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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
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We booked Owner's suite 701 having been told it was "subject to noise when anchoring". What we got nstead was and hour to an hour and a half of extremely loud banging, grinding, clanking and intense vibration. When we ... Read More
We booked Owner's suite 701 having been told it was "subject to noise when anchoring". What we got nstead was and hour to an hour and a half of extremely loud banging, grinding, clanking and intense vibration. When we reported this issue we were told that it was the thrusters not the anchor as the ship was not anchored and that we were to expect the same for the remainder of the cruise. We were also told that "at least" on our one sea day we could relax since the ship would not docked. That day we were woken to hammering and noise due to maintenance close to our suite. Even after complaining this went on for over one hour. It is clear to us that Seabourn sold us this suite with full knowledge of the existing problem and used deception to do so. Buyer beware that if you are going to reserve suite 701 and pay this much money you will subjected to a very stressful experience upon arrival at port and also departure which will make your vacation a very stressful one. Aside from this the Encore is understaffed, service is simply average and entertainment leaves a lot to be desired. We have been very disappointed overall with our experience with Seabourn and will not be sailing with them again. Seabourn is obviously only interested in making money without concern for providing their guests with the superior experience and service they advertise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The good A very nice new vessel with a very good navigation crew. Our room care (stewardess) was exceptional. The bad The food on board was boring, repetitive, bland, of high-salt content, and medioce in preparation. The Japanese ... Read More
The good A very nice new vessel with a very good navigation crew. Our room care (stewardess) was exceptional. The bad The food on board was boring, repetitive, bland, of high-salt content, and medioce in preparation. The Japanese cuisine was notably poor, e.g. old proteins. The vessels hotel staff was often overwhelmed during high service intervals, e.g. luncheon. The ratio of hotel staff to guest seems too low for proper service. We were disappointed with Seabourn’s handling of their booking credit and AMEX credit, Seabourn only allowed the higher value. The ugly Seabourn shore tours are expensive, the vessel was often ported far away from salient activities (long commutes) and in the case of the Vietnam north unsafe junk tours, e.g. our junk was literally lost in the fog without proper safety procedures. The Cambodia shore excursion was terrible. Seabourn and Silver Sea could have coordinated debark at Singapore much better, both simultaneously. The pool was small and poorly maintained, e.g. corrosion and detritus. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I chose this cruise based on itinerary and the belief that Seabourn was a top of the line cruise experience. We were able to secure an upgrade an ended up with a Penthouse Suite. The accommodations are excellent. The room far exceeded ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on itinerary and the belief that Seabourn was a top of the line cruise experience. We were able to secure an upgrade an ended up with a Penthouse Suite. The accommodations are excellent. The room far exceeded expectations. The bathroom was large with a separate room for the toilet which included its own basin. Very private and nice. There was a jetted tube and the lovely Molton Brown toiletries. Our cabin stewardess was wonderful. That being said the rest of the experience was not at all what we expected. From the wine selections to the food - very disappointing. The Thomas Keller restaurant where you could only dine twice was underwhelming. Lobster was under cooked. I only eat seafood and throughout the trip I always had to ask for something other than what was on the menu. The only fish they offer as an daily option is Salmon - my least favorite fish. The lobsters were unlike any I ever had before. I live in Miami and am used to fine fresh seafood. These were not either Maine or Florida lobsters. I don't know where they came from. Don't eat caviar yet found that those who do could get it any time they wanted. Why no decent fish available? They managed to find a piece of mahi once and a tuna filet. The Seabourn Square served the same finger sandwiches everyday. Mostly bread with very little filling. Same cookies and cakes at the Square and for tea. The coffee was always luke warm and so strong it was undrinkable. I finally learned to order a pot of hot water to dilute it. I head the same complaint from others that I mentioned it to as well. Unfortunately we took the last smoking voyage and paid the price. The observation bar with a wonderful piano bar could not be frequented after 8 p.m. due to the heavy smoke inside. We heard from many the same disappointments.They said not to judge Seabourn by this cruise. I swore this would be my first and last Seabourn cruise, but heard the reason this one was so lacking was because the top crew members had been transferred over to the new Encore. Just found an itinerary I like for the Mediterranean so may give them a second chance. I would never go on the Quest again. 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
39 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Having sailed on Silversea prior to this cruise, the standards were set pretty high. This was our first cruise with Seabourn and we were left rather dissapointed. There were some fine points and unfortunately far too many negatives for the ... Read More
Having sailed on Silversea prior to this cruise, the standards were set pretty high. This was our first cruise with Seabourn and we were left rather dissapointed. There were some fine points and unfortunately far too many negatives for the amount of $$$ paid. The ship itself is very nice and cosy, clean and well maintained and spacious given the low number of guests onboard. Our Suite was clean and comfortable and looked after at all times by a very nice stewardess, although she seemed overworked at times. The food standards did not meet our expectations given the amount of advertising dedicated to this segment. At best I would describe the overall dining experience as ordinary to just above average. The Restaurant did it's best to excel but fell below par due to some very rushed and casual service & repetitive choice of wines. On at least two occasions we were asked if we wanted the "white" or the "red" We then had to ask what was on offer. Something you may encounter at a bistro. The Colonnade was as expected - casual dining. On an Australian themed night we ordered the meat pie only to be served a sheperd's pot pie. Only a few of the staff ever addressed us by name and very few of the staff seemed genuine. Most were going through the motions. Room Service was inefficient and one occasion my wife asked for soup from The Colonnade menu only to be told "we don't do that" The cocktails were inconsistent depending on where you ordered them from. The barman at the bar on deck 5 was by far the best at his job and very friendly. Poolside cocktails were hit & miss, although dinner there seemed to be ok given that ones' expectations are not that high for a poolside event. Entertainment at the bars on decks 5 &10 was slow and at times extra slow. The dress code in the evening fell short by some guests, but that may be a good thing for some who prefer a more casual environment. Excursions were OK albeit a bit expensive. Disembarkation was painless, however you got the feeling that they wanted you off the ship the day before. One really noticeable fact was that a lot of attention was given to some regulars and if you did not fit that profile....well you work it out. The overall experience was fair to average and that is because some of the staff made up for the shortcomings of others. Food, OK but not what the marketing department tells you. Are we going to travel Seabourn again? Hmmmm, maybe if the service becomes a bit more personal. Silversea and Oceania were better. 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
