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DWhit

SD l or SD ll ?

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I am sure both are awesome, but.... Wondering if there are any preferences for one ship or the other?  To all those with experience, which do you prefer, and why?

 

Thanks

Doug

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Well, they are pretty much identical ships.  SD I was built in 1984 and SD II was built in 1985, but they're carbon copies.  I haven't been on SD II yet, but I have been on SD I three times.  I'm sure those who have been on both have a preference mostly based on the staff.  SD I has some great staff, but so does SD II.  For me, it's less a matter of which ship and more a matter of the itinerary and dates.  So far, SD I has always been the ship that has offered the itinerary I wanted at a time we could go.

 

I have been curious about SD II, not because it would offer a drastically different or better experience overall, but because I've heard of certain legendary staff members whom I'd love to meet.  But SD I also has legendary staff members.  I don't think you can go wrong either way.  

 

Hope that helps.

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I agree that both boats are probably physically the same and only the crew and itinerary makes the difference.  We have only been on SDI so I guess I can't compare ships.  However, we have been on SDI 11 times, only in the Caribbean, so I guess that says something about our priority... As a newbie you will be happy with either. 

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Both Cabosal and Knothead are correct.  We sailed exclusively on SDI for a number of years, and felt part of the family.  Finally, because of itinerary, we chose to sail on SDII.  It was like being in your own house, but someone else was living there.  But we quickly got used to the new crew members, and they us.  We have since done quite a few trips on SDII, but looking forward to being back on SDI this summer.  At this point, we make our choices based solely upon timing and itinerary.

 

Not true that the two yachts are carbon copies.  It is a game with me to find the little differences between them.  Most obvious is the location of the tender.  But some are very subtle, like shower doors and bathroom cups.

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Trapper is right about the subtle differences.  The satellite domes were located a bit different too.  We have sailed both approximately equal time on each and there are subtle differences.  I appreciate both crews equally and have developed friendships on both vessels.  The biggest difference to me is probably due to SD I being one year older than SD II which gave the designers/builders opportunity to tweak a few things.  Specifically, the generators in the engine space are hard mounted to the ship's framing on SDI and appear to have been placed on more isolated mounts on SD II.  What does that mean?  A bit more engine space noise when on deck 2 and a noticeable vibration when standing in the pool.  Not noticeable on SD II.  The vibration in the pool is strong enough to make your voice quivery when standing on the pool bottom.  Otherwise we find the food and service to be equal.  There is one other difference for us that others have luckily avoided.  All our SD I voyages have been impacted with large family groups and kids.  One infamous Caribbean voyage had 30 (!) children on board.  All our SD II voyages have been kid free.  Go figure....🍸

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The advantage to the vibration is that Jim can get his martinis shaken, not stirred.

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4 hours ago, TrapperZimmy said:

The advantage to the vibration is that Jim can get his martinis shaken, not stirred.

Haha, Trapper you are a bad, bad boy...🍸

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Thanks to everyone for the great input about each ship being wonderful.  I am looking at itineraries, trying to pick the best one.  And now of course I will have to weigh the merits of the vibrating pool.  🤔   I could see it going either way.

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So looking at my potential itineraries, I would like to ask for some more advice.  Both are Caribbean 7 day cruises at the end of February 2021 (we already have one with another line on the books for 2020). I have been to several of the scheduled ports before, but several are new to me.

 

If anyone could comment on the ports below, it would be appreciated, as I have never been to any of these.

 

For the Sea Dream l cruise, the new ports to me would be 1) Charlestown, Nevis; 2) Sandy Ground, Anguilla (1/2 day); and 3) Jost Van Dyke.

 

For the Sea Dream ll cruise, the new ports would be 1) Soper’s Hole (1/2 day)/Norman Island (1/2 day); 2) Prickly Pear, BVI; and 3) Saba (1/2 day).

 

Any thoughts would be welcome!

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What do you like to do on the islands, Doug?  Beaches, snorkeling/diving, shopping, sightseeing, restaurants and bars, golf?

Jost is likely to be the beach party, near the Soggy Dollar, especially if it is at the end of the cruise, although they have also done the party on Nevis.  Charlestown is the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton (maybe you've heard of him).  Anguilla can be an iffy port, depending upon the seas.  We had one trip that was supposed to stop there, and a gentleman and his golf clubs were supposed to be met by a car and driver where the tender would dock.  He had to call the driver to let him know that we would be anchoring on the other side of the island because of rough water.  He then had to call to say we weren't stopping at all, but continuing on to St. Bart's.  He was royally disappointed, and I hope he didn't lose any deposit money.  Saba is very interesting.  One giant rock, with a village at the bottom (called The Bottom) and one at the top, reachable by the single road (called The Road).  Some nice artisan shops.  Incredible airport with a runway that has the mountain on one end and a cliff at the other.  Supposed to be the shortest commercial runway in the world.  Don't know which is scarier, landing or taking off, and have no interest in doing either.  We haven't done it there, but Saba is supposed to have outstanding snorkeling and diving because the island is surrounded by a national marine reserve.  Although Saba is Dutch, English and the US dollar prevail.

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6 hours ago, TrapperZimmy said:

What do you like to do on the islands, Doug?  Beaches, snorkeling/diving, shopping, sightseeing, restaurants and bars, golf?

 

Trapper, the answer is pretty much all of the above.  We definitely love to snorkel, and would like at least one or two decent snorkel experiences on a trip.  We also love hanging out at the beach with a good local beach bar nearby.  We also like to include a nice sightseeing trip around an island if we have never done that island before.  Not as much into shopping or restaurants, but certainly open to those activities as well.  I love to golf and Pam loves to shop, but we tend to stick together more on our cruise trips.

