Seadream 1 - yacht club review
We were escorted into the lounge and offered hot and cold canapés, then after a short wait we were requested to proceed to the desk to complete our embarkation paperwork. No queues, two chairs so that this short business could be conducted in comfort, our cabin steward was then called forward to escort us to our cabin.
We undertook a quick look around and I was very pleasantly surprised by the amount of space and storage. The bed was situated by the window (there are no balconies on SeaDream) and there was a very comfortable seating area with long sofa, a table, two chairs and an ice bucket with a bottle of Champagne. Flat screen TV, DVD player and Ipod docking station were all conveniently located. There was plenty of cupboard and drawer space.
The bathroom, while not large was certainly not the smallest that I have seen on a cruise ship and in fact the shower was the biggest.
Anxious to explore the rest of <i>SeaDream II</i> we made our way to the Top of the Yacht Bar. As we were in Venice this gave us a lovely view across to St Mark’s square and this was obviously the place to be to make introductions and get to know our fellow cruisers.
There are a maximum of 110 guests on each of the SeaDream Yacht Club ships and I found that there was always plenty of space, seating and lounges by the pool. The ratio of staff to guests was so high that you were attended to immediately wherever you chose to sit with the immediate offer of tea, coffee or an alcoholic beverage. All drinks are included in the fare and include all international brands with a selection of different types for each of the spirits and of course Champagne was always available!
Having taken advice I took myself off to the Concierge Desk to secure an overnight reservation on the Balinese Day Bed situated at the front of <i>SeaDream II</i> on the top deck. This is the largest and is made up each evening for guests who have pre-reserved to sleep under the stars. There are other beds either side of the ship but they do not offer as much privacy and are available on request from your cabin steward.
Sailaway was beautiful as we cruised out of Venice in the early evening sunshine.
Dinner was preceded by canapés and drinks in the lounge and an introductory talk from our Cruise Director and the Captain. It was explained to us that although we had an ‘itinerary’ this was flexible and may be altered at the Captain’s discretion but purely for our benefit! This in fact happened the next morning when we were advised that as we were making such good time to our first port, we were going to stop in the middle of the ocean to allow for swimming off the platform at the back of the ship. What an experience!
Our first dinner on board <i>SeaDream II</i> gave us an indication of the superb quality of food that we would enjoy throughout the cruise. Every meal was quite simply of ‘Michelin’ standard and served by friendly, knowledgeable waiting staff who were so keen to ensure that everything was to our liking. Nothing was too much trouble and there was always a varied choice of dishes to choose from.
For breakfast and lunch each day, and on a couple of evenings we dined outside in the Topside Restaurant. Tables were beautifully laid with linen and crystal. A table for two was always available for as many guests who wished to have this. Alternatively you could dine with fellow guests if you wished. It was your choice at every meal. Enjoying the balmy sea breeze while eating amazing food and drinking fine wine was very memorable.
The Dining Salon on deck Two was the other venue for evening meals and could easily accommodate every guest in a single sitting.
The Sommelier on board <i>SeaDream II</i> was exceptionally knowledgeable and able to recommend appropriate wines to accompany our meals, always of the highest quality.
Throughout our time on board we were greeted by staff by name, always with a smile and friendly greeting. The service provided was the best I have ever experienced and goes some way to explain why so many guests cruise repeatedly with SeaDream.
Three times during our cruise, the swimming platform was lowered, sometimes for guests to use the onboard jet skis, canoes, small sailing dingies and for rides on the banana boat. Once the ‘toys’ were put away then swimming was allowed. At all times there were crew members out in two motor boats or standing on the platform to ensure everyone’s safety.
In my honest opinion SeaDream Yacht Club have got a superb cruise product which is very unique. It is a small ship but this is allows for visits to ports that the other bigger ships could not even consider. With an excellent spa, library, gym and pool, as long as you like fantastic service, amazing food and are prepared to adjust to the smaller size of ship and consequently fewer guests then I think you will have a fantastic cruise.
Written by David Setchell