7 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
4 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
7 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
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
11 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
16 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
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Our Sea Dream I cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona got off to a poor start. Unlike Silversea, which we have used several times, Sea Dream was chaotic in a rain storm. The taxi couldn't get close to the terminal, boarding was an hour or ... Read More
Our Sea Dream I cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona got off to a poor start. Unlike Silversea, which we have used several times, Sea Dream was chaotic in a rain storm. The taxi couldn't get close to the terminal, boarding was an hour or two late and there was no canopy to protect us from driving rain as we boarded. The ship, just out of two weeks in drydock, did not get all its deficiencies fixed. When we entered our cabin, there were black specks of unknown origin on the bed covers. The covers were changed, but the same thing happened again. At this point a repairman inserted a filter in the ventilation system, which solved the problem. Another cabin had no hot water for several days. There were a few cosmetic problems also, such as white paint on mahogany railings. On the good side: fine service, especially in the dining room, and wonderful food. The Gibraltar expedition was wonderful. We explore other ports, such as Cadiz, Cartagena and Malaga, on our own. It's a small ship -- 112 passengers -- and too light to brave high seas and waves to enter Portimao, the first scheduled port of call. I congratulate the captain for choosing safety over the schedule. Many aboard the ship had cruised with Sea Dream a dozen times or more, but for us it's one and done. We'll go back to Silversea. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We just returned from the Jan. 16 SD I sailing from Marigot to Barbados. We sailed the same week in 2015 out of St. Thomas. While eager to enjoy SeaDream again, we also wondered whether a second trip would live up to our experience last ... Read More
We just returned from the Jan. 16 SD I sailing from Marigot to Barbados. We sailed the same week in 2015 out of St. Thomas. While eager to enjoy SeaDream again, we also wondered whether a second trip would live up to our experience last year. Any anxiety/concerns were unnecessary, as SeaDream I exceeded our memory and expectations! The Ship: Every aspect of the ship was in great condition--remarkable for a vessel 30 years old. The high standards for cleaning, maintenance and care were evident inside and out. Crew: What maybe surprised us the most was the welcome from members of the crew that we had come to know on our previous cruise. While absolutely a reflection of the excellent training and standards on SeaDream, many seemed genuinely to remember us, and made that a special part of the SeaDream experience. We were happy to see Gareth and Pierre again in their leadership roles, and especially excited to learn that Tomislav was promoted following Enes' departure from SeaDream--a very well deserved promotion. Stateroom 324: We sailed on Deck 3 again, appreciating the easy access to the pool deck and tender. We definitely like this level. The configuration and amenities were identical to last year, though we felt the difference being at the far forward position on the ship. The anchor dropping got our attention a couple of mornings, and the motion was a bit more pronounced during the final leg into Barbados. We would take the cabin again (it was the only Deck 3 remaining when we booked in May), but if possible would move midship to avoid the anchor noise. Our Stateroom attendant Kat was excellent, friendly and took great care of us. We packed lighter this year, and utilized the laundry service more, which was a good choice. We generally put laundry out when departing the stateroom for dinner, and it was always back the next afternoon. Food: If possible, even better than last year. This was the first sailing with new Executive Chef Alistair, and he was visible every night at dinner getting feedback and asking for reaction. His enthusiasm was great, and his skill was evident with every meal. Doramus, Robin and Zsambor made every meal a treat, offering great suggestions and perfect timing with every course. Christian was aboard as Sommelier, and provided excellent wine service at lunch and dinner. We thought the quality of wines poured at dinner was very good. We ordered a separate bottle off the list only once this trip, as we were very satisfied with the wines offered. We also enjoyed the opportunity to dine with the Captain one evening, who was a great host. Bar Service: Francisco, Danny and Martin provided outstanding service, with Martin making great Mojitos in the afternoons at the pool bar. Again, selection and quality of drinks was outstanding during the day and at night. The Piano Bar with Sammy was much frequented on this sailing compared to last year, with a good crowd every night and action at the Blackjack table most evenings. Land Adventures: A highlight of the trip was the Cat Sail/snorkeling from Mayreau to the Tobago Cays. The crew was outstanding, and the turtles around the ship and snorkeling site was a real treat. The sail back to Mayreau for the Beach Splash was beautiful. We also tried the Clear Kayaks on Ile de Saintes. It was a cloudy day, which limited visibility, though the clear kayaks were great. We stayed in very close to the main harbor. The tour leader indicated it is normally a 3 hour trip they tried to fit into 90 minutes. This excursion would be better if longer. Ports: Marigot: We arrived one day early, and stayed at the Mercure Hotel on Baie Nettle. The hotel was very nice and worked well for a short pre-cruise stay. They provided a very nice breakfast buffet. Guests were predominantly European. We ate dinner and lunch the next day at Dreams Restaurant, about a 200 meter walk from the hotel. The food at Dreams was outstanding at both meals. I would especially commend the selection of pizzas for lunch. The SD I departed from Galisbay Port, about a 15 minute taxi ride from the hotel. Gustavia: We dined on the ship and tendered over to the port. For a Saturday night, the town felt pretty quiet. We met some fellow passengers at Bar L'Oublie, where we enjoyed live music and dancing from a bar across the street until midnight. The next day we rented a Suzuki Jimny from Turbe rental cars, and spent the day visiting beaches around the island. We enjoyed Gouvernor's Beach the most. Lunch at Restaurant Santa Fe on a cliff overlooking the beach--excellent Mahi ceviche, gazpacho and lobster salad. Iles des Saintes: A small, quiet port--definitely a different feel in the Caribbean. We did the Clear Kayak excursion here. Grande De Anse, Martinique: Highlight here was Gareth's hike--a 2 km. rough trail up one hillside then down to Plage Arlot and swimming at the beach. If he