Dream Cruises' second ship, World Dream, made its debut a year ago and is now homeported in Hong Kong. Prudence Lui jumps at the chance to sail the high seas for a quick weekend getaway filled with plenty of wining, dining and gaming experiences.
World Dream shares a similar configuration with its sister ship, Genting Dream. As I had previously sailed on Genting Dream, I felt a sense of familiarity while boarding World Dream, and had no trouble navigating the latter that is a 150,695-ton, 18-deck behemoth.
But there are several new features which stand World Dream apart from Genting Dream, including two exclusive shows, Faith and Dulce Habana; an exclusive private dining room, Vintage Room; and a large indoor virtual reality game area called ESC Experience Lab.
My twin-bed room was situated on deck eight, where more than half of the floor space is devoted to restaurants and art gallery spaces. I like my spacious balcony, which was approximately half the size of the actual room. There are about 1,040 other similar balcony staterooms, and features and amenities were similar to its sister ship.
In April 2018, Dream Cruises rolled out a new culinary concept, Taste the Dream – Wine and Dine at Sea, by taking six Asia-based celebrity chefs with them to cook at sea. This new element helps to enhance the ship experience.
I attended was a finale session that featured Martin Yan and Hilda Chan, where both chefs cooked up a storm with Dream Cruises chefs and impressed guests with a limited-edition tasting menu.
Their four-hands menu, staged on the Saturday night I was on board, ended my journey on a high note. It took place in the Silk Road Restaurant, and there were 25 tables booked out.
It warmed my heart when chefs Yan and Chan greeted guests in person, moving from table to table to interact with guests. I also had my menu signed by Yan when he came to my table.
This gourmet dining experience was not just limited to dinner, as both chefs held a live cooking demonstration in the afternoon that was open to all guests on board.
Guests looking for more private arrangements can book the three-hour chef’s table at the Vintage Room.
When it comes to dining, guests are spoilt for choice as the World Dream had 18 restaurants and bars. Palace Suite guests can also taste a specially created four-course set menu, which other guests can order for an extra HK$512 (US$66) per person (this does not include a 15 per cent service charge).
As I embarked on a two-night Weekend Getaway, boarding took place on a Friday night, with disembarkation set at 08.30 on Sunday morning, leaving only Saturday to fully explore the ship. Plan ahead by downloading the Dream Cruise app to view the daily schedule of activities.
I decided to experience the brand-new ESC Experience Lab. With a choice of versatile games, I tried the Finger Coaster and created my own ride-of-a-lifetime rollercoaster, and sat back to experience the full motion with simulated sound and downhill wind effects. Though it was a short ride, it was great fun.
Other activities include a complimentary wine workshop, where Palace Suite guests get priority entry. This hour-long class was conducted in English with Mandarin translation, and during this time I learnt more about the Wynns Coonawarra Estate and created my own blend.
To ease the boarding experience, self check-in kiosks were introduced at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in 1Q2018. Guests only need to scan their travel document to identify themselves for check-in, and the kiosk would automatically print out the cabin card. No group check-ins via the kiosk were available at press time.
Riding on the wave of success Genting Dream has generated, World Dream has elevated the entertainment and gourmet experiences onboard to the next level. It’s an ideal short escape for guests to appreciate premium quality and service, and will be especially fun for family groups.
Prices start from HK$2,240 (US$287) per person, based on double occupancy and excluding gratuities, port charges and visas.