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SeaDream Yacht Club: SeaDream II

  • SeaDream Yacht Club

SeaDream II Review

Insider Take

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

The megaship experience with round-the-clock entertainment, a lavish casino, balconied staterooms and a great variety of public rooms and lounges.

Decor

As befitting the finest yachts, SeaDream I and II are outfitted with a lot of polished teak, navy and white color schemes and fabrics, rattan, and brass detailing. In a nod to owner Atle Brynestad's Norwegian heritage, you'll also find a vast collection of original artwork and glass pieces commissioned from Scandinavian artists.

Cuisine

With each dish prepared to order, dining aboard SeaDream I and II is a celebration of regional and international cuisine starring the freshest ingredients, the most creative presentation and the most delectable tastes. While dinner and its 5-course menus is the most gala of the day's dining experiences, don't overlook the buffet selections and full menus available at lunch and breakfast. Pick up a yogurt and fresh fruit at the breakfast buffet and supplement it with eggs cooked to order with, perhaps, a couple of baby lamb chops on the side. At lunch, the buffet might feature fat New Zealand mussels, a choice of freshly made salads, soup, cold cuts and cheeses while the luncheon menu offers hot sandwiches, pasta dishes, burgers and seafood specialties. Low calorie and "wellness" options are available at every meal.

Service

Almost immediately, you are known by name by SeaDream's extraordinary staff who also appears to eavesdrop on conversations in order to learn guests' preferences. "I wish they'd have banana ice cream" will, doubtlessly, result in the presentation of a dish of banana ice cream the following day. A verbalized wish for pizza will result in a pie even quicker than that. Should you become engaged or married during your cruise, you might return to your suite to find a riot of rose petals covering the floor and red balloons floating across the ceiling. This extraordinary team, most from Europe and Eastern Europe, communicate well and exhibit a high degree of professionalism and courtesy while remaining friendly and approachable.

Tipping

Gratuities are included in the fare. Tipping is neither required nor expected aboard SeaDream Yacht Club.

Entertainment

SeaDream fans shun the formal entertainment of other cruise ships, preferring conversation to production shows, relaxation to pool games. The ship's piano bar and its talented piano player is the extent of the live entertainment you'll find on board either yacht.

Instead of bombarding guests with multi-page daily programs filled with activities, seminars and educational offerings, SeaDream provides the resources that lead guests to create their own personalized forms of entertainment. On select days, the yacht's marina sport platform is lowered and water toys that range from jet skis to kayaks are made available free of charge to those who want to play in the ocean.

On many sailings, the "Champagne and Caviar Splash" is a high point. A decadent celebration that kicks off the ship's extravagant beach barbecue, don't be surprised if you find yourself wading out into the surf, waist deep, to accept offerings of tangy caviar and bubbling champagne from fully dressed-and drenched-waiters who have set up their wares atop a floating surfboard.

Another SeaDream option, and the most romantic one, allows guests to sleep under the stars atop a plush Balinese sunbed, made up invitingly with high-thread Belgian sheets, fluffy duvets and plump down pillows. The perfect opportunity to wear the SeaDream pajamas provided to each guest and embroidered with their first name, of course.

Fitness/Spa

SeaDream's fitness center includes 4 treadmills, 1 elliptical machine, 2 recumbent bikes and free weights. Flat-screen TVs and DVD players are available to make your workout more pleasurable and bottled water and cool, refrigerated towels help you cool down. The fitness center is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Additionally, Yoga and Tai-Chi sessions are offered free of charge.

The adjacent Sea Dream Spa is a full service one, offering an extensive range of massage, health and beauty treatments. Massage can also be arranged on deck in open air private cabanas.

Best For People Who Want

A casual, social and highly luxurious all-inclusive cruise experience with the finest dining and service at sea.

Onboard Experience

The SeaDream slogan, "This is yachting, not cruising," becomes evident the moment you step up the gangway and are personally welcomed on board by the vessel's hotel director and captain. This is an intimate cruise experience where, in a few hours, you're addressed by name by the ship's extraordinary international staff and where, in a few days, you'll know the vast majority of your fellow passengers.

