Each of the day's activities is laid out in the daily planner, which is available on the TV on demand. You can also ask for a paper copy, which will be delivered to your stateroom the evening before.
In truth, you won't find many activities on most cruises, as it's all about your visits ashore. (The exception to this is the ship's transatlantic crossings, which offer daily activities including games like bridge or scrabble or outdoor movies.) Rather than participating in organized activities, passengers tend to spend time either on the pool deck, dipping in and out of the pool or hot tub, lounging on one of the Balinese beds or relaxing on the sundeck, which offers two two-person hot tubs, a hammock and lounge chairs aplenty.
SeaDream II also offers a golf simulator, with clubs for lefties, righties, men and women. The ship also has a nice-sized library, with a variety of fiction and nonfiction books and lots of travel guides.
Wi-Fi is available, but it comes with an extra cost. It's also slow, so streaming is out. If you plan to watch your favorite shows or movies on your device, you'll need to download them before boarding.
The best part of SeaDream II might be its marina, which is fully loaded with toys to keep you occupied while the ship is anchored off the coast of some tropical destination. The retractable marina offers banana boat rides, Jet Skis, kayaks, small sailboats, water skiing, and standup paddleboards. Snorkel gear is available for borrowing and using from the marina or taking ashore. Swimming is also allowed during specified times, and you can up the fun with floating mats, pool noodles and a trampoline island.
You won't miss having formal entertainment the way you might see it on a bigger cruise ship. Instead, you'll find pop-up entertainment: maybe a guitarist who plays outside the dining room as you enter or a pianist who will create the perfect backdrop during happy hour. As with every other aspect of SeaDream II, events are fluid and formality is left at the door. The only nightly "can't-miss" event is the briefing, in which crew will go over the next day's plan. This is especially helpful if you plan to venture off on your own; the briefing will go over the important places like beaches and where you can walk. On some nights, crew will set up a movie screen on the pool deck and pop popcorn.
That's not to say the ship is quiet. In fact, guests on SeaDream II tend to be very social, staying up late for drinks with friends new and old. The ship even offers a small casino -- really, just a blackjack table -- that always seems to draw in a few players for some friendly gambling (with low table limits).
Those looking for something really different will try to sleep overnight in the Balinese beds, made more comfortable with high-end linens, a mattress topper and custom PJs. (All guests get the pajamas; they're just especially appropriate for those who sleep under the stars.) This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, though we do hear anecdotally that few actually make it all night outside; there's something to be said about the comfort of a private bathroom and wind-free sleeping in your own stateroom.
Tip: If you're planning to try out sleeping on the Balinese beds, bring an eye mask and earplugs, as deck work nearby begins early and the safety lights around the deck don't completely turn off.
Bars & Nightlife
Most spirits, beer, soft drinks, fresh juices and wine are included in the price of your cruise, with top-self alcohol and premium wines available at an additional cost. That means you don't have to think about grabbing your cruise card when you order. Tips, too, are included, though you will see a passenger occasionally suavely slipping a waiter or bartender an additional cash tip.
While the beer and spirits lists aren't extensive, the wine list is, and guests tend to be pretty satisfied with the selection of upscale house wines offered. On our sailing, Frank, a sommelier who has been with SeaDream for nearly two decades, was the most popular man onboard, smoothly offering up suggestions and alternatives when wines didn't hit right.
Tip: The beer selection onboard is pretty small, so if you want something local or crafty, make note of it ahead of your sailing. On ours, we mentioned that we liked local beer, and the team went into port to secure some for us. They even kept it in the fridge with our names on it.
One advantage of a ship this small is that waiters and bartenders will find you and make sure you have what you need, be it drinks or a burger. We loved that we had service while enjoying the two-person hot tub nowhere near the bar.
While drinks are readily available, the atmosphere regularly is far more festive than "party." Overall, the congenial vibe onboard is only enhanced by the great settings for gathering.
