5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This one fit a particular time frame .We only had the first leg of 11 days . Had never had a chance to take a Seabourn cruise before . Very happy .They couldn't do enough for us .Came up with an extension cord for the C Pap machine . ... Read More
This one fit a particular time frame .We only had the first leg of 11 days . Had never had a chance to take a Seabourn cruise before . Very happy .They couldn't do enough for us .Came up with an extension cord for the C Pap machine . Stocked fridge and bar had a full liter of good vodka .Svedka , I think . Mixers, beer , champagne . Room stewardess was always ready to go . Dinning room had some slow arrivals of food at times . But all the food was excellent .They could cook , fish , steaks , pasta . The Colonnade buffet on the back deck was always good .Pool bars and dining line was a great choice in the afternoon for a late lunch .Open to 3:30 . Used room service for breakfast 4 different mornings . Arrived in 20 to 25 minutes and hot .Transfers booked through Seabourn worked fine , even with a flight delay .They were there to meet us . We got our luggage frisked in Lisbon on disembarkation .The Seabourn Rep was on the spot to assure us we would get a cab to the airport when we missed the main bus with everybody else . Even sent a very sweet Portuguese woman ( cute as a button ) with us to make sure we knew where we were going inside the airport . Actually went in with us . Bar people , deck crew , waiters were all on top of it at all times .Entertainment was very good of what we saw . Did a special afternoon opera segment on the deck with the main show vocalists one afternoon . Pouring Patron Margaritas at the pool .l .All you can eat , drink and no tipping or bar bill at the end . But I did leave a small thank you for the housekeeping girl and a bartender .Not expected though .A great time . The best weather the crew had ever seen on this crossing . Just lucky . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Seabourn is our cruise line of choice. The reasons are simple, it feels like you are on your personal yacht, the staff never uses the phrase "sorry, we can't do that", the cuisine is the best afloat on any ship sailing today ... Read More
Seabourn is our cruise line of choice. The reasons are simple, it feels like you are on your personal yacht, the staff never uses the phrase "sorry, we can't do that", the cuisine is the best afloat on any ship sailing today and last, but not least, you never feel crowded or rushed in any venue aboard. The odyssey is currently doing an itinerary that runs back and forth between Barbados and St. Maartin. The cruise was, as anticipated, wonderful and relaxing. HOWEVER, Getting to the ship to board and disembarking were rife with difficulty and unpleasantness. This was not just my bad luck, but prevalent among nearly all of the guests who we met aboard and shared stories with. After booking the cruise we discovered that you cannot get to/from these chosen ports before or after your cruise (Barbados and St. Maartin) in one day of travel. Unless you live in a city with a direct flight to the island (Miami, Washington DC, New York - basically the east coast major metros) you will have to overnight enroute in each direction. Airline costs to and from these ports and overnight hotel costs, in many cases, exceed the price of the actual cruise. Additionally, attempting to arrive or depart the same day as ships in port turn over their passengers will result in unmanageable crowds at the airports. (specifics about our experience below) St Maartin's airport was destroyed during the most recent Hurricane and despite what you may read about the Caribbean being ready for tourism and that everything is back to normal ... It is NOT. Let me recount our disembarkation experience in St. Maartin: The positive: our late afternoon airline departure time worried us. We were unable to arrange a "day pass" with any hotel on the island despite two weeks of trying prior to leaving home. With nowhere to go until our flight departure and Disembarkation from Seabourn Odyssey scheduled for 8:30 am, we were worried. Seabourn, graciously, permitted us to remain aboard the ship in comfort until after lunch. A real blessing considering what was to come. The negative: Upon disembarkation we took a taxi with our luggage to the airport thinking we could relax comfortably at the airport (a relatively short distance, but a long drive compounded by bumper to bumper, slow moving traffic - nearly an hour) our taxi driver described to us while enroute that after the hurricane so many cars were destroyed that there was a huge influx of new cars purchased with insurance money and that the old damaged cars were mostly repaired, sold and put back on the road... hence gridlock like Manhatten or Chicago during rush hour (but on single lane roads). He also informed us that we were LUCKY because up until just a few days prior, the airport operations and passenger terminal were being run from TENTS in the tropical heat. We arrived at the airport, part of the destroyed terminal building had been repaired and it was operating in compressed space. No assistance at the curb with bags, entered into the ticket area and found grand central station with hundreds of people in line for multiple carriers. We were flying first class so our shorter line took only 40 minutes to reach the front, check baggage and proceed. Next came the security and immigration line. We arrived and joined a single line in a large ante-chamber, with the line snaking back and forth to allow more passengers into it - no bypass for any sort of travel class division or TSA Pre-check thing available here. Another 45 minutes to proceed through this portion. As I approached the two clerks doing the pass along I thought it was the light at the end of the tunnel. We walked up a ramp to another level and there was another snake line with a few hundred people in it for baggage examination, x rays etc. Belts, shoes, computers everything off. One hour in THAT line and we thought "hooray, it's over" we were finally near the actual departure area. We walked about 20 yards around a turn and into a large space that was rectangular and about fifty yards wide and 25 yards deep roughly half the size of a football field. In a glass wall facing the fresh air and sunlight were several doors (no individual gate areas just some doors with a thousand or so plastic chairs arranged around the room). Every chair was occupied, little room between the rows, wheelchairs and luggage blocking everything and crowds of standing passengers waiting along every wall and every lane between chairs. these gates/doors were within feet of each other and each door was a "gate" with a number on it. This waiting area facing the gates would have been shut down by any decent fire marshall due to more than double the number of waiting passengers in that space than it was designed to accommodate. We snagged two chairs when a flight was called, and waited until our flight was ready. The boarding was called traditionally, by row number and class. We walked through the door and an airport employee gathered everyone into one disorganized group (defeating the prior procedure) and we waited in the sun for a people mover bus to arrive. When it did arrive, the bus was packed like a subway car at rush hour. If someone had died, they would have remained in a standing position. Our flight, United Airlines Flt # 1741 from St. Maartin direct to Washington DC is a daily scheduled turn around flight - fly in arriving mid day or a little later early afternoon, dump off the arrivals - load up and turn back around. The bus disgorged us and directed us to stairs leading up to the airplane door for us to struggle up carrying our hand baggage. Again no assistance for those needing it (the passengers assisted the elderly and disabled ourselves). Once aboard, we anticipated United Airlines would be a welcome change. The flight, while professionally flown, was improperly provisioned and there were inadequate meals and drinks for all passengers - Here's a bit of humor, the first class stewardess told us not to worry, delicious cookies were forthcoming. She then either burned all of the cookies or the oven failed - so half of the first class section who had no meal choices didn't even get a cookie on this 5 hour flight. But the pretzels were delicious. Arrived back into the USA and my Hartmann bag (advertised as nearly indestructible and a veteran of several international flights to Europe and Asia) was delivered for customs inspection with a wheel smashed off and rips in the side of the "indestructible" material. No doubt the same airport services staff in St. Maartin responsible for provisioning the airplane with food and drinks “loaded” the luggage, as well. My destroyed bag necessitated a LONG walk, easily a mile from the international arrivals area, through a nearly deserted late Saturday night Washington DC terminal to the United baggage claim office (would have been convenient if it was located near where their flights were arriving - alongside all of the OTHER airlines baggage offices). We made it to the hotel two hours later than anticipated, we were not allowed to check our heavy vacation packed bags through to our early morning departure flight, so we had to carry them with us to the hotel and bring them back for check in the next morning. 4 hours of sleep and back to the airport before dawn in Freezing weather, to board our final United Flight home (which was a delightful, problem free flight). IN retrospect, Seabourn's decision to necessitate boarding and disembarking at these 3rd world ports and airports is a decision that significantly diminishes the attractiveness and affordability of these itineraries. Seabourn has chosen to no longer originate or end their Caribbean and Transatlantic to Europe itineraries in US ports like Fort Lauderdale or Miami but choosing instead these awkward Caribbean ports. True, The St Maartin airport terminal was better than TENTS, however it is painfully obvious that the services that the St. Maartin Airport staff are expected to perform for this volume of passengers is significantly beyond their current capability to deliver. Hindsight is 20/20…If I had it to do over again, I would not have chosen this voyage simply because of the disastrous and unpleasant overall travel experience to and from the ship. I recently read a psychological study that evidenced that as Passengers/Customers, our remembrance of a vacation is formed in significant measure by what happens at the end of it. If things end with a pleasant experience - we will always remember that as one of our best vacations. If not... then it will be remembered as unremarkable or a disaster, as in our case. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose the 7 day Yachtsman Holiday Cruise in the Caribbean aboard Seabourn Odyssey. Booked the Penthouse Suite on 10th floor. Hadn’t sailed with Seabourn in nearly 10 years...However, we’re seasoned cruisers: 14 cruises on Silver Sea, ... Read More
