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Sail Date: August 2019
It's difficult to capture the Ovation experience easily. But, in a word - sublime. There was no request that was too big or too small for them. We cruised as a party of four in Veranda Suite rooms. Our rooms were located aft ... Read More
It's difficult to capture the Ovation experience easily. But, in a word - sublime. There was no request that was too big or too small for them. We cruised as a party of four in Veranda Suite rooms. Our rooms were located aft near to the staircase, which is a lovely location. Highly recommended. Embarkation - this was effortless and enjoyable. We were met at the airport and had an easy ride to the boat. Here, we were welcomed with cocktails and a seamless embarkation process. Stateroom - Extremely spacious for its category. The veranda is a good size and the walk-in closet is welcome. The double basin in the bathroom was welcome too. Toiletries are of a very high standard. Restaurants - Without exception, meals were amazing. In particular, the service at the Restaurant deserves special mention, the formal night is something special and the Air and Ocean restaurant on deck is also excellent. We normally took in breakfast in the Colonnade, but splurging one or two mornings for breakfast in The Restaurant is also a good idea. Bars - Generally very good, although service at the outside bars during sail-aways gets a little slow. The Retreat - A lovely little hidden area on the boat is The Retreat. Worth spending the money if you're looking for a R&R day. Spa & Fitness - Excellent treatments, but the facilities are perhaps a little small. That said, the fitness area never felt crowded. Excursions - We only did excursions in St Petersburg but these were arranged well and the experience was excellent. Entertainment - All shows in the Grand Salon were very good. The live music on deck during sail-away parties was a little short-lived at 30 minutes. The casino is a little small and felt crowded at times. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I choose this ship for two reasons. One I liked the itinerary and two I wanted to try a luxury cruise line. The itinerary was good in that it started in Stockholm allowing me to spend two days before departure exploring the city without ... Read More
I choose this ship for two reasons. One I liked the itinerary and two I wanted to try a luxury cruise line. The itinerary was good in that it started in Stockholm allowing me to spend two days before departure exploring the city without rushing and it ended in Copenhagen where I did the same thing. It also included two overnights ( 3 full days) in St. Petersburg where there is so much to see. I have sailed on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and the now gone Renaissance cruises. Renaissance was actually a wonderful cruise line with beautiful small ships that was the closest to this experience. As far as the actual cruise I will say it was wonderful not having to wait and crowd into elevators, the ship was a great size not to large, not to small. It was great not having to fight for a pool chair or make reservations for everything. Loved not being asked to have my picture taken every five minutes, and not having shops with sales. The ship itself was new and immaculate. The suite with balcony was gorgeous. Bathroom was large, walk in closet with enough drawers and hangers was great. On the downside the entertainment with the exception of two shows was far from great and there was really no other activities. The service was great, the liquor flowed freely, afternoon tea was nice, tapas was great, caviar on request was a nice touch too. What was a huge disappointment was dinner in the dining room which most nights was fair at best. The Grille was only available for guests to reserve one night. It was excellent. The other nighttime restaurant was outside and it was too cold for that. Did not try the sushi restaurant. I was very surprised that the food in the main restaurant was no better than I had on other much less expensive cruise lines. The on deck cocktail party was wonderful, food was very good there. So was it worth the extra money. Not sure I could say yes. Given the intensive itinerary it was great to return to the ship and not have to wait for things and not have to rush and be able to be very comfortable in the room, but on another type of cruise I might have been bored and the lack of activities/entertainment combined with mediocre food would have been more problematic on a cruise with more sea says or less intensive itinerary. Did all private shore excursions or just the HOHO bus ship excursions were very expensive. Highly recommend Alla tours in St. Petersburg. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation ... Read More
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation was boring and bland. The dress code is not policed and many evenings gentlemen turned up to dinner in polo shirts. The shore excursions were expensive and sometimes involved long journeys presumably because Seabourn do not wish to pay more expensive docking fees. The pillows and mattress had the consistency of a marshmallow. Despite firm pillows being offered our steward could not find any which wasn't great. The one female hairdresser on board was awful and the service generally slow. My husband ordered roses for our anniversary and they turned up at 10pm that night. The entertainment was boring and very few enrichment talks compared to Cunard. We could seldom have breakfast in the restaurant as we were on excursions and it did not open until 8am. The Colonnade was like a zoo. Very very disappointing. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this 7-day Baltic cruise with Seabourn as we liked the itinerary (5 countries in 7 days) and wanted to try a “luxury” cruise line having previously cruised with Celebrity, Cunard and Oceania. We were not dis-appointed, ... Read More
