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Sail Date: June 2018
Have been on Seabourn a few times and decided to take our grown up family on this trip What should have been a super holiday was let down somewhat by mediocre service. On our previous trips with the line this has been their strong suit but ... Read More
Have been on Seabourn a few times and decided to take our grown up family on this trip What should have been a super holiday was let down somewhat by mediocre service. On our previous trips with the line this has been their strong suit but not this time. We were on recently in October and it felt like being on a different ship. The restaurant staff are always polite but there was a sense of a lack of control and communication especially in the main dining areas. We had had slow service in the dining room and complained and things got better until the last night when it all fell apart again. Two of our party have food allergies and these just did not seem to be taken note of. On one occasion my wife was served a starter that could have made her very ill if she had not detected very quickly that one of the ingredients was the one she was allergic too. On our other cruises staff were always quick to get to know our name and our preferences but this did not happen on this one. Not all areas were poor some were very good such as Seabourn Square , Patio and the Sushi restaurant. Bar service was also first class especially in the observation lounge. Entertainment was excellent particularly the host dancers and crew performers and entertainment staff. The only thing we would suggest is some new shows are in order. Have seen the Tim Rice experience more than once! The casino was very well run and had a friendly vibe about it. Cabin service was absolutely superb. All in all frustrating as what should have been a great family holiday was let down by the less than impressive dining experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We sailed on the Encore last summer and looked forward to our next cruise this June. At every meal the featured meal involved pork whether carved or stewed. In general the food quality took a dive even in the dining room. If there is a ... Read More
We sailed on the Encore last summer and looked forward to our next cruise this June. At every meal the featured meal involved pork whether carved or stewed. In general the food quality took a dive even in the dining room. If there is a meat quality less than choice it seems like it was served. In the Collonade resturant the service was poor and often ran out of the food specialty of the evening. It is a failure when the food served in Keller, their specialty (one time per cruise) is better than the dining rooms food making a guest feel like for the cruise price, you are getting their parent Carnival’s cruise. The service on the cruise is still excellent especially beverage service on the pool decks. Room service was excellent and the caviar was available. In the dining rooms , quality seafood was absent unless it was ordered 48 in advance. The entertainment was above average for a small boat but the production shows were a repeat of last year with new performers who were good. The comedian was the same also. Lounge performers were good.. Since food quality is a major choice in picking a cruise, Regent, Oceania or Crystal has gotten back my attention . Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
21 Day Aegean & Adriatic Odyssey Cruise - fantastic itinerary. There is nothing much to improve on, the options for dining are plentiful, treated like royalty by all levels of Crew -from the Deck Crew to the Captain. I don't know ... Read More
21 Day Aegean & Adriatic Odyssey Cruise - fantastic itinerary. There is nothing much to improve on, the options for dining are plentiful, treated like royalty by all levels of Crew -from the Deck Crew to the Captain. I don't know how you can get much better, the training of the Crew by Seabourn is excellent, and they promote well from within. We had the Britain Got talent Winner-, young magician Richard Jones as one of the entertainment and he was excellent. Bar service and restaurant service was top notch..they still call you by name and walk to the table when able, and Francois, the Bar Tender from the Observation Lounge was outstanding. Itinerary allowed for 2 sea days, so kept pretty busy on shore other days which was fantastic. Along with the usual highlights such as Santorini ( although they should spend till 11pm in that Port to allow good time for passengers to tranverse up & down), some real standouts included Monemvasia, Syvota, Zadar in Croatia, Malta & Gozo - these were spectacular and Seabourn was able to get their smaller ship in. Watersports days from the back of the Ship are an added bonus, along with Shopping with the Chef, and open Caviar orderings available! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is ... Read More
