Line: Star Cruises
Star rating: 4 star
Tonnage: 42,276 - 76,800
Passengers: 1480 - 1960 (based on double occupancy)
What's included in the price:
- All meals
- Port taxes
- Government fees
- Strictly 'no tipping policy'
Star Cruises are and Asian company with their main cruise hub being Singapore. Americans, Australians and Europeans enjoy the cruises as they not only travel around Asia but also give an insight into Asian cultures and lifestyles.
The company’s super ships were the first to offer a wide range of eating venues. There are formal restaurants as well as casual buffets and poolside grills. There are also one or two special restaurants that have a cover charge and need to be booked in advance. Star Cruises were one of the first lines to offer the opportunity for passengers to eat when they want, where they want and with whom they want. The ship offers plenty of food and not all of it is Asian cuisine. There is a wide ranging menu which changes often. There is an extensive wine list with featured wines from around the world. As well as dishes from many Asian countries, there are Italian, French, Indian and American dishes on offer. One restaurant is set up as a Japanese dining room complete with low tables and floor level seating. Here groups of six enjoy a Japanese banquet that is truly remarkable. Star offer a free room service for breakfast which is unusual these days. Breakfast in the main dining room is served buffet style with a mixture of Eastern and western foods on offer. It is possible to take bacon, scrambled eggs, Thai fishcakes and prawn dumplings. The restaurant and bar staff are all Orientals but they all speak very good English.
The line’s ships are not equipped for children in the same way as many Western ships now are. There are special facilities for children led by qualified counsellors but the activities tend to be things like exercise sessions, pool games, storytelling and painting competitions. There is a pay-per-play video games arcade for teenagers. They can also enjoy internet cafes and cinemas.
There is plenty to do on a Star cruise but there are no mega extravaganza glitzy shows. There is a casino, piano bar and other relaxing lounges. The piano bars are enjoyable places to relax during the day with a wide range of newspapers and magazines provided. Shows tend to be magic shows, Chinese acrobats or quizzes such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire. There is dancing to live music and a Bollywood style nightclub. During the day there are pools, spas, fitness centres and beauty salons.
There is a wide range of cabins available, even some for singles. There are interconnecting cabins for families and as mentioned previously, cabins specially adapted for the disabled. Cabins are fitted out to a very high standard and all but those at the lowest end of the price scale have large windows providing ocean views.
The ships are mainly marketed to Asian cruisers but there are always quite a few North Americans, Australians, New Zealanders and a few Europeans. The ships are attractive to a wide variety of age groups from small children to retirees. The line operates a no tipping policy but many Americans are so impressed with the service they are provided that they often break this rule.
Star cruise ships manage to show their Asian origins whilst making westerners feel at home on a ship where the main language is English. Currency rates change, but with the depressed Singapore dallar, this cruise line offers extremely good value for money.