Aboard the Star Cruises SuperStar Virgo, A Luxury Hotel At Sea, With Chef Sandy Daza
Chef Sandy Daza brings along his four kids for a fun, food-filled adventure aboard this luxury cruise
What’s it like aboard a 13-storey luxury hotel at sea? Chef Sandy Daza brings along his four children to share this unique and lavish experience on FoodPrints Season 7.
Star Cruises is a cruise line dedicated to bringing the best and most luxurious on-sea experiences, spanning a number of countries in Asia. On FoodPrints Season 7, Chef Sandy and his children Turo, Franco, Ali, and Danielle, get on board the Star Cruises’ fleet flagship for their first ever cruise trip: the SuperStar Virgo.
Star Cruises has a number of fleets and destinations, depending on what you want. The ship can go to various destinations and have a number of steps, depending on the ship and schedule that you choose. It also departs from a number of places all over the world, depending where you’re coming from.
Where to stay
When you hear the word ship, the first thing that comes to mind in terms of accommodation are small, almost claustrophobic-inducing cabins with small circular windows—or so many films have made us believe. At the SuperStar Virgo, accommodation is not compromised, to make your several-day stay as comfortable as possible.
Here’s a glimpse at the Stateroom with balcony, which gives off the illusion of staying in a beach resort because of the balcony view.
Afraid you’ll get seasick and not be able to sleep? According to Turo and Franco, you might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but eventually, you will get used to the gentle rocking of the ship.
Where to eat
Once you get over the feeling of seasickness, you can now proceed to sample one of the 15 the restaurants and bars inside the boat. The SuperStar Virgo offers a variety of cuisines—from Japanese to Chinese to Mediterranean and more. The ship employs their very own Chinese chef so expect the cuisine to be authentic.
The first meal of the Daza family aboard the SuperStar Virgo is a casual BBQ dinner at the top deck, where they got to sample the ship’s many different cuisines. Ali’s favorite was the tender chicken, while Chef Sandy made sure he got a beeline for the lechon. Since the carver of the lechon is Filipino, he even got to ask for the rib part!
There are two types of restaurants aboard the SuperStar Virgo: inclusive and exclusive restaurants. Inclusive restaurants like the Star Dining Room mean that you don’t have to pay extra when you eat. The meals in these places have been paid for by your initial cruise fee. Some restaurants, however, are not included in the package.
A tip from the Dazas: plan to eat earlier or later than the usual dining hours because the restaurants can get packed.
What to do
There are over 40 facilities on board so you’ll never run out of things to do. For first-timers like Chef Sandy and his kids, they recommend to take the Bridge Tour and Galley Tour, where you will be toured around some of the most important parts of the ship.
During the Bridge Tour, Franco, Ali, Danielle, and Turo got to visit the Captain’s quarters and they were brokenhearted to find out that modern ships like the SuperStar Virgo don’t use the traditional gigantic steering wheel anymore. You bet they were imagining to have a go at that huge wheel!
The Galley Tour was also amazing, where they got to visit the biggest kitchen in the ship. This is where the food is prepared for everyone aboard. Imagine having to feed the almost 2,000 people aboard the ship: this kitchen is indeed equipped for this huge task with state-of the art facilities and the best chefs and crew.
According to the guide, 60% of the crew are Filipinos. This is spectacular given that the Star Cruises is not a Filipino company. It’s because they’ve seen that Filipinos are very hardworking and fairly easier to train.
There are two swimming pools aboard the SuperStar Virgo and the Parthenon Pool is definitely a must-visit! It does not only look majestic—perfect for your selfies and OOTDs—but it is also equipped with four Jacuzzi hot tubs and a giant winding water slide.
There’s an arcade where you can get access to a variety of entertainment consoles, a mini-golf area, spa, parlor, gym, library, casino, and a Filipino-favorite—karaoke.
If you want something more instructive like the Bridge and Galley tours, there are also several classes and activities that you can sign up for like dance classes, games, and even archery. But for Chef Sandy, he did not have the problem of choosing what class to take: because he had a class to teach.
It was the first time for Chef Sandy to hold a cooking demo aboard a ship, and for the SuperStar Virgo, he was tasked to hold a Japanese cooking demo where he taught the crowd how to make karaage and sukiyaki. It looked like the tourists aboard the cruise loved his class because it was so packed they ran out of hand-out recipe notes!
What’s special about cruises like this one, is that there are a number of land stops for the passengers to explore. In the case of the Dazas, one of the stops of their trip was Vietnam, where they got to explore the country’s food and culture.
Want to know more about the Dazas’ cruise and Vietnam escapade? Stay tuned to FoodPrints S7, premiering on Sunday, 8:30 p.m., only on Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD. You can also watch FoodPrints and other Metro Channel original shows on-demand via iWant and on Metro.style’s Youtube.