I was lucky enough to be invited onboard Sea Dream I on its maiden visit to the UK earlier this month.
It was parked or should that be docked (I think at this point I need to mention it was my first time on a yacht) alongside HMS Belfast opposite the Tower of London so it was an impressive sight as the tender departed from Millennium Pier.
We were welcomed aboard with champagne, canapés and a 'robust' massage from one of the 8 resident Thai masseuses before being escorted to our cabin (a Stateroom) which was small (as you'd expect) but perfectly formed and looked out over the Tower of London. It's possible to convert two Staterooms to make a Commodore Suite for those with cats.
Once fully adorned in our elegant yacht attire we made our way to the cocktail reception which was followed by a sumptuous dinner with excellent food and equally impressive wine. After-dinner entertainment included movies under the stars, gambling in the casino (matchsticks only while in port) and even a sing-along in the Piano Bar. Although it was tempting to crash out on the Balinese Dream beds on the top deck, sense (or maybe the weather) got the better of us and we retired, after just one more night cap in the Top Of The Yacht bar.
The over-riding impression from Sea Dream I was the impeccable service onboard. The crew had personality, were fun and attentive without being overbearing despite outnumbering the guests (normally 95 crew look after a maximum of 112 guests, we were just 83 that night!) and the engaging presentation by President Bob Lepisto gave a real sense of the personality of SeaDream Yacht Club and their passion for ensuring guests feel like they're on their own private yacht.
Unfortunately, being parked in the Thames doesn't lend itself to enjoying all the water-based amenities offered (with their myriad of little crafts for messing about in) when the fold-out marina is in action which I'm assured is for a far greater proportion of time than on larger ships.
If this is yachting then I can certainly see the appeal and as Sea Dream I is a relatively small ship it can get you into much smaller harbours, ideal for a tour of the Caribbean Islands maybe taking in the cricket or definitely for the Monaco Grand Prix.