offers the walk, do it! Rodney Bay: We experienced rain showers through the morning here, so after a brief walk, came back to the ship for lunch and enjoyed sun in the afternoon by the pool and swimming off the watersports platform. We would consider renting a car here next time, and exploring more of St. Lucia--there's not much at Rodney Bay. Bequia: The sail through the Grenadines was a highlight of the trip, and Bequia was a wonderful destination. Perfect weather, and Princess Margaret Beach was a $3 water taxi from the pier. We had lunch at Jack's on Princess Margaret beach, with excellent grilled mahi and grilled local lobster. The beach was crowded as another ship was in port, but the sand and water were outstanding, with lots of palm trees providing shade if you wanted a break from the sun. Mayreau: Cat Sail snorkeling here, described above. The Beach Splash location was ideal--completely private and an amazing barbeque lunch. Again, Chef Alistair was about ensuring all was perfect. Beach was great with lots of time in the water. Was the ideal end to the trip. Barbados: We had a late flight out Saturday afternoon, so we arranged a tour to visit the Mount Gay Rum Distillery, Harrison Caves and lunch before arriving at the airport around 2:30. Carson was waiting for us at the port, and provided an excellent tour. The blizzard on the east coast made travel back challenging, but our flight did depart later that evening, getting us as far as Atlanta. Getting home to DC is another story..... Conclusion: While the SD I had 104 passengers compared to 84 last year, the ship never felt crowded, and service never missed a beat. We've not repeated many trips over the years, and were surprised we wanted to take SeaDream again after only one year. We made an open booking for our next trip on the last night--our easiest decision on the trip. There is nothing about the trip I can really criticize or highlight for improvement--its just that good. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We had sailed on her sister ship several years ago, loving every moment, so decided that a short cruise on this lovely, yacht size vessel would be just perfect in a Mediterranean spring. Embarkation was over before we knew it, with the ... Read More
We had sailed on her sister ship several years ago, loving every moment, so decided that a short cruise on this lovely, yacht size vessel would be just perfect in a Mediterranean spring. Embarkation was over before we knew it, with the smiling captain waiting at the top of the gangplank to welcome guests, and a trio of waiters proffering glasses of champagne. Our charming Deck 2 cabin was ready, with a chilled bottle nestling in an ice bucket and a huge basket of fruit temptingly beside it. The cabin had two delightfully retro portholes, lovely wooden trims round the separate bed and sitting area and a huge cabinet housing tv, DVD player and cocktail cabinets, complete with beautiful crystal glasses. The wardrobe had adequate storage, plus two robes, and there were ample drawers for more storage. The tiny bathroom had a marble shower unit with multi jet taps , Bulgari toiletries in generous sizes and ample fluffy towels. The friendly cabin stewardess checked to see that everything was to our liking, and brought the down pillows we prefer. We strolled to the top deck for a tempting buffet lunch, accompanied by wines or champagnes... All a fantastic beginning to a delightful cruise. Dinner, the highlight of the day on many a cruise, was truly a Gastronomic experience, with every dish cooked to order, from a very varied menu, beautifully prepared and presented, especially with the great touch of the main course being cloche covered , and served with ceremony and style. Well chosen wines were served to accompany dinner each evening, but it was a little disappointing to find that no port was available, apart from an ultra sweet ruby. It was a delight on two cruise nights to have dinner served on the open decks of the ship, with dishes chosen to reflect the Mediterranean Sea surrounding us. Always on offer was an alternative more traditional fare emu, and an innovative vegan and raw menu. As this tiny vessel has no showroom or entertainment venues, evenings are low key, centred round the charming Piano bar or the Top of the Yacht bar, with skilled cocktail serving barmen. The ports visited ranged from tiny, idyllic Patmos, busy Mykonos and Kusadasi, where most guests whisked off to visit the glorious ancient city of Ephesus. The evocative port of Kepez was the starting point for those who wished to visit the sad site of Galipolli, or alternately see the vast site of ancient Troy. On return from port visits, we were able to enjoy the range of water sports offered from the lowered back deck, shepherded by a crew member in and inflatable. Other guests enjoyed the comfortable sun beds round the tiny pool, with waiters offering cooling drinks and deck food service. On the last night of the cruise, we had chosen to enjoy a night under the stars, sleeping on top deck on a huge curved Balinese bed, with half canopy, and chilled champagne ready on the cocktail table at the foot of the bed. This special bed was roped off for privacy, and all lights dimmed, on request at midnight. Unlike many guests, we stayed the entire night, going off to sleep under the velvet, star studded sky and woken by the sun rising. A cruise on such a charming vessel was like a tiny taste of being on a grand liner of yesteryear with impeccable service, no glitz, just old fashioned luxury discretely delivered. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
SeaDream cruises are incomparable if service is concerned. You are really pampered with such a crew to passenger ratio, so that everyone is recognized and addressed by name once embarked. Unlike other ship's smiling faces aimed for a ... Read More
SeaDream cruises are incomparable if service is concerned. You are really pampered with such a crew to passenger ratio, so that everyone is recognized and addressed by name once embarked. Unlike other ship's smiling faces aimed for a tip, on SeaDream every gestures are from the heart and every effort is made to make you happy. The dinner is also among the best if not the outright best, with best ingredients and innovative cuisine, and really professional white-grove service. The open air breakfast is always memorable. It is 'yachting' not cruising, so you can expect a lot of differences and once you are on it you may like it best, even addicted to the experience, or otherwise. Yes there is no real entertainment as such and the cabins have no balcony, but all these become immaterial to me and I always have the best cruising experience on SeaDream, now my third cruise. They have specialties that you do not find in any other ship such as water sport facilities. Passengers are youngish comparing with other 5 star ships and people mix and become friends when disembark. Because of the ship's small tonnage I had the best itinerary in the Med unmatched and unmatchable by any ship even slightly larger. Cannot be better for a one week cruise and all that I regret is that it is far too short! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Seadream sailings are NOT your typical cruising. Read their tag line and it says it all. This is yachting so if you're expecting and hoping for Seabourn,Crystal or Regent you might be disappointed. This is a kick back, relaxing ... Read More
