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21 Dream Cruise Line Cruise Reviews

We got a twin ocean view cabin for about $98/nite pp which was cheap for a 7 night Tasmania cruise from Sydney. Embarkation was relatively smooth - much better than P&O's amateurish efforts. Dream Cruises come from Asia and are ... Read More
We got a twin ocean view cabin for about $98/nite pp which was cheap for a 7 night Tasmania cruise from Sydney. Embarkation was relatively smooth - much better than P&O's amateurish efforts. Dream Cruises come from Asia and are basically geared to cater for the Asian market. This could explain some of the issues we encountered. About half of the passengers were asian. The ship was a bit "quirky" but quite OK. I'm not sure what the Ancient Greek theme on the pool deck & the main restaurant was about, but was no big deal. The big cathedral rear windows in the main restaurant were great, and the theatre was nice, but a bit small for the size of the ship & number of passengers, and was located at the stern rather than up the bow like all other ships. The cabin was OK size-wise, not as tiny as Sun class ships (Sun Princess, Sea Princess & Pacific Explorer) but not as roomy as Voyager of the Seas or Pacific Jewel/Dawn. Not much hanging space and no drawers in the bed-side units made things a little difficult. The en suite was small as per most cabins. The sliding door on the toilet didn't - it was jammed open but would have been fairly non-functional if it was closed so we left it as it was. Shower was OK, vanity basin about normal. The bed was some cobbled-together-thing that was probably smaller than a double (yes smaller!) that was very high and hard. It also had a bow in the middle that felt like you were going to slide or roll off it either side if you let go of your death grip on the sheets. It was uncomfortable and the sole cause of poor sleep for the trip. A queen size probably wouldn't have fit very well in the cabin but I would have thought a queen was a basic minimum for a cruise? Dining! This is where we take a bit of a slide down hill. If you didn't get yourself there at their specified narrow times you literally missed out - not joking. Breakfast finished at 9.30 but they started pushing you out at 9.00 am by cutting off things like the "juices". Lunch finished at 1.30. Bad luck if you are a late luncher, they weren't interested. Dinner finished at 9.30 but they made no secret of being annoyed if you turned up around 9.00 pm. You should have seen them starting to take away the trays in the buffet, and shoveling the plates in front of you in the restaurant to get you to eat quicker. A really poor show I thought - eating to the cruiseline's imposed timetable? There were "snacks" provided at other times during the day but for the "whole ship" there were 4 small trays of ... uhm ... crap. Tasteless squares of pizza, tasteless oily triangles of something, and rum balls that were tasteless, oily and warm cake that were covered by half melted chocolate substitute. Yuk. The quality of the food in the main restaurant was OK. We had some nice meals there. Nothing special and the quantity was meagre but OK (so long as you didn't turn up late that is!). The buffet was, well, a bit of a joke most of the cruise. One side of the buffet was never opened for the whole cruise. The other side was generally half opened (that's 1/4 of capacity) except for a couple of big nights when almost all of the one side was opened. It was broken up into different sections that didn't seem to have any particular theme or food type. You just lined up and took your chances. For the first few times we went in the wrong way (each section seemed to have a different direction of entry & exit. Never mind, it wasn't a hanging offence but some of the asian passengers seemed to be annoyed by these non-compliant Aussies going in & out in the wrong directions. The food in the buffet was average to poor and the choice was limited to say the least. Enough said there. There were plenty of "pay" restaurants all over the ship where there seemed to be much more attention to detail, quality & choice. Fancy that! The entertainment was largely of world class standard. They really did put time & resources into the shows & music, but many missed out on the shows in the theatre because it was too small for the ship numbers and they didn't have a second session. Also, if you did go to the show, you missed out on dinner unless you ate around 5.00 pm. Amazing. The casino reminded me of an old country RSL in the 80's, but you could smoke at the pokies or the tables if you wanted if that's your thing (to cater for the asian customers basically). The tender service to Port Arthur was OK, not the amateur show that P&O often is. All of the scheduled ports were visited. Would we go with Dream Cruises again? It would have to be bloody cheap to get us back on board, all things considered, unless they get their service principles reset to serving their cruisers, not their ordered routines (and better food too!) (and a better bed too!). Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had never been on a cruise and it came up on email and the travel agent highly recommended it even though I subsequently discovered she had never been on the ship. Amenities and cabin were good. Staff good but difficult to ... Read More
We had never been on a cruise and it came up on email and the travel agent highly recommended it even though I subsequently discovered she had never been on the ship. Amenities and cabin were good. Staff good but difficult to communicate with . Mostly Filipinos and Indonesians . Got hassled as soon as I boarded to purchase vouchers for alcohol- “today only very cheap price - bought the 5 bottles of wine package and 2 of the $70,00 individual drink packages. Drink packages are okay but the wine is almost undrinkable. Had to have a few spirits each day before attempting to tackle the horrible wine. On the last day we asked to settle the bill and we were each charged AUD140.00 for gratuity. I said but I have paid already 18% gratuity tax on everything I purchased and was told it was for cleaning the room.i refused to pay it and they immediately removed the $280.00 from the invoice . It was a try one and how many of the few thousand on board didn’t query it. The other complaint was the lack of entertainment. Their is virtually nothing to do except read and drink or play bingo if u are into that. Their was a handful of bored children on the cruise but most of the movies were children’s movies - mostly cartoons. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise, number 4 cruise for us, as we had never been with Dream Cruises. I read the reviews and thought they were a mixed bag, so I booked this cruise for my husbands 60th b/day. Embarkation was very quick and disembarkation ... Read More
