By Michelle Anne P. Soliman
A NEW DAY of fun activities begins after a long night of music and entertainment. You wake up at your private suite as breakfast — the first of the five meals for the day — awaits. Today may be spent at the six waterslides, exploring games at the virtual reality lab, watching a musical about an astronaut who falls in love with a mermaid, or how about a third try at the 35-meter zip line? Just a few of the many activities enjoyed, not at the resort, but on a luxury cruise ship.
Following the launch of its first luxury cruise ship in 2016, Genting Cruise Lines introduces its second luxury cruise ship — the 335-meter long and 40-meter wide World Dream. It consists of 18 decks, carries 150,695 gross tonnage, and has a 3,376-passenger boarding capacity. The cruise line promises the “comfort of authentic Asian hospitality combined with the finest experiences from around the world.”
Like its sister ship the Genting Dream, the new cruise ship features private balconies in 70% of its staterooms, 100 connecting rooms, two floors of lavish suites in Dream Palace, and innovative facilities for entertainment and recreational activities.
THE SAILING EXPERIENCE
Having been in the cruise business for 20 years, Genting Cruise Lines Senior Vice-President for international sales Michael Goh noted that the ships’ amenities were built to cater to the evolving passenger profile. “Twenty years ago, when people talked about cruises, people tended to say that it’s for older people. But today, [we] can see that high percentage of cruisers are [from] ages 40 years old and below. They are getting younger,” he told BusinessWorld shortly after a media roundtable.
The cruise line also invites MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Events) travelers on board and offers a diverse selection of venues that can cater to various events. “Twenty years ago, [you] hardly see MICE group onboard the cruise ship. But today, the cruise ship is an excellent venue for MICE groups — the facilities, all-inclusive arrangements, and entertainment makes it so blissful for the MICE organizer,” Mr. Goh said, comparing its convenience with the logistics needed, and having to negotiate with, resorts or hotels.
“We personally see the Philippines as one of the very important markets, whether as a source market or freight cruise market,” Mr. Goh said, citing the Philippines’ recent GDP growth and large emerging middle-income population as basis for his optimism. “Disposable income for the Filipino has expanded over the year,” he said.
This year, the Genting Dream and the World Dream are set to sail year-round to Southeast Asian destinations.
As the World Dream travels from Hong Kong to Manila-Subic Bay, Naha-Miyakohima, Nha Trang-Da Nang; and Genting Dream from Singapore to Redang-Koh Samui-Bangkok, Redang-Sihanoukville-Bangkok, Surabaya-North Bali; VIP guests may opt for a private suite at the Dream Palace (World Dream) or The Palace (Genting Dream) during their two-, three-, or five-day cruise. Dubbed as the “ship-within-a-ship,” the Dream Palace/The Palace has over 150 suites and VIP facilities including a swimming pool, gym, spa, dining venues, and “European style-butler service.” Mr. Goh notes that Dream Cruises is the “only one (cruise company) in Asia with this concept.”
The cruise ship experience is not complete without having a try at its recreational activities. The rope course, which includes climbing and balancing activities, would be a challenge for guests who wish to include riding the 35-meter zip line on their bucket list. After completing the rope course, one is rewarded with a one-way zip line ride which takes the rider around 15 seconds to cross from one end of the ship back to the starting point of the rope course. During the zip, the rider swings 18 decks above the sea on the side of the ship.
An exclusive feature of the World Dream, the ESC experience lab is a first of its kind virtual reality lab where the family can choose from a selection of eight games. The Vesaro simulator allows multiplayer racing between multiple simultaneous players, five players, or solo play.
As for entertainment, while the Genting Dream showcases the musical Voyages of a Dream about an astronaut falling in love with a mermaid, the World Dream features an expansion of the story in Sonio which includes acrobatics and LED visuals.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
Mr. Goh said that remaining optimistic is what keeps the business going. In 2021, Dream Cruises is set to launch its third luxury cruise ship, Global Class, which can carry 9,500 passengers, has 204,000 gross tonnage, and 2,500 staterooms.
Dream Cruises currently has the Dream Summer Offer with rates up to 50% off. The promo is valid for bookings until April 30. For more information and cruise schedules, visit dreamcruiseline.com, or call 836-6830 to 32; or e-mail email@example.com.
By Michelle Anne P. Soliman