15 September 2010, Wednesday–Exactly 101 days before Christmas and 3 days prior to my big day, I had an experience of a lifetime!

Four of my colleagues who are now my new found travel and shopping friends (read: GASTOS ito! ….note to self:  SAVE more Ringgit!) and I went on an overnight cruise within Malaysian waters via Superstar Pisces. I was sort of the mind behind the plans of how to spend our eleven-day-vacation that began lunch time of  09 September, Thursday and will end on 19 September Sunday, within our limited budget of course.

I’ve been longing to experience a cruise with my family since the day my youngest brother traveled 30 European countries when he worked with Costa Atlantica few months after he finished his Tourism course in CEU, Manila. I know for a fact that it would cost me a fortune before I can experience such but not until I had a chance to be in Penang.

It was the early days of August when I first spotted that one of those remarkable Star Cruise liners is harbored in Penang bay. Soon after, I became intuitive with the travel agencies located in Prangin Mall, George Town. My itchy feet can’t wait since I’ve learned that Superstar Pisces is so affordable at RM 110/pax all in (PhP 1540 without room, almost RM 300 or PhP 4200 for twin sharing of a tiny cabin with toilet, at present rate) inclusive of buffet dinner and breakfast!.  Who would not give it a green light?

We were officially informed of our long-paid holiday about few days before we did the reservation. Needless to say, our preferred date of the cruise was already fully booked and the only available rates were that of standing pax only. 😦  I thought, come what may, we have to push through with the game plan.

And so on the afternoon of  15 September, Wednesday, we trooped to the pier where Superstar Pisces is harbored. Check in started at 5:30PM until 7PM.

Swettenham Pier, George Town, Penang

Don’t you just like the name of this harbor? Sounds like sweet ham to me. 🙂

Upon entry, we presented  at the counter our booking confirmation which we just claimed from the travel agency half an hour before boarding. *wrong move! we could have claimed it days before* Then, the Chinese lady at the counter asked for our passports and handed us a cruise pass; somewhat like a credit card with your complete name on it and it’s the only thing you need when you purchase something on board.

Meet my travel buddies …

from left to right : Drs. Roy, Anna, Ronnie and Alvin.

We hopped on the lift and went directly to the 11th floor then headed straight to the viewing deck.

Here are some of the things and amenities you can enjoy with this wonderful cruise ship…

a mini pool and a jacuzzi
mirrored ceiling of the entertainment center where meeting rooms, an auditorium are housed

Seemed like we’re looking for our cabin here…oops, they’re all fully booked, remember? 😦

On where we slept the night, I’ll just leave it to your imagination. 🙂  As for me, I had an hour and a half of restful sleep.

cabin hallway : follow the stars!

Do you know how to play mahjong?  …I don’t.

Souvenir shop, Japanese restaurant, Children’s Day Care Center, an arcade for kids and kids at hearts, karaoke bar, Galaxy of the stars where the singers and wait staffs are all Pinoys, casino and more…

Blame it on my shirt, we were easily recognized by a volume of Pinoy crew on board.  Seriously, we’re all proud to know that almost half of the 600 crew members of Star Cruise Pisces from 20 nations were from the Philippines.  Most of them just boarded few weeks back; some even joined the cruise ship for work on that very same day.

It’s so comforting to see kababayans who work hard for families back home. We stood tall amidst various colors!

Below are some of the warm Filipino cruise ship crew we met inside Superstar Pisces : Lovely, Josephine & Erica 🙂

Inclusive of the cruise rates were the buffet dinner and breakfast served at Mariners resto at 6PM-9PM and 6AM-9AM respectively.  Chow time made me miss more my wife, Tina and of course our bundle of joy, Gabby. I so hope that I can bring them over someday to experience this as well. 🙂

Our buffet dinner at Mariners…

Since Star Cruise Pisces sails within predominantly Muslim waters, they serve Halal-food.  We’re informed that the spread vary everyday but for our cruise, in the absence of pork dishes, we pig-out Ostrich with broccoli, Prawns with Garlic, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Chicken dimsum noodle  and so much more delicious foods!

As usual, my shameless display of my pig-out plate : Ostrich with broccoli, Sweet and sour Chicken, Seafood something and a load of my favorite Udang or Prawns in garlic! Yum!

Spaghetti Marinara, fruits and assorted desserts…

When I was scanning the spread, I met one of the chefs who happens to be Pinoy too.

