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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise for a few reasons. We had previously sailed Seaborn Encore in the Mediterranean and thoroughly enjoyed the ship, food and service that Seabourn provided, therefore, Ovation, which is the same class ship as Encore, was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a few reasons. We had previously sailed Seaborn Encore in the Mediterranean and thoroughly enjoyed the ship, food and service that Seabourn provided, therefore, Ovation, which is the same class ship as Encore, was an easy sell for us. Ovation was just beautiful.....almost identical to Encore. We love the size....large enough, light filled with beautiful yachtlike decor but small enough to give us the feeling of being on a private ship. Our suite on the deck above the pool, was well appointed (hello 3 sinks!) and our needs were more than meet by our stewardess who always had a smile & pleasantry to share. We felt the service and the entertainment were a cut above our previous cruise....this being only our second cruise ever. We were addressed by our names each & every day. Our Captian was very visible and engaging as was CD Handre. Both were class acts. Servers in all resturants were pleasant, engaging and good at their jobs. We wanted a late May cruise and this itinerary seemed interesting. We had been to Lisbon but not Northern Spain or Western France or Southern England. We have been to Normandy, Brugge, Amsterdam etc. but were very happy to return. I was a bit apprehensive since I had heard that the Bay of Biscay is notorious for rough seas. Well, she was a gentle giant. Lisbon was faboulous with warm temps and sunny skies. Northern Spain was just beautiful, with a bit a rain here and there, but nothing to dampen the beauty of the coastal towns of Gijon and San Sebasion, Biblao etc. and the wonderful sights & food. We did miss one port, Biarritz, France due to the port closing. The sun & moderate temps made a welcome return in Bordeaux......this was one of the highlights of the cruise. We came up the Gironde River and docked right smack dab in the middle of the city. We were the only ship in town and the locals came by in droves to relax and picnic in our shadow. A lovely French lady approached us on our return to ship just to chat about our cruise and our reflections of her city. The Bordeaux wine region is spectacular.....St Emillion is not to be missed. Southern England, port of Torquay was a pleasant surprise....warm temps and sunny skies, contrary to the Agatha Christie image that I expected. We visited the sea town of Dartmouth with its' interesting seafaring history. As an American, the beaches of Normandy hold a special place in our hearts and it was good to return. We arranged for a private tour & spent the day with a lovely local French lady, three generations removed from the events of WW2 but whose grandfather was head of the resistance movement at the time......her reverence for those who helped liberate her homeland was palpable....not to mention her expertise in the places and events of the Allied invasion. Wow....just Wow! We sailed up the Thames to the Greenwich neighborhood of London. Spent two wonderful days....Windsor, the Cotswolds etc. Then is was across the Channel again.....may I add that the seas in all our Channel crossings were calm and I mean, calm....to Zeebrugge, where we chose to visit Ypres and Flanders Field (of WW1 fame) as we had been to Brugge & Brussels in the past. Beyond moving! Amazing how a city and region so devastated by that horrible war has risen from the ashes to present a gorgeous city and countryside. We ended in the city of Amsterdam with all its charms etc. The Anne Frank House is a must do along with a private canal cruise. This cruise seemed to us to hit a very historic note. We enjoyed it very much as we had a sample of Western Coastal Europe with its' amazing role in the history of two world wars. From the German UBoat stalls in Bordeaux, to the beaches of Normandy to the Fields of Poppies in Flanders to the London Underground bunkers.....We were impressed with the spirit of the European people who endured so much during those dark times. Cruise & Ovation both get an APlus from us. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Service is exceptionally excellent by all staff allways. Food is not up to expectations: very refined on the printed menus but too many different ingredients result sometimes in lack of genuine taste. Thomas Keller Grill is just ... Read More
