What’s on board Asia’s first luxury cruise line?


Cruise&Travel Asia’s Bernadette Chua was among the

first to try the region’s luxury cruise line,

now three ships and growing!

What’s on board Asia’s first luxury cruise line?


Cruise&Travel Asia’s Bernadette Chua was among the first to try the region’s luxury cruise line, now three ships and growing!

The Genting Dream has been branded the first luxury ship built specifically for the Asian market. And she is living up to the label.

While you might think this is a scene from a five-star resort in Asia, it is actually on board the new luxury cruise ship Genting Dream.


Designed for affluent travellers who embrace a better travelling experience, Genting Dream has everything you could ever want available on board. Boasting plenty of eateries, bars and cafes, Asian and Western-style spas, fabulous entertainment, luxury shopping and more, Genting Dream has become the hottest new destination in Southeast Asia.


Adorned with beautiful furnishings, exquisite paintings and marble bathrooms, it’s an amazing feat for Dream Cruises. But what sets Genting Dream apart from other ships designed for the Asian market is that it is the first ever luxury cruise line.


Cruise&Travel Asia was invited to experience the 3,360-passenger ship. And with 2,030 crew members, the Genting Dream has the leading crew-to-guest ratio in Asia-based cruising. The Genting Dream is homeported in Singapore and sails on two to three-night weekend getaways and five-night sojourns around Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The Genting Dream has been branded the first luxury ship built specifically for the Asian market. And she is living up to the label.

While you might think this is a scene from a five-star resort in Asia, it is actually on board the new luxury cruise ship Genting Dream.


Designed for affluent travellers who embrace a better travelling experience, Genting Dream has everything you could ever want available on board. Boasting plenty of eateries, bars and cafes, Asian and Western-style spas, fabulous entertainment, luxury shopping and more, Genting Dream has become the hottest new destination in Southeast Asia.


Adorned with beautiful furnishings, exquisite paintings and marble bathrooms, it’s an amazing feat for Dream Cruises. But what sets Genting Dream apart from other ships designed for the Asian market is that it is the first ever luxury cruise line.


Cruise&Travel Asia was invited to experience the 3,400-passenger ship. And with 2,000 crew members, the Genting Dream has the leading crew-to-guest ratio in Asia-based cruising. The Genting Dream is homeported in Singapore and sails on two to three-night weekend getaways and five-night sojourns around Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Fact File

CRUISE LINE: Dream Cruises

VESSEL: Genting Dream

STAR RATING: 4+

PASSENGER CAPACITY: 3,360

TOTAL CREW: 1,999

PASSENGER DECKS: 18

ENTERED SERVICE: 2016

TONNAGE: 151,300

FACILITIES

There are 35 restaurants, bars, club and lounges, Zouk nightclub, swimming pool, four whirlpools, VIP Dream Palace, Crystal Life Asian and Western Spa, bowling alley, rock-climbing wall, six waterslides, boutiques, helipad, jogging track, gym, private karaoke room.

BOOKINGS

And while the ports are exotic, the ship itself is the main attraction. Asians love food and Dream Cruises has designed more than 35 restaurant and bar concepts for the ship.


The star restaurant is Bistro by Australian chef Mark Best, former owner of the three-hat Marque in Sydney. Best has amalgamated Asian and Western cuisines to provide something truly unique.


Guests can indulge in Iberico pork, Rangers Valley beef, potatoes cooked in duck fat, fresh oysters and the beautiful “Three Rivers” dish of Murray cod served with Sichuan potatoes and a butter sauce. Bistro has a private dining area for small groups as well as a large table that can seat up to 30 people.


Chef Best and his team have paired the exquisite dishes with some of the best wines from around the world.


The ship also has unique partnerships with whisky label Johnnie Walker and winemaker Penfolds, and has dedicated bars to the brands. The Penfolds Wine Vault, which is the first at sea, has special blends including the Penfolds Bin 170 which celebrates the winemaker’s 170th anniversary and the famous Penfolds Grange 2010. Part of the collaboration between Penfolds and Dream Cruises is the ultra-rare Penfolds Aevum Imperial Service Ritual which is a distinctive vessel specially handcrafted by legendary European glassmaker Crystal Saint-Louis. It is the only one at sea.


The ship also has the world-first Johnnie Walker House at Sea and has special blends which are only available on the Genting Dream.

Umi Uma Restaurant and Umi Uma Teppanyaki serve modern Japanese cuisine. The teppanyaki bar is great for big groups looking for an interactive dinner, while the restaurant, which serves Japanese-style tuna ceviche, sashimi, wagyu fillet and teriyaki chicken, to name a few, is a delicious experience.


The seafood is surprisingly fresh and the quality is good. Unfortunately for us, dinner service was poor, with some guests on the table receiving only two or three of the dishes they ordered and one only receiving their dessert.


In the Food Federation, you’ll be able to find authentic hawker delicacies like Hainanese chicken rice, nyonya laksa and abalone congee, but you can also grab an American-style hotdog or hamburger. It’s a popular spot for a late-night feast for the entire family.