Chose the 7 day Yachtsman Holiday Cruise in the Caribbean aboard Seabourn Odyssey. Booked the Penthouse Suite on 10th floor. Hadn’t sailed with Seabourn in nearly 10 years...However, we’re seasoned cruisers: 14 cruises on Silver Sea, Viking, Holland America, NCL, Regent, QE2...other Cunard line ships, Windstar, Star Clipper, National Grographic, Private charters and cruised our own boat for many years. For this cruise (12/22/2018) We made our own flight reservations and arrived a day early to enjoy some time on St Maarten. Seabourn made the hotel & transfer arrangements. Hotel (Belmont de Samana, St Maarten) was pretty bad (no hot water, messed up the arrangements for transfer to ship, couldn’t sort out the dinner reservations and kept thinking we were different guests in a different room. Even so, beautiful location and we still enjoyed being there (though only being able to take cold showers was not that pleasant.) Embarkation went fairly smoothly- at first they couldn’t find us but then got us onboard and photos and told us our room would be ready in an hour or so. We had the buffet lunch and proceeded to our room. Penthouse suite was nice and roomy. Lots of drawers, big closet, luxurious bath. Room Steward offered champagne. I had arranged a dinner in KT Grill for first night to celebrate my husbands birthday. No mention of his birthday at restaurant or room ( I wasn’t expecting a big deal but perhaps a little candle would have been nice.) Dinner was ok - rather mediocre - very snooty attitude and you could observe disputes between the wait staff which didn’t add much of a pleasant environment. We use to love dining at The French Laundry - TK’s original restaurant in Yountville - I doubt he’d like what they’re doing under his name on this ship!! We won’t return. We also discovered there were no papers in our room with information about internet, itinerary, excursions, spa, in room dining or even a ship map. So, after dinner we went to the square and tried to track down some information. No staff were available and there seemed to be many passengers with the same problems trying to find out info. We gave up and strolled around the various decks trying to get oriented. The second day we were anchored off St Kitts. Planned to go ashore and do some exploring on our own. Stopped by the destination desk to get maps and some tips on taxis in to town, etc. Local woman was at desk and told us the only option was to stay at the Carambola beach club...saying everything was closed, no taxis, no shops, no touring, etc. we found out much later she was working for the Carambola Beach club and was not telling the truth but we never tried to go ashore because it seemed there would be no way to get into town. (She said it was not walkable). We decided to explore the ship and maybe have lunch at Pool Grill. Everything was closed except the buffet. Tried visiting the Spa - all personnel were at beach. In the end we had a quiet reading day in our suite. We got several phone calls in which various ship personnel kept asking my husband if he’d like to celebrate his birthday (since they had forgotten the day before). We decided we’d have his celebration with in room dining that night. So, when it was time to order, we called room service- there was no paperwork with a menu in our room so they couldn’t take an order so we had to track down our room steward to get the current menu. She insisted it was December 22 and gave us that menu (it was actually the 23rd) we called again to try and order. The kitchen said we had to use the menu from December 23rd. So we went back to the room steward and she gave us the menu for the 24th because she didn’t have the menu for the 23rd. Eventually we were able to order a couple of salads, a club sandwich and a cheeseburger. Food arrived about 40 minutes later. Cold burger & fries, barely edible salad, dry sandwich. 2 ice waters. Nothing indicating a birthday...we strolled the decks, nothing going on so returned to our suite, sat and watched the moon and had a quiet reading night. In general, I would say this is a rather boring cruise with very little information available to passengers. No announcements, no help with basics like internet, no orientation and late or nonexistent paperwork in the suite. We are fairly self reliant and creating our own shore excursions (there are NEVER any staff to help with booking). Since almost all the ports are anchor/tenders it is a bit more complicated than simply stepping off the boat on to the dock. We do miss the ship events, lectures, entertainment that we’ve enjoyed on other cruises (they seem to be nonexistent, cancelled at last minute or very badly organized on this cruise). A note on the (Penthouse Suite) on the 10th floor: DON’T BOOK it!!! Above our suite is the outdoor game area (shuffleboard, table tennis, etc. VERY NOISY starting early in the morning and lasting all day!! So in closing we are sticking with Silversea, Viking, Charters and anyone else but the CARNIVAL line and SEABOURN!! Cons: poorly organized, unprofessional staff, mediocre food and waste of time & money!! Pros: quiet, not too many activities, lots of time to yourself, some beautiful sunsets on this itinerary comfortable bed, spacious suite. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This is our fourth Seabourn cruise and the second time on the Odyssey. We knew that going late in the Fall, we could have difficult weather, but never expected a Category-2-force storm in the Med. Two of our ports became closed to us ... Read More
This is our fourth Seabourn cruise and the second time on the Odyssey. We knew that going late in the Fall, we could have difficult weather, but never expected a Category-2-force storm in the Med. Two of our ports became closed to us because of storm damage, but Seabourn found us alternative harbors that worked out perfectly. And Captain Emilian did an excellent job keeping us safe even if he couldn't stop the rocking in 80 mph winds and 24 ft swells. Our room stewardess (more about her later) kept us stocked with candied ginger and ginger ale. We had a large supply of Dramamine. So, even being on deck 10 aft, we never had a hint of a sea sickness. We embarked on a wet day with Seabourn checking us in at the grand salon so we could stay dry and there were people waiting by the curb for our bags. Nothing could have been faster or easier. As always, we loved our Penthouse Spa suite. It felt like home to us. Our room stewardess, Timea functioned as housekeeper, butler and friend. We loved her, both as a person and professionally. For us, with someone like Timea, we don't need an extra person to deal with in terms of a formal butler. She took fabulous care of us. I'd say that 90% of the time, we had outstanding food. We particularly loved The Earth and Sea on the patio. We had an amazing lamb shank dinner - went there every time it was offered. We also had a wonderful evening at Thomas Keller. I'm not sure why people haven't been happy with it in their reviews - we were thrilled with the decor, food and service. It's a delightful addition - and no extra charge with unlimited visits. We aren't big entertainment people, so I can't speak to this area. Our service in 99% of the trip was outstanding. Whether we wanted a special meal, extra candied ginger, room service or help on excursions everyone provided service with a smile and went out of their was to help us. Seabourn provided our shore excursions with a private car and guide. We had amazing people and saw the locations through local eyes. We always returned to the ship with appreciation and enjoyment of the place we were visiting. So, what didn't meet our standards. First, our veranda furniture was old and in poor condition. Timea found us some better cushions, but still not good quality. We could tell she was embarrassed by the poor quality. We found multiple rust stains on our veranda railings. Again, Timea tried to get this taken care of. Finally, they have a small putting area on the bow, but the golf clubs were left in the rain with the grips rotting. My husband returned disgusted with the horrible care. I'm afraid that Seabourn may have become as cash-cow for HAL and Carnival Corp rather than putting the money back into the ship. Even so with these issues, our cruise still exceeded expectations. And I've learned to live with the small imperfections in life. Just a side note, if you want glitz, glitter and glamor, Seabourn isn't the ship for you. It is understated elegance. We felt comfortable and at home - not in awe of the fancy decor. For us, it is our home-away-from-home. As I write this review, I'm trying to understand how come we had a better experience than previous reviewers - no answers yet. Our favorite hotels are Aman, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons and we found that our Seabourn cruise met or exceeded these luxury hotels/resorts. And offered us more for our money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Previous experience with Seabourn. Out of the blue my son said could we go on a cruise together just the two of us? We chose This one with Seabourn.Everything went without a hitch. Seabourn made all the arrangements and everything went ... Read More
