The quality of dining onboard was superb, and eating, or thinking about eating, quickly became a significant part of each day.
Breakfast is served at the al fresco Topside Restaurant on Decks Five and Six. There's a small buffet of cereals, fruits and breads and an a la carte menu of hot dishes, prepared a la minute, with a daily special like eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. The orange juice was freshly squeezed. The waiters quickly learned how we liked our coffee and perfected a double shot, extra hot, skinny latte on our first morning.
Lunch was also at Topside, with a decent salad bar and a daily-changing menu; although the portions were fairly modest, the variety was impressive, from Asian fusion to pasta and meat dishes. It's all too easy on SeaDream to say you won't drink alcohol -- until cocktail hour. Then, a waiter appears in the lunchtime sunshine with a chilled bottle he "just thought you might like to try."
The elegant Dining Salon, with polished wood, crisp, white linen and fine tableware, has plenty of tables for two, and there's plenty of flexibility if, one night, you prefer a four or a six. The Dining Salon was only open for dinner; we didn't have any rainy days, apart from the first day, but it would, of course, have served breakfast and lunch if this had been the case.
Weather permitting, evenings offer a choice of eating in the Dining Salon or on deck at the Topside, under the stars.
Portions are small enough to be manageable, and the waiters were constantly bringing samples of this and that -- things that they thought we'd enjoy, which included small portions of dessert and an extra starter. As well as the daily-changing items, there's a regular a la carte menu of steaks, grilled chicken, pasta and Caesar salad. Vegetarian dishes were varied and beautifully presented, while "light" dishes appeared on the menu at lunch and dinner, as did SeaDream "signature" items. The souffles were superb, and memorable items include roast duck, fresh sea bass in an herb crust and a particularly fragrant vegetarian curry; but, it was the intricate presentation that really made dinner stand out each night.
House wines, a different one every night, flowed generously, and when the sommelier discovered my preference for chardonnay, a top-notch Greek wine miraculously appeared. It was so good that I kept the label with a view to future purchases. There's a comprehensive wine list for anybody wanting something other than the house offerings.
There was a decent enough room service menu -- burgers, salads, steaks, club sandwiches and cookies -- but short of the occasional cup of tea, we didn't use it, having eaten more than enough at mealtimes. Caviar, which used to be a room-service item, now comes on its own caviar menu with a supplementary charge.
People would take "room service" from their sunbeds, too; essentially, there was food available all day, every day.