We boarded the SeaDream II yacht/cruise ship around 2pm. After a greeting by the captain, we were directed to a lounge with hors d'oeurves and flowing champagne. We waited there while our luggage was delivered to our stateroom. We met a few people there: a couple from Dallas, a couple from Toronto, and a mother/daughter traveling from New Jersey. Everyone was friendly and inviting. We then got our room keys, and were led to our room to unpack.
The room was very small, 185 square feet. No rooms had balconies as this is a large yacht/small cruise ship. We had one large window. Though small, the room was adequate and what was there was very nice. The shower was especially nice and big enough (I am 6'3"). It had 3 sprayers and Bvlgari soaps and lotions. The room can equipped with soft linens and a tv which showed 2 or 3 different popular movies each Day in a loop along with CNN World and ship channels.
All food and drink was included in the price of the cruise. The ship had a small pool and a hot tub. It had Balinese beds spread throughout the different decks for sunbathing and stargazing. Some people chose to 'sleep under the Stars'. We did not.
There was an outside bar on the top deck which featured a guitar player in the evenings after dinner. There was also a piano bar with a pianist/lounge singer, karaoke, and a single black jack table.
The food was remarkable. Even the 24 hour menu was delicious. Breakfast and lunch were served either on the deck or in your room. The Belgian pancakes were really good. Dinner was served anytime between 7:30 and 9:30pm each night. Two nights it was served in the formal dining room. The other 5 nights, dinner was served outside on the deck while the ship was anchored off the coast of a different Caribbean island. The dinner menu changes each evening. There was always a 5 course chef's recommended meal, but there were also 5 course vegan meals, and other alternative meal choices. We intermingled choices from different menus each night, and if something was outstanding, you could always have seconds or thirds. Of course dinner was always accompanied by paired wines or your choice of wine or cocktail. We only ate alone once. We shared dinner with at least one other couple most of the time, and when we did, we often ordered bottles of wine from the Somelier's extensive list. These were extra.
Nearly every evening, there was some sort of pre-dinner cocktail hour. There was a captain's greeting, a fashion show around the pool with fresh sushi, and others we missed.
The best part of the cruise was the people. On other cruises, we met people in passing. On this ship, we really got to know several different couples and crew. We spent a lot of time with a fireman/contractor and his travel sales wife from Long Island, NY; with an orthopedic surgeon and his pediatrician wife from Chicago; with a business owner and his wife from Toronto, and we enjoyed the company of many others from London, Norway, Sweden, and the USA.
We especially enjoyed the Cruise Director, Pieter, from South Africa and our main waiter, Ponce, from Puerto Rico. Pieter is a bunch of fun. He led many shore expeditions, both day and night. He led hikes around islands, toured thru St. Barts, and even took a group of us to a Burlesque show one evening. We would have never done that on our own, but the experience turned out to be one we will never forget.
These were not places the big cruise ships go. Of the different islands we visited, we enjoyed St. Barts and Jost Van Dyke the most. A day and a half was not long enough on the French island of St. Barts. We spent the day exploring the world class shopping and dining. We didn't get a chance to see the beaches or other renowned hotels, restaurants and bars. We are already ready to go back. Jost Van Dyke is a tiny island with an amazing beach. It is known for its beach and beach bars. The painkiller rum drink was invented at the Soggy Dollar bar there. The ship hosted a beach barbecue on the final day there. Waiters waded into the ocean in their full uniforms to serve drinks and caviar to waiting guests. It was the perfect beach experience.
Other stops were to St. John, Anguilla, Tortola, Norman Island, and Virgin Gorda. We hiked Norman island. We went to the Baths at Virgin Gorda, which is a beach with huge boulders that the ocean flows and around. They are more like caves than Baths. We shopped and picked up a painting by a local artist in St. John's. We went to a white sand beach on Anguilla called Shoal beach. We were only in Tortola for one morning. We just visited the main harbor, did some shopping, and looked at the yachts in the Harbor. We went back aboard the ship for lunch and sunbathing on the top deck, enjoying the views of Tortola from our Balinese sun bed.
Overall, it was a great trip. There was only one child on the ship and it was the most well behaved Swedish boy. Some people were there for two or three weeks. I don't know if my liver could handle that. So much alcohol... Many guests put a refundable deposit down for another trip within the next two years. That guarantees an extra 10% off. This experience will be tough to follow for sure.
Small but nice. Great shower and amenities.
Just did some shopping.
Great shopping and dining.
Loved the beach and the Soggy Dollar Bar drinks.