East. In Asia, this ship deployed to Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Japan and Singapore before berthing and serve in Malaysia.
The ship tonnage is 42,275 GT, length 216 meter and beam 28 meter. SuperStar Libra can accommodate up to 1500 passengers and has 740 cabins with 6 types of room: Executive Suite, Junior Suite, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom, Oceanview Stateroom, Oceanview Stateroom with Porthole and Inside Stateroom.
SuperStar Libra facilities include 8 bars and restaurants, outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzi, a golf driving range, basketball court, fitness centre, karaoke lounge, show lounge with entertainment and duty free shops.
Prices depend on season and promotions.
Here are some tips for those interested in booking a SuperStar Libra cruise to Thailand:
1. Queuing start from 12.30 pm at the registration counter
2. Don’t forget your passport
4. Your room card will be like a credit card: once aboard the ship, just swipe the card and pay before you leave the cruise.
-Check in at Star Cruise 12.30pm
-Afternoon arrival at Phuket Jetty
-Sightseeing in Phuket until midnight
-Arrive at Krabi around 8.00am
-Sightseeing in Krabi
-Must be back at ship before sunset.
-Gala Dinner with Ship Captain
-Arrive at Penang around noon
I was totally happy to be onboard SuperStar Libra and in my opinion, taking a Star Cruise is one of best option. I fully enjoyed my overwhelming stay, the facilities, the food and the karaoke bar (I was singing there for 3 night non-stop).
The staff is friendly, and don’t be surprised if they address you as Madam or Sir. The sightseeing was awesome too and I’m lucky that I has a chance to meet my friend Pluto, also a writer for Asian Itinerary.
I have made sure I visited all the facilities including the casinos, the gym, the show area, bar and even buy some souvenir for your memory before I left the ship.
Overall, I hope to hop on another cruise in the future since I enjoyed the idea on being inside this big ship. It made me feel like being on the Titanic, and I did not miss posing like Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio, capturing those moments with a photograph.