50 Seabourn Ovation Cruise Reviews

Not having cruised to the extent of some others, we have previously sailed with Silverseas and Oceania and so do have something to compare with. Firstly, the good: Embarking in Hong Kong it was really nice to have our luggage ... Read More
Not having cruised to the extent of some others, we have previously sailed with Silverseas and Oceania and so do have something to compare with. Firstly, the good: Embarking in Hong Kong it was really nice to have our luggage already in our cabin by the time we got there, which was less than 15 minutes from kerbside drop-off! The cabin was very spacious ( V5 grade ) with the benefit of a walk-in wardrobe and large bathroom with full-size bath and powerful shower, although with all the other storage facilities the cabinet at the foot of the bed was unnecessary and did restrict movement somewhat. The ship itself was excellent and extremely quiet. Other points...Good laundry room, very good entertainment, efficient air conditioning, comfortable bed. Now, the not so good: Seabourn never made contact beforehand to advise of a change to the itinerary with the stop in Boracay being cancelled. First impressions were that the cabin had not been adequately cleaned. There was dust apparent on the glass and work surfaces, a champagne glass had to be replaced as did a chipped soap dish. No offer of canapes, although that is mentioned in their brochure. Service was a tale of two halves. In the first week there were too many instances of almost being ignored with different crew members appearing to be non-smiling and pretty grumpy. Once, after waiting 15 minutes for a drink to materialise, the barman said "I am doing it' and abruptly turned his back. Another time, after being served a fruit juice instead of a fruit smoothie, the waitress shrugged and took the drink back without a word being spoken....needless to say a smoothie never did arrive. On other occasions we were basically ignored and twice when I stopped a passing waiter I was told someone else would serve us as we were not at one of their tables, and they then walked away. Now for whatever reason, and in all fairness, it has to be said that the service in the 2nd week was a marked improvement. People seemed happier and we encountered no issues. Carrying on: We had pre-booked once for The Keller Grill. Onboard we asked if we could have a second booking and were told we would be put on a waiting list and advised if something became available. Nothing was heard and on our last day of sailing we attended our booking and as an aside spoke to the Maitre D' who was adamant that we should have been offered 4 bookings ( 1 for each week ), and not withstanding that he had had tables available on most other days. So why didn't Guest Services get back to us?? General points....disappointing selection of desserts, especially at lunchtime when the majority of items offered in The Colonnade and Patio were cakes or cookies. Very poor selection of cheese available. The irons in the laundry room had basically given up on producing any steam. The treatments in the Spa were very expensive as were, to a lesser extent, the excursions. Wifi really should be included within the price. Finally, because of the coronavirus much of the itinerary was abandoned for reasons I fully understand.Eventually a full refund was announced, to be taken against a future cruise. However, what was lacking was the fact that only $250 per person was given towards the cost of the new flights necessary when the disembarkation point was changed from Hong Kong to Singapore. That in no way covered the additional expense other than as being a token. Overall and in comparison.....Oceania: Better food and better value. Silverseas : More personalised and better service. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are avid cruisers (7 lines) and this is our 4th with Seabourn. This was suppose to be our 'celebratory' 40th wedding anniversary dream vacation! The corona virus situation was a fast paced, evolving situation which we ... Read More
We are avid cruisers (7 lines) and this is our 4th with Seabourn. This was suppose to be our 'celebratory' 40th wedding anniversary dream vacation! The corona virus situation was a fast paced, evolving situation which we were acutely aware of. We landed in Hong Kong, our start point on Jan 31/20. The WHO had declared the Corona Virus a "global health emergency" the day before. Seabourn had 48 hrs to advise their "valued guests" as apparently their "top priority is safety" and give us the OPTION to either cancel or rebook. Instead, they ignored our emails and on embarkment, we were told that if we didn't get on the ship (docked next to the 'Westerdam' in HK), we would be forfeiting our $40,000 vacation. Ultimately, once we set sail, we ended up being denied entry into 4 out of the 6 countries in the 'red zone' we had paid and booked to see and only saw 2 of the 13 ports of call on our original itinerary. At the 11th hour, only after most passengers had voluntarily opted to get off early in Singapore, Seabourn outright cancelled the 2nd segmont of our cruise. This was a blatant, underhanded way to mitigate their losses and be compelled to cash refund those passengers. Very bad optics!!!! Seabourn's response . . . they were following CDC guidelines. Not other cruise lines!!! Throughout our 'relaxing' ocean voyage with mystery ports, we got a total of 4 'revised' itineraries. All the while, we were anxiously watching the "Diamond Princess" sage unfold realizing full well that this could be us!! To compound the crisis, after multiple meetings on board with senior managers/captain and a sea-to-shore call to corporate office in Seattle on Feb 14, Seabourn's "goodwill gesture" was to offer us a "future cruise credit". Not at all satisfactory!! The measure of any good company is how a crisis is handled. Not 'IF' but 'WHEN' problems arise . . . deal with them. The Covid-19 was not Seabourn's doing . . . but the mishandling definitely is!!! Strong leadership with a solid moral compass was not demonstrated. Lack of PROMPT and FAIR communication!! Very much resent putting our health at risk (have had pneumonia X2) plus avoidable, unnecessary STRESS!! And then to be offered a return air on CHINA AIRLINES back to Vancouver . . . really?!?!?! Very, very unhappy!! Seabourn rolled the dice and is hoping that the mostly senior, European passengers are complacent!! Not this one!! Certainly not what one would expect from a 6 star ultra-luxury cruise line!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised quite a bit with a number of cruise lines and enjoyed most of them. Seabourn had been on our wish list as we had heard good things. We enjoy Asia, have good friends in Singapore, and the cruise offered a good blend of ports ... Read More
We have cruised quite a bit with a number of cruise lines and enjoyed most of them. Seabourn had been on our wish list as we had heard good things. We enjoy Asia, have good friends in Singapore, and the cruise offered a good blend of ports and sea day. From arriving at the pier to departing the ship the service we received was outstanding in every way. There is no shortage of staff who are attentive, friendly and get to know you very quickly. Suite 652 was spacious, had a nice tv/sitting area, table and chairs, bar, walk-in robe and marble bathroom. The ship itself is well laid out, elegant and easy to get around. The ship had a great feel, nowhere ever felt crowded, and it was never a hassle getting on or off. We had a couple of spells of rciky seas but the ship seemed to handle it well. Was nice to be on a ship where there was some life after the show and people took the opportunity to dance.The entertainment was very good and for a relatively small ship was right up there with the best. The use of large LCD screens allowed some spectacular backdrops to the shows. We like to enjoy the ships we sail on as a destination in themselves. The ship is only two years old and beautifyully presented. Plenty of areas to relax and enjoy during the day, and nice venues for a drink before dinner. There were always sun lounges available, but somtimes a bit hard to fine some shade from the sun. Sun lotion is provided at the pool. All the restaurants are included incluing Sushi, Thomas Keller, the Collonade and of the course the main restuarant, which is beautiful and provides a great selection every night. The food was top class wherever we ate, including the pool grill, which is turned into an outside dinner venue in the evening with surpringly good food. Keep your eye out for particular themed menus at the various venues and don't miss the galley lunch, it is spectacular, or the Chef's interpretation dinner in the main restaurant. Caviar is available 24/7. Should you vist Ko Kood the champagen and caviar beach bbq is also a winner. There is also a good range of included wines and champagne. Value for money is a subjective assessment and will vary depending on expectation. Seabourn are more expensive than most but I believe we got what we paid for in every way. Was a geat experience. We have already paid our future cruise deposite and will definately enjoy Seabourn and the great poeple on-board in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We belong to the Frank Family Wine group, which chose a cruise on the Ovation in January 2020. Overall, the cruise was very good. The personnel are very friendly and, for the most part, efficient. Our statement was spacious, though a ... Read More
