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11 Night Mediterranean Cruise from Seville

11 Night Mediterranean Cruise from Seville

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SeaDream I (Photo: SeaDream Yacht Club Cruises)
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Seville
  • Day 2
    Seville
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Porto (Leixoes)
  • Day 5
    Vigo
  • Day 6
    La Coruna
  • Day 7
    Gijon
  • Day 8
    Santander
  • Day 9
    Bilbao
  • Day 10
    San Sebastian
  • Day 11
    Bordeaux
  • Day 12
    Bordeaux

SeaDream I

SeaDream I - SeaDream Yacht Club

Intimate ship with casual, social atmosphere

Outstanding cuisine always served in open seating

Water sports platform: jet ski from the ship


Cruise Reviews

BACKGROUND: I am 57 and my husband is 63. We enjoy good health and like to be active. We were invited to spend this cruise with another couple. We have cruised on big ships: Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Holland ... Read More
BACKGROUND: I am 57 and my husband is 63. We enjoy good health and like to be active. We were invited to spend this cruise with another couple. We have cruised on big ships: Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Holland America, as well as the smaller ones: Wind Star and Wind Spirit Sail ships. (We've also cruised in our own trawler as well as sailed various sailboats throughout the years.) This was definitely our favorite commercial cruise. CRUISE: It was casual, yet first class. The crew was SINCERELY interested in making sure our voyage was perfect. The passengers probably all had money to spend, but every one we observed was respectful, considerate, and friendly to the crew members. It is a confident person who can treat others with kindness no matter what kind of power they have in life or business, and we found the passengers to be just as refreshing as the crew members. We got to know every crew member who served us, as well as many of the passengers. This was the 5th SeaDream cruise our friends have been on, and is one of the reasons they return. We have already booked our next cruise with them and 18 other friends for July 2021! SPA: Everything is included except spa treatments. However, unlike the other cruises we've been on, SeaDream employs their own spa personnel with no outside contractors. Each massage therapist is a certified Thai masseuse, which is the best kind, in my opinion. We used Winni and Na who were both phenomenal. No one in the spa pressured us into buying anything as you usually find on cruise ships. It was so great not to have to listen to a lecture on why I have to buy this or that face cream! And, after we boarded, not only were we treated to champagne (or any other drink we wanted), and a beautiful buffet of hors d'oeuvres, but every passenger was given a neck massage by one of the masseuse therapists! The workout equipment was just perfect for a cruise this size. I used the treadmill on only three occasions when I was not able to get my 15,000 steps in. (I never saw another person in the workout room.) I also participated in the yoga on one occasion. It was fabulous! Unfortunately, it was in the hot sun which really didn't appeal to me. DINING and COCKTAILS: Prior to dinner every night, there was a 6:30 cocktail hour on the pool deck with an announcement by Taylor, our Cruise Director, at 7:15. It was always entertaining and very informative. Frude was our Activity Manager, and she was just as sweet and adorable as anyone. She wanted to make sure everyone had a wonderful time and was open to concerns and input. All drinks and food are included, with the exception of upgraded wine and spirits. We did not feel the need, at all, to upgrade what was served - even though we usually buy top shelf at home or on vacation. Head Bartender Aurel, Andre', and the others were exceptional, and they always knew what we wanted! And DINING! This was a gourmet food cruise if I've ever been on one! I cannot say enough about it. Dinner was from 7:30-9:30 every night. Chef Tomas', and his chefs, made each dish as ordered. This was First Class dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although you can order anything from your room, the whole dining experience was so superior to any upgraded meal service on any other cruise. (This is why I checked the box below which indicates this was a "gourmet food cruise.") It was not publicized as a gourmet food cruise, but we all agree it would put ANY gourmet food cruise to the test! Unparalleled. Another thing about dining. Depending on the route and winds, we ate in the dining room on deck 2 or dined "al fresco" (outside under the stars) up on decks 4/5/6. Both experiences