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2 SeaDream Yacht Club Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

I reviewed our trip last year on Seadream I (which is incorrecly listed as December, it was actually February) so I won't go over the same things I wrote about in that review. I will just add some different thoughts We flew into ... Read More
I reviewed our trip last year on Seadream I (which is incorrecly listed as December, it was actually February) so I won't go over the same things I wrote about in that review. I will just add some different thoughts We flew into St Thomas on a Cape Air 8 passenger plane from San Juan. It was a $20 fare to the pier and took about 10 minutes. I didn't think the service was quite as good as our first trip, but that could easily be because of my extremely high expectations. It was still far better than any other cruise line I have sailed on. Some of the crew were the same we met on our cruise the year before. I would note that the crew turnover is quite low, no doubt due to how much they all like their jobs. I wanted to address the wonderful flexibility the Captain has. Our first full day on the cruise was in St John and it was the Sunday of the NFL conference championships. Many on the cruise wanted to be able to stay in town later than our 6:00pm departure to see the games so the yacht stayed at anchor until everyone could watch their games and get back onboard. Additionally, there was poor weather forecast the day we were to be in Anguilla so the yacht switched to St Martin. This type of flexibility ensures a great cruise. We did not experience any problems with the marina and have used the toys and swam on both our cruises. We have had some good excursions and some less so. For instance, on our snorkle trip in Virgin Gorda, the contract boat had no flotation devices, which I had never encountered before. There was one gentleman on this trip I would have preferred to see less of but you do run into the same people. On this trip there were only 72 passengers so it was an extra small group. Once again we found the people we met to be enjoyable travel companions. I like that the yacht is seldom at sail. It's especially important for those who think they might get seasick on a small vessel. Between the short sails between ports and the ability to not stick to an itinerary that might include poor weather, I would opine that the chance of getting seasick is limited. We had one evening eating out on the deck where it was chilly and windy enough I would not have wanted the ship to be moving on top of the conditions. This type of cruising is certainly not for everyone, but one last thing I would note is the volume of return customers. (which is not apparent from these reviews) I would say that over half of the passengers were return visitors, some had cruised on the yachts up to 20 times! That is a ringing endorsement. My husband and I look forward to our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We have cruised Regent in the past, and our TA called with a great deal on SeaDream, a line I've always wanted to try based on reviews and the promises made in its marketing materials: flexible itineraries designed to allow more time ... Read More
We have cruised Regent in the past, and our TA called with a great deal on SeaDream, a line I've always wanted to try based on reviews and the promises made in its marketing materials: flexible itineraries designed to allow more time in small, uncrowded ports; sports marina with included water toys/equipment; excellent service where everyone calls you by name; first-class dining; and sleeping under the stars. Unfortunately, the marketing was better than the delivery. We boarded easily after a short delay and quickly taken to our cabin. It was not as small as the boards led us to believe, although the bathrooms are tiny, the shower is large and it is nicely done. One of us is 6'4" and while small, not uncomfortable. The bed linens were incredible, unfortunately, we ended up enjoying them on the floor from about Day 4 on of our cruise. Our bed squeaked so badly we could not sleep and we were told it could not be fixed. After enduring another sleepless night, we ended up bolting the bed to the wall and setting up on the floor. Our stewardess said we had the best bed onboard and made it up every night/day just as if it was the norm. It was comfortable and made no noise, but it was certainly in the way and made the dressing table impossible to use. We have since been told we should have escalated this issue to the Captain, but we had figured that since at least three members of the staff knew of the problem, if they could have helped, they would have. Apparently, on SeaDream, the squeaky wheels etc etc. Based on other reviews, you have to get a bit demanding and vocal to get your glasses cleaned at the pool, never have to go to the bar and get your drinks, have your wine service explained to you, or sleep on a bed. The stewardess was very good, with special treats every few nights. Very clean and non-obtrusive