Genting Dream: Luxury, adventure and good food in the open sea
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By Dinna Vasquez

Genting Dream, Asia’s first luxury liner, caters to the region’s growing high-end market that appreciates luxury in terms of experiences, goods and services.
Genting (pronounced gen-ting) is derived from the Latin word for gentleman or well-born.
To those who have been to Malaysia, Genting Highlands, otherwise known as Resorts World Genting, is a hill resort in Malaysia developed by Genting Group.
Now Genting Dream is the first ship of Dream Cruises, a sister company of Star Cruises and Crystal Cruises.
We recently embarked on the Genting Dream’s maiden Asian voyage in an itinerary that took us from Singapore to Vietnam and finally, to Hong Kong.

S711_Genting Dream Float out-Aerial_2016-08-19

Our small group—consisting mostly of editors and writers from the Philippines—was never bored or hungry during the voyage which also took us to Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang and Da Nang.
Genting Dream, which was built at a cost of about one billion euros, had just arrived from a shipyard in Germany. The ship is indeed luxurious with over 70 percent of staterooms having their own balcony. There are ocean-view staterooms as well as 100 connecting staterooms to accommodate families and large groups.

Genting Dream has swimming pools and sun decks, six giant water slides, ropes courses and a rock-climbing wall. There’s a cigar lounge, a karaoke room, a club for kids, health club, beauty salon, spa and a barbershop.

POOL DECK
The Pool Deck

SUNDECK BAR
Sundeck Bar

LITTLE PANDAS
Little Pandas playroom for the kids

Crystal Life Asian Spa RELAXATION LOUNGE
Crystal Life Asian Spa relaxation lounge

Genting Dream also has a 610-meter wraparound promenade to allow dramatic seaside dining and lounging from sunrise to sunset in a multitude of themed venues. There are over 35 restaurant and bar concepts, including famed Singaporean nightspot Zouk and the world’s first Johnnie Walker House.

PALM COURT 02
Palm Court wraparound promenade

ZOUK BEACH CLUB
Zouk Beach Club

At Umi Uma, where the teppanyaki tables are the largest in any cruise ship, all the chefs are Filipino. The sushi bar is always packed. Silk Road has the finest Chinese and fusion dishes.
Internationally-acclaimed Australian chef Mark Best brings his culinary artistry to the table with his very first restaurant at sea, Bistro.

At night, we enjoyed shows at the Zodiac Theater such as The Voyage of a Lover’s Dream, featuring live dance and acrobatic performances as well as high technology stage sets and special effects; Rhythm Divine, a Latin Ballroom Dance Show featuring international ballroom dance champions from Belarus, Italy, Slovenia and Moldova, and the After Dark with Dreamgirls show at midnight at the Silk Road and Cabaret.

SILK ROAD _ CABARET 01
Silk Road turns into a cabaret at midnight

You can also go shopping at the boutiques (Ferragamo and many other luxury brands are available) or look in the art gallery. While we were on board, there was a live Art Auction by the Park West Art Gallery featuring works of Thomas Kinkade, Peter Max, Pablo Picasso and many others.

My day was never complete without stopping at the bakeshop for a cup of coffee and delicious cookies, which I would take to the room and enjoy while looking at the sea and marveling how such beauty and serenity could be possible.
Blue Lagoon is a South East Asian style a la carte restaurant where guests can enjoy a quick meal such as a bowl of laksa.

BLUE LAGOON
Blue Lagoon looks like a fancy food court

Speaking of rooms, I have never been on a cruise but those who have warned me the rooms would be small. Well, those in the Genting Dream were not as big as hotel rooms but it was spacious enough for two people to share without bumping into each other.

I loved the beds, which were from leading brand Custom Comfort. The beds and pillows are very comfortable, thanks to Genting Dream’s Dream Beds concept.
Dream Beds is a collaboration between leading bedding brands from around the world that aims to deliver a restful sleeping experience. This concept combines high quality mattresses, silky-smooth Frette sheets, bouncy duvets and a mountain of pillows.

Dream Suite
The Dream Suite

To know more about Dream Cruises, call 836-6830 to 32 or email salesmanila@starcruises.com.
http://www.dreamcruiseline.com

GDR_Ship Shot_Day_04_lighter

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Winners: @chuvafinds random giveaway
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Hello! I’m back from Tokyo and about to choose five winners of my random giveaway.
There were more than 500 valid entries. Here’s what five lucky winners will be get:

Prizes
Top: Tickles x Chuvaness charm, H&M x Star Wars coin purse, random reusable bag, Chuvaness x National Book Store stationery
Bottom: Hi Haters canvas pouch, Jollibee x H&M tee, Tesero Icoño fan by Monchet Olives, Chuvaness x National Book Store spiral notebook

And the winners are, chosen via Random.org:
Philip Villaseran of Las Piñas City
Maryse Cindyle Reque of Parañaque
Maria Rehamna De Jesus of Biñan City
Ling Marcelino of Makati
Honilyn Rogador of Cavite

Winners, I’ll be contacting you via email! Please respond to my email and I’ll ship the packages to you after January 1. Congrats and enjoy the holidays!
Till next giveaway…

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Christmas is not always happy
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For me, Christmas stopped being happy when my Lola died in 2004. I’m sorry to say it and I don’t mean to make anyone in my family feel bad. But Christmas for me was going to my Lola’s house in Valle Verde.
I would say that out of all the people in the world, my Lola is one of my topmost favorite people that ever existed. She was such a gentle soul, I thought she was perfect.

