Editor's note: Seabourn Spirit was sold to Windstar in February 2013, and will be refurbished and renamed. It will enter service as a Windstar ship in May 2015.
Passengers on Seabourn Cruise Line's trio of 208-passenger, ulta-luxury ships -- Seabourn Spirit, Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Pride -- enjoy fine dining (especially at dinner), all-suite cabins and doting service. You won't find much razzmatazz here, but you will find an opportunity to enjoy some quiet time and converse with your fellow travelers in a refined environment.
The Champagne flows liberally, there's opportunity to eat caviar, and all women get the arm of a waiter when they enter the dining room. Since you've paid considerable bucks upfront, the line can afford to throw in freebies. And they do: Included in the cruise fare are a welcome bottle of Champagne; an in-suite bar setup; nearly all drinks (you pay extra for some premium brands); decent wine with lunch and dinner; and crew tips.
Seabourn also has a complimentary shore excursion program. On each cruise, at one port of call, there is one free shore-side event to which all passengers are invited. These events are often a highlight of the voyage, and have included such excursions as a visit to a private villa in Malta, a glass-roofed canal boat ride in Amsterdam and an outdoor folkloric dance performance in Nafplion, Greece.
You can use the ship's water sports equipment for free, and do not have to pay extra for a Pilates class or wine-tasting seminar. Plus, there are niceties like fruit smoothies, suntan lotion and cold towels passed out on deck on a hot day.
Still, despite a higher staff-per-passenger ratio than most lines, service is not seamless. While dinner is presented with military precision, including lifting silver domes off entrees on cue, the young (but very handsome) waitstaff seemed lost on our cruise during breakfast and lunch buffets, with guests having to flag someone down for coffee or a clean place setting.
The decor on the Seabourn Spirit is comfortably upscale. There is plenty of space to explore but really nowhere to go -- at night, your choices are The Club with adjacent small casino, the show lounge and (weather permitting) the pool bar. Don't expect much late-night partying.
Seabourn Spirit Fellow Passengers
Passengers are mostly American or British, wealthy, well mannered and well traveled. The average age depends on the cruising region, but usually ranges from late 40's to late 60's. Passengers tend to be loyal to Seabourn; half may be repeaters.
Seabourn Spirit Dress Code
Seabourn passengers generally like to dress up. There are two formal nights on weeklong cruises and three on 14-day sailings. On these nights, many men wear tuxedos, but dark suits are acceptable. Women wear fancy cocktail dresses or ball gowns. Other nights are casually elegant (jacket for men, but tie optional; nice outfit for women), or casual (no jacket for men; sundress or slacks for women). For those who don't like formal nights, the Veranda Cafe offers a casually elegant alternative.
Seabourn Spirit Gratuity
Tips are included in the cost of the cruise.
July 2013 NorthWestPassage
Fond memories of the Spirit - Venice to Venice along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas
This was our first cruise with Seabourn. It was on the July 13 sailing on the Spirit for their 10 Day Venice and Adriatic Treasures. My wife and have sailed ...continue
My wife and I have travelled a fair bit. Cruised a number of times on the Windjammer (original now defunct) and on Holland America. The 14 day Med cruise was our first with Seabourn. Barecelona to Venice. We loved it and I would highly recommend ...continue
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As our first cruise we don't have much to compare our experience too, however as seasoned travellers and as persons accustomed to 5-star luxury holidays we held high expectations for the trip.
We started in St.Maarten having flown in from a 4 ...continue