Seadream sailings are NOT your typical cruising. Read their tag line and it says it all. This is yachting so if you're expecting and hoping for Seabourn,Crystal or Regent you might be disappointed. This is a kick back, relaxing vacation with amazing staff who are full time attentive . The crew are happy, funny, and appear to love what they do. When you're on vacation you want to see smiles! Cabins are adequate size and appointed decently. I did think the bedding could be updated but that would be my only complaint on the room. Bathrooms are small but the showers are good. I read another review that was highly critical and it was hard, given our experience, to imagine they were on Seadream. Maybe I'm a bit more relaxed but then the trip is supposed to be a vacation. If you're looking for glitz and glamour look somewhere else otherwise book a relaxing vacation on Seadreamand enjoy the service and fun of the "yacht". Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
It’s time for my yearly review of SeaDream. I contemplated skipping the review this year since it feels like my reviews are repeating themselves: we had a fabulous time, the weather was perfect, the service was top-notch, blah, ... Read More
It’s time for my yearly review of SeaDream. I contemplated skipping the review this year since it feels like my reviews are repeating themselves: we had a fabulous time, the weather was perfect, the service was top-notch, blah, blah,blah. But since I look forward to reading anything “SeaDream” throughout the year, I decided to go ahead and share some highlights and new things we noticed this year at the risk of being redundant. OUR VOYAGE Seadream I, January 31 – February 7th, 2015. Planned Itinerary: Depart San Juan | Sandy Ground, Anguilla | Saba - Gustavia, St Barts (Overnight) | Soper’s Hole, Tortola | Norman Island | Virgin Gorda | Disembark St Thomas One of the unique things I love about SeaDream is it’s ability to change itineraries based on weather, etc. This came in handy on our cruise, as the weather on Sunday in Anguilla wasn’t the best. We ended up making St. Barts our first stop, visiting Anguilla later in the week. We also didn’t make it to Saba due to weather - we’ve been to Saba before and it’s not one of our favorite ports so this didn’t disappoint. PORTS ANGUILLA | we went to the beach at Shoal Bay, beautiful beach, but there is a lot of building going on since we visited 2 years ago, and I’m wondering how much the atmosphere is going to change in the future. ST. BARTS | we normally visit Governor’s Beach but decided to give Saline Beach a try for something new. It was a good choice, beautiful location and less crowded then Governor’s. There was a nice little restaurant within walking distance to the beach. NORMAN ISLAND | we took the tender to Pirate’s Bight and walked around a bit, before heading back to the ship to spend the day enjoying the pool. FELLOW PASSENGERS Our cruise had 70 passengers, with about half having sailed with SeaDream previously. This was a rather low key crowd – personable – with no real complainers and no life-of-the-party types. Top of the yacht bar emptied out by midnight, though the piano bar seemed more popular than previous trips. Most of the guests were in the late 40- 60s age range. There was one married couple with a 4 month old baby and 2 year old. We were a bit worried when we first saw the baby and toddler, but they were adorable and absolute angels and didn’t cause any problems. SERVICE The service is always a highlight of our cruises on SeaDream. I didn’t think it was possible to improve on it, but the service seemed to be at an all time high. Enes as Maitre ‘d is a gem. We’ve sailed with him before and have never had a meal go by where he hasn’t checked in on us - attentive and just a really nice guy! Waiters Robin, Doramus and Mikee were all up to the challenge of keeping our party of 7 fed and happy during the week. Bartender Manuel at the piano bar - so kind, plus he introduced me to the perfect Amaretto Sour. At this point in my life I thought I’d tried every cocktail there was, nice surprise to find an addition to add to my arsenal. Marco and Gabor at the TOYB were a hoot - stand up comedians or bartenders? I’m still not sure. Mark and Angelo at the pool were constantly making sure we were happy - moving umbrellas, serving cocktails and passarounds, misting us with cool water, cleaning our sunglasses - I was exhausted just watching them all day! CAPTAIN ERIKSEN This is our first sailing with Captain Erickson, what a great addition to the SeaDream team. He was very visible and informative, keeping us up-to-date on the weather, and letting and us know when there was a chance we were going to miss a port and what our options were. I liked his straight forward approach, on a few of our other trips we felt like we were given different stories about what was going on when ports were canceled. He also gave us a surprise visit to Foxy’s Bar on Jost Van Dyke Thursday night. It’s was great to get a taste of the Caribbean nightlife and also to see some of the crew given time off to enjoy themselves along with us. SPLASH Our splash this year was at Virgin Gorda. The location is new and it wasn’t my favorite setting for the splash. The beach is on a slant, so it’s hard to relax when sitting on a lounger. The water was a bit rough so the caviar was served on the beach not in the water. That being said, it was a wonderful way to spend our last day of the cruise. The weather was perfect, the water temperature sublime, and the food was excellent - noteworthy was the prime rib and the shrimp skewers that were cooked to perfection. Note: My overall splash rankings would be: 1st Soggy Dollar (ambiance), 2nd Nevis (facilities), 3rd Virgin Gorda. FOOD Food was excellent all week, some of our favorites: – pesto omelet – the “crispy” bacon – mussels for lunch – swordfish at lunch – fish and chips at lunch – white tomato cappucino (sublime!) – spicy tuna appetizer – chateaubriand – beef wellington – chocolate chipotle ice cream (sounds strange, but delicious) NIGHTLIFE We started most nights at the piano bar. George the piano player was great, though he could update his music library with some more current songs. When we weren’t belting out a song we would hop over to the black jack table. Valentina, the dealer, was wonderful. Most nights it was just our group playing and we are by no means blackjack afficienados. Valentina was very patient with us, helpful and always smiling. We would then head up to the Toy Bar where Gabor and Marco would fix us a delicious end-of-night cocktail and have us laughing. One couple from our group spent a night on the front bali bed one evening and loved it. They had perfect weather and lasted outside all night. MISCELLANEOUS – New decor in the salon is an