Monday, January 5, 2009

Pimental Departs Sea Dream Yacht Club (And What is Old is New Again).

It has been reported today on the Travel Agent Magazine website that the omnipresent Larry Pimental is stepping down as the CEO of SeaDream Yacht Club; a position he had held since 2001.  No reason has been given for his departure. When I have more information, I will post it. 

Atle Brynestad, the owner and chairman of SeaDream is assuming Larry Pimental's duties.  For those who may find it interesting, Mr. Brynestad founded Seabourn in 1987 and was the chairman of Seabourn for 10 years, acting as its CEO during its formative time. 

My readers may recall my post on October 29, 2008 http://goldringtravel.blogspot.com/2008/10/troubled-waters-on-luxury-cruise.html .  In it I stated, "Now SeaDream has announced a "Cancel Anytime Within 48 Hours of Departure and Get a 100% Credit" toward a future cruise within 18 months thereafter. This is, again, very scary...and SeaDream is quite a fine product. SeaDream had always prided itself on its charter schedule being its base. But charters are drying up as corporations are not making the same profits and perceptions of such expenditures are presently more negative then positive. Being a unique product it is not the easiest cruise experience to get people to consider and, honestly, not many travel agents even think about SeaDream as an option. With its new program, a more aggressive play on the new Crystal approach, SeaDream will keep your cash so that it operates today with a (hopefully) positive cash flow and worry about what cruise you take later. Clearly this short-term strategy is worrisome."


I don't know that these are factors in Mr. Pimental's demise - or decision (to be fair) - but I did see some  writing on the wall.