MS Sea Breeze

Background

Cruisers: Debbie and David Presley, ages 40ish. We had taken four other cruises together: the Big Red Boat to Nassau in October 1999; the Dawn Princess on a 7-day Southern Caribbean Explorer route in November 1998; Carnival’s Jubilee on the 7-day Pacific coast swing in April 1997; and Carnival’s Ecstasy on the 3-night New Year’s Bahamas cruise in December 1995. David has also taken his daughter on the Big Red Boat once before, in conjunction with a Walt Disney World vacation in August 1994, and a 4-night Bahamas cruise on the old Emerald Seas back in June 1974. We were very active cruisers, typically first-off and last-on in each port.

The idea for this cruise was David’s, with a two-fold purpose: (1) to see how well Debbie would tolerate an older, classical cruise ship – in anticipation of cruising aboard the American Hawaii Cruises Independence in November 2000 (which was obviously cancelled after Debbie served me with divorce papers in August 2000 and our subsequent divorce on October 2); and (2) to give me the opportunity for some world-class SCUBA diving.  Because of the extremely low-cost for this cruise (it's an older ship and the ports are a bit out of the ordinary), for the first time we traveled in a premium category outside stateroom (which set us back a "whopping" $679 per person!).  Joining us on this cruise in the adjoining cabin were a couple of Debbie’s long time friends: Wayne and Glenda Smith.

While the pricing on the cruise came together very quickly (it was booked nearly eight months prior to departure), airfare from Atlanta was problematic. Normally, with AirTran flying all over Florida you pay no more than $70-100 each way; however, with the President’s Day holiday week – and we assume quite a few snowbirds headed south – most fares we saw were $400+ RT. With imminent plans to drive to Ft. Lauderdale, Glenda made it her mission to find us affordable airfare on the internet… which she did (albeit to Miami instead of Ft. Lauderdale), below the $250 per person threshold that we had set.

We picked-up Glenda & Wayne in my SUV at about 1:30pm Saturday, February 19, and were waiting about 90min later at Hartsfield gate T12 for American 1723 to depart just before 4:00pm. With an obviously overbooked situation ensuing, we volunteered to be bumped, but at the last minute were instructed to board (bummer!). Actually departing at about 4:15pm, we arrived in Miami about 10min late at 6:00pm, whereupon there was a 45min wait for our bags to arrive at Carousel 27. We hailed a station-wagon cab to take us to the Ft. Lauderdale Amerisuites – fare was $60.50 plus a $9.50 tip (we didn’t think a net $17.50 per person was too objectionable), and arrived at the hotel around 7:30pm.

The Amerisuites was a very pleasant surprise. We procured two rolling carts for our copious amounts of luggage (we actually wore about 95% of what we brought, so no one thinks we overpacked… that is, except for – perhaps – the porters), and after a quick check-in(using a complimentary night’s stay coupon I had procured) took the elevator to Room 418. Our suite sported two queen-sized beds, a sofa hide-a-bed, and kitchenette with small refrigerator/freezer, microwave, sink, and cups/plates. All-in-all, very nice for our short one night stay in Ft. Lauderdale (having nearly missed a sailing in the past we always arrive the day before). While the ladies freshened-up for dinner, I walked two blocks to a nearby liquor store (they’re open until 10:00pm) for some wine, vodka, and scotch to sneak-aboard the ship. We then grabbed the hotel’s complimentary van transportation to go about a mile-and-a-half to the 15th Street Fisheries Restaurant.

After being warned of a 30-40min wait, we were pleasantly surprised to hear our names called at about 9:15pm. Debbie had their signature dish "Tuna Filet Mignon" ($27.95) while David had "Bugs & Pasta" (Australian Lobster Tail - $33.95). Both meals included the Fisheries Salad (lettuce, fruits, nuts, and a marvelous mystery dressing – easily the best salad of the entire trip); Conch Chowder or Black Bean Soup; Cranberry Sorbet to cleanse the palette prior to serving the entrée; and fresh-baked bread served throughout the meal. Simply wonderful and very highly recommended! Since the hotel van stopped running at 10:00pm, we took a $4.00 cab ride(including tip) back to the Amerisuites. Tired, we all retired shortly after arrival at 11:30pm.

 

Sunday, February 20, 2000 - Embarkation & Sailing

On weekends, the Amerisuites complimentary breakfast is served from 7:30am-10:30am. Arising shortly after 8:00am, we showered and headed downstairs for a 10:00am breakfast. Selections available are four kinds of cereal, muffins, bagels, toast, french toast, pastries, hard-boiled eggs, juices, & coffee. It was very crowded and we had to jockey for the first empty table. Returning to the room about 10:45am, we finished re-packing, checked-out on time at 11:00am, and left about 15min later on the complimentary shuttle for the 10min ride to Pier 24. On the way, we passed Grand Princess (jeez, what a behemoth!), the Ocean Breeze, the Costa Victoria, the Costa Romantica, and the HAL Veenedam. With very few cars or taxis present at this early hour, the porters quickly took our checked luggage and directed us to the check-in area. There, we found about 30-40 people in line, who moved through the metal detector a short time later and checked-in from 11:40am-11:50am. After checking our tickets, passports, and credit card, then issuing our boarding cards, we were directed to the upstairs waiting area for clearance to board the ship. That happened at 12:40pm.

David & Debbie Presley boarding the Premier SeaBreeze

After the obligatory "Welcome Aboard" photograph and a chance to pre-purchase dinner wines, we were escorted to Cabin D023 (up one flight). On arrival we were very pleasantly surprised by the size of the room, but by no means would it be called spacious. Of note was an actual queen-sized mattress rather than two twins pushed together, two large windows facing port, and a real tub in the bathroom. Discovered a short time later was an extreme lack of closet space (only about 18" wide with 7-8 thin drawers alongside) and a lack of a cabin temperature control. There are no televisions in any stateroom on the ship, and the radio inset at the vanity only tunes three radio stations in Ft. Lauderdale and one station while underway. We proceeded to unpack our carry-on bags, then went next door to D025 to see Wayne & Glenda’s room. Similarly shaped but a mirror image to our cabin, they had twin beds that could NOT be pushed together to form a queen or king. Under the one window in the corner was a dedicated vanity/desk (ours was a combination dresser/vanity). And, they had three closets plus a cabin temperature control. Peeking in other outside cabins on Daphne deck, most appeared to have this arrangement. So, in considering a cruise on the SeaBreeze, ponder how important sleeping together is for you: if it is not a big issue, opt for one of the other cabins with more storage space and a more usable living arrangement.