We belong to the Frank Family Wine group, which chose a cruise on the Ovation in January 2020. Overall, the cruise was very good. The personnel are very friendly and, for the most part, efficient. Our statement was spacious, though a little narrow. Our room steward, who was very friendly and who tried to please, at times missed some basics. For example, once she forgot to leave us any bath towels and forgot to empty a waste basket. Others whose suites she serviced had similar issues. We had to leave her notes to remind her to do things. She did make a special efforts to get us the soda we liked, however. The fitness center is part of the spa. The gym was small but adequate. The Retreat is a wonderful place -- in good weather. It has a hot tub, individual cabanas with TV's and refrigerators. The attendants provided wonderful service and offered cocktails and other drinks, food and blankets. Unfortunately, our day at The Retreat had the worst weather of the cruise. There are no heaters at The Retreat, and we had to bundle up. At 4 PM, we were the only couple left there. In good weather, it would be a great experience. The food at the buffet was good. In fact, the Caesar salad at lunch there was better than the Caesar salad in the dining room, which actually bore no resemblance whatsoever to a Caesar salad. Another issue with the food in the dining room, aka "The Restaurant" is that two of my wife's entrees/mains were raw in the middle. That should not happen anywhere, much less on a luxury cruise liner. The service was wonderful, and most of the crew were friendly. (Some of the room stewards on other decks did not look like happy campers, though.) The ship is modern, having launched a few years ago. There was a lot of closet space in our suite 712. At times the TV had issues connecting, though. The bathroom had a separate bath tub and a shower as well a double vanity. The string used to dry clothes over the bathtub would not retract, however. The entertainment was quite good, a cut above the standard entertainment on some other cruise lines. Also, there were informative lectures which enhanced the cruise. The shore excursions for the most part were good. The one glaring exception was the stop in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, with a trip to Ream National Park, where the literature stated that there were 155 different species of birds. I signed up for the excursion solely because of that enticement. There may have been a million species of birds in the forest, but we did not go into the forest. I saw 3 or 4 different types of birds along the river en route to the park, and that was it. At least one species, an egret, also lives in California where we live. Thus, the excursion was both misleading and disappointing from my perspective. The best part of the tour was visiting a little school with a tin roof and one wall. The kids were amazing. Also, the lunch at a hotel where Jackie Onassis stayed was also good, but it did not make up for the disappointment of the rest of the tour. Those who took tours of Sihanoukville were also disappointed. While there is a long of construction, there are also dozens, if not hundreds, of abandoned, partially constructed buildings in the city. Also, the roads in the city are dirt, resulting in a bouncy ride around town. One group hired a private van for 8 hours; they returned to the ship after 4 1/2 hours, however. So caveat emptor for those considering shore excursions in Cambodia. The highlight of Bangkok, Thailand was the Royal Palace, though the throngs of tourists crushing through some narrow gates or doors made it difficult to get around the Palace grounds at times. The pollution in the city was terrible, however. I coughed the rest of the cruise because of all the particulates I inhaled in Bangkok. The bus trip took a long time both going and coming (welcome to commute traffic). The buffet lunch was quite good at an elegant hotel. Watch out for the red curry unless you like really hot dishes, though. The beach day at Ko Kood was absolutely wonderful. The crew worked really hard to set up everything. The beach was great, the water warm (though shallow), and the food and drinks were excellent. Seabourn did the "caviar in the surf" routine; go early if you want caviar. Even my wife, who doesn't like caviar, liked Seabourn's caviar offering. Singapore is an incredible city and the high point of our trip. We did our own excursions there, however. If you go, definitely go to Gardens by the Bay, including the Cloud Forest and the Supertrees Grove. Also, having dinner at Ce La Vi on top of Tower 3 of the Marina Sands Hotel is quite an experience -- and quite an expense. (If you saw the movie "Crazy Rich Asians", you saw some of those things from a distance.) Vietnam was interesting because of the history of the war. Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigaon, was steeped in history and is fairly modern. Da Nang's China Beach was beautiful; Hoi An, a nearby city is culturally interesting. Halong Bay, with its hundreds of islands, pillars of limestone rising from the sea, is visually stunning. The ship's excursion there was good, but you may wish to pass on the kayaking if you have breathing problems. (The floating fishing village was interesting, but fecal matter in the water was not.) We disembarked in Hong Kong and enjoyed our tour of the city. (Lunch was not included.) Embarkation and disembarkation were easy. The coronavirus scare was in effect when we disembarked, and there was some incorrect information about how disembarkation would be handled. Outside of that, things went smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Just got off the Seabourn Ovation, it is a beautifully designed ship which was the perfect base for discovering Malta and the Greek Islands. Our first cruise on Seabourn, although we’ve traveled on Silversea, in Queens Grill on Cunard ... Read More
Just got off the Seabourn Ovation, it is a beautifully designed ship which was the perfect base for discovering Malta and the Greek Islands. Our first cruise on Seabourn, although we’ve traveled on Silversea, in Queens Grill on Cunard and various suites on other premium and luxury cruise lines (over 20 cruises to date). I was slightly concerned that we might be a little “young” for Seabourn as we are very active travelers In our 50s, but did not find this to be the case at all- we met many people of all ages, and found the other passengers to be very engaged and friendly. The ship strikes a nice balance to being small enough that we got to know many of the other passengers, but big enough that we had everything we needed, and enough variation of cuisine, public spaces and entertainment to be happy. Loved the dark woods and overall design of the ship. Below I include our impressions of our first Seabourn cruise and the Ovation. The Good/great: 1. Wonderful cabin design, not a space was wasted- great closet (50+ hangers!) and bathroom, liked the makeup table and the curtains between the sitting and sleeping areas offered complete privacy- the table and chairs were perfect for breakfast for 2 or for my husband to spread out while working. Lots of storage. We have booked a 18 day cruise on the Encore, and I am not at all concerned about the size of the room for a much longer cruise. 2. The Range of dining venues was very nice. The food at The Restaurant was wonderful, great space and felt intimate even though it is the largest restaurant on the ship. Earth and Ocean had great service and very pleased with the food, we enjoyed the Sushi restaurant which may have had the best service on the ship and the casual dining option at night in the Colonnade was a very pleasant surprise (we went there for Chinese night). It was great to not have heavy dining every night, and we appreciated the range of choices. Dinner at Thomas Keller was a mixed experience- my Dover Sole was fantastic, whereas my husband and our friends steaks were not as good as they got elsewhere on the ship. 3. Shore Excursions- We usually organize private shore excursions while in Port, but decided to go on the ones offered by Seabourn. The pricing was much lower then I have seen on other ships, and they appeared to cap the size of the excursion, such that we never had more then 16-18 in a group, which made a tremendous difference. The guides were very knowledgeable, there were no annoying “shopping” stops. One of our excursions, a Greek cooking class, was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip. 4. Outdoor and indoor space use is extremely well thought out- We had beautiful weather on our sea day, but there were plenty of chairs for sunning or if you wished to be in the shade. Seabourn square was busy and lively (loved that they incorporated the library in this space), but you could almost always find a chair or couch. The bar areas were comfortable, loved Thomas Keller’s bar as well as the observation bar and both had live music in the evenings. 