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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Seadream II: Antigua - Antigua, March 31 - April 6, 2018. Anyway because of Hurricane Irma’s destruction of St. Maarten Seadream had moved their hub to St. Johns, Antigua for the whole season. A wierd choice because Antigua has no ... Read More
Seadream II: Antigua - Antigua, March 31 - April 6, 2018. Anyway because of Hurricane Irma’s destruction of St. Maarten Seadream had moved their hub to St. Johns, Antigua for the whole season. A wierd choice because Antigua has no Cruise Terminal - in fact no facilities whatsoever. We came in on an Island hopper from St Maarten during the morning, took a taxi to St. Johns and was actually dropped off at the top of the pedestrian street leading down to the pier. No Seadream staff. No sign. A minuscle public office (when we finally found it) served as combined customs and immigration. Still no Seadream staff. By questioning the local person at the office we found out where the boat was parked: 300 meters of south-facing boardwalk with no shadow but a lot of stairs from where we were. No Seadream staff. No Porters. Plenty of luggage. We hauled our 60 kilos over to the boat and happily but sweaty climed the gangway. On the otherwise empty deck finally we found a Seadream Officer. Without any greating he promptly denied us access. By then it was almost 1 pm. but apparently we were an hour too early. Could we please sit in the shadow somewhere? No. Get off the ship and return later. What about our luggage standing on the pier? Just leave it there! And from then it went downhill: Only 30 passengers of which 12 were invited agents. Inconsistent service. Arrogant Middle Managers. The “port” at Virgin Gorda (Leverick Bay) was completely destroyed by Irma. Not one building was left standing. Yet they insisted in tendering in the few braves that wanted to. For what? Instead they could be anchoring up at a nice beach somewhere in the neigborhood. After all that should be their strenght: Small size and few passengers equals flexibility. Not so on Seadream. In fact the only change in the itineray was to not go to White Beach, Joost Van Dyke which happens to be one of the most spectacular beaches on the Planet. Instead they went to a dark-grey uninviting beach on another island. Why? Because the shack they use for the beach BBQ on White Bay Beach had not been rebuilt yet and they wanted to show the agents what a beach BBQ was. Apparently there was a shack on Dark Grey Beach where they could feed the flock of agents (with severely burnt feet). Out of six dinners three were good. Dishes had to be sent out at the other three. Compared to the other 6* lines the cabins are small and uncomfortable. The bathroom is so small that I had to sit side-ways on the loo. The sink is barely above my knee caps. (I am 6,3). To take a shower was an acrobatic exercise. Since 1999 we have cruised upwards of 400 days always on small or medium sized 6* lines. The six days on board Seadream were the most expensive per diem - and the poorest value. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
SeaDream is niche and one's response will depend on how one visualizes a 5-star experience. There's nothing wrong with it, but a lot of what we've come to associate with luxury resorts requires bigness, like walk-in closets, ... Read More
SeaDream is niche and one's response will depend on how one visualizes a 5-star experience. There's nothing wrong with it, but a lot of what we've come to associate with luxury resorts requires bigness, like walk-in closets, big bathrooms, lots of choices in restaurants and entertainment, structured programs. So, gut check time -- if your lux ideal requires big, then SeaDream isn't for you. Things like the wine list and the pool are going to be great but not big. Onboard shopping is very limited. This isn't a floating Bellagio -- you'll feel the boat move . . . a lot. I'd also say SeaDream isn't "plush" -- sheets, towels, furniture, fixtures are all very comfortable and up to date, but not over-the-top or to-die-for. On the other hand, you'll love SeaDream (as we did) if your definition of luxury corresponds to what SeaDream brings to the table. The food is phenomenal (really) in creativity, presentation, execution, you name it. In this respect, smallness had no negative effect on choices -- the menu always had lots of choices, even for breakfast. These are 300' yachts, not cruise ships, which makes them both charming and convenient. There is wooden trim as well as doors and hatches that need to be latched. Literally nothing on the ship is more than a 2 minute walk from anything else -- I could go back to our room to retrieve a forgotten item and be back at the pool or topside restaurant in less than a minute. (Incidentally, wind and water make for good white noise -- we barely heard a thing from outside the room, even from the piano bar only 30' away on Deck 4 or the topside bar directly overhead). Mostly, however, SeaDream delivers its kind of 5-star luxury through relationships -- both among guests and between guests and crew. (The latter may be more commonly known as "service," but it's still about personal relationships.) SeaDream is famous for its social atmosphere and its service, and I won't belabor the point other than to say it's real and it's all it's cracked up to be, and to add a few observations: 1. Social doesn't mean frat house and doesn't mean an absence of privacy. We're still talking about 40-80 year old adults, mostly in their 50s and 60s, of differing temperaments. You can be social if and when you want to be. I considered us fairly social and yet we still ate breakfast alone almost every morning, lunch alone most days, and dinner alone twice. 2. If you're in the mood and the moons align for a party, there are unforgettable, fun experiences that can only happen within the kind of socially intimate groups you'll find on SeaDream. The high-enthusiam (if not high-quality) singalongs to George's piano don't work with a group of strangers. Same for the no-particular-occasion dance party at the Top of the Yacht that roared until 1:30 am until we took pity on Gareth and Domo and let them go to bed. It was self-DJ'd, meaning a bunch of 40, 50 and 60 year olds took turns plugging in their iPods to play fun, middle-age people dance music. That can only happen among people who already know and like one another and you're pretty sure they'll have extra Advil to share in the morning. 3. Maybe unwittingly, SeaDream has taken the social science breakthrough of our time (relationships, not stuff, makes us happy) and applied it to luxury cruises. It's your relationship with the staff (a/k/a service) and your relationship with the other guests. The result is a sense of contentment and security that you'll pay good money for, also known as luxury. Who knew. Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a special shout-out to some of the staff. The waiters and bartenders work very hard, and I want to especially thank some for making our trip very special: Domo, Gareth, Grenold, O'Neill, Bartosz. Thanks, guys. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Time for my annual “state-of-the-union” address. We’ve been sailing SeaDream yearly since 2010. Since every trip has been memorable and there aren’t many reviews posted on Cruise Critic, I’ve tried to write a review for most of ... Read More
Time for my annual “state-of-the-union” address. We’ve been sailing SeaDream yearly since 2010. Since every trip has been memorable and there aren’t many reviews posted on Cruise Critic, I’ve tried to write a review for most of our trips. This years vacation stands out as one of our favorites for many of the usual reasons - great itinerary, great crew and service, great fellow passengers, great food - and as luck would have it, great weather! We started our vacation by staying at Caneel Bay on St. John for 3 days prior to the cruise. We like to take a few days to get into vacation mode before boarding SeaDream. Caneel Bay has always been on our bucket list and we were quite pleased with our stay. It has some similarities to SeaDream in that the rooms are not modern and slick, but more retro and quaint. We loved the laid back vibe and gorgeous grounds and beaches. Definitely a place we want to return to. The resort runs a ferry taking guests back and forth to St. Thomas. It was very easy leaving Saturday morning and getting to the dock to board SeaDream. Highly recommend it as a pre- or post-cruise stay. ITINERARY SATURDAY | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. SUNDAY | Sopers Hole and Norman Island. Anegada was supposed to be our first port, but because of swells the captain moved Anegada to Friday as the weather report showed a better chance of tendering later in the week. We took a quick walk around the shops at Sopers Hole and then headed back for lunch. At Norman Island we took a quick trip ashore to Pirates Bight and quickly returned to the ship to enjoy the pool. MONDAY | Anguilla. We took a taxi to Shoal Bay, rented lounge chairs and enjoyed the beach. We stopped in at Elvis’ bar at the dock for a beer before taking the ferry back to the ship. TUESDAY | Philipsburg, St. Maarten and St. Barts in the evening. We took our only ship excursion on St. Maarten. We thoroughly enjoyed the America’s Cup Regatta. Great fun and well run though, if you suffer from seasickness, it might not be for you. Got a relaxing poolside massage while we sailed from St. Maarten to St. Barts. We stayed onboard in the evening, though many guests went ashore to have dinner. WEDNESDAY | St. Barts. We have a routine we follow for St. Barts. Shopping in he morning, Nikki beach and lunch midday, and then a late afternoon trip to Gouvernor’s beach. Usually we have lunch at LaPlage, but this year we decided to try Eden Rock. SeaDream’s concierge made the reservation for us. Lunch and service was excellent and we will probably make it our “go-to” lunch spot on future trips. THURSDAY | Jost Van Dyke (Champagne & Caviar Splash) and Foxy’s in the evening. Because of the change in itinerary the Splash was moved to Thursday. As always, it was a highlight of the trip and I think we prefer having it on Thursday. There was no worrying about rushing back to the ship to pack. Instead we wandered down to Soggy Dollar and people-watched until the last tender back. That evening we felt obligated to take a trip to Foxy’s. It was extremely crowded and we couldn’t even get through the crowds at the bar to get a beer. In the future will probably pass on Foxy’s if it’s offered. FRIDAY | Anegada. This was the only island on our trip that was new to us. After a treacherous (but fun) trip onto the tender and a bumpy trip to the island, SeaDream had a complimentary shuttle waiting to take passengers to Cow Wreck beach. The beach was spectacular