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Dred pilot Roberts

Feb 10th SJU on Seadream2 full review

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Hi All, sorry this review is so late work has been nonstop since the cruise.

 

 

Here is a review of our Cruise, I hope you enjoy it. For a little background on us, The Dread Pilot Roberts family are mid 40’s, 2 kids, 2 dogs, live in central Florida, we have friends who live in the northeast and couldn’t wait to get away from the cold and joined us for the trip. We have cruised extensively on the big ships Diamond on RCCL and have traveled all over the world. We try to take 1 big trip every other year without the kids so we get some time together. I had been looking to take a trip on SD for some time and happened to come across a round trip San Juan Itinerary that coincided with my vacation time from work, so we jumped on it. The only down side pre departure was that there were several Itinerary changes. The final Itinerary ended up looking like this.

 

 

Day 1 Depart San Juan

Day 2 Morning Crown Bay, St Thomas

Afternoon Honeymoon Beach, Water Island

Day 3 Morning Saba

Afternoon Gustavia, St. Barts

Day 4 All Day Gustavia

Day 5 All Day Sandy Ground, Anguilla

Day 6 All Day Chrishi Beach, Nevis

Day 7 Morning Spanish Town Virgin Gorda

Afternoon White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

Day 8 Arrive San Juan

 

We Left Florida the day before the cruise, and flew from Orlando to San Juan on jetBlue the flight was on time and the typical comfortable jetBlue flight. We then spent the night in the Water Beach Club Hotel; it is beach front on Isla Verde Beach about a 5 min cab ride from the airport with tip @$12 for 2 people and bags.

 

I would recommend this as a pre cruise hotel to stay in. The price was reasonable at $200 per night a good deal considering the Intercontinental down the street wanted over $500 for a road side room. The hotel was clean, quiet, comfortable, and VERY BLUE, they also had a great roof top bar the food looked good too. For breakfast the next morning we went to El Alambique beach front bar and grill, they were great, good food, reasonable prices, open air, and as the name says beach front. Check them out on yelp.

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Later we hoped in a cab for the ride to the terminal. Due to pier construction on the piers by old San Juan, the ship was leaving from the Pan American Pier, The cabs all run on a fixed zone system 4 people and bags from the airport zone to ship was $26. The terminal is set up for the larger ships that home port in San Juan and there is nowhere to sit except the floor if you get there early.

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Day 1

 

Boarding started at exactly 2:00pm, cold towels and champagne to welcome us aboard. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the bubbly being poured. Most of the time a non-vintage Jacquart that retails for $40 at my local Total Wine, other times the cheap stuff was being served at things like the splash or pool side Mimosas, this was Gerard Bertrand, Cuvee Thomas Jefferson 2015 retails for $18. Both were very drinkable although the Jacquart was defiantly better. Eric the sommelier kept everyone’s glasses full while we waited to check in.

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After the most civilized check-in I have ever had on a ship, we checked out our room. It was very nice, plenty of storage, a huge shower by ship standards although the rest of the bathroom was very tight.

 

After the welcome aboard reception the ship departed for the start of what turned out to be one of the roughest cruises if have ever been on since we were on RCCL Majesty of the seas in Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The wind had been blowing at 20-30kts for the last week and the ocean was really whipped up for the first 3 days we had 12 to 15 ft. seas and this being a yacht not a cruise ship, you really felt it you would feel like you were airborne when the yacht would crest a swell and come down the other side. Dinner that night was held in the downstairs dining room the meal was one of a spectacular week of meals by Chef Thomaz. After dinner we and our friends went to the piano bar for a fun night of karaoke with head bartender Gareth taking good care of us. After a few hours we retired to our room to find our SeaDream PJs waiting for us.ff82e507a169081058c07903e0f7d579.jpgd34bb6cdfb5031d6f0edfbb8ca6e6e3c.jpgcdad802ca9bcbeade80b9ffb7447162e.jpga3c44bc310f6a1b4ab10d8888c9c17f1.jpg0b9b40c02803cc8d77384dfcf80a0f17.jpg0c9ec982aae1f589021c5bc57575bcba.jpg

 

 

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Thanks in advance for what looks to be a fantastic review. Can't wait to enjoy the rest of your week!

