Seabourn gave us a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year: Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Review by Betsy&Harold

Seabourn Odyssey 5

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Seabourn gave us a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year

Sail Date: December 2012
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Singapore
We didn't actually board Odyssey in Singapore, the Cruise Critic review options didn't list Bali/Denpasar/Benoa where we had spent a very pleasant few days pre-cruise.

Embarkation was as welcoming, comfortable and smooth as we have come to expect from our many Seabourn cruises. An added benefit is the now usual practice of allowing early arrivals to enjoy lunch on board before the suites are ready, in this case in fine weather on the Colonnade restaurant open deck. We shared a table with people we'd met on previous cruises, a happy discovery and a good start to the holiday. Our suite was ready by the time we had finished lunch, as usual we were greeted with more champagne, canapes and luxury soaps by our stewardess who was charming, obliging and efficient throughout the cruise.

There were two splendid floral displays and a bowl of fresh fruits to admire as we unpacked and stowed our cases. There are distinct advantages to a penthouse suite on Seabourn. The suite is More fifty percent wider allowing for two sun loungers, a table and two chairs on the balcony while the suite has two ocean view windows, dining table, armchairs, L shaped sofa, large screen TV and masses of storage space. The sleeping area is quite separate, with another TV, and leads to a large wardrobe area, the bathroom with larger shower, spa bath and a separate lavatory with hand basin.

Bonuses of being on deck 10 were the short distance to the lift, a secluded sun deck aft and the Observation lounge forward. The Observation lounge has tea, coffee and pastries available from 6am which you could take back to your suite or balcony removing the need to order room service breakfast at a precise time. However, if you want truly delicious coffee a trip down to deck seven and Seabourn Square is worth the effort even if it means getting dressed. In the afternoon the Observation lounge serves up delicious special teas with cucumber sandwiches, cakes and pastries. In the evening cocktails can be sipped before dinner, brandy or liqueurs after dinner to the soothing sounds of the baby grand piano. From the sun deck it is only a few steps down to the Sky Bar on deck nine and a stroll across to the gym and spa.

All these delights are included on Seabourn, no signing of chits or worrying whose round it is wherever you are, restaurants, bars, the square, sun decks, your suite, the casino and even the spa!

Seabourn have found a new source of caviar, Uruguay. It is truly superb and we ordered it as a starter occasionally when nothing else appealed. Caviar was always a Seabourn speciality and it is great to see the tradition continued.

The special treats on this Christmas cruise included fantastic gingerbread mansions placed on nearly every deck with an assortment of festive pies, cakes and confectionery for you to help yourself to whenever you fancied. The ship was lavishly and elegantly decorated and the crew went out of their way to encourage a festive feel. The Christmas day dinner was especially impressive with almost the whole ship gathered in the restaurant, a logistical triumph on behalf of the restaurant and galley staff. In addition there were four formal dinners, which we love, and two fabulous parties on the pool deck enjoyed as much by the staff and excellent entertainers as by the appreciative guests who celebrated well into the early hours. We even each had a gift of a sponge bag packed full of Molton Brown toiletries.

All in all the cruise was up to Seabourn's usual high standard and we enjoyed it greatly, although the food provided some disappointments. At one port we spied a delivery van from Gate Gourmet so infer Carnival have opted for some preprepared airline type dishes at the behest of the accountants. This may account for the fact that when a dish of snails with chipotl sauce was on the menu my request for them just cooked in garlic and butter was refused, this refusal a first for me on Seabourn and a big surprise. Less

Published 01/21/13

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