We chose this 7-day Baltic cruise with Seabourn as we liked the itinerary (5 countries in 7 days) and wanted to try a “luxury” cruise line having previously cruised with Celebrity, Cunard and Oceania. We were not dis-appointed, Seabourn and their staff ensured everything went extremely smoothly from the very start. Check-in and boarding in Stockholm took 5 minutes, very different from experiences we have had in departure ports like Seattle and Istanbul. Our cabin (Veranda Suite on deck 9) was well equipped, and a little larger than we have experienced on other ships. I would not say the Seabourn Ovation has a great “wow” factor - no large Atriums or glass elevators, BUT the attention to detail from the staff, and the fact the ship is designed to never seem crowded, more than made-up for it.....it very quickly felt like home. The food was excellent in all restaurants. We particularly liked the Sushi restaurant and the excellent waiters/sushi chefs, as well as The Grill (reservation needed, but no extra fee to pay). The Collonade restaurant provides buffet breakfasts and lunch, with a themed menu dinner service. The found the quality of food just as refined as in the ships main restaurant ( called The Restaurant). We noticed two things with the Seabourn staff, that added to our experience; they were happy to engage in conversation with the guests and we particularly had the impression they were proud to work for Seabourn. This pride showed in the way they treated all the guests and took care of every detail. I need to mention two staff by name, Danielle, oiur excellent cabin steward that always seemed to be available right outside our cabin and always with s mile, and Tibor in the Patio Bar, who decided his mission was to introduce my non-alcohol drinking wife to cocktails of her choice. We only used the Seabourn shore excursions in St Petersburg as we did not have independent visas for Russia. All the trips were well organized and not too expensive compared to other cruise lines. We also noticed that Seabourn seemed to ensure each group was quite small, so never any waiting around. Finally dis-embarkation in Copenhagen could not have been easier. No immigration, no queues for luggage or for taxis.....just a smooth as the start of the trip. Insider tip - if you like good croissants for breakfast, go to the coffee shop in the Seabourn Square. They make their own, and they are a little more “French” than in the restaurant. Thank you Seabourn! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We booked the Baltic and the Fjords on what has been the best we've sailed on and therefore our favorite. Seabourn did not disappoint us. First time on the Quest, but we have sailed before on the identical sister ships the Odyssey and ... Read More
We booked the Baltic and the Fjords on what has been the best we've sailed on and therefore our favorite. Seabourn did not disappoint us. First time on the Quest, but we have sailed before on the identical sister ships the Odyssey and the Sojourn, as well on the baby sister, now sold, the beloved Spirit. The ship is only a few years old, beautifully designed and kept in prime condition inside and out. This was our tenth Seabourn cruise. Of course, we have also sailed over the years on Oceania, Silversea, Regent, HA, Celebrity, Cunard, Crystal and even once on Princess. Seabourn is the best by far we have ever experienced in so many critical areas of comparison with the luxury lines. This is the perfect size ship for us at 450 passengers capacity. Not at all like the behemoths and monsters so common on the seas today - that ruin visits for many to numerous ports. With spacious cabins and generous and inviting pubic areas. This ship's physical layout is perfect in every way. We start as we must, because that is where it all begins, with the crew, which is so hard working, efficient, pleasant and welcoming. Multi countries from around the world represented onboard. But all with excellent English language skills. How does Seabourn manage to hire such uniformly excellent people time after time, in all categories, we keep asking ourselves. After a day or two of our 19 day cruise( we took back to backs), most of the crew we encountered already identified us on sight and by name. This makes cruising with Seabourn especially inviting, and we love to engage individual crew members whenever we can, with great reciprocation. The basic cabins are first rate, at over 350 sq ft (365?), with generous bathrooms having double sinks and a spacious veranda. Large walk in closet. No noise from adjoining cabins. Heat and air-conditioning working perfectly. Nicely decorated and comfortable, with plenty of storage space. Stocked with selected alcoholic beverages.The verandas are now even more welcoming, with Seabourn just announcing its new, no smoking on the verandas policy - something long overdue, to make it even more of a complete no smoking ship. The food is first rate throughout the ship. We note that some prior reviews comment that the MDR menu is more limited. We did not find it that way. On a few nights yes there seemed to be a main course item or two lacking, but the Thomas Keller special dishes now added in the MDR most nights make up for perhaps fewer regular selection choices. These Keller dishes with a special touch, like the lobster dish, are a welcome addition to the MDR offerings. Most nights the food choices has what I would call a "continental" appeal, with French and Italian influence. But also steak and lamb available every night from its "classic" menu. The quality of the meats and fish and seafood offerings is very high. Very tender veal for example. The meals in the MDR were served by an excellent waiting staff working in teams, quick, efficient and very pleasant. Most of the time we had to ask the waiters to slow down the service between courses, it was that quick. The DR management would go out of their way to prepare some special dishes that my wife and I adore, and they do this so graciously on a day or two notice. The menu rotation is also very long, so very few times in our nineteen days did we have a repeat menu. The quality of the dishes in the MDR in our estimation is the equal in many dishes that the chefs prepare to Michelin starred restaurants cuisine. Nicely prepared, very tasty and attractively plated, which takes some extra time and effort. The F& B manager Enes and the B manager Jovan are to be commended. Their skills, ambience and team leadership abilities are quite obvious and the whole DR and kitchen staff under them is simply first rate. The caviar available is of top