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Cruise Critic Chris

Cruise Critic on SeaDream II

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Hi all - 


I'm just off SeaDream II. I was on the same Nov. 23 sailing as TikiMan and MrsTiki and had fun meeting them and everyone else onboard. Rather than hijack his delightful thread, I'm going to put my coverage from the sailing here. 


As TikiMan noted, there were only 31 people on our sailing. The other ship had low numbers too. Mass kudos to SeaDream for not consolidating these sailings. I think a publicly owned cruise line would have gone down that route with numbers so low. Other luxury lines also report low numbers during Thanksgiving -- I was on Silver Muse two years ago with low numbers and I had a friend on Viking Ocean this week who told me her cruise was also undersold. So it's a good time to go on a luxury ship, if you want to avoid the crowds. 


That's also the inspiration for my first SeaDream article: Six Reasons to Take a Luxury Cruise at Thanksgiving


With such low numbers and an amazing crew:passenger ratio, the service onboard was unbelievable. Truly, the best I've had. I mean, it should be with those numbers but it was still worth noting. What I like about SeaDream is that you get to know the crew -- other luxury lines can take a more hands-off approach. I like this version of service. I'm now following several of the crew members on Instagram, for example, and I can see why people book to sail with certain crew. 


The dining, too, was excellent. Again, it should be with this number of people, but it's noteworthy nonetheless. I love that they've replaced the raw menu with a vegan menu. I sampled some of these dishes and found them delicious. This cruise was also a wine voyage -- I have a separate article coming out about that, and will post the link once it's live. 


The ships do feel old, and it's a bit of a downer not to have a balcony. I understand that they'll be refurbing in 2020. This isn't a cruise that I'd recommend to people who don't drink or who expect more in the way of entertainment. Luckily, my husband and I are fine with a more low-key approach and had plenty of fun with outings to Foxy's and the bike ride to Sunshine's. The splash party at Jost Van Dyke was super fun. 


On another note, I hadn't been back to some of these islands since the 2017 hurricanes, so it was nice to see their recovery. I had visited St. Martin on the first cruise ship back to the island after Irma and it looked awful; I was concerned that it would never come back. I'm happy to report that Grand Case is still one of the culinary capitals of the Caribbean; it's worth staying on the French side before or after Marigot embarkations/debarkations. Also great to see the beach bars rebuilt on Jost, and St. Barths back to its normal self.  


We had so much fun, in fact, that we're eyeing next year's Thanksgiving itinerary on SeaDream I. 🙂


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Nice to get your perspective on SeaDream, Chris.  The smallest passenger complement we have experienced was around 65.  We found the service to be fantastic, but not any different from a full ship.  The biggest difference, I suppose, is that at the end of the day the dining room guys are not nearly as exhausted.  I would not consider Zimmy and myself to be "drinkers," but we still manage to enjoy SeaDream.  For us, it is nice to be able to try a new drink now and then, without spending $20 a pop.  And now you understand why we keep pointing out that we come back to SD for the crew.  They are family (except that they are the family we actually want to visit).

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7 minutes ago, Cruise Critic Chris said:

My second article from the trip, about the wine voyage program with Armand de Brignac, is now live: https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/4834/

Ah, the difference in a REAL writer compared to drunken ramblins from Tiki.

Chris, I also love how you got all of the "group" in the dinner photo except for the mysterious Tiki Man - well done, I can continue my work as a double secret agent for SeaDream.


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Again, Chris, you did a great job.  We did a wine cruise in France a few years back.  One highlight was a tour of the Hennessy distillery in Cognac, where we learned how it is blended.  Highly educational.  I fear, Chris, that you are airing our secret about these wonderful yachts.  The Oslo office, I imagine, understands the law of supply and demand.

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