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Sunday, 17 June 2018

2N in Dream Cruise (Part 1)




Came back from Hokkaido on the 20 Dec, before I could completely clear up luggage, brought 2 small ones out for a 2 nights stay in Dream Cruise, setting off on 29 Dec.  Going away from was fun, clearing backlogs was hectic.

Personally, I feel that cruises are good for gamblers (professional or not), young children and less mobile senior citizens.  Definitely not my kind vacation cos the money paid would be more worth it going for a 4 days trip to neighborhood countries such as Thailand or Indonesia.   But it's a special retreat for my father which was very memorable to him and the 11 of us!

So here we go...............

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Cruise Line: Dream Cruise
Name of vessel: Genting Dream
Destination: Cruise to no where
Duration: 2 nights 29 Dec (2100hrs) to 31 Dec 2017 (1000hrs)
Voyage: Genting Dream from Dream Cruise
Retreat Buddies:  1 senior, 6 adults, 2 teens, 2 children, gang of 11pax

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29.12.2017


Genting Dream, measuring 335m in length is bigger than other vessels I had been to.  It has a total of 19 decks of which guests are accessible from deck 5 onwards.  The massiveness excite me a little.
(This pic was taken after we left.)

First time boarding at Marina Bay Cruise Centre.

Self check-in machines like those for budget planes.

Having more than 3000 passengers boarding, crowd control was arranged by dividing people into groups.  We were given a lanyard to hang our passports on the neck.  It's great as our hands were occupied with the phone and luggage.
But the passport gotten heavier and heavier over the neck minute by minute, haahaa.... 😅

I thought the crowd control was good, letting passengers in batch by batch.  However, witness a drama cast by a woman.
  She and a few of her companions were being stopped for the next batch.  Another few who gotten in hand signal them that they would meet inside.   Not sure what's wrong with this woman, she scolded the crew for not letting her into the ship.  She started saying things like she paid so much money (as if she was the only one who paid), why service so lousy (she expect royalty entrance or what??) blah blah blah, also the crew was rude to separate them (when she was worst than a b**ch) blah blah blah.....  After a few failed attempts of trying to explain and claim her down, the crew just smile at her.  Her nasty mouth did not stop even after she was let in.  The wait was like less than 5mins only.

The incident was half a year ago but I remembered so clearly cos' she made me felt so ashamed being a Singaporean.  I also told my family members to stay clear of her cos this kind of crazy woman was nothing but a trouble pot.  We were behind her but purposely walked slower to keep a safe distant, seriously.  

We found our cabin, opened the narrow door and found the chamber maid was still cleaning the cabin.
We left the room shortly to give the stress-out maid a breather.

This was our Balcony Stateroom (Deck 8) which we smiled upon.

It's more than 20m2, with a queen bed, pullman bed and a sofa bed for 4 of us to sleep on.

There's a 32" flat screen TV, also life saving bottled water.

The bathroom with shower was bigger than expected.

The shiny stainless steel and spotless white tops were particularly pleasing to my eyes, felt thankful to the chamber maid.


The private balcony was le hubby's smoking area and I could shake hands with my kid sis staying at the next cabin.
It was really nice as I remembered how miserable it was to stay in a store-room size cabin without windows.

We hardly use our phones cos we couldn't afford the expensive Wifi on board.
The 11 of us couldn't be moving around together all the time.  What we did was we downloaded Dream Cruises mobile app where we could message each other.

We were given maps and all information on leaflets but we choose to explore around blindly lolxx....

 We were all surprised to see that the casino was in an open area.  It seemed they had a way guard against minors from playing, not sure how.

Initially, I was rather worried for my father who has to be in wheelchair.
It was a great relieve that there were 16 lifts on each deck, getting around was made very convenient without having to wait too long to get into one.  Each lift could take 2 wheelchairs.  As we wandered around, we saw many other families with wheelchairs too.  We should make time for our aged parents and cherish having them while we could.....

We were all crazy hungry before 6pm, we went looking for a "free" dinner.
The above 2 restaurants we found need to pay, so we siam.

Dream Dinning Room (Deck 7).

Immediately we regret.  We were expected more but it was almost like a house warming buffet.


The seaweed tofu was really good though, silky smooth and extremely soft.


And they had these humongous meaty braised dried oysters which I had half a dozen of them.
A bit disappointed but we had our fills.


We booked for both the shows over the service counter at Deck 6.

We walked around, enjoying the cool aircon and nice environment.

Was very tempted to buy a mermaid's tail.  It's S$42 for adult size and S$34 for children.

Look see, see look...

Keel Laying of Genting Dream on 3 Dec 2015.

And maiden voyage on Nov 2016.  I think that's fast!

Main Pool (Deck 16), was quiet at 7.30pm where most people were having dinner.

There were 4 whirlpools and nobody!  We dashed back for our swimsuits without a minute's delay!
We had the tub all by ourselves lolxx...

The big screen was playing Smurf but we had to leave for the Latin Dance Show.

