Since the pandemic happened last year, we can no longer travel out of Singapore from early 2020 so I have been cruising a lot these 2 years. I was with World Dream twice, once in Dec 2020 (3days) and once in April 2021(4 days) this year. And my third cruising was with Royal Caribbean – Quantum of the Seas cruise to nowhere in September 2021 for 5 days.
Now I would like to do some comparison here between these 2 cruise ships. Let’s drill in and check out one by one. Then you can consider which cruise suit you more and cruise with.
(RC above, Dream below picture)
Royal Caribbean has 2 swab tests, one was conducted 3 days before departure at Raffles City shopping center and one more on the day of departure, at the terminal carpark, called the ART test. Dream only has one swab test on the day of departure at the terminal carpark (ART). If you have not done the PCR test before, it is slightly more uncomfortable than the ART test. The thin cotton bud goes very deep into your nostril, almost touches your eyes. Just kidding. Anway, the test is done in a split second, just be brave if you want to travel.
- Royal Caribbean allows 2 bottles of wines per stateroom but Dream does not allow alcohol.
- Royal Caribbean allows you to choose your stateroom, Dream does not allow it. Choose the mid section if you don’t walk to walk too far, as it is closer to the elevator. If you want privacy, then you may want to choose the end or the front section of the ship.
- Internet, Dining, Beverage Packages – Royal Caribbean and Dream offer promotions for these package before departure, you should watch out these promotion and grab some of those.
- Pricing – the pricing is different at different timing. Sometimes you get a very good deal so I don’t think I can compare the pricing for these two cruise ships.
I stayed in a Balcony stateroom on both Royal and Dream, the difference in room size is perhaps 20-30 sq. ft. Both can fit up to 2-4 pax. The space differences aren’t that obvious, Royal Caribbean stateroom has a lot of wardrobes and drawers for guests to unpack and put them inside. Dream only has one hanging wardrobe and no drawers. Big drawers are good for smaller things so I prefer RC wardrobe.
Royal Caribbean bathroom does not provide toothbrushes and toothpaste, the shampoo is 3 in 1 for body and hair. Dream provides toothbrushes, comb, shampoo, conditioner, body soap in small bottles, and body lotion.
(Royal Caribbean above, Dream below)
Royal Caribbean only provides bottle of water on day 1. Dream provides bottle of water daily.
Many of the TV programs in RC are charges, if you want to see movies on your tv, you need to purchase them. Dream has many free tv shows from English to Chinese choices.
Food in Royal Caribbean Windjammer are more prone to western food, quite limited to Chinese and our local Singapore food. For example, you can’t find the usual nasi lemak for your breakfast. Having said that, their pastries and bakery cakes are top class in RC. Sorrento in Royal Caribbean has yummy hot pizza freshly baked out from the oven, you must grab the pizza there. Dreams complimentary restaurant at Lido provide buffet style, similar to Windjammer in RC but there are Malay, Chinese, Indian and international section so more of local choices. You will find mee-goring, curry chicken, and sambal fish from the Malay section. Cereal prawn, prawn paste chicken wings from the Chinese section. Roti Prata from the Indian section. Roast beef or hotdog from the international section.
The table setting for Windjammer in RC does not provide the Halal corner. In Dream, there is a section for Muslim guests. I didn’t notice if there are any Muslim guests in RC but Dream I saw quite many Muslim guests cruising with us.
(RC above, Dream below picture)
Dream has 6 slides, 5 adult big slides with different kinds of thrill, and one slide for children. Rock climbing, Rope course and zipline. All are complementary. All you need to do is go line up for your turn, no need to book.
(RC ifly above, RC North Star below)
RC has rock climbing, flowrider (5-10min) only, ifly (charged and you need to book through Royal apps). Rock climbing and flowrider are complimentary, all you have to do is go wait in the line for your turn. No need to book through Royal apps.
(RC flowrider above, Dream slides below)
Since Dream has 6 slides so many of the guests are being distributed so you don’t feel you wasted a lot of time in the line waiting for your turn. Furthermore, slides happen in less than 1 min so you can do many times, each slide offers different experiences and views. The rope course in Dream allows up to 10 guests to go up at one time so more guests are being distributed in this activity.
(Dream Rope course above)
RC only has the Flowrider and Rock Climbing (free activities) so many people are waiting in line since there are only 2 activities. RC rock climbing allows up to 3 guests to climb the wall at one time and Flowrider allows 2 guests to surf at one time. The surfing is only 5-10 mins but the queue is very long and I waited for about an hour.
(RC rock climbing above, Dream rock climbing below)
Other Activities such as dances, yoga, stretching, k-pop, basketball competition, both RC and Dream has similar activities, the only difference is no booking for Dream, you just walk to the venue and it is first come first serve. While RC, all the activities are conducted in Seaplex only and strictly by booking. You need to walk to seaplex on day 1 to book all activities in a row for your 5 days sailing, if you are late, there is no slot for you to join any of the activities. For Dream, they conduct small groups activities in different venues, such as bar, the front of the swimming pool, zouk beach club. You look at the newsletter daily and just walk to the venue 10 mins before to secure a place, no need to book. It is first-come first-serve basis.
