After disembarking in Hong Kong this morning from a fortnight of sincere pleasure on the Seabourn Legend, one has to ask, “how can our life possibly return to normal after we have just experienced one of life’s most amazing experiences?”
Our cruise started in Singapore on the 6th of January 2014 and unfortunately finished in Hong Kong today, the 20th of Jan 2013.
This was a very special cruise for us as we were about to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary cruising through Ha Long Bay off the Vietnamese Coast and one that was planned well in advance.
As per most on board, we arrived at our embarkation port of Singapore a day prior to our journey and booked into the Shangri-la Hotel in Orange Grove Rd.
The day of embarkation, we decided to take our time and enjoy the Hotel and it’s sublime offerings and then taxi to the port at around 1:30pm for a 2pm boarding. It was like checking into the “First Class” counter whilst the passengers that were boarding the larger Cruises were not as lucky!
We were greeted by Filipe Pereira (Maître D’ Hotel) as we checked in and to our astonishment he had recorded our request for an Anniversary Dinner on the night of the 18th (our anniversary) that I had emailed the offices of Seabourn in Seattle some weeks prior.
Upon entering our Suite (316) we realized that for the next two weeks this felt like our second home! We unpacked knowing that there was ample room to relax and unwind. We were then welcomed in our suite by Kitty (our housekeeper) who then advised us that anything we wanted we could get and to that end displayed perfumed Soaps for us to choose and confirmed with us our wine and beer selections so that she could complete the Bar Fridge for our journey. She also politely advised us if we wanted to arrange for refills, just call room service. So far, so good I thought with a huge WOW!!!
Our first night at dinner in The Restaurant was sensational, and it was there that Filipe introduced us to Neal Anthony Breen (Chef de Cuisine) to decide on what we wanted on the menu for our special night. We chose dishes that only equaled that of a 5 or 6 Star establishment, like Lobster Thermidore, Beef Wellington etc, etc and the entire night was something that we will remember forever.
The Wine Sommeliers’ (Tehanna and Duncan) in both Restaurants excelled with their knowledge of globally produced Wines. We were not disappointed once with the quality and selection on board, simply top class.
Not to be missed was the delights of the Entertainment Team which was headed by the ever so entertaining Simon Gillespie (Cruise Director) and his assistant Ashley. They performed with gusto and kept the entire ship rocking with their simple one liners and specialty array of invited acts who certainly kept an abundance of laughter flowing throughout the entire two weeks. Well done to all of them, it would not have been the same without their wealth of entertainment experience.
The “Club” Lounge became an absolute favorite during the course of the Cruise, as it was the meeting place that we met new acquaintances, whether it was a game of trivia or a night of rock n roll, it just did not matter. The head bar man, Sandro certainly knew how to impress with his array of Tropical Cocktails and it was certainly service with a capital “S”. Along with Sandro, and his assistants Virginia (Canapés’) and David (Waiter) the Club Team really knew how to look after us and everyone else that enjoyed their hospitality.
The Caviar in the surf at Ko Kood off the coast of Thailand was something out of this world. We had a day on the Island with a BBQ to beat all, even Pig on the Spit, which was a very nice change. We had never experienced this before since our previous cruise was on the Croatian coast. We were delighted with the day and thought that they went out of their way to certainly impress which they did so in style.
I must make a special mention about the crew on this ship. I found all the staff to be amazingly good at their job. Yes, Seabourn staff are always good, but the crew this time seemed to go more out of their way than ever before.
The itinerary for this trip was great, we loved going up the Thai coast and then the Vietnamese coast with stops in Bangkok, Ko Kood, Saigon (Ho Chi Min City) and Hoi An (Da Nang) and we also appreciated the commentary from the onboard guest speakers. I don't think that we have ever had such a relaxing holiday before. A fortnight seemed ages when we were booking the cruise, however it passed so quickly that it seemed to go past in a blink of the eye.
We will book again for sure, just need to work out where and when, and no, it can't get better than this, if you want to spoil yourself or have the one cruise of a lifetime, I highly recommend a trip on Seabourn!