• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
Seabourn Ovation Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
51 Reviews

New Ship, Nice Appointments, Understaffed

Seabourn Ovation Cruise Review by cajungene

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jun 2018
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Suite

This is our 4th Seabourn Cruise and I have noticed as the ships get bigger the service get skimpier. On this cruise this was especially true in the dining areas (The Restaurant, Colonnade and the Observation Lounge at Tea). The staff is as friendly as ever, but there are not enough of them. They are trying hard, but rushing around and making mistakes. This leads to frustration on the part of the staff and the customers. It should not take 20 minutes to get coffee in the morning nor 25 mins to get the wrong desert order at dinner.

The other downer was some of the port of call selections. We made a stop in Szczecin. Poland which sort of reminded me of Cleveland, Ohio back in the 70's before it's renaissance. We also docked at Saaremaa, Estonia and the dock was a 45 min drive to nearest small town in the middle of nowhere. Missed a port call at Visby, Sweden, because it was too windy to dock. (However, I think that was a good safety call). We also had a horrible tour guide when we stopped at Nekso, Denmark. (Tour was rushed at 4-5 sites and would have been much better to go more in depth at just 2 or 3)

On the positive side, the staff on Seabourn are great and try hard, the entertainment very good and the food is wonderful. We ate twice at the Thomas Keller venue and the service and food were outstanding. No complaints about the food in the Colonnade, Patio Grill or the Resturant, just the service levels.

My recommendations for Seabourn are:

1. Take a hard look at staffing in the dining areas, your turning loyal customers off. If you had fixed the staffing on this cruise it we would have rated it as 4.5 instead of a 3 even with some of the other issues.

2. Vet the Ports of Call and the Tour Operators better. Some were great (like the Village Life in Kalbedia tour in Lithuania) and some are marginal like Saaremaa and Szczecin.

3. Look in the rear view mirror, because other small ship lines are about to eat your lunch.

Overall this trip was just okay and did not make it a knock your socks off experience like our trips on the Spirit and the Sojourn, which is a real shame.

cajungene's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts
Get tomorrow's price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Veranda Suite
Cabin V6 823

Good cabin in the normal Seabourn Configuration. Like the fact that they have two sinks, a tub and a shower. Plenty of storage space in the closet as well as the cabinets in the room.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Village Life tour was great. It is a people to people experience and was informative and fun. Also got a chance to have fun in shopping in the city square and sample some of the delicious local dumplings as great local beer. Lots to see in this town and very inexpensive.


Port call cancelled, because it was too windy to dock

Royal Canal Tour

Good way to see the harbor and the city

View All 17 Royal Canal Tour Reviews
Vasa Museum

Good overview of the city and sights. Vasa Museum was facinating

View All 128 Vasa Museum Reviews

Did some touring on our own. Harbor tour and the Hop-on-Hop-Off bus are a great way to see the city

Previous ReviewNext Review
1 Reviews Written
11 Helpful Votes
Never Miss a Deal!
Subscribe and Save
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

More Seabourn Ovation Reviews

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.