Previous experience with Seabourn. Out of the blue my son said could we go on a cruise together just the two of us? We chose This one with Seabourn.Everything went without a hitch. Seabourn made all the arrangements and everything went like clockwork. Everything promised was as stated. We could not fault the inclusive wines (excellent list - always ask to see what the choice is and have your favourites). No need to spend more on food and drink. All bars are free and food is always available if needed. Our cabin maid was a young Russian lady who proved to be excellent. She was studying to be a Marine engineer so she was very bright. The ship is small and very well equipped and presented. All the crew were faultless. Food was always excellent. My son liked the Thomas Keller grill best, but then he is a meat eater and I am not. We met some lovely people and made several new friends. Don't miss the quizzes they are great fun. Never be afraid to ask if you want something done. The cruise director and her assistant were very professional. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My husband and I just returned from 7-nights aboard the Seabourn Odyssey ship. We have been going on cruises for the past 20 years, and have been on virtually every cruise line. We started out in Venice, Italy and ended our trip in Athens, ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from 7-nights aboard the Seabourn Odyssey ship. We have been going on cruises for the past 20 years, and have been on virtually every cruise line. We started out in Venice, Italy and ended our trip in Athens, Greece. Our travel agent was wonderful and suggested that we go a few days early to enjoy Venice. We had a Seabourn agent meet us at the gate in Venice Italy airport, and escorted us to our private water taxi to our hotel. The hotel they recommended was pricey, but worth every cent-- the magnificent Bauer Palazzo. We enjoyed our time in Venice, and getting to the ship was also very easy due to the Seabourn touch!! Boarding was no problem, and we were always in the shade, in a small line, unlike other cruise lines. Our room was huge, and overall we were supremely impressed with all the fine details that Seabourn takes care of! You never felt crowded on this ship-- there are only 500 guests and all the common areas felt spacious. The main dining room was fabulous-- similar to the quality of most of the "extra fee" restaurants on the bigger ships. We dined in the Thomas Keller PRIME restaurant one evening, and it was magnificent!! If you want to have an extremely luxurious vacation- book it with Seabourn!! Also, I am on a gluten-free diet, and had plenty of options at every meal, plus I was impressed that the coffee bar even had fresh gluten-free danishes every day! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
After cruising with other lines we learned what we didn't like and what to look for in our next cruise. And trust me it was hard to convince my husband to take another cruise after our last disaster on another cruise line..Royal ###, ... Read More
After cruising with other lines we learned what we didn't like and what to look for in our next cruise. And trust me it was hard to convince my husband to take another cruise after our last disaster on another cruise line..Royal ###, I did my research and we settled on Seabourn. It was the perfect time of the year and where we and our friends wanted to travel. Upon checking in we were greeted with champagne, walked right up to the service desk, everyone was so helpful and friendly. There were 2 gentlemen checking in the same time we were, and they shared "how much they look forward to the this cruise every year". Upon entering the ship, our room was not ready we had the Spa Penthhouse Suite 1093, so we decided to have some lunch and drinks. During this time we got to the know staff and they us, the food at lunch was excellent. By the time we were able to check in to our room my husband Mike and Big Mike knew every staff member working the poolside...whIch I'm grateful because my husband had the darnest time finding our room and luckily 2 staff members knew where to take him. But that is another hilarious story. Our room was right on the back of the ship, the best view of all! It was spacious and contemporary design. The bathroom was enormous..and a walk in closet! Hello my friend! We did have small issue, one of our suitcases was damaged during the transfer, we shared this with our steward and right away Zonett took care of the issue and we were issued an onboard credit that afternoon. Our trip was amazing, personalized and the staff was amazing! The food was excellent, onboard live entertainment was marginal but I would rather be sitting on my back patio with my husband and friends having a very nice glass of wine discussing the day we had or what tomorrow will bring. We also met so many new friends, whom we still in contact with even today. Due to the excursions and activities on the ship you get to know everyone and by the final night we were sitting in the pool area for the open dance party, I think we pushed all the tables together to accommodate 26 people...we had so much fun that night! It was truly memorable. All the men went out dancing ...some sort of man dance like they were driving a car...not sure but it certainly had all the other guests laughing. It was so nice not to have worry about upcharges, or buying beverage packages or paying for specialty restaurants. I want to enjoy my trip not constantly think about pricing. With Seabourn, if you want Steak and Lobster, you get Steak and Lobster no extra charge. If you want 5 scoops of ice you can have 5 scoops of ice cream no question asked and never a bill! Plus the best part is no cheesy formal night photos. Our room steward, Zonett, was amazing, Every day she left little notes for us, and it truly made our trip extra special. By the end of the trip, we knew everyone and they became family. I was so sad to say goodbye to her. We and all of our friends were completely spoiled by Seabourn! And my husband has required we only cruise with Seabourn which I am booking now. If I could give Seabourn10 stars I would. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We are a couple late 50s from Toronto, Canada. Looking for a nice escape from the cold for a week and the smaller Caribbean Islands fit the bill perfectly. From the moment we arrived at the port (stayed at local hotel the night ... Read More
We are a couple late 50s from Toronto, Canada. Looking for a nice escape from the cold for a week and the smaller Caribbean Islands fit the bill perfectly. From the moment we arrived at the port (stayed at local hotel the night before) and were greeted by a smiling reception crew (just a few feet from where our taxi dropped us) we knew this was going to be a “wow”. The Seabourn Odyssey kept up this extraordinary level of service to the very last goodbye after clearing customs on disembarkation. Every one of our needs was eagerly anticipated and offered without having to ask! On arrival day we showed up 2 hours early thinking we may have to wait around. No. They welcomed us on board and hosted a wonderful lunch advising us that room may still take a couple of hours. We actually checked our room early and were delighted to find it was ready and suitcases had already arrived. We were set to go. Never a line up. The cabins are large and very well layed out. Ours (balcony 718) was nice with a beautifully appointed and spotlessly clean bathroom including a bathtub. Absolutely nothing to complain about and the room service was wonderful (thank you to Tanja!). On dining. As expected all meals were a 10. Even the buffet had tremendous selection of beautifully prepared food, lots of seating and never rushed. Always exceptional service and you just could not go long before a server was at your elbow for anything. They would even carry your plate from the buffet to your table. The Grill (featuring the menus of Chef Thomas Keller) was superb. We had an amazing meal with no complaints. One suggestion would be to offer 2 different size portions. It is a shame to have to leave 1/2 a beautiful steak uneaten! Reservations here, however, were another matter. They were always required and difficult to get. We only had one seating using a table of 4 (2 seats sat empty) that could easily have been shared. Many guests complained about this and I wonder whether this was done intentionally to keep up a synthetic demand. Everyone we talked to always mentioned many empty tables yet no waiting list ever offered! Hint to Seabourn...offer a wait list. Even for appearance sake, every table should always be occupied. On entertainment. Again, spotless! Shows exuded talent, were on time, varied, and enjoyable. Really liked Mark Donahue who was a multi-instrumentalist and singer. Did an amazing compilation of Western songs on his violin to a standing ovation. Some downsides. The onboard internet is hopeless. Caution if you are paying by the hour because what would take 5 mins on land took 45 mins onboard. Yes, I know issues with ship internet but I'm also pretty certain this could be improved. One major disappointment and where I think Seabourn blew it. We had several of our excursions cancelled when the ship had to be rerouted due to higher than usual swells which affected safe access to the tenders. This I understand. What was infuriating was to prepare for the excursion, pack night before, retire early, get up early, rush only to get a morning call saying cancelled with NO back up excursions!! What would it have taken to add another bus to another island tour? Nope. We were left 4 days basically walking through the Port area with very little to do. To me, this was so easy to avoid and inexcusable. The one excursion we managed was a "Jeep" tour of Tobago. This was a joke and should be taken off the excursion list. Four vehicles and in ours five of us huddled in the back of a crappy truck with side facing seats, flying down a highway, no seat belts, nothing even to stop us from falling out had we lost our grip, drove through one swampy creek, driver pointed out one lifeless cayman, and 4 hours later we were thankfully back on board. As decent excursions seems like an easy fix, I'm hoping never to have to encounter such experiences again. All considered, we are now Seabourn fans and, depending on itinerary, will now be our go to cruise line. Thanks to a great staff and management. RG Toronto Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
I picked Seabourn because I was told the service was outstanding. If anything, that understates the service. I never had anything less that a totally perfect service from any employee. If I was picky, I would note that caviar took 25 ... Read More