Service is exceptionally excellent by all staff allways. Food is not up to expectations: very refined on the printed menus but too many different ingredients result sometimes in lack of genuine taste. Thomas Keller Grill is just o.k., nothing exceptionnal. For lunch at the Collonade, there is not much variety for the cold dishes and salads: allways the shame shrimps and salmon and salads. The breakfast on the terrace outside the Collonade is a magic moment and very well served. The tea time at the Observaton Bar is also a delicious experience. And after dinner, the same observation bar is a cozy place to enjoy a night cap with Jacqui's singing at the piano. We did not like the noisy entertainment games at the pool deck (Costa style), but they took place just 2 or 3 times. Entertainment and activities were not very interesting, we expected more lectures and classical music performances (piano 1 time, violin 1 time). But all by all, it was a marvelous experience, the weather in november on the south atlantic was sunny and warm, but above all, the way the staff makes you feel as a king all the time is the best reason to come back! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose the Ovation for the itinerary. Leaving from Lisbon and on to Portomao, Huelva (Seville), Malaga (the Alhambra), Cartagena, Monte Carlo, Cinque Terra, Toulon (Provence), Mahon (Minorca) and disembarking in Barcelona. All in all, ... Read More
We chose the Ovation for the itinerary. Leaving from Lisbon and on to Portomao, Huelva (Seville), Malaga (the Alhambra), Cartagena, Monte Carlo, Cinque Terra, Toulon (Provence), Mahon (Minorca) and disembarking in Barcelona. All in all, the itinerary lived up to its expectations, although we had to miss Portomao because of Tropical Storm Leslie so we remained in Lisbon for the second day. The only hitch we had for our own itinerary ashore as with the Alhambra. We had been wait-listed for a ticket package that included the Nesrud Palaces, a highlight of the Alhambra and, according to those who have been there, not to be missed. When it become apparent that we would not be getting tickets through Seaborn (they are extremely difficult to come by), even though we had been on the wait list over four months prior to leaving. A few people were lucky enough to get the Seabourn tickets, but more on that later. We told the guest services agent on board that we planned on using the ship's tour bus to the Alhambra (which did not include the Nesrud Palaces), as we had purchased our own tickets and would join up with the bus prior to the group leaving the Alhambra. Our tickets were from 11am to 2pm, meeting at 10:45pm exactly where the tour bus would be pulling into the bus parking lot. We informed the Seabourn rep of our plan prior to boarding the bus and she cleared it with the tour guide. We arranged with him to meet up with the group at a restaurant should we not be ready to rejoin the bus when the Seabourn group was ready to leave. All was going smoothly as we left the port around 8:35am. Unfortunately, the guide decided to announce that we would be pulling into a rest stop for bathroom use and also for buying merchandise. Had the stop been for ten minutes all would still have been fine, but it was closer to 25 minutes and we then had no chance to make our tour. The Alhambra was outstanding, but we will now never have the opportunity to see the Nesrud Palaces. Those who were able to secure tickets for the Alhambra and the palaces thought they were all set. Unfortunately, for some of them, since showing your passport is required at different checkpoints randomly and then, for the palaces, for everyone, when the group was asked to present their passports the list of passengers did not match the names on the passports. Some names were of people not taking the tour. The mix up caused some passengers to have to miss the Alhambra and the palaces. We had read on Cruise Critic that Seabourn's shore excursions are below average and had not encountered that when on a Quest voyage. This particular trip was excellent once in the Alhambra as the guide was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the buildings and the area. The guide on the bus, however, was constantly talking, was very redundant and seemed to be along for the ride. All of the other tours was above average, although the timing for a tour of Eze and the Rothschild Mansion in Cap Ferat gave too much time to the later and not nearly enough time to Eze. Also, this trip was extremely tiring because all tours, half day or full day, started early in the morning so you began to feel sleep deprived early into the trip. I think they should offer afternoon half day excursions to alleviate the fatigue factor when you are on a 10-day cruise with only one at-sea day. Others felt the same way. The cabins on the ship are up to Seabourn's standards. They are among the most spacious in the industry and our ship stewardess was outstanding. The room is well-equipped and pretty much anything can be delivered to your room upon request, including unlimited amounts of champagne. The food on the ship was excellent. No complaints at all. The service was another matter. The worst was the Observation Bar between 6 and 7:30pm. You had a tough time flagging down a waiter as there were often only one or two of them. Going