improvement. – Love the bamboo plants in the bedroom, the previous plastic plant drove me crazy – Complimentary mini massages by the pool a few afternoons were wonderful – Liked the new Confluence dinner (in addition to the Degustation night) – Current movies were being shown in cabin (American Sniper was available on our sailing) – Heineken is now served on draft at the pool and TOYB. Icy cold and delicious – Wine at dinner seems improved over last year - though there is still room for more improvement :) – Foxy’s evening stop was great. LIFE-IS-GOOD MOMENT Our vacations on SeaDream have left us with so many wonderful memories, on each cruise there is that one moment where it hits you -- life doesn’t get much better than this! For this trip it occurred on Thursday as we sailed from Sopers Hole to Norman Island. Lunch was served al fresco while we were under sail. Everything about the lunch was perfect - the weather and gentle seabreeze, the fabulous service by Robin (which we had grown accustomed to all week), fish and chips cooked to perfection, cold wine and beer being poured continuously, laughter and conversation with my family, all while breathtaking views of the mountains of the British Virgin Islands sailed by. Truly a snapshot that will stay with me forever. Thank you SeaDream for creating such a unique vacation experience. To the Crew, thank you for being the perfect host year-to-year...treating us spectacularly, putting up with odd requests, and doing it all with such joy! It’s a week my siblings and I look forward to all year - we get to leave behind the hustle of the real world and spend some quality time catching up, reminiscing, laughing, eating and drinking all while enjoying the gorgeous scenery and weather of the Caribbean. We can’t wait to spend another week with you next year! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
We're 8 time members having cruised with Sea Dream 1 for seven and Sea Dream II for a Caribbean cruise April 2013 so, yes, we're biased. A bias created by nothing but extraordinary memories. The experience of either of the yachts ... Read More
We're 8 time members having cruised with Sea Dream 1 for seven and Sea Dream II for a Caribbean cruise April 2013 so, yes, we're biased. A bias created by nothing but extraordinary memories. The experience of either of the yachts is exquisite regardless of the itinerary. The ship is lovely, the staff are truly the best we've experienced in all of our travels on sea or land. The food is 5-star fine dining, the rooms compact, as you would expect, but luxurious and perfectly outfitted. There is space for everything; well designed, extremely comfortable - all you could want. With a maximum of 112 passengers, one might expect an environment that prevents privacy but with so many nooks, you can find isolation as well. This is the best small cruise (really yacht) offering there is. The weather is not within anyone's control so Sea Dream cannot be faulted if weather is less then expected. As it happened, this cruise began the day after several weeks of nasty weather in the Baltic and began with sunny, warm skies which continued, but for one day, through the 11 days. The first port of Hanko, Finland, was unremarkable yet for many, fitting, considering the many hours of travel required to get to the embarkation port of Stockholm. The last port of Sasnitz, Germany also unremarkable yet again fitting considering how busy passengers had been enjoying the other remarkable ports - a good day to chill onboard, or take an excursion to the countryside. Experiencing the 'white nights' wherein you could view dusk from one side of the ship and night from the other at 2 am was unforgettable. But the most important aspect of Sea Dream is the onboard magic. We're discerning travelers, not easy to please, yet Sea Dream never ceases to amaze. Sit on the pool deck, after dinner, alone, and watch the horizon, listen to the sound of the ship, the waves, and wonder why you didn't discover Sea Dream sooner.   Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
SeaDream 1 was long anticipated to be the ultimate Baltic cruise, after reading so many positive reviews about the crew, service, food, atmosphere and intimacy. It did deliver on those topics, five star all the way. It was the many small ... Read More
SeaDream 1 was long anticipated to be the ultimate Baltic cruise, after reading so many positive reviews about the crew, service, food, atmosphere and intimacy. It did deliver on those topics, five star all the way. It was the many small and large problems that occurred almost daily and the lack of response, apology or amends by management that disappointed us, our friends and many of the 100 guests on board this June from Hamburg to Stockholm. The ship had just left drydock so the interiors were freshly redecorated and the staterooms looked attractive with new carpets, curtains and upholstery. There's adequate storage and a small but well appointed bathroom, and frequently re supplied fresh towels, nice bed linens, too. The most difficult situation was a lack of functioning air conditioning in many cabins for the entire 11 days. The ship has no balcony cabins so one couldn't even open a door or window for fresh air. Two of the three passenger decks were affected, guests made the best of it, but it was difficult for many to sleep well. Many attempts were made by the engineering crew and outside repair men to fix the system, but no luck cooling down dozens of cabins. It took the captain a week to address the issue and barely an apology was made at three separate private cocktail parties, one for each cabin deck, no compensation was offered. An oin board credit or future cruise discount would have gone a long way to make amends to the guests. There are several bars on the ship, but only one was open at cocktail hour. Just as the evening began and the temperature was perfect at 630 pm they closed the outdoor bar and opened the indoor lounge bar. No one wanted to leave the sunshine and views on deck six and go into a shady room for pre dinner drinks. There were other issues with two missed ports, lack of planning for cold, rainy day activities, having breakfast served only on deck on cold mornings, so cold staff passed out blankets to guests, non functioning internet service, and several more minor but annoying issues others will comment on in later reviews. The crew were friendly, hard working, cheerful and did their best, the food was superb. Maybe early June was the wrong time for the Baltic, no one ever used the pool or the water sports equipment stowed in the on board marina. The bikes were used in several ports and much appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
I love a beach. I don’t trust a person that doesn’t love a beach, to me it’s incomprehensible. When I need to go to my happy place when I’m having dental work done, I visualize myself sitting on a beach looking at the water. When ... Read More