I picked Seabourn because I was told the service was outstanding. If anything, that understates the service. I never had anything less that a totally perfect service from any employee. If I was picky, I would note that caviar took 25 minutes to show up one night, and that I had already finished my first martini before it arrived. That is hardly anything to complain about. I was disappointed in the quality of the food in the colonade one night, and in the quality of the service in the Restaurant one morning at breakfast. Overall, however, food was outstanding. About the embarkation. We were on the 10th floor. We entered the boat, as did everyone else, on the aft side. The greeter told us to take the elevator to the 10th floor. The problem is that the aft elevator doesn't go there. Right when we were entering and did not know our way around the ship, we got bad instructions. If they won't let 10th floor guests enter in the front, they should let us know how to get there. 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our second time with Seabourn...and the second time with Odyssey. Originally this cruise was supposed to go from Athens to Istanbul but it was changed due to troubles in Turkey. Still it was worth it as we went to several Greek ... Read More
This was our second time with Seabourn...and the second time with Odyssey. Originally this cruise was supposed to go from Athens to Istanbul but it was changed due to troubles in Turkey. Still it was worth it as we went to several Greek Islands including Crete, Rhodes, and Mykonos. Ship: Just the right size with a super friendly staff. Not really any change than the first time we sailed which was during the summer of 2015. Cabin: Very nice and very roomy. Service in the cabin was extraordinary. Dining: Food is always excellent. We ate in Restaurant 1 and Restaurant 2. We also ate on the patio for lunch a number of times and in the buffet. We had room service for breakfast every day. Excellent service. Entertainment was fun and also interesting. They had a speaker who talked about the various islands we explored. As I said, service throughout was excellent. Ports were wonderful and the excursions were quite interesting. We'll be taking the Odyssey again this summer from Rome to Barcelona. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We booked Seabourn's 7 Day Cruise on board the Odyssey from Venice to Athens and could not be more pleased by the experience. While nothing is perfect, and there were some bumps along the way, this was by far the best cruise ... Read More
We booked Seabourn's 7 Day Cruise on board the Odyssey from Venice to Athens and could not be more pleased by the experience. While nothing is perfect, and there were some bumps along the way, this was by far the best cruise experience I had and plan on taking more Seabourn cruises in the future. We arrived in Venice, Italy one night before embarkation. While we did have about a day to explore the city, in hindsight I would had liked one more day. We stayed at the Splendid Hotel in Venice which was a great location to see a lot of attractions in the heart of Venice. The hotel was great and our room was much bigger than expected. If you do stay here I highly recommend taking a water taxi directly to and from the hotel if you have a lot of luggage. We did have trouble with embarkation. It started when we asked the hotel about the best way to get the port. They recommended a private water taxi for $100 Euro. They also told us we could take the water ferry from the Rialto Bridge for $15 euro per person. We cheaped out and that was a mistake. We asked the hotel which stop to get off and they said Tronchetto. We asked the people on the ferry and they said the same, which would have been correct if the ship was at the main terminal. But since the port was so busy that day, the Odessey was at the San Basillio terminal, which is a much different ferry stop. So after a lot of walking, some panic and a $20 euro taxi ride around the port, we got to the right place. Problem was it was late, a little after 4:00pm, and the Italians inside the terminal said the boarding process was now closed. After some more panic, and a lot of back and forth in English and Italian, they reluctantly let us on board where we started the check in process. It was a very tense hour and at one point we felt like we might actually miss the boat. But in the end we got on and the Seabourn staff were very welcoming. Once we were checked in we immediately went to the mandatory safety meeting with the rest of the passengers in the main restaurant. It was there I realized that we were on a much smaller cruise. All 400+ passengers were there for the safety meeting. Once the meeting was over (about 15 minutes) we were allowed to go to our room. Our room was great. Much bigger than some hotels I have stayed in Europe, New York or San Francisco. About five minutes after we got into our room, our stewardess came and greeted us with gifts. It was a really nice touch and made us felt welcomed. About five minutes after that, the ship’s on board guest services called to ask us about the embarkation. We told them what happened and they apologized. That night we sat in the observation bar and watched the ship leave the beautiful city of Venice. Then we went to the main restaurant for dinner and had amazing steaks. I found the food at all of the restaurants on the ship great. We had dinner at all three during the course of the cruise. The main restaurant had a solid menu. The colonnade had different themes every night. And Restaurant 2 is defiantly worth a visit or two. We had lunch many days at the Patio Grill, which was very good. We hit the colonnade only twice for breakfast, but both times were good with a very large selection of breakfast items. I liked that you could hit the buffet or order items like eggs and pancakes to order. It might sound strange but I prefer to order my scrambled eggs fresh versus getting them from the buffet line. On our first full day on board we took a tour of the galley with the head chef. He was great and showed us where most all of the meals were cooked. He talked at length about the process they go through to insure the quality of the food. He even told us they fly all the meat served on board from the US to make sure the quality of the meat is the highest possible. The head chef also told us they do source seafood from local vendors at some of the ports they visit. What was also impressive is that the ship bakes all the bread and pastries daily on board, only bringing in gluten free products from the outside. What we really took advantage of was the room service. We had breakfast in the room five of the days during the cruise. The night before we would fill out a card and leave it on the door before we went to sleep and the next morning the waiters were there with everything we had ordered. We even tried to stump them a few times with special orders, but they handled it flawlessly. I will say they were prompt. While the card gave 15 minute time frames for delivery, they were they a minute after the initial time. For instance the first day I asked for 7:00am to 7:15am. They were there at 7:01am, I had not even gotten out of bed yet. Every time we ordered that was the result. It was great. We also ordered room service after a late night of drinking and dancing. I ordered a cheeseburger at 1:30am. I swear I had just hung up the phone and a waiter was there with a perfectly cooked cheeseburger. It was impressive. As far as the alcohol and wine served on board, it is all top notch. They have a wide selection of beer and hard alcohol. The wine served at dinner was better than most restaurants. There are some premium wines and alcohol you can purchase, but honestly the regular selection is so good you really don’t have to spend extra money. The pool area is not the biggest, but it is nice. So is the spa. I had a wonderful couples massage with a ritual bath after. The bath is outside in a private area that overlooks the sea. The Spa also has nice steam rooms and saunas to use after your treatment. I did not use the gym, but I did stop by. It is not very big, but it had a nice selection of equipment. They also offer different classes like stretching, yoga and palliates (free of charge) in both the morning and in the late afternoon. The entertainment on board was OK. The shows were entertaining, but not spectacular. The best was probably the magician, who performed twice, each show was different. The club was OK, not too wild or crazy. The casino is small with only roulette, black jack, three card poker and some slot machines. One pro tip, You can take your winnings to Seabourn square (the reception area) and put your winnings (if you have any) towards your bill. I did not know that and cashed out at the casino receiving U.S. dollars. We didn’t really participate in any of the other activities so I cannot comment on them. I will say the passengers on board were mostly adults, and most were of the retirement age. That’s not to say it was filled with retirees, but there were not a lot of families with children which was nice. Given the quality of the service and the time of year we traveled it was not a cruise for families. The cruise went from Venice, Italy to Athens, Greece. Our first stop was Primosten, Croatia. We didn’t book an excursion and spent half the day walking around the small island. After a drink we opted to head back to the boat and spend the afternoon at the pool. It was truly relaxing. Day two took us to Dubrovnik, Croatia. We booked our own tour online and took the shuttle bus from the port to the old city. Once there we went on a Game of Thrones tour which was great. If you’re a fan of the show I highly recommend it. Unfortunately it started to rain very hard so after the tour we returned to the ship and did not get to spend a lot of time in the old city. Day three we went to Corfu. Once again we skipped the cruise excursions. We rented a car right at the cruise terminal from Hertz and drove around the island. It was a lot of fun and we got to see a couple of the villages and beaches around the island. We ended the day walking around the Old Town Corfu. Day four was Nydri. We had an excursion booked, but it was canceled due to weather. I will say out of all the ports, Nydri was our least favorite. While we did get off the boat, I would of rather spent the entire day on the ship. Day five was Olympia. That day we took the Seabourn excursion “Best of Olympia” tour. It was really wonderful and our guide was engaging and informative. We went to the birth place of the Olympics and to two museums to see some of the artifacts found at the site. The tour included a delicious traditional Greek lunch at a lovely restaurant just outside of the new city of Olympia. Then we had about a half hour to walk around and see the new city. Day six was probably the biggest surprise, Monemvasia, Greece. Words cannot express how amazing and beautiful this small town really is. We had originally thought we would spend about two hours in the town and head back to the boat. We ended up spending almost the entire day exploring the town including a challenging climb to the top. It was a breath taking view on a sunny day. We had lunch in the old city which was quite good. My only regret about that day was not taking a bathing suit and towel for a swim in the Aegean Sea. Our last stop was Athens. This is where our time on the ship came to an end. Disembarkation was a breeze. We had a transfer to our hotel arraigned by the Seabourn staff. It was simple and fast. It could not be better. Athens is amazing. We only spent a day there, but could have easily spent three. Seabourn is not cheap, but you really get what you pay for. The nice part of the cruise was pretty much everything was included, our bill at the end was minimal. There was no extra charge for all of the alcohol, room service and coffee bar stops. Overall the service of the staff was top notch and I would highly recommend taking a Seabourn cruise. I plan to make my next cruise on Seabourn. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This is your cruise line if you smoke! The CEO is a smoker, so smokers get special smoking places, you can smoke on your balcony, which means the neighbors get to smoke too! The balcony doors open outward & upwind so you will suck in ... Read More
This is your cruise line if you smoke! The CEO is a smoker, so smokers get special smoking places, you can smoke on your balcony, which means the neighbors get to smoke too! The balcony doors open outward & upwind so you will suck in all your neighbors smoke when you open the door, and sitting on your balcony if you are so unfortunate to have a neighbor who smokes is not possible. Smokers also get a large area above the pool next to the bar and another large area at the back of the ship, which was my favorite area but I never sat down there. When walking down the hallways you can smell smoke, and when changeover day happened the smell of smoke was overwhelming in some rooms, if I had been assigned a cabin which was smoke infested I would be beside myself. The beds are HARD, but you can get a mattress topper if you ask, I had to get 2 because the toppers are one inch. I think the word that Seabourn is smoker friendly has gotten out, so people who smoke increase with time. The risk of having a neighbor who smokes is too important to me, so I won't book again. Rooms are good, but closet doors get in the way of the dressing table, so one cannot sit at the table if the other is going in the closet. The room girls say 2% use the bath tubs, yet all rooms have them, would be so nice to enlarge the tiny closet with the space of the bath tub. Room help says management don't listen to their ideas. Seabourn is affiliated with Princess so you will get Princess email ads a few times a week and the only way to stop them is to keep unsubscribing - it took me 3 times. Other than that it is a great cruise line, really loved the crew. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I just completed two back to back cruises, 9/5-9/12 Piraeus-Istanbul (Greek Isles) and 9/12-9/19 Istanbul-Istanbul (Black Sea Odyssey) This was my first SB trip. For comparison, I have done 8 prior cruises, most of them on luxury ... Read More
I just completed two back to back cruises, 9/5-9/12 Piraeus-Istanbul (Greek Isles) and 9/12-9/19 Istanbul-Istanbul (Black Sea Odyssey) This was my first SB trip. For comparison, I have done 8 prior cruises, most of them on luxury competitor lines. EMBARKATION was pleasant and efficient, took less than a half hour. We got on board on a very hot day around 12:30 for a 4 PM departure, then went to the nicely air-conditioned Colonnade indoor/outdoor venue for a sumptuous buffet lunch while the rooms were readied. Around 2PM we were notified our room was ready. My suitcase was there waiting for me from Luggage Forward, a company sponsored by SB, shipped from the US in advance, right on time. ATMOSPHERE Contemporary, well-kept ship, very clean, with obviously well-off passengers averaging 55-65. Overall, pax were younger than on Silver Sea cruises I have done, by about 10 years, though this may have been due to the itinerary. Passengers were mostly well-behaved, healthy-appearing couples with varying marital status, including a few gay couples, and a handful of singles (there seemed to be less of them here than on SS). Though there were a few people who appeared unhappy and were having problems they unrealistically hoped a cruise would solve, generally people seemed to be polite, well-traveled, reserved, and content to enjoy their trips and the company of their traveling companions without inserting themselves into conversations with strangers. At least a third seemed to be from non-English speaking countries (I heard at least Italian, German, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Flemish, and Portuguese). The rest were English-speaking Americans (some originally from other countries), Brits, Canadians, Aussies. Most of the port excursions on these cruises required a pretty good fitness level (cobblestones, hills, and/or walking and standing around in the heat for the majority of offered excursions), so not surprisingly I did not see any wheelchairs (though some pax had canes and were mobility impaired), or many pax who were young children. However, I heard from a crew member that a couple months before here had been an unusual group of pax on board with 50 children, so absence of children is not guaranteed on this line. Note for smoking phobics: there were a few small outdoor smoking venues which did not bother me at all but might bother some. Even though I am a non-smoker, I am not worried I will die from a few outdoor sniffs of smoke here and there, though I know some people are, and some perceive reactions to even small amounts. Smoking venues were on the starboard side of the 9th floor outside above the pool deck (five tables), and starboard side of SB Square veranda (a couple sofas and tables), plus smoking is allowed on verandas, but overall, VERY few people smoked, or even vaped. FACILITIES were overall very nice, though the contemporary style modern furniture in most public areas was often uncomfortable for me (I have musculoskeletal problems) so I set up coping strategies (see below). The ship had immaculate maintenance, tasteful art displays, a very uncrowded environment, and even at the pools on hot days it was tolerable and you could swim laps (there is also a smaller pool lower and aft). I could always find a place to sit in the public areas, including the wonderful Seabourn Square center aft where there are computers, printed newspapers, acceptable Internet, iPADs, easily available front desk personnel, coffees with snacks, ice creams, adjustable recliners, sofas, library books and games. Chairs and sofas in public areas were modern in appearance, some more comfortable than others. Poolside lounge chairs were uncomfortable for me without cushions. Chairs in the Colonnade were very nicely angled, padded, and comfortable, and this was my favorite dining venue (I love eating outside on a nice day). There were two modern styles of chairs in the main dining room: one style (rounded, yellow) was oddly shaped, such that I felt like I would slide off, whereas the others (white, more squared) were ok, though shorter than ideal on the backrest and with hard armrests, and thus not as cushy and plush as the main dining room chairs on competitor lines Regent or Silver Sea. I was a bit disappointed in the overall seating on this line (many hard seats and low backrests), but not enough to dissuade me from coming to SB again, as I can structure ways to get around these issues (e.g., target the venues or chairs that I like, and/or carry portable seating pads). Nothing looked worn out or tired. SPA: Beautiful spa with views of the ocean as you get serviced, with pleasant staff, (Tijan the manicurist from Serbia is a delight to talk to) and a special serene sitting area where you can lie on hard warm rocks if you choose (I did not, too hard), or wade through a serene area pool. You can also rent by the day or by cruise regular access to the serene area. Though I did not use the gym, it looked uncrowded and had a variety of equipment options, also with ocean views, and a trainer was available. ENTERTAINMENT: I went to several shows, which with the exception of a lovely and talented outstanding young classical pianist (Naomi Edemarian, whom I could listen to all day if offered), were nothing special, but I would never pick a cruise line for its shows. There were some competent Broadway-style singers and dancers, there was a magician, a talented and humorous female fiddle player, but unfortunately also a British comedian who was not too funny and a bit crude. Grand Salon is the main basic entertainment, gathering, and lecture venue, where attentive staff will bring drinks to your seats before and during the events if you want them. Chairs are a little stiff though padded, upright, not comfortable enough for me to want to lounge the evening away in them. There are also many on demand movies you could watch in your suite, almost all only in English, as well as the usual array of varying and mostly sparsely attended on-board activities common to other cruise lines (cards, dance lessons, trivia, casino, etc). TV showed BBC news, Sky news, FOX news, CNBC, MSNBC, Sky Sports, some TV shows, a view from the bridge, and had an interactive channel where you could book excursions and spa appointments (there were a few problems). There was also a cruise director who was a beautiful young American woman who looked terrific in a tight evening dress and very high heels, and tried very hard to be pleasant and amusing, but who seemed to have a somewhat false manner about her and periodically made jokes that I did not consider to be funny (e.g., about a particular classical music piano piece reminding her of Bugs Bunny