Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Review by GeorgicaPond: Good, but not as good as Silversea
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Good, but not as good as Silversea
The Odyssey was an excellent experience in many ways: comfortable and attractively decorated rooms, lovely bathrooms, mostly excellent common facilities, some very good service, and a good itinerary. However, there were numerous shortcomings that, when stacked against the Silversea experience, left Seabourn in second place.
Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were inelegantly handled. Upon embarking in Venice, in the middle of a giant heat/humidity wave, we were kept in the terminal for over an hour before being able to board. Check in procedures were slow, we were dripping wet from humidity and miserable, aside from fruit juice upon entering the terminal no refreshments were served while we were on line, not even bottled water. On disembarkation, passengers were told to be ready to leave and then were kept waiting for over half an hour as we were disembarked by "groups". This was after we were sent to three different floors because no one could figure out where they More had our passports (not everyone's, just ours). The overall experience on both ends was akin to flying a budget airline.
Some of the staff was superb, some woefully undertrained in terms of handling guests graciously. We had a wonderful cabin steward and a few excellent dining staff. Others buzzed around in an abrupt and overworked manner without so much as even a smile. We often had to ask three or four times for simple things like milk with one's coffee, one more than one occasion aperitifs arrived after the first course, and there were often long waits between courses. On one evening, we arrived at the opening of dinner hour to find the dining room doors mysteriously closed. We opened them to walk in and were asked to wait outside even though there were other guests already seated. After a few minutes, one of the staff came out and told what was now a small group of us that they had gotten so many guests the moment the doors opened that they didn't think they could serve everyone so they had closed the restaurant for 15 minutes while they took the first arrivals' orders. I was stunned. Most of the tables inside were empty and all they had to do was show people to seats, serve a quick glass of wine or champagne, explain that they would be a little slow that night and then get on with it. Instead, they left us standing in the hallway until they were ready. It couldn't have been less appropriately handled.
In general, we found the food in the main restaurant to be decent, The Colonnade to be good, and the lunch buffet at the pool terrace to be god awful (think hot dogs, bad heat lamp pizza, over cooked chicken breasts with rubbery skin, and all of it repeated daily. However, the house wines were good and breakfast and lunch buffets in the other restaurants were quite good.
On the positive side, the guests were very international and friendly, the itinerary was interesting, and much of the staff, including our cabin steward, were superb. The ship facilities are excellent (although I question the decorating choices in the main restaurant and the bar), the computer room and library area are spacious and comfortable, and the in room internet works beautifully.
I would certainly sail with Seabourn again, but if the itineraries are similar, take Silversea. Less
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