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
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.