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14 Night Asia Cruise from Singapore

14 Night Asia Cruise from Singapore

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Costa Victoria
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Itinerary

In its own way, Singapore is an oasis in Southeast Asia. It enjoys a low crime rate, and its infrastructure -- from road and mass-transit systems to a state-of-the-art airport at Changi -- is highly sophisticated. The city also is clean -- so much so that, for years, people were forbidden by law to chew gum in its streets, and eating on the subway can result in a heavy fine. This modern and dynamic destination -- which ranks either as a pro or a con, depending on your sensibilities -- is to cities what Disney is to theme parks.

Technically a city-state, Singapore, connected with manmade bridges to Malaysia, is made up of a main island and more than 60 surrounding islets. The mainland spans 42 kilometers east to west and 23 kilometers north to south. In the north, it shares a border with Malaysia; in the south, islands belonging to Indonesia can be visited via a short ferry ride. Singapore is located just north of the equator and is sultry, tropical and humid year-round.

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Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur has experienced tremendous changes in the past quarter-century. In 1990, it was not yet an economic or technological powerhouse; the city was easy to navigate, and there weren't many high-rises. But since then, strong Asian economic development has given this 150-year-old city a new look and vibe, with tall skyscrapers, luxurious hotels and expansive shopping malls. The shopping, in particular, enjoys an advantage over that found in Kuala Lumpur's Asian counterparts like Singapore and Hong Kong because prices are phenomenal -- Kuala Lumpur is a great place to find quality at massive discounts.

A bit of the credit for the city's burgeoning reputation as an Asian destination can be given to the 1999 movie "Entrapment." The sexy thriller starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery was partly filmed at the city's 1,482-foot-high Petronas Twin Towers (which briefly, on completion in 1998, held the title of "world's tallest building"). Although the towers no longer top the list, they are still among the most recognizable skyscrapers in Asia.

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Penang, a 111-square-mile island off the west coast of Malaysia, gets its name from the betel nut tree, called "pinang" in Malaysian. While some residents chew betel nuts, you'll probably be more interested in sinking your teeth into the astonishing variety of foods available in this culinary capital. Add in the historic architecture that boosted port city George Town onto UNESCO's World Heritage list, plus the rich blend of cultures, and Penang makes for a rewarding destination.

Located at the north entry to the Straits of Malacca, the island was used for centuries as a safe harbor for traders from China, India, Arabia and Europe. British Capt. Francis Light arranged to have Penang ceded by the Sultan of Kedah to the British East India Company in 1786 in return for promised military protection. Legend has it that Light fired a cannon filled with coins into the jungle to get locals to clear the ground. With the construction of Fort Cornwallis and the founding of George Town (named after King George III), Penang became Britain's first stronghold in Southeast Asia. Trade flourished -- including rubber, tin and opium -- and attracted fortune-seekers from around the world. The island was captured by the Japanese in World War II and became part of the independent state of Malaysia in 1957.

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Thailand's largest island lures visitors for basking on unspoiled beaches, diving and snorkeling in the Andaman Sea and personalized pampering at ravishing resorts. The cruise port is about a 20-minute drive from Phuket town, a buzzy mecca for shopping (bargain hard, except in malls or brand-name stores), restaurants and clubs. Save time for exotic shore excursions, like visiting elephant and gibbon sanctuaries, and gasping at the more than 147-foot-tall Big Buddha, adorned with white Burmese jade marble, towering over Nakkerd Hills. Lunch at a resort for exquisite Thai cuisine that's easy on Western stomachs and for sensational ocean views.

Thailand's largest island lures visitors for basking on unspoiled beaches, diving and snorkeling in the Andaman Sea and personalized pampering at ravishing resorts. The cruise port is about a 20-minute drive from Phuket town, a buzzy mecca for shopping (bargain hard, except in malls or brand-name stores), restaurants and clubs. Save time for exotic shore excursions, like visiting elephant and gibbon sanctuaries, and gasping at the more than 147-foot-tall Big Buddha, adorned with white Burmese jade marble, towering over Nakkerd Hills. Lunch at a resort for exquisite Thai cuisine that's easy on Western stomachs and for sensational ocean views.