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The ship is well maintained and the crew were very much better than average. That being said if unusual things came up then the service fell down, even after speaking with the manager of guest services. I had two major issues with the ship ... Read More
The ship is well maintained and the crew were very much better than average. That being said if unusual things came up then the service fell down, even after speaking with the manager of guest services. I had two major issues with the ship 1) the shower is way to small especially if someone is bigger than a small child/person. Nothing the crew can do to change that design flaw. I hope in their new ship someone corrects this, 2) The HVAC in our stateroom whistled and made a constant noise, like you would find in a motel room air conditioner (really annoying). That's when I found out there was no on/off switch. I called guest services and asked for assistance. The ultimate work around was for engineering to manually turn it off (some where they have the capability). The agreement was off at 9PM and back on at 7AM. This happened at best half the time. I made at least 4 calls to guest services to have it turned on or off. I also had the opportunity after filling out a on board survey to speak with the manager of guest services about the situation and he said he would take care of it. It didn't happen same problem some times off when it should have been on etc. I finally just gave up. Very disappointing, my expectations were not met. Some of the stops seemed like a waste of time for what was there. Fix the design flaw of the showers being to small, at least on the next ship Change the HVAC to not make the cheap motel sounds install on/off switches to each stateroom Perhaps more sea days avoiding marginal destinations. Something also needs to be done with the reservation system for Restaurant 2, when we called for a reservation we were informed that we would have to wait for 7 days? we called on day 2 Now I don't know what the system is or if people are just calling and making blanket reservations for every evening but something is not right here. I listed a lot of negatives but I also want to emphasize the positives. super maintained ship, knowledgeable staff, very good restaurants and food quality excellent. Overall a delightful cruise. It comes down to expectations and perceived value. This is a upper end cruise line and therefore more expensive where one naturally has a high expectation level. Even being back home and having a few days to think about it I'm not sure if the value threshold has been met. I gave a rating of a 3 because the cabin issues were really annoying. If it wasn't for that I for sure would have given them a 4 star or perhaps a 5 star. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We wanted something smaller and more upscale than Royal Caribbean, and with few or no children. Okay, here's the good, the bad and the ugly about Seabourn. Good: Boarding is a BREEZE. We walked straight on after checking in. ... Read More
We wanted something smaller and more upscale than Royal Caribbean, and with few or no children. Okay, here's the good, the bad and the ugly about Seabourn. Good: Boarding is a BREEZE. We walked straight on after checking in. Debarkation likewise, a breeze. Staterooms: amazing. Best beds I've ever slept on on a cruise. Bathroom roomy. Pillows! Food is mostly good. The Keller Grill is over rated and limited. Caviar is available anywhere on the ship except there. You could stand just outside the door and have it though. Teatime was a blast. Loose tea in little silver pots. Scones. Num. Coffee bar on deck 7 makes killer Irish Coffee. Good selection of in room TV channels. No children were aboard! Just OK: The bars. They close them up as early as 11, and they don't open again until 5. The Patio bar is open all afternoon, but that's rough in 32 degree weather. Sure, you can drink in your room, but I can do that at home. Deck 7, again, makes boozy coffee. Age group: The median age was 75. If you're not ready to sail with folks who were teens in the 50's, this cruise is going to be a bore. Dress codes for dinner: Toward the end of the cruise the "no jeans" rule sort of vanished. I think nice jeans should always be acceptable. Bad: One of the bartenders was overbearing and rude. He closed the bar on a Friday night at 11pm while the show band was still playing, then argued about it when I asked him the next day and denied doing it. Told me that 6 people in the bar wasn't enough to keep it open; I reminded him that each of us paid more than the regular client just to be there. He said that didn't matter. 10 couples walked into the bar while we were arguing, saw the lights on, and walked out. Stability. We had 60 mph gale force winds for 3 days and nights, even the waiters couldn't stand up straight. I was violently seasick 3 days. For queasy travelers, this ship is not a good option. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Several of us who debarked in Montreal ended up at the same hotel, close to port, and historic. Hotel St. Sulpice, right next to Notre Dame Basilica. Roomy suites, good rate. I recommend it. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The Seabourn Encore looks beautiful outside and inside. We boarded in Barcelona for 20 days cruising the western and central Mediterranean before returning to Barcelona. It was a great trip. But there were shortcomings. For wha we paid, we ... Read More
The Seabourn Encore looks beautiful outside and inside. We boarded in Barcelona for 20 days cruising the western and central Mediterranean before returning to Barcelona. It was a great trip. But there were shortcomings. For wha we paid, we expected a little more. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is easy to get around in. The main dining rooms are attractive. The suites, while not huge, are very nice with a sofa, two chairs, a table, a comfortable bed, a walk-in closet, a tiny dressing stand, and plenty of storage space. Bathrooms include a tub and shower--small and barely adequate. The veranda is good for two people. The ship is well maintained. We had cabin 837, a perfect location. The staff was mostly friendly and outgoing, although the old Seabourn custom of remembering your name doesn't work with 600 passengers. Drinks are included in your fare, and waiters were anxious to keep glasses filled. Some of the food was good, some very good, and some excellent. Desserts and salads were particularly good. We only had a couple of dishes that didn't pass muster. The wine was just fine, although we're well aware it's not $50 a bottle wine. Service in the dining rooms could be good, or it could be slow. The wait staff didn't always appear organized, and some staffers were not very accomplished. One room service breakfast came 30 minutes late, and the waiter dropped a glass of orange juice at our front door. Not an example for the cruise pamphlet. The Colonnade sometimes had quirky and unappealing menus. Seabourn would do far better by returning to the Lido Buffet concept with buffets in the morning, noon and evening. The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk you were out of luck. The ship should do far better at providing details about the progress of the trip. Announcements over the loud speaker are strictly limited, which is good, but the television system should fill the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. It didn't. There were other examples of a less-than-luxury cruise. There is no free internet, and we were informed of that rather rudely when we asked. There is one room with five washing machines for all the passengers. Not very considerate. The dress code wasn't clear, and standards wasn't enforced. Unsupervised children needed to be called down by ship staff, but weren't. The Seabourn Square is a very pleasant place, but the “guest services” staffers frequently didn't have answers to questions. The destinations/shore excursion programs need an overhaul. One ship tour was inaccurately described. Once we were told a free shuttle would take us to the city center, but in fact it dropped us off a half a mile away. Shore excursions were overpriced, as on many ships, dnd didn't consider passengers with mobility issues. We needed more information, such as when we would cruise past the Rock of Gibraltar. It wasn't forthcoming. There were great unexpected touches. A flamenco show was added late in the afternoon before we left Malaga. But overall, while we had a fine time, we expected a little more from such an expensive “luxury” cruise. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Tale of Two Cruises. We are frequent cruisers, last few years mostly on Seabourn - after in 2010 we got tired with the drip by drip slippage on Silversea, where we had started out in 1996 as our first high end cruise line. Total is now ... Read More
Tale of Two Cruises. We are frequent cruisers, last few years mostly on Seabourn - after in 2010 we got tired with the drip by drip slippage on Silversea, where we had started out in 1996 as our first high end cruise line. Total is now about 35 cruises on a mixture of cruise lines. Mostly all high end, and a dozen on Seabourn, both the little yachts and the Odyssey class. So we have been around a bit and can make some honest observations that others might find illuminating. This is going to be a review of our experience on the Sojourn on two of its 2017 cruises in Asia: early January and then again April. The "Viet Nam" cruise was the first one in January, and then an exhaustive China, Japan, and a touch of South Korea and Taiwan on the second in April and May. Menu, Food and Restaurant Service: We start this review with our restaurant experience on board, since this is for us one of the major reasons we choose a cruise line. We choose to eat all our dinners and many lunches and breakfasts in the main dining room a/k/a the Restaurant, because this dining venue is the most relaxing and enjoyable dining experience for us at sea. More like we experience in fine dining at restaurants home and abroad. Less casual. Lots of men wear sports jackets. We like the look and feel. We also dined on occasion in the more casual Colonnade for breakfast and lunch, and the outdoor grill for poolside lunch. We stay away from the alternative dining in Restaurant 2. The biggest change we noticed from prior Seabourn cruises with the Restaurant on the January cruise was with the menu choices and food coming out of the kitchen. Portion sizes had decreased, they claim because people were complaining about the portions being too large. The menu choices of appetizers and main courses were now more limited, and a good number of the dishes prepared and served that we had were below the normal high culinary standards that we had experienced on all prior Seabourn cruises. Once it was the finest food at sea, giving Oceania a run for its money, but something happened we noticed in January that was apparent. While we would now call this cuisine on the whole still very good, it was not anymore the exciting, interesting and very tasty dishes we had gotten used to dine upon during our many prior Seabourn cruises. Caviar: We love good caviar, with a nice glass of champagne or chilled vodka, especially when its at no extra charge (beyond what we are already paying in our expensive cruise fares), and this is one of the reasons we gravitated to Seabourn five years ago. They like to show it off as one thing that they do that others don't offer anymore. The supply onboard had always been there, portions ample and the quality high. Noticeably, on the January cruise, the Uruguayan caviar purveyor's first rate product had been replaced with a grossly inferior California based, fish egg product I am not even sure qualifies to be called caviar. Mushy consistency. Nasty tasting, yes. Inedible for us. After two or three unsatisfactory attempts to sample the new product and to find out whether we had simply gotten a bad batch the first time, or maybe we could adjust to it, we just dropped it. For us, it is better that Seabourn either brings back the excellent Uruguayan product or its equivalent or just discontinues serving caviar. People we talked to who appreciate good caviar were in complete agreement. We don't know whether this downgrading is just corporate cost cutting. Dining Room management said many other caviar fans had also complained - to no avail. In early May there was a mysterious re-appearance of the good caviar product from Uruguay for a limited period toward the end of the cruise. It was like the good Caspian sturgeon were running again downstream to where we were in Asian waters. We enjoyed it at every opportunity until we disembarked, and the ship surely and sadly reverted back to nasty mushiness. By the time of our April - May Japan and China cruise, there had been a definite improvement with the food coming-out of the Restaurant kitchen compared to January, even with the continuing, more limited, menu selections and portions control. It was noticeably better. I attribute it to some of the newer and lesser experienced chefs in the kitchen who joined the ship in December/January gaining more cooking experience or learning the Seabourn way and just doing an all around better job in preparing our meals. Restaurant kitchen seemed to be working better. The Executive Chef on board I think made a difference in running the kitchen, and the Hotel Director and F&B manager played roles. Special order requests improved. Quality and taste of the cooked Restaurant kitchen product was generally high, but we had to send our filet mignons back once or twice since the taste of the beef was just not there. The special Keller appetizer and main dish selections still had no fascination for us, and many others we spoke with. The Encore of the Encore and its effect on the Sojourn: The 800 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to reviewing Sojourn cruises in this January to May 2017 time frame is of course the coming on line of the new Encore in December 2016. To staff the new ship with the best and most experienced help above and below the decks to please the new ship's clientele on this, Encore's critical first cruises, a reasonable and obvious business objective, Seabourn's three other ships largely had to be stripped of 1/3 each of their best and most experienced people. Therefore virtually 1/3 of Sojourn's most experienced hotel, dining and ship management, restaurant and bar wait staff and dining room assistants, cooks, and stateroom housekeeping attendants, indeed even the unseen and valuable behind the walls administrative people in the guest relations and purser departments, and the below deck personnel who actually keep the ship sailing magnificently during thick and thin, were taken off in the months or weeks preceding the Encore's launch and sent to the Encore to crew up that ship. We lived through the effects of this in January. These experienced people had to be replaced - largely with new or internally promoted people, whose old positions were then backfilled. And with the fierce competition world wide from other expanding and start up river and ocean cruise lines, there must be a real issue for the best people out there to be found, recruited, engaged and trained to become worthy Seabourn staff members.This finding of the best people and training them to develop the skills to do things the best way possible - the Seabourn Way - does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process for them and for the passengers, as we learned. And so the passengers of the Sojourn on our January cruise, particularly the frequent Seabourn Sailers, experienced negative differences in a number of things directly attributable to the cannibalizing of its crew and replacement with new personnel. Things happened that shouldn't and never did before on any Seabourn cruise. These differences we experienced included kitchen, dining rooms, bars, stateroom housekeeping and administrative purser and guest relations areas. Fortunately for the below decks crew that keeps the ship running, we saw nothing in the new hirings that affected the voyage's safe and smooth sailing. Many guests in January complained to other guests, out loud and in private to ship management. Ship management listened, in many instances acknowledged the problems and took corrective action on board to fix and improve, to the extent circumstances allowed. The Recovery: By the time of our April-May cruise two and one half months later, with some new and inexperienced staff still joining and learning the Seabourn way, because there is always crew turnover, and promoted people stepping into their new jobs, overall it was a very noticeably improved and enjoyable experience on the Sojourn. People who recognized the differences between January and April spoke out how much better things had become, a return more to the normal. Restaurant kitchen in particular, and Dining rooms, bars and stateroom housekeeping personnel. While noticeably better for us in April and May than January, a number of the frequent Seabourners we encountered who boarded in March and April and confided in us, as guests always do, expressed their own concerns and reservations from what they observed, compared to their own past Seabourn experiences. New to Seabourn passengers we met had nothing to compare against. While the food coming out of the kitchen on this April-May cruise was generally much improved, food and service had not gotten back to the old Seabourn standards, that used to be called the best at sea, by the time we off boarded in mid-May. Breakfast in the Restaurant, for example, still needed work, both food preparation and service. The Colonnade however, hummed along every day we went up there for breakfast or lunch - with a very good and varied buffet product and fine service. We never had dinner in the Colonnade. Restaurant menus need widening, and people get around the portion sizing by asking for doubles or seconds and are always gladly accomodated. Scallops during April and May seemed to have become the chef's favorite offering at dinner time in the Restaurant. Usually on the dinner menu every second or third night in a slightly different incarnation. The Keller special dishes sometimes very good but mostly pretentious and a big dud most everyone agreed is a mistake. Beef filets sometimes not very tasty and returned to kitchen. Lamb chops excellent. Veal usually very good. Most fish dishes very good. Nice selection of veggies well prepared and salads, but cheese course selection needs improvement, recognizing we were in Asian waters and far from the fromageries of France. Meals in the Restaurant ably supervised by dining room management and served well and efficiently by the veteran wait staff, and the learning, relatively newly engaged, new wait staff growing steadily in confidence, knowledge, ability, skills and the special, emerging personality and strong presence that has always made the Seabourn wait staff so very special in its relationship to the guests. This is the key to the recovery. Some complain on these pages about long time gaps in the Restaurant between ordering time and being served on the Sojourn and the other Odyssey class ships. We never experienced that inn either January or April - May. Maybe because we get to the Restaurant closer to when it opens its doors and order before the kitchen and wait staff gets backed up. Wines: There have been a number of complaints on these pages about the poor quality of the complimentary wines served on board Seabourn ships. I think this is overblown. Wines and champagne and booze of all sorts flow freely on board all day at all venues. Yes Seabourn does not spend a lot of money on these complimentary wines. Nor, as far as I can tell, does anyone else in the luxury cruise business who supplies these complimentary wines. And over time we have sailed with Seabourn the quality has improved. There were wines one could find that had had good structure and taste and were very enjoyable as an accompaniment to the food. Nicholas Feuliiette champagne from France is very nice indeed. Not a cheap champagne by any score and very delicious. Usually a very drinkable Pinot Noir or Zinfandel or Cab could be found on the daily selections. And Santa Margherita is a very nice Italian Pino Grigio, readily available. Some of the New Zealand's sauvignons blancs were not the sometimes thin whites. Lovely French roses from Provence or Italy. What we had to drink was not shabby at all. In fact I cannot think of one night or lunch that we had wines that we did not enjoy. And my wife and I have a lovely cellar at home. Nice Sauterne dessert wines too on board. The head Sommelier Jo is a real gem, as are many on her team. Entertainment: Entertainment whether with the one time only magicians and comedians and concert artists, or with the six person song-dance team was generally somewhat above average for a ship of this size, although the Ukrainian dance duo of Yuri and Ilona is world class. The entertainment troupe was better in April than the troupe in January, when there was no dance team. Good band too in April, better than on the January cruise. Singers better too in their performing skills, but the production numbers are weak, and the few shows too often recycled. Who among the Seabourn core passengers can really get excited about the hyped Tim Rice special? Most of the songs I never heard before, but maybe the prevalent age group on board explains much of this. Hollywood musical themes and Broadway standard shows should be the mainstay. Lerner and Lowe, Rodgers and Hammerstein. Johnny Mercer. Cole Porter. George Gershwin. Dirty Dancing. What a wealth of vault material to choose from. R 'n R show fine, but numbers needs some better producing. Dance on Yuri and Ilona! The Cruise Director Sophie is very pleasant, very good at her job and a very talented occasional performer as well, with a deep stage background in London musicals. The Destinations Services Department has a real gem with Ilona running it. She did an outstanding job under some very trying conditions. Hotel management also very much improved when Helmut a solid industry pro made his appearance for us as Director in April and the behind the walls people with time, are learning to practice their administrative trade better. Captain Hamish Elliot is one of the best around. He is very approachable, as are all the officers, makes everything very personal and more interesting. He is dealing as best as he can with the transition issues of running his ship and bringing it back to the old Seabourn standards after the recent cannibalization of his crew, and the possible repeat of this process in May of 2018 when the Ovation comes on line. Pool and Pool Deck: The pool and pool deck were not much used on these voyages in the April - May mid and northern Asian waters. Quite lovely and nice size for 450 passengers, with proper shade areas under the overhangs we've experienced on other Seabourn cruises to warmer climes as was the January cruise out of Singapore where there was a lot more pool action. I have never experienced these chair hogs others talk about, even on the hottest days at sea. To me, seasoned travelers know how to get along. Pool attendants know how and when to enforce the posted 30 minute rule. My experience is that are always enough chairs available, and