47 SeaDream Yacht Club SeaDream I 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
I have been on a LOT of cruises. I have been on Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian. I have taken 7 cruises on Norwegian, the last 3 in the Haven Suites. After my last cruise on them I felt VERY nickle and dimed. When I found out ... Read More
I have been on a LOT of cruises. I have been on Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian. I have taken 7 cruises on Norwegian, the last 3 in the Haven Suites. After my last cruise on them I felt VERY nickle and dimed. When I found out after paying over $20,000 for my families haven vacation that my pre paid gratuities (come on, you know they are not giving those dollars up to the staff!) did not even cover all of the gratuities, I was done. There was so much more to that but I digress. We finally decided to try a small, boutique ship and I did extensive research. We just got back from a San Juan to San Juan week long vacation on the Seadream 1 and I can honestly say it was the BEST most RELAXING vacation ever!!! 1. It has the BEST service of any place in the world. The people that work on the ship LOVE their jobs and they are simply wonderful. 2. The food is truly 5 plus star. I have dined all over the world and it is simply exceptional. 3. Drinks are included. 4. You can have basically whatever you want whenever you want it. 5. The open spaces on the ship are a nice bonus. The pool is nothing but views. There is no fighting for a deck chair, no lines of any kind, you don't wait for anything at all. There were only 70 guests total and it never felt crowded. 6. It is not for kids. Leave them at home. 7. The stops are exotic and you feel more like an explorer and less like a tourist. 8. You will be pampered. The Thai massage is well worth it! 9. There is no one trying to sell you anything anywhere! Tips are included, but I actually tipped a few people because it was just so wonderful. 10. The staff are treated well and it shows. I cannot rave more about the service! 11. The cabin and ship are old, but clean. It has character. If you are looking for fancy, this isn't it. We were always on the go so I did not even miss the balcony. 12. Sleeping on the front of the ship cannot be missed! It was WONDERFUL! 13. They go out of their way to make your trip great. There are little touches like monogrammed pajamas custom made for you~! You can also jet ski (also included), banana boat, kayak or paddleboat off the back of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my fourth cruise on Sedream and my wife and i went to celebrate my 65 th birthday and her 60th birthday. We went for two weeks and the first week there were only 45 passengers on board as we were originating in St Thomas and ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise on Sedream and my wife and i went to celebrate my 65 th birthday and her 60th birthday. We went for two weeks and the first week there were only 45 passengers on board as we were originating in St Thomas and visiting Jost Van Dyke and St Barts on our way to Barbados. The dinner to celebrate my birthday on the back of the boat was serviced with every detail and our cabin decorated when we returned! Silvio was always welcoming and made us feel at home and was always there to ne sure our service was excellent. Anna the Activities Director and Taylor the Club Director were always fun to be with and the second week Taylor took us to Happy Island for Rum Punch one afternoon which was a unique experience, the good part of Seadream is we always get to know and enjoy all the staff and crew making it such an enjoyable experience! The second week we caught up with people we met on our last Seadream cruise Sandy and Ross from Australia and met a great couple from Switzerland that we had dinner with Saturday night in Bridgetown after disembarking, Needless to say , we love Seadream! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This has been our third Transatlantic crossing (Malaga to Barbados) all on Seadream1 and it’s been the best. We are still on board and I must say that our experience has been a lot better than one comment already posted. The sea ... Read More
This has been our third Transatlantic crossing (Malaga to Barbados) all on Seadream1 and it’s been the best. We are still on board and I must say that our experience has been a lot better than one comment already posted. The sea from Malaga to Madeira was a bit choppy, but they were still able to serve dinner on the rear outside upstairs decks, so there was no rocking and rolling. We are now 10 days into the 13 day crossing and the seas are calm, it’s 29 degrees and passengers are enjoying the pool and sun decks. The yacht is looking good, a lot of care is obviously taken to keep it on top form. The food is the best yet, some superb meals. Service is excellent and the officers including the captain are always on hand with information. There are only 67 passengers on board ( it can take 112) so plenty of space for everyone. We have absolutely no complaints to make and have rebooked for next year! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Apparently this was just another Greek Island cruise, where I think I have cruised in this region more than 10 times, but in fact it is an entirely different experience and it now ranks with the very few truly memorable cruises that I have ... Read More
Apparently this was just another Greek Island cruise, where I think I have cruised in this region more than 10 times, but in fact it is an entirely different experience and it now ranks with the very few truly memorable cruises that I have had over almost 30 years. SeaDream, with its motto "it's yachting not cruising" ,makes all the difference, unlike what you conceive of another Greek Island voyage. Yes, I have been there too many times (and probably can count 10 ships that I have sailed with), yet in this 10-night cruise it is amazing that 6 of the 10 ports we called are my first visits! I thought I have seen all around Greek Islands ....I was wrong. This argues forcibly that only a small ship can bring about such a wonderful trip. For all these ports are tender ports: it is unthinkable if a big ship arrives, with its passengers that can be more in number than the town's whole population. The tender operation throughout all ports are immediate, no waiting, often I and just one couple take out the whole boat. I recall the chaos when tendering from a big ship (such as at Santorini). And as a matter of fact, these small discoveries (of ports) are even more beautiful than their more famous neighbors! The fact that the ship sails within a close region also means that we often arrive at 8am but leaves almost midnight. To be more specific, these ports are Spetses, Patmos, Agia Anna (Naxos), Paros, Sifnos, and Hydra, each has its own characteristics, each very beautiful in it own right, none polluted with mass tourism. Adding to these, we started from Piraeus and the voyage also covers famous names like Santorini and Mykonos,,and also Nafplion, which is not new to me but surely new to big ship cruisers. Even at the much visited Mykonos, I had the first opportunity to relish the famous night-life of it, as we sailed after midnight (the last tender back was 1 am) while all big ships invariably leave at 6 pm trying to catch the next far away port that offers a pier! While ships are cutting budgets, for example even Silversea are serving packaged juice and inferior beef, SeaDream is unchanged since my last cruise almost 3 years ago. And to my surprise many crew members not only still remember me as a return passenger, but also my dining habits. No ship (and I have been to many so-called 5-star ships) can offer this kind of service from the heart. The food is simply great, again probably better than any other ships I have cruised in. I am happy that the cuisine is time-honored, and no funny fusion or molecular. In fine weather, the outdoor deck dinner under candle-light , with silverware and crystal and fine linen, bring about absolute fine dining at the best sense of the term. Caviar (in ample portion), foie ghras, and lobster are served. The deck lunch when the main course is cooked to order while the entree