A Guide to Genting Dream Cruise with Children
I was a kid when I went on one of the Star Cruises (gambling ships?). I remembered being bored. Then when my hubs and I were without kids, we went to Royal Caribbean. We concluded we are not cruise people. Yet, now with kids, we thought it might be fun for them. Cruises nowadays look more fanciful than the cruise I took as a child. So we decided to give cruises another try when we came across a good deal for Genting Dream. Will our opinion about cruises change after going on the Genting Dream Cruise with children?
I had high hopes because articles and social media posts (of influencers) were raving about Genting Dream of Resorts World Cruises when it was newly relaunched from Dream Cruises. The cruise seemed fun for everyone, including the children. Come, let’s explore the cruise ship with me in this post.
Jump to the relevant section:
- Our Trip Details
- Our Boarding Experience
- Our Balcony Stateroom
- Things to Do on Genting Dream
- Food on Genting Dream
- Is Genting Dream suitable for families with children?
Our Trip Details
For this 4D3N trip, we leave Singapore on Sunday at 5:00 PM and arrive at Port Klang the next morning. Then it’s Penang on Tuesday, and back to Singapore on Wednesday. We travelled from 31 July to 3 August 2022.
Booking our Trip
We booked our trip via Klook when it had a flash sale for
It’s S$1,162.50 for 1 x Balcony Stateroom (2 adults, 2 children). The price includes port charges but not gratuities (for 2 years old and above): $22 per person per night for Interior to Balcony; $26 per person per night for Palace Suite onwards.
Book Genting Dream via Klook for sailings from April to September 2023 and enjoy $50 off with this promo code: RWCHOLIDAY50
Our Boarding Experience
My hubs, two children and I were waiting for the lift at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (“Cruise Centre”). As we were about to enter, a group of people (who were taking the same cruise) rushed past us and went in. There was still some space for us to squeeze in, but that was ungracious. Breathe in and out, “Don’t let them affect you,” I thought to myself.
The boarding time was 2:30 PM but we went earlier to clear immigration and administrative stuff. This is so that we could board at 2:30 PM and start using the pool and facilities before all others board. But many thought the same way too because the queue was snaking out of the Cruise Centre when we reached about 1:30 PM. It was not the school holidays and it was still so crowded! You can consider reaching even earlier than us to be the first few to board.
We joined the queue and were about to enter the Cruise Centre when we spotted my parents who reached earlier coming out. “The staff told us we have to finish this food in the cafeteria located outside of the cruise centre,” my mother said, opening a bag of bread and fresh fruit. *Facepalm* I told them not to bring any food but they insisted the cruise instruction was raw food – and in their minds, it was raw meat and its likes. There’s a minimum spending of S$5 at the cafeteria – and that’s the only place we could consume any food in the centre.
So remember not to bring cooked food, meat & poultry products, and fruits! Biscuits, tidbits and baby snacks with sealed packaging should be fine. For baby food, check with the cruise to be sure.
You can check in your baggage at the level below the main building entrance. It’s free. This was good for us because we had big luggage because of the children. They will bring your luggage to your room and make it easier for you to navigate your check-in.
You will check in and get your room cards and brochures at the cruise centre before boarding.
“Move forward!” the “usher” at the immigration counters shouted at me. I did as she said and stepped forward into a yellow box. I was perplexed at why she shouted at me when I was rightly waiting behind the yellow box. The “usher” looked like a neighbourhood auntie doing part-time, unlike the usual professional profile of those manning the queue at airports immigration. Along with her, a few other aunties were also shouting at people to queue here and there. Perhaps employed by the cruise to maintain order?
Our Balcony Stateroom at Genting Dream
The chaos continued when we boarded the cruise. There was no proper order and we were at a loss on how to go to our room. So we had to grab hold of a staff to direct us. Also amidst the noise and disorder, we barely managed to catch the instructions on where to gather during an emergency. I was quite sure some of the older folks missed this. The cruise did give a safety drill (briefing) through a broadcast later on, including the demonstration of life jackets, just that people might not know where to gather.
Anyway, we found our way to our Balcony Stateroom and found the sofa bed not set up for the children. The sofa would open up and be big enough for two young children or one adult to sleep in. Our two kids slept on the sofa bed you see in the above photo. We love the balcony view as we admired the changing colours of the sky and relaxed at the wooshing sounds of the waves.
Tip: You can contact Klook to arrange for adjoining rooms if you book two rooms.
Things to Do on Genting Dream
Swimming Pool and Water Slides
Once you are settled in the room, head straight to use the swimming pool and water slides. The pools are not so crowded because others are still boarding or exploring the ship. A good time to easily get an empty Jacuzzi tub — very hot water but I enjoyed it. The adult slides were less scary than they look, although the sudden drop in the blue slide made water gush up into my nose.
Lifeguards around the adult pool were fierce like bouncers at a club. And at the adult slides, the person manning the slides kind of snapped at me when I walked up the wrong stairs (for which the signage wasn’t obvious to me).
Different people manned the various slides at different times, and they have different standards. For example, over the height requirement for slides and whether dangling earrings are allowed on slides. Some other restrictions I overheard – no diving in the adult pool, and no wearing of t-shirts over bikinis (the person was good to play at the children’s pool but not the adult pool).
You can drop off your child at the Little Dreamers Club if he or she is above 4 years old. The first two hours for drop-off are free, but charges apply thereafter. Younger children must be parent-accompanied.
The kid’s club is quite a small area with board games, toys, colouring and a television playing cartoons. The second floor has game consoles and other entertainment for primary school children.
Grace went on the lower rope course for children (see photo below). Some adventure playgrounds in Singapore have more exciting structures for her.
