This was our 10th cruise...first cruise in Asia. The only cruiseline with an embarkation port anywhere in Taiwan is Star Cruiseline, hence, our choice to sail on the Superstar Libra. This is a very old (entered service in 1988) and very small ship (in comparison to today's newly built ships), however, it is a very well maintained ship!
The ship has 2 main sit-down dining rooms, a buffet, a pay-to-eat cafe, and a pay-to-eat Japanese restaurant. Of the 2 main dining rooms, 1 is "Western" oriented and the other is "Asian" oriented. The buffet is supposedly "Internationally" oriented. After living in Taiwan for a year, I was ready for some good "Western" food. Our first lunch on the ship was in the buffet restaurant. It was extremely disappointing! There were only a couple of choices and those choices were cold. We went to dinner in the Four Seasons Restaurant (western food) the first evening, and the food was over-cooked and over-seasoned. At this point in time I commented to More
my husband that this will be the first cruise where I actually lose weight! LOL The next day we tried the buffet again for breakfast...still very limited choices and the "hot" dishes were cold. That was the last chance at the buffet. We went there due to the fact that the main restaurants didn't open until 8AM for breakfast...something we are not accustomed to (late breakfast), so we gave in and went to the buffet. After that last buffet visit, we ate the remainder of our meals in the Four Seasons dining room. Excluding the first day, all of our meals were excellent! The service was also excellent! Note that we were the only "foreigners" on the ship (as far as we could tell)...the remainder of the passengers were Asian in origin.
Our cabin was small, but had more than sufficient closet space. In fact, this was the smallest cabin we have ever had (Oceanview), however, it had the most storage of any cabin we have stayed in. The beds were comfortable and the linens were clean and soft. The bathroom was a typical small bathroom. The towels were old and worn thin, however, they were clean. All-in-all, the cabins were nice, well-maintained, clean, and comfortable.
We bought one photo on the ship. It was our embarkation photo. We usually don't spend an inordinate amount of money on photos. This photo was moderately priced ($8 USD equivalent for a 5 x 7). We used the casino more than we should have... LOL The casino staff was friendly and did a good job. We spent time in the hot tubs and the pools. They were typical cruise-sized pools and hot tubs. They were clean and filled with fresh water. Not a lot of drink pushing...in fact, we had to flag someone down to buy a drink vs. push them away all of the time! We did not play BINGO, so I have no idea how that went on an Asian cruise.
The shows were AWESOME! I was truly shocked by the quality of the entertainment...every entertainer from the piano player in the reception area to the "broadway-type" shows in the theater were awesome! The dancers were excellent, the chosen music was appropriate... I can't say enought about the quality of the entertainment! The theater was not the best...lots of obstructions and all seating was at the same level...so, the people in the back had to really strain their necks to see what was happening on the stage.
The crew was OUTSTANDING! They took care of our every needs! They were pleasant and worked hard to take care of the guests! They made the cruise one of the best we have been on from a service perspective!
We never made it to either of the ports we were to visit (Ishigaki and Naha -- both in Japan) due to a tropical storm causing the ports to be closed. So, we spent our entire cruise out at sea. The ship returned to Keelung one day early...I assume due to the need for fuel, however, I'm not sure. Many passengers insisted on getting a full refund due to not visiting the ports. I was a bit more understanding as I know that things like this happen when saiiling during hurricane season! Regardless, the ship gave everyone either 50% off the current cruise (refunding the fare and taxes), or a free cruise next year, compensation that I thought was more than fair! We then learned that ship was returning to sea that evening for a one-night cruise. We told them we want to stay on the ship for that next cruise and they were OK with that. So we cruised 3 nights and 4 days, and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Overall -- it was not a luxury cruise, nor was it a Caribbean or Mediterranean cruise, however, it was fun, the ship was nice, the food was good, and the crew was outstanding. Given the opportunity, we would cruise with them again! Less