quality from a special purveyor in Uruguay and served on demand, with toast and lovely accompaniments. This feature formerly so common on many upper end cruise lines has slowly disappeared, but not on Seabourn. Excellent cheese course, with the selection varying each night. The new Thomas Keller experience in the renamed Grill was OK, but in our judgment needs some fine-tuning to make it a spectacular alternative dining experience. The room design is beautiful, but the room is restricted in its physical footprint. The food and service were fine, but the food not all that special as promoted and expected. I guess we just prefer the spaciousness, ambience, friendliness and quality of the food in the MDR night after night. The Colonnade, in the aft of the ship on deck 8, with great views, self service but waiter assisted hot and cold buffet at breakfast and lunch, and table service at dinner, is very good too. But we prefer the more relaxed atmosphere of the MDR even for breakfast and lunches, when there is time to enjoy. The quality and selection of the food offerings on the buffets is very high end, not like we have experienced on a number of other cruise lines. The outdoor grill on the pool deck is great for a quick hamburger or more involved selection from their limited buffet, but the weather must be fairly warm to enjoy this experience. We did have a number of days particularly before we got into the more northern fjord waters where we could enjoy this experience, particularly when we got back late from excursions and the Colonade had already closed. The pool itself, not used on this trip by anyone we saw, is lovely, fairly large for a ship this size, with wonderful lounge chair areas spread around in both exposed sun and shaded locations. Seabourn Square on Deck 7 is a unique concept for just sitting around, reading the morning papers like the WSJ and NYT or Financial Times that are taken down by the satellite system and printed onboard, meeting people, and having an expresso and piece of pastry or light sandwich, pretty much all day long. The bars are very nice and most of the time we got our drinks rapidly. One or two exceptions on a nineteen day cruise when the bars were especially busy is nothing to get excited about. Wonderful cosmos and mojhitos. Not an easy drink to make right!! Very comfortable seating. Marvelous entertainment from the Darlene and Raleigh duo, solid pros and a joy to listen to. The complimentary offering of liquors, wines and champagne throughout the ship in all bars and restaurants was mostly fine with us. Although a few nights and lunches we had to search a little more from the complimentary offerings to find the ones we would enjoy the most. We appreciate fine wines a great deal dining on the road at restaurants and at home, and although the comp wines are not of the same quality, they were more than sufficient. A premium wine list is there for those who choose to go that route, which we did not feel necessary. Nicolas Feuillette French champagne as the house champagne is very lovely. The Captain from our first cruise, the Baltic, Captain Larsen, is the best we have ever experienced in our many sailings. Something so unique and special about this man. Beloved by his crew, he and the Captain of the second cruise, Captain Nilsen, and their executive staffs were very open and welcoming to all guests. The main theater nighttime entertainment needs some work. We do not expect a performing troupe the size and quality of the behemoths and monsters, but a little more spice and better product would be a welcome addition. The group is a half dozen enthusiastic, young performers who mostly sing and not dance, and the performances we saw were not all that entertaining. Vet comedian we have seen before ( he will not like that jest !!) Jeff Stephenson is a very funny man with a great routine. We seem to recall a somewhat bigger troupe on our Odyssey and Sojourn sails, with some better production numbers, dancing, and even a piece or two of scenery and professional costuming. Cruise Director Handre is a real gem, the best we have ever encountered. Also a talented composer and pianist. He does great job. One additional thought about the internet available. We bought the package, and we were connected most of the time of our nineteen days, but in the northern Norwegian fjord waters for a few days towards the end of the cruise there was very tough reception because of the surrounding mountains and high cliffs blocking satellite signals for TV and internet. Not surprising, but we were forewarned. Once again, Seabourn proved itself to be the best there is. We are booked for both next year and 2018. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Just back from a delightful cruise to Northern Europe and St. Petersburg. The ship was excellent in every way--beautiful suite with balcony, very good service, and outstanding food. Casually elegant, low-key luxe. Not a whole lot of ... Read More
Just back from a delightful cruise to Northern Europe and St. Petersburg. The ship was excellent in every way--beautiful suite with balcony, very good service, and outstanding food. Casually elegant, low-key luxe. Not a whole lot of entertainment and activities, and a quite small pool, but I went sightseeing every day except the one at-sea day. Wished the cruise were longer--I loved it. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We spent 2 days in Stockholm and 2 days in Copenhagen on our own before and after the cruise, respectively. The ports covered were good, with St. Petersburg being the centerpiece--3 days spent there (could have used 4). Cruise takes care of visa if you take tours. Also stopped at Tallinn, Estonia, and Helsinki. Some people continued the cruise to Norway instead of disembarking at Copenhagen. The tours were good, but the ballet--2nd -rate company and full of ill-dressed tourists--could have been skipped. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
Mr Waldo's friends had said "Oh you must go to Russia" and Miss Waldo had just embarked on a thesis about the Romanovs so we began planning. Things went pear shaped and it turned out to be just me and the Little Waldos aged ... Read More
