Friday, 17 March 2017

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini the perfect Holiday Destination

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini the perfect Holiday Destination

Yes you read the title of my post right. There is no typo. Traveling on Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini in particular can be a memorable experience.
Ships have long been used to transport goods and people from one place to another. However in today's world luxury Cruises represent the epitome of luxury and comfort. I experienced this first hand when I got the opportunity to travel on Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini.

To begin with it is a luxury cruise liner that can accommodate over 1500 passengers.
To make this journey comfortable they have a staff 1:2 ratio who manage the ship and look after the guests and keep the cruise liner in top shape.

Different people have different reasons to take a cruise and I found people from various nationalities and age groups.

There were families with children, young couples who had chosen this cruise as part of their Honeymoon and there were Senior Couples who were enjoying a leisurely life that SuperStar Gemini has to offer.
Life on the ship can be luxurious as well as rewarding. Star Cruise SuperStar Gemini offers a number of activities, food and entertainment options to its guests. I found the game of Bingo “Go for gold Jackpot Bingo” was not just easy to play but also quite rewarding as I witnessed quite a few guests walk away with winning the Bingo games .If you want to try your luck there is a full-fledged casino.
The best part is that I found that this cruise offered something for everyone. For those traveling with children there is a full-fledged activity center. It has a care taker and a large number of games and activities to keep the young ones productively occupied. It is an experience that every child should have for a positive Impact on their lives.

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini Activity Centre

Apart from this there are regular activities like Cake Decorations ,Pizza Making,ice cream party ,paper art, Pajama Party and the list goes on and there are enough activities to keep the young ones not just occupied but they can also learn a new skill and enhance their knowledge about the ship and the world.
For the entire family there are game shows that the entire family can play, experience the Chinese Tea making demonstration or simply go to the deck and enjoy breathtaking view of Sunrise and Sunset.
For the honeymooners and the young couples there are plenty of opportunities to bond and spend quality time together. If you want to spend quality time with your loved ones then Star Cruise SuperStar Gemini is the place to be.

You could laze on the deck 11 breathe in that fresh air that is so refreshing.
Go for a Jog together on deck 7 or maybe request a song as the live band plays peppy music at various places and locations of the ship. One can request a song and if the band knows it then they eagerly play it for you. I heard beautiful Bollywood song renditions by the various artists on the ship.

The cruise lays a lot of emphasis on entertainment. So there are a number of shows lined up for you when you are on board.
These add to the charm of being on board Star Cruise SuperStarGemini and without attending them the experience would never be complete.

Food: Star Cruise SuperStarGemini has a number of restaurants and places to eat and drink. They offer a wide range of cuisines to suit its various guests. They serve Indian , Chinese ,Asian  and Western Cuisines.
There is so much food with so much variety to suit each palate that one cannot possibly go hungry if one is looking in the right places. If you are a vegetarian or a Jain, do not get worried these meals are readily available.
I have listed the restaurants on board Star Cruise SuperStarGemini. These specialize in different kind of foods. The restaurants on board are of two type’s  all inclusive restaurants that one can go to and eat without paying anything extra. You can go and eat here and your meal cost is covered in the ticket. The restaurants not in the inclusive list are the ones that one can go eat and pay.
For each day you can check the list of inclusive restaurants in the Navigator which is the Navigation tool or map to follow the activities for the day on the ship. This is the daily sheet of paper delivered to you in in your cabin.
For the early risers there is Observatory Lounge/KTV on Deck 12 Fwd
Mariners on Deck 9 Mid offer International & Indian Cuisines (Pork and Lard Free)
Dynasty Deck 11 Aft
Bella Vista
Blue Lagoon is the 24 Hour Open restaurants
Taipan: Chinese and A La carte
Topsiders Bar : They offer some wonderful Wraps and Hotdogs

So when you are traveling on Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini be prepared for having a fantastic experience on board the ship.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Apple Jalebi Recipe

Here is Apple Jalebi  a sweet dish from Executive Sous Chef Hem Chander at ibis Jaipur

Apple Jalebi Recipe


2 medium apples
200 gm cup refined flour
250 gm sugar
Ghee for deep-frying
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
1 tsp rose water

Sliced pistachios for garnishing (optional). We used roasted Pine nuts in the video.


Core the apples and cut them into thin slices.
Combine the flour, cardamom powder and sugar in a bowl add water and mix well to make a thick batter. Keep overnight in warm place for fermentation
  • Combine sugar and water in a deep kadhai  and boil. Mix and boil for about 10 minutes or till the sugar dissolves completely and syrup gets thick. 
  • Add rose water to sugar syrup and mix well.
  • Cook further till done.
  • Heat sufficient ghee in a kadahi.
  • Dip apple slices in the batter and deep-fry in ghee till golden.
  • Transfer apple jalebis in the sugar syrup and soak them for a minute.