Zodiac Theatre (Deck 7).

The dancers were good, but it got bored after while.

After the show we went back to cabin to refresh ourselves.  Hubby was fidgeting with the TV and found this:
We were not aware of this hidden cost until we went to verify at the information counter.

We reached Blue Lagoon (Deck 7) slightly pass 11pm and it was crowded.
Everything at S$2 was impossible to resist!

This bo lang pic of Blue Lagoon restaurant was taken around 7.30pm.

The dishes came in dim sum portions.  Not only value for money and were quite yummy.





Cheap thrill, good supper made up for the underwhelmed dinner.

After the young and old were tucked in, I leaded my elder son to "astray" at Bar 360 (Deck 6).
  It wasn't exactly best choice to chill.  The counter was cluttered with empty/half finished glasses, they went out of tibits and took forever to take our order.  However, it didn't bother, cos hubby was able to dart between the casino and the bar within a few meters.

We had some low alcohol drinks at S$13 each, listening to live singing.   We dedicate songs for ourselves and sang along though we couldn't hear ourselves lolxx...

The drink was like mild sleeping drug for me.  We gotten back around 2am and I had decided to skip breakfast for the next day, heehee....



Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Hokkaido 8D7N - Day 8 (Sapporo)

For Day 1 click HERE
Day 2 Click HERE
Day 3 Click HERE
Day 4 Click HERE
Day 5 Click HERE
Day 6 Click HERE
Day 7 Click HERE

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Destination: Hokkaido Japan
Duration: 8D7N 14th Dec to 21 Dec 2017
Mode of Travel:  Hokkaido Passion Package Tour with Chan Brothers Travel
Flight: SQ to Tokyo, Air Do/ANA domestic to Hokkaido
Damage: S$3451/per pax (including all transportation, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners).
Tipping for tour guide and drive ¥6400/per pax (approx. S$80)
Travel Buddies:  Voo family of 4 with 2 teenage boys
Weather: 1 to -16 degrees with plenty of snow
Currency: We divide Yen with 80 to convert to S$
Time difference: 1 hour ahead of Singapore
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20.12.2017
Day 8

Outline itinerary 
* Pole Town


Buffet breakfast was Jap with western fusion.

It was crowded at 10am.


Wonderful spread but didn't take much cos need to make space for lunch in just a couple hours later.
 The stir fried bee hoon was very soft and incredibly delectable.

After a quick breakfast, we walked onto the streets of Sapporo.

It's such a beautiful city but I don't understand why there were so many crows around.  They were large and loud, they went "Aaa, aar, aar, aar......." everywhere *face palm*.
They were very used to human and didn't fly away even if we were close.  We still love it here, crows or no crows, no doubt.

With google map, we managed to find our way to
Tokyu Hands
Japan, 〒060-0061 Hokkaido, 札幌市中央区北4条西2丁目さっぽろ東急百貨店8・9階


We dumped everything into the lockers provided.
 I couldn't remember how much it was but anyway, the coin dropped out returning us when we came back to collect our belongings.

It was the most relaxing shopping with only handphone and wallet.

I saw freaking cheap sole paddings, regret not buying.  Bought a pencil case for my niece instead.
If I were here 5 years earlier, I would had shop till I dropped.  But now I am no longer a impulsive shopper.  As far as possible, I only buy what I need and not what I want/like.

Though didn't get anything for myself, I was very happy.  Breathing the air in Japan was a bliss lolxx...
We walked into Tanukiko Shopping Arcade again but decided to seek refuge underground rather then out in the cold.

Pole Town
〒060-0042 北海道札幌市中央区大通西3丁目 4 Chome Odori Nishi Chikagai Sapporo

I managed to find the same pair of winter mittens I lost in Harbin China.
It wasn't as big as described in the website, so I guess we might had missed out certain areas.

So nice sia.....



Pole Town is connected to the train station.  Should be easy for free & easy travelers too.  More information at

Time constrained, we decided to spend the last bit of time at the nearest shopping mall closest to our hotel.

Susukino Lafiler
Japan, 〒064-0804 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo, Minami 4 Jonishi, 4丁目1番地


My kids had a great time shopping here, it's like Daiso.

CanDo
Located at the 4th floor of the mall.
They bought some sweets and key chains for their friends.

After shopping we looked for lunch.  Without any "research" we popped into this eatery for our last meal in Hokkaido, trusting that we couldn't be too wrong anywhere in Japan.

Sapporo 餃子製造所
Japan, 〒065-0012 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Higashi Ward, Kita 12 Johigashi, 13 Chome−2−31
This place wasn't difficult to find as it's along the main street.





Fried chicken set.

Original Set Meal.
    I want to say that the chicken was nice but what left the deepest impression was their huge ass gyoza!!! It's triple the size of normal gyoza.  The skin was smooth and soft with slight crisp at the base where it was pan fried.   Minced pork fillings inside were bursting juicy!

Ever since then, my kids started to eat gyoza, but we never find any as fantastic as this in Singapore.... 现在吃不到了怎么办 T__T

After lunch, we strolled towards the direction of our hotel.

