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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I have been on more than 30 cruises including Seabourn, Crystal, Cunard, and Celebrity We looked at the Berlitz Guide to Cruising to get advice on the best small cruise ships. Douglas Ward, the author of the Berlitz Guide ... Read More
My wife and I have been on more than 30 cruises including Seabourn, Crystal, Cunard, and Celebrity We looked at the Berlitz Guide to Cruising to get advice on the best small cruise ships. Douglas Ward, the author of the Berlitz Guide 2019, rated the SeaDream 1 yacht as 5 stars, which influenced us to take a cruise with them. However, in our opinion SeaDream 1 only warrants barely a 4 stars rating. See below our reasons why we think this. Staff The staff were mostly very attentive and helpful. Embarkation The embarkation procedure was quick and efficient and well organised by helpful staff. The yacht is old and the furniture and fittings are tired and dated now. The walls were scuffed with black marks. It was very dusty under the sofa suggesting it hadn’t been vacuumed for a long time. The white sealant on the outside of the stateroom windows had yellow/brown stains on it. Food and drink. On our first night on the cruise we went to the main salon to order an aperitif before dinner. We asked a waiter for an Appletini and a Peartini, our favourite cocktails. The waiter looked puzzled and went off and then the bar manager came over to us and explained that he could not make a Peartini as they did not have the ingredients. We were surprised at this given we were on a 5 start yacht and asked whether these could be obtained at the next port of call. He said he would look into this. He was very helpful, but said that Grey Goose pear vodka was a premium drink and we would have to pay extra. We were surprised at this as we had paid £12,000 for the cruise and did not expect this to be the case as other cruise lines we had sailed with. eg. Celebrity offer these as part of their inclusive drinks package. The Appletini arrived which was ok but was not made correctly in a cocktail shaker with ice and did not include the ingredients we were used to so it was very disappointing. The next evening the bar manager said he had tried to make a Peartini and gave my wife the drink. It wasn't very nice being made with macerated pears, but we were pleased he had tried to make one. He said he would try to get the correct ingredients at the next port of call. We decided to have gin and tonics that evening instead. The bar staff brought them over with a dish of nuts. I was about to eat a nut but on looking at the nuts we were horrified to see that they had many small ants crawling around in them. I asked one of the bar staff if I could see the Hotel Manager. He went off to get him. The Hotel Manger came over and I showed him the nuts. He was also horrified at seeing the ants and immediately apologised and said this was unacceptable and took them away. (we have video footage of the ants and we could not believe what we saw). He came back over to apologise again and saw two ants running across the table which must have escaped from the nuts so he used his finger to squash them. Needless to say we did not eat any nuts on any subsequent evenings. The next evening the bar manager had made another Peartini and this time it was quite nice and my wife was pleased that he had gone to the trouble of trying to make this for her. However it was still not correctly made. The breakfasts consisted of a good selection of fruit, nuts and cereals. However, there was no dry muesli only oats soaked in milk with dried fruit. The banana bread was delicious. However, one morning as I opened a jar to get some walnuts a beetle flew out. Hot dishes were cooked to order but were always placed on cold plates. There was a very poor selection of teas and if we wanted a cup of tea during the day we had to order it. The tea was never made to our liking, sometimes being too strong and others too weak. If we asked for weaker tea it was too weak, but then asking for it to be stronger resulted in it being too strong. There is nowhere to get a pot of tea for yourself or kettle in the stateroom. On a couple of occasions flasks were set up in the main salon but the water soon went cold and there was rarely any fresh milk. The barbeque lunch on deck was very good with a good selection of food. Another lunch was fish and chips and this was very good. Dining When entering the dining room or having lunch on deck none of the guests were asked to sanitise their hands, something which is mandatory on other cruise lines(eg Celebrity where a member of staff stands at the door to the restaurant with a dispenser of antibacterial gel). This is not hygienic, particularly because some guests were going directly from the tender up to lunch and helping themselves to foods from a buffet. Sometimes the tongs provided ended up with the handle being put into the food dishes. Loaves of bread were available at breakfast/lunch time with napkins available to hold the bread while slicing it. Unfortunately quite a few guests didn’t bother to use the napkins. Both my wife and I had upset stomachs on one day. Sitting on the right-hand side of the main dining room is unpleasant due to the vibrations and noise from the ship’s engines which led us to ask to be moved to the left-hand side where the noise and vibrations were not noticeable However, we were then shown to a table next to a work station which was not a relaxing experience. Waiters were frequently passing back and forth by our table in a relative narrow gap between the table and the work station. The next evening we asked to be seated in a window seat for two which was very good. Many of the chairs in the dining room were old and stained. In the middle of the dining room was a large table around which 8 people were seated. These had clearly been drinking heavily before dinner. Throughout the meal, they talked very loudly, laughed loudly, whooped and shouted. My wife and I found it very difficult to have a conversation, or a relaxing meal, even though we were at one end of the dining room. We did not expect this kind of behaviour on a ‘5 star’ yacht. However, nothing was done about their behaviour and it continued most nights throughout the cruise. Some guests went into the dining room wearing old ripped jeans. For people who want a relaxing, elegant and sophisticated dining experience (as Douglas Ward states in the Berlitz Guide) we suggest this is not the cruise ship to sail on. The sommelier was very helpful, but there was no wine menu for wines which were part of the inclusive package. Each evening the sommelier showed us the two wines available for that evening which amounted to one red and one white. The alternative was to pay for a bottle of your choice. Our favourite wine is an Australian Shiraz but were told by the sommelier that they did not have any as part of the ' inclusive package' and we would have to pay extra. The only one they seemed to have on the wine menu was a Penfolds Australian Shiraz bin 80 which was priced at $795.00 a bottle! We thought this was outrageous given the cost of the cruise and the fact that a decent Australian Shiraz can be bought for approx. £10.00 in the UK. This wine is not a premium wine and it our opinion ought to be part of the inclusive package. The sommelier again was very helpful and found us an alternative - a French Syrah which we had to be content with each evening. This was ok but was not our preference. We were surprised and disappointed that this five star luxury yacht had no Australian wines available as part of their inclusive package. The food was usually just warm, and mostly not as good as we have had on other cruise ships e.g. Crystal and Celebrity. For example, on different nights we had the following foods: duck which was a little dry as was the chicken. We would rate these as 6/10. The foie gras was good 9/10 the lobster 7/10 and the salmon 6/10. We asked for extra vegetables as there were only very few with the meal on the first evening. These arrived barely warm and al dente. On another evening we had Dover sole and chicken 7/10. We had asked if we could have lobster thermidor one evening and the Maître d’ said yes we could have anything it we ordered it in advance. We did this, but on our third evening when we asked him again when we would get it, he now said rather irritably ‘If it is on the menu.’ However, the next night he informed us that it was available that evening. It was excellent. We rated it 10/10 and we had it again on another 2 occasions as it was so delicious. The chateaubriand, we rated as 6/10, the rib-eye beef, 6/10. One evening the first course was scallops which we rated 10/10 and escargots again we rated them 10/10. The rack of lamb was dry and we rated it 6/10. The tikka masala was mediocre - 6/10. It was decided by the hotel manager that on some occasions that meals would be served outside on the deck. This is a great idea if the weather is warm enough. We had some breakfasts, lunches and dinners on deck. However, on several occasions it was necessary to wear an outside jacket as it was too cold and windy for sitting outside at the beginning of the cruise. We feel there should be a choice as to whether you eat inside or outside, but we were simply told where we were going to have meals that day and no inside dining room alternative was offered. Entertainment. There was little in the way of entertainment. There is a tiny piano bar in which a singer and piano player named George performed each evening. He was excellent. It would have been much better however, if he had played in the main salon where more people could listen to him and they could dance if they wished. There was no room for dancing in the piano bar. There is barely room for about 10 people to stand and sit on the bar stools. There was a casino close to the piano bar which was more like a cupboard where there was one gaming table. Tender service. As the yacht was relatively small (112 guests) we thought it would be able dock in the ports that the larger cruise ships cannot get into. However at every port of call we had to get a tender into port. Sometimes this involved quite journey in a rough sea and strong winds. The reason for this, we were told, was that there were water sports available every afternoon (which during our cruise hardly anyone used due to