I chose this cruise, number 4 cruise for us, as we had never been with Dream Cruises. I read the reviews and thought they were a mixed bag, so I booked this cruise for my husbands 60th b/day. Embarkation was very quick and disembarkation (although there was no time for breakfast) went very smooth and quickly. The ship itself was beautiful. Most of the staff spoke very little English so it was hard to have a conversation. The entertainment and activities were very limited and undesirable. On our other 3 cruises, there weren’t enough hours in the day for us to do all the activities and go to all the theatre shows. They had so many more choices of activities. The food was very Asian inspired, very ordinary compared to P&O & Royal Caribbean, no variety of fruit, just the basic. Dining experience again was very Asian, not enough choices for Aussie cuisine. 2 family members are vegans, poor food choices, they ate hash browns and bread for 3 days until we complained, then an alternate menu was given, again, extremely poor food choices eg..fruit for dessert for 3 days straight. We paid extra to eat different food restaurants and we ate offshore at every opportunity. Only one option per port for off shore tours, a bus drive city highlight tour. Nothing else was available. There were 6 of us, and it was my son in laws first ever cruise. After telling him all the wonderful things on our past 3 cruises, he was very excited to go but we were all very disappointed and unfortunately would not travel with Dream Cruises again. Dream cruise staff should experience a P&O or Royal Caribbean cruise to see the difference between them. I usually never write reviews about trips and we are a family that loves cruising. We are very casual and enjoy most things, but this cruise was very disappointing, I’m sorry to say. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise as it was a new company to New Zealand. What made our trip was the entertainment, which was world class. Also the piano player Ronaldo Raz, just made our days as we listened to him playing and singing, just ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a new company to New Zealand. What made our trip was the entertainment, which was world class. Also the piano player Ronaldo Raz, just made our days as we listened to him playing and singing, just fabulous. We got to as many of his gigs as we could as It was so enjoyable, also it was world class. Food mediocre, beds very hard, which made them uncomfortable., we all had painful backs each night to contend with. Why put folk that ask for a wheelchair to come onto the ship and disembark in the cabin we got, we had to walk to the lift to deck seven, then walk the length of the ship to go down to deck 6 for our meals. This does not show on the deck plan at all,we were the last cabin on deck 6 which showed that we could walk straight into the restaurant , or so we thought. We did go to the quiz days, which we have loved on other ships, but sorry to say could not understand what they were saying to join in, a language problem. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our second 7 night cruise on board as we did the Sydney to Auckland 7 night cruise late last year. We are dismayed at some of the reviews in here , but each o their own I guess. Both cruises we enjoyed and we are seasoned ... Read More
This was our second 7 night cruise on board as we did the Sydney to Auckland 7 night cruise late last year. We are dismayed at some of the reviews in here , but each o their own I guess. Both cruises we enjoyed and we are seasoned cruisers and cruised all over the world. Some some degree you get what you pay for , but people need to remember this is not a standard western ship . It was built for the Asian market and is a ex Star Cruise ship (which is one of the many cruise lines we have sailed with in the past). Built also for very short cruises , hence small cabins. Given the above we found it worth every cent (and it does not cost many), The entertainment some of the best at sea any where in the world. We found the "included" restaurants gave us all we wanted and staff tried hard to please , yes we have had better , but we have had a lot worse. Great value for what we paid . Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted a short cruise before summer and thought we'd try this new cruise line. WE paid quite a lot for a balcony cabin but there was not much space in there. Embarkation etc was very quick, no problems at all. Staff were very ... Read More
We wanted a short cruise before summer and thought we'd try this new cruise line. WE paid quite a lot for a balcony cabin but there was not much space in there. Embarkation etc was very quick, no problems at all. Staff were very friendly and plenty of staff available. Food was a definite weak spot. Most food was Asian, not to our taste, but the so called Western food was not good at all, in fact we called this out Jenny Craig cruise as I am sure we lost weight !! The entertainment however was another matter, and it was the best entertainment we have seen on 13 cruises. The shows were spectacular without exception and the day time quizzes etc quite good too. If this cruise line comes back to New ZEaland next season I hope it rectifies a few things. One thing, is the gratuities,. which have to be paid before they would give a cabin confirmation. Visiting ports was disappointing as often we only had 2 or 3 hours ashore. WE arrived at Napier for instance late afternoon when all the shops were closed. . I wouldn't choose this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Took this cruise to tour round the coast of New Zealand. Barely saw the coast except when going in to port. Food was great. Staff were great. Would like to see more flexibility for breakfast. Cut off was way to early at 9-30 (clearing at ... Read More
Took this cruise to tour round the coast of New Zealand. Barely saw the coast except when going in to port. Food was great. Staff were great. Would like to see more flexibility for breakfast. Cut off was way to early at 9-30 (clearing at 9-15) especially if you have a young family or you are at sea for 2 days. 10 would be far better clearing at 10 not 9-45! Expect fruit juice to be freely available also free beverages all day. Lack flexibility. Wine selection was very limited a total of 5. Totally inadequate for the western palate. Shows and parties were way to short at 45 minutes, just getting started. More films required and in the Zodiac theatre which was way underutilised most of the time. Especially when you are at sea for the day. Films in the Piazza were very distracting with people walking through. Account for the room should be set up prior to cruise on a credit card which is then automatically deducted. Hassle settling the account at the end of the cruise. Excursions ashore well organised. Description of the sounds disappointing obviously did not know very much about them and did not last for long. Again commentary on previous cruises taken was excellent. Need to employ some western management to meet western expectations. Unless I knew they had upped their game I wouldn't go again with this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Explorer Dream. Around New Zealand. Embark 29th December 2019. Disembark 05th January 2020 Firstly, this is certainly not a luxury boat, as was described to us from a Genting Cruise agent at the 2018 Cruise expo in NZ (and what prompted ... Read More