5. Entertainment- I am surprised to be writing this, but every show and entertainer we saw was quite good, as well as Katy who played the piano and sang in the Thomas Keller bar who was really wonderful. Did not expect this at all, but they appear to be putting effort into their evening programs and it shows. 6. Tenders ran quite often, we never had to wait long for one and made the whole process as easy as it could be. Made what is usually an often frustrating part of the cruise easy and painless. 7. “House” Wines and “House” Spirits, I was traveling with some folks very particular about wine and expected that we’d be buying bottles, as they wouldn’t be happy with the choices offered. In general the wines were quite good, they offered a new selection every night as well as some regularly available options which were good. We only bought a few bottles and generally found the quality of the spirits at the bar comparable to what we were used to at home. 8. Future cruise booking- we found Vincent to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable when it came to booking another cruise. He was informative and had some very helpful insight in deciding on what kind of cabin to choose. He seemed to be quite busy but always had time to explain things and understood the cruises and ships well. Information was passed through to our travel agent flawlessly for our next trip! 9. Exercise room- Very well equipped, took a class which was quite good- lots of different classes offered that would appeal to many on board. Was busy but never crowded, I went almost daily and was very happy with the facilities. Open from 6-10, kind of would have been nice to be open a bit earlier (5 maybe?) Could use a little improvement. 1. Our room Stewardess was extremely new (2 weeks on Seabourn) and although she couldn’t be nicer, she didn’t seem to completely have it figured out. The cabin was tidy, but she frequently wouldn’t do things we asked for and I think could have benefited from more training- I honestly don’t think she really understood. The traditional model where there is a room steward and an assistant probably is a better one, as the assistants thoroughly learn their job before doing it on their own. We have had butlers on most of the cruises we’ve been on the last few years, which adds another layer of care- I’m not sure it’s always necessary but on a cruise like this excellent room stewards would be an expectation. 2. Remembering people’s birthdays/anniversary- A small thing, but a number of people we ran into were celebrating special events. Seabourn had asked before hand if you were celebrating anything so the information had been passed along- but they seemed to have lost this information. I heard this from a few people, so I think they need a better system to track this information and pass it on to at least the room stewards to do something special (and possibly the restaurants as well, they do ask for your cabin number when you walk in). 3. Laundry room- Could get quite busy on the first and last days onboard. They either need a second (or 3rd) laundry room or could offer having free laundry (or greatly reduced cost) on these days. I think this would be greatly appreciated, kind of annoying to have to walk down 4 decks with laundry to find the washers full. All in all a fabulous cruise, in many ways far exceeded our expectations- look forward to cruising on Seabourn again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our first voyage on the Ovation, in the past we had sailed on the old 212 passenger Spirit as well as the Odyssey and Sojourn. I preferred the Ovation, partially due to the age of the ship. The Ovation is only a year and a ... Read More
This was our first voyage on the Ovation, in the past we had sailed on the old 212 passenger Spirit as well as the Odyssey and Sojourn. I preferred the Ovation, partially due to the age of the ship. The Ovation is only a year and a half old. We did not notice any significant drop-off in service on the larger ship. As on the other ships the service was excellent with a few minor hiccups. The Ovation's decor is a big step up from the Sojourn particularly in the Grill. The new dark wood veneer in the cabin was an improvement over the blond wood on the older ships. The food was excellent as always. Some of our favorite meals were al fresco at Earth and Ocean. The shows were small productions but excellent quality. Due to the layout, the ship never felt crowded. After grabbing a prime spot at Seabourn Square in the morning for coffee and newspapers we assumed the ship was only half occupied. We were surprised we told it was 90% full. You will never feel cramped on this ship. This is not a ship for children. This is not the ship for you if you want to go to a disco at night or water slide during the day. If your idea of fun is a well made cocktail, an elaborate meal and then listening to Popular standards then Seabourn has you covered. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We haven’t sailed on Seabourn since 2012 as we were put off by their liberal smoking policies. We decided to try them again especially since the itinerary for the British Isles was unique having a good number of stops in Scotland. ... Read More
We haven’t sailed on Seabourn since 2012 as we were put off by their liberal smoking policies. We decided to try them again especially since the itinerary for the British Isles was unique having a good number of stops in Scotland. Embarkation was quick and our suite was ready at noon time which was a great plus for us. We stayed in a spa penthouse suite which was quite nice but not sure it is worth the extra money versus a regular penthouse suite. You really don’t get much extra except for a few extra soaps and sponges, and a larger balcony. Seabourn advertises healthy snacks in the spa suites but we had great trouble getting them to deliver what was advertised. Perhaps it was due to a totally clueless stewardess who failed to replenish items on several occasions and seemed uninformed about extras for the spa suite, among other issues. When reported to the supervisor, we were told that she was new and to give her a few more days, and if we weren’t satisfied, they would replace her. Although we had numerous other problems with her and reported them, the housekeeping supervisor never replaced her. We ate most of our meals in the Restaurant where the food was top notch and wait service excellent. We used room service for breakfast every day and several times for dinner. They also delivered the same top notch service and excellent food as the Restaurant. Used private tour guides so did not sign up for any of the ship shore excursions. Staff at Seabourn Square were efficient and helpful. We especially enjoyed this area for coffee and snacks during the day. In terms of entertainment, we only attended one show which included a comedian which was okay, just okay. Handre served as cruise director and certainly lived up to his fine reputation. Overall, this is a lovely and comfortable ship that handles rough seas quite well. Except for a problem with housekeeping oversight and our stewardess, sailing on the Ovation was a very enjoyable and memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which included a stop in the outer Hebrides and the Orkney Islands. The ship is very nice though the design is odd. A good half a dozen times we encountered other passengers who joked about being ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which included a stop in the outer Hebrides and the Orkney Islands. The ship is very nice though the design is odd. A good half a dozen times we encountered other passengers who joked about being lost / felt confused by the layout. The pool area creates a separation between cabins, and not in a good way. The enrichment activities on this cruises weren't good, particularly a featured speaker whose topics included the evils of globalization. Ironic in that he was speaking to a group of wealthy global trotters. Definitely a "clubby" atmosphere on board. The passengers love love love their Seabourn product. Amazing service throughout the voyage, start to finish. Good food though not a lot of fresh vegetables. At some ports, local musicians performed in the evenings-- marvelous. Embarkation and disembarkation were the smoothest we have ever experienced on a cruise. Bravo. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It's difficult to capture the Ovation experience easily. But, in a word - sublime. There was no request that was too big or too small for them. We cruised as a party of four in Veranda Suite rooms. Our rooms were located aft ... Read More
