This summer we took what my girls have deemed as one of our “best vacations ever!” We spent a week on the SeaDream 1 with Sea Dream Yacht Club cruising the Greek Islands. When we returned, I shared What I Wore in Greece on SeaDream Yacht Club and now I have finally had time to put this together for you!
My husband and I first experienced SeaDream Yacht Club in the Fall of 2018 sailing the Costa del Sol of Spain. You can read more about SeaDream and our experience on that voyage here. We’ve been dreaming of taking the girls on SeaDream since!
I have always heard how difficult it can be to travel in Greece with all of the ferry transfers and making arrangements on the different islands. While we have moved locations several times on different trips, it just seemed like too much coordinating to figure out all the ferry schedules transportation from the ports and then onto the hotels. When I saw that SeaDream Yacht Club had a Greek itinerary, we booked immediately. I felt extremely good about this decision once I saw hundreds of people lined up at the ports with their suitcases to get on the ferries! SeaDream Yacht Club is the perfect way to explore the Greek Islands!
We flew in and out of Athens on American Airlines from DFW on direct flights and it was super easy. Our fabulous travel agent coordinated VIP arrival for us. We were met at baggage claim, although we, of course carried on! The valet collected our luggage and took us directly to our driver.
Pre-Voyage Time in Athens
We checked into the Grand Bretagne Hotel in the center of Athens. This hotel was originally one of the guest houses for the palace across the street. The Grand Bretagne Hotel has an amazing view of the Acropolis! If you don’t stay here, then you must go for drinks at night when the Acropolis is lit up. Simply stunning!
We chose this hotel because it had a rooftop pool, but it was much too hot to relax by the pool. There are three hotels in this block and they all looked wonderful. Any of these would be a great choice as this is the perfect location in Athens.
Day 1 in Athens
Once we checked into the hotel and had breakfast overlooking the Acropolis, we set set out to explore a little bit. It was one of the hottest days this summer in Athens, so we didn’t last very long! We did see the changing of the guards at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier at the Parliament, formerly the Palace, across the street from our hotel. We also walked through the National Gardens on the way to the Panathenaic Stadium which dates back to 4 BC and was the site of first modern day Olympics in 1896. We then return to the hotel for an iced coffee!
Our travel agent arranged a Greek food and culture tour of Athens for us this evening. We stopped at two different local restaurants to experience authentic Greek cuisine. The last restaurant was his neighborhood favorite. I can see why! Everything we had was just amazing and the service was excellent as well. Did you know that Greek souvlaki should not be served on a skewer? It should be thinly shaved and in the most delicious homemade pita wrap! Our guide had been a guard Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is a highly coveted assignment, and gave us great insight into Greek culture and history of Greece and the city of Athens. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
Day 2 in Athens
We met our tour guide at 8:30 in the morning in the lobby of our hotel for a tour of the acropolis. Again arranged by our travel agent, our guide was extremely knowledgeable. She and her fellow guides were in constant communication so she knew that there were 8 cruise ships in that morning and we should start at the Museum of the Acropolis and end on the Acropolis. I really loved starting in the museum and being able to see all of the artifacts up close so that we went to the top of the acropolis, we had lots of information and background to understand what we were seeing. I would highly recommend doing it in this order!
After our tour, we departed for the port to board the SeaDream 1.
Arrival on SeaDream 1
As we boarded, we were greeted by the Captain almost all the forward facing staff, offered champagne and a seat in the main salon until we were called to check in. I was amazed by the number of staff that were still on SeaDream 1 from our first time aboard including the Captain. Many of the crew have been with SeaDream for 20+ years! They all seem to love their job and making you feel known and welcome. Almost everyone knows your name by lunch the next day!
We quickly settled in our staterooms and then watched from the top deck as we sailed away from Athens. Before dinner, we met again in the grand salon to hear the next day’s itinerary. Each night we had dinner on the rear deck watching the sunset. So dreamy!
We visited 6 Greek Islands, each a bit different from the one before but all beautiful!