Explorer Dream. Around New Zealand. Embark 29th December 2019. Disembark 05th January 2020 Firstly, this is certainly not a luxury boat, as was described to us from a Genting Cruise agent at the 2018 Cruise expo in NZ (and what prompted us to book), and it is unlikely that we'll want to travel with Genting again. Cabins: Whilst of an adequate size, ours with a balcony that could seat 2 chairs, the rooms had not been vacuumed prior to us embarking, and rooms were not consistently serviced throughout the cruise (ie we had to ask for a soap refil, sometimes towels were taken to be washed but not replaced, some evenings you would get your bed turned down). There was a (very very small) mini fridge onboard and a small kettle with cups so you could make your own tea and coffee. Service: Service/waiting staff throughout the dining rooms were more often than not avoiding eye contact so as not to serve anyone. Any service had was extremely slow and convoluted (especially when it came to ordering drinks - the 'system' for ordering changed multiple times each day). Most staff carry walkie-talkies and use them all the time. This was especially uncomfortable in the Dream Dining Room - with staff chatter and the squawking of radios making it a very unpleasant experience. Entering the restaurants you're often met with someone at the door who clearly would rather be elsewhere. There was one standout exception to this; a young man called Ramli from Indonesia. At the end of the cruise we made special mention to him of his incredible service, and he just beamed with happiness. So we passed this back to him manager too. So many of the waiters could learn a lot from Ramli! Additionally, in the Dream Dining Room, service is not consistent. On our first dinner here we were seated at a shared table (most tables are shared), and our order for the entire meal was taken. We were never asked for a drinks order, and it was difficult to get the attention of anyone to enable us to order drinks (which finally happened after the appetiser and entree courses). On our second dinner, the Dream Dining Room was booked until 9:15pm, so had a late dinner seating. This turned out to be a mistake as the restaurant closed at 9:30pm and they clearly wanted us out fast. We ordered drinks upon seating (learning from the previous experience). These didnt come. We asked where they were and were told that the girl taking out order was not the drinks girl, so were asked to re-order (even though the original girl was standing beside this new waiter!). 5min later, before drinks nor any food arrived we were told that it was the last call for drinks because the bar was closing. Puzzled, we asked how this could be, since we had been told to dine at this time. We were told just to order more drinks now and stack them up as the bar was closing (this is despite trying to order a juice and a coffee earlier in the day, and told we cant stack drinks - that they can only be had one at a time). At this particular dinner, despite a quick serving of dinner, dessert was never served - not such a bad thing as dessert is not much more than a selection of finger cakes, or a couple of slices of cheese with stale crackers. Drinks: Drinks packages was one thing we enquired about prior to embarking, and information returned was limited. We got the sense that only water would be available onboard, therefore we pre-purchased the 'Classic' drinks package prior to embarking. This allowed for fruit juices, tea/coffee and house beer and wine. The selection was fine, however the fruit juice was the same nasty cordial served in the dining rooms - not fresh fruit juice which would cost more. As it turned out the dining rooms did have tea/coffee and cordial available free - however the free coffee was disgusting. Fortunately the package allowed for cafe coffees (much much nicer) throughout the ship. FYI we did order a rum and coke each on the final night (to use up a ship credit we got) but at 9AUD per nip + 18% gratuities + 15% GST for being inside NZ made it extremely expensive (at ship exchange rates our 2x double rum n cokes cost the equivalent of NZD57!) so if other guests are wondering what drinks package to purchase, this could be of interest! Entertainment: One thing they did do extremely well were the shows in the Zodiak theatre. The Ship dancers and the entire production were excellent. The magic shows were a highlight too. Its definitely worth not missing any of these. There was only 1 evening where there was no show in the theatre. Every other night the shows are repeated, so guests have the option of an early show or a late show. But beware that the early show does not give you enough time to eat afterwards - as the closing time in the restaurants is not 'last seating'. Its when the restaurant is fully cleaned and empty - which begins 45mins before the end of 'service'. Additionally, we were on the New Years cruise, which held special parties (and a special production from the entertainers) for midnight celebrations. These parties were very well done and so much fun! Food: Very average. The buffet (at 'Lido') has plenty of selection, but is not much different to your average RSA. Dream Dining Room meals are the same as the buffet but extremely small portions (and the cuts are no better - for instance the beef steak is equivalent to your thinnest grisliest schnitzel which has been braising in its own juices for way too long). We gave the Dream dining room a second chance, but stuck with the buffet thereafter - at least you could pick your own meal, and size, and the radio squawking was not quite so bad! Whilst food was average, there was certainly a lot of it on the ship, so unless you have special dietary requirements you wont go hungry. Be wary though if you're gluten intolerant or have any food allergies (another guest, with a son who has Celiac Disease, was in tears because they could not adequately cater for him). Guests: This was definitely a cruise for old and young alike. It had something for everyone. The fact that there were kids and babies onboard was definitely not an issue for us (and we prefer to not holiday with kids). We met lots of wonderful, friendly, happy, like-minded, travellers onboard. Onboard/Offload experience: Very well done. In and out of Auckland was very swift and easy (the best I have experienced around the world). However it would be worth noting that our ticket told us to board between 6:45pm and 7:30pm on day of sailing. However as it turned out actual boarding began from about 2pm. We did go in early and after enquiring were invited to board straight away - at 3pm! If we had left boarding until later we would have missed dinner and arrived only just in time for the emergency drill. We appreciate that they probably want to stagger guests entering, but we thought it very unfair that we would have otherwise missed a whole afternoon's worth of activities. Getting on/off at the various stops around NZ was certainly easy. There was never any rush, nor was there a need to keep us hoarded up in a theatre waiting for our ship offload time (as experienced on other liners). You got an offload ticket the night before with your set time, and you're ready to go - albeit they dont always ask for your tickets again when you go off! Just remember to take your passport or other photo ID, as this was a must for going back onboard. Itinerary: This was a cruise around NZ, but when booking we asked where exactly it would sail there was no definitive answer back from Genting (ie do we go around Cape Reinga or not?). As it turns out we did fully circumnavigate NZ. Surely this is a bonus to be sold! Unfortunately we sailed so far out at sea that there were very few times that you could get a glimpse of the land whilst sailing (this was a real shame). Fortunately there were plenty of onboard daily activities to take your attention during the day. The Ship: This ship was advertised as a ship that has been wholly refurbished. Onboard we were told that this total refurbishment took only 6 weeks to complete. What we saw was a very tired ship with some new carpet, and some new furnishings and fitouts in places. On the whole: It definitely felt like everything was an up-sell on board. Only 3 restaurants were free. The rest (in the open areas of the ship) had an additional fee. Also, apart from the Bingo games (at AUD25 per game) you got very little for winning competitions onboard as a part of the daily activities - for instance I won 2 seperate activities and barely got enough tickets from each combined for a ping-pong ball with a micro sized plastic car inside - akin to what you get out of Christmas crackers!! Finale: We have been on some lovely, luxury, ships in the past. So our expectations (and expectations set from the cruise expo agent) were high. For this reason we were extremely disappointed. Had we not sailed luxury in the past, then it is likely that our feedback would be different (we spoke to a number of other guests who had never cruised before and thought that this was a good holiday. Equally there were many guests, who like us, held the same frustrations throughout). If we were told that this is of a similar standard to P&O, or some other average ship, then this would have met expectations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