Transfer some apple jalebis on a serving dish.Top it with a scoop of home made rabri Or ice cream, follow with another apple jalebi, garnish with pistachios and serve.

Also Checkout
Why I Chose To Stay At ibis Jaipur

Recipe: Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Recipe: Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi

Every time I had the world famous Gulab Jamun Ki Subjee at “Spice It”, a multi-cuisine restaurant, located at ibis Jaipur, I wondered as to what went into making this mouthwatering delicious dish. Thankfully the Executive Sous Chef Hem Chander shared the recipe of this dish.

Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi

Here are the ingredients and the recipe .

•    200 grams Khoya
•    1 Boiled and mashed Potato
•    50 grams Paneer, mashed
•    2 tbsp. Allpurpose flour/Cornflour
•    Salt – as per taste
•    GHEE for deep frying

For The Gravy

•    2 diced Tomatoes
•    1 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic paste
•    3 medium sized Onions, 1 chopped+2 sliced
•    10-12 Cashew nuts, paste
•    2-3 Green chili
•    1" Cinnamon
•    3-4 Cardamoms
•    1/2 tsp Nutmeg crushed {optional)
•    1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
•    1/2 tsp Coriander powder
•    1/2 tsp Cumin powder
•    1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
•    4 tablespoons Ghee/Butter
•    Salt to taste

For The Gulab Jamuns:

1.    Mix together all the ingredients including cornflour for gulab jamuns. { Keep some cornflour for coating}
2.    Take a Ping-Pong ball sized dough and shape into a ball.
3.    Coat it with some corn flour (optional).
4.    Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan and deep-fry the gulab jamuns until brown. Keep aside and tent with  foil.

Method of Preparation

 1.    Heat ghee/butter in a pan,  add sliced onions and fry till transparent; add ginger-garlic paste and fry further for 2-3 minutes.
2.    Add tomato paste; fry for 5-6 minutes; add coriander, red-chili, turmeric and cumin powder with a little water. Fry till the mixture starts leaving oil from sides.
3.    Add cashew nut paste and fry further for 2-3 minutes; , stirring and incorporating it into the mixture before adding the next tablespoonful.
4.    Add salt and 2 cups of warm water and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. (The gravy should be thick, so do not add too much water)
5.    Carefully add gulab jamuns into the gravy and remove from heat. (Gulab jamuns should be added in the gravy just before serving)
6.    Serve hot.

Also Checkout
Why I Chose To Stay At ibis Jaipur
Apple Jalebi Recipe

Why I Chose To Stay At ibis Jaipur

Everyone has a different reason to visit Jaipur, some go as a tourist and others are there for a business trip. I had more than these two reasons to visit Jaipur. Yes the lure of an ancient city did attract me. The fact that Jaipur is just at a distance of about 240-279 kilometers from Delhi makes it the perfect weekend getaway. Thirdly I was scouting for a hotel that I could recommend to friends and colleagues. I was looking for a hotel that would be suitable both for Indian as well as foreign guests of mine. Every time I have guests from overseas who are visiting the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Jaipur, Agra) the first thing they ask me is if I could recommend a place to stay in Jaipur. It was my quest to find a hotel which would be both comfortable as well as economical. In my numerous journeys around the world I have discovered that spending more does not necessarily mean better quality, comfort or service. With this agenda in mind I chose to book a stay with ibis Jaipur.

Why ibis Jaipur?

ibis Jaipur is a part of Accor-Hotels a French hospitality major, renowned globally for its quality stay and trust worthy service.

ibis Jaipur is located in the heart of the city with a number of tourist attractions close by.

City Palace 5.6 km.

Hawa Mahal 6 km.

Amber Fort 15.6 km.

Jantar Mantar 6 km.

Jaigarh Fort 19 km.

Nahargarh Fort 24 km.

With so many attractions close to the hotel, one is never far from the happening streets and attractions of Jaipur. Being located in the Civil Lines area, which is a very posh area with bungalows of Ministers and important govt. officials, I found myself living in a peaceful and well-guarded part of Jaipur.

My First Impressions of ibis Jaipur:
Shortly after I booked my stay I got a confirmation mail from ibis Jaipur confirming my booking with them.
There was another quick confirmation from the ibis Jaipur management confirming my booking. This was the second mail from ibis Jaipur the first being an auto response. I like brands that begin to interact with their customers even before they begin the usage of their services. It did tick a check box for me in my search of a brand that would offer quality and be worthy of recommendations.