the cold windy weather and rough seas) and the yacht had to be moored a certain distance from the shore for health and safety reasons. There was just one tender which went back and forth. On one occasion we had to wait over 30 mins at Porto-Vecchio for the tender to first refuel before it set off to us which was a bit tedious as it was raining heavily at the time. To get onto and off the tender it was necessary to go up and down some metal steps hanging from the side of the ship. These steps had very rickety hand rails on either side making the climb up and down rather risky. This service made us reluctant to visit most places more than once due to the distant and unpleasant tender ride. Facilities – The library was well stocked with books and there were 2 computers for guests to use with free wi-fi, but two of the chairs were threadbare on the arms.. Personal wi-fi was not provided free, but was charged at $35 per day or $198 for the nine day cruise. End of cruise We disembarked at 9.50am, collected our cases disembarked and waited for our taxi to take us to the airport. There were seats set up by the side of the ship for guests to sit on while they waited. However, nearby there was a large red 'truck' which was moving rubbish which had been removed from the yacht and had its engine running resulting in foul diesel fumes and unpleasant smells of the rubbish being blown over us all. We felt as if now that we had disembarked we were no longer important to the cruise management. Conclusion. We do not agree that this is a 5 star yacht. This cruise ship is definitely not good value for money. For the price we paid, we were expecting a luxury 5 star cruise experience. We were bitterly disappointed. In our opinion SeaDream1only warrants a barely 4 star rating. In view of our experiences, we will definitely not be travelling on a SeaDream yacht ever again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I have been on a LOT of cruises. I have been on Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian. I have taken 7 cruises on Norwegian, the last 3 in the Haven Suites. After my last cruise on them I felt VERY nickle and dimed. When I found out ... Read More
I have been on a LOT of cruises. I have been on Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian. I have taken 7 cruises on Norwegian, the last 3 in the Haven Suites. After my last cruise on them I felt VERY nickle and dimed. When I found out after paying over $20,000 for my families haven vacation that my pre paid gratuities (come on, you know they are not giving those dollars up to the staff!) did not even cover all of the gratuities, I was done. There was so much more to that but I digress. We finally decided to try a small, boutique ship and I did extensive research. We just got back from a San Juan to San Juan week long vacation on the Seadream 1 and I can honestly say it was the BEST most RELAXING vacation ever!!! 1. It has the BEST service of any place in the world. The people that work on the ship LOVE their jobs and they are simply wonderful. 2. The food is truly 5 plus star. I have dined all over the world and it is simply exceptional. 3. Drinks are included. 4. You can have basically whatever you want whenever you want it. 5. The open spaces on the ship are a nice bonus. The pool is nothing but views. There is no fighting for a deck chair, no lines of any kind, you don't wait for anything at all. There were only 70 guests total and it never felt crowded. 6. It is not for kids. Leave them at home. 7. The stops are exotic and you feel more like an explorer and less like a tourist. 8. You will be pampered. The Thai massage is well worth it! 9. There is no one trying to sell you anything anywhere! Tips are included, but I actually tipped a few people because it was just so wonderful. 10. The staff are treated well and it shows. I cannot rave more about the service! 11. The cabin and ship are old, but clean. It has character. If you are looking for fancy, this isn't it. We were always on the go so I did not even miss the balcony. 12. Sleeping on the front of the ship cannot be missed! It was WONDERFUL! 13. They go out of their way to make your trip great. There are little touches like monogrammed pajamas custom made for you~! You can also jet ski (also included), banana boat, kayak or paddleboat off the back of the ship. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Just returned from 1 week Caribbean cruise on Sea Dream II - first time with Sea Dream. Traveled with my husband and 86 year old mother. We all had a great time. Our prior cruise experience was on Regent Seven Seas. First cruise for ... Read More
Just returned from 1 week Caribbean cruise on Sea Dream II - first time with Sea Dream. Traveled with my husband and 86 year old mother. We all had a great time. Our prior cruise experience was on Regent Seven Seas. First cruise for Mom. Here is general info for folks considering a Sea Dream cruise: 1) Mix of ages, from two ladies in their 80's to even a few 30 year olds. Bulk of guests are 45 to 65, I'd guess. Primarily would call this a rest and relaxation cruise, vs an active cruise. Guessing that is why most people choose a Caribbean vacation. 2) Open bar attracts some folks that like to drink and party, but there was no negative impact on the rest of us. I'd say approximately 15 - 20% of guests on our sailing fit the partying stereotype, but they didn't impact our ability to go to bed at 10:30. We were on deck 2 and Mom was on Deck 4 and none of us heard any partying noise that kept us awake. Another guest indicated he had the room nearest the piano bar and could hear bar noise that did keep him awake, so if you like to retire prior to 3 am it is best to choose a room further down the hallway. Loved getting up at 7 and going up top to start the day. Super quiet/peaceful at that time. 3) Our room on deck 2 was one of the rooms that can be combined into a larger suite. We didn't hear any noise from our neighboring room. There was a some creaking of wood/furnishings when sailing, but it blended into engine/ocean noise. Don't know if creaking was more in a room that has the folding wall or not. I slept super well on the boat, better than I usually do at home! Being on deck 2, the noise of the waves against the boat lulled me to sleep. 4) Limited smoking areas provided on ship for smokers, but smoke was never an issue as it blows off the ship (and I'm very sensitive to second hand smoke). 5) Beds super comfy. Showers very nice. Though, overall bathroom is small, but small size is to be expected on a yacht/smaller cruise ship. 6) Water sports platform was probably the only disappointment of the entire trip. Only opened in the afternoons for 2 hours most days and allowed all types out at the same time. As a result, jet skis, sail boats, paddle boards, etc were all in the same area. Allowed area for water sports is very constrained/limited (2 safety motor boats keep everyone corralled), as a result actually very dangerous with jet skis zooming alongside paddle boards and sail boats. Plus not too much fun to paddle left for 15 strokes, then right for 15, then back the other way and repeat. Paddle board equipment, what we like to do, was very old/beat up, with only 2 paddles ... neither of which was adjustable - only correctly sized if 5'6" or 6' 2" tall. Adjustable paddles are a must. Would have been better to have water sports equipment taken to the beach each day vs using off the back of the boat. 7) Trip on Sea Dream compares very favorably to our prior cruise on Regent Seven Seas. Lack of balcony off our room wasn't an issue, as we truly spent all but sleeping/dressing time up on deck or on shore. The whole ship is your balcony when you are on a yacht trip. Service was excellent, with much more personalized nature vs Seven Seas. Everyone calls you by name from first day on. Food/dining was fabulous. Every dish is wonderfully presented - works of art. Serving size is smaller, which is great for allowing for multiple courses. They go out of their way to make guests happy, even to point of adding additional chocolate desserts after I commented how great the chocolate dessert was at dinner one night. Dream Cookies are wonderful. Always a cookie/beverage table set up at the tender dock, which is a very nice touch (never had that with Seven Seas). Only thing you miss out on vs larger cruise ship is the entertainment/enrichment activities, but our days/evenings were full so don't know when we would have had time for entertainment/enrichment activities. With Sea Dream yacht sized boats you gain on not going into a dock for each port, but anchor off of the actual beaches that you came to the Caribbean to visit. Made it great for my elderly mother to stay on the boat and enjoy the beautiful ports/scenery vs staring at a pier. 8) Loved the Balinese Day Beds for lounging. Raised up high enough to see over the railings, which affords a great view. All 3 of us would lounge together on the double wide. Signed up to sleep outside, but isn't really feasible unless you stay up late, as the bar creates a lot of noise close by. 9) Sea Dream shore excursions we did were great. Kayak/snorkel trip in St John - excellent equipment, closed deck double kayaks with rudders. Motor boat/snorkel trip in Anguilla to the most beautiful sandy island. Also, did the group tour to The Baths on Virgin Gorda, but that could have been easily done on our own via taxi. 10) Excursions we did on our own: We rented car at St Barts and drove the whole island, plus hiked Crispeen track on our own on Saba (hiked from tender pier all the way up ... very steep!). In retrospect, we would have hired more taxis from tender piers to take us to other beaches on the islands. Can be easily done for $20 or less, based on feedback from other guests. 