New to NZ market. This ship was attractive. Staff were inexperienced and hospitality training was obviously not given ,waiting for drinks for at least 30 mins after ordering.System was failing in ordering and receiving information . ... Read More
New to NZ market. This ship was attractive. Staff were inexperienced and hospitality training was obviously not given ,waiting for drinks for at least 30 mins after ordering.System was failing in ordering and receiving information . Language barriers made it difficult to order drinks and food. Dining experience was terrible as tables could not be booked which was frustrating and caused problems. This ship catered for Asian travellers. Amount of seating was poor.Public areas lacked seating and ambience only 2 areas. Waste of space with Mahjong lounge this could have been a nice piano bar ?.Communication was very poor and absence of cruise director was obvious only being present at shows. Marketing for NZ and Australian travellers was not a priority before taking on this market and should have been undertaken to ensure satisfaction. Service staff were more than pleasant and willing to please but most had trouble understanding English. Food was average but plentiful. Pool area was great but again lack of seating and loungers.Entertainment was average some shows excellent others weak and child like. Shore excursions too short in time. Lack of souvenirs available to purchase . Theatres were only used for shows but should have been utilized for the likes of bingo and game shows leaving other public areas for relaxing in. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
1. Entertainment and Activities: Excellent evening shows of high standards. Amazing staging and costumes. Plenty of daytime activities to suit all tastes. Needs a quiet area to relax away from other activities - the designated Palm ... Read More
1. Entertainment and Activities: Excellent evening shows of high standards. Amazing staging and costumes. Plenty of daytime activities to suit all tastes. Needs a quiet area to relax away from other activities - the designated Palm Court lounge was always busy. Note singer Wesley claimed he was an ex Commodore not from the Stylistics as noted in other reviews. 2. Dining. Disappointing. Only two western food outlets ( restaurant and pizzeria). Meals lacking vegetables and very small portions served on oversized plates. Western food cooking techniques need improvement. All other restaurants Asian and at additional cost. The Lido deck buffet selection was poor, more Asian based, although free. Free fruit drinks were powder-based. Fresh fruit drinks, carbonated drinks, and alcohol incurred an additional charge of 18% plus GST of 15%. This is on top of an inclusive gratuities charge paid with your fare. Who's profiting? 3. Service. Excellent most of the time. A few exceptions include some alcohol and food service. 4. Cabin. Clean and tidy although dated. The steward could not have been more helpful. 5. Ports. The time allowed in ports was extremely limited. Visits starting at very early mornings (amenities not open) and leaving early afternoon. Not acceptable. 6. Overall. Embarkation and disembarkation smooth. This company needs to up its game for Western customers or other cruise lines will benefit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The good: Entertainment with European performers. Good sized cabins with very good bedding, good towels and tea/coffee maker. Good pool and spa pools (even if some jets were not working). Fresh fruit at breakfast especially ... Read More
The good: Entertainment with European performers. Good sized cabins with very good bedding, good towels and tea/coffee maker. Good pool and spa pools (even if some jets were not working). Fresh fruit at breakfast especially pineapple when available. The Bad: Slow and poor service in lounge and restaurants. Food mostly not hot, several times not properly cooked and orders often mixed up. Cooks don't seem to know how to prepare western style food, for example bacon was nearly always under-cooked and became a greasy mess. Poor choice of breakfast cereals and bread, pastries and croissants not enticing. At the Lido buffet some effort is made to keep food hot but it is ineffective and the food is mostly only warm. Wine waiters very slow to take orders and deliver drinks (often arrived when meal nearly finished). Drinks in lounge often took 20 to 45 minutes to arrive. If you bought a drinks package it would be poor value if you could not get drinks served in a reasonable time. Of the 14 restaurants, cafes & other eating places, only 3 were "included" (free) the other 11 you paid additionally. The 18% service charge (plus 15% NZ GST) is a joke when "service" is so poor. The service charge was not clearly shown on prices of products or services and seemed to be inconsistently applied. Mix of staff from Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, China etc. resulted in varied English language skills and probably contributed to varied service to passengers. Compulsory payment of gratuities made it difficult to reward individuals who were better than average. Many seats in the theatre were faulty with the fold down seat flopping down past a normal seating angle and also causing problems when the seat was folded up as it impeded passengers trying to pass along the rows. The Dream Cruises web page for this ship states that this is a "new vessel" and other promotional material states that it was "Refurbished in April 2019". Neither is true, most of the the "Refurbishment" was adding a new showpiece; The Palace, a luxurious complex comprising 42 suites, private restaurant, bar, lounge and casino, plus an expansive pool deck. The fares for Palace suites are way beyond the means of typical NZ & Australian passengers. New restaurants and cafes were also added. But there is very little evidence of refurbishment of cabins and most public areas. While all the above may seem overly critical of food and service, it is the consensus of our group of 16 (and others) on this cruise. For many of us the food and service are significant aspects and a major part of the reason for for going on a cruise. It would not be difficult to improve the items outlined and hopefully Dream Cruises will address these issues promptly or their venture into Australia and New Zealand waters could be disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We (family of five) just returned on Sunday 22 Dec from a 7 day cruise around New Zealand. SUMMARY Pros: * Friendly/Effective Service from crew (seriously the training has been top notch!) * Excellent Food Quality at included ... Read More