is self-served, offered no less than Alaska crab leg , for example, and on several cocktail occasions caviar is still free-flow. This puts most other cost-cutting so-called 5-star competitors to shame. It is these two aspects, Food and Service, that bring me back time and again, for in these no other ship can offer this level of excellence. The cabins are not spacious and not very modern compared with those on newer ships, but it is never-the-less very comfortable, offering fine linen b edding and Bulgari amenities, with impeccable house-keeping of the highest order that everyday when I come back from breakfast the room is done. Compensating for no entertainment, SeaDream offers a range of water sport activities that no other offers, thus its passengers are much younger than on similarly priced ships. These people are well-traveled and well-educated, making ship atmosphere particularly congenial. It looks that everyone parts with new friends. The ship was also able to operate with flexibility, thanks to the 'best captain at sea'. We can reverse the order of port visits to avoid the rough sea. The captain and hotel manager greets guests on embarkation, and the Master is seen on deck on many occasions talking to guests. I hope this description amply explains why 'yachting' is different from 'cruising' that one comes to expect. I shall seek for the first opportunity to return, and also after this useful introduction, I also want to spend some time, maybe a few days, re-visiting my new discoveries: Naxos, Hydra, Paros.....all are simply memorable in the sense of returning to unspoilt nature. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I are veteran cruisers. We have done some of the worst (1 Carnival) and some of the better (Seabourn, Silver Seas, Crystal) cruises. We have done two SeaDream cruises now, both during the Christmas/New Years week to St Barts, ... Read More
My wife and I are veteran cruisers. We have done some of the worst (1 Carnival) and some of the better (Seabourn, Silver Seas, Crystal) cruises. We have done two SeaDream cruises now, both during the Christmas/New Years week to St Barts, for the last two years. There are a few things that are striking. First, the ships are well past it. They need to go into dry dock and need to go through an extensive refit. The toilet in our cabin did not work throughout the cruise. We had repairmen working on our toilet facilities every day for the entire cruise. The floor of the bathroom was covered with water due to a leaky toilet and we could not get the toilet to flush pretty much every day. I have never had this happen on any cruise. Second, every night - every night - I could not get anyone to wait on us to get a drink in the bar. I thought maybe it just SeaDream II but not, I had the same experience on both ships. Again, I can't work it out. I accept that there are passengers from hell, which I work not to be. Third, and this is common, but the internet is nearly nonexistent. If you are going to be charged for the internet, can't you expect to get something? It was just about not there. Overall I will have to pass on another SeaDream cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We cruise a fair amount – mostly Seabourn and previously Silversea and have heard lots or positive things from fellow cruisers about about SeaDream. We were on a short four day cruise from Barbados to Barbados. We were looking ... Read More
We cruise a fair amount – mostly Seabourn and previously Silversea and have heard lots or positive things from fellow cruisers about about SeaDream. We were on a short four day cruise from Barbados to Barbados. We were looking forward to a nice suite (tick), excellent food (tick) and some pleasant (possibly staid) evenings in a piano bar. We found ourselves on a party ship with at least three groups of families or friends celebrating birthdays and life. I suspect we were unlucky due to the nature of the voyage but on reading the promotional materials on the ship it does seem that SeaDream is setting out its stall as a ship to enjoy celebrations and as such it is doing a great job for these people. Would highly recommend for this purpose. The top deck at night was a full blown and rather fantastic party. The dining room got quite noisy – we met a couple who had to walk out they were so overwhelmed by it. The general vibe was just not what we wanted – more what I would imagine Club Med or Costa cruise. The question I ask myself is would we come again knowing there were not to be groups? The answer is still no. The ship is too small for us. We badly missed a veranda (somewhere to escape from the very busy pool area), we missed a bar being open after dinner (did not open till 9.30), we missed having a bottle of wine in our room (forbidden – only by the glass) and we missed choices of places to eat with different ambiences. The ship is undoubtedly kept immaculately but it is aging and the competition in this band is fierce. Would also comment that the white wine choices were pretty average or not really to my taste. There was a tolerable French Sauvignon Blanc which saved the day. Also whites and champagne were rarely cold enough. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Sea Dream is the Carnival Cruise line of the luxury brands. Overall the quality of the food was very good, but the wines served were not high quality, thus greatly dimishing the dining experience. They wanted vast amounts of money for the ... Read More
Sea Dream is the Carnival Cruise line of the luxury brands. Overall the quality of the food was very good, but the wines served were not high quality, thus greatly dimishing the dining experience. They wanted vast amounts of money for the better wines. The service was not first rate either. There were several service failures. The attitude of several staff members was arrogant. Prices in the gift shop were outrageous (I saw sunglasses that I paid $120 for offered at $280) and the management was always trying to sell something (drinks, services, etc. They wanted $199 to $299 for a cab ride to from the disembark port to Rome but did not mention the 5 euro train ride as an option. They had staff do "fashion shows" trying to sell their high priced goods. Totally unpolished; lame. It was an outstanding vessel and the ship's professional staff (the Captain and those who operated the shop) were second to none. Others on the vessel were very happy, but they hadn't experiences true luxury and truly outstanding service where you're not being hassled to buy something or be overcharged such as Seabourn. Value of what we paid vs what we experienced was poor. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Our Sea Dream I cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona got off to a poor start. Unlike Silversea, which we have used several times, Sea Dream was chaotic in a rain storm. The taxi couldn't get close to the terminal, boarding was an hour or ... Read More
Our Sea Dream I cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona got off to a poor start. Unlike Silversea, which we have used several times, Sea Dream was chaotic in a rain storm. The taxi couldn't get close to the terminal, boarding was an hour or two late and there was no canopy to protect us from driving rain as we boarded. The ship, just out of two weeks in drydock, did not get all its deficiencies fixed. When we entered our cabin, there were black specks of unknown origin on the bed covers. The covers were changed, but the same thing happened again. At this point a repairman inserted a filter in the ventilation system, which solved the problem. Another cabin had no hot water for several days. There were a few cosmetic problems also, such as white paint on mahogany railings. On the good side: fine service, especially in the dining room, and wonderful food. The Gibraltar expedition was wonderful. We explore other ports, such as Cadiz, Cartagena and Malaga, on our own. It's a small ship -- 112 passengers -- and too light to brave high seas and waves to enter Portimao, the first scheduled port of call. I congratulate the captain for choosing safety over the schedule. Many aboard the ship had cruised with Sea Dream a dozen times or more, but for us it's one and done. We'll go back to Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We just returned from the Jan. 16 SD I sailing from Marigot to Barbados. We sailed the same week in 2015 out of St. Thomas. While eager to enjoy SeaDream again, we also wondered whether a second trip would live up to our experience last ... Read More