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is responsible for this. I have probably been on twenty ships from a dozen different lines over the years and I cannot think of a better one. The ship is designed so that basically, all of the cabins are pretty much forward and all of the "activities" are aft. This way, there is nobody bouncing down your hall on the way to something 24/7. None of the cabins is far from some elevator. We were in 655 which was a "standard" balcony cabin on deck 6, but otherwise not at all "standard." While the actual size may be more or less the same as most other upscale ships, it seemed much larger and, for example, I know the bathroom was larger with separate full length tub and free standing shower and two sinks. Major storage everywhere, a pleasant seating area, fridge, dining table, balcony, furniture, set-ups etc. all of the first order. Most of the "white suit" crew was the usual array of east/west European although not exclusively. Every single member of the crew warranted five stars for attitude and graciousness. The area called Seabourn Square on Deck 7 served as the concierge area, as well as home of numerous newspapers, a coffee bar, internet points and just a pleasant place to be. Never any lines at the various concierge desks. The main pool deck is on 9, but we found a smaller haven on 5 aft with a pool, hot tubs and lounging chairs that was never crowded. There are sufficient bars on several decks and plenty of food when and where you want it. Thoughtful touches everywhere. Our little area 5 aft, for example, had its own little min fridge stocked with ice, soft drinks and, of course, anything you every wanted to order from "room service" which will deliver anywhere in the ship. The Observation Lounge forward on deck 10 is lovely and you never waited for more than two minutes for someone to show up for your drink order. Plenty of space in the outdoor areas and the Thomas Keller bar was a great place to relax before dinner. The Restaurant was never crowded and had no "bad" tables - you were also given the option to sit with fellow passengers or not at any meal. The Thomas Keller Restaurant on 8 had a superb menu - but I will follow anyone anywhere for a good Dover sole meuniere or a nice steak. You are guaranteed one sitting up there, but we managed three by hanging around the bar a lot and getting to know frequent Seabourn guests. Most guests on Seabourn are stuck on this line and never seem to go anywhere else. Many were on the cruise prior to ours and/or stayed on for the next 11 day cruise. We really didn't know how anyone could stand this kind of life without a coronary for more than the length of our cruise. All of the drinks, sodas etc. were top shelf. Secret: just because it is not formally listed as available, doesn't mean it isn't. This is a "can-do" kind of place and we found many wines by the glass that were available for the asking. The guests were of the elderly persuasion ( as am I), but there were a fair number of younger couples, families with teens and even a baby somewhere I heard of but never saw. Speaking of which, even though this ship was at capacity 600, you rarely saw more than a few dozen around except on deck 9 during the one ship day we had. The ports were sometimes interesting, sometimes, throwaways, and we were content to rent a scooter or electric car or similar many times on the smaller islands just to see the sights from a different perspective. We took no formal tours. Many of the guests rarely left the ship - this is the kind of ship you sail on because it is so pleasant to sit in the sun reading a book or snoozing on a deck lounger. My companion hit the spa for a massage and found it up to snuff. The exercise area looked nice and perfectly adequate although we did not partake. There is a small casino that was virtually empty at all times. OK, to preserve some credibility and to defer suspicion that I am a shill for Seabourn, I'll pick a couple of nits. Half the menu at the Restaurant never varied ( it was still quite good), but there could have been a little more variety on the other half. Many of the red wines by the glass (included) were, from my perspective, not up to snuff, but I gradually found several I liked "off" the list. The flat screen TV allowed only minimal controls ( ie. no CC) and bad volume ( even for those with good hearing like my companion) on several of the Movies/TV shows on demand - regular TV stations ( mostly news) were fine. The entertainment was nothing to write home about, but never is and we rarely even make the effort. And that's about it, folks. I guess you can say that we have drunk the Kool-Aid and will, in the future, limit our cruises (except with little kids) to Seabourn (not much for little kids to do on this ship). We went ahead and paid the deposit which comes with a 5 % discount on a future cruise or your money back. I expect we will not be getting our money back. Happy Trails. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our 4th Seabourn Cruise and I have noticed as the ships get bigger the service get skimpier. On this cruise this was especially true in the dining areas (The Restaurant, Colonnade and the Observation Lounge at Tea). The staff is ... Read More