themes). But to me, cruise directors (or event entertainment offerings) do not make or break a cruise, so she was mostly irrelevant to my overall rating of this trip as 5/5. ENRICHMENT lectures: not a strength of SB this journey; lectures were few and far between, weak and disorganized, with some misinformation provided on some topics (one British male speaker was particularly annoying in this regard, not sure if he is paid for his efforts). I would have been better off just reading about the referenced places and history on the internet or in books about the area I had brought on my iPAD, and watching online videos, rather than listening to the speakers with their poorly structured and barely legible slide presentations. But lecture availability does not determine my cruising choice or overall rating (here, 5/5). FOOD and WINE: Very good to outstanding, all venues, all meals. This is very important to me on cruises. There was a wide variety of competently cuisine, and portions were sensible so you could try more things (considering the constant ongoing feeding), with daily special themes. Also, personnel brought daily fresh fruit specials to the suite daily. I did not have a bad or mediocre meal the entire cruise though some courses were better than others. My biggest ‘complaint’ was that the delicate pheasant one night had a little too much rosemary on it, and the borscht on the Russian food night in the Colonnadede did not taste very Russian. Though I had some mediocre coffee here and there, it was usually good, and always served hot and well-caffeinated, even at room service. Seabourn Square personnel will make you espresso, latte, etc starting 6:15 AM, till 6:00 PM, no closures, and again 9-11PM, where you can also get little cakes, muffins, tiny sandwiches at will. Room service for breakfast was quick, (often arrived earlier than ordered) and except for one of the times I used it, the tray always had what I had ordered (the other time they had just forgotten to pick up the breakfast order from outside the door the night before). The included Nicholas Feuillatte champagne and international red wine offerings were decent to good, and though some of the included whites were not to my taste, personnel would bring me something different if I asked, also included in the basic fare (such as Stag’s Leap Chardonnay which drinks quite nicely with the wonderful assorted lovely fish dishes SB frequently offered). I did not feel compelled to constantly buy wine off the wine list in order to find something drinkable, like I did recently on SS. It was also not at all difficult to attract a waiter’s attention and the dining rooms appeared well-organized in true team efforts. Though food in all venues was very good, my favorite was the popular Restaurant 2 (multiple small gourmet portions served in a small quiet room, reservations are required there but there is no extra fee). Restaurant 2 also offered wine/food pairings on one of my two trips there, which were outstanding. Though I am not a vegetarian, I noted on SB there were always vegetarian options, quite tasty, and gluten-free choices were also marked. The main dining room and Restaurant 2 were not open for breakfast or lunch, which some people did not like but I did not care as I knew how and where to eat to get enough tasty food 24/7. For breakfast, most people either used pre-ordered room service for breakfast or ate at the Colonnade (7:30-10). Lunchtime people either ate at the pool (1-4), the Colonnade (12-2), or were on excursions. An improvement would be if advance dining reservations, e.g., for R2, could be made on the internet before the cruise, as on SS or some other lines, to avoid rushing around the first day trying to get a reservation in R2 (they booked out). SERVICE: Exceptional, and this is an important and distinguishing SB feature. Excellent, friendly and helpful staff everywhere I turned, and personnel did not seem exhausted or act overworked and annoyed with you: very good waiters and service in dining rooms, very good room stewardess (ours was the excellent Monica, from Slovakia). There were also helpful and readily available SB Square destinations and front desk service personnel, and computer tech support (e.g., Adrian — quietly competent and thorough). Personnel who interacted with pax front-line were from English-speaking countries of origin from all over the world, or from countries where almost all young people are required to learn English. I never had trouble getting front line personnel to understand what I was saying, and many were multilingual and picked up on pax language preferences if they were not English. Personnel were readily responsive to the few problems I had: e.g., I have a musculoskeletal condition which makes hard (i.e., new) mattresses difficult for me to tolerate, and my stewardess did not rest until she found a solution to my mattress and sleeping problem (an egg crate topper). Adrian the computer guy also came personally to my suite to help me with my internet and email issues (he resolved a very complex problem I had). I had a sense of “can do, no matter what” from the staff, as opposed to “not my problem." INTERNET: not as good as I’d like (especially in my suite location), but it was reasonably priced for unlimited service and one way or the other, I was able to get on and stay on to get done what needed to be done. This is not a problem unique to SB. SUITE review: I had a very forward PH Suite on the 9th floor, right behind the bridge. Surprisingly, I heard no bridge noise. There was a huge amount of storage space, and a luxury bathroom with a side-by-side modern shower and a whirlpool tub. Nothing was broken, but a minor flaw was that the bathtub had no rinse-off hose. There were deep double sinks, plus another sink in the separate toilet area which could be accessed either from the hall or from the bathroom. Though the stewardess was great, the suite overall turned out not to suit my needs: as noted, the bed with its new mattresses was, to me, too hard, and the very narrow living room sofa/chaise was even harder and I thought more appropriate for a dentist’s waiting room than a luxury cruise line. The Istanbul airport had seats more comfortable than this sofa. The sofa was too narrow to stretch out on (it was not wide, like in the picture I saw of the PH on the internet) and as there was also no comfortable recliner in the living room either, just a couple stiff chairs at the dining table, I did not want to sit in the living room/dining area at all. Also, the suite had poor to non-existent wifi much of the time, though it improved after the internet team performed some upgrades later in the cruise (this was apparently just a bad location for wifi I did not know about in advance). So I had to go to SB Square or closer towards the other side of the ship to use my reasonably priced unlimited internet service plan. The deck in the suite was spacious, and the outdoor chaise lounge chairs partially reclined, but had no pads and were thus hard to sit on for more than a few minutes (I put pillows on them when I wanted to sit outside). The stiff chairs at the eating table on the suite's deck (identical to the pool area dining chairs) did have some pads but were upright and uncomfortable. Lighting functions were confusing, i.e., the switches let the living room and bathroom be either totally bright or totally dark, no “mood” setting option except in the bedroom. In sum, in hindsight, the extra price paid to have a PH suite was not worth it to me as I could not comfortably use most of the space to lounge in the room that had the view. I typically wanted to leave the suite as much as possible to go sit somewhere more comfortable. I would have been better off with a simple veranda suite prepared in advance with just a bed with an egg crate mattress topper, which is what I have reserved for my next SB cruise to Norway in 2016, where I will be able to ignore the hard sofa but still see the ocean while lounging on the bed. EXCURSIONS AND PORTS: SANTORINI: a lovely, must-see, though very crowded, picture postcard island, tender required. We did the SB excursion to Mt Profitis Ilias and Oia Village, ending in Thira. It was a good overview of the area, though the trip up to Mt. Profitis, which was just a ride up a mountain and back yielded nothing to do at the top except look down at the rest of the island (there was some trash lying around, and a monastery you could not enter, no inn or place to sit or relax and enjoy the view). So next time we would probably skip this in favor of more independent time in Oia and Thira for browsing the interesting little streets and shops and enjoying some refreshments. RHODES — a worthwhile port. We just wondered around on our own here rather than taking a tour (ship was docked right at the key tourist areas, hard to get lost, just follow the old city walls ), and we also toured the extensive Archeological Museum, definitely worth a long stop, it also has shaded gardens. PATMOS — Nice. We did the "Patmos Highlights” excursion on a hot day, including the Unesco World Heritage Site of the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse. This is an impressive very old religious site, and there was an active Greek Orthodox service ongoing. The tour included the 300-yr-old Simandris House, with the 90 plus aged female owner sitting there hosting as we toured, interesting, and then we went for a delicious plate of mezes, decent wine and Greek dancing at a local inn. A good tour, though quite strenuous going up the hills, especially if weather is hot, not for people who have trouble going up and down in the heat. KUSADASI — definitely do the Ephesus Evening Reception complimentary classical music concert, quite beautiful (though the acoustics at the site did not do the musicians justice, i.e., their music got partially drowned out, but this is a visually special event not to be missed. We did a separate Virtuoso tour of amazing Ephesus on the second leg of the cruise out of Izmir so I cannot comment on the quality of the actual SB sponsored Ephesus excursions out of Kusadasi. MYKONOS — I do not recommend the “Stroll through Mykonos.” The guide was boring, hard to understand, and we stood around in a poorly ventilated hot museum with no chairs to rest on, which had some interesting pieces but also a lot of echo. There was not enough strolling and too much standing. The ship