Costa Victoria

This year I wanted Christmas to be different. And a Christmas sailing cruise sounded fantastic. Cruise. Italian Experience. Travel Malaysia, Thailand. Eat Buffet every day. Ocean. Just the thought of it is amazing already!

Checkin was a breeze. 

Baggage Checkin. We left our baggage at the Victoria Cruise counter at the Harbour Cruise Center at Level 1 around 2pm. We were awarded with a card that had #2 on it. Turns out it will be your boarding number. And boarding for #2 was 5:30pm. [Tip #1 Come Early]

As it was still early, we went to meet friends at the mall (haha.. yeah, we are not that busy!) 

By 5pm, we decided to queue up at the Victoria Cruise counter at Level 2. Just the right time, I must say. The queue for #2 was very short, there were around 2 pairs before us. There was a huge queue perhaps for other boarding times. [Tip #2 Come Early! Lol. Seriously come around 30 minutes before the scheduled time]

Immediately after getting our Costa cards, we were guided towards the Immigration. Now that was a huge queue.We took around 30 minutes to complete.

A photographer will meet you as you head to the ship. Smile. If it's nice, you could purchase it for $14.95 at the ship. Even if you don't want to buy it, SMILE. Because people will see it at the ship. It will be displayed all through the cruise. 😜 [Tip #3: Smile!]

Refreshment is offered after the photographer (or was it before). Your choices: Water or Orange Juice. At this point, you already have a clue of the quality of drinks available on board. And I saw couple of folks holding some Bottled waters. I wondered why when everything is supposed to be free onboard. Well. Water is not of the best quality onboard. I regretted not bringing at least a bottle for the boys. The 5 liter water package is ... ~$15USD. Bummer! [Tip #4: Bring some water!]

A bunch of Costa Victoria staff welcomed us onboard (I think it's the whole Animation/Entertainment team). This is where they took our passport. Note, you cannot go out of the ship anymore. [Tip #5: Settle everything you got. No turning back!]

So we went to find our room. No one told us one row is for Even numbered cabins and the other as odd numbered cabins. So yeah. We walked all the way then back. Haha. [Tip #6: Odd and Even numbered cabin are on different corridors)

We were happy with our room. Small as it was. Bed was the most important and it was big enough for us.

The TV although small and not much channel choices is useful. It shows us view of the front and back of the ship. It also has a map to show you the ship's navigation. It also got a replay of the Ship Director instructions. [Tip #7: Check the TV channels.]

We didn't join the cruise to get locked up. So we went out and explored the ship!

Credit card has to be registered within 24 hours [Tip #8: Register card within 24 hours]

Our first meal at the boat was at Sinfonia, because it was the nearest to the entrance. 

We were offered free champagne for purchase of 2 lobsters at $38. I wanted the lobster. But we had to skip it. We were not feeling super hungry and we don't drink so the champagne will just be wasted anyway.

I think around 9pm, we were asked to join the mandatory drill. It was not the best experience. My God. It was chaotic and hot. The old folks complained a lot. The ship's instructions were also not clear. So from our jalan jalan we had to go back to our room (at that point we were not yet familiar with the ship) then walk our way back to Level 6. Where we were not instructed how to read the life vest and were to stand. So ended up walking all the way and back. And then we had to wait for others who were more lost cases than us. Haha. Anyway. 45 minutes later we were done. With both boys crying their hearts out because of the heat and inconvenience. [Tip #9 Read the letter in your life vest. It will tell you which place to stand at Deck 6 during the drill and during actual emergency. ]

Because of the drill, the boys were still wide awake by 10pm as the ship sailed out of Singapore. And just like that we said Goodbye to Singapore! 

Things to do in a Costa Victoria Cruise
  • Eat
  • Drink
  • Jam
  • Chill
  • Sleep
  • Read
  • Play
  • Picture Taking
  • Watch Italian shows
  • Land Excursion
  • Watch Sunset
  • Watch Sunrise
  • Swim
  • Spa
  • Shop 

I usually peel off the info sheet from the Daily brochure they leave at our rooms as guide. It tells you the entertainment schedules. The opening times of the restaurants. [Tip #10 Peel off the guide part of the Daily Read]

Each deck has a small lounge at the back. Too bad we didn't realize it till late. But be warned that this is also smoking area. [Tip #11 Enjoy the back lounges. They tend to be less hot during the day, rather than Deck 11]

It was unfortunate that it was cloudy and mostly raining during our trip that we didn't see any stars at night. But the sunsets and sunrise that we saw were breathtaking! The ship is too big that you won't ever find yourself squeezing with anybody to enjoy this beauty.

All other decks are almost always with people. Aside from the library, Deck 14 was also a personal favorite. It was almost always empty!

Deck 12 was fine too. Except that it's too crowded at time and noisy because of the activities.

And just like that we are back in Singapore.

Disembarking was a bit more troublesome than checking in. 

The day before the disembarkation there was a session for instructions. It was supposed to be 15-20 minutes. But my gosh, it took a good hour. Terrible.  We were instructed to leave our checked in baggage outside our rooms by 1am.  And vacate the rooms by 10am.

We were assigned color codes for the disembarkation. Each color code has specific time and a meeting place. We got blue, it was the middle. And disembarkation was at 2:50pm. 

On the last day, the whole ship was chaotic. Because everyone was out of their rooms. Every stairs were crowded. Every restaurant were packed. I queued up a good 45 minutes to get a few hotdogs during our last lunch.

The pools were still open but no one was swimming. Perhaps because everyone has packed their stuff the night before.  It was a mistake that we also have checked in our swimming clothes!  [Tip # Don't checkin your swimming clothes]

Final Verdict: Costa Victoria Cruise was fun because we were together as a family. But I think that the cruise itself needs to reinvent itself to be more child friendly. If they want to cater to this crowd. Else, it should at lease be marketed correctly. But it should not be misunderstood, we still LOVED our first cruise as a family!

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

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