Amy Stoltenberg is a staff writer covering all things travel, shopping and lifestyle. After earning a BA at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked as technical designer in corporate fashion before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop's closed, you can find her wandering around Los Angeles looking for hole-in-the-wall eateries and plotting her way to all 50 states (she's currently at 28).
Dream Cruise Line markets itself as a luxury cruise, but that’s not technically true. The experience is most like what you’d find on a Carnival, Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Line ship — mid-tier fares include basic food, amenities and entertainment, but not much else. So if you’re looking for a true all-included luxury cruise around southeast Asia, consider Crystal Ocean Cruises or Seabourn instead.
Around the web, reviews of Dream Cruise Line experiences are mixed. People who anticipated gourmet food and luxurious amenities were disappointed, while cruisers with fewer expectations seem to be pleased. If you’re looking for an American-style cruise, you might want to look elsewhere.
Still, you’ll never be bored on a Dream Cruise Line ship. Especially on the Genting Dream, which features a ropes course, rock-climbing wall, mini-golf course, sports complex, arcade, bowling lanes, virtual sports arena and more. This is amusement park-style cruising at its finest. It can be a wonderful option for families — there’s babysitting services, kids clubs and reduced fare for youngsters — especially if you want to explore places like Bali, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand without paying an arm and a leg.
Where do Dream cruises depart from?
Ships sail from locations around Oceania and Asia. Here’s where you can begin:
Auckland, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney
Dream Cruise Line destinations
If coastal South Asia and island ports on the Indian Ocean are top on your bucket list, Dream Cruise Line’s itineraries may be just what you’re looking for. Here’s where it’ll take you:
Australia, Brunei, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam
What’s included on a Dream cruise?
Your Dream Cruise fare includes accommodations, all-you-can-eat access at select restaurants, onboard entertainment and fitness classes like Zumba.
While coffee, tea and bottled water are also included, you’ll pay extra for Wi-Fi, shore excursions, gratuities and alcoholic drinks.
How much are gratuities on Dream Cruise Line cruises?
Gratuities are not included in your fare. Instead, your shipboard account is charged at the end of your cruise. No gratuities are necessary for passengers younger than 2. Here’s what you can expect to pay aboard each ship:
Palace-class suites, villas and penthouses
150 HKD (About $19.32)
26 SGD (About $18.71)
$19.32 (150 HKD)
120 HKD (About $14.50)
21 SGD (About $15.12)
120 HKD (About $14.50)
Oceanview class cabins
Porthole class cabins
Interior class cabins
Data obtained February 2020. HDK stands for Hong Kong dollar. SGD stands for Singapore dollar.
Why you should (or shouldn’t) cruise with Dream Cruise Line
Still trying to decide whether a Dream Cruise Line cruise is right for you? Like its competitors, shore excursions, alcoholic drinks, Wi-Fi and some onboard events aren’t included in the ticket price. But that also means fare is cheaper than what you’d pay for a top-tier cruise.
Here are some other benefits and drawbacks to consider before making your decision:
Lots of activities and things to do onboard
Evening entertainment like musicals, comedy and magic shows
Kid and family-friendly
Mingle with passengers from all over the world
No US departure ports
Interior staterooms (cheaper cabins) can feel claustrophobic
Food is generally just average, according to online reviews
Frequently asked questions
Six months old.
Resort casual is acceptable until 5 p.m. — when it switches to resort evening wear. That means collared shirts, long pants or dress jeans and closed-toe shoes for men, and dresses or skirts and slacks and a blouse for women.
Avoid wearing swimsuits and activewear indoors in public areas, including the restaurants and theater. And dress appropriately for the expected weather.
The Explorer Dream typically throws themed parties during the course of the voyage, so you may want to pack special festive clothes for those days. Check your cruise itinerary for more details.
Most purchases aboard a Dream Cruise are charged to your shipboard account and settled after your cruise. Here’s the rundown:
Genting Dream: Singaporean dollar (SGD).
World Dream: Hong Kong dollar (HKD).
Explorer Dream while at home port in Shanghai/Tianjin: Hong Kong dollar (HKD).
Explorer Dream while at home port in Australia/New Zealand: Australian dollar (AUD).
Exchange currency at reception on board — though you might get a better rate at your own bank in advance. When settling your shipboard account, consider using a special travel credit card that won’t ding you for overseas transactions.
Latest cruise deals
Disney cruises from $705 per person to the Caribbean
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