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30 Seabourn Pride Cruise Reviews

Just off the Pride...which just completed dry dock refitting. Service, attention, food was as good as it gets ANYWHERE and was a lot better than you’ll ever find on nearly all other premium cruise lines. This cruise was perhaps the ... Read More
Just off the Pride...which just completed dry dock refitting. Service, attention, food was as good as it gets ANYWHERE and was a lot better than you’ll ever find on nearly all other premium cruise lines. This cruise was perhaps the finest service and best food we’ve ever had and not just on Seabourn. If you read nothing else here: TAKE THE PRIDE NOW…YOU MAY NEVER GET A BETTER CRUISE OR SERVICE THAN THIS. Pride is in Pristine condition for her age. Every system, piece of equipment and amenity was flawless. There were 195 cruisers aboard. Most were Seabourn vets accustomed to a very high level of service. Whilst we don’t speak for anyone else, the discussions of how excellent this cruise had been going, was topic of frequent chats at cocktail hours, at group tables and anywhere groups congregated. We chose the Pride as our swan song farewell to these small ships which we've enjoyed for so many years. Seabourn and her capable crew brought it and left us awed at how good it can still be on these aging but still very attractive small ships. There have been a lot of questionable Pride reviews of late herein CC message boards. We speak for ourselves. This past Pride cruise was perhaps the best service we've ever had on a cruise line...including past SB and other premium itineraries. We did here of some harsh crew dismissals prior to our cruise...but those were due to non-service issues (a few crew we were told got caught stuffing the customer comment/suggestion box to earn crew 'points'). So now, the end of cruise comment card is sent via e-mail and is no longer hard copy. Perhaps pre-dry dock in November, Pride had issues as others have posted about. What ever happened was completely opposite what we were treated to. What ever poor service or equipment issues that may have occurred in the past have been corrected. If we had the time, we'd book the Pride in a heartbeat to get another chance to have a cruise with a level of excellence for service, food and amenities that we've rarely seen in the past. Bravo Pride crew. Bravo Seabourn. Bravos indeed...   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have cruised with Seabourn about 5 or 6 times and about 25 times with other companies. This is our third time on Pride over the years and certainly our last, not only because she is going in April but because they couldn't give a ... Read More
We have cruised with Seabourn about 5 or 6 times and about 25 times with other companies. This is our third time on Pride over the years and certainly our last, not only because she is going in April but because they couldn't give a flying fig about their customers or providing value for money. To expand. We were held for over an hour waiting to check onto the ship whilst one desk tried to process us. We waited 2 hours to get our cabin. The cabin was second rate with old furnishings, marked and smelly carpets, rusty pipes, filthy black ring in the WC, threadbare towels and worn linen, very little flow from taps, useless shower with short plastic curtain. Filthy windows and noisy door, doors that would not shut and no TV for 5 days. The safety drill was postponed after convening due to lack of staff knowledge The waiting staff could not speak English and got half the orders wrong, the food was not cooked to order, orders were lost, staff were rude, hair in food, hot soup spilled over clothes, 40 minutes wait for breakfast when going on trip, raw meat, raw fish, overcooked meat and fish. The ship was decrepit and filthy, the decks were covered in soot as were the loungers, the café deck was greasy and sooty. The 2 Pilipino bands were form the 70's, repetitive and dismal. The comedian insulted guest in a personal and disgraceful manner. We bunkered 3 times during mealtimes and had to cancel a deck event, the officers were unkempt and invisible, staff were drunk and 2 were dismissed. Workman were looking in our cabin window on a hoist whilst we were on the bed!! Heavy hoses were draped across the lift lobby without safety signs. I could go on but I have now got bored.. They are a waste of space. Book elsewhere and save your money. I am claiming a full refund of my holiday regardless of how long it takes Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My husband and I have been on dozens of cruises from Carnival to Crystal. We had always wanted to go on Seabourn, so for our tenth anniversary we went with friends on a Seabourn cruise from Nice to Barcelona. Because of the price we paid ... Read More
My husband and I have been on dozens of cruises from Carnival to Crystal. We had always wanted to go on Seabourn, so for our tenth anniversary we went with friends on a Seabourn cruise from Nice to Barcelona. Because of the price we paid our expectations were that the quality of food, service and attention to details would be worth the money. Sadly, for us, those levels ran below Carnival experiences we had in the Med. For example, the beef we had tasted wasn't that great and we asked the chef if it was prime. He said that he had never heard of 'prime' beef before. For a cruise of this caliber, for the head chef not to know this was stunning. He told us the name of their U.S. purveyor. When we looked them up, they don't sell prime beef. When we were on the Carnival Cruise we could eat in the ship's steakhouse and have amazing prime beef- just like you were eating at Morton's. Our friend has food sensitivities and went through great pains to let Seabourn know. Our first night he was served a tomato bisque and verified there was no dairy. He asked three times. He took one bite and after having been completely off dairy for 4 years could taste the butter in the soup. We called over the maître de and then found out the soup was indeed made from butter. If this only happened once it would have been forgiven and understandable, but it happened night after night. This was our friend's first cruise and we pledged that a line of this caliber would completely take care of his every food need. We felt responsible for leading him into a very uncomfortable situation that happened so many times on the trip it became laughable. The small ports were beautiful and our quarters were spacious but they were not worth the price that we paid. I felt ripped off, discouraged, frustrated and taken advantage of. It was almost an "Emporer's New Clothes" experience. Everyone acts like Seabourn is amazing! To have a Carnival ship outdo them was crazy. I, too, have food sensitivities and when we were on the last Carnival Med cruise the chefs were AMAZING at making beautiful creations for me every night and they never made a mistake. It almost brought me to tears to be so cared for on that Carnival ship which was a fraction of the cost of Seabourn. Here's the kicker. My husband took notes on all of the service highs and lows and sent them to Seabourn. They sent us a letter offering us a class upgrade the next time we sailed with them and a $500 ship credit per person if we booked within a certain time. It's fascinating to me that their resolution is that we give them another $10,000 (plus purchase our airfare) and risk another disappointing experience. They're thinking that I would send good money after bad. I'm not at Vegas at the roulette wheel hoping to make up for a prior bet that already went south. I already bet on them big and lost big. It seemss to me that they had a highly successful luxury brand that they are cashing out by charging the same high price but delivering a discounted experience...using Seabourn as a cash cow. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Before I talk about the ship, etc., I must relate an experience that I found outrageous. After 3 nights on the cruise, as we entered for dinner, the sommelier pulled my partner aside to say that she had been observing that I didn't ... Read More
Before I talk about the ship, etc., I must relate an experience that I found outrageous. After 3 nights on the cruise, as we entered for dinner, the sommelier pulled my partner aside to say that she had been observing that I didn't pay attention to the wine tating at the start of dinner and didn't savor each sip adequately. On this basis, she decided I am an alcoholic and offered to have me cut off of all alcohol and to counsel me during the rest of the cruise. Without being too defensive, we don't even open the 2 bottles of liquor in the suite and are never close to intoxicated at any time on or off the ship. Also, since I am a clinical neuropsychologist, I find her "diagnosing" particularly offensive. My partner didn't tell me about this until we left the ship because he "didn't want to get her in trouble." Embarkation was very simple - we essentially walked onto the ship and since there was no one to greet us or direct us, we found our suite and settled in for a few minutes. In a while, we decided to go see where we were supposed to get our ship ID card. We then learned we missed going into the lounge where they were registering people. I suppose they would have noticed eventually. Disembarkation was equally simple. As far as the ship goes, we found the smaller ship didn't offer nearly the experience that Seabourn's larger ships offer. We missed Seabourn Square and the cappuccinos and the added public spaces. The ship is old , but generally in good shape. The exception is the mattresses which are lumpy, worn out and uncomfortable. The food on our last Seabourn trip on the Odyssey was outstanding. The food on the Pride was only so-so. The menu was seafood heavy (a problem for my partner who can't eat anything that lives in the water). In addition, the kitchen seemed to feel if one sauce was good, two must be better. Often, it was difficult to taste the main dish because of the sauces. We think that Seabourn trains its chefs on the small ships and then graduates them to the larger ones. We also think that limited storage results in limited options (particularly meat). Since we were in the Mediterranean, seafood was replenished in local ports. We chose this itinerary because we wanted to go back to Malta. Although we didn't necessarily expect much from the other ports, we were pleasantly surprised. Each port offered a slightly different experience which we enjoyed thouroughly. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Seabourn excursions because I think you can do better with private bookings. In summary, If you choose Seabourn, choose the larger ships and be careful how you treat the wine! Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We had heard so much about Seabourn cruise line, so decided to try them on a cruise Lisbon to Antwerp. We were a party of 6 - 3 couples, aged late 50s to 60s. We have all cruised many times on other cruise lines. We kept waiting quite a ... Read More
We had heard so much about Seabourn cruise line, so decided to try them on a cruise Lisbon to Antwerp. We were a party of 6 - 3 couples, aged late 50s to 60s. We have all cruised many times on other cruise lines. We kept waiting quite a while after arrival before being allowed to board the ship, and gathered together in the lounge. Lunch and drinks were provided - which was very nice. Within an hour or so we were processed and shown to our suite. The suite was lovely, spacious and clean, other than some rubbish left on the floor, and a mark on the couch. We contacted housekeeping and this was rectified the same day. Sailing the Atlantic at that time of year is pretty rough and the weather can be quite wild. Balcony Suites attract a premium price and we were very disappointed that not once on our 10 day cruise, were the windows cleaned. We found the main dining room a bit claustrophobic, particularly in the heavy seas, and preferred to eat in Restaurant 2. This is an excellent restaurant, with terrific staff, and fabulous food. However, reaching it in inclement weather is a bit of a trick, carefully navigating the wet and slippery deck. I have to say that all meals, except for one lunch by the pool, were excellent. The upstairs lounge at the front of the ship is quite nice and spacious, but we were horrified to find that one half, on the starboard side, allows smoking. Needless to say we went there only twice. We thought the smaller size of the ship would be a bonus, but unfortunately the public spaces are very limited, and what there are, were often occupied by officers or staff having meetings, so we were reluctant to enter. All staff on the ship were excellent, attentive, helpful and polite. It is certainly true that if you order a drink, it is remembered by the bar staff, for every visit. All in all, we were pretty disappointed in a cruise line/cruise ship that we had heard so much good about. I doubt we would travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We have cruised with Silversea and Regent several times and people we have spoken to on board have always praised Seabourn so when the opportunity to cruise with them arose we took it. Within a few weeks of booking this cruise we received ... Read More
We have cruised with Silversea and Regent several times and people we have spoken to on board have always praised Seabourn so when the opportunity to cruise with them arose we took it. Within a few weeks of booking this cruise we received a letter from Seabourn advising us that they were selling the small ships. We booked a Seabourn air package with the cruise which came with a one night stay in Athens and all transfers. The private transfers to our pre cruise hotel and then onto ship the following day using local taxis went very well and was managed throughout by their local agents. We boarded the ship around 12.45 but we were held in the theatre with little or no daylight until our suites were ready, which felt a bit like a holding pen for sheep, unlike on other six star cruise lines where on boarding early we had the run of the ship and restaurants. We were given drinks and sandwiches (which were a bit dry and tasteless) but it got very crowded and stuffy after a while. We were escorted to our cabin around 14.00 and I think we were among the first. This seemed to be a fairly random process and I happened to be hovering next to the stewardess at the right time? Our A1 cabin was a good size but the walk in wardrobe was on the small side. The Suite was still reasonably fresh but some drawers seem to have problems closing without lifting them up first. Adjacent cabins share a little corridor off the main corridor (saving space) which means that the entrance door is part way down the cabin beyond the wardrobe. This is not a problem except that your neighbour's cabin door is very close to your bed and if they slam their door at night you are more likely to be woken up. Seabourn put a little note in beside your keycard telling you to close the door quietly - but it doesn't work. The in suite bar was stocked with our choice of spirits and Becks beer and mixers and a bottle of champagne was on ice in the suite when we got there. Unlike other ships we have been on there is no room for the empty suitcases under the bed so you have to find a space for them elsewhere in the wardrobe or cabin. Our cases were laid out on the bed on the last day of our cruise but again unlike other cruise lines they were not cleaned (nor were any shoes or spectacles). The towels we had in the room were definitely not up to the six star status of the ship. Our Ocean view window was fairly dirty when we joined the ship but after four days it was difficult to see out properly. It was cleaned on day 6 when we docked on the right side to allow cleaning from the dockside but when the sun shone on the window it was still very streaky. Spraying with a pressure hose is obviously not enough to clean the window properly. We had water (and some other debris) coming up into the bath one day but they seemed to fix it within a couple of hours. Plenty of hot water was available but sometimes you had to run the tap for a while unlike the newer ships. Beware of the bath plug as it sticks up about 2cm and is very easy to catch your foot on and give you a bruise There are only two restaurants on this ship which both have set opening hours. If you need food out with these times you need to have room service. The sky grill only does food on occasions and in the evening reservations are required. The veranda cafe can get a bit busy especially if it is too cold for people to sit outside and again you need reservations in the evening. We found that the quality of the cooked breakfast food and the choice of fruit and cereals was better with room service than in the veranda cafe so stuck to that most days for breakfast. The lunch in the Veranda cafe was excellent with plenty of choice of hot and cold foods. Lunch started to become the main meal of the day and it is just as well that the evening portions were on the small side. We found that at least one of the complimentary wines served at dinner was reasonable so we normally stuck to either red or white for the whole meal. During the cruise we enjoyed a Bordeaux, a Cote de Rhone, two Italian red wines, and a New Zealand Pinot Noir and a NZ Sauvignon Blanc called Wingspan and these were always available no matter what the recommendation of the night was. The choice of food in the restaurant was generally good although it had a distinct bias towards sea food. Deserts tended to be chocolate and we had chocolates left in our room each evening so no chance of losing weight. There is a standard "always available" menu if you don't fancy anything and the fillet mignon is very good. The choice of dinner deserts was not as good as on some 6 star ships and in fact the deserts were better at lunchtime. I don't think we had a single hot desert on our 10 night cruise and sometimes everything on the menu contained chocolate. Crepes stuffed with apple were served one night (again cold even though the waitress said they were warm!) but they had obviously been prepared in