All text and photographs (unless stated otherwise) © Paul Timmerman
Superstar Leo, Star´s first newbuilding was delivered in September ´98 to Star Cruises. Built by the famous Meyer Werft from Papenburg, Germany, she has been followed by a sister ship, the Superstar Virgo.
Meyer Werft in Papenburg always faces a problem after they have finished a new cruise vessel: it has to be towed to sea through the narrow river Ems. The ship has to be empty, i.e. no furniture, no anchor chains etc. to minimize her draft, and when the tide is high enough, which can be influenced by closing some locks in the river, the ship is taken to the Eemshaven in Delfzijl, the Netherlands for final outfitting.
Blue Lagoon Cafe, deck 7
Star Cruises decided to introduce their newbuilding to the European press and travel agents in Delfzijl and Southampton. We were lucky enough to be invited by Star Cruises to look her over in Southampton. This would be our final chance to check her out in Europe, because she would leave on a positioning voyage before commencing cruise service in the Far East.
The Leo is refreshingly different from the other mega ships that are turned out one after another at the moment, because of her oriental decor.
Let us tour the ship, looking closer at some highlights along the way. On the top deck, deck 13, the Bier Garten can be found, an area where German beers are available which doubles as an informal dining spot, offering snacks in between meals.
From the Bier Garten, one overlooks the Tivoli Pool area, where all kinds of sports can be practised. Adjacent to the pool are three Oriental pagoda´s, and at the far end of the pool a fountain and two jacuzzi´s are encircled by a row of Roman columns. Aft on deck 10, a spectacular children's area is created: Buccaneers Wet & Wild. Aft decks 11 and 12 are terraced in a half circular way like an amphitheater, offering great views on the children´s play area.
On deck 7, Superstar Leo features a full wrap around promenade missed on so many modern ships nowadays.
Feel like dining? Superstar Leo offers 6 restaurants to choose from. On deck 8 , a sushi bar is located, next to the Shogun Restaurant. Statues of Shogun Warriors are placed next to this restaurant, where oriental food is served in medieval surroundings.
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The Observatory Casino
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