Posted July 21st, 2018, 02:03 PM
Ok Charlie, you mentioned sailing on Sea Goddess. When built they were considered one of the most expensive forms of transportation on the planet. Plenty of exterior photos available but not much on interiors. As the only person I have come across who has sailed Sea Goddess and SeaDream, (I have met several travelers who sailed Sea Goddess. Oddly, they don't seem to have ever heard of SeaDream) how was it then. I know SD added the TOY Bar/Bali Bed area and made minor changes aft but what are the discernible differences. I know there are more passengers now, not sure about crew numbers. Anyway, how was it?
Hello, Jim, and thank you for bringing back memories of the early Sea Goddess's.
My late wife and I, after having crossed the Atlantic on our honeymoon in 1985 on the QE2 (and , as Grill passengers, receiving complimentary return air - on the Concord !), repeated the trip in 1986. Cunard was in the process of leasing SG 1 & 2 from it's original owners and was seeking reservations for SG 1 1987 sailings. We received an offer we couldn't refuse. After SG 1 finished it's charter to the America's Cup in Australia it sailed to Singapore and from there it began it's cruises as the Cunard Sea Goddess 1. SG 2 was not yet in service. Introductory prices were discounted by about 20% and, if one purchased two consecutive cruises, the least expensive of these was half price. We booked a Singapore to Hong Kong and then from there to Kobe, Japan, a total of 26 days.
I can't properly describe how wonderful it all was. The ship was virtually brand new, less than two years old, the itinerary opened new worlds to us - Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah in Borneo, Cebu and Manila in the Philippines, four ports in China including Shanghai and a Chinese Naval Air Station where Cunard had got permission for a chartered plane to fly us to Beijing for two nights at the Shangri La Hotel. After that we sailed to Nagasaki then to Kagoshima and disembarking in Kobe on May 8th, 1987. A clipping from the Mainichi Daily News, a local English language newspaper, referred to there being 72 passengers on board. It also mentioned that the " ocean liner is famous for it's superb service ".
The ship, service, food and fellow passengers all made it enjoyable and memorable. The top deck did not have a bar or Bali beds, though there was a wet bar with a large selection of wine, spirits and mixers, as well as ice and glasses, for those times in port when service was not always available. There was a waterfall with tables near for breakfast or lunch. The piano bar well patronized by wife and I after dinner, where Primo would have out Delamaine cognacs waiting for us until one night when Primo was distraught because he had run out of that rather expensive brand. However, the following night he was waiting with a Delamaine and told us that he had searched the ship and finally found it. I asked him where, and he told us that it had been in the kitchen.. This, I think, conveys the idea of the quality of everything used on board.
Sorry to have gone on so long, but was all very memorable. In 1988 we took the SG2 from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Singapore. The two ships were just like two peas in a pod. We took one transatlantic on the Sea Dream 1 a few years after it was reintroduced and thought that the top deck changes were a great improvement and the cuisine and service a close match for what we had experienced all those years ago. I have a booking for a solo transatlantic passage on SD2 next April. Maybe I shall meet up with some of you posters then, We shall see.