Last day in Japan, was wearing the S$34 black wool coat that I bought in Mitsui Outlet.  
Supposed to wear the red scarf around my neck, but I felt too warm, so it ended up around my bag.

Too warm meant -1 degree lolxx...

Then it started to snow and we were so thankful, enjoying it while it last.

Along the way saw this stall with hot steam.

We bought one steam pork bun to try but the taste was average only.

Sapporo street seemed more quiet in the day compare to night time.


Sapporo was snowing beautifully.  The more snow fell, the more we couldn't bare to part Hokkaido.
I want to come back if I could save up enough money.....

Pic of hotel entrance from the coach and we bid Hokkaido goodbye.

It took 80mins to reach
New Chitose Airport

This airport was wonderful.  I would recommend you guys to arrive 2 to 3 hrs earlier to enjoy a meal and shop around!  The whole day if you want, there's a lot to see and do in this airport.

New Chitose Airport is divided into 2 sections:
Domestic Terminal Building and International Terminal Building.  Both are connected.
B1- JR station
1st floor - Arrive lobby where you get on or off buses/taxi.  Car rental and currency exchange available.  A few shops including Lawson.
2nd floor - It's a shopping heaven and Domestic Boarding Gate
3rd floor - Mostly restaurants and a few shops, International Boarding Gate
4th floor - Spa and Theatre

Every shop was so attractive that we didn't know where to start.
  All food looked like it's made from heaven but it wasn't possible to buy everything home.

Yay yay Pokemon Store but couldn't bare to part with money.

All the virtual pokemons in the phone came to "life" as squeezable plushies.  I was going crazy reciting the names of pokemons to my hubby and kids (as if they don't know lolxx...)

Not cheap, so just "eat" with eyes.

This was highly recommended by our tour guide.
Kinotoya
Japan, 〒066-0012 Hokkaido, Chitose, 美々987−22 新千歳空港内
Also located at the 2nd floor.




It's so freaking good!!  All the cheese tarts in Singapore be it originated from Japan or not couldn't beat this.  Crispy crust with light aroma of butter, within was soft cheese that melts in the mouth.
We ate everything, didn't bring any up the plane.

Hokkaido milk ice-cream was just too good, very unforgettable.

3rd floor





However we didn't eat anything cos the kids' father went missing after smoking.  Damn upset de...



4th floor


We went in and dumped a mini-fortune again.


  Luck and skill wasn't with us, we were soooooooooooo close on grabbing that stupid soft toy.


This was the Onsen Spa.

The cinema which I had no idea on the charges.

So you see, one could spend the entire day in New Chitose Airport with food, entertainment and spa all under one roof.

Back to the 2nd floor and it was time for boarding.

The departure hall happened to be a Jynx nest.  It's one of my favorite pokemon, I happy until....


We bought some food before boarding from some convenient store.
The sandwich was yummy and we started to fight for it lolxx...

This sponge cream roll was delicious!  Never expect a convenient store to sell such yummy cake.


Our dinner wasn't filling enough, sigh....

Awww.... above Hokkaido......

Almost no time allowance for connection flight in Tokyo, we hurried to catch the next flight.

Tokyo Haneda Airport.



SQ was good.  Supper at 12am.
Sorry for the lousy pics, too lazy and sleepy to use my bulky camera.

Breakfast at 4.30am.  Jap curry rice.
Not heavy at all, we ate EVERYTHING!

Scrambled egg set.

We were finally home safe and sound.  I laid all (almost all) our purchases and gave them a group photo.
Then I started to pack them into bags to distribute to our friends.

Here are some of the GOOD BUYs:

Couldn't remember how many pieces of White Lover's Chocolate this was, but it came with a beautiful metal tin.

A lot of people are crazy of it, personally I think it's over-raved.  It's nice but not that mouth watering.

Potato Farm.
So far the best dried fries!  I tried many other brands which I could get in Singapore, none taste as potato-ish as this.  If you love potato, you will love this to the core.

From the same brand, this is not bad too.

Gotten this from Tokyo Haneda Airport at the one and only shop available while waiting to board.
Tokyo Banana is forever good.

六花亭 Rokatei butter cookies, *wipes saliva*.

We bought sponge cake also, not too bad, but their butter cookie is better.


I had kept all the receipts wanting in mind to blog properly with prices.  However I realized that the bills were all in Japanese and I couldn't tell which was which >.<  So sorry!

We successfully made our claim from NTUC Income Insurance for the flight delay and we gotten $200 X 4pax.  $800 was good money to cover the hefty damage on the tour fees.

Our wonderful winter Hokkaido trip of 8D7N was brought by Chan Brothers Travel, they are trust worthy and never disappoints.
This was their souvenir, wet-tissue in a can with our names printed.

Yup, I am finally done with my winter Hokkaido, took me almost 6 freaking months, omg.....

I can now fly to Siem Reap in peace, leaving on 31st May, heehee....