The cruise connection

Travel tales

The cruise connection

Some time back, my colleagues decided to fly to Singapore and then go on a cruise from Singapore to Malaysia. Although I was not very excited about the idea of travelling by sea, I decided to join them after a lot of cajoling on their part. Needless to say, the experience was truly amazing.

We flew to Singapore from Bengaluru and took the cruise liner, ‘Superstar Gemini’, to Malaysia. The liner was like a mini-city with shops, restaurants, swimming pools, shows, games and jacuzzi. On board, there were tourists from China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Japan, Korea, Fuji and New Zealand, to mention a few.

The restaurants catered to almost every nationality. ‘Bella Vista’ offered Indian cuisine, ‘Dynasty’ had Chinese menu while ‘Oceans’, which was on the top deck, had barbecue. There was always unlimited coffee, tea and fresh fruit juice. I used to wonder where the ship sourced the fruits from as the watermelons and muskmelons were fresh and served in abundance for each meal.

On board, there were many exciting shows too. ‘Cooking Nanta’, a troupe from Korea was  awesome. Though the rooms were small compared to a normal hotel room, we hardly spent any time there as we were busy exploring the 12 floors of the ship. We would also participate in the unlimited number of shows and explore the various places that the ship docked at. Besides, there were three swimming pools too if you wanted to relax.

The ship docked at Penang, Malaysia on the second day. Instead of taking the ship’s coach tour, I decided to take a cab. The driver turned out to be a Tamilian named Rajnikanth! He entertained us with his stories while driving us to places of interest like the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (known locally as Wat Chayamangkalaram).

The statue of the reclining Buddha is 33 metres long.  Outside the Temple there is a ‘pagoda’ and a ‘naga’ statue (in Chinese style). The next day, the ship docked at Langkawi. We were greeted by a giant 12-metre-long statue of an eagle poised to take flight. The place, also known as Dataran Lang, offers a gorgeous view of the Kuah Bay with beautiful green mountains in the background. 

We also visited the ‘Underwater World’, which is Malaysia’s largest aquarium. However, the island trip seemed to be organised with more of shopping in mind rather than showcasing the scenic spots.

The icing on the cake was the captain’s ‘Gala Dinner’ wherein the crew joined the staff and served not only a variety of food but also entertained us with dances including Bollywood numbers. If I missed anything, it was the South Indian food although idli and vada were served. I used to frequent to go to Chinese restaurant, ‘Dynasty’, to avoid boredom.

My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I’m already planning to do the same trip with my family. I recommend everyone to experience a cruise at least once in lifetime.

Srikanth Matrubai (The author can be reached at

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