In the evening, most guests head towards Tributes Bar, which has a Chinese band singing Mandarin and Cantonese love ballads, while in Bar 360, Anna and Emma sing American and British pop songs.


The main free dining areas are the Genting Dining Room, The Lido and Dream Dining Room. The Genting Dining Room serves a mix of Western and Asian dishes – think hot and sour soup to start, chicken breast with natural jus for main, and a cheesecake for dessert. It has amazing Chinese cuisine. In the World Grill behind the pool, guests can dine in the open area on salads, hotdogs, hamburgers, salads and much more.

The Verdict

HIGHS

The amazing array of eateries onboard. The décor is also lovely.

LOWS

Service on the ship can be slow at times, especially when it’s at full capacity during the holiday period.

BEST SUITED FOR

The entire family, including people who want a luxury getaway with all the big ship amenities.

Now if you want the very best in food, service and privacy, the Dream Palace is designed for the ship’s VIP guests. The Dream Palace is an exclusive and luxury experience. It has the crème de la crème of suites including the Garden Penthouse which has its own private outdoor sitting area, two bedrooms, and a separate living and dining area with a grand piano. Dream Palace guests have priority booking access for theatres, restaurants, spa treatments and many other activities. Guests also have private access to a dedicated swimming pool, loungers and the Genting Dining Room.


In the Dream Palace, there is a dedicated outdoor pool for VIP guests as well as the luxurious Genting Club Restaurant which serves western specialties like spaghetti bolognaise and veal marsala and Chinese delicacies such as truffle dumplings and medicinal broths.


Genting Dream’s cabins have been well designed – from interior cabins to suites in the exclusive Dream Palace. The marble and wood bathrooms are large and well laid out. Guests in suite class and above have a tub, shower and two sinks. Etro brand toiletries are offered. Spa suites have a king-sized bed, a 60-inch TV, large three-seater sofa as well as a walk-in wardrobe and dressing table/desk. While the suites look as if they could be from a five-star European hotel, little touches including the floral motif carpet and koi paintings on the wall give it an Asian flair. Guests in the suites have access to Dream Butlers who will book shore excursions and spa appointments as well as fetch you meals from the Dream Palace dining room. Butlers who hail from China, also speak English.

Now if you want the very best in food, service and privacy, the Dream Palace is designed for the ship’s VIP guests. The Dream Palace is an exclusive and luxury experience. It has the crème de la crème of suites including the Garden Penthouse which has its own private outdoor sitting area, two bedrooms, and a separate living and dining area with a grand piano. Dream Palace guests have priority booking access for theatres, restaurants, spa treatments and many other activities. Guests also have private access to a dedicated swimming pool, loungers and the Genting Dining Room.


In the Dream Palace, there is a dedicated outdoor pool for VP guests as well as the luxurious Genting Club Restaurant which serves western specialties like spaghetti bolognaise and veal marsala, and Chinese delicacies such as truffle dumplings and medicinal broths.


Genting Dream’s cabins have been well designed – from interior cabins to suites in the exclusive Dream Palace. The marble and wood bathrooms are large and well laid out. Guests in suite class and above have a tub, shower and two sinks. Etro brand toiletries are offered. Spa suites have a king-sized bed, a 60-inch TV, large three-seater sofa as well as a walk-in wardrobe and dressing table/desk. While the suites look as if they could be from a five-star European hotel, little touches including the floral motif carpet and koi paintings on the wall give it an Asian flair. Guests in the suites have access to Dream Butlers who will book shore excursions and spa appointments as well as fetch you meals from the Dream Palace dining room. Butlers who hail from China, also speak English.

The Genting Dream has over 1,674 staterooms with over 70 per cent of the accommodation Balcony Class Staterooms and it has one of the highest crew-to-guest ratios available in Asian cruising.


Like the ships in its sister fleet Crystal Cruises, Genting Dream has beautifully decorated sitting areas filled with Chinese porcelain, European photographs and brass ornaments – a luxurious meeting of East and West.


There are two spa areas – the Crystal Life Asian Spa and the Crystal Life Spa for Western treatments. The Crystal Life Asian Spa is over 1,000sqm which makes it the largest Asian spa at sea. It’s biggest selling point is its reflexology centre, which boasts 100 chairs where guests can have their aches and pains rubbed away.


I was lucky enough to be offered a Deep Tissue Swedish Massage in the Crystal Life Spa. The staff members are polite and very professional.


Guests who book a massage or facial have access to the male or female steam room and thermal bath. There is also a men’s barbershop and ladies’ hairdresser where aunties get their hair shampooed, blow dried and coiffed.

The Genting Dream has over 1,674 staterooms with over 70 per cent of the accommodation Balcony Class Staterooms and it has one of the highest crew-to-guest ratios in Asian cruising.


Like the ships in its sister fleet Crystal Cruises, Genting Dream has beautifully decorated sitting areas filled with Chinese porcelain, European photographs and brass ornaments – a luxurious meeting of East and West.


There are two spa areas – the Crystal Life Asian Spa and the Crystal Life Spa for Western treatments. The Crystal Life Asian Spa is over 1,000sqm which makes it the largest Asian spa at sea. It’s biggest selling point is its reflexology centre, which boasts 100 chairs where guests can have their aches and pains rubbed away.


