Background: Well, this is our second cruise. Our first cruise was in the Caribbean with Celebrity cruise which was fantastic. We booked this cruise through the internet and we did not receive any information other than the information published in their web page. We learnt later from the Hong Kong Superstar cruise office that the last check-in was 4pm instead of the published 6pm. This could create a problem for other passengers who did not realize this vital information. There was definitely some confusion where we saw people were rushing to board the ship after 5pm. Later we were told that the crew was made up of people from China, Philippines and Indians. There were over 1,500 passengers where 30% are elderly and 20% are kids. There were 50% from Mainland China, 10% from Hong Kong, 15% from Japan & Korea, 10% from Australians, 5% from India & others.
Day 1: We arrived early and took about 10 minutes to pass through immigration. Once we aboard the ship, we had to take a stupid picture with an ugly mascot. We like our room especially the 15" LCD TV but the pillow is too thin which gave us a stiff neck each morning. There was a muster drill but many people did not attend. We explored the ship which was quite big and nice. We had our 1st dinner at the Bella Vista (Western dining), the food was bad. I had the roast beef which was extremely overcooked while my wife had the salmon which was cold. Then we went to the Lido to watch our 1st ship show at the Lido which was a magic show with a lame magician proclaimed as the "robot magician" which was nothing like David Copperfield.
Day 2: The weather was getting bad with occasional showers. We had our 1st breakfast at the Mediterranean Buffet which we found the food was terrible. The eggs and bacons were burned. The bacons that were not burned can not be eaten because it was so hard that even a knife can not cut it. The orange juice was not freshly squeezed, it was mostly water. The other hot food was also bad so the only thing we ate was the pastries and fruits. We were so disappointed that we decided to try the Pavilion (Chinese dining) for lunch. To our surprise, the food was much better. After lunch, we were looking forward to our 1pm excursion to Sanya. At around 1pm, there was an announcement that there was a storm and the Sanya port was closed. We do not understand why it took them so long to make this important announcement. It seems like a last minute decision. We were very disappointed because my wife was looking forward for the trip. So the ship continued our journey to Halong Bay. We played some card games and my wife booked a facial treatment which she said was pretty good. We had dinner at the Mediterranean buffet which was a no thrill. We watched our 2nd show, "The Musicians of Bremen" which we found the singer and dancers quite boring but we enjoyed the performance by the acrobats from China.
Day 3: The weather was cloudy and we arrived at Halong Bay at 8am, we joined the shored excursion Halong Bay Cruise. There were about 20 people with us and we boarded the sightseeing boat at 9:30am and the local tour guide refused to leave the dock because there were 2 missing receipts. A 15min was wasted to find who did not bring their receipts. Finally, our sightseeing boat was forced to leave the dock because other sightseeing boats were waiting to dock to pick-up other passengers. The local guide finally found the 2 people who did not bring their receipt with them. They complained the receipt was in the cabin and no one announced that we have to bring it along with us. It was true that there was no announcement that we must bring the receipt with us. Luckily, it just happened that the receipt was attached to the little round sticker where we put on our shirt to indicate our group number. We found Halong Bay was very beautiful with so many low-lying islands. After 1hr, we finally arrived at the "Surprise Cave", the tour guide refused to take us up to the cave until those 2 people paid for the tour. The tour guide made a couple of phone calls which wasted us another 30 minutes and finally those 2 people gave in and paid the HK$520 tour fees. The cave was beautiful and remarkable with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. Then the sightseeing boat took us to a nearby seafood stall to buy our own seafood lunch. The sightseeing boat will charge 15% of the seafood price to cook the seafood for us. We arrived back to the ship at around 2pm. The ship was now heading back to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, we had to pass through the storm and the ship was rocking back and forth making everyone sick. Everywhere, we saw people lying on the table (even the crew) and some people went to the washroom to throw up. The washroom was a disaster. Finally, everyone was so sick that they went back to their room to lie down. My wife did throw up at least once and finally I went to the reception to get some motion sickness pills. There was a long long-up at the reception. Our last show was called "Sports Unlimited", again the dancers were hopelessly bad but the acrobats from China and Belarus were great. It was Captain's dinner where everyone dressed up formally. We had our dinner at the Bella Vista. The food was again terrible. I had the beef Wellington which was overcooked while my wife had the fish which was too salty.
Day 4: Finally we pass the storm and we had some sunshine. We just relax near the pool and done some reading. We arrived at Hong Kong at 4pm. The check-out process was slow and there was a long queue which took us 30min to disembark from the ship. The pick-up point for the luggage was very far away (10min from where we exit from the ship) and there were no staff guiding us.
The Superstar Virgo is a lovely ship but the crew was not friendly (they rarely smile), lazy (very slow in doing their work), unorganized (always last minute announcement and long queue), and not professional (not providing accurate/essential information to the passengers). Also they should hire staff who can speak proper English where we found those who can speak English had very strong accent. The worst is the food. They should hire real chef. Maybe fire the whole kitchen? The funny thing is that we lost weight after the holiday.