We just returned from the Jan. 16 SD I sailing from Marigot to Barbados. We sailed the same week in 2015 out of St. Thomas. While eager to enjoy SeaDream again, we also wondered whether a second trip would live up to our experience last year. Any anxiety/concerns were unnecessary, as SeaDream I exceeded our memory and expectations! The Ship: Every aspect of the ship was in great condition--remarkable for a vessel 30 years old. The high standards for cleaning, maintenance and care were evident inside and out. Crew: What maybe surprised us the most was the welcome from members of the crew that we had come to know on our previous cruise. While absolutely a reflection of the excellent training and standards on SeaDream, many seemed genuinely to remember us, and made that a special part of the SeaDream experience. We were happy to see Gareth and Pierre again in their leadership roles, and especially excited to learn that Tomislav was promoted following Enes' departure from SeaDream--a very well deserved promotion. Stateroom 324: We sailed on Deck 3 again, appreciating the easy access to the pool deck and tender. We definitely like this level. The configuration and amenities were identical to last year, though we felt the difference being at the far forward position on the ship. The anchor dropping got our attention a couple of mornings, and the motion was a bit more pronounced during the final leg into Barbados. We would take the cabin again (it was the only Deck 3 remaining when we booked in May), but if possible would move midship to avoid the anchor noise. Our Stateroom attendant Kat was excellent, friendly and took great care of us. We packed lighter this year, and utilized the laundry service more, which was a good choice. We generally put laundry out when departing the stateroom for dinner, and it was always back the next afternoon. Food: If possible, even better than last year. This was the first sailing with new Executive Chef Alistair, and he was visible every night at dinner getting feedback and asking for reaction. His enthusiasm was great, and his skill was evident with every meal. Doramus, Robin and Zsambor made every meal a treat, offering great suggestions and perfect timing with every course. Christian was aboard as Sommelier, and provided excellent wine service at lunch and dinner. We thought the quality of wines poured at dinner was very good. We ordered a separate bottle off the list only once this trip, as we were very satisfied with the wines offered. We also enjoyed the opportunity to dine with the Captain one evening, who was a great host. Bar Service: Francisco, Danny and Martin provided outstanding service, with Martin making great Mojitos in the afternoons at the pool bar. Again, selection and quality of drinks was outstanding during the day and at night. The Piano Bar with Sammy was much frequented on this sailing compared to last year, with a good crowd every night and action at the Blackjack table most evenings. Land Adventures: A highlight of the trip was the Cat Sail/snorkeling from Mayreau to the Tobago Cays. The crew was outstanding, and the turtles around the ship and snorkeling site was a real treat. The sail back to Mayreau for the Beach Splash was beautiful. We also tried the Clear Kayaks on Ile de Saintes. It was a cloudy day, which limited visibility, though the clear kayaks were great. We stayed in very close to the main harbor. The tour leader indicated it is normally a 3 hour trip they tried to fit into 90 minutes. This excursion would be better if longer. Ports: Marigot: We arrived one day early, and stayed at the Mercure Hotel on Baie Nettle. The hotel was very nice and worked well for a short pre-cruise stay. They provided a very nice breakfast buffet. Guests were predominantly European. We ate dinner and lunch the next day at Dreams Restaurant, about a 200 meter walk from the hotel. The food at Dreams was outstanding at both meals. I would especially commend the selection of pizzas for lunch. The SD I departed from Galisbay Port, about a 15 minute taxi ride from the hotel. Gustavia: We dined on the ship and tendered over to the port. For a Saturday night, the town felt pretty quiet. We met some fellow passengers at Bar L'Oublie, where we enjoyed live music and dancing from a bar across the street until midnight. The next day we rented a Suzuki Jimny from Turbe rental cars, and spent the day visiting beaches around the island. We enjoyed Gouvernor's Beach the most. Lunch at Restaurant Santa Fe on a cliff overlooking the beach--excellent Mahi ceviche, gazpacho and lobster salad. Iles des Saintes: A small, quiet port--definitely a different feel in the Caribbean. We did the Clear Kayak excursion here. Grande De Anse, Martinique: Highlight here was Gareth's hike--a 2 km. rough trail up one hillside then down to Plage Arlot and swimming at the beach. If he offers the walk, do it! Rodney Bay: We experienced rain showers through the morning here, so after a brief walk, came back to the ship for lunch and enjoyed sun in the afternoon by the pool and swimming off the watersports platform. We would consider renting a car here next time, and exploring more of St. Lucia--there's not much at Rodney Bay. Bequia: The sail through the Grenadines was a highlight of the trip, and Bequia was a wonderful destination. Perfect weather, and Princess Margaret Beach was a $3 water taxi from the pier. We had lunch at Jack's on Princess Margaret beach, with excellent grilled mahi and grilled local lobster. The beach was crowded as another ship was in port, but the sand and water were outstanding, with lots of palm trees providing shade if you wanted a break from the sun. Mayreau: Cat Sail snorkeling here, described above. The Beach Splash location was ideal--completely private and an amazing barbeque lunch. Again, Chef Alistair was about ensuring all was perfect. Beach was great with lots of time in the water. Was the ideal end to the trip. Barbados: We had a late flight out Saturday afternoon, so we arranged a tour to visit the Mount Gay Rum Distillery, Harrison Caves and lunch before arriving at the airport around 2:30. Carson was waiting for us at the port, and provided an excellent tour. The blizzard on the east coast made travel back challenging, but our flight did depart later that evening, getting us as far as Atlanta. Getting home to DC is another story..... Conclusion: While the SD I had 104 passengers compared to 84 last year, the ship never felt crowded, and service never missed a beat. We've not repeated many trips over the years, and were surprised we wanted to take SeaDream again after only one year. We made an open booking for our next trip on the last night--our easiest decision on the trip. There is nothing about the trip I can really criticize or highlight for improvement--its just that good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We had sailed on her sister ship several years ago, loving every moment, so decided that a short cruise on this lovely, yacht size vessel would be just perfect in a Mediterranean spring. Embarkation was over before we knew it, with the ... Read More
