My husband and I decided to book a 4 day cruise from Dublin to London as an add-on after attending the Ryder Cup outside Dublin. We booked through Premier Golf and discovered that the entire ship had been booked by Premier Golf. There were only about 100 people on the cruise including the CEO of Premier Golf. To our surprise, we were given the King Olaf Suite. We had chosen the least expensive cabin but had been assigned this elegant two room suite. We have cruised on several ships, always in an outside or veranda cabin but never in a suite. As retired educators, we don't have the resources to splurge extravagantly even though we travel quite often. We have enjoyed all of our past cruise experiences, especially with Celebrity Cruise Lines, however, this cruise was a special treat. Because the cruise had so few passengers and many had come from a shared experience(the Ryder Cup), everyone was extremely friendly.
Boarding in Dublin was a breeze. We handed our bags to an employee before we went up the gangplank and saw them shortly in our room. There was no line whatsoever. Upon arrival to our suite, we were greeted by our lovely cabin attendant who was carrying champagne and hors'douevers. She also had a basket of fancy soaps for our selection. The bathroom already had Moulton Brown toiletries and sunscreen. In addition the room had a bottle of champagne chilling and a huge bowl of fruit. Weeks before sailing, we were asked for our selection of liquor. Our preferred premium brands were in our room in addition to an entire bar stocked at no extra cost. This was an additional surprise since we had never been on an all inclusive cruise. My husband was delighted that he didn't have to sign each time he ordered a single malt scotch from the bar. Our suite had separate sleeping area with desk in the corner and lots of closet room. French doors to the bedroom were covered with drapes as night. The veranda was accessed from the bedroom. We rarely used it because we had such a nice, large sitting and eating area with plenty entertainment options. Windows covered the entire expanse of our sitting area. The hot tub was in the foredeck, right outside our cabin. Noone seemed to use it . We often treated it as our private bathtub. Our bathroom had dual sinks and a bathtub with shower. This was the largest bathroom we had ever had on a cruise. We realize that this suite is not the average person's accommodation. it will probably never be ours again; however, as we walked down the hall and peered into rooms, it seemed that they were large and very comfortable. The food was excellent. Every meal was a treat. We weren't used to the fawning by the staff. We couldn't open any doors, bring any plate to the table. or enter a dining room(even cafe) unescorted. House wines were served with every meal and they were good. Although entertainment was limited, the small groups of musicians and singers were very personable and entertaining. We danced on this cruise more than on any other. Friendships were made very easily. This is not a cruise for children. We found the cruisers on this ship to be very educated and on the whole rather wealthy. Their refined upbringing showed in their courtesy, conversation and good manners. Although we didn't sign up for any excursions, the ship provided excellent ferrying services into the small towns we visited. We never had to wait and upon landing were greeted by gloved attendants who served beverages and cookies. Another first for us.
One of the most exciting experiences on this itinerary is the passing of the ship under the Tower of London Bridge in the early hours of the morning. This was an added bonus of small ship travel. The bridge with lights shining on it is breathtaking. We docked nearby and disembarked by walking onto a battleship anchored next to us. A short ferry ride to the other side of the Thames led us straight to waiting cabs. No disembarkation had ever gone as quickly or smoothly. From there we travelled to a rental car agency and continued our driving trip to Scotland. The relaxing cruise was over to be followed by an 11 hour drive to Edinborough through rain and the clogged M roads. Another reason to take a cruise - not driving on overcrowded roads. Special mention should be made of the staff. Service was excellent! They often did too much for you, like pouring the maple syrup on your pancakes and escorting you into the lounge. Most people can become accustomed to the service. My husband and I will definitely cruise with Seabourn again and will try to enlist our friends to come along.