 

Do you recall the name of the waiter pouring the Champagne in the photo? Looks like Eric who left a few years ago. Would be great news if he has returned.

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Yup, it was Eric, great sommelier. Never had an empty glass when he was around [emoji3]

 

 

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Great news. Glad he's back. Thanks for confirming. As a waiter during his original tenure on board, he was well known for answering any request with: "Anything is possible on SeaDream!"

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Day 2

 

We arrived in St Thomas early the next morning and while our friends took the sailing and snorkeling excursion (they said it was great) while I and Mrs. DPR stayed on board for a relaxing breakfast and a bike ride around Crown Bay, unfortunately this being Sunday all the shops were closed. After lunch the captain let us know that we would be staying in Crown Bay for the day and not going to Water Island due to the sea conditions preventing any tender operations. He also let us know that unless the sea conditions improved dramatically over night we would be unable to tender at Saba and instead would go straight to St. Barts where we would spend 2 full Days the second day being carnival. So to pass the evening SD had a Caviar happy hour by the pool.

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If you have everything seen the movie “Gone in 60 seconds “ then as fast as they could Hotwire a car is how fast this tin of caviar was cleaned out.8f86ef127b681dd135759ff83a1956a5.jpg

 

 

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Day 3

 

As the Captain had warned us, the sea conditions did not improve so we bypassed Saba. We arrived mid morning in St. Barts. The seas barely calm enough for tender operations. After we made it ashore we all walked over to shell beach and spent the morning swimming and sunning before returning to the ship for a late lunch. That evening the girls wanted to do some shopping so we went back ashore, I did not really like this idea but when Mrs. DPR wants to go shopping Mrs. DPR goes shopping. So our friends went with us He and I went to try and limit the pain. The girls went to the boutique Mascara on the corner of Rue De La France and Rue De La General De Gaulle. This is a nice little shop the owner was great and the price for a dress ranged from 150 to 1200 euro. I believe HH and Blondie are regulars here. After a relatively speaking “painless” evening of shopping it was back to the yacht. This night I must of had a little to much fun during happy hour and forgot to get any dinner pictures.9c549e3b98478bd9002e1512fd36558e.jpgdbc9b9122b5b8a3f2651fa5d045e9334.jpgf4d7dc2620e98d8debde80b97252b7aa.jpg

Tender operations ran very smooth with snacks and a shaded area to wait.

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Day 4

 

We got an early start in St. Barts for the ATV island tour. The tour was a lot of fun and a great way to see the whole island. It was $200 for 2 people and was about 3.5 hours. That afternoon we watched the carnival parade. I think the entire island came for it, and we were the only people not dressed in costume. After dinner SD had the Dessert buffet on deck. A beautiful evening watching the sunset from the pool deck and looking at the other mega yachts anchored in the bay, with SD II being one of the smallest yachts.

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Lunchtime 2fe4465a7f8cd7b7728e4a2f3b73e094.jpge44298a2b7c09187c9b482cc758f9d97.jpg

 

 

 

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Day 5

 

We arrived mid morning and tendered in to Sandy Ground cabs were readily available and we jumped in one to Shoal Bay it was $6 per person the cab driver took us to what was left of Uncle Ernie’s which had been closed for a year but lots of other Places were around and ranged from expensive sit down to cheap BBQ to go, 2 beach chairs and umbrella $10 the beach was beautiful but the water was too cold to swim. When we were ready to head back to the yacht the guy we rented the beach chairs from called our driver and with in 5 min we were on our way back.ec21e539d25f6dca6de95d8948c19e85.jpg9eab4e28422a08428d4621363e8cddc7.jpg

 

 

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Day 6

Today was our beach party, originally was to be at Jost Van Dyke SD moved it to Chrishi Beach, Beach Club on Nevis because Jost’s facilities had not been rebuild yet after the storm. In the morning Mrs. DPR and our friends went on the Nevis mountain hike excursion. They had a great time, but it was super muddy, if you ever do this don’t wear nice shoes they will be ruined. The food at the BBQ was great, drinks flowed, and the weather other than a passing rain shower was perfect. I was very impressed with the facilities and the fact that SD had rented the entire club for our stay.

