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14 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
4 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
7 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
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We boarded the SeaDream II yacht/cruise ship around 2pm. After a greeting by the captain, we were directed to a lounge with hors d'oeurves and flowing champagne. We waited there while our luggage was delivered to our stateroom. We ... Read More
We boarded the SeaDream II yacht/cruise ship around 2pm. After a greeting by the captain, we were directed to a lounge with hors d'oeurves and flowing champagne. We waited there while our luggage was delivered to our stateroom. We met a few people there: a couple from Dallas, a couple from Toronto, and a mother/daughter traveling from New Jersey. Everyone was friendly and inviting. We then got our room keys, and were led to our room to unpack. The room was very small, 185 square feet. No rooms had balconies as this is a large yacht/small cruise ship. We had one large window. Though small, the room was adequate and what was there was very nice. The shower was especially nice and big enough (I am 6'3"). It had 3 sprayers and Bvlgari soaps and lotions. The room can equipped with soft linens and a tv which showed 2 or 3 different popular movies each Day in a loop along with CNN World and ship channels. All food and drink was included in the price of the cruise. The ship had a small pool and a hot tub. It had Balinese beds spread throughout the different decks for sunbathing and stargazing. Some people chose to 'sleep under the Stars'. We did not. There was an outside bar on the top deck which featured a guitar player in the evenings after dinner. There was also a piano bar with a pianist/lounge singer, karaoke, and a single black jack table. The food was remarkable. Even the 24 hour menu was delicious. Breakfast and lunch were served either on the deck or in your room. The Belgian pancakes were really good. Dinner was served anytime between 7:30 and 9:30pm each night. Two nights it was served in the formal dining room. The other 5 nights, dinner was served outside on the deck while the ship was anchored off the coast of a different Caribbean island. The dinner menu changes each evening. There was always a 5 course chef's recommended meal, but there were also 5 course vegan meals, and other alternative meal choices. We intermingled choices from different menus each night, and if something was outstanding, you could always have seconds or thirds. Of course dinner was always accompanied by paired wines or your choice of wine or cocktail. We only ate alone once. We shared dinner with at least one other couple most of the time, and when we did, we often ordered bottles of wine from the Somelier's extensive list. These were extra. Nearly every evening, there was some sort of pre-dinner cocktail hour. There was a captain's greeting, a fashion show around the pool with fresh sushi, and others we missed. The best part of the cruise was the people. On other cruises, we met people in passing. On this ship, we really got to know several different couples and crew. We spent a lot of time with a fireman/contractor and his travel sales wife from Long Island, NY; with an orthopedic surgeon and his pediatrician wife from Chicago; with a business owner and his wife from Toronto, and we enjoyed the company of many others from London, Norway, Sweden, and the USA. We especially enjoyed the Cruise Director, Pieter, from South Africa and our main waiter, Ponce, from Puerto Rico. Pieter is a bunch of fun. He led many shore expeditions, both day and night. He led hikes around islands, toured thru St. Barts, and even took a group of us to a Burlesque show one evening. We would have never done that on our own, but the experience turned out to be one we will never forget. These were not places the big cruise ships go. Of the different islands we visited, we enjoyed St. Barts and Jost Van Dyke the most. A day and a half was not long enough on the French island of St. Barts. We spent the day exploring the world class shopping and dining. We didn't get a chance to see the beaches or other renowned hotels, restaurants and bars. We are already ready to go back. Jost Van Dyke is a tiny island with an amazing beach. It is known for its beach and beach bars. The painkiller rum drink was invented at the Soggy Dollar bar there. The ship hosted a beach barbecue on the final day there. Waiters waded into the ocean in their full uniforms to serve drinks and caviar to waiting guests. It was the perfect beach experience. Other stops were to St. John, Anguilla, Tortola, Norman Island, and Virgin Gorda. We hiked Norman island. We went to the Baths at Virgin Gorda, which is a beach with huge boulders that the ocean flows and around. They are more like caves than Baths. We shopped and picked up a painting by a local artist in St. John's. We went to a white sand beach on Anguilla called Shoal beach. We were only in Tortola for one morning. We just visited the main harbor, did some shopping, and looked at the yachts in the Harbor. We went back aboard the ship for lunch and sunbathing on the top deck, enjoying the views of Tortola from our Balinese sun bed. Overall, it was a great trip. There was only one child on the ship and it was the most well behaved Swedish boy. Some people were there for two or three weeks. I don't know if my liver could handle that. So much alcohol... Many guests put a refundable deposit down for another trip within the next two years. That guarantees an extra 10% off. This experience will be tough to follow for sure. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
My husband Ross and I spent 2 wonderful weeks on SeaDream II staying in the Admiral Suite. In the first week on board we renewed our vows for our 10th wedding anniversary, Officiated by Captain Lund, it was such a happy and fun experience, ... Read More
My husband Ross and I spent 2 wonderful weeks on SeaDream II staying in the Admiral Suite. In the first week on board we renewed our vows for our 10th wedding anniversary, Officiated by Captain Lund, it was such a happy and fun experience, as everything was organised through SeaDream leaving Ross and myself to just thoroughly enjoy the whole ceremony, we were so impressed with the crew who did everything they could to ensure it all went smoothly for us, thank you again to everyone involved, love you all.... Back to the rest of our holiday I must say service was excellent in every aspect through the whole 2 weeks. We especially loved being in the Piano Bar every evening where Sammy on keyboard nicely urged passengers to take up the microphone for karaoke, lots of fun and a few of us danced the night away while Chief Barman Zoltan expertly served drinks with his quick wit and ever-ready cheeky smile.... all the crew had an amazing knack of of remembering all the guests names as well as their preferred drinks etc. Every meal was a 5 star dining experience and the chef was only too happy to cook up a favorite meal for you even if it wasn't on the menu. The shore excursions were terrific, I especially loved the ATV tours, first one for us was a tour staying mostly on the roads with scenic pit-stops, where we were able to take some awesome photos. In the second week we did another ATV shore excursion, this time it was off-road but still easy to manage and lots of fun.... the activities on-board were brilliant. I loved the jet ski and banana boat rides while Ross' passion was the little sailboat.... Our 'yachting not cruising' holiday was an exciting and memorable experience and we can't wait for 2016 doing the Mediterranean and Atlantic Crossing on SeaDream I.... Thank you to everyone on SeaDream II for leaving us with some amazing holiday memories.... Cheers Sandy Read Less
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