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.