Having cruised on larger ships (Cunard & Celebrity), we decided to try a luxury, mid-size ship and booked the Seabourn Sojourn for its 20 night cruise from Cape Town to the Maldives.
On the plus side:
1) Our embarkation and disembarkation were managed efficiently.
1) The verandah cabin was a pleasant surprise - spacious with heaps of hanging/drawer space and an enormous modern bathroom.
2) The passenger-contact staff are extremely pleasant and helpful, especially our cabin stewardess and the dining room servers. Guest Relations were responsive to my concerns regarding the ship's patchy, frustrating internet access and often re-instated my lost time. The Cruise Director, Ross, was an energetic activities organiser, comedian and great singer - a real asset. Likewise the F&B Manager, Mario, who handled my complaints regarding several disappointing meals.
3) The entertainment and lectures that we attended were mostly of high quality, although the standard dropped off a bit towards the end of the cruise (the final 5 days at sea).
4) The daytime band, the Trio, were bland and uninspiring - they played mostly "elevator music". A pity the full rock band was not used more during the day and early evenings.
The downsides generally relate to deficiencies with the swimming pool and gym (both are too small), inconsistent food quality and the poor management of "destination services" ie ship to shore transport and shore excursions.
For example, the excursion to Addo Game Park was a debacle as nearly 20 passengers had to be transported around the park in small mini-vans, rather than the large, open 4WD trucks advertised. Plus the ship's transport from the port to the main town (Fort Dauphin) in Madagascar was irregular, resulting in delays, with no-one from the ship present (initially) on site to co-ordinate arrangements and inform passengers.
Also, the ship does not adequately handle 1 to 2 metre ocean swell and, unlike our other cruises. I was sea-sick on a couple of bad weather days.
Overall, it is doubtful that paying twice the nightly rate for a Seabourn cruise is justifed vs the larger ships, especially as both internet charges and shore excursions (which are expensive and problematic) are not included.