SeaDream II Cruise Review by dencruiser170
- Sail Date: March 2013
- Destination: South America
SD is a good "small ship" alternative to "large ship" cruise lines like Princess or Holland America. Instead of 2,000 or 3,000 passengers, SD sails with 85 to 110, basically about 3% to 5% of the passengers. Accordingly, the service is much more personalized - the crew all know your name and take all of your requests or problems seriously. The service is 5-star.
The food is also much better than the large ship cruises. It's better than the "specialty" restaurants on the large ship lines with no extra costs. As a matter of fact, there are very few extra costs - drinks, tips and most expeditions are included in your fare - no last minute tipping or add ons. The chef is very accessible - you can just walk up to him during lunch or breakfast and introduce yourself and ask him for a kitchen tour or for a special dinner or lunch the next day and he will be happy to oblige.
The concierge desk is manned 24-hrs a day and they know who you are. If want to call them or walk to the desk and ask them anything, they are friendly and anxious to please.
Overall, all of the crew give you personalized service and will do everything possible to comply with your requests.
The ship itself is attractive and clean. 5 decks with smallish but very well-designed cabins - lot's of storage space and shelving. Flat screen TVs with DVD players. You can feel the ship's engines on the lowest and cheapest deck (Deck 2). Small but adequate gym. Small pool and spa with uncovered recliners were not very used. The outdoor Balinese beds were largely not used because (1) half of them were right next to the heat and smell of the engine exhaust and (2) all but one of them were unshaded. Very nice 24-hr library which was usually not used. Attractive large Deck 2 dining room for dinner and outdoor Deck 4 and 5 lunch areas.
Possible negatives: SD is not for children (a plus for me) - it is for active and semi-active adults. SD is also not for 1st time cruisers or mobility-impaired individuals. The ship is not ADA accessible. Finally, potential Seadream cruisers should be (1) experience cruisers who are looking for a small ship, personalized experience where they can mingle with other experienced cruisers, (2) not be looking for an Expedition type cruise (SD is not a true Expedition cruise line - they are more of a Caribbean/ Mediterranean luxury water sports type line), (3) not need lots of help entertaining themselves (no Broadway shows, magicians or the like).
I would definitely cruise with Seadream again - for me, cruising with SD emphasized how mediocre large line cruises are, however SD may not be for everyone.