I love a beach. I don’t trust a person that doesn’t love a beach, to me it’s incomprehensible. When I need to go to my happy place when I’m having dental work done, I visualize myself sitting on a beach looking at the water. When it’s freezing cold at home, I look at photos of beach vacations to keep me from going over the edge. To me it’s pure relaxation and how I love to spend my vacation time. I’m lucky to be able to travel quite a bit, each year we take a summer vacation to the Outerbanks, NC, we cruise at least once a year on one of the large ships, and visit the Gulf in Florida a few times. But since 2010, the highlight has been a yearly caribbean cruise on SeaDream with my siblings. We have countdown charts, diet challenges, and shopping trips to get prepared. We send emails to each other when we start packing and keep a list all year of cocktails to try onboard (dang we forgot to try the Dirty Banana)! Being a cruise critic junkie, after reading recent posts I was getting a little nervous that “my SeaDream” was a thing of the past. There were some negative reviews mixed in with the positive reviews. There was also talk of engine trouble on SeaDream I. I’m happy to report that our trip erased all my fears. This might rank as my favorite trip on SeaDream so far. The engine is being repaired and there were no delays in getting to any of our ports. The crew was beyond spectacular. Below are some of my favorite memories as well as a few things that could be done to improve SeaDream. ITINERARY Saturday | Philipsburg, St. Martin - Departure 6:00 pm We had booked a hotel for 3 nights pre-cruise at the Radisson Blu on the French side of St. Martin. We really liked the hotel - the grounds/beach/pool were very nice. Service was very good and the food and drinks also good. We would go back without hesitation. Originally, we were supposed to depart from Marigot, but a few weeks before the cruise we were informed that we would be departing from Philipsburg. Since the island is small it wasn’t that big a deal to get to the new port on Saturday. Sunday | Anguilla 8:00 am-3:00pm | St. Barts 6:00 pm - overnight This was our first visit to Anguilla and my favorite beach of the cruise! We took a cab to Shoal Bay and rented lounge chairs and an umbrella. The sand was pure white and powder soft. There were a few beach bars that served cocktails and had restrooms. Weather was perfect, low 80s and no humidity. We stayed at the beach as long as we could and returned to the ship in time to depart for St. Barts. We stayed onboard while anchored at St. Barts in the evening. Monday | St. Barts departs 10:00 pm We’ve done the ATV and the Fast and Furious excursions on previous cruises to St. Bart. This year we started with some obligatory shopping, then headed to St. Jean Beach for lunch at LaPlage - the lobster burger and lobster citrus salad were fabulous, but pricey, which is to be expected in St. Barts! We had our taxi drive come back to pick us up at 2:00 to bring us to Gouverneurs beach. Our cab driver again returned at 5:30 and brought us back to the tender. Another perfect weather day. Tuesday | Antigua 8:00 am-10 pm This was the only day of the week where the weather wasn’t perfect - overcast and scattered showers. We got a half-day pass to the Hawksbill Resort. This was rather disappointing - food was bad, beach not nice, resort looked tired. In the past we’ve gone to Jolly Beach resort and would highly recommend it for a day pass. One of the prettiest beaches I’ve visited. Wednesday | Iles Des Saintes, Guadelope 9:00 am-6:00 pm We visited last year, so decided to make this a pool day. Stayed onboard and enjoyed drinks by the pool. Tristan and Christian treated us fabulously all day - umbrellas were raised and moved when requested, spritzed with water to keep us cool, sunglasses were cleaned, pass-around snacks delivered - weather perfect. Thursday | St. Kitts 8:00 am-6:00 pm We had such a nice time onboard on Wednesday that most of our party stayed onboard again. Once again we were spoiled all day poolside. The energetic couple of our party did the zip-line tour and enjoyed it. Friday | Coconut Grove, Nevis (Champagne & Caviar Splash) 9:00 am-6:00 pm OK, I’ll admit this is my favorite day next to Christmas. And a lot like we used to peek down the stairs when we awoke on Christmas morning, we peeked out our curtains this morning. We were happy to see sunny skies, as last year the weather didn’t cooperate and the Splash was held on the ship. This year we giddily jumped on the Zodiac with Chief Officer Albert as our captain. After a quick and bumpy drive, we were delivered with our wet landing to Coconut Grove for the Champagne & Caviar Splash and arrived on the beach feeling like we were in a James Bond movie (Halle Berry eat your heart out!). We were happy with the location for this years splash. Two other years we were at Jost Van Dyke and though Coconut Grove was different, it was just as much fun. The sand and beach aren’t as nice as Jost, but the facility at Coconut Grove is gorgeous. Thatched roof, beautiful furniture...I even took a photo of the bathroom because it was so pretty. Once again the energetic couple of our group decided to do the seaside morning horseback riding excursion and were happy they did. Saturday | Philipsburg, St. Martin 10:00 am debarkation We enjoyed our last breakfast of crispy bacon and said our goodbyes and thanks to the crew. We didn’t have a flight until the evening so we got a day pass at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort to kill some time. The resort is right next to the airport and was crowded. They did offer changing rooms to take showers and clean up in. We got to the airport and quickly realized our vacation was over. The airport was pure chaos - crowded, unorganized, loud. We were happy to get on the plane and head home. HIGHLIGHTS CREW - all the crew were spectacular, but here are some of our favorites: Captain Smorawski, our favorite SeaDream Captain - always visible and willing to chat. Enes, Maitre ‘d - we never had a meal where he didn’t stop by to check in on us -such a nice guy. Gareth, Activities Director - we were lucky to dine with him one evening. Gareth is a great addition to SeaDream, he was the perfect host and seemed very interested in finding out what we love and what we think could be improved on SeaDream. His activity tours seemed very popular and he was also very visible and willing to answer questions. Concierge Brenda. Waiters Doromas and Olivier (always a gentleman). Bartender Manuel at the Piano Bar. FELLOW PASSENGERS - this cruise had 98 passengers, 50 from the U.S., 20 from Norway and the rest from assorted countries. 