were amazing. Robin, the Maitre d' Hotel really knows how to run his department. Leo, Kumal, Jonathon, Juan III (Tre), Russell, Leslie, Tristan, and all the others were consummate professionals with a twist of personable humor and wit. They were such an absolute pleasure! When dining in the dining room, no bathing suits, shorts, or jeans, and close-toed shoes for men. Women could wear any kind of shoe. Most everyone was dressy casual. You can wear anything for outside, although most were dressy casual. HOTEL: Andy, the "Hotel Manager," was just OUTSTANDING!! To me, he was the most important "key" person on the cruise. He organized a last minute special event for my friend. He even pulled in the Director of Communications "Gedal" (?) to help with technology. Gedal was such a professional and really helped to make a surprise come to fruition. (This was not part of his job description, but he happily helped us! Thank you, Gedal!) Andy pulled the whole thing off flawlessly, happily, and with entertaining secrecy. What a top-notch guy! Super detail-oriented, which is just what you need in this position. Brenda, the fabulous concierge, and her assistant, Carene, were very knowledgeable and accommodating and both so very sweet and sincere. True smooth and flawless multitaskers under pressure. And Tess, the Boutique Manager, was available when we needed her, but was not "pushing" anything. A tribute to Andy! ENTERTAINMENT: Fred the pianist, and Ruel, the guitarist, were great soloists as well as a great team. Each night at dinner, Ruel played guitar as we entered to eat. Each night from 9-11, Fred played all the songs we loved. We could choose to sing along or alone. However, no one was as good as Fred, with his beautiful, melodic voice. For more entertainment, there is a golf simulator on board which was used quite frequently! Additionally, Denisa runs the casino table - adjacent to Fred on the piano (so you don't miss a thing), and Denisa and Ruel also take care of the complementary water sports during the day: kayaks, jet skis, banana boat, and swim platform! And, for your listening pleasure, we heard rumor that many of the crew members were amazing singers. So, at Karaoke night, we begged them to sing. Brian, Ruel, and Brenda gave us the most astonishing concert! They rivaled any big cruise ship entertainment - Really astonishing and refreshing! (I have proof!) BALINESE BEDS!: One of the cool things about this cruise was that a single or couple could sleep outside, under the stars, in one of the 14(?) Balinese beds. The crew would make them up around 8:00 and you could spend 1 hour to all night sleeping outside.... with no cameras (as Taylor told us! :) TENDER: Other than when boarding and when departing the cruise, all passengers on our journey had to use a "tender" to reach each shore. We were each given a card, and Security Officer, Suraj, screened us out and in every day. He made sure we had water, towels, snorkeling gear, and knew when to return. Most of all, he made sure we were all safe and secure. (He also had quite the sense of humor as I asked if I was on the "Disney" cruise every time I boarded. Without skipping a beat, he always responded, "Yes, this is where you need to be!" Because the stair getting down to the tender was quite steep, I did not see a lot of the elderly taking advantage of going to shore. When the seas were rough, it became very difficult even for the less elderly. Because I am used to being on small boats, I was fine. However, this is something to keep in mind. I would say most of the people on our trip were adventurous and didn't seem to mind. And tender driver, JJ, was very competent and careful - keeping safety first! SERVICE: ALL service was unparalleled to any service we have received on any other cruise! .............. Mic drop! CABINS: First of all, we know that both of the SeaDream yachts are going to undergo room renovations by May 2021. Because of this, my cabin review is only for those people who will be traveling before this occurs. The cabin was fine. It showed wear and tear and age. But, it was clean and perfectly supplied. We were happy, however, to hear of the coming renovations. None of the cabins have balconies or opening portholes or windows. However, the cabins on the 3rd and 4th decks have big picture windows, and the cabins on deck 2 have two portholes each. I did not miss the balcony even though I have never sailed without one. We did not spend a lot of time in our cabin, and no one else seemed to. Many nights, we received a "treat" from SeaDream: Monogrammed pajamas, glasses holders, mints, pens, bag for wet swim suits or shoes, and monogrammed tumblers. Just FYI, each standard room has: 1. A magnification mirror 2. Only 1 - 110 volt outlet in the main cabin. One in the bathroom "for shavers only." (Luckily, I brought an extension cord!) 3. 