It's difficult to capture the Ovation experience easily. But, in a word - sublime. There was no request that was too big or too small for them. We cruised as a party of four in Veranda Suite rooms. Our rooms were located aft near to the staircase, which is a lovely location. Highly recommended. Embarkation - this was effortless and enjoyable. We were met at the airport and had an easy ride to the boat. Here, we were welcomed with cocktails and a seamless embarkation process. Stateroom - Extremely spacious for its category. The veranda is a good size and the walk-in closet is welcome. The double basin in the bathroom was welcome too. Toiletries are of a very high standard. Restaurants - Without exception, meals were amazing. In particular, the service at the Restaurant deserves special mention, the formal night is something special and the Air and Ocean restaurant on deck is also excellent. We normally took in breakfast in the Colonnade, but splurging one or two mornings for breakfast in The Restaurant is also a good idea. Bars - Generally very good, although service at the outside bars during sail-aways gets a little slow. The Retreat - A lovely little hidden area on the boat is The Retreat. Worth spending the money if you're looking for a R&R day. Spa & Fitness - Excellent treatments, but the facilities are perhaps a little small. That said, the fitness area never felt crowded. Excursions - We only did excursions in St Petersburg but these were arranged well and the experience was excellent. Entertainment - All shows in the Grand Salon were very good. The live music on deck during sail-away parties was a little short-lived at 30 minutes. The casino is a little small and felt crowded at times. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We’ve been on Odyssey twice before, which we very much enjoyed, and were interested to compare the newer Ovation. There is no comparison. Ovation wins hands down. The decor is magnificent: really classy and all gleaming. The larger ... Read More
We’ve been on Odyssey twice before, which we very much enjoyed, and were interested to compare the newer Ovation. There is no comparison. Ovation wins hands down. The decor is magnificent: really classy and all gleaming. The larger Thomas Keller works very well and we just adored the sushi restaurant - beautifully fitted out. The deck outside The Grill is a great secret terrace for when the Colonnade gets busy, with its own salad bar too. Think of it as a free version of The Retreat on the top deck! We love the way Seabourn Square has been rethought - it looks wonderful and it’s a great place to hang out. Even though space per passenger is a little lower on the Ovation, it feels the opposite. We couldn’t believe the cruise was full (it was, apparently) as it seemed so quiet most of the time. Captain Stig was the best we have had...always present and friendly. The crew were engaged, almost all incredibly welcoming and friendly...and much better at name recognition than on previous Seabourn cruises. Much has already been said on here about the legendary Handré, the cruise director. It’s all true. He is brilliant at his job and always out and about. A true professional. Food was excellent (we particularly enjoyed the specialities brought on board from Helsinki). Entertainment and enrichment was good. The new caviar is great but I can’t say that the new champagne is an improvement. It’s cheap and tastes it. We were very happy with the included wines and stuck to them. We plumped for a V5 cabin this time (having had an Owners Suite before) and were not disappointed. They are plenty spacious enough, well designed and quiet, with loads of storage space. The only thing we wished for was a coffee machine in the room. Stewardess service was excellent although we could have done with more toiletries (this was quickly rectified). Overall a wonderful cruise and we aim to get back on the Ovation again. If only Seabourn could have done something about the weather! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Spacious rooms and bathroom. Easy boarding and first class treatment from airport pick up to end of cruise. Several places for drinks all day, nice afternoon tea time, small casino open mostly when at sea. Talented entertainers on board ... Read More
Spacious rooms and bathroom. Easy boarding and first class treatment from airport pick up to end of cruise. Several places for drinks all day, nice afternoon tea time, small casino open mostly when at sea. Talented entertainers on board with bands at several venues during the day and evening. Nice options for meals from casual to dressy. Room service for breakfast a must, always right on time. Breakfast buffet was always the same but good if you are in a hurry. Booked excursions thru Seabourn and they were all small groups of no more than 20 people. Left on time or before if everyone was there. All sites visited in St Petersburg were very crowded. Walked thru Tallinn, Estonia on our own, it is walking distance to port. Helsinki not much to see, would have skipped the city excursion and just ridden shuttle into town and walked around a little. After we left ship with private driver to hotel just walked around Stockholm on our own. Sheraton Stockholm very easy walk to old town and nice hotel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We joined the ship in Copenhagen on the 17th August and left in Stockholm calling at Tallinn and Helsinki. As way of a little background, I am in my 50s, my wife early 60s and have cruised extensively mostly with Azamara but also with ... Read More
We joined the ship in Copenhagen on the 17th August and left in Stockholm calling at Tallinn and Helsinki. As way of a little background, I am in my 50s, my wife early 60s and have cruised extensively mostly with Azamara but also with Cunard, Holland America and in our early days NCL. Firstly the ship is beautiful, well presented and lots of room. Cabins are more generously sized than other lines and our stewardess was excellent. I did not open my bottle of whisky as I would have only had a couple of shorts before the whole thing would have been poured down the drain. Multiply this by the number of cabins and what a waste, the bar was very close! I felt sorry for the recent poster who said he would not sail with Seabourn again and was immediately lambasted by Seabourn aficionados but I have to wholeheartedly agree with him. For a line that sells itself as 'ultra-luxury' I found their levels of service terribly disappointing. We were constantly waiting to be noticed, order drinks or wait for drinks. A pot of tea shouldn't take 30 minutes, when mentioned to a manager her only reply was 'are you sure its been 30 minutes?', this was a common experience at all the eateries. Service in the eateries was generally hard work, the feeling one got was that they were doing a favour by serving us. Service at the bars - especially the club - was excellent. Food was mediocre, plenty of it, but just not very exciting. We enjoyed the Sushi but found the food in the special 'Grill' not good at all with my 'Veal' being very fatty and grizzly. I did report my general disappointment in the mid cruise feedback form which prompted a reply from the Hotel Director who told me 'she had sorted my problems' which i found impressive as I had not been over specific what my concerns were. Shore excursions were very good but on the first couple of trips there was no guidance from staff as to where meet ashore - Tickets were printed 'Meet Pierside' which didn't help, before immigration or after? there was no one there anyway. The expectation was that you made your way to the coaches, on one occasion our coach went without us and we were greeted by excursion staff with the comment 'ah you're the missing ones'. As we went straight from the ship on being called to the coaches I still find it difficult to understand how we were missing. I really did want to like Seabourn but apart from the ship, which again I will say was beautiful and Handre who was fantastic, other(not so ultra-luxury) lines beat Seabourn hands down down for service, food and of course value for money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our main reasons for choosing the Ovation included some (but not all) of the destinations, notably Scotland, the relatively small scale of the ship (600 passengers), the suites (spacious, spotless, and beautifully appointed) the common ... Read More