to the bar yourself and carrying the drinks to the table was impossible on rough sea evenings. This problem with service in the Observation Bar continued throughout the cruise. Towards the end of the voyage, we went down to Bruno's lounge in the Thomas Keller grill and after a ten-minute wait, went up to the bar for a drink. For afternoon tea in the Observation Bar, tea was offered, but they didn't mention that scones, sandwiches and cakes were available at the self-serve area where tapas are available every evening. On the Quest a waiter brought these items around which is the way afternoon tea should be presented. Service in the Restaurant was fine, but not if you wanted to get to the 8:45pm show. Fortunately, my husband and I did not have that problem because we had caught two shows and didn't think they were very good so skipped them from that point on. The service in the Colanade was excellent except for the final morning which was an absolute zoo. It was so bad that we ended up getting a bite to eat at Seabourn Square. We were heading for the Restaurant for a nice relaxing breakfast before disembarking because we had to be out of our room at 8pm, but could stay on board until 10pm. The Restaurant was closed, however, although we had no clue that it would be. On the Quest the Restaurant is open for the final breakfast before disembarking. The Patio's food was excellent as well as the service, and there were an adequate number of waiters should you need a drink while relaxing by the pool. Thomas Keller Grill was an interesting evening. We were told by the waiter to look forward to enjoying a romantic meal. To me, that's leisurely, but he did not seem to understand that. After ordering our drinks, he immediately asked if we were ready to order. We said that we needed some time. He came back in five minutes and asked again and we told him we weren't ready as we wanted to enjoy our drinks. After a few minutes, the supervisor went up to our waiter and talked to him. I assume it was about their need to get our order in. The supervisor then came up to our table and asked if we had any questions and we told him we didn't, we just wanted to slow the process down. The meal was very good, though, and there was a good vibe. The best experience for us was Sushi. The food was excellent, there were nice tables for two and the service was what you expect from Japanese staff - respectful, courteous and timely. All in all the management of the Ovation has a way to go to beat the service on the Quest. I think they need some time to work out the glitches as the ship only had its maiden voyage in May. Hopefully, things will improve soon. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I have sailed with Seabourn many times...almost always on the Odyssey. Until this cruise we were always happy and dedicated to the Seabourn family. That is no longer true. They have changed upper level management and could not ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed with Seabourn many times...almost always on the Odyssey. Until this cruise we were always happy and dedicated to the Seabourn family. That is no longer true. They have changed upper level management and could not care less if you were happy...only that you paid. Our stateroom was in need of new carpet, the food was poorly prepared and always over salted by a untrained cook. We choose four different mid range wines all of which they ran out of quickly and then tried to sell us a wine package at t ridiculous price. We were told that they used to have 1,000 bottles of average drinking wine but to convince us to purchase the package they only brought 50 bottles of each. The tours were very poor but expensive. And, worst of all, due to the sailing of a new ship they transferred experienced personal and a great deal of our service was by trainees....food in the main dining room often served by a bus person. A number of the evening shows were repeated more than once. All in all I will NEVER cruise with Seabourn again. There are too many other options of companies that care. Even though it is a small ship they treated us as if we were on a mass transit. Yes, they apologized but did nothing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This cruise makes one stop on the second day at Madeira and then goes to Ft Lauderdale FL We spent the 9th to the 19th crossing the Atlantic. The weather was very good although overcast for part of the time. Generally the temperature ... Read More
