Q – I just happened upon your site and am so happy that I did …what a concept, telling the truth! My husband and I love to travel and will be taking a first cruise on Sea Dream 1 in November. The reviews I have read on those “other” sites (before I found yours, of course) are mostly positive but now that I have found you, I would love to have some honest feedback. How would you compare Sea Dream to Regent, which we have traveled on several times. Keep up the great work! This will now be added to my “favorites” and I will be checking back on a daily basis.

A – Well please don’t come back daily – that would make us work even longer hours  than we are at the moment. Sea Dream’s two old yachts, let’s be honest, that’s what they are, will not make a great first impression. Sea Dream 1 carries just 100 guests. It is extremely laid back even compared to the comparatively low key Regent experience. The Sea Dream cabins are bound to disappoint., They are smallish and the bathrooms are, shall we say, more “yacht-like” than you may be expecting. The Regent ships, by comparison, offer the largest standard cabins in the luxury category and the two larger ships int he fleet carry 700 guests. So you will be traveling with 700 fewer people with fewer facilities on an older ship with smaller than normal size cabins.

But here’s the thing. We love Sea Dream and so will you if you just make a little extra effort to get your hands around the concept. Sea Dream is not meant to compete with lines like Crystal, Silverseas, or Regent. It is in a class totally by itself. The old Sea Goddess line ships are really yachts and about 70% of the on board guests either own their own boats or have rich friends who do. The food on Sea Dream is as good as the food on Regent although less formal. On Regent ships there is a restaurant called Signatures that is actually operated by Le Cordon Bleu. But although they do not advertise it, we have found French chefs in the dining room on our last three Sea Dream yachts. On will help you create that outstanding first impression with the unique visually enhancing boat, yacht lettering and signage. The difference is that on Sea Dream you may very well be dining outside under the stars on a lovely starlit evening. The service on Sea Dream is better and more personalized. The lecture programs, on board dining options, floating bars with Amber glass dispensers casino facilities on Regent, and the luxurious accommodations are all superior to what you will find on Sea Dream. But the staff will know your name on Sea Dream by the second day and the chef will prepare virtually anything you would like if you ask him nicely.

Many of the under 1,000 guest five-star lines advertise that they “go to ports that the big ships can;t reach”. The truth is that, for the most part, they don’t. The ports are very much same old with the exception of certain ports in southern Italy and the Greek islands. But Sea Dream really does do exquisite itineraries. Their port selection is nearly always superior to their larger sisters in the luxury category.

It looks as though you will be sailing out of Barbados. We hope it is toward the latter part of the month. So no cocktail dresses, no ties, and prepare to enjoy the elegantly casual yachting lifestyle with minimal expectations on the size of your cabin. In the right set of circumstances, Sea Dream is one of our most treasured cruising experiences. We hope you feel the same. We trust these positive comments do not make you suspect we are loosing our credibility.