I will start this review by sailing the year before on the Seadream II. Even though that ship is small and a little older, it was a remarkable cruise. The service was unbelievable and it left a lasting impression. I had assumed that because of the awards and the hype, that Seabourne would be better. I was sadly mistaken. I wished we had just gone back to the Seadream.
I will tell where they fall very short:
-There is very little attention paid to the details on Seabourne and this is their biggest problem:
Whereas Seadream had nightly room amenities ranging from personalized Pajama's (with your first name on them!) to a CD and dessert to a beautiful red rose, Seabourne did not have nightly amenities. Huge disappointment.
Another example is on the Seadream if a waiter saw that my ice had melted in my drink, he would rush over, make a small fuss and insist on me getting a new drink without melted ice. This kind of thing never happened on the Seabourne. I know it is over the top, but it is that service that had me going home and raving to everybody about it.
--There is very little attention paid to the details on Seabourne:
Whereas Seadream had a pool-boy walking around asking people if they would like him to personally spray, wipe and clean their sunglasses, Seaborne did not. I made this request one day in their "suggestion box" and the next day they had a pool boy walk around handing out sunglass wipes in paper packets. Just handing them out- not offering to do them. I think that really sums up their class of service right there.
-They only had FAKE flowers on the dining tables. This one is so bad that it almost pains me to write about it. All of their flowers on board were fake.
-Their watersports program was awful at best. We only had one day of watersports and being at the sign up area was a like catching the last helicopter out of Saigon. It was utter madness with guests pushing and yelling so they could sign up for spots. Since this was only offered for a few hours one day out of the whole week, this really created a very bad watersport experience.
-Because they have so many nightly dining room options (4 plus room service) they all felt a bit empty (especially the formal dining room). This left a bad feeling and this was not what we had in mind. I would suggest that they keep it to two restaurant options at most.
-The Special Restaurant which offers the 5 course meal was not good. This restaurant requires reservations and everyone on board commented that it was a disappointment.
-One member of our group is a vegetarian, who cannot eat cheese. When we made the reservations for the cruise, we mentioned this. Then we put it on our cruise profile. Then we called a few weeks before departing and asked they they make note of this so there would be no confusion. However at our very first dinner, when we let the waiter know we had a vegetarian, his response was "Well we need 24 hours to make anything special!" His response was so deplorable that it really took us back. When we were on Seadream, every night they had a full vegetarian menu that was exciting, innovative and fun (not "pasta and salad"). The vegetarian selections throughout the trip remained unimpressive.
-The waiters do not remember names and faces
On Seadream, all I had to do was order my coffee or eggs one time and they knew for the rest of the trip how I liked them. This was never the case on Seabourne. Sadly, not once. Our vegetarian guest had to go through the whole "vegetarian spiel" the entire trip.
-I overheard the concierge team on two occasions talking poorly about guests. The concierge team sits in the library and if you are using the internet, your back is facing their backs. On two occasions my husband and I heard them bad mouthing guests who had come up to their table to talk about problems. Very unprofessional.
-While some of the private gym classes were really good, I was not particularly impressed with the spa. Very clean facilities but my facial was not anything special. She basically just rubbed products in. My massage however was good.
I could talk about more points, but my review is probably long enough. I think this cruise is just ok. Had I not been on Seadream, my expectations would not have been high. At the end of the day, many of us on the cruise described it as "Being on Holland America with an all you can drink option."