is docked here, no tender, so you could do this high end town on your own. We bailed after the first 45 minutes and just wandered around independently, then ate at a local overpriced but pleasant inn on the water with a view of the interesting windmills. LIMNOS— did the Highlights tour, which was an ok tour of this more primitive island, which has quite a bit of military installations, rough vineyards, poorer people. Definitely not Napa valley style wineries. They do not get many visitors. We toured the beautifully situated Poliochnis ruins from 4000 BC as well as the British Cemetery and World War I Memorial, both are worth a look, though a private tour might provide more timing flexibility to explore the island ISTANBUL— we did the “Best of Istanbul” tour as this was our first time here and we were not sure what to expect. We would likely have done a private tour if it weren’t for the recent political unrest in the area. VERY CROWDED city overall, and this tour is not for the easily stressed or fatigued. The bus had stiff, closely spaced uncomfortable seats that did not recline. The palaces were packed, (though fascinating to view) as was the Hagia Sophia museum, (equally fascinating) and the lines were incredibly long at the Blue Mosque even for pre-booked big groups. The tour (at least on a hot day) was too tiring, with no significant rest or food breaks until close to 1:30 when we had an outstanding late Turkish lunch at a lovely air-conditioned upscale restaurant, Nar Lokanta. You may wish to skip the extra morning coffee that day if you are female, as the toilets offered in the area of the tour (other than later at the immaculate restaurant in the afternoon) were less than lovely, often the squat type (though western style at the Museum), with LONG lines as well, and at the Blue Mosque toilets some Muslim women were ritualistically washing their feet and bodies in the washroom sinks though posted signs said they should not do this there (there are other designated locations for this). NESSEBUR: we did the pleasant Bulgarian cooking demonstration. Seas were too rough to tender off this ancient town, so we docked 16 km nearby at the modern port terminal in Burgas and were then bussed to the colorful UNESCO heritage site of Nessebur where we did a walking tour, then had a wonderful 5-course Bulgarian feast at a local restaurant (Gloria Mar) with a cooking demo before, and recipes provided to take home. Unfortunately the lunch was quite late (close to 2PM before we actually ate) and we were tortured with the preceding cooking demonstrations and aromas around us without having even a morsel of food on the tables for the hungry pax who had not had anything since breakfast to munch on. So, some pax were quite cranky and expressed themselves accordingly. I should have brought some snacks with me to eat late morning in the bus, or perhaps to improve the experience the restaurant could have served the first course salad while demonstrating the rest of the food preparations. If you do this excursion, it might be good to plan on either eating a big breakfast or bringing snacks for late morning, and/or planning skipping a big dinner that night as you will be very full from the lunch feast. As it was, we had to rush through 5 courses, and the last course (a plate of ripe fruit) was mostly uneaten. VARNA, Bulgaria: a fairly large industrial port, not much to see in town other than a museum. We did the “Treasures of Varna” excursion, on which we saw some notable archeological treasures, also walked in soft sand through a petrified forest near the sea (interesting photo ops), then drove to a forest where we were saw some Bulgarian folk dancers perform (under a sign in German for some reason that said “Waldfest” , which means forest festival). Bulgarian music is not to my taste, too droningly repetitive, but the costumes were colorful and there was an audience participation option which some frisky pax took advantage of. We were offered a snack of lunchmeat and unremarkable cheese, one roll per person, and bad Bulgarian wine, while sitting on hard benches. The excellent, witty guide Elke (who speaks 8 languages) saved the day, though I would probably not do this organized excursion again. CONSTANZA, Rumania: “Constanza Highlights” excursion — unfortunately, there was not much to “highlight” here. This is an industrial port, a rundown town in a poor country, that shows significant evidence of the damage that communism did over the years. The archeological museum had some interesting treasures and there were a few other historical ruins, ancient and communist, to see. The bus then took us to the “Rumanian Riviera” beach town of Mamaia, which was mostly deserted as the season had ended. We took a gondola across town with a coastline view of the mostly shabby hotels lining a wide, sandy beach. We then were given too much time to kill in an uninteresting location with a few tacky shops and unfriendly locals, and there was surprisingly quite a bit of trash on the streets. I would not do this excursion again. IZMIR: we did a private group excursion to Ephesus. Ephesus is not to be missed, either from this end (longer drive) or from the Kusadasi access. The Terrace Houses were particularly interesting, fascinating history. Must be fit and able to go up/down uneven areas, best done when the day is not too hot (it was VERY hot, so I struggled). The additional Virgin Mary crowded site was not worth the trip to me but might be if you are a Christian following a pilgrimage route and must see this location. DISEMBARKATION in Istanbul did not go as smoothly as I expected, likely due to local port issues rather than SB fault. We ordered an early private car through SB to pick us up at 8AM and take us to the airport and were told to wait to be called to disembark at 8. We were given early disembarkation luggage tags. However, the way things evolved, in the AM we did not see any groups gathering waiting to be called, and it was close to car pick-up time, so we left the ship at 7:45 to make sure we did not miss our 8AM pickup outside the port. We and another couple with a 7:45 pickup got stuck in a huge passport and customs line of thousands of disembarking Celebrity pax, with no priority line for us with our early cars, and our luggage was not prioritized (it seemed to emerge randomly), so it was not until 8:45 that we had our delayed luggage and were finally in the car on the way to the airport, when it should have been at 8. We did not miss our flight, not even close, but some anxiety was created. CONCLUSION/SUMMARY: Despite a few minor glitches (I always expect something to go wrong when I travel) I had a very positive overall experience with Seabourn. My problems with hard mattresses and sofas are likely unique to me or a small minority of people. Food, wine, service, ambience, and a “can do” sense that everything is being taken care of in a professional manner, were and are the main features that I value (plus, of course, the itinerary). I had previously pre-booked a journey on SB with my husband on the Quest to Norway July 2015 (Copenhagen-Dover), and my current experience has reinforced my desire to retain that reservation (but with an eggcrate mattress pre-arranged with the future cruise services desk :). I definitely look forward to more SB excellence in the areas where it counts — cuisine, service, responsiveness, and class. I will also compare it with Hapag Lloyd’s equally highly rated but somewhat different style ultra luxury Europa 2 ship in December where I am booked with my husband as a new customer. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
Our first experience with Seabourn was in 2009. Our Norwegian vessel was docked near a Seabourn ship. Seeing how the Seabourn guests were welcomed aboard was an eye opener. In 2014, we took a deep breath and book the Greek Islands ... Read More
Our first experience with Seabourn was in 2009. Our Norwegian vessel was docked near a Seabourn ship. Seeing how the Seabourn guests were welcomed aboard was an eye opener. In 2014, we took a deep breath and book the Greek Islands cruise on the Sojourn. A big step for us, but we wanted the all inclusive experience. i don't have the time or patience to attempt a complete review, but I confess to being a true believer in the Seabourn experience. I will never forget the staff members standing in front of the gangway cheering and applauding us as we came on board! So cool. We loved our cabin! It was big, luxurious, had a walk in closet and a bathtub. The veranda was big and private, and there was a table and chairs for in room dining in style. The staff were amazing. The first day I stopped by the Pool deck bar for a cocktail. The next day as I walked by the same bar, the bartender asked if I wanted the same cocktail I had previously ordered. Every one seemed to know our names. All the facilities were first rate, and the food was fabulous. The chef hosted an event where he made a fabulous paella in front of us while he chatted away about Seabourn, food, and his life experiences. We got to attend a shore event in the ruins of Ephesus where we were seated outside the coliseum and fed wine and snacks while being entertained by a string quartet...on the house. Seabourn gave us the cruise experience of a lifetime. Worth every penny. If you are considering stepping up from the more popular big ship cruises, we encourage you to consider going all the way to the finest...Seabourn. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2011
Cruising on Seabourn is like being at a Ritz Carlton that takes you to various destinations. The service aboard is magnificent. Whether in the main dining room, The Colonnade, Restaurant 2 or even Seabourn Square, you are treated as if you ... Read More
