23 Dubai Luxury Cruise Reviews

This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated soon. The staff is excellent. They knew our names after a few days. Service was great. Food was wonderful. Our favorite was Tuscano. This was a 21 day cruise and we did have quite a few sea days. Loved them. There were plenty of activities for us. We were with another couple and played a lot of cards. Our cabin was concierge level and this gave us free wifi for one item but we learned how to use multiple phones/ipads without too much trouble. We didn't do a lot of the entertainment in the evening but the ship's crew were very good the little we did see. We did use the casino, however not many people seem to enjoy the gaming. Did not really enjoy our cruise director but that is just a personal point. Our ports were fabulous. We booked all private tours so can not speak to the ship's excursions. It is an older crowd and there were no children on board. We met some very lovely people on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We just returned from an amazing voyage to Arabia. 19 days voyage. what can I say. spectacular. suites are super large, big tvs with lots of entertainment choices. we booked suite 1014 category V6 and loved the location. everyday ... Read More
We just returned from an amazing voyage to Arabia. 19 days voyage. what can I say. spectacular. suites are super large, big tvs with lots of entertainment choices. we booked suite 1014 category V6 and loved the location. everyday when we went for dinner we would see the pool lit up and just made us smile. it was truly magical. my husband described the feeling of being in the ship, like being in your country club. in our case, they knew our names, and greeted us all the time by our names. they knew our food preferences and always made sure we were accommodated. Thomas Keller Grill was superb. We found the dining room to be a little slow for our taste. if we wanted to leave by a certain time we would tell the maitre d ahead of time. we like to eat by 7PM and go to the show at 8:45PM. most of the time it worked perfectly. we ate once in the evening at the patio grill and it was great. I know of plenty of people that never got dressed up for dinner and just ate dinner at the patio and the colonnade. colonnade had a sit down area instead of buffet and also an outside patio. we chose to have cappuccinos in the morning in our suite but go for breakfast at the patio of the colonnade every day . truly delightful. we ate lunch most days either at the sushi restaurant or the patio. LOVED. excursions were great. we did 4 of them with the cruise. there was caviar on the surf at an island of Abu Dhabi . super fun. temperatures for this cruise is for people that like warm weather like I do. some days temps were 100 such in muscat. cannot wait to return. we did put a deposit for a future cruise , and this deposit will give us 5% in a future cruise that we book and we have 4 years to book or we get our money back. we know and saw lots of people playing trivia, and that a big thing. they had many teams, and it was competitive. also, bridge was big. art classes were busy, which I never went, and lots of guests went to the lectures . they were super interesting and you could watch them live in your suite, or later in your tv with on demand. we met Wonderfull people and there quite a diverse array of passengers from every country. met some nice single people and first time cruisers and they were all having a fabulous time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Everything, really everything was perfectly organized. Embarkation and disembarkation were organized. You have 5 restaurants for choice and only one of these five you have to reserve for. Service, food, drinks whenever you want, ... Read More
Everything, really everything was perfectly organized. Embarkation and disembarkation were organized. You have 5 restaurants for choice and only one of these five you have to reserve for. Service, food, drinks whenever you want, anything you might need, you get it. Champaign, caviar as much as you want. Excursions were well organized and at a reasonable prize Five restaurants at choice and you receive their menu every evening for the following day. You can order any wine , champagne, beer or water for your fridge, as much as you want. Room service works well and we had a table on our balcony set up with table cloth every morning for breakfast. You can also ask for a 3 or 4 course diner in your suite at the time you want. We can only recommend this company and we will certainly make our next cruise with them- We tried different other cruise companies , but his is the best. ......and when you think what you get for the price you paid it is not relly expensive. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
If anyone had told us that we would be returning to Dubai less than 6 months from our last embarkation from that port, I would have thought them crazy. But then we received a Seabourn brochure this winter that had an itinerary with ... Read More
If anyone had told us that we would be returning to Dubai less than 6 months from our last embarkation from that port, I would have thought them crazy. But then we received a Seabourn brochure this winter that had an itinerary with pricing that we could not pass up. This was the chance to try out a true “luxury” line. Even though we already had a deposit on a cruise for 2019 that would include the Suez Canal and bucket list destination Petra, travel on Seabourn’s Encore would be in a larger cabin with more amenities. So, this April, we found ourselves back in the UAE. We took advantage of Seabourn’s air as the price, after applying their air credit, was better than what we could get on our own. We made our own hotel arrangements and stayed at the JW Marriott on Abu Baker Al Siddique Road, near the metro. This time we added an extra day for a visit to the Emirate of Sharjah and also made it to Burj Khalifa and the Jumeriah Mosque in Dubai before boarding Encore on April 22. Check-in went quickly and we proceeded to lunch in the Colonnade as our cabin was not quite ready. Our first surprise was that the buffet was self serve – a definite change from any of the lines we had recently been on and the second was an oddly placed structural column in front of the hot food area. These were small matters that were soon forgotten as the announcement was made that the cabins were ready. Our guarantee cabin was on Deck 7 which is the perfect deck for quick access to Seabourn Square, which is the hub of activity for the ship. We were immediately impressed with the granite bath with its double sink, tub and separate shower, comfort height toilet with soft close lid and ample storage. The makeup vanity in the hall is perfect for hair care. It was topped with a sprig of fresh orchid and the name card of our stewardess, Patience, who appeared shortly after we arrived to introduce herself and offer a selection of designer soaps. She did an excellent job keeping our suite spotless for 19 days. There were so many great things about the cabin that it’s almost hard to remember all of them: plenty of storage space (including the walk in closet with double row for hanging and the chest of drawers), curtains that were functional and not just decorative so you could actually separate the sleeping and living areas, a full size couch, a glass table large enough to be set for proper en suite dining, the stocked bar. Ah, the bar. Seabourn totally won me over with the ice bucket kept inside the mini fridge so there are always plump ice cubes available. Two bottles of our preferred liquor were provided along with set-ups and once the beer preference was established, the fridge was always fully stocked. While there were no USB charging ports, there were plenty of 110/220 outlets for all of our needs. The spacious veranda was an enjoyable spot to indulge in caviar and shrimp cocktails brought by room service The evening turn down service usually included a little surprise (NO towel animals thank you) along with the next day’s Herald, Dining Guide and obligatory chocolates, although in Seabourn’s case they are designed in collaboration with Thomas Keller and Armando Manni! On different evenings there were eye shades, a Seabourn book mark, Holy items from Jerusalem and a cute paper boat with our ship id picture set on an opened page of the World Atlas provided to each stateroom. Seabourn delights with small details. We felt the food was probably the best we’ve had at sea though there were a few disappointments with dishes not being hot enough