As you'd expect from an all-inclusive yachting experience, SeaDream tends to attract affluent, active and well-traveled couples of all ages, luring them with exquisite dining where the menu is often a mere suggestion and all requests for personal favorite dishes are honored.

Plush Balinese sunbeds instead of deck chairs, the "Champagne & Caviar Splash," "Water Sports Marina" and "Sleeping Under the Stars" are decadent SeaDream signatures that have contributed to the popularity of these two tiny 4,300 ton yachts that launched in 2001 while the rest of the cruise industry was focused on the megaship "city-at-sea" concept.

The SeaDream experience is one that is devoid of lavish entertainment, formal evenings, gimmicky activities, and gambling (in fact, one blackjack table comprises SeaDream's casino, positioned like an afterthought alongside the piano bar). Devoted fans of the line prefer this laid back lifestyle, and consistently demonstrate that lively conversation against the backdrop of the open air Top of the Yacht Bar is the only entertainment they really need.

Public Rooms

Interior public rooms aboard SeaDream I and II are closer to the atmosphere of a fine traditional home than to the extravagant ultra-modern designs of today's larger ships. A homey library with scattered overstuffed easy chairs, computer terminals and shelves of travel books and novels could be your comfortable living room, and the Main Salon, the largest public room on board, is saved from simplicity by the addition of its bar, a delightful corner nook that often feels like a separate and tres exclusive hideaway.

The true jewel in the SeaDream public room crown, however, is Top of the Yacht Bar, the circular social heart of the yacht. With a partial covering in the form of a canvas ceiling and abundant alcove seating nearby, this open air destination for social evenings is often used as additional breakfast, lunch or dinner seating as it is just steps up from Topside, the yacht's alfresco restaurant.

Restaurants

Located on deck 3, SeaDream's Dining Salon is a single level restaurant that offers seating options of two through ten. Most often used while SeaDream is at sea or when whether conditions render dining al fresco impractical, the Dining Salon is understated yet elegant, and features beautiful Hadeland Glassverk pieces displayed in spot lit shadow boxes throughout the room.

The most popular dining spot aboard SeaDream is Topside, the yacht's open air restaurant on deck 5. The yacht's breakfast and lunch destination, in the evening, Topside dons its yacht casual best, with teak tables draped in fine linens; china, glass and silver glistening in the moonlight.

Both restaurants offer open sitting dinner, allowing guests to dine when and with whom they choose.

Attire

Leave the tux and the gown at home. While gentlemen might wish to opt for a jacket when dinner is served at the Dining Salon, a tie is completely unnecessary. Relaxed and casual-though not sloppy-is the dress code in the evening and, at daytime, a bathing suit and cover up is the norm.




Ship Overview

Prototypes for an ultra-luxury yachting experience, the SeaDream Yacht Club megayachts have a history of sailing under several banners. Conceived as a Sea Goddess vessel for that long-defunct boutique cruise line, Sea Goddess II—the second ship, which launched in 1985—subsequently joined the Seabourn fleet and sailed as Seabourn Goddess II. SeaDream Yacht Club acquired her in 2002 and named her SeaDream II to launch the cruise line with her twin sister ship SeaDream I.

Although these vessels are not huge, the public rooms are quite spacious; the Main Salon and Dining Salon are large enough to comfortably seat all passengers at once. Decor is elegant in its simplicity and is surprisingly non-nautical. Instead, it's modern and sleek, utilizing the hues of the sea, sky, and sandy beaches. Oriental rugs cover polished teak floors in the reception area and in the large, sun-splashed library, where you'll find more than 1,000 books from which to choose, as well as computers to access the Internet. The library also lends movies to watch on the flat-screen TV/DVD player in your suite.

Balinese sun beds are the ideal spot to relax by day, either for sunbathing or reading beneath an umbrella. A telescope mounted at each ship's stern is handy for spotting land and other vessels at sea.

