There are many different ways to experience a destination. For me, nothing compares to visiting any coastal destination when your accommodations are a luxury yacht.
When choosing how to celebrate a 50th birthday for my best friend, we never envisioned our dream of yachting around Croatia actually happening. What was first just a dream for us soon became a reality. We went with the notion of “why not?” (the motto of the Sea Dream) and splurged! Our tickets were bought and we were off to “Yacht, not Cruise” around Croatia.
In 2001, SeaDream Yacht Club launched with twin mega yachts: SeaDream I and SeaDream II, achieving the industry’s highest accolades. From the moment we stepped foot on board, we knew the week would exceed our expectations; it was almost as though it didn’t matter where the boat was heading…just being on board the luxurious SeaDream seemed to be enough!
Casual elegance. That is how I would describe the features on board. Nothing was overdone. There are no glitzy chandeliers, or glitzy casinos. Really, none of the typical bells and whistles that luxury cruise ships offer are found. But that is the beauty of casual yachting. What you WILL notice is the crew of the SeaDream will know your name from the instant you arrive. Both shoreside and aboard, the staff offers unprecedented levels of service.
We were taken to our room which was simple, yet cozy. All guest rooms offer windows with picturesque ocean views, and marble-lined bathrooms, entertainment centers and other amenities that made our stay extra enjoyable. Personalized Embroidered Sea Dream Pajamas were just one of many nightly gifts we received while on the SeaDream. Pampering and more pampering. This is what you can expect and, with only 56 state rooms, and a ratio of 1:1 staff to guest, it makes it easy to ensure each guest is splendidly spoiled. This stunning yacht also has the ONLY Thai certified spa at sea! It’s no wonder it has received such praise. The massage I had was sheer indulgence.
One element that really sets the SeaDream apart from other cruise ships is that, due to its size, it is able to approach and dock at intimate yacht ports and harbors in its itineraries, where bigger ships are not allowed. Each day we woke up in a marina with mega yachts surrounding us. Such a refined style of cruising.
The SeaDream is filled with toys and sports equipment to make for a proper yachtsman’s vacation. Personal sailboats, wakeboards, paddleboards, wave runners, trampoline or good ‘ol snorkeling can all be done right off the back of the yacht.
If you are more the relaxing type (like us), you can just grab a good book and curl up on one of the Signature Balinese Dream Beds. These beds had to be designed with cocktailing, and napping, in mind. They are spread out all over the ship and offer comfort reclining and unobstructed views. However, these oversized comfy cushioned beds are not just to be enjoyed during daylight hours! Guests are invited to book an evening and sleep under the stars. Housekeeping will make up a bed for you, including plush pillows, blankets, and champagne! It doesn’t get much better than having the stars above you as the warm Mediterranean winds lullaby you to sleep.
Full disclosure: Amy and I booked an evening under the stars and we felt so special but, after a few hours, we tiptoed back to our room. Our plush interior beckoned!
My favorite part of each day was waking up and peeking out the window to see a different landscape. Every night I would close my eyes only to awaken to new beauty and a new adventure. In the morning, we would throw on our yachtwear (bathing suit /cover up) and head to breakfast. ‘What kind of juice shall I have today’ was always such a dilemma!
The SeaDream provides 5-star gastronomical dining experiences that can be either al fresco or in the salon. Each meal offers multiple choices and courses, with exciting and diverse flavors. The SeaDream Sommelier is there to provide fabulous pairings to enhance each dish. Fresh ingredients are always used and the menu caters to everyone: gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan. Whatever you desire, the chef is truly open to making it happen.
How can anyone not love an inclusive open bar with premium spirits? After dinner most guests mosey up to the Top of the Yacht bar, the social heart of the yacht to take in the 360 degree views and sip on their favorite after-dinner libation. Some choose to dance the night away, in the intimate setting, while others hit the blackjack table (there is one!) or piano bar.
It’s the little touches that make something great, something incredible. When I mentioned to the ship’s host that it was my friends 50th birthday, she let me know they would do something special. I figured it would be a candle and cupcake at dinner. I had not planned for the enormity of decorations with which they would cover our stateroom! The entire ceiling was covered with bright balloons and streamers. It was magical.
Global yachting defines SeaDream’s mission, providing a casual yet luxurious yachting experience. A small yacht vacation or a yacht charter vacation just feels so glamorous and freeing. There are unlimited possibilities of what you can do on your voyage. Mega-yachts are outfitted to make journeys across the Atlantic, so there are countless destinations to explore. Winter in the Caribbean or summer in the Mediterranean…it doesn’t matter. Port hopping will offer you plenty of memories no matter where you go.
I sometimes forget that the birthday vacation took us to incredible sites all over Croatia, since the experience of the Sea Dream, alone, was quite a vacation. When you hear the term yachting, it isn’t only a statement, it describes a lifestyle, and one I plan to get used to. Bon Voyage!
Hospitality by SeaDream Yacht Club