We had sailed on her sister ship several years ago, loving every moment, so decided that a short cruise on this lovely, yacht size vessel would be just perfect in a Mediterranean spring. Embarkation was over before we knew it, with the smiling captain waiting at the top of the gangplank to welcome guests, and a trio of waiters proffering glasses of champagne. Our charming Deck 2 cabin was ready, with a chilled bottle nestling in an ice bucket and a huge basket of fruit temptingly beside it. The cabin had two delightfully retro portholes, lovely wooden trims round the separate bed and sitting area and a huge cabinet housing tv, DVD player and cocktail cabinets, complete with beautiful crystal glasses. The wardrobe had adequate storage, plus two robes, and there were ample drawers for more storage. The tiny bathroom had a marble shower unit with multi jet taps , Bulgari toiletries in generous sizes and ample fluffy towels. The friendly cabin stewardess checked to see that everything was to our liking, and brought the down pillows we prefer. We strolled to the top deck for a tempting buffet lunch, accompanied by wines or champagnes... All a fantastic beginning to a delightful cruise. Dinner, the highlight of the day on many a cruise, was truly a Gastronomic experience, with every dish cooked to order, from a very varied menu, beautifully prepared and presented, especially with the great touch of the main course being cloche covered , and served with ceremony and style. Well chosen wines were served to accompany dinner each evening, but it was a little disappointing to find that no port was available, apart from an ultra sweet ruby. It was a delight on two cruise nights to have dinner served on the open decks of the ship, with dishes chosen to reflect the Mediterranean Sea surrounding us. Always on offer was an alternative more traditional fare emu, and an innovative vegan and raw menu. As this tiny vessel has no showroom or entertainment venues, evenings are low key, centred round the charming Piano bar or the Top of the Yacht bar, with skilled cocktail serving barmen. The ports visited ranged from tiny, idyllic Patmos, busy Mykonos and Kusadasi, where most guests whisked off to visit the glorious ancient city of Ephesus. The evocative port of Kepez was the starting point for those who wished to visit the sad site of Galipolli, or alternately see the vast site of ancient Troy. On return from port visits, we were able to enjoy the range of water sports offered from the lowered back deck, shepherded by a crew member in and inflatable. Other guests enjoyed the comfortable sun beds round the tiny pool, with waiters offering cooling drinks and deck food service. On the last night of the cruise, we had chosen to enjoy a night under the stars, sleeping on top deck on a huge curved Balinese bed, with half canopy, and chilled champagne ready on the cocktail table at the foot of the bed. This special bed was roped off for privacy, and all lights dimmed, on request at midnight. Unlike many guests, we stayed the entire night, going off to sleep under the velvet, star studded sky and woken by the sun rising. A cruise on such a charming vessel was like a tiny taste of being on a grand liner of yesteryear with impeccable service, no glitz, just old fashioned luxury discretely delivered. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
SeaDream cruises are incomparable if service is concerned. You are really pampered with such a crew to passenger ratio, so that everyone is recognized and addressed by name once embarked. Unlike other ship's smiling faces aimed for a ... Read More
SeaDream cruises are incomparable if service is concerned. You are really pampered with such a crew to passenger ratio, so that everyone is recognized and addressed by name once embarked. Unlike other ship's smiling faces aimed for a tip, on SeaDream every gestures are from the heart and every effort is made to make you happy. The dinner is also among the best if not the outright best, with best ingredients and innovative cuisine, and really professional white-grove service. The open air breakfast is always memorable. It is 'yachting' not cruising, so you can expect a lot of differences and once you are on it you may like it best, even addicted to the experience, or otherwise. Yes there is no real entertainment as such and the cabins have no balcony, but all these become immaterial to me and I always have the best cruising experience on SeaDream, now my third cruise. They have specialties that you do not find in any other ship such as water sport facilities. Passengers are youngish comparing with other 5 star ships and people mix and become friends when disembark. Because of the ship's small tonnage I had the best itinerary in the Med unmatched and unmatchable by any ship even slightly larger. Cannot be better for a one week cruise and all that I regret is that it is far too short! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Seadream sailings are NOT your typical cruising. Read their tag line and it says it all. This is yachting so if you're expecting and hoping for Seabourn,Crystal or Regent you might be disappointed. This is a kick back, relaxing ... Read More
Seadream sailings are NOT your typical cruising. Read their tag line and it says it all. This is yachting so if you're expecting and hoping for Seabourn,Crystal or Regent you might be disappointed. This is a kick back, relaxing vacation with amazing staff who are full time attentive . The crew are happy, funny, and appear to love what they do. When you're on vacation you want to see smiles! Cabins are adequate size and appointed decently. I did think the bedding could be updated but that would be my only complaint on the room. Bathrooms are small but the showers are good. I read another review that was highly critical and it was hard, given our experience, to imagine they were on Seadream. Maybe I'm a bit more relaxed but then the trip is supposed to be a vacation. If you're looking for glitz and glamour look somewhere else otherwise book a relaxing vacation on Seadreamand enjoy the service and fun of the "yacht". Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
It’s time for my yearly review of SeaDream. I contemplated skipping the review this year since it feels like my reviews are repeating themselves: we had a fabulous time, the weather was perfect, the service was top-notch, blah, ... Read More
It’s time for my yearly review of SeaDream. I contemplated skipping the review this year since it feels like my reviews are repeating themselves: we had a fabulous time, the weather was perfect, the service was top-notch, blah, blah,blah. But since I look forward to reading anything “SeaDream” throughout the year, I decided to go ahead and share some highlights and new things we noticed this year at the risk of being redundant. OUR VOYAGE Seadream I, January 31 – February 7th, 2015. Planned Itinerary: Depart San Juan | Sandy Ground, Anguilla | Saba - Gustavia, St Barts (Overnight) | Soper’s Hole, Tortola | Norman Island | Virgin Gorda | Disembark St Thomas One of the unique things I love about SeaDream is it’s ability to change itineraries based on weather, etc. This came in handy on our cruise, as the weather on Sunday in Anguilla wasn’t the best. We ended up making St. Barts our first stop, visiting Anguilla later in the week. We also didn’t make it to Saba due to weather - we’ve been to Saba before and it’s not one of our favorite ports so this didn’t disappoint. PORTS ANGUILLA | we went to the beach at Shoal Bay, beautiful beach, but there is a lot of building going on since we visited 2 years ago, and I’m wondering how much the atmosphere is going to change in the future. ST. BARTS | we normally visit Governor’s Beach but decided to give Saline Beach a try for something new. It was a good choice, beautiful location and less crowded then Governor’s. There was a nice little restaurant within walking distance to the beach. NORMAN ISLAND | we took the tender to Pirate’s Bight and walked around a bit, before heading back to the ship to spend the day enjoying the pool. FELLOW PASSENGERS Our cruise had 70 passengers, with about half having sailed with SeaDream previously. This was a rather low key crowd – personable – with no real complainers and no life-of-the-party types. Top of the yacht bar emptied out by midnight, though the piano bar seemed more popular than previous trips. Most of the guests were in the late 40- 60s age range. There was one married couple with a 4 month old baby and 2 year old. We were a bit worried when we first saw the baby and toddler, but they were adorable and absolute angels and didn’t cause any problems. SERVICE The service is always a highlight of our cruises on SeaDream. I didn’t think it was possible to improve on it, but the service seemed to be at an all time high. Enes as Maitre ‘d is a gem. We’ve sailed with him before and have never had a meal go by where he hasn’t checked in on us - attentive and just a really nice guy! Waiters Robin, Doramus and Mikee were all up to the challenge of