March 30, 2015 by adannunzio
SeaDream Yacht Club proudly named Jose Pararay, Employee of the Year, SeaDream I for 2014.
Jose is recognized for his remarkable performance in 2014. He exemplifies dedication and professionalism. Jose is part of the Restaurant team and has been with SeaDream Yacht Club since it’s founding in 2001. Prior to that, he worked aboard these same vessels under the previous ownership, as then named Sea Goddess.
March 30, 2015 by adannunzio
SeaDream Yacht Club proudly named Christophe Cornu, Manager of the Year for 2014.
Christophe, Executive Hotel Manager is recognized for his remarkable performance in 2014. He exemplifies dedication and professionalism. Congratulations!
March 12, 2015 by adannunzio
The Best Small Luxury Cruise Ship Of 2015: SeaDream Yacht Club
by Jim Dobson, Contributor
I have been fortunate to have experienced many cruise lines in my travels; from the mammoth 3,000 passenger ships to more intimate sailing schooners. I have never been a fan of large scale ships with their endless convention style buffets, constant loudspeaker announcements and crowded decks. I was able to experience the SeaDream Yacht Club over seven years ago and fondly remember the trip as one of my favorites of all time. Not just because of the quality of the ship but also due in large part to the crew and the passengers. Memories that were made for a lifetime. After my recent voyage I feel confident in selecting SeaDream Yacht Club as the Best Luxury Small Cruise Ship of 2015.
The motto of Sea Dream is “It’s yachting, not cruising” and that is a fact. With only 56 couples and a crew of 95, you are treated to the ultimate in service and attention. The mega yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II have transformed the cruise industry into what pure luxury is all about.
SeaDream Yacht Club: The Best of 2015
I departed on my latest journey for a Christmas cruise that was to take me through the Caribbean islands, Anguilla, St. Barts, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. A relaxing seven days of sunshine and fine dining was the plan and SeaDream did not disappoint. We departed from Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, an island I would prefer not to spend too much time on. It’s simply a convenient location for airlines arriving from the States.
Embarking I noticed a younger than usual crowd of passengers joining us for our voyage, from pro race car drivers to gay couples and single women on all girl vacations, this was going to be a motley crew for sure. Traditionally SeaDream is an over 50 crowd but lately small cruise lines, especially luxury ones, are appealing to a new generation of travelers and with a nice mix of international guests.
My only complaint about SeaDream is the size of the staterooms which are quite small without balconies and extremely tight bathrooms but I am almost glad that the rooms keep me out and about with the passengers because that really is what the SeaDream experience is all about.
The famed Caviar Splash and beach BBQ
One of the biggest advantages of cruising on a small ship are the ports you visit. Most large cruise ships would never be able to anchor outside of intimate coves and bays like SeaDream does. We felt like passengers aboard our own private yacht every morning as we woke to a new private beach or small island. Tenders are always available to take passengers to land for their excursions or simply sightseeing, shopping or drinking at a local bar. We chose to stay on board at several ports to enjoy the decadence of having first class service, high end gourmet meals and all inclusive cocktails and wine. There is also a small casino, piano bar, library and fabulous spa adding to the offerings on board.
The food is in fact the finest cuisine available on any cruise line in the world. Even your meals come covered and are revealed with dramatic flair by the waiters. It is a continuing feast not restricted to a single-sitting fancy dining room. You can even take your lobster tail and steak alfresco in the Topside Restaurant or while reclining on the amazing Balinese daybeds. Our amazing waiter Goran had prepped our favorite candlelit table outdoors under the stars every night and the sommelier even had my favorite Cabernet waiting. We never had to worry about getting a table or even the location we loved.
Gourmet meals are served with dramatic flair
One of the few journeys off the boat was at White Bay on Jost Van Dyke for the traditional beach party that SeaDream is proud of. The most fun day of the cruise is spent on this intimate beach for a huge feast of BBQ ribs, chicken and enough food to last the week. Crew members greeted us with drinks as we stepped foot on the sand and the rest of the day was spent floating in the bathtub warm waters while being served champagne by the crew. The Caviar Splash is something everyone looks forward to. Caviar and champagne served on a floating bar IN the water, the crew fully dressed in whites submerged waist deep serving the passengers. Now this is decadent! Land-side expeditions open up small ports and towns accessible only to vessels of their small size while watersports – zodiacs, inflatable trampoline, water skis and kayaks – operate from a marine platform at the rear of the ships.
