My wife and I sailed on the SeaDream II out of San Juan in February. We have cruised many times on the mega ships, but have since transitioned away from cruising. On the recommendation of friends, we booked the SeaDream II cruise. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and the service on board greatly exceeded our expectations.
Our cabin was spacious for a cruise ship. After the first night, our cabin steward (without notice) stored our suitcases so that we had additional space. On the last night, she returned them (again without notice) so that we could prepare for disembarkation. This was a nice touch.
The bartender and servers at the various lounges were incredible. After the first night, they addressed us by name. They were all very friendly and never seemed too rushed to ask how our day was or our plans for the following day. If we had any special requests, they were quick to act upon it.
The food on this cruise surpassed all expectations imaginable. The variety, taste, and presentation at each dinner was incredible. Because of poor weather conditions, we only sat outside for dinner once. However, eating inside was not a disappointment. Especially because of the quality of the meals. In addition, the house wine that was served at all meals was very good.
We utilized the spa on a couple of occasions. It was exceptionally 5-star. My wife and I each had a Thai Massage that was incredible. As with the rest of the staff on board, the workers in the spa were friendly and very helpful.
Our biggest disappointment had to do with communication and in particular, the activity director. Throughout our cruise, the weather was not great. Windy conditions caused us to change our itinerary. We understand that safety always comes first. However, considering the cost of a SeaDreams cruise, I would think that the activity director would have a backup plan when weather becomes an issue. On this cruise, you were left to figure it out on your own!
On our first full day, we changed itinerary and went to St. Thomas. We docked at Crown Bay which is essentially a cargo harbor. Absolutely nothing to do within several miles. The plan was that we would dock here for a couple of hours, then go to Honeymoon Beach. My wife and I took the bikes on board and rode into Charlotte Amelie. We were having a great time, but had to quickly leave so that we wouldn't miss our departure time (11:30 am). When we arrived back on the ship, someone told us that because of weather, we weren't leaving until 10:00 pm. This was frustrating. The winds and weather were the same at 11:30 am as they were at 9:30 am when we left the ship. I feel they knew we weren't leaving all along, but failed to communicate this until later. In fact, we never heard the staff make the announcement, we just heard it from other passengers who were confused and didn't know what to do at this "less than attractive" port. So, what to do for the next 10 hours. Well, Greg the activity director, was no where to be found. Ultimately, my wife and I took a taxi to Megans Bay where we had a wonderful beach day. It was out of the wind and the water was great. Fortunately, we had been to St. Thomas before so we knew what to do. When we got back to the ship, most of the passengers just stayed on board. Without any direction from the activity director, they didn't know what to do. Again, when you pay as much as you do for a SeaDreams cruise, they should have coordinated transportation to Megans Bay so the passengers who wanted a beach day could have a beach day.
Another frustrating moment we had was on Anguilla. Early in the cruise, we informed the Greg that we enjoyed biking and would want to bike on most of the islands, if possible. This obviously fell on deaf ears. SeaDreams had a shore excursion to Schoal Beach. We paid the money only to find out that the excursion only included transportation to the beach. We could have hired a taxi for a cheaper price. What was also frustrating is that the excursion ended at around 1:00 pm and we wanted to stay longer. So, we just skipped the return transportation that we paid for through SeaDreams and took a taxi when we were ready. The entire Schoal Beach excursion was poorly communicated. SeaDreams easily could have had two return buses for people. One at 1:00 pm and one at 4:00 pm. We took two buses to the beach. However, what was super frustrating was that after we paid for this excursion, Greg announced that they will have bikes available to bike to the beach. What? When I asked if we could take two bikes, he indicated that we already had paid for the excursion so we wouldn't get a refund. Furthermore, I immediately tried to sign up for the bike trip and he said they were already booked. This was very frustrating.
Overall, our SeaDreams cruise was truly wonderful and definitely a 5-star experience. However, the lack of communication especially from the activity director was underwhelming at best.