(RC seaplex above, activities only conducted in Seaplex)
(Above is Dream Thai Cha chai conducted at front of pool, below is also Dream, hat deco)
(Dream Belly dance class, below picture)
(Dream Cha Cha dance class, picture below)
Dream soap carving class
In Dream, I have attended a few classes which were conducted by the professional acrobatic and dancers from the live shows. You get up close with the acrobatics and performers from the show. You will be shocked at how professional and good their bodies are. You get to see it very closely. In RC, the professional performers did not get up close with the guests in a smaller group, they don’t mingle in the ground.
Dream only has one outdoor pool section while RC has 3 pool sections.
The booking system for pool in Dream, you go on day 1 and do booking manually for the timing you want to use the pool and jacuzzies. Each slot is an hour. You can do booking on the day itself and the next day, not the following day. Do it manually with the staff and they provide you a paper slip of your timing written on it. You get to use the pool for one whole hour.
(RC indoor pool section above, RC outdoor pool section below)
(RC Solarium, only for adult 18+, below)
Dream only has one outdoor pool for adults and one for children.
(Dream pool above)
There is no booking system in RC for pool usage, you just wait in line and each time about 20 guests can go into the pool for only 10 mins. I waited for more than half an hour and only get to swim for 10 mins and the lifeguard will call everyone in the pool to come up. Guests wasted a lot of time waiting in line to get in and only get to use the pool for 10 mins. Time are wasted on waiting in line.
RC has 3 sections for pools. The indoor pool and outdoor pool (outdoor, there is one more children pool) and one more, called the Solarium. The Solarium is the adult pool area, no kids allowed. Only 18 years of age can go in. Inside you find glass canopy and panoramic views. The layout in Solarium is quite interesting, beautiful and romantic for couples to chill. Each section has jacuzzies.
You will find many photographers in RC walking with their big cameras, asking guests if they need to take photos. You can get the package before departure to enjoy the discount. If you want some nice family photos and plan every photo session with the photographers, it is worth it. If you don’t want to sacrifice your activities timing for the photo session, then you can pass this one. World Dream Cruise does not have photographers’ services.
Both cruises have 3 live shows, both also have a magic show and 2 other fantastic dance musical shows. The only difference I could think of is Dream hired their performers from Ukraine and they are skilled acrobatics and did a lot of circus stunts. Dream also another show did by Twice as Nice, an American couple coming from Las Vegas singing some oldies songs in English. The American also sing a Chinese song from Teresa Teng.
RC performances are mostly dancers and singers, not from the acrobatic background, more like the Las Vegas-style of caberets shows.
The performers in both cruises are 5 stars.
(RC magic show above, RC Sequins and feathers below)
(RC Starwater show below)
(RC 3 live shows above, Dream 3 live shows below)
(Dream Magic show above, acrobatic show below)
(Dream Twice as Nice couple singing live entertainment below)
Music appreciation in a smaller group
Dream only has the Dazzle Trio which consists of 2 girls and 1 guy who plays the piano, performed daily in a small venue. Sometimes, there is another Ukraine lady who also performed in the Live show, she sings in a bar but not daily. If you are lucky, you get to hear her singing in a bar. Meanwhile, RC has many musical appreciations in smaller venues. Different band of music groups performed every night after the big live shows. The musicians in RC play many different types of musical instruments passionately. You can see drummers, violinists, pianists, guitarists in different bands till midnight.
(RC music appreciation above, Dream Dazzle Trio below)
Many of the activities in Dreams are conducted in both English and Chinese but RC only uses English to conduct their activities. For example the music appreciation, RC plays a lot of oldies songs in English but Dazzle Trio from Dream plays a lot of local Chinese, Malay, Cantonese and Hokkien Songs.
The audiences are also slightly different, in Dream, only uncles and aunties go to listen to Dazzle Trio, you can hardly find any young people. However, the audiences in RC for music appreciation are from young to old. The audiences in RC are also more sporty and active. Dream audiences are shyer and keep to themselves and hardly have any responses.
In Dream, you can walk to Deck 15 to check out the captain room, the window panel allows you to see through the captains work in action. You will see how the handsome captains maneuvering the ship and see all the engines and interesting equipment and radar system. RC does not allow guests to view the captain’s room.
The casino in Dream are bigger and have more people gambling as compared to RC.
(RC casino above, Dream casino below)
RC has a whole street called Royal Promenade selling branded and high-end goods while Dream only has a small area selling some duty-free products.