Our main reasons for choosing the Ovation included some (but not all) of the destinations, notably Scotland, the relatively small scale of the ship (600 passengers), the suites (spacious, spotless, and beautifully appointed) the common areas (ditto), the beverage plan (free everything unless you want to splurge) , and a generally older and well to do clientele. (We fit the former but not the latter). Once aboard we also appreciated the crew and staff (unfailingly friendly and polite, including our suite stewardess Ana Carolina), the Square, a combination library, coffee bar, and guest services area, dinner at Thomas Keller’s Grill, afternoon tea in the Observation Bar, and breakfasts in the Colonnade. Since we aren’t dressy and clubby types, we didn’t eat at The Restaurant , and eschewed the formals and clubby things. The shore excursions were pricey and just ok, and if you want WiFi you pay for it. The ship offers a laundry and dry cleaning service for a fee, but also includes a laundromat (free) which came in handy on our two week sail. Some of the ports of call were less than thrilling, but Oslo and Scotland made the trip worthwhile. If you visit Scotland in August you should definitely go to the Royal Scottish Tattoo in Edinburgh. The price of this cruise was relatively steep, but if you want to be cosseted, Seabourn is definitely worth the indulgence. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and feel I have a critical but fair eye. I had high expectations of this line and particular ship from word of mouth recommendations and other favorable reviews. I was quite disappointed and will list out all of my reasons while still making sure to give credit where credit is due. I will start with the positives first. My overall summary of the below is at the bottom of this review. Cabin: Our cabin was very nice and spacious. Bed and pillows are comfortable, ample room with a nice walk in closet and separate seating area. Bathroom has a double sink which is very nice, shower is marble and still small but pressure very good. Bathtub a waste of space in my opinion. Balcony nice size and overall room very spacious. We were in cabin 651 on the 6th floor located toward the center of the ship which was great. Molton Brown products in the bathroom and a selection of body soap offered on the first day. Room stewardess was attentive and did a very good job. Only complaint on the first day is that the room wasn’t cleaned well. The soap in our bathroom which was a body wash had been used and there was a lot of dust and finger prints on the table in the room. Otherwise, cabin was excellent and gets high marks from me. I believe we were in category V5. Ship: the ship is beautiful. Modern, clean, more yacht-like than cruise ship. A lot of wood paneling. 600 people but still felt very quiet even on sea days. Our favorite place to relax was the cappuccino lounge on floor 7 where they had tons of seating and recliners. Decor of the ship was very simple yet elegant. WIFI: very good! Much better WIFI than any other ship I’ve been on - in room technology good. Service: this is where our experience goes down the tubes. The service on this ship was HORRIBLE!! The staff do you a major favor and if asked for something that requires them to go out at all of their way, they are rude. We had some staff that were nice (mainly in cappuccino lounge and main dining room - except for maitre de) but all and all, the service sucked. Management lacks tremendously, customer service is non existent and the staff seem poorly trained, disingenuous and disinterested. I’ve really never experienced anything like this before - had we not met several other couples who also shared the same sentiment, I would have thought I was going crazy!! A few examples - almost every meal without fail we waited 10 minutes before getting anything to drink. If we needed a sauce to accompany a meal, we waited 10 minutes. In fact, we stopped ordering sauces because it was such a lost cause & by the time it arrived our meal was over. I asked for cream with my coffee - by the time the cream came, my coffee was cold. We were almost always at a meal with an empty drink that needed refilling. No accommodating what so ever. My husband likes the salmon in the colonnade - we asked if it could be served on the patio 20 feet away and they said no, they prefer not to. At dinner in the main, I asked if i could have a croquette that came with a different entree than what I ordered and was told no, they only had a certain amount and could not accommodate me. I mean, come on! I tried to move my Thomas Keller reservation because my husband wasn’t feeling well and was told with 11 days left on the trip that they couldn’t accommodate us. Finally, after getting the guest services manager involved, we got one at an undesirable time on a different day but at this point, we took what we could get. These may seem Iike minor gripes but we encountered them several times per day and was a major turnoff and took a lot away from the experience. The overall staff attitude was rude and requests of them felt like inconveniences. This in itself was bad enough to never return to this ship. As I said previously, several other couples experienced the same rude service. My husbands Camera was lost day 1 and finally arrived at our cabin with a cracked and dented lens. We requested compensation for the lens. Seabourn asked us to provide the link to the lens - which we did directly from the website - to prove it was $500. They tried to tell us it was a $200 lens (they had the wrong lens) and refused to refund us. We have yet to resolve this issue with them. Food - We are major foodies and we’re quite disappointed in the food on this ship. I will say that the quality is there in a lot of areas (not all) but the execution is not. Breakfast was good but the same every day. Not a bad thing, but boring after a while. A decent selection and probably the best meal. Lunch was a mixed bag. Salad bar always had nice items and the grill items - fish, burgers, hot dog, etc always very tasty and fresh. Meat quality good, fish quality good. My only complaint on the fish was it never had any seasoning or flavor - this was a major theme for most items on board - but I would still prefer to add salt vs. having the sodium and preservative packed food a lot of ships have, so this wasn’t a major complaint. All lunch hot food served in the chaffing dishes were slop and never hot. We almost never ate any of the prepared food served at lunch because it was room temperature and unappealing. Dinner : main dining room was respectable but not great. We didn’t have one meal there that was really delicious. Temperature was an issue and seasoning was non existent. I’ve never put so much salt on my food in my life. Service mixed. Our first night there we waited about 15 minutes before anyone came to our table. Finally the waitress comes over with an iPad looking down and says “what can i get you” - no greeting, no introduction. Very impersonal feeling. Sushi was nothing to write home about. A lot of rice and uninspired. I actually overheard someone say “it’s not as bad as gas station sushi” - I’ll leave it at that. The colonnade was OK - probably our least favorite. They do special nights like rib night or clam bake night and they look beautiful but just don’t quite execute it well. For example : rib night - the ribs came out in a beautiful Staub cast iron pan presented family style and looked delicious. Unfortunately, the ribs were dry, cold and had clearly been sitting on a heat lamp for an hour +. We sent it back and got a new rack that was the same dry and Luke warm ribs this time with some bbq sauce slathered on top. To put the icing on the cake, the assistant maitre de came over and instead of apologizing that the food came out lacking temperature and dry, explained that the ribs weren’t Texas style but st.louis style and weren’t supposed to fall off the bone..I mean ..really ? I’m not expecting anything more than a simple apology or some sort of follow up to see if the second round was better. Instead, I was blamed for expecting them to fall off the bone and they didn’t. I didn’t need ribs that fell off the bone, just didn’t want to eat something as dry as wood. The Patio by the pool in our opinion offered the best most innovative meals but even those fell short on flavor and execution. We also had a Northern Europe itinerary with a lot of rain and cool weather and found ourselves eating outside in the windy cold weather because the patio was the best choice. Thomas Keller which is the specialty restaurant was very good for a steakhouse on a cruise ship. I would say this is likely the best option on board. Food delicious but once again, service lacking. Not attentive and seemed to do you a big favor. We found in all restaurants that the deserts were mediocre and most didn’t taste cooked on board. I don’t think I had one desert I loved. I also found the breads were uninspired. In summary : good quality ingredients (for the most part ) that aren’t executed well. Oceania food trumps Seabourn by a landslide. A few other items to note: Older crowd, no children. Except for us (in our early 30s), most people were 65+. Not good or bad, just our cruise demographic. Free laundry was a nice feature with Miele commercial washers and dryers and complimentary detergent. Gym was small but clean, coffee on board was very good. Entertainment was respectable. Nice job at including different daily activities. Excursions - expensive but well organized. I read the ship docs at ports further away from the destinations to save on docking fees. Not sure if this is true. We did a few excursions - food provided on them was mediocre and limited and tours very pricey. Spa - didn’t use but quite expensive. Very few discounts offered throughout cruise. They had a “promotion” that if you do 3 treatments from a select number of services you get 10% off first, 20% off second and 30% off third. Note this is per cabin and not per stateroom. I know all cruise spas are expensive but this was more than canyon ranch on Oceania. I may have left stuff out but to summarize my overall impressions: cabin and ship top notch and classy, food better than the celebrity level lines but nothing special. Service was so bad it border-lined on offensive and as a result, I will likely not return to Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Second sailing on Seabourn and totally pleased with our experience. I thoroughly disagree with the previous HORRIBLE review. Couldn’t have asked for more with attentive staff, always personally greeted by name, invited three evenings ... Read More