50 passengers were returning guests. If you read my review from a few years ago I think the fellow passengers are an important part of making SeaDream stand out from other cruises - always friendly and interesting. This years cruise seemed to be more social than ever. FOOD - delicious. Favorites included the pesto omelet, crispy bacon, mussels for lunch, crab claws, Chateaubriand, pumpkin cappuccino soup, macaroon cookies, crab legs. DRINKS - our favorites included: champagne, peppermint patty, salty chihuahua, lemon drop martinis, espresso martini, B&B - hand mixed by Manuel each evening at the piano bar. COCKTAIL HOUR - my two favorite things, martinis and appetizers. Last year’s cocktail hour was a bit disappointing, seemed like the same thing every night. This years was back to being fabulous, something different every night and the addition of a hot appetizer passed-around each evening. DEGUSTATION MENU - I’m always amazed at how even things I don’t think I like taste good at this dinner. The egg caviar appetizer is fabulous, the Chateaubriand was cooked to perfection. The crab lobster citrus appetizer was new to us and was a hit. PIANO BAR - we usually head to the piano bar after dinner every evening. On many of our cruises, we would be the only ones there. This year there was always a boisterous crowd and it was a hoot. DINNER TOPSIDE - we were only able to eat dinner topside once but it was fabulous, I love the contrast of the casualness of outdoor dining with the waiters dressed in their black t-shirts, with the beautifully set tables and gourmet dinner. We had a table looking over the pool area. It was the night of the dessert extravaganza poolside, so we didn’t have far to go to finish our meal with an assortment of delicious desserts. ABOVE AND BEYOND - the evening of the dessert extravaganza we loaded up our plates and noticed that there wasn’t a table with enough chairs for everyone in our party. Since our plates were really “loaded”, a few of us decided we would eat our dessert at our dinner table that overlooked the pool. Gareth saw us and immediately told us to go join the rest of our family. He then carried a few chairs down the stairs for us, so we would be comfortable. I told you he was good! OVERALL CASUAL AMBIANCE - the pool area, outdoor breakfast and lunch, top-of-the-yacht bar, the casual dress - I didn’t even pack heels for this trip. WATER TOYS - lots of opportunities for swimming off the back of the boat. Jet skis, sailboats, banana boat, water skiing, kayaking. SPECIAL TOUCHES - sunglass cleaning, remembering order from day-to-day, being greeted each and every time by concierge when we entered the lobby, butterfly service at dinner and “voila,” pass-arounds at the pool and cocktail hour, monogrammed PJs, Bulgari toiletries. AHA MOMENT - one afternoon, later is the week as we were lounging poolside, Tristan cam by with a tray of frozen Snicker bars. I turned to my sister and said “This is the best cruise ever!” After a week of fabulous, freshly prepared food - a little processed junk food hit the spot. How did they know?! ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT - The wine at dinner was almost undrinkable. We actually purchased wine at dinner for the first time. - Beer could have been colder (yes I’m knit-picking) - One of our rooms was part of the Commodore Suite. The bed in that cabin was a trundle and very low to the ground, though the mattress seemed the same as the “regular” cabins. Also you could hear what was going on in the connecting cabin in the Commodore Suite. - This was the first time were we had trouble getting chairs at the pool. There were also people “saving” chairs. One day when we went to lunch the crew was removing things from the chairs, we ran down to let them know we were just having lunch, but the hotel manager said they were to remove items if they were left for a half hour. - Could use some general sprucing up, cabins are dated, and the salon was looking a little worn. FINAL THOUGHTS So after becoming nervous hearing all the doom-and-gloom that has been posted on cruise critic recently, our latest experience on SeaDream put our fears to rest. We went ahead and put a deposit for a cruise in 2015 confident that another spectacular vacation is in store. Happily, our countdown clock has started once again, 46 weeks to go.... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
We found the ship, crew and fellow passengers delightful. And we loved the small size of the ship, which made it easy to get around, find places, meet people, talk to crew, and relax. Food was very good, but just a tad short of what we ... Read More
We found the ship, crew and fellow passengers delightful. And we loved the small size of the ship, which made it easy to get around, find places, meet people, talk to crew, and relax. Food was very good, but just a tad short of what we have enjoyed on Crystal, Regent and Seabourn. But the dining room service was the best we’ve seen afloat. The relaxed dress and casual atmosphere aboard SD was wonderful. Officers and crew were extremely friendly, and got to know our names from the first day. We felt at home, relaxed and having fun faster than on any other cruise ship. The itinerary – Costa Rica – was very good, but not great. The rainforests and beaches are lovely, but CR did not have the charm or infrastructure of the Caribbean. After a few national park visits, we were wishing there was more to do. And absolutely no shopping. As the company’s motto goes, “This is yachting, not cruising” – and this is both good and bad depending on one’s expectations. SD’s ships are old and small, which means there are fewer amenities and staff than on large ships, things sometimes get confused, and items sometimes break. For example, on our cruise the toiled didn’t work on 3 occasions, and the water didn’t work on two occasions (all were fixed quickly). The daily newsletter had several errors – e.g. one day it said we were tendering ashore when we were actually taking the zodiac. On another day the order of tours was mixed up, which left us waiting on land for an hour until we could depart on our excursion. If these kinds of things bother you, then SD is not your best choice. However, if you want to really relax and won’t get uptight if the occasional thing breaks or goes wrong, you’ll love SD. The crew have a way of quickly making everything right, and making everyone feel good. By the same token, SD is more yacht than cruise ship, and delivers an intimate and special experience that is not available elsewhere. This really is a lovely small ship that stands out as wonderfully different in an era where everyone is building bigger ships. The bottom line, would sail with SD again? Yes, but we hope SD management will consider building a new ship in the near future. SD has the right formula for creating a very special cruising experience that is unique in the industry. But as the current ships age, it will become increasingly more difficult for their crew to deliver that experience. There is a market for small ship luxury cruising, but SD will need to invest in its future to remain a leader.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Yes it's been a while but when I was told of the stellar team assembled on SD 1, I had just had to come and it was truly worth it. I see from a few recent reviews that a few reviewers are complaining about silly niggles BUT seem to ... Read More
