Indian cruise liner Cordelia has finally arrived on the East Coast and we checked it out!

Being onboard the proudly Indian Cordelia on its inaugural journey off the East Coast was an experience of a lifetime, as we find out…

Romal Laisram Published :  10th June 2022 10:17 PM   |   Published :   |  10th June 2022 10:17 PM
The Cordelia

The Cordelia

The obsession for all things sea in South India is a beautiful and complex one. From our love for seafood, to our passion for riding the waves and everything else in between — this relationship is a multi-hued and special one. It’s therefore no surprise that the inaugural journey of India’s first dedicated cruise liner, Cordelia, from Chennai (with the Port of Chennai as their new home port) was an occasion of much jubilation.

We set sail from the Port of Chennai on a Saturday evening, after slow and tedious, but much required, security protocols. Embarking on the ship, which called Mumbai home for over a year before this, was an exhilarating experience in itself. You don’t realise how massive this 692 ft long ship is, till you are literally right in front of it as it towers over you. With 11 decks, 796 cabins and a capacity to hold 1,800 guests (including the 600+ crew), this ship is quite literally, a mammoth on Indian waters.

Cordelia sailed on the West Coast (Diu – Mumbai – Goa – Kochi – Lakshadweep – Sri Lanka) before they decided to move to the East Coast during the monsoon in the Arabian Sea. The cruise liner will call the Port of Chennai home for the next four months, during which it will cover Visakhapatnam – Chennai – Puducherry as a part of its various diverse itineraries.

What strikes you first as you walk aboard the ship is the bling. In décor that’s reminiscent of the casinos of Las Vegas, everything is slightly OTT with gold and metallic shine being the mainstay. That said, the aesthetic does justice to the theme of celebration that follows us right through the ship.

Packed with things to do while you sail to your destination and back, you can choose from the onboard entertainment featured at the Marquee Theatre with shows like Balle Balle, Indian Cinemagic (which we highly recommend) and a Burlesque show. One can also follow the itinerary provided in every room for other shows and events, all day long. We particularly loved the Brazilian-themed party (cancan dancers included) on the open-air Deck 10 (avec the only swimming pool on board) on the opening night and the stargazing experience later, on the very exclusive Deck 11.

The interiors that scream: aesthetic bling!
The interiors that scream: aesthetic bling!
A performance at Marquee Theatre
A performance at Marquee Theatre
The gorgeous open-air upper decks
The gorgeous open-air upper decks

 

Lunch and dinner were delicious affairs with three restaurants catering to our gourmand cravings. With limited but well-chosen buffet menus in Starlight (on the fancier side) and the Food Court — the daily menu changes with each meal and features Asian, Continental, South Indian and North Indian food. You can also look for something more curated at Chopstix, their Pan-Asian specialty restaurant and for the gastronomically adventurous there’s also the Chef’s Table, a special spread curated for a limited number of guests that promises a global journey through various cuisines.

Dining at the ship’s restaurants
Dining at the ship’s restaurants

 

The excitement of being sea-borne slowly wearing-off, we decided to call it a night and head to our Ocean View Stateroom, a 142 sq ft cozy cabin with a cute porthole of a window that looks out into sea. The ship also offers The Chairman’s Suite — an opulent 596 sq ft room with a balcony, plush décor and spacious living arrangements; Suites and Mini Suites that also come with balconies and economically affordable Interior Staterooms sans sea views. When people say that the sea can lull you into the soundest of sleep, they aren’t joking and insomniacs like us were lost to the world in just a few minutes. Waking up at 5 am to catch the spectacular sunrise over the Bay of Bengal was a worthy effort for late-risers like us.

The luxurious cabins on board the ship
The luxurious cabins on board the ship

 

Breakfast was a long-drawn out affair, after which, we retired to the library and the ship’s many bars and lounges to laze around all day. It was too hot to hit the open-air decks or even go for a swim and so the air-conditioned interiors were welcome respite. You can choose to casually stroll about and sip on your favourite poisons at The Chairman’s Club, the Connexions Bar, The Pool Bar or the Dome — each with their own unique menus, happy hours and drinks of the day. Performances by the onboard entertainment team are scattered among each of these venues, through the day.

Rest while you have some fun!
Rest while you have some fun!
The Cordelia
The Cordelia

 

Keeping yourself occupied on this ship is an easy task and you lose track of time quite unconsciously. Lunch and dinner were a blur, but the visit to their casino was the highlight of the night. That and the all-night party on the upper deck that continued into the early hours of Monday!

The cruise ensures your safety by following mandatory evacuation drills every single day and is packed with lifejackets and lifeboats in case of an emergency. The ship also has an infirmary that can cater to a passenger’s medical needs 24/7. What does surprise us is that all transactions on the ship are in USD and one can convert rupees to dollars for no extra fee at the reception desks, by loading it onto a prepaid card that also acts as your room key.

We docked back in the Port of Chennai by Monday morning and the disembarking protocols took up quite some time. As we walked on the gangway and said our farewells, however, only one thing was sure — we’re definitely coming back! And next time, we’re cruising the West Coast aboard this Queen of the Indian Seas.

The writer visited The Cordelia on invitation by the cruise liner.

romal@newindianexpress.com
@elromal

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