Costa Cruises is celebrating 10 years in Asia, making it one of the most established and popular cruise companies in the region. The cruise line has come in leaps and bounds – it will be sending a newbuild to China and just last month, the line also announced it would be homeporting a ship in India which will also visit the Maldives.
But Costa Cruises has tough competition – Star Cruises, another veteran line in the region has been operating since 1994. Both cruise lines are popular among families and offer exceptional entertainment, food, accommodation as well as short holidays.
Cruise&Travel Asia compares Asia’s two most popular lines and we let you decide what suits your cruising style.
The Costa Victoria which sails out of Singapore to Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand is famous for its authentic Italian food. Onboard, the ship has a number of dining areas including the Sinfonia and Fantasia dining rooms. Dinner is a six-course meal of starters, soups, pastas, main, salad, cheese and dessert. You’ll find antipastos, Italian roasts and delectable desserts of soufflés and tiramisu. For breakfast, The Bolero Buffet has hot food like eggs, hash browns, bacon as well as fruits, cheeses, yoghurts, and pastries. The buffet also serves lunch, mainly of cold foods like sandwiches. If you’re looking for something more substantial, The Pool Grill and Terrazza Grill serve burgers, hotdogs, fries, pizzas, fruit and more. The Pizzeria serves slices from 3 to 7pm. The pizzeria also does made-to-order pizzas.
Star Cruises is famous for its wide range of eateries, especially the number of Asian options available. On the SuperStar Virgo, the Bella Vista Dining Room serves international cuisine. For fans of Japanese food, you can dine at the Tatami Room where you can watch teppanyaki chefs prepare steaks, vegetable and fish dishes. Or, you can visit the Samurai Japanese restaurant that has a sushi bar. For around SGD$70, you can get a multi-course Chinese banquet at The Noble House or you can try some butter chicken and naan at the Taj Indian restaurant. If you fancy some Western food, the Palazzo Restaurant serves Italian fare.
Onboard the Costa Victoria, there are 964 cabins ranging from inside to oceanview rooms. There are balcony rooms and suites as well. All rooms have mini-bars, safes and hair dryers. The suites, unfortunately, do not have balconies. The cabins with balconies have upright chairs and small tables. The bathrooms are basic and no toiletries are provided. While there is a lot of clothes storage, there are not many plug outlets for iPads, laptops and phones.
Onboard Star Cruises ships, there are five categories of cabins. Depending on your budget and your travelling companions, you can book an inside, balcony view or interconnecting cabin. The inside and outside cabins are furnished nicely but are small. The beds are turned down at night and are cleaned once a day. For those staying in the Balcony Class, extra perks include free welcome drinks as well as credit towards a specialty restaurant.
The Festival Theatre is the main area where evening shows are performed. There’s singing, dancing and acrobatics. When the show is over, the dancers will lead you out to the main promenade where you will partake in dance routines like the Macarena and YMCA. Onboard the Costa Victoria you can also indulge in the spa. The menu includes manicures, body wraps, facials and manicures. You can also do aerobics classes, yoga and pilates.
The line produces and creates all its shows in-house. The Sorpresa! Surprise at Sea is based on the Chinese belief of feng shui and its core elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth. There is acrobatics as well as Chinese opera. There are also karaoke rooms, mah-jong rooms and more. The SuperStar Virgo also has a garden-style Parthenon Pool area and its Roman-style spa as jet pools for aquatic workouts, and the spa menu includes Thai massages, facials as well as manicure and pedicures. The SuperStar Virgo also has a putting green, basketball court, aero kick boxing and more.
To find out deals and itineraries for Star Cruises click here and for Costa Cruises click here.