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18 Night Indian Ocean Cruise from Dubai

18 Night Indian Ocean Cruise from Dubai

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Seabourn Encore
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Itinerary


Seabourn Encore

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
5.0
85 reviews
Why Choose Seabourn Encore?

Pros

Beautifully designed ship with a great choice of restaurants and generous outside space

Cons

Could do with more shade around the pool and a bigger gym

Bottom Line

Gorgeous new ship with a rich, sophisticated look, superb food and an un-stuffy vibe


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: September 2018
The choice was a birthday present from our kids and it was a great discovery. This is our first cruise. The staff was very nice, very professional, attentive. Special thanks to Fabrizio Cerruti, the hotel manager. Henry Halloy, the ... Read More
The choice was a birthday present from our kids and it was a great discovery. This is our first cruise. The staff was very nice, very professional, attentive. Special thanks to Fabrizio Cerruti, the hotel manager. Henry Halloy, the assistant director of the cruise, was incredibly generous, listening to our every detail. We also want to thank Frédéric for his impeccable service, his Francophonie, his smile, and his good advice. the cruise is rather romantic, cozy, hushed. We really appreciated the quality of the restaurants, the variety of menus, the freshness of the products, the talent of the chef. We did not take advantage of the pool which turns out to be quite small. The shows are of quality: violin, singing, magician ... the animation was perfect and Mr. Henry Halloy embodies this perfection. A lot of elegance! This first cruise in our life will remain etched in our memory, and the only desire is to go back on board! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Since 1999 my wife and I have sailed 300+ days with Seabourn. It goes without saying that over the years we have been very satisfied. Not so with our last two week cruise on the Encore in the Med. It has been a while since we last ... Read More
Since 1999 my wife and I have sailed 300+ days with Seabourn. It goes without saying that over the years we have been very satisfied. Not so with our last two week cruise on the Encore in the Med. It has been a while since we last sailed on a Seabourn cruise and it will be a while - if ever - before we try again. The interior of the Encore including the suites is fabulous, but we cruise where the weather is good and the outside spaces are crammed and chaotic. The pool deck (serving simultaneously as a bar, as a restaurant and as a sun deck is at least 30% smaller than on the Odyssey class - for 150 more passengers. You will have lunch (if you can find a table) less than 10 inches from a sunbed maybe inhabited by a very large person in a very small bathing suit. Even if the food was good you could easily loose your appetite: You reach for the ketchup and you wind up with a bikini top in your hand.... But this goes to the core of our grievances: The food is actually horrible at all of their restaurants. We did not have one good meal out of the 40 odd meals we had during the two weeks. We could not fault the main Chef (from Bologna). He did what he could with an insufficiant budget and inferior ingredients: Dry, tough and tasteless meats. Tired fish. Too few mushrooms to make the mushroom soup taste of mushroom - not dish water. Ill smelling and ill tasting pork belly with a scallop on top with the texture of jelly. Mushy berrys at the breakfast buffet way past their last selling date. Now they have the new specialty restaurant to which Thomas Keller has sold his name. Shame on him. We dined there four times with exacly the same result: The cook has a better budget hence better ingredients. But the guy on this particular cruise did not have any idea whatsoever how to prepare them: The cured salmon was so salty that your palate burned. It was uneatable so it did not matter, that he had forgotten to remove the plastic wrap from the dish. A “grilled” Rib-eye for two was burnt to a crisp on the outside. The proud cook pronounced that it weighed 900 grammes. He cut it up in 14-16 slices at the table and slammed half of the slices down on my wife’s plate and the other half on mine. The plates looked like what you would feed a very big dog. We tried all the sides during our four visits. All of them were seriously over-cooked. Mushy and tasteless. For the first time ever we had a sinewy Lobster Thermidor. It is beyond me how he accomplished that. Once before on all of our Seabourn cruises we have had food as bad as on this one. On that particular one the Chef had a nervous breakdown and was totally unable to function. They had to fly in a trainer/replacement. My guess is that Seabourn has now finally been 100% “incorporated” in Carnival’s HQ in Seattle and has been forced to “piggy back” on deals with the vendors supplying their 4 star cruise lines even though they still charge six star prices. Finally a word about the ratio between newbees and experienced staff. It is way too high. My guess is 80:20. In fact Seabourn rely on the guests to train the majority of the staff who are on their first contract. As a guest you need to in order to get what you want..... Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Exactly one year since my cruise on one of the two larger ships in the Seabourn fleet. This time again the Mediterranean, with every suite taken. I expected a few signs of wear and tear, but the level of maintenance is outstanding. The ... Read More