and went on for miles, great for a long beach walk. We tried the famous lobster lunch and hate to admit it but was totally unimpressed - maybe it’s just us as the others guests were raving about the lobsters. Service at the bar/restaurant was good, and we would rate this as the prettiest beach of the trip. CREW - as always the crew was top notch. Some that really stand out: Captain Holmsteinsson. This was our first trip sailing with him and we were lucky enough to dine with him one evening. He was a very nice dinner host and great captain. Keeping us informed all week of weather situations and going the extra mile to make sure we were able to experience Anegada. Hotel Manager | Christophe. What a professional! We try to be low maintenance, and because of the great service, we really don’t have much need to request anything extra. But it seems Christophe is so good that he anticipated what would make our vacation better. For example, while we were eating lunch at the splash Christophe came over to say hello. One of us mentioned how the coconut macaroons that had been served all week were fabulous, and the only way to improve upon them would be to dip them in chocolate. That evening at dinner a plate full of chocolate dipped macaroons appeared, followed by a visit by the pastry chef. Another special touch, on the last day of the cruise we were on the pool deck waiting to see our last Caribbean sunset for awhile. Again Christophe stopped by to say hello. We mentioned how this was our favorite time of day and how absolutely perfect the weather and day had been. He asked if we would like to dine outside that evening. We were thrilled. I know this is something that we can request, but we feel that the waiters work so hard at all times that we don’t want to add to their workload. With Christophe’s blessing our last meal was perfect with the added treat of dining under the stars. Waiter | O’Neil. Poor guy was the “lucky” one that served us breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. Such a nice man and perfect waiter. He was always checking to make sure we were happy and everything was prepared properly. Casino | Stela. Adorable, funny and entertaining, we enjoyed spending most evenings with her. Head Bartender | Severin (piano bar). Great guy and great bartender. One of us requested a pickle martini - I know, why would you do that? He didn’t have pickle juice but told us he would try to find some when he went shopping. A few nights later while we were in the lounge for cocktail hour, he came towards us with a tray with a jar of pickles on it! He also made a perfect Lemon Drop, Espresso Martini, B&B...come to think of it all of his cocktails were perfect. On top of that, he is just a really sweet guy. Top of the Yacht Bartender | Gareth. We usually ended each night with a drink at the TOY Bar. Gareth was game to make anything we requested and quite enjoyable to chat with. He has only been with SeaDream for a few weeks but seemed like a natural fit. Music | Din Din (guitar) and George (piano). Both are very talented, one night they did a poolside concert that was very enjoyable. We spent many a night with George at the piano bar, it was quite lively on this cruise and always fun, though I think some current music additions would be welcome. We also enjoyed spending time with Din Din on the America’s Regatta. Tender Crew. Unfortunately I don’t know their names but they did a great job all week. There were a few times when the seas were rough and they were able to get us on and off the tenders safely. FELLOW PASSENGERS. We had originally booked a cruise a few weeks later on SeaDream I, but because of a work conflict of one of our group we needed to change the date. When we called SeaDream to change we were told that the 3rd and 4th floor for this itinerary had been purchased by a group and they didn’t have any information about the group. We’ve read all of the horror stories on this board about groups taking over the ship and were a bit hesitant. Since this was the only trip that would work for us we crossed our fingers and booked. It turns out a travel agent who has sailed on SeaDream for many years had booked the 2 levels. His guests were very inclusive and quite fun. I’ve always thought that one of the biggest selling points of SeaDream is that the fellow guests are so down-to-earth and friendly. Last year was a bit of an anomaly, as quite a few guests seemed to have a superiority attitude, and I was scared this might be a trend -- I’m happy to report that it didn’t carry over to this year! FOOD. The food, as we’ve become accustomed to, was superb this year. There seemed to be a lot of new items on the menu, but enough old reliables that we weren’t disappointed. Chef Thomaz was very visible and his usual happy self. The desserts seemed better than ever - and the dessert extravaganza was outstanding. ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. Just to be fair and balanced, here are a few areas that could be improved upon: Pool Bar Service. This would be my only real complaint. The pool service seems to have suffered a cut-back. In the past there seemed to be 2 bartenders during the day. On this cruise, there was only one server at most times and he seemed overworked. On a Caribbean cruise the pool seems to be the most popular area during the day, cutting back on service here doesn’t make sense. Wine. The wine at dinner is generally pretty bad. We purchased wines most evening. I’m not a wine snob and there are quite a few inexpensive wines I drink that I enjoy. I think the complimentary wine list could be easily improved on. Bring back the pistachio cookies! I know, how can we complain when there is so much to choose from, but the pistachio cookies seemed like SeaDreams signature cookie. They were missed, but I didn’t gain as much weigh on this vacation, so there was a silver lining. Cocktail Hour hors d’ouvres. Lots of repeats and not very exciting, House Plant in the stateroom. This is my crazy nit-picky thing. If you read my review a few years ago I was appalled at the 1970 style plant in the staterooms. The next year it was replaced with a grassy looking plant. I of course envisioned the change as the heads of SeaDream reading my review, sitting back and saying, “what an astute passenger, she’s right - let’s replace it with something modern”. Well, flash forward to this year and the 1970s style plant is back. So much for my influence THINGS WE LOVED. Overall we loved everything about the week. Some of the extra special things we loved that I haven’t listed above: - Love walking up the ramp when we first arrive and getting a glimpse of the crew we’ve had the privilege to sail with before. - Love that every year our list of “favorite” crew gets more and more names added to it. - Love the new and improved monogrammed PJs. The new cotton pants are very nice. - Love coming back to a beautifully made stateroom every evening -thanks to Jesse our room steward. - Love sitting at the TOYB in the evening enjoying a cocktail, each other’s company, listening to the waves, and star-gazing. - Love watching (and sometimes love listening) to the singers at the piano bar each evening - always entertaining. - Love crispy bacon each morning. - Love that they grate chocolate over the cappuccino -- it's the little things! - Love swimming off the back of the boat -- this trip the captain even had a surprise sunset swim available one evening. - Love the “voila” every evening at dinner. It never gets old. - Love taking the tender to the beach the morning of the splash. - Love knowing that we will be back on-board next year! SeaDream really is a special vacation for us and one we don’t take for granted. We visit places that are breathtakingly beautiful, while being treated to impeccable service by a crew that works so hard, but always with a smile. Thanks for another week of wonderful memories. Happy to report the state of SeaDream is better than ever! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We'd been with Sea Dream Yacht Club twice before and enjoyed it very much. This trip was our LAST on Sea Dream. We had booked back-to-back cruises for 2018 on board which we have now cancelled. Our stateroom was OK...it was one ... Read More
We'd been with Sea Dream Yacht Club twice before and enjoyed it very much. This trip was our LAST on Sea Dream. We had booked back-to-back cruises for 2018 on board which we have now cancelled. Our stateroom was OK...it was one of the ones that can be converted into a suite. The layout was set up for combining cabins...not for being an individual room. The first week we had one chef and then the second week his contract was up so another chef came on board. The food the second week was a little better. The food, for the most part, was good. The bread was at best fair. We stopped at islands were terrific European bakeries, but bread was not one of the things the ship bought locally...they baked on board...but not well. Beef was always good...steaks and prime rib exceptional. The problem I had was with the casino. Stella both "managed" and dealt at the single blackjack table they had. She had some strange unwritten rules...if she made a mistake and exposed a card that shouldn't be played she never burned the card...she just made it the next card out...so if it was a six and the next card out came to a player they got the six...no choice. She claimed "I never burn cards". The "casino" is opposite the piano bar in a very small area. The passengers are given a microphone to sing along with the pianist...bad idea. Most of the guests were drunk or getting their quickly and they sang like...well...lets just say it was load and there were words involved but it was a far cry from singing. I usually wore ear plugs in the casino when I played. They use European rules...they only look under aces...not 10's so you can have a lot of money on the table from splits and double downs and the dealer can turn over a blackjack.. That adds about 5% to the house. You also have to play 2 hands if you are the only one at the table and you can't play more than 2 hands. So if you are alone you are locked into the shoe...you can't change the fall of the cards by playing an extra hand or staying out of a hand. I lost most nights. On the last night I finally raised my bet to the table maximum which is $50 as I was winning and I was trying to get even. I got back about 1/4th of my two weeks losses and then Stella, the iron fisted manager/dealer from Serbia, shut the table down. She told me it was because I got into a confrontation with other guests. I was the only player and was quite tired of the load screeching coming from the piano bar. I went outside the casino and said, "Can you people please sing a little louder?" I then returned to the table. Stella "took a break" for twenty minutes and when she came back she closed the table 50 minutes early. The second in command came up and claimed that we were in "American waters" which was a lie. The table was closed because I was winning for a change. I've played a lot of blackjack in a lot of places over the years. This casino was terrible. If you play there consider it a contribution to Sea Dreams Yacht Club...not gambling. By the way, the seats at the table were set so close to the table that you could hardly sit down. There are too many other small ship cruise lines that offer not only better blackjack rules, but a much better experience. My wife and I will not travel with Sea Dreams again. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I am a veteran of many cruises, from Atlantic crossings on the old Italian Line, to the Home Line, to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean ships, including the Oasis of the Sea. I have brought my children and grandchildren on cruise vacations. I ... Read More
