Seabourn Sojourn Review

Pearls of the Philippines & Borneo

Review for Asia Cruise on Seabourn Sojourn
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6-10 Cruises • Age 80s

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Value for Money
Public Rooms

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Sail Date: Apr 2016
Cabin: Veranda Suite

I read an article in Conde Nast magazine by an editor who had taken this tour in March 2015; she recommended it highly, so I decided to try it. I had never been to any of the countries/ports on the itinerary: Philippines, Borneo, Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia. Included in my Seabourn package was private transfer from the airport in Hong Kong to the Eaton Hotel for a breakfast buffet and a room in which to freshen up before being taken to the ship. My flight arrived too early in the morning for me to be taken directly to the ship. Embarkation was quick and efficient. Once on board, I was able to have a full lunch in the Colonnade. I had breakfast and lunch daily in the Colonnade, and dinner every evening in the Restaurant. I'm a solo traveler and received a daily invitation to have dinner at a table hosted by a Seabourn staff member or entertainer. I always accepted and thoroughly enjoyed dining with the Staff Captain one evening and Melissa Manchester another evening. All my meals were very good to excellent. Thomas Keller selections were on the menu every other night, but I am not a fan of his concoctions. The staff were very accommodating and friendly. Captain Hamish Elliot and Staff Captain Sigurd Darbakk were always present and approachable. My 5 shore excursions: 1) The Charms of Old Manila 2) Puerto Princessa Highlights, Philippines, which included a visit to the Iwahig Penal Colony. It is called a prison without walls because the inmates often live with their families, do farming to earn a living, and make hand carvings for tourists to buy. Also included was a visit to the Palawan Special Battalion World War II Memorial Museum, with well preserved profiles and artifacts of the USA, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, and Russia. 3) Highlights of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The guide, Arthur, was excellent and spoke and understood English very well. 4) Kuching City Highlights, Sarawak, Malaysia. Kuching means cat, I love cats, and so took lots of pictures of the huge white cat statue, symbol of the city. The guide, Margaret, was excellent and spoke and understood English very well. 5) Brunei Highlights, which was a disappointment because we either drove by or only peered through gates to see some of the sights. We did go into the Royal Regalia Museum, but we had to leave our cameras, all bags and purses, no matter how small, in big bins before being allowed to enter. We also had to remove our shoes, but what was hilarious was the availability of slippers from all sorts of hotel and cruise ships! Disembarkation was excellent. My package included a private transfer to the Conrad Centennial Hotel in Singapore, staying overnight because my flight to the USA was the next morning. Breakfast was included as well as private transfer to Singapore Airport, a 15 minute ride. From start to finish, this trip was smooth and problem free. I've been on the Odyssey and the Quest and preferred the Quest. This was my first Sojourn cruise and now I think it's better than the Quest.

Cabin Review

Veranda Suite

Cabin V2

On prior Seabourn cruises, I had a Veranda Suite on Deck 7 or 8. This time I opted to spend quite a bit less for the same sized suite on Deck 5. All the Veranda Suites I've had are very similar. Turned out, the location this time was more suitable for me: I ran early every morning on Deck 5.

Port Reviews


My prepaid shore excursion "Modern Manila" was canceled because not enough people had booked it. I took the "Charms of Old Manila" excursion. At Rizal Park, we could not go close to the monument because the Prince of Monaco was there surrounded by security guards. I enjoyed Casa Manila, Manila Cathedral, and the San Augustin Church.

Hong Kong

I had been to Hong Kong before, so the only time I spent was being transferred from the airport to a hotel for breakfast and freshening up and then being transferred from the hotel to the ship. My rating is based on the service I received since I didn't tour Hong Kong.


I had been to Singapore before so did not opt to have a post cruise stay. Seabourn transferred me to the Conrad Centennial Hotel for an overnight stay because my flight to the USA was the next morning. I arrived at the hotel at 9:10 a.m. Check in is 2:00 p.m. but reception told me there was a twin bed room available right away, so I took it. After checking in and freshening up in my very nice room, I took a 30 minute walk. There was an upscale mall right near the hotel and Suntec City, Fountain of Wealth.

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