Our Carefree Cruise on SuperStar Gemini
When I told people I was taking my family on a cruise, I got questions like:
“Aren’t your kids a little too young for a cruise?”
“What can you do on a cruise? Imagine being stuck for days with nothing to do!”
I get it, though. If I hadn’t done my research, I probably would have thought the same. So here it is – My family went on a cruise for the first time and I have answers to your concerns here. Read on…
We went to a 4D3N cruise with Star Cruises, SuperStar Gemini and this is our itinerary at a glance:
Day 1: Departs from Singapore at 3 pm
Day 2: Penang from 4 pm to 12 am
Day 3: Port Klang from 3 pm to 11 pm
Day 4: Back in Singapore at 2 pm
We arrived at Harbourfront Cruise Centre at 11 am to board SuperStar Gemini, one of Star Cruises’ fleet of cruise ships. As it was our very first cruise, I didn’t know what to expect but the boarding procedure was seamless and easy – handed in our confirmation slips, redeemed our boarding passes, cleared customs/immigration and off we went. A three-piece band serenaded us as we stepped onto the vessel. What a welcome!
We skipped the welcome drinks and headed straight to our cabins. We had two cabins. One for Nick and I, plus baby Will. The girls shared a cabin with our helper next door. Before the cruise, I was worried about impossibly small cabins which may be uncomfortable for families with small children. I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite the size, it was cosy and comfortable.
It has 2 single beds on one side of the room. We pushed the beds together to form a larger queen (maybe king?) sized bed.
A baby cot / play pen was provided and it fitted nicely into the sitting area, next to the window.
The girls loved the cabin. They refused to leave when we first arrived. Lauren proclaimed that she loves it better than home and she wanted to live there forever. Kids.
I should also mention that throughout our stay, room service was prompt and every time we called for hot water to make milk for the children, it’s delivered to us within 5 minutes. Faster than having to boil it ourselves!
After we settled in, it’s lunch time and we headed to Dynasty, one of the four inclusive restaurants where you can enjoy six meals a day at no additional cost. Dynasty has its buffet menu focusing on Chinese cuisine. Nonetheless, the spread of dishes is extensive. The cooked food section, porridge and condiments, as well as mouth-watering desserts are sure to satisfy your craving for the day.
The other inclusive restaurants are Mariners, Oceana and Bella Vista, where we dined most of the time.
I don’t have a photo of Georgia not stuffing her face at meal time! If only she eats this way at home. Anyway, Bella Vista serves Continental semi-buffet where you order your mains at the table and spoil yourself with entree and desserts from the buffet area.
The mains didn’t disappoint. The batter on the fish & chips were light and crispy. I also like that there are ample vegetables on each plate. It makes me feel healthy enough to indulge in mini cakes from the buffet station.
It offers different kids meal at every meal.
Lauren’s favourite was the breakfast at Mariners. It serves International / Indian buffet-styled breakfast. Other breakfast options include Western and Chinese Dimsum at Bella Vista and if you’re the type who prefers to have a bit of a lie-in, morning tea is served at Dynasty until 11 am.
If you ever get tired of the free food (like never!), there’s Blue Lagoon where you can have an even grander meal with a reasonable fee.
Kids Friendly Cruise
SuperStar Gemini may not be the biggest, newest cruise ship but it’s just nice for families with small children. After a short rest (and feeding baby Will) in our cabin, we made our way to the observatory (which also doubles as the KTV lounge) for the Kids Welcome Aboard Party.
I brought along my helper, not knowing there is a child care centre on board. You can totally drop your kids off at any time of the day if you want to. There are two dedicated carers on duty (the same ones at the Welcome Party) and when we visited, they remembered both Lauren and Georgia’s name.
Lauren and Georgia had lots of fun at the cubby house. And when they got tired of it, there were books, board games, puzzles and colouring pages to be done. I spied a small bed in a corner for kids who may want to take a nap too.
Every day, there are kids activities like cake pop and chocolate making class, pizza making, balloon twisting, etc.
There’s even a Pajama Party for kids at night if you want to dance the night away at The Stardust Lounge.
The girls mightily pleased with their cake pops. Georgia went, “Can I eat it now?” right after this photo was taken.
In case you’re wondering, there’s a medical centre in the ship, so no worries about emergency or kids feeling unwell.
On our first night, we watched Mystery: The French Lady of Magic after dinner. The show opened with a ‘Magic Mike’ routine, very much to my delight. Just as I began to wonder if the show was child-friendly, Sophie Edelstein, one of the most celebrated female illusionists in France appeared and wowed us with her fast-paced, magnificent illusions. Think disappearing acts in a matter of seconds, fire spikes, hands and heads falling off kinda madness.