As I was going to drive from Delhi to Jaipur I got my car serviced and prepared for my road trip.  A day prior to my departure I got a mail from ibis Jaipur which asked me about my time of arrival and if I needed any further assistance.

I view such emails as a sign of a brand eager to provide a good service to its customers and this made me really look forward to my stay at ibis Jaipur.

On my arrival the large motorized gates opened and I drove past the majestic green lamp posts that I later came to know are one of the oldest structures that had been retained from the original construction that was once a property known as Bombay Walon Ka bagh.

On the left hand side of the gate I got a secure place to park my car with a shed covering its top to keep it cool on a hot day. In addition to this there is an underground parking as well. A free safe parking in a drive in hotel is an important parameter that I look for in any hotel.

The Bird Bath at ibis Jaipur is another old piece of heritage which has been retained and restored from the old structure.
Check in: The front reception staff was courteous and swift. The check in formalities were completed quickly and I was handed over the access card to my room.

My room was on the 3rd floor and all the floors are connected by a lift. The first thing that I noticed about the lift is the fact that you have to use your access card to tap a receptor and once the light goes green you can press the floor number. This is an added security feature to safeguard the safety of guests and it gets an additional tick mark from me. Reaching my floor I found that the room numbers are clearly marked on either side of the corridor which leads you to the rooms. I noticed an ice dispenser present on my floor. I discovered later that there is one on every floor.
Access to my room: Accessing a room requires you to gently tap and hold your access card to the black receptor on the door till it turn green. This indicates the door has got unlocked. On entering the room when you insert the access card in the wall holder the power supply to the room is switched on.
The room was neat and clean and came with a safe, a wardrobe, a Tea /Coffee maker.

Supplies for making tea and coffee.

The Toilet and the Washroom is in the form of a molded cubicle and was spick and span.
It comes with a standard hair dryer, soap cake and a tube of 2 in 1 Shampoo & Body wash.

There was a large window in the room which let in plenty of light through its glass pane and on lowering the blinds it cuts out the light.
The beds were very comfortable and I dozed off the moment I hit the sack. Normally it takes me quite some time to get used to a new city and a new bed in a hotel room. However the ambience of the room was extremely relaxing and it was only later that I discovered that the bed that I was sleeping on was a sweet bed. Now the concept of Sweet beds is a result of research done by specialists who designed these beds to provide a comfortable sleep along with the right amount of support and rest.

Another thing that I noticed about the room was that it came with the promise of a 15 minute satisfaction guarantee.

What I understood about this is that the moment you check in to your room the hotel enters into a 15 minute service contract with the guests. This 15 minute window is offered to the guests for him/her to check out the room and report anything that is not up to the mark in the room and once reported the hotel would fix the issue within a designated time window for the guest.

The breakfast was something I was looking forward to. My booking came with the option of Eat as much as you can buffet breakfast. The breakfast is served at “Spice It”, a multi cuisine restaurant located on the ground floor. It indeed turned out to be a lavish spread, offering both Indian and western cuisines.

The lunch offer which I tried had an à la carte menu. I found that the menu offered quite a few Rajasthani dishes. I wanted to try out a few, so I ordered a Paneer dish, Papad Paneer Ki Bhurji and Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi. All the dishes were delicious and each one came with a number of Indian breads to choose from. There were a number of soft drinks on offer and I ordered Sweet lime. The food was good and I would highly recommend it.

For dinner I opted for the buffet as I wanted to try out most of the dishes.
After a hearty meal I had Imarti and Gulab Jamun for dessert. “Spice it” offers good variety of food like North Indian, Rajasthani, South Indian and Western dishes.  All the food is served from a well maintained hygienic kitchen.With so much good food the next most important thing to do was to use the hotel gym, the access to which came free with my Booking.

Taking about free, a dip in the top floor pool is also free for the guests staying at the hotel and so is the view of Jaipur from the top floor.

Another thing that I noticed standing on the top floor are the solar panels used to heat the water. It sure feels good to know that I am staying with a brand that is conscious towards environmental issues and it nudges you to do your part by reusing the towels that are provided in the room.

