The Cruise Line’s Chairman, Robin Maclear, recently enjoyed an adventure in Asia with SeaDream Yacht Club – read on for a full review of the experience and why he believes that SeaDream offer the perfect route into Bali…
SeaDream Yacht Club is back in Asia after a gap of several years and is ideally suited to these itineraries visiting the smaller Asian ports and with the emphasis on water sports. I sailed on SeaDream II on 11th Jan from Singapore to Bali for 7 days. The ship has lost none of its charm and the service was as attentive as ever, with 90 crew to 80 guests.
SeaDream II is like a small family run hotel and their attention to details is second to none in cruising. Many of the crew have been working on board for more than 5 or 10 years. One of my friends was back on board after 18 years (then the Sea Goddess) and he and a crew member immediately recognised one another!
So after a couple of lazy days in Singapore, we set sail with the first day at sea which is a good way to settle in. With visits to Semerang, Lombok and Komodo coming there was much to see and do later. The only disappointment for some of us was missing the golf which had been planned. This was made up for by the camaraderie and social life on board, invariably centering around the Top of the Yacht Bar! Here stories were told and many new friends made from Australia, Europe and Asia.
SeaDream is quite simply the best social club at sea and reminds me of the early days in Silversea. Guests are united in the daily banter and the crew will always make it the most relaxing experience you could possibly wish for. In short, nothing is too much trouble however big or small.
The food on SeaDream is still the best at sea in my view and is mostly cooked to order. The lobster tails I requested one evening were prepared to perfection and delicious and the Executive Chef was always around to ask if we had such special requests. He even gave me the recipe of a spectacular white tomato soup. The cuisine really is of exceptional standards, simply divine!
We did have one rough day at sea through the Straits of Lombok enroute to Bali but nothing could have prepared me for what came next.
I was collected by chauffeur at Benoa Port and taken to the incomparable beauty and serenity of Bali’s Amandari retreat for four wonderful days. Amandari is 10 minutes from the artists’ colony of Udal and set in the most peaceful and beautiful part of the island. My 900 sq. ft. bungalow, with its own private pool overlooked the paddy fields and blended into the natural surroundings. Below the Ayung River (Bali’s’ largest) cuts through the valley, which rises beyond to breath taking views.
Although only 25 years old, Amandari feels as if it has been there forever, with the most mature and beautiful gardens imaginable. The walled gardens are covered with a light green moss, which adds to their character. This green moss is a unique characteristic of Amandari and with its wonderful stone walls; it has a monastic feel which adds to the tranquillity. Amandari is however, very much part of village life in Kedewatan. Most of the staff live in the village, have worked at Amandari for 10-15 years and all are utterly charming and well spoken.
Needless to say the food was quite excellent and the menu offered both local Indonesian and Western cuisine. With only 25 guests in the week and a staff of 100 we were truly pampered.
A chauffeur was provided free of charge to take us anywhere we wanted for sightseeing. The spa treatments are also part of Amandaris signature, but it was the sounds and beauty of the nature that I remember most. To walk through the grounds of Amandari is to walk with the Gods! There is a sacred path that runs through the property down to the Ayung River and an ancient temple. The villagers walk the path, some 20 minutes every month to give thanks.
Bali is a long way to go but with the help of SeaDream we made it! If I had just one day left in my life and could choose where, it would have to Bali.
For more information regarding SeaDream Yacht Club, please call one of our Cruise Experts on 0800 008 6677. For our latest special offers, please browse our SeaDream deals.
All photos by Wendy McWilliam of Martinque Island Style. You can view these photos – and others – at MartiniqueIslandStyle.com