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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose the 7 day Yachtsman Holiday Cruise in the Caribbean aboard Seabourn Odyssey. Booked the Penthouse Suite on 10th floor. Hadn’t sailed with Seabourn in nearly 10 years...However, we’re seasoned cruisers: 14 cruises on ... Read More
Chose the 7 day Yachtsman Holiday Cruise in the Caribbean aboard Seabourn Odyssey. Booked the Penthouse Suite on 10th floor. Hadn’t sailed with Seabourn in nearly 10 years...However, we’re seasoned cruisers: 14 cruises on Silver Sea, Viking, Holland America, NCL, Regent, QE2...other Cunard line ships, Windstar, Star Clipper, National Grographic, Private charters and cruised our own boat for many years. For this cruise (12/22/2018) We made our own flight reservations and arrived a day early to enjoy some time on St Maarten. Seabourn made the hotel & transfer arrangements. Hotel (Belmont de Samana, St Maarten) was pretty bad (no hot water, messed up the arrangements for transfer to ship, couldn’t sort out the dinner reservations and kept thinking we were different guests in a different room. Even so, beautiful location and we still enjoyed being there (though only being able to take cold showers was not that pleasant.) Embarkation went fairly smoothly- at first they couldn’t find us but then got us onboard and photos and told us our room would be ready in an hour or so. We had the buffet lunch and proceeded to our room. Penthouse suite was nice and roomy. Lots of drawers, big closet, luxurious bath. Room Steward offered champagne. I had arranged a dinner in KT Grill for first night to celebrate my husbands birthday. No mention of his birthday at restaurant or room ( I wasn’t expecting a big deal but perhaps a little candle would have been nice.) Dinner was ok - rather mediocre - very snooty attitude and you could observe disputes between the wait staff which didn’t add much of a pleasant environment. We use to love dining at The French Laundry - TK’s original restaurant in Yountville - I doubt he’d like what they’re doing under his name on this ship!! We won’t return. We also discovered there were no papers in our room with information about internet, itinerary, excursions, spa, in room dining or even a ship map. So, after dinner we went to the square and tried to track down some information. No staff were available and there seemed to be many passengers with the same problems trying to find out info. We gave up and strolled around the various decks trying to get oriented. The second day we were anchored off St Kitts. Planned to go ashore and do some exploring on our own. Stopped by the destination desk to get maps and some tips on taxis in to town, etc. Local woman was at desk and told us the only option was to stay at the Carambola beach club...saying everything was closed, no taxis, no shops, no touring, etc. we found out much later she was working for the Carambola Beach club and was not telling the truth but we never tried to go ashore because it seemed there would be no way to get into town. (She said it was not walkable). We decided to explore the ship and maybe have lunch at Pool Grill. Everything was closed except the buffet. Tried visiting the Spa - all personnel were at beach. In the end we had a quiet reading day in our suite. We got several phone calls in which various ship personnel kept asking my husband if he’d like to celebrate his birthday (since they had forgotten the day before). We decided we’d have his celebration with in room dining that night. So, when it was time to order, we called room service- there was no paperwork with a menu in our room so they couldn’t take an order so we had to track down our room steward to get the current menu. She insisted it was December 22 and gave us that menu (it was actually the 23rd) we called again to try and order. The kitchen said we had to use the menu from December 23rd. So we went back to the room steward and she gave us the menu for the 24th because she didn’t have the menu for the 23rd. Eventually we were able to order a couple of salads, a club sandwich and a cheeseburger. Food arrived about 40 minutes later. Cold burger & fries, barely edible salad, dry sandwich. 2 ice waters. Nothing indicating a birthday...we strolled the decks, nothing going on so returned to our suite, sat and watched the moon and had a quiet reading night. In general, I would say this is a rather boring cruise with very little information available to passengers. No announcements, no help with basics like internet, no orientation and late or nonexistent paperwork in the suite. We are fairly self reliant and creating our own shore excursions (there are NEVER any staff to help with booking). Since almost all the ports are anchor/tenders it is a bit more complicated than simply stepping off the boat on to the dock. We do miss the ship events, lectures, entertainment that we’ve enjoyed on other cruises (they seem to be nonexistent, cancelled at last minute or very badly organized on this cruise). A note on the (Penthouse Suite) on the 10th floor: DON’T BOOK it!!! Above our suite is the outdoor game area (shuffleboard, table tennis, etc. VERY NOISY starting early in the morning and lasting all day!! So in closing we are sticking with Silversea, Viking, Charters and anyone else but the CARNIVAL line and SEABOURN!! Cons: poorly organized, unprofessional staff, mediocre food and waste of time & money!! Pros: quiet, not too many activities, lots of time to yourself, some beautiful sunsets on this itinerary comfortable bed, spacious suite. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
