By Kay Donahue – World Traveler and Jewelry Designer
What took us so long? That is the question my husband, Steve, and I have been asking ourselves since our return in October from our SeaDream Yacht trip along the Amalfi coast! Both of us had been on BIG cruise ships in the past and decided that crowded cruising was not our favorite method of travel. Our 7th wedding anniversary was approaching and to celebrate we wanted to see the Mediterranean coast but didn’t want to pack and unpack every day or two. Looking for something amazing this time around, we began talking with friends who are veteran/professional cruisers. Some have up to 18 cruises under their belt! When SeaDream yacht club popped up from several respected friends, we checked it out and found an itinerary for the perfect time and stops. Little did we know what a treat was in the offing!
Top five reasons for deciding we are confirmed SeaDream yachters (they say we are yachting, not cruising):
1. SeaDream yacht club makes it easy to indulge your passions- traveling, eating, shopping, and napping. Each morning, we hopped on the tender to go in to town, explored shops and sites, and headed back to SeaDream II for delicious lunches where we would continue to be spoiled. I am a jewelry designer (you can see my jewelry shop on my blog here www.KayDonahueDesigns.com) and enjoyed new adventures each day in lovely little towns on the hunt for bead shops. I am so looking forward to seeing all my findings of murano glass, obsidian, coral, and more spread out on my studio work table. I can’t help but be excited for the jewelry I am about to create inspired by the destinations the SeaDream II took us.
2. For one week we were royalty!
I’ve never experienced a crew to guest ratio so high! With only about 100 guests to a crew of 98 or so, feeling individually pampered and special is an understatement. There isn’t assigned seating at meals, so you are free to dine as a couple or join new friends. Guests came from all parts of the world all with interesting stories to tell. We couldn’t help but feel like longtime friends with these people who were strangers before SeaDream II made it possible for our paths to cross. The very first night on the yacht, we met and had dinner with another jewelry designer. She and I had had a ball exchanging favorite websites catering to our art. Some other new best friends from London were delightful to visit with – and listen to in the piano bar after dinner. They both had beautiful voices and made use of the huge books of lyrics to entertain those of us in the bar. And—they were indulging one of their passions as they got to sing while accompanied by the wonderful ship’s pianist.
3. The divine SeaDream food experience.
The variety of choices was almost overwhelming at all three main meals. One could be a very healthy diner with fruit, vegetarian, seafood and fresh vegetables. One could also indulge in favorites like lobster, steak, pasta and over the top desserts. You could also try something you might never have had like I did. At dinner one night I opted for Indian food and never having eaten Indian cuisine before, I wasn’t sure what to order. Not to worry, I was aboard a SeaDream Yacht and they knew what to serve me that would ensure a delicious experience! In fact, everything we had to eat on board was fabulous. Each day I looked forward to the soup of the day at lunch. If the chef did a cookbook of his soups I would be the first in line to buy it. YUM! I will always remember the lobster bisque…
4. The crew makes you want to run away and work on a SeaDream Yacht.
They look like they love what they do, are treated very well by the company, and it shows in their pampering of the passengers. For instance, I like hot milk for my coffee. After the first morning, it just magically appeared at our table. The servers made a special effort to get to know us – and remember our names. The SeaDream yacht club crew makes you feel like you are the best guests they have ever had!
5. The SeaDream yacht club crew handles problems (even ones by no fault of their own) with grace.
What could have been a very frustrating and time-consuming irritant was handled beautifully by our crew. One of our two checked bags from Madrid did not wind up on the carousel in the Rome airport. Even though it was my husband’s bag, I had some important stuff in it – not critical, but needed. We talked to the airline at the airport, and after we got onto the boat, we advised the SeaDream crew. THEY were the ones who made all of the calls to the airline over several days, tracked it down and arranged for delivery to the ship in the correct port. Because of this, we were able to enjoy this amazing travel experience worry-free. After all, we were in the hands of the SeaDream yacht club.
Thank you SeaDream II for an unforgettable anniversary vacation we will cherish forever!
-Kay and Steve, SeaDream Club members guests aboard SeaDream II