This cruise makes one stop on the second day at Madeira and then goes to Ft Lauderdale FL We spent the 9th to the 19th crossing the Atlantic. The weather was very good although overcast for part of the time. Generally the temperature was in the 60s and 70s. A little bit bumpy the first day going west from Madeira but after than pretty smooth. Not lake quality but by n means rough. The ship and crew are marvelous. Food is just superb. Four restaurants and plenty of variety. Our cabin was very nice and good sized with a sitting area and a bed area. We were fortunate and had an outside porch area as well. The ship had several speakers who did some very interesting talks, Several by Paul Deegan, Phil Bye and Tony ( Anthony) Cooke. Paul's discussion of Everest climbs especially appealed to me but they were all very good. Staff were all extremely capable and made a point of being friendly. Watch for Johvan on the wait staff The ship only carries about 490 people so there is no sense of being in a herd. If you want a very relaxing and low key trip by water this is perfect. Once more, the food was superb Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We wanted to try a trans-Atlantic cruise just because.... It was wonderful. We took a southerly route and in spite of the season (December!) we spent each day at the pool or walking about the ship, or just sitting out on our balcony ... Read More
We wanted to try a trans-Atlantic cruise just because.... It was wonderful. We took a southerly route and in spite of the season (December!) we spent each day at the pool or walking about the ship, or just sitting out on our balcony reading. It took a little time to realize we could have what ever we wanted, when ever we wanted it! This kind of pampering is not normal. And it was all done with a smile. The staff are incredible. It very soon feels like everyone knows your name, your drink preferences, how you like your coffee. And they are unfailingly cheerful while maintaining a very professional demeanor. Also, our stateroom was spacious and very comfortable. The best it the industry, in my opinion. Finally, we were first attracted to a trans-Atlantic cruise because of the price. I believe we got what we paid for and more. We had a wonderful, very relaxing time, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and i cannot express our true pleasure sailing with seabourn again. in fact we sailed 5 previous weeks on the seabourn sun. now the princendam a member of holland america. Also on the spirit. we have one thing to say about ... Read More
My wife and i cannot express our true pleasure sailing with seabourn again. in fact we sailed 5 previous weeks on the seabourn sun. now the princendam a member of holland america. Also on the spirit. we have one thing to say about the odyssey-perfect. the highlight of our trip was shopping with the chef. Thomas was his name and seabourn needs to keep him forever. he has a outgoing personality and is truly a delight to be around. Food, what can i say terrific. service could have not been better. 6 stars+ in every aspect. Our cruise director david was a delight and we even had his assistant ross who was marvelous, funny and extremely talented. the trivia game at 12 noon everyday was a hoot. not serious which makes it fun. we met a lot of cruisers who will probably remain friends for a long time. seabourn again, yes sir without a doubt. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I have often repositioned from Europe where I live, to the United States to visit my family...I must say that the Seabourn Odyssey ranked tops in almost every category. I have only paid to cruise a few times as I normally am at work ... Read More
I have often repositioned from Europe where I live, to the United States to visit my family...I must say that the Seabourn Odyssey ranked tops in almost every category. I have only paid to cruise a few times as I normally am at work bringing guests onto the ships, and cruising as the Tour Manager, not as the Cruise Director.... I have heard reviews about 45 minute long deliveries of Coke Light, on every night of their cruise, and the entire dining room up in arms about slow, poor service....I am a Tour Manager, and have been one for the last 30 years...I know excellent service as I dine in restaurants breakfast, lunch, and dinner...every day, about 250 days a year, so figure I have eaten over 21,000 restaurant meals, free, for work...further, I eat out on my own 5 meals a week, in some of the very best restaurants in the world, JOEL ROBUCHON, GUY SAVOY, ENRICO DERFLINGHER, MICHAEL MINA, THOMAS KELLER, BRADLEY OGDEN, CRISTINA BOWERMAN, etc. , etc. So what restaurants were these people describing on the Odyssey???…no way, no how, can the service be described as anything less than excellent...yes, I had a forgotten ice tea, and a main course took a little time once or twice, BWTF are we in such a hurry for to begin with...for those that wrote such false things about the outstanding staff in the restaurants front and back of the house, please check out a movement called #SLOW-FOOD in Italy...the difference between eating and dining is about 1 1/2 hours...The buffet at the Colonnade was always an option! THE GOOD: AMAZING SHIP, awesome embarcation, debarcation, due mainly to having only 450 guests on board, amazing food, AWESOME FRENCH FRIES, and I loved the breadsticks, but the fries are world class, Thomas Keller every other night!, coffee and cakes at the Seabourn Square, amazing books in the library, the plethora of chaise lounges all over the ship, The SERVICE by all of the staff, the included quality of the wines, and included drinks, Hendricks anyone?