advance?? Service we found to be very good and we always managed to get a table for 2 when we couldn't be bothered to have a conversation with others although we do tend to eat early which helps. The Dress code, although laid down for each evening, was not enforced and many appeared not wearing a tie or jacket on formal nights. Dinner jackets were very scarce and I wish I hadn't bothered to take mine. I was concerned that I would be the only one without one but in fact I felt overdressed most nights in the restaurant. We were also surprised that a second Formal night was included when prior to the cruise we were advised that there was only one. Room service was generally good but when you ring them you speak to reception first and then room service call you back. We did wait for almost half an hour on one occasion for a pot of tea and we had to ring up again and suspect reception forgot to pass on the original message? Our breakfast did arrive at 07.05 one day when we booked 07.15-07.30 and 15 minutes early on the last day but generally orders did arrive within the booked time. The observation lounge shown in the deck plans on the internet is actually called the constellation lounge on the ship which confused us a bit having memorised the deck plan in advance. Smoking is allowed inside this lounge at certain times which makes it a "no go” area for non smokers. This is a pity as the smell of smoke lingers for some time. Likewise at the sky bar there is a smoking area which covers almost half the bar area but at least that is outside. The guest laundry (only one on this ship) had two washers and two dryers but only one washer was working for much of our cruise. Powder is provided but you may have to queue for some time. We only took two shore excursions but the organisation seemed a bit haphazard. The atrium on the ship is small so waiting to leave the ship meant standing about in the stairwell. Not sure why they don't gather the tour people in the theatre and then take them off in groups. They do use the theatre to gather people when you are tendering in a port to control the number of people going down into the marina area. The excursions we felt were rather expensive for what we got and in Delphi they suddenly realised that the museum was still on winter hours and told us 2 nights before that the tour had been brought forward by an hour. They didn't recon with the Greek efficiency in getting us through the Corinth Canal and so we were an hour late in reaching Itea which delayed the early start. We did have to have the compulsory 40 minutes in the town for shopping on the way back of course. There were few announcements on board which was good for us but it would have been good to announce when we were able to go ashore and when a shuttle bus was available if not publicised in the daily newspaper. One of the bar tenders somehow managed to get a few bottles of Bass beer for me instead of the usual European and US lager beers or did he have it stashed away for himself? People had to distribute their own loungers (after the initial morning set up) on the pool deck (7) which proved difficult for some as they were of the heavy metal type and it was hard to lift them from the top of the stack. On other ships there has always been staff on hand to do this and serve drinks but this seemed to be lacking on this ship. The tables on deck 8 were well tended by the bar staff but they seemed reluctant to pop downstairs to cover deck 7 but on this ship that is where most of the space is. The loungers didn't have cushions so weren't that comfortable after a few hours with some people resorting to "borrowing" the cushions from the sky bar tables. Space on the pool deck is quite limited as the lifeboats take up a lot of space. Finding a seat in the shade was difficult sometimes. The shuttle bus in one port wasn't advertised in the herald and was very badly organised. On the way back we waited over half an hour and then gave up and walked back to the ship. There was no timetable for the bus and it ran when the driver felt like it. He also nipped off for a coffee break we found out later so there were some big gaps in the service.. The feeling from some regular Seabourn cruisers was that the staff were not up to the usual standard - possibly because they are moving their best staff to the bigger ships before the small ones are sold off?? One or two of the staff did appear to have an attitude problem. The ship seemed to ride very well although it wasn't really tested by rough seas on our cruise. We also didn't travel very fast especially on the day at sea where we appeared to be barely moving. Our cabin on deck 4 was of course fairly low so that no doubt helped to give us a more stable ride. Coffee on the ship is quite good but the milk is quite creamy even if you ask for semi skimmed. The Morning coffee in constellation lounge was variable and sometimes cold. Not sure if they have a coffee machine up on decks 7&8 as generally the coffee was poor compared to that we had at the veranda cafe. I suspect they make a batch and keep it in a thermos? When I complained about cold coffee the waiter said it was because we asked for milk and he put cold milk in the coffee but my wife's cappuccino was cold as well? Housekeeping was good and unobtrusive with the mini bar and toiletries stocked as required but there were no slippers in our cabin throughout the whole cruise. The complimentary "on deck massage moment seemed to take place at random. It was not advertised in advance and presumably took place when the staff had spare time. It was not ideal having this on deck as it necessitated partial removal of the upper body clothes in full view of everyone on deck and I know this put a lot of people off. Also when my wife asked about when the free massage was available she was directed to the spa and told it was $120. There were a number of other minor issues on this cruise for example 1. Ladies restroom door so stiff it is almost impossible to open 2. no towels in the gents restroom 3. crew carrying out repairs to the deck and handrail using power tools within a metre of passengers sunbathing 4. Bits all over the carpets on the atrium stairs seemed to be there for several days etc. Attention to detail was sadly lacking. We always saw an army of staff cleaning general areas on Regent but never saw any on this ship? Not sure if Seabourn are cutting back on their staff but at certain times they did seem a bit thin on the ground especially in the bars. They also seemed to run out of certain provisions towards the end of the cruise such as yoghurt, strawberries certain beers etc. Presumably they wait to stock up in the cheapest places? I am not sure what the reception staff actually do on this ship? We asked about switching our flights but they sent us to the cruise consultant, then we asked for a breakfast order card and they told us to go see our steward who was on break - not I will get the steward to bring you one. The flight seabourn booked us on home from Rome was not until 17.25 so they took nine of us in a minibus from the ship to a hotel near the airport and provided a lunch. The hotel was the Sherraton and it seemed to be in three sections. The part we finished up in (the driver and guide got lost so we did a lap of all the buildings) was fairly large but empty apart from us so was a bit ghostly! Two Rentokil vans were parked discretely behind one of the blocks of rooms and the workers were busy with spray packs in some of the rooms. The swimming pool was closed and covered in green algae. This section of the hotel seemed pretty run down but the staff were friendly and helpful. The lunch was a buffet with pasta, salad, chicken and chips with some fruit salad for desert. Half a bottle of white wine was provided per person. It was obviously better lounging around in this hotel than waiting to check in at the airport but I will insist on an earlier flight next time. I know this all sounds a bit negative and perhaps our expectations were too high. Having read the reviews and the Seabourn brochure perhaps we expected this cruise to be that much better than Regent and Silversea but it wasn't and overall we were disappointed with this cruise. Our experience on this ship was not what we were expecting and certainly not as good overall as the cruises we have had with the other two six star cruise lines. Perhaps some of the issues we had were down to the age, size and design of the ship but certainly not all of them. We will definitely not travel again on any of the other small Seabourn ships but we may try the larger ships if we can get a suitable itinerary at a reasonable price " something we couldn't achieve for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Seabourn Pride offers an unsurpassed sailing experience. The food is outstanding and the service is even better. The crew to customer ratio is better than any. The main dining room is a consistent 4-5 star dining experience with incredible ... Read More
Seabourn Pride offers an unsurpassed sailing experience. The food is outstanding and the service is even better. The crew to customer ratio is better than any. The main dining room is a consistent 4-5 star dining experience with incredible menu diversity for just 200 guests. The upstairs dining facility is ideal for breakfast and lunch. No drink cards and other nonsense which should be the case at these prices. Nice afternoon tea. Room was stocked with liquor of our selection at no additional charge. Room attendants are terrific and attentive. No request is asking too much of this staff. Service is delivered quickly and with a smile. After a few days, the crew knows your name and your desires. They have been especially well trained. Of particular note, the easy and friendly report among the crew certainly enhances the atmosphere on board and extends to the guests as well. Also on a positive note, single passengers received special attention and companionship from the crew. The staterooms have good space and excellent amenities. Nice to be able to catch up with the world with satellite television service. Internet service passable but better than most cruises albeit high rates. Shower is a bit tight and not very easy to use. Rest of bath is adequate and bathroom amenities are all provided including your selection of soap. Our twin beds, pushed together to make a queen, sagged a bit. We had no problems but we heard a few complaints. Sitting room couch was clearly just worn out. It sagged forward was simply uncomfortable. Chairs were adequate but also a bit worn. Overall, the room size was good and service excellent but the furniture is in need of replacement. But, again, service and food outweigh any issues with dated cabin furniture. Embarkation seemed a little more time consuming than expected for only 200 guests but generally disembarkation at ports was quick and easy. Limited planned social activities on board. Some interesting lectures and low key evening entertainment. Casino on board. Plenty of time to rest and relax. Noticed an active bridge group. On deck lounging for reading, napping and/or sunbathing was very popular. We were disappointed that "at sea" bridge tour was inexplicably cancelled on the very day it was scheduled. Ship is becoming outdated. Way too many coats of paint especially outside. Common areas clean and presentable but looking dated. Don't look too closely in the corners. Somewhat boring earth tone colors everywhere. Some clients apparently like what was staff discreetly referred to as a "nostalgic feel". The boat is nearly forty years old and needs a serious rehab from top to bottom. With new boats coming on line, it will be interesting to see how long the Pride remains in the fleet. But please note, the age of the ship does not seriously detract from the enjoyment because of the quality of the food and service. But if you are more interested in what the new boats have to offer, you may wish to consider the Seabourn Sojourn, the newest of their fleet. The Sing to HK trip included Bangkok, Ko Kood, Sihanoukville, Saigon, Da Nang and Ha Long Harbor. Bangkok too much for one day but still worthwhile. Fun beach day at Ko Kood. Sihonoukville seemed like a filler stop--not much to offer. Saigon was a breathtaking two days. Da Nang features the interesting world heritage site of Hoi An. Ha Long Bay was just beautiful and almost unworldly. We disembarked at Ha Long and went to Hanoi instead of spending the last day and a half at sea to get to Hong Kong. We were envied by others for this foresight. No difficulties with early disembarkation but we cleared with Seabourn well in advance of departure. Check whether your ship's visa capability extends to disembarkation in Vietnam. We obtained our own visas just to be sure. We used private guides at all ports so cannot comment on quality of excursions offered by Seabourn. Guests appeared to average 60 years young, nationally diverse and well healed. Kids likely to be bored. Overall, a great cruise. Very relaxing environment. Did I mention the outstanding service and food? Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We have just returned from an excellent week on the Seabourn Pride. As the oldest of the Seabourn fleet, she has remained proud and is in great shape. The maintenance during our cruise was impressive. We found out that half the sofas on ... Read More
We have just returned from an excellent week on the Seabourn Pride. As the oldest of the Seabourn fleet, she has remained proud and is in great shape. The maintenance during our cruise was impressive. We found out that half the sofas on the ship had been replaced in Rome, including ours. Crew were painting, varnishing, and replacing carpets throughout our week. This was our first Seabourn cruise and will not be our last. Most of the 193 passengers on board were repeat business and this is for good reason. A highlight of our cruise included traversing the Corinthe Canal which was very impressive. The ports that were selected for our itinerary were all great and one of the benefits of the Pride's size is that she seems to get the prime position at each port for berthing. Our favourites were Corfu and Mykonos. Shuttles were organised at each port when the ship was not near the town centre. The passenger mix seemed to be younger than other cruises we have done. Maybe mid 50's average, with a range between 30-80. This may have been because this was a short 7 day cruise, but it was a good crowd and everyone seemed to like a party, as the shows were well attended and the club had a crowd every night. The staff were amazing. In fact, I did not hear the word "No" once. Everything that can be done for the guests is done. In every public area, there are staff willing to offer drinks (at any time of the day) and there is never a wait. Champagne and wines were to a good standard, though some may have preferred purchasing others. I personally enjoyed the petit chablis, a french chardonnay, and a red blend call Serius. These were available at all times, though the restaurant menus suggest one white and one red. The food was the best I have had on a cruise ship and chef Kurt is genuinely interested in trying to please. It was nice that he went around to the customers' tables after the chef's dinner to meet and talk about the different food and ingredients. He also organised a market day where people could go out shopping with him for fresh produces at one of the ports. During the cruise, we attended two hosted dinners, which were very enjoyable and a great way to meet others. Though we had not requested this, I believe it is possible to request to be seated with hosts. Overall, our cruise was unforgettable! It was a sad morning in Athens when we disembarked with the Captain and first officer waiting on the dock to farewell each and every guest. We will definitely be back and can't wait to start planning our next Seabourn cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
From the time we boarded the Pride in Copenhagen until we disembarked 31 days later in Amsterdam we could not have asked for better service, atmosphere, entertainment or food. Our stateroom was spacious and well-cared for with all our ... Read More
From the time we boarded the Pride in Copenhagen until we disembarked 31 days later in Amsterdam we could not have asked for better service, atmosphere, entertainment or food. Our stateroom was spacious and well-cared for with all our wants and needs immediately anticipated and taken care of. The itinerary was all we had hoped for and the Norwegian Coast could not have been more spectacular. Because of the small size of the ship, we were able to cruise the inside passages of northern Norway and enter even the smallest of ports and fjords. Our ship was often the closest to the town center, because of our ability to get into smaller ports and docks. The Baltic was very interesting. Transiting the Kiel Canal was an added bonus, it was like having a mini river cruise in the middle of a regular cruise. The excursion staff did a great job of finding some very interesting and specialized opportunities to experience our ports of call. There was no waiting in the common areas for your group to be called for your excursion. This was well done. The dining venues were very nice, though we would have liked to have one more casual dining option, like Seabourn's larger sister ships have. We really enjoyed meeting our chef at the local markets as he was selecting the best of local fare for our meals, and it was nice to get a taste of food from the cities we visited. For adults who like smaller crowds and more personal treatment this is a great ship. We would not recommend this small ship for families with small children, as there are no specialized venues suited for them. A larger ship with a "kids program" would offer more fun for the little ones. We would highly recommend Seabourn for your next cruise, especially if you like no crowds, personalized service, wonderful ports of call, a classy smaller ship, happy crew, camaraderie with your fellow cruisers, spacious staterooms, and all-inclusive drinks and food. A+++ Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Embarkation On Wednesday 29th February 2012, we embarked on Seabourn Pride in Singapore. Following a twelve hour flight from England, we were grateful to be able to board the ship slightly earlier than the scheduled time. Dining The ... Read More