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Day 7

 

We stopped at Virgin Gorda for the obligatory Baths tours. The DPR’s did not go since we have done the Baths before, but our friends did and had a great time. The big advantage to SD is since the yacht tenders directly into Spanish town you get to the baths before it is overrun by the tourist coming in from Tortola on the ferry. It was sad but Spanish Town was still in very bad shape from the storms last year. The tour returned to the Yacht for lunch while we positioned to Jost Van Dyke. The funny thing on this trip was today during lunch we all felt like a glass or 3 of rose. However there was a group of Norwegians onboard who had only been drinking rose and had cleaned the yacht out the last bottle being finished minutes before. We only had about 3 hours on Jost which I thought was strange because even though the last zodiac was at 5 the yacht stayed anchored until @ 10 that night before we made our way back to San Juan. That being said, We all had a Great time at Jost. The island was a wreck but the beach was in good shape and Soggy Dollar Bar was up and running along with a few others.a38af7d1287d184b3c7312578c89e249.jpg9cd6ff64457433b33653e708449426dd.jpg0e1a940a8af2ab7b9519269ba885cdcd.jpg38440e1e34efed27aa4368ec12b21bc6.jpg0b2ca6502f2aa4f0490fb8a0c7c89c8e.jpgd05ba35b297dd7df17f598edcd8caedc.jpg

 

 

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Day 8

 

Debarkation was wonderfully easy, just walk off collect your luggage and passport from the CBP officer and we were on our way, total time from the ship to cab was @ 3 min. The cab price from the port to airport for 4 people and luggage was $26. Our afternoon flight back to Orlando on JetBlue was again on time with the great typical JetBlue service.

 

Liquor selection complementary was very acceptable. You could always upgrade to premium brands. If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them.

 

Overall we had an outstanding trip and would not hesitate to sail with SeaDream again.

 

 

First picture is complimentary second is upgrades.8bdb5f8b688216b91d3651327150af0c.jpg3263ef17ba34f02d2ba47aa987a7d579.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for posting, it has been a long time since such a comprehensive review, and makes me look even more forward to our 3rd SD cruise 9 months from now.

 

 

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Thank you so much, DPR, for your most comprehensive review, and for the wonderful photos. It makes me so anxious to be onboard again, but it is still three months away for us.

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Great review DPR. Loved the pix. Zimmy, I know you and Trapper feel our pain, we have absolutely nothing booked at this time. Must be a SeaDream in there somewhere......:cool:

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Thanks for the kind words.

 

It was so hard to find info on SD before our trip i thought people would enjoy it.

 

 

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I will try to follow your example when we return from Cuba

 

 

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Thanks so much for this review. We will be doing similar SD cruise next February and have anxiously been looking for info.

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Zimmy, I know you and Trapper feel our pain, we have absolutely nothing booked at this time. Must be a SeaDream in there somewhere......:cool:

 

We do, Jim, we do feel your pain. But it does sound as if you had a fantastic few months on the Viking world cruise, and Trapper and I are very happy for you and Lois. :)

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We do, Jim, we do feel your pain. But it does sound as if you had a fantastic few months on the Viking world cruise, and Trapper and I are very happy for you and Lois. :)

Lois is trying to figure out what we can sell so we can move back onboard a ship....:eek: Something about cooking, cleaning, etc.....:cool:

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Lois is trying to figure out what we can sell so we can move back onboard a ship....:eek: Something about cooking, cleaning, etc.....:cool:

 

Can't imagine what it is like to have to make your own bed every morning. That's why we cruise every chance we get. Wonderful reviews, DPR. So glad you enjoyed your cruise. You have set a high bar for the rest of us who do reviews. Richb21, which Cuba cruise are you on? We are on the first out of SJU and then on to Havana for a b2b.

