– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
It has been reported in the Norwegian media that CG Holdings, owner of SeaDream Yacht Club, may be filing for bankruptcy imminently. What this means for SeaDream really is not known; especially as their are conflicting reports.
According to reports, the Chief Financial Officer of CG Holdings says all of CG Holdings assets are up for sale, but SeaDream Yacht Club Chief Executive Officer Atle Brynestad insists it is not…and asserts that SeaDream has already reached 80% of its revenue goals for 2009 (though I am not sure how that was calculated) and that its ships are sailing essentially full (though I do not know how many of those cabins are highly discounted or on travel agent rates).
If you recall, Larry Pimental left SeaDream in January 2009 (Pimental Departs SeaDream Yacht Club after it was claimed that Mr. Brynestad wanted to deplete SeaDream’s coffers to support his other businesses, which have, apparently, been suffering.
So what does this all mean? To me it signals that SeaDream may be a viable company, but it has been substantially weakened by the troubles of its parent company and Mr. Brynestad’s interests (if they are different) and that the reported differences in approach are a “red flag” for when there is conflict rather than coordination everything suffers. On the other hand, possibly SeaDream will be bought out by Byrnestad – though I am not sure how understanding the above financial turmoil.
In the meantime, as I mentioned months ago, SeaDream’s change to seeking cash early on and allowing cruises to be deferred for extended periods with no penalty was a clear sign of rough seas. My biggest concern is that with legal maneuvering being what it is, the ships may be seized at some point as control is wrestled in bankruptcy proceedings or shareholder fighting.
Would I cancel my SeaDream cruise? No, but I would be prepared for turmoil and the possibility (if even remote…I just don’t know) that your port of disembarkation may be earlier or at another location. Also, if you have put off your cruise under the 48 Hour Cancellation Program and are holding a credit toward a future cruise, you may want to take that cruise sooner than later. (I would be concerned as to whether your credit card coverage applies to that program and if there is insurance for same.)
As I learn more, and can confirm facts versus rumor, I will let you know. I caution everyone not to act on rumor or media reports, but to simply be prepared and keep your eyes and ears open.
UPDATE: Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief of CruiseCritic, posted that the bankruptcy of SeaDream appeared to be “fiction”. I think that is a great disservice, though well intended. As I reported earlier this morning, SeaDream may not be in financial difficulty by itself, but it’s parent company is. Even the reports cited by CruiseCritic confirm that Mr. Byrnestad’s efforts are apparently to liquidate all he can to address the many unpaid creditors of CG Holdings.
Now, this is where it can get ugly. According to Cruise Business Review, Byrnestad’s plan is to keep three good companies (SeaDream and glass and porcelain companies) and fold them into a new holding company. That may sound great, but it is not very easy to suck out the viable assets so that the creditors go unpaid in whole or in part. The creditors just might have something to say about that…and if it is found that that the profitable companies were not handled appropriately something similar to a receiver can be appointed. (How do I know this? I was involved in a litigation against a Norwegian shipyard that had financial difficulties.)
Now, to me, saying that SeaDream is not in trouble is, well, “fiction”. I wish SeaDream well and I oh so want it to survive and thrive, but I have to call it as it is; not as I or Mr. Brynestad wants it to be. So be optimistic, but realistic.