Embarkation On Wednesday 29th February 2012, we embarked on Seabourn Pride in Singapore. Following a twelve hour flight from England, we were grateful to be able to board the ship slightly earlier than the scheduled time. Dining The quality and presentation of the food was entirely satisfactory, as was the service. However, on a number of occasions the main Restaurant felt particularly cold. This was reported not only by ourselves, but by other guests also. The temperature did not appear to increase throughout the rest of our cruise. It appears that the air conditioning required attention in both the restaurant and cabins, as temperature control was virtually impossible. One of the concerns my partner had, was that of the silver food containers used on a daily basis to serve breakfast and lunch in Restaurant 2. The bases of the containers had clearly not been cleaned for a number of months, let alone weeks. However, when questioned, the Hotel Manager insisted they were about to be cleaned overnight, implying this was normal routine. My partner explained that we had been looking at these containers every morning at breakfast since we boarded the ship, they were in the same poor state every day. Sometime later, I received a telephone call in our suite from the Hotel Manager. He felt that my assistance was required, and requested that I come to Restaurant 2 on Deck 7 where a discussion between the Hotel Manager, a reportedly Director of Seabourn who happened to be onboard, and my partner was taking place. When I arrived, it was clear that my partner was very upset and unhappy. The Hotel Manager and Director were clearly unhappy too. I, therefore, requested that we resolve the situation the following day and left the restaurant with my partner. The following day, no contact was made with ourselves by the Hotel Manager or Director. However, a small flower display was put in our suite. At approximately 7pm, I received a telephone call in our suite from the Hotel Manager. He asked if everything was alright, and stated that things were very uncomfortable with my partner the previous evening. He seemed more concerned that he had been put in a position whereby he was made to feel uncomfortable, rather than feeling genuine concern for his paying guests. I explained that my partner, quite rightly, was very upset about a number of issues. Activities On the second day of our cruise, we participated in a game of golf on the pool deck. This took place after lunch and was good fun. However, one of the waiting on staff cleared away the tables that had been used to display food on. Food had fallen onto the deck which he had failed to spot. Two members of the entertainment crew set up the golf alongside where the food had fallen. They too failed to spot the food. Actually, one of the crew did spot the food but chose to ignore it. My partner eventually took it upon himself to take a serviette from the bar and clean it up himself. There was no sign of acknowledgement from any of the crew members. It was also noticed that the stainless steel barbecue used to cook food on at lunch time was in a filthy state. The barbecue was stored away after use in its white plastic cover in the same filthy state. The swimming pool was rusty and tiles were missing in various places. The pool was emptied when the weather deteriorated and maintenance did begin. This, by pure coincidence, just happened to occur a short time after discussions had taken place with my partner, the Hotel Manager and Director of Seabourn. Staff & Service The first thing that caught our eye in the Magellan Lounge, where registration took place, was the filthy state of a strip of ceiling above the marble dance floor. This dirt remained there for the duration of our cruise. On entering our suite, it was apparent that the shower mat in the bathroom had not been replaced with a clean mat. The mat had dirty marks and bits of paper on it, and had clearly not been changed following occupation by the previous guests.This bath mat did not get cleaned or replaced with a fresh one until the tenth day of our cruise following a request to the Hotel Manager to change our suite stewardess, or "maid"as referred to by the Hotel Manager, for a different stewardess. There was no shampoo or conditioner in the bathroom. On the evening of day two of our cruise, a note was left by myself requesting the stewardess provide us with shampoo and conditioner. Standard items that are normally provided in the suites. The exterior rim of the toilet was also dirty and body hair from the previous occupants was present. This remained the case until the morning of Friday 9th March 2012. The shower curtain was only attached to some of the clips, the rest of the shower curtain was left hanging. This again remained the case until the morning of Friday 9th March 2012. Initially, we were sympathetic and understanding of the above oversights due to the fact that disembarkation and embarkation times are likely to be very busy times. However, as we entered further into our cruise, it became very apparent that the standard of service we were receiving from our stewardess was staggeringly poor and left a lot to be desired. On Tuesday 6th March 2012, the two water tumblers provided in the bathroom of our suite were removed, presumably for cleaning. Three days later, they had still not been returned. This was reported to the Hotel Manager during a telephone conversation one evening prior to leaving our suite for dinner. The least I would have expected, was for the glasses to have been replaced that evening. This did not happen. The glasses were not replaced until the following day when a different stewardess, who would now be tending to our suite, introduced herself. It is clear that the stewardess responsible for cleaning our suite during the first week of our cruise did not have the interest or capability required for such a position. It was purely coincidental that a guest staying in a suite close to the suite we were staying in mentioned on the last night of the cruise that she would not be giving her suite stewardess a tip. She commented that the stewardess had not cleaned or maintained her suite very well, leaving her to make the bed and finish other jobs herself. This turned out to be the same stewardess assigned to our suite during the first week of our cruise. When we asked if she had brought this to anyone's attention, she stated that she had not as she did not like to complain. She had however written a comment on the guest questionnaire. Listed in the Yachts of Seabourn Guest List under the heading Ship's Officers is a named Executive Housekeeper. I am sure it is her responsibility to train and supervise the stewardesses who are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the suites, and to ensure the suites meet with guests expectations. If this is the case, she is clearly not fulfilling her role either or, she too does not have very basic standards of care required for this position, let alone high standards. On a positive note, there are some very nice touches applied to the suites by the stewardesses. These include hand written poems and notes left on the bed along with animals made from towels and flannels. However, I do feel it may be more appropriate to ensure the suites are cleaned and maintained rather than spending time writing poems and making animals. I would also like to add that the quality of the bath and hand towels provided in the suites were very poor. The pillow cases were too small for the pillows which hung out by a number of inches and the hair dryers displayed little power. Totally unacceptable on a ship purportedly to be five/six star. Following on from the above reports, I would like to highlight further incidents. During the early part of another evening, the toilet in our bathroom would not flush. We reported this to a member of staff on reception who said she would have a plumber attend to it whilst we were at dinner. On returning to our cabin at approximately 2345 hours, we were alarmed to see that the toilet seat was still closed and the toilet had not been attended to. We immediately telephoned reception again. The gentleman very kindly said he would send a plumber to attend to the toilet. A plumber did attend within 20 minutes. It was clear that our suite stewardess had not even lifted the toilet seat during that evening or, if she had, she did not ensure that the problem was rectified. It was also clear that the member of staff on reception had not ensured the problem was rectified either. It was at this point, that my partner went to reception and requested to speak to the Hotel Manager and the Director of Seabourn. A quite heated discussion took place as to the poor maintenance of the ship and our suite. My partner became increasingly irritated and annoyed at the fact that both the Hotel Manager and the Director of Seabourn were making excuses and giving false information in relation to maintenance of both the ship and its equipment. I suggested that our suite stewardess be replaced with somebody else. When asked was she not very good, I proceeded to explain some of our experiences and disappointments with our suite to date. That very same morning, our toilet had not even been cleaned, there was feces around the basin. Oh my god was the Hotel Managers response. I explained that when we first embarked on the ship, the Captain informed us not to hesitate in reporting anything we were not happy with. This, I explained to the Hotel Manager, was not something we had come away to do during our two week vacation. This was the responsibility of the staff. A new suite stewardess did replace the original one. Thankfully, she was a huge improvement. We received a clean shower mat, clean sheets, water tumblers, and the shower curtain was fixed. Finally, I am sure crew members are entitled to invite family and friends on board but I think it important that they also adhere to the relevant dress code in the evenings as well as the guests. Apparently, a guest of the Boutique Manager was on board. He was present in the Club most evenings when we were at sea. His dress code was extremely casual every time meaning jeans and t shirt, certainly not the required. Entertainment Moving onto the entertainment part of the cruise. On the evening of Thursday 8th March 2012, we attended a Deck Party. It was a fabulous evening with music and entertainment provided by the Cruise Director, Assistant Cruise Director, Vocalists, and Band Oasis. After the Deck party, at approximately 2230 hours, my partner, myself and a number of other guests proceeded to the Club, as we did most evenings. It was at this time we learned that a crew party was taking place on the deck below. Well deserved I am sure. The Romantics were performing when we entered the Club. They performed until 2315 hours then disappeared, we can only assume to the crew party. It was at this point, we all realised there was no music playing. Normally, at this point, the Vocalists along with Oasis would perform. We could only assume they too were at the crew party. This was not a problem, and did not cause us any concern, as a Classical Pianist who had boarded the ship a couple of days earlier accompanied us in the Club. One of the guests asked if she would play the piano for us. She was delighted. We all joined her around the piano to make our own music. We repositioned a microphone to beside the piano to enable one of the guests to sing into, and my partner proceeded to play on the drum kit. My partner has his own drum kit at home and is a keen player. After a short period, one of the Vocalists appeared at the Club door with a big smile on his face. He watched for a moment then joined us for one song. He then returned to the crew party. A few moments later, the Assistant Cruise Director appeared, waved his hand from side to side and mouthed "last one, then finish". He then proceeded over to speak with the two bar staff who were present then disappeared. Naturally, we were all taken aback. We had been left to entertain ourselves because the entertainers had abandoned the guests, they were either at a party or in bed. We were in no way behaving in a raucous fashion, nor were we abusing any of the equipment, we were merely entertaining ourselves. However, we were now being instructed to stop. Following a short discussion between the guests present in the Club, the Hotel Manager was called and an explanation of the evening's events was given. A Security Personnel was also in attendance who suggested he bring the crew party to an end. We explained this was not necessary, we were not unhappy that the crew were having a party and enjoying themselves. What we were unhappy about was the fact that we, as paying guests on board the ship, had been abandoned by the entertainers, who were obviously at the crew party. Therefore, we had taken it upon ourselves to provide our own entertainment but then were requested to stop. The Security Personnel insisted the music from the crew party was too loud and headed off to turn it down. On his return, he asked if we were happy to just have some background music playing for the rest of the evening. The Hotel Manager said he would look into it. Needless to say, we heard nothing that evening or the following day. On the evening of Saturday 10th March 2012, we attended a drinks reception in the Magellan Lounge. At the entrance to the lounge to greet guests were the Assistant Cruise Director, the Cruise Director, the Cruise Sales Specialist, the Captain and the Hotel Manager. My partner made it very clear to all personnel present of his immense disappointment in the way we, and a number of other guests on the ship, were treated in the Club on the night of Thursday 8th March 2012. He expressed his astonishment that not one person had apologized for the incident. It was at this point that the Hotel Manager said to my partner "I guess I will not be getting an invite to your home will I?" Why he felt it necessary to make such a remark was beyond us. The Cruise Director later approached us and asked if we would meet with her after the show which we did. She stated that she had heard one side of the story, would we like to give her our side of the story. Where she had heard one side of the story from I have no idea. There were no crew representatives in the Club on that night other than two bar staff. My partner explained what had happened. The Cruise Director, a little hostile, explained that she had been informed no further music was required on the evening of Thursday 8th March 2012 when the Romantics left the Club. Again, I am not sure who had made the decision that no further music was required, it certainly was not any of the guests. The Cruise Director went on to say that someone had moved the microphone and one of the guests was playing the drums and we were not allowed to do this. Was the Classical Pianist not allowed to play the piano either we asked? Oh yes, she was allowed to play the piano. Then why was none of this explained to us by the Assistant Cruise Director? Why were we instructed to finish? Why did the Vocalist quite happily sing a song with us before returning to the party? My partner very bluntly told the Cruise Director that what happened that evening was totally inappropriate and totally unacceptable. The paying guests on board the ship had been abandoned, were happy to make their own entertainment, along with the very professional Classical Pianist, while the entertainers and crew were having a party, but were then instructed to bring the evening to a close. Her only comment was that we should have called her to the Club rather than the Hotel Manager. My partner suggested that out of courtesy, she apologize to the rest of the guests who were in the Club that evening. Of course, this did not happen. The least that happened was the Assistant Cruise Director making his presence known in the Club for 5 minutes the following evening and the musicians making sure they provided music. Shore Excursions Very enjoyable Disembarkation No problems Summary We have cruised before with Silversea on Silver Wind and on Seabourn Odyssey without any complaints or bad experiences at all. Had the incident relating to entertainment on board Seabourn Pride not occurred, we may have been inclined to overlook the Housekeeping and certain other issues. Photographs of some of the issues referred to along with a copy of this report were sent to the Vice President of Seabourn on our return. Following many telephone conversations and letter writing, the most Seabourn offered us in the form of compensation was £2000 for a holiday costing £10000. We received this payment in December 2012. We would be extremely reluctant to sail with Seabourn again, as would our friends and family who have sailed with them on many occasions. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
When we boarded in Singapore the Silver seas was docked next to the little Pride...it was so small I could not even see it! Oh my, when we boarded it was so small..low ceiling in the main lounge...oh my...but our cabin, with a shelf ... Read More