The spectacular top deck bar and lounge
My fondest memories of the cruise are not only the amazing crew members who greeted me by name every morning with my coffee waiting but also the passengers who have now become lifelong friends. Al and Sara Catalano from New Jersey, Donna Rohmer and Kim Hester from California, Bobby and Theresa D’Andria from New Jersey and many more, and of course the amazing crew including the charming hotel manager Jamie McGregor, the handsome maître d Nikola Ivanovic, my favorite outrageous waiter Goran Sajkunic and the affable Norwegian Captain Terje Willassen. I look forward to visiting my SeaDream “family” soon on another adventure at Sea. Check out their amazing affordable upcoming voyages and enjoy your own fantasy vacation.
Al and Sarah Catalano, Matt McClellan, Donna Rohmer, Kim Hester and me
With hotel manager Jamie McGregor, maître d Nikola Ivanovic and Matt McClellan
Article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2015/01/19/the-best-small-luxury-cruise-ship-of-2015-seadream-yacht-club/
More from Jim Dobson
February 12, 2015 by adannunzio
Dessert Wines…the Finishing Touch to a Delicious Meal
Sweet wines have an undeserved weak reputation. Partially, it is because people tend to advance from sweeter, simple wines like a blush zinfandel to a better quality dry wine. But this is comparing apples and oranges. In saying you don’t like sweet wines, you miss some of the best wines in the world!
These seriously sweet classics are not sugared to mask faults, like a cheap off-dry or semi-sweet wine can be. They are sweet because the grapes have been dried on racks, harvested very late or attacked by something called “noble rot”, which leads to a much higher concentration of sugars in the wine but also an amazing intensity, concentration and complexity. It must be balanced by freshness, and when it is, it’s just a burst of flavors in your mouth!
The very best sweet wine in the world is a prestigious bottle of Sauternes from the castle Chateau d’Yquem. Of course, we sell this aboard SeaDream. It is a pricey tipple, but worth every penny. Try it with a good cheese, a gruyere or blue cheese, or a dessert. However, when you pick a dessert wine, make sure it is as sweet or sweeter than the dessert itself, to keep the balance right. Our sommeliers aboard SeaDream can help with that!
Some of my favorite sweet wines (in addition to the classic Sauternes from Bordeaux) include a good late harvest Riesling, the great Tokajis of Hungary and Straw Wine from Chenin Blanc. The rising star winemakers of South Africa, Chris and Andrea Mullineux make one of the best Straw Wines. They will both be aboard SeaDream II this spring, and you can be sure our pastry chef is preparing something delicious to match it! Nothing completes a dinner like a drop of sweet ambrosia!
February 11, 2015 by adannunzio
‘It is beautiful to do nothing … and then rest afterwards.’
-MALCOLM ANDREWS visits an island in the sun
Philanthropists: Laurance and Mary Rockefeller
Phones scarce in Caribbean paradise
No member of the general public – least of all any journalist – has the slightest idea as to the real worth of the Rockefellers, America’s richest family.
Are the Rockefellers, now in their sixth generation since achieving renown in oil exploration and production and the banking industry, secret about their immense wealth? Well, is Julia Roberts a ‘pretty woman’?
There are so many billionaires among the Rockefellers that it would take researchers decades to work out just where all the money is located, although we are sure the tax man has some idea.
One of the lesser-known members of the family was Laurance Rockefeller. Like nearly all of his family he gave back much of his immense wealth to the community as one of the world’s great philanthropists.
In his case he has been variously dubbed ‘Mr Conservation’, the “Father of Eco-Tourism” and the “President’s Man”, having advised all 10 American leaders from Dwight D Eisenhower in the 1950s to George W Bush (who held the reins when Rockefeller died in 2004 at the age of 94) on issues involving the protection of the wilderness.
Indeed, in 1991, the latter’s father, President George H W Bush, awarded Rockefeller the Congressional Gold Medal for his heritage work. It was the first time in the medal’s history (since its instigation in 1777) that it had been awarded for efforts in nature conservation. And largely thanks to Laurance Rockefeller’s efforts St John, one of the US Virgin Islands, is universally regarded as one of the most stunningly beautiful and least exploited tourist destinations in the world.
Laurence owned property at St John on which he and his wife (childhood sweetheart) Mary used to escape the hurly-burly of financial life on the US mainland. In 1956 they donated almost 70 hectares to the government to be used as a national park. More land has been added so that almost two-thirds of St John is part of the national park. In deference to Rockefeller’s view of life there are few television sets or telephones. And there is certainly no airport.
So if tourists want to enjoy the beaches around the largest settlement at Cruz Bay that are regularly voted among the best dozen in the world they have to come by sea. Not by mega-cruise ships with thousands of passengers. The intimate St John which is only 50 sq km in area with a population of around 4,000 could not cope with such hordes.
