My Head’s in the (Sea) Clouds

The Monthly Mantra

My Head’s in a Sea Cloud…My Head’s in a Sea Cloud…My Head’s in a Sea Cloud…

  • A pair of Christian Louboutin red-soled stilettos
  • A quilted black leather CHANEL drawstring hobo with chain straps
  • A sailing with the uber-exclusive Sea Cloud Cruises

Those are really the only things I’ve consistently lusted after for decades, and soon I can cross one of them off the list — and it ain’t the bag or the shoes.

Sea Cloud

I first saw the 64-passenger Sea Cloud in the Caribbean about 30 years ago, a magnificent vision that made me feel as though I had been cast back in time: a tall, majestic windjammer, crewmembers scurrying up her mast to hoist her 30 pristine white sails. I was transfixed.

At the time, I was on what I had believed was a perfectly fine cruise. But, after gazing at Sea Cloud, suddenly the limbo contest aboard my ship seemed frivolous. The steel-drum band too loud. And I swear, my drink was watered down.

Sea Cloud’s luxury owner’s cabin was once occupied by Marjorie Merriweather Post

If you’ve never heard of Sea Cloud, it’s not surprising. She wasn’t exactly shot out of the shipyard last week with some pop culture icon smashing a bottle of Cristal against her hull. Instead, she started life in 1931 as the private yacht of Marjorie Merriweather Post and E.F. Hutton. At 87 years old — that’s EIGHTY-SEVEN years old — Sea Cloud is likely older than your grandma, but probably looks and runs a whole lot better.

My introduction to Sea Cloud Cruises this August will be aboard Sea Cloud’s waaaay younger sister (2001), the 96-passenger Sea Cloud II, which, while lacking the fascinating history of her namesake, retains the romance and grandeur of yesterday complete with that riot of white sails flapping in the breeze above her.

Swimming platform, Sea Cloud II

Ah…the teak decks…the tasteful décor…the superb dining…the free-flowing wine with lunch and dinner…the sports platform that provides access to the sea for swimming or water sports…And, as you might expect of five-star luxury, this is no tourist-trap itinerary: I’ll be sailing from Portsmouth, England, to yachting ports in Normandy, Brittany, and the Basque Country.

Hey! I love the razzle-dazzle in cruising today and the new ships that are nothing less than spine-tingling technological marvels. But sometimes I also need an elegant yachting experience that makes me feel like an heiress, an intimate sailing that harkens back to the early days of cruising, complete with a formal Captain’s Dinner.

And it’s a damn shame that I don’t have those Christian Louboutin red-soled stilettos or the CHANEL bag, because they’d fit right in.

— Judi Cuervo

Photos: Sea Cloud Cruises

Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.