Mr Waldo's friends had said "Oh you must go to Russia" and Miss Waldo had just embarked on a thesis about the Romanovs so we began planning. Things went pear shaped and it turned out to be just me and the Little Waldos aged 22 and 18 (moral ...live life to the full) one of the negatives to this cruise was having been to 2 ports before so we cut short our pre in Stockholm just overnighting and taking in the splendours of the new ABBA museum. So: Emabarkation: I wasn't quite sure why we were segregated, at first I thought it was being with 2 "kids" Note: Mr 22 yo was invited to join the children's program. I'm sure if 20 years time he will appreciate not looking his age or whether it was our comp upgrade to an OW. Either way this was hassle free and we were onbaord quickly. First Impressions: Colonnade: OMG this is a Zoo. Every man and his travelling companion was out on the back deck soaking in the summer rays. We were served relatively quickly and the only hitch was wine with lunch. yeah.... i know... she's going to complain about the quality. Well actually NO. They asked for Little Waldo to prove his age so he could drink and after much digging around he produced his drivers licence (note we found this into Day 2, if you have hole punched into your card no grog!). Offering Miss W a drink, she declined we settled into mmmm this is nice Suite: Our suite was ready just as we finished dining and we were very happy. Cmon OW who wouldn't be! Our Stewardess offered our soap options (a choice each) and asked if we wanted any additional beverages for the bar (Yes please we needed 3 different tipples..at this point we were not aware of the 21 drinking age) The cabin was explained and we just went wow (again) I wont go in to detail about an OW except to say for 3 it was MORE than ample and while the rollway was removed each day it wasn't really necessary to do so. Now Mr 22 is a foodie (yep) so his first task was to book for Restaurant 2. Mission accomplished, Miss 18 and I made our Spa bookings. Yes it was tight, 7 days are an issue if you want to fit around ports. the only hitch for the Spa was the Spin bike is apparently only for fitness classes :( Meals: there was only 1 course in The Restaurant which was a let down and it was ......... the Souffle. Now Miss W is a Souffle Queen and I mean that seriously. Whilst 22 dutifully consumed his to the last Iota I struggled and Miss W, took 2 spoonfuls and said urrg, scrambled eggs. ( to give reference Miss W has dined and worked in hatted restaurants) I have to admit the waiters took her critique with a grain of salt. She has said if the souffle isn't up to scratch on Quest in January she'd like a cook off ;) We only managed one meal in Resaturant 2 and well...yum........not up there with the likes of Geranium or Quay, but certainly excellent for location matching wines IMHO worth the $$ Remember we convicts have limited access to anything non home grown. Liquid: Hitch wasn't aware that US drinking laws onboard. Note to self (read the fine print). Did it matter, um no. But poor Mr 22 got sick of dragging out his card until everyone knew him and that took 3 DAYS! ;) Ships Tours: bone of contention. We did 1 out to Cathy's place and wow. The solitude was worth the $ the wine, not so. I wanted to Kayak in Helsinki but was howled down by Miss W (aka I know everything now I'm 18). In short, should have Kayaked! Ports: Well we are small ship creatures because I like to convenience of central docking and fats flow immi, and Seabourn ticks that box nicely. (well more than nicely because it added 2+ hours to each day in SPB) Service: Yep this is where it went pear shaped I had ONE server who ignored me. T......??? in the Colonnade at the dessert bar. Why do some people think only guys want ice cream!! Loved pulling up my chair and within 30 secs having my tipple and MissWs Fire Engine (paul;) ) on the table. Now i do NOT like buffet or tie dining, so Seabourn is an excellent choice for avoiding this. breakfast in the restaurant , was great, yeah it's only open for an hour but hey, 8-9am ain't early bad if your tour starts at 8,30.. heaps of time! For those eat all you can, as fast as you can Colonnade will suit. Disappointment: never had IRD ( will fix this in Jan) Trivia (ohhhhh) only once and only a few of us. Poor Miss W. Trivia is one of her things and to to the supercilious guest who pooh poohed Mr 22s knowledge of TdF, yep don't think the onboard newspaper is up to date. Mr 22 is a sport tragic. Other than that less friendly than we have had before, especially on SS, maybe it was being 3? (never been 3 before) and I know more than 1 pax was surprised it wasn't a gay divorcee situation. Maybe because our other cruises have been less port intensive? Debark: too soon Other lines : What i missed for SS.. the opportunity to be seated at a communal table (but that may have been to us being 3 and Mr W missing and conversations with other liekminded guests Next step Antarctica :)   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Our first time on Seabourn, although we have cruised Crystal and Celebrity. The ship was lovely, the service mostly superb. The exceptions being the Patio Grill Bar and the Observation Bar (although Daniel, our Irish server, in the ... Read More
Our first time on Seabourn, although we have cruised Crystal and Celebrity. The ship was lovely, the service mostly superb. The exceptions being the Patio Grill Bar and the Observation Bar (although Daniel, our Irish server, in the Observation Bar was wonderful). The other servers not so much. Our greatest disappointment was the food. It was just OK - but nothing special - sometimes overcooked, sometimes undercooked. Not the 5 star ratings we were led to believe (and paid for). The exception was Restaurant 2. The food there was excellent! We thoroughly enjoyed our meal there. Our cabin on deck 6 was lovely. We especially appreciated the walk in closet and the bathroom with a tub and shower. Our 3 days in St. Petersburg were amazing - and exhausting. Our private tour was through TJ Travel and our guide was Helen. Her knowledge was extensive and wonderfully presented. We could not have asked for more. Our group consisted of three couples and Helen moved us smoothly and seamlessly through the huge crowds. Since the mediocre food was such an unpleasant surprise, we are unsure about future Seabourn cruises. Perhaps we were naïve to believe the Seabourn hype. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
This cruise was my first and several seasoned cruisers said I had set the bar very high form my first cruise and I agree! We arrived in Stockholm 2 days early and I highly recommend doing this since there is so much to see in this ... Read More
This cruise was my first and several seasoned cruisers said I had set the bar very high form my first cruise and I agree! We arrived in Stockholm 2 days early and I highly recommend doing this since there is so much to see in this beautiful city. We met 2 single girls that were doing a St. Petersburg tour with us at our hotel (this was a pure coincidence!) and shared a taxi to the port with them. One of the Texas ladies, Jennifer, recommend we go straight to the ship at our 12pm check out, even though our ticket said to board at 2pm. This was great advice since we were able to quickly get through the check in process and go directly to the Collonade for lunch. Our suite was ready before we finished lunch. We were on deck 5 and the pictures I have seen online were a perfect match for the real thing, but none of the pictures were of the walk in closet. This was such a blessing since it was large enough to store all of our clothes and keep the suitcases hidden. Our bed was heavenly and the balcony large enough for 2 chairs and a table with room to move around. Daniela, our hostess did a great job throughout our cruise and had champagne and cavier canapes awaiting us. We were later given a full bottle of vodka (which we didn't even open!), a stocked min refrigerator with beer, cokes, water, juices, and 2 bottles of red wine and could have ordered more if we wished. We ordered room service fro breakfast 3 times and ordered a snack once. I had put our anniversary as our special occasion and received a phone call asking when we wanted to receive a special turn down the first day of the cruise. I chose our sea day and the staff did not disappoint. While at breakfast, they fastened balloons to our ceiling and later on that night a beautiful chocolate cake was delivered to our suite! We ate at every eating place on the boat and the Restaurant was our favorite. 5 nights were spent there and one was at a hosted table. This was quite fun, even though they separated the spouses. We met singer Nicola, her charming British parents, singer Marie Lee, and 2 other couples. On the formal night, we booked a table for 10 to accommodate our private tour group we put together for our 3 days in St. Petersburg using SPB tours. This was our going away present to each other and it was wonderful. Great people, great food (7 courses!) and great memories! The other 3x we were in the restaurant was at a table for 2. The food was great, the service, impeccable, and the wine choices were spot on. Our first night on the boat was at Restaurant 2. Don't miss out on this wonderful experience! They will provide you with menus of all the tastings ahead of time so you can pick and choose which night to reserve your spot (other nights can occur but you will be put on a wait list since this restaurant is quite small). Don't be turned off by the menu describing all the ingredients in each tasting. My husband is a picky eater and he loved everything he ate! The Collonade is mainly a buffet, but is classily done. We ate there for breakfast 5x and 1x for dinner. We booked the Russian ballet and had a letter in our suite stating that the Collonade would be opening early for us and service would be quick so we could prepare for the ballet (we had to load the bus by 6:45). We were in and out super fast but the service and food was impeccable, as usual! My only complaint about the food (and it is a small one) is for the Patio Grill. The food on the buffet was cold, even if it had a warmer on it. Now, in their defense, the temps on this cruise was quite chilly at time (50-60's being the norm). Now, onto the entertainment. We spent every night in the Club, either listening to the guitarist/singer Michael or the Band featuring Sabrina, and one show featuring Brent doing Broadway hits. All were fabulous, especially Michael. He would take request and when he found out we were from Alabama, he played Sweet Home Alabama for us on several occasions. Some nights there were not too many people in the Club and other nights it was fairly full. They have a small dance floor and beware, some of the entertainers will pull you out to dance, even if you have 2 left feet like me! The professional dance couple was awesome and I wished they would have dance more since it reminded me of the dancers off of DWTS. My only complaint about the Club is that the later you stayed the more breaks the band and waiters seem to take! One time on the last night, the band played for 30 minutes and then took a 45 minute break! We had to go to the bar 2x at the end of the cruise because the waiters stopped coming around to take our drink orders. It was like they were deliberately trying to get rid of us! Not a good feeling to have after paying so much money for this cruise.  We didn't go to the small casino off the Club, and only went to one show in the Grand Salon. We did have tea/cocktails at the Observation Bar on deck 10 (THE PLACE to see the launching of the ship). Since we are from the south, we tried to order a Hurricane but they didn't know what it was (obviously they have never been to New Orleans!), so we ordered Rum Punch instead. It was great! We didn't use the spa but the Texas ladies, Jennifer and Teddie did, and they really liked it. They each bought the spa pass for the week and seem to think it was a good use of money/ship board credit. We didn't go up on Deck 11 for ping pong or anything else since the brisk wind seemed to always be felt the strongest there. We also didn't use the pool or whirlpools, but everyone who did use them felt the temperature was great. Seabourn Square was a great place to get information, book excursions, get a cup of coffee, or just relax with a book or a puzzle. Computers for guest were here (internet was a steep $20 for 2 hours). Overall, this was a fantastic cruise and I will be sailing with Seabourn again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