keeping our party of 7 fed and happy during the week. Bartender Manuel at the piano bar - so kind, plus he introduced me to the perfect Amaretto Sour. At this point in my life I thought I’d tried every cocktail there was, nice surprise to find an addition to add to my arsenal. Marco and Gabor at the TOYB were a hoot - stand up comedians or bartenders? I’m still not sure. Mark and Angelo at the pool were constantly making sure we were happy - moving umbrellas, serving cocktails and passarounds, misting us with cool water, cleaning our sunglasses - I was exhausted just watching them all day! CAPTAIN ERIKSEN This is our first sailing with Captain Erickson, what a great addition to the SeaDream team. He was very visible and informative, keeping us up-to-date on the weather, and letting and us know when there was a chance we were going to miss a port and what our options were. I liked his straight forward approach, on a few of our other trips we felt like we were given different stories about what was going on when ports were canceled. He also gave us a surprise visit to Foxy’s Bar on Jost Van Dyke Thursday night. It’s was great to get a taste of the Caribbean nightlife and also to see some of the crew given time off to enjoy themselves along with us. SPLASH Our splash this year was at Virgin Gorda. The location is new and it wasn’t my favorite setting for the splash. The beach is on a slant, so it’s hard to relax when sitting on a lounger. The water was a bit rough so the caviar was served on the beach not in the water. That being said, it was a wonderful way to spend our last day of the cruise. The weather was perfect, the water temperature sublime, and the food was excellent - noteworthy was the prime rib and the shrimp skewers that were cooked to perfection. Note: My overall splash rankings would be: 1st Soggy Dollar (ambiance), 2nd Nevis (facilities), 3rd Virgin Gorda. FOOD Food was excellent all week, some of our favorites: – pesto omelet – the “crispy” bacon – mussels for lunch – swordfish at lunch – fish and chips at lunch – white tomato cappucino (sublime!) – spicy tuna appetizer – chateaubriand – beef wellington – chocolate chipotle ice cream (sounds strange, but delicious) NIGHTLIFE We started most nights at the piano bar. George the piano player was great, though he could update his music library with some more current songs. When we weren’t belting out a song we would hop over to the black jack table. Valentina, the dealer, was wonderful. Most nights it was just our group playing and we are by no means blackjack afficienados. Valentina was very patient with us, helpful and always smiling. We would then head up to the Toy Bar where Gabor and Marco would fix us a delicious end-of-night cocktail and have us laughing. One couple from our group spent a night on the front bali bed one evening and loved it. They had perfect weather and lasted outside all night. MISCELLANEOUS – New decor in the salon is an improvement. – Love the bamboo plants in the bedroom, the previous plastic plant drove me crazy – Complimentary mini massages by the pool a few afternoons were wonderful – Liked the new Confluence dinner (in addition to the Degustation night) – Current movies were being shown in cabin (American Sniper was available on our sailing) – Heineken is now served on draft at the pool and TOYB. Icy cold and delicious – Wine at dinner seems improved over last year - though there is still room for more improvement :) – Foxy’s evening stop was great. LIFE-IS-GOOD MOMENT Our vacations on SeaDream have left us with so many wonderful memories, on each cruise there is that one moment where it hits you -- life doesn’t get much better than this! For this trip it occurred on Thursday as we sailed from Sopers Hole to Norman Island. Lunch was served al fresco while we were under sail. Everything about the lunch was perfect - the weather and gentle seabreeze, the fabulous service by Robin (which we had grown accustomed to all week), fish and chips cooked to perfection, cold wine and beer being poured continuously, laughter and conversation with my family, all while breathtaking views of the mountains of the British Virgin Islands sailed by. Truly a snapshot that will stay with me forever. Thank you SeaDream for creating such a unique vacation experience. To the Crew, thank you for being the perfect host year-to-year...treating us spectacularly, putting up with odd requests, and doing it all with such joy! It’s a week my siblings and I look forward to all year - we get to leave behind the hustle of the real world and spend some quality time catching up, reminiscing, laughing, eating and drinking all while enjoying the gorgeous scenery and weather of the Caribbean. We can’t wait to spend another week with you next year! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We're 8 time members having cruised with Sea Dream 1 for seven and Sea Dream II for a Caribbean cruise April 2013 so, yes, we're biased. A bias created by nothing but extraordinary memories. The experience of either of the yachts ... Read More
We're 8 time members having cruised with Sea Dream 1 for seven and Sea Dream II for a Caribbean cruise April 2013 so, yes, we're biased. A bias created by nothing but extraordinary memories. The experience of either of the yachts is exquisite regardless of the itinerary. The ship is lovely, the staff are truly the best we've experienced in all of our travels on sea or land. The food is 5-star fine dining, the rooms compact, as you would expect, but luxurious and perfectly outfitted. There is space for everything; well designed, extremely comfortable - all you could want. With a maximum of 112 passengers, one might expect an environment that prevents privacy but with so many nooks, you can find isolation as well. This is the best small cruise (really yacht) offering there is. The weather is not within anyone's control so Sea Dream cannot be faulted if weather is less then expected. As it happened, this cruise began the day after several weeks of nasty weather in the Baltic and began with sunny, warm skies which continued, but for one day, through the 11 days. The first port of Hanko, Finland, was unremarkable yet for many, fitting, considering the many hours of travel required to get to the embarkation port of Stockholm. The last port of Sasnitz, Germany also unremarkable yet again fitting considering how busy passengers had been enjoying the other remarkable ports - a good day to chill onboard, or take an excursion to the countryside. Experiencing the 'white nights' wherein you could view dusk from one side of the ship and night from the other at 2 am was unforgettable. But the most important aspect of Sea Dream is the onboard magic. We're discerning travelers, not easy to please, yet Sea Dream never ceases to amaze. Sit on the pool deck, after dinner, alone, and watch the horizon, listen to the sound of the ship, the waves, and wonder why you didn't discover Sea Dream sooner.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
SeaDream 1 was long anticipated to be the ultimate Baltic cruise, after reading so many positive reviews about the crew, service, food, atmosphere and intimacy. It did deliver on those topics, five star all the way. It was the many small ... Read More