SeaBreeze Cabin D (Daphne Deck) #23 SeaBreeze Cabin D (Daphne Deck) #23 SeaBreeze Cabin D (Daphne Deck) #23 SeaBreeze Cabin D (Daphne Deck) #23 SeaBreeze Cabin D (Daphne Deck) #23 SeaBreeze Cabin D (Daphne Deck) #23

Strangely, this was the first cruise we’ve ever taken where the cabin steward wasn’t quickly along to introduce himself (in fact, at no point in the cruise did he EVER introduce himself – if we needed him, we’d always have to telephone or track-him-down nearby in the hallways… that’s not a reflection on his work, which was top-notch – it just would have been nice to be formally introduced). Now that we were somewhat settled-in, on advice taken from rec.travel.cruises we made way to Deck Aida aft to The Planets Counter for lunch. As anticipated, all of the lunch buffet crowds were two decks below at the Pastorale Café, and the same items could be had here with nary another soul nearby. Menu items included Hamburgers (good), Hot Dogs (good), BBQ Chicken (very good), Macaroni Salad (excellent), Green Salad with 1000 Island / Ranch / Italian Dressings (good), French Fries (good), Sliced Yellow Squash + Zucchini (very good), Tea(okay), Lemonade (good), etc. Contrary to the reviews we’d read the buffet food was much better than expected. Walking off our lunch afterwards and to help get acquainted with the ship’s layout, we meandered back to our cabins to find that the bags (along with our souvenir Premier Bath Robes) had arrived at about 2:30pm. We finished unpacking, donned our swimwear, and headed on deck for R&R while the other passengers continued arriving.

The Carmen Lounge on the Premier SeaBreeze

At 3:00pm there is a presentation in the Carmen Lounge about the various Cozumel Shore Excursions (all four of us had been there before, so we all skipped this talk). Later, we made-way back to our cabin to grab our life jackets for the mandatory 4:30pm muster drill at Station B on Carmen Deck. Not only is it an old ship, but they’re old school as well where the lifeboat drill is concerned: women and children are segregated from the men, who would be allowed to board the lifeboats after all of the former are safe and secure – shades of "Titanic"!. Sailing was to be at 5:00pm, but an announcement was made that some of our fellow passengers were delayed in arriving at FLL, meaning that we were going to stay put for awhile. The aft Bon Voyage party took place anyway, but most were drinking coffee (based on our quick guess of the age of average SeaBreeze passenger this was not surprising!). We continued wandering about, took some photos at sunset, and watched the Celebrity Mercury, HAL Veendam, then Costa Victoria depart ahead of us.

The ladies gave-up the departure watch at about 6:30pm, going back to the cabins to prepare themselves for our late sitting dinner; Wayne & I stayed forward and at 7:29pm (well after dark) watched our ship back-out, make a gentle left-turn near the Grand Princess, then begin motoring out to the open ocean. The nighttime views were just marvelous. The ship blew it’s horn three times upon exiting the inlet, whereupon the various occupants on the condo balconies to our port side blew a variety of klaxons, flashed spotlights, etc. This caused the liveliest reaction among the passengers so far, with most of them whooping and hollering back. It was a lot of fun. Oh, and when you combine unbelievably calm 2’-3’ seas with the deepest draft of any operating ocean liner, there was no perception of movement. Upon arrival back in the cabin shortly before 8:00pm, Debbie was surprised to find out we’d departed and were at sea.

After a quick shower and change of clothes, the four of us headed down one level to the Bacchanalia Restaurant for our 8:15pm sitting. Our table – 055 – was near the entrance to the kitchen, well away from the main entrance and the piano. An 8-top, we sat alone until four others joined us at about 8:30pm – all school teachers from Syracuse – and we quickly learned that THEY were the ones who we were waiting on (since they missed their scheduled first seating meal they would be joining us this first evening)! Apparently, we were the overflow table, and had various other passengers come-and-go over the course of the week (which, BTW, is a good way to meet people). Our waiter was Terry from ? (we suspect somewhere in the Far East); our Busboy was Andres from Poland; and our Headwaiter was Stan from (we think) Romania. The first evening’s meal included: Fried Mozzarella (3) sticks (okay) or Antipasto (good) or Marinated Vegetables (average); Chilled (David is a big fan of chilled soups so they’ll be on nearly every menu description) Potato Soup(very good) or Minestrone (good); Caesar Salad (very good) or Mixed Greens with various dressings (good); Fried Trout in a Buerre Blanc (excellent) or Rosemary Roast Leg of Lamb with a dab of mint jelly (excellent) – both entrees included a small helping of potatoes and a cornucopia of ratatouille); and a dessert of Tiramisu (magnificent) or Zabaglione (good) or mixed fruits in pastries and creams (good). BTW, every evening they also always had a choice of vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream available. The coffee was good, but this later (unfortunately) changed for the worse (more to follow).

NOTE: All dinners generally included a complimentary starter appetizer; a choice of three regular appetizers; a choice of three soups(two hot, one chilled); a choice of two salads; entrees included the catch of the day, a chicken dish, a beef dish, a pasta dish, a vegetarian dish; and you close with a choice of three desserts. As advertised, the food is nothing short of sensational – both in taste and presentation! As we told Premier in our post cruise review, the food was the best we’d ever encountered on any cruise line. The service, while generally on par with the food, lacked a little something on the waiter’s part (which we later decided was personality – he seldom cracked a smile and would only describe what was on the menu and tell what he recommended… we’d give him higher marks if we were allowed to get to know him a little better). Please note that this complaint did not apply to either the Busboy or the Headwaiter – in fact, in that same post-cruise review we complimented Stan as being the finest headwaiter we’d ever had the pleasure of serving us; and Andres, while new, was eager and seemed crushed if he couldn’t find some way to please you.

