Seabourn Encore Cruise Review by SLSD
- Sail Date: September 2017
- Destination: Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Veranda Suite
On port days, we found that the excursions were very well organized. We took an excursion in each port and found several of them to be exceptional (our favorite was the Eze/Rothchild House at the port of Monte Carlo) and some were just ok. We don't regret taking any of them. With all but one excursion, we were back to the ship in time for a late lunch at the Colonnade. We LOVED lunching on the deck patio outside of the Colonnade. There were items to order from a menu if we did not wish to do the buffet. The lunches were leisurely and such a good memory now.
We ate most dinner in the Main Dining Room (called The Restaurant) on this ship. There were adequate choices--special entrees, appetizers of the day as well as mainstay classics like grilled salmon, steaks, etc. I found myself enjoying the classics more than the specials. All of the food in the MDR was good and the service was quite well done.
We had a couple of dinners in the Colonnade on the deck patio. I would have preferred access to the MDR menu instead of the evening Colonnade menu, but the venue made up for it. Nothing wrong with the food there, just not my favorite choices. The one dinner we had on the Patio (around the swimming pool) was quite good. We enjoyed it immensely.
Entertainment was good. We didn't go to the show every night, but did go more than half of the time. The singers/dancers were quite excellent and entertaining. We also enjoyed the one woman show put on by the Assistant Cruise Director and the classical pianist who did two recitals.
A real high spot was Suzanne Jane, a talented singer/pianist who performed in the Thomas Keller Grill Bar. This particular bar was our favorite place on the ship to have before dinner or after dinner drinks.
Now--a word about the size of the Encore. We had sailed previously on a Silver Sea ship (the Shadow) which is smaller with fewer passengers and worried that we would not like this larger ship. We did NOT find that to be the case. In fact, the ship still felt like a smaller ship and we never felt crowded. Perhaps there was a crowd somewhere, but we just didn't see it. The Encore is a beautiful ship with quite a few choices for venues for relaxing, eating, drinking and being entertained. We found its atmosphere to be very pleasant and just about perfect for our cruse. We met some really nice people onboard and have corresponded with several of them since the cruise.
One high spot was the Rock The Boat dance party on the deck. This was held the night we were in the port of Monte Carlo. It was so beautiful to be in that port and out on the deck at night surrounded by the twinkling light of Monte Carlo. The music never stopped during the party. There was lots of dancing--and everyone seemed to be having a very good time.
We also enjoyed a tour of the Bridge. The Second Officer conducted the tour and the captain came in to say hello. In addition, we did a tour of the Galley. What fun. We also enjoyed a cooking demonstration by the executive chef on our At Sea day. It was enjoyable.
In summary, I could find very little fault with the Encore. It's a lovely ship and it had a great crew. Great fun was had by all.
P. S. I agree with others that The Reserve on the top deck is a total waste. We did go up to see it and it did to look like something that was worth over $300/day. I don't think it was ever fully used except perhaps on the At Sea day. I think it should be opened up for all the passengers. In fact, that is pretty much a no brainer. Everyone loves that Seabourn ships are one class ship and I think they should stay that way.
We've already booked another cruise--this time on the new Ovation which will set sail for the first time in May 2018. We'll be boarding June 9th! We can't wait. I know it is going to be another great vacation.
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