We sailed on SeaDream II last year and found the whole experience fabulous!! Having previously sailed with Seabourn and Silversea we were used to this level of quality, but found that the level of service on SeaDream surpassed anything we had encountered before. Embarkation We arrived at the port of Nice slightly early (11.30 am) and were able to leave our luggage in a tent beside the ship whilst we explored Nice. At 2.00 pm, we wandered back to the ship, to find no queues, so we were able to complete the formalities and be on board within a couple of minutes. We were welcomed at the top of the gangway by the Captain, given cold towels to freshen up, a couple of glasses of champagne and were escorted to our cabin by our stewardess. Cabins We were in a Standard Yacht Club Stateroom on Deck 4, which at 195 sq ft was slightly smaller than those on Seabourn. We found it more than adequate in size, with a large, comfortable double bed, sofa and armchair and picture window. The bathroom was on the small side, but contained a large multi-jet shower in a glass enclosure. The bathroom was stocked with plenty of Bvlgari toiletries. The cabin is equipped with a flat screen TV, DVD player and CD player. A half bottle of Champagne was waiting for us in the cabin and the mini-bar was stocked with beers, soft drinks and large bottles of water. The cabin was kept spotlessly clean by our stewardess, who also left various gifts for us each night! The only slight criticism I would have is that the sound-proofing between cabins is not up to Seabourn’s, so you can hear the TVs from neighbouring cabins. This wasn’t really a problem as most SeaDream guests are very considerate. We could also hear the music/singing from the Piano Bar on the night we decided to stay in and watch a DVD, but this finished promptly at midnight – the other nights we were the ones singing in the Piano Bar!! On Deck For such a small ship (4260 tons and only 344 ft in length), there was an amazing feeling of space on deck, with sunbeds readily available whenever and wherever you wanted one, including the incredible Balinese double sunbeds on the top deck – this was definitely our favourite sunbathing/cocktail drinking place on the ship! The Top of the Yacht Bar is close to the Balinese sunbeds, so it is easy to get a drink either from the bar or by asking one of the bar staff who often circle the deck. There is a nice pool at the rear of Deck 3, with an adjacent Jacuzzi and a well placed bar. We spent the first afternoon in the Jacuzzi, watching people boarding the ship and having our champagne glasses constantly filled by the barman. Dining Breakfast and lunch were taken at the Topside Restaurant, a semi-open air restaurant on Deck 5. There was never any problem getting a table as soon as you arrived. The food at both breakfast and lunch was superb, with the best beef-burgers I have ever tasted and one day some very authentic fish and chips for lunch. Dinner in the evening was in the Main Dining Salon on Deck 2. This is a very elegant restaurant, with tables for 2 upwards. The Maitre D’ always managed to get us our favourite table for two each evening. The food was wonderful and beautifully presented, including the 8 course Menu Degustation on the last evening. The service was incredible, yet looked so relaxed with the waiters and wine waiters having time to chat to us – the Maitre D’ and his team did an absolutely first class job, the best we have ever experienced. Dress code was informal each evening, with the majority of men wearing jackets, but definitely no ties! Ports of Call Due to some rather rough seas at the start of the cruise, the Captain decided to completely change the order that we would visit each port of call, so allowing us to be docked on the days when the sea was at its roughest and keeping the time at sea to a minimum. This had the advantage that we were docked in Monaco for the Vintage Motor Racing. When we went ashore, we were given complementary passes that allowed us to get close to the cars and to see parts of the races. It was an incredible spectacle and the noise during the races was unbelievable (even from the ship). At ports where we were lying at anchor, there was a continuous Tender service (just one tender) which made very fast crossings to the shore (really exciting), so there was never more than a few minutes wait for a Tender. When we were at Calvi, we lay at anchor with a Tender service in the morning, so the marina could be used. Then once this was finished, the ship was moved and docked below the castle to allow for ease of getting ashore. Toys Whilst at Calvi, the marina at the stern of the ship was lowered and two jet skis were made available for anyone to use free of charge. This was great fun, you were allowed up to 5 minutes usage before returning to the ship and handing them over to the next person and no-one hogged the jet skis. There was also a speedboat towing a banana ride, which looked good too. When the ship docked at Calvi, a number of Segways were available for use. These cost (I think) $49 for 45 minutes. There were also a number of mountain bikes that could be borrowed free of charge to take ashore. Entertainment Entertainment in the evening after dinner was quite low key, with a great pianist in the Piano Bar who encouraged everyone to get up and sing along. As there was a very lively group of people from Scotland on board who launched themselves into the singing, everyone was soon in the party spirit! The other entertainment took place in the Main Salon Bar on Deck 3 and changed each evening – disco, karaoke, etc. We certainly had more fun on this ship than any other we have been on. Disembarkation Disembarkation was the smoothest and quickest we have ever known. A few days before the end of the cruise, a note came around asking whether we needed taxis when we disembarked and they would order them for us. We had to leave our luggage outside our cabin door by 1 am on the last day. Then following a leisurely breakfast, we collected our passports from the Pursers Desk (no queue) and no sooner had we done this than a member of staff came up to us and said that our taxi was waiting and they had already put our bags in the taxi – what service!! So we were off the ship in no time at all. Summary Overall it was one of the best cruises we have ever been on, the wonderful staff made us feel so special and we loved every minute of it. We would sail with SeaDream again in an instant.
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