11 Dream Cruise Line Explorer Dream Cruise Reviews

Choose cruise on price and destination Layout, size of the ship, staff, entertainment and food excellent. Embarking at Whites Bay was a nightmare as we were relying on public transport. Decided to use Captain Cook ferry and ... Read More
Choose cruise on price and destination Layout, size of the ship, staff, entertainment and food excellent. Embarking at Whites Bay was a nightmare as we were relying on public transport. Decided to use Captain Cook ferry and continued on the long walk to the terminal. No time was wasted on embarkation, whole process maybe 15 minutes. Cabin excellent level 5 close to lifts. Spacious shower. Disappointed the advertising pictures of the inviting back pool area, and surrounds with dinning areas are only available to Palace customers who were no where to be seen. Like many other ships they have returned to tiered class ships. The service charge of 18% plus 10% GST + gratuities, choice of 10 extra food outlets all with price tag has taken away what cruising was all about. A beer started out $7 end cost $9 a bottle. Shuttle into Brisbane $35, we were to be docked up the river but ended up in the cargo port We have clocked up 28 cruises and feel now they are just money making machines on water. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We liked the itinerary and were keen to discover a new ship. Our initial impression of the ship was it was well refurbished although the cabins were small they were well laid out and had plenty of storage. We had a balcony cabin which had ... Read More
We liked the itinerary and were keen to discover a new ship. Our initial impression of the ship was it was well refurbished although the cabins were small they were well laid out and had plenty of storage. We had a balcony cabin which had a kettle and a fridge which both came in handy during our voyage. The cabins were well serviced in line with other cruise ships. There are lots of restaurants on board that you pay extra for. We were happy with the buffett and main dining room and only ate at the blue lagoon restaurant on one night. The price of the drinks and coffees and cakes were very reasonable. The size of the ship was great and we were able to find our way around very quickly. The staff were very attentive and helpful although many needed to practice their English a bit more. We would comfortably go on the ship again if the itinerary was to our liking. It was great to see the other passengers who were well into their 70s and 80s enjoying all the facilities including the water slide spaAnd swimming pool. We didn’t go to the shows however the feedback was very positive. Definitely targeted towards the over 60 cruiser. We would recommend the ship those who had not cruised before all the looking for a relaxing holiday where they could enjoy a few drinks and have a swim in the pool. As this was a re-positioning cruise I am guessing that is why there was very little entertainment on board including music during the day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We saw a special deal, fly, accommodation in Singapore, and 14 night cruise back to Sydney. Sounded ideal! Especially as the ship had been launched in April 2019, millions of dollars spent on refurbishment, and a maiden voyage. THE ... Read More
We saw a special deal, fly, accommodation in Singapore, and 14 night cruise back to Sydney. Sounded ideal! Especially as the ship had been launched in April 2019, millions of dollars spent on refurbishment, and a maiden voyage. THE SHIP IS 20 YEARS OLD! Our excitement cooled off even before we left home. The company got my wife's date of birth wrong, the port of departure in Singapore was wrongly specified on our boarding pass which was printed the day of departure from Sydney. When we arrived at the wrong port, we had difficulty getting a taxi to the right port, as none were available. We then had to queue for 45 minutes whilst they checked our boarding pass and Passport three times. This was all before we got on board. Once on board, our cabin was small and filthy. We complained and were given another one in the same category, after we sailed from Singapore when there was a 'no show.' Dinner in the main dining room was chaotic. Waiters had very limited English, and all the food came out at once, including dessert while still eating our appetiser! Only two white wines and one red available. The cost of the wine almost $50 which included the service charge.The carpet was grubby, rarely vacuumed. It was obvious they were catering to the Chinese market, with a majority of Chinese passengers on board, who pushed, shoved and shouted; behaviour quite unlike that of the many Chinese friends we have in Australia. We felt like getting off at the first port, which was Jakarta, Indonesia. The gratuities are compulsory. We prefer to give to our cabin steward and to waiters in the dining room and other people who have been kind to us. The speciality restaurants are very expensive. The only ones included in the fare are the main dining room, the Lido (buffet), and a Chinese restaurant. Tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin were great, except milk was $3 extra. Our main concern is safety! Many passengers did not attend the safety drill which is compulsory by Maritime Law. We can only imagine the stampede if there was an emergency as many passengers couldn't speak English. We love reading and the library consisted of two small cupboards...five books in English, the rest in Chinese!!! However, we must say that the stage shows were very good, but the three shows were then repeated ... Travel agents beware...don't recommend this Cruise Line.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise from Singapore as it visited ports we had not been before. We knew it was a relocation cruise & that it was coming to Sydney for the first time under the new name. We encountered a number of problems with the ... Read More
