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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.