We have cruised many times(12-15) but this was our first experience with Seabourn or a small ship. We will not be back on Seabourn although there are several nice things to be said about this ship. However, it does not live up to its reputation or price and we were sorely disappointed.
We had one of the Owners Suites (were told they were the best) and if they are the best they have to offer...no thanks. We always get one of the best suites on our cruises and this was the least special suite we have ever stayed in on virtually every count. The outside deck was only big enough for two lounge chairs but was unusable because of the salt water spray put off by the front of the boat. I have thrown away better televisions than they had in the suite and we ran out of toilet paper and shampoo and had to ask for it to be replenished. We had the least attentive service we have ever experienced on any suite and in any ship and it was the roughest and noisiest accommodations we have ever experienced.
Our biggest disappointment was the food - it was why we chose this line. Not to say it wasn't good, it was - but not any better than several other cruises we have been on but with much more limited food choices and places to eat. You basically ate in The Restaurant or the Veranda or in your site - 3 meals a day for seven days. And many of the items were the same in both restaurants. The food service and quality for breakfast in our suite was virtually perfect and was one of the highlights of the trip. The wine and drinks were excellent and not having to pay for each drink was very nice. Overall the food was fine but not what you would expect from their advertising and reputation.
We had a number of mixups while on the trip that are hard to understand for a seasoned cruise line. The itinerary was changed after we made our reservation; it was changed again the first night in port going to a different side of the island; our identification cards would not print out on check-in and we were sent on two wild goose changes to get them printed and "validated" - a term no one seemed to understand, least of all us: we were invited to dinner the second night with the head nurse and were told shortly before dinner that she was not well and we would be at another table - we were taken to that table and there were place cards for everyone except us, so after standing around like a fool for a few moments, they apologized and gave us a very nice table for two. We ordered wine and in about 10 minutes were interrupted and told that they had made a mistake and we were at another table with a member of the crew - place cards and all. We had a lovely dinner but after two hours and no Grand Marnier souffle, my wife got sick from the rough seas and we retired to our room.
We were called at 7:00 PM on Friday night and asked to eat with the Captain... at 7:30. We politely declined and met several couples for drinks and dinner.
The business center was a joke and the 15 minute Internet charge cards were expensive and ran out shortly after you managed to get a site to come up, if you did at all. The Spa was tiny and overpriced. I signed up for a sports massage - 80 minutes for $115.00. The masseuse was ten minutes late starting and went for 50 minutes with no explanation and still charged $115.00. The Facial was highlighted by a sales pitch from start to finish that hurt my ears more than helped my face. The body scrub could have been performed by a robot and been more interesting. The Spa area was tiny, poorly equipped and the steam room wasn't working the day I was there. The instructor who was supposed to handle pilates and yoga had an emergency and was never available and no replacement was ever found.
The workout room had enough equipment but insufficient space and if more than three or four people were in there it was crowded. Also, there was not a decent place outside to walk or jog. The pool was very small and I saw one person in it one day the entire week. The hot tubs were closed more than they were open and they were hot tubs in name only. The Casino is "false Advertising" - a half dozen slots, two blackjack tables and a small roulette table in a room the size of a decent walkin closet.
The outdoor barbecue was special and the night they served desserts outside was very nicely done. The bartender in the Skybar was a great personable fella but most of the rest of the staff were average. They pride themselves by calling you by name and two-thirds of the time they got my name right, if they even used a name.
I could go on and on but the bottom line is that it was one of the most disappointing vacation/travel experiences of my life. They do as good a job as most cruise lines but I have been on several that are superior in many ways. They charge the highest prices and don't deliver in kind. Sadly, I was very happy to get off the ship and would not go back on it again at any price, including free... your time is too valuable..
One other note...be sure you want to be on an older and smaller ship - the newer ships put this one to shame.
David L. Howard