Resorts World Cruises CEO and executive director Colin Au beamed with pride when Genting Dream finally kicked off its first sailing on 15 June under the newly launched cruise line.
“My friend said I picked the wrong name for Dream Cruises, because in the end it turned out to be just a dream. He believes that Resorts World Cruises is a much stronger and realistic brand,” laughed Au, who was the former deputy CEO of Genting Hong Kong, the parent company of the now-defunct Dream Cruises.
“We worked very hard on finding a way to come back again since the insolvency,” Au shared in an exclusive interview with Travel Weekly Asia during Resorts World Cruises' inaugural cruise. “Not only were we determined to prove to the world that Asian cruising is good, we also wanted to fulfil our obligations towards our employees and travel partners.”
Spirits were high throughout the 3D2N sailing among the staff and crew members, 95% of which were past Dream Cruises employees. Some 350 travel agents, industry players and media personnel hailing from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and India also joined the 15 June sailing on the 3,352-pax Genting Dream.
A more integrated and inclusive experience
The Genting Dream is the world’s first OIC/SMIIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation/ Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries) standard Halal-friendly cruise ship, which offers Halal and authentic Jain Vegetarian certified cuisines in dedicated venues. Photo Credit: Cheryl Teo
The Resorts World Cruises’ tagline of “resort cruising at sea” is more than just a clever play on the name itself, explained Au. “In hospitality, you tend to see four separate segments. When you go on a trip, you will have to travel around hotels or resorts, cruise lines, casinos and theme parks.”
Au believes that these four separate segments will increasingly come together in the near future of cruising, with Resorts World being an established integrated resort brand bringing a myriad of offerings conveniently in one location in multiple destinations across the world. "There is no reason why Resorts World can’t be on a cruise ship and offer something for everybody".
Representing the Asian culture and catering to the wide diversity of Asian travellers' needs remain the cornerstone of Resorts World Cruises. This includes being the only ship fitted with Halal restaurant certification and Indian vegetarian cuisine on board.
“It all started here in Singapore 30 years ago, and Singapore is a city that is close to our hearts,” Au said, adding that Resorts World Cruises remains committed to Singapore’s vision of being a premium cruise hub in Asia by striving to continuously enhance its offerings to tailor fit all kinds of Asian cruisers.
Resorts World Cruises has already set its sights on ambitious expansion plans. In addition to going full steam ahead with regional sailings to Indonesia and Malaysia from July and Thailand in October, Au revealed that Genting Dream is just “the first ship in a planned fleet which will bring Resorts World Cruising at Sea to the five oceans of the world”.
“We hope we will soon have a ship in Dubai, which is the next premium homeport that we will be focusing on,” Au teased as a prelude to the upcoming destinations Resorts World Cruises will deploy ships to.
Charting new horizons with Asia’s travel players
Genting Dream finally kicked off its first sailing on 15 June, complete with a wide array of amenities and entertainment offerings on board Photo Credit: Cheryl Teo
Au is heartened by the immense support that the travel industry has shown the cruise line both in past and current times, and shared that the cruise line will similarly be rendering its support towards the travel trade.
Instead of the tedious, intensive training programmes of the past that involved hours-long seminars with speakers droning on about potential marketing ideas and listing down the various onboard experiences, Resorts World Cruises is open to providing experiential learning moments to beef up the travel trade’s knowledge of cruise offerings to capture the upturn in tourism at this juncture.
“We invite travel agents to come onboard, so that they can be fully immersed in the experience and get to actively engage with everything from our cabins to our restaurants, our service staff to our activities and amenities,” Au said.
“Personally experiencing everything we have to offer will give them better insights on how to better sell cruise packages to their clients, alongside a presentation kit that we’ll provide to them in which they can use as reference for their customers.
“We’ll hope you’ll continue to lend us your support as we work closely together in making Singapore and Asia one of the largest year-round cruise regions in the world,” Au concluded.