The Avid Cruiser

podcasts for people who love setting sail

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Just Dreamy

Updated a long time ago.

This is Ralph Grizzle, editor of The Avid Cruiser magazine. In preceding posts and podcasts, I've talked about cruising back-to-back on four ships during the month of May. It was an incredible experience.

After disembarking Emerald Princess in Venice, I flew to Barcelona to board one of the cruise industry's smallest ships. In fact, my second cruise could not have been more of a contrast.

Actually, SeaDream II was more of a yacht than a ship. Carrying only 110 passengers and nearly the same number of crew, SeaDream II rewarded me with one of the best cruise experiences of my life. I posted lots of video from that cruise. You can view those video clips on this site.

SeaDream II gave me so much to love: its yachtlike ambience, the late-night departures from port, evening meals on deck overlooking idyllic ports, and lots of toys, such as Waverunners, kayaks, bicycles and more.

SeaDream II also has one other thing going for it, says Captain Valter Berg: It can get into ports that the big ships can't.

Now SeaDream II was not perfect, and there were some weak points: She's more than two decades old, and even though she has had major upgrades, the staterooms are a bit dated and not overly spacious (195 square feet with no balcony) and the bathrooms, while well appointed, are small.

Seven day cruises in the Med work out to be about (brochure fare) $986 per person per day for yacht club category. Not a lot of discounting on these ships, but check with your cruise seller for savings that may be offered. Alcohol is included and tipping is not required.

You can't compare my first cruise on Emerald Princess and my second cruise on SeaDream II. Both were good cruises, and it really comes down to whether you want a big-ship experience or a small yacht experience.

My next cruise was somewhere in between, and I'll be talking more about that one tomorrow. This is Ralph Grizzle. Thanks for tuning in.