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June 27, 2018

Dream Cruises: Genting Cruise (Part 2 of 2)

You're reading Part 2 of 2 of our Genting Cruise trip.
Read Part 1 of 2 here.


The Cabin- Balcony Stateroom

  • We have never thought of staying in an inside stateroom, as we want to wake up every morning facing the sky and sea. The rooms are probably the same size as the Balcony Staterooms on RC's Mariner of The Seas, but the bathroom is bigger. I'm glad the furnishings aren't too tacky.

    See pictures of the Balcony Stateroom:

The balcony is tiny!

Spacious bathroom for a ship!

Onboard ActivitiesClick images below to see activities for all 6 days. 

  • Repetitions
    Events such as Bingo, Discounts, Clearance Sales etc. can happen many times over the cruise. However, if you see something that you really like and the price is right for you, snag it. But for Genting Cruise, the prices were not very attractive- check Carousel or Google back on shore, then wait for the next sale to make your purchase. 
World Championships at Bar 360

Every night is Bingo night!

The best usage for such a huge screen

Highlights of the ship!

Highlights of the ship!

It looks simple, but so many people have tried to no avail.

Book your shows the moment at the counters are open on the first night. 
Some timings were sold out already two hours after the counter opened.
The Dream Cruise app's booking system never worked throughout the trip.

Tour Talks- Selling your their package tours on the first night

China Got Talent
They have Zhao Wei and the other judges on the big screens, so the actors act like they're speaking to the judges on stage... it's kinda weird tbh. 

Glow Bowling Alley. Beside Zouk Club.

The Arcade

Don't expect fireworks to be on those like National Day. 
There were only one or two fireworks at every one time (like 'pok'.... 'pok'....)
so it didn't seem as grand as I'd expected it to be.

Currency Exchange

Exchange rates on the cruise were, surprisingly, very competitive. Worry not, if you accidentally spent all your Thai Baht on the second day already.

Shore Excursions

  • Tour or solo?
    On Royal Caribbean, the shore excursion prices were very costly. We were quite happy to find out that shore excursions were reasonably priced.
    For example, a two-way transfer (45 minutes each way) to a mall and beach strip from the port to Cha Weng Beach at Koh Samui only cost us SGD25 per person. On top of that, shore excursion participants get to go on tender boats an hour earlier than the rest of the passengers, which means you get an hour more for your excursion.
    Of course, there are crazily-priced tours, such as bespoke tours at $880, but the cheaper ones might suit you better. 
Shore Excursion tickets you receive when you purchase over the counter

Gathering at the Zodiac Theatre to get on the tender boats...

Ko Samui: The jetty from the tour bus

Ko Samui: The queue for the tender boats heading back to the ship

Ko Samui: Refreshing drinks and cold towels were given before boarding the tender boats

Ko Samui: These boats are soooooo much more stable

Ko Samui: Central Life Mall

Laem Chambang, Discovering Pattaya Tour: Sanctuary of Truth

Laem Chambang, Discovering Pattaya Tour: Rare finds at the replica Floating Market

Laem Chambang, Discovering Pattaya Tour: Would come back here again at night! ;)

Laem Chambang, Discovering Pattaya Tour: Central Life Mall... again. Different location k.

Pulau Redang: Avoid this corner if you hate crowds.

Pulau Redang: Yes, this corner when you alight the bus. 
Go all the way in, there're clear waters for snorkelling!

Pulau Redang: Waited very long for the tender boats to go back to the ship...

Pulau Redang: Going back. It can get uncomfortable on these lifeboats. 
Saw some people throwing up back on the shore...

Tours on the ship!

With hubby being a chef and us foodies, how can we miss this tour?
So for $20 per pax, we visited the Galley, otherwise known as the kitchen where they prepare food for almost everyone on the ship. Almost, because the Palace guests have their food prepared at a separate kitchen. An experienced chef brought us around, for 15 minutes for a quick walkabout. Pretty amazing, but nothing in-depth. No souvenirs to bring home as well.

Essentials Packing List

  1. Highlighter or Pen: To highlight activities on the daily schedule ('Dream Daily' on this cruise) that you want to participate in
  2. Sports Shoes: Forgetting this means you will miss a lot of other activities such as the Ropes Course and Fitness classes. 
  3. Beachwear: You will need them for the pool, as well as beach activities on-shore.
  4. Sunglass, Sunscreen & Aloe Vera Gel: With so many hours under the sun, do not forget to protect yourself from the harsh sun.
Thanks for reading Part 2 of 2 of our Genting Cruise trip!
Read Part 1 of 2 here.

June 26, 2018

Dream Cruises: Genting Cruise (Part 1 of 2)

You are reading Part 1 of 2 here.
Here's Part 2 of 2 of our Genting Cruise trip.


We have just returned from a 6 Days, 5 Nights trip to Pulau Redang – Ko Samui – Bangkok Cruise on Genting Dreams, a considerably new cruise ship.

The start of the trip was not as smooth, as we almost had to cancel our trip due to 'a change of operations'. From a 6D5N Bali cruise to a 6D5N Port Klang - SG - trip. So from February, it was postponed to June. We ended up with some free onboard credits. Sweet. 

When we booked the cruise, the reviews online were... not exactly excellent. Since it's relatively new, we thought they could be just in the teething phase.

Sooo... here we are.

The ship from afar!

Check-in & Embarkation

  • Check-in one or two days earlier
    To avoid the queue at the Marina Bay Cruise Center (MBCC) on embarkation day. Go down one day before to Genting Cruise Center to check-in. But sorry, you don't get to choose your cabins even if you go down earlier. (The kiasu-us thought that we could...) Each room is automatically selected by their system. You can only request during your booking whether you prefer a higher or lower deck or which area.

