Ever since I was little, I have wanted to go on a cruise and my dreams came true when I got to really step foot on a passenger cruise ship- the Costa Victoria, a couple of years ago…..
The Costa Victoria is a Victoria-class cruise ship owned and operated by Costa Crociere. She debuted in 1996 and was refurbished in 2004 with an extensive rebuild during which a total of 246 balconies were added to the accommodations on decks 9, 10 and 11. She was also fitted with an extension of the buffet terrace and adding promenades on Deck 11. Costa Victoria has undergone a refit on November 11, 2013 which will see modernization to her public rooms and staterooms to more “Italian” design. Her designs are said to reflect the spirit of Italy.
She comes with a Panoramic Concorde Plaza, an indoor pool, an ultramodern Pompei Spa, and a seven deck Planetarium Atrium.
The Costa Victoria starts from Singapore, so we had to take a bus to Singapore and check in at the Singapore Cruise Centre and went through immigration etc. When you check into the ship, you will be given your cabin number and then you will have to surrender your passport (the ship security people collects all the passports and will keep it for the duration of your cruise).
You will be given an Emergency drill card, personalized key cards with your name which becomes your ID on the duration of the cruise, even when getting off the ship for excursions or visits and yes, bring it home as a souvenir/ keepsake..
There are 5 meals per day served free of charge and we had a selection of about 2 fine dining restaurants and two other buffet style restaurants where we could have our meal. My little girl’s and my favourite was lunch /dinner at Fantasia restaurant on Deck 5 Boheme.
For a while I could just imagine the horrors one would face in a real life situation like that….It was not hard to when everyone was being squeezed like sardines into several lines to fit all the crowd in. No doubt there were about 5-6 muster stations and the drill was for familiarization purpose and a necessity in case something untoward happened. The drill took about 13 minutes or so but some people including yours truly was getting light headed or claustrophobic being hemmed in a huge crowd and small kids were crying.
Then it was over… blessedly over….and we were allowed to leave the Muster Station…
When you are on the cruise, it would be a crying shame to miss out on the LIVE shows at the Festival theatre on Deck 6 Traviata.
On the first night I was on board, it was Ice, a Michael Jackson impersonator extraordinaire hailing from Las Vegas, and he was GOOD!! Ice and his back up dancers were brilliant at their show. He also looked a lot like Michael Jackson in his make up and outfits.
When the performance was over, I was really knackered and we headed back to our cabin to sleep…
I woke up at 6ish just to see the sky lightening, woke up my mini me and we went up to Deck 11 where the swimming pool is to see the sunrise…
Since my little girl was hungry like a horse, we went to have our breakfast there at Deck 12 at the Bolero Buffet, with the continental buffet breakfast, which was just a small buffet but we got to watch the sunrise as well.
Then we took a stroll around the ship to the casino area…Being an average Muslim and learning first hand how gambling can wreck havoc in a family, back when my mother and “step father” were addicts , and growing up partially in a gambling den, I am not much of a gambler thought I like a little game sometimes with very small money with close friends, but naturally I must be winning. Thought of joining in the “Bingo game” which was held as there was a prize of USD1000 and it was tempting… but one ticket was USD5 to USD10 and you only get USD1000 only if your numbers were called within 53 numbers… so I thought against it.
By then we had arrived in the waters off Melaka, now I was a dummy and since it was my first cruise I did not know much… I thought I got lucky when the cruise gave us a treat to go on land to Melaka! So after breakfast, just before 8am, yours truly rushed to the Festival Theatre area to get her tender boat ticket. I was first in line .
When they called the tender boat tickets number to Deck 3, the lowest Deck in the ship accessible by lifts and for passengers only where we were tagged,again via our cabin key cards. You do not need a passport to disembark…. I boarded the tender boat which doubles as an emergency boat on the ship. There were 3-4 tender boats lowered down and busy ferrying passengers. One boat seats about 100 – 120 passengers me thinks… and our little boat trip began. The trip from the ship to the little dock was about 15 -20 minutes. They let us off at the little dock , a stone’s throw from the Menara Tamingsari / Dataran Pahlawan, where all passengers were then free to go wherever they wanted…
After that, I walked about for a little bit before making my way back to the dock and boat. Got tagged again before boarding the next available boat back to the Costa Victoria ship.
When we arrived, the security personnel screened our items to make sure we did not bring impermissible items as well as food and drinks back to the ship.
In the afternoon, people were seen busy making their fancy dresses with crepe paper or otherwise in the casino or at the pool area.
My daughter of course went for the latter and I had to follow her to watch her…
We were invited to a lovely Venetian dinner and party in the evening and the staff had the Venetian masks delivered to our cabin, but it was a disaster. When we wanted to go for the dinner early they said seating only began at 8pm, and when we went there at 8pm… the crowd was huge!!! My daughter and I decided to go later, going to another restaurant for a light meal before heading back to the cabin to rest… but somehow we fell asleep instead… what a bummer… huhuhu
Afternoon activities were napkin folding /origami lessons by waiters…and it was definitely fascinating watching room stewards showing off their skills with towels..they created so many different animals and stuff using just a towel or two….and interesting fruit carvings by the chef….