(RC Royal Promenade selling high-end goods)
Cruise Ambassador for social distancing
I find Dream has many friendly cruise ambassador and they works together with the Dream crew members in a harmony manner, the cruise ambassador even helped out the crew in making sure the queue lines are in order and helped to ask how many people you need for the table when you are queuing for seats in the restaurant. There are times that I thought they are crew members for Dream. They are smiling, very polite and friendly and mingle well with the Dream crew member.
I didn’t notice many cruise ambassadors walking around in RC but only a few, they don’t seem to work closely with RC crew members. The cruise ambassador in RC are like police trying to catch thief. You feel the tension between the 2 groups of people. That’s how I felt when I saw the RC cruise ambassador walking around the ship. I even heard the gym staff saying that they can’t allow me to enter because once they were being caught by the cruise ambassador, the ship will be stopped from sailing for few weeks. It happened to RC before. So I made the conclusion that the cruise ambassador and crew didn’t have a good working relationship.
The services in RC are more polite and greeted guests very often once they see you passing by. You will notice the staff in the restaurants are super friendly and polite too. They even mentioned their name before they started to serve you. On some tables, you will see the name of the staff who serve you.
This is because their performances are being measured. Once I was back from the cruise, there is a questionnaire asking me all the things in RC cruise and rate them. You can mention the name of the staff who gives you excellent services in the questionnaire.
I didn’t have any feedback requests from Dream.
- RC has the Bionic Bar, 2 robotic bartenders who serve you the cocktails you ordered.
- RC allows you to purchase the unlimited dining package before onboard, so you can enjoy your fine dining experiences in specialty restaurants. Dream does not have an unlimited dining package. If you could get the unlimited dining package, go get it, it is worth the money.
(RC unlimited dining above, RC Art Gallery below)
(RC painting auction below)
- RC has the Art gallery hall selling paintings, Art appreciation talks by Park West Group, and painting auctions. Dream does not have art gallery and no art appreciation and auction.
- The wifi and Beverage package are cheaper in Dream
(RC gym above, Dream gym below)
- The gym in RC is a lot more bigger than in Dream. Also, guests in RC are more into working out as compared to Dream.
- Running track in RC is bigger and longer than Dream, also you see many guests wake up before sunrise running on the track. I didn’t see anyone running in Dream cruise.
(RC running track above, Dream running track below)
- Majong tables in Dream, no majong table in RC
- Dream has a big chest game and mini-golf outdoor near the basketball court
- Dream has a Lazer show at night and it lasts for 10 mins.
If you asked me which one I prefer? Well, it is hard to choose because they are strengths and weaknesses for both cruise ships. The booking system in RC is less organized as compared to Dream, for example, Dream allows guests to do the booking for the pool for an hour and it is a great system because guests don’t waste time waiting in line to get in the pool. It is cold especially when you are wet and standing for half an hour just to get in the pool or jacuzzies. Furthermore, the pool time and jacuzzies time is only 10 mins for RC, once the time is up, the lifeguard will call the whole batch in the pool to come up. Frustrating to be honest, because you have not even properly warmed up your swim.
With the booking system in place, Dream allows its guests to enjoy an hour of pool and jacuzzies. That way, guests can truly relax during the one-hour swim and jacuzzies time. Also, guests do not waste time and can plan their activities more effectively. I prefer Dream booking system and they are certainly more organized in this manner. Furthermore, Dream provides you with a paper slip so you don’t forget your timing for your booking. RC doesn’t provide a paper slip on the booking timing to their guests. Older guest like me has forgotten the timing and have to go back to them and asked.
For activities-wise, I felt Dream has more activities conducted in a smaller group in many different venues. Guests are all being distributed in different areas. Unlike RC, they only conducted activities in Seaplex. Furthermore, Seaplex is an indoor hall so the number of guests are strictly limited, especially due to covid situation. Dream has a huge outdoor basketball court where they can conduct some smaller group activities in one corner and still allowing the guys to play basketball at the same time. If you asked me who offers more activities, I have to say Dream offer more activities at one time, you just look at the newsletter and attend. If you go 10 min early, you will secure a place for the activity. In shorts, Dream wisely distributed all their guests, and you don’t feel like waiting in line at all. Slides, you don’t need to queue too long because it doesn’t take too much time to slide down from the top. Furthermore, Dream has up to 6 slides to play with. In additional to that, the Rope course, about 10 guests can go up at one time. RC flowrider only allows 2 guests at one time and the duration is about 5-10 min.
I also find there are more charged items in RC, such as ifly, North Star, movie shows on your tv in your staterooms. Also, if you want a private session for Flowrider, you can book a private session which costs a few hundred dollars for half an hour to an hour time. You also find photographers walking around asking if you need photos. As for Dream, they don’t have many charged items for the activities.
The last conclusion, Dream targets Chinese-speaking background guests and many of their regular guests are the uncles and aunties. So the songs they sing are more Chinese oldies. The guests in RC are mostly from English-speaking backgrounds, more westernized, including the food choice. Also, the announcement are in English only.
I hope my comparison between RC and Dream does not confuse you too much. Enjoy your cruise holiday.