Aptly named "The Jewel of Kedah," Langkawi is one of the most spectacular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Located about 17 miles off the coast of Kuala Kedah, Malaysia (and less than five miles from Ko Tarutao, Thailand), this beautiful cluster of 99 islands (104 during low tide) boasts year-round tropical climates, pristine white- and black-sand beaches and an abundance of natural wonders just begging to be explored. And, if that's not enough, the islands also offer an array of opportunities to get up-close-and-personal with many species of wildlife. One worth noting is the sea eagle, since Langkawi derives its name from this majestic creature. In Malay, helang is the word for "eagle," and kawi translates to "reddish-brown." So, it's no surprise that a statue of a massive reddish-brown eagle stands tall and proud in the Kuah harbor and welcomes visitors to this fabulous locale year-round.

Langkawi's heritage is steeped in myths and legends, with the most famous story surrounding a young maiden who cursed the islands with seven generations of bad luck (see "Don't Miss"). Following her death, Langkawi spent many years in turmoil and passed through the hands of the Siamese, British and Thai before finally gaining permanent independence in 1957. Whether it's coincidence or truth, Langkawi began to flourish in the 1970's, right around the time that the curse is said to have lifted. With a population of more than 60,000 people, today Langkawi thrives on tourism as well as many other industries, including the exporting of rubber, rice, teak wood and palm oil.

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As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Malacca charms with colorful historical buildings, Buddhist temples, churches and mosques. To best grasp its full flavor, explore this city two ways -- by foot and by trishaw. Don't miss the 16th-century A'Famosa Fort, built by the Portuguese, and Melaka Sultanate Palace, a fascinating reproduction of a sultan's 15th-century home. Save time to stroll Jonker Street Hawker Centre, a fascinating mix of antique stores, souvenir shops and cool cafes. Bargain here and everywhere.

In its own way, Singapore is an oasis in Southeast Asia. It enjoys a low crime rate, and its infrastructure -- from road and mass-transit systems to a state-of-the-art airport at Changi -- is highly sophisticated. The city also is clean -- so much so that, for years, people were forbidden by law to chew gum in its streets, and eating on the subway can result in a heavy fine. This modern and dynamic destination -- which ranks either as a pro or a con, depending on your sensibilities -- is to cities what Disney is to theme parks.

Technically a city-state, Singapore, connected with manmade bridges to Malaysia, is made up of a main island and more than 60 surrounding islets. The mainland spans 42 kilometers east to west and 23 kilometers north to south. In the north, it shares a border with Malaysia; in the south, islands belonging to Indonesia can be visited via a short ferry ride. Singapore is located just north of the equator and is sultry, tropical and humid year-round.

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  • Day 9

Just 25 years ago, Koh Samui was a sleepy backwater, 310 miles south of Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand, where inhabitants made a living from fishing and coconut farming. What a difference a couple of decades make. Thailand's third-largest island (koh actually means "island" in Thai, and many locals leave it off of the name) was "discovered" in the late 1980's by the backpacker crowd, who spread the word about its white-sand beaches and clear waters. Budget lodgings replaced beach shacks, and luxury resorts, tourist operators and souvenir hawkers soon followed.

Today the population is more than 50,000, with 1.5 million tourists visiting per year. Cruise ships put in (most require tenders) at Nathon (or Na Thon -- either way, the "h" is silent), the island's old commercial center, which is also a ferry port. Though maligned in guidebooks, the town can make for a relaxed afternoon off of the ship, with its old Chinese shophouses built by itinerant traders, restaurants, Thai massage spots and stores. For the more adventurous, there are plenty of beaches and sights around the 95-square-mile island (including Grandmother Rock and Grandfather Rock, which are known for their slightly X-rated shapes).

Glimmering golden temples and sacred statues of Buddha; khlongs (canals), bustling with river boats and floating markets; sensuous silks and fragrant orchids; sparkling sapphires and rubies; exquisite "spirit houses" and people with perpetual smiles on their faces -- that's what the Kingdom of Thailand is all about.

As one of the most developed and progressive nations in Southeast Asia, Thailand -- once known as Siam -- is bordered by Myanmar (Burma) to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the southeast and Malaysia to the south of Thailand's isthmus. The government is a constitutional monarchy, and Westerners are eagerly welcomed -- even though con games and price-gouging, aimed at tourists, can be rampant.