SeaDream yachts began sailing in 1984 beneath the Sea Goddess banner, and after a couple of changes of ownership and total renovations, they have evolved into the ultimate boutique ships. A voyage on one of these sleek megayachts is all about personal choice. Passengers enjoy an unstructured holiday at sea doing what they please, making it easy to imagine the diminutive vessel really is a private yacht. The ambience is refined and elegantly casual.

Fine dining and socializing with fellow passengers and the ships' captains and officers are preferred yachting pastimes.

A well-stocked library has books and movies for those who prefer quiet pursuits in the privacy of their staterooms. In addition, MP3 players stocked with all types of music—enough to play for a complete sailing without repeating a selection—are available for personal use at no charge.

The weekly picnic on a private beach is considered by many passengers as their most memorable experience ashore during a SeaDream cruise. It begins with refreshing drinks served during a wet landing from Zodiacs and is followed by SeaDream's signature champagne-and-caviar splash served to passengers from a surfboard bar in the crystal clear water. On voyages where it isn't possible to host the champagne-and-caviar splash ashore, it is celebrated poolside.

SeaDream yachts are often chartered by families, corporations, and other affinity groups, but the company does not charter both ships at the same time. If your chosen sailing is closed to you because of a charter, the other yacht will be available.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • The barbecue held on a deserted stretch of beach would be a highlight even if it didn't include champagne and caviar
  • The Top of the Yacht Bar is the sociable choice
  • No smoking is allowed indoors, which is refreshing

Cons

  • The ships are not appropriate for anyone confined to a wheelchair, as public facilities have thresholds and the elevator doesn't reach the uppermost deck
  • There's a charge for wines and spirits ordered for your suite
  • You might miss schedule changes if you skip cocktails before dinner
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 95
  • Entered Service 1985
  • Gross Tons 4,300
  • Length 344 feet
  • Number of Cabins 56
  • Passenger Capacity 112
  • Width 47 feet
  • New

Sep 18, 2008

Trans Atlantic

Revamped Seabourn/Cunard Sea Goddess 2. Company publicity cites cruise experience improved. Sailed many times on Goddess and you are assured this is truly inferior. The ships have been nicely refurbished, but service is lacking, We - party of 20 friends plus 29 other passengers, cruised transatlantic, Barcelona to St Thomas Oct 2002. The overwhelming majority of co-passengers opined that this new cruise experience was considerably inferior

to Cunard/ Seabourn old Sea Goddess 1 & 2 in most ways, the exceptions being decor, deck layout, gym and library features. Arrival and greeting is substandard, more especially for a ship of this caliber, nothing more than a dressed up, stressed out cargo Capt shaking hands, pointing the way inside the ship, as if we couldn't find our own way in through a door! No flowers, no music, no fruit, no welcome drinks, no crew. Packing cases stacked on deck, ski-doos lashed down on the aft deck, a previously important space for deck activities. Giving the overall impression of a holiday resort closed for the winter. Food. Is at best nothing more than US 'diner standard'. Breakfast is good, lunch passable, dinner appalling. I awarded a lifejacket to the grossly misnamed Chef de Cuisine, for he may have needed it if the food didn't improve -it didn't, but unfortunately he stayed to plague the passengers with his miserable attempts to cook. He, his Faulty Towers style unbelievably shambolic kitchen (my wife was a professional chef), supported by the disorganized restaurant waiting staff served to cap the horrible boring experience. No entertainment, 'excused' by placating us with the storyline -appealing to the unstructured lifestyle of the demanding rich. I think the owner should leave the cold and misery of Norway and Scandinavia and gain some experience of how we really live in the real 'unstructured rich world'. Passenger Crew are mismanaged therefore disorganized. The Capt (competent) but poor chap is ex cargo ship, and clearly cruises with cost saving in mind i.e. shortest distance, to hell with passenger comfort (I'm an ex seafarer). Overall: Rubbish and a never again experience. My advice is forget these ships until they are sold to a proper company who know how to run cruise ships.

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