We (family of five) just returned on Sunday 22 Dec from a 7 day cruise around New Zealand. SUMMARY Pros: * Friendly/Effective Service from crew (seriously the training has been top notch!) * Excellent Food Quality at included European restaurant (Lunch and Dinner/good fresh fruit and veg and good meat not to be found on European cruises) Kudos to the buyer. * Excellent Main Shows Entertainment (people just loved the shows) * Very Good catering to both Asian and European cultures onboard (very difficult to do) * Good/Effective use of an old ship * Reasonably priced drinks/drinks packages * Very Few annoying announcements Cons: * Poor communication about processes * NOT NOT NOT "Luxury" level cruising - total marketing blunder bound to disappoint * VERY hard DOUBLE sized mattresses (not good for some). * Tired old ship - not FULLY renovated nor modernized (Main dining room carpet: are you kidding!?) * Horrible Chlorine filled water and sugary "fruit" drinks. Water smells like pool water, you will not want to drink after smelling it. * Many technology based services simply did not work (online check-in/Onboard App) * Lack of indoor spaces with quiet or relaxed instrumental music * Odd food failures (cannot seem to do European breakfast well, wtf is "beef-bacon"? Where is the bacon-bacon?) * Time at ports - early and short (hard one to fix) * Too short dinning times (no sleeping in for you if you like to have breakfast) * Shipboard currency is Australian dollars when less than 10% of passengers were Australian and all the ports of call were in New Zealand (in part meaning buskers/charities/street vendors out for the cruise passengers business will have seen very little benefit as few will be holding NZ cash). Having said all that, we had a very enjoyable cruise and the reality is that cruising is a complex multi-faceted experience so in the end your mileage is subjective depending on your attitude and what is important to you. I hope the Dream Cruises venture in the Australian/NZ market is a success. Its great for the economy (particularly for the small towns) and the crew were so nice, one wants them to have goods jobs. Full disclosure though, we only paid a very discounted fare of $NZ427pp AND were lucky enough to pull $400 of that back out of the casino. :-) So very economical holiday for us. With the overall product being of such mixed quality, I do not think I would be happy having paid full fare. In reality Dream Cruises is not "luxury", it's very much at the P&O level of cruising (for Aus/NZ), which is the budget level. My advice would be to definitely consider a Dream Cruises cruise but don't pay top dollar thinking you are getting a top rate cruise experience, the experience is going to be very mixed. Happy Cruising. P.S. Beer AU$7 Soda AU$3 Cocktails(strong)AU$12 Wine(good) glass AU$7 bottle AU$20/25 (all prices plus 18% gratuity plus GST) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Looked aged, despite claims of a recent refurbishment! The only good thing was shows and performers. Food average and repetitive. Dining service poor and disorganised. Quite clearly an understaffed ship. Ship director not ... Read More
Looked aged, despite claims of a recent refurbishment! The only good thing was shows and performers. Food average and repetitive. Dining service poor and disorganised. Quite clearly an understaffed ship. Ship director not very visible. Gratuity was calculated and taken automatically from most passengers except we refused to pay and paid to our cabin cleaner directly. Disembarkation at the ports was a disaster with passengers being held indoors without being able to go anywhere for house wasting precious time visiting the ports! Only one or two tender boats running to and from one of the ports contributing to the above chaos! Swimming pools were drained claiming safety reasons! Tiny stateroom with little storage facilities. 15-18% GST on everything! Inconsistent information provided about important stuff including times to return to the ship and the type of ID needed to be taken to ports. A main lift was broken the whole time. Out phone did not work and was not fixed despite us informing the reception. Decks were washed in the morning rather than late at nights, making them slippery and dangerous for joggers; I had a fall myself and had to walk in the covered areas afterwards. The list goes on.... Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are group of 5 adults and 1 child currently on cruise. Ship we feel has lovely decor. This bit of a review is our opinion only. We love some of the shows. Fantastic costumes and unreal lighting show. Normally Kids club a hit, ... Read More
We are group of 5 adults and 1 child currently on cruise. Ship we feel has lovely decor. This bit of a review is our opinion only. We love some of the shows. Fantastic costumes and unreal lighting show. Normally Kids club a hit, unfortunately has not hit the spot this time on this particular cruise. You can always fine something to eat among the limited choices. Unfortunately we are just use to been spoiled for choice on other cruise lines..The BBQ on the lido grill is absolutely fantastic but unfortunately its only on once per every 7 night cruise. So look out for bbq..We had a stop at Dunedin, the cruise line has a return shuttle from ship to Dunedin for $19 per Adult/Child or there is a local one inside terminal for $6. TV channels are pretty darn good when you get a chance to watch it. I did not get one but the Drink packages are a big hit on the cruise and a great value. At this stage unfortunately no drink package just for kids like other cruiselines. However we just brought cans of soft drinks on. You can get a bottle of wine for $20 + tips or 10 drinks for $65 inclusive of taxes etc includes some spirits, wines, beers. 5 icecream vouchers for $12. Also you can buy a bottle of vodka or jimbeam etc that you can drink in your room if you want too. Internet package the dearest I've seen, about $145 for 7 night cruise..We all passed on this. Staff are among the best we have ever experienced, unfortunately a few terribly rude and aggressive staff spoiled it. Few language barriers at times but eventually you can get it sorted..Swimming pool, spa and water slide are a favorite with all. Be aware no information at this stage is given freely. Which was very frustrating for all the I talked too. This miscommunication lead to 2 to 4 hours wait to get off the boat at different ports. Most people became really upset angry and frustrated. This was the worst experience I've ever seen on any cruise of ever been on. Wellington Te Papa museum is certainly worth a look. Fantastic Gallipoli display. It was so life like, it was incredible. You get your luggage labels at night on the last night of your cruise. This would have been better a day or two out as they disembark deck by deck so if you've got family members on Deck 10 and 5 and deck 8. You could be waiting 3 hours for them to get off the boat which can cause a big problem. so they weren't allowing you to swap which was terribly fustrating for a lot. Some weren't getting off the boat to 1:30 p.m. They did not tell people that they actually had to meet in the theatre then get escorted of the boat in Wellington so this made delay of hours for some people and half the theatre nearly end up rioting. Unfortunately people became terribly upset and frustrated after hours of waiting. I'm sure everything will work out better in time and each cruise will make the next cruise better. Why they did not put some of the crucial staff on sample cruises on each company before it came into Australia New Zealand Waters is beyond me and they could have iron out all these problems in advance. However they were open for suggestions so give it a few months of tweaking problems and everything should be fine. Once again I will have to say the staff one of the best I've ever experienced they were just so lovely and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Very disappointing that the lovely wide promenade deck has absolutely no deck chairs or places to sit anywhere. Regular cruisers always enjoy sleeping/reading or horizon gazing from a deck chair. Charges on the ship were for everything ... Read More
