Friday, October 05, 2012

Cruise to Thailand – Day 1 – The Journey Begins

Recently, my hubby, son and I took a cruise on Star Cruise Libra to Phuket and Krabi to give Aiman a break from all the studying in preparation for his recent UPSR and to give us a break from all the stress at work.

It’s been a very long time since we took a family holiday overseas, the last one being in 2008 when we went to Melbourne.

My mum had recommended that we take the cruise after she, my niece, Kuyana, and nephew, Aimeer, went on the cruise last November after they completed sitting for their SPM last year, and they enjoyed it tremendously.

I had booked the ticket online and I got quite a good deal as it was on promotion in conjunction with the MATTA fair at the end of July or August. The only downside to booking online was that I could not speak to a real human being to inquire as to whether halal food was served on board the ship because I had received conflicting and various information with regards to the food being served.

Despite sending them several emails (through the Star Cruise website), I did not get a straight answer that I was looking for. The only answer I got was that no pork is served at one of the restaurants.

No pork does not necessarily mean that it is halal. It only means that pork is not served, but as to whether the meat is koshered or not, no one seems to be able to tell me for sure.

After much researching online, I chance upon a blogger who is a journalist and she had written that there is a Muslim Chef onboard. Still, I was not convinced because many forums that I visited online could only confirm No Pork, but no one for sure could tell me that the food is halal.

I resorted to packing 3 packets of Maggi Mee for the trip, just in case. *grin*

The night before the trip, Aiman was so excited that he slept so much earlier than usual so that he can wake up as early as possible. His usual bedtime is 9.30pm, on weekdays and 10.00pm on weekends, but that Saturday, 29th September 2012, he was all set and ready to go to bed at 9.00pm! LOL!

We woke up early as our flight to Penang was at 10.25am. Aiman was eager to get to the airport as early as possible.

After checking in, we had a quick KFC breakfast .

Upon arriving at Penang International Airport, and picking up our luggage, we noticed that was a tear around the area where the combination of our strap is.

But since we did not notice any other tempering, we decided to just left it go so as not to spoil our trip.

As we were still too early to go to the pier when we arrived in Penang because we could only check-in into our cabin after 1.00pm, we decided to have a light lunch at the airport and wait awhile until it was time to go.

Aiman could not contain his excitement and was eager to get to the pier as soon as possible and kept asking for the time every 10 minutes! LOL!

We finally left the airport at 1.00pm and arrived at the pier to see a long queue of people already waiting to get through immigrations and check-in into their cabins.

It took us about 40 minutes to get through the procedure, and as we were walking towards the ship, I managed to snap a few photos of the ship.

When I saw this signage as we were walking in, I could not resist taking a photo of it to show the wrong spelling used. Someone must have gotten confused with “your” and “you’re”. *grin*

We found our cabin on Deck 7 and we were all full of excitement when we opened the door and found a very cute cabin which had everything within reach of each other.

Azman said that it reminded him of the hotel room he stayed on one of his trip to Japan some years ago. It reminded me of a Japanese program on Astro, “Before and After”, where they would try to renovate a tiny house into a liveable space.

Aiman immediately jumped onto the bed, while my hubby inspected the upper bed deck to see if it was OK for Aiman to sleep on the upper deck.

The cabin came complete with a study table cum dressing table, a TV cabinet (no mini fridge though), and it had many wardrobe spaces to put loads of things, not that we brought a lot though.

The bathroom was so tiny but clean and presentable. You can reach the sink and the shower while sitting on the wash closet! LOL!

After putting all our things away, we decided to explore the ship a bit.

This is a view of Deck 4, where all the shops, beauty salons and reception counters are located, taken from Deck 5.

A model of the ship.

Some promotions going on for shore excursion trips and extra supplies.

The pool deck.

Our very first meal on board the ship. Tea was served from 2.00 – 4.00pm.

The pizza is vegetarian pizza and the sandwich is tuna sandwich.

The upper deck.

Views from the ship.

Deck 6 is where we are to assemble in case of emergencies.

It’s got a basketball court and a jogging track.

Listening to emergency evacuation drill.

Anyone wants to do a Titanic scene? *grin*

I bought that sunglasses on board the ship when Aiman said that the sun was getting into his eyes.

The wind was so strong that my hubby had to hold on to his cap to prevent it from flying off.

Taking in the sun, not that I needed any, I am naturally very tanned already, thank you very much! LOL!

Back at the cabin to wait for dinner, my hubby decided to test the upper bed deck to see if Aiman would be OK to sleep there.

I brought along my hexies to work on while waiting for dinner.

Dinner is served....

We sat by the pool to have our dinner, but just as we were about to eat, we got shooed away by the waiters. We were not allowed to sit anywhere near the pool, but there was no signage anywhere to that effect.

Oh well. Not wanting to make a fuss, we just got up and moved to another place but had to stand up as all the tables and chairs were taken up.

This is what I had.... griiled corn, griiled fish and grilled prawns with griiled potatoes.

We were not sure if we could eat any of the meat even though we saw many malay looking people eating the meat. Aiman argued with us and insisted that he wanted to eat the griiled chicken and steak.

Not wanting to make a scene on the first day, we allowed him to eat the chicken and meat with the knowledge that since we are departing from Malaysia, there is a possibility that the meat could have been supplied from a halal supplier. But, still, I stayed away from the meat.

After dinner, however, we had a pep talk with Aiman about the importance of eating only halal food and when not sure, it is best that we only eat seafood. I am glad that finally Aiman understood the religious implication and from then on, he only ate seafood for the rest of the trip on board the ship.

We wanted to catch the sunset, but could not get a clear view of it to snap a photo.

We enjoyed the dinner and show very much.

Another round of exploring on the ship after dinner.

The Jacuzzi as seen from the top deck.

While Aiman and hubby went for a late night movie, The Adventures of Tin Tin, I decided to go for supper alone.

Now this is filling – 4 pieces of fish fillet to make up for the light dinner! Heheh....

End of Day 1.

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