When we boarded in Singapore the Silver seas was docked next to the little Pride...it was so small I could not even see it! Oh my, when we boarded it was so small..low ceiling in the main lounge...oh my...but our cabin, with a shelf balcony, was really well laid out, spacious...plenty of storage for 36 days, yes ladies I take 4 huge suitcases! everything fit..with room to spare. The bathroom equally spacious with storage under and a big mirrored cabinet storage area...2 sinks...shower over tub was at first a bit weird but I figured it out after a few days. The only dumb thing was the placement of the room safe, had to get on all fours to get into it...lucky for me I can still do that! Our suite was kept spotless and well stocked by our darling Lusel from South Africa. We had breakfast in our suite most mornings, laid out very nice on the big table with ajustable height, and removed promptly always with a call to see if all was good! To be perfectly honest I was very apprehensive about sailing on such a little ship for 36 days, but we are so glad we did, we just loved it because of the size, 200 passengers, you meet people easier, the crew got to know you and greet youn by name...and after 36 days there were hugs among the passengers and crew....we could have stayed on another 36 days. Don't get me stared about the food. Please don't go there with the bread sticks, one is never enough Kurt did some amazing dishes, vension, veal beef wellington...scallops and other fish dishes..desserts to pretty to eat,and wonderful cheese plates. The best burgers afloat and french fries. The wine flowed no question, once the staffed discovered what you liked it was there ready for you! An the Club pre dinner cocktails an hor'dourves different each night...I loved the sausages in puff pastry! Only one complaint in food was the horrid coffee...the coffee machines need replacing! It was all the little details that we shall remember, Pop-corn at Trivia, after some of the longer tours we were welcomed back dock side with cool towels, champagne & hor'dourves..and a lot of the staff...they work so hard to make our cruise the best it could be...were there any problems...just minor...our toilet was a problem 4 times, BUT the problem was addresses within 10 minutes! No major deal. The towels were a bit shabby, and since the Pride is an older ship she needs some re-fit, dings on the furniture, some spots on the carpets. The really big problem for a long cruise was the tiny laundry room with 2 washers and driers, one dryer did not dry the clothes after 1 hour 45 minutes! had to hang everything in the cabin to dry and 1 unstable ironing board but you did meet all the other passengers!....BUT over all the staff made such a huge difference...one lunch time in the Restauant 2 Veranda buffet a fellow passenger became ill...the wait staff jumped in immediately to assist the gentleman...they were caring and concerned and took charge...I was amazed at how professional they were in the situation. We went to some amazing ports in India, Oman, UAE, Egypt and Israel..what an experience. For those of you that are afraid of the Pirates...well we were well protected and sailed in a convoy...never felt any problems, even in Egypt we had security on the buses. All said and done we are now Seaborne passengers, next time on one of the bigger Seaborne ships... What you might not like, if you need to be constantly entertained then this pace might not be for you, tho I thought Jan and her staff were amazing, enough for me to do!...if you like stiff formality, maybe this is not for you. But if you want to meet other well traveled interesting passengers and come away as part of a family, well give it a try....unless of course you do not like your family...well that of course is another matter! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This was our first cruise on Seabourn, and it did not disappoint. Even though the Pride is getting along in years, she is well maintained and very comfortable. Everything was as expected or better. The service is superb, food is top notch, ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Seabourn, and it did not disappoint. Even though the Pride is getting along in years, she is well maintained and very comfortable. Everything was as expected or better. The service is superb, food is top notch, and drinks are unlimited and excellent. Every staff member, from maintenance men to cabin stewardesses to barmen and restaurant staff were all just superb, going out of their way to be helpful. The quality of the shows put on by the staff is remarkably good. Occasionally they brought in an outsider or two (we had a concert pianist and a comedian) and they were both terrific. We had some traveling companions who grumbled a bit that there wasn't enough to do on board on sea days (we had 6 sea days), and I suppose there is some truth to that as the Pride is a small ship and there are no rock climbing walls or huge boutiques for shopping. But it certainly didn't bother us as we found plenty to do. Some people just need to have somnething to complain about. We would love to go on another Seabourn cruise and look forward to doing so. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Our first cruise on Seabourn we chose it because of the "Best small cruise line in the world" rating, and we paid a price that was considerably higher than other cruise lines to get top quality. The ship was old, shabby, and ... Read More
Our first cruise on Seabourn we chose it because of the "Best small cruise line in the world" rating, and we paid a price that was considerably higher than other cruise lines to get top quality. The ship was old, shabby, and sorely lacking in amenities. The rooms were nice, linens on the bed fine, but towels, thin and small. Shabby again. We did not get bathrobes until we asked three times, and we were promise fruit and juice daily, we got juice, but the fruit was not replaced after the first day, and the utensils disappeared and there were no plates or napkins, just bad service. The room service is very quick - probably the best food on the ship, but a very limited menu. They advertise that you can choose where to eat, but the Cafe and outdoor areas had to be reserved, and they were reserved 100% by one group of 20 ppl who called daily on the dot. I finally pitched a fit because we were told each and every day we could not eat in either space and we did get ONE meal in the gourmet restaurant. ONE out of 12 days. It was unacceptable all around and there were other guests who were told no the entire trip while some guests ate there every day. Bad service and bad form for the cruise line. I will not book with them again, and told them, did not even get a reply from the cruise line. We will be going back to Crystal where the service is what we expect Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
This was only our second cruise -- previously on Silversea, which we loved. This one, however, was even better -- probably 2 notches above Silversea in terms of service and food. I had seen some lukewarm reviews of the Pride and was ... Read More
This was only our second cruise -- previously on Silversea, which we loved. This one, however, was even better -- probably 2 notches above Silversea in terms of service and food. I had seen some lukewarm reviews of the Pride and was beginning to wonder about our selection -- but all of that was dispelled within the first couple days. The cabin was spacious and well-appointed. The food ranged from very good to (most often) excellent. The chef (Kurt) really excelled. The selection of wines was also very nice, with a wide assortment of (free) selections, that included such options as unwooded Chards and very enjoyable Ports and even a Sauterne. The service was phenomenal, from the cabin stewardess to the restaurant staff. Shore excursions were well-planned and executed. About our only significant complaint was that the observation lounge (the Constellation Lounge) had these ridiculous fabric panels covering part of almost every window -- why you would want to block viewing from an observation lounge was beyond us. The lounge also had varying tints (blue & yellow) on some of the windows which was a little annoying too. But that's the worst we can say. The ship is an older one, and in certain design ways shows its age, but nothing is tattered or dirty, so really no great complaint here either. Seabourn's service & food and wine was so good that we immediately decided to put down a (small) downpayment on any future cruise -- 100% refundable, and gives you an added 5% discount on that cruise. A great offer by Seabourn. The evening entertainment -- jazz violinist from New York, great pianist from China, fun magician from who-knows-where -- was also excellent. We recommend them most highly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This was our third Seabourn cruise and it was superlative, easily the best we have ever been on on any cruise line. Our first Seabourn experience, on the Spirit in April 2010, was truly magical and a delight from the time we checked in ... Read More
This was our third Seabourn cruise and it was superlative, easily the best we have ever been on on any cruise line. Our first Seabourn experience, on the Spirit in April 2010, was truly magical and a delight from the time we checked in in Lisbon to the moment we disembarked in Venice. Our second, on the larger Odyssey from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires in January-February 2011, was somewhat disappointing due partly to the itinerary, partly to new and ill-trained staff and partly to the 400+ passenger size of the ship.(Our own resolution, after the Odyssey, was never to go on any ship larger than 200+- passengers.) But ships reflect their captains and in Ian McNaught (I hope I got that right)on the Spirit and in Eric Saaybe on the Pride, Seabourn has two of the bery best anywhere. Professional, in touch with everything on board ship, exacting in their expectations of service and performance, personable and engaging, they reflect everything a ship's captain should be, and more. Staff generally, service and food in both the main dining room and the garden cafe were consistently excellent. We had met many staff on previous cruises and they all, without fail, remembered us and our names. The bar staff make a point of remembering your favourite drink and bring it without prompting not long after one sits down. I sometimes tend to look on the dark side and suspect that the overwhelming friendliness and concern for passenger satisfaction might be simply a facade or product of rote learning at a hospitality school, but for Seabourn staff it remarkably seems to be true and heartfelt. We booked our own tour guide in St. Petersburg and were generally on our own by choice in the other ports. The steam train tour in Germany was poorly organized for someone who likes to take plenty of photographs, but I heard no complaints from other passengers who took the other Seabourn tours. The ship is kept spotlessly clean and the decor is conservative, quiet and comfortable. People looking for flash and dash will probably want to go elsewhere. Finally, I have noted several reviews that castigate the line, ship, crew, food and wine mercilessly. I cannot comment on their specific experiences, but in my own experience there exist passengers from hell, whose expectations are out of this world and whose ability to criticize far outweigh their ability to appreciate the unrivaled quality before them. Unless you are one of those, the Pride (and the Spirit) are not likely to disappoint. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We have sailed on the Pride 5 times and find it still one of our favorite ships. It doesn't have a real balcony or much of a swimming pool, but the intimacy of a small ship and an outstanding staff more than make up for those ... Read More
We have sailed on the Pride 5 times and find it still one of our favorite ships. It doesn't have a real balcony or much of a swimming pool, but the intimacy of a small ship and an outstanding staff more than make up for those deficiencies. It has been redecorated since we last sailed on it and I like the new carpeting and furniture. EMBARKATION - Very smooth - we were escorted to our cabin and our cabin attendent came almost immediately and was lovely throughout the cruise. DINING - The food was excellent, if very slightly below it was last year. SERVICE - This is an area that no other cruise line matches. The staff quickly learns your name and preferences. SHORE EXCURSIONS - Excellent except for 2 in Bordeaux. When several people mentioned that these were not up to Seabourn standards, Seabourn refunded half the price. ENTERTAINMENT - Best we have had on a small ship. Great concert pianist, very amusing magician,an excellent jazz trio and the regular Seabourn entertainers. Only weak spot was the lecturer, which is usually a Seabourn strength. ITINERARY - Because of the small size of the ship, we were able to go up the Seine to Rouen and have an easy one hour train ride into Paris. WE were also able to go right into the heart of St. Malo. A lovely cruise in all ways. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My wife has never fancied a cruise. She was seasick on the Isle of Man ferry. However, so many of our friends have talked about how much they enjoyed theirs I managed to persuade her. I did listen to stories of cruising from friends with ... Read More
My wife has never fancied a cruise. She was seasick on the Isle of Man ferry. However, so many of our friends have talked about how much they enjoyed theirs I managed to persuade her. I did listen to stories of cruising from friends with great interest. Dining at 6pm with the same people every night; 15% added to a $2.50 bottle of water; tipping for just about everybody; long queues on arrival at ports; ships docking 5 miles away from the actual town etc. etc. the list goes on. Enough to put us off completely until I heard of a great experience on a Silversea cruise. I investigated further. It looked a great ship, small number of people, no tipping, all food and drinks. It sounded just what we wanted even if it was more expensive than we wanted to pay. I investigated further and found 3 more cruise lines which tempted me besides Silversea:- Seabourn, Regent and Crystal. How did I decide? By producing a speadsheet with all the good and bad points (sad Aren't I?). Which cruise line won? Well I narrowed it down to 2 actually - Silversea and Seabourn. Both ticked all the boxes but in the end Seabourn won as our choice of cruise was the Baltic and whilst both did this area Silversea's was 7 days and Seabourn's 12. We went in July on a cruise with flights and transfers included and managed a decent discount off the brochure price. (A regular cruiser on board said aim for half the brochure price). We flew to Copenhagen and were collected at the airport and taken to the Admiral Hotel for the first night (we paid for this ourselves). A very wet Copenhagen meant no sightseeing and had to even stay in the hotel in the morning as the rain was torrential. On embarking on the ship which was docked very near to the city centre and easily walkable from the Admiral on a dry day, we were welcomed with proper champagne and canapes and following a very quick check in we were soon in our suite to be welcomes by a full bottle of champagne on ice, a bowl of fruit and flowers. We also received a free gift of some premium soaps as well as the more ordinary Molton Brown in the bathroom. There are 2-3 choices of where to dine on the Pride - main restaurant which is a traditional style of restaurant where head waiters accompany women to the table; Restaurant 2 which is more casual but with excellent food and choice of food and sometimes the outdoor sky bar for barbeque type food. If you don't like the menu of the day they will always cook you what you want but when choices are fillet steak, lobster tails, rack of lamb, proper halibut etc. why ask for anything different. They are cooked French style and I could only describe them as excellent. Most nights in the main restaurant are smart casual and men do need a jacket. I thought I only needed a jacket for the formal night and took a black suit and I could wear the jacket with ordinary trousers on these nights. An extra lightweight jacket would be useful. Entertainment is excellent with a band, two different duos, guy who played piano/guitar, excellent entertainment manager who also sang together with guests artists eg. McDonald Brothers and magician, Russian dancing troupe etc. Drinks flow freely and the wine with meals is excellent - they have daily choices but if you don't like what they have you can request others. Cocktails are available in all bars and they do not skimp on the spirits. Staff are encouraged to call you by name and about 50% of them do - they memorise your surnames from pictures taken as you board. most are friendly, some over friendly, some polite but do not engage and others merely do their job and just say Hi. I only took exception to one member of staff for lack of customer care skills. The ports we visited were fine although I would have preferred Tallin to Klaipeda. We did not do shore excursions as we found we could find better selection locally at a much better price and fellow cruisers joined us on some of these. St Petersburg was out of this world - so many palaces, churches, statues - cannot take it all in - just wish the Russian people were a bit more friendly - it is as if they don't want our foreign currency. Also, it is impossible to go out on your own in St Petersburg without a visa - would probably be quite difficult as it is such a big city and the language is difficult. To sum up: Ship - really nice, spoilt now and would not want to go on one much bigger (can't really get much smaller though) but I would say it's a 4 star ship with 5 star food. Staff, entertainment, drinks, ports all excellent but just watch the bill at the end - I had to point out a $50 charge for non return of DVD had crept on for some reason and casino chips cashed in had not been credited. I also thought I had paid for transfers from the ship at Stockholm but apparently I had not. Not entirely happy with Seabourn customer service on line though - I had to remind them that they had not responded to my emails about various issues and when a reply was forthcoming there was no name of the person who actually sent it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We travelled from Hong Kong to Singapore on the Seabourn Pride. This was our second Seabourn cruise and we were looking forward to it as we had enjoyed the six star luxury of our first cruise on Seabourn Legend. Unfortunately it did not ... Read More
