This was our second Seabourn Cruise. We have been on Azamara twice. Regent twice. Silversea twice. We expected this cruise to be as 'luxurious' as our first Seabourn cruise but although enjoyable we felt the service and food had declined. As far as 'inclusive' cruise lines goes Seabourn is less 'inclusive' than say Regent which is far superior in suites and food plus you get all excursions and internet thrown in plus sauna, steam room, cold room etc at the Regent Spa. Seabourn has an area called the 'Retreat' which is only accessible if you pay. Everything in their Spa has a cost. Internet is only available if you pay. If your only experience of luxury lines is Seabourn then you would not be disappointed. So to sum up the cruise was enjoyable. The food is not luxury even in the specialist restaurants. It's 4 star. The Encore has a very small main swimming pool although there is a small quiet area with a small pool at the rear of the ship. There doesn't seem to be any supervision in the pool areas so we did experience an American family that just let their kids run riot which spoilt the quiet area small pool. Note:- don't go in August LOL.
At the front of the ship on the lowest deck. The usual veranda suite layout although not to the standard of Regent. Shower was tucked into the corner and quite small. Hot water was a hit and miss affair. With the sometimes lack of hot water I wondered why they bothered with a bath and didn't have a full size shower instead. Room was pleasant and the bed very comfortable. The walk in wardrobe could be larger although adequate. The balcony was slightly larger than those on the decks above although the view was a bit restricted by the metal bulkhead and the lower part being metal not glass. As 520 is near the front standby for some banging and crashing when the sea is slightly rough and when they drop the anchor. I found some old prescriptions in one of the draws from a previous passenger who seemed to suffer from a heart complaint.
Very very busy. Seabourn laid on a shuttle bus.