11) Post 2017 Hurricane Irma and Maria still have visible impact on all islands we stopped at. Old Town San Juan and St Barts were the most repaired - perhaps only 5% of buildings still damaged. All other stops had 50 to 75% of buildings still damaged/unopened. Virgin Gorda was probably most impacted, which was very sad to see. Our guide told us that all 9 resorts on the island were still closed/undergoing repairs (re-opening ETA's in Feb 2019 at the earliest!), as a result the island population has declined by 50% due to loss of jobs/housing. You can feel good that your tourist dollars are helping in a small way. 12) Dining al fresco with Sea Dream was a huge plus. I didn't realize in advance how much we would like that aspect of Sea Dream's ships. Only 3 dinners served in the dining salon, but in the end I'd have preferred all dinners to be held on the upper deck, open dining area. On final night we had rough seas and I got a bit sea sick in the enclosed dining salon. I left dinner early and went outside. I noticed a small group of several tables where guests were dining outside. I didn't ask about it, but I'm guessing you can request to dine al fresco even if dinner is scheduled for the dining salon. I think that would have kept me from getting sea sick at dinner that night. No issue not having multiple restaurants on the ship, as always a variety of food offered on the menu. 13) Little gifts left in your room multiple times on the trip. The infamous pajamas, which are XXL for all men and XL for all women. Stitched monogramming with our names on the night shirts. Sizing seemed a joke til we got home and washed them. Hot water and drying made them fit quite well. They are now shrunk to size and we both find them a comfy, soft cotton reminder of our wonderful vacation. Other evening room surprises included chocolate covered strawberries, eye masks, ditty bags and Sea Dream mints. Small, but nice touches! 14) Itinerary was changed vs what we were provided prior to sailing. That was a bit of a disappointment initially, as I'd done research on the islands/ports we were to have visited. Captain indicated we should have been notified by email, but no one we talked to had been told of the change in advance. The new itinerary was great, so no complaints at the end. May have actually been better, as had full day at each location we stopped at vs 2 islands on several days for the prior itinerary. 15) Gym is very nice, with large windows. Pleasant place to get some exercise. 16) Embarkation and disembarkation a breeze. Off the ship and through immigration in 15 minutes of less! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Although I love cruising, I have become very disillusioned with the large cruise lines. I do not like crowds and having to wake up early to get a lounge chair or breakfast table. After doing some research into smaller cruise lines I came ... Read More
Although I love cruising, I have become very disillusioned with the large cruise lines. I do not like crowds and having to wake up early to get a lounge chair or breakfast table. After doing some research into smaller cruise lines I came across SeaDream Yacht. With only 100 passengers and 95 crew members, I thought this would be perfect. There were many interesting itineraries to choose from, but we ended up choosing a cruise that would start and end in Rome and take us to the Amalfi coast. Embarkment was a breeze. There were no lines and we were immediately greeted with refreshments in the lounge. What a relaxing way to start our trip. We enjoyed cocktails and delicious snacks before even checking in! When we were ready to check in, we simply walked to the desk, gave our names, and we were given out ID card. Our cabin was on Deck 4 and was roomy and comfortable. Plenty of storage space for our stuff. We had a large picture window, as none of the cabins on SeaDream have balconies. I definitely missed having a balcony, but we were able to be out on a deck in under a minute. The dining on the ship was incredible. There was a new chef on board during our cruise, and the food was amazing. We asked to dine outdoors, rather than in the dining room and we were given a table with the most amazing view. The food was all freshly made, high quality, unique and delicious. The service was outstanding. We chose to take several excursions through the cruise line and we were always impressed. Everything ran on time and the local guides were friendly and knowledgable. It never felt overly crowded and everything was first rate. There are a few after dinner activities each night. The casino (which consisted of one blackjack table) was open every night and people seemed to love it. There was also an open piano bar, a few nights of karaoke, a dessert extravaganza and a dance party. The upstairs bar is open late and always has good music playing. I found the other passengers to be mostly from the US, UK and Australia. Average age from late 40's to early 60's, although there were plenty of older passengers and a few families with adult children in their 20's. I found the other passengers to be interesting, smart, very friendly and I enjoyed getting to know them. I was expecting a bit of a pretension from fellow passengers, but there was none of that. Everyone I met was down to earth and thrilled to be there. Since the ship is so small, when you meet people you like, you will definitely see them again. Service throughout the ship is perfection. I do not know how they do it, but after just a day, the entire crew seemed to know our names and preferences. Even crew we hadn't interacted with, knew our names. The only special request we made was to have our minibar emptied of sodas and beer and replaced with just water and club soda. It was a small request, but it was done within the hour and kept up for the entire cruise. We had such an amazing time, we booked another cruise for next year, while we were still on the ship (you get a 15% discount if you book while still on the ship). I cannot imagine taking any other cruise line after being on the SeaDream II. They really know how to make you feel special and how to give you an unforgettable vacation. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Seadream II: Antigua - Antigua, March 31 - April 6, 2018. Anyway because of Hurricane Irma’s destruction of St. Maarten Seadream had moved their hub to St. Johns, Antigua for the whole season. A wierd choice because Antigua has no ... Read More
Seadream II: Antigua - Antigua, March 31 - April 6, 2018. Anyway because of Hurricane Irma’s destruction of St. Maarten Seadream had moved their hub to St. Johns, Antigua for the whole season. A wierd choice because Antigua has no Cruise Terminal - in fact no facilities whatsoever. We came in on an Island hopper from St Maarten during the morning, took a taxi to St. Johns and was actually dropped off at the top of the pedestrian street leading down to the pier. No Seadream staff. No sign. A minuscle public office (when we finally found it) served as combined customs and immigration. Still no Seadream staff. By questioning the local person at the office we found out where the boat was parked: 300 meters of south-facing boardwalk with no shadow but a lot of stairs from where we were. No Seadream staff. No Porters. Plenty of luggage. We hauled our 60 kilos over to the boat and happily but sweaty climed the gangway. On the otherwise empty deck finally we found a Seadream Officer. Without any greating he promptly denied us access. By then it was almost 1 pm. but apparently we were an hour too early. Could we please sit in the shadow somewhere? No. Get off the ship and return later. What about our luggage standing on the pier? Just leave it there! And from then it went downhill: Only 30 passengers of which 12 were invited agents. Inconsistent service. Arrogant Middle Managers. The “port” at Virgin Gorda (Leverick Bay) was completely destroyed by Irma. Not one building was left standing. Yet they insisted in tendering in the few braves that wanted to. For what? Instead they could be anchoring up at a nice beach somewhere in the neigborhood. After all that should be their strenght: Small size and few passengers equals flexibility. Not so on Seadream. In fact the only change in the itineray was to not go to White Beach, Joost Van Dyke which happens to be one of the most spectacular beaches on the Planet. Instead they went to a dark-grey uninviting beach on another island. Why? Because the shack they use for the beach BBQ on White Bay Beach had not been rebuilt yet and they wanted to show the agents what a beach BBQ was. Apparently there was a shack on Dark Grey Beach where they could feed the flock of agents (with severely burnt feet). Out of six dinners three were good. Dishes had to be sent out at the other three. Compared to the other 6* lines the cabins are small and uncomfortable. The bathroom is so small that I had to sit side-ways on the loo. The sink is barely above my knee caps. (I am 6,3). To take a shower was an acrobatic exercise. Since 1999 we have cruised upwards of 400 days always on small or medium sized 6* lines. The six days on board Seadream were the most expensive per diem - and the poorest value. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was my fourth cruise on Sedream and my wife and i went to celebrate my 65 th birthday and her 60th birthday. We went for two weeks and the first week there were only 45 passengers on board as we were originating in St Thomas and ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise on Sedream and my wife and i went to celebrate my 65 th birthday and her 60th birthday. We went for two weeks and the first week there were only 45 passengers on board as we were originating in St Thomas and visiting Jost Van Dyke and St Barts on our way to Barbados. The dinner to celebrate my birthday on the back of the boat was serviced with every detail and our cabin decorated when we returned! Silvio was always welcoming and made us feel at home and was always there to ne sure our service was excellent. Anna the Activities Director and Taylor the Club Director were always fun to be with and the second week Taylor took us to Happy Island for Rum Punch one afternoon which was a unique experience, the good part of Seadream is we always get to know and enjoy all the staff and crew making it such an enjoyable experience! The second week we caught up with people we met on our last Seadream cruise Sandy and Ross from Australia and met a great couple from Switzerland that we had dinner with Saturday night in Bridgetown after disembarking, Needless to say , we love Seadream! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Having written many reviews in tripadvisor I have always been 100% honest in my consideration. Will share this review in two SHIP, FOOD AND SERVICE Have never experienced any thing like this, even after many experiences with ... Read More