a person who puts down a book to hold a chair at 9 30am on a sea day while he or she goes to breakfast for 45 minutes is not to be castigated, when 95% of the deck chairs are wide open. Well maintained areas, and the bar servers make frequent rounds to satisfy all liquid tastes. The deck lounge chairs should have pads, as do Oceania's, and this Seabourn should do something about. Lying on the webbing is not that comfortable. Very tasteful pool music kept purposely low in volume so as not to be annoying like on some other cruise lines. This is the Seabourn way again. Class. The Pool Grill serves its purpose for us at lunch in decent weather with its limited menu, although opened at night too. Nicely prepared burgers, salads, pizza and other assorted dishes more than one would expect at a pool grill. Ship: The ship itself is beautifully designed and maintained, and sails exceedingly well even in rough waters, although scheduled to go into dry dock soon for a needed refreshening after 5 years in service. The public rooms and bars are elegant in design without being ostentatious and are well kept and spacious. Comfortable seating. The Club on Five for us just perfect, with the bar counter and convivial bar personnel and fellow drinkers, and the closed off casino and its machines not disrupting guests enjoyment boozing it up in the lounge. A haven for many people before and after dinner, with its pleasant cafe singer and musicians. At 32,000 tons and 450 passengers, and with its footprint and profile, this is the perfect sized ship for us. Passenger density low, and crew to passenger ratio high. The crew gets to know passengers' names and after a few days they identify you by name as matter of course. Just like the old days. It is a pleasing experience to be identified by old and new crew by name - another Seabourn tradition that has been maintained. I am told they really work at this face and name identification. Some say the size of the crew has been downsized in recent months. We saw no proof of that and never suffered for lack of quick staff attendance for our needs. Stateroom: The stateroom - which is the same standard size for the most part throughout the entire ship except for the suites - is very spaciously designed at 365 sq ft with the Verandah. Decor a little tired perhaps some say, especially the frequent Seabourn Sailers, and in comparison to the new Encore, with its 600 passengers. but comfortable and very functional, with plenty of drawer and cabinet space. Nice width and length. Nice TV placement. Nice liquor setup. Tables and chairs. Room quiet and no noise from adjacent staterooms. Mostly good internet, and the price is cheap enough. We hardly ever had connectivity problems in these waters. The walk in closet, with safe, nicely sized even for long cruise passengers with lots of clothing. The bathroom also nicely sized and twin sinks are a real plus for two people traveling together. Shower, and tub, and I have yet to find anyone actually using the tub for anything other than to hang laundry or keeping the keg of beer cold on ice. Shower wee bit on the narrow side, but one gets used to this unless really large and one learns to adapt. Stateroom temperature controls perfect. Verandah nice size and comfortable. Enrichment Lectures: The Enrichment Lectures were numerous and all outstanding, more so on the China - Japan April-May cruise. The presenters gave us much information about the cultures and history of where we were going. Some political lectures too. Professor Paul Ropp from Clark University a real gem on Asia. Seabourn should hire him full time as the head of this program. He was so knowledgable and an excellent presenter, and having lived in the Far East for so many years made him so much more credible and interesting. Many rave reviews from the audience onboard and we agree he was the best of any we have ever had. Excursions and Tours: The ship's group excursions choices are the usual mix of too much or too little, with the usual complaints endemic to all cruise lines as too expensive and bus rides too long. Seattle can do better job in advance planning certain must-see group overnight excursions. Like Xian in China, which was put together for twenty odd of us by the ship's Destination Manager Ilona on the ship itself on very short notice. And Okinawa, with its sad WW2 history especially for Americans, but also for the Japanese and natives who died in the biggest land battle of the Pacific, should get better programs designed from Seattle for those many passengers, mostly Americans, interested in seeing and learning more from the ground about what happened here. There are stone walls in the Peace Memorial and Museum with 13,000 American boys names on them. More names there than grave stones markers in Normandy. And other walls with the names of over 200,000 Japanese and Okinawans who also died there during the battle. A must see. Ports and Cities Visited. The ports and cities we visited in Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand on the January cruise and China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan on the April-May cruise were all interesting, and there were many. Although after a while everything begins to blur together. Vietnam especially appealing in its several cities visited, since it is still the old country on the verge of the conversion to a new China type building and culture boom. So much American history here with the War. Five years from now it will not be this interesting mix of old and new culture and society anymore: the conversion will have taken place. The ever present motorcycles and motorbikes will be replaced by autos. Ships tours that were arranged were excellent. The building boom we witnessed in China is incredible, as was the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta warriors on the Xian overnight excursion expertly handled by the ship's personnel and the outside tour company. Hotels chosen first rate. Logistics superb. Shanghai amazing city we would like to visit again. Beijing very large and fascinating but bit overwhelming . The ship's overall itinerary of all four countries was well accomplished, with the ship darting back and forth from Japan to China and then onto South Korea and Taiwan, with a turnaround stop to the south in Hong Kong, before heading back north through the Ryukyu Islands and Okinawa on the way to the main islands of Japan. The many Japan stops beginning in Hiroshima and ending in Yokohama- Tokyo- Kobe cities after Mt Fuji stop were fascinating in its culture and scenery. Lovely and interesting stops and sights, and we did Kyoto on our own. Enchanting. So many temples and shrines everywhere, as in China. Transportation by air or the bullet trains on the tours and excursions very well done. The logistics for these various excursions and overnights is not that easy to accomplish, but the Destinations Services Department as previously mentioned did a splendid job. And lets face it - all daily tours are not created equal. Some are great, some average and others just bad. The full day tours were the most grueling by far, but there was much to see many of us elected this punishment anyway. Seoul after we docked in Inchon, near where MacArthur landed, a very large very modern city and little scary with the threat of nuclear attack ever present, but the South Koreans seemed not to care nearly as much as we Americans did. Busan in the south very interesting stop and not nearly as crazy as was Seoul. All in all, WE loved these two trips to Asia and this ship, although the ship somewhat less than in past 5 years. Our expectation is that Seabourn will learn from its Encore debut experience and plan a better launch for the Ovation next year that will not impact negatively on the other four ships in the fleet. And at the same time we believe it will improve those areas like food and service that have dropped a bit from the past. The Seabourn people who staff these ships make the difference, and these solid pros and new hires they have added will once again become the standard bearer for all that Seabourn greatness that once was. My wife and I believe in the Seabourn brand and its management. We are so confident Seabourn will raise its game to its old standards that we are booked already for a cruise next year. Once the best, it will be the best again.Or risk losing its loyal clientele. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