After dinner, one can try their luck at the casino, play bingo and might hit the jackpot, relax in the spa with indoor jacuzzi and sauna, or just unwind and listen to the music by a Filipino band…

"Careless whisper" : care to sing along with the Pinoy band? =)

Breakfast time…

With my every bite, I miss my wifey and son, particularly when I saw the free flowing coffee and tea counter and yes, those cereals. Tina and Gabby love those for breakfast! 🙂

tina and gabby will certainly love this!

On my plates :

Eat like a king for breakfast!

Other than meeting Pinoy crew on board and experiencing how it feels like to be in one of the Star Cruises, the best part of our trip for me was welcoming the break of the new dawn at the deck of Superstar Pisces…

This was absolutely priceless!

Thank You, Lord for the new day!
Waking up in the middle of the sea on a cruise ship never happens on a daily basis...

Komtar, the tallest building in Penang Island is apparently stunning in the middle of the sea

We went down and settled our bills (I purchased a Star Cruise canvass pillow as souvenir) then claimed our passports before disembarking at past 8 in the morning.

I’m just glad we did the cruise; so grateful for all the blessings–big and small!

Star Cruise Pisces, it wasn’t good bye, but see you again soon, with my family. 😀


PS :  Salamat po sa mga Pinoy crew na nakilala namin sa Star Cruise Pisces : Aime, Rhodalyn, Mike, Tirso, Erica, Lovely, Josephine, Gino, Joey, Mark, Godfrey, Chef Antonio at iyong ilang hindi namin nakuha ang mga pangalan.



  1. who would want to sleep while crusing? (excuse ng mga walang rooms, joke!) pero seriously, for sure hindi ka din naman pupunta lang sa room and spent your cruise there..

    pero na iimagine ko sa – uhm – jacuzzi ka natulog? hehe

    kainggit to, i super want it too!!

    1. you’re done with southeast asian trip via air and land travels. why not take your adventures to the next level, board on cruise ships, chyng! let’s go! superstar virgo daw maganda. hmmm…

      but no, hindi ako sa jacuzzin natulog. somewhere where i laid flat and restful. not on the floor too. haha. well, almost. 😀

    1. coming from you, i’m taking that as a sweet compliment. 😀 thanks!

      mura yang cruise na yan, imagine at RM 110 or PhP 1540 inclusive of those i’ve mentioned above, it’s even cheaper than most buffets in hotels there in manila.

    1. thanks for the greetings!

      you’re one of the blogger-photographers I follow who have experienced cruise after cruise. i wish one day i can take longer cruises with my family. you’re absolutely right, it’s addicting! i can’t wait to experience the other star cruises. asian cruise muna siguro pagnakaipon. perhaps next year? *wishful thinking me*

  2. Lovely vacation you had! A cruise may be one of the things i really want but I would of course, just like you, want to experience it with family onboard too!

  3. Take a longer cruise, you’ll love it more. In all the cruises I’ve taken, Pinoys are always present and in the majority…most of the time. They’ll make you feel at home – they excel in every level of the work they do and most of them are actually overqualified for the assignment they draw on board. Any tip they get, they fully deserved – I’m not a good tipper (unless I have one too many drinks) but when it comes to these guys, I tip like a drunken sailor on a mission I’m not coming back from LOL.

    1. hi bert. just so you know, the very first post i’ve read from your travel blog was your cruise from nz to oz. and apparently i became one of your numerous stalkers. i admire how you perceive life as fun as possible. doing your cruises, pilgrimages and other leisure trips with your wife and as simple as visiting your grandchildren at san francisco are indeed worth the follow in every sense of the word.

      sana makapag-cruise din kami ng mahaba-haba na kasama pamilya ko. 🙂
      longer cruise = big budget! ha ha!

      …thinks you’re a generous tipper!

    1. doc roy, coming from you, i’ll take that as a compliment. 🙂
      you’re welcome to view my other posts particularly my stint in tokyo and our family bonding in boracay and more.

    1. super sulit, indeed!
      imagine the price of RM 110 (P1540) with 2 meal-buffets, use of amenities and the a priceless fun-filled experience.

      food was delicious! unfortunately, we can only eat as much.

  4. Your overnight cruise is I think similar to the one being operated in the US, which is called “cruise to nowhere”.
    Although I’ve been telling friends who invited me that I’ll do cruising when I get old, it’s probably gonna be sooner the more I see photos – just like yours!

  5. This is a beautiful luxury ship, the food and the interiors. I am not a cruise person, though I have experienced the Baja Mexico cruise for 3d2n.

    Sana maka decide kayo na magsama na diyan para ma enjoy din nila Tina at Gabby.

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