 

Saba does sound great, but we would only be there in the morning before heading to St Barts.  But since its up against a half day at Anguilla, I would think thats a point for the Sea Dream ll cruise.  

 

Do you have any thoughts on Soper's Hole/Norman Island as one days stop?

 

 

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I know we've been there, but nothing stands out.  Check the shore activities page for the cruise to see what SD is offering.  I think Norman is a snorkeling site while Soper's is a bar and dining site, but I may be wrong.

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12 hours ago, TrapperZimmy said:

I know we've been there, but nothing stands out.  Check the shore activities page for the cruise to see what SD is offering.  I think Norman is a snorkeling site while Soper's is a bar and dining site, but I may be wrong.

Thanks!  It looks like either cruise on either ship will be great.  

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10 hours ago, DWhit said:

Thanks!  It looks like either cruise on either ship will be great.  

The only solution for y'all is to take a cruise on both ships and decide for yourself.😎🍸

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4 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

The only solution for y'all is to take a cruise on both ships and decide for yourself.😎🍸

Good advice!  We booked the SD l cruise!

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From what I understand the seas determine whether or not Saba is doable. I've been lucky enough for us to be able to anchor at Saba twice and loved it. I've done the Crispeen Track hike both times with James, a local guide. A highlight for sure. You go through rainforest and beautiful scenery which you wouldn't imagine there would be by seeing the imposing rock of an island from the sea. 

 

Anguilla is a great place for a day. Having stayed twice as a land based vacation and twice with Seadream, I love it.

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I know you've already booked SDI but I'll still give my 2 cents worth... We've been to all the places you mentioned so do have some insight.

Saba is a straight up mountain.  Really interesting tour regarding the history and road construction, airport, lace making, etc.  NO beaches here and SD often can't get in due to water conditions. 

Anguilla is gorgeous with the most beautiful, uncrowded beaches, many great beach bars (Elvis', Ray's,) restaurants (Straw Hat), and super pricey resorts (Cap Juluca, Four Seasons, Quisinart, Zemi). Definitely a favorite place and I always wish SD would stay here longer. (I'm so sick of St. Bart's).

Soper's Hole in Tortola was pretty devastated by the hurricanes and I don't know if it's back yet.  SD did an off-road vehicle type tour which was rough but gorgeous.  Stopped at a lovely beach (Brewers maybe?) for swimming and drinks and the views were spectacular. Loved this tour and have done it twice (with same driver, too). Other than that Soper's is a marina with shops and a Pusser's Rum bar that is fun for people watching.

Nevis has a very historic Caribbean town that you will land at and be inundated with taxi drivers.  The tour of Nevis was very informative and worth the time if you like to get an island perspective.  We usually just grab one of the cabs and head  to Sunshine's Bar.  There you will find only beach bars (5 or 6 and a nice beach). Sunshine's is the most famous (Or infamous? Get a Killer Bee here), but Lime and Turtle Time are great, too and less crowded.  Great fish at both of these and Lime has an owner who plays Sinatra music.  When we went last year SD arranged a tour bus to take people here (free).

We only go on SDI and only to the Caribbean, so maybe we'll see you there. (We are currently trying to decide on whether we should cancel our current booking , a B2B in early 2020, and pick up one of the latter weeks opened up by the Cuba cancellation.)        

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Cabosal and mcpepe for the additional info.  We won't make Saba on the SD l trip we have booked for 2021, but will go to Anguilla, weather permitting.   Looking forward to that.  Not sure I can wait till 2021 to try SeaDream though, so I am sure I will be plotting to find a way to book something in 2020.

Edited by DWhit

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On 5/25/2019 at 6:53 PM, DWhit said:

So looking at my potential itineraries, I would like to ask for some more advice.  Both are Caribbean 7 day cruises at the end of February 2021 (we already have one with another line on the books for 2020). I have been to several of the scheduled ports before, but several are new to me.

 

If anyone could comment on the ports below, it would be appreciated, as I have never been to any of these.

 

For the Sea Dream l cruise, the new ports to me would be 1) Charlestown, Nevis; 2) Sandy Ground, Anguilla (1/2 day); and 3) Jost Van Dyke.

 

For the Sea Dream ll cruise, the new ports would be 1) Soper’s Hole (1/2 day)/Norman Island (1/2 day); 2) Prickly Pear, BVI; and 3) Saba (1/2 day).

 

Any thoughts would be welcome!

Having been to all of those stops without being on a cruise, I would choose the Sea Dream 1 cruise. There's nothing wrong with the other ports, but Nevis, Anguilla and Jost are 3 of the spots we've ever visited in the Caribbean. Nothing wrong with the other itinerary, but we just liked them less. I think we need to look at a Sea Dream cruise for 2021.

 

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On 5/25/2019 at 6:53 PM, DWhit said:

So looking at my potential itineraries, I would like to ask for some more advice.  Both are Caribbean 7 day cruises at the end of February 2021 (we already have one with another line on the books for 2020). I have been to several of the scheduled ports before, but several are new to me.

 

If anyone could comment on the ports below, it would be appreciated, as I have never been to any of these.

 

For the Sea Dream l cruise, the new ports to me would be 1) Charlestown, Nevis; 2) Sandy Ground, Anguilla (1/2 day); and 3) Jost Van Dyke.

 

For the Sea Dream ll cruise, the new ports would be 1) Soper’s Hole (1/2 day)/Norman Island (1/2 day); 2) Prickly Pear, BVI; and 3) Saba (1/2 day).

 

Any thoughts would be welcome!

 

 

I live on St John USVI and am familiar with Jost, Sopers, Norman and Anguilla and for me Anguilla (most beautiful beach I have ever seen - I sailed on a 60' catamaran 1 month before Irma) and Jost win over Sopers Hole and Norman - I can't comment on the others :) 

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