this is going to be a review of our most recent experience aboard Sojourn on deck 10 in a Penthouse Suite - Suite 1025. That suite was marked as "obstructed view balcony" on all of the deck plans, yet the price was the same as ... Read More
this is going to be a review of our most recent experience aboard Sojourn on deck 10 in a Penthouse Suite - Suite 1025. That suite was marked as "obstructed view balcony" on all of the deck plans, yet the price was the same as all of the other Penthouse suites. Before purchasing that suite, one of the few remaining, I searched high and low for someone online to give me the true lowdown on that suite without success. So I'll do so here, skip to the bottom if you want the succinct version. My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We've been cruising for more than twenty years once or twice a year. We've been aficionados of Seabourn for the past sixteen years since our very first two week cruise aboard the Seabourn Odyssey in the Caribbean. We found it to be so far above our prior cruise experiences aboard other lines that we were frankly shocked at what we'd been missing. Following that first cruise, we began doing Crossings to and from Europe twice a year (relatively inexpensive) and enjoying their ships as a destination - their incredible service, food and staff, as well as our fellow passengers (predominantly sophisticated, well educated and sociable). That no balcony, bottom deck experience was "relatively" inexpensive and MUCH cheaper than first class air fare to Europe and we always arrived without jet lag. Over the years our tastes (and ability to afford higher levels of cabins) improved. Aboard Seabourn ALL of the cabins, regardless of deck, are essentially the same (except for their true suites - Penthouse, WinterGarden, or Spa Suites). The cost of the traditional cabins increases as the decks get higher (which is strange because the higher the deck the more you feel it in rough seas). The lowest passenger decks - deck four has cabins without balcony, deck five has diminished views from the balcony as the material that is see through glass on all of the balconies is metal on deck five. There are a couple of cabins designed to add on to the Winter Garden Suites on deck 7 as an extra bedroom. If Seabourn doesn't sell the Wintergarden Suite WITH the adjoining bedroom (cabin 745 & 746), they sell them as separate cabins. We were upgraded to one of those cabins and found it undesirable. The cabin itself is oddly shaped, the balcony is tiny and barely accommodates one person comfortably and the biggest detractor is that there is quite a bit of noise bleed through the wall and the adjoining door (think of an adjoining hotel room door) between the Winter Garden suite and these two cabins. On our experience there was a couple with an infant and the baby cried quite a bit during our cruise, making sleep difficult and quiet reading or discussions difficult as well. Those are two cabins to avoid. Last year, in 2015, we were offered the opportunity to purchase a Spa Suite. the Spa suites are located on the aft of the ship. We had back to back cruises, a crossing then another ten days aboard in Europe. Midway, the hotel manager asked us if we'd like to pay the additional amount to move to a Spa Suite. It was the most enjoyable suite we've ever had aboard Seabourn. To describe the pros and cons: PROs: 1. Panoramic view from the aft of the ship, no balcony can equal it (there are four spa suites, two on the side and two in the center 1090 through 1093). Our suite was 1093 on the starboard side and we had an incredible wrap around balcony with unrestricted views. The two center spa suites are not quite so lucky, but those two center suites have a crescent shaped extension allowing them to walk out for a fuller view. Unfortunately, that extension and their extended view infringed on the privacy of our balcony (the sole downside to that suite). 2. Unlimited access without additional fees to the Spa immediately below these suites (we're not Spa people, so we didn't avail ourselves of this). The advertising for this upgraded suite cites a Spa Concierge (no one aboard has any knowledge of this concierge - I've checked on two subsequent cruises while aboard and still no sign of a Spa Concierge. 3. Upgraded refreshments with healthy alternatives too numerous to mention. 4. A round, comfortable dining table with a magnificent view off the stern of the ship through floor to ceiling glass windows separating the living area from the balcony 5. a very comfortable arrangement of the sleeping area and living/dining area. 6. a very nicely upgraded bathroom with beautiful fixtures and separate rain shower and whirlpool tub. Cons: 1. Accessible only via a steep spiral staircase located within the Spa. If you have mobility problems or your hands full, this is not the most convenient set up and could be frankly dangerous. 2. These cabins on the aft of the ship will be gyrating crazily in rough seas (think of the end of a teeter totter, the closer you are to the center fulcrum the less movement) luckily our cruise was on a pond-like ocean with barely a ripple for the entire trip. 3. No Concierge - they should take it off their advertising Frankly, you don't NEED a concierge aboard Seabourn. Everyone is treated as though they are royalty, even the least expensive cabins. 4. The beds are the same as all of the beds across the entire ship, i.e., stated as queen sized, but less than that in reality - a tight fit for larger folks. Okay, returning to the penthouse suite on deck ten with the partially obstructed view. Penthouse Suite #1025. This Penthouse suite was disappointing after the Spa suite described above. The biggest problem was the noise, bleed through from the adjoining cabin (we could hear the television through the bedroom wall and for the first time ever, I had to call and complain to ask them to turn the volume down) and the door to the main deck was immediately to the left of our suite door. When there were activities and entertainment on the main deck, the noise bled into our cabin each time the door to the deck was opened - which was frequently, since at the other end of our passageway was the observation Bar. The balcony was indeed restricted. It really wasn't that bad, roughly a third of the balcony was covered by a diagonal metal plate (photo attached). We could sit comfortably on the exposed portion with a good view, but for as the price for that suite was the same as the other Penthouse suites..... a full view would have been better. Food, entertainment, ambiance were all exceptional, as usual. This particular Penthouse suite as living accommodations was, in retrospect, a bad investment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The experience onboard Seabourn Ovation was overall great. However, the spa needs to workout their booking procedures and accounting. I'll begin with the challenging first, we booked The Retreat for sea day and it was a beautiful ... Read More
