My wife and I are in our early 60’s and have cruised more than twenty times, mostly on Celebrity, with one other luxury experience on Paul Gauguin. We just disembarked from our first SEABOURN experience. All we can say in WOW!
What a pleasant surprise to sail with other professional people, many still working like myself. While we saw plenty of older folks on this sailing, it was refreshing to cruise with others who shared similar interests and weren’t looking for the '"party night and say” experience. We’ve been disappointed on recent 14 night cruises on Celebrity which found us among the youngest passengers on the ship. Seabourn provides a perfect mix of ages within an '"adult only” environment.
We realized the '"Seabourn difference” within the first moments of our very easy embarkation from Fort Lauderdale. Crew members whom we had never met addressed us by our last name and this treatment continued throughout the cruise.
Our veranda cabin was about the same size as a SKY SUITE on Celebrity and these cabins are the majority of cabins on the ship. With walk-in closets and marble bathrooms, Seabourn had us from the moment we opened our cabin door on deck six. A spacious walk-in closet, a large marble bathroom, and a wide array of luxury toiletries gave a welcome, upscale feel to our home at sea. The mini bar was well stocked with our pre-ordered list of alcohol and mixers. While the selection of TV stations is weak at best, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a selection of nearly 100 movies on demand at no cost per showing.
FOOD is a big focus of Seabourn. My wife and I are not '"foodies” so we were less impressed with ultra-gourmet offerings of Restaurant Two and found ourselves very comfortable dining on the fantail of Sojourn at '"The Colonnade Restaurant”. Here we found high quality food at lunch and in the evenings. We especially enjoyed theme nights featuring Indian and Asian cuisine. The Colonnade is more an upscale bistro than buffet, with impeccable service. We started each day with breakfast from room service which was always perfectly on time and quite enjoyable. Make sure you go to the '"Galley Buffet” in the main dining room for lunch. It was a fun event and provides a great behind the scenes look at the galley.
Like most cruises we have experienced, the only low marks fell in the area of onboard entertainment. I know we aren’t alone in thinking ALL cruise lines needs to '"freshen” their nightly entertainment options. The average age on this cruise was probably sixty, yet the presentation of the music was still stuck in the '"Broadway” style of singing and dancing. There was a so-so comedian and a '"fair” illusionist we had seen on a Celebrity cruise several years ago. Let’s be honest- Many silver haired passengers today grew up with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and other rock and roll acts. Our youth marked some of the best music in a century, yet the cruise lines seem fearful of bringing classic rock acts to Baby Boomers. I just don’t understand this thinking. And with all of the TV talent shows filling prime time, surely Cruise Directors can snag some of the top ten contestants to modernize a very boring and stale cruise entertainment scene. We did enjoy a female vocal impersonator who was quite good.
The only other negative I will mention is the cheap pool and deck chairs. We were expecting an upscale pool experience as well, with comfy lounge chairs with thick padding instead of low end, inexpensive pool chairs. Despite the shoddy furniture at the pool and on our balcony, the SERVICE was spectacular poolside and across the ship. We loved the fact we didn’t have to endure frequent ship wide announcements over the PA and enjoyed the '"quiet” environment poolside, free of loud music and annoying contests.
We are highly independent travelers so I can’t comment on Seabourn’s excursions, as we made our own plans. Make sure you don’t miss Seabourn’s private island if you visit the Dominican Republic. The crew did an amazing job provisioning the island and making sure passengers had a wonderful time, despite rain and clouds.
There were no children or teens on our Caribbean cruise. Frankly, we enjoyed the all-adult experience. Seabourn is not for the '"party” cruiser. We found the Sojourn to be a relatively quiet experience, which appeals to us. Even what appeared to be a rigid dress code became more relaxed as the cruise progressed, and I was find with the resort-casual attire most evenings.
The Sojourn is the perfect sized cruise ship. At 30,000 tons and under 500 passengers, we never felt crowded or rushed. We met interesting people and thoroughly enjoyed our first Seabourn cruise.
We are booked on a 14-night Asian cruise on Celebrity in 2014, but you can be sure we will be back on Seabourn in the future.