I got especially close to my Lola when my Lolo died suddenly in 1974, and my Lola stayed in our house for a few months. She slept in a room I shared with my sister. Both my sister and I loved my lola so much that we would fight over who got to sleep next to her. So my Lola ended up sleeping in a folding bed and would alternate sleeping next to me and my sister.
She taught me how to pray the Rosary and gave me many rosaries and a flashlight because she knew I was afraid of the dark. So I would sleep holding a rosary with a flashlight next to me.

Lola Paying and I
Lola Paying and I at her old house. There are no words to describe how much I love her to this day.

But I digress….
I miss going to my Lola’s house for dinner after mass at the Valle Verde park. There was always a lechon, a turkey, and the best home-baked ensaymada. We would open presents at midnight and the floor was covered with wrappers.
I’m happy my son Ben got to spend a couple of Christmases at my Lola’s house. My Lola died the year after Markus was born, so I’m sad that Markus doesn’t remember Lola at all.

with Lola
My lola was bedridden for the last years of her life. Oh how she loved kissing Ben. I’m glad she got to enjoy him for a couple of years.

That said, I think about her every Christmas. Not everybody is happy during Christmas. Especially with social media, I have this feeling that there is this pressure for people to be or appear happy during the holidays. There’s a pressure to get a family photo and post it on social media to give the appearance that all is well and happy. But some of us are not. Some of us may be struggling with illness, broken homes, deaths, financial difficulty, and many other problems.

My tree may be full of gifts and I am touched and grateful. But I feel more joy wrapping and giving gifts. Christmas stopped being happy for me for many years but it matters to me that the children are happy.
We just came back from Japan. I am so exhausted but I’m grateful that we made it home safely with almost no turbulence considering the typhoon we endured yesterday.
Right now I’m contented to be lying in bed and writing this with my hubby at my side. In a while we will be having dinner in our house clothes, and I’ll be spending the night watching the Christmas specials of Little House On The Prairie.

little-house-on-the-prairie-a-merry-ingalls-christmas

I do miss the days when I was a child and was taken care of instead of me taking care of a household. I do hope I can make memorable Christmases for my kids. God knows I try.

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#TagahatidPasko ng Coke, Part Two
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Still in Tokyo and not stopping myself from drinking Coke, because hey, it’s the holidays.
Before I left Manila, Coke gave me an assignment to give away ten bottles of Coke to special people. Here are the next five:

6) Cleanup Crew
Meet my nurse Wanda. I’ve been hiring nurses to help me at home for several years now—for care after surgery, child birth, or when the kids are sick and I need to get some sleep. Wanda’s been my nurse for a couple of years now. She comes in twice a week for my coffee enema, having been trained at home by Detox Manila. I need my coffee enema due to my history of digestive and colonic problems. While most people can do enema themselves, I need Wanda to do it because I’d be too lazy otherwise.

Wanda

7) #OOTD Idol
Tito Greg is easily the most stylish one in my Dad’s Thursday Group (lunch club), with the spiffy Prada shoes. Aside from being one of the country’s most respected advertising professionals, Tito Greg is a well-known political adviser. I’m lucky he’s just a call away whenever I’m in some kind of trouble, especial the cyber kind.

Tito Greg

These are very special “Greg” shoes.

Greg shoes

8) Photo Op Peg
Tina Tagle is one of the most honest bloggers I know who has been blogging for as long as I have (more than 15 years). I know, because we both started on blogspot, which sounds so old school. Though she’s already in her 50s, Tina is never lazy to put herself together and post her looks online. This is how she keeps young. I admire her in many ways.

TIna

9) Bantay Bae
Meet Albert, my Dad’s Man Friday of maybe three decades. I’m simply amazed that he hasn’t aged. He’s the guy to go to when you want good coffee or ice cream at my Dad’s office. Besides being loyal to my Dad, he takes good care of the Boss, and for that I am very grateful.

Albert

10) Ambassador of Good Will
She may be a busy Councilor of Taguig, but my cousin Pammy can be counted on to fill in for Mayor Lani when we need her. I have never seen her in a bad mood and I’m proud of how devoted Pammy is to her job. Like Mayor Lani, I’m sure she’ll go a long way.

Pammy
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