Sailing is great for mental wellness! And I am thrilled to be sailing with Genting Dream, Asia’s largest luxury cruise from Singapore. This trip, on an extended invitation by Dream Cruise, turned out to be one of the most fantastic sailing experience across the vast archipelagos of the Singapore strait. To sail Genting Dream by Dream Cruise meant having access to the best of Asian hospitality, comforts and adventures in the middle of nowhere. That with a burst of Vitamin D and Vitamin Sea, as this international mariner sails into the blue waters of Singapore Strait, Malaysian turf and the Laut China Selatan.
If you ask me what’s it like to sail Genting Dream Cruise, I’d say, it’s like cruising a palace over the Asian waters where Asian hospitality meets with an adventurous sea vacation. The altruism of this 19-floor luxury vessel is bound to leave you enthralled with it’s deluxe staterooms, speciality restaurants and adventure sports. So here’s an elaborate narration of my journey of when the dreams set sail.
Boarding Genting Dream
To board Genting Dream Cruise, arrive at the Marina Bay Cruise Center. While here, keep your cruise ticket, passport and Singapore visa handy to display at multiple entrances. I found the onboard check-in procedure very well-organised and easy. Once I entered the main lobby, I was met, with robust security installed on the right.
Subsequent security check, proceed (straight) to the check-in counter, check-in your luggage and obtain your boarding pass. Note that Genting Dream only allows two bags on board per person, weighing up to 20 Kg. Post security check-in, I arrived in a large hall featuring a fascinating illusional ceiling to keep you busy for some time.
At the time of your initial check-in, you will receive a colour-coded cruise ID card. While waiting in the lobby, I figured that the cruise staff calls out groups by the different colours assigned to them. This colour call is for you to line up for the immigration check. The long immigration line may take up to an hour to clear, given the fact that Genting Dream Cruise is a large vessel that carries 3400 passengers and over 2000 staff members at one time.
Following immigration and after getting your passport stamped, walk through the narrow alleyway, swarmed by seasonal mascots. Keep walking until you enter the promenade that gives a first peek into its luxurious residence of exquisite offerings.
Deluxe Sea Facing Stateroom
I flew down to Singapore early morning on a cheery-day in December to board Genting Dream Cruise at 4 PM from the Marina Bay Centre. Upon boarding the cruise I was welcomed by the cruise mascots dressed in Santa and Elf costumes provided the forthcoming Christmas festivities.
After clicking a few pictures with the decked-up mascots, I paved my way through the meandering alleyway that leads to the main lobby of the cruise on the eighth floor. This ornate promenade was the first indication of the services I was about to enjoy over the weekend. Shortly after receiving my room key card, I took the elevator to the 10th floor, where I had a deluxe sea-facing stateroom awaiting my presence.
Situated a few steps to the lobby and the elevators, stateroom 10122 welcomed me to its 22 sqm luxurious space dwelling with sophisticated offerings. It’s fitted with a compact French patio, and while Dream Cruise, is parked at the port, its Deluxe Balcony Stateroom boasts phenomenal views of Marina Bay and Singapore Strait.
Later, when the cruise sets on a sail, you get awarded with uninterrupted sea views of the Singapore strait and beyond. Nearly around 7 in the evening, the sky begins to enter the dark phase and this is when the show begins! The bulbs come up and the perpetual archipelago of the Singapore Strait rouses to shimmer with a trail of soft lights. The warm breeze tenderly caressed my face and the view, my mind – I couldn’t get enough of this spectacle from the room balcony yet at some point I had to take a leave to be at Umi Uma Teppanyaki.
But before dinner, I made a small stop at the Grand Pool Deck, ornated with a large pool bustling with exciting activities. The pool and poolside was besieged, by water-loving people who appeared to be enjoying the live music in the backdrop. Besides, this is also the best spot to enjoy extraordinary sunsets. For the next few minutes, I stood spellbound, watching the eternal skyline dipped in a sunset colour palette like a beautiful painting on a canvas. Out of the 18-decks on Genting Dream, fourteen are accessible to all.
Deck 16th, 17th and 18th are exclusively made available to suite guests. So if privacy is your concern, a suite is what you may want to book. For everyone else, the outdoor arena hosts two swimming pools and four Jacuzzis. The poolside entertainment is fuelled-by live performances by Asian artists.
Dinner at Umi Uma Teppanyaki
Dinner at Umi Uma Teppanyaki was just as fantastic! This Japanese speciality restaurant features mealtime togetherness with its iron table culture, a tradition extensively widespread across Japan. The whole idea of mealtime togetherness is to sit together and indulge in gastronomic merry. Even though I tasted several Japanese dishes here, my personal favourites are – the Japanese Beer and the Dream Shinto Scallops.
Following the Teppanyaki feast, I took a brief walk by the Promenade to discover its illuminating broadcast of exquisite oriental decoration and Live performances. Each of the acts on display portrayed the hallmark cultural enrichment of Asia.
Premium Internet on Genting Dream Cruise
Upon returning to thriving sea views from my stateroom, I relaxed on the balcony for a few hours, concluding my day with black coffee and getting on video calls with friends and family. Having said that, Wi-Fi is a luxury when you are travelling through remote oceanic islands. Thanks to the premium onboard internet, that not only could I FaceTime easily, but also stream excellent quality videos, be it going Live on Facebook or Instagram or simply transferring data on iCloud.