I was lucky enough to be offered a Deep Tissue Swedish Massage in the Crystal Life Spa. The staff members are polite and very professional.


Guests who book a massage or facial have access to the male or female steam room and thermal bath. There is also a men’s barbershop and ladies’ hairdresser where aunties get their hair shampooed, blow dried and coiffed.

For the more adventurous guests, there is a rock-climbing wall, zipline and rope course as well as six waterslides on decks 16 and 17.


For family activities, parents and children can play a round of mini-golf or shoot some hoops on the basketball court. There is also a video arcade and families can enjoy a 3D cinema show at the Zodiac Theatre.


But if mum and dad want to go off on a shore excursion or to do some shopping, the Little Pandas Kids Club on deck 16 is a dedicated area for children. They will be watched under the careful supervision of Dream Cruises’ staff.


The Little Pandas Club leads out to the pool area, where four hot tubs surround the large pool. There is a shallow tiled area where you can sunbathe and cool off at the same time, and plenty of deck chairs and loungers so you can enjoy a cocktail in the sun.


Behind the waterslides, Zouk nightclub, the first ever at sea, has indoor and outdoor areas where DJs play the latest tunes from around the world. The outdoor area has a stunning tiered seating area and an ankle-deep pool where you can dance in front of the big screen.


For the shopping enthusiasts, there is plenty of retail outlets ranging from French perfumes and cosmetics from Dior and Chanel to high-end watches from brands Cartier, Gucci, Tissot, Tag Heuer and Jaeger-LeCoultre. There is also a special Salvatore Ferragamo store onboard which sells the latest shoes and handbags from Italy.

For the more adventurous guests, there is a rock-climbing wall, zipline and rope course as well as six waterslides on decks 16 and 17.


For family activities, parents and children can play a round of mini-golf or shoot some hoops on the basketball court. There is also a video arcade and families can enjoy a 3D cinema show at the Zodiac Theatre.


But if mum and dad want to go off on a shore excursion or to do some shopping, the Little Pandas Kids Club on deck 16 is a dedicated area for children. They will be watched under the careful supervision of Dream Cruises’ staff.


The Little Pandas Club leads out to the pool area, where four hot tubs surround the large pool. There is a shallow tiled area where you can sunbathe and cool off at the same time, and plenty of deck chairs and loungers so you can enjoy a cocktail in the sun.


Behind the waterslides, Zouk nightclub, the first ever at sea, has indoor and outdoor areas where DJs play the latest tunes from around the world. The outdoor area has a stunning tiered seating area and an ankle-deep pool where you can dance in front of the big screen.


For the shopping enthusiasts, there is plenty of retail ranging from French perfumes and cosmetics from Dior and Chanel to high-end watches from brands Cartier, Gucci, Tissot, Tag Heuer and Jaeger-LeCoultre. There is also a special Salvatore Ferragamo store onboard which sells the latest shoes and handbags from Italy.

Speaking of entertainment, there are shows every evening in the Zodiac Theatre with specially choreographed performances created for Genting Dream.


Voyage of a Lover’s Dream tells the tale of a romance between a mermaid and an astronaut – you’ll see the characters painted on the ship’s hull created by famous Shanghainese artist Jacky Tsai. But the undisputed highlight is the Dream Girls who perform an erotic but tasteful burlesque show every evening in the Silk Road restaurant.


There is also an exclusive production of China’s Got Talent – The Dream Experience, a 45-minute theatrical representation of the worldwide hit TV series. In the Zodiac Theatre, the ship’s 999-seat, state-of-the-art venue, the energetic, booming show is staged with the same lighting, set design and theme music as the real China’s Got Talent.


On board, there are enrichment programs featuring a range of speakers who specialise in different fields. Be sure to check who will be speaking on your trip as it changes with each cruise. There is also an Art Gallery where guests can purchase fine pieces at onboard auctions.


Currently, Genting Dream has several shore excursions from culture experiences to local food tours. The ship takes guests to destinations in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

Click here & WIN a Dream cruise

Speaking of entertainment, there are shows every evening in the Zodiac Theatre with specially choreographed performances created for Genting Dream.


Voyage of a Lover’s Dream tells the tale of a romance between a mermaid and an astronaut – you’ll see the characters painted on the ship’s hull created by famous Shanghainese artist Jacky Tsai. But the undisputed highlight is the Dream Girls who perform an erotic but tasteful burlesque show every evening in the Silk Road restaurant.


There is also an exclusive production of China’s Got Talent – The Dream Experience, a 45-minute theatrical representation of the worldwide hit TV series. In the Zodiac Theatre, the ship’s 999-seat, state-of-the-art venue, the energetic, booming show is staged with the same lighting, set design and theme music as the real China’s Got Talent.


On board, there are enrichment programs featuring a range of speakers who specialise in different fields. Be sure to check who will be speaking on your trip as it changes with each cruise. There is also an Art Gallery where guests can purchase fine pieces at onboard auctions.


Currently, Genting Dream has several shore excursions from culture experiences to local food tours. The ship takes guests to destinations in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.