Terry (Waiter), Stan (Headwaiter), & Andres (BusBoy)

Finishing our meal just after 10:00pm, we wandered the ship until the 10:45pm Welcome Aboard Orientation in the Carmen Lounge, hosted by Cruise Director Bernie Giblin (later we found out that he was Assistant Cruise Director on the Big Red Boat last Fall… we knew we’d seen him before). The SeaBreeze "Orchestra" includes a trumpet, a trombone (Scott, the bandleader), a sax, a piano, drums, a guitar, and a bass. While competent, they were definitely not as tight as some others that we’ve heard on other cruises. After introductions and the obligatory couple of lame Cruise Director jokes (!) we were treated to a preview of the week’s entertainment that included the four ship dancer/singers (aka "The Premier Music Makers"), singing-impressionist Tony Cherry (who sings the tunes of and sounds very much like Englebert Humperdink), and Serenade Lounge piano entertainer Roger Hernandez (who proceeded to sing "Piano Man"… what else?). We were excused at about 11:35pm. By then, the duty-free shops, the singers in the Royal Fireworks Lounge, and the casino – particularly the elderly ladies feeding quarters into the slot machines – were in full swing. We wandered back to the gym – it includes two stair-steppers, a bicycle, leg curl machine, a bench for sit-ups, and a butterfly machine. Oh, and no windows (it appears to be a converted interior cabin). Debbie (the work-out fiend of this merry little group) noted that there are no free weights. We walked on deck for a couple of minutes (too windy), then went down to the dining room for Midnight Buffet – Italian. Here, the kudos began to fall. In fact, it quickly became obvious that much of the Midnight Buffet was just leftovers. This especially included the coffee was also a leftover from dinner and was downright terrible! David grabbed another Zabaglione (thinking it was custard), which by that time had become very watery. There were salads, cheeses, meats, two-or-three kinds of pasta plus marinara plus what tasted just like Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup (really!), and four kinds of pizza (the pepperoni was pretty good). Given that the buffet lunch had been better than expected, and the dinner had been flawless, the Midnight Buffet was a huge letdown. C’est la vie – I guess nobody’s perfect (they gotta have something to improve on, right?). Afterwards, out of energy we retired to D023 at about 12:30am. NOTE: there continued to be NO rocking whatsoever until about the time we went to bed. Given sea conditions like this, we might as well have been landlocked in a Midwestern luxury hotel!

 

Monday, February 21, 2000 - A Day at Sea

We awoke on our own at about 7:30am. After a quick shower, Debbie & I were out on our deck for a morning walk of about 45min(most of that time dodging the "out-of-it" old folks aft!). At 9:00am David went to the Harmony Room to get a ticket to tour the Navigation Bridge. From 9:05am-9:25am our buffet breakfast included grapefruit (other kinds of fresh fruit were available), scrambled eggs (cooked-to-order omelettes are also available), bacon, sausage, hash browns, several kinds of cereals, orange juice, and coffee (they also had grits, oatmeal, french toast, pancakes, a variety of breads, doughnuts and pastries). Again, all was surprisingly good given the reviews that said the buffet food was terrible on this cruise (perhaps they were talking only of the Midnight Buffets!).

The Bridge tour was a true "blast from the past": antique magnetic, hand-crank telephones; a brass horn directly connected to the Captain’s cabin through which the helmsman yells; a polished-traditional wooden-wheel (at least it is hydraulic); and the old-style toggle-wheel engine controls that power the oil-burning steam boilers. At least there was a GPS – a Magellan like you’d put on your power boat – mounted on a flimsy bracket above the window directly in front of the helm! You just don’t realize how much technology has changed in the past 41 years until you get to see it in operation. By the way, at that moment, we had covered about 190 miles and had another 350 miles to go to reach Cozumel.

The Smokestack of the Premier SeaBreeze A Tour of the Premier SeaBreeze's Navigational Bridge The Engine Controls on the Bridge of the Premier SeaBreeze

David then walked the ship for photo opportunities while the others were already on deck for some serious sunning (good thing, as most of the deck chairs are taken by 10:00am… BE OUT EARLY!). At 10:00am there was a presentation in the Carmen Lounge on Roatan / Belize Shore Excursions (but, as David already scheduled his scuba diving in every port and the others had already made-up their minds what they wanted to do, all skipped this talk as well). During this lecture, the Casino, Shops, and Gold-by-the-Inch sales were all going full-steam. Typically, mid-morning every day is a trivia contest. There was a 10:30am Napkin Folding Demo put on by some of the waiters; and at 11:00am (and again at 3:00pm) Skeet Shooting was available on Electra Deck aft.

Wayne, Debbie, & Glenda Sunbathing on the Forward Deck

The buffet lunch is served from 12:00noon to 2:30pm in the Pastorale Café on Carmen Deck. Monday’s menu included Pad Thai, Curried Vegetables, Chicken ala King, chilled salads (Three-Bean, Tomato/Cheese, Garden), and various other vegetables. All while being entertained by the four-piece steel drum band called "Island Magic". Afterwards, David took a nap while the others continued cooking their skin (at 3:00pm there was a wine tasting seminar, but he slept past that start time and therefore missed it; concurrent with this is a liquor mixing demo put on by the bar staff). David did sample a few of the finger sandwiches at 4:00pm high tea, along with some of the munchies provided at 5:00pm happy hour in the Carmen Lounge. Both were very good and recommended.

The ladies headed back to the cabins by 5:30pm to prepare for our first formal evening, starting with the late seating Captain’s Cocktail Party at 7:30pm. That was about the time we arrived, whereupon we discovered that the line was very long to have portraits made. Consequently, we didn’t even get into the reception prior to 7:55pm, and had just one glass of champagne and no food whatsoever (of course, they didn’t seem to be circulating any food at that point either). It was also tough to find a place to sit. The moral to the story? Arrive early – well before 7:30pm. Captain Anastasios Parasis personally greeted everyone with a broad smile as if we were his long-lost relatives, then introduced his staff just prior to dinner from 8:10pm-8:20pm.

David, Captain Parisis, & Debbie at the Captain's Party

Monday evening’s meal included: Shrimp Cocktail (good); Chilled Almond and Berry Soup (very good); Summer Salad (very good, consisting of grapes, sliced pineapple & grapefruit, all on a bed of greens with a choice of dressings [the poppy was quite good]); Stuffed Lobster with two asparagus spears and small serving of potatoes (very good); for dessert was Cherries Jubilee (excellent). We would have rated this evening meal as excellent, except that the lobster was just a shade overdone and the end-of the-meal coffee again tasted bad.

This evening’s entertainment began at 10:45pm with "Live from Las Vegas Legends in Concert". Gary Wesley imitates Elvis Presley for a 20min set; then came Denita Asberry portraying Whitney Houston for the next 20min; closing with Gary’s Elvis for a 20min finale. While competent and professional, they seemed to lack any passion or spark – as if this was their 4,031st performance. Tonight’s midnight buffet was a NY Style Deli – we walked through but just weren’t all that hungry. In hopes of dancing-off some calories, we walked down to the disco (way down, as in feeling like you’re descending into the bowels of the ship), but found only five teenagers dancing (they’re supposed to be thown-out after midnight, but had they done so there would have been no one but the DJ still present). Heading back up, we discovered that the "rock band" (a male/female soft duo) had stopped playing in the Royal Fireworks lounge at midnight. It seems that eating and retiring are all the passengers on this boat are capable of after midnight! So, having no interest in further eating, we retired at about 12:30am ourselves (but chowed-down on the four fresh strawberries left at bedside – two dipped in dark chocolate, two dipped in white chocolate).