Follow this process to get the premium Wi-Fi working on any three of your devices. Now if you may wonder how premium internet on Genting Dream is any different than the regular internet? Then you must know that while on the sail, Genting Dream gets its Wi-Fi from sky satellites. For this simple reason, internet charges vary by speed and bandwidth. While free satellite internet is available across the cruise, the premium internet is Great if you need high speed and bandwidth.
Pull up www.dreamcruiseline.com on your mobile/laptop and navigate to Wi-Fi packages.
On this page – select the premium internet option and register yourself by entering the number of your stateroom along with your date of birth.
You may choose from two premium packages – one priced at SGD 29 and the other for SGD 39.
I opted for the 24-hour package priced at SGD 29 to enjoy light media streaming. It allowed me to connect two devices at a time. For the weekend cruise, the total cost turned out to be SGD 58 for the premium internet. Which, if you ask me, was an excellent purchase as it allowed me to Live stream all of the theatrical shows and celebrity chef restaurants I visited.
Note that if you register for the premium internet from your stateroom, it will not instantly connect you to the service. You will first require to connect to the internet from the lobby. Once connected, you will be able to use this service anywhere on the cruise premises.
This evening concluded with me getting a good night’s sleep. I slept with my curtains open so that I could watch the sky full of stars from my bed as I gradually slip into a deep sleep. The sun woke me up at 5.30 in the morning, and I had to slouch-out of bed to draw the curtains to get some more sleep. However, the following day, I did spend the early hours at the balcony to enjoy a beautifully serene sunrise. By 7 in the morning, Genting Dream hits the Malaysian turf. Early risers can enjoy a complimentary authentic Asian breakfast at the Dream Dining Room on Deck 7.
Dream Dining Room
Like a typical Cantonese teahouse, the Dream Dining Room of Genting Cruise follows a traditional table culture. Grab a table, look up the menu of the day (and the general menu), order your favourites and enjoy the ambience while your food arrives. The kitchen dishes out freshly cooked food so, you may have to wait for 15-20 minutes before you get served.
At this restaurant, I enjoyed the best authentic Asian breakfast, comprising of steaming hot Dimsums, noodles, pork buns and so on. On the side, I was served, Asian tea in a Chinese ceramic pot, and it was so refreshing that after a while, I lost count of the number of cups I drank. The restaurant staff is extremely polite and courteous, and despite the high wait time, they make your breakfast experience worthwhile.
Genting Dream’s power-packed ‘adrenaline’ dose is custom-made for adventurous people alike. The select Genting Dream adventures comprise ocean zip-lining, water sliding with sea views, rock climbing and other fun activities. Ensure to wear sports shoes for zip-lining and rock-climbing as it’s a mandate. You cant carry a camera when go-zip-lining, but you can have your companion shoot a video from beneath the rope.
As you glide across the cable, harnessed on a stainless steel pulley, you will find yourself admiring the scenic views of the remote corners of the Laut China Selatan Sea. While the actual zip-lining wraps up within a minute, the process of climbing the track and beating the obstacles takes nearly 15-20 minutes. If you are scared to try zip-lining, I’d suggest you go for the water slides or rock climbing. Genting Dream also hosts Casino and slot machines on the inside.
Bistro by Mark Best
The rest of the day was spent at leisure, dipping in the pool, rock climbing and ocean zip-lining under a clear sky. Genting Dream hosts an array of endless adventures for seekers. Later that afternoon, I grabbed lunch at Bistro by Mark Best – a signature restaurant owned by the Australian Celebrity Chef, Mark Best. It’s a great place to relish a Surf & Turf platter with some Australian wine. Bistro by Mark Best extends its culinary mastery through its special-tailored menus, and while you are cruising Genting Dream, it’s one restaurant you can’t miss.
Silk Road – Chinese Specialty Restaurant
The rest of the day was spent at leisure, followed by an eventful evening. In the twilight hours of the second day, I relished a 5-course set menu at Silk Road, a Chinese speciality restaurant draped-in old-world glamour. Each dish here exudes exquisite flavours, and the set menu allows you to taste at least 5-6 of the master chef preparations.
Zodiac Theatre – World Class Theatricals
Following the dinner at Silk Road restaurant, I watched the world-class theatrical ‘The Voyage of a Lovers Dream by Tsai at the Zodiac Theatre. This fantastic theatrical combines gymnastics, ballet and other dancing-styles to portray the romance of an astronaut and a mermaid. The theatrical, however, is an aggregate of various acts, some of which are outright mesmerizing. An elaborate narration of the act is separately available on our website, shall you want to find out more. The night concluded with me admiring the super-moon and the Cygnus constellation from my stateroom patio.
Lido – All Day Dining
The following morning, I ditched the Asian cuisine for a Western culinary adventure at Lido, the all-day dining restaurant of Genting Dream. The Lido, on deck 7, is a great restaurant to get all your meals, however since I was trying my hand at the additional restaurants on most days, I only got an opportunity to grab one breakfast here. From pancakes to waffles to freshly-cooked pasta and pizza, Lido’s day-long bonanza ensures you never go hungry while on the cruise. Hot dogs, grilled appetizers and sandwiches are served outdoors throughout the day.
Dream Sea Vacation Concludes
The same afternoon I disembarked Genting Dream to explore Singapore city. On the whole, cruising Genting Dream was a great experience, and it allowed me to immerse myself in Asian culture while I had all the western amenities at my disposal.