The experience onboard Seabourn Ovation was overall great. However, the spa needs to workout their booking procedures and accounting. I'll begin with the challenging first, we booked The Retreat for sea day and it was a beautiful and private area. We noticed the massage/treatment cabana setup and was excited about getting a massage while there. Unfortunately, the massage/treatment area was for show only. There were no available treatments for anyone in The Retreat, except for maybe a manicure at 7:30pm. Perhaps it is our fault for not booking everything in advance; however, when you're actually in The Retreat it puts you in a different mindset. I believe the spa should have a dedicated masseur/masseuse available at some point for guests of The Retreat. Also, food service took forever and I had to go downstairs for a bite to eat and bring back some proper chocolate chip cookies. It's a great concept, just get it right! In regard to onboard dining, the food was absolutely delicious. We were very impressed by The Grill (Thomas Keller). We tried it onboard Seabourn Odyssey and wasn't overly impressed but Seabourn Ovation got it right! WELL DONE! Our verandah suite was perfect at all times, and we loved our stateroom attendant. Since we wanted to go to Moscow, we did book a private tour for the entire time we were in St Petersburg. We would have purchased through Seabourn but the Moscow excursion wasn't available in advance (or maybe I missed it). Moscow was absolutely INCREDIBLE! It should be a must while you're in Russia. The Entertainment was great but I believe it's time to replace the Tim Rice show. It was great but not one you want to see on every cruise. In regard to the staff, they all get 5 stars! It was sad to leave the ship but we are looking forward to our next Seabourn cruise. Also, a special thank you to Shoreside Guest Relations for solving our issues. Well done to them, too! Read Less
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
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first time on Seabourn, but will not be the last. The suites are expansive and well appointed. Our only complaint there would be the ridiculously small TVs that are in the cabin. Public spaces are well done for this size ship. ... Read More
This was our first time on Seabourn, but will not be the last. The suites are expansive and well appointed. Our only complaint there would be the ridiculously small TVs that are in the cabin. Public spaces are well done for this size ship. Th entertainment was excellent actually. The four singers and two dancers that were part of the Seabourn team were some of the best that I have seen on any Cruise line. The food was always top notch, we never had a complaint at any restaurant. Now the only complaint and it is minor. The Restaurant Wait staff always seemed a little out of sync. Many times throughout the cruise we heard "sorry we're a little busy", or " we'll be with you in a minute". Even at the signature restaurant The Grill, we waited quite awhile for any service. The maitre D finally came over and asked if we had any service yet.It wasn't awful just not what we expected from Seabourn, and we had this happen repeatedly. The clientele on our cruise was definitely well heeled, and well traveled, and tends to be older. This is NOT a cruise line for children. All in all it is a luxury experience well worth the cost. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Missed a prior cruise. Seabourn was good enough to let me apply that payment to this cruise. The cruise was very relaxing and a nice way to see some towns that would have been hard to fly to or drive to. Seabourn is very good about ... Read More
Missed a prior cruise. Seabourn was good enough to let me apply that payment to this cruise. The cruise was very relaxing and a nice way to see some towns that would have been hard to fly to or drive to. Seabourn is very good about almost always providing you service exactly when you want it. You eat when you feel like it, not at an assigned time, check-in to the ship usually only takes a few minutes. The crew is amazing about remembering your name. This was my first cruise with sea days, two of them out of a ten day cruise. Overall, my wife and I found it very relaxing although I missed the opportunity to go onshore every day. Food options are excellent and portions of most items small which allows for a multi-course meal without getting stuffed. For internet addicts, you will be able to use your phone as a hot spot (if you have the US-Canada plan) during almost the entire trip thru the St. Lawrence Seaway, in all ports, and usually for about an hour or so when leaving or entering ports of the Atlantic. 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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is ... Read More
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is responsible for this. I have probably been on twenty ships from a dozen different lines over the years and I cannot think of a better one. The ship is designed so that basically, all of the cabins are pretty much forward and all of the "activities" are aft. This way, there is nobody bouncing down your hall on the way to something 24/7. None of the cabins is far from some elevator. We were in 655 which was a "standard" balcony cabin on deck 6, but otherwise not at all "standard." While the actual size may be more or less the same as most other upscale ships, it seemed much larger and, for example, I know the bathroom was larger with separate full length tub and free standing shower and two sinks. Major storage everywhere, a pleasant seating area, fridge, dining table, balcony, furniture, set-ups etc. all of the first order. Most of the "white suit" crew was the usual array of east/west European although not exclusively. Every single member of the crew warranted five stars for attitude and graciousness. The area called Seabourn Square on Deck 7 served as the concierge area, as well as home of numerous newspapers, a coffee bar, internet points and just a pleasant place to be. Never any lines at the various concierge desks. The main pool deck is on 9, but we found a smaller haven on 5 aft with a pool, hot tubs and lounging chairs that was never crowded. There are sufficient bars on several decks and plenty of food when and where you want it. Thoughtful touches everywhere. Our little area 5 aft, for example, had its own little min fridge stocked with ice, soft drinks and, of course, anything you every wanted to order from "room service" which will deliver anywhere in the ship. The Observation Lounge forward on deck 10 is lovely and you never waited for more than two minutes for someone to show up for your drink order. Plenty of space in the outdoor areas and the Thomas Keller bar was a great place to relax before dinner. The Restaurant was never crowded and had no "bad" tables - you were also given the option to sit with fellow passengers or not at any meal. The Thomas Keller Restaurant on 8 had a superb menu - but I will follow anyone anywhere for a good Dover sole meuniere or a nice steak. You are guaranteed one sitting up there, but we managed three by hanging around the bar a lot and getting to know frequent Seabourn guests. Most guests on Seabourn are stuck on this line and never seem to go anywhere else. Many were on the cruise prior to ours and/or stayed on for the next 11 day cruise. We really didn't know how anyone could stand this kind of life without a coronary for more than the length of our cruise. All of the drinks, sodas etc. were top shelf. Secret: just because it is not formally listed as available, doesn't mean it isn't. This is a "can-do" kind of place and we found many wines by the glass that were available for the asking. The guests were of the elderly persuasion ( as am I), but there were a fair number of younger couples, families with teens and even a baby somewhere I heard of but never saw. Speaking of which, even though this ship was at capacity 600, you rarely saw more than a few dozen around except on deck 9 during the one ship day we had. The ports were sometimes interesting, sometimes, throwaways, and we were content to rent a scooter or electric car or similar many times on the smaller islands just to see the sights from a different perspective. We took no formal tours. Many of the guests rarely left the ship - this is the kind of ship you sail on because it is so pleasant to sit in the sun reading a book or snoozing on a deck lounger. My