Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Review by Betsy&Harold: Great new ship but no longer a yacht
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Great new ship but no longer a yacht
We are regular Seabourn travellers but new to Odyssey so comparisons with the 'triplets' are somewhat inevitable. In Feb - March 2010 we cruised from Sydney to Hong Kong via Cairns, Darwin, Bali, Brunei and Kota Kinabalu over 21 days and enjoyed ourselves greatly.
Odyssey is very beautiful but it is not a yacht. Eleven decks, 30,000+ tons, and 450 passengers is not going to be a yacht. On the other hand Odyssey has probably the highest ratio of public space to accommodation of any commercial cruiser afloat. One can see just by looking at Odyssey that much of the accommodation finishes midships leaving vast areas of deck space for lounging, eating, drinking or whatever.
Most the decks aft are open to passengers and provide delightful areas to relax, plunge, soak or whatever you wish. The Odyssey layout ensures that anyone who wants seclusion or privacy can readily find it.
Our standard verandah suite included a well designed bathroom with separate bath and More shower. A friend had a 'penthouse suite' half as big again as ours wherein she held a dinner for six and we were all seated comfortably. The entertainment system is excellent with an enormous selection of music and movies as well as the usual satellite channels. We did not need our iPod selection. We had no complaints about the suite and our maid kept it immaculate. Some of the passengers who were on board during a rough crossing of the Pacific complained that their suites 'creaked', but our voyage produced no such symptoms.
Our only accommodation complaint was the smell of garbage from the Deck 5 gangplank area which was particularly offensive in port.
On the Seabourn yachts the crew take the trouble to get to know you very quickly. Typically you are addressed by name by almost all the 'front of house' crew by your second day on board. Don't expect this on Odyssey although they get there in a few days.
The Restaurant maintains the tradition of the smaller ships and provides fine dining for those who prefer a more formal environment. We found the tables in the Restaurant to be much too large. The width made it difficult to talk to the person opposite which raises the noise level (my iPhone recorded 80dB on occasions) and leaves little space for waiters to work between tables. We hope they fix this in Sojourn.
The Odyssey also offers the Colonnade restaurant - a much larger and elegant version of the Verandah on the yachts. Our favourite turned out to be Restaurant 2, a more intimate space serving a different degustation menu every day. The Restaurant 2 team make dining a delicious and fun experience.
Seabourn's Odyssey and Sojourn are stunning ships that manage to carry much of the yacht experience to a new level of luxury and comfort. They are not yachts but are certainly worthy successors to the Seabourn experience Less
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