Having planned and thought about our cruise with Seabourn for several months, we finally arrived in Rome to board the Seabourn in late October. We were a little nervous since it was windy and cool outside. We had made the decision to arrive by air from the USA on a Saturday and board the plane the same day. We arrived early, but Seabourn allowed us and some other passengers to come on board earlier than expected and waited in a club room with snacks and drinks. That was our first introduction to the excellent service provided by Seabourn. I immediately liked the sparkling look of the Spirit and later learned on the cruise that the ship would be fully refurbished after our cruise disembarked in Lisborn. I am sure it will be even more beautiful for future cruises.
It was windy that day and we were a little unsettled by the swaying of the ship, but after that day, every other day (but the last evening) enjoyed beautiful and calm weather. We entered our room after receiving some ship documents and were so please by the roominess of our cabin. There was plenty of space for all our items and the bathroom was truly luxurious also. Our steward introduced herself and everyone else on the staff was cheery and helpful.
Everything about the service is the dining rooms was truly extraordinary. Everyone would greet you and asked what you wanted or needed. Plates were held for you and taken away when not needed. The food itself was delicious and there were plenty of choices. For dinner I often ate the lighter fare, which was tasty and made me feel that I was not overeating. You could also have as many drinks as you wanted throughout the day. There were also specialty drinks every day. I think it would have been an improvement if Seabourn also served more local fare of the areas visited (a paella dish would have been appreciated).
The ports of call were better than expected. I thought we were not going to the most interesting ports in Spain, but I found that all ports were more interesting than expected. We especially liked Valencia, Alicante and seeing the Alhambra when we stopped in Malaga. We took three excursions and, except for one of them, they all were very well planned. Many of the passengers took all the excursions, many took some and still many never went on an excursion.
We also had fun with the entertainment. The entertainment crew aimed to please and several were very talented. They did not meet Broadway standards, but that was expected. But, they were very personable and those attending entertainment events seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves. That was definitely one thing about the cruise, most people sought to enjoy themselves and their fellow passengers and crew. We also had one evening of Flamenco dancers which was a treat.
The crew was very international, as were the guests. Most of the guests were from the USA and England, but also from all over the world. The ages of the passengers seemed younger than expected (not all retired), but there was only one young child on the ship.
We liked the make up of the week, which included port days and two days at sea. I think going to a port everyday would be a little exhausting. The last day of the cruise we disembarked in Lisbon. I liked that one our own we stayed overnight and we were able to experience the night life in Lisbon which seemed to be livelier than even NYC on a Sunday evening.
By the end of the trip, we were already discussing what would be our next cruise. It was a great experience and any complaints were minimal and inconsequential compared to the excellent time we had.