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  #1  
Old May 7th, 2005, 12:48 PM
its_my_dime its_my_dime is offline
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Default Any holiday children updates?

It is time to start thinking about Christmas - New Years. Do you think that Seadream has learned anything from this board or from comment cards about passenger reaction to large numbers of children (or large groups) on holiday cruises... or will it be business as usual again this year? Has anyone contacted Seadream or heard anything either about policy changes or the make-up of this holiday's cruises. Thank you.
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  #2  
Old May 7th, 2005, 11:46 PM
Dr. Jean Dr. Jean is offline
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Hi we are new to this forum found out about it on our last Seabourn cruise two weeks ago! We have cruised Sea Dream in the past with our children and are looking forward to cruising this December from St Thomas to Barbados and back to St Thomas on SD II. We have not booked yet beacause we are trying to arrange for my sister and her husabnd and their children join us. They have a villa in San Jaun and usually spend some part of the winter there and would rather sail the Sea Dream I for ease of travel with their children. We like the SD II's itinerary better but realize our 4 children are better at travels than their three Our 4 have been to every continent except South America and all have been traveling intenationally at least every 3 months since birth! They usually travel in business or 1st class and have only recieved kudos from the flight staff as well as other passengers. All but one have dined at the captains table on several occasions. Looking forward to meeting new people and spending the magical season of joy on a beauitful yacht with family and hopefully new friends!
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  #3  
Old May 9th, 2005, 12:36 AM
its_my_dime its_my_dime is offline
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Default Dr. Jean: -

You are absolutely correct that the Christmas - New Year's cruise itinerary from St. Thomas to Barbados to St. Thomas is a good one.

Please post here to let everyone know after you have paid your deposit. I'm sure that the couples who have already booked this pair of cruises, as well as those who are considering it, will be pleased to learn that for only $20,000, they can spend two "magical" holiday weeks with your family's seven remarkable children.

Last edited by its_my_dime; May 9th, 2005 at 12:44 AM.
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  #4  
Old May 9th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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I've been lurking on the SeaDream board for a bit because I have been thinking of taking my two children on SeaDream as an alternative. It seems that, for the most part, people understand that well mannered children can be an interesting and entertaining part of a cruise. I have always been proud of other guests on Radisson complimenting my children on how well behaved they are...even on some lengthy tours.

Good children tend to rise to the occassion and will behave even better when around adults on lines such as Radisson (or, it seems, SeaDream) than when cruising on Royal Caribbean or even, Celebrity. My children actually have a preference for the upscale lines because they get their own suite and are proud of how they have earned the right to be there.

I think it would be interesting to take the approach (as the cruise lines now seem to be) that children are full fare paying customers, so they have as much right as anyone else to be on board.. We have all had our share of obnoxious, overbearing and/or overly loud adults on cruises, so I think it is less of an age thing.

Teach 'em right and they will be human beings respectful of everyone...no matter if they are older or younger...even on a cruise with, heaven forbid, a bunch of adults!
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Old May 9th, 2005, 01:37 PM
its_my_dime its_my_dime is offline
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Default Iamboatman: --

In theory, there is no problem with what you write. In practice, there is.

Because it isn't your few well behaved children; it is two dozen or more children of assorted ages who will also be on board.

The SeaDream is a wonderful SMALL ship. There is no place to hide on the SeaDream and for children (who tend to gather in packs), no diversions, nothing to do and no place to go. So they fill up the gym and the library; and the hot tub; and the small pool deck. They wander around looking for something to do. And they eat breakfast and lunch together at large, fairly noisy tables in the outside dining area.

In terms of passengers and facilities, the SeaDream is 1/2 the size of the Seabourn, which you know well. So picture the Seabourn with 50-60 children (on the Veranda; in the lounges; in the spa; on deck; at the show; playing trivia; at afternoon tea) and you will have some idea of what I'm talking about.

Now, if you are a parent with children, you will probably hang around with other parents and your schedules will be dictated by your children.

But the SeaDream talks about 55 COUPLES in their brochures and many couples do not take what is advertised as an adult couples vacation to have fully 1/4 to 1/3 of the spaces taken up by other people's children with perhaps an additional 10-20% of the ship taken up by their parents.