We travelled from Hong Kong to Singapore on the Seabourn Pride. This was our second Seabourn cruise and we were looking forward to it as we had enjoyed the six star luxury of our first cruise on Seabourn Legend. Unfortunately it did not live up to our expectations.Embarkation in Hong Kong consisted of queueing in the rain behind a bus load of Belgians who seemed to be on a group charter cruise. When we finally got on the boat we were ushered into the lounge where we queued again to have our photos taken and our passes issued. Then we were left to find our own cabin. Our "personal stewardess" (loosely speaking) appeared after a little while, introduced herself and disappeared. Think we were a bit unlucky because other people had very good stewardesses, who ran them baths, made sculptures from their towels, kept their mini bar topped up, etc. We weren't too worried about any of that, but it would have been nice.The cabin was a bit shabby and in need of a makeover. There were signs of water damage around the plinths of all the furniture. The balcony we had paid quite a bit extra was only 1 foot deep and just about big enough to stand on. The food in the restaurants was ok but after about 10 days became bland and boring. Lunch on deck was very disappointing - hamburgers, hot dogs and a very meagre salad selection - the same every day. The fine wines on the "allowed" list were the type of wines you can buy in any supermarket for between £6-£10 per bottle. We asked for some chablis in our cabin instead of the champagne, because we don't like Champagne and were told it is not on the list, but we could buy some. This did not happen on our first cruise.The toiletries in the bathroom were on ration (again not the same as our first cruise, when there was an endless supply of decent size Molton Brown products). This time the sizes have reduced to miniature and I had to ask on three occasions for more bubble bath. One time having to ring reception in the evening because my note had been ignored by the stewardess.Pampering moments on deck (advertised as one of the luzury features) consisted of one 1hour session during the whole cruise.The BELGIANS! Well, what can one say? They took over the ship basically. They went everywhere enmasse, they shouted rather than talked to each other, they took over the skydeck bar every day - smoking all the time. There was probably about 50 of them all together and it changed the whole ambience of the cruise. Many of the other passengers were complaining about their behaviour.The end of the cruise was apparently two days before it should have been because our stewardess left a note in our cabin wishing us Bon Voyage and hoped that we had enjoyed our cruise. Most bizarre and we never saw again after Day 12. No goodbye in person - very strange.The Captain and his Officers were noticeable by their absence. The Captain appeared to have no interest in talking to the passengers. Some people were asking if he was still on the boat and were the announcements on the tannoy recorded messages! On a more positive note we did meet some very nice people (not Belgians) and see some interesting places. The restaurant waiters were always very attentive and they still deserve 6 stars. Sadly I think we could only give the overall experience 3 stars. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
This was our first Seabourn cruise. Our expectations were high ....some were met and others were not but overall we enjoyed the cruise very much. Embarkation: This was probably one of the low points of the cruise for us. We arrived at ... Read More
This was our first Seabourn cruise. Our expectations were high ....some were met and others were not but overall we enjoyed the cruise very much. Embarkation: This was probably one of the low points of the cruise for us. We arrived at the ship at about 4:00PM. Most of the cruisers had already boarded at this point. We went to the reception area where we were given our boarding cards and room keys----they didn't seem very enthusiastic. Once we had our room keys we were expecting that someone would take us to our cabins as they always have on other cruises. Unfortunately, there was no one there so we finally asked a crew member where we would find our cabin and he pointed us in the right direction. When we arrived, our room attendant was nowhere to be found. We waited for our luggage to appear and after about a half hour when It hadn't come, we called the reception desk and were told we would have it within 10 minutes. We also mentioned that we hadn't seen our room stewardess. We were definitely not feeling the love from Seabourn. Our stewardess showed up within a few minutes and told us she hadn't been informed of our arrival....she was great. Unfortunately, our luggage didn't show up for another half hour even though people who had boarded after we did had their luggage before we did.Ports: We chose this itinerary because we wanted to visit Vietnam. My husband is a Vietnam vet and wanted to go back. The itinerary included Bangkok, Komood Island, Saigon, DaNang, Hanoi and HongKong. We used private excursions which I had booked before the cruise so I can't comment first hand on the ship's excursions other than we didn't hear any complaints about the excursions and heard some very positive comments. The Komood Island day was really fun and the crew went all out to make it a wonderful day. The only thing I would comment on is that this is not a good trip for anyone with problems walking or climbing. The crew was very helpful in boarding people onto the tender but it was not an easy board for anyone with physical problems. The only other port I would like to comment on is Hanoi. It is almost a four hour drive each way from the ship to Hanoi......and we spent about 4 hours in Hanoi. The distance isn't more than 100 miles and the road was very bumpy and the traffic was horrible. We wouldn't do it again for the short time in Hanoi. The only people that seemed to like the trip were those who spent the night in Hanoi and came back the next day. The trip to Halong Bay was spectacular and highly recommended. Crew: This was a highlight of the trip. The crew was wonderful and very helpful. They seemed like a very happy group and seemed to enjoy what they did. We loved the captain and the cruise director.Other cruisers: We are in our early 60's from the US. Most of the cruises were probably in their 60s and from the US but there were people from all over the world and a variety of ages. We met people in their 30s as well as those in their 80s and we enjoyed all of them. One of the things we especially enjoyed were the dinners where we were invited to sit with crew members (including the captain) as well as the guest lecturer and performers. It was a great way to meet other cruisers and we enjoyed the hosts as well.The ship: The Pride is a little tired looking. ....not horrible but definitely needs a little sprucing up. Our bed was really hard so we asked for something a little softer and our stewardess fixed it right up. The amenities were very good. We had two vases of flowers sent to us from the ship which we really enjoyed. We don't drink wine but like Perrier which they kept stocked in our refrigerator. We wanted to be on a smaller ship, however, when we hit 20' waves in the South China seas, we weren't having a lot of fun. We were up most of the might being jostled by the ship hitting the huge waves. The cabin was very large (we had the least expensive cabin) with double sinks in the bathroom and a nice large closet...no complaints with the cabin.Food: The food ranged from really good to very average. The lamb chops were outstanding but some of the fish was fishy. It definitely wasn't 5 Star dining but it was good. One thing that bothered me was that I would have liked to have hot tea with my dessert. It usually came about 10-15 minutes after the dessert was served so by that time I was ready to leave the dining room. I asked about this and was told that they had to get the desserts out before they could start serving the tea. We had room service several times and it was prompt and the food was hot. The selection for the afternoon tea was pretty meager compared to other ships.Activities: Onboard activities are fairly limited. There was a guest speaker on sea days and he was excellent. There was also a bridge lady who organized bridge games.....we don't play bridge so we didn't participate. There was also a Trivia game on sea days which we did enjoy. The gym was adequate and clean. I did the yoga and pilates classes when they were offered and they were very good but there were only 3-4 of us who participated. Personally, I would have liked more classes but being as they weren't well attended, I could understand why they didn't offer more. They also had an occasional movie....most were not current. Spa: I had several spa treatments. The massage and facial were good....the pedicure not worth the high price. I noticed that the charge for the treatments was more than the amounts quoted on my confirmation. I showed the spa manager and she said that the prices had been changed last year and didn't know why the prices were wrong on my confirmation. She gave me a refund which I thought was really nice. There was a sauna but no spa whirlpool or spa sitting area.Entertainment: We really liked the entertainers and they did a great job....These were not productions but rather themed music in the evenings most of the time. A magician performed twice and my husband said he was very good. There was a guest pianist who performed twice and he was awesome. The only problem we had with the entertainment was that it didn't begin until 10PM and we were usually too tired to go after a long day of touring.Internet: There were several packages for internet use. The internet was slow but it worked every time I wanted to use it and there were enough computers where I didn't have to wait for them.Dress code: We had one formal night and several "elegant casual" nights where the men were supposed to wear a jacket. We carry on all of our luggage so my husband didn't bring a jacket. It was our understanding that we would have alternative dining venues if he didn't bring a jacket. On the formal night, the casual dining area was closed so his only option would have been room service. I called reception to inquire as to what he could do and they found a jacket for him to use throughout the cruise (he had a shirt and tie). I didn't notice any men in tuxedos and most of the women just had on dressy dresses but not gowns.Bottom line: We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise...we especially liked the crew and the other cruisers. Would we cruise with Seabourn again? Yes, if the price is right and if the itinerary goes where we want to go. We got a great fare but we would not have paid the brochure fare by any means. I don't think it was any better than Oceania Cruises even though it has a higher rating. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
This was our first ocean cruise after 3 previous river cruises (China, Russia, and Danube)with parents (in their 80s). This small ship had 189 passengers out of total 220 capacity. Our rooms were larger than we expected with plenty of ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise after 3 previous river cruises (China, Russia, and Danube)with parents (in their 80s). This small ship had 189 passengers out of total 220 capacity. Our rooms were larger than we expected with plenty of space to relax (couch and 2 chairs) and enjoy the view out the large window. Service was excellent throughout the vessel with all having a smile and most addressing you by name. Minor problems (burned out light bulb) were fixed in a timely manner. Meals had a variety of choices with something that all 4 of us liked on the menu. Portions were of right size and the servers several times gave us side portions of other mains to try if we wanted a taste. Wine steward never let the glass get empty on this all inclusive ship. We normally did not stay up for the evenings entertainment after touring all day but couple times we did it was decent. Biggest issue we had was the use on your own washer/dryers were broke several times and since they were European style cycles were very long. Prior to cruise we stayed in Stockholm at Nordic Sea Hotel. Very convenient hotel, less than 100 feet from airport express train stop and short walk (15 minutes) to Old Town. Quiet and reasonable priced for Stockholm. Port not included in lists below was Mariehamn, Finland. Since we stopped on a Sunday almost all shops were closed. You could walk the whole town in less than a half hour. Did enjoy the sailing museum ship which was next to where we docked. I would rate a 3. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We just returned from a 12 night cruise on Seabourn Pride from Kobe to Shanghai. This is our first Seabourn cruise, we've been on several Silversea cruises in the last few years and loved them. The Ship The Pride is the smallest ... Read More
We just returned from a 12 night cruise on Seabourn Pride from Kobe to Shanghai. This is our first Seabourn cruise, we've been on several Silversea cruises in the last few years and loved them. The Ship The Pride is the smallest ship we've sailed on but it didn't feel too small at all, it's a great size. This cruise had 210 guests on board including a handful of children (all superbly behaved bar one) so the ship was full, it never felt crowded, even on sea days there was space on deck and we often wondered where on earth everyone was. Pride is well-maintained, shows the wear and tear you might expect from a ship which has 200 people sloshing around it on a daily basis but everything worked, the suite was fine and as long as Seabourn continues to wet or dry dock these ships on a regular basis, they'll stay that way. The Crew I put 'The Crew' next because I think that's what makes or breaks a cruise. All the staff on board, almost without exception, were excellent from the moment we turned up at Kobe to the moment we got in the cab in Shanghai. Seabourn, like Silversea, has a high crew-to-guest ratio and they clearly pick their staff carefully and train them well. There's a can-do attitude, people learn your name and your preferences and they go out of their way to make every cruise special for every passenger. At the end of the cruise it was hard to pick a few people to mention by name because everyone was wonderful. (For reference our cruise director was Nick Hale and he's absolutely superb). Itinerary And Ports Of Call The itinerary on this cruise was Japan-South Korea-China. It wasn't stunning but we didn't expect it to be, we cruise for the ship more than the ports. We felt some of the excursions were really cobbled together to try to find 'something' to do, they tried .. not sure it always worked out. The low point was probably Mokpo in South Korea, Shanghai was the best port. Food And Drink Always a hot topic on cruises, perhaps the hottest! We thought the food on this cruise was good, not exceptional, but good. Everything we had was well-prepared and the ingredients were ok. Definitely we had the feeling that the galley had a budget to stick to and that budget had been squeezed when the line started to discount the cruises. The main dining room fare did get a little monotonous by the end of the cruise, cold or hot appetizer, soup, salad, fish/poultry/meat or vegetarian main and then dessert or cheese .. we'd have liked to have seen a few more creative choices there, on the last night I nearly ordered a pizza just because I couldn't eat another scallop, but the waiter (smartly) talked me out of it, but I did get home and make one tonight and will be eating comfort food for a few days. The Pride has 'Restaurant 2' where they do a different menu each night, 2 choices for each course. There was some interesting food on offer there and we went twice (see the 'Dress' section for more comments on that), food was good and we enjoyed the change. We also went to the sky grill once and had surf and turf, it was a little too casual but the food was well-presented. We 'booked the cook' once this trip and had a thai curry, managing to pick the day another large table had the same thing which helped the kitchen. It was very good indeed and we eat a lot of thai food so we know what it's supposed to taste like. That night the chef proudly told us that 140 passengers had ordered a 'special meal', they did a great job and we were truly impressed. Going back to the first paragraph I'm surprised they don't take some cues from what people order for special meals and offer them as variety on the menu during the week. Breakfast was a little limited, I think they could add choice to the buffet in this area and the coffee was very hit and miss. Wines were mostly awful, at least those included in the cruise. The sommeliers did a great job of talking up what was there and serving it but the wines were cheap and obviously so. I don't expect vintage wines on a daily basis but I think Seabourn must know they have taken big shortcuts here and are serving really poor wines. Dress We found Seabourn in general more casual than Silversea. On the cruise we had one formal night (two would have been nice on a 12 day cruise), 4 casual nights and the rest were Elegant Casual where men were supposed to wear jackets at the least. We found that in the dining room Elegant Casual was pushed to the limit and some very casual dress was tolerated (jacket, hawaiian shirt and Jesus sandals?). Restaurant 2 which is always casual verged on the sloppy and the one night we dined at the Sky Grill with people in cutoffs and slippers was the only time we did that. On our first ever Silversea cruise I was (correctly) thrown out of a bar on the second night after I'd changed to beach wear after dinner because the dress code for the ship after 6pm was semi-formal, I changed back and came back to find my drink waiting. On this Seabourn cruise if it was fine to dine at the sky grill in cutoffs, T-shirt and slippers it was fine to show up to the show that way afterwards and go to the bar. I would personally like to see dress standards tightened up ship-wide. Entertainment Entertainment for a ship this size was very good. We had a couple of really good acts and the shows put on by the ships company were super; we actually showed up to most shows. One area we thought was a bit lacking was daytime activities on non-sea days, there was very little indeed. Silversea does this better, there's less on a non-sea day but there is something going on, not everyone gets off (and on this itinerary when people did get off they were mostly back on quite early!) . Overall Experience Was wonderful. We relaxed and had a great time, the staff were super, the food was good and the wine was .. ok. We liked our cabin, the ship didn't make us sick and never got bored. Comparisons And Comments At the start of this cruise we thought that Silversea was winning by a length, at the end of it, Silversea wins by a nose or two. The accommodation and service on both were very similar, Silversea wins a little on being a touch more formal, which we like and we prefer their La Terraza presentation to Restaurant 2. Food was a push between them and the wine on this cruise was awful, but it's been 9 months since our last Silversea and they may have cut back too. Seabourn entertainment was better even on a smaller ship and the galley produced a better thai curry. Both lines have not skimped on the most important thing which is service and we would cruise either tomorrow without hesitation; in fact we have a booking with each. As the cruise market and economy recovers I'd like to see these lines put back in the areas they have cut the most obviously, which I would say are wine, ingredients and formality. We have no complaints, we'd have stayed on another 2 weeks and gone to Bangkok if we'd been able, and that would have allowed us to keep cruising with the really great crowd of people we met on the way. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Cruise review - Seabourn - The Pride, 7/29/2010 to 8/10/2010 Shanghai, China to Kobe, Japan I want to be clear about one thing ... we have placed a $1000.00 deposit for a future cruise on Seabourn. I am in the hospitality business and ... Read More
