2016 kicked off on the wild side for us, where guest writer Chun Hou took off on the inaugural fantasy-themed party cruise known as Shipsomnia to island escapades in Langkawi and Phuket.
If you haven’t already found out what Shipsomnia is about, it was a 5D/4N EDM extravaganza on board the Costa Victoria, in collaboration with some of the biggest names in the Asian clubbing scene such as Kyō from Singapore, Ku Dé Ta from Bangkok, Blowfish from Jakarta and M2 from Shanghai, among others. It’s a cruise vacation where the party never ends.
Our little adventure began at the harbour front cruise centre in Singapore, where we boarded the impressive Costa Victoria. Upon entering the ship, it felt immediately like I was transported to a different world. Although the Shipsomnia-themed decorations were still in the process of being installed, the spacious interior of the ship, the warm smiles of the crew along with the electric energy in the air coming from the guests ready to have a good time gave me a smile of excitement that I just could not wipe off my face.
Inside cabin on Costa Victoria
Cruise ships are sometimes known to feel crammed and suffocated, but not with the Costa Victoria. The main atrium of the ship offers breath-taking panoramic views of the sea, and when I got to my cabin I was impressed to find ample space for me to haphazardly dump my belongings all over the place, faithful to my usual travel style. Plus, one of the best views to wake up to is the sun shining brightly upon an open sea, or to find the Costa Victoria anchored right in the middle of an archipelago of mini island paradises.
With a blare of the Costa Victoria’s impressive horn, we departed from the harbour, and the festivities began! The party was started on the pool deck, where a massive portal stage facing the pool and Jacuzzis allowed us to sip (or chug) on our choice of booze (which I must add was dangerously affordable) while bobbing up and down in the pool. Nowhere near your usual night out in Clarke Quay huh!
Our night started with a bang as Yolanda Be Cool took the console, followed by my personal favourite AMTRAC and various other acts that delivered non stop hang banging beats till 4:30 in the morning.
The next day was an entire day spent on the high seas on our way to Phuket. Once again, festivities were non-stop, with our very own DJs Haan and Zig Zach from Kyo kicking off the festivities.
Of course, being a responsible and balanced adult means that all that partying should be mixed with some healthy fitspo activities as well! Apart from the indoor pool and the gym aboard the Costa Victoria, the ever so resourceful and thoughtful organisers Mad Fresh Events had organised sunset Yoga sessions on the pool deck as well. It was an interesting exercise in regaining control of the mind and body after an entire night and day of chasing after misplaced inhibitions. Feeling all recharged and stretched in places I never knew existed, I was ready for the second night of festivities.
For those who live and breathe EDM, there were also DJ master classes and DJ autograph sessions organised, while others tried their luck at the many different games available at the on-board casino. The party continued after dinner, with big names, Kastle and Justin Jay from the US and Mat Zo from the UK leading the charge
The next morning, I opened my eyes to the gorgeous islands of Phuket. After a hearty breakfast at the always-reliable buffet line, I jetted off away on a speedboat, MV style, to the crystal clear waters of the pristine Banana Beach Koh Hey.
The festival on the beach was like non-other, headlined by the highlights of Shipsomnia, Pete Tong and Armand Van Helden, combining spinning with live percussions by Steve Bray from the UK.
In true Phuket style, there were also a variety of delicious Thai snacks available, from mango sticky rice to phad thai and spring rolls and coconuts.
Feeling a bit of a baby beer belly forming, I decided to partake in some water sports to keep it at bay. I was initially tempted to go parasailing, but seeing as that will probably not help me burn many calories I went for a little snorkel to look at the beautiful coral reefs off the island, and I was not disappointed! The waters off Banana Beach were crystal clear, and teeming with fish of all sizes and colours.
With good food, great music and exotic surroundings, it was quite literally a paradise on Earth. Alas, the sun was setting and it was time to head back to our floating home.
We began the day anchored off the shores of Langkawi, where we stopped for a couple of hours to get a little bit of sunshine and relaxation to prepare us for the grand finale of the night: the Shipsomnia Ball. Given the limited time that the guests had on shore, many guests simply spent it snagging some of their own pirate booty in the form of cheap steals at the duty free shops on shore. While I wandered off to the beach for more coconuts and the one thing that I cannot visit Malaysia without eating: a Ramly burger.
Back at the ship, the guests were all getting into their mostly marine-themes costumes on board for the Shipsomnia Ball. There was truly no effort saved, I saw guests dressed as pirates, sailors, prominent religious figures and all sorts of marine characters such as Captain Davy Jones (for the uninitiated, the octopus guy from the Pirates of the Carribean). I even saw a fully costumed mermaid, tail-inclusive, splashing around on the pool deck. Guests did not have to worry about not having a costume, for the on-board costume shop stocked all kinds of costumes for the last minute procrastinator.
Given the amount of effort taken to build the portal stage on the pool deck, I didn’t think that it could have been improved significantly, but boy was I wrong. Upon reaching the pool deck I was greeted by a bigger, improved portal stage complete with laser lights, smoke machines and even a neon canopy that simulated those anemone things flailing around on the ocean floor. It was truly an immersive experience. The grand finale was brought to life by EDM heavyweights Claptone, Stanton Warriors and Zed’s Dead, and knowing that this was the last night of the cruise, both organisers and guests went all out. There was only one word to describe the night: unbelievable.
On the last day, it was time to say goodbye to our floating home and its wonderful crew. The Shipsomnia debut was an out of this world party experience that was only possible because we were not limited by geographical borders, nationalities and most importantly our imagination. Remember that smile on my face on day 1? It has not been wiped off since.
Someone once said that a party is only as good as the food fuelling it. I can personally vouch that Shipsomaniacs never had to worry about this, for time spent not partying was spent stuffing my face full of delicious treats, from steaks…
… to lobsters
.. to some fresh caught seafood.
Will hop onto the next Shipsomnia in a heartbeat! For now, don’t forget to check back Shipsomnia for the next sail adventure!