Exactly one year since my cruise on one of the two larger ships in the Seabourn fleet. This time again the Mediterranean, with every suite taken. I expected a few signs of wear and tear, but the level of maintenance is outstanding. The only small indications I noticed, were that carpets, while not worn at all, are looking a bit dull in high use areas, and many edge areas of marble flooring have had to be repaired due to cracking. The ship remains beautiful inside and out, with our suite, and all public areas immaculate. All areas just pristine with cleanliness and understated luxury. The most stunning ship I have sailed on to date, and the most comfortable veranda suite. I was interested to experience the onboard service, given many of the negative comments of past reviewers. I have to say that I think the customer service has improved. Without exception every crew member was polite and professional, and on top of that, the vast majority were engaging, friendly and went out of their way to satisfy every need. The breakfast service in the Colonnade, and dinner in the main dining room, has definitely improved, and the iPad technology works well. Not one late or mixed order. Food always arrived hot. Excellent. My expectations are high given the fares guests pay, and the Seabourn claim, that their service is ultra luxury, note ULTRA luxury. Based on this, let me explain where I think things need to be improved. Entertainment is predictable, and mixed. The singers do try hard, but I've seen it all before in one shape or form, and some shows, (such as the Tim Rice night) are still running one year on. The opera sail away from Corsica was a nice event, but some of the choices were challenging for the singers. The Observation Bar was my favourite location last year for after dinner meet ups and drinks. What a disappointment this year. The pianist and singer were so weak (last years were outstanding), and the main bar tender, while very professional and charming, lacked the engagement and touch of service that this intimate bar needs. The whole area lacked a buzz and the intimacy we loved last year, and no connection was built with the guests. We felt extremely disappointed to the point, that on some evenings, we just didn't bother to go. While the service was impeccable, food choice for dinner in the Colonnade and Patio was just too limited, and at night, unless some form of specialty menu with buffet element was happening, it was dull and uninviting. The Thomas Keller grill was again outstanding, but its a struggle to get in there more than once on a 10 day sailing, unless you want to eat very early. The main dining room was consistently good, but on a ten day sailing, you want to have alternate options with good choice and atmosphere. A couple of small things were disappointing. We were so delayed leaving Monte Carlo, due to late unloading of provisions, that we did so after dinner - hence no usual sail away, which is such a lovely start to the holiday and after all the anticipation. We missed the planned Gozo stop due to extended maintenance needed in Malta. Saabourn did give an ex gratia payment in all fairness, but it did not compensate for us. Why have the formal night on the second day, and then no more? Surely better, a little further in to the cruise. So, in summary, the ship is stunning, the service is great, and without doubt, a cruise on Seabourn Encore will leave most, even those as demanding as us, delighted. What I question is that, given the limited dining options, and lack of choice, plus the lack lustre entertainment, can Seabourn really claim ultra luxury, and real value for money? They have themselves to blame for setting that expectation. I will probably sail with Seabourn again, but next time, after an absence of 5 years from Silversea, I want to try their newest ship, The Muse. I am also going to try Oceania, and as their ships and onboard experience starts a major refurbishment form December on. Other guests on board who have tried them were very complimentary, and that was before the planned changes. I am not a huge drinker, so for the different in fare from Seabourn, you can opt for a premium cabin, and a premium drinks package, and with gratuities paid extra. Most certainly worth careful consideration for future cruise planning. Read Less
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