 

Tuesday, February 22, 2000 - Cozumel, Mexico

NOTE: The passengers were asked to please NOT reset our watches to Central Time. We suspect this is just a public relations gimmick – it makes the times in port appear more normal than they actually are (7:30am-5:00pm was actually 6:30am-4:00pm local time). With an early Buffet Breakfast available from 6:00am-9:00am (ship’s time), we docked at the north pier just after sunrise. Also in port were our fellow Ft. Lauderdale departees the Costa Victoria and Celebrity Mercury, plus the Carnival Destiny, Commodore Enchanted Capri, and two others with which we weren’t familiar. With a winter-time weather forecast for partly cloudy and mid-eighties temperatures, we were all excited to get our day started.

The Prelude Lounge on the Premier SeaBreeze

Debbie, Wayne & Glenda had a big buffet breakfast prior to meeting at 8:15am in the Carmen Lounge to take the Cozumel Island & Beach Tour ($39pp). Guessing they might be disappointed with this selection, David had gently begged them to either go Horseback Riding, take the Catamaran, or go to Tulum, but they wouldn’t listen. Afterwards, they agreed that this tour is best avoided: the tour guide never really explained where the Mayans came from, instead just prattling-on without seeming to have a good command of the facts. They did get to go to San Francisco Beach, but the one-hour allocated was not enough time and it was very crowded. Debbie noted that quite a few ladies were sunbathing topless – with most of them having no business doing so (where are all of these centerfold types when it’s time to remove the bathing suit tops???). The tour van dropped them about 1:30pm at our pre-agreed meeting spot: Carlos & Charlie’s in downtown San Miguel.

David used Dive with Martin, located about two miles south of the SeaBreeze’s dock in the International Cruise Ship Terminal. After a $5 cab ride (unexpected since he knew they were at the end of the Cruise Ship Terminal – it’s just that we docked at the wrong Cruise Ship Terminal!), check-in was at about 8:40am (boat time, not local time); we loaded up and were out just after 9:00am. After a 20-25min boat ride we made our first dive at the Santa Rosa Wall, then enjoyed a one-hour surface interval on a small beach. Heading back out for about a 10min boat ride, we made our second dive at Yucab Reef. After another $5 cab ride got me back to the SeaBreeze, David quickly dropped his gear in the cabin, showered, and ran back out to the drag for a $4 cab to meet the others just before 2:00pm.

Glenda, Wayne, David, & Debbie three-sheets-to-the-wind at Carlos n'Charlie's

Carlos & Charlie’s: definitely a wild place! While the three of them sucked-back Coronas, David downed both frozen and on-the-rocks margaritas. Shots of tequila flowed, along with shots of sex-on-the-beach from a waitress regularly circulating (with the obligatory head spinning and nipple twisting after drinking one). We ate nachos, quesadillas, and shrimp ceviche (all very good) and continued drinking. We begrudgingly (and foggily) left about 4:15pm (ship’s time), and had to take a cab back to the SeaBreeze (as Wayne & Glenda were in no condition to successfully make the 10min walk back). David fell asleep (passed-out?) shortly after we arrived and was forcibly awakened at 7:15pm by Debbie. Wayne & Glenda missed the Tuesday casual Oriental Night meal, which included: Sushi/Wasabi (in name-only, just one tasty but meager quasi-California Roll) or Marinated Teriyaki Chicken (good); Sunset (chilled fruit) Soup (good) or Tamarind Seafood Soup (very good); Singapore Salad (good – slightly curried) or conventional Garden Salad with a choice of dressings (okay); Mahi Mahi in a Buerre Blanc (excellent) or Japanese noodles with Shrimp (okay, but not recommended – all noodles and very little shrimp); for dessert was a Peach/Strawberry Flambe (excellent… what was quickly coming to be known as Stan’s flambe du jour) with vanilla ice cream. Bad coffee yet again. With only two of us attending this evening’s dinner it went by very fast – we were back in our cabin by 9:40pm. Tuesday evening’s entertainment was "The Incredible Mystery and Illusion of Hatari". He displayed the standard bag of competently-performed illusions, including the split box illusion, the guillotine illusion, the rings illusion (his best), and the finale levitation of his assistant/wife on one vertical post illusion. Tired (no doubt more from booze than activity), we went back to the room for sleep. In doing so, we took a bye on the Country Jamboree (which included line dancing) and the Midnight Tex-Mex Buffet at the Pastorale Café on aft Carmen Deck.

 

Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

Sadly, Wednesday morning we awoke to rain and the news that we would be delayed about 30min for our scheduled 10:00am (local time) arrival into Roatan (this after picking-up an extra hour’s sleep by the ship’s request to set-back our watches prior to Tuesday evening’s bedtime). We note that this ship apparently has no excess speed with which to make-up lost time. To pass the time, after leisurely cleaning-up we headed aft for our usual buffet breakfast, then watched the 10:30am docking at the pier from our cabin (due to moderate rainfall). We divers were first off the boat at about 10:50am – Anthony’s Key had their power boat pulled to the dock alongside the Seabreeze; David had pre-arranged his diving with the Bay Islands Beach Resort – and since Debbie, Wayne & Glenda were going along to lay on the beach (not very likely with our weather forecast), lunch, and use of the bar, got to tag along with David as "divers". The four of us quickly found and boarded the BIBR bus, but were delayed until nearly 11:30am while the Clemson family (a party of 10) had difficulty getting their entire entourage out and aboard. After a 15min ride, upon arrival the three comrades seemed disgusted, had one hasty drink, and asked to be returned on the shuttle van. They spent the remainder of the day (which had the sun break through about the time they arrived back at the ship) lounging around the decks. [To be fair to BIBR, the sand was too wet to lay-on, and there wasn’t much else there for non-divers to do]

We had a long gear-up time while awaiting a dive boat, not actually getting into the water until after 1:00pm. For the first excursion we dove the Spooky Channel inward. We spent our surface interval eating that day’s tasty lunch special: Fried Chicken with Potato Salad, and iced tea (they had cupcakes for dessert which we took a pass on). Back in the water at about 2:30pm for our second dive, we then a LONG wait for the shuttle van to return us to the boat (not getting back until about 5:25pm). While I dropped my gear – then ran back outside to get a quick couple of snapshots of the boat – Debbie, Wayne & Glenda were getting ready for an exercise walk on Daphne Deck. [BTW, they said that they were given the same buffet lunch as on Day #1: i.e. burgers, hot dogs, chicken, etc.]