or over done but usually things were easily corrected. We missed having a pasta station where the dish is cooked to specific requests but perhaps that would have been accommodated had we asked. The largest dining venue, the Restaurant is located mid ship and offers 4 or 5 different entrees daily in addition to the “always available” and includes vegetarian options for most courses. Dinner tends to be a drawn out affair but the time goes quickly when there is such good conversation. We accepted invitations to two hosted dinners and thoroughly enjoyed the evenings. The Grill by Thomas Keller is by reservation only and features several courses that are prepared or finished tableside. The Colonnade is popular for breakfast and lunch with several items cooked to order, though many items appear every day and there are not many desert options. Themed menus with table service are usually the norm for evening in the Colonnade. Dining on The Patio by the pool is available for lunch and dinner with a limited selection, with one evening being very good and another being less than marvelous. Sushi is a delightful small venue, both with the menu and service. Specialty coffees and small snacks are available from the baristas in Seabourn Square for a good number of hours and a proper tea is served at Tea Time in the Observation Bar. One of Seabourn’s specialties is the bread sticks and they make them by the thousands every day – so good! In case you don’t get enough to eat at a meal, there is freshly made gelato available on the patio or at Seabourn Square for much of the day. There are not many loungers around the main pool but there are hot tubs and a small pool on the rear of Deck five and another hot tube on the front of Deck 7 that provide more space for sun lovers. The bar servers attended to these areas bringing ice water and special request drinks. There are also loungers on the front of Deck 12 with no shade but it offered an excellent vantage for viewing the Suez Canal. There are also stations set up with amenities such as sun tan lotion, eyeglass wipes and bug repellent (for the Suez transit) Announcements are kept to a bare minimum so it’s helpful to keep the daily Herald handy to sort out the day's events. There were plenty of things to stay busy on our nine sea days including “Conversations” with four brilliant guest lecturers, dance lessons, two art classes per day, bridge lessons and much more. A galley tour was offered and was so popular that those on the waiting list were treated on the second tour with champagne and lead by Head Chef Giuseppe himself. If you are a fan of art auctions or bingo, Seabourn is not the line for you because you won’t find them on board. About one third of the guests were from the US, followed by Australians, Canadians and then a wide mix of travelers from Europe which made for fun teams for daily trivia. We went to slightly less than half of the evening shows which were all quite good and the Seabourn singers and dancers were excellent. Our ports included Sir Bani Yas (Abu Dhabi), Doha, Muscat, Salalah, Aqaba, Ashdod, Haifa, Santorini, and disembarked in Piraeus. We booked the Desert Island Game Drive on Sir Bani Yas through Seabourn as it is a private island with not many options. The drive is not terribly exciting except for seeing hundreds of Arabian Oryx which have been brought back from near extinction thanks to the Oryx Conservation Group. This island was also the site of Seabourn’s signature caviar in the surf and fabulous barbeque with all of the supplies being brought from the ship. Our Roll Call was very quiet compared to other lines but we were we were able to form private tours for Oman and Israel. We used private vans hired by Seabourn for Jerusalem and Galilee for customized tours that included Bethlehem in Palestine which was a sobering experience. We were comfortable doing Doha on our own and took cabs to the souk and the Museum of Islamic Art. We booked a private guide for just the two of us in Aqaba so we could make the most of our time visiting Petra and Wadi Rum. We had the thrill of being picked up by private yacht at the tender point in Thira and spent 5 hours cruising the caldera and enjoyed lunch overlooking Thirassia. After a silent disembarkation, our seamless transfer in Piraeus was handled by Seabourn with plenty of time to make our 1:30 flight to Newark via Zurich. We appreciated the attention to detail and concern for passenger comfort from the entire crew starting with Captain David Bathgate and his senior staff, cruise director Ross Roberts and assistant director Ashley Edwards, Guest Relations staff (who have the patience of saints) the hospitality team, stewardesses, seamen. The Captain was very friendly and visible, starting from when we first met him on a tender, to participating with trivia questions and judging the boat building contest. He was even present to wish us farewell on our last trip down the gangway, along with Ross, Ashley and the staff from Sushi. Ross is arguably the best cruise director we’ve had the pleasure to sail with and added much to making this a memorable journey. We really enjoyed our fellow passengers, the crew and not have to think about whether or not anything we wanted was “extra” as virtually everything is included in the fare. Hopefully there will be another Seabourn cruise in our near future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh ... Read More
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh milk daily rather than using sachets of milk. The Stateroom was very good with plenty on storage and where we were situated was very quite , no noise from anywhere and the sheltered balcony at first being a concern was in the end great, I would recommend . We had late seating in the Britannia restaurant . The food was excellent every evening and plentiful [ I cant understand when I see reviews saying the food is not good ,I'm sure people don't eat better at home !! ] also we had lunch some days in the Britannia and it was equally as good . The Kings Court was also very good with plenty of choice and variety . There was one very bad thing that I picked up on , the so called baked ham offered as a carvery was a vacuum packed ham that had been baked of not a baked gammon as one would expect from Cunard , I'm speaking as one that worked in the meat and food industry all my working life. All other areas for food such as the Carinthia Lounge and the Chefs Galley also very good . The Boardwalk Café a complete waste of space as was the whole area of the deck around the café with no shelter and at times the temp. was in the 40's where we were. Evening entertainment was very good on the whole ,as where most insight lectures and afternoon concerts . One thing that did concern was on the last two evenings on board we where told that the ships resident dance and vocal entertainers couldn't perform because the stage lift didn't work and couldn't be fixed---well the rumour was this wasn't the case and the dancers were under rehearsed and the second rumour was employment issues with the staff ???------I personally believe that there wasn't a problem with the stage ?? . Service I found throughout the ship was excellent although some staff could smile a little more especially security staff.----My main concern with the QM2 is the layout of the ship , one does compare and the layout seems odd when comparing with both the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth , the pool areas have no shade not many tables around and don't seem as part of the main ship--I hope that makes sense , I'm not a ship builder so maybe it's because the QM2 is a liner and not a cruise ship.---Still had a fantastic time , enjoyed every day. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the ... Read More
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the staff were amazing. We ate in most restuarants my favourite been the main dining room and Hot rocks which is up on the pool deck - gorgeous when you are in port to dine up here. The suite was gorgeous lots of space and very nice furnished with a great dressing room area for your clothes and shoes so it keeps your suite tidy. The butler and room attendant looked after us very well and kept our bar and toiletries stocked up. I would bring the butler home if I could. The beauty of Silversea after the lovely ships, staff and food is the size of the ships you sail right into the ports and some destinations you actually over night in which is lovely to do. However if you don't over night they seem to spend a lot longer in port than other cruise ships and the fact you sail right into the port with out getting on the tender boats is a big plus. We did some of the ships excursions which were excellent in Cochin we went on the River Boat and in the Maldives we did the beach visit to a resort - for such a wonderful destination we really needed more time. In Mumbai we took the private car trip with guide which we enjoyed as we could determine how long we were going to stop. Guests onboard are a mix so you find you are not dominated by any nation and a real nice European feel onboard the ship. Entertainment - there is a show each evening and the performs sing extremely well - we liked sitting in the bar and listening to the piano player or the Jazz bar was just excellent. Also enjoy going up to the DJ and sitting on the terrace listening to the music after dinner. Totally recommend for people who like the nicer things in life and enjoy real quality. Not much activities for children so you don't find children onboard really. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The cruise linked some new ports for us with some we wished to revisit. Also a brief Western Med cruise on Azamara had really impressed. Suite benefits also very attractive. With the one exception of the Azamazing Evening (which ... Read More
The cruise linked some new ports for us with some we wished to revisit. Also a brief Western Med cruise on Azamara had really impressed. Suite benefits also very attractive. With the one exception of the Azamazing Evening (which definitely was not!), the cruise exceeded expectations. The food in the specialty restaurants and the buffet is outstanding. Crew went out of way to be helpful. Suite kept immaculately and goodies just kept arriving. Would i recommend? Yes without a doubt. Azamara Journey is R6 in the former Renaissance fleet. An ideal size which with under 700 passengers can reach smaller ports. It also has a more intimate fell. The way the Captain and Cruise Director Eric worked together was a joy to behold and experience. The ports of call were very interesting and. Contrasted nicely. The Kuala Lumpur ships tour was particularly well organised. It more than made up for the disappointing Azamazing evening in Colombo where Taj Hotels put on some lovely Sri Lankan dancing interspersed with some dire westernised singers. At embarkation in Singapore we were embarrassingly held by Customs because we had some small Azamara bottles of sports. We were eventually allowed off without a fine if we paid USD 42. Duty. A trap for the unwary. Azamara could usefully warn passengers. A brilliant very memorable cruise with 2 small glitches which in no way detracted from a wonderful cruise. We aim to sail Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary to Southern India and Sri Lanka. The departure point was Dubai and we had never been there either. New ports were hard to ignore. Dubai and the UAE were special. The architecture, the ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary to Southern India and Sri Lanka. The departure point was Dubai and we had never been there either. New ports were hard to ignore. Dubai and the UAE were special. The architecture, the buildings, the people and the culture were fascinating. Surprised that the city was so clean. Booked three tours on Viator: Top 5 places to see, Falconry in the desert, and a day trip to Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque. Our stateroom was a Spa Suite which was beautiful. We had a huge washroom with separate sinks. There are many drawers for clothing storage and many closets. Definitely spacious. The drawback to these suites on the 9th deck is the smoking section nearby. “Spa suite” should be in a healthy area of the boat. We had to walk through thick smoke to enter our room. Not good placement for a suite. The entertainment was nice, the speakers were excellent. Bingo was disappointing in that few people showed up for the game. Cycling in Goa was a disappointment in that it was cancelled due to poor turnout. Dined in Prime steakhouse and the Italian Restaurant. Food selection was excellent. We did not care for the dining room atmosphere. Overall, great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We booked this cruise as it was planned to visit Madagascar which was cancelled due to a plague outbreak. Extra days in the Seychelles and a visit to Reunion were substituted. It was our first time on Crystal, although we have cruised with ... Read More
We booked this cruise as it was planned to visit Madagascar which was cancelled due to a plague outbreak. Extra days in the Seychelles and a visit to Reunion were substituted. It was our first time on Crystal, although we have cruised with all the major cruise lines and we were not disappointed. The recently refurbished Symphony is stunning especially the Palm Court which is situated on deck 11 at the frount if the ship, unfortunately this was always very quiet and sometimes lacked atmosphere in the evenings. The evening entertainment was varied and excellant, the Resident singers and dancers and orchestra were outstanding. The food was excellant in all dining areas and we especially liked Prego the Italian themed Restaurant, during our cruise we had 4 visits to the Speciality Restaurants. The staff thoughtout the cruise were very good to excellant a special thanks to Norman on the Lido deck so cheerful and efficient. Our stateroom was on deck 7 and although it seamed small at the outset, we soon settled in, the shower was the most powerful we have had on any cruise. The weather throughout the cruise was hot and sunny with the usual daytime activities e.g. trivia and a series of lecturers on board, just a personal view here but we would have liked a little more activity, just a personal opinion. Embarkation was a breeze on the ship within 15 minutes. Unfortunately the ship transfer to a local hotel and airport transfer at the end of the trip was very disorganised. We had been to all the other ports before and therefore arranged our own trips. We would definitely travel with Crystal again, it is like an excellant Boutique hotel at sea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
i had great expectations prior to my cruise on Crystal Symphony and was not in the least disappointed. The food was varied, well presented, interesting and simply delicious. I have seen some criticism of the Brazilian Restaurant. I simply ... Read More
i had great expectations prior to my cruise on Crystal Symphony and was not in the least disappointed. The food was varied, well presented, interesting and simply delicious. I have seen some criticism of the Brazilian Restaurant. I simply don't agree with that review, and found the food delicious and the staff very professional. There are plenty of choices for restaurants on board this ship and ones which meet all requirements, which is important when the passengers are so diverse in their origins and tastes. Buffets can be not to everyones taste but when of such a high quality and freshness cannot be considered below any reasonable persons standards by any means. The staff on board were a credit to Crystal Cruises and were a joy to meet. The entertainment was varied and of a very high standard to all tastes. Embarkation and Debarkation procedures were very professional and streamlined and the free WIFI, although slow at times, was a good addition to the overall services provided by such a wonderful Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was a sixteen day cruise that started in Dubai and ended in Singapore. We choose this cruise not for the itinerary but the experience of sailing on the Seabourne Encore. The ship exceeded our expectations it has a very well designed ... Read More
This was a sixteen day cruise that started in Dubai and ended in Singapore. We choose this cruise not for the itinerary but the experience of sailing on the Seabourne Encore. The ship exceeded our expectations it has a very well designed lay out and feels much bigger than it is. The crew was friendly, attentive and very professional. The restaurants (4) had varied menus and rank among the best we have had on any cruise. The entertainment was of high caliber and varied, also we had no trouble getting sitting for the shows. One design flaw is they have some structural supports that blocks some seats in the showroom. They had 4 different speakers that sailed on most of cruise and they gave really interesting talks on all the sea days. The ports in the middle east were interesting but not really worth going back to. The Indian ports on the other hand starting with Mumbai has lots history but it has bad air pollution and horrendous traffic which impacts touring. Mangalore is really an industrial seaport and has very little to offer. Cochin our last Indian stop is one of the best places in India for a visit lots of history and interesting things to see and buy. Colombo was very interesting and scenic and I would go back. Singapore I have been to before and is one of the worlds great cities, my daughter and family also live there so that was another reason we picked this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Our holiday started in Dubai, then we were at sea for three days. Our first port of call was Mumbai, we then cruised the coast of India and had an amazing time! In addition to India we visited the Maldives and Sri Lanka. We enjoyed it ... Read More
