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6 SeaDream Yacht Club Barbados Cruise Reviews

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
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
Sail Date January 2018
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
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date November 2016
Seadream was a dream for us - we found it in 2008 and now in 2012 we found the right combo of airline tickets and Seadream Cruise to our dream destinations. We were very excited, and we also made sure Seadream was informed about food ... Read More
Seadream was a dream for us - we found it in 2008 and now in 2012 we found the right combo of airline tickets and Seadream Cruise to our dream destinations. We were very excited, and we also made sure Seadream was informed about food allergies. This was not a problem we were told, and I am happy to write that it was not a problem for us. However one passenger had nut allergy and suffered an attack one night at dinner - not that good...! We were also very eager to learn things like dress code and so on. So when we got the travel documents we also read that it was a rather relaxed dress code - boy was we wrong, but we managed to fix that somehow ;-) Once we had checked in and got our stateroom, we decided to take a walk. Nice - it looked just like we thought. One offer we got when we got our stateroom was for a 50% reduced pressing on 4 items per person returned before 19.00. We thought: Yea exactly what we needed ! Well, the cloth we intended to use for dinner that evening never arrived, and on top of all we learned the offer was not per person, but per stateroom. Strange, I think I can read, and still it says per person on that offer... Little did we know that by the time the ship left Barbados, we got a sewage smell in our stateroom. We complained directly of course. The staff mentioned that people on deck 2 (we were on deck 3) already had complained about the same sewage smell... The smell was also there during all night, so we again complained the morning after - no difference. And when the 2nd night was the same, my patience was over so I contacted my travel agent - and now two from the management team all of a sudden was at our stateroom saying all sorts of sorry and the problem was a tank that has now been fixed. Great we though - it is over ? For the next 3 days yes - but when it returned in the end of the voyage, we complained again - the solution was a puff of air refresher in the stateroom. Yea right - that did not solve this problem, although for an hour or two we can say that the air was better. But of course the sewage smell returned. Otherwise I'd say the food was excellent - except I do not think the nut allergy person thinks so. The service was very good from staff that served food and drinks. And they eventually learned what we drink and what we did - and our names. However at one time we got two eggs instead of one, and one regular coke never surfaced from the order... Minor things yes. I do wonder how they think about hanging wet swim wear ? There was no way to dry swim wear of any kind - and no space to hang them either... We did dream about the Balinese dream beads - however you will have to smell the fumes from the engine if you would like to try them. We did and after 45 minutes I though I was poisoned.... And everything I tried tasted metal and oil... My tip: Stay away from the Balinese beds - at least until the fix the design of the engine exhaust system so the fumes don't drop directly onto you when you use the Balinese beds - day or night. Was there nothing good ? Of course it was, the Tobago Kays was just truly excellent. And a few other ports. But it all comes down to one thing: I do not like to spend time in a stateroom smelling the sewage system. And they never fixed it. And when I complained back home I got an offer for a 5% reduction on the next voyage if I spend another 1850 euro for pre booking within a week... Come on Seadream - you could have done better! The ship is old - it is in a need for a complete redesign, at least of the pluming and sewage tank system - the smell proves that. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
It was our first trip on a SeaDream cruise ship... and it was the company's first time (maiden voyage) visiting 'The Amazon.' First, it must be said, the absolutely BEST part sailing with SeaDream are it's wonderful ... Read More
It was our first trip on a SeaDream cruise ship... and it was the company's first time (maiden voyage) visiting 'The Amazon.' First, it must be said, the absolutely BEST part sailing with SeaDream are it's wonderful passengers. They are by far the company's greatest asset, and some of the nicest, most fun-loving folks you will encounter on ANY cruise ship. And SeaDream crew members (on the whole) are as well great fun and very professional. As for the company... it can and SHOULD be better... there were numerous lapses. NOT a good thing for a line charging TOP dollar for what is touted as a high end cruise product. It all starts with the ships... and both SeaDream I & II are OLD... what was passable 30 years ago does not work well in today's world (even with some upgrades)!! - cabins are far too small... for those use to and familiar with larger ships they are substantially smaller... and the area around the bed(s) is particularly tight.... and in today's market, high end clients want cabins with balcony's.. SeaDream ships DON'T have any... not even the owners suite ! .... bathrooms are ridiculously tiny.. and there is a fairly high step up to enter the bath.. toes get banged quite often.... closet and bathroom doors are not secured by any restraining hardware.. very annoying when ship is rolling.. this requires just a simple solution and is totally unacceptable.... the boat sauna is for 1 person only.. even if you are not claustrophobic.. a hot steam in this small space will change that... and SeaDream ships are lacking in inside common areas... limited bar/lounge areas to accommodate guests... also, the library on-board is very limited... bring a good selection of ebooks... (larger ships again have it much better... all major pluses with bigger, newer