We chose this cruise from Singapore as it visited ports we had not been before. We knew it was a relocation cruise & that it was coming to Sydney for the first time under the new name. We encountered a number of problems with the slowness of service from the drink waiters, the processes they used where we had to sign for everything & the dietary problems we were trying to communicate to the waiters & their supervisors. Two of our group of 5 are Coeliacs - so it is imperative t have a Gluten Free meal which we notified at the time of booking. It was NOT easy!! Nothing was labelled for either GF diets, Vegetarian, Vegan & the like. We spoke to the Head supervisors in both the Lido & the Dream dining rooms & they really tried their best. Each day we felt things were improving, but then someone in our group would be left waiting for their soup whilst the rest of our group had had their main meals!!! This happened more than once. We had a laugh so many times at dinner - small things that went wrong - but we put it down to experience & it did not stop us having a great time. We loved the staff - they were beautiful people. The entertainment on board was fantastic. From the shows in the Zodiac Theatre to the bands in the Palm Court & by the pool. We enjoyed them all. The theme nights were good fun. We never went to the Casino - but we knew that the ship was catering for the wealthy Chinese. We loved the exercise classes, the Trivia got better after the first couple of days....& the Bingo was fun to watch. Even though it was supposed to be refurbished, I think that mainly happened in the Palace Area. The Dream dining room carpet & the level 7 large area need to be replaced. A great fun time was had despite a few inconveniences. Gettting off the ship in Sydney was NOT fun. The poor young staff members that were left to apologise to all of us about the delays were getting abused. A senior member of staff should have been there to cope with the complaints. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My review relates to The Palace which is a separate section of the ship.This is much more expensive but overall well worth the extra cost. Basically everything is covered. All meals at all restaurants,all drinks at any time, WiFi, butler ... Read More
My review relates to The Palace which is a separate section of the ship.This is much more expensive but overall well worth the extra cost. Basically everything is covered. All meals at all restaurants,all drinks at any time, WiFi, butler service and some free excursions.Our suite was very large and attended to very well every day.The Palace also has it's own dining room and pool area. The food and service was excellent. The shows on the ship were first class and as others have said were repeated but this is normal for most cruise lines. The staff in the Palace were very friendly but at the same time very professional. I think specially selected for the Palace. Talking to lots of people who were not in the Palace it seemed there were quite a few problems especially with communications in English etc. I think there are many areas in the main part of the ship that will have to be adjusted for the Australian market. We sailed from Singapore to Darwin. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This review would mainly be based on ‘The Palace’ which I would highly recommend. 14 nights, Singapore-Jakarta-Bali-Darwin-Cairns-Gladstone-Sydney. As this was a maiden voyage of this cruise line touring out of China, communication ... Read More
This review would mainly be based on ‘The Palace’ which I would highly recommend. 14 nights, Singapore-Jakarta-Bali-Darwin-Cairns-Gladstone-Sydney. As this was a maiden voyage of this cruise line touring out of China, communication was the biggest hurdle. Once we got to the right port, check in seemed very unorganised. We chose a Palace Suite which was an upgraded package, and was advertised "A boat within a boat, with VIP treatment". This entitled us to a different check in lounge and process different to standard. After standing in lines that weren't moving and checking twice that this was for "Palace guests" and being told everyone checks in here we finally saw other people being ushered to what seemed where we should be, and sure enough, we had a separate area to check in, which was what we expected finally. Once on the boat, we went straight to our room to check it out. Room 09212. Centre back of boat. Old, but clean and tidy. (The new refurbishment didn't make it to this part of the boat) We did however change rooms after 1 week as our room vibrated and was very noisy with a heavy propeller noise at full steam ahead (which with earplugs was more tolerable) but once we knew more rooms were available after Darwin departure we got moved to Room 10022 which was so quiet, we then realised how bad our old room was! "The Palace" was an area for guests who splashed out, and we thought highly worth it. Own pool area, bar, restaurant and casino. (I wouldn't recommend for children) The service and food was flawless, the staff were amazing and all food and drink (including spirits) was included in this package. Took us a while to work out our butler service and she did struggle with English, but everyone was so helpful and on call to please us. The night time shows were spectacular, but were repeated. Easy to get a seat at with reserved seating for Palace guests, but also seemed fine for everyone else. The daytime entertainment lacked in having much to do at sea days, and when they did have something on it was badly organised, much due to lack of knowing what an out of Asia market would want. We didn't hold back in telling them and they were very eager to make changes and we did notice them become more organised as the trip went on. (The chaos sometimes added to the entertainment!) We didn't stray to far from our Palace entitlements, as when we did it did look very chaotic and we had spoken to a lot of others who weren't quite happy with the standard service. The free restaurants on the boat were 'The Lido’ which got the nickname 'the piggery' as it was a bit of a snatch and grab no manners ordeal. Food was standard buffet