Seabourn Cruise Line offers a luxurious cruise experience, open only to those with budgets large enough to cover the high fares for its all-suite, all-balcony, all-inclusive ships. But if you're looking for an even more exclusive VIP experience, you'll want to book a cabana at The Retreat, found only on the line's biggest and newest ships.
Found only on Seabourn Ovation and Encore, The Retreat is an exclusive-access sun deck on the highest deck (Deck 12). It's outfitted with 15 cabanas for rent, plus a 16th for alfresco massages, and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The cabanas line the outer edges of the deck and open toward a central, raised hot tub, which in turn is flanked with comfortable seating and dining tables. The deck is shaded, but with openings to keep the space well ventilated.
A bar tucked away in one corner offers drink service, and The Retreat's signature bar menu offers a special cocktail menu by American mixologist Brian Van Flandern, as well as some higher-end premium liquors, available without a fee, than you'd find at the ship's other bars. Bathrooms are located adjacent to The Retreat. Each cabana accommodates two passengers, and is furnished with a brown upholstered couch, dining table for two, flat-screen TV with Bluetooth headsets and a ceiling fan. Mini-fridges are stocked with Voss water, soda and premium juices. A privacy curtain can be pulled across the cabana's open side. The other three sides are closed off with white plantation shutters; generally, these don't open, but six of the 15 cabanas have shutters on one side that open up to the sea views. Two cushioned Rattan loungers and a matching drink table front the cabana. Cabana passengers receive plush blue robes and slippers and soft blue towels for use in The Retreat.
The vibe at Seabourn's Retreat is typically chill, with passengers reading in their lounge chairs or chatting in the hot tub. Although the area is constructed to ensure good air flow on muggy days and to block the wind while sailing, it can get chilly on deck when the outside temperatures are low. While there are plenty of deck areas onboard that don't have the hustle-bustle of the main pool deck (the Deck 5 aft pool and Deck 7 forward hot tub come to mind), you won't get the same extras that you will at The Retreat.
When you arrive for your day in The Retreat, you are presented with a souvenir tote bag, bottle of Bollinger Champagne and an exotic fruit plate. Lunch service is available from a special menu, and Retreat staff will bring up goodies from afternoon tea, as well. In addition, the price includes a $50 spa voucher, so you can get a slight discount on a massage in the cabana tent (or any other treatment in the spa). Cabana guests are also treated to high-end sunscreen, Evian mist spray and cold towels.
The per-cabana price for Seabourn's Retreat varies. It's $249 for a sea day or two port days, $149 for a port day or embarkation day and $129 for a half-day (from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from 2 to 6 p.m., regardless of whether the ship is at sea or in port). Cabanas accommodate a maximum of two people (though three are permitted if they are sharing a cabin), and the minimum age for The Retreat is 18.
You can reserve your cabana online before your cruise or with the concierges at Seabourn Square when you board. (Retreat massages must be booked through guest services or with your Retreat concierge, subject to availability.) Cabanas are first-come, first-served, so if you're particular about which location you get, show up early. You can cancel without a fee up to 24 hours in advance; after that, you're on the hook for the full price.
The Retreat is found on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation.