After trying Holland America, Crystal and Silversea, we were a little hesitant to try Seabourn since our expectations weren't met on previous cruises. We were most pleasantly surprised by the service, the accommodations and most importantly the food!
Since Encore is a new ship there was no wear and tear in any of the public spaces or the beautiful Grand Wintergarden Suite. Since this was our first time on Seabourn Cruise Line we had no previous experience with which to compare so everything was a "first" for us. The public spaces were beautifully decorated; muted tones and no ostentatious glitter. Each time we used any of the lounges or the Seabourn Square there was never a feeling of crowds, which is important to us.
We completely splurged and booked the Wintergarden Suite with the addition of the adjoining View Cabin for our adult daughter who was traveling with us. Our friend was also traveling with us in an Owner's Suite, so we used our cabin for meeting for appetizers before dinners. The cabin is designed so beautifully with space enough for two families! The bathroom was extravagant for a ship cabin; the tub being the highlight for me (arthritis problems melted away). The shower was large enough for my husband to move around comfortably (body bulder for many years) and there was so much space for our toiletries. The exciting part of the cabin was definitely the Jacuzzi tub on the closed-in deck. We used it a couple of times and found it to be a perfect place to relax after a strenuous excursion.
We had our first meal in the Thomas Keller Restaurant which was a 5 star experience. The service was good (we did ask for our own choice of wines) and the evening was a perfect way to kick off the week. I had fish, my husband had chicken and our companions had beef and a vegetarian option. All food was cooked to perfection and the choices were adequate. You must have the sundae! What a splurge on calories, but so worth it ;) We also frequented the Colonnade; our favorite casual meal, although there was nothing "casual" about the food. Again, 5 star food in a buffet setting, amazing! The Patio Grill was another wonderful venue with food selection limited but delicious. We had another great meal in the Sushi Restaurant with some very innovative dishes served. The service in all dining venues was exemplary.
I can't comment on the entertainment since we were exhausted most days and chose to get some sleep for the next day's activities. My husband did, however, frequent the Casino where he had a marvelous time meeting and chatting and playing with fellow guests. This was the only place on the entire ship that could have used some help; the couple running the Casino were less than agreeable and there were a few incidences while on board with a few disgruntled guests leaving.
We went on 4 different excursions and while they were fun and informative, I found them to be not as dynamic as the excursions we have taken on Crystal. Also, there was usually at least 30 people on each excursion (usually more) and large buses were used; we preferred the small 10 - 12 person excursions Crystal arranged. It did not deter us from having fun with other guests and getting to know them while on tour, however.
We did arrange for our own driver when we arrived in Amalfi, choosing to go where we wanted when we wanted and driving down to Positano (our favorite) and having a meal on the beach.
In summary, this was our favorite cruise to date. The people on the ship, while very affluent and well-heeled, were the warmest and friendliest we have ever encountered on any ship and we made some very nice new friends.
We could have chosen to focus on the very minor problems; our cabin stewardess was not well trained and we found out that there was a problem with visas for some crew members before our sailing so we had some crew who were not trained as properly as they should have been. The chaise lounge on the deck was constantly drenched each morning due to a design flaw; we were one floor down from pool deck so each morning the water from washing the deck would wet our deck and furniture. The stewardess was supposed to pull back the lounge pad each evening, but she was not trained to do this. It made for a soggy morning on the deck, but I used towels and sopped it up myself. We did complain to the Guest Relations Manager and he was very concerned and gave us onboard credit. I found all officers on board to be so accommodating and genuinely concerned about our experience. It made us feel as though we were a valued guest.
We are already looking into our next cruise with Seabourn and hope it will live up to our expectations once again.
Wonderful farm visit with wines and foods offered and a traditional Greek dance!
The Olive Oil was the best I've had and ordered some to take back.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Since we had been to Corfu before we chose to stay in town and eat at Rex; food was delicious and plentiful!
Hired our own driver and had a marvelous time! Ate at Buca de Baco and had a wonderful meal with lemon risotto and of course Limoncello.