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.
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.
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
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