As for the upper rope course for adults, it was super scary for me! Firstly, it is quite complex and tiring to unlock and lock the carabiners with each step I took (I was not the only one who found it complex). The rope course was near the edge of the cruise ship and the strong winds were shaking the rope and steps rather violently, making the rope trail super wobbly. I felt like I was about to be blown away too. And the guy manning the station said the wind was already considered mild. What… not for the faint-hearted and weak. There’s supposed to be a zipline but we didn’t see anyone doing that – perhaps it was closed due to weather.
If you have a strong core, you can continue on to rock climbing.
Or have some fun with mini golf, table tennis and basketball with your friends.
Or if the heat is not for you, there’s an indoor gym to work out your muscles. Sadly, fitness classes are not free. One has to pay S$35+ per class. Look out for free dance classes in the afternoon!
After a long day or some intense exercise, you can relax with a massage at their spa – at a price. Many activities/events were chargeable too and so the cruise price is not as all-inclusive as Royal Caribbean.
If working out is not your thing, try recreational activities such as chess, shuffleboard, deck quoits, pool tables, and cosmic bowling. Book your bowling lanes for your preferred timing as there are only four lanes available.
There are also two game arcades available onboard. And of course the casino for the adults. Jackpot machines are so easily accessible in the walkways that my children could walk past and play the buttons like they did with claw machines, or any machines with buttons. Their sensory stimulation. Anyway, we didn’t insert any money and so thought it should be alright. But the kids were stopped the second time by the staff “guarding” the machines.
Otherwise, chill and relax in one of the chairs at Palm Court (Deck 19). Enjoy the view of the ship sailing forward.
There’s the Hokkien band singing on a podium in the middle of the casino. Then there are game shows guests could participate in. Night shows were available too. My hubs went to one but it was not really kids friendly – more of a love/dating show. Definitely not for children.
There seemed to be many parties going on, such as Bollywood Blast Party, and “Dream Boys” After dark show and party. You need to buy tickets for them. In the end, we decided to pay for the foam party at Zouk Beach (open-air)! Tip: Bring goggles, especially for the children. They will thank you for it! The foam kept irritating our eyes and we had to keep rubbing and wiping it off.
Not enough partying? Dance your way late into the night at the Zouk on Genting Dream.
Food on Genting Dream
There are many bars, lounges and restaurants for you to drink and eat. At all times, you will see people eating – breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, morning and afternoon tea breaks. A gluttony journey awaits if you want it to be.
There are three places you can enjoy complimentary dining:
- Lido for Halal International Buffet,
- Dream Dining Room (Lower deck) for the Western set menu, and
- Dream Dining Room (Upper deck) for the Chinese set menu.
I am not really a buffet person, so I was glad that the food at Dream Dining Room are delicious for us to return. Of course, the buffet has more varied food choices.
For Dream Dining Room, I recommend you go for an early dinner to avoid queues. We waited quite a long for the Western main course. Also, the dessert could not be served early for us because they cooked and served in batches – and we were the first batch.
No friendly or prompt service here because the wait staff were busy managing the dinner crowd. The manager was even strict and fierce with my two-year-old – scolded her instead of a friendly reminder to sit down. Well, the super long wait for food had made the children restless, and I had made sure they were not in their way. Oh well.
If you are bored with the complimentary food, you can dine in specialty restaurants serving Chinese fine dining, Japanese cuisine and others. There might be a queue at the more popular restaurant.
From another person’s experience, it seems like the pricing can range from S$48 to S$100+ per person, and the Beef Short Ribs at the Bistro are a must-try.
As for us, we only paid for the gelato and enjoyed it on the windy deck! We did get bored with the complimentary dining and hence went to search for other foods in Port Klang and Penang.
Is Genting Dream suitable for families with children?
We travelled from 31 July to 3 August 2022, during a school term. Hence, I managed my expectations about the cruise not having any shows or events for children. I am not sure if there will be one during the school holidays.
Overall, I didn’t think the cruise is very much catered to children but to adults. We walked past the gambling tables and jackpots like they are any other facilities – no age check. To think my children could actually walk past and touch the jackpot machines when there were no “guards” around. There weren’t many indoor activities for children too – I thought of the ice skating rink in Mariner of the Seas (Royal Caribbean).
In hindsight, Royal Caribbean (“RC”) seemed more suitable or fun for young children. RC ship felt bigger and with more facilities too. We talked to another fellow passenger who had a 5-year-old with her and she agreed with us. She went on RC cruise before and she had booked their next cruise trip on RC which sailed shortly after.
Genting Dream got a revamp, but personally, it still feels like a gambling cruise. Also, the cruise is good for people who like to drink and club too. Or those who like to eat at all times. I am not a fan of gambling, drinking, clubbing, or buffets, so I was quite bored. So this trip didn’t change my mind about cruises (see my opening paragraph). Perhaps I might consider if I have a free room.
Moreover, be prepared to spend if you want to fully enjoy the ship with fitness classes, specialty food, entertainment, alcoholic drinks and longer drop-off at the kids’ club.
Of course, the above is based on my personal preferences. On the other hand, my parents enjoyed the cruise, because it had a relaxing pace for them to eat and enjoy the facilities while travelling to Port Klang and Penang (we didn’t drop off our kids with them often). This was shortly after post-covid and so this type of travel was less stressful.
Moreover, my children enjoyed the cruise because they could swim every day and entertain themselves at a kid’s club. So if your children are easily satisfied with just pool and kid’s club like them, go ahead! Though I reckoned a staycation would suffice if it’s a cruise to nowhere. The cruise might also be good for parents who can drop off the older kids at the kids club and head off to gamble or relax with a cup of drink.
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Before you go, you might want to check out my other posts on Mariner of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). Let me know if you have other questions. Or do share with me what you heard of Genting Dream. Leave your comments below. Love to hear from you. :)
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