Second sailing on Seabourn and totally pleased with our experience. I thoroughly disagree with the previous HORRIBLE review. Couldn’t have asked for more with attentive staff, always personally greeted by name, invited three evenings to hosted tables in the dining room which provides a personal touch with staff. We never experienced a rude employee... quite the opposite. NO is not in their vocabulary.. always went out of their way to please everyone. We changed ports in one location ... not to save money but for safety reasons to avoid tendering with rough seas. Main reason for booking this itinerary was to attend the Royal Military Tattoo in Edinburgh. Seabourn did an incredible job securing tickets in the Royal Gallery (for an additional cost) which Included reception, covered seating, transportation etc. totally worth the added expense. They do a wonderful job with Signature Events to make Seabourn stand out among other luxury lines. Perhaps the unsatisfied review was too young to appreciate the Seabourn service. Yes, they do appeal to a more mature age group... very few children on board but a variety of activities. We have traveled extensively on various cruise lines... you’ll always have some disgruntled passengers looking for a free cruise... We were on the same cruise and totally enjoyed the entire experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Seabourn does it right. Wonderful service, great suite, great food, embarkation was a 15 minute pleasure. disembarkation went smoothly until the coach we were on had no more room for our luggage, so a little stressful waiting on the next ... Read More
Seabourn does it right. Wonderful service, great suite, great food, embarkation was a 15 minute pleasure. disembarkation went smoothly until the coach we were on had no more room for our luggage, so a little stressful waiting on the next coach to see if our luggage made it to the airport in Copenhagen. twenty minutes later it arrived on the next bus. At our age, Mid to late 60s, jet lag from Georgia was a horror. Three or four days to fully recover. All of the restaurants on the ship were great, and the service at most was outstanding. Some of the ports were a bit lacking, the highlight of the trip for us was Northern Scotland, and most importantly, the Shetland Islands. The average age on this cruise was at least 75. Lots of folks with canes and walking assists. Did not try the pool or hot tubs, as the weather was cool. Our days were either rainy or perfect. Had great food at the Earth and Ocean, but most evenings it was too cool for us to eat in the open air. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I choose this ship for two reasons. One I liked the itinerary and two I wanted to try a luxury cruise line. The itinerary was good in that it started in Stockholm allowing me to spend two days before departure exploring the city without ... Read More
I choose this ship for two reasons. One I liked the itinerary and two I wanted to try a luxury cruise line. The itinerary was good in that it started in Stockholm allowing me to spend two days before departure exploring the city without rushing and it ended in Copenhagen where I did the same thing. It also included two overnights ( 3 full days) in St. Petersburg where there is so much to see. I have sailed on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and the now gone Renaissance cruises. Renaissance was actually a wonderful cruise line with beautiful small ships that was the closest to this experience. As far as the actual cruise I will say it was wonderful not having to wait and crowd into elevators, the ship was a great size not to large, not to small. It was great not having to fight for a pool chair or make reservations for everything. Loved not being asked to have my picture taken every five minutes, and not having shops with sales. The ship itself was new and immaculate. The suite with balcony was gorgeous. Bathroom was large, walk in closet with enough drawers and hangers was great. On the downside the entertainment with the exception of two shows was far from great and there was really no other activities. The service was great, the liquor flowed freely, afternoon tea was nice, tapas was great, caviar on request was a nice touch too. What was a huge disappointment was dinner in the dining room which most nights was fair at best. The Grille was only available for guests to reserve one night. It was excellent. The other nighttime restaurant was outside and it was too cold for that. Did not try the sushi restaurant. I was very surprised that the food in the main restaurant was no better than I had on other much less expensive cruise lines. The on deck cocktail party was wonderful, food was very good there. So was it worth the extra money. Not sure I could say yes. Given the intensive itinerary it was great to return to the ship and not have to wait for things and not have to rush and be able to be very comfortable in the room, but on another type of cruise I might have been bored and the lack of activities/entertainment combined with mediocre food would have been more problematic on a cruise with more sea says or less intensive itinerary. Did all private shore excursions or just the HOHO bus ship excursions were very expensive. Highly recommend Alla tours in St. Petersburg. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation ... Read More
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation was boring and bland. The dress code is not policed and many evenings gentlemen turned up to dinner in polo shirts. The shore excursions were expensive and sometimes involved long journeys presumably because Seabourn do not wish to pay more expensive docking fees. The pillows and mattress had the consistency of a marshmallow. Despite firm pillows being offered our steward could not find any which wasn't great. The one female hairdresser on board was awful and the service generally slow. My husband ordered roses for our anniversary and they turned up at 10pm that night. The entertainment was boring and very few enrichment talks compared to Cunard. We could seldom have breakfast in the restaurant as we were on excursions and it did not open until 8am. The Colonnade was like a zoo. Very very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The experience onboard Seabourn Ovation was overall great. However, the spa needs to workout their booking procedures and accounting. I'll begin with the challenging first, we booked The Retreat for sea day and it was a beautiful ... Read More
The experience onboard Seabourn Ovation was overall great. However, the spa needs to workout their booking procedures and accounting. I'll begin with the challenging first, we booked The Retreat for sea day and it was a beautiful and private area. We noticed the massage/treatment cabana setup and was excited about getting a massage while there. Unfortunately, the massage/treatment area was for show only. There were no available treatments for anyone in The Retreat, except for maybe a manicure at 7:30pm. Perhaps it is our fault for not booking everything in advance; however, when you're actually in The Retreat it puts you in a different mindset. I believe the spa should have a dedicated masseur/masseuse available at some point for guests of The Retreat. Also, food service took forever and I had to go downstairs for a bite to eat and bring back some proper chocolate chip cookies. It's a great concept, just get it right! In regard to onboard dining, the food was absolutely delicious. We were very impressed by The Grill (Thomas Keller). We tried it onboard Seabourn Odyssey and wasn't overly impressed but Seabourn Ovation got it right! WELL DONE! Our verandah suite was perfect at all times, and we loved our stateroom attendant. Since we wanted to go to Moscow, we did book a private tour for the entire time we were in St Petersburg. We would have purchased through Seabourn but the Moscow excursion wasn't available in advance (or maybe I missed it). Moscow was absolutely INCREDIBLE! It should be a must while you're in Russia. The Entertainment was great but I believe it's time to replace the Tim Rice show. It was great but not one you want to see on every cruise. In regard to the staff, they all get 5 stars! It was sad to leave the ship but we are looking forward to our next Seabourn cruise. Also, a special thank you to Shoreside Guest Relations for solving our issues. Well done to them, too! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Avide Seabourn fans, we seldom have anything but praise for the line, and although we preferred the original and smaller yachts, we continue to find ourselves on one of their ships a 30 or 40 days each year. Now … the best ocean ... Read More