Yes it's been a while but when I was told of the stellar team assembled on SD 1, I had just had to come and it was truly worth it. I see from a few recent reviews that a few reviewers are complaining about silly niggles BUT seem to have wholly ignored SD's finest asset that leads this line so far out in front than any other: the amazing CREW ! The fine men and women (and I include all of them) are simply the best (good name for a song). The cuisine was incredible and Michelin standard. One recent reviewer complained about pre-dinner drinks and eating outside ! Coming from Northern Europe where I did'nt even bother putting cushions on my outdoor furniture last summer because it was so cold and wet ! I was delighted to eat outside morning, noon and night with fantastic views over Caribbean islands with lovely breezes and feeling the WARMTH ! What other line provides this facility ? None. The crew are a happy lot too and this atmosphere is vital BUT seems lost on Mr.Niggle. We visited a number of ports but partly due to an injury and partly because I loved the experience on SD; I never got off ! Now some may say "you've come all this way and did'nt see the islands ?". Shocking is'nt it BUT time on board with my fellow lovely passengers away, it was just so peaceful. There were a few children on board but they were well behaved and kept away by an amazing Activities Manager and capable assistant. So now you must be asking "there must have been something wrong". Well there was; a waiter due to be on board (whom we adore) had to return home BUT he was replaced by SD1's Employee of the Year ! So even that worked out but we still missed G. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2013
We were on a seven-day cruise on Sea Dream 1 going out of San Juan, Puerto Rico and calling at various small islands. My wife is mobile, but was suffering from a bad knee, so we were dismayed at the amount of physical activity that was ... Read More
We were on a seven-day cruise on Sea Dream 1 going out of San Juan, Puerto Rico and calling at various small islands. My wife is mobile, but was suffering from a bad knee, so we were dismayed at the amount of physical activity that was needed on this ship. We were not allowed past the gate at the dock in San Juan at 1:20pm, as the ship said boarding was not until 2:00pm. That meant we had to stand outside in the hot sun as there was no place to sit down or any shade. The ship did not provide a waiting area inside the dock building, which every other cruise line does. The big clue to the amount of physical activity needed to enjoy this ship was the first time we boarded, up a very steep gangway ladder with open slats which were curiously slanted. My wife needed help to get up it. This same ladder was used anytime one got on and off the ship including boarding tenders. Tenders were used at every port call, and zodiacs at two of them. My wife was unable to use the zodiac and thus missed the "highlight" of the cruise, the beach bbq with caviar and champagne. This was also a "wet" landing. The tenders tended to pitch quite a bit when being loaded and unloaded at the ship and were very tricky, even for the young and agile passengers. I knew it was a small ship, but I was surprised that entertainment was only one piano player/singer, one guy with a guitar, and one cabin stewardess who sang a couple of times. The casino was one blackjack table. This was a Caribbean cruise with good weather. The ship seemed to think that everyone wanted to eat every meal up on deck with some wind and lots of sun. The main dining room was NEVER open for breakfast or lunch, and they really wanted to serve every dinner outside, but fortunately the weather made them serve inside twice. They do not seem to realize that some folks do not want to dine outside all the time. Also, in order to get to the outside tables, one had to climb stairs, as the one tiny ship's elevator did not go all the way up to where the food was. They also insisted on service pre-dinner drinks and snacks outside on the pool deck whenever they could, instead of in the much more comfortable main salon. One night they had a dessert buffet extravaganza outside on the pool deck. It was so dark one could not see what the items were, so I went and got my flashlight so I could differentiate the chocolate cake from the apple strudel. Yes, the service was very good and they learned your name right away. I criticized something with the maitre 'd the second day, and he never was really friendly to me again the rest of the cruise, just professional. I criticized one bartender the second day that the beer was not cold (which he then put on ice for me, but which after 15 minutes I had to go get myself) and after that he never smiled at me again, but was jut professional. I did feel that certain groups and passengers got preferential treatment, especially when seats were assigned for evening dining. I got the unfortunate impression that if you made a complaint, they remembered it and you for the rest of the trip. There was no actual dress code, but the women usually dressed up a bit the two times we were in the main dining room. The men spruced up a bit these two nights, but apparently if one dined on deck, the men took it as OK to wear baggy utility shorts, uncollared shirts, and shoes/sandals without socks. Even on nights with open-air dining, the women did dress up more than the men. There was a definite more spruced-up look from the European guests than the American ones. I was very surprised by the free wines served at meals. Only one white and one red and of mediocre quality. The catch was that they served the same wine until it ran out, so you would get the same rather rough Cianti for two or three days. Other ships I have been on which served free wines usually had two whites and two reds and changed them every day. They must have had limited refrigeration space, as the beer was not served very cold, and they poured the soft drinks out of warm cans. The bar Scotch was Johnny Walker Red, rather than the Black served on other six-star ships. So, this ship is for those who do not mind lots of stairs, tendering, zodiacs with wet landings, etc. They must like to dine outside rather than in the main dining room. The cruise line seems to like to fill the ship with groups which makes it difficult for a couple on a ship with only 100 passengers (our week there was a very rowdy and loud group of 20 Texans who liked to sit together). I thought that for the six-star ultra-luxury rating they were a bit cheap with the wines and spirits served. Caviar is strictly rationed but always available at $100 an ounce. They seemed to push the sale of premium wines and spirits. The daily free wines were never listed on the menus, but they always prominently featured premium wines which could be purchased. I noticed that when they served the free wines they always just said we have a cabernet or we have a chardonnay. They were reluctant to volunteer where the wine was from, and the label was usually not made obvious unless one asked to see it. Yes, there were a bunch of little things that were somewhat annoying about this ship but the vast majority of the staff was very friendly and helpful, especially the lower-ranking staff. On a ship with only 100 passengers, one would think that every couple would be invited to dine with officers or staff at least once during the trip, but we were not, although I saw at least one