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Glimmering golden temples and sacred statues of Buddha; khlongs (canals), bustling with river boats and floating markets; sensuous silks and fragrant orchids; sparkling sapphires and rubies; exquisite "spirit houses" and people with perpetual smiles on their faces -- that's what the Kingdom of Thailand is all about.

As one of the most developed and progressive nations in Southeast Asia, Thailand -- once known as Siam -- is bordered by Myanmar (Burma) to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the southeast and Malaysia to the south of Thailand's isthmus. The government is a constitutional monarchy, and Westerners are eagerly welcomed -- even though con games and price-gouging, aimed at tourists, can be rampant.

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It's likely that you won't be neutral about Sihanoukville. You'll either love it or hate it, depending on how well your shore experience matches your travel style, so plan your day carefully. Why so? Because Cambodia is still struggling to recover from the Vietnam War, followed by the hideous rule of the Khmer Rouge, which murdered 1.7 million people (essentially anyone who was educated), leaving the country in shambles.

If you don't want to risk encountering urchins hawking trinkets or adult beggars maimed by landmines, head straight for a private beach, or stay onboard. If you're ready to immerse yourself in the rich cultural swirl of Cambodia with all its warts, you've come to the right place.

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  • Day 14

In its own way, Singapore is an oasis in Southeast Asia. It enjoys a low crime rate, and its infrastructure -- from road and mass-transit systems to a state-of-the-art airport at Changi -- is highly sophisticated. The city also is clean -- so much so that, for years, people were forbidden by law to chew gum in its streets, and eating on the subway can result in a heavy fine. This modern and dynamic destination -- which ranks either as a pro or a con, depending on your sensibilities -- is to cities what Disney is to theme parks.

Technically a city-state, Singapore, connected with manmade bridges to Malaysia, is made up of a main island and more than 60 surrounding islets. The mainland spans 42 kilometers east to west and 23 kilometers north to south. In the north, it shares a border with Malaysia; in the south, islands belonging to Indonesia can be visited via a short ferry ride. Singapore is located just north of the equator and is sultry, tropical and humid year-round.

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Costa Victoria

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
3.5
81 reviews
Why Choose Costa Victoria?