The 7 day cruise of the Baltic Sea in June/July 2013 had been our third cruise with Seabourn within the last 10 month (41 sea days). Why? My wife and I we simply feel at home aboard Seabourn. We are in our late 40ties and until 1 ½ years ... Read More
The 7 day cruise of the Baltic Sea in June/July 2013 had been our third cruise with Seabourn within the last 10 month (41 sea days). Why? My wife and I we simply feel at home aboard Seabourn. We are in our late 40ties and until 1 ½ years ago we didn´t thought a cruise will suite us. We liked and still like being on our own exploring. We prefer top class hotels, but hardly use all the facilities they offer. Usually we stay at one site between 2-5 days. Then we travel on our own to the next destinations. Why do we like Seabourn? Maybe we better have to start to write about what the 3 larger Seabourn ships according to our opinion aren´t. They are not a place where you marvel about fancy details or the sheer size and quantity of facilities. The offered standard of the ships is high class. References to a huge yacht can be done. The suites. The regular suites (we had been in categories V3 and V6) have a satisfactory size. The furnishing is very well thought-out and utilizable. The small walk-in wardrobe is an absolute plus. The bathroom is nice as well and has all the necessities needed, but for 2 persons at once drying hair it´s too small. The shower could be larger. The interior design of the suite has to address to the taste of huge number of guest. It does so. The HDTV is working well, but, like in brand new cars or airplanes, their entertainment and computer equipment is already outdated when they hit the market. We don´t want to miss our veranda. It is nice to have the possibility to go outside from your own cabin (suite). Yes, the veranda furniture could be improved. A short while after embarkation all our luggage has found its spot and we consider it as "our” suite. In many top notch hotels rooms this feeling never developed. Food. We read in some reviews that the food on Seabourn is not always living up to the expectations. On our cruises with the Odyssey and the Sojourn we had 3 different chefs. We were told that the menus are set by Seattle headquarters. Therefore the food is mainly not purchased locally. Fish for example is delivered mostly frozen in containers to the ship. But even then can you feel the influences of the different chefs. Seasoning differs. Seabourn is trying not to make something wrong. Health risks are linked with undercooked food. So they overcook. Fish and seafood is here mostly at risk. I never tried to order a "bleu” beef dish. I stick to "rare”. In total the food meets our expectations. We consider it very good. 3-star Michelin restaurants with the restriction to 15-20 tables and a few dishes and 2 degustation menus can´t be compared. In the main restaurant you cater up to 450 passengers in about 2-3 hours at a very high level. At the Colonade we always had our breakfast. It is a mix of being served and self-service. We as Germans love our bread. Choice could and should be improved. Same with cheeses. I love to have goat, sheep and blue cheeses for breakfast. But again, we sorrow at a very, very high level. In addition you can ask. The service staff is trying to accomplish what you have asked for. Perrier mineral water for example might not available at once. San Pellegrino mineral water instead. So you have to wait a little to get your preferred one. Double shot Cappucino and Espresso you better get at the Square (take out) before you go for breakfast. The regular coffee within The Colonade is so so. Restaurant 2. We had dinner there 5 times so fare. It differs from the main restaurant as there are only around 30 guest each evening. A set 6-7 course menu is offered. The food differs. They try to present a more seasoned cooking style. As long as they don´t hype at the presentation of the dinner it is a very joyful evening. The Pool Bar. For us exactly what it should be. Great burgers, pizza, salad and so on. Wines and spirits. The offered wines for dinner are good middle class. That is ok with us. We never opted for the silver or gold wine package. You can always have the Feuillatte Champagne which is very decent French Champagne. Spirits and cocktails. You cannot ask for more. Our favorite place for cocktails and drinks is the Observation Lounge. Staff and Crew. As soon as you enter the ship, they make you feel welcome and at home. Security measures and procedures can be annoying, but in this times? We always felt that the staff is willing to interact with guest. But the guests have to make the first moves. If you don´t, they furthermost act highly professional. As always in life some do excel from the rest. But on Seabourn not because you tipped them. They excel because they love what they do. High ranking officers were always available. Room for improvement. Yes. The use of internet (wifi) should be included in the cruise fare. The excursions are overpriced. Offering more options for sleeping pillows. Sometimes a little more attention even to the smallest detail is needed. More "harbor” information by the service crew on Seabourn Square. Onsite self drive car rental information. How to get in and out of the port. How far from some highlights by taxi. Those details we don´t have in our guide books and internet information. The concept of the ships boutique. On our Baltic Sea cruise. In our travel documents the wrong embarkation site in Stockholm was stated. No information about changes. When we arrived we found out. It took 1 hour and 50 Euros additional taxi rides. Just an apology. No refund. Staff friendly as ever. We had the best stewardess for our suite so far. In Talinn and in Helsinki we walked the city on our own. The 3 days in St. Petersburg we arranged a private tour for us. Guide, driver and Minivan. We would do so again. For us the one week cruise was too short. We would have loved at least 3 more sea days. In January 2014 we are crusing Antarctica. Seabourn of course. If Seabourn will remain or even improving its service level and food and drink quality we have found our cruise line. They also should stick to their upscale all-inclusive concept. The size of the Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest are in our opinion a good balance between choices offered and intimacy. On our first cruise ever in December 2011 we had been on a 4-star plus ship. The suite was good, as was the executive lounge, but with 2.000 passengers on board, we never really felt home like we do on Seabourn. We are looking forward to go back to "our” Seabourn ships.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Everything about the Seabourn Sojourn is pleasant and hassle free. The entire ship is clean in its design and does not suffer from the tasteless decor you may have seen on other ships. The palette is neutral and modern - although ... Read More
