Ada and Dag from our Oslo office enthusiastically describe the boutique cruise boat SeaDream II - and throw in one night at an old favourite on the Athens Riviera, recently refurbished...
SeaDream II – what a gem
Such a welcome we received – with champagne, snacks and massage on the sundeck while waiting to check in. The atmosphere was so casual and kind, everyone smiling and joking around, but at the same time the SeaDream service is out of the top drawer. It's all intended to feel like your private luxury yacht, carrying special yet superbly relaxed guests.
|Sleek and superbly relaxing - SeaDream II|
A casual and natural feel pervades SeaDream, with outdoor living important along with perfect pampering. We were lucky to have all but one meal on deck, such a nice ambiance and amazing food. The service from the waiters, the presentation of the food and the feeling when you have a glass of good wine while the sun sets in the Mediterranean sea - all wonderful.
|Cruising the beautiful coastlines of the Mediterranean|
|Set for deck dining. All guests can dine outside when the boat is in port or calm waer.|
The Spa was a pleasant experience, very good treatments. The Gym is very small, but I never saw it crowded. They also do yoga and tai chi outside at no extra charge.
As the ship arrived at new destinations each morning, anchoring up in short tender distance from beautiful small islands, we did not have much need for the activities offered onboard at daytime.
Every day was spent exploring the destinations on foot or moped on our own, except in Kusadasi (Turkey) where we had an excursion to Efesos (arranged by SeaDream) that was very interesting.
|Our own culinary discoveries on shore|
|Dag - country manager Norway exploring on two wheels|
|A little hint of Ada in the mirror as she drives|
But we did find time to use the daytime complimentary activities - like banana boat and jet ski – lots of fun. In the evening there are lectures about the next day destination and the bar and small casino are open after dinner. Not showy – but it's not needed either.
|Designer . and an Aegean feel|
|The enchantment of Greece|
SleepingThe cabins are all alike, quite plain, but functional. Deck two has small round windows while 3 & 4 has panoramic windows – that’s the only difference. There are in addition Commodore suites that are located on deck 2 and 3 and consist of 2 connected cabins where they remove part of the separating wall. Then there is the Admiral Suite deck 4 nr 400 (35sqm) and Owners Suite deck 3 no 315 (42 m2) both have semi-separate bedroom, bathroom and separate guest toilet.
The minibar is stocked – even with champagne – but who wants to spend more time than necessary in the cabin – life is outside.
In a nutshellSeaDream is very social and casual. Guests on Seadream have well sorted finances – that is apparent – but they are not showing off. It's all so friendly, even among guests and staff.
FlightsI flew from Oslo on SAS in Economy Class – direct flight – all fine. Bought food on the flight – no problems at all – but no special service either.
Dag Åge Karlsen flew Swiss via Zurich on Business Class – the best product in Europe in our opinion.
Pre-cruise nightIn Athens we stayed one night at The (New) Margi before the cruise. The hotel has received
a facelift where all the bathrooms are new and fresh, just beware that on the 4th floor they all have open solution bathroom.
The new pool is stunning, with pavilions that can be pre-booked at a price - also by outside guests.
The size of the pool is now three times what it was before and the sunbeds are both in and around the pool. It still gives this beautiful feeling of an oasis amid a residential area, both day and night. A very popular hang-out among the young and wealthy.
|The pool area is chic and relaxing|
The SPA is a new addition to the hotel and located on groundfloor, below the reception. It's not large, but such a peaceful area staffed with therapists from Amanzoe. Very good treatments at mid-range prices. Amenities ILA – British brand – innovative and 100% organic.
The Margi Farm, supplier of greens to the hotel, is now in its second year of operation and guests can visit on Fridays. Very charming little farm – 30 minutes drive from the hotel – where guests can see and experience their farming of greens and animals. Very nice for families. It's possible to arrange dinners and lunches there for groups of different sizes.
|Grape vines - the Margi farm|
Ada Størmer Papatheocharis is a senior travel advisor at our Oslo office
Dag Åge Karlsen is country manager Norway and a master of gourmet travel.
For more about SeaDream click HERE.