Embarkation On Wednesday 29th February 2012, we embarked on Seabourn Pride in Singapore. Following a twelve hour flight from England, we were grateful to be able to board the ship slightly earlier than the scheduled time.
The quality and presentation of the food was entirely satisfactory, as was the service. However, on a number of occasions the main Restaurant felt particularly cold. This was reported not only by ourselves, but by other guests also. The temperature did not appear to increase throughout the rest of our cruise. It appears that the air conditioning required attention in both the restaurant and cabins, as temperature control was virtually impossible.
One of the concerns my partner had, was that of the silver food containers used on a daily basis to serve breakfast and lunch in Restaurant 2. The bases of the containers had clearly not been cleaned for a number of months, let alone weeks. However, when questioned, the Hotel Manager insisted they were about to be cleaned overnight, implying this was normal routine. My partner explained that we had been looking at these containers every morning at breakfast since we boarded the ship, they were in the same poor state every day. Sometime later, I received a telephone call in our suite from the Hotel Manager. He felt that my assistance was required, and requested that I come to Restaurant 2 on Deck 7 where a discussion between the Hotel Manager, a reportedly Director of Seabourn who happened to be onboard, and my partner was taking place. When I arrived, it was clear that my partner was very upset and unhappy. The Hotel Manager and Director were clearly unhappy too. I, therefore, requested that we resolve the situation the following day and left the restaurant with my partner. The following day, no contact was made with ourselves by the Hotel Manager or Director. However, a small flower display was put in our suite. At approximately 7pm, I received a telephone call in our suite from the Hotel Manager. He asked if everything was alright, and stated that things were very uncomfortable with my partner the previous evening. He seemed more concerned that he had been put in a position whereby he was made to feel uncomfortable, rather than feeling genuine concern for his paying guests. I explained that my partner, quite rightly, was very upset about a number of issues.
On the second day of our cruise, we participated in a game of golf on the pool deck. This took place after lunch and was good fun. However, one of the waiting on staff cleared away the tables that had been used to display food on. Food had fallen onto the deck which he had failed to spot. Two members of the entertainment crew set up the golf alongside where the food had fallen. They too failed to spot the food. Actually, one of the crew did spot the food but chose to ignore it. My partner eventually took it upon himself to take a serviette from the bar and clean it up himself. There was no sign of acknowledgement from any of the crew members. It was also noticed that the stainless steel barbecue used to cook food on at lunch time was in a filthy state. The barbecue was stored away after use in its white plastic cover in the same filthy state.
The swimming pool was rusty and tiles were missing in various places. The pool was emptied when the weather deteriorated and maintenance did begin. This, by pure coincidence, just happened to occur a short time after discussions had taken place with my partner, the Hotel Manager and Director of Seabourn.
Staff & Service
The first thing that caught our eye in the Magellan Lounge, where registration took place, was the filthy state of a strip of ceiling above the marble dance floor. This dirt remained there for the duration of our cruise.
On entering our suite, it was apparent that the shower mat in the bathroom had not been replaced with a clean mat. The mat had dirty marks and bits of paper on it, and had clearly not been changed following occupation by the previous guests.This bath mat did not get cleaned or replaced with a fresh one until the tenth day of our cruise following a request to the Hotel Manager to change our suite stewardess, or "maid"as referred to by the Hotel Manager, for a different stewardess. There was no shampoo or conditioner in the bathroom. On the evening of day two of our cruise, a note was left by myself requesting the stewardess provide us with shampoo and conditioner. Standard items that are normally provided in the suites. The exterior rim of the toilet was also dirty and body hair from the previous occupants was present. This remained the case until the morning of Friday 9th March 2012. The shower curtain was only attached to some of the clips, the rest of the shower curtain was left hanging. This again remained the case until the morning of Friday 9th March 2012. Initially, we were sympathetic and understanding of the above oversights due to the fact that disembarkation and embarkation times are likely to be very busy times. However, as we entered further into our cruise, it became very apparent that the standard of service we were receiving from our stewardess was staggeringly poor and left a lot to be desired. On Tuesday 6th March 2012, the two water tumblers provided in the bathroom of our suite were removed, presumably for cleaning. Three days later, they had still not been returned. This was reported to the Hotel Manager during a telephone conversation one evening prior to leaving our suite for dinner. The least I would have expected, was for the glasses to have been replaced that evening. This did not happen. The glasses were not replaced until the following day when a different stewardess, who would now be tending to our suite, introduced herself. It is clear that the stewardess responsible for cleaning our suite during the first week of our cruise did not have the interest or capability required for such a position. It was purely coincidental that a guest staying in a suite close to the suite we were staying in mentioned on the last night of the cruise that she would not be giving her suite stewardess a tip. She commented that the stewardess had not cleaned or maintained her suite very well, leaving her to make the bed and finish other jobs herself. This turned out to be the same stewardess assigned to our suite during the first week of our cruise. When we asked if she had brought this to anyone's attention, she stated that she had not as she did not like to complain. She had however written a comment on the guest questionnaire.