Having written many reviews in tripadvisor I have always been 100% honest in my consideration. Will share this review in two SHIP, FOOD AND SERVICE Have never experienced any thing like this, even after many experiences with Michelin-starred restaurants. The food was amazing both on taste and presentation. Chef Thomas was amazingly creating new artwork everyday. Tableware on board was second to none, the most used word when we asked for something was: "no problem". The cabins were not big but always clean and fresh, with small gifts every evening. CRUISE It was not as good in relation to what we expected for that price. Strong wind and small ships are not a good combination. We sailed past many of the places we were supposed to visit. The marina was open for a maximum of 5 hours on the whole cruise. We left the dock in San Juan and St. Thomas without experiencing anything. On St. Thomas we spent a whole day at an industry pier that ruined a whole day for us. We wanted swimming nice beaches etc. but experienced boring quays and little activity. I have been a tour director, but here there was no creativity - we just lay still at the pier. Could we not get information about nearby beaches that were in shelter and could be reached by taxi? Or other experiences that were available? Do we want to travel in the Caribbean again with SeaDream - highly uncertain - can we recommend it - the same answer here we can not recommend it. We will always let the "accused" have a second chanse - so we are now looking at a Mediterranean cruise and have paid a deposit. Most because of the dinner and the food on board with Eric (wine waiter) Thomas (chef) and Alfie and the other waiters and Our cabin attendant. Summing up: On a cruise at this price you have to have the options ready when you can not deliver as promised - it did not happen on this cruise - this was mainly due to the lack of creativity to offer alternative experiences when we had to stay at dull cargo piers.. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
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. ... Read More
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. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My wife and I love small cruise ships. We prefer a “country club casual” dress code; great food and service; and an intimate vessel that makes it easy to meet new and interesting fellow travelers. We’ve cruised on Windstar and ... Read More
My wife and I love small cruise ships. We prefer a “country club casual” dress code; great food and service; and an intimate vessel that makes it easy to meet new and interesting fellow travelers. We’ve cruised on Windstar and several other small-ship ocean cruise lines many times, as well as on river cruises in Europe, the U.S., and the Amazon. I’ve been intrigued by SeaDream for several years, and this year we finally took the plunge on a 7-day Caribbean winter-getaway cruise from Barbados to St. Thomas. We’re glad we did! Embarkation: Getting to - and on – a ship at the beginning of a voyage is often one of the most stressful, frustrating parts of a cruise. Embarkation on SeaDream was easy and seamless. We arrived portside about an hour before boarding was to start. SeaDream had port agents there to take our luggage and free us to wander Bridgetown unencumbered at our leisure. At the designated 2:00 pm time, we caught the shuttle to the ship, were welcomed aboard with champagne and a lovely buffet, and quickly and efficiently went through the registration process. It couldn’t have been easier. Disembarkation was just as easy, albeit a little sadder. The Ship: SeaDream is a tiny, all-inclusive, boutique cruise line, consisting of two, thirty-year-old ships, (cleverly named SeaDream I and SeaDream II). These identical, very well-maintained ships each carry about 110 passengers and 96 crew members. The ship has a small pool and hot tub, plenty of lounge chairs and lots of shaded nooks and crannies to curl up with a good book. There are several bars around the ship, with convivial bartenders eager to keep passengers well-lubricated. SeaDream has a very loyal clientele. Half or more of the passengers had sailed on SeaDream before; often many times. One couple had spent 311 days on SeaDream ships. It doesn’t get much more loyal than that. Dining: The food on SeaDream II was superb! (Thank you, Alastair!!) There was always a seafood dish on the menu, plus a variety of entres. I don’t eat tofu, but there also appeared to be plenty of tasty options for non-carnivores. The main dining room on Deck 2 is lovely, but most evenings (weather permitting) dinner was alfresco at the Topside Restaurant on Decks 5 and 6. Pre-dinner cocktails were served in the lounge or poolside, and always included a wonderful assortment of hors d’oeuvres. Cabins: The cabins on SeaDream are adequate in size ( 195 sq. ft.), nicely appointed and well layed out, but there are no verandas. The bathroom is quite small. You actually have to sit side-saddle to use the throne. The shower, however, is decent-sized, and water pressure is good. On-Board Activities: There are no Broadway shows, water slides or midnight buffets on SeaDream II. During the day, the sports platform is out for swimming, sunning and enjoying an assortment of water toys (both motorized and non-motorized). The two jet-skis were great fun, (however, after riding in choppy water I quickly learned how my dog must have felt when I had him neutered). The piano bar on Deck 4 was a fun place to be after 9:30 pm. Fred is a marvelous piano player and loved to accompany us in ad hoc karaoke. Across from the piano is a tiny “casino” consisting of a single blackjack table at which Alexandra is always “feeling very generous”. Bartender Severin happily and efficiently kept us all well lubricated. SeaDream did a great job helping my wife celebrate her birthday. At dinner they served her a beautiful - and tasty - personalized cake, and everyone, of course, sang “Happy Birthday”. On a ship this size, (we had only 88 passengers on board), most everyone already knew her and came up afterwards to wish her a happy day. And when we returned to our cabin, we found it festively decorated with balloons and towel animals. We were very pleased. The Crew: The SeaDream staff came from all over the world: Phillipines, Thailand, South Africa, Hungary, Croatia, Norway, etc., etc. They were all outstanding. They were fun, funny, efficient and attentive, and knew our names by the second day. I worry about naming a few names because so many wonderful crew members will be left out. But among the folks who made this voyage so memorable are Nikola the maitre d’, Frank the sommelier, Eugene, Fernando and Alfie in the dining room and Tonya, the masseuse. On a somewhat negative note, we wish there had been more opportunity to mingle and talk with the Captain and senior crew. We first saw the Captain at the reception Sunday night, and then again when we disembarked a week later. But never in between. On a small ship like this, we’d prefer that the Captain not be invisible. Other Activities and Issues: SeaDream’s much-touted “Caviar and Champagne Splash” and beach party easily lived up to the hype. It was a hoot!!! Everyone – passengers and crew alike – was eating and drinking and smiling and laughing. Where else can you wade into surf to be served caviar and champagne from a surfboard? The setting was perfect. A beautiful stretch of beach with plenty of chairs, a wonderful buffet and a well-stocked bar. With fewer than 100 passengers, the beach was never crowded. You could lay out in the sun, or in the shade of a palm tree, and relax and enjoy. It was a wonderful day SeaDream provides each passenger personalized pajamas with names embroidered in the shirt. We understood that the pajamas were “one size fits all”. That works for me, but my wife is less than 100 pounds soaking wet. Three months before the cruise, I asked SeaDream if they could provide my wife pajamas in an XS. No dice! Her lovely, personalized pajamas were Extra Large and useless to her. We threw them in the trash. What a waste. SeaDream’s much-touted “Sleeping under the stars in a Balinese Bed” was very disappointing. We took the advice from SeaDream reviews and were among the very first passengers to board the ship. We immediately reserved the most secluded and private of the Balinese beds (on the bow of Deck 6) for my wife’s birthday later in the week. When that day arrived, there was no communication from SeaDream reminding us or providing guidance on how best to take advantage of the experience. We also discovered that the only way to get to that Balinese bed was to traipse through a crowd of passengers in the Topside Bar. The above-mentioned pajama issue was also an obstacle to enjoying the Balinese bed. As a result of all this, we visited our Balinese bed after dinner, sat under the stars for an hour or so, and then returned to our cabin to go to bed. It should have been more fun and memorable than that. As is the case with most cruise lines, excursions booked through SeaDream are expensive and a bit of a crap shoot. We took only one excursion all week, a disappointing Catamaran and Snorkeling adventure. The sailing part was scenic and enjoyable, (it was a lovely, spacious boat), but the snorkeling was a waste of time. For the even more-expensive ($159 pp) “Tropical Eco-Adventure by Zodiac”, we fortunately never got off the wait list. Friends who took this excursion said it was awful. Instead, that day, we visited the amazing Deshaies, Guadelupe, Botanical Garden. A beautiful place well worth three hours of our time.!! We could have taken the SeaDream excursion to the Gardens for $79 per person. Instead, we took the tender into town and looked for a cab. By pure luck, we discovered there was a free shuttle to the nearby gardens. Perfect!! We paid our $16 pp admission and had a great time, while saving a total of about $125 in the process. Afterwards, the concierge on SeaDream claimed to know nothing about the free shuttle. A word of warning to those prone to sea-sickness. This is a small, older ship configured with less-than-state-of-the-art stabilization. A couple of times we sailed all night in choppy waters, and the SeaDream II was rocking and rolling a lot. We found it soothing and relaxing; but some motion-sensitive passengers may not. I don’t want to overstate the negatives on this cruise. For the most part, they are little nit-picking things that could easily be fixed or simply ignored. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and a marvelous relaxing week. I expect that we will be back on board a SeaDream cruise again in the not too far distant future. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This has been our third Transatlantic crossing (Malaga to Barbados) all on Seadream1 and it’s been the best. We are still on board and I must say that our experience has been a lot better than one comment already posted. The sea ... Read More