other couple at an officer's table twice. We will not be back on Sea Dream 1, or 2, for that matter, but do acknowledge that most of the guests seemed to be having a very nice time aboard. I would also mention in closing that we were in a cabin that had a door which opened up to form a suite for those who wanted to book it. This door, while closed, allowed sound to come through to such a point that we were able to judge how often the couple next door enjoyed a romantic interlude. The gym was small with only four treadmills, but I always found one available. There were always fresh towels and water provided at each treadmill. The cabin was small, but adequate. The bathroom was small and it was hard to get inside and close the door to use the toilet. On this very small ship, there were only two good indoor places to sit and read, in the main salon and in the library, both of which were quite dark. So, the ship was great if you were young and active, but did not really appeal to us and was just too small, too informal, too many outdoor meals, etc, with a bit of favoritism shown on board. They really need to do something about that rather hazardous gangway ladder. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2012
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: July 2012
Although we have cruised Seadream 2 before this was our first time on Seadream 1. We arrived at the quayside in Dubrovnik a little before the check in time of 14:00 so a stroll to look at the megaships berthed nearby passed the time. We ... Read More
Although we have cruised Seadream 2 before this was our first time on Seadream 1. We arrived at the quayside in Dubrovnik a little before the check in time of 14:00 so a stroll to look at the megaships berthed nearby passed the time. We left our cases at the quay and check-in commenced on time but no longer on the quay under an awning met with champagne and cold towels. We were beckoned on board and greeted with champagne by those I established by asking were the cruise director and captain. We were taken to the concierge area for photos and production of a cruise card. This is now used at a laptop terminal instead of the quaint in/ out board that used to be found at the top of the stairway if you went ashore. The cabin had been booked as a guarantee and we were allocated 202. This is what we expected but as the ship only had 91 guests to 94 crew it would have been nice to have been given an upgrade to a window from portholes. Allocation was onboard and the pre cruise documentation only arrived 2 days before departure which considering the option to personalise your seadream nightwear had to be returned 3 weeks prior to departure I thought was a poor start. A quick check of the cabin revealed the bed configuration hadn't been made up as requested, the welcoming bottle of champagne had become ½, there's no longer any fresh flowers or fruit only artificial pots of what looks like chive, the air con fan wasn't working and there's no longer any body wash provided in the shower just I bar of soap to share between here and the wash basin. The bathrooms are compact and although the shower is excellent, trying to use the toilet seated needs some thought. Other than this the cabin was clean and tidy with the fridge stocked with soft drinks, beer and water. Ice was available in the bucket. Smiler was our cabin steward for the week and she kept things spick and span throughout our stay. The air con fan and bed configuration had been corrected before we went to bed. Food is one of the highlights on board and this rarely failed to deliver. All cooked a la minute and to individual preferences whether in the restaurant or on deck. When this did fail there was always the offer to redo it or take an alternative. Sometimes the service let the experience down when courses failed to arrive or presentation wasn't consistent but the quality and quantity is what you'd expect. Corporate chef Sudesh Kishore was always available and enquired if you'd enjoyed your meal even at breakfast where a variety of teas, including loose is now offered. Bar service on deck, in the main lounge and piano bar is very attentive with the staff soon learning your preferences and engaging in chit chat. Special mention must be made of Xander who always had our digestive ready which went on to become a nightcap accompanied by Alex on the piano. My only poor experience was during the Corinth Canal transit when Gideon at the Top of the Yacht bar considered it more important to wipe down and clean the bar then served another member of staff before asking me for my order. He didn't escape without comment. There were 3 water sports days from the marina with plenty of time for swimming or use of the 'toys' carried on board. Jetskis, sailing, banana ride and waterskiing were all used. The on board pool was also popular. This leads nicely on to our one main complaint. There were at least 3 families on board, 2 with quite young children. They thought it quite acceptable to abdicate their parental responsibilities and let them run about uncontrolled splashing and jumping into the pool. One afternoon the main salon was turned into a playground with all the seat cushions piled into a heap at one end of the banquet seating. They also had the habit of reserving pool sunbeds before breakfast then going ashore and not returning before mid afternoon. This was mentioned to some of the staff and they confirmed they had spoken to the children on numerous occasions but were wary of escalating the issue because they weren't convinced senior management on board would support them. Well let me say I would because the line is advertised as not specifically encouraging children. Therefore the parents have to look after them and know what they are doing 24/7. The concierge staff always had maps and advice for those going ashore and this was available from the first departures which we usually were. On one occasion we heard the organised tour had been cancelled due low numbers. This is something you may wish to consider if visiting a particular site that is important to you. We didn't use the spa. Disembarkation was very leisurely, luggage placed outside your cabin by 01:00 if you wished it to be taken ashore. Full breakfast service offered from 07:30 although tablecloths were absent, and the captain and cruise director at the gangway to bid you farewell ensuring your onward journey starts stress free. We left around 09:30 to meet our driver. Overall the experience is good. Staff should have the confidence to deal with unruly passengers whether they be adults or children. And the money saving schemes of no body wash in the shower must cease if this is to remain a premium product. We are looking to take the Black Sea cruise next year but have decided to look at other cruise companies. Read Less
SeaDream I Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.4
Family 2.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.2
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.9
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 5.0 4.3

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