SeaDream 1 was long anticipated to be the ultimate Baltic cruise, after reading so many positive reviews about the crew, service, food, atmosphere and intimacy. It did deliver on those topics, five star all the way. It was the many small and large problems that occurred almost daily and the lack of response, apology or amends by management that disappointed us, our friends and many of the 100 guests on board this June from Hamburg to Stockholm. The ship had just left drydock so the interiors were freshly redecorated and the staterooms looked attractive with new carpets, curtains and upholstery. There's adequate storage and a small but well appointed bathroom, and frequently re supplied fresh towels, nice bed linens, too. The most difficult situation was a lack of functioning air conditioning in many cabins for the entire 11 days. The ship has no balcony cabins so one couldn't even open a door or window for fresh air. Two of the three passenger decks were affected, guests made the best of it, but it was difficult for many to sleep well. Many attempts were made by the engineering crew and outside repair men to fix the system, but no luck cooling down dozens of cabins. It took the captain a week to address the issue and barely an apology was made at three separate private cocktail parties, one for each cabin deck, no compensation was offered. An oin board credit or future cruise discount would have gone a long way to make amends to the guests. There are several bars on the ship, but only one was open at cocktail hour. Just as the evening began and the temperature was perfect at 630 pm they closed the outdoor bar and opened the indoor lounge bar. No one wanted to leave the sunshine and views on deck six and go into a shady room for pre dinner drinks. There were other issues with two missed ports, lack of planning for cold, rainy day activities, having breakfast served only on deck on cold mornings, so cold staff passed out blankets to guests, non functioning internet service, and several more minor but annoying issues others will comment on in later reviews. The crew were friendly, hard working, cheerful and did their best, the food was superb. Maybe early June was the wrong time for the Baltic, no one ever used the pool or the water sports equipment stowed in the on board marina. The bikes were used in several ports and much appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I love a beach. I don’t trust a person that doesn’t love a beach, to me it’s incomprehensible. When I need to go to my happy place when I’m having dental work done, I visualize myself sitting on a beach looking at the water. When ... Read More
I love a beach. I don’t trust a person that doesn’t love a beach, to me it’s incomprehensible. When I need to go to my happy place when I’m having dental work done, I visualize myself sitting on a beach looking at the water. When it’s freezing cold at home, I look at photos of beach vacations to keep me from going over the edge. To me it’s pure relaxation and how I love to spend my vacation time. I’m lucky to be able to travel quite a bit, each year we take a summer vacation to the Outerbanks, NC, we cruise at least once a year on one of the large ships, and visit the Gulf in Florida a few times. But since 2010, the highlight has been a yearly caribbean cruise on SeaDream with my siblings. We have countdown charts, diet challenges, and shopping trips to get prepared. We send emails to each other when we start packing and keep a list all year of cocktails to try onboard (dang we forgot to try the Dirty Banana)! Being a cruise critic junkie, after reading recent posts I was getting a little nervous that “my SeaDream” was a thing of the past. There were some negative reviews mixed in with the positive reviews. There was also talk of engine trouble on SeaDream I. I’m happy to report that our trip erased all my fears. This might rank as my favorite trip on SeaDream so far. The engine is being repaired and there were no delays in getting to any of our ports. The crew was beyond spectacular. Below are some of my favorite memories as well as a few things that could be done to improve SeaDream. ITINERARY Saturday | Philipsburg, St. Martin - Departure 6:00 pm We had booked a hotel for 3 nights pre-cruise at the Radisson Blu on the French side of St. Martin. We really liked the hotel - the grounds/beach/pool were very nice. Service was very good and the food and drinks also good. We would go back without hesitation. Originally, we were supposed to depart from Marigot, but a few weeks before the cruise we were informed that we would be departing from Philipsburg. Since the island is small it wasn’t that big a deal to get to the new port on Saturday. Sunday | Anguilla 8:00 am-3:00pm | St. Barts 6:00 pm - overnight This was our first visit to Anguilla and my favorite beach of the cruise! We took a cab to Shoal Bay and rented lounge chairs and an umbrella. The sand was pure white and powder soft. There were a few beach bars that served cocktails and had restrooms. Weather was perfect, low 80s and no humidity. We stayed at the beach as long as we could and returned to the ship in time to depart for St. Barts. We stayed onboard while anchored at St. Barts in the evening. Monday | St. Barts departs 10:00 pm We’ve done the ATV and the Fast and Furious excursions on previous cruises to St. Bart. This year we started with some obligatory shopping, then headed to St. Jean Beach for lunch at LaPlage - the lobster burger and lobster citrus salad were fabulous, but pricey, which is to be expected in St. Barts! We had our taxi drive come back to pick us up at 2:00 to bring us to Gouverneurs beach. Our cab driver again returned at 5:30 and brought us back to the tender. Another perfect weather day. Tuesday | Antigua 8:00 am-10 pm This was the only day of the week where the weather wasn’t perfect - overcast and scattered showers. We got a half-day pass to the Hawksbill Resort. This was rather disappointing - food was bad, beach not nice, resort looked tired. In the past we’ve gone to Jolly Beach resort and would highly recommend it for a day pass. One of the prettiest beaches I’ve visited. Wednesday | Iles Des Saintes, Guadelope 9:00 am-6:00 pm We visited last year, so decided to make this a pool day. Stayed onboard and enjoyed drinks by the pool. Tristan and Christian treated us fabulously all day - umbrellas were raised and moved when requested, spritzed with water to keep us cool, sunglasses were cleaned, pass-around snacks delivered - weather perfect. Thursday | St. Kitts 8:00 am-6:00 pm We had such a nice time onboard on Wednesday that most of our party stayed onboard again. Once again we were spoiled all day poolside. The energetic couple of our party did the zip-line tour and enjoyed it. Friday | Coconut Grove, Nevis (Champagne & Caviar Splash) 9:00 am-6:00 pm OK, I’ll admit this is my favorite day next to Christmas. And a lot like we used to peek down the stairs when we awoke on Christmas morning, we peeked out our curtains this morning. We were happy to see sunny skies, as last year the weather didn’t cooperate and the Splash was held on the ship. This year we giddily jumped on the Zodiac with Chief Officer Albert as our captain. After a quick and bumpy drive, we were delivered with our wet landing to Coconut Grove for the Champagne & Caviar Splash and arrived on the beach feeling like we were in a James Bond movie (Halle Berry eat your heart out!). We were happy with the location for this years splash. Two other years we were at Jost Van Dyke and though Coconut Grove was different, it was just as much fun. The sand and beach aren’t as nice as Jost, but the facility at Coconut Grove is gorgeous. Thatched roof, beautiful furniture...I even took a photo of the bathroom because it was so pretty. Once again the energetic couple of our group decided to do the seaside morning horseback riding excursion and were happy they did. Saturday | Philipsburg, St. Martin 10:00 am debarkation We enjoyed our last breakfast of crispy bacon and said our goodbyes and thanks to the crew. We didn’t have a flight until the evening so we got a day pass at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort to kill some time. The resort is right next to the airport and was crowded. They did offer changing rooms to take showers and clean up in. We got to the airport and quickly realized our vacation was over. The airport was pure chaos - crowded, unorganized, loud. We were happy to get on the plane and head home. HIGHLIGHTS CREW - all the crew were spectacular, but here are some of our favorites: Captain Smorawski, our favorite SeaDream Captain - always visible and willing to chat. Enes, Maitre ‘d - we never had a meal where he didn’t stop by to check in on us -such a nice guy. Gareth, Activities Director - we were lucky to dine with him one evening. Gareth is a great addition to SeaDream, he was the perfect host and seemed very interested in finding out what we love and what we think could be improved on SeaDream. His activity tours seemed very popular and he was also very visible and willing to answer questions. Concierge Brenda. Waiters Doromas and Olivier (always a gentleman). Bartender Manuel at the Piano Bar. FELLOW PASSENGERS - this cruise had 98 passengers, 50 from the U.S., 20 from Norway and the rest from assorted countries. 