Combine water and rice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan. Stir seeds, pod, sugar, half-and-half, and salt into rice. Cook over medium-low heat 30 minutes, stirring often. Remove vanilla bean pod. Add white chocolate morsels, stirring until melted. Let cool 5 minutes. Spoon rice pudding into 8 individual serving dishes. If not serving immediately, cover and chill. When ready to serve, top with Dried Cherry Sauce, and sprinkle with almonds.