The La Mer Pool in the aft section of the Premier SeaBreeze

With the sounds of Island Magic playing merrily in the air, we motored out of Roatan on time at 5:30pm – staying on deck as the sun set and the lights of Roatan shown brightly (but sparsely). We went back to the cabins at about 7:00pm, changed into casualwear, and arrived in the Bacchanalia Restaurant for our 8:15pm dinner that included: Tacos (a tasty appetizer – but were these leftovers from the midnight buffet?); Chicken Lime Soup (excellent), Three-Bean Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette (very good, but didn’t we see this on one of the buffet tables too?) or a Salad with Sardines & Olives (good); Paella with Shrimp and Scallops (good) or Grilled Chicken Breasts with melted cheese and tomatoes (very good); dessert was Apple Normandy flambe (excellent) or custard (excellent), plus Debbie’s birthday cake (magnificent, which included seven-or-eight of the wait staff singing to an increasingly-embarrassed Debbie, "Happy Happy Birthday, from the crew to you. Happy Happy Birthday, cruise the ocean blue. Happy Happy Birthday, may your wish come true… Happy Happy Birthday, from the crew to you – HEY!") This evening, we finally discovered the solution to one of the most vexing problems aboard the SeaBreeze: why does the coffee continue to taste bad? Answer: it’s simply too strong and occasionally burned. Cut it about 75/25 with hot water and the taste goes from rancid to very good (the same ratio seemed to work well for the iced tea too – use your ice water to cut it as well). Mind you, these comments come from expresso drinkers… if that gives you an idea how strong the coffee was.

The Casino on the Premier SeaBreeze

Afterwards, we went to the photo gallery and purchased the Captain’s Party photos and a couple of others, then it was onto the Carmen Lounge for "Cruisin’ Through the Decades". The four singer / dancers comprising "The Premier Music Makers" (two male / two female)were back performing music from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, with the majority of time spent in the 40s (again, remember the average passenger demographic on the SeaBreeze). Lots of outfit changes. Individually, their voices aren’t that strong, but they can make some really great harmonies together! Our impression was that this may have been the best show to date (which was wholly unexpected after the Sunday night preview performance). Definitely give ‘em a listen! We ended our day at about 11:40pm bypassing the Oriental Midnight Buffet (assumed to be even more leftovers) and retired for the evening with four petit fours left in our cabin with a cute little towel animal.

 

Thursday, February 24, 2000 - Belize City, Belize

With the ship still on Central Time, Thursday was our earliest wake-up call – 5:30am – since Debbie, Wayne & Glenda had to be in the Carmen Lounge by 7:30am to go Cave Tubing ($69pp). They had a full breakfast buffet while David just partook of a couple of bananas and had some juice. David had been told by the dive operator to be first off the tender for diving, but it turned-out we weren’t leaving until about 9:00am (so he got to see all my fellow passengers come ashore). He was able to greet Debbie, Wayne & Glenda at about 8:20am as they came from their tender (showing the the location of the bathroom prior to their boarding the tour bus). Intermittent rain began about that time, but in true tropical fashion the sun broke through just before lunchtime. Debbie & Wayne liked the tour and heartily recommend it for physically fit passengers; Glenda didn’t care for it at all (we should have sent her shopping!). The bus took about an hour to get to the hiking trail, then there was a 45min walk (described as pretty tough for those older than 65 or 70) in order to get to the entrance to the caves. Once there, they actually spent about 1¼ to 1½ hours in the caves (which included cold water, evidenced by the tour guides wearing wet suits). Once there, it was cumulatively about a two-hour tour. Very mild rapids at the end provide a fun conclusion to the tubing portion. Their lunch included Spicy BBQ Chicken (okay), Spicy Rice & Beans (okay), Cole Slaw(okay), Coke or Sprite, and the option to buy $5 mixed drinks or $3 beers (need you even ask if they partook???).

The Premier SeaBreeze anchored off of Belize City

David dived with Hugh Parkey’s Belize Dive Connection. They had a brand-new 48’ custom dive boat and an ex-British seal named Gareth for DiveMaster. Combined with pristine dive conditions an hour-and-a-half east at the Turneffe Islands, it was clearly the best diving of the trip. Anchored between two reefs, half the group went one way while the other half went the other; after a lunch-time surface interval this was reversed. His first dive was at Molly's Folly; lunch included Baked Chicken (very good), Pasta Salad (very good), Chips & Salsa (good), and Soft Drinks; then the second dive was at The Terrace. We motored back directly to the SeaBreeze – providing an excellent photo opportunity – where most of the divers were dropped off at about 3:10pm (a few elected to go back to the mainland for a little shopping prior to returning for our 5:00pm scheduled departure). David spent the next 45min cleaning his gear (since the diving for this trip was now finished), whereupon Debbie arrived back at the cabin at about 4:00pm. We sat on the aft pool deck watching the sun set after our 5:25pm sailing (we were late departing due to straggling passengers coming back from shore). Glenda & Wayne then did the jacuzzi while Debbie wanted a private soak in the cabin’s tub. David? Why, a short nap, of course!

The Water Music Whirlpool on the Premier SeaBreeze

Thursday evening’s tropical meal included: Conch Fritters (excellent); Trinidad Red Bean Soup (very good) or Crab Bisque (excellent); a Salad with Plantains & Corn plus an unbelievably good dressing (excellent+, in case you can’t tell from the adjectives); Brochettes of Beef Tenderloin with Black Bean Sauce (a little over-done to David’s liking but very good nonetheless); Ambrosia flambe (excellent, possibly the best of the flambes) or a Napoleon (excellent) or Rum Sponge Cake (very good) or a Tia Maria cake (good)... by this point we were sampling all of their marvelous desserts. As discovered last evening, cut the coffee and it gets a very good ranking for the first time.

