About 50 cruise passengers in S'pore forced to go home on Good Friday as Genting Dream overbooked

Trip cancelled.

Syahindah Ishak | March 31, 2024, 04:19 PM



What was supposed to be a quick weekend getaway turned into a nightmare for some 50 cruise passengers in Singapore.

Speaking to Mothership, one of the passengers, who only wishes to be known as W, shared that her family had booked a weekend cruise to nowhere under Resorts World Cruises' Genting Dream.

The booking was done on Dec. 21, 2023, months in advance.

On Mar. 27, 2024, two days before the trip, W and her family completed the mandatory online check-in and received an email confirmation, so they thought that everything was going just as planned.

But things took a turn for the worse on the day of the cruise trip.

Cruise day

On Mar. 29, 2024, W and her family arrived at Marina Bay Cruise Centre at around 5pm.

W said they had to check in by 7pm and that the ship was scheduled to depart at 8pm.

6pm to 7pm

After about an hour of queuing, W and her family were suddenly ushered into a waiting room.

They were told that the ship was already fully booked and that there were no rooms left.

"We were told to wait until 7pm before we will know if we can get on the ship," added W.

She shared that her family wasn't the only one facing this issue as there were 46 other groups of passengers facing the same fate.

They were all stuck in the waiting room and had handed their passports to the staff, who were trying to manually allocate them to available rooms.


W told Mothership that the situation remained unchanged at 7pm, and the passengers started to get more frustrated.

She said: "People started chasing for answers, so more and more people started trying to ask [the staff]. Some raised their voices and started crowding around."

"There were also people shouting that they're very hungry," W added.

She said that the waiting room was "overflowing" with people and many groups had to stand around or wait outside, unable to do much as their passports were still with the staff.

Some passengers had to wait outside the waiting room. This was the situation at 7:27pm. Gif courtesy of W.

Image courtesy of W.

Despite the commotion, W noted that the ground staff "responded calmly".

Most of them "kept their cool" and continued smiling, said W.

"Some kept apologising [even though] they were very busy and frantic," she added.


At 7:45pm, things started to look up when some of the passengers were called up for boarding.

Around 20 groups managed to board the ship, but there were still many passengers left stranded at the cruise centre, including W and her family.

At that point, W said she was "quite certain" her family would not get called for boarding so she wanted to get their passports back as soon as possible.

However, the ground staff were held up by various complaints, which led to the delay in the releasing of passports.


According to W, around 50 passengers in total were unable to board the ship and they only received their passports back at 8pm.

Resigned to fate, W and her family went back home after they got their passports back.

"We missed out on a family holiday. We were sad that some groups managed to board and we didn't. And we're also angry at the wasted time," she said.

W added that the entire hiccup could have been avoided if the cruise operator informed passengers about the overbooking situation prior to the day of the cruise trip.

"That's what people are angry about — the wasted time, effort and shelved plans," said W.


W shared that the passengers who were unable to board the ship received compensation from the cruise operator.

They were offered a free upgrade to either a balcony room or a palace suite for their next cruise trip.

W told Mothership: "I mean [the compensation] is not bad lah but... half a day wasted and foiled plans for this?"

Resorts World Cruises responds

In response to Mothership's queries, a Resorts World Cruises spokesperson said:

"First and foremost, we would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to the affected guest that was unable to sail on Mar. 29, 2024. In the event of an overbooking situation or any matters affecting guests’ bookings, our standard operating procedure is to identify and inform the affected guest in advance prior to arriving at the terminal. Affected guests that are contactable will be updated on the latest procedures to minimise any inconvenience. The matter was resolved at the terminal with the affected guest accepting the alternative options."

Top images via Resorts World Cruises & courtesy of W.