Very disappointing that the lovely wide promenade deck has absolutely no deck chairs or places to sit anywhere. Regular cruisers always enjoy sleeping/reading or horizon gazing from a deck chair. Charges on the ship were for everything possible and always plus 18% service charge plus GST of either 10% or 15% when the ship was in territorial waters. Even the casual counters for cakes and cookies were chargeable and to ensure guests did not take such things from the buffet back to their cabins, you were watched as you tried to leave the buffet and told you were not allowed to remove any food from the restaurant thus forcing you to buy if you wanted a snack for your room. Apart from a lovely observation lounge facing the front of the ship, there were really no other public rooms where you could sit and relax. The main central piazza which is used for all sorts of activities, including movies is a noisy place as along each side are the old fashioned gaming and slot machines. Plus there is a whole other area of such machines. Evening menus offered very little in the way of desserts; normally just a choice of a couple of small cakes. Certainly not like the offerings of other cruise lines. Security is questionable as the cabin number is printed on every card (or access) key that is used for opening doors and making charges. Should you lose your key any finder knows exactly where the key belongs. All other cruise lines and hotels these days do not print room numbers on keys for the sake of security. As the passengers are predominantly of Chinese origin (at least 80% and even 95% in the Palace section) all activities and announcements are in both Mandarin and English. The majority of the crew is similarly of Chinese origin which at times creates difficulties for Anglos to communicate with staff. A very positive comment on the standard of service for Palace guests but nevertheless overall a disappointing experience for a cruise. A male strip show (chargeable) on a ship is not the usual form of entertainment that to me is indicative of a regular cruise line. Other shows were certainly of a high standard, even though an off stage translator had to describe what was going on at the time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise is a mixture of good and bad experiences. Disembarkation at different ports was poorly organised as we did not get of the ship until 2-3 hours after the ship docked and disembarkation started. We found it very hard to make our ... Read More
This cruise is a mixture of good and bad experiences. Disembarkation at different ports was poorly organised as we did not get of the ship until 2-3 hours after the ship docked and disembarkation started. We found it very hard to make our needs understood by the front desk staff as they did not understand English very well. Buffet food was very average and not varied at all. Our cabin was not as we ordered or told it would be. We ordered a queen size bed, and were assured that was what we would get, but ended up with 2 single beds with a large support pole between them, meaning they could not be pushed together to make one large bed. Very disapointiong. (See cabin report below). On a favorable note, the shows in the Zodiac Theatre in the evenings, were outstanding. (Best we have ever seen on cruise ships). Cabin staff were also very helpful and attentive. The dining room staff were helpful and eager to please. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We got on at Singapore, using the self check in kiosks (staff readily helped). There was about 1 1/2 hours' wait after check in to board. The crowd consisted mostly of Chinese, Singaporean and Indian guests. We came from Australia ... Read More
We got on at Singapore, using the self check in kiosks (staff readily helped). There was about 1 1/2 hours' wait after check in to board. The crowd consisted mostly of Chinese, Singaporean and Indian guests. We came from Australia but we are Chinese looking, so we blended right in. We mostly went to the dining rooms, as there was pandemonium at the buffet on most days.There were 2 choices, Western or Asian. We were disappointed with the Asian dishes, the staff sometimes brings the mains out and forgets the entree, and the dishes were served lauriat style (but such small servings!) and you had to share the dishes among you. The western food, IMO, was much better. The shows were good, we were impressed with the Russian performers. They had song and dance shows with a blend of acrobatics and magic. The Chinese acrobats show was also wow. There were times that activities were cancelled because there were not enough people joining. The main thing that put me off was the fact tat you have to walk through the Casino to get to the other side on 3 (yes, three!) floors of the ship. Not good as we had teenagers with us. The ropes course was good and challenging, as well as the rock climbing. The staff were very good and made us feel safe. My husband got quite cranky at times because a lot of the people were cutting the queues, and he would tell them off. The games were not as good as the ones in Princess, and there were very few game shows, and not well organised. Would I retrun? If the price is right, why not? but I would go with Princess or P and Ofirst for the same price . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Seemed like good value offer, had concern about the age of the ship (1999) but schedule fitted into ours.I don't know where the $54 million restoration was spent but all I could see for the money was the upgraded Palace Suites, there ... Read More
Seemed like good value offer, had concern about the age of the ship (1999) but schedule fitted into ours.I don't know where the $54 million restoration was spent but all I could see for the money was the upgraded Palace Suites, there was a lot of painted rust around the ship. Our holiday got off to a shaky start when were booked into a hotel in Singapore when we were really flying to Shanghai where we were to spend 3 nights before the cruise, luckily I picked up the error when I was organising tours in Shanghai. Tried to check in online with Dream Cruises but was not able to do so or book excursions before leaving home. When in transit in Singapore the company handling our transfer to hotel wanted to know where we were ,our agent had not cancelled with them after being notified of the hotel error. Embarkation in Shanghai was a shambles, 2 hours in mob of people on shore was not fun, then another hour on gangway mostly because Dream Cruise use access cards which have to be swiped like a Eftpos machine, not the latest technology as used on other lines. (My travelling companion had to replace her card 6 times during voyage). Communication with crew was difficult, especially in dining room, on one occasion it took four bottles to arrive at the table before the correct one was delivered.I believe some of the crew were replaced in Hong Kong and Ho Chi Min City and by the time we arrived in Sydney things were improving. The service desk was located in the main piazza on deck 7 