Hi, Sara. My partner and I sailed on the Sea two years ago while she was still doing the Texaribbean cruises out of Houston.
The ship is small compared to today's standards, but was one of the first modern ships built with a center atrium and majority of public rooms on one deck, with the pool area on top. Though not glitzy or especially beautiful, the ship functions very well and there were some highlights.
The majority of the staff on this ship was exceptionally friendly. Our cabin attendant was wonderful. The dining room staff was not consistent. We didn't enjoy our assigned waiter's rather cold personality. We found a very pleasant waiter our second morning and ate breakfast and lunch with him for the remainder of our cruise.
We sailed on a full ship over spring break and never had a problem locating deck chairs for sunning. This is not always the case on the larger mega ships. Traffic flow throughout the ship never seemed to be an issue. We were in cabin 8034 and never had any problems with the functioning of our room, (bathroom, climate, etc.). The cabin was small, but more than adequate for the two of us for seven nights.
There were some serious vibration problems that were noticeable in the casino and also in the Bistro restaurant. The ship rattled and vibrated very strongly in those areas. We ate dinner one night in the Bistro "specialty" restaurant and found the food and service to be noticeably better than in the main dining rooms. (There was a nominal charge per person to eat there).
As for the Bahamian weather, I was in Nassau in January and had 2 very chilly days in the 50's and 2 comfortable days in the low 70's. I went in the water but could only stay in for a short time due to the chilly temperatures in and out of the water. It's been several years since I was there so I wouldn't want to try and give you any advice on what to see or do. The straw market area was very disappointing and something I would avoid if I was to return. (Dirty, dark and too much hard-core selling).
If you are looking for a nice cruise on an average ship, you will do fine on the Sea. If you are looking for something else, you might check into the other lines sailing larger ships on that itinerary.
I have just returned this past Monday.
I liked Freestyle.
Although I was told that "Resort casual" was the dress code for every day on a 3 night cruise...Saturday night became "formal/resort casual".
Many people all dressed up for their portraits. I think they should spell this out more clearly.
Ok, so what are my tips?....
The first night dining entrees at the main restaurants were pastas, so we went to Le Bistro and had the highlight meal of the trip. $10 surcharge, but well worth it. The place was empty, quiet and imtimate. Unlike elsewhere.
Also take a large water bottle with you. We walked Nassau and spent the day on the private island, you dehydrate quickly.