50 passengers were returning guests. If you read my review from a few years ago I think the fellow passengers are an important part of making SeaDream stand out from other cruises - always friendly and interesting. This years cruise seemed to be more social than ever. FOOD - delicious. Favorites included the pesto omelet, crispy bacon, mussels for lunch, crab claws, Chateaubriand, pumpkin cappuccino soup, macaroon cookies, crab legs. DRINKS - our favorites included: champagne, peppermint patty, salty chihuahua, lemon drop martinis, espresso martini, B&B - hand mixed by Manuel each evening at the piano bar. COCKTAIL HOUR - my two favorite things, martinis and appetizers. Last year’s cocktail hour was a bit disappointing, seemed like the same thing every night. This years was back to being fabulous, something different every night and the addition of a hot appetizer passed-around each evening. DEGUSTATION MENU - I’m always amazed at how even things I don’t think I like taste good at this dinner. The egg caviar appetizer is fabulous, the Chateaubriand was cooked to perfection. The crab lobster citrus appetizer was new to us and was a hit. PIANO BAR - we usually head to the piano bar after dinner every evening. On many of our cruises, we would be the only ones there. This year there was always a boisterous crowd and it was a hoot. DINNER TOPSIDE - we were only able to eat dinner topside once but it was fabulous, I love the contrast of the casualness of outdoor dining with the waiters dressed in their black t-shirts, with the beautifully set tables and gourmet dinner. We had a table looking over the pool area. It was the night of the dessert extravaganza poolside, so we didn’t have far to go to finish our meal with an assortment of delicious desserts. ABOVE AND BEYOND - the evening of the dessert extravaganza we loaded up our plates and noticed that there wasn’t a table with enough chairs for everyone in our party. Since our plates were really “loaded”, a few of us decided we would eat our dessert at our dinner table that overlooked the pool. Gareth saw us and immediately told us to go join the rest of our family. He then carried a few chairs down the stairs for us, so we would be comfortable. I told you he was good! OVERALL CASUAL AMBIANCE - the pool area, outdoor breakfast and lunch, top-of-the-yacht bar, the casual dress - I didn’t even pack heels for this trip. WATER TOYS - lots of opportunities for swimming off the back of the boat. Jet skis, sailboats, banana boat, water skiing, kayaking. SPECIAL TOUCHES - sunglass cleaning, remembering order from day-to-day, being greeted each and every time by concierge when we entered the lobby, butterfly service at dinner and “voila,” pass-arounds at the pool and cocktail hour, monogrammed PJs, Bulgari toiletries. AHA MOMENT - one afternoon, later is the week as we were lounging poolside, Tristan cam by with a tray of frozen Snicker bars. I turned to my sister and said “This is the best cruise ever!” After a week of fabulous, freshly prepared food - a little processed junk food hit the spot. How did they know?! ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT - The wine at dinner was almost undrinkable. We actually purchased wine at dinner for the first time. - Beer could have been colder (yes I’m knit-picking) - One of our rooms was part of the Commodore Suite. The bed in that cabin was a trundle and very low to the ground, though the mattress seemed the same as the “regular” cabins. Also you could hear what was going on in the connecting cabin in the Commodore Suite. - This was the first time were we had trouble getting chairs at the pool. There were also people “saving” chairs. One day when we went to lunch the crew was removing things from the chairs, we ran down to let them know we were just having lunch, but the hotel manager said they were to remove items if they were left for a half hour. - Could use some general sprucing up, cabins are dated, and the salon was looking a little worn. FINAL THOUGHTS So after becoming nervous hearing all the doom-and-gloom that has been posted on cruise critic recently, our latest experience on SeaDream put our fears to rest. We went ahead and put a deposit for a cruise in 2015 confident that another spectacular vacation is in store. Happily, our countdown clock has started once again, 46 weeks to go.... Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We found the ship, crew and fellow passengers delightful. And we loved the small size of the ship, which made it easy to get around, find places, meet people, talk to crew, and relax. Food was very good, but just a tad short of what we ... Read More
We found the ship, crew and fellow passengers delightful. And we loved the small size of the ship, which made it easy to get around, find places, meet people, talk to crew, and relax. Food was very good, but just a tad short of what we have enjoyed on Crystal, Regent and Seabourn. But the dining room service was the best we’ve seen afloat. The relaxed dress and casual atmosphere aboard SD was wonderful. Officers and crew were extremely friendly, and got to know our names from the first day. We felt at home, relaxed and having fun faster than on any other cruise ship. The itinerary – Costa Rica – was very good, but not great. The rainforests and beaches are lovely, but CR did not have the charm or infrastructure of the Caribbean. After a few national park visits, we were wishing there was more to do. And absolutely no shopping. As the company’s motto goes, “This is yachting, not cruising” – and this is both good and bad depending on one’s expectations. SD’s ships are old and small, which means there are fewer amenities and staff than on large ships, things sometimes get confused, and items sometimes break. For example, on our cruise the toiled didn’t work on 3 occasions, and the water didn’t work on two occasions (all were fixed quickly). The daily newsletter had several errors – e.g. one day it said we were tendering ashore when we were actually taking the zodiac. On another day the order of tours was mixed up, which left us waiting on land for an hour until we could depart on our excursion. If these kinds of things bother you, then SD is not your best choice. However, if you want to really relax and won’t get uptight if the occasional thing breaks or goes wrong, you’ll love SD. The crew have a way of quickly making everything right, and making everyone feel good. By the same token, SD is more yacht than cruise ship, and delivers an intimate and special experience that is not available elsewhere. This really is a lovely small ship that stands out as wonderfully different in an era where everyone is building bigger ships. The bottom line, would sail with SD again? Yes, but we hope SD management will consider building a new ship in the near future. SD has the right formula for creating a very special cruising experience that is unique in the industry. But as the current ships age, it will become increasingly more difficult for their crew to deliver that experience. There is a market for small ship luxury cruising, but SD will need to invest in its future to remain a leader.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Yes it's been a while but when I was told of the stellar team assembled on SD 1, I had just had to come and it was truly worth it. I see from a few recent reviews that a few reviewers are complaining about silly niggles BUT seem to ... Read More
