MANILA, November 11, 2003 (MALAYA) THERE is something excit ing about discovering the world on board a luxury ship, enjoying champagne and caviar while waiting for the break of day to come. For the privileged few, cruising is already a part of their vacation itinerary. But for many, it is probably a far-fetched experience that they can only dream about.

"The first thing that comes to mind about cruising is that it is expensive. But what many don't know is that it is more affordable, practical and convenient than traveling to a place via air. What's more, you get to visit a lot of places upon disembarking on different homeports across the globe," says Marlene Adelina Pajanel, sales manager of Star Cruises - Philippines and Guam.

For 10 years now, Star Cruises, the first global cruise line and the leading cruise line in Asia-Pacific, has been luring travelers to ocean adventures with its mix of high-seas romance and relaxation. It provides an ideal holiday alternative for travelers of all ages. By combining the excitement of travel with the flexibility and relaxed lifestyle of a fine resort, Star Cruises allows visitors to capture the wonders of South East Asia through its fleet of modern ships - SuperStar Leo and SuperStar Virgo.

Today, Star Cruises is calling to travelers as never before. The ships are bigger, the routes more varied, and the options and activities greater than ever. SuperStar Leo offers cruise itineraries to the cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong, China and Vietnam while SuperStar Virgo navigates along the waters of Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

SuperStar Leo is the first and largest megaship in Asia Pacific with 13 decks and 983 cabins that exude old-world elegance and comfort. SuperStar Virgo, the twin sister of SuperStar Leo, showcases the best of classical and Mediterranean designs, with its striking multi-hue marble and elegant rich wood furnishing. Guests have the option to stay in the executive or junior suite with balcony, ocean view stateroom with balcony or window, or inside stateroom. The cabins' standard features include TV/VCR, small refrigerators stocked with your personal preferences, a separate seating area with sofa and desk.

Cruise With Me Baby

The ship itself is a destination. With a gigantic size that could fit 12 football fields, Star Cruises' fleet of ships offer a myriad of sports and recreational facilities such as gymnasium, golf driving range, swimming pools, spa, beauty salon, dining and entertainment outlets, including the 930 seat Moulin Rouge where guests can marvel at live performances like the spectacular "Night Girls," a Las Vegas-style revue featuring the Star Cruises dancers. Aside from these, the ships also have facilities for business meetings and boutiques where passengers can find a selection of souvenirs, gifts and duty free items.

For as low as US $380 (based on twin sharing, exclusive of airfare), guests can enjoy three days and two nights of cruising the high seas and appreciating its panoramic vistas. The rate already includes the cabin, six full board meals per day, entrance to nightly theater shows, use of swimming poll, jacuzzi, gym and sports facilities, access to bars, discos, karaoke, and ballroom where the night life can take one into the wee hours of the morning. A whole spectrum of activities await both adults and children on board, and with its amenities and world-class services, one will definitely get that "I am king of the world" feeling.

Star Cruises also does a good job at itinerary planning, with the perfect mixture of days in port and relaxing time spent at sea. "Upon disembarkation at each port of call, Star Cruises briefs guests on their different options at every port. They can join one of our arranged guided tours or they can explore on their own. Guests are usually given eight to 10 hours on land so they have more time to enjoy themselves at the port of call," Pajanel explains.

This year, Star Cruises is celebrating its 10th year of navigating the high seas. As a treat, all guests sailing from Oct. 26 until Feb. 29, 2004 will be entitled to participate in a lucky draw wherein a 2.7-carat pair of diamond earrings and pendant (1st prize), two 1-carat diamond rings (2nd prize) and two tennis bracelets (3rd prize) will be given away.

Pajanel happily noted that more and more Filipinos are exploring the joys of cruising, catching a glimpse of modern Asian metropolises.

"Hopefully, with our fleet of ships, we can offer more Filipinos a luxurious, memorable and affordable cruise experience, the kind that they truly deserve," she says.

If you venture on a Star Cruises experience soon, expect to discover a world of opulence complemented by modern luxuries. After all, good travel memories are often made of fun and relaxation. And yes, these memories will last a lifetime.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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