Passports, check! Travel Documents check!
Camera, battery packs, wallet, check! check! check!
We left home excited and were looking forward to our first trip to Hong Kong. We’re big fans of all things Asian, so visiting a part of Asia closer to Mainland China had us excited. After a 60 minute ride to the airport, and breezing through security and immigration (carry on baggage for the win!), we sat down at the Cathay Pacific lounge waiting to board our flight. A short while later, we hear the boarding call and we hopped on board! Fast forward 6 hours later, we landed in Hong Kong and checked in to the Premium Plaza Lounge to charge our phones, have a quick shower, snacked on the breakfast buffet at the lounge and then headed out to the city center for a while since we had a few hours to kill before we could board the cruise. 🙂 A few dimsum and a couple of bubble waffles later, we were all set to head to the Kai Terminal to board the Genting Dream.
It was a bright sunny day and the thought of cruising through the Southern China Sea was beginning to get real. We couldn’t contain ourselves, we were inching closer to our first stay onboard a cruise ship, The Genting Dream by Dream Cruises.
Next stop, the Kai Tak Terminal. 😀
The old Hong Kong Airport (Kai Tak Terminal) has been repurposed to now serve as the terminal for ships and was the boarding point for our cruise. We reached the terminal earlier than expected, the ship hadn’t reached port yet, so we had to wait a while before could go through security and immigration.
Then the moment arrived, we could see the Genting Dream sail closer to us. It was surreal. The ship was huge and breathtakingly stunning. Vibrant and oozing with style, it was mammoth! 😀 No one could take their eyes off her. Soon people flooded to the glass walls of the terminal to take pictures and selfies. And by sunset the cruise just transformed into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and visual effects; thanks to the sophisticated lights that were setup on the balconies on board the ship.
DreamCruises ensured that we were given special attention for smooth embarkation. There were several entrances to board the ship and every gate was perfectly manned by the crew to ensure each passenger clears the guest list and made their way to their respective cabins. We were smiling from ear to ear as we entered the ship with staff welcoming us and guiding us to the right deck.
The entrance to the ship was spectacular and don’t even get us started about the decor. We were simply awestruck by the scale of everything on board. A destination on it’s own, the Genting Dream opened to us a doorway and a whole new perception of grandeur. Specced out better than most five star hotels, the attention to detail was immaculate. Starting from the carpeting, where floral designs guided you to front or the back of the ship to larger than life chandeliers. This ship was huge! 18 decks high, the Genting Dream really impressed us with its decor and we could hardly wait to find what all was in store for us during this trip.
Quick fact: The Genting Dream is 335 meters in length and 40 meters wide. It houses 1674 beautiful staterooms with an unbelievable capacity of 3352 guests and with 2016 crew. (No wonder we were so well taken care of.) WOW!
After checking into our cabin, we headed out for dinner. With 44 restaurants, bars and eateries to choose from; we found ourselves spoilt for choice! Soon we decided to try the buffet at Dream Dining.
Dream Dining is a multi cuisine restaurant that can be accessed from the 7th and the 8th deck. The upper level served a set menu for lunch and dinner while the lower level served buffet style. We decided to try Dream Dining (lower). The dining area is huge and it accommodates over a 1000 people. The spread looked amazing! It had meats, seafood, noodles, soups, rice and also had a western section that served pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, a variety of bread, salad, fruits and dessert. It also had a bar that was located in the middle of the dining area.
Here’s what we had.
Virtually everything we tried was delicious. We were pretty skeptical on how food on a cruise would taste like but we were not disappointed. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. We were pleasantly surprised to see Indian servers who specially made Indian food for some of the guests on board. We tasted some of the Indian fare and it was really good! So all those who think they’ll crave Indian food on board can be rest assured, you’ll be well taken care of. 🙂
We know a lot of our Indian friends who are strict vegetarians and are apprehensive of venturing to a Eastern Asia or South East Asian country because of the food. But on Genting Dream even the breakfast buffet had an elaborate Indian (veg) spread that even the Chinese patrons seemed to enjoy! So one need not worry about the food onboard. They will spoil you silly!
The next day started off with an elaborate breakfast at Lido, one of Genting Dream’s big all-day-dining restaurants. We saw guests enjoy some healthy and delicious breakfast delights with a massive spread of Western, Chinese and Indian breakfast options. They also serve lunch, dinner and a late night supper for the guests on the ship.
The pictures will show you the wide variety of food served and we really enjoyed trying the Chinese breakfast. We absolutely loved the Scallion Pancakes, Youtiaos aka Chinese crullers and Mantao Buns with soy milk, the plump Pork and Chicken dumplings and baos.
We knew our day would be fun and that it would be spent well exploring the gigantic ship and made the most of the time we had on board. Our onboard tour guide gave us a tour of the main areas of the ship. She was courteous, well trained and happened to be from Mumbai too. It was virtually impossible for us to complete touring the whole ship on foot in a span of 3 hours; however she managed to give us a glimpse of all the important, interesting and must visit areas of the ship. Some were even given exclusive access meant for VVIPs. It was amazing how a ship could house so many recreational areas. There was literally something for everyone.
