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Seabourn uses all manner of glorious adjectives to describe their cruises, and on our recent 17-day trip from Auckland to Sydney aboard Odyssey, they came close to their advertising. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is beautiful from the outside. Inside, it's attractive, easy to get round in, and well-organized. The main dining rooms, with low ceilings, are not as well decorated as one might expect. Other public areas and outside decks are roomy. We were full, with about 450 guests, but we weren't crowded. We seldom waited more than a few seconds for an elevator. We always had space in the whirlpools and access to lounge chairs. The suites, while not huge, are very attractive and comfortable with a sofa, two chairs, a table, a bed, a walk-in closet, a very small dressing stand, and plenty of storage space. The bathrooms include a tub and shower, both small but adequate. The veranda is fine for two people. The ship, constructed in 2009, shows age in a few places but is well maintained. We had cabin 656, a perfect location. The staff, as billed, was friendly and outgoing. Some remember your name as the cruise goes on. Drinks are included in your fare, and waiters were anxious to make sure our glasses were filled. Waiters in the dining rooms were sometimes helpful, other times not. Service at dinner can be slow. The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk or couldn't hear you were out of luck. The ship should do far better at providing details about the progress of the trip. Announcements over the loud speaker are strictly limited, which is good, but the television system could fill the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. In fact, the TV was poorly utilized. Information about destinations wasn't always easily available. In Melbourne, we didn't know that hop-on hop-off buses were waiting at the end of the pier. Had we known that, we would have changed our plans for the day. Food, which has been criticized in some past reviews, ranged from good to excellent, sometimes even superb, in our opinion. The wine, also frequently criticized in reviews, was good, although we're well aware it's not $50 a bottle wine. The galley was open for tours and the chief was available to talk to. The fish, steak and pasta were excellent. You pick where and with whom you wish to eat. The main dining room, called The Restaurant, was more formal. The Colonade less so. The Colonade should be a buffet for all three meals, but at dinner it's not and sometimes it can have a rather restricted evening menu. There is also an outdoor patio grill with a limited menu for lunch and dinner, weather permitting. Seabourn touts its dishes by the famous chef Thomas Keller. It's an attempt to offer something unusual and different, and it doesn't always work. We found them to be sometimes interesting and sometimes odd. The ship perhaps should concentrate less on edgy recipes and more on providing consistently superb cuisine. Seabourn does offer a variety of special experiences. One day, on the wharf of a small town,we observed a ship official buying fish from a local fisherman. We were able to talk to both of them. The chef offered passengers several opportunities to accompany him on food-buying trips to local markets. While cruising through a beautiful New Zealand fiord, waiters bought special drinks to passengers gathered on deck. During the Super Bowl, the ship brought a television hookup to the main showroom so anyone could watch, and served a hot dog and hamburger lunch. There were misses, too. Daily newspapers were available electronically for the first half of the cruise, and then disappeared because of unspecified reasons. Shore excursions were overpriced, as on many ships, and sometimes not very well managed. The conclusion of the cruise, in Sydney, was bungled. We stayed overnight on the ship, but our dock was in a distant location well away from the central district of Sydney, the place everyone wanted to go. A free shuttle bus was provided to an entertainment area, but operated in hit-and-miss fashion without staff supervision. For how much we spent on the cruise, we deserved better at the end.

Wonderful, but with a Few Misses

Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Review by LittleRedJohn

27 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Seabourn uses all manner of glorious adjectives to describe their cruises, and on our recent 17-day trip from Auckland to Sydney aboard Odyssey, they came close to their advertising. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is beautiful from the outside. Inside, it's attractive, easy to get round in, and well-organized. The main dining rooms, with low ceilings, are not as well decorated as one might expect. Other public areas and outside decks are roomy.

We were full, with about 450 guests, but we weren't crowded. We seldom waited more than a few seconds for an elevator. We always had space in the whirlpools and access to lounge chairs. The suites, while not huge, are very attractive and comfortable with a sofa, two chairs, a table, a bed, a walk-in closet, a very small dressing stand, and plenty of storage space. The bathrooms include a tub and shower, both small but adequate. The veranda is fine for two people. The ship, constructed in 2009, shows age in a few places but is well maintained. We had cabin 656, a perfect location.

The staff, as billed, was friendly and outgoing. Some remember your name as the cruise goes on. Drinks are included in your fare, and waiters were anxious to make sure our glasses were filled. Waiters in the dining rooms were sometimes helpful, other times not. Service at dinner can be slow.

The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk or couldn't hear you were out of luck. The ship should do far better at providing details about the progress of the trip. Announcements over the loud speaker are strictly limited, which is good, but the television system could fill the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. In fact, the TV was poorly utilized. Information about destinations wasn't always easily available. In Melbourne, we didn't know that hop-on hop-off buses were waiting at the end of the pier. Had we known that, we would have changed our plans for the day.

Food, which has been criticized in some past reviews, ranged from good to excellent, sometimes even superb, in our opinion. The wine, also frequently criticized in reviews, was good, although we're well aware it's not $50 a bottle wine. The galley was open for tours and the chief was available to talk to. The fish, steak and pasta were excellent. You pick where and with whom you wish to eat. The main dining room, called The Restaurant, was more formal. The Colonade less so. The Colonade should be a buffet for all three meals, but at dinner it's not and sometimes it can have a rather restricted evening menu. There is also an outdoor patio grill with a limited menu for lunch and dinner, weather permitting. Seabourn touts its dishes by the famous chef Thomas Keller. It's an attempt to offer something unusual and different, and it doesn't always work. We found them to be sometimes interesting and sometimes odd. The ship perhaps should concentrate less on edgy recipes and more on providing consistently superb cuisine.

Seabourn does offer a variety of special experiences. One day, on the wharf of a small town,we observed a ship official buying fish from a local fisherman. We were able to talk to both of them. The chef offered passengers several opportunities to accompany him on food-buying trips to local markets. While cruising through a beautiful New Zealand fiord, waiters bought special drinks to passengers gathered on deck. During the Super Bowl, the ship brought a television hookup to the main showroom so anyone could watch, and served a hot dog and hamburger lunch.

There were misses, too. Daily newspapers were available electronically for the first half of the cruise, and then disappeared because of unspecified reasons. Shore excursions were overpriced, as on many ships, and sometimes not very well managed. The conclusion of the cruise, in Sydney, was bungled. We stayed overnight on the ship, but our dock was in a distant location well away from the central district of Sydney, the place everyone wanted to go. A free shuttle bus was provided to an entertainment area, but operated in hit-and-miss fashion without staff supervision. For how much we spent on the cruise, we deserved better at the end.
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Cabin Review

Veranda Suite
Cabin V1 656
Very nice in many ways.
Deck 5 Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews