Outstanding alternative if you don't like cruising
I chose to go on this ship with my wife and three children(aged 14,11,7) as I am fed up with going on big cruise ships which dock in industrial ports and generally are populated by cruise ship type people thinking they are posh when they dress up in their glad rags. I am pleased to say that Sea Dream was outstanding and provides a real alternative to those people who wish to enjoy an upmarket/chic environment. First lets get the negatives out the way. This is a small ship so there are some compromises to be made. The room service menu is poor as they are not allowed to carry hot food to the cabins.The main course in the evening often took over an hour to arrive as the kitchens are quite small (not helped by the fact that most people sit down at the same time directly after the cocktail speech party-it may help if Sea Dream rescheduled this so that the servings are more spread out). The food is a bit `cruise liner' and although it is very high quality it is a bit predictable, a bit bland and out of date(use of creme etc). The food is much better on Crystal. The decor internally is also `cruise liner' with large amounts of draylon in the main salon. The pool bar is a hole in the wall and a bit tatty and the bar in the salon would not look out of place on a ferry. The beds that you sleep on outside are right by the funnel which is noisy and smelly-there is one bed at the front of the boat which does not have this problem although that gets booked up very quickly.The glass's for cold drinks are not frosted and there is very limited shade available by the pool. By far the best bar (top of the yaught) closes in the early evening from 630 to 900 to encourage/force you to go the cocktail party which was a bit cruise ship like anyway! I would have preferred to have the choice of where I drank Now the positives. Despite the above niggles the experience we had was superb. The staff are outstanding(Christophe the `Hotel' Manager particularly) the exterior areas of the ship superb particularly the outside dining rooms and the Top of The Yaught Bar and there is a real sense of style throughout the exterior of the ship. Contrary to my perceptions there was plenty to do on the ship and the water sports were first class. My children loved the whole thing and voted Sea Dream as the best holiday ever (they have been on Cunard,Crystal and Seabourne as well as stayed in the best hotels in the world such as Aman for adults and Disney and Atlantis for children so that says something) which is a huge credit to the staff who made them feel very welcome. As Sea Dream make clear there are no facilities for children so I think the minimum age where children would enjoy this boat is about 10 but mine loved the watersports,the golf simulator,the swimming from the back of the boat,the Wii,and the excellent DVD collection. They also loved the staff and the fact that the boat anchored so close to the beaches.This is not an environment however for badly behaved noisy children -they would enjoy the likes of the Oasis of the Seas. The cabins were small but very well presented,the fellow passengers were a grade above any other ship and the attention to detail throughout was world class.In fact so good I have booked again. In summary I would highly recommend Sea Dream. If you dont like the Sea Dream experience you do not like life.
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