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We arrived at Manchester Airport only to be advised that our flight to Barcelona was delayed by an hour, not a major problem at the start of our holiday. We got to Barcelona one hour behind schedule, but our Sixt driver was there with name card and we were whisked off to the Colon Hotel for our two day stay prior to our cruise. The Colon hotel is excellently placed for sightseeing in Barcelona, but it is a typical city centre hotel with no “soul” but more than adequate for a couple of days. On the day of embarkation, we were picked up by our Sixt chauffeur at midday and whisked the 15 minute journey to the cruise terminal. Our cases were taken by the port staff, we seamlessly checked in and 15 minutes later we were sipping champagne in the poolside bar prior to having lunch in the Colonnade restaurant. At 14.15 the announcement was made “your suites are ready “. Having been on Seabourn ships several times before there was no need for the usual search for the amenities and various public spaces on board. The service was as you would expect from a 6 star cruise line, with a couple of exceptions in the dining venues - not a major problem but not what you expect (nor pay for) from Seabourn. Seabourn has teamed up with celebrity chef Thomas Keller with a specialty grill restaurant and signature dishes on the main menu every couple of days and the Colonnade restaurant being given over to his menu every couple of days. The Thomas Keller Grill is just o.k., nothing exceptional. We first experienced the Thomas Keller theme over two years ago when it was first introduced on the Odyssey and the menu has not changed at all, with some passengers raving about it whilst others are not so sure, so whether or not Mr Keller retains the franchise remains to be seen, I am not a hundred percent sure There are four dining options on Odyssey two of which are for casual dining. The colonnade and pool bar have a great choice at lunch time, but in the evening they are very restrictive in their choice, with no fish or vegetarian options at times – is this 6 star service? The number of staff does seem to be declining, for example the drinks service around the pool during the day and the number of staff in the restaurants are not what they used to be – little things but if they are not careful their 6 star service will become tarnished. Seabourn Square is very good – a wonderful selection of coffee, cakes and snacks served by cheerful baristas, who frequently refer to you by name and knowing your preferences without you having to utter a word. Our stewardess Zhaneta was extremely efficient, you hardly saw her, but whenever you returned to your suite it had been serviced and was like a shiny new pin. The entertainment is low key, do not expect the Broadway productions of the larger ships. The cruise director Verity was extremely able as were the Seabourn singers and dancers. There were entertainers brought on board to do a couple of shows, so all in all the entertainment changed nightly. The Tim Rice show was a little disappointing given the hype This is not a ship for kids - the average age is 65+, they would be bored to tears with no facilities except the internet which is quite costly. I wonder if there is an element of cost cutting on Seabourn – a little thing “lobster” on the menu? In the Keller Grill it only featured twice in 2 weeks, and not once in the main restaurant, is this the thin edge of the wedge? Would we travel with Seabourn again - yes without doubt, but there are a number of 6 star cruise lines out there, so it is essential that Seabourn continue to strive to be the best and do not rest on their laurels or they could easily be overtaken. Also, there are some new kids on the block – we travelled with Viking earlier in the year, and whilst they are not quite 6 star, they are 5 star + and exceptional value for money offering exceptional accommodation on brand new ships, we will definitely try them again.

IS SEABOURN'S HALO SLIPPING?

Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Review by Michael Hull

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Suite
We arrived at Manchester Airport only to be advised that our flight to Barcelona was delayed by an hour, not a major problem at the start of our holiday.

We got to Barcelona one hour behind schedule, but our Sixt driver was there with name card and we were whisked off to the Colon Hotel for our two day stay prior to our cruise.

The Colon hotel is excellently placed for sightseeing in Barcelona, but it is a typical city centre hotel with no “soul” but more than adequate for a couple of days.

On the day of embarkation, we were picked up by our Sixt chauffeur at midday and whisked the 15 minute journey to the cruise terminal. Our cases were taken by the port staff, we seamlessly checked in and 15 minutes later we were sipping champagne in the poolside bar prior to having lunch in the Colonnade restaurant. At 14.15 the announcement was made “your suites are ready “.

Having been on Seabourn ships several times before there was no need for the usual search for the amenities and various public spaces on board.

The service was as you would expect from a 6 star cruise line, with a couple of exceptions in the dining venues - not a major problem but not what you expect (nor pay for) from Seabourn.

Seabourn has teamed up with celebrity chef Thomas Keller with a specialty grill restaurant and signature dishes on the main menu every couple of days and the Colonnade restaurant being given over to his menu every couple of days. The Thomas Keller Grill is just o.k., nothing exceptional. We first experienced the Thomas Keller theme over two years ago when it was first introduced on the Odyssey and the menu has not changed at all, with some passengers raving about it whilst others are not so sure, so whether or not Mr Keller retains the franchise remains to be seen, I am not a hundred percent sure

There are four dining options on Odyssey two of which are for casual dining. The colonnade and pool bar have a great choice at lunch time, but in the evening they are very restrictive in their choice, with no fish or vegetarian options at times – is this 6 star service? The number of staff does seem to be declining, for example the drinks service around the pool during the day and the number of staff in the restaurants are not what they used to be – little things but if they are not careful their 6 star service will become tarnished.

Seabourn Square is very good – a wonderful selection of coffee, cakes and snacks served by cheerful baristas, who frequently refer to you by name and knowing your preferences without you having to utter a word.

Our stewardess Zhaneta was extremely efficient, you hardly saw her, but whenever you returned to your suite it had been serviced and was like a shiny new pin.

The entertainment is low key, do not expect the Broadway productions of the larger ships. The cruise director Verity was extremely able as were the Seabourn singers and dancers. There were entertainers brought on board to do a couple of shows, so all in all the entertainment changed nightly. The Tim Rice show was a little disappointing given the hype

This is not a ship for kids - the average age is 65+, they would be bored to tears with no facilities except the internet which is quite costly.

I wonder if there is an element of cost cutting on Seabourn – a little thing “lobster” on the menu? In the Keller Grill it only featured twice in 2 weeks, and not once in the main restaurant, is this the thin edge of the wedge?

Would we travel with Seabourn again - yes without doubt, but there are a number of 6 star cruise lines out there, so it is essential that Seabourn continue to strive to be the best and do not rest on their laurels or they could easily be overtaken. Also, there are some new kids on the block – we travelled with Viking earlier in the year, and whilst they are not quite 6 star, they are 5 star + and exceptional value for money offering exceptional accommodation on brand new ships, we will definitely try them again.
Michael Hull’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Veranda Suite
Cabin V6 818
The suites are more than adequate for a few days at sea. They all have king size or twin beds a large sitting area and a bathroom with tub, separate shower twin sinks - a full range of Moulton Brown accessories are provided and replaced as necessary. You have a mini bar which is restocked whenever required with water, champagne, spirits and soft drinks.

In all but the suites on deck 4 there is a balcony that has ample space for the table and chairs provided. Having sailed with Cunard a couple of years ago I would say that the Seabourn suites are almost double the size of Cunard balcony cabin.
Deck 10 Suite Cabins