• Help Ukrainian Families in Need: World Central Kitchen Donation Match
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

SeaDream II Dining

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
36 reviews
Editor Rating
5.0
Excellent
Dining
Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Editor-In-Chief

Unlike bigger ships, you don't get a choice of restaurants on SeaDream II. All meals are taken in either the indoor Dining Salon or outdoor Topside Restaurant, and the ship staff make that decision based on weather. However, you can ask to dine outside on nights when most people are dining in the Salon, and the crew will try to accommodate. Even when it's colder out, you can count on outdoor heaters to help keep you warm. Room service is also available, delivered to your cabin or to your lounge chair.

The quality of dining onboard is superb, and there’s an incredible range of choices on every menu, impressive for so small a ship. Passengers with dining restrictions will not lack for options, including a robust vegan/vegetarian selection that doesn't rely on easy substitutes but instead creates unique dishes that even non-vegetarians will drool over. Gluten-free options are excellent, as well. (If you note your preferences when you book, the crew will offer you what you need from the get-go.)

Quality ingredients like crab legs, caviar and organic salad greens appear regularly on the buffet or at happy hour. This is further bolstered by the crew's uncanny ability to know everyone onboard by name within hours of sailing. If you've identified a dietary issue, they know it.

Tip: If you've made a request to dine outside when everyone else is inside, chances are, your maitre d will make it a standing reservation, calling you each night to offer you "your table."

Is There a Drinks Package on SeaDream II?

Almost almost all drinks are included in the fare on SeaDream II. It's all too easy on SeaDream to break your healthy holiday pledge to stay off alcohol, especially when a waiter appears in the lunchtime sunshine with a chilled bottle of white or rose he "just thought you might like to try." (Red is available, too.) Or perhaps you'd prefer a cold beer or frozen cocktail?

House wines, a different red and white, flow generously. If you don't care for them, the sommelier will happily bring you another vintage, or fetch you a cocktail or soda. (In fact, we found the bartenders were excited by various cocktail orders, a break and chance to show off their skills.) Champagne is always available as well. Tea, coffee and coffee drinks like cappuccinos are also readily available with dessert.

A premium wine list, as well as wine packages for premium bottles, is also available.

Dining Outdoors on SeaDream II

The Topside Restaurant is less of a restaurant and more a smattering of tables located on the top three open-air decks. Quiet nooks and corner seats make for some of the best dining spots onboard.

You'll seldom wait for a table here at breakfast or lunch; just appear and seat yourself, and within minutes a waiter and a bartender will appear by your side. At dinner, you'll be asked whether you'd like to share a table or dine alone, and a crew member will show you to your table. Breakfast and lunch offer both buffet items and hot entrees ordered from a menu. When dinner takes place here, it is all menu-based and waiter-served.

You'll get pretty much the same breakfast options each day including a solid variety of cereals, fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, deli meats and cheeses, salmon, omelets, pancakes, oatmeal and eggs Benedict -- with a daily chef's special. We found the chef's special tempting most days and were rewarded with items such as curry omelets and pesto Benedict. We also ordered off-menu several times when we were craving avocado toast and found the staff accommodating, giving us exactly what we were hoping for, right down to the red pepper flakes.

Tip: Breakfast generally is served a little later than you might find on other cruise ships, as guests tend to stay up late and sleep in. SeaDream II offers mimosas and its own version of the classic bloody Mary to help you start your day.

Lunch features options like create-your-own salad with fresh and organic offerings (including shipmade tapenades and pepper spreads), prepared salads, cured meats like prosciutto and cold seafood (such as shrimp, smoked fish and crab claws). A separate station offers a daily soup (often vegetarian) with garlic or focaccia bread. The lunch menu offers an impressive variety, from Asian-fusion or vegetarian Indian to pasta, fish and meat dishes. Hot dogs, hamburgers and veggie burgers are always available.

 As with breakfast, we found the daily chef's special to be a delicious choice, with particular love for the lasagna and creamy mussels.

When the weather is warm and dry, especially in Caribbean locales, dinner is often served up in the Topside Restaurant rather than in the Dining Salon. The menu is the same as it would be indoors.

Tip: The Indian food onboard is top-notch, and it is served spicy. But if you really want to kick it up a notch, just ask. The staff will happily accommodate.

Eating Inside on SeaDream II

The elegant Dining Salon, with polished wood, crisp, white linen and fine tableware, has plenty of tables for two, but four- and six-top tables are available for dining with new friends -- something that is common as the cruise moves along. As with the Topside, it's all open seating; you can choose to share a table or eat just with your travel party. On warm-weather cruises, the Dining Salon is really only used on the first and last evenings or special occasions such as a wine-pairing dinner, with dinner served at the Topside Restaurant as much as possible.

Regardless of where you eat, the dinner menu is typically divided into four sections. It begins with the chef's recommended selections for the evening, a complete menu with two starters, a palate cleanser, main and dessert. It's followed by that day's changing roster of two first courses, two middle courses (typically a soup and a salad), three mains (including one vegetarian) and two desserts plus the daily ice cream flavor. (When you see the salted caramel gelato, pounce!) Favorite dishes included escargot and beef carpaccio starters, pretty much every soup (like asparagus or mushroom), lamb and surf-n-turf entrees, and the chocolate-chili ice cream and Bailey's souffle for dessert.

On the next page, you'll find the vegan menu, again a complete dinner with one starter, one soup, a main and a dessert. These dishes only use vegan ingredients (no fish, meat, eggs or dairy products) and are delicious, particularly the soups.

The last menu section is the always-available offerings, including a basic salad, seafood minestrone soup, truffle tagliatelle pasta, maple-orange wasabi-glazed Atlantic salmon, chicken breast, New York-cut Kansas beef steak and New Zealand lamb lollipops. We found these to be rather tasty alternatives to the daily selections rather than the very plain meats and fishes usually found on cruise ship always-available menus.

Caviar comes on its own caviar menu with a supplementary charge.

The portions are small enough to be manageable, though if you try to skip a course, you might find your waiter coming by with an appetizer or dessert he thinks you'd enjoy. Feel free to mix and match dishes from the various menu sections.

Tip: Vegetarian and gluten-free items are marked on the daily menus, and sugar-free options are available upon request. For other dietary restrictions or food allergies, just alert SeaDream before your cruise and work with the dining staff onboard, who make sure you're taken care of.

Room Service on SeaDream II

The room service menu is fairly robust, and it allows you to eat anywhere onboard. (You're more likely to see people ordering room service from a lounger or sunbed than from their actual cabin.) A limited continental breakfast is served till lunchtime, while all-day options include snacks (cheese and crackers or popcorn) or sandwiches and burgers.  

Tip: If you're dying for pizza, you can order it off menu; you just need to give 24-hour advanced notice so the chef has time to prepare it, as it's made from scratch.

Find a cruise

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.