For sea days, SeaDream I has a state-of-the-art golf simulator, a well-equipped gymnasium and the Thai-certified SeaDream Spa, the only one of its kind at sea. I indulged in a La Prairie Caviar Firming Facial that left me with a lasting glow. Of course one thing no cruise line can control is the weather. We dropped anchor in our first port of call, Kepez, in the pouring rain, and after a rather stomach-churning tender to shore we trudged around the archaeological site of the ancient city of Troy.
Our tour guide had to shout to be heard over the howling wind; still, back on Seadream I, rather damp and a little downhearted, we were treated to frothy coffee and delicious cakes.
Happily, the next day dawned bright and sunny as we sailed into Kusadasi. I joined an organized land excursion to the ancient city of Ephesus and was absolutely blown away. There have been over 100 years of excavation at Ephesus, and the glowing apricot stone columns and fascinating ‘terraced houses’ reflect centuries of occupation of this important trading hub. Walking the baking stones gently downhill through the site, the discoveries are breathtaking – from beautiful mosaics to intricate marble wallcoverings.
The trip back to the yacht does involve battling through the rather enthusiastic hawkers at Kusadasi port. My favourite was the one who promised me ‘genuine fake handbags’ while gesturing towards his treasures.
Our afternoon was spent messing around on the water. The yacht has a wide range of watersports on board and after a spot of kayaking on the surprisingly calm sea, I spent a frustrating hour trying to get upright on water skis (yes, I managed it, and I have the aching muscles to prove it).
My fellow guests whizzed around on jet skis and even braved the ‘banana’. After a couple of days immersed in ancient history, I joined some fellow passengers for a simple stroll around our next port, the pretty fishing village of Patmos. It’s a delightful place, with traditional white houses draped in hot pink bougainvillea, and we enjoyed browsing in local jewellery shops and sampling delicious local pastries.
Evenings on board are low key and after-dinner activities mostly involve cocktails at the Top of the Yacht bar, moonlit movies and even sleeping under the stars in the yacht’s Balinese Dream Beds (I lasted until midnight when it started to get chilly).
One evening boasted a dessert extravaganza, where an impressive amount of dairy and sugar was assembled by the pool and there were no rules about how many times you could return and fill your plate. Take your elasticated trousers.
After the simplicity of Patmos, it was time to experience the glamour of cosmopolitan Mykonos, made fashionable by Jackie Onassis.