Tony Cherry performed late (starting well after 11:00pm), because of an endlessly-long marathon bingo session (ahem!). That late start probably portended things to come: in a word (or two), he stunk! Instead of "The Incredible Vocal Impressionist Tony Cherry", his act should be retitled "Tony Cherry sings Famous Male Singers of Old". He had a little of the inflection of Dean Martin and would do half his monologues in a credible Jerry Lewis / Nutty Professor voice – that’s it for believable impressions. David and Glenda both dozed near the end of the show (not from the hour but from boredom). Clearly geared to the more "seasoned" passengers, he performed lots of Sinatra, Al Martino, Perry Como, Bobby Darrin, etc. Despite saying he took requests, he failed to deliver. For example, for a Ricky Martin request he did a quick snippet of Ricky Ricardo singing "La Vida Loca". Ugh. Send him packing back to Joisey! Already nearly anaesthetized by this "performance", we turned in shortly after the show concluded – having never heard if the 11:45pm Tropical Deck Party (that was to include a conga line, dollar wines, ice carving demonstration, etc.) was worth the trouble. The chocolate mints on the pillow were a nice farewell to the day.

 

Friday, February 25, 2000 - A Day at Sea

A glorious Day at Sea. Prior to going to sleep Thursday evening we set our clocks ahead one hour to rejoin Eastern Time. David was jolted awake when he realized it was light outside and already 8:30am (remember, we got one hour less sleep this night). Dressing quickly, he ran up on deck to secure four lounge chairs. The area forward where we spent most of Monday was simply too windy – with 25-35mph conditions – so he made way back to the jacuzzi area to squat on four chairs. Good thing – most of them were gone by about 9:15am. We laid-out most of the day – David got caught up on some reading while the others just lazily cooked (it was a deceptive day – lots of wind and coolish temperatures meant you were getting more sun than you knew). The typical buffet breakfast and lunch was served at the normal times. Bridge tours were again available in case they were missed on Monday. One disappointment was that there was no Galley Tour – we would have really enjoyed seeing the behind-the-scenes action down there. In lieu, the Chefs did offer a "Culinary Demonstration" mid-morning, presented just after the Key West Excursions presentation.

That afternoon, while Wayne & Glenda continued cooking, Debbie & David attended the "Comedy Spectacular" in the Carmen Lounge at 3:30pm. In the first segment, the cruise staff divided some of the audience into six teams of six women, who then picked men and spent the next 15-20min dressing them as women for the Ms. SeaBreeze 2000 Beauty Pageant. Hysterical… don’t miss it! While the teams prepared their contestants, the rest of us divided into teams to have a scavenger hunt… looking for things only found inside the room, such as a cocktail menu (easy), a sock with a hole in it (if you’re wearing socks, it’s easy), a picture of Independence Hall (found on the back of a $100 bill – who’s carrying that kind of money on them at this stage of the cruise?), lipstick on a guy (hey, it got David his best kiss of the week from Debbie), a bra on a guy (ladies quickly doffing under their shirts, panchos, or towels with guys fumbling trying to get into them), etc. Our team placed second… not quite good enough for bottles of champagne. We were paired with a great young couple from North Carolina named Craig & Becky while playing this game – we wished we’d have hooked-up with them earlier on the cruise, as they were a lot of fun.

Afterwards there was a 30min talk on Key West shopping, followed by the 1hr 15min, 16-act passenger talent show. The day before, Debbie had begged David to enter (since he is an ex-pro keyboard musician he can certainly hold his own), but he deferred to be able to watch the others without having to worry about himself. Singers dominated this cruise, especially two 17 year olds (Liz from the Midwest (Minnesota? and Vanessa from Jersey, who both sang killer ball ballads). The guy that won Ms. SeaBreeze did a great blues number near the end (he has to be a performer – which explains why he was so at ease on stage in drag!). Plus, there was a lady named Debbie did some very credible yodeling. However, the show-stopper was a six-year-old boy who sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", after methodically doffing his jacket and tie, then donning his baseball cap. All participants got token prizes. Better than many of the ones we’ve endured in the past – this seemed to be a pretty talented (and, in some cases, prepared) group. We then headed down to the cabin for clean-up.

The Serenade Lounge on the Premier SeaBreeze

Friday is the second formal night. Dinner included: Escargot (back in that damn cream-of-mushroom soup – okay, but would have been MUCH better traditionally prepared in a butter sauce); Bouillabaisse (mixed seafoods - excellent) or Consommé (beef plus cheese – also excellent); a Spinach / Egg Salad with a spicy red dressing (very good) or Caesar Salad (very good); a Red Snapper Fillet with a spicy red sauce (very good) or Shrimp Provencale (prawns in the same red sauce – excellent) – both served with asparagus and tomatoes – or Filet Mignon (excellent); dessert was Crepes Suzette (excellent) or white pudding with egg whites (for the first time on this trip we can honestly say "terrible" – AVOID this dessert at all costs) or Lemon Cheesecake (made with goat cheese, not at all what you expect, and not particularly good). Finishing right at 10:00pm, we headed to the piano bar for 15-20min of Roger (who sang "Taxi", "If I Saw You in Heaven"… with tunes like this, it’s no surprise that he plays guitar too). Then, it was back up to the Carmen Lounge to hear our friends from Trinidad/Tobago (Island Magic) play "Memories" (from Cats), "Don’t Cry for Me Argentina" (from Evita), "Phantom of the Opera"(from same), "Minuet in G" (by Beethoven), "Sleeping Beauty Waltz" (by Tchaikovsky), "Orpheus in the Underworld" (by Offenbach), and a "Gospel Medley" (included "Ave Maria" and "Amazing Grace"). If you sail on the SeaBreeze, DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW! Even our nearly-dead (that’s a reference to energy level, not actual health), octogenarian crowd gave them three wildly-screaming standing ovations and got two encores in return ("Somewhere over the Rainbow", then a medley of "In the Mood" and "Rock Around the Clock"). CDs and Tapes put up for sale afterwards quickly sold out. WE EMPHASIZE AGAIN: DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW! GUARANTEED… YOU WILL BE SORRY IF YOU DO!!

Energized, we attended the Grand Finale Buffet ("Buffet Magnifique") at Midnight, first walking through while snapping photos and taking videos, then back a little before 1:00am for a host of salads, turkey/ham/roast beef, terrines, etc. Great ice sculptures and watermelon carvings were on display. All-in-all, given the less-than-stellar late-night buffets to date, this one was very impressive. On the way back to our cabin David noticed one of the very cute 17 year olds, obviously drunk and/or stoned, staggering around in the company of four similarly-aged boys. This stopped Debbie cold in her tracks to investigate: as it turns out, the four young men were gentlemen to the core – realizing that Kaylin was never going to get back to her cabin unassisted, they were accompanying (nearly carrying) her from the aft decks back "home". Chivalry isn’t dead – congratulations you guys! Oh, and Kaylin, word of advice from a party-animal that’s somehow managed to live to tell about it: be careful! You can get in a lot of trouble if you aren’t surrounded with gentlemen such as the ones who took such good care of you on the SeaBreeze! Debbie & David retired just after 1:30am – amazed at how energized both of us felt after the Island Magic show!