Our holiday started in Dubai, then we were at sea for three days. Our first port of call was Mumbai, we then cruised the coast of India and had an amazing time! In addition to India we visited the Maldives and Sri Lanka. We enjoyed it so much that we have just booked a similar trip but taking in the Seychelles as well. On our original trip we felt we didn't make the most of our shore excursions and are looking forward to remedying this in April and May. We couldn't fault the Azamara Journey, everything about it was first class! The ship is so clean. The Crew can't do enough to make you holiday memorable. There is so much to do on the ship I cant believe there isn't something for everyone. The food was delicious and plentiful! Lots of mouth watering healthy options too, I cant wait to climb aboard again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise so we could visit India Maldives and Sri Lanka. Going by Azamara was great as we love sailing with this company. Also we figured we would more likely become sick travelling by sea than on land. Mumbai was a great ... Read More
We chose this cruise so we could visit India Maldives and Sri Lanka. Going by Azamara was great as we love sailing with this company. Also we figured we would more likely become sick travelling by sea than on land. Mumbai was a great eye opener for what was to come in India did a ship excursion to the dalla-wallahs ,train ride then onto the laundry dhobi ghats. great place to watch 22 million people. Goa own arranged shore excursion not as busy and more beaches and relaxed. Coochin organised tour with fellow cruise critics excellent sailing on the Backwaters of Alappuzha. Great Azamazing evening with the ship. lots of different activities other than drinking and eating. Had our palms read, a sketch of our faces an hand tattoo which is just starting to fade now.(2 weeks later). Next stop Maldives - What a picturesque spot snorkelled off a back of a catamaran with another couple from cruise critic very in expensive $65 US each for 6 hours sailing and snorkelling with lunch included.Remember to keep on applying sunscreen. Will come back again Sri Lanka - What a wonderful place and private tour with 7 couples from Cruise Critic TUK TUK SAFARI- Is an excellent and well run company with happy and great drivers and tour guide. It was the little things like having cold water, beer, coconut juice (fresh) peanuts cold wash towels, taking us to get fresh mango juice and many more things. We will definitely visit this place again and do a night tour with TUK TUK SAFARI. Chennai was a nightmare to get off the ship but once we sat and waited an hour on the bus and got to our hotel it was easy to adapt to the mad crazy drivers. really enjoyed visiting Manmallapuram - very unique and wonder in stone. A must see. Azamara Journey is an easy to get around but although there is only 600 passengers we found that by the end of 2 weeks we had not seen some passengers until the last day. We love this size ship. Our services onboard was excellent and nothing was too much to ask for from the crew. This was the first trip with Azamara that they allowed Bridge tours and engine room tours which was an eye-opener. Cooking demonstrations was great, dinning in all restaurants were of high quality food and waiters always willing to please you although their gratuities have already been paid for before we get on-board they were just great always smiling. we did a lot of reading and when I had finished my book we visited the ships library and borrowed another 2 from there. the captain and senior officers are always mingling with the passengers and taking questions when needed. The only disappointments is the repeat of shows from previous cruises which we choice sometime to miss. Enjoyed the Indian Buffet on pool deck and always the white night. Brunch is also a pleaser in Discovery. We love the whole Azamara Experience and feel like family oncer onboard. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was the first time sailing on Azamara and we were very impressed. The cabins are very comfortable but the balcony was smaller than we expected as it was not big enough for a couple of sunbeds. Saying this the sunbeds on deck were ... Read More
This was the first time sailing on Azamara and we were very impressed. The cabins are very comfortable but the balcony was smaller than we expected as it was not big enough for a couple of sunbeds. Saying this the sunbeds on deck were very comfortable and there were plenty of them. The staff are absolutely fantastic and nothing is too much trouble. With drinks and gratuities included we found the price very reasonable. The food was very, very good and it was always served with a smile. French Onion Soup, Steaks, Lobster were some of our favourite meals. The entertainment was quite good and the entertainment team excelled with a great 'white evening' (the best party we have had onboard any ship and we have been on lots) and the azamazing evening was wonderful. We were disappointed the stop at Kuda Bandos was cancelled but trusted the excursion team when they suggested getting a boat to one of the islands. We decided to do this and were taken to what I can only describe as a building site, not really what you expect in the Maldives. I wish we had been given better advise as we would just have stayed onboard and saved our money. We feel as though the excursion team really let us down by not doing their homework properly. The cruise it self was around southern India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives and apart from the Maldives we were absolutely fascinated by all the different places we visited, the traditions, the people, the buildings, even the noisy, hairraising traffic were unforgettable experiences. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We decided to book this cruise rather late in the game as Regent kept sweetening the deal with OBC and business air. The itinerary was 21 days and took us from Dubai to Barcelona, including ports in Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, ... Read More
We decided to book this cruise rather late in the game as Regent kept sweetening the deal with OBC and business air. The itinerary was 21 days and took us from Dubai to Barcelona, including ports in Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy. I imagine that the unpredictability of the Middle East scared off many passengers but by the time we sailed, we had 680 hardy passengers on board. This was our 5th Regent cruise and, honestly, the best one to date. I frequently read negative CC reviews of Regent and I sometimes wonder if we are really sailing the same cruise line. I guess if you expect bowing and scraping and perfection, then this is not the cruise line for you! However, I doubt that any cruise line would meet those expectations. For the most part, our needs were met before they even crossed our minds. Cabin and cabin service was excellent. We had the most congenial team and whenever I would leave a note (most often for more champagne!), the requested item was there when we returned to our cabin. As described in most reviews, the cabins are spacious with a sleeping area, a lounge, a balcony, and a large bathroom and closet. The ship is going into dry dock later this year for a whole ship refurbishment. The cabins were in good shape but the décor could use refreshing, although it was nowhere near objectionable. Food was also very good, especially in Compass Rose and during the lunch BBQ’s. The chef offered daily specials that reflected the tastes of the region and they were universally excellent. He managed to source local fish and I chose these dishes for almost all my meals. In fact, during one Asian BBQ lunch, they had a huge vat of seafood Thai Green Curry – tiny clams, mussels, lobster, shrimp, fish…oh my, was that delicious. I