Somewhere beyond the sea
PUBLISHED: 10:20 17 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 20 February 2013
The newest addition to the Yachts of Seabourn collection managed to move Victoria Jones' mind as well as body oceans away from her normal life: on the Mediterranean Tapestry cruise
Smothered in seaweed, wrapped up in foil; utterly relaxed. I felt like I was floating. And then I realised; I was. And I had been for the last few days since boarding the Seabourn Odyssey yacht in Istanbul.
I imagine this spa treatment would completely transform someone who was tense. But I had been lying next to the pool, sipping cocktails in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea for the last couple of days.
The Yachts of Seabourn collection already consists of Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend. This newest addition is made up of a total of 247 suites, four restaurants and several bars.
I quickly fell in love with my incredible suite and filled up my walk-in wardrobe. Then, as I unlocked the door to my veranda; there it was the sound of the sea. Despite there being 450 people on board, the sail away drinks on the pool deck were remarkably personal. And this was the case throughout the trip. It actually had all the hallmarks of being a private cruise on a private yacht.
It was at this first sail away that I became accustomed to a very alien concept. Drinking raspberry martinis and glass after glass of champagne, I felt like my purse should be much lighter than usual. But with the Seabourn Odyssey being an all-inclusive holiday, there was no need to worry about money.
It wasnt just the drinks that impressed. One morning, as I arrived at The Colonnade restaurant, slightly bleary-eyed, I wandered past the buffet admiring the treats on offer; eggs, bacon, cereal, fruit, when suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted: Morning Miss Jones, said a friendly voice. I looked up to see a waiter I had never met. The crew learn all guests names and it is small touches like this which make the Seabourn Odyssey truly exceptional.
The atmospheric Colannade, where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast each morning, turned out to be our favourite spot for dinner too. And that was despite having stiff competition from the Patio Grill, serving anything from surf and turf to margarita pizza, The Restaurant for the classic fine dining option and Restaurant 2 for an exquisite experimental taster menu. And if getting glammed up for the restaurants was just too much effort, there was always the option of the extensive room service menu every day, providing the perfect excuse to make the most of the veranda.
Of course, it wasnt all fine dining and sipping cocktails in the whirlpool (although, if Im honest, about 80 per cent of it was). Having already stopped off at Mytilini, Lesvos, the next stop on the Mediterranean Tapestry cruise was Meteora, Volos. Here, we embarked on a rickety old steam train which took us right into the mountains with some spectacular views of the sea along the way.
Next was the one that everyone had been waiting for: Athens. I found it difficult to comprehend the history of the Acropolis. After a mind-boggling afternoon exploring, I was overwhelmed and in desperate need of a raspberry martini.
After a day in Aghios Nikolaos, Crete, where we had chance for a dip in the sea, our beautiful yacht calmly sailed on to Malta. Along the way, we barely moved from the sun loungers. That was until I heard a splash.
Looking out into the Mediterranean Sea, I saw another splash. Surely no-one had enjoyed one too many cocktails and decided to take a dip? And then it all made sense: dolphins! They were cheerfully jumping alongside the boat. Could this trip get any more magical?
As my home sailed on from Malta, I waited for my flight back to Manchester. I was still bobbing up and down, only this time I wasnt wrapped in yummy seaweed in a peaceful spa. I just hadnt regained my land legs. Wheres that raspberry martini when you need one?
With an almost one to one ratio of staff to guests, the personal touch is never lacking.
Theres plenty of quality entertainment from magicians to pianists at the Grand Salon.
Enjoy a tour of the Bridge to see how the navigation of the ship works.
Seabourn Square offers customer service and advice 24 hours a day.
You can hire out a private spa villa for the ultimate relaxing and luxurious day.
For fitness fanatics theres an impressive gym and regular fitness classes including Yoga and Ab Attack.
Tipping is not expected or required on the Yachts of Seabourn.
For a similar cruise to the one I enjoyed, theres the Aegean Odyssey cruise;
Dates: May 15th, July 10th and 31st, August 28th, September 25th, October 23rd.
Cruise Itinerary: Seven days from Istanbul to Athens with visits to Dikili, Kusadasi and Bodrum, Turkey and Santorini and Mylos, Greek Isles as well as Navpilion and Athens, Greece. Includes an onboard Marina Day experience. (conditions permitting).
Prices are all-inclusive, including all fine dining, open bar, gratuities and fully stocked mini bar. For reservations contact 0845 0700 500 or visit www.seabourn.com