 

Saturday, February 26, 2000 - Key West, Florida

Key West, FL, as seen arriving on the Premier SeaBreeze

As our cruise was nearing its end, we awoke at 8:00am with Glenda knocking on our door (gee, thanks!). In no hurry, Debbie took a leisurely bath until nearly 10:00am. David went on deck to video our arrival in Key West... we docked at about 9:45am but it was just after 10:30am before clearing customs and being allowed off the boat (ah, the joys of our Imperial Federal Government’s Bureaucracy!). The day’s weather was overcast, 76 degrees, with intermittent rain – welcome back to the states! We partook of the buffet breakfast right at the 10:00am closing time; then, prior to leaving visited the purser’s office to arrange for an early Sunday morning debarkation(with an 11:00am flight out of MIA we didn’t want to take any chances – there was another family doing same that had a 10:00am also out of MIA). All that Premier asked was for your to show your confirmation or tickets – they just photocopy them, jot down your room number, and promise you different color tags to be delivered to your cabin late in the day (you then meet in the Cinema at 8:00am Sunday morning and will be first ones escorted off after clearance).

With that last goal accomplished, we disembarked and spent about 45min-1hour touring Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum ($6.50pp). If you’re into treasure hunting or diving, you’ll enjoy it; otherwise, skip it and head into town. Afterwards, we headed down Front Street to Duval Street, and shopped for sweat shirts while making periodic bar stops at the Hog’s Breath Saloon (a good house beer as is their garlic seafood appetizer ball)Sloppy Joe's (another good house ale, but we weren’t hungry enough to try their signature Sloppy Joes), Whistler's (sporting 2-for-1 margaritas and a bad band it was a no-brainer). NOTE: be sure to stop on Greene Street, just down from Capt. Tony’s, and get a slice of Key Lime Pie on a stick dipped in milk chocolate. AWESOME! Best dessert of the trip!!

There was an outdoor art exhibition going-on near Truman Square – we spent about 45min there, but nothing shook-us-up enough to actually reach for the wallet. Back on board about 4:45pm, the ship sailed a short time later at 5:15pm while we stayed aft to watch the departure and imminent sunset (a passion in Key West – there must have been over a hundred sail and power boats out on the water awaiting same). The Radisson Seven Seas Navigator followed us out about 20min behind. While we were doing this, there was a Disembarkation Briefing in the Carmen Lounge – but having done this so many times, we elected to pass as there wasn’t anything new to learn. We returned to D023 at nightfall, we got about 80% packed (all diving gear, all dirty clothes, and most of David’s clothes), and cleaned up for our last evening’s meal that included: Fruit Salad in Sangria (good) or Grilled Polenta (fair); Chicken Gumbo (excellent)or Chilled Strawberry Soup (very good); Hawaiian Salad (pineapple chunks, water chestnuts, cherries with honey mustard – very good) or traditional Garden Salad with choice of dressings (good); Salmon in Cream Sauce (excellent) or Roast Veal Chops (excellent); dessert was the obligatory Baked Alaska (excellent) or Cheesecake with assorted toppings (blueberry, strawberry, lemon – no goat cheese this time, so it rates an excellent). The coffee, as it is brought to the table, still sucks – but once you cut it, it’s drinkable.

Premier gives you the option to prepay your tips on your house account, which we took advantage of. Additionally, after dinner we personally gave Stan and Terry an additional $10 tip while awarding Andre an extra $20 (each time we’d run into him at a bar in port he’d be that much friendlier that night – of all our service personnel, we’ll miss him most). Get Terry a conversant personality and he’d have done even better! Having stayed very late at dinner, we came back to the cabin just long enough to quickly freshen-up prior to the "World Famous Legends in Concert" last show.

Prior to entering, a couple of my dive buddies from the Roatan Clemson party greeted David gravely outside of the Carmen Lounge, asking if he’d done the snorkeling excursion that afternoon. Replying "no", he asked why. They said that they’d heard a rumor that someone had died and they believed it to be someone named George that had been their dinner companion for the week. David recalled that Craig & Becky were going on that trip – he seeked them out and found them a short time later. They confirmed that it was George – described as "a big guy but not morbidly obese", who snorkeled for about 10min, came back aboard, then went back out. Floating face down after this second entry and unable to be stirred by his wife, he was quickly retrieved by the Fury Catamaran crew and Coast Guard help was summoned while CPR ensued. He was helicoptered out but pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital with a Myocardial Infarction. They said that snorkeling quickly ended and the boat motored back to Key West in silence. A horrible way to cap-off an otherwise wonderful week – our hearts went out to his spouse and travelling companions. (David later relayed this news to the Clemsons, who seemed thunderstruck with the bad news)

Shortly after hearing this news, the evenings entertainment began. As before, Elvis played a 20min first set (with some songs from the first performance); this was followed by Denita doing a very credible Tina Turner for 25min; then closed the show with an encore performance by Elvis. The Elvis impersonator’s real-life wife did four songs as Patsy Cline in a pre-show intro – she was certainly good enough to be included in the main lineup. Prior to Elvis’ last song (the famous "Dixie" / "Battle Hymn of the Republic" medley), Elvis/Gary thanked both Bernie and his Assistant Cruise Director (and Bernie’s wife) Erin, the staff, etc. We were obviously late getting out – about 12:20am. We headed to the cabin to finish packing – putting the bags out at 1:00am we were surprised to find them gone by 1:10am (they take these different color tags very seriously). Debbie turned-in while David drank the last of our wine and walked the deck one last time (kind of a sad tradition). In the distance you could see a cruise ship off the port bow; the Grand Princess was easily recognizable steaming off of the starboard bow. Everybody was obviously making way to Port Everglades to dump off the old, bring in a fresh-load of new passengers, and start it all over again. Our last night ended at about 1:45am.

