The ship is a yacht -there were 110 people and 95 staff. This was a special cruise and we were two of fourteen of the Domaine Carneros wine group, hosted by founder Eileen Crane.
This cruise exceeded every normal expectation and exceeded even Crystal or Seabourn, which are both excellent, more formal, and newer ships and amenities.
The yacht has six decks with suites on two-through five, is lovely, casual and everything is easy to get to. There are multiple eating areas, dining, gym, spa and all the normal amenities, including a casino.
The cabins are small suites, more than adequate and plenty of room for personals brought on the yacht. There are larger suites, but our suite was centrally located on Deck 4. the bedding and comforters are exceptional.
Dining was amazing in the dining areas, with a buffet for both breakfast and lunch and ordering the main breakfast/lunch off the menu for both. Choices always nclude both gluten free (many for all courses) and vegan. For each meal there is a ‘Chef’s Selection’ for all courses, and multiple alternatives and other choices. The food is prepared to order and there was not one meal that was not prepared to perfection.
This is a more casual atmosphere without formal nights or ‘dress up.’ During the day, shorts, causal attire was perfect. At night, no jeans, but yacht casual, summer dress, pants and top, and for men slacks and a collared shirt.
The service was impeccable and the staff knew each of us by name from day one and addressed us by name.
We were part of the wine group and we had a Winemakers Dinner that was exquisite with champagnes and wines paired with each course. There was a minimum charge on this but it was a token compared to the quality of champagnes and wines that were served-each in their appropriate glass. This group also had special champagne and food hosted by Eileen Crane at no additional cost and some wine tastings.
The first night we were each provided Sea Dream pj’s with our name embroidered on the top. There was an impromptu pj party on the only night it rained. On the top deck you can sleep under the stars in beautifully done beds and those had to come in due to rain and others joined then in the piano bar for the pj party.
Each night we had appetizers and either champagne or wine before dinner—done beautifully.
We cannot say enough about the staff-Severin and Garrett were amazing bartenders and went above and beyond. They represented the best of Sea Dream. The sommelier Frank was more than knowlegable and attended to every wish and desire -like everyone else with a smile.
The Tai massage therapists were excellent and the cabin staff were consistently fast, efficient and helpful. The spa is on our deck 4 and I utilized the sauna, steam and shower first thing often.
The caviar splash and Bar-B-Q was an amazing excursion with everything necessary brought out to the beach. Some of the other excusrsions were not was well organized and were done by island people rather than the Sea Dream staff.
There is a pool and jacuzzi but one highlight was the availability of jet skis, snorkeling off the yacht, weather permitting daily. For those who scuba dive-that is available too.
Fresh made popcorn for watching movies from the extensive DVD library.
Excursions without cost are available and you can join the staff for bike-rides or hikes.
We cruised at night and docked daily at a different island. The smaller sizer of the yacht allowed us to dock where bigger ships cannot. This was not your normal Caribbean cruise. All the ports were lovely destinations.
I will mention that going throiugh customs in Barbados is a long process—waiting in line to have a visa stamped. All the planes arrive at the same time-and it took 2 hours. We learned later for $60 they will expedite the process. :(
We stayed at the Barbados Hilton Resort the night before the cruise-some stayed in more expensive places-but our room, the amenities and beach were lovely and we would have loved to stay there again.
The week was truly glorious.
Our room was a yacht suite-comfortable—with great bed and bedding. The shampoo and amenities were top notch. The bathroom is small—very nice shower. There is more storage than normal ships but it is a small suite, comfortable -no complaints at all-but nothing like an elaborate suite on newer ships. I would stay in this suite again and I loved the central location on the deck. Noise was never an issue.