Two recent Caribbean voyages, aboard SeaDream I and Norwegian Getaway, could not have been more different.
One week, cruising aboard a 112-passenger SeaDream yacht was like being a private guest at an intimate, fashionable house party. Energetic, highly trained crew were at beck and call as we floated from small ports to anchorages off such islands as St. Barts and Isle des Saintes.
One afternoon, a bartender, spurned in his attempts to pour me a drink to accompany my reading, offered instead to remove a smudge from my glasses. From his pocket he pulled a small bottle, spritzing and wiping with glee.
During a second week at sea, Norwegian Getaway, which carries some 4,000 passengers on cruises out of Miami, was abuzz from mornings until deep into the evenings, as vacationers streamed in and out of restaurants, lounges and entertainment venues.