YachtIng, not cruising in the Mediterranean
A short cruise on tiny Seadream 1 was an ideal way to have a Mediterranean break in May sunshine, embarking in Piraeus. The smiling captain waited at the top of the gangplank to welcome guests, with waiters offering chilled flutes of champagne. Our Deck 2 cabin was ready, beautifully appointed , huge real wood storage unit , fitted with large tv, DVD, cocktail cabinet holding lovely crystal glasses, and with separate sitting and sleeping areas. The wooden wardrobe and drawers offered plenty of storage, and the tiny bathroom had a multi jet shower, generous sizes of Bulgari toiletries. We were delighted to find our windows were two large old fashioned portholes, a touch of yesteryear cruising we loved. Lunch was a delicious buffet, served al fresco in the open air casual restaurant atop the ship, with accompanying wines generously poured. We relaxed on comfortable steamer chairs by the pool, after strolling round this charming ship to refresh our memories of the layout. Decks are teak, stairways are quirky, all rails are perfectly maintained teak, shiny with varnish. There are no plastic, laminate trims anywhere, Seadreqm1 has all the class , elegance and style of a luxury hotel, and none of the glitz of a mega ship cruising the same waters. Berthed next to one of them in Kusadasi, we felt we were on a child's toy ship! Dinner that evening was a grand affair, with fine cuisine , beautifully prepared and presented from an astonishingly wide choice. On offer daily were the daily chef's recommendations, a classic menu , and an innovative healthy raw and vegan menu. Every dish was prepared to order, and served with style. There were no set tables, and dinner was served from 7.30 onwards. Every meal was accompanied by well chosen, mostly European wines , which complemented the dishes perfectly. For those guests who wanted something more special, a connoisseur wine list was available, at a premium. It was a delight on two evenings of the cruise , to have dinner served outdoors, in the calm balmy air of the Greek Islands, sitting in comfortable rattan chairs in the top deck dining area, gazing out over the sea. Delicious breakfasts were also served outdoors from an extensive menu. The ports were a delight, tiny Patmos, with the St John monastery towering above, busy ,pretty Mykonos, bustling Kepez, gateway to Gallipoli, the destination for many, especially the Australian guests , or the ruins of ancient Troy, and booming Kusadasi, port for the glorious city of Ephesus, an archaeological treasure that repays repeated visits. Our final port was Istanbul, with its amazing skyline, bustling waterways and hustle and bustle. We were sad to leave this short cruise, on such a special little vessel. It offers a taste of of being on a private yacht , or on a fine ocean liner of the past. On return from port, by ended, guests could use the many water sports on offer, from the lowered back deck of the ship, shepherded by crew members in and inflatable. It is fun to ride the waves on a banana boat, or jet ski, try out a canoe, or serenely sail on a tiny sailing boat. In port guests could also explore on sturdy bicycles or rent a Segway . On a calm warm night, we had the opportunity to sleep under the stars on a huge curved Balinese bed at the front of top deck, snuggled under a duvet as stars twinkled above. A chilled bottle of champagne awaited on the cocktail table at the foot of the bed , and our personalised sleep suits proved very comfortable. All lights were dimmed at midnight , as we had requested, and it was so easy to drift off to sleep to the sound of the waves. We woke as the sun rose, after a comfortable nights sleep. Other guests also chose to try sleeping outdoors on the alternative Balinese beds ranged along the side of the vessel,but we were told that the noise of bar revellers could still be heard. We were sad to leave this lovely little haven of traditional luxury, but very glad that we had had the opportunity of sailing on what felt like a private yacht . No wonder the Seadream slogan is " it's not cruising, but yachting"
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