right next to the entertainment area, try explaining problems to a person lacking skills in the English language with all that background noise in the room! I refused to take an internet package which started at $32 per day and picked up hot spots on shore whilst in port. The stateroom was smaller than we were used to, the wardrobe had two sliding doors which were broken and going by the damage to the door frame had been for quite a while, four small drawers a desk with a drawer but at least it had a decent shower recess with a glass sliding door. Entertainment was brilliant with state of the art technology used to great advantage in the theatre which was of a good size. After finally booking excursions on board the disembarkation procedure and the tours were very good and we enjoyed them immensely. Ate in the dining room, did not like the choice of food in the Lido buffet,mostly Asian influence where as the dining room had a good range of choice on the various menus. The eating areas closed early in the evening and after many complaints the opening hours were extended. The excuse was that the Chinese eat early and hit the casino. We did not eat at any of the speciality restaurants which specialised once again in Asian food. The ships water supply was supposed to be drinkable but after the first week the drinking signs came down and we had to use bottled water. Without any notice, whilst in port workers started repainting the ship, we suddenly had a worker on a gantry looking into our cabin, no regard to privacy for the passengers. Disembarkation was the worst I have encountered. one hour late due the fact that they allowed most of the Asian passengers off first and that caused big delays with immigration. When our turn came to go the rest of the Asians tried to bullock their way through the line, almost a mutiny from the remainder (anglo minority) of the passengers. I would not travel with this line again, it will be hard work for Dream Cruise to satisfy Australian travellers unless they up their game., big trouble if any Americans are on board, P&O have nothing to worry about. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Foreign exchange conversion a rip off on ship. Exchange your currency and pay cash. The staff looking after our suite were great. Our towels were always ion a new creative shape which was amusing. We didn't like having to walk ... Read More
Foreign exchange conversion a rip off on ship. Exchange your currency and pay cash. The staff looking after our suite were great. Our towels were always ion a new creative shape which was amusing. We didn't like having to walk through the casino areas with our children. The food was hit and miss. Pretty average and then every now and then you get a good meal. Activities were fun and well managed. Other passengers would push in, but the staff couldn't cope. The pool closed a few times for 'cleaning'. The staff said probably poo or vomit in pool.....'yuk!'. Unfortunately the passengers push in at every opportunity - dinner queues, each port, embarkation etc etc. The staff try to manage them, but they just keep pushing. The staff said this is a problem on every cruise. i was left with a sour taste when they over charged my final payment balance by more than $200 (20%) because of the currency conversion. Not a good way to finish. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First impression for this ship was not good. Boarding in Singapore was horrendous. Our boarding time was 8pm, we arrived at the terminal at 7 as we had checked out of our hotel and had no where to go. Upon arrival, lots of ... Read More
First impression for this ship was not good. Boarding in Singapore was horrendous. Our boarding time was 8pm, we arrived at the terminal at 7 as we had checked out of our hotel and had no where to go. Upon arrival, lots of people had already started checking in. We dropped our bags and checked in and was given a boarding number. We were then moved upstairs to wait for our boarding number. 2 1/2 hours finally pass and our boarding number is called. Being from Australia, we are not used to pushing to get our way, so we had a rude awakening! There was no such thing as lines, and we had people quite literally push us out of the way to get in front. It was a hot mess getting down to customs. After passing custom, we had to once again line up to get onto the boat. Another hour later, and we are finally on. We had booked a Balcony Cabin but it was always my intention to see about an upgrade once onboard as I heard palace suite was worth it. Once on the ship, we went right to customer service and upgraded to the Palace Suite for about $670SGD per person. By this time, it was past 11pm and the restaurants were closed, but the buffet was open till midnight. We quickly ran to the buffet for dinner, then check out our rooms. Rooms were massive, bathroom was huge and balcony was narrow. The benefit is of booking a palace suite was deluxe drinks package, specialty restaurants, palace suite pool, restaurant etc. We mainly wanted to upgrade for the drinks package and the pool, as we know the main pool can get very crowded. The first night, ordering drinks at the palace bar, we realised that the drinks package wasn’t as inclusive as we thought. We were given a menu on what drinks were included, and for us cocktail drinkers, there wasn’t much to choose from. We seen drinks coming up on the TV that looked amazing, and we asked to have one, but was told it would cost. What we couldn’t understand is that this drink was $8, and some of the drinks on our menu were $13, so we couldn’t understand how we couldn’t get a $8 drink in our package. It also took about 20mins each time to get a drink. For breakfast the next morning we ate in the palace resultant. We could only order eggs pancakes etc of the menu, and the rest like bacon and bread, we had to fetch ourselves from the buffet. I ordered pancakes and they were cold, my dad ordered a omelet with everything included and it was plain. After breakfast we went to the palace suite pool. We were pleasantly surprised that there was no one there!! In Australia, this area would have been packed. We wanted to order drinks, but there was no bar man in site. We had to ask the life guard to call someone and then about 15mins later, the bar man arrived. On any other cruise, we would be served our by the pool from the spa or our day beds, but here, we had to go to the bar to order a drink. We also weren’t allowed our drinks with us at the spa, which is strange as no other cruise I have ever been on has this rule. Drinks again, look at very long time. Tonight we were booked in to the steak house for dinner. We were all pretty keen for some meat!! Once we arrived, we realised that it was a set menu.. we weren’t told that there would be a set menu for the specialty restaurants so this was very disappointing. The options were either seafood, or ribs. None of us eat seafood, so ribs it was. The entree was great, but the main mean, ribs, was bad.. no meat in site. Pure fat and nothing to serve with it. This mean was very disappointing, we contributed after this to the buffet for food as we were all very hungry. The show tonight was amazing!! By bar one of the best cruise shows I have been to. Day 3 we were docking in Koh Samui, our butler organised for a private’s transfer into the main area, Chaweng beach. This was complimentary. We had priority disembarking which was a plus. We were transferred by bus to Chaweng beach and spent the afternoon at a resort. When we arrived back at the port to re-board at about 3pm, the lime was