went back for two servings and snagged the recipe from the sous-chef who was responsible for the dish. The entire staff was gracious with the Captain, General Manager, and Cruise Director frequently visible throughout the ship. The dining room staff was delightful and efficient and not only remembered our names but our preferences. The one negative in the 21 days we were on board was in the Signatures restaurant. I’m not sure if they were having a “moment” but the service was at a snail’s pace and quite disorganized. After 2+ hours and no dessert or waiter to serve it, we walked out. I think what made this cruise so special was that it was an “Artful Travelers” cruise. Artful Travelers is a program where PBS and NPR contributors travel with us and give lectures on their subjects. We had the privilege of sailing with the executive producer of a documentary series, a documentary filmmaker, a conservationist, and a lyricist. In addition to the lectures, meet & greets, and cocktail parties, you could also sign up to have dinner with these very smart and accomplished people who were also wonderful conversationalists. One final story to convince you just how special Regent makes its passengers feel. We had a long day in Israel traveling to Jerusalem. Most excursions, including ours, were 12+ hours. We arrived at the ship late, bedraggled, hot (Israel was having an unusual heat wave for that time of year) and bone tired. We were greeted with cold towels, a live band playing “We are Family”, and many of the staff forming two lines to greet us, clapping and cheering. We danced down the line, no longer tired at all, because we got a good dose of Regent love! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Dubai to Cape Town via India, the Indian Ocean and East Coast of Africa. We visited some exotic places which are all intersting in their own way but not many you would want to return to. Seychelles stands out as somewhere to go if you like ... Read More
Dubai to Cape Town via India, the Indian Ocean and East Coast of Africa. We visited some exotic places which are all intersting in their own way but not many you would want to return to. Seychelles stands out as somewhere to go if you like sun and beaches to laze on but as a cruiser I don't think we will go back. The best bit about cruising is the onboard experience, which is made up of all the elements of staff, food, drink, entertainment, activities, ship amenities. Regent scores on staff in all departments. The extra mile they go to is exceptiona. One example is visiting a sister ship in harbour to get a case of my favourite wine that had run out and when that had gone going ashore to find a close replacement. No prompting from me. Also coming to my suite to deliver a bottle as soon as it was on board. Amazing. The cruise director Ray Solaire is a very interesting man of many talents and sets the scene for the entertainment staff amply supported by Jenna and the dancers, who run all the games and fun during the day. I thought the inclusive tours were fine and very well organised. The production shows are great and some of the guest artists are fine but two violinists was a little too much. This area could be improved but it must be difficult to get acts to fly half way around the world to visit ships for a few days. Loved Rays puppet shows and singing. I think some guests expect too much, just appreciate the effort they all put in and enjoy it. Food - It's not 6 star by any means. The Compass Rose is adequate generally and good on the odd evening. Service is fine but it does not disguise the quality of the dishes. To maintain their 6 star rating Regent need to addrss this arrea urgently. Prime 7 and Signatures make a great speciality addition but are not consistant and vary from superb to average. The Verandah breakfast buffet is repetative but fine for lunch and great for the evening when it turns into a French or Italian. Probably the best food on the ship. Shame it's not served in a more formal environment. In all you get a great family feeling on the ship, which is down to the efforts of the crew from the Captain down. Loved the crew show. Definately recommend it if the itinary is right for you. However it is expensive and if Regent address the food issues it wolud be the perfect cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise and, having undertaken extensive research, booked RSS with the USP of Holy Land tours included. We travelled business class from LHR on Virgin, which was the worse business cabin we have ever experienced. Dubai ... Read More
This was our first cruise and, having undertaken extensive research, booked RSS with the USP of Holy Land tours included. We travelled business class from LHR on Virgin, which was the worse business cabin we have ever experienced. Dubai hotel, JW Marriott Marquis, was excellent. Embarkation was very well managed and lunch on the pool deck was a wonderful start to our trip. Our Butler Suite, thank you Joshua, was spotlessly clean, fantastic walk in closet with all the space you could wish for, champagne on ice to welcome us, mini-bar stocked with our personal choices, and nightly canapés delivered shortly after we had unpacked. Our Stewardess, Recel, and Steward, Michael, looked after us so well - it was almost magic, our suite was always serviced, twice a day, and we were never inconvenienced. The balcony had a lounger, two reclining chairs and a table. As we were in a stern suite we invariably enjoyed sunshine most of the day and enjoyed really good views of the ports. We were very close to the launderette, but not close enough to hear the noise generated by the very efficient machines. Food: pool lunches were varied and tasty; Compass Rose - good solid product; Prime 7 - steaks and sea food to die for; Signatures - highest quality food, presentation and service. Sette Mari - good quality but menu repetitive. La Veranda - breakfast was the weak point but still not bad. Drinks free flowing and good quality. Tours: all very well organised with friendly, military precision. Tour guides all well informed professionals with one exception in Cyprus, who was shockingly awful! Trips in Israel were really good and the highlight of the trip for us. Comfort: bed very comfy with good linen. Bathroom well supplied with top end toiletries and towels. Plenty of bathroom storage space. Very convenient all together. Well serviced by Recel and Michael, great ambassadors for RSS! Safety: this is taken very seriously from the lifeboat drill on day 1, the piracy drill because of our sailing itinerary, and the regular crew drills and updated safety information for passengers. Entertainment and Enrichment: all looked high end but we were not interested in participating. Good variety if this is for you. Overall organisation, especially disembarkation day when Voyager arrived 2.25 hours late due to a Force 9 gale. Staff quickly changed flights and re-scheduled D-bark times to accommodate revised arrangements so smoothly, very well done with no problems. We stayed on in Barcelona, making a great finale to our trip and using RSS business class return flights with BA. Special mention for Ray Solaire, Cruise Director, a real character, Daniel Green the Captain, and Roxana from Signatures who was the most delightful and helpful member of the crew, and that is high praise as all the crew were truly outstanding. We are looking to re-book with RSS before too long. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Our fourth Regent Cruise, third with Voyager. We have also cruised with Oceania (3). My first cruise review. If you haven't been with Regent before and are thinking about it - DO IT! Most reviews are fair, accurate and most ... Read More
