Hooked!!: Seabourn Pride Cruise Review by Pedro3gb

Seabourn Pride 5
Member Since 2011
28 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: July 2011
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Copenhagen
My wife has never fancied a cruise. She was seasick on the Isle of Man ferry. However, so many of our friends have talked about how much they enjoyed theirs I managed to persuade her. I did listen to stories of cruising from friends with great interest. Dining at 6pm with the same people every night; 15% added to a $2.50 bottle of water; tipping for just about everybody; long queues on arrival at ports; ships docking 5 miles away from the actual town etc. etc. the list goes on. Enough to put us off completely until I heard of a great experience on a Silversea cruise. I investigated further. It looked a great ship, small number of people, no tipping, all food and drinks. It sounded just what we wanted even if it was more expensive than we wanted to pay. I investigated further and found 3 more cruise lines which tempted me besides Silversea:- Seabourn, Regent and Crystal. How did I decide? By producing a speadsheet with all the good and bad points (sad Aren't I?). Which cruise line won? More Well I narrowed it down to 2 actually - Silversea and Seabourn. Both ticked all the boxes but in the end Seabourn won as our choice of cruise was the Baltic and whilst both did this area Silversea's was 7 days and Seabourn's 12.

We went in July on a cruise with flights and transfers included and managed a decent discount off the brochure price. (A regular cruiser on board said aim for half the brochure price). We flew to Copenhagen and were collected at the airport and taken to the Admiral Hotel for the first night (we paid for this ourselves). A very wet Copenhagen meant no sightseeing and had to even stay in the hotel in the morning as the rain was torrential.

On embarking on the ship which was docked very near to the city centre and easily walkable from the Admiral on a dry day, we were welcomed with proper champagne and canapes and following a very quick check in we were soon in our suite to be welcomes by a full bottle of champagne on ice, a bowl of fruit and flowers. We also received a free gift of some premium soaps as well as the more ordinary Molton Brown in the bathroom.

There are 2-3 choices of where to dine on the Pride - main restaurant which is a traditional style of restaurant where head waiters accompany women to the table; Restaurant 2 which is more casual but with excellent food and choice of food and sometimes the outdoor sky bar for barbeque type food. If you don't like the menu of the day they will always cook you what you want but when choices are fillet steak, lobster tails, rack of lamb, proper halibut etc. why ask for anything different. They are cooked French style and I could only describe them as excellent. Most nights in the main restaurant are smart casual and men do need a jacket. I thought I only needed a jacket for the formal night and took a black suit and I could wear the jacket with ordinary trousers on these nights. An extra lightweight jacket would be useful.

Entertainment is excellent with a band, two different duos, guy who played piano/guitar, excellent entertainment manager who also sang together with guests artists eg. McDonald Brothers and magician, Russian dancing troupe etc.

Drinks flow freely and the wine with meals is excellent - they have daily choices but if you don't like what they have you can request others. Cocktails are available in all bars and they do not skimp on the spirits.

Staff are encouraged to call you by name and about 50% of them do - they memorise your surnames from pictures taken as you board. most are friendly, some over friendly, some polite but do not engage and others merely do their job and just say Hi. I only took exception to one member of staff for lack of customer care skills.

The ports we visited were fine although I would have preferred Tallin to Klaipeda. We did not do shore excursions as we found we could find better selection locally at a much better price and fellow cruisers joined us on some of these. St Petersburg was out of this world - so many palaces, churches, statues - cannot take it all in - just wish the Russian people were a bit more friendly - it is as if they don't want our foreign currency. Also, it is impossible to go out on your own in St Petersburg without a visa - would probably be quite difficult as it is such a big city and the language is difficult.

To sum up:

Ship - really nice, spoilt now and would not want to go on one much bigger (can't really get much smaller though) but I would say it's a 4 star ship with 5

star food. Staff, entertainment, drinks, ports all excellent but just watch the bill at the end - I had to point out a $50 charge for non return of DVD had crept on for some reason and casino chips cashed in had not been credited. I also thought I had paid for transfers from the ship at Stockholm but apparently I had not. Not entirely happy with Seabourn customer service on line though - I had to remind them that they had not responded to my emails about various issues and when a reply was forthcoming there was no name of the person who actually sent it. Less

Published 08/05/11

Cabin review: A1

Pleasant cabin, not luxuious but had what we wanted, lounge area, full bathroom, king size bed, only downside is window would not open and became a bit stuffy even w air conditioning on minimum. Bose radio did not work properly and TV remote had to be held really near for it to work.

Port and Shore Excursions

Fairly wet so did not see much of Copenhagen but lovely city albeit very expensive for food and drinks. Pint bottle of beer in hotel was around $15. Good airport and ship docks very near city centre and walkable from Admiral Hotel - very nice hotel.

Ship docks in Gdansk and there are shuttle buses to the city centre. We took a taxi to Sopot (beautiful seaside resort - very classy) then back to Gdansk and this is amazing but so full of people and so many shops selling amber. Walk to top of cathedral is great for some good views but the spiral staircase has no handrail. It gets easier half way up but the climb took about 15 minutes and 900 steps. Worth it though. Good choice of cafes and bars in gdansk centre.

Read 53 Gdansk Reviews

Pleasant civilised city with lovely friendly and helpful people. Everything about Helsinki spells quality. Not an awful lot to see and the sights from the hop on hop off bus were mediocre but the place is just really pleasant - again somewhere I would return to. Food in the cafes is good although not cheap but nowhere near as expensive as Denmark

Read 546 Helsinki Reviews

A place I would go back to. Took a private tour with James of eatriga tours. It was an alternative tour where we visted buildings from the 1900's, parks, cathedral, market, chocolate cafe, delightful bar in a backpackers hostel - we would never have found that, old town and when the tour was over he showed us a wonderful French style deli where the amazing food was at rock bottom prices.

Read 36 Riga Reviews

Caught train and tram into Rostock, a fascinating town which was badly bombed in the war and has been rebuilt to a very high standard. Took a private tour with Anni of the Rostock Historical Society. She charges €5 for a 2 hour tour round the interting places in her town. Good shops, good food in the cafes.

Cannot really say anything bad about the city of St Petersburg - Peterhof, Hermitage, church of Spilled Blood, Catherin's Palace - all wonderful. The down side is the bureaucracy and the glum people we came across - I did try and prompt a smile from people and managed it but it took some trying.

Despite Stockholm being an expensive city it is stylish, friendly and efficient. I can even rave about the Arlanda Express which takes you from Central Stockholm to the airport in 20 minutes. Old Town, Vasa Museum, Skyview, Skansa, National museum, archipeligo tour and many more besides are well worth visiting. The Ice Bar in the Nordic Sea Hotel is worth a vist and a stay at the hotel definitely good value and right next door to the Arlanda Express terminus. Lunches in Stockholm are cheap - 3 courses for around €10. Stockholm definitely is a 5* city and probably one of the most beautiful ones especially entering the harbour through the archipeligo.
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Member Since 2011
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