Avide Seabourn fans, we seldom have anything but praise for the line, and although we preferred the original and smaller yachts, we continue to find ourselves on one of their ships a 30 or 40 days each year. Now … the best ocean vessel experiences require solid and reliable shoreside support and administration, and Seabourn's website and head office staff in Seattle are giving us a re-think on giving the line another dime or any more of our time. No less than a dozen accounting errors in pre-cruise purchases had us dealing with the shipboard back office staff every day. It was endless. Had it not been for our printed records and an American Express statement, we would have had a losing battle. Vacations are for relaxing, not for auditing the vendors accounting errors. Dear President Richard, please get your Seattle offices pencil sharpened and your website technology up to date. Cons: Smoking continues to be allowed indoors in public spaces. The retreat is an entirely useless waist of (for fee) space. Pros: Dining in all venues is 6 star, although it is much harder than it should be to get specialty reservations (much easier on Regent) so best to board with very limited expectations. Cabins are a tiny bit narrower than on the Sojourn class vessels, but the layout is nearly identical. The new dining table in the living area is a big improvement. Entertainment is sedate, but refined. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I have sailed before on Windstar, Ponant and Seabourn. From boarding in Dover( a dream of ease ) to disembarking in Copenhagen, both were effortless and lovely experiences compared to air travel these days, that I refer to as "combat ... Read More
I have sailed before on Windstar, Ponant and Seabourn. From boarding in Dover( a dream of ease ) to disembarking in Copenhagen, both were effortless and lovely experiences compared to air travel these days, that I refer to as "combat travel"! They know your name within a day or two, and the service is remarkable from all departments! They enable you to note your preferences before hand as far as the stocking of your bar and type of soft drinks you would like. Preferences for bedding conditions are all taken into consideration, which is great for us with back issues. The food that is overseen by Thomas Keller went from very good to excellent in all dining venues. The Sushi restaurant is a great lunch choice as they have very good bento boxes! They have enough dining spot choices, without having too many, that seems to lessen the food quality on other luxury cruise lines. From breakfast in my suite daily, to most of my meals in The Restaurant in the evening were terrific. An example of how great they are is how the chief chef Jes Paskins was relayed a passing comment that I love mussels. Within a few hours he appeared at my table in The Restaurant and asked when I would like them? (lunch or dinner the next day), He also asked me how I would like them prepared. He prepared them as requested in the French classic style, which then was reduced with cream. Incredible result the next evening at dinner! He is an enigma, and has a personality you won't forget! The tour director Chris Harley was great and very caring. He also is a super talented singer from the London West Inn and made my visits to their Grand Salon very memorable. All performers were not your typical seafaring talent! The bartenders, stewardesses, guest services staff are beyond professional and caring. You can feel they actually care about your welfare and comfort at all times! The entertainers in the Observation Lounge on deck 11, Rachael & Vlad are quality light jazz performers! The bartender on deck 5 Vanessen with a great personality, makes the best "sour margarita" i have had on a ship! They almost perceive what you need before you ask, which is uncanny. I have thought of cruising on other cruise lines, but this last cruise on the Ovation has "sealed the deal" for me, and I already look forward to my next booked cruise for Nov. 27th of this year for 24 days with anticipation of returning to their wonderful care! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are frequent Seabourn cruisers but are slowly pulling back after over 150 nights. We too this European cruise with friends as we have cruised with them before. Our friends opted for a Penthouse Spa suite and we had a regular ... Read More
We are frequent Seabourn cruisers but are slowly pulling back after over 150 nights. We too this European cruise with friends as we have cruised with them before. Our friends opted for a Penthouse Spa suite and we had a regular penthouse. As I have opined before, passengers in penthouses receive only extra space in the room. No preferential treatment for restaurant bookings, no butler etc. This is in contrast to other luxury cruise lines. We generally eat late which caused some problem. On several nights, probably more like 5 out of 14, there was not seating available in the main restaurant. We were shuffled off to a near bar to wait for a phone call. We did get 2 meals in Thomas Keller, but the extra night was due to no availability in the main restaurant. The meals and service there were excellent, as it generally was in the remainder of the ship. We requested an extra night in TK but were turned down every time. Then we witnessed something we had never seen on Seabourn. While at the TK bar, we observed a passenger tip the head host and immediately get in. We felt we had paid enough and declined to take that route in search of extra reservations. Weather played a factor and we spent an extra day in Spain, on a Sunday due to bad sea conditions. It rained and time was better spent indoors, especially given everything was closed anyway. It was disappointing to miss the first French port but you can't blame a cruise line for weather. Entertainment was good, food was 4.5 out of 5, but clearly not 5 out of 5. The mix of ports in Spain, France and England was enjoyable. In retrospect, we paid far too much having upgraded to a Penthouse and not having gotten our moneys worth. We now refer to Seabourn as "Socialist Cruising". They do a good job taking care of the masses but once you leave the room, everyone is equal. No need to pay top dollar and you would be just as well to purchase a standard room from a travel reseller (as over 100 on the cruise did) for a bargain basement price. Every cabin is the same and everyone is treated equally, which is generally good. Bottom line - we get far more enjoyment for the same money at some other luxury cruise lines. You may notice this in my reviews of other cruise lines. We may be back, we enjoy Seabourn and the Ovation, we just don't love it anymore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise for a few reasons. We had previously sailed Seaborn Encore in the Mediterranean and thoroughly enjoyed the ship, food and service that Seabourn provided, therefore, Ovation, which is the same class ship as Encore, was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a few reasons. We had previously sailed Seaborn Encore in the Mediterranean and thoroughly enjoyed the ship, food and service that Seabourn provided, therefore, Ovation, which is the same class ship as Encore, was an easy sell for us. Ovation was just beautiful.....almost identical to Encore. We love the size....large enough, light filled with beautiful yachtlike decor but small enough to give us the feeling of being on a private ship. Our suite on the deck above the pool, was well appointed (hello 3 sinks!) and our needs were more than meet by our stewardess who always had a smile & pleasantry to share. We felt the service and the entertainment were a cut above our previous cruise....this being only our second cruise ever. We were addressed by our names each & every day. Our Captian was very visible and engaging as was CD Handre. Both were class acts. Servers in all resturants were pleasant, engaging and good at their jobs. We wanted a late May cruise and this itinerary seemed interesting. We had been to Lisbon but not Northern Spain or Western France or Southern England. We have been to Normandy, Brugge, Amsterdam etc. but were very happy to return. I was a bit apprehensive since I had heard that the Bay of Biscay is notorious for rough seas. Well, she was a gentle giant. Lisbon was faboulous with warm temps and sunny skies. Northern Spain was just beautiful, with a bit a rain here and there, but nothing to dampen the beauty of the coastal towns of Gijon and San Sebasion, Biblao etc. and the wonderful sights & food. We did miss one port, Biarritz, France due to the port closing. The sun & moderate temps made a welcome return in Bordeaux......this was one of the highlights of the cruise. We came up the Gironde River and docked right smack dab in the middle of the city. We were the only ship in town and the locals came by in droves to relax and picnic in our shadow. A lovely French lady approached us on our return to ship just to chat about our cruise and our reflections of her city. The Bordeaux wine region is spectacular.....St Emillion is not to be missed. Southern England, port of Torquay was a pleasant surprise....warm temps and sunny skies, contrary to the Agatha Christie image that I expected. We visited the sea town of Dartmouth with its' interesting