cabin service. The ship was nice and the size is great, many rooms are empty most of the time and you can find plenty of "alone" space. The golf simulator was great fun and seemed unused (except by us). The promised marina and water toys turned out to be offered only on two days, and only for a couple of hours each day. The area you can JetSki in is very limited and it was hard to get enough people together to use the banana boat so it often wouldn't run. Snorkeling equipment, forget it. You consistently have to ask for it, and by the end of the trip, it was obvious that these are not cleaned/disinfected and are really an afterthought. The primary activities on this ship were drinking, sleeping, talking with others, and off ship, shopping. Just not our cup of tea. There were older (1-2 years) movies in the evening, a couple of "concerts" out by the pool, one organized walk, one night of dancing that no one showed up to, very, very limited. No educational talks and the nightly port talk was 10-minutes with the Cruise Director telling us about all the itinerary changes planned and shore excursion cancellations for the next day. That's it. Seriously. Oh, a couple of times the Captain came to further justify the changes. We never went on a shore excursion, all three we booked were canceled either due to "lack of participation" or weather. Never heard much from other passengers, as I said, drink/sleep/eat/visit seemed to be the main activities of this bunch. The service was very good, but no better than on Regent. We were not called by our name, except for my boyfriend who gained the "respect" of a couple of the bar staff for how well he handled his Captain Morgan and Cokes and our stewardess. Not a problem, but was such a bragging point for SD, we were surprised. As I said, the service was very good, up to the standard we'd expect for a luxury line, but it was no better than we had on Regent's Mariner, Paul Gauguin, or the Explorer II (non-Regent crew). The bartenders were often alone and most times, we had to go to the bar to request a drink (they would bring to us later, but service was very slow most times). They really should have had more help for the bartender as having to do both that and wait was just too much to keep up with demand. At dinner, it was hard to get a table for two unless you went early (and then it was LOUD when everyone else arrived) or late (service slacked off as the dining room emptied, opposite of what you would expect). We were very disappointed that most nights, even with good weather, were in the dining room instead of on deck as advertised. Towards the end, we discovered that there were at least 4-5 tables set up for folks on deck, but apparently you had to be a VIP or maybe you just had to ask? But we didn't know this and ate inside. We chose in cabin service on two nights just because we were so tired of the same, loud venue. Do note that the in cabin menu is VERY limited, we had club sandwiches and cheese/fruit for dinner both nights we dined this way. The Concierge sent us dessert from the dining room menu both times, even though we didn't think this was an option. This was a very much appreciated touch. Wish we could have dined outside more often, or had the choice of either on a regular basis. The food was what you would expect of a high-quality venue, presentation was best I've seen, and the portions were such that you could try a wide variety without feeling horrible after. The chef seemed to just LOVE his job, actually, the majority of the crew seemed very happy with SD. We often observed them out and about in the ports, and they had a special day at the Atlantis so I think they are treated well. (Although this unscheduled stay in Nassau was due to SD entertaining Atlantis folks on board, and we often felt like the itinerary changes were more for the benefit of SD as they explored new ports, venues, and relationships, than ours. At the end, we felt like we had paid for an SD business trip. Disembarkation: it most accurately reflected our entire trip-disappointing. We left earlier than we expected to because it was obvious the ship had already forgotten about the current passengers and were focusing on the next, and we left without a farewell at the gate (except a curt nod from the Security Chief) and found our own way amongst the luggage, port layout, and taxis as best we could with no fond memory. Our self-arranged post-cruise stay in a St. Thomas B&B was the highlight of our entire trip. SD might be for some, but it was not for us. If the ship's itinerary, ports, and educational excursions (and include lots of snorkeling in that) are what you are looking for, this isn't it. If you have been to the area billions of times and aren't afraid to be very vocal about every little thing or demanding, maybe your experience will match those of other reviewers. I hate submitting such a review, I truly do. But, SD was not what we expected based on marketing and past reviews. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
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