We have travelled before with Seabourn on their little ships in the Caribbean. The standard of their crews has always been of the highest calibre and this voyage was no exception.
In spite of a myriad of nationalities and languages, the crew appear to integrate well.
It was truly lovely to see previous crew members such as Tiaan, Mariana and Claudia, who greeted us warmly as long lost friends, and we truly did feel part of the Seabourn Family.
The breakfast and lunch menu was superb if always rigidly identical, although the hot carvery at lunch did alter daily. Baked beans were at breakfast every day, what about spaghetti occasionally, may be fried rice ?
We did find the shouting of one steward taking orders in the Verandah restaurant a bit OTT, and quite annoying.
The evening meal on the Verandah was lovely for the first week with a good food variety, but the second week was dull and boring, very serialized and repetitive..
The main dining room can be deadly if you unexpectedly get put on a large table with guests from a different planet, but one can request a table for two in a quiet alcove and that is most pleasant.
Be aware that if you are invited to join a crew member at a table for dinner, they may not turn up for whatever reason and you suddenly find yourself not being entertained as you thought.
The patisserie chef did a quite outstanding job, and his creations and flavours were of the highest standard. His chocolate deserts, and small patisserie creations were delicious. Thank you.
We loved the Market lunch in the saloon, but it was only held on one day in twenty, regretfully. There was the most delicious huge roast turkey that when I later requested some of it cold, was advised that it had all been trashed.
We loved the efficiency of shore tendering and the shore beverage and shading set up.
We loved the room service, their speed of delivery, always polite, very efficient and the food delicious and always hot.
We loved the local tour experts at each port outside the bureau with maps and information.
We loved our room stewardess who always smiled and carried out her duties perfectly. Though why she trashed our flowers in our cabin on our last night seemed a bit draconian. Certainly made us aware we were out the next day..!
We loved the daily quote for the day at midday from Captain Dag.
There are however a few disappointments.
The internet is useless on board, through the inadequacies of the ISP, but one would have thought that the power of Carnival would have solved this. I do not believe their other ships have this problem. We went ashore and found a free high speed internet café in every port to communicate with the outside world. In a very short period of time, instant communication with the world has become paramount, for most people.
We thought it was an adult ship, so to see a child, although well behaved was not a good look. Nobody has ever mentioned children could travel. During the voyage the child was taken into the casino, in our country that is a criminal offence, but was treated very lightly by both parent and casino staff.
Hate arriving in a port on a Sunday, with shops closed. Hate sailing at 4.30 pm from ports that traditionally close at 1pm for siesta, and then sailing at reduced speed to the next port, to save fuel when we could have sailed later and enjoyed the evening ambience of some beautiful ports and their environs.
These voyage itineraries are planned 2 or 3 years in advance, and could be better orientated around guest considerations as opposed to being out of port by 5pm to avoid port charges and pilotage overtime.
We have paid a premium and should be able to demand a better service.
The quality of the bed linen and towels goes down each time we have travelled. I hope we are not expected to bring our own next time.!
The Molton Brown cosmetics etc are lovely.
Did appreciate plenty of coat hangers.
The wash room facilities are scarce, and only one iron (?)
The menu is on a ten day cycle so variations of food are strictly governed from America, and their food variety is not known for great diversity.
It appears that all food is flown from America. No local produce was seen to be delivered at any of the ports.
They do not buy locally, for health/safety reasons or the likelihood of some American suing them for food poisoning, from some distant shore, that hasn't been inspected by Carnival. All the fish is frozen and looks as though it comes from Vietnam.
A request for lettuce hearts, that never arrived during the voyage, plenty of outside leaves though.
One has to keep asking for condiments, it was only later in the voyage that a small variety of sauces and mustard appeared. I felt intimidated asking for food additives, as though it was some kind of challenge.
At home we use a vast array of herbs and spices, such as Sumac and nutmeg. Ground ginger is often sprinkled on Cantaloupe melon, but a request only resulted in Jullienned whole ginger.
In St Florent we bought two fresh avocados and had them in the cabin...great joy.
The evening shows are not until ten PM and they were not well attended due to their lateness, and lack of quality.
The shop had an adequate selection of various items including very acceptable jackets with a "cruise" label at a very affordable price, but the price shown did not include taxes up to 21% and then they varied depending which country you were dealing with. Most confusing.
Did appreciate the little personal touches from the crew, such as putting photo memory chips on to CD, looking after luggage in secure areas, to suit guest requests. Did appreciate the spontaneous delicious birthday and anniversary occasion cakes that were served
Thank you Seabourn. Without you we would never have seen such a wide variety of both large and small ports, which at the end of the day we saw, took heaps of photographs, had many wonderful moments, and over our eight voyages have made lifelong friends who visit and stay with us. ..