I am a veteran of many cruises, from Atlantic crossings on the old Italian Line, to the Home Line, to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean ships, including the Oasis of the Sea. I have brought my children and grandchildren on cruise vacations. I have traveled with groups and with just my wife. We enjoy cruising. This was the first time on a small ship for my wife and me. We traveled with a group of 23 from our Wine Making School. The experience was quite a difference from the larger ships. Mostly good but with a few drawbacks. We embarked from Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. The embarking process was unbelievably simple. We dropped off our luggage about 2 hours prior to boarding time. When we returned, we found no long lines and endless forms to consume an hour or more. Upon presentation of our boarding documents and passports we were ushered into the Grand Salon Lounge for a cocktail party. As we talked and met people, we were called, several families at a time, into the "registration room"/Concierge area, where a friendly staff quickly processed our information, took our photos for sea passes, and had us escorted to our staterooms by a stewardess with our baggage. Painless! The cabins were first class. They were large, modern and comfortable. As an "all-inclusive," the room bar was available and well stocked. The mandatory Life Boat drill was handled quickly and efficiently. Taking a little time to become familiar with the ship, we were very pleased with the obvious luxury of the appointments and the pride the crew and staff took in maintaining everything and providing excellent service. The various restaurants were easily reached and all attractive. The cuisine was 5 star all the way. The variety was excellent and the quality of food and presentation was excellent. No chaotic buffet lines here. Even when you selected your own food from the available buffet, a waiter would take the plate from you and escort you to your seat. It became obvious early on that service was a prime goal. By the second day, the crew knew the passengers by name, and addressed you as you entered their areas. We sat at the pool one day and ordered drinks. The second day the waiter appeared with our drinks without even asking. Enrico, the pianist at the piano bar was excellent. He played a wide variety of music with true virtuosity. Being a pretty decent pianist myself I could appreciate his talent. Plus he is an excellent singer. Zoltan, the chief bartender also worked the piano bar and was the friendliest, most attentive bartender you could ask for. The ship has a complement of mountain bikes, wave runners, snorkel equipment and other land and sea toys that are available for passenger use at no additional charge. The crew numbers 95 while the passengers are 112 if full. That's almost 1:1 attention. So where are the drawbacks? I do miss the entertainment and shows available on larger ships. The "casino" consisted of 1 blackjack table and dealer, Lori. She was also a friendly person but some slot machines would have been appreciated. Lori and Enrico doubled as the water sports people during the day. Everyone had multiple duties. The port experiences were a bit disappointing. We went to Anguilla, St. Barts, Nevis and St. Kitts, Tortola, Norman Island, White bay, Jost van Dyke. Most of the landings were away from where the larger ships docked and all were by tender. Several stops occurred while the shopping areas were closed as they only open when the large ships are in. All three of the land excursions we attempted to book were cancelled because we did not have the minimum number for participation. The luncheon provided at our last stop was phenomenal. The Concierge should stop making referrals to the Four Seasons in Nevis as they wanted $500 just to use beach lounges and their pool for the day. Right down the beach was Sunshine's who only charged $5 per lounge for the day. So would I do it again. YES - It all depends on what you are looking for. I would not take my adult children, ages 39, 37 and 30 because there would not be enough action for them. Likewise my 4 grandchildren would be bored. But for adults looking for a restful break, this was ideal. Is it better than the large ships or not as good? Neither. They both serve different purposes. The disembarkation process was also the easiest I have ever experienced. The customs inspectors came right on board. There were no long lines and we were cleared and exited the ship as simply as we boarded. It was a "Sea Dream" experience. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We boarded the SeaDream II yacht/cruise ship around 2pm. After a greeting by the captain, we were directed to a lounge with hors d'oeurves and flowing champagne. We waited there while our luggage was delivered to our stateroom. We ... Read More
We boarded the SeaDream II yacht/cruise ship around 2pm. After a greeting by the captain, we were directed to a lounge with hors d'oeurves and flowing champagne. We waited there while our luggage was delivered to our stateroom. We met a few people there: a couple from Dallas, a couple from Toronto, and a mother/daughter traveling from New Jersey. Everyone was friendly and inviting. We then got our room keys, and were led to our room to unpack. The room was very small, 185 square feet. No rooms had balconies as this is a large yacht/small cruise ship. We had one large window. Though small, the room was adequate and what was there was very nice. The shower was especially nice and big enough (I am 6'3"). It had 3 sprayers and Bvlgari soaps and lotions. The room can equipped with soft linens and a tv which showed 2 or 3 different popular movies each Day in a loop along with CNN World and ship channels. All food and drink was included in the price of the cruise. The ship had a small pool and a hot tub. It had Balinese beds spread throughout the different decks for sunbathing and stargazing. Some people chose to 'sleep under the Stars'. We did not. There was an outside bar on the top deck which featured a guitar player in the evenings after dinner. There was also a piano bar with a pianist/lounge singer, karaoke, and a single black jack table. The food was remarkable. Even the 24 hour menu was delicious. Breakfast and lunch were served either on the deck or in your room. The Belgian pancakes were really good. Dinner was served anytime between 7:30 and 9:30pm each night. Two nights it was served in the formal dining room. The other 5 nights, dinner was served outside on the deck while the ship was anchored off the coast of a different Caribbean island. The dinner menu changes each evening. There was always a 5 course chef's recommended meal, but there were also 5 course vegan meals, and other alternative meal choices. We intermingled choices from different menus each night, and if something was outstanding, you could always have seconds or thirds. Of course dinner was always accompanied by paired wines or your choice of wine or cocktail. We only ate alone once. We shared dinner with at least one other couple most of the time, and when we did, we often ordered bottles of wine from the Somelier's extensive list. These were extra. Nearly every evening, there was some sort of pre-dinner cocktail hour. There was a captain's greeting, a fashion show around the pool with fresh sushi, and others we missed. The best part of the cruise was the people. On other cruises, we met people in passing. On this ship, we really got to know several different couples and crew. We spent a lot of time with a fireman/contractor and his travel sales wife from Long Island, NY; with an orthopedic surgeon and his pediatrician wife from Chicago; with a business owner and his wife from Toronto, and we enjoyed the company of many others from London, Norway, Sweden, and the USA. We especially enjoyed the Cruise Director, Pieter, from South Africa and our main waiter, Ponce, from Puerto Rico. Pieter is a bunch of fun. He led many shore expeditions, both day and night. He led hikes around islands, toured thru St. Barts, and even took a group of us to a Burlesque show one evening. We would have never done that on our own, but the experience turned out to be one we will never forget. These were not places the big cruise ships go. Of the different islands we visited, we enjoyed St. Barts and Jost Van Dyke the most. A day and a half was not long enough on the French island of St. Barts. We spent the day exploring the world class shopping and dining. We didn't get a chance to see the beaches or other renowned hotels, restaurants and bars. We are already ready to go back. Jost Van Dyke is a tiny island with an amazing beach. It is known for its beach and beach bars. The painkiller rum drink was invented at the Soggy Dollar bar there. The ship hosted a beach barbecue on the final day there. Waiters waded into the ocean in their full uniforms to serve drinks and caviar to waiting guests. It was the perfect beach experience. Other stops were to St. John, Anguilla, Tortola, Norman Island, and Virgin Gorda. We hiked Norman island. We went to the Baths at Virgin Gorda, which is a beach with huge boulders that the ocean flows and around. They are more like caves than Baths. We shopped and picked up a painting by a local artist in St. John's. We went to a white sand beach on Anguilla called Shoal beach. We were only in Tortola for one morning. We just visited the main harbor, did some shopping, and looked at the yachts in the Harbor. We went back aboard the ship for lunch and sunbathing on the top deck, enjoying the views of Tortola from our Balinese sun bed. Overall, it was a great trip. There was only one child on the ship and it was the most well behaved Swedish boy. Some people were there for two or three weeks. I don't know if my liver could handle that. So much alcohol... Many guests put a refundable deposit down for another trip within the next two years. That guarantees an extra 10% off. This experience will be tough to follow for sure. Read Less
