Adventure On The High Seas
Holiday cruises seem to be gaining popularity, so when the opportunity arose, I decided to find out why. With my bags packed and seasick pills safely in my handbag, I set off on my little holiday on the 5 Days 4 Nights Genting Dream Cruise setting sail from Singapore, and docking at Surabaya and North Bali.
My deluxe stateroom was as big as any modern hotel room; complete with a sofa and a queen-sized bed. The bathroom was spacious with an amazing six-jet shower and luxe toiletries by Salvatore Ferragamo – forget bringing your own toiletries. In-room entertainment is available with movies and television channels for you to watch on your flat-screen television. And the deluxe stateroom also has a large balcony with two deckchairs for you to lounge on while enjoying the soothing view of the rolling waves.
There are 35 restaurants and bar concepts to ensure that you are spoilt for choice – Chinese, Japanese, Hotpot, fine dining, kopitiam, just to name a few. Take note however that only three of these restaurants are part of your package (i.e. free for breakfast, lunch and dinner), and you’d have to pay to visit the other outlets. Don’t fret though as the three restaurants offer a great variety of food; from buffets to set menus that make for very satisfying meals. The spread/menu is also different every day so you won’t have to worry about getting bored with the food.
If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, you’re in for a treat. There are several stores and boutiques where you can shop for everything from watches to skincare products, to luxury handbags and shoes.There were even paintings up for auction.
One convenience that deserves a mention is the fact that you can go cashless on board the ship. Any food, beverage or items you purchase are charged to your room so you just need to carry your room card with you. You can also keep track of your account on the Genting Dream Cruise channel on your television (so you know exactly how much you’ve spent and on what), and just settle your bill before you disembark.
There are performances at the theatre which feature dancing, acrobatics, and others. There is also the Cinema At Sea which is, yes you guessed it, movie screenings. If you don’t feel like sitting in a darkened theatre, there’s a performance every night in the middle of the lobby floor – dancing and singing galore. Have a drink at the bar and enjoy the shows. If you’d like to dance the night away, there’s a Zouk Club on the Genting Dream Cruise and also a Beach Club.
For the adventurous, your day activities could include the rope course and zipline which should get the adrenaline pumping. Other activities include archery, bubble football, human pool, rock climbing, bowling, basketball, yoga and dance classes. And if you need to cool off after that, jump into the jacuzzi or pool, and have some fun on the six waterslides.
There are activities for children too such as Little Master Chef, Arts & Crafts and so on, and you can easily plan your activities as the Dream Daily (a schedule of what’s on for the next day) is delivered to your room every night.
Once you’re done with all the physical activities, pamper yourself and indulge in a massage at the Crystal Life Spa or Crystal Life Asian Spa. The names denote the types of treatments available, and not the segregation of guests, of course! And there’s also the Crystal Life Cuisine for healthy juices and nutritious meals to round up your pampering session if you’re so inclined.
Of course you don’t have to just stay on the ship. This particular cruise brought us to Surabaya and North Bali. You can go on the shore expeditions arranged by the ship, or you can venture out on your own.
When we docked in Surabaya, we were bussed to Madura to watch a bull race. I have to admit that it was a rather long bus ride and as an animal lover who usually doesn’t partake in activities which feature animals as entertainment, this wasn’t really for me. I’m not sure if Surabaya has more to offer as we didn’t get to see much of it, which was a pity.
North Bali was a different matter altogether. While most people have been to southern Bali, the north is not very touristy and still holds an old-world charm. We visited a gorgeous temple, beautiful lakes and stopped for a lunch with a view. The weather was cool and very pleasant. You can also shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as souvenirs for very reasonable prices. Take note though – durians, rambutans and mangosteens are not allowed onboard the ship!
On the last night of the cruise, we were treated to a party on deck with a fireworks display to end the trip with a big bang. Most passengers make it a point not to miss this, so the decks are full. It gives you an idea of how many people are actually on board!
Would I recommend a holiday cruise? Yes, I would. Make sure though that you are with a group of like minded friends so you can enjoy the activities together. Having said that, the ship is big enough should you need to get away from them for a bit. And I didn’t need my seasick pills.
Visit the website dreamcruiseline.com to start your Dream vacation!