2 USB ports 4. Bvlgari shampoo/body wash, conditioner, body lotion 5. Blow dryer 6. Laundry service available 7. Robes and slippers 8. No iron.... which I always like to have. ;( 9. Best towels ever! Not too soft, not too hard, but just right! Thanks to Maiwan, the Laundry Master!!! All of the cabin attendants were super attentive, and although we had a dedicated cabin attendant, we could ask any of them for anything, and they were happy to comply. They were the "quietly enthusiastic" crew who were there all the time without being in your space or doing their busy work in front of you. A perfect combination of classy organization. IMPORTANT NOTE: Our room was closest to the bow (front) which meant we felt the wave action more than those in the middle. This did not bother us at all, even when the seas were rough. However, it MAY bother those who are prone to sea-sickness. You should chose a more middle cabin if you are concerned. OTHER HELPFUL NOTES: If you choose a cruise to the Caribbean islands, don't forget your bug repellant! There are mosquitoes off and on all the islands. Bring a backpack capable of holding towels, snorkel gear, water and anything else you may want to take on your daily excursions. My husband and I each had one which was so helpful. Another interesting thing I wanted to mention is that the crew does not mind if you bring outside drinks/alcohol onto the SeaDream, nor did they collect it and hold it until departure. I never saw anyone do this except those who were bringing home Rum souvenirs, etc. The thing is, the Sea Dream has everything you will want and there is no need to try and "sneak" anything on as so many try to do on those big cruise lines. :) PORTS OF CALL: In my photos, I include a daily itinerary from our yacht. Unfortunately, I am missing the Sunday flyer for St. Barts. Sorry about that! We began our cruise in Marigot, St. Maarten which we reached by American Airlines. We rented a car and drove about 1 1/2 hours (The hotelier said it would be 25 minutes) to our " boutique" hotel, which had five star reviews but was definitely not even close, and was severely overpriced. I would definitely NOT recommend "Villa JWI Lavi". St. Maarten had not yet recovered from the hurricane and still needs a lot of work. However, we were happy to see both the Dutch and French sides. There is major traffic which should be a consideration as to where you stay. Although we were able to drive around using our rental car, we questioned whether or not it was worth the traffic and time hassle. Next time, we'll take a cab to our hotel and make sure our hotel is next to the seaport from which we depart. Our next stop was St. Bartholomew (St. Barts). This is a very wealthy island, which has already totally rebuilt since the hurricane. Beautiful island with "beautiful" people who take a lot of pride in their place in the sun. We went to the famous Nikki Beach Club and Eden Rock Hotel, both right on the exquisite beach. Everyone was dressed in their best elegant, casual attire with full make-up and perfectly sculpted bodies. What an amazing "style show"! We then drove around the lovely mountainous island with unique and incredible architecture in all the beautifully crafted homes. NOTE: IF you are afraid of heights, or driving on narrow roads with a cliff-like drop offs, none of these mountainous islands we visited are ones to drive around. On Monday, we visited Little Bay, Montserrat. This was one of my favorites because my friend and I hired a private driver and toured the island. Since there is an active volcano currently spewing steam, it was a sight to behold. Our incredible driver, Jermaine Wade, with "Fabulous Tours" was second to none! He grew up on Montserrat and remembers the devastation that occurred with the volcano eruption. He took us all around the island, including the "exclusion zone" and was such an amazing advocate for his people. You can expect to pay at least a minimum of $120 for a 2 hour tour around the island. We talked him down, but ended up paying him much more after realizing that he was such a passionate tour guide and the fact that the island only receives small boats once every 2 weeks. He was absolutely worth $200!! Here's his number: 664-393-6718 or 664-493-4357. GREAT guy! I can't say enough! (By the way, the local police recommended him.). It would be worth visiting the buried (by the volcanic eruption) former capital city of Plymouth. We were very lucky in that our Captain departed and was able to give us a tour us along the coast with all the devastation, and we were able to see the buried city from the