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Cruise Ship Information
SuperStar Libra is a cruise ship owned and operated by Star Cruises. She was built in 1988 at Wärtsilä Marine Perno Shipyard in Turku, Finland as Seaward for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 1997 she was renamed Norwegian Sea, remaining in NCL fleet. In 2005 she was transferred to the fleet of Star Cruises.
Atmosphere on board
Star Cruises is best known for its Far Eastern itineraries, which -- because it's a Kuala Lumpur-based line and big in the local markets -- provide the most authentic Asian voyage experience. Onboard SuperStar Libra, there are "real McCoy" touches like tatami rooms, sushi bars and Chinese, Japanese and even Indian restaurants.
The ship offers short cruises (one to three nights) from Penang, Malaysia to ports in Thailand. And while certainly not the newest or most glamorous cruise ship in the region, SuperStar Libra has a quirky charm all of its own.
There are several reasons for this, which will become obvious as this review progresses, but the main one is that the ship's largely Asian crew are simply superb -- friendly, sweet-natured, efficient and very attentive.
Indeed, some of our fellow passengers loved the crew so much they were in tears saying goodbye to them as the cruise ended. That's heartfelt praise indeed.
Family with Kids/Teens
The Porthole kids' playroom on Deck 3 is a fairly limited facility for children ages five to 12, with a "Toytown"-themed carpet, craft tables and chairs, toys, a large TV, and wall charts with education themes like "Alphabet" and "My Body." Daily activity programs are arranged from around 9 a.m. to around 11 p.m. (exact times vary), but the children are not formally divided into different age groups.
Activities include "Kids-ercise" sessions, pool games, movie showings, and balloon parties, early morn stretch classes, drawing competitions, knee painting, notepad making and storytelling.
For older children, there is Video Planet, a pay-per-use video games arcade on Deck 5.
Babysitting is available after 11 p.m. at $5 per hour for children ages one to four, $3 per hour for five to 12's. After midnight the price rises to $10 per hour regardless of age.
Past Passenger Programs
Star Pisces has numerous public rooms for the passengers to enjoy, including a show lounge, intimate Piano Bars plus a lively Karaoke Bar and numerous dining venues. All are furnished comfortably, and offer a fun, casual atmosphere with no pretense of elegance to diminish this casual feeling.
Let us take a closer look at these public rooms, beginning at the top.
Here you will find the Jogging Track with glorious views of the sea.
Starting forward you will find the spacious outdoor Sun Deck with wonderful sea views. Heading aft inside on the port side is the lovely Rua Thai Restaurant with very nice ocean view windows. The décor lets you know it is Thai, but is understated and comfortable. This is one of the three inclusive dining venues.
Fitness And Spa
Silver Wind has a sizable saltwater pool (large enough for laps) and two hot tubs on Deck 8. The deck space is more than ample for sun-lovers. On sea days, there's usually a rousing game or two of pool volleyball. Just above the pool deck on Deck 9 are a walking track and a small gym housing elliptical machines, treadmills, free weights and yoga mats. The gym provides terrific views. A variety of fitness classes is offered daily. You can also try your hand at paddle tennis, or practice putting at the onboard green.
For those who prefer pampering to pumping iron, the Spa at Silversea is a sight for sore muscles. There are a full hair salon, including nail services, and nine treatment rooms to fulfill your every rejuvenating fantasy. You may want to try a warm stone or Swedish massage, reflexology or an anti-aging facial. Each changing room has a sauna and steam bath.
Food & Dining
STAR PISCES is operated as a "freestyle" ship, which means you have the choice to dine where, when and with whom you choose.
On Friday and Saturday cruises;
Breakfast is served in Mariners from 07:15 to 10:00am and in Ocean Palace from 08:00 to 10:00am
Dinner is served in Mariners from 05:30pm to 09:00pm and in Ocean Palace from 05:30pm to 09:30pm
Supper is served in Mariners from 11:30pm to 01:00am
At MARINERS restaurant you will find a wide and varied choice of International cuisine, prepared with great care by Executive Chef, Mr. Teoh Goet Beng who is from Malaysia. Everything is of high quality and fresh, which is a hallmark of Star Cruises. Even the pickiest eaters will be very satisfied with the food at Mariners. The presentation of all food at the buffet stations is picture worthy. Service by an International wait staff is swift and friendly.
