The Asian company Dream Cruises, which plans to resume operations July 26 from Taiwan, is introducing a new flexible dining voucher concept.
The Flexi-Feast dining concept will give guests complimentary dining vouchers that can be used to redeem set meals at designated restaurants. Alternatively, the vouchers will be honored as onboard dining credits at specialty restaurants and bars, as well as for room service.
Dream said the voucher program also will help ease bottlenecks at certain venues to allow for social distancing.
“As we enter into a post-COVID-19 new norm of cruising, the Flexi-Feast strategy will also help us provide better social distancing at our dining venues by seating our guests across all our restaurants instead of concentrating on a few inclusive ones,” Dream Cruises President Michael Goh said. “We will continue to adhere to our stringent preventive measures on various aspects of the cruise journey, including comprehensive guidelines and protocols on food hygiene practices and standards, to ensure that travelers will be kept safe and reassured on their cruise journey.”
The voucher program does not apply to guests booked in The Palace, the luxury ship-within-a-ship, because their premium accommodations come with exclusive dining options.
The company said the program also allows flexibility. For example, guests can choose to sleep in and then have brunch or order in room service.
Dream will operate the 75,338-gross-ton, 1,856-passenger Explorer Dream out of Keelung, Taiwan, to Penghu, Matsu, Kinmen and Hualien.
Dream Cruises will showcase the culinary diversity of Taiwan on these cruises, collaborating with Taiwanese food and beverage brands including Sharetea, a leading bubble tea brand with over 28 years of history; Taihu Brewing, a craft brewer and veteran of international beer competitions; Tien Hsia San Chueh Noodle Cuisine, honoree of the Bib Gourmand designation in 2019 Michelin Guide Taipei; and Formosa Cheng, Taiwan’s largest fast-food chain specializing in braised pork rice, a traditional local delicacy.
In addition, all restaurants will serve specialty dishes created with seasonal local produce sourced in Taiwan.
To develop health protocols, the company worked closely with local government and health authorities to ensure the ship meets official health and safety guidelines.
Upon Explorer Dream’s arrival in Keelung, the crew began 14 days of quarantine on land, while the cruise ship underwent a deep cleaning in accordance with EU standards. On July 17, the crew tested negative for COVID-19, based on nucleic acid tests, and returned onboard to undergo an additional seven-day self-health monitoring period which ended on July 24.
Prior to the inaugural sailing on July 26, Explorer Dream also participated in an outbreak simulation drill under the guidance of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control. Medical experts from the Taiwan Public Health Association consulted on the drill to ensure the seamless execution of preventive measures both onboard and on shore. Dream Cruises has also been exploring with local authorities the feasibility of hosting a medical professional aboard the ship to work as a consultant in collaboration with two in-house professional doctors, including the newly added onboard Infection Control Officer.
Explorer Dream’s island-hopping itinerary in Taiwan has been met with an overwhelming market response, with sold-out sailings in July and August. The inaugural sailing will visit Penghu, where travelers can enjoy the International Fireworks Festival from the panoramic and unobstructed vantage point at sea.
Dream Cruises is operated by Genting Group—part of the massive Malaysia-based Genting Berhad—which also operates Resorts World casino hotels, Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises.
The first ship of Dream Cruises’ fleet, purpose-built for the Asian market, was Genting Dream. It debuted in November 2016, followed by sister ship World Dream in November 2017. The Explorer Dream entered service in 2019. Construction has started in Germany on the 208,000-gross-ton Global-class ship that will join the fleet in 2021.
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