Obviously, children have a "right" to be on board; and SeaDream is trying to maximize its revenue. But I'm not sure that the small SeaDream can market to both couples and children.

Because the really bad scenario for SeaDream is that the continuing publicity and discussion about children on board causes the couples to move away because they don't want to be with children; and then the families with children move away because SeaDream has become a "kiddie cruise" and is no longer an upscale, adult experience that they want their children to experience.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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I read this sort of perspective (not only about children, but other things) alot. The issue is really not with the cruise line(s), but with a passenger (or potential passenger) liking many aspects of the line, but not others.

It is not about a single (or even a larger number) of people on this board putting together a protest, but rather what the entire cruise community from which they obtain their passengers desire. Cruise Critic members represent only a very, very, very small percentage of passengers who actually cruise...and I would venture to guess, an extraordinarily small percentage of those who cruise on upscale lines.

I would not take my kids on Seabourn or Silversea, but Radisson, SeaDream, Celebrity, etc., absolutely. Radisson, BTW, has a kids program for specific sailings during the summer and holidays...because that is what the market calls for. I try to tailor my cruising to be sure there is a good environment for my family...not demand the cruise line put in a kid's program because I like a particular itinerary at a particular time!

My suggestion...just like if you don't like smoking...move away and cruise at another time and/or on another line. As noted above, that is exactly what we do...and we don't condemn those old folks who don't want rock 'n roll playing by the pool.

Complaining because you like most, but not all, of a particular cruise line is not going to make the line change. In fact, probably nothing productive will come of it.
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  #7  
Old May 9th, 2005, 02:51 PM
Dr. Jean Dr. Jean is offline
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My Goodness, when I posted I had not read prior posts on this board or I never would have posted now knowing after reading it's my dimes prior posts on children. I truley posted here and came to this board as a friend said there were frindly informative people here and on Seabourns board. And with our prior sailing history with both lines they were surprized we had not heard of CC. Fortunantly my family does not even consider the price of travel we worked hard are are really blessed that we do not worry about the price. I am not saying that to be rude but a prior post brought up the price. When we travel we usually take some of our staff with us,especially when traveling with our children, so our children are well supervised by not only their loving family but loving staff. For the prior poster I am sorry if you had a bad expirence with children before but you have never met my children and yes, they are remarkable! As remarkable as it sounds you must have been also as a child! If you inquire with several of the current ships Captains on Seabourn, Sea Dream, and Silver Seas they would be happy to give my "remarkable "children glowing references of manners and civility, by they pessimistic tone of your posts I am thinking sir you may not recieve such glowing reports. You say Sea Dream is for the select privilaged few? Might I dare to say that the degree of ones priviledge in life is in the eye of the beholder. We will be crusing Seabourn more times this year and most likely Sea Dream 2 more times. Could you please post which dates you will be sailing so people can make a decision on if they want to spend the money to have a "magical" time with you and your keen sence of entitlement! You sir are a bore!
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  #8  
Old May 9th, 2005, 04:29 PM
its_my_dime its_my_dime is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamboatman
I
I would not take my kids on Seabourn or Silversea, but Radisson, SeaDream, Celebrity, etc., absolutely..
I'm really curious. Why would you take your kids on SeaDream but not on Seabourn or Silversea? SeaDream is the smallest of the group and has the fewest facilities to deal with children.
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  #9  
Old May 9th, 2005, 04:31 PM
Jim Avery Jim Avery is offline
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Hello all:
I am one of the posters that is against children under 18 on SeaDream. My reasons and reasoning are well documented in these posts so no re hash. My point in this post is that of the very few who are posting pro child, all their children are exceptional, intelligent, well mannered, etc. I have raised good kids but I guess I was a bad Daddy because my kids acted like kids and were generally bored confined around adults. That is also what I observed in March on SD I. Reality is a great thing. The reality of it is that your exceptional kids are only exceptional to you. The Captain and crew are paid to tell you nice things. The rest of the paying passengers get a reduced experience with kids on board such a small ship. When you know there are no kids programs, no kids rooms, etc. on board and you insist on bringing yours, you are being rude and insensitive. Try a little time without your kids. I know they will enjoy it just as you did when left with friends or Grandma.
Its a shame this divisive problem detracts from an otherwise exceptional product. SeaDream management is remiss for not taking charge and working toward a solution. Either age limits or limit children to selected cruises. They do market their product as an adult type cruise. What we anti child types are asking for is consistency of product. If kids are to be a part of the mix, just tell us. There are lots of options in this world. After working as hard as we all have to get to the point of being able to afford cruises in this price range, we all deserve to get what we pay for.
Thanks for listening. All the best.
Jim.
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  #10  
Old May 9th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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DisneyJen DisneyJen is offline
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Let me preface my comments ... I am a parent of a well-and-worldy traveled, well-mannered, bright 12-year-old.

Iamboatman ... you say that you would NOT take your children on Seabourn or Silverseas but you WOULD on Radisson, Celebrity and SeaDream?

I agree with you on Radisson and Celebrity for sure ... BUT having sailed on SD, I would NOT sail with dd on SD ... even if we too brought our nanny.

I put SD in the Seabourn and Silversea category in terms of the size of the ship, scope of entertainment and the environment. Remember ... SD ships were the ORIGINAL ships of Seabourn so I guess I am, pardon the bad pun, missing the boat.

When we do a "family" cruise it is in a suite on a mainstream line.

Not looking for flames or a fight ... just trying to understand the rationale.

Edited to say that Dime beat me to the question

Last edited by DisneyJen; May 9th, 2005 at 04:43 PM. Reason: slow posting on my part ...
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  #11  
Old May 9th, 2005, 05:05 PM
its_my_dime its_my_dime is offline
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Default Iamboatman -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamboatman
Cruise Critic members represent only a very, very, very small percentage of passengers who actually cruise...and I would venture to guess, an extraordinarily small percentage of those who cruise on upscale lines..
I agree. But you underestimate the wide dissemination of the web. There is nothing like a little daylight to expose policies that would otherwise stay hidden or confined to a small group. (And, since you raised it with your little dig, that includes the fact that Seabourn has a virtually wide open smoking policy).

Anyhow, these posts are indexed on Google. And the travel agents who book SeaDream read this board. Also, SeaDream management reads the board and they are scrambling to find a consistant reply to all of the emails and questions they are getting about the Easter cruise.

So I think you can assume that if it gets discussed here, the people who care ... that very, very small percentage who comprise the luxury cruise market or their travel agents, will find it.

And while it may not have an impact in itself, it gets added to trip end comments and other feedback that the lines get. I think these postings are important. Policies do change and this input helps to cause that change.
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  #12  
Old May 9th, 2005, 05:07 PM
Dr. Jean Dr. Jean is offline
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My children do not want kiddie clubs we have tried the mass market lines and my children do not use the clubs. My children take up less space and pay the same amount as anyone on board. In fact when we travel we pay for staff members to cruise with us and they usually do not use the common space in the evenings as they are with our children and doing their studies. We as a family usually are off the ship the entire time in ports. All but one of my children have dined with represenatives of several countries and I can assure you they are not paid to remark on the behavior of my children. All of my children speak 4 languages and can hold conversation as well as anyone I have met at sea! I do not wish to leave my children at home as I do not know how much longer I have on this earth with them! Another reason we travel so much as I am in my fourties and will most likely never see 50. So wait 5 or 6 years and I can assure you you will not have to worry about cruising with me nor my children, until then if I wish to pay and SeaDream wishes to accept payment, to sea I shall go with my " remarkable" children! I shall now retire from this closed minded forum, but shall not retire from cruising! Dasvadanya, Adios, and Good Bye!
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  #13  
Old May 9th, 2005, 05:20 PM
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It is remarkable that the comments from the "no kids" have such a condescending tone. Whether you choose to travel with or without your children is your business; just as it is not as those who travel with their children. I would never say someone was a bad parent for not taking their children along on a cruise; I would question whether parenting including being so judgmental would be of benefit, however.