Lauren was totally captivated by the show.
Even little Georgia went, “YEAHHHH” when Sophie asked the audience whether we wanted to see more. The 45 minutes show went by in a flash.
My dad lives in Penang, so we made arrangements to see Penang on our own. Otherwise, you can go on the shore excursion tours that the cruise provides.
When in Penang, eat like a local.
With our tummies and shopping bags filled, we returned to SuperStar Gemini for more night activities onboard.
Lots of lots of things to do!
Our cruised docked at Port Klang the third day. Instead of disembarking and explore Klang/Kuala Lumpur, we have decided to make the most of the facilities and stayed on the ship.
Every day, we received Star Navigator, a newsletter which lists all the activities lined up for the day. You can also find important notices on port embarkation and restaurants opening hours. Even sunrise and sunset timings are listed if you are so inclined to have beautiful photos taken on the top deck during these hours.
Not bad, eh? Taken with my ever so professional mobile phone 🙂
If you like dancing, there’s always a party happening somewhere on the ship. Expect to find K-Pop Line Dancing, Bollywood Disco, Glow in the Dark Party and Wet and Wild Party at the pool.
If you’re after a relaxing time, there’s yoga in the morning and maybe just sit back and laugh at people taking part in the game shows like charades and fun trivia.
There are activities for all age groups. You can also learn new things like sushi making, paper headdress making, miniature teepee making, Chinese tea appreciation, cooking demonstration by a celebrity chef and towel folding. You’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy.
An activity not to be missed is the Captain Meet & Tour. I’d said so because I totally missed it. A maximum number of participants apply, so book in advance, people! I think it would be very interesting and educational for the kids to find out more about the back-end of a cruise-liner.
It really felt like I was in a resort hotel, albeit a moving one that takes you places! It has all the facilities you can find in a resort such as spa and hair salon, saunas, a sea facing gym, a basketball court, jacuzzis and of course, swimming pools.
SuperStar Gemini has three swimming pools in total. Two for adults and one for small children. The size and depth are just nice for children of Lauren and Georgia’s age.
What about shopping, I hear you ask? Of course! There are a few shops on the ship but the note-worthy one would be the Duty-Free store which stocks cosmetics, branded bags, watches, chocolates, luggage, you name it. Watch out for the daily bazaar sale with up to 40% off.
Despite my inquisitive nature of wanting to explore new places whenever we travel, I wasn’t once bored when we were onboard SuperStar Gemini. There’s simply too much to do!
On the last evening, Nick and I had a lil date night. After settling the kids with early dinner and bedtime (they were exhausted from swimming!), we nip over to Bella Vista for uninterrupted conversations and a three-courses gala dinner. Kids were invited to the gala dinner but I figured fine-dining isn’t really their thing since they can’t even sit still in their seats. Dinner was free (of course!) but reservations were required.
After dinner, we had 15 minutes to kill before the Gala Show: CIRCUS at Stardust Lounge. A quick look on the Star Navigator, we found that The Variety Trio was playing at Maxim Lounge. Nick stayed up doing work at the lounge the night before and according to him, I had to listen to the band. So to Maxim Lounge we went. By the time we got there, all the seats were already occupied and clearly, Nick wasn’t their only fan. They sang everything from Motown to James Blunt to mandarin songs!
Gala Show: CIRCUS
I can’t adequately describe what watching CIRCUS was like. It’s funny, confusing, dramatic, hold-your-breath kind of stuff. The costumes and the immensely talented (and scarily flexible) performers have all got the wow factor. It’s an incredible show and I can tell that the audience, young and old loved it! I really should have let my kids stay up and watch the show.
After the show, it was the Grand Farewell Party with the management team and crew onboard SuperStar Gemini. Crew members from every department – housekeeping, reception, F&B, etc – had a dance-off. Some were well choreographed, some weren’t, but CIRCUS was a tough act to follow. I think it’s a great way to boost staff morale and the crew members seemed to enjoy it very much. So kudos to Star Cruises for creating a fun and inclusive environment for their staff.
Overall, we had an awesome, carefree time on the cruise. Every meal and activity were taken care of, all I had to do was choose. I’m impressed by the efficiency and professionalism by Star Cruises crew members. Everything runs well and on time. Never once were we delayed for anything.
Nick and I agreed that it’s a better way to travel with kids. The experience was obviously more pleasant than bringing small kids and strapping them in their seats on a flight. Perhaps people in the olden days whose only option was to travel by sea had it figured out all along.
I know I didn’t add enough photos in the post and you are dying to see more. I shall leave you with a video of our cruise experience aboard SuperStar Gemini. Please don’t leave.
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