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
My husband Ross and I spent 2 wonderful weeks on SeaDream II staying in the Admiral Suite. In the first week on board we renewed our vows for our 10th wedding anniversary, Officiated by Captain Lund, it was such a happy and fun experience, ... Read More
My husband Ross and I spent 2 wonderful weeks on SeaDream II staying in the Admiral Suite. In the first week on board we renewed our vows for our 10th wedding anniversary, Officiated by Captain Lund, it was such a happy and fun experience, as everything was organised through SeaDream leaving Ross and myself to just thoroughly enjoy the whole ceremony, we were so impressed with the crew who did everything they could to ensure it all went smoothly for us, thank you again to everyone involved, love you all.... Back to the rest of our holiday I must say service was excellent in every aspect through the whole 2 weeks. We especially loved being in the Piano Bar every evening where Sammy on keyboard nicely urged passengers to take up the microphone for karaoke, lots of fun and a few of us danced the night away while Chief Barman Zoltan expertly served drinks with his quick wit and ever-ready cheeky smile.... all the crew had an amazing knack of of remembering all the guests names as well as their preferred drinks etc. Every meal was a 5 star dining experience and the chef was only too happy to cook up a favorite meal for you even if it wasn't on the menu. The shore excursions were terrific, I especially loved the ATV tours, first one for us was a tour staying mostly on the roads with scenic pit-stops, where we were able to take some awesome photos. In the second week we did another ATV shore excursion, this time it was off-road but still easy to manage and lots of fun.... the activities on-board were brilliant. I loved the jet ski and banana boat rides while Ross' passion was the little sailboat.... Our 'yachting not cruising' holiday was an exciting and memorable experience and we can't wait for 2016 doing the Mediterranean and Atlantic Crossing on SeaDream I.... Thank you to everyone on SeaDream II for leaving us with some amazing holiday memories.... Cheers Sandy Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2012
Today, anyone who has the desire to take a cruise can find something that suits their tastes and price range. From mammoth "floating cities" with all the bells and whistles, medium-sized vessels in all price ranges and very ... Read More
Today, anyone who has the desire to take a cruise can find something that suits their tastes and price range. From mammoth "floating cities" with all the bells and whistles, medium-sized vessels in all price ranges and very small ships, usually costing a little more but including more in the cruise fare, there is something for everyone. But for most of cruising history, an ocean voyage was the exclusive domain of the very wealthy. Most evenings were formal. As the cruise industry has evolved, there is an increasingly casual ambiance about the experience. This has carried over to the interaction between passenger and crew members. Particularly on the very small ships, friendships are made between passengers and crew that carry over year to year. For the past few years, I have taken Sea Dream Yacht Club's Sea Dream 2 out of St. Thomas in early December. On my first voyage, I noticed a waiter, Werner Roy, who stood out from his peers. He was considerably older, and unlike many of the other waiters, he was Caucasian. Much of Sea Dream's crew is Asian. He struck me as very formal, and I, incorrectly, took this as a lack of warmth. As time passed, our group sat in his station and we began to talk with Werner. He turned out to be our favorite, and on our last cruise in December, 2012, we had the Matre reserve a front table with Werner for the entire cruise. The more I learned about his extensive history at sea, the more I understood his demeanor was a reflection of his years aboard the premier luxury liners of their day. He is doting, yet reserved and unobtrusive. His bearing is formal and respectful. The more I drew him out, the more I wanted to hear his story. He agreed to be interviewed for this piece, and seemed happy to do so. Werner Roy comes from the Black Forest region of Germany, which is bordered by France to the West and Switzerland to the South. He attended Hotel school in Switzerland, and upon graduation, went on to work at prestigious hotels in England, Switzerland and Paris. But he was feeling the ocean beckoning him, and his first contract at sea was on a freighter. He suggested trying a freighter cruise as a passenger would be a rewarding experience, and I'm looking into doing that. Deciding that his hotel and hospitality experience would be better served on a passenger ship than a freighter, Werner landed a waiter position with the Royal Viking line. Royal Viking was the premier cruise line of that time, counting among its passengers Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson and Vincent Price among numerous other celebrities. Royal Viking operated from 1972 to 1994 when financial difficulties necessitated its sale to the Cunard line. In 1998, Cunard was taken over by Carnival. The Royal Viking Star holds a fond place in my heart for two reasons. First, they had the gumption to throw the lovely and congenial Leona Helmsley off the ship after she had thoroughly annoyed both crew and fellow passengers. You have to love that. I guess money can't buy everything. Secondly, I had the chance to sail on the Star after it had been sold to Norwegian Cruise lines. I just wanted to see the ship. We didn't have much money, and took an inside cabin on the lowest deck, but the ship was gorgeous. That stateroom was the largest I've had on any of my cruises. While with Cunard, Werner served on both the Sea Goddess I and Sea Goddess II, 220 passenger ultra-luxury ships that were the epitome of upscale small ship cruising. Today, they are the Sea Dream 1 and 2. His Sea Goddess passengers included Princess Caroline of Monaco and Prince Albert. I had to practically pry the names from Werner. Even now, all these years later, he places a high value on the guest's privacy. He is clearly not comfortable speaking about past passengers. His discretion is most admirable. While Werner was taking contract after contract at sea, he had a fiancee at home who had expected him to come home and take a land-based job. He kept saying this next contract would be the last, but finally his Lady had had enough. He was sorry about it, but he'd found his calling at sea. He does not regret it. He has loved life at sea. At 63 years young, Werner plans to retire in a couple years. He has a lady friend waiting for him in Germany, and claims to be looking forward to retiring. He is considering spending half of each year in Asia, and has a keen interest in gardening. When we were getting ready to disembark last December, Werner was preparing to fly home for Christmas to celebrate with friends and family. He was looking forward to all the traditional German foods served at Christmas, including the "weiswurst", a veal and bacon sausage, and gluhwein, the spicy mulled red wine made with cloves, cinnamon, and sugar and served hot. Adding nutmeg and brandy is optional. After his two month vacation, he was looking forward to coming back aboard Sea Dream 2. He loves working with and teaching the younger waiters and introducing passengers to new foods. You can see from how Werner is treated by his co-workers that he is both respected and loved. He says he will have no trouble retiring, but I have to wonder. He will miss the sea. When next December rolls around, Werner and Sea Dream 2 will be in Asia rather than their usual Caribbean itinerary. This will be great for many of the crew, as they will be close to home and family. My Wife Susie and I will be sailing on another ship, and we will dearly miss both Werner and the whole Sea Dream 2 family. It is my fervent hope to have a chance to sail with them again before Werner retires. I will miss his droll humor, the sparkle in his eye and his love of people. He has become my friend. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2011
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2010
We met the ship in St Thomas and were greeted at the brow with a handshake from the Captain, a cool towel and then a glass of champagne. Hors d'oeuvres and more champagne in the main salon while waiting to check in, which took all of ... Read More
We met the ship in St Thomas and were greeted at the brow with a handshake from the Captain, a cool towel and then a glass of champagne. Hors d'oeuvres and more champagne in the main salon while waiting to check in, which took all of 2 minutes. We were escorted to our room where our luggage was already waiting. The room is small, but very nice, as is the bathroom which includes Bulgari toiletries. We were introduced to our room steward, who immediately took the drinks we don't drink out and brought in more of what we do drink for the refrigerator in our room. She asked us if we wanted OJ in the morning, we were thinking the little cans, but it was a small pitcher of fresh squeezed which appeared every day. At 7 we went up for more pre-dinner hors d'hoeuvres and drinks. During this time every day the ship's cruise director discusses the next day's port visit and ship activities. For dinner we opted to sit with a group. The meal and service were fantastic. We were tied to the pier overnight and left about 7 in the morning and were at St John at 8:30. We went to breakfast out on the deck, ate our egg-white omelets and were just amazing at how wonderful it all was. The service everywhere is impeccable. By the time we finished breakfast the waiter knew our names (somehow). We took a 9:30 launch to shore and took a jitney to Trunk Bay for snorkeling and laying on the beach. In the afternoon we sat out on the pool deck for a while, then they opened the "marina", aka the toy deck operated off the back of the yacht. My husband and I went on a banana rocket ride, which was hilarious. I wish someone would have been videotaping! They also have jet skis, which we will try next time. The weather was just perfect 85 and just a few clouds. The water is about 82. We were situated in the middle of a bunch of islands so as the ship travels around the anchor there is just a different island to look at. As we were sitting around the pool they brought out home-made ice cream sandwiches and then came around and cleaned our sunglasses. The people we met were all great and really made the trip. The group is actually younger than I expected, patrons ranged from 30-80. TUESDAY - We arrived in Anguilla about 9 in the morning. We had wanted to borrow 2 of the ships bikes but they were taken by the time we got around in the morning. Another