The cruise ship was the smallest and the most expensive we have used - before we have been with mainstream cruise lines such as Princess and RCI. We have started experimenting with more expensive lines and had a fabulous experience on Seven Seas Mariner so we decided to try Seabourn. The itinerary was great and overall we enjoyed the cruise very much but the considerable extra cost for Seabourn was not justified.
First the positives:-
Great room, well equipped, spacious, clean, comfortable.
Food good throughout - in the main restaurant, buffet area, and room service. Always served hot, generally tasty and nicely presented, good portion size.
Service attentive and staff very friendly and helpful in all areas. The staff learnt your names and your likes and dislikes by halfway through the cruise
Captain and crew very much in evidence and very friendly
Itinerary fabulous and all stops excellent. Very easy to get on and off the ship both in port and via tenders. The tendering was the best thing about the ship - there were always boats available and they are proper tenders, not lifeboats used for this purpose - once or twice, when we were on our own, it was like having a private yacht!!
Now the negatives:-
Pretentious - the staff would escort you to your table in the evening with you having to take the arm of one of the waiters - I did not like this, thought it unnecessary and it was difficult to refuse without offending! At lunchtime, when you filled your plate, they insisted on carrying it to your table (why???) as if you were disabled in some way. Often, they insisted on doing things for you that you wanted to do yourself and, inevitably, not the way you wanted it done!! One evening at dinner, there was a set menu of specialities and you had to be quite insistent to have something else - it is extremely unlikely that any chef would pick what you would choose to eat but there was a patronising, we know better than you about food, attitude shown a few times during the cruise. Once I sent back a soup which was not well described on the menu so it was not what I wanted and the chef was brought out to talk to me - unnecessary, and irritating when he told me I did not understand the menu because I do not speak fluent French - according to him a potage is a clear soup!!!
No information on what was available. For example, in bars or restaurants. I think the idea is that you ask for whatever you want and they will provide it. The problems with this are that you often do not know what you want but would like a menu to prompt you and then also it becomes a guessing game - you ask for something that they don't have, then you ask for something else, etc etc - eg no dry sherry. Much better on Regent where they give you along list of cocktails and drinks to choose from. Also, no information for first time cruisers on how the ship functions or what is available - you had to ask even to know where and when to disembark at ports. The information on how to board the ship at the embarkation point was next to non-existent - we had to guess how and where to find the ship and embark.
The ship was too small for us and too few passengers - we prefer something with more facilities. This suits some people but not us and it is something you need to be aware of. No enrichment lectures, not much in the way of entertainment, not many bars or restaurants, very small and few areas to sunbathe. We were onshore every day so this wasn't too much of an issue but if you had days at sea, it could be a real problem.
The trips were extortionately expensive and there was a poor selection - probably a result of so few passengers onboard.
This review might sound as if we were trying to be negative but when you pay as much as Seabourn charge, it should be perfect, not just adequate!!! All in all, we will return to use Regent again, never Seabourn.