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

Socialist Cruising

Seabourn Ovation Cruise Review by PM1225

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite

We are frequent Seabourn cruisers but are slowly pulling back after over 150 nights.

We too this European cruise with friends as we have cruised with them before. Our friends opted for a Penthouse Spa suite and we had a regular penthouse. As I have opined before, passengers in penthouses receive only extra space in the room. No preferential treatment for restaurant bookings, no butler etc. This is in contrast to other luxury cruise lines.

We generally eat late which caused some problem. On several nights, probably more like 5 out of 14, there was not seating available in the main restaurant. We were shuffled off to a near bar to wait for a phone call.

We did get 2 meals in Thomas Keller, but the extra night was due to no availability in the main restaurant. The meals and service there were excellent, as it generally was in the remainder of the ship. We requested an extra night in TK but were turned down every time. Then we witnessed something we had never seen on Seabourn.

While at the TK bar, we observed a passenger tip the head host and immediately get in. We felt we had paid enough and declined to take that route in search of extra reservations.

Weather played a factor and we spent an extra day in Spain, on a Sunday due to bad sea conditions. It rained and time was better spent indoors, especially given everything was closed anyway. It was disappointing to miss the first French port but you can't blame a cruise line for weather.

Entertainment was good, food was 4.5 out of 5, but clearly not 5 out of 5. The mix of ports in Spain, France and England was enjoyable.

In retrospect, we paid far too much having upgraded to a Penthouse and not having gotten our moneys worth. We now refer to Seabourn as "Socialist Cruising". They do a good job taking care of the masses but once you leave the room, everyone is equal. No need to pay top dollar and you would be just as well to purchase a standard room from a travel reseller (as over 100 on the cruise did) for a bargain basement price. Every cabin is the same and everyone is treated equally, which is generally good.

Bottom line - we get far more enjoyment for the same money at some other luxury cruise lines. You may notice this in my reviews of other cruise lines. We may be back, we enjoy Seabourn and the Ovation, we just don't love it anymore.

PM1225's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Penthouse Suite
Cabin PH 10024

50% more space than a regular room. Unfortunately it is not the best design as there are too many doors to the closet. My wife and I always ran into one another and had to go a different route to get from the closet to the main living area. Not including the main door, there are 5 doors, one into the toilet (head), another from there to the main bathroom, one from the bathroom to the closet, another from the closet to the bedroom and finally, one from the closet to the hall to the main door. This equates to wasted space due to door swing.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Wine Tasting

Great tour of a winery. Knowledgeable local guide.

View All 45 Wine Tasting Reviews

Great museum - bad day as we missed the next port


Great tour of Utah beach. The half day excursion should have been a full day.

Brugge (Bruges)

We took an independant tour to Old Brugges - easy and excellent.

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9 Reviews Written
94 Helpful Votes
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