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Seabourn Ovation Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
51 Reviews

1st time on Seabourn

Seabourn Ovation Cruise Review by Travl1n

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2018
  • Destination: the British Isles & Western Europe
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Suite

Chose this cruise because the itinerary was all new to us and it hit some spots on our bucket list, including Giverny, D-Day beaches, Bayeux Tapestries, and Lisbon.

Embarkation was quick and easy. Had an early private excursion in Lisbon and getting off the ship was very fast.

For the first 24 hours, service in the Restaurant and Colonnade was slow and we got the impression that the servers and others were trying to figure out territories and responsibilities. Things seemed to improve thereafter, although we still encountered slow service in The Restaurant on occasion.

Best service and food were in The Grill, but we only got in once. In The Restaurant, entrees are modest in size and so are the accompaniments. But ordering sides of vegetables or starches is easy. We ate all breakfasts and most lunches in the Colonnade and we very happy with the selection, which is so large that it can be hard to find things. Several of the employees there learned our names and made real efforts to be helpful and friendly.

Saw the singers and dancers a few times. The Tim Rice show (he appears on video) was excellent while the others were fairly average.

Went on three of the ship's excursions: (1) a sunny day and amazing array of flowers made for a great time at Monet's home and garden in Giverny and the guide did a good job; (2) Santiago de Compostela was an intriguing place and the guide knew her stuff and had a good sense of humor; and (3) it was a cloudy day in Porto, there was a lot of standing around and waiting, and the guide was just okay.

Wanted to see both D-Day beaches and the Bayeux Tapestries, not a combination offered by Seabourn, so we got a private guide and found another couple to join us and it worked very well.

Noticed that there didn't seem to be a deck with an outside walking route as long as the ship, but weather kept us inside most of the time.

Went to a number of functions where officers made an appearance and then vanished, but we (and probably everyone else) did get a couple of invitations to dine with officers or entertainers and we did have dinner with the head of human resources.

Met a number of Seabourn veterans who were disappointed in the service in the dining venues, as we were. Was also surprised that we were asked to provide information about birthdays and anniversaries, but when our anniversary came there was no recognition of it. We also missed Regent's included excursions, Internet access, and phone call allowance.

We expect two things from cruises (and land trips): (1) to get away from the chores of cooking, cleaning, etc. and the rest of the routine and (2) to see interesting places, either on excursions or independently. We got these on this cruise, met nice people, and were treated well by the crew. Did this cruise line and this ship and crew do this so much better than others? I would say not. Would we return? Probably yes, if we found an attractive itinerary and price.

Travl1n's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Veranda Suite
Cabin V5 543

We were assigned by Seabourn rather than picking this one. Mid-ship location was good. Only drawback to Deck 5 is that there is a lot of crew traffic, but that wasn't much a problem. Really no problem with noise from adjacent cabins or the hallway.

Do ships that are less than a year old have fewer creaks in rough seas than older ships? We had three rough nights and there seemed to be just as many creaks.

Cabin was similar to others we have occupied, with large bathroom and plenty of storage in the closet and in many cabinets. Cabin stewardess was responsive to our requests, such as to ditch the duvet and replace it with a sheet and blanket.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Stayed in Canterbury for two nights before the cruise. Had a driver pick us up in Canterbury, take us to Dover Castle, the White Cliffs, and a couple of other spots, and then deliver us to the dock.


Went to the excellent Boijmans Museum and walked around a bit.


Access to Ruben's House was limited and some other places were closed by a strike. Interesting city to walk around and the Museum Plantin-Moretus is an interesting place to learn about hundreds of years of the printing and publishing business.

Sunny day and gorgeous flowers made this a great trip, along with the fairly short time to get there and back.

View All undefined undefined Reviews

Arranged private tour to D-Day Beaches and Bayeux Tapestries and enjoyed the whole day.

La Coruna

Ship excursion to Santiago de Compostela was enjoyable.

City Tour

Tour had too much time spent standing around and waiting.

View All 45 City Tour Reviews
Pena Palace

Very interesting, but only got to see interior because of thick fog.

View All 5 Pena Palace Reviews

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