couple heard this and offered that they would ride the bikes TO a resort and we would ride them back. That really worked well. We took a cab to the resort and sat out under an umbrella for about an hour at a magnificent beach and then the other couple arrived and we rode the bikes about 45 minutes back to the pier. We were back in time for a late lunch. Dinner was served outside on deck. The entertainment on board for the night was a screening of a Beyonce concert under the stars on a big blow-up screen. Instead we we ashore in St Barths, which was really dead. We reserved an outside Balinese daybed to sleep under the stars that was ready for us upon our return. I lasted out there for about an hour before deciding to come back inside. The never-ending glasses of red wine had gotten to me! WEDNESDAY - Had an 8:00 appointment for body scrub, massage and facial, all of which were wonderful. My husband went to the gym and had room service waiting when I was done. We then took the launch into St Barts and did some shopping (looking) and walked to a beach made of shells, vice sand, which was nice. No celebrity sitings. We were back to the ship for a late lunch. I sat by the pool and swam in the ocean. Dinner consisted of a set 10 course meal. This is how good the service was...Tuesday night our group was a little crazy and loud so the staff set up a large table for us out on the deck under the stars even though they were serving dinner in the dining room. THURSDAY - Anchored off Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands. Took a zodiac into shore for a BBQ. The staff served champagne and caviar off a surfboard and lunch included BBQ shrimp, pork, lamb, roast beef, grouper, and chicken. We mostly just stood in the ocean and drank champagne for 6 hours. My husband went to get me a glass of champagne about an hour before we had to get back on the ship but they were out so they actually drove out to the ship to get a couple more bottles for us! Got into port in San Juan PR at about 9 am Friday and our flight didn't leave until 9 pm so we wandered Old San Juan, had a nice local lunch and sat in a park for a while, (jealously) watching people get on the ship for the next cruise. We were very pleased with all the food, drinks, and above all, the service! Even though they have a "no tipping" policy, this was one trip where we felt extra was warranted. We won't go back to the big ships unless we are forced to based on destination. The ship is the destination. It's just so easy for us to get to the Caribbean that these ships are where we will be when we just want to relax. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2010
Shhh, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I just turned 50...yikes! The funny thing is I didn't even mind. My sister had arranged for my siblings, in-laws and a cousin to celebrate with me on SeaDream I the week of ... Read More
Shhh, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I just turned 50...yikes! The funny thing is I didn't even mind. My sister had arranged for my siblings, in-laws and a cousin to celebrate with me on SeaDream I the week of December 5-12, 2010. Some background: my sister, cousin and I have been cruising together for close to 20 years. It started out as an annual cruise and as the years have gone by has turned into a 2-3 times a year getaway. In the past we have sailed on the mass lines: Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity and Holland - with Celebrity and Holland being our favorites. This past June we decided to take a leap and try the small lines. We booked a back-to-back Mediterranean cruise starting on Seabourn Legend and ending with SeaDream II. We were underwhelmed with Seabourn, although I will give their staff high-marks for friendliness/helpfulness. The funny thing is as soon as we stepped on SeaDream II we gave each other a look knowing that we had found something special. Unfortunately, a family emergency forced us to leave 4 days into our June cruise, but we knew, in that short time, that we had found a new addiction. Six months later we were packing for St. Thomas, ready to board SeaDream I. Our itinerary was to be: December 5, 2010 - Depart from Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas U.S.V.I. December 6, 2010 - Esperanza, Vieques Puerto December 7, 2010 - Cruz Bay, St John U.S.V.I. December 8, 2010 - Gustavia, St Barts French West Indies December 9, 2010 - Norman Island B.V.I. December 10, 2010 - Virgin Gorda B.V.I. December 11, 2010 - Jost Van Dyke B.V.I. December 12, 2010 - Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas U.S.V.I. Dock 8:00 Am There was some revision to the schedule once we got onboard. A container of food hadn't reached St. Thomas by the time we were to depart, so it was decided to swap St. John and Vieques. After spending the first day in St. John, we returned to St. Thomas in the evening to load the container. We spent Day 2 in Vieques. Day 3 and 4 were spent in St. Barts. We were originally supposed to be anchored one day in St. Barts. It was never clearly explained why Norman Island was eliminated to add the extra day at St. Barts. First we were told it was due to the weather. Then we were told it was because Norman Island had suffered too much hurricane damage. This was a bit disappointing as I'm not a big fan of St. Barts and love the beauty and seclusion of Norman Island. What I didn't like was the way it felt like we were being given different story by the staff. Other than those 2 changes the itinerary went as planned. I was a little hesitant departing from St. Thomas as I had read horror stories on Cruise Critic about the St. Thomas airport, and it had been years since I had flown into that airport. To be honest, there was no problem arriving or departing from St. Thomas. The airport is small, but customs and security was well-staffed and didn't have long waits. The only negative I have with sailing from St. Thomas is that there are no direct flights from the Washington, D.C. area to St. Thomas. We stayed at the Morning Star section of the Frenchman's Reef Marriot for the 2 nights before and the 1 night after the cruise. Morning Star is located directly on the beach. The location and view of the beach was fabulous; the rooms just OK. The concierge and hotel staff were extremely helpful and pleasant. We had decent breakfasts and drinks at "Coco Joes" a few times during our stay. This open air restaurant directly on the beach was a nice place to watch the sunset and the cruise ships sail out. We had dinner 2 nights at Morning Star's onsite restaurant "Havana Blue". The food and drinks were fabulous, the dEcor was modern and gorgeous, our waitress was very good - the only negative was that the numerous hostesses seemed to have an attitude both nights. We also had dinner one night at "Windows on the Harbor" the Marriott restaurant located at Frenchman's Reef. The food and service here was mediocre, but the view of the Harbor was spectacular. DECEMBER 5TH - ST. THOMAS: We arrived with excitement at the dock around 2:30 to board SeaDream I. We were met by SeaDream staff and porters immediately. Hotel Manager John and Activities Director Colin (who happened to be our favorite bartender when we sailed in June - congrats Colin on your promotion) were there to greet and welcome us. We received our champagne and were checked in within minutes. We immediately took a tour of the ship and found the Top of the Yacht Bar. We were served our first drink by Konrad (great guy) and could tell immediately we were in for a great week! After unpacking we started what would become our routine for the week: cocktail hour, dinner, after dinner drinks at the TOY bar - life is good. A few nights we mixed it up with some gambling, singing at the piano bar, or just wandering around to see what was going on. At the first cocktail hour we were told by our captain that the sailing had 47 passengers and 97 crew. Wow! SeaDream II was departing with us from St. Thomas but their ship was full. I think that was due to their trip being 9 days compared to our 7 days. Dinner the first evening was in the Salon, the food was fabulous, and our cruise was underway. DECEMBER 6TH - ST. JOHN, USVI: We did a little shopping and then took a taxi to Honeymoon Beach. The taxi dropped us off at Caneel Bay Resort. We then had to hike about ½ mile to the beach. The sand and water was breathtaking, very secluded with no more than 20 people on the entire beach. Other people traveling with us went to Trunk Bay and Water Lemon key, they gave high marks to both beaches. Dinner that evening was again in the Salon. Our party of 8 was invited to dine with the Chief Officer Albert from Sweden. He was very interesting and personable and we had a lovely evening. A sidenote: our captain was very visible throughout the entire cruise and was always willing to chat and answer any question we had. DECEMBER 7TH: ESPERANZA, VIEQUES: The day was a little cloudy. We stayed at the pool during the day, did some swimming off of the marina, and jet-skiing. I love that the marina was opened almost every day. Dinner was served outside to the early diners, but as the rain came we were escorted to the Salon for dinner. DECEMBER 8TH & 9TH - ST. BARTS: The first day at St. Barts was off-and-on rain but we headed to the beach anyway. We stopped at St. Jean's Beach and when the rain started we popped into the beachside restaurant, "The Pink Parrot", for lunch and a drink. It had a very French vibe, and we enjoyed ourselves. For dinner that evening, we were served topside - nothing more decadent than being served a 5-star meal with views of St. Barts surrounding us! Wonderful evening. The second day at St. Barts offered the ATV excursion. Four of our group took this excursion and voted it the best experience of the cruise. They also stopped at Governor's Beach and thought it was breathtaking. From here on out, the weather was perfect- sunny and warm. DECEMBER 10TH: VIRGIN GORDA: We've tried to visit the Baths at Virgin Gorda on a few of our previous cruises, but it had never worked out. Finally, we were able to take the ship's excursion on this cruise and experience the baths. It was spectacular. The views were amazing, though we were told by the staff that it was a very easy tour and felt that it would have been difficult for anyone who is not fairly active The boat was anchored off Bitter End Yacht Club in the afternoon with tenders to the beach - very nice. Dinner was served outside again, and I know I'm sounding redundant, but it was delicious and the ambience perfect. The chef setup a Dessert Extravaganza on the pool deck after dinner, while a large movie screen played a Chakira concert. The boat had been repositioned to Leverick Bay for the evening which allowed us to tender to Jumbies Beach Bar. The majority of the passengers seemed to tender over to the bar. It was