Getting on the ship in Ft Lauderdale was a breeze. What a pleasure to not have to stand in line to check in, as we have had to do on previous cruise lines. We all had seats in an airconditioned terminal and we were given non-alcohilic drinks prior to boarding.
Once on board we all waited in the Salon where we were given small sandwiches and glasses of sparking wine. It was a bit crowded and they ran out of sandwiches, but the crew did their best since many cabins weren't ready and we all had to wait.
We had booked guaranteed, and were pleased to find we had a nice 6th deck cabin amidships with large veranda. We couldn't have picked a better cabin ourselves. Everything functioned well. The large bathroom was a treat. My husband could take a tub bath and I could take a shower. Lots of fresh towels when the cabin was serviced twice daily.
I felt a bit awkward at first having to take a waiter's arm to be ushered to a table in the dining room, with my husband More
trailing along behind. Without set dining room seating or set times, we often wound up eating alone, although we asked the Maitre d' if we could sit with other people. After a few days we realized that there are so many repeat customers on Seabourn that alot of couples knew one another and had prearranged to sit together each night. We did however eat with a couple of nice people a few times.
Also we didn't realize until the last couple of days that yes indeed, you can have anything to eat that you want if you order 24 hours ahead. So not until the last days did I get escargot, or get crepes Suzette, but that was my fault.
The only thing missing in the cabin was two places to plug in our digital cameras to recharge. We both had cameras, and because of the power on board we needed to use transformers. There was a place in the bathroom above a shelf, but as soon as you turned out the bathroom light the power to it went off, so we had to leave the bathroom light on all night. I can't sleep if there is light, so we had to put pillows across the bottom of the bathroom door to shield the light.
Also after the second night we had to ask our neighbours to please shut off their veranda light at night when they went to bed, as it shone into our room. It was just an oversight on their part, and after that they did turn it off.
On a ship of this quality there is little to criticize. The food was wonderful in both the dining room and the specialty restaurant. The liquor flowed. Someone was always at out elbow offering another drink.
The captain (Mark Dexter?) was charming and amusing. He was even standing at the end of the gangway to say goodbye to departing passengers - something I have never seen a captain do before!
Two points: they need to be more vigilant about hygiene at the poolside cafe - I saw passengers reaching in with bare hands to help themselves to the food at the buffet, and the staff were rearranging cooked food on platters with bare hands as well. The other thing is that we took the ship arranged shore excursions. They were overpriced and not worth it. Those who arranged their your own shore excursions with local tour companies at each port had excellent tours at less cost. I know next time we will do that.
As others have said, the Grand Salon has so many pillars most of which I'm sure could have been avoided, that it is hard to see the entertainment. The ships internet is expensive and very slow, but what else is new?
All in all, we enjoyed the extra service that Seabourn provides, the ratio of crew to passengers, and the uncrowded feeling on board. We recommend the Odyssey. Less