seafaring history. As an American, the beaches of Normandy hold a special place in our hearts and it was good to return. We arranged for a private tour & spent the day with a lovely local French lady, three generations removed from the events of WW2 but whose grandfather was head of the resistance movement at the time......her reverence for those who helped liberate her homeland was palpable....not to mention her expertise in the places and events of the Allied invasion. Wow....just Wow! We sailed up the Thames to the Greenwich neighborhood of London. Spent two wonderful days....Windsor, the Cotswolds etc. Then is was across the Channel again.....may I add that the seas in all our Channel crossings were calm and I mean, calm....to Zeebrugge, where we chose to visit Ypres and Flanders Field (of WW1 fame) as we had been to Brugge & Brussels in the past. Beyond moving! Amazing how a city and region so devastated by that horrible war has risen from the ashes to present a gorgeous city and countryside. We ended in the city of Amsterdam with all its charms etc. The Anne Frank House is a must do along with a private canal cruise. This cruise seemed to us to hit a very historic note. We enjoyed it very much as we had a sample of Western Coastal Europe with its' amazing role in the history of two world wars. From the German UBoat stalls in Bordeaux, to the beaches of Normandy to the Fields of Poppies in Flanders to the London Underground bunkers.....We were impressed with the spirit of the European people who endured so much during those dark times. Cruise & Ovation both get an APlus from us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Spain (except for Barcelona which we love), Lisbon or Porto, Gibralter or Morocco. The ports of call and shore excursions were fantastic. We saw many beautiful sights and learned a lot. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Spain (except for Barcelona which we love), Lisbon or Porto, Gibralter or Morocco. The ports of call and shore excursions were fantastic. We saw many beautiful sights and learned a lot. The ship itself was truly wonderful. The captain and officers were friendly and affable (not to mention very competent), the Executive Chef talented and sooooo personable, the Cruise Director (Handre) phenomenal and the cabin stewards perfect. All the wait staff in the restaurants were professional and at the same time welcoming. The entertainment was over-the-top wonderful. Seabourn does things right, and makes every trip a special adventure. One of the reasons that we love Seabourn is that the all-inclusive program makes the voyage so relaxing. The food is quality over quantity, and every meal was terrific. The deck parties were very enjoyable (lobster on the grill, dancing, champagne and caviar in the pool), and we were impressed by the "specialty restaurant," the Grill by Thomas Keller. One of our favorite activities was shopping in the market in Malaga with Chef Jes; the fish and produce were as fresh as they could be. The excursions were expensive, but the quality of the guides was excellent. The only negative on the excursions was the "hard sell" venues we were forced into in Casablanca and Tangier. They should offer a shopping excursion for passengers that are interested in buying rugs. One of our pet peeves, however, is that the internet service is ridiculously expensive. Since Oceana is offering free internet to its passengers, all other cruise lines should follow suit. We would highly recommend the Ovation for your next trip! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. ... Read More
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. Classy cruising. Not. Two days earlier, a crewmember carrying a sharp-edged tray had accidentally slashed my wife’s arm badly when he bumped into her in the breakfast queue. And, as we approached our homeport, all power failed and the ship narrowly missed drifting into concrete bridge pylons. In 40-plus cruises over more than 35 years before and after that forgettable holiday, my wife and I in recent years have stepped up into the heady world of ultra luxury cruising –- a field that, despite the eye-watering cost, doesn’t always live up to its publicity. Until we joined the Seabourn Ovation on March 2, 2019 for a 14-night cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore. Our wallet took a AUD21,000 (USD15,000) hit, but for the first time on this new (launched in May 2O18) absolutely beautiful mid-sized 600- passenger all-suite ship, it was worth every dollar. Nothing is perfect, so give or take a couple of petty whinges (no self-serve steamed rice and very average congee (Asian soup) while sailing in Southeast Asia, and a frosty reception in The Grill restaurant) Seabourn Ovation went as close as ever we expect to get. As sometimes jaded, increasingly grumpy and always critical travellers, it was a joy for us to start our cruise by first running an eagle eye over suite 726 on our arrival Yes, you can assume that boarding was faultless. Not one photographer on the gangway, or anywhere for the entire cruise. These days we notice things that niggle experienced cruisers on: A wall safe comfortably at chest height (it beats sitting on the floor) in a spacious walk-in robe with three dozen clothes hangers. Plenty of mirrors, a seriously cold fridge stacked with soft drinks, beer and a real bottle of champagne; plus a list of ‘complimentary’ (paid for in the fare) good quality wines. If you can’t find anything to satisfy your taste buds from Chile, California, Australia, Spain or Italy, there’s a lonely bottle of Petrus 1995 Pomeroz Grand vin from Bordeaux waiting for you in the glass-walled wine rack in the elegant main dining room ‘The Restaurant’ for USD4,500.00 (AUD6,348.00). The label is a bit scruffy so maybe the Sommelier might do a deal. In our suite there’s a lounge long enough for a rack-stretched basketballer or a third guest, a generous, glass-topped round table for 24-hour room-service-with-a-flourish (starched linen and folded napkins) and a king-size bed with a choice of six pillows soft, firm, extra firm. The TV set is on a trolley for manoeuvrability and there are plenty of movies on demand. In-suite announcements from the bridge are restricted to an average two a day -- weather and brief entertainment updates, or shore excursion boarding. No electrical engineering degree is required to operate the lights. Just click and press for a range of illumination levels from dimmed romantic to the blinding glare in the interview/confession room down at my local police station. One of Seabourn Ovation’s most remarkable (unique?) assets is its ubiquitous South African Cruise Director Andre Potgieter who recently received the prestigious President’s Award for Leadership from Seabourn Cruise Line president Rick Meadows. Andre, a softy spoken, articulate young man, emerges like a breath of spring each day in a different tailored jacket and slacks and a new spectacular bow tie with matching pocket-handkerchief. Wherever he goes, goggle-eye grandmothers swamp him with cheek kisses and embarrassing hugs. Which probably explains why, when the ship is in port, Andre trains for his favourite sport, marathon running. Of the 575 passengers from 27 nationalities on board -- average age around 60 -- there were 266 from the U.S, 112 the U.K, 46 Autralians, 34 Canadians and 33 Germans. In two weeks they demolished 2,272 bottles of red wine, 1,435 white and 633 bottles of champagne. And although there were no children on board, 390 litres of ice cream. A total of 32,826 breadsticks mopped up 21lbs of caviar. Two popular spots on the ship are the Observation Bar on the deck 11 which features high tea for an hour from 4pm then a friendly circular bar open until midnight; and The Retreat on the top deck (12) an exclusive enclave with 15 private cabanas, lavish amenities and an oversized whirlpool spa. Evening entertainment in the Grand Salon, often starring one of the slickest teams of ships’ dancers and vocalists we have seen on a cruise ship and backed by Seabourn Ovation’s highly professional orchestra, featured a range of top-class acts from a comedian and to an opera singer. A tip: For an unobstructed view, find a seat away from the intrusive supporting pillars. A shore excursion with a difference on Seabourn’s Asian itineraries is the idyllic day spent on the company’s picture-postcard tree-fringed private beach, ‘The Den’ on the exclusive Thai island of Kood. On a clear sunny day more than 400 souls disembarked from Seabourn Ovation tenders to discover rows of deck chairs under shade trees, a feast of lobster, steaks and salads, champagne on ice and a full bar. All of this ferried ashore from daybreak and served by the ship’s crew and a group of local Thais. With only a few days left and most passengers staying on board for the cruise to Dubai, we were wondering whether they still threw stowaways in the brig. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Seabourn Ovation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 4.5 4.2
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 4.5 3.6

Find a Seabourn Ovation Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click