This has been our third Transatlantic crossing (Malaga to Barbados) all on Seadream1 and it’s been the best. We are still on board and I must say that our experience has been a lot better than one comment already posted. The sea from Malaga to Madeira was a bit choppy, but they were still able to serve dinner on the rear outside upstairs decks, so there was no rocking and rolling. We are now 10 days into the 13 day crossing and the seas are calm, it’s 29 degrees and passengers are enjoying the pool and sun decks. The yacht is looking good, a lot of care is obviously taken to keep it on top form. The food is the best yet, some superb meals. Service is excellent and the officers including the captain are always on hand with information. There are only 67 passengers on board ( it can take 112) so plenty of space for everyone. We have absolutely no complaints to make and have rebooked for next year! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Apparently this was just another Greek Island cruise, where I think I have cruised in this region more than 10 times, but in fact it is an entirely different experience and it now ranks with the very few truly memorable cruises that I have ... Read More
Apparently this was just another Greek Island cruise, where I think I have cruised in this region more than 10 times, but in fact it is an entirely different experience and it now ranks with the very few truly memorable cruises that I have had over almost 30 years. SeaDream, with its motto "it's yachting not cruising" ,makes all the difference, unlike what you conceive of another Greek Island voyage. Yes, I have been there too many times (and probably can count 10 ships that I have sailed with), yet in this 10-night cruise it is amazing that 6 of the 10 ports we called are my first visits! I thought I have seen all around Greek Islands ....I was wrong. This argues forcibly that only a small ship can bring about such a wonderful trip. For all these ports are tender ports: it is unthinkable if a big ship arrives, with its passengers that can be more in number than the town's whole population. The tender operation throughout all ports are immediate, no waiting, often I and just one couple take out the whole boat. I recall the chaos when tendering from a big ship (such as at Santorini). And as a matter of fact, these small discoveries (of ports) are even more beautiful than their more famous neighbors! The fact that the ship sails within a close region also means that we often arrive at 8am but leaves almost midnight. To be more specific, these ports are Spetses, Patmos, Agia Anna (Naxos), Paros, Sifnos, and Hydra, each has its own characteristics, each very beautiful in it own right, none polluted with mass tourism. Adding to these, we started from Piraeus and the voyage also covers famous names like Santorini and Mykonos,,and also Nafplion, which is not new to me but surely new to big ship cruisers. Even at the much visited Mykonos, I had the first opportunity to relish the famous night-life of it, as we sailed after midnight (the last tender back was 1 am) while all big ships invariably leave at 6 pm trying to catch the next far away port that offers a pier! While ships are cutting budgets, for example even Silversea are serving packaged juice and inferior beef, SeaDream is unchanged since my last cruise almost 3 years ago. And to my surprise many crew members not only still remember me as a return passenger, but also my dining habits. No ship (and I have been to many so-called 5-star ships) can offer this kind of service from the heart. The food is simply great, again probably better than any other ships I have cruised in. I am happy that the cuisine is time-honored, and no funny fusion or molecular. In fine weather, the outdoor deck dinner under candle-light , with silverware and crystal and fine linen, bring about absolute fine dining at the best sense of the term. Caviar (in ample portion), foie ghras, and lobster are served. The deck lunch when the main course is cooked to order while the entree is self-served, offered no less than Alaska crab leg , for example, and on several cocktail occasions caviar is still free-flow. This puts most other cost-cutting so-called 5-star competitors to shame. It is these two aspects, Food and Service, that bring me back time and again, for in these no other ship can offer this level of excellence. The cabins are not spacious and not very modern compared with those on newer ships, but it is never-the-less very comfortable, offering fine linen b edding and Bulgari amenities, with impeccable house-keeping of the highest order that everyday when I come back from breakfast the room is done. Compensating for no entertainment, SeaDream offers a range of water sport activities that no other offers, thus its passengers are much younger than on similarly priced ships. These people are well-traveled and well-educated, making ship atmosphere particularly congenial. It looks that everyone parts with new friends. The ship was also able to operate with flexibility, thanks to the 'best captain at sea'. We can reverse the order of port visits to avoid the rough sea. The captain and hotel manager greets guests on embarkation, and the Master is seen on deck on many occasions talking to guests. I hope this description amply explains why 'yachting' is different from 'cruising' that one comes to expect. I shall seek for the first opportunity to return, and also after this useful introduction, I also want to spend some time, maybe a few days, re-visiting my new discoveries: Naxos, Hydra, Paros.....all are simply memorable in the sense of returning to unspoilt nature. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This cruise was everything I was hoping for and more ! We don't like crowds nor need constant entertainment. If that is what you are looking for this is not the cruise for you. If you are looking for that moment you know you are home ... Read More
This cruise was everything I was hoping for and more ! We don't like crowds nor need constant entertainment. If that is what you are looking for this is not the cruise for you. If you are looking for that moment you know you are home and you exhale. This is the place for you. From the moment you step on the ship to the very last step the day you leave the Seadream crew out do themselves. The food was amazing, the staff are always friendly and move with a sense of pride. They truly love their jobs and it shows. They think of everything. From a cool cloth for when you get back from a day at shore to someone coming around to clean your sunglasses. They even had a velvet lined box of reading glasses in case you forgot yours at dinner ! Those are just a few highlights. Each and every day was a pleasure to be there. You never had a drink that wasn't full but they seemed to know when to be there and when to be invisible. An art in itself. We didn't want to leave. Hence why we book 2 more trips in the near future to head back to what we now call home :) BTY - We got engage on this trip and WOW, again Seadream went above and beyond to make that experience so memorable. Thanks Seadream ! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our first cruise. Friends recommended the SeaDream cruises as intimate with excellent service and food. What we did not want: A massive ship where we were one of a zillion people and mediocre food & service. We have chartered ... Read More
This was our first cruise. Friends recommended the SeaDream cruises as intimate with excellent service and food. What we did not want: A massive ship where we were one of a zillion people and mediocre food & service. We have chartered private yachts in the past and like the first class experience. Embarkation and disembarkation were simple and pleasant. From the minute you arrive to the moment you depart in your airport transport, you experience the excellent service. Staff was outstanding, 91 passengers/ 95 staff on our cruise. Not only did they know your name but at one stop on the beginning of our cruise, I needed a hat and due to port rules, they couldn't sell me one, a staff member insisted I borrow hers! Additionally, you can really feel how proud the staff is to work on the ship. Many have been on the ship for over 10 years. Food: Overall the food was stellar. They had options for everyone -- including a raw, vegan menu every evening. The pre-dinner cocktail hour was nice but it's one area I felt it fell down on food. The options just weren't as elegant as the food served at the meals. The caviar celebration was nice but I didn't care for the caviar. Each day a soup was offered at lunch; it would have been great to have a cold soup option on such a warm weather cruise. The dining room was very nice and when feasible, we dined on the deck outside. There were night where it was simply too windy though. Wine selection was good. We generally purchased a bottle for dinner as the dinner selections (one white, one red) were not my taste (I'm picky). I didn't feel the markup was extravagant. One night we had a $90 bottle and another we had a $30 rose that was quite nice. In room dining - See menu pics, pretty much says it all. For a non kid-friendly cruise, I was left wondering where the adult food was. Movie night was fun although a bit difficult to hear sound. Wish service had been better / existed. After the popcorn was distributed, we never saw the staff again -- I would have liked a glass of wine but didn't want to step away from the movie to find an open bar. Spa was excellent. We went nearly every day. They are flexible and it was easy to change our appointment times, day of. We made our appointments shortly after we arranged our land excursions and they made sure we didn't have conflicts. Land adventures were great. The adventures offered were a selection of the ones listed on the website. Prior to the cruise, I asked which ones were actually going to happen and they directed me to the website. Once on board, it made more sense as they change things depending on circumstances. For instance, there were 2 Pompeii tours on the site - same tour, just different starting point. When we arrived on the boat, they only offered one -- the better one as it was a 20 minute drive to the site instead of a 2 hour drive the other tour required. Port timing - typical of cruise ships probably but some were too short for our preference. Still, it was a nice "taste" of all of the stops. Stabilizers. An asst captain (I think) told us the ship had stabilizers but they didn't seem to work that well. It wasn't unbearable but the ship definitely rocked. I could see it being difficult if you are prone to seasickness There is a gym but the hours aren't great if you'd like to start early with a work out or go after dinner. Casino is a single blackjack table. I'm not a gambler but found this fun as it was another opportunity to get to know fellow cruise members and be social. See below for cabin information My husband, who was even more apprehensive about taking a cruise, is already talking about the next SeaDream cruise we should take. I can't wait! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, excursions and the outstanding service and cuisine, and the excellent reputation of its staff. The fare includes all food and beverage (alcoholic or non) and tips. The only additional expenses on ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, excursions and the outstanding service and cuisine, and the excellent reputation of its staff. The fare includes all food and beverage (alcoholic or non) and tips. The only additional expenses on board are excursions, boutique merchandise, premium wines/spirit, or avail of their spa services (massage/beauty salon). The embarkation was excellent as there were no crowds with only 112 guests on board. No lines to speak of. When you board the ship, you are greeted by the captain and the staff and a glass of champagne, escorted to the lounge for some more drinks and refreshments, to sit and relax. Registration is by party, and a staff will escort you to the concierge area where you are handed your sea pass. No lines to stand in. After this is all done, a cabin stewardess will escort you to your room where your luggage would most probably be waiting for you by the door. She will then go through the room amenities and give you the day's schedule. You can unpack and then go have a tour of the ship or book your excursions or have a drink and hang out at the pool. This cruise is not for everyone - It seems to be designed for the active travelers - young or old. There are no kids clubs, photographers or staff constantly selling you things. Entertainment is minimal - a guitarist and pianist, a 1 table casino, library, an 18 hole golf simulator, and an extensive collection of DVD that you can watch in your cabin. The concierge would even make pop corn and bring it to your room. Excursions are beach, bike, hike, snorkel or scuba diving, or you can get off the ship and do your own excursion arrangements ashore. Usually there are 2 ports per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. As several ports do no have docks, you have to be tendered in using one or two of the lifeboats, or by zodiak if you are going straight to the beach. Dining is usually on the Deck 5 and 6 and is open air, except for a couple of nights when both open air and the formal dining room on deck 2 is open. Food is excellent with extensive vegan options. The chef will make adjustments according to your requests, or would prepare a specific dish that you request if you give them a days notice. Only a few dishes are prepared in advance as most are cooked to order. Meals consist of breakfast, lunch, afternoon cocktails and dinner. You can also order from the room service menu any time day or night. Special occassions like birthdays or anniversaries are noted ahead of time and you will probably get serenaded by the staff or a staff member, with a cake and card signed by the captain. They will decorate your room with balloons and another special note from your cabin stewardess. The staff is always on the constant lookout for anything to satisfy your requests, and most of the time would anticipate it without waiting for you to ask for it. They call each guest by name - it might take a day or so, but they go through the guest list with pictures. The attire is informal until 6:30 pm where they recommend you get into a casual getup (proper shoes and long pants for the gents, no shorts/bathing attire for the ladies) however several guests seem to prefer to dress up a little (Dress for the ladies, jackets for the gents) as this is the start of the cocktails leading into dinner but you wouldn't be out of place in a polo/golf or hawaiian shirt. The on board atmosphere is more like a family get together as the staff always keeps you engaged, not because it is their job but because they truly care. A large majority of the passengers are repeat cruisers and are quite proud to share their onboard experiences with you. Disembarkation was a little sad as you are leaving newly found friends, but a lot of them have already made plans for the next cruise, and if you have as well, chances are you might see the same faces - guests and staff - welcome you back on board. There was no rush to get off the ship except for those that have a flight to catch, and with only 112 guest, there was no line to speak of. Going through immigrations was smooth and the taxi line was waiting outside. We were off the ship and at the airport in 20 minutes. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
SeaDream is niche and one's response will depend on how one visualizes a 5-star experience. There's nothing wrong with it, but a lot of what we've come to associate with luxury resorts requires bigness, like walk-in closets, ... Read More
SeaDream is niche and one's response will depend on how one visualizes a 5-star experience. There's nothing wrong with it, but a lot of what we've come to associate with luxury resorts requires bigness, like walk-in closets, big bathrooms, lots of choices in restaurants and entertainment, structured programs. So, gut check time -- if your lux ideal requires big, then SeaDream isn't for you. Things like the wine list and the pool are going to be great but not big. Onboard shopping is very limited. This isn't a floating Bellagio -- you'll feel the boat move . . . a lot. I'd also say SeaDream isn't "plush" -- sheets, towels, furniture, fixtures are all very comfortable and up to date, but not over-the-top or to-die-for. On the other hand, you'll love SeaDream (as we did) if your definition of luxury corresponds to what SeaDream brings to the table. The food is phenomenal (really) in creativity, presentation, execution, you name it. In this respect, smallness had no negative effect on choices -- the menu always had lots of choices, even for breakfast. These are 300' yachts, not cruise ships, which makes them both charming and convenient. There is wooden trim as well as doors and hatches that need to be latched. Literally nothing on the ship is more than a 2 minute walk from anything else -- I could go back to our room to retrieve a forgotten item and be back at the pool or topside restaurant in less than a minute. (Incidentally, wind and water make for good white noise -- we barely heard a thing from outside the room, even from the piano bar only 30' away on Deck 4 or the topside bar directly overhead). Mostly, however, SeaDream delivers its kind of 5-star luxury through relationships -- both among guests and between guests and crew. (The latter may be more commonly known as "service," but it's still about personal relationships.) SeaDream is famous for its social atmosphere and its service, and I won't belabor the point other than to say it's real and it's all it's cracked up to be, and to add a few observations: 1. Social doesn't mean frat house and doesn't mean an absence of privacy. We're still talking about 40-80 year old adults, mostly in their 50s and 60s, of differing temperaments. You can be social if and when you want to be. I considered us fairly social and yet we still ate breakfast alone almost every morning, lunch alone most days, and dinner alone twice. 2. If you're in the mood and the moons align for a party, there are unforgettable, fun experiences that can only happen within the kind of socially intimate groups you'll find on SeaDream. The high-enthusiam (if not high-quality) singalongs to George's piano don't work with a group of strangers. Same for the no-particular-occasion dance party at the Top of the Yacht that roared until 1:30 am until we took pity on Gareth and Domo and let them go to bed. It was self-DJ'd, meaning a bunch of 40, 50 and 60 year olds took turns plugging in their iPods to play fun, middle-age people dance music. That can only happen among people who already know and like one another and you're pretty sure they'll have extra Advil to share in the morning. 3. Maybe unwittingly, SeaDream has taken the social science breakthrough of our time (relationships, not stuff, makes us happy) and applied it to luxury cruises. It's your relationship with the staff (a/k/a service) and your relationship with the other guests. The result is a sense of contentment and security that you'll pay good money for, also known as luxury. Who knew. Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a special shout-out to some of the staff. The waiters and bartenders work very hard, and I want to especially thank some for making our trip very special: Domo, Gareth, Grenold, O'Neill, Bartosz. Thanks, guys. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Time for my annual “state-of-the-union” address. We’ve been sailing SeaDream yearly since 2010. Since every trip has been memorable and there aren’t many reviews posted on Cruise Critic, I’ve tried to write a review for most of ... Read More