OCEAN PALACE is the venue for Chinese cuisine. Here you will find a wide range of Chinese delicacies to suit everyone's taste. Naturally there will be a large selection of Cantonese specialties to cater to the local passengers from Hong Kong. Again, all food presentation at the buffet stations is a treat for the eye. Chef Beng prepares very tasty meals here for all to enjoy. For lovers of Chinese food, you will not be disappointed in Ocean Palace. An International wait staff will take care of you in their very friendly manner.
TAI PAN is a small a la carte Chinese restaurant which is actually a section of Ocean Palace that has been enclosed. Here you will find more upscale Chinese cuisine for the discerning passenger. Prices are, in my opinion, moderate.
RUA THAI conjures up very authentic and palatable Thai cuisine. Old favorites and some less common food will be on offer. Great care is taken to make sure the food has the right blend of spices. I have always been extremely satisfied with my meals here. The quiet ambiance adds much to your enjoyment. The friendly wait staff here, as in all other venues, will offer their warm and efficient service.
UMIGAWA Japanese Restaurant is intimate, and serves extremely good Japanese cuisine a la carte. I had the pleasure of dining here with Ms. Dorothy Mak who is Executive Manager Public Relations for Star Cruises Hong Kong and her assistant Ms. Cherie Tai. Many courses of delicious Japanese delicacies were brought to the table. So many, that because of our talking so much at the table, we had to leave mid-meal to attend the show in Galaxy and return afterwards to finish this extravagant meal. A truly wonderful and memorable dinner with fine food and excellent company.
BLUE LAGOON serves fast food and snacks. Mainly Chinese selections, but they do make a great hamburger as well. This outlet is always busy with passengers enjoying between meal snacks or after the disco and karaoke. Freshness is guaranteed with the quick turnover. All items are a la carte and quite reasonable.
In summary, all passengers should be pleased with the quality, taste and presentation of food in all outlets. Westerners will be happy to know that their food preference is no problem aboard Star Pisces. There is something available for all tastes and desires. With so many food outlets available, whether it be inclusive or a la carte, dining should prove to be an enjoyable part of your cruise.
Entertainment abounds aboard Star Pisces. The Galaxy of the Stars presents the production show "Carnaval De Brazil." This show has very talented dancers from Brazil and Europe performing Latin ballroom and famous street dances of Rio. Although there are no stage sets, due to space restrictions, the costuming is bright and evocative of the spirit of Brazil. Another feature in this show is the Chinese Acrobats from Ha Er Bin, China. With bodies seemingly made of rubber, their contortions and acrobatics are amazing.
Lighting and audio for this show is professional and well executed. This show is eye-candy and a nice hour or so of entertainment.
Late in the evening, these same Brazilian dancers perform in a topless revue called "Amazonian Love." There is an admittance charge and is for passengers 18 years old and above.
More entertainment is to be seen with the SUMMER STAR CANTON BAND, who perform three sets nightly in the Galaxy show lounge. They play Cantonese, Mandarin and English pop music. They interact with the audience by asking for requests as well as playing their own repertoire.
The STAR PISCES QUARTET can be found playing in the Castaway Bar at various times during the night. They welcome requests as well as performing their own sets. Ask for some Filipino songs as a special treat.
For solo piano music there is the venerable JON JON, who has been with Star Cruises for quite some time. He has an easygoing style and is adept at requests. Sometimes he will even encourage sing-a-longs, depending on the crowd. Jon Jon can be found performing in the Observation Lounge and Castaway Bar at various times. Do stop by for an enjoyable interlude.
If you like to sing, and like to entertain and/or make other passengers suffer, head to the Karaoke Bar. This venue is always busy. The tables by the large windows are always the first to fill up. Here you will find solo, couples and groups eager to express themselves through song. Some of them are quite talented. Then, on the other hand, we have the Chinese Opera wannabees. It's a fun place and good for a laugh or two at times.
Fellow Passengers
Though this ship is marketed primarily to Asian passengers, the official onboard language is English, so North Americans, Brits, Australians and others fluent in the King's tongue are accommodated beautifully.
Gratuities to ship personnel are neither expected nor required.
Our recommendation