How many of you remember those charts with modes of transport on them that we used to get during our primary school days? Train, Bus, Car, Plane, and Ship we’re a few of the diagrams on that chart. Back then flying in an aeroplane was a dream, thanks to dad it turned into reality a few years later. By then I had travelled on almost all modes of transport including trams.
Travelling on a ship was always a distant dream. I had done a couple of ferries in Goa but that’s it, nothing beyond that. So a few weeks back when my company took all of us for a cruise, an item was being ticked off the list!
As part of the success party, Infracloud took all of us for the Cordelia Mumbai High Seas cruise. As it was my first experience, I wanted to enjoy and experience all of it. So here’s my experience of the Cordelia Mumbai High Seas cruise.
Cordelia Cruise – Mumbai High Seas Cruise Itinerary
Cordelia cruises (from what I’ve learnt) had taken over Jalesh Cruise which was the only cruise liner a few years ago. In its short stint in India, Cordelia has surely made a mark. A lot of credit goes to their influencer outreach activities on Instagram. Earlier they used to sail from Mumbai and Goa. Now you also have Vizag, Chennai added to the list. They have multiple itineraries ranging from 2 nights and going up to 5 nights.
The Mumbai High Seas cruise itinerary is a 2 night one starting from Mumbai port, going to the high seas, and returning. To give you a better idea, we left on Saturday afternoon and were back on Monday morning. In terms of the distance, the cruise travels to about 200 km inside the Arabian Sea before returning. I feel it’s a good enough trip for anyone doing the cruise for the first time. By the first sunrise on the cruise, you don’t see land at all.
Facts About The Empress
The vessel (ship) that we were on was called The Empress. It’s a 200+ mts long ship with 10 decks. Deck 2 is the deboarding deck while Deck 5 is the reception area and also from where you board the ship. Decks 4 to 9 have rooms of various configurations: no ocean view, ocean view, mini suite, presidential suite and the likes. The prices of each vary based on the trip you take. The top deck has a swimming pool and a restaurant. Deck 5 has a restaurant, a bar, photo gallery. Deck 6 has a couple of restaurants and a private event, a small supply shop area along with the casino.
Coming to the technicalities, the ship has a whopping 23,000 horsepower engine. In comparison, an average car is about 2000 horsepower. Two engines that power the ship that can achieve a maximum speed of 32kmph – quite fast for a ship of this size. Lastly, this ship was built in 1932 and had sailed to quite a few places before this trip. The Empress might be old, but the facilities and technology are quite advanced. Just what you need for the Mumbai High Seas Cruise.
My First Experience on a Cruise Ship
We reached the Mumbai International Cruise Terminal at Ballard Pier around Saturday noon. Since the booking and web check-in were already done by the travel agency, we had our boarding pass with us. The entry to the port is quite like an airport and the terminal too. However, the current state of the Mumbai International Cruise Terminal isn’t great at all. With no air conditioning and below average services, the terminal is a total mess at the moment.
The process here is just like that of an airport. You have counters where your identity is verified and you’re given your room key. Security check is followed and you’re eventually allowed to board the ship. This is when you get the first glance of the massive ship up close. There are porters available to take your luggage to the ship at an extra cost. There’s a long slide attached to the huge ship that you need to cross. You’re greeted by the staff on board and you can directly go to your room.
Living a life in a suitcase – literally!
All of us had got the no ocean view room which were spread over deck 3 and 4. Once inside the ship, you don’t feel like you’re on a ship until it moves. The long and clean lobbies look no less than that of star hotels. The room however is smaller than that of an AC 2 tier cabin.
My room had two single beds, a dressing table if I can say, and an extremely small bathroom. PS: The bathroom doesn’t have a jet spray and the rooms don’t have an Indian plug point, hence you might require a universal adapter.
Food on board Cordelia Cruises
One of the best things about the cruise is that all your meals and high tea are covered as part of your ticket fare. So you actually don’t have to pay a single penny on board – unless you want to play Casino, eat at speciality restaurants, have a drink at the bar or do some activity like rock climbing or star gazing.
There are two restaurants where you can go and have your meal, one on the top floor and the other on deck 6. The menu at both the places is the same, however, you get Jain food on deck 6. Both restaurants have a lavish buffet spread. The variety is good, but the taste is average. It’s at par with the typical buffet restaurants you find in your city. The breakfast spread was my favourite of all.
If you want to have your breakfast with a view, head to the top deck. If you want a lesser crowd sans the view but with fancier service, head to the one at deck 6. Do note that the one at deck 6 opens 30 mins after the main one and closes 30 mins before.
Activities On Board
When you are on a ship of this scale and away from the mainland, there need to be some activities onboard. Especially for those hot afternoons when you cannot be on the deck. Cordelia Cruises have a daily newspaper called Cordelia daily that will be delivered to your room. It has a list of all the activities that will take place on that day. It includes paid and free events. From treasure hunts for kids and dancing/singing shows, you can perform paid activities like rock climbing, bridge tour, Bollywood dance performances etc.
There are many seating options across the decks where you can simply sit and enjoy the view outside. There’s a small library and workstations on some decks. There’s also a place with board games and stuff so you can play when you feel like. So, you can either enjoy any of these activities or sleep in the room 😉
My favourite part was the Bridge Tour – it’s a 30 min tour of the bridge. The bridge is a room that houses all the steering and navigation equipment and is usually the width of the ship. The captain and officers are here steering the ship. This is a guided tour of the bridge where you can see how the ship is driven – the equipment and staff. You can click pictures here with the crew as well. This is a paid activity and costs $15. You need to recharge your card for $15 and register yourself for the tour at the reception.
The best thing that I loved doing was visiting the various parts of the ship and the top deck. Watching the blue seas and colours of the sky. The sunrise and sunset are magical on board and you simply cannot miss them. Even star gazing is exciting but that depends on the time of your cruise.
FAQs About Cordelia Mumbai High Seas Cruise
How long is the Mumbai High Seas Cruise?
It’s a 2-night tour starting from Mumbai International Cruise Terminal to the Arabian Sea and back.
What facilities are available onboard Cordelia Cruise?
There are multiple restaurants, a library, work stations, seating areas, a swimming pool, bars, theatres and private event places along with a casino.
Can you pay on board the Cordelia Cruise in Indian Rupee?
No. All the payments on board are made in USD. Except for the casino where you need cash in INR. You can recharge your room card using your credit/debit card or UPI (in USD) and then use that to pay for all the activities on board.
Do you get motion/sea sickness on board the Cordelia Cruise?
You can. You will experience the wobble at times – especially in the rooms – when the ship is sailing. If you’re not used to it, you can experience seasickness. However, it was my first time and I didn’t feel it. In case you feel sick, there’s a dispensary in the basement.
Should you take the Mumbai High Seas Cruise?
Overall, my first cruise experience was a good one. It was my first time on a cruise ship and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. On one side I feel the duration was short as we started from Mumbai around 6 PM and came back on Monday morning at 7 PM. I feel one could take a 3 nights tour to best experience the tour.
However, considering the prices plus all the extra charges on board, there’s no doubt this is an expensive affair. Though the food is included in the fare, I feel it’s expensive. The activities could be improved and also the food. You’ll find yourself in long queues. You don’t ideally expect that after paying such a huge sum for the trip.
So, if you’ve never been on a cruise ship, the Cordelia Mumbai High Seas cruise is a good one to start and experience on. However, if you’ve already been on any other international cruise, you can weigh the pros and cons and make the final call.
Feel free to reach out to me for any information/clarification regarding Cordelia Mumbai High Seas Cruise. You can also share your thoughts in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj or DM on Instagram or Get In Touch.