We chose this cruise for the itinerary and also to see whether we enjoyed the Seabourn product and typical clientele vibe enough to book the 2024 world cruise. We were blessed with great weather from start to finish so enjoyed the wonders and majesty of the Alaskan fjords in all their glory. The excursions on this trip were certainly pretty pricey but the wildlife sightings we enjoyed - bears fishing for salmon, eagles, whales, sea otters, stellar sea lions, seals - did 'exactly what it said on the tin'. Thank you Seabourn. The onboard zodiacs felt a tad overloaded with people and quite snug, compared to others experienced such as Scenic Eclipse and Viking Octantis. Destination staff, zodiac drivers were knowledgeable and helpful.
Odyssey has undergone a lot of cabin and public area refurbishment and recent new furnishings but in a curiously outdated style. Its certainly comfortable but is very 'brown', very 'velvety' and would have looked modern about 20 years ago. The area where this time warp was most noticeable was the main restaurant. Menus, recipes, food presentation and whole food ethos clearly very outdated by 10 - 20 years compared to European operators. There is a lot of different choices, however Mains were always tiny portions of indeterminate 'stuff' with lots of colorful but tasteless dots and dashes of decoration and foams. Pale colored 'stuff' was apparently fish, with the darker 'stuff' some form of meat. Nothing had much or any taste, just a texture differential. One night the green vegetable part of the main dish consisted of 3 peas and one very small shaved head of asparagus. I lost 3lbs in weight on this cruise!. No use of herbs or spicing or seasoning whatsoever evident. The most varied and best of the food offering to our European taste was at the pool cafe but despite the overhead electric fires, it still felt cold and odd eating dinner in Alaska wearing a top coat. The worst food deception was the Grill by Thomas Keller. I quote from the menu 'updated versions of iconic dishes prepared using the freshest products from artisan purveyors'. Oh no it isn't - you ought to be ashamed of yourself Thomas Keller!!!. The only fresh produce on the WHOLE menu is the caesar salad and the iceberg lettuce salad. The rest of the starters, plates and sweets are ALL frozen and reheated - just like a TV dinner!. The maitre'd' did assure us that it was all 'freshly frozen'.!!. He said that it was the first time anyone had asked him for fresh food!.
The absolute jewel in the Seabourn crown though is their staff - from management and down the ranks - unfailingly polite, helpful, smiley, enthusiastic and very keen to give great service - even the tender guys and those not usually customer facing. This was by far the best part of our whole Seabourn experience. Thank you!.
Clean, well maintained and comfortable. New/recent sofa, carpets and furniture. Plenty of storage and space for a week or two cruise. Air con too noisy at night and there is no facility in cabin to be able to turn it off or set a temperature to achieve climate control or adjust fan speed (old system?). Maintenance chap attended promptly and switched it off from behind a panel in the corridor outside cabin. So its an 'on or off' sort of decision. Was Ok going for 'off' in Alaska - would have been a big issue for me on a hot weather cruise. Bar set up and replenishment good. Cabin stewards very helpful. Balcony doors open outwards as opposed to sliding doors so need to be propped open with furniture if wanted to be kept open. Went horribly wrong a couple of times in heavier seas!. Deck 6 balcony size felt quite generous for size/grade of cabin. Bathroom very brown marbley! but a decent size with full tub. Very small triangular shower cabinet with just an overhead quite dribbly shower which was barely adequate. Toilet VERY loud (but efficient) flush. Cabin next door's toilet got a lot of use in the night!.
We were so fortunate to have perfect weather every day at what was virtually the end of the season. This made the whole trip so beautiful and enjoyable.