water. We arrived in Portsmouth, Dominica on Tuesday. There were several tours available, but I decided to "get my steps in" and walk into town. We moored really far away from the town. I wish SeaDream would reconsider this move. The yacht could have been closer in so that older people could have walked around. HOWEVER, this was such a depressed town! Although the men were friendly, the women were aloof. There was trash everywhere in the streets and on the beach, but I did see some construction. I felt very safe, although I was approached by a number of men wanting to help me or take me anywhere in their "taxi." I actually passed a well-dressed man relieving himself on the beach - right in front of me and everyone else - who didn't seem to notice. (My husband, who spends a lot of time in this area, says this is very typical. So, don't be surprised.). I was most bothered by the stray dogs who seemed to be undernourished and uncared for. It was a very depressing day and, although I don't care to return to this island, I want to help the animals. I ended up walking over 8 miles. Grande Anse, Martinique was such a tidy proud island. It was very "walkable." it had a lovely countryside, and an amazing beach. The "French" people were warm and welcoming! We stopped at an adorable beach cafe called "Payot" with the most hilarious waiter and waitress! The whole day experience was well worth the stop! Thursday was Port Elizabeth, Bequia, The Grenadines! What an exceptional island! We walked all along the 2 mile boardwalk and enjoyed meeting the locals and seeing the beach sights. My husband and I decided to dive with "Dive Bequia:" and dove a one tank dive along a reef and 3 wrecks. Great experience and I highly recommend Dive Bequia! Christian was an amazing Dive Master and Captain Kirk was a terrific assistant. Afterwards, they dropped us off at "Bar One", which is a bar on a pontoon which you can only get to by boat. THE MOST amazing Margaritas! (See photos) We took a $5 pp water taxi back to our dock to pick up the tender back to the yacht. On Friday morning, we went to a little deserted island of Tobago Cay, Grenadines which we could only reach by Zodiac boat. BRING money because there are little souvenirs, drinks, and snacks to buy. It's just a cute little island and you can "bob" in the water with a little drinkie. I was bothered that the people who set up their tables didn't really seem to care about preserving this small little spit of land. There were cigarette butts and beer bottle caps everywhere. In the afternoon, the yacht was moved to a nearby location called Clifton Harbour, Union island (Grenadines). This was one of the most depressing islands we went to. There were neglected dogs EVERYWHERE, looking for food, but so scared of everyone. The people were very aloof and unfriendly, and certainly did not seem to appreciate us being there. The town was dirty and showed a lack of any pride. This is a stop which could be avoided except for those who can help with the animal situation. I saw a mother goat walking through the street with a rope attached to her neck. A baby followed her. Very sad. However, my husband, who is a kite-boarder, said this was a real hot spot for kiters in this area and he took advantage of the stop. It was very enjoyable for him. Saturday was the best day ever! We went out on a 60 foot catamaran, with Wind & Sea Captain Tim Adams (and Dillon and Steven), to swim with the turtles. I saw "a record" 13 turtles, 10 starfish, a spiny lobster, and a baby stingray! After, we immediately went to the beach for a Beach Party on Mayreau, the Grenadines!!! SO MUCH FUN!! The staff paraded to the beach with a table of caviar for an amazing presentation! Then Chef Tomas' put on the most amazing beach lunch ever. I just can't say enough about the presentation and quality. Then, the four of us had "couples massages" on the beach! What a great day!! The next morning was disembarkation. We were not "rushed" off the boat, but told to relax and take our time while we ate breakfast and said good-bye. IMPORTANT NOTE: Although tipping is not necessary at all, you will want to bring small bills to hand out as the cruise progresses or at the end. We brought US $10's and $20's. Some of the crew had completed their contracts which was kind of sad. When we saw them at the airport, they were just as polite and professional as they were on the yacht. It was such an honor and pleasure to experience this. I can say that Aurel (Head Bartender) is a true professional and we were happy to have made his acquaintance. This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip which was repeated by just over 50% of the passengers onboard! In addition to that, we met employees who have been with SeaDream for 5 years, 6 years, 12 years, 18 years, and there are many more who have that kind of longevity. THAT tells you something about a company. We are excited to return to the SeaDream, and excited to see some of our new friends who will, sincerely, be waiting for us to return! :D Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The anticipation of the unknown is my key motivator in traveling to places around the world. I have been fortunate enough to experience some 147 cities in 49 countries, went millions of miles, but amazingly have only covered about 20% of ... Read More