style. Free tea and coffee water and juice was available at all times.’Dream Dining’ was great food but service very slow. ‘The Pavilion’ was authentic Chinese and the Chinese loved it. Heard that the alcohol was very expensive, would recommend a drinks package if you want more than a few. There looked to be a fantastic kids club, (we didn't take our children on this cruise) but there were no kids!! Saw about 3 the whole time. The excursions were a bit of a let down, as the ones we wanted to do never seemed to get enough interest to get opened and go ahead. So we were always in limbo if we were on our own or at the last minute they would say 'we got enough people'. We didn't quite understand with 1800 passengers, why they couldn't scratch 35 people minimum together. Because the ships passengers were mostly Chinese, we found out they weren't interested or they went on the Chinese speaking tour and they didn't get enough numbers for the ones we wanted to do. However we had a blast hiring private drivers for the day in a group we made friends with on our own, a piece of cake to do in all ports we stopped at. Overall "The Palace" experience made our trip amazing. I would say it would have been average if we had choosen to go main stream. Improvement was happening as the cruise went on, and all staff were helpful and friendly. Once they nail the communication, organisation will get better! We will be back to sail again another day! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
After booking 6 months in advance and thinking we were booking a dream holiday we not prepared for this! It was supposed to be a wonderful trip from Shanghai to Sydney with wonderful excursions, fun and entertainment! Spent a great 3 days ... Read More
After booking 6 months in advance and thinking we were booking a dream holiday we not prepared for this! It was supposed to be a wonderful trip from Shanghai to Sydney with wonderful excursions, fun and entertainment! Spent a great 3 days in Shanghai before the cruise during the 70 year anniversary in China. 3 hours to board the ship, due to the Chinese authorities was bad enough but then to get to your room to find it in a filthy condition was just too much. Got it cleaned but had to call them back to clean again what they missed. The toilet area was unsanitary and the shower recess dirty. The reception desk is opposite an entertainment area known as the Piazza, so when music or entertainers are performing talking to staff whose first language is not English is extremely difficult and one had to feel sorry for the staff as conversations became heated. The sound system on the ship is not ideal, You can’t hear announcements in your cabin and in some areas the sound is so loud it is distorted. The ships staff struggled with understanding the needs and dietary habits of westerners. The ship caters for Asian tourists and will find it hard to satisfy the Australian market. The 3 main eating areas the Dream Dining (semi-formal), The Lido (Buffett) and the Pavillion (Chinese food) are reasonable and toward the end of the trip there were signs of improvement in the food being offered. The Pavillion is strictly Chinese food and is traditional Chinese. The other eating places on the ship are very nice but a little on the expensive side, especially when this 18% surcharge is applied. Yes even a $7 bottle of beer or wine attracts a 18% surcharge. Factor this into every thing you buy on board because it adds up. The entertainment is very very good, but does repeat, and in saying that is worth seeing several times. The only draw back was that after every entertainers comments in English we have to pause whilst it is relayed in Chinese. Understand them doing that but it ruined the moment, especially with the magic show. Service is both good and bad. You can get good service one day and the next is a lottery. There are few areas where you can sit down and relax as there are no deck chairs on the level 7 and if you go up to the pool or Palm court areas you get annoyed by staff wanting sell you drinks. Shore excursions are good but poorly organised and someone at the top of the management tree needs to step up and do something. Communication is lacking and when problems arise you can only find junior staff as all the managers disappear. If you get sick on the ship, as my wife did and spent 10 hours on a drip, the doctor and nurses on this ship are excellent and probably better than your local medical centre. All in all you make the most of your trip and we still had some good times but as to the value it leaves a lot to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise due to the itinerary it stopped in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. The ship was on its way to Australia. This ship is not ready for the Australian market. Very focused on its Asia market. Service was ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to the itinerary it stopped in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. The ship was on its way to Australia. This ship is not ready for the Australian market. Very focused on its Asia market. Service was terrible and slow. Very disorganised staff who didn’t know how to apologise. Had to go looking for service. Drinks took ages to be served. Took 3 hours to get on ship. Most of that in a corridor standing and given no explanation for delay. They checked our passports 4 times! Embankments and disembarkments were very slow and disorganised. In Hong Kong we took a shuttle from port and only had three quarters of an hour in a city mall. In Vietnam we had to wait 3 hours for us to get on a tender. So we cancelled next port visit which we were disappointed. Not enough chill out areas. Some of them got closed for private functions which left few options. Room bathroom had nasty smell. Reported 5 times nothing changed except the strength of the air freshener. Activities only focused on Chinese travellers. Entertainment for the 3 shows we saw was very good though. There was a contingent of Australians on board that almost everyone were moaning about the same things. Not a ship to recommend unless they can prepare better for the Australian market. Travel agents beware of sending your travellers on this cruise Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this ship because it had been revamped and visited destinations we hadn't visited before. Firstly we were herded into a tin roof waiting area and then pushed along by some of the most arrogant people I have ever met. There ... Read More
