Seabourn Quest Entertainment
During the day, there are various and fairly low-key activities, such as bridge, lectures or cookery demonstrations. But this is a very outdoorsy ship, and passengers seem to spend as much time as possible on deck, sitting around the pool and chatting or lounging in the two canopied Jacuzzis on the pool deck, occasionally holding out a glass for a waiter to fill. There's another sunbathing area forward on Deck 11, by The Retreat, a recreation space with two small putting greens, shuffleboard, a giant chess set and the occasional outdoor yoga class.
Seabourn offers various special touches in its entertainment: free mini-massages on deck; a chance in port to go market shopping with the chef; and its legendary Caviar in the Surf beach party, where uniformed waters emerge from the waves bearing platters of caviar and Champagne.
Shows, dance classes, lectures and cookery demonstrations take place in the Grand Salon on Deck 6, which has comfortable banquette seating but quite a few pillars that obstruct the view. The Red Hot & Blue cabaret is excellent and pleasingly contemporary; the lead singer, Roger Wright, played a leading role in The Lion King when it first opened in London, which is an indication of the quality of the performance. Four dancers accompany the three singers and appear in The Club afterward to dance with the passengers -- or show the passengers up, whichever way you look at it.
The Seabourn Singers and Dancers perform four shows a week, while there are guest entertainers on the other nights.
In the evenings, the focal point after dinner is The Club, which has a dance band and an outside pool area for summer nights. There's a small casino with roulette, blackjack tables and a couple of slots off The Club which sees more or less action, depending on how port-intensive the itinerary is.
The Observation Lounge on Deck 10 is much quieter, and if it's a warm evening, people tend to forget the indoor bars altogether and sit out at the Sky Bar to enjoy the night air.
I was puzzled by the bar service on Quest. For example, in The Club -- which is, for all intents and purposes, a cocktail bar -- there's no cocktail menu. So you have to try to remember what went in that fabulous raspberry Martini you had on another ship and hope that the bartender can make it. The measures are also huge; it's not something most people would complain about, but it seems wasteful as drinks are left unfinished.
Seabourn Quest Public Rooms
The main gathering places are the two marquee bars -- the Observation Lounge and The Club. The other big daytime hub is Seabourn Square, which has everything: a coffee bar offering specialty coffees, liqueurs, cakes and pastries; a book and DVD library; two banks of Internet terminals; and a central, semi-enclosed area where Seabourn staff sit at desks and sort anything from onboard accounts to shore excursions.
Just off of that area are the shops, selling logowear, other clothing and some extremely high-class jewellery.
Seabourn Quest Spa & Fitness
The Seabourn Spa is run by Steiner and is supposed to be the largest (on this ship and its two sisters) of any spa on a luxury ship. It has the slight feeling of a rabbit warren inside, but the treatment and relaxation areas are indisputably calming and extremely pleasant. A spa pass for the thermal suite (herbal sauna, steam room, fancy showers and contoured wooden loungers) costs $30 for a day, which seems a bit steep on a luxury ship, but Steiner is run as a concession and sets its prices according to the market it serves. If you don't want to pay, there's a very pleasant sauna in each of the changing rooms, too. Treatments include the usual range, from massages using bamboo or hot stones to body wraps. There's also a wide range of SkinCeuticals products for more "serious" facials; these products are quite strong, and you choose between two facial peels, which strikes us as a bit dangerous, given the strong sunshine enjoyed by most cruises.
The gym has an array of gentle classes tailored to the age group onboard. Pilates, Tai Chi and yoga are complimentary, or there's one-on-one personal training on the Kinesis wall for a fee. There are also putting, shuffleboard and occasional outdoor yoga classes in The Retreat, a secluded area on Deck 11.
The ship has two pools, one on the main pool deck and one aft, outside The Club. Each pool is flanked by two hot tubs. When the sun comes out, attendants circulate with bottles of Lancaster sunblock, which is a nice touch.
Seabourn Quest also has a water sports platform, The Marina, which can be lowered in calm conditions when the ship is anchored for kayaking, windsurfing and dinghy-sailing.
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