Everyone in Hong Kong who is mobile has seen one of the world’s largest cruise-liners, “World Dream”, at Kai Tak Terminal. A word of warning: never, repeat never, board it. We think it would be better named “World Nightmare”.
The ship is far too big: 1000 ft long with 18 decks. A total of 3400 passengers may be on board with 2000 crew. The “Dream” is much too crowded for comfort. Unless you are a top paying customer you queue for what seems like hours in roped lanes at Kai Tak before boarding. Once on the ship you are jostled by hordes of people all battling to get to the buffet tables. You have little hope of swimming in a pool or enjoying the whirlpool baths. The masses are likely to be ahead of you. The only escape from the mob is your cabin which although narrow is comfortable and well designed.
The attraction for Hong Kong people is all-you-can-eat two-night cruises for around $3500 a head. The ship departs from Kai Tak on Friday evening and steams at glacial speed, maybe five knots, out into the South China Sea. The ship is well stabilised and hardly moves. On Sunday evening it will bring you back through Lei Yue Mun Gap at the same slow speed. Why waste energy? It is a cruise to nowhere.
The “World Dream” is only two years old and cost US$960 million. Cecilia Lim, wife of the Genting Group chairman, christened it at a Kai Tak ceremony in the presence of Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Genting is the Malaysia-based casinos, property and cruise-liner group with a market capitalisation of US$40 billion. Cecilia’s husband Tan Sri* Lim Kok Thay, second son of founder Lim Goh Tong, heads the group as chairman. During the week the ship does cruises between Japan and Hong Kong.
* A Malaysian title
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