companion hit the spa for a massage and found it up to snuff. The exercise area looked nice and perfectly adequate although we did not partake. There is a small casino that was virtually empty at all times. OK, to preserve some credibility and to defer suspicion that I am a shill for Seabourn, I'll pick a couple of nits. Half the menu at the Restaurant never varied ( it was still quite good), but there could have been a little more variety on the other half. Many of the red wines by the glass (included) were, from my perspective, not up to snuff, but I gradually found several I liked "off" the list. The flat screen TV allowed only minimal controls ( ie. no CC) and bad volume ( even for those with good hearing like my companion) on several of the Movies/TV shows on demand - regular TV stations ( mostly news) were fine. The entertainment was nothing to write home about, but never is and we rarely even make the effort. And that's about it, folks. I guess you can say that we have drunk the Kool-Aid and will, in the future, limit our cruises (except with little kids) to Seabourn (not much for little kids to do on this ship). We went ahead and paid the deposit which comes with a 5 % discount on a future cruise or your money back. I expect we will not be getting our money back. Happy Trails. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Starting with the boarding on the ship. When we arrived at the harbour of Athens we were very friendly welcomed an taken care off. Checking in procedures were very smooth. It only took 3 minutes from our taxi to the ship. Than we entered ... Read More
Starting with the boarding on the ship. When we arrived at the harbour of Athens we were very friendly welcomed an taken care off. Checking in procedures were very smooth. It only took 3 minutes from our taxi to the ship. Than we entered our veranda suite on deck 7. We were pleasantly surprised by the size and the look and feel off the suite. A bathroom with a separate bath tub and shower. Enough room for our clothes and belongings. And a nice sitting area. Our stewardess came to introduce herself and during our trip she was very helpfull. The experience on board in the fullest sense of speaking was great. The attention off the staff, the quality off the food and the surroundings of the ship were magnificent. We are experienced and demanding world travelers and this experience belongs to the best we have ever seen. We liked it so much that we already booked another cruise with the Encore. The excursions were so-so. Some off them were great some of them not. The in-room dinning experience was also below what you might expect of it. Overall it definitely was great and as indicated allready we go for a next time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We just returned from an amazing voyage to Arabia. 19 days voyage. what can I say. spectacular. suites are super large, big tvs with lots of entertainment choices. we booked suite 1014 category V6 and loved the location. everyday ... Read More
We just returned from an amazing voyage to Arabia. 19 days voyage. what can I say. spectacular. suites are super large, big tvs with lots of entertainment choices. we booked suite 1014 category V6 and loved the location. everyday when we went for dinner we would see the pool lit up and just made us smile. it was truly magical. my husband described the feeling of being in the ship, like being in your country club. in our case, they knew our names, and greeted us all the time by our names. they knew our food preferences and always made sure we were accommodated. Thomas Keller Grill was superb. We found the dining room to be a little slow for our taste. if we wanted to leave by a certain time we would tell the maitre d ahead of time. we like to eat by 7PM and go to the show at 8:45PM. most of the time it worked perfectly. we ate once in the evening at the patio grill and it was great. I know of plenty of people that never got dressed up for dinner and just ate dinner at the patio and the colonnade. colonnade had a sit down area instead of buffet and also an outside patio. we chose to have cappuccinos in the morning in our suite but go for breakfast at the patio of the colonnade every day . truly delightful. we ate lunch most days either at the sushi restaurant or the patio. LOVED. excursions were great. we did 4 of them with the cruise. there was caviar on the surf at an island of Abu Dhabi . super fun. temperatures for this cruise is for people that like warm weather like I do. some days temps were 100 such in muscat. cannot wait to return. we did put a deposit for a future cruise , and this deposit will give us 5% in a future cruise that we book and we have 4 years to book or we get our money back. we know and saw lots of people playing trivia, and that a big thing. they had many teams, and it was competitive. also, bridge was big. art classes were busy, which I never went, and lots of guests went to the lectures . they were super interesting and you could watch them live in your suite, or later in your tv with on demand. we met Wonderfull people and there quite a diverse array of passengers from every country. met some nice single people and first time cruisers and they were all having a fabulous time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Seabourn consistently delivers a luxury experience. The thing that sets Seabourn apart among so many cruise line options is that you never feeling like one in a crowd. Every staff member aboard treats you as though you are the most ... Read More
Seabourn consistently delivers a luxury experience. The thing that sets Seabourn apart among so many cruise line options is that you never feeling like one in a crowd. Every staff member aboard treats you as though you are the most important person on the ship and they deliver on nearly anything you might request either formally or in some cases a casual mention of something you enjoy will be noted and delivered as a surprise. The staff are the secret to Seabourn's success. We have been on numerous Cruises on a wide variety of lines. Seabourn is our go to, first choice because "Luxury once enjoyed becomes a necessity". Our favorite suites are Spa Suites. We're not Spa afficianados but the suites themselves are the best aboard. They are positioned above the Spa on the highest level of the ship on the stern. Your extra large balcony has a wrap around view of the wake of the ship and it's magnificent. There are no crowds, the ships total number of passengers result in the feeling of space throughout the ship. the only time we feel crowded is during the lifeboat drill, which unlike most cruise lines, is held in the dining room so everyone can sit while being instructed on safety procedures. they had a new chef aboard and his food was excellent. We were in France for a week prior to boarding and I've never had a bad meal in France (someday I'll get some bad food there, but it would be a national crime in france to ruin a meal). So after a week of culinary excellence and incredible meals... we were still impressed ...immediately at our first meal aboard the quest - lunch while awaiting our suite to be ready for occupancy. It was delicious, served buffet style in the Colonnade restaurant but everything was flavorful, savory and cooked perfectly. When you depart this ship, you feel like you're leaving family and the lap of luxury. It's not a good feeling to leave after your vacation is over. they had one last surprise for everyone as they disembarked. we are accustomed to arriving off of the ship into a luggage retrieval area where all of your bags are scattered around within some sort of color coded area. Seabourn has made baggage retrieval so simple by putting a sign with your name on the bags that are awaiting you when you disembark. It's a small detail but one that left us feeling pampered for a few minutes more as we left the ship (see the photos attached) Read Less
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