    If you have already checked in prior, then you can just proceed to baggage drop-off at the entrance after u alight from the taxi, although the mess at the entrance can be off-putting. 
  • Maximise your time, board the ship as early as possible, in your swimwear
    If your boarding time on the confirmation invoice says 13:00, then make sure you reach MBCC by 13:00. You'll be amazed at the hordes of people who will have already arrived much earlier than you. You can have your lunch at 14:00, saving you a meal. Wear your swimwear already so you can hit the pools without waiting for your luggage to reach your stateroom. Perhaps also explore the ship when the crowds haven't arrive. The stateroom will only be finished by housekeeping at 4-ish. 


Inclusive restaurants include:
  1. Dream Dining Lower- Chinese Set Menu & Western Set + Semi-buffet
  2. Dream Dining Upper- Chinese Set Menu only. 
  3. Fusion 8- International Buffet
  4. The Lido- International Buffet + Indian Buffet
Dream Dining Lower- Chinese Set Menu & Western Set + Semi-buffet
The kitchen had to expand the dining rooms to cater for much more Chinese meals than expected. Hence, the tables used in the dining room lower were... not very luxurious. Actually, they were foldable tables. Not even with a table cloth to hide the legs. The staff here are always moving about, helping each other out, clearing tables etc.

 Day 3, Menu for Dinner

Dream Dining - Lower

Dining... with a view. The servers are just too busy!

It is actually quite tender and delicious!

Baby Lamb Chops

Dream Dining Upper, when it's very full.

6-course Chinese set meal every day, no fail.

View of Dream Dining Lower from Dream Dining Upper

 Day 4, Menu for Dinner

Yes, it's the 6-course Chinese Set Meal!

Seafood on Ice for our last dinner. What a luxury.

Seafood on Ice for our last dinner. What a luxury.

6-course Chinese Set Meal, again. Lost count which day these were on.

Dream Dining Upper- Chinese Set Menu only
The ambience here is better than Dream Dining Lower, as the food served is all the same as Dream Dining Lower, but without the selections from the Western Menu. I like this place, as the staff were able to provide a better service.
  • For both Dream Dining restaurants, the waiting time for Chinese Set Meal was usually around 45 minutes. If you choose Western, you can get into the restaurant almost instantly, if you're willing to share a table with strangers.
Fusion 8- International Buffet
Some of the food here comes from the Dining Room Menu. After the first time I had my meal here, I never considered it as a meal option at all. The presentation of the buffet was not really grand and felt like they didn't put many thoughts into the presentation or making it different from other restaurants. The only exciting thing is that it has a different live carving station every day.

The menu on Day 1

The restaurant...

Simple setup

The menu on Day 3

The menu on Day 4

The Lido- International Buffet + Indian Buffet
This place has many more options that Fusion 8 can offer, as the area is huge. It reminds me of the Windjammer on RC's Mariner of the Seas. Sometimes, there are just way too many people in the restaurant, but the lady at the door only allows more people in. We were forced to stand and eat at the side once, as there were really just no seats- not even sharing ones.

Overall on Inclusive Restaurants...
  • The wait staff seem really tired and stressed by every service. Most of the times, they had to quickly clear tables for the next guest to arrive. There were 'carnages' everywhere. Unlike RC, there are no staggered dining times, so guests just arrive any time they wish, causing a jam during peak dining hours. Once, we were even turned away because there were just no seats.
    What makes it worse is that the dining hours end at 9pm, so by the time you complete your shore excursions, you have to quickly rush back for dinner, no matter if you're hungry or not. Otherwise, you'll have to pay for your own food. 
  • If you regret your meal, just too bad. Going for an extra meal during one mealtime will set you back by another $15 per head. No restaurant-hopping.
  • The appetiser and side dishes quite the same almost every day. I had the same type of cheese, soft rolls and butter, salad, same fruit (watermelon, melon and pineapple) for 6 days x 3 meals straight. 
  • No room service is available.

Paid restaurants include:
  • A normal Teppanyaki set meal will cost $58/pax, a slightly more premium set will cost $78/pax. 
  • Silk Road Restaurant: Daily Set Meal at $48 
  • Bistro by Mark: Daily Set Meal at $48 
  • Hot Pot
Bistro by Mark: Daily Set Meal at $48 

The menu. Set meal changes daily!


Starter- Cold Cuts

Cauliflower Soup with Caviar

Mains- Grilled Sirloin Wagyu Steak

Dessert- Vanilla Panna Cotta

The menu- Ala Carte

Hot Pot
It's the cheapest Specialty Restaurant onboard!

The menu

$28 Deluxe Set

Includes two soup bases and 9 condiments as well!

Part of the package.

Choose the right timing! Usually, 2 hours after the ship leaves port. 

Overall on Special Restaurants...
The service is so much better than compared to inclusive restaurants. And you can really feel more 'luxe' with elegant decoration. You can take your time to savour your food without feeling guilty about the long queue outside. However, the high prices are a huge turn-off. 
  • Must try Hot Pot! Reserve way in advance as it's really popular. It costs only $28 for 2 pax, and the portion is pretty decent. Besides, the experience of eating hotpot with the sea just right beside is just unforgettable!
    Disclaimer: Soup base is considered bland, as compared to Hai Di Lao. Don't expect too many varieties either. 
Listed below are other smaller, more ulu restaurants.

Crystal Life Cafe

Lobby Cafe


Thanks for reading Part 1 of 2 here.
Head to Part 2 of 2 of our Genting Cruise trip.