Cruise review - Seabourn - The Pride, 7/29/2010 to 8/10/2010 Shanghai, China to Kobe, Japan I want to be clear about one thing ... we have placed a $1000.00 deposit for a future cruise on Seabourn. I am in the hospitality business and this review will sound very critical about what some might consider trivial. Overall, we had a fabulous time, ate well, drank more than we should, met some of the most interesting people, and were served by a staff that appreciates their guests. Our Cabin - Who wouldn't be happy with the size and the amenities in the cabin? We are first time Seabourn cruisers who had placed a reservation for a GTY Suite ... and we were "gifted" a balcony suite on the 6th level ... one of the more expensive rooms. Upon entering the suite, the promised champagne was on the coffee table along with a rather sad spray of orchids. The flowers were changed 4 days later, which was 8 days past their prime. Our requested liquor was not in the room and we were informed by our stewardess that it would not be possible to have it stocked until after the ship had sailed. She did call someone and within 30 minutes, the bottle of Jack Daniel's and the bottle of house chardonnay that were ordered arrived. On both bottles, a green sticker was placed on the label, indicating that they had borrowed these bottles from one of the bars on the ship ... the color coding is a method to insure that the bottles stay on the bar where they were issued. In the rush to please, they didn't realize that the bourbon bottle had been previously opened. Yes, it could have been contaminated ... but I decided to chance it! We ran out of Chardonnay day two and had to bring it to the attention of the staff 36 hours after we ran out. It was replaced right away, and in fact ... by the time we left the ship ... there were 4 bottles of chardonnay in the mini-fridge! Point is, we shouldn't have had to tell them that it needed to be replaced. There were 2 engineering issues in the room ... the shower rod was pulled away from the ceiling and one of the stoppers in one of the sinks would not open to allow the waste to drain. Both problems were fixed as soon as we mentioned them. There was a sock behind the curtain leading to the balcony left by a previous guest ... The lone sock was placed in the trash ... this housekeeping issue was not reported. The bed is GREAT, the TV channel selections are far above any that I have seen on any other cruise line, the bath products are SUPERIOR, and who wouldn't be happy with Frette linens! We never heard our neighbors on either side, so the problem of noise must have been corrected during the recent re-do. Only one 110 outlet and that is in the vanity area. I hear people talking about not paying the extra for a Juliet balcony ... but we LOVED it. I am not sure if it was Seabourn or the Tourist Agency for the individual ports, but there was always arrival or departure entertainment. Our location on the ship was facing almost all of the entertainment ... so we never had to go on deck to enjoy it ... We felt like we had box seats at a theater! The robes that were in the closet were "cold climate" robes ... that really couldn't be worn in the heat & humidity of an Asian Summer. The stewardess had the habit of leaving the bath stopper in the middle of the tub lying on its side ... small issue, but I was always afraid of stepping on it when entering the tub. Also, I am surprised that there are no grab bars that are convenient to allow stability as you enter & and exit the tub. We had to ask for our soap to be replaced ... and this was done so by a stewardess that was assigned to the cabins across the hall. I heard of others on the ship having baths drawn and rose petals strewn around ... we never saw any of that. The Food & Restaurants - We kept hearing about the quality of food on Seabourn ... We enjoyed it, but found the food on Celebrity to be better. What brought the overall experience down was breakfast. Day one ... we decided to eat in the main dining room. After we placed our order, we sat ... waiting for coffee ... which arrived 15 minutes later, in spite of the fact that there were less than 10 people in the main dining room. Our order arrived 40 minutes after we sat down ... but only ½ of it. My wife seasoned her plate (Sorry ... she does this to every dish prior to tasting!) ... when I noticed that this was not her order. We called the waiter over explaining the problem. He apologized ... and promptly re-served the seasoned plate to the table next to us. Now, some of you might not think this is gross ... but we do. The next issue was, and I have heard this from other reviews ... the crumbs were swept away from our table and re-set for the next guest, in spite of the fact that the table cloth was stained. We decided never to eat breakfast in the main dining room and headed to the Veranda for our remaining breakfasts. Here is where the BIG problem is ... a total lack of supplies. You had to hunt for a napkin, coffee cups were at a premium, and if a chaffer was out of food ... it took 20 minutes to have it refilled, since the food for the chaffers comes from the main kitchen. I found it interesting that the Captain would stroll in daily and be totally oblivious to the total lack of supplies and organization. I never saw the hotel manager ... Well, not totally true. I saw him once at a dinner table dining with 2 other crew members. I was "told" that he is a numbers guy. This is evident in the lack of supplies and organization. "Auto pilot" is a good term ... and the staff is gracious enough to overcome the shortcomings ... but this will fade. The Hotel Manager needs to be on the floor and not in front of a calculator. Dinner was fine, but nothing exceptional. The Galley Lunch was sensational ... and the Grill on the deck was wonderful! Restaurant 2 ... I was able to secure a reservation one night. Tried 6 times. What happens is that you can reserve 48 hours out. We didn't think about making a reservation until day 2 ... and there was a waiting list of 24. This was the pattern daily. The experienced cruiser on Seabourn would make their reservations daily for the next 48 hours ... adding a day out daily. When the menus were published, they would either keep the reservation of cancel it ... We were on 4 waiting lists and never got called for a last minute opening. Now for the controversial DINNER INVITATION topic! We were called on day two at the last minute to fill in for a cancellation at a crew table. We had made dinner plans with several other couples that we had met, thus ... we too declined. After that we received a formal invitation almost daily ... delivered after we had left for our excursions ... and well after we had made plans for that evening. We declined all but one, asking if there were room for our guests as well. It was flattering to be included, but embarrassing to decline most of them due to the invitations being delivered so late. Most people, I would hope, make plans either the previous day or the morning of. The Entertainment - What can I say ... Wonderful. We enjoyed trivia on sea days. We love any casino when we walk away with more than we entered with ... SO, we LOVED the casino! One slot machine was broken the entire cruise ... and when there are only seven machines the broken % is high! Nick and Sam ... YOU ARE THE BEST! The Gratuity issue - The policy might be that the staff doesn't expect any gratuity ... but they do. I have never seen such slick money palming in my life! We passed out more $50's and $20's, and I dare say the KGB would have missed these transactions! The Spa - My wife had nail work done twice and I had a haircut. I explained to the stylist that the BEST haircut I had ever had was on a Carnival Cruise ... it still is. My wife was pleased with the work she had, and went back to buy product on their shelves as well. My wife wanted a facial waxing but this service was not offered. Strange that a cruise line that caterers to the older set wouldn't offer waxing! The Gift Shop - NICE stuff! Not cheap, but the quality called for that. I bought 3 mini-bottles of Polo (the scent I brought spilled). $41.00 for the 3 which I didn't think was that out of line. Like everyone says ... The Pool is very awkward and seldom used. The hot tubs are nice, but only set at 100 degrees ... Never a problem with getting a deck chair, but never saw anyone getting a free deck massage like is advertised ... and, it was not a weather issue. We had great weather every day ... OK, HOT YES! But no rain. Excursions - On this cruise, you could do it all yourself. Every port, except for one, offered free shuttle busses. The one that didn't offer a bus was located at the street car stop! We booked 6 excursions. I didn't think they were all that expensive ... but I believe it would be just as easy to do what we paid to have done for us ... on your own. The Guests - MOST were first time Seabourn Cruisers due to the heavy discounting that it took to fill the ship. If there was one, there were 80 travel agents on board! I was told that there was one couple who had paid full price, but they were offered a 50% discount after the "talk" on board of this cruise being so cheap. Well, the discounting worked for us! We are coming back ... hoping to be on the maiden voyage of the Quest leaving from Barcelona on 7/20/2011. The Staff - Kudos to Lena, Patrick, Victor, Jan, Oscar, and 99% of your service staff. How do they remember your name after ½ of a day on board. My name is a simple one, but they knew all of the guests! They also remember what you drink, how you like your steak cooked, and what type of white wine you like. The best staff I have encountered anywhere ... but be careful. Your management on board is not looking at the details. You have 72 lights out in your main lounge. These are burned out ... not turned off to save power or reduce the glare ... burned out light bulbs ... a major sign of lack of attention to detail by management. During some of the formal gatherings, there were public jokes made by the senior staff that could have been offensive to some of your guests ... although not directed at me, I was offended by them. Although not a Seabourn issue ... on our cruise one of the passengers brought bags of nuts from their state and gave them to staff members ... as well as throwing them off of the ship to the entertainment that was provided during a sail-away. While this was happening, a room service delivery was being made ... we asked for his reaction and he confirmed that this passenger, although had good intentions, was insulting the staff/entertainments with these gifts ... "Throwing bananas to monkeys." Although the intentions were good, this act was perceived as demeaning. Be aware ... not ALL gifts are appreciated! I know that I have said several negative things that some might find over the top. If you felt that I ignored the positive, remember ... the positive is expected. I told you that I am in the hospitality business, and it is my job to notice when things are not 100%. I inspect hotels for a living ... and this is a floating hotel. The issue that would have failed this ship during an inspection was the sock found in the room. The other issues would have still kept the ship in a passing position ... so much so that it would have ranked in the 90th plus percentile. I am only offering these constructive criticisms to assist with improvement. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
This was our 8th cruise and the second time on Seabourn. Our previous trip on Seabourn was in 2000 on a 7-day Mediterranean cruise which we thought was outstanding in every way. We selected this cruise to Asia based on our prior experience ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise and the second time on Seabourn. Our previous trip on Seabourn was in 2000 on a 7-day Mediterranean cruise which we thought was outstanding in every way. We selected this cruise to Asia based on our prior experience (stellar), price (discounted due to the rainy season in Asia) and the ports of call (new and different). We previously have sailed on Crystal (3 times in 2009) and older cruise ships (Cunard, Sitmar, Sagafjord). We are a middle-aged, professional couple that enjoy good food and wine. We don't enjoy large, mass-market cruises and prefer a quieter experience. We offer this review for those considering Seabourn for the first time and hope it provides more detail than the colorful brochures about what to expect from your cruise experience. We had a great time and nothing in our experience on the Pride over-shadowed the fun of our time onboard. Prospective passengers should be prepared for a small ship (about 250 passengers) without the big cruise line amenities (no Broadway revues, rock climbing or golf) and glitzy design (subdued public spaces). This was a low-key cruise for those that want to relax and visit new ports of call. Seabourn markets their cruises as a luxury yacht experience. The cabins are true suites and service is outstanding, if over-solicitous. But the luxury does not extend to the food or wine. The ship design is awkward in many places (such as no bathrooms connected to any restaurants). Over-all, the cruise would be graded a C+ in comparison to prior experiences and our expectations for a luxury experience. The average score is largely based on ambience and the quality of food/wine. We realize that food and ambience are subjective. There were also some concerns about sloppy sanitation with most passengers ignoring the hand washing stations before entering the eating venues, tablecloths not being changed between covers, foods that should have been cold at room temperature, and a dishwasher that doesn't remove lipstick from coffee cups. Below is a more specific summary of our experience. Food All-inclusive works best for hard liquor drinkers. We drink wine and found the wines served comparable to "2 buck Chuck" of Trader Joe fame. We were served $5-8 retail range wines at all meals. Chile and Argentina are the favored wine production locations. Wine bottles featured for sale at dinner are very high-priced (Far Niente, for example in $90-100 range). We ultimately decided to order the expensive wines as the quality was so poor on the included offerings. Breakfast in the Veranda Cafe feels crowded as they only serve 36 at a time and it is a buffet service. Fruit is plentiful but never tasted by the kitchen staff before serving and many times the fruit was tasteless or bitter. There was smoked salmon but no bagels unless you asked for them. Scrambled eggs but no potatoes (unless you asked for them). You can order from the grill omelets, eggs, pancakes, or French toast which are good and served promptly. Breakfast in the dining room is much later, better and is promptly served. Lunches in the Veranda are aged sandwiches, a variety of salads (all tasteless and warm) and a selection of hot dishes plus hamburgers and special order hot meals (such as grilled fish). There is an outdoor grill but on this trip there were lots of raining days so it didn't happen much. Food served during a grill day was left in bowls without any ice on a hot, muggy, 85 degree afternoon. Dinners in the dining room (they are serious about the dress code) are served quickly but lots of short cuts in the prep that compromise quality. For a luxury cruise they need to serve luxury wines and food. Mass production compromised taste at every turn. The meats are cooked exactly to order and are tender but lack flavor without a generic sauce (whatever it's called on the menu it is the same sauce at each meal). Clam chowder was thin and watery with no clams or potatoes. Lobster bisque had lobster but watery and weirdly spicy. Shitake mushroom soup was a watery broth with some reconstituted dried shitakes floating around. Creamed soups all tasted like cream of chicken no matter the menu listing. Salad one night had a pre-cooked and cold piece of bacon just laid across the leaves. Tomatoes were hard and tasteless. Desserts were plentiful but not very sweet (wondered if they were rationing sugar). Room service serves a variety of items but on my sandwich order one evening they served a handful of oily chips that were crushed and appeared scooped from the bottom of a bag. You will have to ask for cream with your coffee as 2% milk is on all tables in every restaurant. For 2 weeks no one in any restaurant remembered I wanted cream with coffee and I had to ask for it at