Earlier in November, the Genting Group launched their new Dream Cruises brand, with the inaugural sailing of Genting Dream, the first cruise ship to be launched under the Dream Cruises banner.
The 18-deck, 151,300-tone cruise ship can accommodate 3,400 guests, attended by 2,000 members, forming the leading crew-to-guest ration in Asia-based cruising. Over 70% of the staterooms feature private balconies and there are over 100 connecting rooms catering to extended families and groups.
As the main target guests will be mainland Chinese, the service staff are mostly from China and the ship features Chinese menus, directional signs and other service related promotional material.
The designs and decors are quintessentially modern oriental and are significantly different from what you would usually see onboard other cruise ships from familiar western cruise brands in Asia.
Genting Dream was completed and officially handed over from Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany to Dream Cruises on 12 October 2016. This first ship in the Dream Cruises’ fleet began her ocean voyage from Germany to Gibraltar, through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal, finally crossing the Indian Ocean to Mumbai. From Singapore, she was bound for her dual homeport of Hong Kong and Guangzhou (Nansha).
The ship does not usually sail from Singapore and this cruise trip that I was on was a rare, one-time experience to celebrate the launch.
As we were the first batch of guests on board the ship during the sailing, there were some hiccups in service like confusions during disembarkation, long queues for meals and insufficient stock of certain popular food items. Nonetheless, the staff were patient and polite and these problems should iron themselves out by the next sailing.
What really impressed me about Genting Dream was it’s unique concept and features, a far cry from what I am used to when sailing with other western cruise brands.
For elderly Chinese Singaporeans who may not be too conversant in English, they will delighted to encounter the Chinese-speaking service staff on board Genting Dream and the Chinese signs. There are also more Chinese meal options, including Chinese fine dining. The accepted currency on the ship is HKD at the casino and Chinese RMB everywhere else.
Some unique features which stood out for me were:
Party with Zouk
The underground club from Jiak Kim Street in Singapore has gone international after the Genting Group bought over the Zouk brand.
Dream Cruises takes the Zouk experience ot the seas for the first time through Zouk’s key pillars of music programming like the evergreen Mambo Night, LIVE guest artist and DJ performances and signature drinks menu.
The Zouk Beach Club on board Genting Dream is divided into three areas: an indoor dance club; a sports bar with billiards and a four-lane glow-in-the-dark bowling alley; and an outdoor day and night party deck.
Movie nights under the stars are staged on weeknights while live fireworks displays will also be held, subject to weather conditions.
“Voyage of a Lover’s Dream” Hull Art
Conceived by pop-artist Jacky Tsai, the hull of Genting Dream is adorned by the art piece entitled “Voyage of a Lover’s Dream”, which envisages an ethereal and fantastical journey of love between a mermaid and an astronaut. Dream Cruises extends the art piece into the ship itself with Jacky’s original canvas artwork permanently on display.
The hull art’s theme can be seen throughout the ship’s designs and decors, giving Genting Cruise a funky, avant-garde feel.
Tsai is best known as the creator behind British fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s iconic floral skull. He has also collaborated with a number of high-end departmental store brands, including Harvey Nichols and Lane Crawford.
Dream Bed Concept
The beds on Genting Dream, Dream Beds, are the product of leading bedding brands from around the world brought together to deliver the utmost comfort to guests.
Cosy beds keep even the fussiest guests happy.
All mattresses are from Custom Comfort, a leading brand that prides itself on using the finest natural materials and quality construction in their hand-tufted, eco-friendly mattresses. Bed linens are from Italian brand, Frette’s.
Guests get to choose from a pillow and duvet menu, featuring 100% cotton, satin, down or feathers, all of which come from Germany, to meet each guest’s personal preferences.
Johnnie Walker House
If you appreciate fine whiskey, you will love the world’s first Johnnie Walker House at sea on board the ship. The bar serves as an exclusive embassy for premium Scotch whiskey, providing guests with the opportunity to appreciate, taste and purchase a selection of rare John Walker & Sons variants and singles malts not available elsewhere.
Penfolds Wine Vault
Wine connoisseurs on board Genting Dream can indulge in an array of rare Australian wines and fine vintage from one of the world’s leading wineries at the Penfolds Wine Vault, hoe to a wide range of Penfolds labels of both red and white wines.
Bistro by Mark Best
What’s good wine and whiskey without some good food?
Renowned Australian chef, Mark Best helms the 219-seat Bistro, with menu featuring contemporary western cuisine. Chef Best promises an amalgam of western and asian-inspired ingredients and flavours. Bistro’s menu focuses on small producer-sourced Australian beef, lamb, river fish and fresh seafood.
Genting Dream features two submersibles onboard for guests to embark on underwater discovery tours. The submersibles are designed to carry one pilot and four guests, diving deep down into the ocean. The submersibles feature a full 360-degree acrylic pressure hull and cruise at 3 knots while under water.
Dream Palace is the exclusive enclave on Genting Dream for those with deeper pockets. For a little extra, you get dedicated 24-hours butler services, access to the exclusive Genting Club area for meals and gaming, private pool facilities, not to mention the comfortable suite room.
Dram Palace offers 142 suites, equipped with a tablet, Nespresso machine, luxurious Italian linens from Frette and a range of bathroom amenities from Italian fashion house, Etro.
China’s Got Talent
Get entertained and enthralled by “China Got Talent” – The Dream Experience, a 45-minute theatrical representation of the worldwide hit television series held in the Zodiac Theatre,
the ship’s 999 seat live performance venue.
Voyage of a Lover’s Dream
This is Dream Cruises’ signature production show, portraying a surreal relationship between a mermaid and an astronaut. The show features the best of acrobatic performances from both Asia and the west with lavish costumes and set.
These are not all the services and facilities on board the ship. Other highlights include a Waterslide Park with giant waterslides for adults on deck 20 and kids waterslides on deck 16.There are also rope course, rock climbing, mini-gold and other sports facilities on deck 18.
For parents with kids and the young ones, there is a Little Panda Club on deck 16 which provides babysitting services as well as an Arcade on the same deck with the latest arcade games.
The ship also has a very large spa area of over 1000 sqm, featuring a mix of both Asian, Chinese and Western spa treatments as well as a salon. There is a swanky gym in the same area as well which I visited daily to burn off all the extra calories from all the good food onboard.
More details on Dream Cruises and Genting Dream are available via the official website. Note that they do not offer direct cruises from Singapore ports at the moment and only fly-cruise from Hong Kong and Guangzhou.