Seabourn Quest Cruise Review by N410MP: Wonderful crossing
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Just read the review by Terryhasgonecruising, and I'm not sure we were on the same ship. We had a totally different experience. This was our first time on Seabourn, but as regulars on Crystal we had certain expectations. And most of those were met quite satisfactorily. Not that everything was perfect, but in general we had a wonderful cruise.
We're roughly the same age as Terryhasgonecruising, and also business owners, but Americans and not yet retired. Maybe that accounts for the differences of opinion.
Food - Excellent. Temperature, variety, presentation, everything was wonderful. We ate in the main dining room most of the time, with occasional excursions to the others, and found them all to be very good. Our only complaint was the noise level in the main dining room. Around the perimeter it's not too bad, but in the high vaulted center it's an echo chamber. More use of sound-deadening materials would make that more pleasant.
Cabin - Great! Nicest More cabin we've ever had on any ship. Separate shower and tub is a real luxury, and a bathroom big enough for both of us is unheard of aboard ship. Our stewardess was polite, friendly, thorough, and we had no complaints about anything. Amenities were complete and remained well stocked throughout our cruise. We had registered our drink preferences online before the cruise, and found the refrigerator stocked to perfection!
Activities - Bridge was great! Wonderful instructors, great group of players, with both duplicate and social bridge tables in the afternoon. The rest - not so good. The theater is terrible! Fully a quarter of the seats are at least partially blocked by columns. Acoustics just the opposite of the main dining room. Worst theater we've ever been in, land or water. We found the cruise director John Barron to be a little infantile and annoying, but that is really a very minor complaint. Couldn't agree with Terryhasgonecruising more about his assistant Heather Clancy - she's wonderful and I look forward to seeing more of her. Wicked sense of humor, combined with a lovely voice. However, the entire ensemble of singers insisted in singing songs for which their voices were not suited. Sure, variety is good, but you need a variety of voices to pull it off, not just stick every singer with every style of song. Dancers were OK, probably college level. We traded singers and dancers in Rio with a Holland ship, and the second group was MUCH better, but still not great. Two local Samba troupes came aboard. The first rode with us down the coast of Brazil, and while technically quite good their act became boring and repetitive after the first few minutes. The second group, that just came aboard for one evening in Rio was fantastic, and I would go out of my way to see them again!
We only went on one shore excursion, in Recife, and it was a normal bus tour, no better nor worse than any other bus tour on any other ship.
The spa was a disappointment. It takes up an inordinate amount of space on the ship, and we found the service to be very friendly, but not very good.
The pool is small and shallow, but at least it's filled with sea water, so was still relaxing.
Overall the staff was incredibly friendly and professional. By the third day almost everyone knew our names, and serving staff knew our drink preferences. They must really study that in their off hours, as some knew us on first greeting. Impressive!
The ship is beautiful. A few normal teething problems for a new ship, but no big deal. However, there was a vibration felt in many locations throughout the ship. Seemed worse when traveling at higher speeds. At times it felt like someone put a quarter in the bed, and while on the toilet it tried to shake the s**t out of you. Not as big a problem as I've probably made it sound, but it was there, and mildly annoying.
Our biggest complaint aboard ship was the theater. Unless and until Seabourn can remove some of those columns we will think twice about going on Quest again.
One other complaint we had, and this goes across the entire Seabourn line, was during the reservation process. We like to be as close to the water as possible. Even at the loss of the balcony, we're on the ocean, we want to be ON the ocean. Close enough to see flying fish out our window. So when we booked about 10 months prior to sailing, we requested deck 4. We were only going on the first 28 days of the world cruise, so they were holding a lot of those cabins for customers sailing the full length. Perfectly reasonable, we booked deck 6 and waitlisted deck 4. About a month before sailing they opened up deck 4 to partial customers like us. However, we were told that waitlisting meant nothing. The only way we could move down would be to cancel our reservation (with a 25% penalty), and rebook from scratch on deck 4. Several letters and phone calls from both myself and my travel agent got an upgrade to deck 8 and a nominal shipboard credit, but that was not what we wanted. Meanwhile, there were empty deck 4 cabins that we couldn't have. So while our deck 8 cabin was very nice, Seabourn wouldn't let us have the empty cabin we wanted, and left a very sour taste in our mouths in anticipation of future dealings with them. Less
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