each meal. Restaurant 2 is the alternative dining venue (it is the Veranda Cafe during the day) and serves from 7-9pm only by reservation but is more casual for those opposed to dressing up for dinner. It has a single menu with alternatives for each course. The Veranda Cafe/Restaurant 2 cannot be reached without going outside and walking in the rain. This was a problem on our cruise as it rained hard for the majority of the cruise and wait staff were not very observant in helping people with umbrellas come out of the rain. Sanitizer stations at dining venues are not enforced or not available. Tablecloths are wiped clean of crumbs between services and my coffee cup at one breakfast had an obvious lipstick mark on the cup that should have been removed by even a residential quality dishwasher. The waiter that I pointed this out to said that the washer doesn't polish the cups. Berries are not available for breakfast in the Verandah unless you ask and they stash them in itty-bitty bowls rationed neatly to 5 berries and kept behind the counter. Hamburgers are tasty but fries are remodeled mashed potatoes that are battered and deep-fried. All sausages are made of pork and when they substituted beef sausage one morning for breakfast it was a hot dog, so beware. Breads are tasteless and generally lacked salt and flavor (rationing salt, too). By the end of the cruise we had decided that the lack of seasoning must be due to Seabourn's concern for the passenger's health and were with-holding salt and sugar in our best interest. Service Our luggage was available when we boarded in Kobe. Our TA asked about having our luggage boarded while we did some sight-seeing in Kyoto and had been told "NO." Once in Kobe they readily agreed to have our luggage transferred to the ship without us being present. This initially left a poor impression as to the level of service we would receive but it appears that Seabourn staff in the USA are aggressively resistant to customer service unlike the actual Seabourn staff onboard. Other passengers onboard confirmed issues with headquarters being a negative that changed their interest in sailing on Seabourn again. Our cabin attendant introduced herself immediately on boarding and did a great job of servicing the cabin. Service staff in the restaurants were not always observant—repeatedly had to ask for coffee refills at all meals. Wait staff though is constantly asking if we are satisfied, pouring/offering more wine, and clearing the table of dishes and extra utensils. This was annoying especially when having a conversation with tablemates that were persistently interrupted. There's a push to have you join large tables at dinner hosted by the ship's officers but there is no upgrade on any wines when you attended that we had seen on other cruise lines. Room service was slow on the first use—first call yielded no answer. Second call promised to call back and did within 5 minutes. Food ordered (turkey sandwich and brownie) took 40 minutes to show up. Later in the cruise Room Service was exceptional with food arriving promptly. The Spa is fairly priced with excellent service. Sommelier was great and we used her to order higher-end wines for dinners. She also offered a selection of the included wines so we could drink the best of the offerings. Wines on the "revenue" list are pricey and few in number. An average bottle cost is in the $50 to $70 range. Cabin Cabins are large and spacious in comparison to other cruises we have taken. The bathroom contains 2 sinks, a tub, and plenty of additional storage. The shower is hand-held at either 4' or 6' fixed by a grip on the side wall which doesn't give the same effect as a fixed shower nozzle. Soaps and toiletries are high end. The bed is located next to the bathroom door so using the bathroom in the middle of the night will always awaken the person sleeping on the side of the bed next to the bathroom. The bed is comfortable, had high quality linens and lights for reading that are individual. There is a walk-in closet (a squeeze for 2 people though) with drawers and a safe. A sitting area is comfortable and spacious with a coffee table that makes into a table for in-cabin dining. The sofa is covered in brocade fabric with lots of thread pulls that make it look a bit shabby. TV is a fixed flat screen so only 1 person sitting in bed can see it—curtains that separate sitting area from bedroom obscures part of the TV. Channels are few with 3 devoted to almost-new movies. Fox, BBC, and CNN are available news stations. Requested liqueurs were in the refrigerator. The large window in our suite gives great views of the ocean and ports. Wifi failed to work and required a visit to the reception area. Turns out Dell and Mac computers require the direct IP address to connect. This is not posted anywhere. Entertainment There were excellent talks on areas we visited emphasizing history, culture and politics from professor and former diplomat Rob Warne. The kimono demonstration was outstanding. Low key activities included bridge lessons and team trivia (which was great fun). We visited the lounge for one night and found the singing group (including the cruise director) an enjoyable listening experience. Dancing in The Club is difficult with a small floor made smaller by the presence of a grand piano and entertainers. Movies on TV were recent releases and shown each day for variety. Shore Excursions Shuttle buses to the center of town are offered at each port at no extra cost and are a great and low cost way to do a little sight-seeing without a formal tour. Currency exchange is available on board and a table for brochures and assistance in touring is available at each port. Excursions are expensive and provide a variety of options. Water is available (though never chilled) and umbrellas as you leave the ship on tour. Our cruise encountered issues with weather with one port socked in by fog and the Chinese authorities refusing us entry from South Korea on the next port stop. Seabourn expanded our visit to Shanghai instead but all potential cruisers should realize that their contract with the cruise line is not a promise of stops as listed in the itinerary. Many passengers were upset at missing 2 stops in China. Seabourn shore excursion staff did a great job of reconfiguring the tours after the cancellation. Ambience The Pride is a small ship and feels crowded at times in the lounges and the Veranda Cafe. A mix of people from octogenarians with walkers and wheel chairs to families with teen-agers was onboard this cruise. Mostly, folks appeared to be retired. We found friendly fellow-cruisers who were the nicest we have met on any cruise line (no sense of entitlement as we experienced on Crystal) and the staff is approachable. Lots of elegant casual nights in the dining room (men must wear jackets) but not much to do after you're done eating. There is a single seating for each meal with dinner service beginning at 7 pm and ending at 9 pm with no entertainment until 10 pm. There's a small pool and 3 Jacuzzis (one hidden on the 5th deck forward). Elevators are only big enough for 2 people (maybe 3 if you're small). Food is not available anytime at any venue unless you want to sit in your cabin and dine from room service. No restaurants have a bathroom available in the same area or level—you must walk up or down or to your cabin. Over-all We had a great time. Nothing on the ship ruined the cruise experience. If considering Seabourn with other luxury cruisers I would examine your expectations for food, wine, ship design, ambience and entertainment. This ship, perhaps because of economies of scale at Carnival (parent company) serves fairly mediocre food and low end wine. If you value the food and wine experience this may not be the ship for you. The ship is older and the design reflects its age. If a newer more contemporary design and amenities are required, then this ship will disappoint. We enjoy shipboard entertainment (when it is good) but we didn't miss glitzy revues and once-famous entertainers. We liked the cruise director's activities and singing ensemble but others may feel that it is too much lounge-style and want the bigger experience. Would we travel again on Seabourn? Likely not, as food and wine for us are deal breakers and the design issues (locations of bathrooms, going outside to eat at the Veranda, and smallish feel of the ship) made the cruise seem a compromise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
23 Jun - 5 Jul 10. Japan, Korea, China Our tenth cruise. First time on Seabourn Embarkation & Disembarkation First impressions are important. When we arrived they said our name wasn't on the list and they asked us if we were ... Read More
23 Jun - 5 Jul 10. Japan, Korea, China Our tenth cruise. First time on Seabourn Embarkation & Disembarkation First impressions are important. When we arrived they said our name wasn't on the list and they asked us if we were sure we were sailing on that cruise. Of course, that started all kinds of panic thoughts in my mind. "Ha ha," they were just kidding! Sorry, but it wasn't funny and it wasn't the gracious "welcome aboard" that I expected. They took our hand-carried luggage to the show lounge where we waited in line to in-process. It wasn't as quick as the larger ships, but it didn't need to be. We were in the cabin by 2:00 pm and our luggage showed up piece by piece during the next 30 minutes. See "Shanghai, China - Day 4" below for details on disembarkation. Service Seabourn prides itself on service and we heard a lot about it. Most of it was excellent, but there were a few issues along the way. For example, during the sailaway, the drink and canapE waiters were everywhere and very generous. However, the deck chairs were all lined up along the railing—-making it difficult to get to the railing without moving the chairs ourselves. Frankly, we were surprised this detail had been overlooked. Unlike other all-inclusive cruises, where it is almost difficult to get a drink, the drink waiters were always there in the lounges asking what you wanted. If the event wasn't something with normal bar service, they always had sodas, coffee, tea, and sparkling water with an ice bucket and often cookies or other snacks. Room service was OUTSTANDING—-the best we've had on any ship! Dining room service was good most of the time, but it had a few flaws—-mixed up orders, slow to take or deliver orders, lukewarm food, etc. And what is it with the pepper? They tried to grind pepper on every course. We told them from the beginning that we didn't want any pepper, ever, but they still insisted on offering it for every course at every meal to the point of annoyance. Some things are just different. Because of the size of the ship and the "snugness" of the dining room, bread is left in a basket on the table, instead of served by the waiters—-something most of the people at our first dinner didn't figure out until it was almost over. That also means that the selection of bread is limited and you may not get what you want out of the basket. Clientele Mostly well traveled in their 50s & 60's, with some older and younger. There were a few teens onboard, including several recent high school graduates traveling with their families. Because this was an Asian itinerary, there were more international passengers (Australians, Brits, Chileans, etc.) We were surprised there were only a couple of Asian couples. Lots of people on this cruise seemed to be trying Seabourn for the first time. We suspect there may be two reasons for this. First, with their new ships coming online, many of the Seabourn faithful are probably trying their new products. Second, this cruise had significant discounts that attracted new clients to Seabourn who wanted to give it a try. Dining Food. This was real hit or miss. Some items were fantastic, while others were horrible. It may be partly due to the logistical problems of getting the ingredients they need. During the galley tour the chef said strawberries were particularly difficult to get and had to be flown in! Anything with shrimp or scallops was usually excellent. Beef and other meats were pretty good. Appetizers, soups, and salads were more inconsistent. The "crispy crab" was a deep fried shell with no meat that I could find—-a real disappointment after seeing all the big fresh crab earlier that afternoon in the fish market of Busan. That brings up another small disappointment from this cruise. The "Shopping with the Chef" is highly touted in the Seabourn sales DVD. We were anxious to try it, but we don't think he ever went shopping in any of the local markets on our cruise. Perhaps it happens in the Med and not this part of the world. It was a bit of a disappointment for the menu, because there wasn't any real "local flavor" to the menu—-something we hoped would be easier to accomplish on a smaller ship than mass market competition. Restaurant 2. The reservation system for this restaurant really needs to change. Since it is the only "casual" restaurant when the main restaurant is coat & tie, those who don't like to dress for dinner tend to make standing reservations. With only 35 seats available for 200 guests onboard, that makes it difficult for anybody else to get reservations. I would suggest a system where "first timers" get priority so everybody can go at least once. We tried unsuccessfully for several nights and eventually got in by talking directly to the Maitre d'. We were glad we did because the meal was fantastic. My steak was the best I had all cruise. The upstairs pool grill was only open a couple of nights, but since it was also casual and "by reservation only," we couldn't get in there either. Veranda Cafe (same space as Restaurant 2). Since this is a small ship, this area is set up as a limited buffet for breakfast and lunch with many items available only on request. Don't be shy about asking for something. They have a lot of options, but aren't going to put them on a buffet where they may get wasted. They prefer to cook to order. There are also some things that they just want to serve to you, instead of allowing you to help yourself (e.g. cereal). They will even do special requests with advance notice. Service here was inconsistent—-sometimes the wait staff was extremely attentive and at other times it was difficult to get their attention. I think having separate food and drink waiters (who are indistinguishable by uniform) contributes to the confusion and delays. Dress code. The plan was one "black tie" night (first night at sea), seven "elegant casual," and four "casual" nights (including the first and last night). In this crowd, most people wore tuxedos and formals for "black tie," but many also wore dark suits. We enjoy dressing formal for dinner, but hauling a tuxedo and formal gown all the way to Asia for only one night seemed like overkill. On "elegant casual" nights, I liked to wear a tie with my jacket, but most men wore only jackets. While we enjoy dressing for dinner, many people do not. At one dinner a guest at our table brought his jacket, showed everybody he had one, but never wore it! Perhaps a "coat & tie recommended, but not required," would encourage people to dress for dinner without excluding those who don't from the dining room. Because we had two extra nights in port in Shanghai, they converted one of the elegant casual nights to casual, so that all three nights in port were casual. Since people had very flexible schedules in port, we thought that was a good idea. Activities & Entertainment Entertainment. About what you'd expect from such a small ship with no production cast. The cruise director staff did double duty and performed several enjoyable shows. The guest entertainers (pianist and violinist) were excellent. The child acrobats in Shanghai were a special treat and a lot of fun. Guest Lecturers. One of the things I really like about lines like Regent and Seabourn are the guest lecturer programs. We had two. A Japanese lady gave a couple of presentations, including the kimono demonstration with a particularly lovely guest as the model. Rob Warne (retired State Department with lots of Asian experience) gave several presentations that were all very helpful and insightful. Of course, they were also replayed on the in-cabin TV. Onboard Activities. Other than team trivia and bridge, there wasn't much organized activity, even on sea days. The onboard selection of CDs and DVDs was nice and we watched a couple of movies in our cabin. If you spend most of your time onboard instead of going into ports, you may be disappointed. Ship 179 guests, 181 crew (as posted on the bridge). About a dozen people on the crew were trainees. Cabin. Standard Seabourn Suite (A-2). The room itself was quite large with a nice seating area. We didn't miss the balcony because the weather wasn't good enough to take advantage of it. The bathroom was all marble with a tub, double sinks, and plenty of storage. The closet was walk-in, but provided surprisingly less useable space than many wall configurations on other ships. There were the two bottles of wine in our fridge, as requested, and the fruit bowl was kept stocked. Only one 220V and one 110V outlet at the desk/vanity, so bring an extension cord if you expect to power more than one thing at a time. The hair dryer was in the desk/vanity drawer. Cleanliness & Condition. Getting a bit worn in spots. The pool is missing a handful of tiles. Purple carpets in the stairwells were also worn and looked tacky. Part of the problem was all the rain and a lack of place to wipe your feet when coming in from the decks or gangplank. The carpet absorbs all the water and soil being tracked in from outside. Although we eventually discovered an obscure back route to the Veranda Cafe, they really need to configure a rain cover from the stairwell to the main entrance door so guests don't have to carry umbrellas in the rain to get to meals at the cafe. Smoking. This was a big deal for us, since we are both very sensitive to smoke. Fortunately, we had no problems in our room or any of the enclosed areas. The only problem area was outside. The pool bar area always seemed smoky and the guests who smoked there were often not very considerate of those who did not want to