What the earlier three sisters of Seabourn -- Spirit, Pride and Legend -- lack is what Odyssey flaunts: 197 of 225 cabins have private balconies.
Seabourn calls all 225 of its cabins suites because each has sleeping and sitting areas. (But a heads-up: Standard suites are not designed as separate rooms.) The living rooms, complete with flat-screen televisions, couches and tables, are divided from the sleeping areas via heavy, silk curtains.
To get to a full suite, meaning that the bed is in a separate room, you would have to upgrade to the Penthouse Suite (see below) or higher.
All cabins are roomy. Seabourn Suites, the only cabins without balconies, and standard Veranda Suites, are both a spacious 300 square feet (though the extra 75 square feet afforded by the verandah makes those accommodations larger).
Each cabin has a walk-in closet with safe and is equipped with an interactive, flat-screen TV with a fantastic variety of music and movie selections (no charge). There's also an iPod dock. A bar (above a writing desk) and a refrigerator (below the desk) are stocked according to guest preferences, coordinated before arrival. I didn't put in a pre-cruise request, but upon boarding, my stewardess quickly inquired about my preferences, and a bottle of Jack Daniels soon appeared in my bar. Oddly, the refrigerator did not keep items particularly cold.
In the standard suites, bathrooms are comfortably large, with double sinks framed in granite and separate baths and showers, though only the shower has a handheld spray. The shower is roomy, with a wide, clear glass door and a big shower head. Amenities include soaps by Hermes and L'Occitane and bath products by Molton Brown. Stewardesses will draw warm, scented baths from the "Pure Pampering" therapeutic bath menu upon request or sprinkle rose petals on the bed at night at no charge.
Veranda Suite balconies, at 65 square feet, each come with two chairs, a dining table just big enough for two and one chaise. (The balcony is too small for loungers.)
Penthouse suites, at 436 square feet, are spacious and work especially well for entertaining. The bedrooms are totally separate from the living areas (sealed off by glass doors), which have dining tables, sectional couches, and comfortable chairs. They've also got powder rooms.
Penthouse bathtubs have whirlpool jets.
There are several other, larger suites, and the two Grand Wintergarden accommodations are the nicest of all. At 1,182 square feet, each of the two-bedroom suites has a vast living room with sectional sofa and huge flat-screen television. There's a dining area (the table can seat six easily) and a wet bar and butler's pantry. The separate master bedroom is equipped with the usual Seabourn tech accouterments (flat-screen television with interactive features and a range of music and movie options, and an iPod dock). The adjoining bathroom is superlative, with a large, glass-walled shower and a round tub with jets and sparkly ceiling lights that's easily big enough for two. It's not even the only tub in the suite; what really makes Wintergarden unique is its glass-walled solarium. The highlight? Its egg-shaped, stand-alone bathtub (draw the Venetian blinds when you're in port!) offers a magnificent soaking experience. Also cozy is a day-bed that's wonderfully comfortable for curling up and watching the world pass by.
Its main balcony is outfitted with wicker-style chaises, and there's a full dining table that seats four. This suite can also be booked as a one-bedroom. (The small second bedroom, with its own balcony, can be accessed through the suite or via the hallway.)
Seven suites -- in the Seabourn, Veranda and Penthouse categories -- are wheelchair accessible. At least two suites on every deck can be connected. (Beware, though: Noise travels easily between these cabins.) Balconies of Veranda Suites on Deck 5 are more enclosed than on other decks and carry a lower price than balcony suites on higher decks.
The only complaint I heard about cabins was that noisy cabin doors could wake the neighbors if slammed, though I never heard a slam the entire week. Each cabin key card comes with instructions on how to close the cabin door, using the key in such a way that the door is fully unlocked as you close it. I tried that, but I discovered that simply closing the door softly seemed sufficient.