I very much enjoyed my 14-day experience of the Sea Dream II lifestyle (which ended 3 days ago). I can assure you that in 2 weeks, one CAN become used to having one's buffet plate carried to the table for you, and napkin opened and placed on your lap!
I was ill the first week, but cured by the Chef's excellent consomme and Dr. Marek of the ship. I found all of the staff to be supportive and attentive to every possible need - including ones I did not know I had.
The staff are cheerful, friendly, sincere and buoyant in their own right. They wear different uniforms reflecting their different duties, and they are incredibly supportive of each other, with real teams working together. As an employer myself, I know that Attitude can be the frosting on the Skill cake, and this crew performs with a level of sincerity and good will that touched me unforgettably as a passenger.
The quiet physical support and good-nature of the Tender Fellows, who helped us on and off the Sea Dream II's Tender was memorable too. They were kind, strong, and careful with everyone. With me? A little unsteady and embarassed? Very cheery & positive! This was a new experience for me, to Yield and Trust, to be on the receiving end of aid.
Every single person was friendly and worth more time than we had available. Many fellow passengers made interesting conversation. Some new friendships were formed, through doing the many activities together.
Our days were full - with no lack of recreation! There were LOTS of options! I give very high marks to Richard, our Recreation Director, who gave nightly talks about the next day's secedule and the next 2 days' otpions. He arranged Land Excursions that were interesting, recommended restaurants and places to visit in town and other forays, and was a very good teacher of the Segway races at the foot of the castle at Bonifacio, at the south end of Corsica! He painted 5 lanes and 4 of us were off!
I have been to Europe more than a few times, and to the French Riviera and the Italian Riviera, so I was not unfamiliar with what to expect. But those trips had been land trips. This was a different experience.
I found the written daily Calendar with descriptive summaries of our next port (which were revised twice, due to weather changes), the many and various Land Excursions' written summaries, maps and written hisotry summaries of the ports to be very helpful. Having a ready reference at the time of making a decision can help one decide between going to visit ruins, a private beach, the Chef's walk, or just lounge around town with an iced coffee.
The stateroom was more than adequate, and the bathroom amentities were luxurious. Everyone I met from this trip liked their shower stall, with double nozzles and a third hand-held nozzle. But admittedly, getting used to the bathroom marble did become commonplace after time.
The 2 closets and 2 sets of 3-drawers each were very conducive to feeling organized and getting ready for the next event. The cabin service was superb and 3 times a day.
"Surfeit" is a word I thought would never apply to me - but finally I realized that while I enjoyed every meal, and each was a delicious adventure, by Day 13 I could no longer eat another well-grilled lambchop for breakfast. The fresh Orange Juice every day at breakfast made it worth waking up. The champagne and caviar were as advertised, and always available. Special memories include the artichoke mousse, cinnamon ice cream, salad nicoise, the sweetest pineapple I have ever tasted, good pate, a deliciious kohrabi soup, a quail entre, a happy lobster, and Captain Erik's "Hammer".
I cannot say enough about this wonderful trip - coming 'home' from dusty Pompeii was totally refreshing: physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
So I look forward to a return visit on the Sea Dream II, with different ports and hopefully less luggage! Sea Dream II's dress code after 18:30 is "Yacht Casual" which is very comfortable and moderne - and for me, downright restorative.