We chose this ship because it had been revamped and visited destinations we hadn't visited before. Firstly we were herded into a tin roof waiting area and then pushed along by some of the most arrogant people I have ever met. There was no organization, no dividers to keep people in line , no water as we advanced on our two hour journey through the first shed into a larger area all the while in extreme heat. We were security checked at least 6 times in the line at different spots. There was total chaos. Once aboard we were offered a refreshing drink and warm welcome. The buffet was our first disappointment, it looked like recycled food. You had to be scanned by your cruise card to enter the buffet as was the case with every entry into the buffet or dining room for a meal. Elderly people forgot their cruise card often and had to return to their cabins to collect. Entertainment was excellent for the first 3 nights but after that they were repeated and the only new show was by a purchased ticket at a cost. The rooms were lovely very adequate for us, a very large window , seperate shower and toilet. Rooms were not usually cleaned in our area until around 2 pm when we would find our Dream News on our bed for that day. Food in the dining room was very nice, well presented , although carpet was filthy, service from Shanghai to Hong Kong terrible, after that it improved. Hardly any English speaking waiters or staff at help desk or pursers desk. There was only exercise classes held in the main forum of the ship right next to the help desk so impossible to hear or talk. The ports were certainly the worst part. we stopped at Hong Kong and due to some problems on the ship we were shuttled into an area at 5 pm and was told the last shuttle back was 5.45 pm or to catch a taxi back. Nha Trang was a highlight , the tour company was very well organized and English speaking. Ho Chi Minh City , we caught a shuttle bus to the port gate and then told we had to catch a taxi into Ho Chi Minh about an hour and half away. Had we got our News the previous day we could have caught a bus in, but all tours were extremely expensive. Nha Trang cost $137 each for the day.We then departed the ship in Singapore.Our passports were confiscated for the whole duration of the cruise , this is a very dangerous practice as if anyone should miss the ship due to unforseen circumstances they would have had no way of getting out the country let alone boarding a plane to meet the ship at the next port. This is my 28 th cruise and without a doubt my 1st and last with this cruise line. So many people wanted to cancel drink packages when they realized they were charged $90 a day and there was only two drink waiters we saw each evening for the entire dining room. Chinese people were given special treatment during dinner time, allowed to bring in alcohol in boxes, had food bought in from the speciality resturant . There was only one Australian wine and one NZ wine listed and the second night they did not have the Australian wine left. Service was so slow we walked out without breakfast after 50 minutes, and another night they forgot our meals altogether. One morning a breakfast was put in front of a passenger and after about 5 minutes when they realized it was the wrong meal , the waitress picked it up and then put it at another table, fortunately the lady had seen this and refused the meal. There was no bin near the toilet door so you could use a paper to open the door , nor sanitizer. a very large group had a meeting with the purser and demanded their gratuities refunded, when I asked I was told I booked through an agent so couldn' have it refunded. I had booked my cruise direct with the company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The destinations were numerous and interesting and the 14 days to relax after a 9 day tour of China was very inticing. The price was exceptional. On board the cruise staff were warm and welcoming. They did everything possible to make ... Read More
The destinations were numerous and interesting and the 14 days to relax after a 9 day tour of China was very inticing. The price was exceptional. On board the cruise staff were warm and welcoming. They did everything possible to make sure we had a happy and interesting time. Nothing was too much trouble. The dining options were numerous and varied. The food was beautifully presented and of a very high standard. The service was excellent provided by dining staff who did all they could to ensure we had a great experience. Our inside stateroom was very comfortable. We had tea and coffee making facilities along with a fridge. Our room was serviced daily and kept clean, with fresh towels and linen provided. We loved hanging out in the Palm Court, relaxing and enjoying a drink and a chat with the staff and other travellers. There were many inside and outside areas to visit and enjoy. The pool area was beautiful. We had many enjoyable experiences with cruise staff. We went to as many of the shows as possible. They were of the highest standard with world class acts. We also enjoyed the many other musical and other activities available. We had a wonderful time and would thoroughly recommend Explorer Dream to our friends and family. 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
Explorer Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.1
Dining 3.5 3.3
Entertainment 4.0 4.3
Public Rooms 4.0 3.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.4
Family 3.5 3.4
Shore Excursion 3.5 2.8
Enrichment 3.0 2.6
Service 3.0 2.8
Value For Money 4.0 2.4

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