Seabourn Ovation Review

4.5 / 5.0
81 reviews

Beautiful Ship - Not a 6 Star Experience

Review for the Southern Caribbean Cruise on Seabourn Ovation
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First Time Cruiser • Age 70s

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Value for Money
Public Rooms

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Sail Date: Feb 2024
Traveled with children

After 4 previous sailings on Celebrity, we wanted to experience "ultra luxury cruising." We are an active couple in our early 70's and often felt that the bulk of activities on board were geared to elderly people preferring a slower pace or being content to read books, play mahjong, bridge and participate in trivia tournaments. The Seabourn Square was an incredibly sleepy area (like being in a public library) with no reason to linger other than to ask questions of the customer service staff or pick up a coffee. Celebrity ships have extensive gourmet coffee menus with an abundant selection of pastries. No such thing here - one barista struggling to keep up and uninspired, limited selection of pastries. No whipped cream on this ship to make a specialty coffee.

We booked a day at the Retreat ($149 while docked). We left after 2 hours and decided it was not worth it. You can read a book on your balcony or find a quiet spot elsewhere on the ship. Unbelievably for an advertised 6 star ship, the loungers were not padded (same as on the pool deck).

They advertise unlimited caviar and French champagne as their signature. The champagne was very basic and not much different from most sparkling wines. None was offered on embarkation or when getting back on the ship on port days. In fact there were no greeters/staff to welcome cruisers back to the ship with even water or fruit punch like other ships do as a norm. No caviar stations were ever presented on the ship. Sure, you could order it from room service, or requested after 5 PM in the Observation Bar, but it was never promoted anywhere on the ship. It was offered once as an appetizer on formal night in The Restaurant (their higher end dining venue). The highly anticipated, signature event Caviar in the Surf and beach barbecue at Carambola Beach was cancelled last minute. The ship announcement told us that the waters near the beach were too shallow for the tender boats and had been that way for days. WHAT? Obviously they knew well in advance that it was not going to happen, but did not want to kill our anticipation. Instead they offered poor quality warm water lobster tails for lunch in the Colonnade buffet restaurant (but no caviar). So with last minute notification, we had no time to prepare or plan for a day in St. Kitts.

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