Our fourth Regent Cruise, third with Voyager. We have also cruised with Oceania (3). My first cruise review. If you haven't been with Regent before and are thinking about it - DO IT! Most reviews are fair, accurate and most complimentary; but I have read some astonishingly poor reviews and wonder what some people expect and where they will go next so do have a pinch or two of salt when doing your research. Regent is luxury in all areas. I won't repeat the advertising you can see, rather give some humble opinions. Check in was quick and efficient, you are offered a glass of champagne which is a nice touch, but some will feel a small glass of bubbly is a waste of time. If boarding at lunch time, which is served until about 4pm that is a good place to start while you luggage is placed in your suite. We always enjoy that first Veranda buffet of the trip with a glass or two of good wine. Suite: The suite was soon available with a bottle of champagne on ice to help with the stress of unpacking and trying to get the odd clothes hanging space in the dressing room from the wife! As always everything was pristine in set up and cleanliness. The suite staff, when you see them, are cheerful and always on the go. They always kept the highest standards in the suite, tidying twice per day at our convenience. You have a fridge which is maintained with your choice of drinks, and water is freely available. Restaurants: All are good and offer a very wide variety. I am fussy for hot plates and was never disappointed. Staff will always try to cater for individual wishes if they can, e.g. portion sizes. For us the choice of included wines is impressive - Sancerre, Pouilly Fume, Macon Lugny, Italian Pinot Gritio, Cotes de Rhone, and good clarets come alongside the new world choices. They recommend wines with dinner, but you won't offend by asking for what you like. Again the waiters are great everywhere, working hard with a polite and happy demeanour. We enjoyed the special pool deck lunches (e.g. Indian and seafood). Bars: Just imagine walking into a top rate bar/pub to be served with exactly what you want from quick, efficient staff. The barmen are worth watching for cocktail making skills alone. We also like with good quality canapés served early evening ('cos it could be minutes since you last ate!!). Pool area: Again great staff who keep loungers, drinks and towels in good supply, but there can be problems with the usual "lounger reservers" who plonk stuff down the go off for hours when others want to sit in the sun (or more importantly the shade). Do complain to managers and they will act. The problem arises as there are too few loungers if many guests want to use the pool area. Entertainment: A variety of bands, singers, dancers, comedians, musicians, lecturers, cards, casino games, quizzes, deck games, and a library. You guessed it.... you can't do it all, and sad if you can't find something you like. Spa: Not used, but looked expensive to us poor folk! Gym: Not used but walking around the top deck (7 laps = 1 mile) is good fun either in port or at sea. Captain and crew: Captain Daniel was a pleasure through out and a worthy pool volleyball "mate" when he could get way from driving. His senior managers are most approachable to hear good or bad things, I think they really do want to know and have seen them act when necessary. All other crew are hard working and enhanced our lovely cruise experience. Itinerary: Dubai - to Cape Town through the beautiful Indian ocean, and in November/December. Yes it is a dream come true. Wealthy UAE states, chaotic India, Maldives and Seychelles, African wildlife and finish in the best city in the World. Sea days made a restful break from sightseeing. With Regent you can book trips included in the price which is helpful and reassuring. They gave a good variety so choose carefully. The standard of guide and transport did vary of course. Again destinations are down to your taste. We enjoyed: sand dune safaris in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah, dolphin cruise and Omani coast, the mayhem of Mumbai, beautiful Seychelles beaches, forest and monkeys of Zanzibar, lemurs of Madagascar, the hippos and crocs at St Lucia near Francis Bay, Durban safari at Tala and all of Cape Town. We did not care for Goa/Mangalore/Cochin despite loving India from previous holidays. The Maldives visit was very poorly managed. We have been to these beautiful islands many times. This did not do them justice. We arrived at 3pm (it gets dark at 6pm) and parked near Male (the scuffy and boring capital + no alcohol allowed). We left the following morning so no chance to do anything then. Regent could have arrived early morning giving a full day to for example: sea plane sightseeing, diving, snorkelling on beautiful reefs, visiting truly deserted coral islands, visiting truly five star resort islands. Smoking: As a non smoker It was good to see smoking areas so that people did not smoke in risky places. To be fair the smoking areas appear the most sociable with laughter often heard from the groups there. On occasions the smoking areas were too confined for the numbers. The cigar lounge also smelt too smoky from outside, better air con would help. Children: There were only two, very well behaved children who caused no issues to us. We do not want to be near noisy children and fear the worst now that "reduced" child prices have started to appear in brochures on some cruises. If you are like us do your research to avoid the pleasures of sharing the pool with other people's noisy little darlings. Will we go Regent again - Definitely Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I have now sailed on Seabourn 3x and can say this was my best experience. To put in context, I travel a lot for business and am fortunate to stay in many of the finer hotels in the world. In addition, I have cruised on Regent, not to be ... Read More
I have now sailed on Seabourn 3x and can say this was my best experience. To put in context, I travel a lot for business and am fortunate to stay in many of the finer hotels in the world. In addition, I have cruised on Regent, not to be repeated under any circumstance. We choose Seabourn because we like the quiet and relaxed atmosphere, the no hassle room service and great food. This cruise was really lovely; in addition to the superb chef (Kurt) on board, great speaker (Rob Warren) and the always charming John Howell - cruise director - we met some really interesting fellow travelers. I see the usual carping by people that has become to prevalent on websites, but overall I think Seabourn does a lovely job. I have never found the waiters to be rude, although I have seen more than a few rude and vulgar guests showing off. Food - overall the quality is high, even when challenged to get good fruits in places like Dubai they make an effort. Theme meals are for the most part excellent. The seafood and meats are first rate and the caviar is delicious Wine- the French house champagne is great, the complimentary wines very good. Liquor - great selection, good bartenders mixing at all hours of the day. Cabins - nice a spacious with very good bathrooms - plus our cabin steward was very nice. We've only ever sailed on the Odyssey do don't know how the other ships will be, but we can say this was a good experience and we will sail with Seabourn again, Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We have just returned from our first Seabourn cruise and can only say we had a wonderful experience. Staff were absolutely wonderful if not outstanding. Cabins well fitted out and very comfortable. Dining options were very good,with a ... Read More
We have just returned from our first Seabourn cruise and can only say we had a wonderful experience. Staff were absolutely wonderful if not outstanding. Cabins well fitted out and very comfortable. Dining options were very good,with a high standard of ingredients and presentation and considering how long we were on board food never became boring, Restaurant 2, the tasting menu was totally revolutionary. Entertainment was excellent, with cruise director John assisted by Jay working their socks off. The evening entertainment in the theatre was very good, with the onboard singers and band, helped along with a number of others brought on. Seabourn square with its coffee shop, was a wonderful place to rendezvous fellow passengers, for coffee, cake or ice cream, as well as a takeaway coffee if required. I have only 2 criticisms: New sunbeds beside the pool were just as uncomfortable as the previous which were replaced. We could have spent longer in some ports.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was our second Regent cruise, and the first on Voyager. We selected a standard balcony suite on deck seven. No need for a butler on Regent, as the housekeeping and room service staff take care of everything, except perhaps that ... Read More