No, it is a case of come in by ferry from nearby St Thomas or on board intimate boutique cruise vessels such as the award-winning SeaDream I and II, with their maximum of 112 guests. They ply the Caribbean Sea from November to April each year before heading off to the Mediterranean for the European summer. SeaDream passengers have regularly voted the stop-over at St John as one of their favourite destinations.
They may not arrive in the massive numbers such as are attracted to other Caribbean islands such as St Thomas – but they are vital. In the 18th century, the economy depended almost entirely on the export of sugar cane, which grew in abundance in the hot climate and fertile soil. This was cultivated by slaves from Africa or the indigenous tribes of the Caribbean. At one stage, slaves outnumbered free citizens to the tune of five to one. But the industry collapsed when slavery was abolished in 1848.
The tourists and the world’s rich and famous who have holiday homes on the island love it for the outdoor attractions such as snorkelling from one of the seven faultless beaches around Cruz Bay or hiking along trails within the national park. There is also the fun of shopping for unique gifts in the architecturally picturesque Mongoose Junction shopping precinct. Maybe they are just happy to sip the island’s unique Virgin Islands Tropical Mango Pale Ale at one of the quaint bars. Or settle back on the pristine whiter-than-white sand while contemplating the Caribbean adage: “It is beautiful to do nothing … and then rest afterwards.”
At least, the locals on St John claim it is an old Caribbean maxim. And who are we to argue, even if we suspect we’ve heard the expression somewhere else in the past!
- Malcolm Andrews is an Australian author and travel writer. He has been a regular SeaDreamer since his first voyage in 2006.
February 10, 2015 by adannunzio
SeaDream II Transatlantic Voyage Features Guest Speaker, Bill Lee
Reserve your stateroom aboard SeaDream II Voyage #21517 sailing this April 19 – May 1, 2015 and enjoy learning about physics with every day analogies.
Bill Lee has a BS and MS in physics from York University in Toronto, Canada, and he is currently completing his thesis to defend his Ph.D. A high energy computer training professional with a unique ability to explain complex technical concepts using every day analogies, Bill provides thought provoking and amusing demonstrations. His passions are science, technology, inspiring people, and having fun.
Bill’s career includes 22 years within the IBM software development lab before establishing his e-Innovations Inc., a Canadian company specializing in blended learning solutions where traditional stand-up lecture based teaching is combined with computer assisted self-educating segments.
His onboard Lecture Titles include:
What Time is It?: Nobody Really Knows
Does time have a beginning or end? Why do we perceive time in only the forward direction? Is time travel possible? Take an exciting journey with Bill Lee to learn how leading physicists are trying to explain time.
What the Higgs!: Why All the Fuss and What is the Big Deal?
The recent Higgs discovery was predicated over 40 years ago. It is a great scientific accomplishment when a mathematical prediction is proven with observable experimental results. However, most physicists are secretly hoping the experiments will not match the predictions. Learn why this scientific discovery is sensational and how wrong experimental results are even more exciting.
Einstein’s Biggest Blunder
Physics requires an observable event and re-creatable experiments. What happens when elegant mathematical proofs predict events that can never be observed? Should the mathematicians be collaborating with philosophers or physicists? Learn about the wild liberties and assumptions made by physicists today and Albert Einstein’s biggest blunder.
Hollywood Science Fiction
Back to the Future, Star Wars, Star Trek, Fringe, and The Big Bang Theory. Bill Lee will poke into the science fiction, fact, or fantasy seen on popular movies and TV shows.
Top 10 Stephen Hawking Fun Facts
Bill Lee will discuss the books from Stephen Hawking that everyone likes to buy but no one actually reads condensed and simplified, including ten fun facts from the books explained and his predictions of the strange observable behaviors in science and physics.
The Big Bang
What actually banged? How did it bang? Will it bang again or will there be big squish? Bill Lee will explain the 13.8 billion year history of the universe in 45 minutes
This transatlantic voyage sails from Bridgetown, Barbados to Malaga, Spain with one stop in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. Fares starting at $3,299 per person +. (subject to change)
January 29, 2015 by adannunzio
RARE CHANCE TO SAIL INTO ITALY’S CALABRIA AND PUGLIA
SEADREAM Yacht Club’s boutique vessel, SeaDream I will make a rare visit this August to two of Italy’s most enticingly-picturesque and sought after ports for wining, dining, shopping and beach-going – but which see few “cruise ships” because they lack large-scale port facilities…. That is exactly why SeaDream I wants to visit and can visit!
Crotone in Calabria, (on the Ionian Sea) is renowned for its classic Italian-lifestyle of small and cozy restaurants and bars, handicraft markets, centuries-old archaeological sites and sunny beaches.
Monopoli in nearby Puglia, a region of growing interest to Italophiles, is located on the Adriatic Sea and welcomes visitors to cobble-stoned alleyways, grottoes, seafood restaurants and bars, beaches… and has a cannon-topped castle built in the 16th century and now a cultural center, and a hospital dating back to 1305.
SeaDream I will sail 7-days from Civitavecchia (Rome), this August 8th for Croatia’s medieval walled-city of Dubrovnik, visiting along the way Sorrento with the opportunity of a side-trip to Pompeii, Positano, Taormina to see Sicily’s Mt Etna, and spectacular Kotor in Montenegro.
Fares start from US$4,999pp + taxes double occupancy, including premium bar drinks, wines, a golf simulator with 30-international courses, state-of-the-art fitness center, mountain bikes for shore use, power and sail water-sports where permitted and crew gratuities.
Full details from travel agents or www.seadream.com; SeaDream I carries a maximum of just 112 guests served by 95 crew.
 HIDDEN gems in Crotone – old fortifications (foreground) and beaches, bars and restaurants reflecting classic Italian lifestyle in the background. (TourismCalabria)
 PUGLIA’S Monopoli: large cruise ships can’t get in here, making this rare visit by boutique SeaDream I all the more enticing. (VisitEurope)
 SEADREAM in the idyllic Mediterranean. (SeaDream Yacht Club)
January 27, 2015 by adannunzio
Special Interest Lecture aboard SeaDream I Transatlantic Crossing April 18, 2015
Lt. Col. William “Bill” Rothschild will sail aboard SeaDream I providing a lecture series about space exploration. He presents interesting, easy to understand, and down to earth stories spiced with tantalizing insider information about the real moon race, what’s happening in space now, and an intriguing look into the future for this greatest of all travel adventures.
Bill has 44 years of experience in the aerospace industry involving space systems program management, project engineering, and rocket propulsion development and testing. He retired recently as Boeing’s director of engineering operations for the Space Exploration Division in Houston, TX and has been working as a consultant for NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and several aerospace companies. Bill led an industry consortium that defined the Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicle concepts leading to NASA’s next generation of heavy lift space launchers.
While at Boeing, he held program management and engineering leadership positions on the Space Shuttle, Orion, Orbital Space Plane, 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle, Commercial Reusable First Stage Booster, Air Force Space Maneuver Vehicle, Space Rescue Vehicle, and the Liquid Flyback Booster programs.
Prior to joining Boeing, Bill worked at Pratt & Whitney in West Palm Beach, Florida where he served as senior project engineer on advanced rocket engines, space propulsion architectures, and military jet engine development programs. Lt. Col. Rothschild also served as an officer in the Air Force for 20 years. His distinguished military career involved research, development, testing, and acquisition management on rockets, guided weapons, and a wide variety of missile systems. He has a BS degree from Penn State (High Honors) and an MS degree in Aero and Mechanical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Onboard Lecture series includes:
The Early Years of Space Exploration
Join Bill Rothschild as he describes the early Russian and American space programs including Project Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, with tantalizing insider secrets about the real moon race.
Current Space Operations
Feel like an astronaut as Bill Rothschild describes the marvels of the American, Russian and Chinese space shuttles and space stations.
The Way Forward into Space
Get the real scoop from Bill Rothschild as he presents an intriguing preview of NASA’s future plans plus the exciting promises and difficult challenges of commercial space flight.
Mission to Mars
You can be a Martian as Bill Rothschild describes how NASA plans to get you there and the exciting things you could do on the Red Planet during your voyage of discovery and adventure.
Space Service Calls to Hubble
Listen to Bill Rothschild describe this amazing space telescope and learn how our astronauts made critical repairs while flying high and fast in orbit above our heads.
Payback Time for Space Exploration
Hear Bill Rothschild describe how NASA’s investments in space exploration have created the everyday stuff of our modern society that you and your grandchildren can’t live without.
Click here for details on Voyage #11517 sailing San Juan, Puerto Rico to Malaga, Spain April 18 – May 1, 2015.
January 26, 2015 by adannunzio
Being a Club Member has it’s Benefits
Now, for a limited time, double your savings on select 2015 & 2016 “Club Voyages”! Each year Club Members are rewarded with an additional $500 savings per stateroom when sailing on select “Club Voyages”. Now, announcing six “Club Voyages” being offered to Club Members with a special $1,000 savings per stateroom! To obtain your special $1,000 Club Member savings, reserve on any of these select 2015 & 2016 “Club Voyages” before February 28, 2015.