For a sing-along: After dinner, the piano bar is the place to be. Here, a pianist plays all the hits you know by heart and patrons sing along, while a bartender makes sure everyone has a bevvie in hand.
For sea breezes: You can't beat the Top of the Yacht Bar for the great views and comfy seating. You can sit at the horseshoe-shaped bar or grab a table. You can even grab a Balinese bed or sit in the hot tub and expect you'll get great service. When the weather is great, this spot is lively even into the night, though it's probably busiest after excursions and before dinner.
For cocktail hour: The main salon is an intimate space with a small bar and even smaller stage. Ahead of dinner, people gather here for hors d'ouevres and cocktails. The events sometimes spill out onto the adjacent pool deck.
Tip: Don't miss the sushi/sashimi cocktail hour, where you can get a variety of Japanese small bites while sipping your favorite libation.
Spa & Fitness
The SeaDream Spa on Deck 4 is Thai certified and claims to be the only one of its kind at sea. It's operated by SeaDream in partnership with a Thai spa, offering five treatment rooms, a sauna and steam shower, and a small salon for hair and nail care.
The spa uses numerous top-end brands in its treatments, including Sisley Paris, Thalgo, Harnn, MoroccanOil, Essie and CND. Certain treatments, like Thai massage, can be done up on deck; the spa also sets up a cabana at the beach party for alfresco massages.
The two-person steam shower and sauna is available for free, but it has to be booked, as these are small spaces that truly can accommodate only one couple at a time. Call at least an hour in advance.
Tip: We indulged in a 90-minute Thai massage that involved stretching and pulling as well as some Swedish technique. It was heavenly and had us refreshed for a week.
The small gym on Deck 4 offers a couple of treadmills, an elliptical trainer, stationary bikes (including one with a flywheel) and free weights. It's not large, but it's plenty adequate for a ship of this size. Free yoga and tai chi classes take place every morning, either in the spa, out on deck or in other locations around the ship.
Tip: During the pandemic, the fitness center has a capacity limit of four. If getting your fitness routine in is important, make appointments for your preferred time in bulk on your first day aboard.
SeaDream II doesn't cater to kids, and while they won't be turned away, it is not a family ship by any stretch. You will find families with high school age or young adult children traveling together. SeaDream follows local laws pertaining to drinking age, so the minimum age to drink changes from 18 to 21 depending on the ship's destination.
Tip: If your kids are the type looking for constant entertainment and hanging out with lots of others their age, SeaDream II isn't a great fit. If they are comfy chatting up adults and love water sports, SeaDream II is a match.
The SeaDream Spa on Deck 4 is Thai certified and claims to be the only one of its kind at sea. It's operated by SeaDream in partnership with a Thai spa, and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It features five treatment rooms, a sauna and steam shower, and a small salon for hair and nail care.
The spa uses numerous brands in its treatments, including Sisley Paris, Thalgo, Harnn, MoroccanOil, Wlla, Essie and CND. Treatments include massages (60 minutes for $149) and couples treatments, facials ($150 for 60 minutes) and body treatments (sea salt scrubs and aromatherapy). At the salon, book wash, cut, color and blow dry for your hair, as well as waxing, eyelash and brow tinting, manicures and pedicures (with regular or Shellac polish). Certain treatments, like Thai massage, can be done up on deck; the spa also sets up a cabana at the beach party for alfresco massages.
The two-person steam shower and sauna is available for free, but it has to be booked. Call at least an hour in advance.
The small gym on Deck 4 offers a couple of treadmills, an elliptical trainer, stationary bikes and free weights. Free yoga and tai chi classes take place every morning, either in the spa, out on deck or in other locations around the ship.
Children aren't catered to on SeaDream II, and although they wouldn't be turned away, it's not really a family ship. You will find families with high school age or young adult children traveling together. The water sports activities and port-intensive itineraries are appealing to older kids who like to be active and explore and don't mind chatting with friendly adults. SeaDream follows local laws pertaining to drinking age, so the minimum age to drink changes from 18 to 21 depending on the ship's destination.
* May require additional fees