10 questions with… Michael Goh, Dream Cruises

LATTE chats with the President of Dream Cruises and Head of International Sales, Genting Cruise Lines

Dream Cruises is one of the newest cruise lines to operate in the Australian market, deploying its newest ship Explorer Dream to local waters in October. The cruise line is a division of Genting Cruise Lines, which also owns the luxury brand Crystal Cruises.

The President of Dream Cruises is Michael Goh, who next year marks 20 years with Genting Cruise Lines. Goh commenced as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Star Cruises and as General Manager for the Singaporean sales and marketing division. In 2008, Goh was appointed as the Senior Vice President of International Sales for Star Cruises, and Crystal Cruises’ sales and marketing in Asia.

Recently, Goh was named President of Dream Cruises & Head of International Sales, Genting Cruise Lines, and he is set to lead Dream Cruises into its next chapter of growth as “Asia’s Global Cruise Line”, strengthening the brand and paving the successful arrival of the first of two 204,000 gross tonne Global Class ships in 2021.

Congratulations on your launch in the Australasian market. What aspirations does Dream Cruises have for this region over the 2019/2020 cruise season?

We are excited to be here and to start a new chapter in the Australasian region as Dream Cruises sails beyond Asia for the very first time with our pathfinder ship, Explorer Dream. As the 4th largest source market in the world, the Australasian market is indeed an established key global cruise hub with ongoing enormous potential, both as a source market and destination.

Dream Cruises remains highly committed in developing the cruise tourism industry for the Australasian region, introducing a fresh and unique cruising experience with its well-renowned warm Asian hospitality, complemented by various international offerings. Dream Cruises remains Asian at heart and international in spirit and aims to deliver and transform the cruise vacation experiences in the Australasian market.

Has the Australian market responded as you expected to the launch of Dream Cruises in Australia? Are you pleased with the reaction?

Indeed the responses have been very positive and encouraging from both the Australian and New Zealand market with selected itineraries nearly being sold out, primarily from the local markets but also from the Fly-Cruise sector. As such, Dream Cruises is excited to announce its return to the Australasian market in Q4 of 2020 to further grow the regional cruise tourism sector here in Australasia.

On Explorer Dream’s sailings from Australia and New Zealand, what is the general demographic of your guests (age, nationality, multi-generational)?

Generally for Explorer Dream’s deployment in the Australasian region, majority of our cruising guests are from Australia and New Zealand with the remaining from the Asia Pacific region such as from Singapore, Malaysia, China, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan and more.

Our guests are a mix of multi-generation families, groups of friends, young couples and retirees. Our cruises are a great way for multi-generation families to spend quality time bonding together, while still having plenty of space and fun-filled activities to satisfy kids, adults and grandparents.

Explorer Dream arriving into Sydney Harbour on her inaugural cruise to the Harbour City

What makes The Palace so unique, and what reaction are you seeing from the Australian market to the product?

The Palace is in a class of its own with Explorer Dream having 2 Palace Villas and over 40 suites and private VIP facilities. The luxurious essence of The Palace is embodied by the meticulous personalised services of its renowned team of Dream Butlers, chosen for their genuine personalities, language skills and renowned for their gracious service and unparalleled expertise.

Guests can enjoy a wide variety of complimentary premium food and beverages throughout the ship, as well as savour complimentary dining in the exclusive The Palace restaurant and specialty restaurants. The all-inclusive The Palace experience continues with unparalleled opportunities for priority reservations for enrichment and entertainment as well as shore excursions; designated priority check-in lounge and fast-track service for security clearance at the embarkation port whisking suite guests on board and more.

Cruising as a guest at The Palace goes beyond a luxurious and exciting vacation. It’s also about guests of all ages having the opportunity to spark new passions and deepen existing interests, adding a new dimension to their transformational journey at sea. What better way to do so, then with our highly curated ‘Dreamscapes’ and “The Connoisseurs Circle” programme with interactive guest activities and experiences presented by a portfolio of world-class speakers.

Palace Deluxe Suite, Bedroom | Explorer Dream

What itineraries have been the most popular in Australia and what if any trends have you witnessed for the Australian sailings?

The seven-night round trip cruises in Australia and New Zealand has been well-received and we are observing selected itineraries nearly being sold out already. The seven-night round trip cruises from Sydney to Tasmania along with the New Zealand itineraries ex-Auckland have proved most popular with the local market.

Is Dream Cruises continuing to work with Newcastle port authorities with the aim to offer embarkation/disembarkation for Explorer Dream guests this season or next?

At present, Dream Cruises is offering a series of 7-Night round-trip itineraries with guests embarking and disembarking from primarily Sydney and selected sailings from Brisbane. As this is our first deployment in Australia, we will continue to work closely with the respective ports, including Newcastle, to observe the trends and demand to offer the best available and viable options for our guests in the near future.

Palace Deluxe Suite, Living Room | Explorer Dream

Why should a luxury travel advisor add Dream Cruises as its “go to” list of cruise liners?

For guests seeking a luxury cruise experience, The Palace is a must. This “ship within a ship” enclave offers 24-hour European style butler service, fully inclusive benefits & luxurious suite living and is available on Explorer Dream and across the Dream Cruises fleet.

Explorer Dream is the only ship in the Australasian region listed as one of the Top 20 mid-sized ships in the well-renowned Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2020!

We should not forget the rest of the ship also – which has recently undergone a US$56 million renovation. Explorer Dream offers little luxuries across all stateroom categories, for example the “Dream Beds” and Italian linens in every cabin. The entertainment on board is world-class. We offer exceptional dining options including those from Chef Mark Best, whose restaurants feature onboard all three Dream Cruises ships, including the outdoor Seafood Grill on Explorer Dream.

What does Dream Cruises offer luxury travellers that they typically won’t find on another cruise line?

Dream Cruises’ signature experience has to be The Palace – a “ship within a ship” concept which is a luxurious and exclusive enclave with the finest amenities and exceptional value. Palace guests enjoy an outstanding range of benefits such as a bespoke enrichment program, exclusive shore excursions and an al fresco seafood BBQ.

Another exclusive highlight is Dream Cruises’ Spa that offers professional treatments and amenities, including
Western and Asian massages, fitness activities, healthy cuisine, and a range of beauty treatments. Also, we have the highest crew to guest ratio in the region.

Dream Cruises has already revealed its return season to Australia for the 2020/21 cruise season. And your commitment to the Australasia market is already apparent, with Sydney Ports showing a return to Sydney of Explorer Dream from 24 October 2021 through to 6 March 2022. What can guests expect in the years ahead? More ports, new experiences?

We look forward to Dream Cruises’ return to the Australasian region in Q4 of 2020. With this deployment and the valuable feedback from our guests and travel partners, we will continue to strive to enhance our experience further and to provide our guests with more unique and exciting experiences, as well as destinations when we return later next year. Stay tuned.

Final question, is there a likelihood of one of Explorer Dream’s sister ships, such as Genting Dream, to visit Australasian waters in future years?

With Explorer Dream in the Australasian region, we have created the groundwork and paving the way for future Dream Cruises ships to explore beyond Asia, including the upcoming Global Class ships from 2021 onwards, as we aim to offer global itineraries across our Dream Cruises fleet, which will include the Australasian region.

The Palace Pool Deck aboard Explorer Dream

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