 

Sunday, February 27, 2000 - Debarkation and the Return Home to Grayson, Georgia

Debbie got up at 5:30am, but there was no chance for David to gain consciousness before about 6:15am. Ready to debark early, the four of us tried to have the express breakfast in the Bacchanalia Restaurant at 7:30am, but with still no food at 7:55am we had to leave to go to the Cinema (why do they call it an express breakfast if it isn’t?). We were escorted out about 10min later, down the gang-plank, to our waiting bags located right at the exit. Then, the weirdest, strangest thing we’ve ever encountered in all our years of cruising: the custom’s agent just opens the door and bids us farewell – not only do they inspect nothing, they don’t talk to us or even ask for our declarations forms. We guessed they knew we were in a hurry and, besides, how dangerous could two families be??? With only sedan taxis, we had a 10min wait while either a van or station wagon was summoned. The ride back to the airport took only about 35min and cost $51.75 + Tip (Wayne got this one). Speedy curbside check-in allowed plenty of time to eat breakfast in the terminal(which wouldn’t have been necessary had the express breakfast actually been such… but there’s no need to belabor that point), then we just waited for our flight back to Atlanta. We again had hopes of being bumped, but when they got down to just four seats remaining we were told to board. Just can’t catch a break, huh? A non-eventful, on-time, American Airlines flight back to Atlanta… where the 20 degree cooler temperatures and rain slapped us with the hard reality that holiday had come to an end.

 

Conclusion

We have read countless reviews that sing the praises of (generally) Premier and (specifically) the SeaBreeze. After our experience you can add us to that growing list of alumni. Their refurbishing of "older", classic sailing vessels, then staffing them with top-notch personnel who are always eager to please is definitely a winning combination. Here’s what stands-out in our minds (both pro-and-con) from our week aboard the SeaBreeze:

Pluses (quite a few... here's the top of our list):

The Food. Stunning barely describes it. We can only presuppose that the combination of talented chefs and small passenger compliment contribute to this excellence. With the exception of one dessert, overly-strong coffee & tea, and the feeling of leftovers at the midnight buffets, we wouldn’t change a thing. Definitely sample a little of everything at dinner – you’ll be glad you did (this particularly applies to most of the desserts). We wish some of the restaurants we regularly frequent in Atlanta had food this consistently good.
The Staff / Service. The best we’ve experienced on any cruise ship. Stan (headwaiter) is the first we’ve seen actuallydo something (evidenced by an additional tip – up until this cruise, we thought the function of the headwaiter was to just suck additional tip and nothing else). He went out of his way to get to know us (personally) and to speak with us at every opportunity (both in-and-out of the dining room). Andres, while his command of the English language needs improvement, clearly did everything within his power to please… he’ll be a waiter in no-time at all. Eduardo (we discovered his name on our cabin service card) needs to learn that introductions are important, but cannot be faulted for the unobtrusive and orderly manner in which he kept our stateroom. Terry needs to loosen up, but likewise, his waiting skills are beyond reproach. Other staff throughout the cruise make a point of asking how you are, offering service without being pushy. It’s is an experience without peer – whatever Premier is doing to engender this feeling, don’t stop! And teach it to the other cruise lines!!
The Ship. So, she’s old. Big deal… you don’t notice it except when sitting on a few couches in the Carmen Lounge(there is definitely some sagging to be found there), touring the Bridge (when was the last time you saw a hand-crank telephone?), or peering into corners or crevices in out-of-the-way places (where some patching or painting is evident). The crew keeps this ship seriously spit-polished. She lists a bit, particularly when turning into a stiff breeze, but as sailors we could care less about a little heeling. She feels solid and exudes warmth. Her Captain and crew obviously have an affection for the old gal that is catchy. Trust us, you can do without the glass elevators traversing the multi-story atriums. And you’ll feel a kind of pride in port when you see those newer ships that sport such features, then catch a glimpse of your classical liner. David found himself hoping that he wouldn’t be diving the SeaBreeze anytime in the near future (old ships are frequently gutted and sank to form new underwater coral reefs).
The Ports-of-Call. Maybe David is a bit biased since he’s a diver, but these are wonderful, out-of-the-norm, places to visit. The native people, particularly in Roatan and Belize, were very warm and friendly. Roatan was far more mountainous and beautiful than expected. Belize surprised us when we discovered that their native tongue is English. Combined with two full days at sea, it made for a terribly interesting (and enjoyable) week.

Minuses (minor items, and not very numerous - but definitely should be addressed):

The Coffee / Tea. Please, PLEASE, Premier… brew both at about half to two-thirds strength. And throw-out what isn’t drunk at mealtime rather than save it for the midnight buffets. These two items were a blight on an otherwise exceptional dining experience.
Attract a Younger Clientele. How Premier goes about this we have no idea. We hope that the reader won’t interpret this remark as a put-down of senior citizens – but it would have been nice to have a little more than 20-25% of the passengers below Social Security age with whom to party into the evening. Many of the elders on this cruise tended to be very loud and cranky (which we presume comes with age because the same can be said of our parents’ behavior). Plus, with the lack of elevators and many steep staircases, a older person with limited mobility would definitely have problems getting about. Finally, as evidenced by the snorkeling death, care should be exercised when performing more strenuous activities. But, if great prices, great service, and great destinations don’t attract young folks who knows what will?!
Dump Tony Cherry. ‘Nuff said earlier. He was the weak link in an (otherwise) good week’s worth of onboard entertainment. If Premier wants to book an impressionist, why not book one that actually does impression
Put a Temperature Control in D023. First we were too hot, then we were too cold. Other cabins had temperature controls… why not this one?

Would we spend a week on the SeaBreeze again? Absolutely, without doubt! Will we? Probably not, but only because it’s a big, bigtravel world out there with lots of places to see and ships on which to see it. But, in terms of "bang-for-the-buck" there is simply no better value in the cruising world than a week as Capt. Parisis’ guest aboard the SeaBreeze (and, believe us, that is exactly the way you feel – a personal guest aboard his ocean liner). Our heartiest congratulations if you elect to spend a week as his guest – you’ll most certainly be glad you did!

And, as I said at the outset of this review, in retrospect this review is quite bittersweet as it was my last cruise with Debbie as husband and wife.  That said, if you have any questions about any of the cruises we've been on over the past few years please feel free to drop me a line and I'll be happy to answer.

INFORMATIONAL NOTE:  In case you missed it on the news, when Premier closed-up shop in 2000 they sold the SeaBreeze to a smaller cruise line.  While ferrying it from the northeast down to the Caribbean it sank about 200miles off the coast of Virginia!  So, it may be difficult to avail yourself of this old lady's charms... unless you do it underwater!

   
 

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