All through a compact evening meal get-alongside one another with pals at the residence of Television executive Legislation Tan a few months back, cruise connoisseur and world-trotter Keren Pascual asked if we would be fascinated to be part of him on the Movie star Beyond cruise.
He discussed that it was the latest cruise line and had just opened this 12 months. The 1 he prepared to go on was the Mediterranean cruise, which was to sail from Rome on July 11 for Greece and Malta, and then dock in Barcelona on July 21. Keren’s description of the cruise obtained me extremely thrilled, specially the element about Greece which would consider us to Olympia, Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens. I have hardly ever been to Greece and the considered of investing 10 evenings aboard a lavish ship was pretty tempting. Thanks to Keren’s “sales” pitch, Leo Katigbak (head of Ab muscles-CBN archives and movie restoration) and I have been in.
Considering that this was going to be my initial vacation out of the region considering the fact that the lockdown commenced in March 2020, there were being tons of needs to offer with. I necessary to get a booster shot, apply for the yellow card from the bureau of quarantine and a Schengen visa, e book aircraft tickets, resort rooms and our cruise, and lastly, get ready our itinerary. I was so psyched for my initially revenge travel, I requested a three-week holiday leave from my bosses.
On July 7, Keren, Leo and I flew to Rome and spent 3 evenings there. We even employed a Pinoy driver, Ken Avelino, to travel us to Florence for a working day to take a look at San Gimignano and Siena, two pretty quaint towns a couple of hrs from Rome. On Sunday, July 10, we attended the 9 a.m. mass at the Vatican and then expended the rest of the working day strolling as a result of the streets of Rome.
The day soon after, on July 11, we asked Ken to generate us to the port in Civitavecchia the place the Superstar Past ship was ready for its travellers to board. The ship was undoubtedly a sight to behold, its spectacular, model-new exterior imposing and beckoning. Examining in was a breeze since we did most of the prep measures on the internet, such as tagging our individual luggage. As soon as we acquired inside of, all a few of us could not assistance but be awestruck and stunned as the ship was breathtakingly beautiful. The interiors were being tastefully designed by earth-course interior designers, and a single deck even had two Kenneth Cobonpue chairs handsomely displayed!
In accordance to the web page, the Celebrity Past has 21 decks and can home 3,260 travellers and 1,400 crew members. Its captain, Kate McCue, is the initial feminine captain to steer a cruise liner.
When I got to my cabin (we every had our personal), I saw that the interiors ended up quite present day with their muted grey and white colour motif. The bathroom was remarkably really roomy, and arrived entire with hotel-like features. I was particularly enthusiastic that I could purchase area assistance and have a food overlooking the ocean from the infinity verandah. Other notable features ended up the distant-controlled blinds, the extremely-relaxed bed, mini bar, the substantial display screen tv with a superior variety of television reveals, flicks and dwell information channels from BBC, Fox News, NBC, and many others.
Right after I unpacked and took a shower, Keren, Leo and I made the decision to examine the ship just before deciding wherever we would have evening meal. And boy, were being we impressed when we observed what the ship had to provide! There are 8 dining parts open to all passengers, and 7 specialty restaurants that charge. The Overview Café is wherever all the having motion is. It has been christened “Eataly” because of the wide selection of meals and beverages and is open up all working day for breakfast, lunch and supper.
To me, what was jaw-dropping was the “Magic Carpet Ride” place, which is a 2,100 sq. foot multi-use room that hovers more than the open up h2o. Developed by Tom Wright, the similar architect at the rear of the Burj Al Arab Resort, it is like a giant elevator that can go up and down 10 tales. In the course of the day, it’s on deck 14, the place passengers can lounge and just take in the water views. At night time, it’s decreased down to the fifth deck the place it transforms into a bar wherever patrons can love live tunes. If you’re blessed, you can even catch a magical sunset.
The resort deck on the 14th amount is wherever you will obtain the 75-ft. key pool, and the Solarium pool, which is enclosed in a glass dome and for the exclusive use of adults. It is also here where by you will discover lots and plenty of lounge chairs exactly where you can rest and soak up the sunshine while enjoying ocean sights.
Leo was also raving about the comprehensive-assistance gym on deck 15 with point out-of-the-artwork machines ample to accommodate 40 folks at any given time. The spa also has tanning and rejuvenation rooms, massages and five different saunas to pick out from.
Entertainment on board is also superb. At any specified time, there are about 60 routines to pick out from, which include musical exhibits, dancing, a piano bar, magic displays, crafts tutorials, artwork reveals, motion picture screenings, recreation sports activities functions like ping pong, h2o volleyball, etc. Even the theater — which can seat 500 folks — is condition-of-the-art, with its hydraulic multiple stages and 110-foot curved LED wall.
On our next evening, as we were being waiting to catch the theater generation entitled Phase Door, Captain Kate McCue appeared and introduced herself and her government officers to the theatergoers. She identified as the ship a “pandemic baby” since it was created throughout the two-calendar year lockdown to the tune of $1.3 billion, and went on its maiden voyage only a few months ago in April 2022. Capt. Kate, 44 yrs aged only, is a dynamic and embellished captain and a really fairly one, also! She reminded me of Sandra Bullock! The luxury ship is proud to have a desire group of icons driving it, together with multi award-profitable interior designer Kelly Hoppen CBE, world culinary ambassador chef Daniel Boulud, and perfectly-staying advisor Gwyneth Paltrow.
For me, nevertheless, it’s the company that is impeccable. It is like you’re checked-in at a 5-star lodge the place foods is available 24 hours a working day and the team is incredibly valuable, cheerful and courteous. My cabin is cleaned twice a working day by Alan Adan, a Filipino who has been functioning for 13 yrs on a cruise ship, and who leaves me chocolates just about every night time when he turns down my bed.
According to Charles, 1 of the Filipinos assigned in the concierge, there are far more than 200 Filipinos on board the Movie star Over and above, whose crew is composed of in excess of 70 nationalities serving on board. And considering the fact that Filipinos dominate the quantity of crew members, we have been ready to ask for them to put together us a Filipino meal on our 2nd to the last night time. They stunned us with lumpia shanghai, sinigang na hipon and beef tapa with garlic rice! It was so comforting to have Filipino food items following far more than two weeks even though Keren, Leo and I have been almost certainly the only Filipino passengers at the time.
From what I observed, the travellers ended up largely People, Latin Us citizens, Europeans and a extremely small range of Asians. Age-intelligent, I noticed lots of families that were travelling with babies and teens, and lots of partners-only vacationers, as well. It was a wonderful blend of aged, center-aged and young people.
My only regret was not taking my young children with me. But then again, is not that the perfect justification to go on a further cruise next yr? As social cruise director Luigi Del Mar states every night time, the cruise lifestyle is back and for me, it’s so liberating!
(For inquiries on any Superstar Cruise, remember to make contact with Andrea Manzano at 0995-4123187.)