nice to see a lot of the crew enjoying themselves as well. DECEMBER 11TH: JOST VAN DYKE: Caviar Splash + Beach Barbeque + Degustation Menu = Heaven! A truly special day from beginning to end. Starting with the speedy Zodiac ride to the beach, hearing the blowing of the ship horn to signal the start the Caviar splash, enjoying the fabulous beach barbeque, walking to Soggy Dollars Bar, having champagne delivered to us while floating in the Caribbean, and then ending the day with the Chef's 7 course Degustation Menu for dinner - it was a day that we will remember for a lifetime! DECEMBER 12TH: What a fast week! We had our last, leisurely breakfast before departing a wonderful vacation. We said some thanks to the crew which had treated us so well. We left knowing that we would be returning to SeaDream in the not-too-distant future, as we had taken advantage of the onboard booking disount! FOOD: Overall excellent. Here are some of our favorites: Mushroom Soup, Mussels, Duck, Indian Salad, Grand Marnier Souffle, Indian Salad with Chickpeas, the Pea Risotto served with the Lobster (I didn't think I liked peas or risotto, but OMG it was delicious!), Pistachio Cookies, all 7 courses of the Degustation Menu. Also, all of our requests were easily accepted: crispy bacon, steak cooked to the proper temperature. ACTIVITIES: We enjoyed the daily cocktail hour, the blackjack table, the piano bar, the disco night, the staff afternoon with mini massages/crepe demonstration/fashion show, disco night. WATERSPORTS: Loved that the water sports were available every day! Swimming off the back of the yacht was lovely and the water temperature was perfect. The jet skis were available a few days (they are not allowed in the British Virgin Islands) and were great fun. Other passengers used the sailboat and kayaks during our sailing. STAFF: The staff is what makes SeaDream. Everyone seemed sincerely happy to be making our vacation special. Some of our favorites were: the Captai, Chief Officer; Hotel Manager, John; Activities Manager, Colin; Concierge, Nina; the Casino Dealer (her name escapes me, but she was very patient with us!); Sommelier, Tyrell; Bartenders, Konrad and Pablo; Waiters, Felix, Olivier, and Mikee, along with adorable Assistant Waiter Placido. I'm sure I'm leaving some out, but as I mentioned I've turned 50 so my mind is not what it used to be. PASSENGERS: The fellow passengers are also a big part of what makes us love SeaDream. Everyone was friendly and not pretentious, as was the case on our other small cruiseline experience. With the ship being only half full, it seems like we interacted with everyone onboard. The age range for the cruise was mostly 40s/50s with a few younger and a few older. CABINS: We had 4 cabins on level 2. The cabins are small, but not a problem for us. The storage area was adequate and we had plenty of hangers in the closet. The bathroom is small, but oh that shower pressure and constant hot water was fabulous! The cabin dEcor is the only place where I see some need for improvement from SeaDream. The dEcor seems dated and could be easily and inexpensively updated. Color scheme, art, wood drawers could all be modernized. Plus, I hate the plants on the ledge...yes a little picky, but they seem tacky. SPECIAL MOMENTS: • The "Voila" moment at dinner in the salon. Makes me happy everytime! • Early on in the cruise we were served a homemade ice cream sandwich poolside. Pistachio cookies with homemade cherry ice cream -- they were amazing. A few days later the waiter came around with fruit kabobs. One of us said "what no ice cream sandwiches" and the waiter said "I'll make some for you, how many do you want?" Five minutes later he was back with a tray of freshly made ice cream sandwiches! • My brother and sister-in-law had the large bali bed reserved one night. They decided they would take a photo to use for their Christmas card. I thought they were crazy when they asked the concierge if they had a Santa hat they could borrow. 10 minutes later 2 santa hats were delivered to their cabin. • Jost Van Dyke! MISCELLANEOUS: • Love the casualness of SeaDream...no formal nights, yippee! • Love the shower...it's small but powerful. • Love the Bvlgari shower products. • Loved entering a cabin filled with balloons and decorations on my birthday. • Love the way that SeaDream allows the staff to actually enjoy themselves with the passengers. At Jost Van Dyke and Jumbies Bar the staff was able to have some fun. • Love cocktail hour...martini and crab claws before dinner, yummy. • Love the poolside pass-arounds. • Love the sunglass cleaning. • Love the alfresco dinners with perfectly set tables...casual and elegant at the same time. • Love swimming off the back of the boat. • Love the overall atmosphere. • Love getting to know the passengers and staff...so many interesting stories to hear. • Love being called by name as soon as we board...how the heck do they do it? • Love SeaDream I just as much as SeaDream II. I was a little leery after reading some cruise critic postings that SeaDream I wouldn't match up with II. I'm happy to report that the two ships seemed identical in looks and atmosphere. • Love that we took advantage of the open booking discount onboard and that we'll be returning to SeaDream. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2010
Sea Dream Yacht Club - Casual, Luxury Small-Ship Cruising Posted February 4, 2011 by wjudson461 Categories: Cruise Travel Sea Dream Yacht Club- A Different and Unique Cruise Experience Sea Dream Yacht Club operates two ... Read More
Sea Dream Yacht Club - Casual, Luxury Small-Ship Cruising Posted February 4, 2011 by wjudson461 Categories: Cruise Travel Sea Dream Yacht Club- A Different and Unique Cruise Experience Sea Dream Yacht Club operates two 344 ft. mega-yachts offering all-inclusive, luxury cruises to the Caribbean in the winter and the Mediterranean in the summer. Accommodating 112 passengers with a crew of 95, these ships call on the smaller, unspoiled islands the bigger cruise lines are unable to reach. As most of these islands lack an airport, their natural beauty lies, in part, in the fact that they are difficult to get to. Not terribly easy to get home from, either. Tiny gems like Saba, Montserrat, Jost Van Dyke and Anguilla. If you've ever daydreamed about cruising the Greek Isles on your own private yacht, this is about as close as most of us will ever come. That being said, Sea Dream is most certainly not for everyone. It is very casual, laid back and geared to adults comfortable with entertaining themselves. Who Should Not Book a Sea Dream Voyage? OK, let me try to cull the herd as quickly and ruthlessly as possible. If you are traveling with your small children and looking forward to picking them up from the supervised Kid's program so you can feed them at the Early Seating and put them to bed with a babysitter in order to don your tuxedo and eat, take in a Broadway-type show before catching a Comedian in one of the many lounges and partying until the wee hours of the morning in a Casino with craps, roulette and all the bells and whistles, you are definitely in the wrong place. It is not happening. None of it. Not on Sea Dream. You are likely to find a larger crowd enjoying early morning coffee to watch the sunrise than you will in the Casino at 11:00 PM. The Sea Dream Passenger The Sea Dream experience attracts guests who are not only able to entertain themselves, but prefer to do so. The intimacy of the yachts is conducive to meeting people and getting to know them. Even if you are naturally shy, it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid eye contact when you are running into the same people over and over. You cannot be a face in the crowd, since there is no crowd. So you break down and introduce yourself, and are usually rewarded. Usually, but not always. Sea Dream can scan your bags, but has not perfected scanners for personalities and social skills. Seriously, I have found Sea Dream passengers to be the most interesting, educated and friendly, and the least pretentious. We have a group of former cruise mates who we keep in touch with and sail with every year. Many of them are Sea Dreamers. Some Sweet Suites Most of the suites are Yacht Club Staterooms averaging about 195 sq. ft. and equipped with queen -sized beds, sitting area, refrigerator, fully-stocked refreshment bar, flat screen TV, DVD player, CD player, robe, slippers, etc. The suites are very nice and you would be hard pressed to come up with anything Sea Dream has forgotten. The bathrooms are small, definitely one person at a time affairs. When sitting on the throne, I usually locked the door, not because I had a sudden attack of modesty but because I've already had my nose broken several times. If you are over 7 ft. tall, I would imagine you would need to be pretty limber. Of course, you could always use the facilities in the public rooms, but if everyone did that, no one would do that. If you are a jockey, there should be no issues with the bathroom dimensions. I happen to really like the Sea Dream bathrooms. The multi-jet shower is really cool with good water pressure and the Bvlgari toiletries and soaps are fabulous. If you plan your vacations solely by the brand of shampoo provided, you may have found your niche. I also like the way Sea Dream has the sitting area by the entrance and the bed by the window. Most cruise lines have it the other way around, ostensibly so you can look out the window from the sofa. The Sea Dream arrangement works if your Spouse gets up earlier than you and orders coffee. The room service girl can drop off the tray in the sitting area without coming through the sleeping area. If you really want to try something different, ask to have one of the ultra-comfortable Balinese Dream Beds ( pictured below) made up with linens, pillows and duvets and sleep on Deck under the stars. Cuisine and Service Both are among the best available at sea. If you call for Room Service, you might as well not sit down again. These people are good. Our Cabin Stewardess was remarkable. I would get up in the morning, put out my "Make up Room" sign on the doorknob and go up to the Concierge to get my daily paper of choice. I would take it out on deck to glance at the headlines and return to the cabin, this whole exercise having taken maybe ten minutes. The suite would be completely made up. Our room was always made up and I never saw our Cabin girl in it or even near it. Another neat trick was that within two hours of embarkation, crew members who had never seen me before were greeting me by name. I assume they are given pictures and names and expected to memorize them. But it was a really nice touch. If you travel under multiple aliases, it may take a little longer. The Best and Only Licensed Thai Spa at Sea In terms of massage, Sea Dream has no peer in the cruise industry. Although I'm sure Swedish massage