Yes it's been a while but when I was told of the stellar team assembled on SD 1, I had just had to come and it was truly worth it. I see from a few recent reviews that a few reviewers are complaining about silly niggles BUT seem to have wholly ignored SD's finest asset that leads this line so far out in front than any other: the amazing CREW ! The fine men and women (and I include all of them) are simply the best (good name for a song). The cuisine was incredible and Michelin standard. One recent reviewer complained about pre-dinner drinks and eating outside ! Coming from Northern Europe where I did'nt even bother putting cushions on my outdoor furniture last summer because it was so cold and wet ! I was delighted to eat outside morning, noon and night with fantastic views over Caribbean islands with lovely breezes and feeling the WARMTH ! What other line provides this facility ? None. The crew are a happy lot too and this atmosphere is vital BUT seems lost on Mr.Niggle. We visited a number of ports but partly due to an injury and partly because I loved the experience on SD; I never got off ! Now some may say "you've come all this way and did'nt see the islands ?". Shocking is'nt it BUT time on board with my fellow lovely passengers away, it was just so peaceful. There were a few children on board but they were well behaved and kept away by an amazing Activities Manager and capable assistant. So now you must be asking "there must have been something wrong". Well there was; a waiter due to be on board (whom we adore) had to return home BUT he was replaced by SD1's Employee of the Year ! So even that worked out but we still missed G. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We were on a seven-day cruise on Sea Dream 1 going out of San Juan, Puerto Rico and calling at various small islands. My wife is mobile, but was suffering from a bad knee, so we were dismayed at the amount of physical activity that was ... Read More
We were on a seven-day cruise on Sea Dream 1 going out of San Juan, Puerto Rico and calling at various small islands. My wife is mobile, but was suffering from a bad knee, so we were dismayed at the amount of physical activity that was needed on this ship. We were not allowed past the gate at the dock in San Juan at 1:20pm, as the ship said boarding was not until 2:00pm. That meant we had to stand outside in the hot sun as there was no place to sit down or any shade. The ship did not provide a waiting area inside the dock building, which every other cruise line does. The big clue to the amount of physical activity needed to enjoy this ship was the first time we boarded, up a very steep gangway ladder with open slats which were curiously slanted. My wife needed help to get up it. This same ladder was used anytime one got on and off the ship including boarding tenders. Tenders were used at every port call, and zodiacs at two of them. My wife was unable to use the zodiac and thus missed the "highlight" of the cruise, the beach bbq with caviar and champagne. This was also a "wet" landing. The tenders tended to pitch quite a bit when being loaded and unloaded at the ship and were very tricky, even for the young and agile passengers. I knew it was a small ship, but I was surprised that entertainment was only one piano player/singer, one guy with a guitar, and one cabin stewardess who sang a couple of times. The casino was one blackjack table. This was a Caribbean cruise with good weather. The ship seemed to think that everyone wanted to eat every meal up on deck with some wind and lots of sun. The main dining room was NEVER open for breakfast or lunch, and they really wanted to serve every dinner outside, but fortunately the weather made them serve inside twice. They do not seem to realize that some folks do not want to dine outside all the time. Also, in order to get to the outside tables, one had to climb stairs, as the one tiny ship's elevator did not go all the way up to where the food was. They also insisted on service pre-dinner drinks and snacks outside on the pool deck whenever they could, instead of in the much more comfortable main salon. One night they had a dessert buffet extravaganza outside on the pool deck. It was so dark one could not see what the items were, so I went and got my flashlight so I could differentiate the chocolate cake from the apple strudel. Yes, the service was very good and they learned your name right away. I criticized something with the maitre 'd the second day, and he never was really friendly to me again the rest of the cruise, just professional. I criticized one bartender the second day that the beer was not cold (which he then put on ice for me, but which after 15 minutes I had to go get myself) and after that he never smiled at me again, but was jut professional. I did feel that certain groups and passengers got preferential treatment, especially when seats were assigned for evening dining. I got the unfortunate impression that if you made a complaint, they remembered it and you for the rest of the trip. There was no actual dress code, but the women usually dressed up a bit the two times we were in the main dining room. The men spruced up a bit these two nights, but apparently if one dined on deck, the men took it as OK to wear baggy utility shorts, uncollared shirts, and shoes/sandals without socks. Even on nights with open-air dining, the women did dress up more than the men. There was a definite more spruced-up look from the European guests than the American ones. I was very surprised by the free wines served at meals. Only one white and one red and of mediocre quality. The catch was that they served the same wine until it ran out, so you would get the same rather rough Cianti for two or three days. Other ships I have been on which served free wines usually had two whites and two reds and changed them every day. They must have had limited refrigeration space, as the beer was not served very cold, and they poured the soft drinks out of warm cans. The bar Scotch was Johnny Walker Red, rather than the Black served on other six-star ships. So, this ship is for those who do not mind lots of stairs, tendering, zodiacs with wet landings, etc. They must like to dine outside rather than in the main dining room. The cruise line seems to like to fill the ship with groups which makes it difficult for a couple on a ship with only 100 passengers (our week there was a very rowdy and loud group of 20 Texans who liked to sit together). I thought that for the six-star ultra-luxury rating they were a bit cheap with the wines and spirits served. Caviar is strictly rationed but always available at $100 an ounce. They seemed to push the sale of premium wines and spirits. The daily free wines were never listed on the menus, but they always prominently featured premium wines which could be purchased. I noticed that when they served the free wines they always just said we have a cabernet or we have a chardonnay. They were reluctant to volunteer where the wine was from, and the label was usually not made obvious unless one asked to see it. Yes, there were a bunch of little things that were somewhat annoying about this ship but the vast majority of the staff was very friendly and helpful, especially the lower-ranking staff. On a ship with only 100 passengers, one would think that every couple would be invited to dine with officers or staff at least once during the trip, but we were not, although I saw at least one other couple at an officer's table twice. We will not be back on Sea Dream 1, or 2, for that matter, but do acknowledge that most of the guests seemed to be having a very nice time aboard. I would also mention in closing that we were in a cabin that had a door which opened up to form a suite for those who wanted to book it. This door, while closed, allowed sound to come through to such a point that we were able to judge how often the couple next door enjoyed a romantic interlude. The gym was small with only four treadmills, but I always found one available. There were always fresh towels and water provided at each treadmill. The cabin was small, but adequate. The bathroom was small and it was hard to get inside and close the door to use the toilet. On this very small ship, there were only two good indoor places to sit and read, in the main salon and in the library, both of which were quite dark. So, the ship was great if you were young and active, but did not really appeal to us and was just too small, too informal, too many outdoor meals, etc, with a bit of favoritism shown on board. They really need to do something about that rather hazardous gangway ladder. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
SeaDream I Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 5.0 4.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 2.0 4.4
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.9
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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