The anticipation of the unknown is my key motivator in traveling to places around the world. I have been fortunate enough to experience some 147 cities in 49 countries, went millions of miles, but amazingly have only covered about 20% of the globe. What lured me to this SeaDream mega yacht was only 112 guests and her crew of 98 - with their emphasis on extraordinary French-inspired gastronomy. Our itinerary had us visiting Virgin Gorda, Nevis, St Kits, Anguilla, St Barts (The Caribbean's French Rivera. Lunch at Resort Le Toiny with toes in the sand, sipping on a cold Chardonnay and nibbling on Truffle french fries smothered in Foie Gras & parmesan cheese - out of this world!). And Jost Van Dyke (the SeaDream decadent Caviar & Champagne Beach BBQ at White Bay and the obligatory 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar Bar). You sail by night and explore by day. I knew we were going to be surrounded by azure blue water, ideal for unwinding the mind and dining in food heaven, the perfect palate teaser. Several years ago, we discovered going 'unplugged' down at our favorite Villa Rolandi on Isla Mujeres. It's now our way to go on vacation - no cell, computer, tv or newspapers, just your partner, a good book, and pampered service. It raises one's level of conciseness to what we call 'where nothingness begins.' RESORT PRE SAILING We arrived in San Juan Puerto Rico a day before and stayed at the majestic Condado Vanderbilt. This is where the old world meets modern luxury. They don't build hotels like this anymore. Back in 1919 is when she opened her doors to European nobility and Hollywood stars. Captained for the past ten years by veteran hotelier, General Manager Ben Tutt, who explained their recovery post-Maria. She has now completed her $260M renovation and is back to her revered beauty celebrating over 100 years as San Juan's grand dame. His gracious hospitality is being the consummate host, always at your service. Legendary Executive Chef, Juan Jose Cuevas, whose reputation precedes him, continues to knock out some truly amazing, inspired cuisines at "1919", possibly San Juan's best restaurant. LIFESTYLE & CUISINE For as many Five Star venues around the world, I've been privileged to enjoy; this onboard experience exceeded my expectations. Executive Chef Ali's attitude of catering to your every culinary wish is never-ending in his creative offerings of what he describes as 'Confluence Cuisine.' Just some examples; Veal Wellington, Dover Sole Lemon, perfectly steamed Mussells w/garlic toast, a fork-tender Osso Bucco, Artichoke-sundried tomato salad, Trout Almondine, fresh Lobster salad, Tuna Tartar and of course, a Grand Marnier souffle - why not? Cocktails and tasty hors d'oeuvres pre-dinner, another treat. Your choice of dining in the main salon or al fresco outside, either venue offers all you would expect and more. Paired with excellent wines provided by our French Sommelier Eric, coupled with outstanding service. The crew remembering your name from day one is truly impressive. All food, wine, spirits, gratuities, and the toys (kyacks, sailboats, and wave runners, even mountain bikes for land-based tours by the Captain and or crew. ) are all included. Our Stateroom 406 with our own Monogrammed Pj's, Bvlgari bath amenities, and nighly pillow gifts made up for it being a tad small. Not unlike perhaps being on a wealthy friend's boat. SDYC was truly sublime! YACHTING NOT CRUISING There is a difference. CEO & Chairman, Atle Brynestad was the original brainchild behind small boutique luxury mega-yachts, launching these two originally as Seabourn's Sea Goddess I & II That discovery is why we have given up the big body cruise lines in favor of smaller intimate ships, like Windstar, we've logged 49 days with them and their motorized yachts and sail ships. For the same sort of budget as a Presidential Suite on a ship carrying 5,000 passengers or more, you can be on ones with fewer than 350 people, versus being herded around with the masses. What you get onboard a SeaDream vessel, is a feeling of discreet sophistication, mixing with a guest list of diverse