is offered, skip it and go with the Asian Blend massage. These girls are incredibly strong and good sports as well. They don't gloat about having twisted you into a pretzel-like shape that would make an Olympic gymnast green with envy despite giving up 100 lbs. I have always thought Swedish massage to be the spa equivalent of elevator music. You are oiled up like an Oven Stuffer and given a rub that is mildly enjoyable but forgotten the moment you walk out the door. The Asian Blend massage actually has results you can feel, although if you have never had Thai massage, it may take a little getting used to. Sometimes it hurts, although your masseuse will lessen the pressure if she hears you whimpering. Is she really climbing onto my back? Yes, she is. You have a pocket of tension in your back and kind of hope she'll miss it, as kneading it out can be painful? Forget it. These girls take massage very seriously and they miss nothing. But that evening, or maybe the next morning, you'll realize that nagging pain you were so used to is just not there anymore. The Water Sports Marina The Water Sports Marina really sets Sea Dream apart from any other cruise line. Other lines have them, but none have the toys that Sea Dream does, like Hobie Cat sailboats, kayaks, jet skis and even mountain bikes to take ashore and ride around the often mountainous ports of call. Please note that while I strongly encourage taking the mountain bikes ashore for a good workout, I personally have nothing to do with them. I prefer to be driven where I want to go. In order to use the Water Sports Marina, guests must sign a waiver relieving Sea Dream of any culpability should you become entangled in a submarine propeller or eaten by a giant squid. In exchange for your signature, you receive a brightly-colored wristband which entitles you to use all the toys. When they take in the toys, it is time for the afternoon swim. While the shipboard pool is fine, there is nothing like swimming out at sea. But it might be a good time to realistically appraise your swimming strength. If you're turning 60 and you swam competitively in your teens, you have to remember you are not that kid. The ship is a long way from shore, the water is deep and there are currents. Sometimes, they are very strong currents. There is ample supervision, both on the platform and in a motorboat that watches over you. A line attached to floating buoys is extended out from the platform so swimmers can grab on if they need to. Staying fairly close to that line is not a bad plan. In a good current, you can stroke very hard and find you've gone nowhere. So use your head. Is There a Sea Dream Cruise in Your Future? I have provided you with the basics of the Sea Dream experience. It is a unique one, suited to a certain type of passenger. The best way to find out if this is for you is to get out and do it. This is really true of almost anything. Having read my piece, if all of this sounds fabulous, you simply have to experience a Sea Dream cruise. If some of it sounds appealing, perhaps you should try a Sea Dream cruise. If none of it sounds the least bit enticing, I don't know what to tell you. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We recently returned from a seven day cruise on SD I. The cruise departed from St Thomas and ended in San Juan. St Thomas has to be the worst place in the Caribbean if not on earth for a cruise to depart from. The airport is horrible and ... Read More
We recently returned from a seven day cruise on SD I. The cruise departed from St Thomas and ended in San Juan. St Thomas has to be the worst place in the Caribbean if not on earth for a cruise to depart from. The airport is horrible and doesn't even have jet ways. The taxis are ridiculously expensive and charge on a per person basis while they cram you into a big van with limited A/C. Of course they also gouge you for your luggage. We paid $26 to go from the airport to the Windward Passage which is no more than seven minute ride which would cost about $10 with tip for in normal tourist city. The hotel was fine and we knew what to expect. It wasn't luxury although it was nicely appointed with a friendly staff. The price was pretty good and we liked the fact it was within walking distance to many shops and restaurants. The hotel does have a nice courtyard, pool, free internet, small casino, nice outdoor bar, and other amenities. The Greenhouse and the Giggling Gecko were the two places we ate at and are both a short walk from the hotel. The food and service was fantastic at both places. We arrived at the cruise terminal (Crown Bay) at 1:45 pm and they already started the boarding process. The Captain, Hotel Manager, and other key staff were there to greet us. We were taken to the lobby where an amazing assortment of food was waiting for us to munch on. We relaxed and talked to some of the other guests before being informed we could check in. The staff was very pleasant and got us checked in right away. The rest of this review will discuss the categories such as service, food, and etc. Itinerary: Esperanza, Vieques, Cruz Bay, St John, St Barthelemy, Norman Island, Tortola, and Prickly Pear was substituted for Jost van Dyke (Champagne and Caviar Splash/beach party) Food: Everything was fantastic with only the finest and freshest ingredients. The Executive Chef and some of the other chefs frequently interacted with the guests. Presentation was also a strong point along with the quality of the ingredients. Bars/Service: The bar service was generally good all week at all the bars. My favorite bartenders were Matt and Konrad. They are both very personable and offer great service along with good suggestions on what to drink. They also always had a pitcher of punch or other drink out every day. The selection of alcohol was quite extensive and we never had to pay to upgrade drinks. The included wine and Champagne were also quite good. The Sommelier Tyler did an excellent job matching the wines to the meal and explaining them. Service: Sea Dream excels at service at all levels. The crew was like clockwork at all times and truly went out of their way to please. We made a few special requests during the week and they were instantly granted. I felt like they were a genie who could grant endless wishes. The Hotel Manager John was all but a "freak of nature" with how he was everywhere and always knew what was going on. I swear he had a couple of clones running around. The main concierge lady was a bit stressed and came across as brash and frustrated at times even over very simple matters. I knew before the voyage what types of extras to ask for and it made the trip that more special. Cabin: We booked a guarantee and were assigned cabin 212. We felt a few intense vibrations the first night while sleeping but it was no big deal. The cabin itself was very nice and the room steward La Rosa could not have been better. She was very nice, polite, stealthy, and took great care of the cabin. Activities/Water Sports: There was always plenty to do and very few announcements. The Activities Director Jeff was very outgoing and had a natural knack in observing who may want to participate in the activities. The water sports are one reason we booked Sea Dream and we were quite impressed with the equipment and water toys. It is awesome to ride Sea Doo's off the back of the marina and to swim behind the yacht. Colin and the water sports staff kept everyone safe and worked hard getting everything setup and ensuring everyone was safe. They even draped a towel over your back after getting out of the water. The free "shore side casuals" were also a real treat. I participated in most of the hikes and they all went to some interesting places. They also offered an advanced bike ride which seven guests went on and had a great time even though a few of them came back with bandages. The Yacht Overall: SD I is very quaint and enjoyable. You can always find a place to your own or somewhere in the middle of crowd (not that there is much of a crowd). My favorite spot is the aft of deck four overlooking the pool. It is shaded and close enough to the action. The bartenders also bring you drinks and the afternoon pass around treat which changes daily. The yacht is old and has a somewhat loud and intense vibration in certain parts of the dining room on deck 2. SD I is quite charming and I would sail on it again given the chance. Complaints: None, everything met or exceeded my standards and was as close to perfect as could be expected. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
Absolutely loved this cruise. It was the epitome of luxury and great service. Check in was simple at the pier. They took our bags, checked our passports against the passenger list, we boarded the boat and were handed a cold towel and a ... Read More
Absolutely loved this cruise. It was the epitome of luxury and great service. Check in was simple at the pier. They took our bags, checked our passports against the passenger list, we boarded the boat and were handed a cold towel and a glass of champagne. Several days before the cruise we were given the option to upgrade to a suite for a nominal fee which we chose to do. Good decision since cabins tend to be pretty small anyway. The Commodore Suite which we upgraded to is basically two cabins combined. The wall adjoining them is opened up to about an 8 foot opening. We chose to have the second cabin set up with a table for seating four people. What we loved was having two bathrooms, two closets and two sets of drawers, etc. It made it very easy for both of us to get ready in the morning or evening at the same time. We appreciated the Bvlgari toiletries in the cabin, the robes, fridges loaded with beer, water and soft drinks, the flat screen TV, and comfy beds. We did have to call our cabin attendant the first night to have her replace the two twin duvets with one queen size one since the former didn't make snuggling very easy. The next morning we found that the others in our party had the same problem. Later, I ran into our attendant and asked her to fix them up with the proper sized duvets as well. The cabin attendants were outstanding and nice tempered. They never missed a beat. You left your room for breakfast and when you returned, it was made up. Same for dinner or mid afternoon. It was like they had eyes in the back of their heads. One of our favorite things was returning the first night to retire and finding the famous custom embroidered PJs laying on top of our bed with our names on them. Sweet. I had read about it but forgot about it. YOU MUST DO THIS: There is a collection of what they refer to as "Bali Beds" outside on Deck 5. These are great for lounging during the day. But, at night, if you ask your cabin attendant, they'll make one up for you with sheets and duvets so you can sleep outside under the stars.   