Stylish Northern Italian decor & modern facilities

Stylish Northern Italian decor & modern facilities

Romantic, candle-light dining on formal nights

Romantic, candle-light dining on formal nights

Planetarium bar great for quiet cocktails

Planetarium bar great for quiet cocktails


Cruise Reviews

2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Greatly recommend to those who are keen to go for a cruise managed by a poor management who always put on an "unhappy" face on all their cruise with no proper instructions given and when questions were raised by their guest to ... Read More
Greatly recommend to those who are keen to go for a cruise managed by a poor management who always put on an "unhappy" face on all their cruise with no proper instructions given and when questions were raised by their guest to their crew, the standard reply was "I don't know, please check with another crew.". Also if you do not wish that the crew to enter your cabins, do remember to put the "Do Not Disturb" sign at your door as our room was entered multiple times for no particular reasons even though we didn't call for housekeeping and we realised that our laptop had been touched ( as we left room for a short time to attend their concert, we left our laptop open and when we were back, it was closed and the whole room was pitch dark - even side table lights were offed. ) When asked to the information counter, they said we didn't put "DTD" thus the crews can enter and leave anytime they like. Toilets were filled with moulds at bathing area, beds were stained with black stains even after a housekeeping session done.. Smoke can be smelt along the corridor of the cabins, insufficient kettles available as well. The adapter given by the crew had sparks coming out from it when it was plucked it and when asked for an exchange, the crew said that they ran out of it. Long queues during meal times and there was no one controlling the crowd nor guiding the passengers. Ice cream stall only open for 1 meal throughout the 5 days of cruise. Speciality restaurant does not offer all indicated food items and we were not told before we sat down for our meal. Waste of money. There is 3 eating area for the passengers, however, only 2 is available as 1 is converted to "FOR SUITE" passengers only. We purchased the non-alcoholic beverage package but the crew would keep on telling us that the non-alcoholic drinks are not included and we had to pay extra (don't buy package as they don't honour it). No proper lightings near the swimming pool where some kids are found running in dark as well which is very dangerous. Entertainment were the same for the 5 days. Poor management on disembarkation and embarkation as well as no proper direction nor instructions given, announcement system is also not clear. Overall, its a waste of money and time, both my partner and I are very displeased with the service provided, management control, experience, condition of the cabin and the embarkation and disembarkation process. This is not our first time cruising on a cruise liner but it will be the first time and LAST TIME cruising with COSTA VICTORIA. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I am eager to write this review in order to increase this cruise rating. After my mom paid for this cruise, she did a bit of research about Costa Victoria. Mostly was awful, so we almost cancelled our cruise and let the money go instead of ... Read More
I am eager to write this review in order to increase this cruise rating. After my mom paid for this cruise, she did a bit of research about Costa Victoria. Mostly was awful, so we almost cancelled our cruise and let the money go instead of wasting our time. But it is our last trip with my brother before he went overseas, so we decided to go. And seriously, this is my first cruise and it is AWESOME! well, for me the ship was huge (although they said it's a small ship). Food was FREE (even for semi fine dining version), unlimited and great (especially for indian food), but you have to pay for other premium drinks. the timing was PERFECT (23 Dec at 22.00 until 27 Dec 14.00). I respect all of the crew members that give their best effort to serves us day and night with their best smile to ensure our best experience on cruise (THANK YOU!). The cabin design is old fashioned, but CLEAN, they clean our cabin twice a day. Endless parties and event for sure. Definitely WORTH IT for their value for money. To get this personal, I'm 22 yrs old and I came from Indonesia. Not really the best cruise for my age, but I totally recommend this cruise for FAMILY who had kids around 12 yrs old. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
**Please do not ever take Costa Victoria Ship, Italian Cruises.** My purpose for this post is not to complain, but more of making sure that the public do not get the same poor experience as I did. I went with my family (as a group of ... Read More
**Please do not ever take Costa Victoria Ship, Italian Cruises.** My purpose for this post is not to complain, but more of making sure that the public do not get the same poor experience as I did. I went with my family (as a group of 20) and here is a brief summary of what happened in the 4d3n cruise experience (Starting from the most pertinent problem to trivial ones) 1. Bedbugs Upon entering the cabin, my cousin and I checked for bedbugs but all seemed clear and the cabin looked decent. When I returned to my cabin at 3am and after showering and lying down on the bed for a while, I started feeling itchy around my back and neck. I got up to check in the mirror and saw clusters of bites and I guessed my worst fears came true. I immediately went to check my bed and noticed a couple of tiny bloodstains which were not there previously. Then I saw some live bedbugs under my blanket which I killed. I did not want to wake my cousin to change the room immediately as it was already very late and we were going to wake up early the next day hence I waited it out. The following morning, I saw an even larger bedbug below my pillow. (to be continued) 2. Response to situation a. My cousin and I went to the information counter to inform them of the situation. The first response from the staff? "You sure it's bed bugs? Did you see the actual insect?" Instead of showing concern for the customer, their first response was to attempt to weasel out of