11.The teas were less than pathetic...the same insignificant offerings each day. For a ship that espouses excellence, this was a downer. First, it is only fair to outline some of the excellent features of this cruise. The staff was incredible: personable, capable, polite and expert (except our stewardess, who was often forgetful). The food in all venues was excellent almost all the time. The alcohol served was done well and generously. The chef was exceptionally personable and capable. That's the good news.
Now, unfortunately, the negatives: 1. Constant slamming of cabin suite doors was maddening...the mechanism should be replaced.
2. The ship needs the dry dock ....apparently it will be there in Nov. 2010, but too late for us.
3. The smoking policy is inadequate: smoking is allowed in all cabins, and worst of all, in the Sky Lounge (which also doubles as a restaurant for a couple of nights). It was impossible for us to eat or drink there for the entire trip, thus preventing us from enjoying the sail-away parties, cocktails outside and dinner in the Sky restaurant. This policy must end!
4. The "French Balcony" is not only useless, it is annoying: the plastic shield outside the door is so scratched we couldn't see much through it..and for this we paid extra??
5. The Veranda is totally inadequate for the crowds at breakfast and lunch....it is cramped and frantic for both meals, despite heroic efforts by the staff.
6. Our cruise was a combination of 2 seven-day cruises; all entertainment was identical for both (and not so good the first time);
7. There was no enrichment lecturer, despite the opportunity to explore Napoleon's life etc. in Corsica and Sardinia.
8. Civitavecchia (Rome) was the end of cruise 1 and the beginning of cruise week 2. The ship left at 5 pm, thus frustrating those of us who wanted to go to Rome. That would be ok, I guess, if we didn't anchor the entire next day for Marina day, when a few people had water sports; they could have left 3 hours later and still had Marina day. 9. The second week, we were told by the Maitre D' that we could not form any tables of 6 or more because of the "groups"...now, why book so many large groups that the rest of the passengers have such limitations???? Many times we would have dined with friends and were prevented from doing so.
10. While it may be nice to have some international passengers aboard, evidently the cruise was heavily marketed outside the U.S.,with the result that bunches of Europeans, mostly formed standoffish subgroups aboard ship. Not only did they smoke us to death, but the were the majority onboard and mostly did not mingle with us. I expected to be on a mostly U.S. ship, not a European ship.....our social values are just not that compatible. Seabourn is a U.S. company!