Listed in the Yachts of Seabourn Guest List under the heading Ship's Officers is a named Executive Housekeeper. I am sure it is her responsibility to train and supervise the stewardesses who are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the suites, and to ensure the suites meet with guests expectations. If this is the case, she is clearly not fulfilling her role either or, she too does not have very basic standards of care required for this position, let alone high standards.
On a positive note, there are some very nice touches applied to the suites by the stewardesses. These include hand written poems and notes left on the bed along with animals made from towels and flannels. However, I do feel it may be more appropriate to ensure the suites are cleaned and maintained rather than spending time writing poems and making animals.
I would also like to add that the quality of the bath and hand towels provided in the suites were very poor. The pillow cases were too small for the pillows which hung out by a number of inches and the hair dryers displayed little power. Totally unacceptable on a ship purportedly to be five/six star.
Following on from the above reports, I would like to highlight further incidents. During the early part of another evening, the toilet in our bathroom would not flush. We reported this to a member of staff on reception who said she would have a plumber attend to it whilst we were at dinner. On returning to our cabin at approximately 2345 hours, we were alarmed to see that the toilet seat was still closed and the toilet had not been attended to. We immediately telephoned reception again. The gentleman very kindly said he would send a plumber to attend to the toilet. A plumber did attend within 20 minutes. It was clear that our suite stewardess had not even lifted the toilet seat during that evening or, if she had, she did not ensure that the problem was rectified. It was also clear that the member of staff on reception had not ensured the problem was rectified either. It was at this point, that my partner went to reception and requested to speak to the Hotel Manager and the Director of Seabourn. A quite heated discussion took place as to the poor maintenance of the ship and our suite. My partner became increasingly irritated and annoyed at the fact that both the Hotel Manager and the Director of Seabourn were making excuses and giving false information in relation to maintenance of both the ship and its equipment. I suggested that our suite stewardess be replaced with somebody else. When asked was she not very good, I proceeded to explain some of our experiences and disappointments with our suite to date. That very same morning, our toilet had not even been cleaned, there was feces around the basin. Oh my god was the Hotel Managers response. I explained that when we first embarked on the ship, the Captain informed us not to hesitate in reporting anything we were not happy with. This, I explained to the Hotel Manager, was not something we had come away to do during our two week vacation. This was the responsibility of the staff. A new suite stewardess did replace the original one. Thankfully, she was a huge improvement. We received a clean shower mat, clean sheets, water tumblers, and the shower curtain was fixed.
Finally, I am sure crew members are entitled to invite family and friends on board but I think it important that they also adhere to the relevant dress code in the evenings as well as the guests. Apparently, a guest of the Boutique Manager was on board. He was present in the Club most evenings when we were at sea. His dress code was extremely casual every time meaning jeans and t shirt, certainly not the required.
