Me being invited to attend a party cruise caught most of my friends (including myself) by surprise. I am not the typical target audience that EDM festivals such as Tomorrowland attracts and the number of time I entered a club can be counted with one hand. Accepting the invitation (after a rare last minute leave approval) was the next shock to most of my friends.
I guess there must be a legit reason for the invitation (Previous write up on Royal Caribbean) and since it will be during the start of 2016, it’s time I get out of my comfort zone, attend media events professionally and live up to the reputation of my blog.
Here we go.
1. Get your tickets early – party cruises are often sold out!
Shipsomnia 2016 ticket sales were launched 7 months in advance and 80% of the tickets were sold during the one month early bird pricing! This was even before the set list was announced! They were eventually sold out in Oct 2015 (2 months before the actual event). Similarly, it’s the ship was also sold out! Well, if you’re eagerly anticipating their next chapter (likely next year) – Tale of the Kraken, do follow Shipsomnia’s Facebook page for more updates. I do hope that they choose to partner another cruise (hopefully royal caribbean) for the next chapter. Things would be much better 😉
2. Dress Comfortably and bring something nice for the last night
Since it was my first experience on a party cruise, I had absolutely no idea what people usually wear and I ended up bring a variety of very casual, causal and smart casual clothes. Anyway, it turns out that more than half of the people dress very casually (little) on the ship. Well, it is after all a party cruise with pool/beach parties under the hot scorching sun.. What can we expect right? Footwear wise, it was mainly flip flops except for the final themed night where I spotted nicer shoes and heels but it was a small percentage of the crowd. Most people eventually end up in the pool anyway so.. wear something that can keep you comfortable through the night & day!
For the costume party, I wasn’t sporty enough to be in a costume but it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself! Just a guesstimate, 50% of the people will not dress up and perhaps only 20% will wear really nice costumes. That night, there were many costumes which obviously didn’t fit the theme – like teletubbies but it was really hilarious to see them running around. Don’t be afraid to wear anything random and even if you’re not wearing something fanciful, you can still mingle in and enjoy the last night party which would definitely be your most memorable night!
3. Be ready to say Hi to any random person on the cruise
Although I am okay talking to strangers, It is not something i particularly enjoy but if you’re on a party cruise ship, it’s kind of like a world without strangers concept. To me, it felt like a mega orientation camp whereby everyone (alright maybe just most people) there wants to meet new friends and have a casual chat. Conversations can start easily from “There aren’t many girls around” or a curious “Where are you from” or “How’s the music?” or for my case in the casino “I need a lucky charm.” That’s it. Exchange names (semi-networking session though no one really asks about your real job since none of us want to be reminded of work) , locations (Where are you from, sometimes you need to add a race and nationality for complex cases) and a where you’re heading too. It will end off with a see you around (yes, that’s a sincere parting comment because it is easy to bump into one another since everyone goes to the same place for food and to party). It was a nice “getting out of my comfort zone” feeling every time I successfully manage a conversation.
4. Free food all day but don’t forget to try out their ala carte dining
The price of cruises could seem a little steep in the beginning but if you add in the unlimited supply of food and entertainment, it is pretty worth it!
On board costa victoria, you can grab food from the buffet spread at Deck 11 or pizza at Deck 12. Alternatively, there is a fine-dining table setting (ala carte dining) at Deck 5 where waiters and waitresses will take your orders and serve you the food. The only bad thing about fine dining is that the service is slower and the chances of having to share a table with other guests are high. We only had a private table (2 to a table) twice out of all our attempts.
Check out their wide selection in the menu:
TIP: At Fine Dining Deck 5, you can order unlimited qty of food. For example if you can’t decide whether to have soup or salad for appetizer, you are able to order both! Same goes for main courses and desserts too!
And if you’re feeling lazy, you can request for breakfast room service and enjoy your food bareface and underneath the comfortable sheets.