… the lectures, the amazing television channels, the wifi when it worked, the FREE LAUNDRY ROOMS, with irons...the free and included, constantly revstocked mini bars in the cabins. Superb knowledge of wine by everyone in the dining rooms, and especially bynthe actual Sommeliers... Awesome bathrooms with full deep baths and seperate showers. THE BAD: calling the ship and experience 6 star( certainly the following should not have happened or been possible on a 6 star ship) as it is too subjective and builds expectations too high, the poor GYM, what one would find in a 3 star hotel, terrible not having the missing 10 machines, and thinking the Technogym Wall would suffice( hard to use if a stretching or Yoga Class is in that area, The poor areas for streching classes, a true let down in a large spa area, mens and womens change rooms had tiny saunas, for two or three people max, NOT SIX STARS! The damaged and stained windows in the gym area...The pay for extra quiet area in the spa, the infrared saunas would burn your butt big time, and the whole area should have been the gym to begin with...Not giving out a list of ALL THE WINES AVAILABLE by the glass, why should I have to ask for that list? Why was it delivered 2 days later? Terribly small T.V.'S mounted in a stupid way, so not fully viewable from the bed…really not 6 star....we should have 50" tvs, with sound bars....The mini golf was a joke, 6 star is on the Celebrity Equinox, on real grass, or any Royal Carribean ship, epically not 6 star, nor were the 60% selection of left handed putters and woods and irons...why was there not a golf simulator on board? The Ping Pong table was in a far too windy area...for such ultra limited recreation choices, this ship ranked a 1 star rating, beyond poor...SUITES? A suite must have a seperate bedroom, otherwise it is a Jr Suite...these CABINS were generous in size, but the Cruise Ship Industry deserves to get sued by every single passenger, when their cabins turn out to be just that, when they a buy SUITES.... THE UGLY: no wine lectures or iPad classes, or photo work shops...the one wine tasting offered was to drink 40 dollar glasses of wine....why so expensive? Why not use the wines included for free and discuss them? CONCLUSION: I loved this cruise ship, and Seabourn in general, however not 6 star, as that infers beyond perfect...I loved the inclusive nature of everything on board, and the CAN DO attitude of everyone on board...I thought the food was great, better than all my cruises so far, with strong competition from the French Chefs on Le Ponant, and the amazing chefs on the Mississippi Queen....EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE SHIP SEEMED TO BE A REPEAT GUEST… incredible loyal following, and I can see why....Seabourn is a class act in every way....I cannot wait to book again!!!! Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was the second time we travelled on Seabourn Quest in 12 months and we upgraded to an Owner's Suite on the basis that a sofa bed was available as advertised on-line. The sofa bed ended up being two duvets, folded, as a mattress ... Read More
This was the second time we travelled on Seabourn Quest in 12 months and we upgraded to an Owner's Suite on the basis that a sofa bed was available as advertised on-line. The sofa bed ended up being two duvets, folded, as a mattress plus pillows taken from the main bedroom. Our complaint was not resolved and the company has not responded to either my feedback or my Travel Agent's complaints. The Owner's Suite was also subject to considerable noise from 4.30am for up to 45 minutes and was hardly suitable for an 87 year old with hyper-tension and poor mobility. We found that the attention to detail was lacking. Borrowed knives to cut fruit as well as mugs for our tea and coffee were removed until we asked that they be left for daily use. Requests for English Breakfast teabags resulted in a supply of Earl Grey teabags - twice. The coffee machine was never replenished with water during the whole cruise - we did it ourselves each day. Invitations to join staff tables were not issued for the first week but came on a daily basis once we had complained to our Agent in Australia. Messages left at the service desk were not delivered. We embarked and were then left to our own devices to find our cabin (no directions or offers of assistance) and we had trouble getting any information on the internet service. The staff were all very kind and attentive but we felt that they hadn't been sufficiently trained. We heard other complaints - missing laundry, ordinary food and poor service. Read Less
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