Moving onto the entertainment part of the cruise. On the evening of Thursday 8th March 2012, we attended a Deck Party. It was a fabulous evening with music and entertainment provided by the Cruise Director, Assistant Cruise Director, Vocalists, and Band Oasis. After the Deck party, at approximately 2230 hours, my partner, myself and a number of other guests proceeded to the Club, as we did most evenings. It was at this time we learned that a crew party was taking place on the deck below. Well deserved I am sure. The Romantics were performing when we entered the Club. They performed until 2315 hours then disappeared, we can only assume to the crew party. It was at this point, we all realised there was no music playing. Normally, at this point, the Vocalists along with Oasis would perform. We could only assume they too were at the crew party. This was not a problem, and did not cause us any concern, as a Classical Pianist who had boarded the ship a couple of days earlier accompanied us in the Club. One of the guests asked if she would play the piano for us. She was delighted. We all joined her around the piano to make our own music. We repositioned a microphone to beside the piano to enable one of the guests to sing into, and my partner proceeded to play on the drum kit. My partner has his own drum kit at home and is a keen player. After a short period, one of the Vocalists appeared at the Club door with a big smile on his face. He watched for a moment then joined us for one song. He then returned to the crew party. A few moments later, the Assistant Cruise Director appeared, waved his hand from side to side and mouthed "last one, then finish". He then proceeded over to speak with the two bar staff who were present then disappeared. Naturally, we were all taken aback. We had been left to entertain ourselves because the entertainers had abandoned the guests, they were either at a party or in bed. We were in no way behaving in a raucous fashion, nor were we abusing any of the equipment, we were merely entertaining ourselves. However, we were now being instructed to stop. Following a short discussion between the guests present in the Club, the Hotel Manager was called and an explanation of the evening's events was given. A Security Personnel was also in attendance who suggested he bring the crew party to an end. We explained this was not necessary, we were not unhappy that the crew were having a party and enjoying themselves. What we were unhappy about was the fact that we, as paying guests on board the ship, had been abandoned by the entertainers, who were obviously at the crew party. Therefore, we had taken it upon ourselves to provide our own entertainment but then were requested to stop. The Security Personnel insisted the music from the crew party was too loud and headed off to turn it down. On his return, he asked if we were happy to just have some background music playing for the rest of the evening. The Hotel Manager said he would look into it. Needless to say, we heard nothing that evening or the following day. On the evening of Saturday 10th March 2012, we attended a drinks reception in the Magellan Lounge. At the entrance to the lounge to greet guests were the Assistant Cruise Director, the Cruise Director, the Cruise Sales Specialist, the Captain and the Hotel Manager. My partner made it very clear to all personnel present of his immense disappointment in the way we, and a number of other guests on the ship, were treated in the Club on the night of Thursday 8th March 2012. He expressed his astonishment that not one person had apologized for the incident. It was at this point that the Hotel Manager said to my partner "I guess I will not be getting an invite to your home will I?" Why he felt it necessary to make such a remark was beyond us. The Cruise Director later approached us and asked if we would meet with her after the show which we did. She stated that she had heard one side of the story, would we like to give her our side of the story. Where she had heard one side of the story from I have no idea. There were no crew representatives in the Club on that night other than two bar staff. My partner explained what had happened. The Cruise Director, a little hostile, explained that she had been informed no further music was required on the evening of Thursday 8th March 2012 when the Romantics left the Club. Again, I am not sure who had made the decision that no further music was required, it certainly was not any of the guests. The Cruise Director went on to say that someone had moved the microphone and one of the guests was playing the drums and we were not allowed to do this. Was the Classical Pianist not allowed to play the piano either we asked? Oh yes, she was allowed to play the piano. Then why was none of this explained to us by the Assistant Cruise Director? Why were we instructed to finish? Why did the Vocalist quite happily sing a song with us before returning to the party? My partner very bluntly told the Cruise Director that what happened that evening was totally inappropriate and totally unacceptable. The paying guests on board the ship had been abandoned, were happy to make their own entertainment, along with the very professional Classical Pianist, while the entertainers and crew were having a party, but were then instructed to bring the evening to a close. Her only comment was that we should have called her to the Club rather than the Hotel Manager. My partner suggested that out of courtesy, she apologize to the rest of the guests who were in the Club that evening. Of course, this did not happen. The least that happened was the Assistant Cruise Director making his presence known in the Club for 5 minutes the following evening and the musicians making sure they provided music.
We have cruised before with Silversea on Silver Wind and on Seabourn Odyssey without any complaints or bad experiences at all. Had the incident relating to entertainment on board Seabourn Pride not occurred, we may have been inclined to overlook the Housekeeping and certain other issues. Photographs of some of the issues referred to along with a copy of this report were sent to the Vice President of Seabourn on our return. Following many telephone conversations and letter writing, the most Seabourn offered us in the form of compensation was Â£2000 for a holiday costing Â£10000. We received this payment in December 2012. We would be extremely reluctant to sail with Seabourn again, as would our friends and family who have sailed with them on many occasions.