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Can't imagine what it is like to have to make your own bed every morning. That's why we cruise every chance we get. Wonderful reviews, DPR. So glad you enjoyed your cruise. You have set a high bar for the rest of us who do reviews. Richb21, which Cuba cruise are you on? We are on the first out of SJU and then on to Havana for a b2b.

 

 

 

We are feb 4-11, so I think second half of your b2b

 

 

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We are feb 4-11, so I think second half of your b2b

 

 

Then Trapper & I will look forward to meeting you. We will hopefully be very relaxed at that point, after a week on the ship.

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We are feb 4-11, so I think second half of your b2b

 

 

 

 

 

Then Trapper & I will look forward to meeting you. We will hopefully be very relaxed at that point, after a week on the ship.

 

 

 

Likewise, we will be flying directly into Havana but the cruise begins elsewhere, Seadream has said they will be offering transport options from Havana so we shall see. You have a simpler entry in San Juan.

 

 

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Likewise, we will be flying directly into Havana but the cruise begins elsewhere, Seadream has said they will be offering transport options from Havana so we shall see. You have a simpler entry in San Juan.

 

 

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We are on this sailing as well. Pretty sure if you are flying into Havana and she sails out of Ciunfregos you’ve got a long bus ride. We are flying into Santa Clara (spelling) and spending the night before we board

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

 

 

We are on this sailing as well. Pretty sure if you are flying into Havana and she sails out of Ciunfregos you’ve got a long bus ride. We are flying into Santa Clara (spelling) and spending the night before we board

 

 

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You are exactly right, our challenge is we live in Atlanta so the delta non stop on the return is strongly preferred which complicates our arrival in Santa Clara. But the bus ride would not be the ideal entry so will need to ponder! I also need to get my head around any issues surrounding us citizens popping into Santa Clara for the day prior to the cruise. I get the sense that Cuba would be just fine with it but technically the US would have a problem but I don’t believe there is much enforcement. Do you have any insight on this?

 

 

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Edited by richb21

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These are exactly the reasons we opted for the B2B starting in SJU. I believe there are still rooms available if that would work for you. The only thing we have to figure out is how to arrange for the entry visa since we are not entering by air. SD is not handling this from what I understand.

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You don't happen to have a picture of the wine menus you saw while on-board that week, would you? I'm curious to see the overall selection they offer, and potentially how many varietals are included without and up-charge.

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No we don’t, we forgot to take a pic. But every day was a different white and red, the same rose through the sailing, until they ran out of the complementary rose anyway. All of Eric’s selections were good though. All very drinkable you won’t be disappointed by the complementary wines.

 

 

 

 

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No we don’t, we forgot to take a pic. But every day was a different white and red, the same rose through the sailing, until they ran out of the complementary rose anyway. All of Eric’s selections were good though. All very drinkable you won’t be disappointed by the complementary wines.

 

 

 

 

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Am I understanding you correctly then, that each day they only had ONE red and ONE white (and a rose) as complimentary but otherwise I would have to pay a price for something else? For example, if they only had chardonnay that night then anyone in our group who wanted a pinot grigio would pay a nominal fee? This is what I can't seem to find in any research---i is if there is a small list of multiple wines for each meal or are we only offered one or two wines as part of the general beverage options. Thank you for helping me better understand this.

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Am I understanding you correctly then, that each day they only had ONE red and ONE white (and a rose) as complimentary but otherwise I would have to pay a price for something else? For example, if they only had chardonnay that night then anyone in our group who wanted a pinot grigio would pay a nominal fee? This is what I can't seem to find in any research---i is if there is a small list of multiple wines for each meal or are we only offered one or two wines as part of the general beverage options. Thank you for helping me better understand this.

 

There is no list. At dinner they pour a red and a white. However, on the very few occasions when I didn't care for that evening's selection, a different wine was always graciously provided to me, at no cost.

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There is no list. At dinner they pour a red and a white. However, on the very few occasions when I didn't care for that evening's selection, a different wine was always graciously provided to me, at no cost.

 

Thank you for the clarification. I'm very surprised to see such limitations for the price of this experience, but believe it will be a wonderful time by our group.

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