Chose the 7 day Yachtsman Holiday Cruise in the Caribbean aboard Seabourn Odyssey. Booked the Penthouse Suite on 10th floor. Hadn’t sailed with Seabourn in nearly 10 years...However, we’re seasoned cruisers: 14 cruises on Silver Sea, Viking, Holland America, NCL, Regent, QE2...other Cunard line ships, Windstar, Star Clipper, National Grographic, Private charters and cruised our own boat for many years.
For this cruise (12/22/2018) We made our own flight reservations and arrived a day early to enjoy some time on St Maarten. Seabourn made the hotel & transfer arrangements. Hotel (Belmont de Samana, St Maarten) was pretty bad (no hot water, messed up the arrangements for transfer to ship, couldn’t sort out the dinner reservations and kept thinking we were different guests in a different room. Even so, beautiful location and we still enjoyed being there (though only being able to take cold showers was not that pleasant.)
Embarkation went fairly smoothly- at first they couldn’t find us but then got us onboard and photos and told us our room would be ready in an hour or so. We had the buffet lunch and proceeded to our room.
Penthouse suite was nice and roomy. Lots of drawers, big closet, luxurious bath. Room Steward offered champagne. I had arranged a dinner in KT Grill for first night to celebrate my husbands birthday. No mention of his birthday at restaurant or room ( I wasn’t expecting a big deal but perhaps a little candle would have been nice.) Dinner was ok - rather mediocre - very snooty attitude and you could observe disputes between the wait staff which didn’t add much of a pleasant environment. We use to love dining at The French Laundry - TK’s original restaurant in Yountville - I doubt he’d like what they’re doing under his name on this ship!! We won’t return.
We also discovered there were no papers in our room with information about internet, itinerary, excursions, spa, in room dining or even a ship map. So, after dinner we went to the square and tried to track down some information. No staff were available and there seemed to be many passengers with the same problems trying to find out info. We gave up and strolled around the various decks trying to get oriented.
The second day we were anchored off St Kitts. Planned to go ashore and do some exploring on our own. Stopped by the destination desk to get maps and some tips on taxis in to town, etc. Local woman was at desk and told us the only option was to stay at the Carambola beach club...saying everything was closed, no taxis, no shops, no touring, etc. we found out much later she was working for the Carambola Beach club and was not telling the truth but we never tried to go ashore because it seemed there would be no way to get into town. (She said it was not walkable).
We decided to explore the ship and maybe have lunch at Pool Grill. Everything was closed except the buffet. Tried visiting the Spa - all personnel were at beach. In the end we had a quiet reading day in our suite.
We got several phone calls in which various ship personnel kept asking my husband if he’d like to celebrate his birthday (since they had forgotten the day before). We decided we’d have his celebration with in room dining that night.
So, when it was time to order, we called room service- there was no paperwork with a menu in our room so they couldn’t take an order so we had to track down our room steward to get the current menu. She insisted it was December 22 and gave us that menu (it was actually the 23rd) we called again to try and order. The kitchen said we had to use the menu from December 23rd. So we went back to the room steward and she gave us the menu for the 24th because she didn’t have the menu for the 23rd. Eventually we were able to order a couple of salads, a club sandwich and a cheeseburger. Food arrived about 40 minutes later. Cold burger & fries, barely edible salad, dry sandwich. 2 ice waters. Nothing indicating a birthday...we strolled the decks, nothing going on so returned to our suite, sat and watched the moon and had a quiet reading night.
In general, I would say this is a rather boring cruise with very little information available to passengers. No announcements, no help with basics like internet, no orientation and late or nonexistent paperwork in the suite.
We are fairly self reliant and creating our own shore excursions (there are NEVER any staff to help with booking). Since almost all the ports are anchor/tenders it is a bit more complicated than simply stepping off the boat on to the dock.
We do miss the ship events, lectures, entertainment that we’ve enjoyed on other cruises (they seem to be nonexistent, cancelled at last minute or very badly organized on this cruise).
A note on the (Penthouse Suite) on the 10th floor: DON’T BOOK it!!! Above our suite is the outdoor game area (shuffleboard, table tennis, etc. VERY NOISY starting early in the morning and lasting all day!!
So in closing we are sticking with Silversea, Viking, Charters and anyone else but the CARNIVAL line and SEABOURN!!
Cons: poorly organized, unprofessional staff, mediocre food and waste of time & money!!
Pros: quiet, not too many activities, lots of time to yourself, some beautiful sunsets on this itinerary comfortable bed, spacious suite.
Spacious, lots of closet, drawer space. Bad location (below outdoor game area so very noisy)