National Geographic Sea Bird Cabins
Cabins on Sea Bird are designed for utility, not luxury, and while they're comfortable, they're quite Spartan by mega-ship standards. You'll probably be too busy to spend much time in them aside from sleeping and bathing.
All three categories onboard have outside views. Category 1 cabins measure 94 square feet, and each features two single beds with an expandable night table in between. Doors open onto the Main Deck's interior hallway. Category 2 cabins measure 90 square feet and have two single beds in an L configuration in each. Category 3 cabins measure 116 to 120 square feet, and each has a table and two single beds in an L configuration or two single beds that can convert to a double. The four Category 3 cabins on the Main Deck can accommodate third passengers in Pullman beds. Category 2 and 3 cabin doors open onto an exterior deck.
All cabins include closets with hanging space and shelves, under-bed storage space (15-inch clearance), reading lights for each bed and one or two picture windows. Additional storage space can be found in either night stands or sliding drawers under one or two beds and on the many hooks that line the walls. Cabins also come with individual controls for adjusting the temperature and volume of the public address system. Turn it down if you don't want the 7 a.m. wakeup call from the expedition leader each morning.
You might be dismayed when you first see your cabin's bathroom. All categories have small bathrooms with translucent doors. The bathrooms contain combo toilet-shower spaces. You can draw curtains across the door and in front of the toilet, so you can shower in some sort of privacy and not drench your towel or the toilet paper. In Category 1 cabins, the sink is also in the "head"; category 2 and 3 cabins have sinks/vanities with mirrors outside in the main cabin areas. While shower pressure isn't great, the water heats up quickly, and as long as you're not very tall or very wide, you'll be able to clean yourself without incident. Wall-mounted dispensers contain conditioning shampoo, body lotion and hand soap. "Expedition Essential Kits" consist of SPF lip balm, soap and a loofah sponge in a mesh bag.
While the cabins themselves are simple, the bedding is designed for comfort. Pillowtop mattresses, 310-thread-count sheets and hypo-allergenic, micro-fiber fill pillows (down pillows might be available from the hotel manager) ensure a comfy rest -- that is, if the drone of your heating/air-conditioning unit, late-night lock traverses and occasional choppy waters don't keep you awake. Duvets and extra blankets will keep you warm on chilly nights.
Cabins are decorated with nature photography. (Ours had a picture of a seal on a beach and two monkeys at night.) National Geographic atlases and magazines are tucked into a wall rack for in-cabin perusal. If you forgot to bring your own reusable water bottle, steel water bottles are provided for trip-use only. (They're not to be taken home as souvenirs.)
Be alert that cabin and bathroom doors have slight lips you need to step over -- they're definitely tripping hazards, especially in the middle of the night.
Cabins have one or two 110V outlets; ours was by the bathroom sink. Hair dryers are typically located by the sink.
Things you won't find in the cabins: TV's, phones, alarm clocks, safes, room service menus ... and keys. That's right; while cabins can be locked from the inside, passengers do not receive keys, and doors remain unlocked while passengers are not in them. Lindblad claims a keyless system creates a more relaxed ambience onboard and eliminates the hassle of dealing with keys on the beach or searching for keys lost ashore. If you're concerned about some especially valuable item you've brought onboard, the purser's office has a safe deposit box.
Next: National Geographic Sea Bird Dining
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