This was my 1st Seabourn cruise. I have cruised on most of the major lines before, and truly, did not know if I would enjoy a small ship with 198 fellow passengers. Well, other than the Celebrity Alaska cruise I have already booked and paid for that is happening in July 2010, I will probably NEVER sail on a ‘mega liner’ again. The Seabourn experience starts off with several staff members welcoming you, dressed in their crisp, dark blue suits, with white gloves. You are invited into the King Olav lounge to fill out the minimal amount of paperwork, get your digital photo taken for your ship ID card (they take your passport, but don’t worry, you do get it back when your cruise is finished) and then, one of the nice, well dressed staff, personally escorts you to your suite (they don't call them cabins on Seabourn!).
We stayed in #125 on the Legend, and it was GREAT! We were midship, on the same floor as the self serve laundry, and on the same floor as the disembarkation for many of our ports. The cabin is well laid out, with a tub/shower combo (loved that!!), walk in closet, cocktail table that raises and turns into a dining room table, huge picture window, flat screen TV, BOSE CD player, safe, fluffy duvets on the bed, and on and on!
If you use any electrical outlets, at all, YOU MUST BRING A POWER STRIP WITH YOU! Sadly, this cabin, as perfect as it is, only has ONE (yes, I did say one!) electrical outlet for those of us from the USA. Not sure why this lovely ship was designed with this, but that is definitely a flaw that can be easily corrected if you toss a power strip into your luggage.
Also, if you are an adventurous ‘foodie’, you will LOVE the daily menus on Seabourn. If, however, you’re a bit more on the conservative side and don’t venture out more in regard to your food tastes and preferences than the Cheesecake factory menu, you will probably find this experience to be a bit challenging regarding the daily menu choices. I, sadly, am not a big foodie, so I was eating the chicken with mashed potatoes entrée on a daily basis, or a pizza from room service. Of course, the chef would have made me something on a special request, but I never got around to making a formal request to the staff.
The service and the kindness, is what the staff at Seabourn will bring to your party. What you must bring to this cruise are plenty of things to entertain yourself with (DVD’s, books, etc.). As much as I loved this experience, and have already placed my $1K deposit down on a future Seabourn experience, they could use more activities. We were finally treated to a bridge tour and a galley tour on our 2nd to last day, and that was spectacular! We made a mention of ‘wish there were more activities on board’ on our survey, and Eric (the world’s BEST and non-attitude-ish cruise director) took us aside as we were disembarking to leave our lovely journey and go to the airport, and told us that he was very sorry that he did not have more things planned for us. YIKES! Be careful what you write on your survey, as they are read before you leave the ship! Eric said that he had just transferred to the Legend and had been in constant performance practice/warm up sessions and had not had the needed time to put together a ‘busier’ itinerary. It was very, very nice of him to mention this to us, and I felt really crummy that I had even written anything down. BUT, it is important, that as passengers, there is more to do than just eat and drink. Bingo, port lectures, (there was no trivia on this cruise due to no at sea days). We would have loved to have a cooking class on how Seabourn makes those incredible, highly addictive breadsticks! I will definitely do a special request the next time I travel on Seabourn, for a breadstick class.
You will meet some of the most lovely and non-uppity people on this ship. We were always greeted by fellow passengers with a big smile and a good morning/good afternoon/good evening. Also, the staff does their very best to greet you by name, a truly amazing touch!
Also, I have always detested going to the shore excursion desk on any major cruise line. The staff is typically rude and pretentious, even though they are there to sell *me* something! Well, on the Legend, you will be AMAZED at Claudio, your shore excursion manager. He is so kind. He was actually on our 1st catamaran excursion with us, and was a blast! Each day, he would spend some time chatting with us and we so enjoyed his company and great stories! I would definitely recommend booking your excursions thru Seabourn, if at all possible. This allows you to meet so many of your nice, fellow passengers and really makes the cruise so enjoyable when you see familiar faces. Seabourn is very fair on their excursion pricing, so I will definitely be using them in the future. Also, our future cruise consultant, Charl, was the sweetest man, you would ever want to meet. He never ‘sold’ us on Seabourn, but just treated us kindly and expressed a genuine interest in us and the experiences we were having on our cruise. He gave us advise on different cruises that he thought we would enjoy.
It’s the little things, such as having breakfast in the Veranda Café and having the captain ask, very politely, if he can join us. NEVER, ever, on a mega ship, do you ever see the captain, except on the dorky ‘meet the captain’ party where everyone has to get dressed up like it’s prom, and then stand around in a long line. Very demeaning!! Another nice Seabourn touch, is when you go into port, there is a Seabourn canopy with cookies, bottled water, soda, sunblock, etc. and a uniformed employee, standing by to take excellent care of you. WOW! This is such a nice thing to do.
In regard to the dress code, be sure to bring plenty of dressy clothes. I would have preferred a more upper casual dress code, but that is not Seabourn. Women were always in dresses after 6:00 PM and men were in suits and jackets. This is not a Dockers/Tommy Bahama shirt (after 6:00 PM) cruise.
In this world of rush, rush, rush – hurry up and wait, rudeness from the majority of the service people that you come in contact with, it is a blessing to know that a caring, wondering cruise line like Seabourn exists! Are there some things they could do a bit better, yes, but they do SO many of them right, that it is a shining star!
I wish that Seabourn would offer more 5-7 day cruises for those of us who work and cannot take two weeks off to vacation. That is a suggestion that I also put on my comment card. I would love to see Seabourn do a Pacific Coast cruise, more East Coast cruises, and Alaska. All in all, this is a not to be missed experience. Just Book It!