Star Cruises

I checked out the info on Star Cruises today. Seems like an alternative to flying overseas for a visa. They no longer offer an overnight trip however and the shortest trip is a two-night cruise; leave from Keelung on Friday evening and get back on Sunday afternoon. The cost per person (sharing a double cabin) is a very reasonable 6,000 - this includes food and a lot of free entertainment. I guess they keep the costs down to entice people onboard and that they make money from the gamblers.

A longer three-night cruise to Okinawa is also available.

Has anyone been on one of these cruises? Cheers.

I’ve done the “cruise to nowhere” twice, and it’s pretty fun. The food, while plentiful, is not great, so be warned. It’s mostly Taiwanese or Taiwanese versions of Malaysian and other foods. It’s OK, and I never starved, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. On a bright note, they had sourdough rolls that were heavenly considering the utter lack of real bread in Taiziong! Be advised, drinks other than water are not included, so if you want a Coke with dinner, you have to pay for it.

The first time we went on the cruise, we were completely broke, so we didn’t spend much money, and still had fun. The second time we went, we had some money, so we drank what we wanted, got massages, etc. I think we spent NT7000 or something, so it wasn’t bad at all. The first time we went there were a couple other foreigners that we met and hung out with. The second time, we were the only big-noses on board. It was still fun, but not as fun as the first time.

It is a very relaxing trip, and the beds are very comfortable, unlike the one we have here, so that was nice. I would recommend it as an easy and cheap visa run, provided you have a multiple entry visa. But I probably won’t do it for a third time (especially since my visa run days are over!).



As you noted, you need a multiple-entry visa; you can’t apply for a landing visa when you get back to Keelung port. Another thing, I think Star Cruises hang on to your passport while you are at sea to prevent any seadogs jumping ship? Just a warning for anyone planning on swimming to Japan.

yup, been there, done that…well, only once…he!he!

I was on a conscription run.

I went for the NT$3K, one nite option where you get 2 single beds, a trip out to the ocean and back the next day (leave Saturday 5pm, return Sunday 5pm). All you can eat buffet and all the fruit WATER (yes, emphasis on the water) you can drink. The movie theater only runs at nite. It will play 2 (or 1, I forgot) decent movie before it starts rolling “high class” porn (as described in the schedule).

The service was…under trained. When dining, the waitress would seat you with occupied tables first when there are still lots of open tables (their logic is “there will be more people coming and you would be sharing tables anyway”).

Bring your own entertainment. I am planning to bring my laptop and rent some DVDs from Blockbusters the next time I go. I am cheap…I don’t want to spend money playing slot machines and watch their strip shows (I overheard after the show, one of the dancers sat on a rich looking guy’s lap, grabbed his hand and put it on her chest and asked for the guy to pay up).

But overall…that one day seemed like a really, really long day…just because its quiet and peacefull. Sometimes, it felt as if all the people has gone missing because its just so quiet.

That sounds good. Did you get to see any dolphins or whales? And were most of the other passengers golden oldies, or was there a fair sprinkling of younger ones too? And how about opportunities for onboard romance?

I think the going rate for onboard paid “romance” is around NT$3,000 - according to Next Magazine.

The girls are mainlanders.

Reeeeeally now?! How interesting! Are they part of the ship’s crew, or are they freelancers going on board as passengers? Or perhaps they’re working as the strippers that were mentioned earlier? It seems there’s more to those cruises than one might expect.

I think it was institutionalized some way. We just moved, so that issue of next has been thrown out, so no details available.

Interesting pics, though. Next wired a cabin and got a prostitute in. The poor journalist seems to have had a hard night…

no dolphin or whales, only pigeons and some flying fish. The view and the breeze was great. At least its a big change from the traffic and people. Definitely a great getaway.

sorry, no fair sprinkling ladies (at least during my trip). I think girls here are not so daring. It was mostly families, single men and couples (numbering in that order. And for all you ladies out there, the men were mostly in the 30s). Yeah, I am sure the strippers earn some extra cash on the side.

From what I’ve heard and read here in the last year or so, Star Cruises seem to have an unfortunate habit of “losing” passengers. Whether through suicide, accident, or murkier goings-on, they apparently tend to bring back fewer passengers than they set off with. Did you happen to notice many people plunging overboard during the cruise, Roamer?


well, I can see how that can happen because there are secluded areas on the deck. Its a perfect place to commit a crime if everybody involved just keep a hush-hush. My girlfriend told me its possible because people would gamble and couldn’t pay up. Its mostly testosterones on board and not enough estrogen. I just stay inside the deck when its late outside.

When we got back on shore and went through customs, there was this guy looking for somebody to help him carry some cash through customs because he couldn’t take-in that much and came back in with more $$$ then when he left.

Now to think about it…I didn’t see any security walking around =P. There were bus boys…but I doubt if they were trained in an event sombody gets thrown overboard (I am sure they are…but just seems like their reaction time, etc. makes me think twice).

Just got back today. This was a pretty good trip. Casino, although small, I never had any probs getting a table. Food is all inclusive, and was ok. Waves were great, even saw a school of dolphins. Best of all, this is the only place in Taiwan, that I know of anyway, the sells VB :smiley: . Well worth going if you have a chance.

Just put up a videoon my trip on Star Cruises to Okinawa.