people, from around the world. United in one common goal to relax, explore leisurely at the same time wanting for nothing. Readers of Conde Nast Traveler ranked SeaDream Yacht Club as one of the 'Top 100 Travel Experiences Worldwide'. SeaDream was the only cruise company included in the listing. The other 99 winners were all hotels and resorts. What awaits is the next generation of SDYC, a new ship called "Innovation" who sets sail in Septemeber 2021 on her inaugural 70-day voyage. The flight out of St Thomas didn't depart till late afternoon, so we decided to enjoy the day poolside at The Ritz Carlton Club. Our host Kurt Ginter couldn't have been more welcoming. Note: After extensive renovations, the Ritz Carlton Resort is now back open. As someone recently reminded me, none of us are promised a tomorrow - you only live once. Sail with the SeaDream Yacht Club and indulge your Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams - why not? Seven glorious days and nights later - Special commendations must go to Captain Lund for his personal and gracious hospitality. Christophe, Executive Hotel Director of both SDYC I & II for his knowledge and high regard for perfection. Robin the ships Maitre d, Assistant Maitre d Mikee, Brenda & Roses Concierge, Lee Ann our Cabin Stewardess. Then our ever attentive restaurant crew; Doramas, Jose, Fransisco, Jonathan, Stephen, Dusan & mixologists Aurel & Leslie, always greeting you by name with a genuine smile. And last but not least the maestro, the incomparable Chef Ali from Cape Town South Africa, who dazzled all of us with his exciting cuisine d' confluence BRAVO! As the Greek philosopher, Epicurus believed, living an existence full of simplicity was the way to achieve all the pleasures and comforts in life. It lives today among the ships of SeaDream Yacht Club. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I have been on more than 30 cruises including Seabourn, Crystal, Cunard, and Celebrity We looked at the Berlitz Guide to Cruising to get advice on the best small cruise ships. Douglas Ward, the author of the Berlitz Guide ... Read More
My wife and I have been on more than 30 cruises including Seabourn, Crystal, Cunard, and Celebrity We looked at the Berlitz Guide to Cruising to get advice on the best small cruise ships. Douglas Ward, the author of the Berlitz Guide 2019, rated the SeaDream 1 yacht as 5 stars, which influenced us to take a cruise with them. However, in our opinion SeaDream 1 only warrants barely a 4 stars rating. See below our reasons why we think this. Staff The staff were mostly very attentive and helpful. Embarkation The embarkation procedure was quick and efficient and well organised by helpful staff. The yacht is old and the furniture and fittings are tired and dated now. The walls were scuffed with black marks. It was very dusty under the sofa suggesting it hadn’t been vacuumed for a long time. The white sealant on the outside of the stateroom windows had yellow/brown stains on it. Food and drink. On our first night on the cruise we went to the main salon to order an aperitif before dinner. We asked a waiter for an Appletini and a Peartini, our favourite cocktails. The waiter looked puzzled and went off and then the bar manager came over to us and explained that he could not make a Peartini as they did not have the ingredients. We were surprised at this given we were on a 5 start yacht and asked whether these could be obtained at the next port of call. He said he would look into this. He was very helpful, but said that Grey Goose pear vodka was a premium drink and we would have to pay extra. We were surprised at this as we had paid £12,000 for the cruise and did not expect this to be the case as other cruise lines we had sailed with. eg. Celebrity offer these as part of their inclusive drinks package. The Appletini arrived which was ok but was not made correctly in a cocktail shaker with ice and did not include the ingredients we were used to so it was very disappointing. The next evening the bar manager said he had tried to make a Peartini and gave my wife the drink. It wasn't very nice being made with macerated pears, but we were pleased he had tried to make one. He said he would try to get the correct ingredients at the next port of call. We decided to have gin and tonics that evening instead. The bar staff brought them over with a dish of nuts. I was about to eat a nut but on looking at the nuts we were horrified to see that they had many small ants crawling around in them. I asked one of the bar staff if I could see the Hotel Manager. He went off to get him. The Hotel Manger came over and I showed him the nuts. He was also horrified at seeing the ants and immediately apologised and said this was