This is our 4th Seabourn Cruise and I have noticed as the ships get bigger the service get skimpier. On this cruise this was especially true in the dining areas (The Restaurant, Colonnade and the Observation Lounge at Tea). The staff is as friendly as ever, but there are not enough of them. They are trying hard, but rushing around and making mistakes. This leads to frustration on the part of the staff and the customers. It should not take 20 minutes to get coffee in the morning nor 25 mins to get the wrong desert order at dinner. The other downer was some of the port of call selections. We made a stop in Szczecin. Poland which sort of reminded me of Cleveland, Ohio back in the 70's before it's renaissance. We also docked at Saaremaa, Estonia and the dock was a 45 min drive to nearest small town in the middle of nowhere. Missed a port call at Visby, Sweden, because it was too windy to dock. (However, I think that was a good safety call). We also had a horrible tour guide when we stopped at Nekso, Denmark. (Tour was rushed at 4-5 sites and would have been much better to go more in depth at just 2 or 3) On the positive side, the staff on Seabourn are great and try hard, the entertainment very good and the food is wonderful. We ate twice at the Thomas Keller venue and the service and food were outstanding. No complaints about the food in the Colonnade, Patio Grill or the Resturant, just the service levels. My recommendations for Seabourn are: 1. Take a hard look at staffing in the dining areas, your turning loyal customers off. If you had fixed the staffing on this cruise it we would have rated it as 4.5 instead of a 3 even with some of the other issues. 2. Vet the Ports of Call and the Tour Operators better. Some were great (like the Village Life in Kalbedia tour in Lithuania) and some are marginal like Saaremaa and Szczecin. 3. Look in the rear view mirror, because other small ship lines are about to eat your lunch. Overall this trip was just okay and did not make it a knock your socks off experience like our trips on the Spirit and the Sojourn, which is a real shame. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
On June 9th, my husband and I embarked on Seabourn's new ship, the Ovation. We joined the ship in Amsterdam and our voyage ended June 30th in Stockholm. It was a fun 21 day journey, enhanced by a beautiful new ship and a hardworking ... Read More
On June 9th, my husband and I embarked on Seabourn's new ship, the Ovation. We joined the ship in Amsterdam and our voyage ended June 30th in Stockholm. It was a fun 21 day journey, enhanced by a beautiful new ship and a hardworking crew. As others have mentioned, service was not perfect on this cruise, but, most of the time it was excellent. I choose not to dwell on a couple or three meals where there was chaos ruling (often due to language difficulties). The vast majority of the time, our food was served timely and well along with wine or other drinks that we ordered. The ship's crew included some superlative members who gave everything they did a personal touch. This is one reason we love Seabourn. Any review of food is, necessarily a very subjective experience. The ship's passengers come from several continents and have different expectations when it comes to food choices and seasoning. What some would call bland, others would call just right. Personally, we found the food to be usually excellent. We ate mostly in the MDR (The Restaurant), but also enjoyed offerings at The Colonnade and Earth and Ocean (the new concept on the Patio in the evening). We also had three meals at the TK Grill over 21 days. We enjoyed the TK Grill, but found the chicken to be WAY too salty, while others thought it was perfect. Again, different perspectives on food. We loved the appetizer prawns the steak, mushrooms and especially the Dover Sole. We enjoyed quite a number of room service breakfasts, but found the room service for dinner (tried it twice) to be very lackluster. I do not recommend it. Breakfast in the MDR was outstanding and such a peaceful experience. Tea time at 4pm each afternoon was delightful. While you do have to go to a buffet for your sandwiches and other tidbits, tea service itself was prompt and cordial --along with refills if you wanted them. We ordered caviar a number of times (usually sharing with others) and it was a fun experience. The ports on this cruise were interesting--they included Hamburg, Wismar (Germany), Sceczsin (Poland), Klapeda (Lithuania), Turku (Finland), Saaramar (Estonia), Bornholm (Denmark), Stockholm, Tallin (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia) and Helsinki. We missed Visby, Sweden due to rough seas. While some passengers complained about the Polish port (very industrial) and the port on the island of Saaramar, Estonia, I found the both to be memorable experiences. Neither of these ports are tourist meccas. That is one of the things that makes them interesting. We also enjoyed the island of Bornholm, even though our tour took in a lot of venues in just a few hours (one of eight round churches on the island, castle ruins, and glass making) Our tour guide on Bornholm, while a bit rough around the edges, was a proud Dane and gave us a real sense of what the local people are like. His English was quite good. We toured Tallin on our own--a wonderful experience. Our St. Petersburg guides were quite good---a lot of sightseeing packed into three days. We were in Helsinki a very short time (leaving at 2pm) but glad to have been there. A real highlight for me was Lubeck, Germany which we toured from Hamburg. I highly recommend going to Lubeck, A word about the cruise director--Handre. He is EXCELLENT. Handre is a true asset for Seabourn and makes every cruise more fun. Entertainment--The Seabourn Singers are excellent, but for me, the background music was way too loud. I would have enjoyed their voices being more front and center. The singers are delightful people. They mingled with the passengers and it was fun to talk to them. We enjoyed the Tim Rice Show, the Through the Decades Show, and the Nashville Show. The mentalist was very entertaining. We did not enjoy the