SEABOURN ODYSSEY CRUISE 31.10.11 TO 07.11.11
This was our third Seabourn Cruise this year, having sailed on Sojourn and Quest earlier in the year.
We flew to Istanbul the day before embarkation and stayed in the Senator Best Western, this hotel was recommended by British Airways. We were met by a prearranged courier service who took us to the hotel, a very efficient service. The hotel was very clean and comfortable; our only problem was that it was situated right next to a Mosque, so we were awakened very early by the Call to Prayer from the speakers. We were then taken to the ship by the same taxi service we had had the night before, again on time and very efficient.
Our arrival at the dock at 2pm was greeted by a very long queue for check in, I must say that Seabourn must take note, fortunately for us the weather was dry but rather windy, but if it had been raining then passengers would get very wet, there was no shelter until you got inside the actual check in area. Even though there were more than four people in the area checking passengers passports only one was working, and even he was too busy talking to so that passengers had a very long wait.
Once through this check we were soon onboard with the normal service you would expect from Seabourn. We were escorted straight to our suite, and when the lift doors opened we were greeted by name from the Maitre'D from our cruise on Quest, a gentleman by the name of Nicolas. We then found out that he had recently been promoted to Head of Training. I cannot believe that the staff remember people's names like this, they must see thousands of passengers over the weeks they are onboard.
Our suite was as normal, everything in place including the onboard bar stocked to our requests. We were then introduced to our Stewardess, Ana, again nothing seemed too much trouble for her, requests made were soon fulfilled.
Our sail away from Istanbul was magical, it had started to go dark and all the lights were on and we were greeted by the Cruise Director, Mr. John Barron and his deputy Mr. Garry Timms, both of these gentlemen proved over the cruise how likable they are. I can see why passengers have such good words to say about these two as each day progressed they became more like lost friends. We were even invited to a hosted table in the MDR by the two.
The ship in general was clean and tidy, and the staff could not do enough for you, many times we were greeted by name, and asked if everything was to our liking, you only had to ask and they went out of their way to accommodate you.
Little things on the Odyssey were slightly different than her two younger sisters, main one for us was the spa area. On both Sojourn and Quest they have done away with the free Ladies and Gents steam room, but on the Odyssey they had both steam room and sauna in the ladies and gents changing area. We think we can see why this is, and it must be the money. On Sojourn and Quest they charged to use the stream room and at 30 dollars a day was in our opinion is rather a lot. Many of the passengers commented on this and felt that they should have kept the design the same for all three ships.
Food again was good to excellent throughout, the only problem we found, was that they ran out of "Berries" We talked to the Chef and he said that due to the recent strikes in Piraeus (Greece) some of the containers had not been able to get through. We also had an evening in Ephesus which was well attended, but due to the time of year it did get very cold towards the end of the evening. As usual when we returned to Odyssey we had the traditional "Welcome Home" where the staff comes out to greet you "Home" along with the usual hot toddies.
Our Itinerary was as follows:-
Soon it was all too soon to disembark Odyssey and hope that it will be not too long to board yet another of Seabourn Yachts.
Thanks must go to John Barron, Cruise Director, Garry Timms, Deputy Cruise Director, Our waiters Tony and Vaughan, and Angela in the Colonnade our Stewardess Ana and the whole of the crew, including bar tenders, entertainers etc etc.