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My husband and I have travelled on Silversea and Regent in the last 12 months so we were interested to try Seabourn to see how they compared. So we booked the ‘Gems of the Java Sea’ from Singapore to Bali. First impressions were favourable. We had heard that on the previous cruise that embarkation was a nightmare and several people had complained. Obviously Seabourn had listened and embarkation was smooth and easy and 15-20 minutes after arriving at the terminal in Singapore (with all formalities done) we were on the ship. Lunch was being served. We said we just wanted a drink at that time so were shown to the pool bar and started chatting to the bartender and some other guests. The suite compared favourably to both Silversea and Regent. The walk in wardrobe felt smaller but there was still more than adequate space for our things. The veranda was large with 2 chairs, a small table and a lounger. We liked Seabourn Square on Deck 7. We rarely ate breakfast so usually had a coffee and a pastry at the café located here. It also houses library books and computers. When the ship was in port they always had a local tourism person on board for about an hour after arrival to give out advice and maps and answer any questions you have on the area. There were also iPads with electronic copies of newspapers from all over the world. On about half of the 12 night cruise we ate dinner in the main dining room. I particularly like the fact that the portion sizes weren’t huge so you could easily manage 3 courses. (you could always have more if you were hungry). We never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a table. We ate a couple of times in The Colonnade. The Indian night was good. There didn‘t seem to be nearly as much buffet choice as on Silversea though. The rest of the time we ate at The Patio Grill next to the pool which was much more informal. It is closed on formal nights though. We also ate most lunches here. There was a different theme every day but they also did a special fish dish, a pasta dish daily. There were also burgers, sandwiches, salads and pizza. We had one dinner as room service. A standard menu is available 24 hours a day but during dinner you can order off the restaurant menu. The waiter sets up the table in your room if you want him to. Even on the formal evenings gentleman did not have to wear a tie. A jacket was required though. We thought the food was superior to both Silversea and Regent. There was a vast choice of drinks (both non alcoholic and alcoholic) . At most bars you could say what kind of cocktail you liked (fruity, gin based) and the bartenders would make you something. The majority of the Seabourn bar and waiting staff seemed to be European, South African or Caribbean. On all the other cruises I’ve been on the staff are predominately Asian. The staff did seem to get on really well together and this seemed totally genuine. Seabourn don’t have the butler service like Silversea but this didn’t really bother us. Seabourn were mean with the toiletries though. We had to go looking for the suite attendant 1 night as she hadn’t left us any shampoo. I’m not usually a fan of sea days but this cruise changed my mind. Yes it was busier but you always seemed to be able to find a lounger. The main pool was busy on the sea days but it was always quieter by the pool on Deck 6 aft. Only problem here though was the bar waiters didn’t come round here that often. Some basic drinks and ice were set up so you could help yourself. My only real complaint would be the self service laundry facilities. There were only 2 laundrettes on the 5th floor each containing 2 washers and 2 dryers. This is not sufficient for 450 passengers. Even people who had some laundry included in with their package used them. On Silversea and Regent they have many more laundrettes. People were camped out in the laundrettes reading or listening to music so they didn’t miss their turn. All in all the cruise was great. I did think the title ‘Gems of the Java Sea’ wasn’t appropriate though. Most of the ports we visited were very industrial. Jakarta was particularly bad. Many of the trips were 8-9 hours long. Although the distance to sites didn’t seem far by the time you took the roads and the terrible traffic into account most ended up taking 8 hours minimum. We enjoyed Komodo (this was a short trip). The island was very busy though as there was also a Holland America ship there.

Gems of the Java Sea

Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Review by Cumbrianglobetrotter

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Suite
My husband and I have travelled on Silversea and Regent in the last 12 months so we were interested to try Seabourn to see how they compared. So we booked the ‘Gems of the Java Sea’ from Singapore to Bali.
First impressions were favourable. We had heard that on the previous cruise that embarkation was a nightmare and several people had complained. Obviously Seabourn had listened and embarkation was smooth and easy and 15-20 minutes after arriving at the terminal in Singapore (with all formalities done) we were on the ship. Lunch was being served. We said we just wanted a drink at that time so were shown to the pool bar and started chatting to the bartender and some other guests.
The suite compared favourably to both Silversea and Regent. The walk in wardrobe felt smaller but there was still more than adequate space for our things. The veranda was large with 2 chairs, a small table and a lounger.
We liked Seabourn Square on Deck 7. We rarely ate breakfast so usually had a coffee and a pastry at the café located here. It also houses library books and computers. When the ship was in port they always had a local tourism person on board for about an hour after arrival to give out advice and maps and answer any questions you have on the area. There were also iPads with electronic copies of newspapers from all over the world.
On about half of the 12 night cruise we ate dinner in the main dining room. I particularly like the fact that the portion sizes weren’t huge so you could easily manage 3 courses. (you could always have more if you were hungry). We never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a table. We ate a couple of times in The Colonnade. The Indian night was good. There didn‘t seem to be nearly as much buffet choice as on Silversea though. The rest of the time we ate at The Patio Grill next to the pool which was much more informal. It is closed on formal nights though. We also ate most lunches here. There was a different theme every day but they also did a special fish dish, a pasta dish daily. There were also burgers, sandwiches, salads and pizza.
We had one dinner as room service. A standard menu is available 24 hours a day but during dinner you can order off the restaurant menu. The waiter sets up the table in your room if you want him to.
Even on the formal evenings gentleman did not have to wear a tie. A jacket was required though. We thought the food was superior to both Silversea and Regent.
There was a vast choice of drinks (both non alcoholic and alcoholic) . At most bars you could say what kind of cocktail you liked (fruity, gin based) and the bartenders would make you something.
The majority of the Seabourn bar and waiting staff seemed to be European, South African or Caribbean. On all the other cruises I’ve been on the staff are predominately Asian. The staff did seem to get on really well together and this seemed totally genuine.
Seabourn don’t have the butler service like Silversea but this didn’t really bother us. Seabourn were mean with the toiletries though. We had to go looking for the suite attendant 1 night as she hadn’t left us any shampoo.
I’m not usually a fan of sea days but this cruise changed my mind. Yes it was busier but you always seemed to be able to find a lounger. The main pool was busy on the sea days but it was always quieter by the pool on Deck 6 aft. Only problem here though was the bar waiters didn’t come round here that often. Some basic drinks and ice were set up so you could help yourself.
My only real complaint would be the self service laundry facilities. There were only 2 laundrettes on the 5th floor each containing 2 washers and 2 dryers. This is not sufficient for 450 passengers. Even people who had some laundry included in with their package used them. On Silversea and Regent they have many more laundrettes. People were camped out in the laundrettes reading or listening to music so they didn’t miss their turn.
All in all the cruise was great. I did think the title ‘Gems of the Java Sea’ wasn’t appropriate though. Most of the ports we visited were very industrial. Jakarta was particularly bad. Many of the trips were 8-9 hours long. Although the distance to sites didn’t seem far by the time you took the roads and the terrible traffic into account most ended up taking 8 hours minimum. We enjoyed Komodo (this was a short trip). The island was very busy though as there was also a Holland America ship there.
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