We finally had our first vacation after 2 years since the pandemic. Since flights are atrociously expensive, we were grateful to be gifted a short 1 Day 2 Nights stay onboard World Dream Cruises from my mother. This is my first experience onboard World Dream but not my first cruise stay. As I was doing some research on what we can do onboard, I realised that most of the reviews were based on sponsored Palace Room (VIP) experience with 5 stars rave reviews so I was really looking forward to our stay onboard. I don’t think my experience as a regular guest will be very different right? Hmmm, here’s my honest feedback for you to decide if you’d like to spend your next sea-cation here.
Check-In and Boarding
When you arrive at Marina Bay Cruise Centre, head to Level 2 to deposit your luggage. We packed relatively light so we skipped this. You can technically check-in earlier than your scheduled time to do your COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART) but priority will be given to Palace guests and those checking-in at the scheduled time. We checked in at 1pm although we were scheduled to 3.30pm.
The ART is done quite fast but you would have to wait for your test results for about an hour at a designated waiting area. Best to have your Trace Together App to check for your status. It took us about 40mins for both of us to receive our status even though it was peak period. During this time waiting, you will be given the itinerary onboard for the day so you can take that time to plan and read through the brochure. Then, you will be escorted to another holding area to wait to check passport before boarding. By the time we boarded the ship, it was almost 3pm.
After checking your passport upon boarding, you will be given a Room Card and a Tracey Token that you will have to bring along everywhere you go onboard to make bookings and checking in and out of shops, theatres and decks.
Why is it better to check-in early? You can make your bookings for the pool, slides, jacuzzi, gym and shows before it gets snapped because it gets fully booked fast! You can only use the Dream App to make some of your bookings when you are onboard. Here are the Wi-Fi charges.
We were impressed by the Balcony Stateroom. In fact, it is one of the best rooms that I’ve stayed in compared to other cruises.
The room was a good space for 2pax and very well furnished that it even has a nice comfy sofa. There were movies on-demand which we quite enjoyed. The bedding was super comfortable too, absolutely loved the feel of the sheets, felt like we were sleeping on a cloud. There is a kettle available with 3-in-1 coffee, tea with sugar sachets and water bottles that will be refilled daily with housekeeping.
Our toilet did not come with a bathtub but was very functional and clean with easily adjustable heater and a hair-dryer available. The are Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste available but I used my own products. Water is drinkable from the tap too.
Having a balcony is a real perk as you can enjoy the sunrise, sunset and sea view privately without having to stand beside hoards of people to enjoy some fresh air. I spent a good amount of time here in the mornings, at night and in between our scheduled itinerary just chilling and listening to music. Shine and I felt it was the highlight of our trip (along with high tea and jacuzzi).
Inclusive Restaurants and Palm Court
Let me warn you that the food at Inclusive Restaurants SUCK. I told you this is an honest review. The Inclusive Restaurants are Dream Dining Room Lower (Western Cuisine), Dream Dining Room Upper (Chinese Cuisine), The Lido (International Buffet) and 24-hour Snack Bar. The only 2 Inclusive Restaurants we dined in were The Lido and 24-hour Snack Bar which made us quite queasy and didn’t give us the slightest mood to eat.
I only ate twice at The Lido for dinner on both days and the food was terrible. The rice tasted bad, nothing was fresh and almost everything was so greasy. I was quite taken aback as I really did not expect such standards from a cruise. The 24-hour Snack Bar was a hit or miss. During off-peak periods with no crowds/line, they had nice samosas, puffs, sausages and tea, otherwise the food was just damn bland and tasteles. Drinks are also very sweet and highly processed, I feel I can lose a leg. You want fresh juice, you have to pay sis, don’t expect quality from anything free onboard. Other than food, I have to commend the cleanliness is really good considering it’s an inclusive restaurant.
High-Tea is our thing and we made plans to go for the Elite High Tea. We were pleasantly surprised that there was an offer for SGD$58 for 2pax at Palm Court! What a steal! We had to make reservation 1 day before we dined in to enjoy the rate but it was well worth it.