comics, but once again, any attempt review entertainment is very subjective. Enrichment--We attended four lectures by Peter Damslich on the Hanseatic League and the Romanovs. All were quite excellent with fabulous slides to go along with his talk. Poolside dining--We enjoyed many lunches around the pool. I heartily recommend the Napa Burger. The Pool Bar staff is very attentive. The new Earth and Air venue around the pool in the evening is quite good--with excellent presentation. This was our second Seabourn cruise (the first being on the Encore) and it was great fun. We plan cruise Seabourn again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Starting with the boarding on the ship. When we arrived at the harbour of Athens we were very friendly welcomed an taken care off. Checking in procedures were very smooth. It only took 3 minutes from our taxi to the ship. Than we entered ... Read More
Starting with the boarding on the ship. When we arrived at the harbour of Athens we were very friendly welcomed an taken care off. Checking in procedures were very smooth. It only took 3 minutes from our taxi to the ship. Than we entered our veranda suite on deck 7. We were pleasantly surprised by the size and the look and feel off the suite. A bathroom with a separate bath tub and shower. Enough room for our clothes and belongings. And a nice sitting area. Our stewardess came to introduce herself and during our trip she was very helpfull. The experience on board in the fullest sense of speaking was great. The attention off the staff, the quality off the food and the surroundings of the ship were magnificent. We are experienced and demanding world travelers and this experience belongs to the best we have ever seen. We liked it so much that we already booked another cruise with the Encore. The excursions were so-so. Some off them were great some of them not. The in-room dinning experience was also below what you might expect of it. Overall it definitely was great and as indicated allready we go for a next time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose this 15 day trip with Seabourn because of our interest in travel around Iceland and Norway. Our previous experience has been with Oceania and Regent. Overall, the cruise was excellent, particularly the competence and attitude of ... Read More
Chose this 15 day trip with Seabourn because of our interest in travel around Iceland and Norway. Our previous experience has been with Oceania and Regent. Overall, the cruise was excellent, particularly the competence and attitude of the staff and the attention to detail. Ironically, the worst service we received was in the Thomas Keller specialty restaurant. Variety and quality of entertainment was quite good, especially for a small 480 passenger ship. Food generally was excellent, with only complaint being the lack of variety of food offerings during off hours. The Ventures shore excursions (hiking, kayaking, zodiacs,etc) were exceptional, with amazingly qualified Seabourn employees as guides. Standard shore excursions, however, were hit and miss, and several of the ports of call should have been skipped as either uninteresting or repetitive. My biggest issue with the cruise, however, which obviously is no fault of Seabourn, is the overwhelming advanced age of the vast bulk of the passengers. I am 70 and my wife 64, and we both felt like youngsters. Don't get me wrong, the clear majority of passengers were friendly and engaging, but you can't be in a group of 450+ aging passengers and not come away with a number of stories and impressions about how difficult some seniors can be to deal with. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I've been on several Seabourn cruises in the past (this cruise put me over 100 days sailed with them) and while no cruise was perfect Seabourn in the past has been the best - for me. I like re positioning cruises (they tend to have a lot ... Read More
I've been on several Seabourn cruises in the past (this cruise put me over 100 days sailed with them) and while no cruise was perfect Seabourn in the past has been the best - for me. I like re positioning cruises (they tend to have a lot of sea days and I enjoy sea days). I saw one on the Sojourn going from Kobe to Vancouver. Bonus - its a short flight from Vancouver to San Francisco so I'd only have to do the long haul thing in one direction. Embarkation started almost precisely on time and aside from one passenger using his mass to knock people out of his way to be first was a nice and quick experience. Once on board I noticed that there was no one greeting passengers or directing them to any particular place. On past cruises staff was present to greet guests and direct them. After embarkation came the muster drill. Thankfully Seabourn doesn't require you to wear or even bring your brightly colored tripping hazard (life vest). The drill took place in the Restaurant and we didn't have to go out on deck and deal with the elements. In my suite I had a letter from Seabourn waiting for me. It informed me that there would be ongoing construction on the pool deck during the cruise and that areas would be closed off. So they're saying on a crossing/cruise with a large number of sea days the outside would be a loud smelly mess and that the Patio Bar/Grill (bar and restaurant for the pool area) would be unavailable some days. Wonderful. I was not given the option for a graceful exit from this cruise. The