This was our second Regent cruise, and the first on Voyager. We selected a standard balcony suite on deck seven. No need for a butler on Regent, as the housekeeping and room service staff take care of everything, except perhaps that extra night in the speciality restaurant, that you want, but don't want to do it for yourself. The cruise from start to finish was well done. We arrived a day early and were picked up at the Dubai airport, and taken to the pre-cruise hotel, which was the very nice Intercontinental Festival Island. A nice city tour was provided, and the next day we boarded the ship. At the end, we stayed over in Athens for a day due to flight capacity issues, and it was a nice bonus. Regent took care of us the whole time, and then delivered us to the Athens airport for the trip home. This cruise line is all inclusive start to finish, and there is always someone from Regent there. We visited 10 ports in 17 days, and some of the excursions lasted up to 13 hours. Excursions ranged from good to excellent, and there were additional charges for some of the really long ones. In some of the ports we visited there wasn't much to see, so excursions were just narrated drive throughs that took only four hours. If it was there to be seen, you saw it. This was particularly true of Muscat, Oman. I would have rather that we drove around in circles at sea, but after all it was the capital of Oman. Food was uniformly good regardless of venue. Compass Rose, the main dining room was as good as either of the speciality restaurants, with an excellent, and varied selection of dishes. Safety of the passengers, was clearly a high priority, as we would be spending time in pirate seas. The crew drilled every two to three days on all aspects of vessel, and passenger safety, and we had a group of about six special security staff, who I think were South African, who were quitely going about their business. A last word about the suite that we really liked was that it had both a shower, and a separate bath, a feature which her sister Mariner does not have. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We booked 3 back-to-back cruises from Dubai to Capetown, and, in spite of concern that it would be too long a time on the ship, it was just the opposite. We easily settled into a routine and the days flew by. TheVista is the smallest of ... Read More
We booked 3 back-to-back cruises from Dubai to Capetown, and, in spite of concern that it would be too long a time on the ship, it was just the opposite. We easily settled into a routine and the days flew by. TheVista is the smallest of the accommodations, it was roomy enough and we never felt cramped. While we didn't have a veranda, there was always deck space available on decks 8 and 9. The first cruise was designated an "Ecole du Chef" with Chef David Bilsland. This provided a focus with cooking demonstrations, market visits, a special luncheon and a knife skills class. The demonstrations were very well done and we came home with some wonderful recipes. Food throughout the cruise was consistently excellent with Chef Ramon very visible and accessible and very amenable to preparing special requests. While most of our meals were in the Restaurant, we also dined in La Terrazza and on deck with Hot Rocks, all of which were enjoyable. We were impressed with the quality of the complimentary wines which have improved markedly in recent years. We enjoyed the new entertainment concept and saw each of the shows 3 times without getting tired of them. Each cruise, the shows seemed to get better as the entertainers had more experience with being on the ship and with each other. The ship was beautifully decorated for the holidays and the chefs outdid themselves with menus for Christmas and New Years. Our only complaint, which was also expected, was the children onboard for the Xmas cruise, who were not always well-behaved. The ports were interesting and not places that would otherwise be easy to get to. We chose to do the combined cruises because of the time in the Seychelles which we appreciated. One comment to the previous post regarding this cruise: the drapes were drawn as a safety precaution as we traveled through some areas frequented by pirates. The captain and crew took security very seriously as was explained at the beginning of each cruise, and that is why there were limits on veranda use and lighting after dark. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and we were actually sorry to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
What a cruise of excitement, disappointment and finally enjoyment.This was our second cruise with Seabourn, after the wonderful Odyssey Aegean and Dalmatian Delights we first cruised on in 2009, which I previously posted a review on. As ... Read More
What a cruise of excitement, disappointment and finally enjoyment.This was our second cruise with Seabourn, after the wonderful Odyssey Aegean and Dalmatian Delights we first cruised on in 2009, which I previously posted a review on. As many have stated, the hardest decision to make, is to decide to go on your first cruise, the easiest decision is to book your second.Our second cruise was on the newly released Sojourn, World Cruise segment 5 from Dubai to Rome starting on 26th March 2011 where destinations included Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Israel, Greece and Italy. Of particular interest to us, were the "bucket list" locations of Luxor, the Pyramids and Petra.Accordingly, our excitement when we first booked this cruise. As we steadily approached our departure date, our excitement turned to concern when the Egyptian crisis started, wondering if we would still be going. After continually being told by Seabourn that the cruise was going to continue unaltered, our excitement continued until 13 days before departure, where Seabourn altered the itinerary on their web page.Disappointment set upon us with the cruise, without prior warning or notice being provided to our travel agent or us directly, the key ports of Safaga (Luxor), Sharm el Sheik and Alexandria (Cairo) were cancelled. What disappointment and frustration we experienced, with the timing advice and response to our enquires and emails from Seabourn. Very disappointing indeed which is evidenced within a series of posts with the Seabourn forum posts within Cruisecritic.So with this in mind, we commenced our transit onto our cruise.I wondered, how would the Sojourn and its crew perform, given our wonderful experience on the Odyssey. What has changed and was it for the better ?As soon as we arrived at the Dubai port we were welcome by the crew again in a manner, that gave you the feeling that they have known you for some time. A glass of refreshing juice in a champagne glass is handed to you whilst you check in which was again quick, professional and painless.We quickly arrived in our suite, this time a V6 suite number 827 on the eighth level. As I travelled through the ship to our suite, it felt like coming home, as the Sojourn was exactly like the Odyssey in build configuration. God, it felt good to be back on board.The features of the suite were exactly the same as the Odyssey. Every need is provided, from the opening of a bottle of champagne when you first arrive to the soap in the bathroom. After a quick embrace of happiness we ventured out to look around.We quickly noticed that this ship was a far better build quality than the Odyssey, (Again my engineering background is coming through here). The ship was far more polished and complete, no doubt due to the fact that this ship was ahead of construction program. No bubbling of internal wall panels, no visible rust spots and replacement of those silly automatic opening doors on level 8 with a traditional turn of the lever and pull the door open and shut. We also sensed the harmony amongst the crew, well organized, efficient, balanced, friendly and happy. They displayed far more familiarity with the ship, its needs and daily operations. It was clear, the lessons of the Odyssey were noted and enacted upon on the Sojourn.The ship may have a value of $ 350 Million, but it is nothing in comparison to its wonderful crew lead by their hotel manager Vitor. The crew is young, enthusiast and truly wonderful team of individual personnel.At times, the crew endured clients that well, are simply rude and difficult to deal with. We witnessed an occasion in the Restaurant when a client split a container of milk all over the place. Immediately, 3 crew members went onto their knees and quickly cleaned up the spillage without hesitation. This particular client amazingly ignored them, did not offer assistance, even attempt to move out of their way or apologize in anyway. We couldn't believe the arrogance of this person and found it so sad that the crew have to serve clients of this nature. There was also another occasion, when my wife overheard a fellow cruiser over breakfast on our last cruise day, when a member of the crew expressed sadness over that person leaving and he replied, "what do you care, there will be another traveller after I leave". Professionally, the crew member simply smiled and wished him well in the future. I personally would have told