I am sure that same captain that tells the OP that his/her children are wonderful is the same one that tells the judgmental, overly loud, bore that he is just a pleasure to have on board and looks forward to seeing him again.

Cruise lines are catering to many; not the few. The snob-appeal of cruising is over. Even Cunard has effectively turned into Princess. No rarified air there.

The long and the short of it is, that they want paying bodies in cabins. It is a matter of economics. Economics is driven by market forces. The present market forces in the upper end of the cruise business is heavily driven by executives and their families. Crystal has a child sails free program. Radisson has a kid's program. SeaDream, Seabourn and Silversea accept children. It may not be what a certain percentage want, but it is today's reality. Being rude or condescending to those who choose to bring their children is not going to change that. Heck, the lines like people like me. Two suites instead of one on every cruise...good revenue.

If you want to truly cater to your own, singular, desires: No children. No smoking. No fish smells. Only classical music. No tour buses. Charter a yacht. Yes, the cost is significantly more, but you don't have to deal with those people you now judge and disinvite from "your" chosen cruise.

[BTW, its_my_dime - the reason is simple: It is too formal for the kids. Having a young boy wear a collared shirt and long pants in the evening is one thing; having to make him wear a sports jacket and dine formally most every night of his vacation is another. They are a different product. Simple, and I thought obvious, answer.]
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Old May 9th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyJen
Let me preface my comments ... I am a parent of a well-and-worldy traveled, well-mannered, bright 12-year-old.

Iamboatman ... you say that you would NOT take your children on Seabourn or Silverseas but you WOULD on Radisson, Celebrity and SeaDream?

I agree with you on Radisson and Celebrity for sure ... BUT having sailed on SD, I would NOT sail with dd on SD ... even if we too brought our nanny.
You may well be right. Your comments, and the way they were made, are the type usually provided. They are informative and well-reasoned...and the sort of information and discussion normally looked for. Thanks. Normally I would ask a few more questions, but I dare not in this thread!

Obviously, if I knew everything I wouldn't be here reading various discussions. Others, it seems, are here just to stir the pot, purportedly so that SeaDream might read what they write and then change their marketing. (Amazing how my perspective on percentages is accepted but the resulting reality is not. What about a good old fashioned letter to SeaDream rather than alienating other posters?)
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Old May 9th, 2005, 05:49 PM
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Iamboatman please do stay and ask more questions and share perspectives This is just one way to share information.

I agree that the "exclusivity" of sailing has faded into the sunset for better or worse.

I did share my concerns with SeaDream via the customer comment card at the end of our trip Dec. 5, 2004 trip. I do know that those comments were read since I have had communication with and from SeaDream.

My postings are to gain info and to share info. I am in no position to judge who is a good parent/person or a better parent/person. Thank you for your kind words.
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  #16  
Old May 9th, 2005, 06:59 PM
its_my_dime its_my_dime is offline
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Default SeaDream Management Please Read:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamboatman

[BTW, its_my_dime - the reason is simple: It is too formal for the kids. Having a young boy wear a collared shirt and long pants in the evening is one thing; having to make him wear a sports jacket and dine formally most every night of his vacation is another. They are a different product. Simple, and I thought obvious, answer.]
The above was in answer to the question: "Why would you take your kids on SeaDream but not on Seabourn or Silversea? SeaDream is the smallest of the group and has the fewest facilities children."

So, SeaDream, I think you have both a message problem and an image problem.

Iamboatman is an experienced luxury cruiser (and a big fan of Seabourn when he is traveling without his children). He is verbal and smart, and has good analytical skills .... but when it comes to traveling with his children, he picks the smallest, least equipped ship for them.

I'm sure he has seen your message that say SeaDream has no facilities for children; he knows this; he chooses to ignore it. As do the others who bring children.

So if you are serious about reducing the number of children without a formal age restriction, you need a different message because the current one of advising travel agents or guests reserving directly that the ships are not suited for children just isn't working.

And the fact that Iamboatman states that the other ships are "too formal" for children is an interesting choice of words because he is aware that Seabourn, for example, offers alternative dining arrangements. I'm thinking: too elegant?; too nice?; too upscale?; too stodgy?; too first class? Perhaps it is more a matter of expectation.