letter was more of a "SURPRISE" that you didn't want. This was not a good start to a luxury cruise. Even mid tier hotels will inform guests of any upcoming construction. I guess the small saving grace was that I couldn't hear the construction sounds or smell the odors they generated in my room. Others weren't so lucky. For this each suite was given $500. The dining experience had a few issues that would continue to be issues. The first was understaffing. I don't know if it was due to the launch of their newer bigger ship or a harder time finding crew or perhaps penny wise pound foolish but aside from the TK Grill the other dining venues seemed understaffed (when the restaurant manager is running around taking orders and the ships sommelier is busing tables - you're short staffed). Further a lot of the staff in both the Colonnade and the Restaurant were very green. How green? They'd bring the wrong food to passengers and then argue with them (in one instance eggs Benedict were served as Florentine. When the passenger complained after the argument they were given the Benedict - with strands of spinach still on the plate. Some would become irate if you didn't order your dessert with your appetizers/entrees. They'd start out with the word "NO" and then wait for correction rather than getting an accurate answer before stating something wasn't possible. Drink service in the Restaurant for dinner was the worst of any Seabourn cruise I'd been on. They no longer have the wine stewards and now rely on your overworked green wait staff to do most of the beverage work as well. Penny wise, pound foolish again. If your overworked servers were slow with the food, well now so followed your drinks. The food in the restaurant was to me for the most part: boring, unseasoned, bland and unadventurous at best. At worst it was the worst version of some dishes that I've ever had. Thankfully the Colonnade didn't seem to have the food issues (and a far lesser extent of service issues). However the only dining location on the ship that felt like it belonged on a luxury cruise was the TK Grill. Better ingredients, more staff per passenger, and probably because Thomas Keller insisted actual flavorful food. However the TK Grill (and TK night in the Colonnade) had its issues as well. When Michael Sandoval (one of Kellers staffers) was running things the food came out cooked perfectly. They day he left the ship (and on subsequent visits) all the Thomas Keller food was off. An exmaple of this would be the Ad Hoc fried chicken. Under Seabourn it was either rubber skin and raw meat or burnt skin dripping pools of grease. Under Sandoval it was crisp, moist, tender, flavorful and not overly greasy. I got the distinct impression that left to its own devices Seabourn can't meet the demands Kellers food requires. There were also reservation issues with the TK Grill. I had a reservation deleted and other passengers felt that staff was trying to coerce them into altering or giving up their reservations. The bars (especially Observation and Patio) along with their staff seemed to be the one area of the cruise experience that hadn't declined in quality. I generally don't partake in the ships entertainment so I don't have too much to say on that. I did play trivia and this time people seemed to actually treat it like a game rather than a deathmatch as on previous cruises. As this was a crossing (really a cruise to relocate the ship to its next seasonal AO) we didn't have that many ports. Seabourns shore excursions are rather generic. They do try to keep the number of passengers per tour down but don't offer lower limit tours like some lines do. My only issue with the tours was missing one because we ended up spending an extra day in Aomori (where they added but a single tour) - but you can't blame the weather on the line. We also lost a port because of that delay. We were supposed to visit Icy Point Straight but that was cut. Originally we were supposed to visit Glacier bay rather than Hubbard glacier. I don't know who didn't do what there but IMO Glacier bay is the far better glacier experience. Because to date this cruise was an aberration I did book a future cruise. Hopefully the ship will have righted itself and food/service will be back to their usual high standards. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have just returned from a Mediterranean cruise on the Encore. We liked the size of the Encore, the number of passengers, the crew, the space, etc. Most of the entertainment was good, although it does lean towards music from ... Read More
We have just returned from a Mediterranean cruise on the Encore. We liked the size of the Encore, the number of passengers, the crew, the space, etc. Most of the entertainment was good, although it does lean towards music from musicals and dancing from "Strictly" - neither of which are our cup of tea. It was a shame to have an award winning soprano on board throughout the cruise who never opened her lungs to some opera. We did not like the lack of soundproofing in our cabin which will keep you awake if you are a light sleeper. We also thought that frayed old towels in the bathroom should have been replaced long before. As I said at the beginning on the whole we enjoyed the cruise, but we could not justify 8,000 pounds each for 11 nights.I assume that a lot of the price is there simply to exclude some people. Read Less
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