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.