Cruising on Seabourn is like being at a Ritz Carlton that takes you to various destinations. The service aboard is magnificent. Whether in the main dining room, The Colonnade, Restaurant 2 or even Seabourn Square, you are treated as if you are special. The staff is incredible and many even greet you by name. They always have a smile. Nothing is ever too much trouble and they never seem insincere. We enjoyed the 12 course-tasting menu at Restaurant 2 and loved our Indian dinner under the stars at the Colonnade. The food is fabulous! The main dining room is like a 5 star NY restaurant and the wine and champagne flow freely. As a matter of fact we had a bottle of champagne, a bottle of white wine, a bottle of red wine and a full bottle of Makers Mark in our room! The wines served at dinner were always good.There were always delicious drinks by the pool. It was so nice to sit by the pool and not have someone try to sell you an $8 pina colada in a souvenir glass. Speaking of the pool, there were always chairs. While the pool is small and doesn't have the bells and whistles of the large ships, it is relaxing and luxurious. It felt very sophisticated with out being boring or stuffy. With only 450 people on the ship you got to know your fellow passengers. Everyone on the ship was so positive and truly enjoying the experience. There were no people complaining about anything because there was nothing to complain about. The spa was fabulous and not that expensive. I had a great deep tissue massage and a scalp, neck and shoulder oil massage and treatment. It was delightful. The cabin was larger than many hotel rooms I have stayed in. There was a granite bathroom complete with double sink, shower and separate tub. We had Molton Brown shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and lotion and Oatmeal soap for the shower. The towels were fluffy and soft and the sheets and duvet were Egyptian cotton. The bed was so comfy. And there is a walk in closet. There was never a line for anything. Embarkation took about 5 minutes and they escorted us to the dining room for lunch. Our cabin stewardess greeted us with champagne and canapEs. The ports were beautiful and the excursions were great. We had terrific guides and felt we got our money's worth with each one. We especially loved the Greek cooking demonstration in Santorini The marina off the ship was a great experience. We took a paddleboat out and paddled around the ship. The marina was a little chaotic because there were mostly younger people on this cruise ( 40s, 50s and 60s and families). But still nothing compared to a ship of 3000. The evening entertainment was fun. We even watched a movie under the stars. There were tons of movies available on demand in the room but we never watched any. We drank so much wine at dinner that by the time we got back tot he cabin at 11 or 11:30 we were ready for bed. We worked out in the gym and I took a pilates class. They gym is small but I always managed to get on a bike or elliptical machine. They also had BOSU balls and weights There was no pressure to tip and you never had to sign a bill for drinks. It was 7 days of luxury and relaxation. Really the only thing it has in common with the mainstream cruise lines, is that it is a ship. This was a trip we will always remember (and I have 400 photos to help us do just that!) Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
This is the second time I have sailed on Odyssey - the first time was the inaugral xmas cruise a year last December and I had some complaints! I am a regular Seabourn traveller and found a few things under par on the last trip! I am ... Read More
This is the second time I have sailed on Odyssey - the first time was the inaugral xmas cruise a year last December and I had some complaints! I am a regular Seabourn traveller and found a few things under par on the last trip! I am pleased to confirm that this last trip was absolutely wonderful! Everything back up to the high standards I had always previously experiencedTop top staff - nothing too much troublebeautiful ship - well maintained - nearly 2 years old and as new stillLovely suites and in suite room serviceGood food in all restaurantsThe only niggles We had were that I felt the fillet steak wasnt quite as good quality as I have had previously on Seabourn or Silversea and the choice of food in the restaurant wasnt as varied as previously mainly lots of different types of fish were no longer on offer as before but every night there was something in the main restaurant to choose from so not really a problemThey deliver a mid trip questionnaire to the suite which is very good as it allows passengers to express any little niggles they would like sorting out and they DO act of them too within 24 hours of receiving them which is excellentThe in suite entertainment package on demand is excellent! hundreds of films including latest releases to choose from at the times you wish to watch them - I pod docking stations too and a wonderful selection of in suite music to select from the home entertainmentI would personally like to see Restaurant 2 developed into something different to how it is now - perhaps like Signatures on Regent cruises or even a high class Indian restaurantThe indian night buffet in the colonade was excellentWe were surprised at the noise of the air conditioning in the suite which is on permanently and noisy especially at night and for some reason the in suite control for the air conditioning doesnt control it - the only way to regulate it was to get maintenance to come and manually take the system off every time it got too noisy which does seem very strange!?Being mid ship made a huge difference to my last trip where I was at the front of the ship - nowhere near the noise and vibration in the middle of the ship and none of the rattles that I experienced at the front of the ship on deck 5 and deck 10I would like to see the spa area included in the package as unless you pay to go into this area you cannot use the steam or sauna and on a high end ship I think use of the sauna and steam room should be included even if limited to certain lengths of time to allow everyone use at some point without it being too busyInternet is very very dear still on this cruise line and should be FREE - Regent offer it free to passengers after travelling for about 20 days and this really should be offered on a high end cruise free of charge with Wi Fi in the rooms FOCDaily newspapers to the room are very dear at $8 per day and they are in the Seabourn square too to read. It would be nice to have them to the room though at normal European prices of say 3-4 euros per paperThe loyalty scheme should offer more as Regent does for less days travelling to encourage loyalty from a much earlier point than at present which I think is 100 days or more which is a lot to achieve before getting some loyalty benefitsOverall we had a wonderful trip - I will be back for more and hope to see Seabourn continuing to improve and stay the bestThe staff are the best I have ever experienced - just SUPERB!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We boarded the Odyssey in Fort Lauderdale. I noticed the silk flowers in fake water and knew something was wrong. I want to begin on a positive note. The ship is lovely, beautifully designed and decorated. Great public spaces. ... Read More
We boarded the Odyssey in Fort Lauderdale. I noticed the silk flowers in fake water and knew something was wrong. I want to begin on a positive note. The ship is lovely, beautifully designed and decorated. Great public spaces. Rooms are wonderful, decent closet space, nice bathroom and balconies. "The Square" on deck 7 is fantastic, a mix of a computer room, bistro, coffee bar, library, concierge and tour center. All other ships should take "The Square" on deck 7 and duplicate it. Ports visited were The San Blas Islands, Panama; Panama City,Panama; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Callao in Peru where we flew to Lima, Peru and the to Cusco to visit Machu Picchu, and then Santiago de Chile. The food was simple bad during our 26 day cruise. Let me begin on the pool grill: For 26 days, the menu was unvaried. Poor quality hamburgers with plastic wrapped tasteless cheese slices, undercooked chicken breasts that were returned for extra cooking two and three times. Cold and measly looking pizza. Even the Chef in charge had a cold for several days and was handling all food behind the counter. There are two restaurants on board. I will begin with "The Restaurant": When ordering chicken soup, you will be served double beef consomme. When ordering onion soup, you will get salted water with several slivers of onions. The fresh fish, no matter which one, is never fresh; always hard, overcooked and from frozen. Portions are meager. The Chef in charge does not know what he is doing and should be substituted. Even though wines are included with your dinner, they have "premium wines" at an additional cost which were never offered to us. One evening while dining with friends, we requested the larger goblet for red wine- the wine specialist or sommelier, Mr. James Smith, refused stating that it could cost him his job and rudely walked away. We were never treated in such manner anywhere. "Restaurant #2": this restaurant is very appropiately named. #2 as in the food. To begin with, rude waiters. We ordered cocktails prior to dinner, they came 20 minutes later and they brought us drinks that we did not order. The waiter argued with us insisting he did not make a mistake. The food is a joke- this restaurant, presumes to be a "Per Se" or a "French Laundry"- they are very wrong. Food is atrocious, but the service was offensive- I would never go back. It is the first time I walk out in the middle of dinner and sorry to say, we were not the only ones. Room Service: Have you ever ordered Espresso coffee, milk and sugar on the side, and when it arrives in your room- they forget the coffee? Believe it or not, they forgot the coffee. The mixed nuts with your cocktail, at any Bar or in room service come rancid- even after we complained, they were rancid the entire cruise. Fresh fish is never fresh, always frozen, hard, overcooked and under seasoned. Entertainment on board was very poor. The after dinner show could easily put anybody to sleep, and it did. Extremely poor, can not compare to other cruises like Crystal. There was not much entertainment, so I can not write more about it. There has to be major adjustments in the kitchen. There is a gap in the communication between the person taking the order and the person serving. Special requests are not understood, as if they do not understand English. The sauces that are requested on the side with your dinner either arrive on the food or never show up. It is all in the details- and Seabourn Odyssey your details are unfortunately lost at sea. Read Less
Seabourn Odyssey Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 2.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 5.0 4.2

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