ships). - extra charges for many services are prevalent... and would appear to be an integral part of company policy.... some of the shore excursions are priced exceptionally high... $160.00 pp for a one hour local 'native' performance was agreed by many to be exorbitant. - excursion tours are at times poorly managed and executed.. planning is below par for a high end cruise line.. there were missed opportunities to attend important local festivals on shore due to what seemed little or no advanced research or planning.... emphasis on critically important stops was lacking... I.E. missing only opportunity to see virgin forest because no emphasis was placed on that excursion by those in charge... a desirable village tour was cancelled... and several guests were given no choice and did not do any of the scheduled zodiac tours as a result... all so we could get to a 'shopping' experience on schedule... missed out at another magical night at the carnival festival in Santorum... as we arrived a few hours too late.... a real disappointment was never getting to see a true portion of the old growth virgin Amazon forest ... an old growth tree remaining here and there but that's all... the one stop that we had a chance was not at all properly presented and no one was made aware of what they were missing... extremely frustrating! !! - pool water was unsightly after several days use.. pool water did not appear to be filtered.. and was not able to be changed until a larger port was reached after several days of additional sailing.... insect and a/c were major issues... in a climate that the ships is normally not accustomed to sailing... some of the common areas were exceptionally cold at times... numerous passengers were in agreement. - food is mostly passable but not great... same for the 'complimentary' wines.. prompting purchase of dinner wines on several occasions... it really should be better on both counts considering the high cost of the cruise... dinner starts serving at 7:30, catering exclusively to those passengers who like to eat later in the evening... after dinner all 3 bars on-board were not scheduled to open till 9:30.. as a result passengers at times were left to force an issue to find a bartender to get an after dinner drink... under the pressure, they somewhat conceded and altered the time to 9:00 ... without being asked passengers are over-poured wines at lunch and dinner ... not a good policy. (again, major pluses in all matters on other high end cruise lines) - PA announcements for the most part are non-existent ... (and those that are given don't go into the cabins) passengers are left asking questions about basic goings-on... and on several occasions passengers were given unwarranted misleading information as excuses for events... many grumbled about being given obviously dubious information. - expedition lecturers came on board later than they should have... and they are not used adequately for guests hungry for excursion and Amazon information, and were left to play movie trivia in the afternoon to pass time... very little at all was discussed regarding the future problems and critical nature of the Amazon's future.. this was most surprising and disappointing... SeaDream is looking to make a Med or Caribbean trip of the Amazon, in that regard they are a 'fish out of water.' - attitude on-board is that we want you to be happy... but we really do not believe we should be hearing any complaints... and unhappy guests were talked to out in the open common dining areas by the captain of all people...(most unusual no other senior officer had this responsibility) - SeaDream ships use common pathways as a walking/ jogging track.. disturbing to guests seated alongside these areas... (larger ships have designated running/ walking decks). - in the Port of Manaus there was free wi-fi ... on the boat it costs $35 a day, or $0.35 a min ($25 an HR)... (most other luxury lines include wi-fi for all returning passengers). - the time spend going from Barbados to Manaus is not worth the cost ... there is nothing happening (at sea) for too many days, and you are not really seeing or doing much of anything... most all guests agreed. - several important staff on-board do not fully understand their interactive roles with passengers... i.e. wine sommelier... activities director... and the captain.... and no one appeared really adequately in charge of the expedition guides...as a result planning and coordination of their expertise was very uneven at times. - pack the lightest light weight clothes you can bring... you and your clothing will be somewhat damp most all times, and lighter clothes will dry much quicker... there is no laundry on-board (as on other larger ships)... and SeaDream laundry costs are again very high. - having the same routine every evening (6:30 cocktail hour... dinner at 7:30) for 3 weeks becomes wearisome ... and there is no after dinner entertainment to break up the monotony (as on all larger ships)... most all activities on the various parts of the river are identical... and 3 weeks is a long time to be doing the same things over and over... zodiac tours became very repetitive ... birds-trees-water... village tours were a bit more diverse.. but not well organized and fewer in number than should have been.. and no meetings with truly indigenous peoples were scheduled while in Brazil... a very long stretch. As indicated, three weeks is far too long to be on a voyage with SeaDream. There are things to like (and most of their long time loyal cruisers believe sincerely in the company)... but for us, they are much outweighed by policies, mindset, and lack of ship's amenities. In hindsight, we might only have done a Manaus to Iquitos segment...but more than likely would have really looked to doing it with a more accomplished adventure travel company. As previously stated, the passengers and majority of the crew were absolutely wonderful... but in the final result, we came to experience 'the Amazon'... and in that regard we feel somewhat shortchanged by the overall SeaDream experience...(especially in consideration of its high cost). Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
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