him to "go and jump".Whilst these occasions are few and far in between, we offer them as examples of how temperament this crew is and how they have been trained to serve. They genuinely do care and openly display affection to our needs and health. If you happen to be suffering in health, they caringly ask if there is something they can do, arrange for the doctor, etc. There is no doubt they we viewed them as an extension of our family whilst on the cruise and were quiet saddened to leave them, but look forward to returning to embrace them again in the future.As per the Odyssey, there are 4 Restaurants on the ship starting with "The Restaurant" with a "al carte" rotating menu choice. This restaurant requires no booking and at no time, were we not able to be seated. Food was equally as refined and excellent on every single occasion.Restaurant 2 remains with a menu set with a variety of degustation with 24 hour booking notice. On this occasion I found the eating experience just a little too rich for my liking. The restaurant wasn't as full as it was on the Odyssey and I wondered whether Seabourn were best served, to possibly alter the theme of this restaurant to something that cruisers would be accustomed to, such as a specialized seafood or a steak restaurant.The Colonnade has altered its previous need to book, which was very pleasing given the last frustrations we experienced on the Odyssey. This restaurant also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of the three, it remains as the most casual restaurant and has a menu with two choices per course plus a traditional classic choice menu.Finally the Patio Grill, is a restaurant in the open air adjacent to the swimming pool on deck 8. Again, Seabourn altered the previous booking requirement for this restaurant during dinner times. A good change indeed which I frequented on numerous occasions.Overall whilst the food was of high quality, I felt it was slightly below the standard we experienced on the Odyssey. I put this down to the fact, that as we travelled through the Middle East in lieu of the Mediterranean, where the food availability in terms of freshness and quality was probably not as good.Unlike the Odyssey which was a new and larger ship at the time, the crew during meal times was calm and well organized. No running, dropping of plates and mistaken orders. The efficiency teething problems I experienced on the Odyssey, were well and truly ironed out.Being a wine buff, I regretfully found the wines to be below par to what I was used to. Some familiar Australian wines were offered which frankly, were not of a standard in keeping with the ships standing. On this occasion, we once with other guests, decided to resort to the "exclusive" and additional wine choices available. This was a little disappointing and I hope this will be considered by Seabourn into the future.During the day, there were lots of activities within the ship to keep guests entertained, which was beneficial, given that we had a lot of days at sea. I was told by many die hard bridge players that the bridge masters were simply fantastic, with all guests rushing in for their daily bridge games. Quiet amusing actually, seeing everyone rushing their breakfast, to venture to the card room. The only complaint I heard was that the air conditioning in the room was too cold. Night entertainment at the Club on Deck 5, the Lounge on Deck 6 and the Observation Bar of Deck 10 with piano music was excellent. The highlight of the cruise was when we had an Arabian night pool party night. The pool area was transformed with props, decorations, Pyramids, camels, etc. All guests become part of the party dressing up in Arabian outfits. Even Captain Karlo suitably donned an Arabian Head piece. It truly was a magnificent night with all guests reflecting on it over the next 2 to 3 days.Then after slowly removing our initial disappointment of our altered itinerary, it was announced that we would in fact, be returning back to our original itinerary due to a change in the US issued travel alert (mind you, Britain and Australia had altered it sometime before them). Egypt, here we come !. What a joyous occasion for all on the ship when Captain Karlo announced this over the ship's speaker system. At an instant, the cruise feeling went from very good to excellent. Smiles all round. We couldn't help but feel some regret for the passengers of Spirit, many of which we communicated with before departure, which was doing a similar leg, ahead of us by some 4 to 5 days. We haven't spoken to anyone from the Spirit, since returning, but we believe the change in travel alert was too late for them to alter their itinerary back.We did however have an experience where the Sojourn and the Spirit crossed paths in the ocean and circled each other like romancing doves. What an experience it was to see each other, cruisers waving away and happily snapping photos of each other. On this cruise, we noted the higher presence of the Captain and his crew. We frequently saw them in the gym, sitting next to us during dinner or simply undertaking periodical walk through and wishing everyone well. Whilst always serious and level headed, the captain too was a highlight with his slow, deep voice over the speaker system. I wouldn't have anyone else at the wheel through the dangerous waters of the Middle East than Captain Karlo.The Cruise Director Jan, was also far more enjoyable and energetic to the cruise director we had on the Odyssey. How she maintained that level of energy, after a long world cruise was a credit to her indeed.Of the wonderful services we experienced, what negatives were there ?.One thing that did frustrate me and other cruisers was the speed of the internet, it was slow as a snail. Surely they could do something to speed this up, which was quickly chewing away the time allotted to internet packages we purchased. The other was the choice of channels on the TV, for 20 days we viewed no sports channel and frankly, I had enough of the CNN, Fox news and BBC view of what was happening in the world. I would have killed for a sports channel to provide something other than the depressing news of Libya, The American economy and the Ivory Coast crisis. We're on holidays !, please show us a few games of golf, football and baseball. We hope next time we are on a cruise, ESPN or foxsports is also on the TV and the internet bandwidth is dramatically increased. We noted within some cruisecritic posts the issue of discoloured water. I actually ventured down to the laundry on level 5 and noted its compact, yet sufficient service. We encountered similar problems with some stains being left on white clothing due to the water discoloration. Some cruisers had then chosen to use the in house laundry. We decided to try it again and the stains went away. Finally, we cannot hide our disappointment with the office personnel of Seabourn. We find it so hard to comprehend the vast difference between them and the wonderful team on board the ships. If the office personnel could be 50 % as attentive, caring and compassionate to the ship's crew, well simply, this would be an absolutely perfect cruise line.Would these issues stop me from returning to Seabourn ? Of course not. We have become part of the loyal team that exists within the Seabourn family after only two cruises. Would we be courageous enough to try other cruise lines like Silverseas, Regent or Celebrity cruisers ? Possibly,,,, but not now, as we have placed another on board discount deposit for our next cruise.As I recover from my jetlag, I have tried to reflect on what my thoughts are on this ship and its crew during a totally different cruise destination to that previously I enjoyed, being the Mediterranean. I cannot overstate the wonderful crew, we both love them and look forward to seeing them again and very soon we hope.Yes it was a roller coaster of emotion from booking to actually travelling. I can however happily report, that at the end of the day, we were not disappointed. We ticked off our "bucket list" items, enjoyed the ship, it's crew and again gained another 5 kilos of weight !. The ship has improved in numerous areas, with a slight and I mean slight, decrease in wine quality and food freshness. If they can attend to this and have some improvement in the internet service, well why would choose any other cruise line ?.My wife of now 27 years now believes she has two yachts. That is of course, until we venture onto the Quest, where I imagine it will expand to three. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011

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