Arrivals & Departures Dream to set sail soon

Photo of Niall McIlroy

The newest Asia-based cruise ship may set a high watermark for big-ship luxury but there are still a few fun firsts on board.

Ice rinks, bumper cars, virtual sky-diving, rock climbing, infinity pools, herb gardens...

Some of the attractions travellers can see on cruise ships are mind-boggling and it's now not uncommon for passengers to select their holiday at sea based on a vessel's novel activities. One captain recently remarked to me that for many lines, the ship is now the destination - the actual itinerary is almost incidental.

Genting Dream, the first of Dream Cruises' ships, is now just three months from launch and is taking a more traditional approach as it seeks to offer cruising that's "Asian at heart and international in spirit".

The onus is back on luxury accommodation with Genting Dream's "ship-within-a-ship" concept offering two decks of suites with butler service. The majority of staterooms will be balcony cabins, there'll be 100 inter-connecting rooms for family groups and 35 bar and restaurant options, while a 610m promenade will allow plenty of space for passengers to dine with a view of the ocean. A low staff to passenger ratio will see 2000 crew to 3400 guests.

There's an accent on shopping with what Dream is calling "retail-tainment" in the shape of luxury-brand watches, jewellery, fashion and cosmetics and the world's first Johnnie Walker whisky house at sea.

Genting Dream's first cruise is from Singapore to Hong Kong in November and it will then sail on a series of 7-night itineraries round trip from Hong Kong to China and Vietnam.

And yes..... there are pools, water slides, mini-golf and a rock climbing wall onboard.