The pastries and bites were delicious, a far cry from the crap at The Lido (at a price of course). Drinks were refillable and we could try out different hot and cold beverages. Loved the ambience and spent quite a few hours just soaking up the view, chatting and enjoying the bites. The staff were very attentive and helpful with enquiries too. Highly recommend if you are able to squeeze this into your itinerary.
Reservations for Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi
Since Covid, you are required to make a reservation for almost everything onboard from swimming pools, water slides, jacuzzi, gyms which you have to physically go to Deck 16 and queue to book the second you get onboard as the line can get really long (yes, more waiting) and you are not guaranteed a spot. Do note that you are only limited to an hour a day upon availability so choose your timing wisely to ensure it won’t clash with your other activities.
PS: FYI, this picture above is the public pool. The ones you see advertised on Instagram is only open to Palace guests. Influencers should disclose this info to not mislead paying guests.
We decided to skip the pool and the water slides as they look more suitable for kids. We booked the Jacuzzi at Zouk Beach Club at Deck 17 for the last slot at 9pm.
Thoroughly enjoyed our warm bubbly soak in the jacuzzi in the sea breeze under the stars. Totally worth standing in the queue. Towels are provided too so you don’t have to bring towels from your room but do note that you are not allowed to bring your drinks into the jacuzzi for obvious reasons.
Shows and Entertainment
I felt quite let-down and cheated by the itinerary presented. They make it seem as if there was lots to do but there were many of the activities that were over-lapping one another and it did not consider waiting time in queues. The timing for itineraries and shows seems more achievable pre-covid and there were very limited slots too.
We did not get to watch any of the shows as it was all stated as fully booked throughout the 1 Day and 2 Nights we were on board, however, you are able to queue 20mins before each show begins and they may let you in if there is space available. The show timings were allocated at odd timings at lunch, dinner and times that you’d probably be booked in the pool, jacuzzi or gym. Even if you plan your itinerary to a tee, you are bound to have to forgo one activity for another or something is bound to be fully booked. Maybe if we had more days onboard, we would have been able to cover more activities but it felt compromising.
We did watch a Bingo Game taking place at Deck 7. 1 ticket costs SGD$30 to play and you will have to make a booking 30mins before a game starts at the same deck. We decided not to fork out money for this and just watched instead. Nobody won in case you were wondering.
There were Laser Shows that took place on the last night before we returned to Singapore. No booking required BUT if you wish to watch, you have to be at Deck 16 or 17 to find a spot to sit or stand and watch the show taking note of social distancing measures. If there is no room to stand, you may be asked to leave by ambassadors and be prepared to have your view blocked due to limited space.
How did I enjoy my stay onboard World Dream Cruises?
Frankly, I did not enjoy my experience onboard. We spent a lot of time waiting in queues, rushing to make bookings only to be met with subpar quality standards which we should not be expecting from a cruise which doesn’t come cheap and considering this is my first time with Dream Cruises. I would like to give Dream Cruises the benefit of a doubt as Covid-19 may have cause them to implement a lot of changes that may have compromised guests experience, however, I feel the classism is quite clear especially if we have to fork out more money for proper food.
The service was great for the most part, the crew were quite helpful especially the ones at the Zouk Beach Club and Palm Court, they were very nice and made us feel so welcomed, we actually felt like we were on a holiday. I did face a few unhappy service staff particularly at The Lido but can you blame them? Shitty Food = Shitty Passengers = Shitty Service.
Other than the awesome Balcony Stateroom, the Jacuzzi at Zouk Beach Club and the High Tea, everything else was really mediocre at best. Will I book another sea-cation with World Dream Cruises again? May be not as a regular guest but to fork out SGD$600+ per night for some of the VIP privileges that I can get from staying at luxury hotels in Singapore for a fraction of the price? May be not.
The next time we go for another sea-cation, we would probably book more nights to enjoy the amenities and entertainment on board other cruise liners. After all, vacations don’t come by easily nowadays and we want to make the best out of it with the ones we love.
World Dream Cruises