Because the image of 60 kids running around Seabourn (equivalent to 30 on the SeaDream) is ludicrous on its face to anyone who has cruised on it. The rest of the guests (many repeat customers) expect better and if somehow it did happen once, there would be a palace revolt among the passengers and it would absolutely never happen again.

So SeaDream, why is your image and why are the expectations such that it is ok to bring children on your ships while it is not ok on the other ships.

Just curious.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 08:07 PM
paradise55 paradise55 is offline
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The bottom line is that SeaDream markets itself as an intimate setting for 55 privileged couples. I have three pieces of SeaDream literature in front of me and all three state that within the first two pages. You have to believe that 90% of these couples that have not read cruise reviews would be in for a rude awakening. It's not an anti or pro kid issue. It's all about delivering on what you market. No matter how "remarkable" you think your kids are, the dynamics of the experience for other passengers are substantially altered. Surely, you parents can even understand that?

Last edited by paradise55; May 9th, 2005 at 08:16 PM.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Exactly Paradise ... my point all along has been that in all of the marketing material I have (brochures and DVDs) SeaDream talks about 55 COUPLES not FAMILIES on board.

If they market and say 55 stateroom for COUPLES and FAMILIES that means something entirely differently, to me, than 55 COUPLES.
Going into our next cruise (in November) I know that there may be a large affinity group and/or children. My expectations are quite different than those I held for our first trip ... 55 COUPLES.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 09:28 PM
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I find this all so remarkable. I have never sailed SeaDream and merely said I was considering it. Now, I have its_my_penny throwing insults not only at me but my children.

I also understand there was marketing by SeaDream as being for couples, but that is not what it marketing says. To quote the website:

"As our President says, "We are not a cruise line. We are a yacht company and we provide a yachting experience." Yachting features an open and unstructured ambience that provides guests the ability to fulfill their own dreams - call them "SeaDream's" if you will---at their own pace and in their own style. We like to express this as "No clocks, no crowds, no lines, no stress." The key word for the SeaDream yachting experience is "unstructured". It is all about personal choice. Think of it as a free form holiday in which guests fall into a "seadream" and believe that they are aboard their own yacht. That is why we say, "It is yachting, not cruising".

I happen to be heavily involved in the yachting industry and can tell you that it is not truly "yachting", but there are many families that charter yachts every year for a luxury family vacation. I work on signing and orchestrating these charters regularly.

I said Seabourn and Silversea were too formal. The SeaDream site says, "he SeaDream yachting experience is a casual affair. There is no formal dress code. When asked about what our guests wear during the day or in the evening, we always respond by using the phrase "Resort Casual"--- sportswear for the activity of your choice, easy to wear and comfortable attire for shore-side visits." Guess I was dumb to get that too.

We don't consider the cruise to only be on board; quite the contrary. We consider the cruise to be a great way to travel with a family. My kids have been from Istanbul to Barcelona, Santorini to a 15th century villa outside of Milan, Costa Rica to St. Maarten. Even parts of the Pacific. We loved our short time in Croatia and would love to spend time cruising the coast. A week or two on SeaDream sounds great. About $300,000 for a week on a yacht... Sorry, that's is not an option for me. (I just work the deals!)

All that said, I think if SeaDream does read this board, they would be apalled at some of the comments. I am sure they will be "thrilled" to welcome you on board...at least to your face (as one poster suggested!) So thank you for your personal attacks...and maybe me and my charming family will surprise you. (Hint: Stay away from holidays and summer...and you "should" be safe.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 10:55 PM
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If you scroll down on the same web page that boatman quotes from, you'll find that accommodations are set up for 47 - 50 couples. Again, no mention of childern. Not even in boatman's Seadream quote, aside from his own words. My wife and I love kids. She's from a large extended family with lots of nieces and nephews. We're considered everyones favorite Aunt and Uncle. Lots of sleepovers. We just want the experience that Seadream paints in all their literature, DVDs and website.

Last edited by paradise55; May 9th, 2005 at 11:00 PM.
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