Nov. 22-28, 2015; Voyage #21545 sailing from St. Thomas roundtrip.
Itinerary includes Anguilla, St. Barts, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost van Dyke. Voyage highlight: Anchoring off Anegada in the British Virgin Islands. Tranquil & beautiful, Anegada is surrounded by striking coral reefs and secluded sandy beaches. Just 11 miles by 3, it’s a hidden gem only visited by yachts.
Jan. 9-16, 2016; Voyage #11603 sailing from Barbados to St. Martin.
Itinerary includes the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Guadeloupe, Nevis and St. Barts. Voyage highlight: Mayreau & Bequia in the Grenadines. Discover exotic island life uncluttered by tourists. These islands remain an unspoiled tropical paradise. In fact, Mayreau only got electricity in 2002.
Jan. 30-Feb. 6, 2016; Voyage #11606 sailing from Barbados to St. Martin.
Itinerary includes the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Barts and Nevis. Voyage highlight: Overnight in St. Barts and enjoy the chic, French island by day and night. A haven for mega yachts and jet setters, St. Barts offers great shopping, lovely beaches and gourmet dining.
Mar. 12-19, 2016; Voyage #21612 sailing from St. Thomas to San Juan.
Itinerary includes St John, Saba, St. Barts, Saint Martin, Tortola, Peter Island and Virgin Gorda. Voyage highlight: Overnight at Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands. Peter Island is privately owned and a place of beauty and serenity. It’s bay is regarded as one of the world’s most romantic beaches.
Aug. 20-27, 2016; Voyage #11634 sailing from Venice to Dubrovnik.
Itinerary includes five ports in Croatia and an overnight at Kotor, Montenegro. Voyage highlight: Yachting the Adriatic Sea, and calling on the most beautiful Croatian ports including an overnight stay in Hvar, Croatia. In Hvar, 13th-century walls surround beautifully ornamented Gothic palaces and traffic-free marble streets.
Sep. 3-10, 2016; Voyage #21636 sailing from Athens to Istanbul.
Itinerary includes four Greek Islands and two calls in Turkey. Voyage highlight: Paros, Greece, considered to be one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades. Stroll the Byzantine stone footpaths meandering through the classic whitewashed cubic houses and impressive neoclassical mansions.
Notes: Valid on new bookings made before Feb. 28, 2015. Refer to code WAVE1000 at time of booking. Savings is taken from SeaDream’s Book Today & Save fares as seen on our website. Offer valid only on above select voyages. Not combinable with Group Rates and certain other savings. Contact your Travel Professional or SeaDream for details. Applies to Club Members only.
January 8, 2015 by adannunzio
Paros Island, Greece
IMMERSE yourself for an-almost week and a half in the fabled Greek Islands this July 25 when the world’s highest-rated boutique passenger vessel, SeaDream II sails a 10-day roundtrip voyage from Athens, with the price including any-time premium bar drinks, wines with meals, a 30-international course golf simulator, fitness center, mountain bikes for shore excursions, power and sail water-sports where locally permitted – even onboard crew gratuities.
SeaDream’s 5-star dining either alfresco or in the elegant dining room, and smart-casual ambience rounds out this captivating itinerary that takes in the islands of Sifnos, Skopelos, Skiathos, Patmos, Paros, Santorini and Hydra, and mainland ports of Kusadasi in Turkey and Nafplion in Greece.
The mega yacht, SeaDream II carries a maximum 112 guests served by 95 crew, with prices for this sailing starting from US$7109pp twin-share including port charges and taxes; full details from travel agents or www.seadream.com
ADDITIONAL PORT DETAILS:
SIFNOS often called The Gem of the Cyclades and renowned for its local cuisine and dining venues.
SKOPELOS and SKIATHOS both featured in the movie Mama Mia!
KUSADASI famed for its Grand Bazaar and nearby Ephesus with the House of the Virgin Mary.
PATMOS the claimed home of John the Baptist.
PAROS one of the “most unspoiled islands” in the Cyclades.
SANTORINI is famous for not allowing motor vehicles that would spoil the ambience of its waterfront restaurants, boutiques and bars.
NAFPLION offers the chance to climb 1000 steps to an ancient fortress.
HYDRA is one of the Greek Islands’ most-renowned venues for markets, galleries, restaurants, boutiques and other stores around its colorful waterfront.