the situation and divert the blame. With some reluctance, they offered to conduct an investigation (to ascertain if I was lying) and asked me to check back the counter in an hours' time. After 2 hours, they finally finished their "investigation" and the first option they offered was: To do a thorough cleaning of room and change of bedsheets, not a change of room. In cases of bedbugs, deep cleaning is required and is normally done by professionals that have the necessary tools and chemical to exterminate bedbugs but they said 2 hours of cleaning would get rid of the bugs. Of course, we would not accept that and eventually got a change of room and before we moved into our new room, we had to go back up to the old cabin to retrieve our luggage. When we got up, the room looks new and clean, with bed sheets changed as well (They probably noticed the bloodstains and some bedbugs) and there I saw 1 bedbug crawling by the side (As shown in the video attached). ** After our cruise, there is another batch of passengers and there is no time to conduct deep cleaning of the rooms. (I'd leave it to you to imagine what is going to happen) b. I asked for some cream to apply on the bites to stop the itch and inflammation - they said they do not have any cream - If I go to the medical center I have to pay for it (despite me sustaining the bites onboard) [to be continued] 3. Medical Center There was a SECOND incident of bedbugs in a separate room (of my uncle's), so I tried again on the following day and finally understanding the severity of the situation, they offered to bring me to the medical center on the ship's account. - Went there, sat for 30 minutes while the Italian doctors/medic were conversing in Italian even though it is a straightforward case: Saw the picture of the bug, inspect the bite, and prescribe me the cream - Amidst their conversation, my cousin and I figured from the English words they used "Complaint", "Ship's account", "Bedbugs", "report", and they finally gave me the cream and 2 of them talked amongst themselves, suggesting "Allergy" - From our inference, the waiting time was for them to determine how to write their report so as to absolve the blame from the ship, probably by claiming that I had allergies rather than getting bedbug bites. 4. Facilities / Activities Limited entertainment facilities: - Spa (That was an indoor pool with cold seawater) - Gym (Was decent) - Sauna (Too small) - Theatre (Which has almost no activities) - Outdoor pool (1 baby pool, 4 jacuzzis, 1 normal pool of only 10m) - Card Room (Looks decent but we did not use it) - Casino (Outdated and combined withthe kid's arcade, which is extremely inappropriate) - Kids' club (Acts as a childcare centre, which is actually not bad) - Disco (That I have no idea what it's for) - Basketball court (The only thing that is at the top deck) - DFS Repeated/boring activities: - Seminars (Often conducted under different names but it's the same activity) - Some dance classes - Italian lesson (1 hour on the 3rd day?) **The activities may not be bad, but there is limited engagement because the staff are simply not passionate enough and passengers can feel it. **No free drinking water, not even water dispensers, everything has to be paid for (Even those in the suites only get 1 bottle a day) 5. Service ***** After playing in the casino, I went to ask for some water. - The staff said I can only get bottled water - I asked if there was plain water - She said "Do you want bottled water or tap water?" - I asked, "Is the tap water drinkable?" (Knowing that ship's tap water is not potable) - "No" - If the tap water is not drinkable, why would she even offer that?! If it's others who did not know, she would have given it to them. - Hard to get smiles on the staff - Staff works extremely slow (It takes us around 40 mins to be served in the restaurants) [Most likely due to lack of enthusiasm and culture created from top-down] 5. Feedback form - Towards the end of the cruise, some of us had to attend the disembarking briefing, and they wanted us to fill up this feedback form - Instead of asking for our sincere feedback and ways in which they could improve upon, they EXPLICITLY stated that for Q1: How has your cruise experience been? [ We should fill in Excellent only] & Q16: Would you recommend Costa Victoria to your friends and family? [ We should fill in 'Yes, definitely!'] - That night, they made 2 announcements to submit our feedback form and EMPHASIZED to fill in the 2 questions as suggested - The following morning, at 0900 hrs and 0930 hrs, they made the same announcement re-emphasizing the need to fill in the 2 questions as such. **A good cruise would never have to worry about customers' feedback. The fact that they constantly reminded us to answer the questions in a certain way made a lot of us sick to the stomach. 6. Food / Miscellaneous I wish Gordon Ramsay was there -- it would have been 'Cruise Nightmares'. The food was so trashy that it was a slimming cruise for me. - In one of the photos, is the crabs where the gills are not even removed (One of the dirtiest parts of the crab) - Lobsters: For the first 3 days, we had the option to pay USD15 to purchase a lobster meal, but on the 3rd night, we were offered that option. It was not fresh to the extent that it tasted like mashed potato stuffed in lobster shells. - Steak: Felt stale and had a gross aftertaste, something I never had before - So-called fine dining experience: Is actually 'recycled' food from the buffet area. - Virtually nothing was beyond edible, even those that we had to pay for (E.g. USD8.50 pizzas that used frozen dried shrimps that had a stale taste) - However, the desserts are generally not bad. This whole experience has been so bad (and you can see the aftermath of the bites I suffered, not just limited to the back). We paid about 400+USD for 4D3N but there were so many other costs, such as COMPULSORY tips, paid water, paid food, paid activities. Until now, Royal Carribean still remains the best experience one can have (Having a dedicated crew that serves you during meal time, polite staff, fun activities and a myriad of onboard activities to do) So, please, I implore anyone out there who is considering a cruise trip to not scrimp on 200USD and just go for Royal Carribean, not Costa Cruise. Read Less
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