The Seabourn Encore is a gorgeous ship inside (except the Club - more on that later); and will certainly be the new star of the fleet when she is up to scratch, fully-stocked and staff trained. BUT based on our recent experience aboard her first voyage, there are a few wrinkles to be worked out. The designer while talented with colour, texture and pattern, apparently wasn't an overly-practical man, nor did he consult with experienced crew when designing their workspaces, so expect to witness awkward encounters as barmen stumble around one another in their Goldfish Bowl bar in Observation (a stunning space otherwise); and other "traffic flow" issues. Don't expect full-length hanging spaces or mirrors in your suite, either. The lighting system in the suites is bewildering and unlabelled. The only way to hear midday announcements is to open your cabin door and stand in the hallway (really!). Electrical plugs are sometimes in very odd places or missing from logical places (our suite 800 didn't have one by the desk). The small pool area was crowded on our half-full voyage...cannot imagine what it will be like on a full voyage. The public spaces are all stunning and an improvement on the other ships, except Seabourn Square and the Club. The Square has now been made very open, which means any private conversation with the desk staff (say about money) will be overheard by everyone passing by; and the new design means that it is impossible to see who is free to serve you, so it's a total free-for-all to get help. That's a real problem on busy days. The Club has now been com-mingled with the Casino, so is no longer an intimate space, but is affected by the flashing lights of the slots. On the plus side, food is excellent (menus are repetitive, however, which may have been due to the inadequate stocks on our trip) and the best crew are really good. Thomas Keller is a bit overrated in our view (very limited menu and very salty food), but Sushi is amazing! The gym is terrific.
Gorgeous (no more purple curtains!), but a few small impracticalities marred the experience.
Lovely museum at Heraklion about Knossos and the Minoans. Skip the actual site of Knossos and head straight to the museum. Agios Nikalaos is very cute.
We did an independent overnight to Jerusalem, which was spectacular.
Lovely place - great for just walking around!