If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently traveled throughout the Caribbean on the SeaDream II. SeaDream Yacht Club, voted Best Luxury Small Cruise Ship of 2015 by Forbes, is an inclusive luxury vacation cruise line. My grandparents and other family members have traveled with SeaDream multiple times in the past, and for NYE 2023, they offered to take the grandchildren on a 7 day trip through the BVI and French West Indies. We were of course ecstatic and so beyond grateful, but we had no clue what true luxury we were in for.
Transparently, the reason this blog post is so overdue, is because I literally had no idea where to start. The same goes for when we told our friends and family about this trip once we got back to New York. It’s such a unique experience, it’s hard to describe. But I will do my best!
FIRST MOMENTS ABOARD…
We flew into San Juan, Puerto Rico. The boat was a quick drive away from the airport, and due to a delay with our plane, we were actually the last 11 guests to board the ship! We were arriving right at the end of the boarding cutoff and we had let the boat know ahead of time that we were running late, so all was well and they were expecting us! We first checked our bags with the team inside a garage, and then walked toward the loading dock with only our small personal items, which was nice.
Upon boarding the ship, we were immediately welcomed by the captain, first mate and cruise director, all who knew us and greeted us by name. We shook their hands, and then we were handed a glass of champagne and a warm hand towel. I meannn, hello, talk about a welcome! We knew from that minute we were in for such an incredible, unique and luxurious experience.
We meandered to the concierge desk where check-in was set up. This is where we turned in our passports, had our picture taken and our ID cards were issued to us. We then were greeted by our room attendant, Lucy and she helped us take our bags and guided us to our room, 417. The room was incredible! To note, I have only been on one cruise, and I was very young. So I don’t have much to compare it to, but I was shook. When you walk in, the bathroom was to the left and it had a large, luxury shower. Then you hit the sitting area, which is basically a full living room, and then lastly is the bed area. Every room on the ship has a very large window, so everyone gets an ocean view 🙂
In addition to having never really been on a cruise, I have also never experienced an all-inclusive anything. So I couldn’t believe what was happening! When we first got to our room, there was a bottle of champagne on ice. My parents and sister and cousins came into our room and suggested we open the bottle and all have a glass to celebrate! I said “Ahh, I don’t want to waste our gift right away! Let’s save it.” My mom said, “Jordan, you could call down right now and ask for 6 more bottles and they’ll bring them.” That’s when it really hit me. Everything was included and unlimited and I was in Heaven!
THE SEADREAM DINING EXPERIENCE…
The boat left around 5pm-ish, so after toasting to the start of vacay, we all unpacked and then headed upstairs for dinner. Each night, our family ate in the same spot, which was 2 round tables on one of the upper decks, toward the back of the ship. Menus were handed to us, and we couldn’t believe what we were looking at. Each night, the menu changed. There were about four or five courses each night, and each course had three or four options. Again, there were no limitations. So if two of the salads sounded good, you could get both! It was unreal. Each night also had a wine pairing. The chief bartender, Nick (he was awesome!) would come around and explain “tonight’s white wine and tonight’s red wine.” And of course, if you didn’t want either of those, you could ask for any beverage you do want. I was truly shocked by the food. My parents had told us how incredible the trip would be, but no one had really prepared us for the level of dining!! I have an entire highlight on my IG of all the food we ate. It was absolutely incredible.
WHAT A TYPICAL DAY LOOKED LIKE…
Each morning, we would wake up and after getting dressed, head upstairs to the upper deck for breakfast. This area also has bar called “Top of the Yacht.” Again, our family tended to grab the 2 same tables in this area for breakfast each day. One cool thing about the top-notch customer service on the SeaDream is that you have the same servers for each meal, no matter where you are on the boat. We always had Fernando for breakfast and lunch and AP for dinner. (They were the best!) Anyway, we’d walk up stairs and immediately any staff member who saw us would greet us with “Good morning, Jordan! Good morning, Ryan!” It was wonderful. I always said good morning back and then grabbed my seat to order iced coffee. Fernando knew this was my usual by a few days into the trip. For food, the breakfast menu was the same each day, but there was a different special each day, and of course, as always, if you didn’t see something you wanted on the menu, you could ask them to make it for you. Typically, the answer was always yes.
After breakfast, we would change into swimsuits if we hadn’t already, and we would get in line for a tender to go into shore. (More on that below.) If we weren’t going into shore (this did not really happen) we would go hang out by the pool, relax, read somewhere on the upper deck, maybe play games in the saloon, etc. Then, toward late afternoon we’d head back to our rooms, shower and change for dinner. Each night at 6pm there was a cocktail party in the Main Saloon. The boat has 100 guests, so all 100 of us were able to fit in one room. There would be different light bites each night (caviar, sushi, many different kinds of hors d’oeuvre, etc.) Fernando would always find us somehow and made sure we could order any drinks we’d like before dinner. Typically this was a cocktail of some sort, or perhaps a glass of champagne to set the mood. (On New Year’s Eve specifically, my grandparents had purchased a few bottles of a certain champagne. The boat had extra offerings for the holiday occasion.) The cocktail party usually included some announcements from the Captain as well as the Cruise Director about the next day’s festivities and schedules. (These were also posted throughout the boat, so you knew what was happening when.)
After the cocktail party, we would head to our tables on the back of the boat for yet another indulgent and decadent five course meal. Once dinner ended, our group would typically go to the casino or sit elsewhere and talk, but I typically went to sleep. LOL. Some nights, there was a themed thing to do, such as a dessert party by the pool, or a dancing under the stars with a DJ night! And of course, the New Year’s Eve party.
Lastly, you would always walk into your suite at the end of the night to find a gift waiting for you. Every night was something different. The first night, we received custom SeaDream pajamas with our names on them! I mean… what the heck!? I was obsessed.
WHAT TO DO ON THE BOAT AND OFF THE BOAT…
The schedule was subject to change, so we did not end up visiting all islands we were expecting to, but it did not matter. The SeaDream makes sure to offer the best experience possible, and there was a reason our schedule had to change. With that being said, you will know your ~ideal schedule way ahead of time, and you can see what excursions are available at which stop, etc. There was PLENTY for us to do off the boat even without booking excursions, but for adventure and thrill seekers, that would definitely be a fun route to go.
We visited Cruz Bay in St. John, Nevis in St. Kitts, Gustavia in St. Barths, White Bay at Jost Van Dyke and Norman Island (BVI). We got off the boat at all of these places. Some had more to do than others, but all were awesome and we’re so glad we did! Certain places were so much fun (St. Barths) that we ended up staying onshore for lunch and forgoing a meal on the boat. (Crazy, I know!) Some places we walked around a bit, found one beer, and then headed back to the boat. It just depends! And sometimes, there’s a boat-function OFF the boat! For example, in St. Kitt’s the crew went above and beyond to give us a beachside dinner. They rented out a restaurant on the water and brought all SeaDream food on shore and tendered us in for a change of pace and scenery, but still the same level of cuisine and service. It was incredible. Additionally, the SeaDream has a trademarked “Champagne and Caviar Splash” in the Caribbean, and it is NOT to be missed. We did this on New Year’s Day in White Bay, the most beautiful spot in the British Virgin Islands. The boat brings a surfboard into the water with caviar and all the fixings, and they serve it to you in the ocean, with a glass of champagne. When the event kicks off, the boat blows its horn and they spray all the guests with a bottle of champagne. It was absolutely unreal!
However, if you choose not to get off the boat, there is still plenty to do. The boat has a pool and hot tub, with tons of seating around it for lounging, many other areas for lounging around the boat, (plus 2 personal sized jacuzzis), a gym, a golf-simulator, a spa, a library lounge, a casino and water sports! They also have a new inflatable waterslide on SeaDream II. I got to use the gym and Ryan really enjoyed the golf simulator. My sister, cousin and I also tried the water sports. We rode jet skis and the banana boat, which is a yellow tube that gets pulled by a dinghy. (Kind of like tubing, but much more intense lol). We all also got to enjoy the spa. This is one thing is not “included” in the trip, but still a must-do because it was SO relaxing. Ryan and I got a couple’s hot stone massage and it was insane.
So, as you can see, much to do around the ship during the day and at night.
ANSWERING YOUR FAQS
I asked you guys on my IG what questions you had about SeaDream and you shared the below —
*Since the ship is smaller than a regular cruise, did you feel like there was enough to do? I 100% did, but again, I have not really been a regular cruise to compare. However, I will say you definitely have to go into it knowing it will be more of a relaxing trip and exploring onshore trip, vs a regular cruise. There aren’t going to be Broadway shows, and other entertaining things to do each night, but if you’re with people you love and enjoy their company, that level of entertainment isn’t needed. We just hang out, talk, play Blackjack, drink, etc. Lol
*About how many total people fit on the ship? 100 passengers, and it’s a 1:1 ratio for staff to guest, so about 200!
*Average cost of a trip like this per person if you know! It depends on the length of trip and where you’re sailing to! But you pay per room, which ours was somewhere about ~$6,500 I believe. Probably give or take $500. My grandparents have gone on the SeaDream MANY times and I’m sure received some sort of discount. But for example, my sister had her own room and it cost the same as Ryan and I’s room. So, the prices online are per person, based on double occupancy, but it does say single rates available. I would contact if interested because again, the level of customer service is UNMATCHED and they will help answer any questions you have!
*Did they have vegetarian and vegan options? Yes! They had a whole section of the lunch and dinner menus for this every night.
All in all, honestly, this was single handedly the best week of my life. I’m so grateful to my grandparents for making it happen and so beyond thankful to have the family I have and the memories we created together on this trip. It could have been a cardboard box and we’d have a blast, but the SeaDream just made it an elevated vacation experience that we will never forget! ♡