Cruise Review by homesicklondonboy: First Timers on Seabourn
Overall Member Rating
First Timers on Seabourn
First time cruisers with Seabourn and the greeting going on board could not have been more different from other cruise lines we have experienced. Arm in arm with a uniformed gloved member of crew, holding your bags, leading you to registration and your cabin. We were impressed.
We found the cabin/suite (all suite ship) to be fairly spacious with an en suite marble bathroom, which was yellowing with age.
You rarely have to lift a finger on this ship, doors opened, plates of food carried to your table, marmalade/jam pots opened for you - what service. The food is excellent and they seem to have embraced the "Tastings" menu quite frequently, which you either love or hate, rather like Marmite. You can eat with whom you like and when you like so there is no rigidity, except most nights in the main restaurant, gentlemen were obliged to wear a jacket - far too formal for us, so we ate mostly in the Veranda Cafe, which provided a good atmosphere amongst staff and diners More and served excellent food to boot.
The entertainment was themed on Musicals mainly. It wasn't our thing, but lots of others seemed to enjoy it. Little else to do on board except read, sun worship, drink, eat or visit the Spa. The swimming pool was little more than a hip bath, although sometimes when anchored, the back of the ship opened to provide a marina, where you could swim, partake in water sports - donut ring, water ski and banana boat.
The ship itself was a bit small for our liking, having been used to slightly larger ships on Royal Caribbean. It was a modest ship, no glitz, no glamour, no features and virtually no art, which so cheers up the endless corridors walking from one end of the ship to the other. Having said that, it was spotlessly clean and there was one plus, no photos at every opportunity, not one.
In places on the ship, both outside and inside there was a distinct "bad plumbing" smell. In one particular instance, we entered our cabin late one evening to find that it was chokingly bad in the corridor and room. The smell had come in through the air conditioning unit. Staff sprayed the room (which only masked the smell) and gave us an ionizer. Later that night the maintenance crew must have sorted it out in the corridor, as by morning it was clear. Likewise on the sun deck, if you sat in the wrong spot, it was most unpleasant.
We needed to access the internet whilst on board. Very expensive and very hit and miss as to whether it actually worked. You still get charged though. Avoid if you can.
Tendering at times was a little difficult with the swell of the sea, we felt we took our life in our hands getting from the tender to the ship and for some older, less able guests, it was downright dangerous.
The tours are quite highly priced and we did not take any. I do wish Seabourn would organize taxis etc. for independent island tours/shopping trips etc. as running the gauntlet of aggressive taxi drivers at port is not our idea of fun and at times felt very vulnerable. Many other passengers thought the same.
Some of the ports were little more than shanty towns, little to buy, dirty places with open sewers, so we were not impressed too much with the itinerary of what was marketed as the "Yachtsman's Caribbean". Other ports were the complete opposite, wealthy, wonderful shopping, clean, and a delight to visit.
Will we go back with Seabourn? Probably not on this ship, will try the new larger ship of Seabourns - Odyssey, when it is rolled out but not visiting the Caribbean as we have "done this to death" cruising over the years.
Docking in Barbados at the end of the trip was "shambolic". We were late arriving, so found that larger ships had taken our berthing spot. We were then given a berth in the freight terminal, which could not cater for passengers and the gangplank. That didn't work so one of the larger ships was forced to move in order that we could be accommodated and disembark - a whole two hours later - a complete farce. Less
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