enormous. Last render was for 3:30, so this was to be expected however there was no shade. They did hand out water and cold towels. As we were palace, we were expecting to have priority embarking. After asking around, we were told we had to join the long line. There was one shaded area which a lot of people were pushing wash security gates to get to. We were told this was for children or elderly only so that they didn’t need to line up. Luckily, one crew member seen our frustration and let us in, but quickly closed the gate and said that he shouldn’t be doing this. After some people seen us get let in, people stormed the gate and ignored the staff and pushed and shoved to get onto the tender . I am so thankful this young crew member let us past, as I assume we would have been lining up in the hot sun for over an hour. Tonight we were booked in for Chinese specialty. We went down prior to our booking to check the menu and were disappointed to find that there was only one choice, and that choice was Seafood for the set menu. We told the staff that none of us eat seafood, and asked if we could just order meat and rice, but they advised no, only set menu for palace suite. So, we cancelled the booking. We instead went to dinner at the main dining room, it was loud and busy, but the food was good! Again, not a lot of option, but I had lamb shanks and the meal was much better then the night before at the steak house. Again, the show tonight was great. Day 4: Redang island. We were hesitant about getting off the boat as we didn’t want to be stuck lining up in the heat to get back onboard. Our butler advised it was a beautiful Island, so we decided to get off and have a look around. The beach is Beautiful and I hear the snorkeling is good. We spent about an hour on land to have a look around and returned to the ship. Spent the afternoon by the quiet pool until some noisy young kids with no Parents inside interrupted us. This area really should be a adults only area, or at least ask the kids to stop slashing and jumping in and out of the pool. Dinner tonight was japense tepenyaki. We checked the menu and were very happy with what we seen. The food was amazing, meat was so soft and probably the best steak I have ever had. This experience was the best and I would highly recommend it. It was my partners birthday, so our butler organised to have a cake delivered to the restaurant, which was lovely. Last night onboard and we were expecting another fantastic show. There was advertisements everywhere to watch dream girls, so we asked our butler but she advised this show was chargeable at 98SGD as it was adults only and the girls would be topless. We kindly declined, so no show for the last night. One thing I forgot to mention, being palace, you don’t need to book for the show. The first 3 rows are reserved for palace guest, so you only get to get there about 10mins before to get a good seat. The seats are released to public about 5mins before the show starts. On our last night we thought we would Play some pool, but were surprised to find you had to buy $20SGD worth of drinks to play. And being we had a drinks package, we didn’t need to buy drinks, so we weren’t able to play. Day 5: Our last day, the ship docked around 1 and we had priority disembarking. We could have stayed as late as 3, but our butler advised that custom would be very very busy with long lines, so we disembarked as soon as we arrived at port. If you want nice cocktails, visit the tributes bar. The bar tenders in there made us almost anything we wanted, even if it wasn’t on the palace menu. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
my two take-aways from this cruise: 1) this cruise line caters to the mainland chinese, and 2) if you spend money on extras, it's great, but the included stuff is lackluster. i would go again, and i'd probably enjoy it more, ... Read More
my two take-aways from this cruise: 1) this cruise line caters to the mainland chinese, and 2) if you spend money on extras, it's great, but the included stuff is lackluster. i would go again, and i'd probably enjoy it more, having more accurate expectations and being more prepared to entertain ourselves. went on this cruise with grandmother in wheelchair, mother in upper 60s, and uncle. we had two balcony rooms, one with wheelchair access. we were happy with both rooms--comfy beds, and overall good size, efficient use of space. everything was clean and in good working order. cabin stewards were easy to reach whenever we needed anything (like towels or soap). public spaces also looked good--new and well-kept. even though there's a good english site, the cruise guests are mostly chinese. the staff seem to be mostly multilingual. there were some who didn't speak english, but an english speaker could be found easily enough. if you book shore excursions, make sure you ask about language. we were on a 5-day cruise to vietnam. we did 2 shore excursions, and they were good, but on one of them the guide only spoke mandarin. the large majority of things are multilingual on the cruise, including booking excursions, so it's reasonable to assume a tour would be multilingual--nope. i was rather annoyed, but luckily my uncle was able to translate major points for us and a few others on our tour who also spoke no mandarin. that aside, getting on a boat in halong bay is totally worthwhile. beautiful views! and it was very cool to be able to buy just-caught seafood from fishermen who come up to your boat in theirs, then have the people on your boat cook it. mother had been on a norwegian cruise, and i had been on a carnival cruise, so we had some expectations. we were rather disappointed by the included food, activities, and entertainment. we were really bored on the ship, and glad it was only a 5-day cruise. on our entire cruise, the only thing scheduled at the zodiac theater was the safety orientation. so we saw what a nice theater they had, just never had any programming to enjoy it. they played movies on the lobby screen, but i'm not going to enjoy a movie with a bunch of people constantly walking by and chatting. there was only one show (a concert by a well-known older chinese singer, popular with chinese guests) and it also was held at the lobby. there was a live band that played at one of the bars every night, and they were ok IF you liked that music. there was a party with fireworks on the last night. that was it for entertainment--no magic acts, or acrobatics, or dancing or anything. the virtual reality stuff might have been fun if it was included, but not worth the price. the dance club wasn't terrible, but there were very few cruisers under 40, so there were few people there the one night i went. the top deck attractions looked fun (i just didn't make use of them because i had to entertain my mom and grandmom). for activities, they had some dance lessons, that were decent. they offered yoga and other exercise classes, but for a fee. food. this is where i was most disappointed. tip: they sell coupons for various restaurants in the shopping area--buy some at the beginning of your trip (obviously not more than you could use). the food in the main dining room is the same as the buffet--there's not much variety and it's of mediocre quality. there was no included food at off hours--the only 24-7 food options cost extra. aside from the food itself, spending money means not having to fight the crowds. as other reviewers mentioned, there were lots of rude, pushy guests, so that's a big plus. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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