Everything about the Seabourn Sojourn is pleasant and hassle free. The entire ship is clean in its design and does not suffer from the tasteless decor you may have seen on other ships. The palette is neutral and modern - although perhaps a bit bland and characterless. Think Four Seasons and you are nearly there. Cabin was excellent in every way with a nice size bathroom, walk in wardrobe, great beds and ample space for everything. Cabin service was perfect although we actually only met our stewardess once when we boarded - after that we never even glimpsed her. The food in the restaurants was pretty good. On the penultimate night we had the Chef's menu in the main dining room - easily the best meal we had onboard. Otherwise we felt some of the food was a bit of a let down when compared to the 'six star' billing. Meat was always superb - but desserts almost all poor (seem to use the same cheap artificial/prepackaged looking desserts and cheap ice cream and day-glo sauces as on Carnival ?). The main point here is that if you are expecting an overall standard comparable to a top London, Paris or New York restaurant then you will be disappointed. For a cruise ship it is of a good standard and once or twice exceptional. Restaurant 2 which is meant to be the fine dining experience was a bit of a let down and I would avoid- main dining room more enjoyable. Some of the most striking advantages of Seabourn Sojourn over other cruises I have taken relate to the noticeable lack of onboard selling. What a relief not to have every minute of every day spent trying to sell the next excursion or the latest embarrassing photo. None of that here - hurrah ! Also no queues or waits for anything. Get on and off the ship when you like and have a table for two right away. Perfect. Entertainment was really surprisingly good. Lack of ambition from a production point of view was made up for by the talent of the 4 singers and 2 dancers we had to entertain us. They did a few shows and they were truly fantastic vocally and did not rely on pre-recorded voices for their numbers. These were the best shows I have seen on a cruise ship because they did not try to be something they were not and instead relied on good old fashioned talent to do the job. At first sight the port lecturer seemed a bit doddery but in fact he was excellent in every respect. Witty, informative and totally unpatronising - he assumed a degree of intelligence amongst his audience which I have not experienced on other ships. We followed many of his tips to our advantage and at no time was he trying to push any excursions or other commercial ventures for the cruise line. Perfect. We did not take any of the ships excursions. In Tallinn and Helsinki the ship provides a free shuttle to the town centre where you can then do your own thing. Otherwise you can just walk from the ship in 15 minutes or so to both city centres. Likewise Stockholm and Copenhagen are full of wonderful sights which are easy to walk between and visit on your own (everyone speaks perfect English). In St Petersburg we followed the advice of another Cruise Critic reviewer and booked the services of a private guide for all 3 of our days there. His name is Timofey Kruglikov who has his own website at http://www.tour-petersburg.com/en Timofey was the absolutely perfect host for our 3 days in St Petersburg. He provided an excellent car and driver and escorted us around the main sights of the city and environs. We pretty much followed his suggested 3 day itinerary and he proved to be a fount of knowledge for all things Russian. Timofey's English is near perfect and there is little he does not know about his city. Test him at the Hermitage.....almost any painting you care to highlight will be explained in detail. ofcourse 3 days in nothing like enough for this fascinating city and everything always feels somewhat of a rush. The services provided by Timofey were not cheap but were good value for money when compared to the alternative options. We had no problems entering the country without a visa - just following Timofey's instructions and we paid him at the end of of our second day. We cannot recommend Timofey more highly. Overall we had a wonderful time on the Sojourn. The ship is the perfect size, in perfect condition and is a relaxed and easy place to be. The lack of queues, bossy announcements, onboard selling or indeed any other annoyance was a highlight. Service at all times was warm and friendly and we would recommend the experience. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Escorted my mother on a truly wonderful adventure in the Baltics. The August weather could not have been more perfect the entire time we were there, we packed expecting cool weather but every day was warm and sunny. But every port we ... Read More
Escorted my mother on a truly wonderful adventure in the Baltics. The August weather could not have been more perfect the entire time we were there, we packed expecting cool weather but every day was warm and sunny. But every port we went to the people complained on how crummy the weather had been during the previous months so we lucked out. The Sojourn is a beautiful ship with huge cabins, it really was like having an apartment at sea. The food is pretty good, and I am sure better than most cruise lines. We only had one bad meal, too bad it was the Chef's Special Dinner night, the main course was a bit salty and the service was extremely slow. Although we had a larger party set up by our tour company the dinner should have not taken 3 and a half hours, and water glasses should have be refilled. It's a pity because that was the only night we ate in the main dining room. We dined in Restaurant 2 on our second night and I found the food to be very good, modern small tastes, but we were stuffed by the end of the meal. Most nights we dinned at the Colonnade or Patio Grill. The Colonnade is great for breakfast they have a decent buffet of scrambled eggs, hash browns, beans, grilled tomatoes, sausages, fresh fruit, cereal, pastries, breads, cold cuts, cheeses, yogurt and fish. And you may also order dishes like omelets, benedicts, lamb chops, minutes steaks and other special dishes table side. The staff and crew, with the exception of the one night in the dining room were always friendly and attentive. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