unacceptable and took them away. (we have video footage of the ants and we could not believe what we saw). He came back over to apologise again and saw two ants running across the table which must have escaped from the nuts so he used his finger to squash them. Needless to say we did not eat any nuts on any subsequent evenings. The next evening the bar manager had made another Peartini and this time it was quite nice and my wife was pleased that he had gone to the trouble of trying to make this for her. However it was still not correctly made. The breakfasts consisted of a good selection of fruit, nuts and cereals. However, there was no dry muesli only oats soaked in milk with dried fruit. The banana bread was delicious. However, one morning as I opened a jar to get some walnuts a beetle flew out. Hot dishes were cooked to order but were always placed on cold plates. There was a very poor selection of teas and if we wanted a cup of tea during the day we had to order it. The tea was never made to our liking, sometimes being too strong and others too weak. If we asked for weaker tea it was too weak, but then asking for it to be stronger resulted in it being too strong. There is nowhere to get a pot of tea for yourself or kettle in the stateroom. On a couple of occasions flasks were set up in the main salon but the water soon went cold and there was rarely any fresh milk. The barbeque lunch on deck was very good with a good selection of food. Another lunch was fish and chips and this was very good. Dining When entering the dining room or having lunch on deck none of the guests were asked to sanitise their hands, something which is mandatory on other cruise lines(eg Celebrity where a member of staff stands at the door to the restaurant with a dispenser of antibacterial gel). This is not hygienic, particularly because some guests were going directly from the tender up to lunch and helping themselves to foods from a buffet. Sometimes the tongs provided ended up with the handle being put into the food dishes. Loaves of bread were available at breakfast/lunch time with napkins available to hold the bread while slicing it. Unfortunately quite a few guests didn’t bother to use the napkins. Both my wife and I had upset stomachs on one day. Sitting on the right-hand side of the main dining room is unpleasant due to the vibrations and noise from the ship’s engines which led us to ask to be moved to the left-hand side where the noise and vibrations were not noticeable However, we were then shown to a table next to a work station which was not a relaxing experience. Waiters were frequently passing back and forth by our table in a relative narrow gap between the table and the work station. The next evening we asked to be seated in a window seat for two which was very good. Many of the chairs in the dining room were old and stained. In the middle of the dining room was a large table around which 8 people were seated. These had clearly been drinking heavily before dinner. Throughout the meal, they talked very loudly, laughed loudly, whooped and shouted. My wife and I found it very difficult to have a conversation, or a relaxing meal, even though we were at one end of the dining room. We did not expect this kind of behaviour on a ‘5 star’ yacht. However, nothing was done about their behaviour and it continued most nights throughout the cruise. Some guests went into the dining room wearing old ripped jeans. For people who want a relaxing, elegant and sophisticated dining experience (as Douglas Ward states in the Berlitz Guide) we suggest this is not the cruise ship to sail on. The sommelier was very helpful, but there was no wine menu for wines which were part of the inclusive package. Each evening the sommelier showed us the two wines available for that evening which amounted to one red and one white. The alternative was to pay for a bottle of your choice. Our favourite wine is an Australian Shiraz but were told by the sommelier that they did not have any as part of the ' inclusive package' and we would have to pay extra. The only one they seemed to have on the wine menu was a Penfolds Australian Shiraz bin 80 which was priced at $795.00 a bottle! We thought this was outrageous given the cost of the cruise and the fact that a decent Australian Shiraz can be bought for approx. £10.00 in the UK. This wine is not a premium wine and it our opinion ought to be part of the inclusive package. The sommelier again was very helpful and found us an alternative - a French Syrah which we had to be content with each evening. This was ok but was not our preference. We were surprised and disappointed that this five star luxury yacht had no Australian wines available as part of their inclusive package. The