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What to wear on a cruise

Forget about sailor shirts and resort wear—take your trip to the next level with themed outfits! This is what we wore on the maiden voyage of the SuperStar Virgo

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By Liza Ilarde

One of the best and most fun ways to travel on a cruise is to go with a big group. So when PR extraordinaire and frequent traveler Keren Pascual invited 70 of his closest friends to join the inaugural cruise of the SuperStar Virgo from its new homeport of Manila, I wondered, how is he going to keep track of all of us? But Keren had everything figured out.

For each of our shore excursions and onboard activities, he assigned a specific outfit theme, based on color and on classic movies. It may seem silly to some, but it is actually a brilliant idea! Just imagine: When you and your group get off the ship for a tour, you’ll be getting off with 2,000 other passengers. How better to keep track of your friends and family members than by looking for your group’s assigned color of the day? Or perhaps have everyone wear the same T-shirt. Or maybe even a hat!

  • Luxe Pajama Theme: Alaiza Malinao, Jodilly Pendre and Nikita McElroy (seated)

  • Nikita McElroy, Raph Robes, and Miko Raval

  • Tetta Agustin and Christian Baverey

  • (Front row, seated): Rajo Laurel and Robby Carmona.(Back row, standing left to right): Patrice Ramos-Diaz, Rhett Eala, Tweetie De Leon-Gonzalez, Jo Ann Bitagcol, and AA Patawaran

  • Earth Colors Theme: Ana Sideco and Lou Muñoz

  • (Left to right): Miko Raval, Raph Robes, Conor McCann, LA Aguinaldo, Markki Stroem, Luke Jickain, Seb Gilbert, and Marx Topacio

  • (Left to right): Franchesca Lagua, Michelle Panemanglor, Kylie Verzosa, LA Aguinaldo, Justine Gabionza, Alaiza Malinao, Jodilly Pendre, Nikita McElroy, Lou Muñoz, Luke Jickain, Ana Sideco, Raph Robes, Miko Raval, Jo Ann Bitagcol, and Markki Stroem

  • Grease the movie Theme: Maxene Magalona and Robby Mananquil

  • Jo Ann Bitagcol and Liza Ilarde

  • Black and White Theme: (L-R): Maybelline Te, Marbee Go, Keren Pascual, Liza Ilarde,
    Robby Carmona, and Rhett Eala

  • (L-R): Nikita McElroy, Alaiza Malinao, Jodilly Pendre, and Kylie Verzosa

  • La La Land Theme: (Left to right): Justine Gabionza, Lou Muñoz, Franchesca Lagua, Ana Sideco, Nicole Cordoves, and Michelle Panemanglor

  • Maxene Magalona and Maxine Medina

  • In The Mood For Love Theme: (Left to right): Jodilly Pendre, Justine Gabionza, Michelle Panemanglor, Franchesca Lagua, Maxine Medina, Nicole Cordoves, and Alaiza Malinao

  • Rajo Laurel

  • Gala Night: (Left to right): Justine Gabionza, Nikita McElroy, Michelle Panemanglor, Alaiza Malinao, Lou Muñoz, Jodilly Pendre, Maxine Medina, Nicole Cordoves, Ana Sideco, Jo Ann Bitagcol, and Franchesca Lagua

    Day 1’s welcome dinner was an outdoor barbecue on The Taverna, which overlooked the Parthenon Pool. What better way to set the relaxing tone of the trip than to ask everyone to come in their Luxe Pajamas? Some came in proper top-and-bottom sets, others wore Hugh Hefner-ish robes, and several added sleep masks, fluffy slippers, and pillows as accessories!

    Our first port of call was in Ilocos Norte, where we docked in Currimao. From there, we took an hour-and-a-half road trip to Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Requested attire: solid earth colors. I think the point was not to outshine the beauty of Vigan’s heritage village, with its Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, quaint kalesas, and assorted antiques sold on the sidewalks.

    By 5pm, we were back on the ship to prepare for dinner. The inspiration for the evening’s outfit was the movie Grease, which gave us a lot of choices on how to dress. If you were channeling Olivia Newton John’s character, you could go either good-girl Sandy in her full skirt, cardigan, saddle shoes, and ponytail; or bad-girl Sandy in her skin-tight, all-black ensemble with matching wild hair. The boys looked 50s cool in their leather jackets and jeans.

    The next day, we made our second stop at Kaohsiung, a huge port city located on the southeastern part of Taiwan. Requested attire: black and white, or black or white. Easy enough, as most of us have these (non)colors in our wardrobe. It was a warm 26°C, so lucky for those who wore white! For those of us in black, a hat was in order as we did a walking tour of the massive Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center.

    Dinner that night was held at the ship’s Chinese restaurant called Noble House. And what could be more appropriate than wearing Chinese-inspired outfits patterned after Wong Kar-wai’s In The Mood For Love. The beauty queens in our group looked just as lovely as Maggie Cheung in their colorful cheongsams in silk brocade. They certainly turned many heads that night!

    Day 4’s shore excursion was in Hong Kong, where everyone was given a free day to do as they pleased. Many went shopping (what else?), while others ate at new or favorite restaurants. I had lunch at a new Thai restaurant called Blue Elephant, located at Harbour City. Dinner was Peking duck at Mott 32, an old favorite. In between, my group and I were lucky enough to catch the amazing works at Art Basel.

    Day 5 was spent on the high seas, sailing our way back to Manila. While there are countless activities one can do onboard (arts & crafts, bingo, cooking classes, group workouts, spa, swimming, karaoke, mahjong, and many more!), Keren organized a La La Land-themed pool party for us in the middle of the day. It was held at the Aces Club, which has a couple of small pools for lounging in during the day, and which turns into a club at night with Beat Ship DJs playing electronic music. But we started the party early!

    For our final night onboard, all guests dressed up in their red-carpet finest for the Captain’s Gala Cocktail and Dinner. They were in for an extra treat because for the first time, the SuperStar Virgo held a fashion show at the Grand Piazza! Rhett Eala brought his Queen collection, the gowns he created exclusively for Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina (who was the finale of the show). The show was produced by Keren, directed by Robby Carmona, hosted by Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez, and modeled by beauty queens and supermodels.

    It was the perfect way to wrap up the five days and five nights we spent on the SuperStar Virgo!

    Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo will be sailing from Manila on the following dates: April 23, 28; May 3, 8, 13, 23. For Star Cruises inquiries, book through any local travel agency, through starcruises.com, call Star Cruises at (2)836-6080, or email salesmanila@gentinghk.com

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