As food bloggers, we wanted to ensure that we had enough time to showcase the best restaurants and the absolute must haves. So for lunch we chose renowned Australian Chef Mark Best’s restaurant to dine at.
Mark’s Bistro is a haven for diners who sophistication, elegance and truly great food. Our dining experience at Chef Mark Best’ s first restaurant at sea was nothing short of extraordinary. The concise and to the point menu boasts of the culinary artistry of the internationally acclaimed Chef Mark Best and promises to give you his contemporary rendition of western favourites.
We were really thrilled to have our meal there. The highlight of dining at this restaurant is that they serve Miyako Beef – the finest and one of the best tasting wagyu beef from Miyakojima, Japan. It is also called the Phantom Wagyu Beef, known for it’s melt-in-your-mouth texture and succulently distinguished flavour. A definite must have!
We started off by breaking bread. Quite literally as they served one of our favourite flavour combinations on bread – Parmesan and Paprika! It was crusty, chewy and so flavourful. This simple Parmesan and Paprika bread was an indicator of the level at which this restaurant operates. Brilliant! The amuse bouche that was served to us was Parma Ham wrapped in thinly sliced Melon. Classic, light and very delicious.
Our entree was a warm bowl of Cauliflower Soup with Spring Onion Oil. It was mild, the spring onion oil added freshness and definitely amped the flavour of the cauliflower. It was a brilliant Asian touch to the soup. We also had the Alaskan King Crab Salad, which was served on baby Lettuce leaves that acted as wrappers. The salad was simple, with generous portions of chunky crab meat. The lettuce leaves were fresh and added that perfect crunch. It was everything you want a simple salad to taste like. Fresh, and full of natural flavours.
For main course we had the Grilled Iberico Pork Chop and and Australian Flank Steak. Both were served on a bed of sautéed mushrooms with a side of a potato gratin slice. The meats were cooked perfectly. 😀 The mushrooms were a really good addition, the Jus was rich and flavourful.
Our dessert was a bowl of the most perfect Panna Cotta we’ve ever had. It was served with a blueberry Coulis. Simply superb! This restaurant is a must visit when you cruise through the Southern China Sea on the majestic Genting Dream.
For dinner we opted for a more theatrical experience with Umi Uma, Genting Dream’s Teppanyaki restaurant that serves amazing Japanese food! The whole experience of Chefs juggling food, making music with knives, interacting with the guests while cooking delicious food is an absolute sensory treat! We had the Teppanyaki Combo ‘Dream Ocean Shinto’ (Sea Scallops & Jumbo Shrimp). Starting with a miso soup and crunchy cucumber salad, we were really excited for our live teppanyaki experience. The chef began by introducing himself and how he would use simple ingredients like salt, pepper, garlic, soy sauce and butter as seasoning for our meal.
His comic timing and choreography on the grill maintained the smiles on our faces and had us clapping and cheering throughout the meal. He started off by grilling Prawns and Scallops followed by vegetables and then made fried rice that was shaped like a heart. 🙂 The eggs were rolled into a “snake shape” before it was added to the rice. The whole experience was delightful and the food was so delicious that it still makes us want to go back for more. This meal was perfect. 🙂
The dessert was exceptional! We had the coconut Pancake with Icecream and a Matcha Cake.
Post dinner we left to witness the mystical love story of an Astronaut and a Mermaid with the spectacular show – The Voyage of a Lover’s Dream at the Zodiac Theatre. It was simply magical! The production quality and the larger than life performance left us in awe. The sound and light, it was nothing like we’ve ever experienced before. Even though the show was primarily in Cantonese, we could understand every scene. The artist performed with such flair. A must see for everyone onboard. It was out of this world. 🙂
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay onboard the Genting Dream. Being our first experience on a cruise ship, it surpassed all our expectations with regard to hospitality, service, food and entertainment. The Genting Dream is a beautiful cruise ship and feels nothing short of a luxurious 5 star hotel at sea. Its decor oozes sophistication, style and luxury, giving guests an experience they will cherish for a lifetime. We enjoyed every single meal we had on board. With cuisines like Chinese, Thai, Malay, Japanese, Western and Indian, we were spoilt for choice with amazing selection of restaurants to choose from. So Indians who are apprehensive about travelling without the comfort of Indian food can be rest assured to be well taken care of. The variety of Indian food options at breakfast alone will put a smile on your face at the start of your day!
Genting Dream, is another world on its own where the sun never set and the fun seems to fade. We saw people of all age groups enjoying themselves with recreational activities, games, music, casinos, shopping and the list goes on and on. We had an amazing time and would encourage everyone to try it, as it’s worth every buck spent. You’re not only transported away into the calmness and serenity of the ocean but also into an experience that you will cherish forever. 🙂