inhale their smoke. That affected our enjoyment of several sailaways. DEcor. Some people may think low ceilings make spaces cozy and comfortable. I was surprised that it wasn't more elegant. A lot of it reminded us of South Florida dEcor from the 80's. It didn't say "elegant yacht" to us. Gangplank. This was a bit of a hazard and disappointment. During the pouring rain at several ports, we were walking up and down a steep all metal gangplank with ridges, but no non-skid coating. I was afraid some of our fellow passengers could fall and really hurt themselves in those conditions. At a minimum, Seabourn needs to put a non-skid coating on that gangplank. It would be better if they could figure out how to provide some protection from the rain with covers or shrouds. The other option is to rent covered portable ramps from the ports that have them. When it wasn't raining, it was often extremely hot and humid. Many other lesser lines provide water, juice, and cold face towels for refreshment prior to reboarding. Why doesn't Seabourn? While it may not be economical to have somebody stand there all day, they could at least meet the returning shore excursions. Services Housekeeping. I'm so in love with my wife that I didn't notice this until somebody on the crew pointed it out to us—-the cabin staff is all women and mostly quite attractive. I'm not sure why that is important to Seabourn, but who am I to argue? There is a single stewardess (no assistant) who was very attentive and friendly. Self-Service Laundry. Two washing machines and two dryers always seemed to be busy. The washers worked fine with the supplied soap on the express cycle. However, the dryers were not vented, so they just cooked the clothes and never seemed to dry them. Everything dried faster hanging in our cabin—-a real surprise for our stewardess one night! Confusing labels in foreign languages made it difficult for many guests to use the machines. Some people were using 1:15 hour wash cycles instead of the quicker 30 minute options. Once we figured everything out, we helped a lot of people use the machines. Seabourn really needs to take a few minutes to prepare quality instructions that will save their guests lots of time and headaches. Internet. Reasonably priced at $9.99 per hour. However, you have to buy access in one hour blocks. When you exceed the hour, the rate jumps up steeply and it's not always easy to quit what you are doing to rebuy another hour. I had a good wireless connection in my cabin. My only complaint is that the login address posted in the business center was incorrect. After struggling for two days to get a wireless connection (thinking it was my browser or a connection problem), I went to Reception, where they quickly provided me with the correct IP address. I discovered that other guests had experienced the same problem. Seabourn could easily solve the problem by simply posting the correct information in the Business Center! Spa & Fitness Center. Fitness center was well equipped and the spa looked small but adequate for this size ship. We were so busy with ports that we never took advantage of the facilities. Gift Shop. They did well with the space they had, but don't expect too much—-it is a small ship. Since it has to be closed in port, it was closed for the last three days in Shanghai. They may even benefit from making it mostly a sundries shop and selling other items "on demand," selling from a catalog like in-flight shopping, or finding other creative ways to sell high end or logo items during sea days. Photographic services. None. Bring your own camera and take your own pictures. Staff Captain. Standard daily announcements. He was very apologetic when he was forced to cancel two ports and go directly to Shanghai. (More on that later.) Cruise Director & Assistants. Friendly, polite, and relatively low key. The CD and two Assistants also provide quality entertainment onboard. Shore Excursion Staff. These two were on the ball. They were much more knowledgeable and helpful than what we've seen on other cruises. With such a small ship, shore excursions were limited (and sometimes expensive) and they were always willing to discuss alternatives. We had local agents with maps at almost every port and currency exchange when we needed it. Tipping. Cruise lines continue to struggle with how to make non-tipping or "tip inclusive" policies work in an industry that typically relied on tips. I think that if tips are included in the price, then policies should be clear and tips shouldn't be offered or accepted unless the policy also states, "Tipping is allowed for exceptional service." Otherwise, guests are confused about whether or not they should tip. I would have been more comfortable tipping for room service, but I expected the tip would be refused. I found out late in the game that many people were tipping extra in various ways on this cruise. Since our stewardess was dedicated to our cabin, I tipped her as we departed. At the end, it was obvious that the waiters were hoping for tips for carrying our hand luggage down the gangplank, so be prepared for that. In summary, this is touted as a six-star luxury cruise, but it misses that mark on several counts. It was still a fantastic cruise and we would definitely sail them again if the itinerary matched our needs (as it did in this case), but other lines we've sailed do a better job of providing a true luxury experience. Port Reviews This itinerary was the primary reason we chose this cruise, and we were not disappointed. Some of the shore excursions seemed overpriced, particularly in Japan ($179-189 for a half-day tour). But some of the sights are difficult to get to on your own, so you have to pay the price to see some of these places. On the other hand, the ship provides a free shuttle into town at all ports. This was a handy way to explore on your own. Kobe (Embarkation) - We spent three days in Osaka prior to the cruise with day trips to Kyoto and Nara. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza, Osaka and found it very conveniently located for our sightseeing agenda. It was about an hour and $100 cab ride to Kobe. Kagoshima, Japan - Took a shore excursion to see Sengan Garden and Sakurajima Island. The gardens were large and it was raining, so we didn't get a chance to fully explore them. The ferry to and from Sakurajima was fun, but there wasn't much to see on the island other than lots of lava and ash. Nagasaki, Japan - Since this was our first trip to Japan, we had to do the Peace Park, Atomic Bomb Museum, and Epicenter. The stop by Nagasaki's Museum of History and Culture was rushed and we did not get much of a chance to see some of the things on display there. My wife missed the porcelain room she wanted to see, but I found it and took pictures for her. We took the ship's shuttle into town in the afternoon for shopping. There are some fantastic kimono shops near the shuttle drop off. Busan, Korea - Busan has a good subway system and a hop-on/hop-off bus that provides lots of options for touring on your own. We went to Beomeosa Temple on our own, as did several other couples from our ship. The ship's shuttle dropped us off near the fish market—-a must see in Busan. Jeju Island, Korea - We took an excursion to a volcanic crater, folk village, and museum. We also considered going to see the famous "Women Divers of Jeju," and heard from those who went on the excursion that they really liked it. Mokpo, Korea - We took an excursion to Bamboo Country and Slow City, which was fairly expensive, probably because of the length of drive and included lunch. Our 20 minute stop at Bamboo Country was too short. The park was quite large and looked like it could be a lot of fun, but we only got a chance to see about 10% of it. After a stop at a bamboo museum and some shopping, we had a very interesting lunch. The highlight of the day was a visit to "Slow City." We were afraid that it would be a duplicate of the village we saw on Jeju Island, but what made this trip special was a German anthropologist who had "gone native" and had lots of interesting insights into the Korean culture. Quingdao, China - Canceled due to fog. The ship diverted directly to Shanghai. Jiangyin, China - Also canceled when we diverted to Shanghai. Seabourn was able to arrange essentially the same shore excursion to Wuxi that we would have taken from this port, but we departed from Shanghai instead. It was probably the best shore excursion we had all cruise. Since it now originated from Shanghai, they took advantage of a brand new high speed (200 mph) train instead of the original 90 min bus ride each way! Our trip to Wuxi included beautiful gardens, nice lunch, canal boat ride, brick-making museum, and time to visit another temple. Wuxi is a model for the "new Chinese city" and definitely worth visiting. Shanghai, China - Day 1. We did the Ancient Town of Zhujiajiao shore excursion. We saw the town from the canal boat ride, but didn't get a chance to explore much on our own. The guide got lost getting us back to the bus so we were walking through some of "real China." We then had to wait to recover a guest who had gotten lost from the group. After a rushed and marginal Chinese lunch, we had a very interesting tour of a silk factory. This was the only tour where we had "forced shopping." The prices on the silk comforters and pillows were good, but we think they were making up the difference in the silk duvet covers, sheets, and pillowcases. They also had a large silk clothing store, but the prices looked about average. Shanghai, China - Day 2. Shore excursion to Wuxi (see Jiangyin above). Shanghai, China - Day 3. Took the ship's shuttle to YuYuan Gardens so we could take our time to enjoy them. The gardens were fantastic, but the crowds outside the gardens were oppressive. We then jumped on the hop-on/hop-off bus to get an overview of the city. We got off to see the jade Buddahs and then got off at the Bund for a walk back to the ship. Shanghai, China - Day 4. Disembarkation. If you want a larger vehicle, because you have more than two people or a lot of luggage, I suggest arranging a "tourist" van directly with your hotel. The ships staff said they couldn't do it for us, but we later learned that our hotel concierge could have made the arrangements with a local transportation agent. When we got off the ship, there were lots of cabs available, but all the larger cabs were gone. Despite being told what hotel to take us to, we got "Shanghaied" by a taxi driver who took us on a route five times longer than necessary. Although it was only a few dollars, the bellman at our hotel helped to make the point to the taxi driver that we were not going to pay full meter price for his antics. If we had arranged a van with the hotel, it would have made our life much easier as we were making the transition from the ship to the hotel. After check-in we started our day with plans to see a couple of museums. The Urban Planning & Exhibition Center was closed on Monday, so we only got a chance to see the Shanghai Museum. It is truly world class with some pottery over 8,000 years old! Shanghai, China - Days 5-7. We stayed at the Radisson New World on the north side of People's Square. It was a great location and a very nice hotel. The metro stop was across the street and we took it to Expo for the next three days. We calculated that it would take about a month to see every pavilion at Expo, so pick your favorites and good luck with the crowds! There is a reservation system to get into some of the pavilions, but those tickets go early in the day. Departing Shanghai - Our concierge arranged for a "tourist van" to take us to the Maglev station on checkout day, It was only $18, which is more expensive than a taxi, but well worth it for comfort if you have a lot of luggage. If you are flying into or out of Pudong Airport, you really must take the Maglev train. At a top speed of 250 mph, it takes only 7 min and 20 sec to get to the airport. Don't blink or you will miss the other train passing you! It's only $6 per person. You'll have to handle your own bags, but there are large storage spaces on the train. You will enjoy a fast, smooth, and comfortable ride to the airport. Luggage carts are available once you get out of the train station and into the airport. One final tip that probably applies to all international travel: We ran into a problem with our ATM card numbers being skimmed, and our card got locked—-something we discovered the hard way when trying to get cash to buy Expo tickets. If possible, I would avoid using outdoor ATM machines. You will be safer if you can get to an indoor ATM at a bank or store that has better security and control of the machines. If you must use an outdoor ATM machine, look carefully at the card reader to make sure somebody hasn't placed a skimmer on it. Bottom line: This was a fantastic trip and we would do it all again in a hearbeat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
My wife and I joined the ship in Venice although not in the heart of things were we were berthed, it was a nice walk not far from the ship to find a cafe and have a cappuccino and an ice cream, until we could board at 2pm. We boarded, ... Read More
My wife and I joined the ship in Venice although not in the heart of things were we were berthed, it was a nice walk not far from the ship to find a cafe and have a cappuccino and an ice cream, until we could board at 2pm. We boarded, greeted by staff who would become familiar to us by the end of the trip. We have cruised many times before, but as I stepped on board my eyes are everywhere, taking in the surroundings. Our hand luggage is carried for us to what turned out to be the Magellan Lounge for registration, champagne and nibbles offered to us and the process was quick and easy. Then we were shown to our cabin. We had been upgraded to the owners suite, we were informed of this by our agent just few days before we left. Well that has spoilt us, how will we go back to a regular size cabin! Very nice, what we did to deserve this I am not sure, but I suspect it may have been because the flights seemed to cause some problems as we left from Gatwick and returned to Heathrow. Rita our Stewardess came to greet us, we were well looked after very discreetly for our stay. The first thing we did was unpack, plenty of room for a change, I won't describe all details here; see the brochure for full specification. First evening meal we had an invitation to join Duggie Browns table, he is an English comedian, we had pleasant table companions,it was a very entertaining start to the cruise, Duggie was trying to get a couple to stop discussing U.S. politics! Next day time to chill out and discover the ship. It was a bit cool but we joined the sailaway party at the Sky Bar, spotting Venice landmarks as we moved out to sea. Next day cruising the Adriatic Sea, weather not good, rain ensured we joined THE QUIZ, great fun nice people in our team, we turned up each day for the quiz and got to know our team members quite well, If any of them are looking at this, they know who they are, wasn't that great! Eric and I was convinced Henry Cooper knocked out Mohammed Ali! Wrong! Another invitation to the Captains Table, the man held us spellbound, with his charming manner when proposing the toasts, a great evening again. Nice to dress up Black tie adds to the sense of occasion, we can all dress down anytime at home. THE PORTS OF CALL. Included Corfu, Taormina, Sorrento, Genoa, Nice, Barcelona, Malaga, disembarking at Lisbon. Briefly we walked around Corfu on our own; Taormina, Sicily; Again on our own, but the shuttle bus took us there, a very pretty and pleasant place to spend some time. Next Sorrento. The main tour we took was for Herculaneum 4 Hour trip very interesting with a good guide for those who have not been it is similar to Pompeii but on a smaller scale--recommended. Its just me perhaps but I generally dislike coach trips but sometimes it has to be done! Genoa on our own again a pleasant walk around. Nice we have been to many times, so we hire a car the purpose was to drive to Villefranche to have lunch at a favorite restaurant "La Mere Germaine" unfortunately the car had to be back for 6pm and there was a long road works queue in Villefranche. This made us decide not to go to visit the Rochchild Villa at Cap Ferrat, as time would run out on us, but we enjoyed lunch in beautiful place. At sea next day, good weather. Barcelona we walked around, as you walk towards the centre, beware of dangerous curb edged with wedges of granite for tripping over, one lady passenger fell over and needed hospital treatment and her holiday was ruined. Another day at sea further quiz session. Malaga our next stop, took tour "Villages of Costa Del Sol" should have taken my own advice and not taken a coach trip, we called at Marbella, not for long, shops closed, by the time we found toilets and bought a newspaper it was time to go to Puerto Banus, nice place but we felt rushed. In the evening, an "Exclusively Seabourn Experience" it was visit to a tapas bar, we were led up 3 flights of stairs to a room that was not large enough for us all to see the Flamenco Dancing, drinks did not flow, a bit slow and a lady next to me had to ask for Sangria, they went off to make it! Could have been better organized. OVERALL IMPRESSION; Don't get the idea my gripes will stop me having another Seabourn Cruise...it will not!ENTERTAINMENT; Low key just right for us, pianist and singer "Superfly" friendly Geordies. Name that tune was also good fun. Good cruise Director Tony and his wife Christine FOOD; Mostly excellent, but soft boiled eggs they can't get right, my wife tried twice, lousy porridge, but Silversea is just the same! SERVICE;Mainly wonderful. OTHER PASSENGERS; Everyone we met was friendly, a great crowd that gelled together so well, the people we met were an important part of this great holiday. Regards to all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
Seabourn Pride Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 3.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 3.0 3.7
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 5.0 4.0

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