As professional musicians from Jacksonville, Florida, we don't usually take expensive luxury cruises, but there is no question that the Seabourn Sojourn delivers the value and exceptional quality of food, facilities/stateroom and ... Read More
As professional musicians from Jacksonville, Florida, we don't usually take expensive luxury cruises, but there is no question that the Seabourn Sojourn delivers the value and exceptional quality of food, facilities/stateroom and service expected for the price. One night we had amazing Nigerian shrimp that were 10 inches long! The staff members were always helpful and attentive. While we know it's their job to be friendly, they were sincere. With less than 400 passengers on board, we had all the amenities of the big ships, but none of the crowds for dining or disembarkation. The people on the cruise were mostly interesting professionals from the US. We enjoyed dining at Restaurant 2 seated with other passengers, with exceptional food and tableside informance about each of the dozen dishes served. Toward the end of the cruise, we got a tour of the galley with the head chef to see what goes on behind the scenes to make the magic happen for the passengers. All the artists, performers and cruise director were excellent, not over amplified, and they went out of their way to engage with the passengers - and even stay in touch after the cruise. We also like the all inclusive policy - no bills for drinks or tips at the end to worry about. As amazing as the ship was, it was the great port cities that were the highlight of our trip. Seabourn provided a travel/history expert on board to speak about each destination to help plan excursions or activities. With the exception of Stockholm, the Sojourn ports right in the city center. We are good walkers and like to explore on our own, so we easily walked to all the city highlights in Helsinki (such as the Church of the Rock), Tallin (Alexander Nevsky church, shopping for amber) and we covered all of the quaint city of Visby. Though you might not choose this cruise for the purpose of going to Tallin or Visby, both were surprisingly delightful medieval walled cities. The Stockholm embarkation port was quite a ways from the city center and not at all glamorous. Fortunately we arrived in Stockholm a few days early to see the sites and insure our arrival for the cruise. The Arlanda Express train got us from the airport to our hotel in 15 minutes. We stayed at the Frey Hotel (mentioned in Stieg Larsson's 3rd book) which was reasonably priced, friendly and perfectly located to walk to the Royal Palace, Gamla Stan, Opera House, Skansen, Vasa Museum and central downtown. When the ship leaves port in Stockholm, it goes by the 24,000 islands in the archipelago with great views on both sides of the ship. Though it was raining hard when we departed, delay dinner and stay out on deck to experience this! The highlight for us and the reason most of the passengers were on the cruise was to visit historic St. Petersburg. Though the ship docked right in downtown St. Petersburg, the sites are spread out and it is not a walkable area/city. You also have make advance arrangements with a St. Petersburg tour in order to get your 72-hour tourist visa. Recommended by a friend in Jacksonville (who lives in Riga, Latvia), we contacted Timofey Kruglikov of Tailored Tours of St. Petersburg. (www.tour-petersburg.com). Via email, we discussed our interests and Tim then emailed an outline plan for each of our 3 days. Tim took care of our visas and met us with a private car and driver at the ship each morning. He is a scholar in so many areas and has a wealth of knowledge in history, art, and architecture. He is an native of St. Petersburg and speaks openly about the changes in Russia in the last decades. Tim personally guided us at the Hermitage, Russian Museum, Peterhof, St. Isaac's and shared deeper meanings of symbols in much of the art. If you love art/history Tim will flood your senses and you will learn so much! It was also a very crowded time of year (August) and somehow Tim planned our entrances to exhibits so there was never any wait time. When you have so little time to visit, it's nice not to have to wait in huge lines, which we saw many. We saw the major sites and had time to visit many other places not offered on excursions and we had access to rooms not accessible to the large tour groups. Tim is congenial, sincere and has a great sense of humor. We highly recommend his affordable and wonderful guidance while in St. Petersburg! Many of the passengers took the excursion to Moscow and enjoyed it, but were exhausted with the extra travel. We like to travel and explore cities by public transport and usually pack light with carry on and small roller bags. Our disembarkation was in Copenhagen and we easily got from the port to our hotel in the central city by train in 15 minutes. We met some fellow cruisers making the same trek and made good friends quickly! We stayed at the Imperial Hotel which was adequate and conveniently located by Tivoli Gardens and again, walking distance to nearly every major site. We were there on a Sunday so some things were closed but the Nyhavn restaurants were bustling and the bike portion of their Ironman triathlon was going on. It was amazing to see thousands of bikes parked everywhere in this northern city The hardest part was coming home. We were thrilled to have a non-stop from Copenhagen to Atlanta on Delta but what a long flight ending a trip of a lifetime, that we would recommend to anyone. Read Less
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