This was our first time on Seabourn after being on Silversea twice and several other lines. We never wanted to be on their smaller "yachts" and were very excited when the larger and brand new Odyssey came online + an itinerary that took us to all new places...some on our "bucket list" ie, Dubai, Luxor, Petra, and the pyramids. Itineraries are a very personal thing so I won't elaborate on our ports or shore excursions (except one below). I will say that it's the ONLY way we would have wanted to see this part of the world! We felt safe on the water even in pirate territory and on every bus; some with armed police, as all the excursions make for long bus rides. The razor/constantine wire along the sides upon embarkation in Dubai was a little daunting at first but our captain explained they do anything and everything to ensure the safety of the ship and it's passengers/crew. Our captain, Mark Dexter, was a delightfully cheery man despite this being the last segment of the inaugural World Cruise of 104 days.
THE SHIP: She is beautiful, very easy to navigate, with the staterooms being very spacious (much like Silversea) with loads of storage, comfy beds, nice baths, and big enough walk-in closets. Suffice it to say, the suites ARE as advertised. We didn't have any problems except with our safe 2 days in, which got promptly replaced the next a.m. Avoid a room w/a connecting door as you will hear your neighbors music, TV, every cough, sneeze, and most conversations louder than pillow talk. We heard not a peep from the other side of the room; it was the door that leaked. This ship does have vibration problems as other's have mentioned; it's supposedly going into dry dock in Nov. It really never bothered me but it was the talk of the ship amongst others. Someone else mentioned the poor layout of the Grand Salon with the large columns blocking views of the stage. We ditto that! It was as if no one gave these a thought when putting them in and I can't believe they are structural. Take them out!! I'll say also that we LOVE to dress for dinner and so appreciate that Seabourn is sticking to Black Tie Optional nights. It gripes me that several men blatantly chose to disregard the dress code w/out so much as a coat in the Restaurant on Casual Elegant nights. The staff was always gracious about bringing a coat to the guest...some just hung it on the back of the chair. Some people just have no class and feel they are above it. There are other dining options that allow casual dress any night of the week. Those men were simply rude! The pool area was well used but always had lounges open. They NEED cushions however, as they are very hard. Four towels almost did the trick. We have had cushions on much lesser ships.
FOOD + SERVICE: We found it pretty darn fantastic on all levels! The Restaurant has a large menu that changes daily; in 16 days we never saw the same menu twice. The "standards" are always available and the vegetarian entrees kept me very pleased. The bartenders anticipated your every wish, our cabin stewards were prompt with cleaning and turn down service, you never needed to look for a drink around the pool, the cooks at the Pool Grill even made me a grilled cheese sandwich which isn't on the menu. They will try to accommodate your every wish. The same goes in the Colonnade for breakfast and lunch...incredible selections there! We ate in Restaurant 2 only once; it was delightful. We never ate dinner in the Colonnade. Each night is "country themed" and we just never hit the right night/country combination. The Seabourn Square, Deck 7 is a one-stop area for great coffee drinks, more computers than I've ever seen, a wonderful library, and 4 staffed desks for anything you need from shore excursions to future cruises to rectifying a problem.
ENTERTAINMENT + SPA: The one show I saw (hubby went to bed) was very good and the Seabourn Singers are excellent. Here is my biggest complaint about the entire cruise: There is simply nothing to do between 7:45-9:30pm except eat. If you like to eat early and be entertained after dinner, forget it on this ship. No music, no dancing, no entertainment of any kind and the main show of the night doesn't start until 10:00pm, which is late to get started when there isn't anything giving you a reason to stay up. Hence, we were in bed watching a movie most nights by 9pm. I feel badly for the entertainers who work hard to put on a great show to a quarter or half filled room. Any ship of any size or quality should have some kind of entertainment ALL evening without 2 hr gaps. The spa is nice but nothing special. My massage was weak and not what I wanted and the treatment rooms are too bright. I used the gym a lot and never found it overly crowded but I avoided 8-10am. My husband said the men's locker room was barely adequate and only 2 would fit into the sauna or steam at a time. I think it's poorly laid out with a lot of room wasted for their private cabanas & whirlpool. I doubt those are in high demand as they are expensive, but don't know for sure. You had to walk through the spa entrance to get to the salon and gym, making it not feel very exclusive or private.
Embark/Disembark was a breeze and overall I give the ship, staff, food, service very high marks. One shore excursion was a flop and after many complaints were voiced, they offered us all 1/2 refund. Maybe they will improve "Snorkeling in the Ros Mohammad Natl Park" for future cruises; if not don't waste the time because the coral reefs and fish were most non-existent.