Seabourn Sojourn Entertainment
On most evenings, passengers have three entertainment sources: piano music before and after dinner in the Observation Bar, dancing in The Club with several alternating singers and the ship band and a show in the Grand Salon, which may be a Broadway revue or consist of variety acts, a magician, a comedy set or a classical music performance.
The Grand Salon shows were hit-and-miss; the best of them were the most simple. (The occasional over-the-top musicals with resident singers and dancers seem better suited to big-ship, mass-market lines.)
Daytime offerings were minimal -- and a line with exotic itineraries that markets to high-fare-paying passengers simply should do a better job with enrichment. Offerings were pretty tired for such a dynamic ship. They included shuffleboard, bridge, trivia, dance classes, cooking demonstrations, Wii games, golf putting and occasional lectures focusing on the ship's itinerary or on history, art and culture.
Shore tours, unless you opt for pricey, customized outings, will be ho-hum; you'll find the same offerings on sister line Holland America and other cruise lines.
Seabourn Sojourn Public Rooms
Sojourn's size is deceptively massive -- well, relatively speaking, since we're comparing it with Seabourn's smaller ships and not cruising's mega-sized vessels -- because Interiors and deck spaces are designed to feel intimate and sociable. You might spend a week on the ship and never get around to exploring it all, as there are plenty of nooks and crannies that make perfect reading, chatting or sunbathing spots. We're thinking of the fantastic hideaways around the whirlpool at the bow on Deck 6, the pool area at the aft end on Deck 5, the small sitting area on Deck 10 overlooking the main pool and the Sun Terrace on Deck 11. There's also a lovely deck area, with wicker couches and dining tables, just off Seabourn Square.
By the way, Seabourn Square on Deck 7, new to the Odyssey series, is a terrific idea, as it replaces the traditional reception area with a warm and comfortable meeting place for coffee, pastries, library books and computer use. It also houses a quiet space for the ship's concierge. We especially appreciated using Seabourn Square to connect with local tourism people who were available -- with maps and excursion ideas -- for at least an hour or two after the ship pulled into ports. This was a helpful service for passengers who hadn't signed up for shore excursions and wanted to roam about on their own.
Seabourn Sojourn Spa & Fitness
Sojourn's lovely main pool area is a vast improvement over the line's older trio of ships. The pool, with attendant twin whirlpools, is graced with wicker-style chaises and loveseats. Because it's ringed by two decks, there's plenty of room for all.
There's another small pool on the stern -- it's the quieter of the two -- just off The Club. And a third spot worth checking out is a large whirlpool on Deck 6, all the way forward. On Deck 11, all the way forward, is a lovely sun deck (no pool); just behind it is a golfer's onboard paradise, with mini-putting and a golf cage for driving.
The Spa at Seabourn covers two decks. On Deck 9, you'll find a small but efficient fitness club, along with a separate room for Kinesis wall training and classes in yoga and Pilates. You'll pay extra for private lessons and sessions with a trainer. There, you'll also find the Kneipp pool, with its varying hot- and cold-water temperatures; it's the centerpiece of Sojourn's relaxation area. Treatment rooms are located off this area, as are the basic locker rooms, where you'll find showers and saunas.
Our favorite hideaway on Sojourn is its Deck 10 spa deck space. One part of it is roped off for a private villa experience (essentially an al fresco cabin, available for rent by the hour, half-day or day, which includes lounging, dining and bathing areas). The other part is a generous sun deck with a whirlpool, all facing aft.
One popular Seabourn trademark that's retained here is a fantastic water sports marina on Deck 2. Typically open one day per voyage (weather permitting and only when the ship is anchored, not docked), it offers an array of toys, such as a banana boat, kayaks and pedal boats. Passengers can water ski or try a most confounding contraption called the "donut," an inner tube in which you sit while being pulled along by a speedboat.