Time for my annual “state-of-the-union” address. We’ve been sailing SeaDream yearly since 2010. Since every trip has been memorable and there aren’t many reviews posted on Cruise Critic, I’ve tried to write a review for most of our trips. This years vacation stands out as one of our favorites for many of the usual reasons - great itinerary, great crew and service, great fellow passengers, great food - and as luck would have it, great weather! We started our vacation by staying at Caneel Bay on St. John for 3 days prior to the cruise. We like to take a few days to get into vacation mode before boarding SeaDream. Caneel Bay has always been on our bucket list and we were quite pleased with our stay. It has some similarities to SeaDream in that the rooms are not modern and slick, but more retro and quaint. We loved the laid back vibe and gorgeous grounds and beaches. Definitely a place we want to return to. The resort runs a ferry taking guests back and forth to St. Thomas. It was very easy leaving Saturday morning and getting to the dock to board SeaDream. Highly recommend it as a pre- or post-cruise stay. ITINERARY SATURDAY | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. SUNDAY | Sopers Hole and Norman Island. Anegada was supposed to be our first port, but because of swells the captain moved Anegada to Friday as the weather report showed a better chance of tendering later in the week. We took a quick walk around the shops at Sopers Hole and then headed back for lunch. At Norman Island we took a quick trip ashore to Pirates Bight and quickly returned to the ship to enjoy the pool. MONDAY | Anguilla. We took a taxi to Shoal Bay, rented lounge chairs and enjoyed the beach. We stopped in at Elvis’ bar at the dock for a beer before taking the ferry back to the ship. TUESDAY | Philipsburg, St. Maarten and St. Barts in the evening. We took our only ship excursion on St. Maarten. We thoroughly enjoyed the America’s Cup Regatta. Great fun and well run though, if you suffer from seasickness, it might not be for you. Got a relaxing poolside massage while we sailed from St. Maarten to St. Barts. We stayed onboard in the evening, though many guests went ashore to have dinner. WEDNESDAY | St. Barts. We have a routine we follow for St. Barts. Shopping in he morning, Nikki beach and lunch midday, and then a late afternoon trip to Gouvernor’s beach. Usually we have lunch at LaPlage, but this year we decided to try Eden Rock. SeaDream’s concierge made the reservation for us. Lunch and service was excellent and we will probably make it our “go-to” lunch spot on future trips. THURSDAY | Jost Van Dyke (Champagne & Caviar Splash) and Foxy’s in the evening. Because of the change in itinerary the Splash was moved to Thursday. As always, it was a highlight of the trip and I think we prefer having it on Thursday. There was no worrying about rushing back to the ship to pack. Instead we wandered down to Soggy Dollar and people-watched until the last tender back. That evening we felt obligated to take a trip to Foxy’s. It was extremely crowded and we couldn’t even get through the crowds at the bar to get a beer. In the future will probably pass on Foxy’s if it’s offered. FRIDAY | Anegada. This was the only island on our trip that was new to us. After a treacherous (but fun) trip onto the tender and a bumpy trip to the island, SeaDream had a complimentary shuttle waiting to take passengers to Cow Wreck beach. The beach was spectacular and went on for miles, great for a long beach walk. We tried the famous lobster lunch and hate to admit it but was totally unimpressed - maybe it’s just us as the others guests were raving about the lobsters. Service at the bar/restaurant was good, and we would rate this as the prettiest beach of the trip. CREW - as always the crew was top notch. Some that really stand out: Captain Holmsteinsson. This was our first trip sailing with him and we were lucky enough to dine with him one evening. He was a very nice dinner host and great captain. Keeping us informed all week of weather situations and going the extra mile to make sure we were able to experience Anegada. Hotel Manager | Christophe. What a professional! We try to be low maintenance, and because of the great service, we really don’t have much need to request anything extra. But it seems Christophe is so good that he anticipated what would make our vacation better. For example, while we were eating lunch at the splash Christophe came over to say hello. One of us mentioned how the coconut macaroons that had been served all week were fabulous, and the only way to improve upon them would be to dip them in chocolate. That evening at dinner a plate full of chocolate dipped macaroons appeared, followed by a visit by the pastry chef. Another special touch, on the last day of the cruise we were on the pool deck waiting to see our last Caribbean sunset for awhile. Again Christophe stopped by to say hello. We mentioned how this was our favorite time of day and how absolutely perfect the weather and day had been. He asked if we would like to dine outside that evening. We were thrilled. I know this is something that we can request, but we feel that the waiters work so hard at all times that we don’t want to add to their workload. With Christophe’s blessing our last meal was perfect with the added treat of dining under the stars. Waiter | O’Neil. Poor guy was the “lucky” one that served us breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. Such a nice man and perfect waiter. He was always checking to make sure we were happy and everything was prepared properly. Casino | Stela. Adorable, funny and entertaining, we enjoyed spending most evenings with her. Head Bartender | Severin (piano bar). Great guy and great bartender. One of us requested a pickle martini - I know, why would you do that? He didn’t have pickle juice but told us he would try to find some when he went shopping. A few nights later while we were in the lounge for cocktail hour, he came towards us with a tray with a jar of pickles on it! He also made a perfect Lemon Drop, Espresso Martini, B&B...come to think of it all of his cocktails were perfect. On top of that, he is just a really sweet guy. Top of the Yacht Bartender | Gareth. We usually ended each night with a drink at the TOY Bar. Gareth was game to make anything we requested and quite enjoyable to chat with. He has only been with SeaDream for a few weeks but seemed like a natural fit. Music | Din Din (guitar) and George (piano). Both are very talented, one night they did a poolside concert that was very enjoyable. We spent many a night with George at the piano bar, it was quite lively on this cruise and always fun, though I think some current music additions would be welcome. We also enjoyed spending time with Din Din on the America’s Regatta. Tender Crew. Unfortunately I don’t know their names but they did a great job all week. There were a few times when the seas were rough and they were able to get us on and off the tenders safely. FELLOW PASSENGERS. We had originally booked a cruise a few weeks later on SeaDream I, but because of a work conflict of one of our group we needed to change the date. When we called SeaDream to change we were told that the 3rd and 4th floor for this itinerary had been purchased by a group and they didn’t have any information about the group. We’ve read all of the horror stories on this board about groups taking over the ship and were a bit hesitant. Since this was the only trip that would work for us we crossed our fingers and booked. It turns out a travel agent who has sailed on SeaDream for many years had booked the 2 levels. His guests were very inclusive and quite fun. I’ve always thought that one of the biggest selling points of SeaDream is that the fellow guests are so down-to-earth and friendly. Last year was a bit of an anomaly, as quite a few guests seemed to have a superiority attitude, and I was scared this might be a trend -- I’m happy to report that it didn’t carry over to this year! FOOD. The food, as we’ve become accustomed to, was superb this year. There seemed to be a lot of new items on the menu, but enough old reliables that we weren’t disappointed. Chef Thomaz was very visible and his usual happy self. The desserts seemed better than ever - and the dessert extravaganza was outstanding. ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. Just to be fair and balanced, here are a few areas that could be improved upon: Pool Bar Service. This would be my only real complaint. The pool service seems to have suffered a cut-back. In the past there seemed to be 2 bartenders during the day. On this cruise, there was only one server at most times and he seemed overworked. On a Caribbean cruise the pool seems to be the most popular area during the day, cutting back on service here doesn’t make sense. Wine. The wine at dinner is generally pretty bad. We purchased wines most evening. I’m not a wine snob and there are quite a few inexpensive wines I drink that I enjoy. I think the complimentary wine list could be easily improved on. Bring back the pistachio cookies! I know, how can we complain when there is so much to choose from, but the pistachio cookies seemed like SeaDreams signature cookie. They were missed, but I didn’t gain as much weigh on this vacation, so there was a silver lining. Cocktail Hour hors d’ouvres. Lots of repeats and not very exciting, House Plant in the stateroom. This is my crazy nit-picky thing. If you read my review a few years ago I was appalled at the 1970 style plant in the staterooms. The next year it was replaced with a grassy looking plant. I of course envisioned the change as the heads of SeaDream reading my review, sitting back and saying, “what an astute passenger, she’s right - let’s replace it with something modern”. Well, flash forward to this year and the 1970s style plant is back. So much for my influence THINGS WE LOVED. Overall we loved everything about the week. Some of the extra special things we loved that I haven’t listed above: - Love walking up the ramp when we first arrive and getting a glimpse of the crew we’ve had the privilege to sail with before. - Love that every year our list of “favorite” crew gets more and more names added to it. - Love the new and improved monogrammed PJs. The new cotton pants are very nice. - Love coming back to a beautifully made stateroom every evening -thanks to Jesse our room steward. - Love sitting at the TOYB in the evening enjoying a cocktail, each other’s company, listening to the waves, and star-gazing. - Love watching (and sometimes love listening) to the singers at the piano bar each evening - always entertaining. - Love crispy bacon each morning. - Love that they grate chocolate over the cappuccino -- it's the little things! - Love swimming off the back of the boat -- this trip the captain even had a surprise sunset swim available one evening. - Love the “voila” every evening at dinner. It never gets old. - Love taking the tender to the beach the morning of the splash. - Love knowing that we will be back on-board next year! SeaDream really is a special vacation for us and one we don’t take for granted. We visit places that are breathtakingly beautiful, while being treated to impeccable service by a crew that works so hard, but always with a smile. Thanks for another week of wonderful memories. Happy to report the state of SeaDream is better than ever! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We'd been with Sea Dream Yacht Club twice before and enjoyed it very much. This trip was our LAST on Sea Dream. We had booked back-to-back cruises for 2018 on board which we have now cancelled. Our stateroom was OK...it was one ... Read More