Sitting on the pool chairs or taking a dip in the pool are the perfect breaks that one can take from day excursions and shopping trips to Bapu bazaar. The ibis Jaipur being centrally located offers its guests the advantage of proximity and connectivity to the happening places of Jaipur.
The staff is extremely friendly and eager to help. Not only is it a friendly place to stay but also safe for solo women travelers.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Thank you Mom for being with me and for me always

Dear Mother from the time that I was born you have always been there for me and with me. Cuddling me when I needed your love and assurance .Holding me when I needed your support and showing me the way when I needed your guidance. I am a live example of the fact as to what an amazingly comfortable life a child has when he has a mother like you by his or her side. You always took extreme care of me and fulfilled all my needs.
Taking me to school and walking back holding an umbrella over me to protect me from the blistering Sun was a daily chore for you and despite having so much work you always took time out for me never complaining. You were there for me in happy times and even when I fell ill you spent countless nights sitting by my side as you tried to make me sleep.
I still remember my efforts to ride a bicycle were not leading me anywhere and I had almost given up. It was you who took the responsibility to teach me how to ride a bicycle. You would hold the bicycle from behind and prevent me from falling.
You walked with me step by step supporting me always. You taught me to see the silver lining in every dark cloud.When I did not get good marks you showed me short cuts to remember and understand. Even tough office situations could be resolved with your sound advice. You are my Mentor,Guide and Inspiration who showed me how to find my path. You have always inspired me to find my own path and set my own goals and achieve them. You are the one who has always inspired me to lead rather then follow. Whenever I am in a tight spot and do not know how to handle a situation. I ask myself as to how you would have resolved the situation and Bingo the issue gets resolved in a jiffy.
I still remember when I could not make it to the class cricket team I got really disappointed and thought of giving up the sport. You on the other hand advised me to follow my passion and keep practicing and prove my mettle in the next selection. You were so confident about my ability that even without knowing if I would get selected you baked a cake to celebrate my getting selected and I got it as a pleasant surprise on returning home after being selected. During the days when I used to have my exams you would stay up awake all night with me . Giving me Tea,Coffee,Milk and snacks so that I may be able to study well.
Now it is time for me to look after you and take care of all your needs. This would be my way of saying a thank you for being always with me and taking care of me.

This is what I feel about my mom

“Share your #MemoriesForLife like I’ve done at BlogAdda for HDFC Life.”

When Kanha Came to Play Holi

Is Holi a festival played only with colors? Think again. Here are the images of Holi celebrations with flowers.
"Phoolon Ke Sang Holi"  Maha Raas Natya Leela of Radha-Krishna

    When the beautiful Radha comes calling Who can refuse the call of Divine Love?

     She is not alone the Gopi's sing and dance along waiting for their beloved Kanha to come

    So Krishna Decides to come and join the Divine Dance -Hare Krishna

    So the divine message is you may be Radha or you may be a Gopi as long is your Love is pure and Divine you will get your Kanha- Hare Krishna.
This is Holi Celebration @ Mandakini Enclave Alaknanda New Delhi
Celebrate the Cheer of Holi and Spread Divine Love as you share this Post with family & Friends
                                                ~Happy Holi

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Let our inner Child Live it up This Holi

As students we began to believe that the world consisted of two sets of people one set being that of simple fun loving souls like us children who would look forward to the festival of Holi and indulge in playful fun and revelry and on the other side would be the set of people who were against any kind of carefree living and fun. These were the adults who stopped us from having so much fun. Had it not been the case then why would these so called adults schedule our exams just around Holi time. It is the ultimate torture for any student having to study on the Day of Holi when the rest of the world is celebrating the festival of colors. Perhaps the adults got some sadistic fun by trying to keep us away from all that carefree fun. In those years of innocent fun our free spirited souls were in no mood to bow down or tied by rules and restrictions and we invariably devised ways to escape the mundane life of a student and had a good Holi celebration. I remember playing prank on teachers who were strict and did not permit us to play Holi. There used to be a friend of mine who would buy a lot of colors and throw them on us and when we used to go to play Holi with him he would simply Hide or start complaining to his parents about our attempts of trying to play Holi with him. To get even with these tactics of his we worked out a plan. Firstly we took away some of his own colors when he was not looking and put them in his water tank. We made it a point that none of us friends went near his home and remained clear of the range of his balloon shots. Then we started playing Holi amongst us friends giving him the royal ignore.At some point he would have decided to go in and have his bath then emerged our friend all colored in a deep shade of blue. Looking at this state of his we could not stop laughing. It was our sweet revenge. Then we invited him down and he joined the fun and we played Holi till late evening. Holi is the day that one should let loose the child like innocence and surrender to the spirit of Holi. Unfortunately in the fast paced life of the current times we are getting lesser and lesser opportunities to relax and have fun times with family and friends. This Holi we are planning a get together in our colony where one can indulge in playing Holi with friends and neighbors so the theme this year for our Holi celebration is #KhulKeKheloHoli so that we may be able to relive the childlike innocence of yesteryear's rather then becoming those set of adults who were against any kind of fun we youngsters always wanted to have.

“I’m pledging to #KhulKeKheloHoli this year by sharing my Holi memories at BlogAdda in association with Parachute Advansed.”