CUISINE: Fabulous. Thomas, our chef, is a true artist. Every meal was excellent from breakfast which offers a fruit and cereal bar as well as an excellent breakfast menu that is made to order. The scrumptious dinners were nothing short of magical - 2 of which were served outside on the top deck - great idea. The wait staff gets great kudos from everyone in our party of six. They couldn't have been nicer or more professional. The thing that surprised and impressed us most was the "beach party" they held the last day at Jost Van Dyke. We were told they were serving us champagne and caviar at noon. Well, they did - and served it "in the surf." ENTERTAINMENT: Although my boyfriend and I didn't really participate in it, others in our group did and enjoyed it very much. The piano was a lovely place to hand out after dinner as was the mini casino though a bit too much Caribbean poker and not enough blackjack was played. A couple of evenings they played DVD concerts outside on a large screen. PORTS: We sailed from St. Thomas to San Juan and stopped at St. John, St. Barths, Anguilla, Jost Van Dyke and San Juan. Loved every port but particularly the last three. It seemed to us that the USVI were dirty, full of litter and the people not always so friendly - about 50% of them seemed to not like you being on their island. In contrast, the BVI and St. Barths people were friendly, the area clean and free of litter. A cab driver in St. Barths told us that the trash is picked up twice a day there. Anguilla apparently has three of the most beautiful hotels in all of the Caribbean. Didn't go there but did go to a beautiful and secluded beach. ONBOARD SPORTS: We always went ashore during the day but many people chose to just stay on the ship. All the watersports are free so you can water ski, jet ski, swim, snorkel, banana boat, etc. off the back deck of the boat when it is in port. OVER THE TOP: Another service that wow'd us was, upon returning from our shore excursion, we would shower and hang out at the pool. The wait staff there would come around and offer to "Clean Your Sunglasses." Simple but very very nice, helpful and thoughtful. SPA: The spa is run by three wonderful Thai ladies. They are tiny but ferocious. If you have never had a Thai massage - this is the time to try it. These women are incredible. Strong, smart and sweet. When you lie down on the massage table, through the face hole your gaze settles on a bowl of water filled with beautiful flowers. We got a massage the second day and came back for two more days in a row!. Every day these ladies make an offering and say a prayer for smooth sailing. The captain credited them for our smooth trip. The gym is small but adequate and one never needed to wait. HOOKED: By the end of our trip, we were all already talking about when and where to book our next trip on Sea Dream. We just loved everything about it and every staff person from the captain down to the guys who do all the upkeep. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2007
We sailed Seadream for our "babymoon" (I hate that term actually). At almost 7 months pregnant, we did not do many rigorous activities at the ports of call. Our room (standard window) was furnished cleverly, with many shelves ... Read More
We sailed Seadream for our "babymoon" (I hate that term actually). At almost 7 months pregnant, we did not do many rigorous activities at the ports of call. Our room (standard window) was furnished cleverly, with many shelves to put things on, and felt large enough. The lavatory was large enough for us, but I could see someone who is not petite being in tight quarters. Food was great. Service was fabulous. I met a woman on board who loved having fresh coconut juice, so the kitchen made sure to stock up in the ports and served the coconut right up! Dinners were good. We usually prefer to dine alone, and although we had the ability to every night, actually sat with other on a few occasions and had a great time. Movie night out in the open with the blankets and popcorn was awesome, something that sticks in my mind every time my mind wanders about cruising. We had massages in the spa, and while I felt fine my husband stopped his halfway - the rooms are quite tight and the boat was rocking a bit. The pool area was great, and I spent many days right on the deck with my feet in the water reading a book. The area is really open and the views from the pool are great. One night we slept outside on the beds up on top. It was a really beautiful night, but I will say that it depends on the winds, and sometimes we got a really strong wiff on the engines. I would also suggest to pick a night when the boat is docked - we did it the night we were anchored at St. Barths, it feels much less rocky! My husband enjoyed the watersports (I stayed safely on the boat!). I would recommend Seadream in a heartbeat, and we will definitely try a cruise with them again. I liked that the atmosphere was not stuffy, there were no formal dinner nights to worry about (this would have been a huge concern for me being so pregnant), and the people in general were laid back and friendly. We actually made some friends we are still in touch with! BTW, I also apologize for my use of "boat", instead of "yacht", as I know some people are sticklers about that! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2006
My wife and I have previously sailed on Windstar twice and Princess once. We sailed from St. Thomas to St. Maarten. Here are some of my memorable thoughts about our overall experience. Embarkation- We arrived about 45 minutes early. we ... Read More
My wife and I have previously sailed on Windstar twice and Princess once. We sailed from St. Thomas to St. Maarten. Here are some of my memorable thoughts about our overall experience. Embarkation- We arrived about 45 minutes early. we were supposed to board at 2 pm. well, it decided to rain that day and the Seadream staff just looked at several of us couples who were standing there in the rain. I thought they could have at least offered us an umbrella from the box of umbrellas sitting near the top of the stairs. I felt this was pretty lame. Cabin- We booked a category 2 but were given a category 3 stateroom. all staterooms are exactly the same. The bathroom is very small and difficult to maneuver around in. the shower is nice with a nice three headed shower and marble. THE MATTRESSES WERE ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE!!!! If you are planning a romantic trip and plan on sleeping close to your husband or wife, then beware!!! The mattresses were thin, worn, and had this huge hump in the middle of the bed. I was able the check out many of the other cabins on our day of disembarkation, and they all seemed to have this problem and a lot of other passengers were complaining about it as well. This was the only really bad thing about this trip and ship. Staff- Very friendly and accommodating. We did have one bartender that seemed a bit irritated all of the time though. Spa- One of the best parts of this cruise. All of the spa staff were extremely friendly and great at their respective jobs. Food-Best at sea for dinner. Absolutely wonderful, 5 star. Enough said. Balinese day beds- These are awesome. My wife and I would sit on these during the day and just relax and read. They will make them into a bed at night and you can sleep under the stars as well. This would have been much more comfortable and romantic than our stateroom bed, but there were off and on showers throughout the trip, so we elected to sleep in our stateroom prison beds. ha ha... Overall- I would sail Seadream again only if they upgraded their mattresses. Overall it was a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2005
First of all let me say that my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on SD1. Every aspect of the experience was first rate. This cruise line offers a truly exceptional experience. Secondly, let me add a few specific comments that may ... Read More
First of all let me say that my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on SD1. Every aspect of the experience was first rate. This cruise line offers a truly exceptional experience. Secondly, let me add a few specific comments that may help with your cruise booking decision. SHIP: Beautiful, large enough to offer all the modern amenities and comforts, yet small enough to offer privacy and an air of seclusion if desired. We did observe some guests complaining of sea sickness. However, we were told by several staff members that the sea was unusually rough several nights during our cruise. FOOD: Variety, presentation, temperature, taste, were all excellent. The restaurant is a five star experience. CABINS: Surprisingly large, well appointed, beds are extremely comfortable, cabins must be well insulated as we never heard any noise emanating from our neighbors and only rarely from the hallway. EXCURSIONS: We went on one excursion. A hike up a mountain in Saba. It was very strenuous. However, the view from the top was worth the effort. If you join this excursion take plenty of water and wear good hiking shoes that can stand a little mud. ITINERARY: Loved it ... a new port each day! St. Croix was our least favorite. Most guest comments surrounding St. Croix mirrored our thoughts ... seemed a bit seedy and run down. All the other ports were fabulous. EXERCISE ROOM: Surprisingly large, machines are first class and plentiful with numerous flat screen TVs to watch while working up a sweat. Staff is attentive. LOUNGES/BARS: The "Top Of The Yacht Bar" is a wonderful place to make new friends and watch the day's port fade in the distance. It is an equally comfortable place to join your new friends for an after dinner drink and enjoy the quiet conversations and ocean breezes. The "Main Salon" was a very popular place for before dinner drinks and the cruise director took the opportunity to provide guests with a brief description of the upcoming day's events. This was very helpful. SERVICE: Without exception every member of the staff was friendly, prompt and provided top notch service with a smile. We observed more than a few staff members pulling "double duty" to help maintain such a high level of service. FELLOW PASSENGERS: Generally well traveled, well educated, affluent and interesting. Most passengers seemed to relish the act of traveling with passengers of similar ilk. My wife and I had planned on a quiet vacation for two. We ended up planning joint day time activities and dining most nights with other guests because we were having so much fun with our new friends. (I also observed this trend among other passengers.) GENERAL COMMENTS: What a superb experience. A most unusual combination of style and class delivered in an unassuming manner. Book your trip now and prepare to spend your cruise being pampered and engaged as never before. Read Less
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