(Source: Dream Cruises)
I said in my last blog article that I was hooked on cruise after my fantastic experience with Royal Caribbean Cruise in February. Having said that, I have never expected myself to set sail again as soon as only a couple of months later. A large part was thanks to the fact that Genting Dream Cruises offered $659 per pax (before gratuity) for a 3-night seacation on Palace Suites category. It was simply an offer too good to refuse. In addition, this would allow me to compare my experience on Quantum of the Seas and make my review more holistic.
Well, as fate would have it, my daughter fell sick on the eve of the departure date! Here is a recount of our pleasant experience seeking a full cash refund from Genting Dream Cruises.
Refund From Genting Dream Cruises
Olympia contracted gastroenteritis and was running a high fever. The hospital issued her a 5-day stay home notice and certified her unfit for travel. We promptly submitted her medical certificate as well as the accompanying doctor’s memo as supporting documents to request for a full cash refund. After a week or so, we received news that our request for a full refund was successful.
Overall, I find that the customer service of Genting Cruise Lines was professional and very empathetic to my circumstances. The experience was pleasant and raised my confidence to make future bookings with them.
On hindsight, seeking a full refund was the easy part. The difficult part was nursing my toddler back to the pink of health and managing her expectations. Even her teacher noticed how much she was looking forward to her next seacation.
Pre-Departure Tips To Maximise Your Genting Dream Cruise World Dream
I had obviously done plenty of research pre-departure. Even though my family eventually did not get to board the cruise, I felt that I should not let these pre-departure tips go to waste. Perhaps, these tips could benefit other readers who are planning to sail with Genting Dream Cruises.
Tip#1: Download Dream Cruises’ World Dream Deck Plan
I have already explained earlier that I love to plan my holidays right down to the last detail, much to the chagrin of my wife. Unfortunately, the Dream Cruises mobile app can only be used on board which doesn’t help because the whole idea of planning ahead is to MAXIMISE TIME ON the cruise. I had to make do with looking at screen shots of the Dream Weekender/Daily uploaded by influencers to familiarise myself with the various activities and their respective timings. What I can help to make your planning easier is to provide you with the deck plan which you can download here (world-dream-genting-deck-plan)
Knowing the deck plan in advance is important for 2 reasons:
You familiarise yourself with the facilities and amenities on this huge and spanking new ship
Since rooms are pre-assigned upon booking, you can request to change the stateroom you are allocated if you do not like its location after you have analysed the deck plan. For instance, it is common knowledge that being located near the elevator or swimming pool will cause the inhabitants to suffer some form of noise pollution
I have also taken a screen shot from the deck plan to illustrate where all the facilities and amenities are located as shown in Diagram 3.
Tip#2: Dream Cruise World Dream’s Dynamic Pricing is Odd
My initial experience trying to book Genting Dream Cruises was actually quite frustrating because I kept missing out on the lowest available price. It also did not help that the prices seemed to fluctuate quickly, sometimes even overnight when I wanted to sleep on it. At times, it even went out of whack as shown in Diagram 4:
I even wrote in to its reservation office to try to ascertain that its website had not been faulty with its dynamic pricing model. (How can balcony staterooms cost more than Suites?) After a few weeks of monitoring the prices, my efforts finally paid off when I managed to snag a pretty good deal- $659 before gratuity per person on a 4 day 3-night cruise on Palace Suite stateroom category. At point of booking, balcony deluxe stateroom was going for $359 before gratuity. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer to fork out an additional $300 for a larger room, better food, amenities and services. I shall elaborate more on this in the next paragraph to demonstrate why this is value for money. Another point of view is that the price difference that was also less than the minimum bid of $340 per pax to upgrade to Palace from Balcony Stateroom!
Anyway, do also note that the price reflected on the website does not include gratuity fee of $21 (Non-suites) and $26 (Suites) per pax per night. These can add up to your final bill and exceed your budget very quickly.
Tip#3: Know the Benefits of Suites
As I had studied the pricing and benefits of the Suites on both Dream Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruise beforehand, this gave me confidence in shelling out $737 per pax (all-in price including gratuity) for a 3-night seacation on World Dream. This is considerably cheaper than what I would have needed to pay on Royal Caribbean Cruise or Dream Cruises without this fantastic promotion.
As shown in Diagram 5, the value that I obtained from the Palace Suites benefits far exceeded the cost of my ticket.
I have made some assumptions but the big-ticket items such as $70 per meal (including 18% service charge) in speciality restaurants and the beverage package can be easily verified. Granted, if I had travelled on balcony stateroom or lower, I would have never imagined myself paying every meal at a speciality restaurant. That would have been too indulgent! However, let’s not forget that there are other intangible benefits such as access to swimming pool exclusive to Palace Suites guests that have not been attributed a monetary value. I have read of vacationers who were not on Palace category having to wait more than 8 hours before they could get the earliest slot to access the main swimming pool.
Tip#4: Purchase Travel Insurance for additional coverage
I might have a successful case in getting a full refund from Dream Cruises. However, I also took comfort in the fact that I had purchased travel insurance policy from Starr via SingSaver. It had a “cruise rider” that I added on top of the base policy. My rationale in getting a travel insurance policy was to insure against the financial risks arising from the following events:
Having to cancel the trip (eg: my daughter falls sick which is a high incidence event now that she is in preschool), bereavement in the family etc
Medical expenses from personal accidents on the ship that are not related to Covid-19
Lost luggage/travel documents etc
The other insurance policy that I did consider was from MSIG. Most importantly, I bought travel insurance plan for my family to give us some peace of mind. Precisely because we had purchased the travel insurance policy early, we never worried much about getting a successful refund once we learnt Olympia was not fit to travel.
This blog article is published on 16 May 2021. You can book Genting Dream Cruises’ World Dream via Klook to earn Klook credits (cash rebates). Note that this article contains affiliate links which contribute to the sustainability of this blog.