It is always tempting to start the new year with a bang, and the maiden voyage of Shipsomnia from January 2 to January 6 2016 seemed like the perfect way to do that. The sold-out cruise party was marketed as a five days and four nights fantastic oceanic adventure, and had seemed like it was going to be a runaway success.

After all, tickets were sold out within five months of its release and it seems like Shipsomnia might just be able to heat up the competition with It’s The Ship – a party embodying a similar concept.

Ocean View Cabin - greeted by the sea every day.

Ocean View Cabin – greeted by the sea every day.

The stellar list of DJs from 10 popular clubs all around the region, as well as the wide range of meals available throughout the ship, was indeed intriguing. The ship was presented as a classy work of art, with its characteristic Italian furnishings, six free dining places and five decks. Who could ever say no to such an adventure? Once onboard, however, my expectations soon became doubts.
Jellyfish party light definitely looked better on the ceiling.

Jellyfish party light definitely looked better on the ceiling than on the floor.

From embarkation to disembarkation, the entire trip was fraught with delays –  from setting up of decorations, rigging of stages and certain DJ sets. The waiting dampened the energy, and had put a wet blanket on the party hype. Some party-goers even resorted to playing music on their own boomboxes to keep the mood alive.

 

All was not lost. The decorations when eventually put up, made the entire ship come alive – dancing corals lit up in neon lights, treasure chests as well as swimming steampunk fishes that greet you in the lobby. The craft of all set-ups were artistically done and with attention to details. This helped in keeping the atmosphere adventurous and sparked many Kodak moments- something that guests lapped up.
Let's get this party started.

Let’s get this party started. Or not.

Now, to the food. We were promised six dining possibilities, but most times, only the usual two are open for meals. Though the saving grace was definitely the alcohol that was available almost 24/7. At almost every deck, one could find a bar or a staff that could fix you up with a drink. Indoors, outdoors, by the pool – you could drink anywhere, at anytime.
Lunch and dinner? Three days in a row?

Lunch and dinner? Three days in a row?

Despite the numerous hiccups, there were silver linings to this experience: the beach party in Phuket, the hospitality, as well as the Michael Jackson inspired show on the final night.
Finally, some sun!

Finally, some sun!

  1. Stopping over at Phuket on the third day was a great breather from the ship. With the sun, sand and sea, mixed with music spun by internationally acclaimed DJs (Pete Tong, anybody?) this segment of the event could do no wrong. The vibes were strong and no one could help but groove. The atmosphere set the crowd at ease, and being off the ship with toes in the sand was certainly a refreshing experience.
  2.  The hospitality from the Costa Victoria staff was spot-on. From the waiters to room service to the information desk, everyone never failed to put on a smile. Despite the massive crowd they had to face, especially during embarkation and disembarkation, courtesy and efficiency were their top priorities. That made the trip more comfortable and welcoming for everyone.
  3. Lastly, Michael Jackson (Las Vegas)’ performance was a sight to behold – dancer Christoff nailed almost every move of the late King of Pop. He even managed to emulate the King of Pop’s speech patternsr! But what stole my heart was how this entire show brought most of the ship’s party goers together – there was a great sense of community as everyone cheered and sang along together in the dingy festival lounge.
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Shipsomnia was quite the lullaby compared to my impression of what it might have been – a raucous clubbing party. It was a good break from the daily grind, but if you are looking for a different kind of grinding… Maybe their next voyage would be just what you are looking for. Hopefully it will be run smoother, better and closer to the adventure that it had the potential to be.

Photograph credits to Darren ‘Merovign’ Tan.
Thanks for the invitation and hospitality, Shipsomnia.

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