NOT 6 STARS, NOT EVEN CLOSE
Sorry, Seabourn Sojourn, but you’re not a six star ship. I’m not sure you’re even a 5. You only had one chance to make a good impression, and you missed the boat. What can you expect when “Twiggy” is your Godmother.
We sailed right before Christmas, and now as I looked back on this woefully inadequate cruise experience, the world would have been a much better place if we had donated the $10,000 cruise fare to the Salvation Army.
We boarded the ship around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and we boarded to a lot of confusion. The rooms were just made available, so there were a lot of people standing in the hall way. I asked where lunch was being served, and the staff just looked at me in utter amazement. It turned out that lunch wasn’t being served anywhere, so we ordered room service. This was so strange.
The disorientation never got any better because the crew seemed very new. Many of them were just “temps” filling in until someone came back. This whole cruise seemed like one big “test run” with the passengers footing the bill. The morale of the crew was very low, particularly with the dining staff. Although the food was delicious, the dining room service was very poor, and I thought the dining room managers were just plain mean and very much on edge.
The ship has very uncomfortable furniture -- the passengers joked that this was the IKEA special. If you weigh more than 150 lbs., you won’t fit in the chairs in your stateroom. They’re narrow and the couch is very hard. There are 2 huge lawn chairs on the balcony that are too big for a small balcony. The lighting should have dimmers and provide indirect lighting throughout the cabin. It’s either way too bright in the room or too dark if you turn the lights out. It’s not a comfortable place to read. We traveled with another couple who stayed in a Penthouse Suite. They said “save your money”. There’s a wall enclosure around the bed with very little room to walk around, like a box within a box. All they did was complain about this wall in their cabin. Also, there’s no artwork aboard this ship. It is cold, and the walls are bare. There’s no warmth to this ship at all.
The entertainment was horrible. They have this little auditorium with big columns everywhere -- you can’t see the stage. The singers were all off key, and the volume was ear-shattering. Most of the people on this ship were older, but someone in management really wants to discourage this demographic from sailing on Seabourn. No one on this ship looked like the young models in the brochure. Most couples in their 20’s & 30’s can’t afford it, but Seabourn has this fantasy that this is the age group on this ship. What’s worse is they cater to a group that barely exists as a customer base.
The ship is full of people speaking foreign languages - loudly. There were large families from Mexico and South America that demanded, and received, all of the attention from the staff. These people were loud, arrogant and always moved around in a pack. Personally, I’m more at ease on ships where the majority of passengers are Americans.
I wouldn’t believe what’s in the brochure about all this luxury service. At the end of the cruise, the staff expected to be tipped. There was one man from room service that kept yelling from the hallway if everything was all right. He just wouldn’t leave us alone, so I finally tipped him. I also felt pressure to tip the room stewardess. Make no mistake, this staff had their hand out as the cruise was nearing its end.
My honest assessment is if you’re independently wealthy and money is no object, then I would sail on the Sojourn for a new experience. Many of Seabourn’s passengers are rich people who have nothing better to do. But if you only take one nice vacation a year like we do, I would not recommend this ship. There’s not enough value to justify the high price of the cruise fare.