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Preface: I travel extensively throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. After doing some research on the Seabourn Odyssey, my wife and I decided to take a Caribbean vacation (without our kids). Before getting into the details, I want to commend the crew, a fine group of people who did their best to provide a good experience. The Ship: (Tired, Can't Handle any Swells) The Odyssey is small, but provides more than enough thoughtfully designed spaces for the 400+ passengers on board. The "suites" were reasonably sized for a cruise ship. Two notable shortcomings where angled shower that was far to narrow and a very odd modular queen-sized bed, that is the most uncomfortable unyielding slab I have ever experienced. Every morning was a new dimension in back-pain. Once we embarked from Florida it became obvious that the Odyssey was designed to cruise placidly in the Mediterranean and was not up to the 20 knot winds and moderate 2M seas we encountered on the way toward our first destination.The combination of too much windage and a narrow beam resulted in the most extreme rolling I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. Almost immediately it was clear that even the crew was struggling to cope. I would have written this off as the effects of a low pressure center far off in the northern Atlantic, but EVERY NIGHT was less than comfortable. Besides the roll, we frequently experienced hard, jarring rubbery kicks which resonated throughout the cabin. This ship dearly needs some time in dry dock. Dining (OK at best, laughable at worst) The Seabourn marketing materials suggest that their company provides a five-star dining experience. As far as the Odyssey is concerned this is not even close to being accurate. The "restaurant" features tiny portions of incredibly pretentious, yet amazingly bland food. The Japanese food offered during one of the themed evenings at the Colonnade was truly horrid. The "miso soup" was utterly tasteless and the glass noodles served with the main-course where so over-cooked they disintegrated into a gelatinous paste. The one bright spot was the outdoor grill on Deck 8. Not only did this offer reasonable food for dinner (comparable to any Boston or NYC mid-priced independent restaurant) but it also offered relief from the relentlessly bad ride. Too many horrible tender rides: After two monotone days at sea, we arrived at our first port only to learn that the 1M seas where too high for the ships lifeboats to function as tenders from the aft-located tender platform. This cruise had a very high number of elderly passengers, and I suspect (as do others I spoke with) that liability concerns forced the captain to cancel all tendering operations. After 90 minutes of waiting we were told we would be enjoying another day at sea. The problem here is that life-boats do not make for a pleasant tendering experience. They where packed with people and even with the windows open, the environment was more like a refugee boat than an luxury cruise. If you enjoy being packed into a horrid little craft, with too many people and like to sit on tiny hard benches in an airless cabin, while you are bounced around.. then this is the cruise for you! Value for Money The marketing for this journey, promised a luxury small ship experience with high standards of dining, dress, and overall quality. In reality this was a retirement home on the ocean. The median age was about 80. I am 51 and was probably the youngest passenger on the ship. This was an expensive cruise, make no mistake, at least I seem to be charged full retail. Worse than the money, I can never get back my time. This was my seventh cruise (six with Disney and their excellent concierge service), and the only one which I can honestly say, I regret.

Avoid this Cruise

Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Review by heartlab

34 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Preface:

I travel extensively throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. After doing some research on the Seabourn Odyssey, my wife and I decided to take a Caribbean vacation (without our kids).

Before getting into the details, I want to commend the crew, a fine group of people who did their best to provide a good experience.

The Ship: (Tired, Can't Handle any Swells)

The Odyssey is small, but provides more than enough thoughtfully designed spaces for the 400+ passengers on board. The "suites" were reasonably sized for a cruise ship. Two notable shortcomings where angled shower that was far to narrow and a very odd modular queen-sized bed, that is the most uncomfortable unyielding slab I have ever experienced. Every morning was a new dimension in back-pain.

Once we embarked from Florida it became obvious that the Odyssey was designed to cruise placidly in the Mediterranean and was not up to the 20 knot winds and moderate 2M seas we encountered on the way toward our first destination.The combination of too much windage and a narrow beam resulted in the most extreme rolling I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. Almost immediately it was clear that even the crew was struggling to cope.

I would have written this off as the effects of a low pressure center far off in the northern Atlantic, but EVERY NIGHT was less than comfortable.

Besides the roll, we frequently experienced hard, jarring rubbery kicks which resonated throughout the cabin. This ship dearly needs some time in dry dock.

Dining (OK at best, laughable at worst)

The Seabourn marketing materials suggest that their company provides a five-star dining experience. As far as the Odyssey is concerned this is not even close to being accurate. The "restaurant" features tiny portions of incredibly pretentious, yet amazingly bland food. The Japanese food offered during one of the themed evenings at the Colonnade was truly horrid. The "miso soup" was utterly tasteless and the glass noodles served with the main-course where so over-cooked they disintegrated into a gelatinous paste.

The one bright spot was the outdoor grill on Deck 8. Not only did this offer reasonable food for dinner (comparable to any Boston or NYC mid-priced independent restaurant) but it also offered relief from the relentlessly bad ride.

Too many horrible tender rides:

After two monotone days at sea, we arrived at our first port only to learn that the 1M seas where too high for the ships lifeboats to function as tenders from the aft-located tender platform. This cruise had a very high number of elderly passengers, and I suspect (as do others I spoke with) that liability concerns forced the captain to cancel all tendering operations. After 90 minutes of waiting we were told we would be enjoying another day at sea.

The problem here is that life-boats do not make for a pleasant tendering experience. They where packed with people and even with the windows open, the environment was more like a refugee boat than an luxury cruise.

If you enjoy being packed into a horrid little craft, with too many people and like to sit on tiny hard benches in an airless cabin, while you are bounced around.. then this is the cruise for you!

Value for Money

The marketing for this journey, promised a luxury small ship experience with high standards of dining, dress, and overall quality.

In reality this was a retirement home on the ocean. The median age was about 80. I am 51 and was probably the youngest passenger on the ship. This was an expensive cruise, make no mistake, at least I seem to be charged full retail.

Worse than the money, I can never get back my time. This was my seventh cruise (six with Disney and their excellent concierge service), and the only one which I can honestly say, I regret.
heartlab’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

Veranda Suite
Cabin V6 702
Pro:
Nice Size
Cons:
Terrible bed (comfort)
Tiny Shower
Noisy
Deck 10 Suite Cabins