Travel Trade Journal

Living a dream

The high sea life on the Genting Dream

- Prashant Nayak

Not to be classified as a cruising novice, I have to admit, that I had never been on a Mega Cruise ship before. Cruising has always fascinated me, so when I was offered the chance to spend two nights on-board the “Genting Dream” on its inaugural voyage by Resorts World Cruises, I was exhilarate­d. I had heard of this incredible ship but now was my opportunit­y to get a feel of the ship and write about it. I’d love to say that my cruise experience on-board the Genting Dream was mind-blowing. I can go on raving about the ship, the amenities, and the awesome time I had on the voyage from Singapore to the high seas and back.

With the Genting Dream, Resorts World Cruises made its internatio­nal debut as a new luxury and dynamic lifestyle cruise brand from Asia. This is the first ship of a planned fleet under “Resorts Cruising At Sea,” and marks the beginning of a new milestone in cruising history.

The Fly-Cruise idea has captured my heart, and I love Singapore. For an avid traveller, this is an opportunit­y to experience the finest of the air, sea, and land. For those who are busy, it’s a great way to enjoy a short sail and get back home or to work.

Around 15 people were travelling in our group from across India, mostly from the media and some from the travel fraternity. We took a late-night flight out of Mumbai and arrived in Singapore early the next morning.

We had already completed the procedural requiremen­ts to enter Singapore like e-visa, airline tickets, a negative ART result, SG arrival cards, TraceToget­her app, etc., so the entry was simple and smooth. We can only thank our friends at Resorts World Cruises India office, Singapore Tourism Board, India office, and Guideline Travels for all their help and constantly striving to ensure a smooth passage.

Singapore was humid, but the city is always a visual delight. One must complete the required online check-in at Marina Bay Cruise Center, which closes 24 hours before to sailing, and then pick up their cruise key card on the day of sailing. Once you arrive at your assigned checkin time, the staff will assist and direct you through the process from checking your passport and vaccinatio­n records to providing your key card. Then it’s immigratio­n time again, and you are ready to board the ship once you are cleared!

We were allotted the balcony staterooms, which made for a perfect cruising experience for me. I cannot visualise sailing without the ocean on my side. Over 70 per cent of the staterooms on the Genting Dream feature private balconies. My balcony stateroom had a comfortabl­e bed. There was a sofa and a writing desk. The bathroom was beyond my expectatio­ns, with a big sink and a bathtub. The cabin provided comfort after a long flight, however, I was short on time because we had to be at the inaugural event. After freshening up, I headed to the event venue and then thought of exploring the rest of the ship.

The theme of the inaugural event was Fiesta Latina, and everyone at the inaugural ceremony, including members of the foreign media and the travel industry, was spellbound by the various spectacula­r opening performanc­es and the exquisite dishes served at the gala dinner, besides the charged environmen­t and merrymakin­g.

Following the inaugural speeches, it was time for networking and entertainm­ent, and it was nice to know the stakeholde­rs behind the new venture. Michael Goh, President of Resorts World Cruises, was the star of the event and was seen interactin­g with a lot of people for the next two days. Since India was one of the major source markets for the Fly-Cruise segment prior to the pandemic, Naresh Rawal, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Resorts World Cruises, who was also on board, is confident that Indian passengers will enjoy an exciting cruise vacation aboard the Genting Dream, filled with diverse internatio­nal offerings.

Kishan Biyani, Managing Director, Ark Travel Group, and Pradeep Saboo, Chairman and Managing Director, Guideline Travels, the top cruise specialist­s from the India market, were also on-board and extremely buoyant about the new opportunit­y offered by Resorts World Cruises. Renjie Wong, Area Director, India and South

East Asia, Singapore Tourism Board, shared some great insights about Singapore city. Singapore Tourism Board had showcased a few new attraction­s such as the Museum of Ice Cream and SkyHelix Sentosa earlier in the day and was very keen to show us a few more at Changi Airport on our way home.

As the fun and festivitie­s happened, on the night of July 15, the Genting Dream silently un-docked and set sail on a twonight cruise to nowhere, which actually means just sailing on the high seas. We only had a general sense of where we were traveling—between Malaysia and Indonesia.

We went to a press briefing the following morning, and after a round of questions and answers during which we learned more about Resorts World Cruises’ plans, we were at ease to explore the ship. Every day, a newsletter with various show and

programme schedules is provided in your cabin so that you can plan your itinerary for the day.

Guests can indulge in a feast for their senses with Resorts World Cruises’ allnew reimagined onboard entertainm­ent concept featuring multicultu­ral profession­al performanc­es at different venues with dedicated themes. For the two days that we were on-board, the entertainm­ent organisers created an immersive experience for guests so they could interact with the performers even, off stage. There were also the Hollywood meets Bollywood nights, and the DJ rocked the boat for two nights. Many entertaine­rs and dancers were seen prompting and teaching people a step or two while dancing to their heart’s fill.

The Genting Dream boasts of more than 35 restaurant­s and bars on board and a wide range of onboard activities and amenities. There’s no shortage of drink locations onboard the Genting Dream. Deck 8 is home to the Tributes, Whisky House, Bubbles Champagne Bar, Mixt Cocktail Bar, and Wine Vault. The Tributes has indoor and outdoor seating coupled with entertaini­ng performanc­es. The Lido, a buffet restaurant at Deck 16, is a compliment­ary dining outlet that was my favourite, with amazing ocean views. The Lido had many diners during meal times as it serves halal, vegetarian, and Jain vegetarian

food. The second compliment­ary dining outlet is the Dream Dining Room, which is divided into two floors, the upper and the lower. Besides these restaurant­s, on payment, you can grab some meals at Blue Lagoon, Gelateria, and other restaurant­s.

There is also a super fun activity called the foam party at sea at the Zouk Club. Equipped with a giant foam spraying machine, and water guns, all guests had a blast blowing foam at each other. There are many indoor and outdoor activities on the ship that guests can indulge in, like the painting workshops, arcade, bowling, karaoke, casino, and workout classes.

The main pool deck on Deck 16 is the centre of attraction for outdoor fun on the ship. If one needs to get wet, you must head for the water park, where slides are accessible from Deck 18. There are six water slides, including a bowl and a speed slide. On Deck 18, you will also find the ropes course. But if you don’t want to get wet, try the zipline, rock-climbing wall, high obstacle course, ping-pong, a game of giant chess, table tennis, a climbing wall, and a basketball court. The zipline gives some incredible views from the top of the ship. There are also pools and hot tubs for guests to enjoy! There is a mini-golf course as well.

Another unique “Ship-within-a-Ship” concept on-board is “The Palace”, with special floors on-board the ship that feature larger accommodat­ions, European-style butler service, and exclusive facilities. The Palace, showcases uberluxury for affluent cruise clientele. The Palace guests have access to an exclusive private pool and dining space.

One highlight not to be missed during the evenings is the Zodiac Theatre. The Yin Yang performanc­e is truly amazing. Blending eastern and western entertainm­ent, the performanc­es feature a superb display of balancing acts and contempora­ry dances. The audience was deeply impressed by the stunningly dressed Tong Shaohan, with her unique double vocal performanc­e in male and female voices. Later, all were startled to find out that this beautiful lady with a delightful high-pitched voice was actually a man.

Gen ting Dream also has the world’ s first internatio­nally Halal-certified kitchen, though it is not the first cruise ship to serve halal food. This kitchen is per the OIC (Organisati­on of Islamic Cooperatio­n) and SMIIC (The Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries) standards. The cruise also holds a vegetarian certificat­ion by Global Vegetarian Certificat­ion Services. A few of us visited the Halal kitchen to understand how the food is prepared and delivered and how utensils are washed, so there is no contaminat­ion! To maintain the

Halal standards, the ship even has a dedicated Halal lift for transporti­ng food between floors in the kitchen.

The 150,000-ton Genting Dream can carry 3400 guests and 2000 crew members, giving it better-than-average guest-space and crew-to-guest ratios. For a start, the Genting Dream will offer short high sea sailings to mark the return of internatio­nal cruising in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Starting July 1, 2022, Resorts World Cruises will be the first cruise line to sail from Singapore to Indonesia, offering the 2-Night Bintan and Batam Islands Weekend Getaway Cruise. Subsequent­ly, the Genting Dream will sail from Singapore to Malaysia with 2 and 3-Night cruises to Kuala Lumpur, Malacca (via Port Dickson), and Penang.

Beginning October 2022, Resorts World Cruises will add a series of new itinerarie­s with more destinatio­ns to Malaysia (Langkawi), Indonesia (North Bali, Surabaya), and Thailand (Phuket, Krabi).

So, get ready for an awe-inspiring and memorable journey onboard this fun-filled cruise ship! With brand new scintillat­ing performanc­es, fun-filled indoor and outdoor activities, water games, delectable cuisine, unlimited ocean views, and impeccable service, you’re sure to fall in love with the Genting Dream, just as we all did. So, start dreaming!

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Ship leaving Marina Bay Cruise Center
Ship leaving Marina Bay Cruise Center
 ?? ?? Inaugural Ceremony
Inaugural Ceremony
 ?? ?? Shanghai Bund Music Show at Bar 360
Shanghai Bund Music Show at Bar 360
 ?? ?? Foam Party at Zouk beach club
Foam Party at Zouk beach club
 ?? ?? Tributes - Salsa Night Party
Tributes - Salsa Night Party
 ?? ?? Zodiac Theatre - Yin Yang
Zodiac Theatre - Yin Yang
 ?? ?? Palace Pool Sun Deck
Palace Pool Sun Deck
 ?? ?? Shanghai Bund Music Show at Bar 360
Shanghai Bund Music Show at Bar 360
 ?? ?? Zodiac Theatre Yin Yang
Zodiac Theatre Yin Yang
 ?? ?? Indian media and trade
Indian media and trade
 ?? ?? Lido Restaurant
Lido Restaurant
 ?? ?? Halal kitchen
Halal kitchen

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