food was usually just warm, and mostly not as good as we have had on other cruise ships e.g. Crystal and Celebrity. For example, on different nights we had the following foods: duck which was a little dry as was the chicken. We would rate these as 6/10. The foie gras was good 9/10 the lobster 7/10 and the salmon 6/10. We asked for extra vegetables as there were only very few with the meal on the first evening. These arrived barely warm and al dente. On another evening we had Dover sole and chicken 7/10. We had asked if we could have lobster thermidor one evening and the Maître d’ said yes we could have anything it we ordered it in advance. We did this, but on our third evening when we asked him again when we would get it, he now said rather irritably ‘If it is on the menu.’ However, the next night he informed us that it was available that evening. It was excellent. We rated it 10/10 and we had it again on another 2 occasions as it was so delicious. The chateaubriand, we rated as 6/10, the rib-eye beef, 6/10. One evening the first course was scallops which we rated 10/10 and escargots again we rated them 10/10. The rack of lamb was dry and we rated it 6/10. The tikka masala was mediocre - 6/10. It was decided by the hotel manager that on some occasions that meals would be served outside on the deck. This is a great idea if the weather is warm enough. We had some breakfasts, lunches and dinners on deck. However, on several occasions it was necessary to wear an outside jacket as it was too cold and windy for sitting outside at the beginning of the cruise. We feel there should be a choice as to whether you eat inside or outside, but we were simply told where we were going to have meals that day and no inside dining room alternative was offered. Entertainment. There was little in the way of entertainment. There is a tiny piano bar in which a singer and piano player named George performed each evening. He was excellent. It would have been much better however, if he had played in the main salon where more people could listen to him and they could dance if they wished. There was no room for dancing in the piano bar. There is barely room for about 10 people to stand and sit on the bar stools. There was a casino close to the piano bar which was more like a cupboard where there was one gaming table. Tender service. As the yacht was relatively small (112 guests) we thought it would be able dock in the ports that the larger cruise ships cannot get into. However at every port of call we had to get a tender into port. Sometimes this involved quite journey in a rough sea and strong winds. The reason for this, we were told, was that there were water sports available every afternoon (which during our cruise hardly anyone used due to the cold windy weather and rough seas) and the yacht had to be moored a certain distance from the shore for health and safety reasons. There was just one tender which went back and forth. On one occasion we had to wait over 30 mins at Porto-Vecchio for the tender to first refuel before it set off to us which was a bit tedious as it was raining heavily at the time. To get onto and off the tender it was necessary to go up and down some metal steps hanging from the side of the ship. These steps had very rickety hand rails on either side making the climb up and down rather risky. This service made us reluctant to visit most places more than once due to the distant and unpleasant tender ride. Facilities – The library was well stocked with books and there were 2 computers for guests to use with free wi-fi, but two of the chairs were threadbare on the arms.. Personal wi-fi was not provided free, but was charged at $35 per day or $198 for the nine day cruise. End of cruise We disembarked at 9.50am, collected our cases disembarked and waited for our taxi to take us to the airport. There were seats set up by the side of the ship for guests to sit on while they waited. However, nearby there was a large red 'truck' which was moving rubbish which had been removed from the yacht and had its engine running resulting in foul diesel fumes and unpleasant smells of the rubbish being blown over us all. We felt as if now that we had disembarked we were no longer important to the cruise management. Conclusion. We do not agree that this is a 5 star yacht. This cruise ship is definitely not good value for money. For the price we paid, we were expecting a luxury 5 star cruise experience. We were bitterly disappointed. In our opinion SeaDream1only warrants a barely 4 star rating. In view of our experiences, we will definitely not be travelling on a SeaDream yacht ever again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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