The features, activities and destinations of Dream Cruises.

Read the second part of Cruise&Travel Asia’s interview with Thatcher Brown, the president of the region’s newest premium line, Dream Cruises. Mr Brown talks about the facilities, activities and destinations that the line will offer its passengers.

How many ships will be in the fleet? Will they be new builds? How many guests will be on the new ships?

Dream Cruises will have two new, purpose-built cruise ships for Asia and China. The first ship, Genting Dream will make her debut in November 2016 and subsequently, her sister ship, World Dream will set sail in November 2017. Genting Dream will accommodate some 3,400 guests in 1,674 staterooms where they will be attended to by 2,000 crew members, a leading crew-to-guest ratio in in Asia. Our crew will be carefully recruited to deliver the very best service and the epitome of Asian hospitality.

What will be some of the offerings on the ship? Food? Retail? Suites? Private clubs?

Quality finishes and special touches on board Genting Dream will make each guest’s Dream Cruises experience more comfortable and memorable.

Once ready, our new builds will be the most spacious large-cruise ships in the Asia Pacific. The accommodations on board will reflect both size and choice for the modern Asian traveler, over 70 per cent of the staterooms offering private balconies, as well as 100 connecting rooms for larger extended families, which is suitable for many Asian travellers. For those that wish to further indulge themselves in luxury, the new builds will also include the Exclusive Dream Mansion accommodations that offer the most spacious suites in Asia, luxury amenities, priority access and European Butler service.

The 18-deck premium ship will showcase more than 35 restaurant and bar concepts with a culinary emphasis on Asian food concepts, as well as many international favourites from across the region and around the world. The F&B offerings have been carefully selected, providing guests with a wide array of choices, from fresh baked goods to popular Asian and Chinese fine cuisine, as well as healthy lifestyle menu choices.

In terms of activities, there is flexibility and freedom for everyone on board the new ships with state-of-the-art facilities, a variety of upscale amenities and innovative recreation venues to enjoy. These include pools, six water-slides, a wraparound 610 meter promenade with diverse indoor/outdoor food and beverage options, bowling alleys, duty-free luxury shopping, Asian and Western Spas, and much more.

Entertainment has been synonymous with cruising for decades, and we aim to revise the benchmark. Located in the main hub of the ship, Bar 360 spans 3-storeys, showcasing non-stop performances by acrobats, private dancers and singers. On Genting Dream, guests will be treated to an extraordinary and diverse collection of entertainment options. Tributes is a venue with indoor and outdoor space, the first of its kind at sea, offering signature live shows. In addition, there are five private karaoke rooms, 3D high-definition movie screenings, internationally acclaimed night club Zouk and its sister beach club and much more.

To cater to business groups and business, multi-lingual translation capabilities in the theatre, of up to four languages simultaneously, as well as meeting spaces in a variety of sizes, to accommodate MICE groups, both large and small.

Finally, Genting Dream will also feature two submersibles, capable of carrying four guests, will offer personalized adventures to discover the treasures of the ocean for an unforgettable experience.

Are the ships only catered for the Asian market? If so, how will they be specialised for the Asian market?

We commissioned the construction of Genting Dream to meet the growing demands of the Asian luxury market. Working with our long-time local Asian-based partner, we designed our facilities and experiences to appeal to the interests of the discerning Asian vacationer. To cater to the preference of Asia cruisers, more than 1,000 square metres of floor area will be designated for retail pursuits with luxury products from all over the world available in what will essentially be a shopping centre on the sea, and the ship will have specialized Asian and Western Spas as well.

Besides that, Genting Dream will showcase more than 35 restaurant and bar concepts with a culinary emphasis on Asia, specifically for the Chinese guests. We have found that Chinese guests are very discerning when it comes to their many types of regional cuisines. Just as an Italian guest from Liguria is particular about eating the right pasta with the perfect pesto sauce, a Chinese guest from Guangdong is particular about the preparation and flavor of their dim sum or, if they are from Shanghai, the authenticity of their xiao long bao. In the hotel business, we say the most important consideration is “location, location, location.” In the Chinese cruise market, one could alter the phrase to “food, food, food”. This also means, we must consider meal times, pace of service, style of service delivery, presentation, and many other elements of our “software.”

Also, all front line staff will be able to speak Putonghua, along with English as the secondary language onboard. These are just some of the many highlights that we have initiated to cater to the Asian market.

While it is important to customize our products and services to the Asia and, more specifically, the China market, there is a balance where we integrate the right amount of international elements for the aspirational and curious. For example, alongside our authentic Chinese food and beverage offerings we will introduce international options ranging from an Italian gelateria to a modern Bistro

What destinations will Dream Cruises head to?

Dream Cruises’ first ship, Genting Dream will make her debut in November 2016 from her homeport in Guangzhou (Nansha), offering 2, 5 and 7-Night cruise itineraries to the coastal areas of Vietnam and China.

Commencing 13 November until 30 December 2016, the 5-Night cruise itinerary will offer travellers the opportunity to explore Vietnam’s scenic destinations including Da Nang and Halong Bay, as well as calling on Sanya upon returning to her homeport.

From 1 January until 31 March 2017, Genting Dream will shift its 5-Night itinerary and explore the vibrant and colourful side of Vietnam with calls to Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. In addition, travellers can extend their itineraries with a 2-Night weekend get-away to the vibrant city of Hong Kong – an ideal choice for many metropolitans, especially for the mainland Chinese, with Hong Kong being an attractive short-haul destination, packed with a variety of city-attractions, dining and shopping choices. Also, Hong Kong will serve as an interport offering with a 7-Night cruise departing from Hong Kong.

Summer itineraries will be shared in the coming months.