By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief, and David G. Molyneaux, Cruise Critic Contributor
Seabourn Sojourn Overview
Seabourn Sojourn is the closest thing that luxury cruising
has to a land-based stay at an exotic but comfortable boutique hotel. The 32,000-ton, 450-passenger vessel, a sister to Seabourn's Odyssey and Quest, debuted in 2010 and offers superbly comfortable cabins, the largest luxe spa at sea, an in-stern marina replete with kayaks and speed boats, and an onboard ambience that's cultured yet also blessedly informal.
While largely identical to Odyssey (the first in Seabourn's newly designed trio) and identical to Quest (launched in 2011), Sojourn is the cruise line's improvement on an already-outstanding concept. It achieved the feat simply by tweaking bits and pieces. The spa was the biggest beneficiary of the line's experience with the first ship, with an additional spa sun deck area replacing some of the pretentiously expensive private villa spaces. In The Restaurant, the ship's elegant main venue, an experiment with communal tables -- intended to foster sociability -- has not been replicated on either Sojourn or Quest. However, the group bar-height seating concept is available in its more casual Colonnade. Otherwise, Seabourn got almost everything right the first time.
Whether you're a longtime fan of Seabourn's older, more intimate 208-passenger ships or a newcomer to the cruise line (or to upscale cruising in its own right), it's hard not to find this ship utterly charming. We love the features -- such as the glorious Colonnade restaurant with its wraparound terrace and alfresco dining, the homey Seabourn Square, its coffee bar/Internet cafe/library and the fact that 90 percent of all cabins (oops, we mean suites) have balconies -- offered on this more contemporary series of Seabourn ships. In fact, the cabins themselves, starting at 300 square feet, are marvelously designed and a destination in their own right. Even standard accommodations have distinct living and sleeping areas, flat-screen televisions with a vast range of entertainment options, balconies with dining tables and marble bathrooms with separate showers and bathtubs.
Another plus? We can't think of another luxury cruise ship that has as much space dedicated to outdoor lounging, whether it's the convivial main pool area or the numerous more secluded nooks and crannies, many of which have their own pools (mini or otherwise). And Seabourn's reputation for providing superb cuisine and service lives on through Sojourn.
Seabourn Sojourn Fellow Passengers
Because their itineraries are generally shorter (ranging from seven to 10 days) and less exotic than those offered on Seabourn's older trio of ships, the line's newer triplets tend to attract travelers younger than 60, who are more active and hail from English-speaking countries like Canada, the United States, Australia and the U.K.
Seabourn Sojourn Dress Code
Daytime wear is casual, but what Seabourn considers casual is more up-market than big-ship dress codes. It's truly a country club-style of dress (loungewear at the pool, rather than shorts and T-shirts, for instance).
After 6 p.m., Seabourn recommends one of three categories for evening attire: formal optional, elegantly casual and resort casual.
Formal optional, which is typically suggested once every seven days, is for passengers who want to dress up -- think tuxedos or dark business suits with ties for men and cocktail dresses or formal apparel for women. Other passengers are asked to wear clothes considered elegantly casual. The typical dress most nights on Seabourn Sojourn is slacks and jackets over sweaters or collared shirts for men and dresses, skirts or slacks with sweaters or blouses for women.
Seabourn Sojourn Gratuity
Tipping is neither required nor expected.
After 12 other cruises on 9 other lines, this was our first time on Seabourn. We completed 2 segments on the 2014 World Cruise, from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Some things on the Sojourn were wonderful; some not so much...
The Ship: ...continue
We had been on the Odyssey in 2011 for cruise from Athens to Istanbul on Veranda 2 level. This time we asked for Veranda 2 but got room 503 Veranda 1. Very noisy at 4:30am when the anchor dropped since it was a floor or two below us. We wanted a ...continue
December 2013 Able Seaman H
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If you're thinking of jumping ship from a mainstream cruise line and fancy giving Seabourn a try hopefully this somewhat extended review will prove useful. One of the difficulties I found was that a lot of the reviews out there are written by ...continue