Foodies will have their eyes on stalks -- and their nostrils twitching -- when they sail on SuperStar Virgo. Its fabulous array of restaurants ranges from the large windowed, 560-seat Bella Vista Dining Room (which serves international cuisine), to the exquisite Tatami Room complete with sliding screens, low tables and floor-level seating, where parties of six can indulge in a Japanese banquet and make like extras in "Memoirs of a Geisha."
Another outdoor venue is Taverna on Deck 13 for alfresco snacks -- and gigantic jugs of beer -- in a nautical setting, with a sail-effect canopy, trestle benches and tall tables set on wooden barrels. One deck down is Cafe Gelato, where you can round off a snack fest with an ice cream, an elaborate pudding or, if you must go all healthy, a fresh fruit juice.
Also located on the ship's upper decks is the indoor/outdoor Mediterranean Buffet for casual breakfasts and lunches. Elaborate amounts of food are available here but the mix of Oriental and Western dishes can seem a bit peculiar at breakfast time -- anyone for scrambled eggs with roasted potatoes, Thai fishcakes and prawn dumplings?
The downside of the buffet is that it's an absolute scrum during peak feeding hours; a better bet (for reasonably early risers) is to take breakfast in the Bella Vista, where -- joy of joys -- crabby night owls reluctant to face early morning company can get a table for one, no questions asked (and availability permitting).
Travelers on a budget will find the (free) lunches and dinners on offer in the Bella Vista pretty good as well, but on this ship it would be a crime not to make the most of the alternative restaurants on offer.
For between $70 and $75 Singapore per head, you can tuck into a multi-course Chinese banquet at The Noble House on Deck 7; feast like a rajah at the pretty Taj Indian restaurant on Deck 8; and enjoy top quality Italian cuisine in the small but elegant Palazzo Restaurant.
Both Asian and Western snacks are available around the clock at the a la carte indoor-outdoor Blue Lagoon (main courses cost from $8 Singapore), and there's also a huge, free-to-use 330-seat family-style Chinese restaurant, the Pavilion Room.
But for my money, the top place to eat is the 78-seat Samurai Japanese restaurant on Deck 8. This also has a sushi bar, the Tatami Room and two eight-seater teppanyaki rooms where you can watch chefs prepare melt-in-the-mouth steaks, fish and vegetable dishes -- peeling prawns one-handed, tossing bowls of rice in the air and catching eggs in their tall hats in a spectacular display of culinary showmanship. Expect to pay $25 Singapore to $168 Singapore depending on which set menu you choose, about a third of the price of a top-quality Japanese meal in London or New York.
I took this 7-night cruise Hong Kong-China-Vietnam and it was a most pleasant trip. I have cruised on Star Cruises many times but this cruise is different. Ever innovative (Star Cruises pioneered the freestyle cruising concept, NCL, ...
Ship: Well maintained even after so many years and honestly, easy to navigate. For those who are unsure of your location on board the ship, simply look at the colour of the carpet. Red carpet means you're at the front, blue means the ...
I never write reviews but felt compelled to this time. I read the reviews on Star Cruises before we sailed with them. Having cruised before in different parts of the world, I thought it would be nice to travel with an Asian cruise line ...
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