ABOARD THE SEADREAM II – SeaDream Yacht Club definitely breaks the mold in small ship cruising. Sailing on either the SeaDream I or SeaDream II is an experience unlike almost any other unless you own your own vessel.
It is casual. Extremely casual. Daily wear on board is T-shirts and swimsuits for men and swimsuits and coverups for ladies. Flip-flops and big hats are de riguer. Yet, it is upscale, extremely upscale. With a staff to passenger ratio of 1:1, there is always someone at your elbow offering a glass of champagne or a cold towel.
Yesterday we were in St. John, U.S.V.I. Today we are anchored off Sandy Ground in Anguilla. Just this morning at breakfast, three officers … the hotel director, cruise director and the maître d’ … stopped by our table to ask how are we doing. I wasn’t even sure yet how I was doing, it was only 8:30 a.m. I must say, the staff on this ship is absolutely fabulous and several are already addressing us by name.
With only 100 passengers on board, we are swiftly meeting our fellow sailors and an interesting lot they are. Jud and Susie are from New York City, while Mel and his wife are from Switzerland. Paul is a public defender from Redding, Pa., while Lisa is from Norway. Ken and Judy are from Denver, Colo.
We last sailed on SeaDream in 2004 and we find the experience much the same…people on board are into heavy-duty relaxing. Although some shore excursions are offered, they generally depart before nine and are back before noon. Shopping trips seem also to be finished by lunchtime as well. Thus, if yesterday is any example, the entire afternoon is spent reading, napping, chatting, playing cards and generally lolling about outside.
My only observation in that regard is that it can be extremely difficult to find some shade to loll about in. We are in the Caribbean after all and the sun is very hot. But because are near constant winds of Drake’s Passage there is generally a breeze on deck making it quite pleasant, if you can stay out of the direct sun.
SeaDream does its utmost to keep you outside in the evening as well. Last night, before dinner cocktails were held around the pool and dinner followed at the open-air Topside Restaurant rather than in the dining room down on Deck 2. A similar program is scheduled for tonight, weather permitting, and they are even going to have a movie under the stars!
I have been wanting to see “The Life of Pi”… bring on the popcorn!
December 8, 2014