SeaDream Yacht Under New Command


An urgent note to the owner of SeaDream Yacht Club: Joel Katz has taken command of one of your yachts.

There’s no need to panic, Mr. Brynestad. The vessel is in good hands, I assure you. The ever-gracious Mr. Katz has even promised to return SeaDream I at the end of the week.

With all due respect, Mr. Brynestad, the fact that Mr. Katz could take charge of your fine vessel can be blamed on no one but you.

As Mr. Katz himself so eloquently put it: “When you’re on SeaDream, you go from being e a passenger to being an owner.” Apparently, Mr. Katz took that conviction a tad too literally.

Indeed, appearing thoroughly in charge on the day I met him last week on SeaDream I, Mr. Katz even held the composure of a yacht owner. He was Onassis-like (remember the Greek shipping tycoon?) as he puffed on a fine cigar and sipped Johnnie Walker (I’m compelled to inform you, Mr. Brynestad, that the whiskey was from your personal collection — there may be a noticeable “dent” in the bottle next time you reach to take it off the shelf).

Katz was not the only one deluded into thinking they were yacht owners, my dear Mr. Brynestad. A charming young lady named Wendy actually forced Captain Bjarne Smorawski to alter a scheduled departure.

“Forced” may be a bit strong. Wendy simply expressed a wish that SeaDream I would depart later than originally scheduled from Marigot. Captain Smorawski shrugged his shoulders and complied with a what-can-I-do look. “After all,” he said. “We’re yachting, not cruising.” (Truthfully, and I mean no disrespect to the affable captain, but it was his answer to everything. Don’t feel like dressing up for dinner? It’s OK, “We’re yachting, not cruising.”)

Mr. Brynestad, this may seem a bit extreme, but I would advise you to consider downgrading your product — start charging for alcohol, pour less champagne, prohibit people from sleeping under the stars and no more dinners on deck. All those toys — the jet skis and the like — you can do away with those too. You’ve made it far too easy for people to succumb to the delusion of being yacht owners.

Think of it this way. Your yachts are like flying first class, where guests have lots of space, good food and endless glasses of champagne. You need to downgrade to coach class. Make them suffer. That will show them! You are giving far too much Mr. Brynestad. The guests/owners/passengers — whatever they are — are getting away with far too much.

Do you really want people thinking like Mr. Katz: “You can get anything you wish for on this vessel,” he confided to me with a wink after requesting lamb chops for dinner (they weren’t on the menu). “And if you don’t get it,” Mr. Katz added, “you didn’t ask for it.”

You may want to check the passenger manifest at the end of the week, Mr. Brynestad, just to make sure that Mr. Katz has disembarked. Or maybe he’s chosen to stay on board. Really, it seems to be his choice. After all, he’s in command.

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