Cruise Review by jcgirl: The Emporer's New Clothes
Overall Member Rating
The Emporer's New Clothes
My husband and I have been on dozens of cruises from Carnival to Crystal. We had always wanted to go on Seabourn, so for our tenth anniversary we went with friends on a Seabourn cruise from Nice to Barcelona. Because of the price we paid our expectations were that the quality of food, service and attention to details would be worth the money. Sadly, for us, those levels ran below Carnival experiences we had in the Med. For example, the beef we had tasted wasn't that great and we asked the chef if it was prime. He said that he had never heard of 'prime' beef before. For a cruise of this caliber, for the head chef not to know this was stunning. He told us the name of their U.S. purveyor. When we looked them up, they don't sell prime beef. When we were on the Carnival Cruise we could eat in the ship's steakhouse and have amazing prime beef- just like you were eating at Morton's.
Our friend has food sensitivities and went through great pains to let Seabourn know. Our first night More he was served a tomato bisque and verified there was no dairy. He asked three times. He took one bite and after having been completely off dairy for 4 years could taste the butter in the soup. We called over the maître de and then found out the soup was indeed made from butter. If this only happened once it would have been forgiven and understandable, but it happened night after night. This was our friend's first cruise and we pledged that a line of this caliber would completely take care of his every food need. We felt responsible for leading him into a very uncomfortable situation that happened so many times on the trip it became laughable.
The small ports were beautiful and our quarters were spacious but they were not worth the price that we paid. I felt ripped off, discouraged, frustrated and taken advantage of. It was almost an "Emporer's New Clothes" experience. Everyone acts like Seabourn is amazing! To have a Carnival ship outdo them was crazy. I, too, have food sensitivities and when we were on the last Carnival Med cruise the chefs were AMAZING at making beautiful creations for me every night and they never made a mistake. It almost brought me to tears to be so cared for on that Carnival ship which was a fraction of the cost of Seabourn.
Here's the kicker. My husband took notes on all of the service highs and lows and sent them to Seabourn. They sent us a letter offering us a class upgrade the next time we sailed with them and a $500 ship credit per person if we booked within a certain time. It's fascinating to me that their resolution is that we give them another $10,000 (plus purchase our airfare) and risk another disappointing experience. They're thinking that I would send good money after bad. I'm not at Vegas at the roulette wheel hoping to make up for a prior bet that already went south. I already bet on them big and lost big. It seemss to me that they had a highly successful luxury brand that they are cashing out by charging the same high price but delivering a discounted experience...using Seabourn as a cash cow. Less
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