We'd been with Sea Dream Yacht Club twice before and enjoyed it very much. This trip was our LAST on Sea Dream. We had booked back-to-back cruises for 2018 on board which we have now cancelled. Our stateroom was OK...it was one of the ones that can be converted into a suite. The layout was set up for combining cabins...not for being an individual room. The first week we had one chef and then the second week his contract was up so another chef came on board. The food the second week was a little better. The food, for the most part, was good. The bread was at best fair. We stopped at islands were terrific European bakeries, but bread was not one of the things the ship bought locally...they baked on board...but not well. Beef was always good...steaks and prime rib exceptional. The problem I had was with the casino. Stella both "managed" and dealt at the single blackjack table they had. She had some strange unwritten rules...if she made a mistake and exposed a card that shouldn't be played she never burned the card...she just made it the next card out...so if it was a six and the next card out came to a player they got the six...no choice. She claimed "I never burn cards". The "casino" is opposite the piano bar in a very small area. The passengers are given a microphone to sing along with the pianist...bad idea. Most of the guests were drunk or getting their quickly and they sang like...well...lets just say it was load and there were words involved but it was a far cry from singing. I usually wore ear plugs in the casino when I played. They use European rules...they only look under aces...not 10's so you can have a lot of money on the table from splits and double downs and the dealer can turn over a blackjack.. That adds about 5% to the house. You also have to play 2 hands if you are the only one at the table and you can't play more than 2 hands. So if you are alone you are locked into the shoe...you can't change the fall of the cards by playing an extra hand or staying out of a hand. I lost most nights. On the last night I finally raised my bet to the table maximum which is $50 as I was winning and I was trying to get even. I got back about 1/4th of my two weeks losses and then Stella, the iron fisted manager/dealer from Serbia, shut the table down. She told me it was because I got into a confrontation with other guests. I was the only player and was quite tired of the load screeching coming from the piano bar. I went outside the casino and said, "Can you people please sing a little louder?" I then returned to the table. Stella "took a break" for twenty minutes and when she came back she closed the table 50 minutes early. The second in command came up and claimed that we were in "American waters" which was a lie. The table was closed because I was winning for a change. I've played a lot of blackjack in a lot of places over the years. This casino was terrible. If you play there consider it a contribution to Sea Dreams Yacht Club...not gambling. By the way, the seats at the table were set so close to the table that you could hardly sit down. There are too many other small ship cruise lines that offer not only better blackjack rules, but a much better experience. My wife and I will not travel with Sea Dreams again. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I are veteran cruisers. We have done some of the worst (1 Carnival) and some of the better (Seabourn, Silver Seas, Crystal) cruises. We have done two SeaDream cruises now, both during the Christmas/New Years week to St Barts, ... Read More
My wife and I are veteran cruisers. We have done some of the worst (1 Carnival) and some of the better (Seabourn, Silver Seas, Crystal) cruises. We have done two SeaDream cruises now, both during the Christmas/New Years week to St Barts, for the last two years. There are a few things that are striking. First, the ships are well past it. They need to go into dry dock and need to go through an extensive refit. The toilet in our cabin did not work throughout the cruise. We had repairmen working on our toilet facilities every day for the entire cruise. The floor of the bathroom was covered with water due to a leaky toilet and we could not get the toilet to flush pretty much every day. I have never had this happen on any cruise. Second, every night - every night - I could not get anyone to wait on us to get a drink in the bar. I thought maybe it just SeaDream II but not, I had the same experience on both ships. Again, I can't work it out. I accept that there are passengers from hell, which I work not to be. Third, and this is common, but the internet is nearly nonexistent. If you are going to be charged for the internet, can't you expect to get something? It was just about not there. Overall I will have to pass on another SeaDream cruise. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We cruise a fair amount – mostly Seabourn and previously Silversea and have heard lots or positive things from fellow cruisers about about SeaDream. We were on a short four day cruise from Barbados to Barbados. We were looking ... Read More
We cruise a fair amount – mostly Seabourn and previously Silversea and have heard lots or positive things from fellow cruisers about about SeaDream. We were on a short four day cruise from Barbados to Barbados. We were looking forward to a nice suite (tick), excellent food (tick) and some pleasant (possibly staid) evenings in a piano bar. We found ourselves on a party ship with at least three groups of families or friends celebrating birthdays and life. I suspect we were unlucky due to the nature of the voyage but on reading the promotional materials on the ship it does seem that SeaDream is setting out its stall as a ship to enjoy celebrations and as such it is doing a great job for these people. Would highly recommend for this purpose. The top deck at night was a full blown and rather fantastic party. The dining room got quite noisy – we met a couple who had to walk out they were so overwhelmed by it. The general vibe was just not what we wanted – more what I would imagine Club Med or Costa cruise. The question I ask myself is would we come again knowing there were not to be groups? The answer is still no. The ship is too small for us. We badly missed a veranda (somewhere to escape from the very busy pool area), we missed a bar being open after dinner (did not open till 9.30), we missed having a bottle of wine in our room (forbidden – only by the glass) and we missed choices of places to eat with different ambiences. The ship is undoubtedly kept immaculately but it is aging and the competition in this band is fierce. Would also comment that the white wine choices were pretty average or not really to my taste. There was a tolerable French Sauvignon Blanc which saved the day. Also whites and champagne were rarely cold enough. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Sea Dream is the Carnival Cruise line of the luxury brands. Overall the quality of the food was very good, but the wines served were not high quality, thus greatly dimishing the dining experience. They wanted vast amounts of money for the ... Read More
Sea Dream is the Carnival Cruise line of the luxury brands. Overall the quality of the food was very good, but the wines served were not high quality, thus greatly dimishing the dining experience. They wanted vast amounts of money for the better wines. The service was not first rate either. There were several service failures. The attitude of several staff members was arrogant. Prices in the gift shop were outrageous (I saw sunglasses that I paid $120 for offered at $280) and the management was always trying to sell something (drinks, services, etc. They wanted $199 to $299 for a cab ride to from the disembark port to Rome but did not mention the 5 euro train ride as an option. They had staff do "fashion shows" trying to sell their high priced goods. Totally unpolished; lame. It was an outstanding vessel and the ship's professional staff (the Captain and those who operated the shop) were second to none. Others on the vessel were very happy, but they hadn't experiences true luxury and truly outstanding service where you're not being hassled to buy something or be overcharged such as Seabourn. Value of what we paid vs what we experienced was poor. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My wife and I were part of a private event that took over the whole ship for 5 days/4 nights. We have experienced great service before, but this was our first cruise. Though we live in a cruise-port, big ships turn us off big time. This ... Read More
My wife and I were part of a private event that took over the whole ship for 5 days/4 nights. We have experienced great service before, but this was our first cruise. Though we live in a cruise-port, big ships turn us off big time. This cruise, from embarkation in Nice until the final port of Monaco, was stunning on many levels: My wife and I loved the yacht-like experience from the first moment on board (around 15:00), which began with a poolside buffet to tie us over until dinner. Any crew member we had contact with demonstrated an outstanding service mentality; not demure or fake-friendly but truly engaging and baffling in their capability to anticipate passenger's wishes. Both F&B service and -quality was excellent, and staying with the standard level of wines (included in fare) proved to be completely sufficient, thanks to a great sommelier (Ferenç) who enjoyed wine-talk. However I can imagine that passengers in need of constant entertainment and stimulation will be much happier on a large ship, surrounded by 4,500 of their best new friends. We on the other hand are already plotting when and where we will able to catch a ride on this ship or its sister. Highly recommended! Read Less
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