Sorry to disappoint but if you have been on board a Royal Caribbean Cruise, the food standard here in Costa pales in comparison.. Do remember that this is an Italian cruise and that the choice of food is largely influenced by Italian-style. For example, the noodles in our Tom Yum Noodles soup were spaghetti. Interesting fusion but I’ll skip it in future :/
5. Yoga with the Sea Breeze with half of Yolanda be Cool
Well, the thing that my friend was looking forward to the entire trip was the Yoga Sessions. Throughout the 5 day cruise, there were 3 sessions – Day 2 evening on the Deck, Day 3 afternoon at Banana Beach and the final session on Day 4 on the Deck. I’m not exactly a fan of Yoga as I don’t see myself as being flexible but I’m glad that I attended all 3 sessions. Yoga is some what a “relaxation” exercise where you need to be constantly aware of your surroundings and engage in regular conscious breathing. Despite having to follow those Level 99 (alright I’m exaggerating) Yoga moves which includes Core, Back Bend and Inversion (can’t recall exactly), the feeling of the sea breeze in your hair brings Yoga to a different level totally. The evening sessions started at 5PM and we kind of Yoga-ed through the sunset. For the Day 2 session, the guy from Yolanda was in the class and had a lot of attention from the camera crew and instructor. I guess it’s pretty cool to be in the same yoga session as him!
6. I love Thai Beaches
I’m a big fan of beaches and most Thailand beaches I’ve been too are awesome. This one at Banana Island does not disappoint too. Crystal clear water, fine sand and litter-free beach is just the perfect combination for a relaxing day at the beach. Apart from just suntanning or snorkeling, there are other paid activities like kayaking, parasailing and banana boat available too! Do be careful if you were to enter the water! There was a girl who was hurt by stepping of a sea urchin hiding among the slippery rocks! Long spikes sea urchin is a common species found in this tropical region. It is be advisable to wear the life jacket while you snorkel so as to float comfortably.
Since it was a private beach booked down for the party, they had very “private” prices too.
Food Coupons were 100B each while drinks were 300B. It was kind of expensive but I it was a small price to pay against the exclusive setting we were entitled too.
They had fanciful beer coupons.
You purchase the coupons and use them at the Food Station. You could purchase corn, pad thai, Sotong, Chicken etc but given a second chance, i’ll pass on all the food.
Here’s our 900B Lunch.
Don’t forget to buy that 100B coconut to take the mandatory chilling-on-the-beach-with-a-coconut shot.
7. Pre-buy drinks
If you are planning to drink in the cruise, do consider buying the drinks package! You can save 25% if you pre-buy the drinks with your tickets! The prices are pretty reasonable if you’re comparing it to the bar prices in Singapore.
8. Party all day & night and I realised that people can get high and party on without alcohol..
Well the highlight of this cruise is obviously the party and the stages! The main stage at the pool deck, another at the Seahorse deck at the back deck and two indoor stages within the cruise itself (I think it was level 6 and Level 7). There were more than 30 DJs spinning the hits throughout the 4 days and nights and if you love EDM, dancing and drinking, this is pretty much a paradise for you! I don’t understand how people can get high without drinking. It could be lunch time and despite the hot sun, people can be out on the dance floors and partying.
The highlight of the cruise was the dress-up Shipsomnia ball! There was even an in-house costume rental shop on board for lazy people who didn’t prepare anything. It was a pretty big setup with all the decor and LED jellyfishes and all that. The team put in a lot of effort on detailing and theming up the cruise and the crowd was pretty wild that night. It was highly amusing to see random mascots like teletubbies showing up at a ship-themed party but kudos to the gentlemen suffering the heat underneath the costume =p
If partying ain’t your cup of tea, you can chill at the chairs on the upper deck and enjoy the stars and the sea breeze. It is pretty comforting to stone and just stare into the night sky 🙂
Really thankful to be given a chance on board a party cruise. It was definitely an eye-opener for me and I’m starting to understand the joy and love that people can derive from EDM festivals. At the end of the day, the DJ and the setlist is just a small factor compared to the fun and laughter derived from the people you hanged out with in the cruise.
To have a greater understanding of the cruise, you can watch this video done up by one of my Thai friends we met in the cruise: