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SeaDream I - SeaDream Yacht Club - cruise ship review and photos

On this cruise, I am accompanied by my friend Teun Wim (two first names, one person) - or TW as most non-Dutch speaking individuals call him. Our pre-cruise excitement rises as a courier delivers the cruise documents - a handsome leather binder with all the necessary information that makes us looking forward to our SeaDream experience even more.

SeaDream ticket pack
Tickets please!

On Saturday, October 20 we hop on an Alitalia Airbus for the two-hour flight to Rome. From there, we take the train to Civitavecchia where we find SeaDream I all dressed up and ready to go. But where is the crew?

Busy shipping scene at Civitavecchia
Busy shipping scene at Civitavecchia

Then out of thin air a staff member shows up, asking us to drop off our luggage in a container, stop by security and then head for the gangway.

 

We are welcomed aboard by a shivering officer out on the Pool Deck. With a freezing northerly gale blowing, we are quickly ushered inside to the Main Salon. Here, we hand in our passports and tickets. And we are done! 

SeaDream I's gangway control system Main stairwell

Ship's Security system

  Beautiful main stairwell

Without any official boarding card or even a cabin key, we position ourselves in the Main Salon, where we are served champagne and hors d'oevres and check out our fellow yachters.

Reception Salon
Reception Salon

When we feel the bubbles making our way to our heads, we leave the Main Salon and find a small army of giggling Philippine stateroom stewardesses positioned in the Reception Salon. Charming Zarah introduces herself as our stateroom stewardess and accompanies us to stateroom 404, our home away from home for the next week. 

Reception Salon Boutique
Reception Salon    Boutique

The trek to our stateroom is a short one. We go up one deck, turn left and there we are.... 

 

"How would you like to have your name embroidered on your pajamas?" seems like a rather odd first question.

Stateroom corridor on deck 4 TW opening a bottle of champagne
Deck 4 corridor   Champagne please!

But then SeaDream is the only line that gives all their yachters a custom-made pajama on their first night on board. The next night, there might be a rose on your pillow. Or chocolate covered strawberries on the table.

Our Yacht Club Stateroom # 404
Our Yacht Club Stateroom - # 404

Even without the gifts, our Yacht Club stateroom immediately feels like home away from home. Smaller than the suites on more contemporary deluxe ships, they miss some of the creature comforts we have come to enjoy. For one, none of the staterooms on SeaDream I have private balconies. The bathroom is very cramped. And the beds are short and narrow.

Yacht Club Stateroom - excellent sound system Bulgari bath amenities - replenished daily
Excellent sound system   Bulgari bath amenities

But what the stateroom lacks in hardware, it more than makes up in software. Cabin service is unobtrusive and efficient. Fragrant Bulgari bathroom amenities line the marble-lined power shower and the flat screen TV comes equipped with a separate DVD player and CD player with surround sound. Wardrobe space is more than sufficient  for a seven-day voyage.

Yacht Club Stateroom - Bathroom Yacht Club Stateroom - multi-jet shower
Cramped bathroom   Power shower

If I'm honest I will not miss a private balcony as the open deck is just 25 steps away, as are most other shipboard facilities. 

First night gift: SeaDream pajamas!
First night gift: personalized pajamas!

In keeping with the ultra-deluxe image, one would of course expect Belgian linens, plush towels and 24-hour room service. And as an integral part of the line's all-inclusive concept, each stateroom has its own bar with 'refreshments', i.e. beer, water and soft drinks that are replenished daily. And see, our Zarah quickly picks up on our 'refreshment' habits and after day 2, Coke Light and mineral water are ever-present in our stateroom bar. 

     

 

Photos and text: 200-20087 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on January 6, 2008

Amenities, charges and services may have changed since this article was written

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