Hydra – This beautiful island was our favorite. The port was charming and filled with great restaurants and shops. We participated in the excursion for the day which was a walk along a gorgeous path along the cliff to a private beach club where we spent a few hours and had a light lunch of Greek specialties. The main transportation on Hydra is donkeys! There is literally only one motor vehicle – the garbage truck! Friends who have been to Greece several times say that this is their favorite island. I can certainly see why. We walked through the port village for a long time just stopping in shops and taking it all in.
Sifnos – We visited the Church of the Seven Martyrs in the village of Kastro on Sifnos. It is a gorgeous chapel dedicated to and one of the most photographed location in Greece with it’s white structure and blue domed roof. There is a little spot to swim below the chapel if it’s not too windy. My husband and older girls swam and now I wish I had! We walked back into the village and ate at a darling restaurant that is the very first place after you get out of the taxi. I forgot to get the name! There are so many cute places that look great!
We also had quite an adventure on this pretty island! We thought we’d just wander this island and go to one of the villages, Kastro, to see the Church of the Seven Martyrs. That is a bit easier said than done! We found a taxi to take us to Kastro but misunderstood the dispatcher and they couldn’t come pick us up when we called to return! There are only 8 taxis on the island and they will take a max of 4 people so we needed two taxis. We called each of them and finally got two to come! The first one that arrived said he would take us all and call the other guy for us! We hid my youngest as we raced back to the port. Such a funny memory now but was a bit stressful at the time. We will never forget when he said “just hide the baby!” in Sifnos!
Ikaria – This Greek island is known for it’s thermal springs. We took a taxi to the beach with the springs and enjoyed a little time in the warm springs. It was crazy how hot the water was coming from the rocks under the water! Then we went back to the yacht and enjoyed a day on the water swimming and riding jet skis. We were lucky to have Jamie, the Club Director, join us for sunset dinner on the back deck this evening. It was great to get to know him and hear about his time with SeaDream! After dinner, we watched Top Gun 2 on the back deck poolside while we sailed to our next destination.
Patmos – This island was the big reason I booked this itinerary! We were able to visit the place where Jesus’ disciple John, or St. John, was imprisoned and wrote the Book of the Revelation in the Bible. In addition to the Cave of the Apocalypse, we went to St. John’s Monastery as well. This was a special experience for our family because of our faith. Photos weren’t allowed inside.We were also able to visit the Mansion of Simantiris, the oldest home in Patmos built in 1625. Stefanos, a direct descendent of the family is now the care taker and our guide. It is filled with family heirloom from the past 400 years. It was very hot in Patmos. Be sure to stay hydrated if you go in the Summer. We we returned to the SeaDream 1 we had lunch and then were treated to a bridge tour with the Captain. We then spent the day by the pool and relaxing on the top deck on the Balanese Dream Beds with iced coffee and cocktails.
Milos – There were excursions on Milos that we didn’t participate in we just wanted a relaxing day to explore the port village and to visit the spa on the yacht. Info about spa here. We had only a half day here and then began sailing to Mykonos. After dinner we went by launch in to Mykonos. It was very crowded and “happening” for sure!
Mykonos – We went to a private beach club and enjoyed a gorgeous day relaxing on the beach and then lunch at Rouvera Restaruant gorgeous village very much like you think of Greece. There were lots of great restaurants and fabulous shops ranging from local boutiques to every designer you can imagine!
About SeaDream Yacht Club
SeaDream Yacht Club operates two identical, luxury mega yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II, that spend half the year in the Mediterranean and the other half in the Caribbean. These beautiful yachts have a maximum of 112 passengers and have 99 crew. SeaDream is known for their incredible, personalized service, exclusive access to special destinations and amazing food. We were so very pleased with the options for the girls with their food allergies. There were so many choices each night and Jonathan took care of us each night double checking each dish. It is their mission to provide a casual yachting experience and exceed expectations. I definitely would say they do this!
I hope this gives you a great understanding of what it is like to have sail with SeaDream Yacht Club. We can’t wait to book another voyage!
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