First time on Seabourne. Its nice and upscale, yes. Only 400 pax what makes it special as expected. We expected a wonderful service and they disappointing on that. Friendly staff but less than average service. All week and never changed. ... Read More
First time on Seabourne. Its nice and upscale, yes. Only 400 pax what makes it special as expected. We expected a wonderful service and they disappointing on that. Friendly staff but less than average service. All week and never changed. Even a Royal Caribbean do better. The Good: Fast and easy embarkation, beautiful ship, spacious suite, spacious bathroom, excellent food. Thomas Keller Restaurant was the best. Their Menu was to die for. Excellent staff. Loved the caviar service in stateroom. The all inclusive is the best thing you can have on a cruise. Good amenities, More mature and upscale but mostly friendly passengers made it classy. The assistance at debarkation to get a taxi, etc. make you feel special. Room service on disembarkation day, most cruise lines don't offer room service on disembarkation. The bad: Just average service. Slow most of the times. We met our room attendant around 9 pm when we called guest services because the room was too warm. (We called 3 days in a row to get the AC checked and stateroom was never cool the whole week). Even on a Royal Caribbean the room attendant make the effort to meet and greet as soon a you board. We were never called by our names by anybody. Every morning we had to wait 20-30 min for the same Cappuccino and Omelette I got for breakfast. On the dinning room we waited for wine, long wait between courses (at least 10 min) and they took a long time to remove dishes too. Gym is tiny and is not really usable, just 3-4 treadmills and a few leg machines. Room service had a limited menu. Not related to the Cruise, but be aware of a Chaotic St. Maarten Airport. Only one line for Security with only 1 metal detector and 2 x ray machines for the whole airport, the wait was almost 2 hours to get thru, then got into a very overcrowded and cramped gate area. Our flight was delayed 2 hours, so it was very exhausting experience. I really sound like a lot of pity winning, but I have done over 40 cruises, from Royal Caribbean, Windstar, Celebrity and now Seabourn, I was expecting excellent Service from them. It was a fantastic cruise, don't get me wrong, but for what we paid, the expectation was high and it came short for me. Other passengers said the same about the Odyssey, and It might be different experience form other ships. I might be willing to try again in a different ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are a couple in our early 40s who have sailed around 20 times on a variety of lines with most itineraries averaging 2 weeks. The majority of our trips have been on main stream lines on ships of around 2,500 passengers. We have sailed ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 40s who have sailed around 20 times on a variety of lines with most itineraries averaging 2 weeks. The majority of our trips have been on main stream lines on ships of around 2,500 passengers. We have sailed once on Regent and once on Viking Ocean and have an upcoming Crystal cruise. Before this cruise we had just completed 4 other cruises totalling 54 days. We flew from Miami to Dubai to take this cruise. Unfortunately I picked up the flu while onboard which did limit my ability to enjoy the cruise fully. Speaking to other passengers it sounded like respiratory (and some noro) had been common problems on the preceding legs. Unfortunately initial impressions were poor as the embarkation process was shocking. Taxis did not know where to drop passengers and so we had to drag bags a long way and then entered what can only be described as a bare shed with no air conditioning. The luggage collection process was the worst I have ever seen, no organisation at all, after waiting for far too long I gave up found a copy of the passenger manifest lying around and wrote out my own luggage tags and left out luggage in the middle of the shed and presumed somebody would eventually pick it up (obviously they did). We then joined another long queue (described by a fellow guest as an easyjet style check in). Eventually we reached the desk where we waited 20 minutes to get our key, others were getting theirs in 5 minutes. We asked to speak to the only Seabourn representative in the shed and she sped the process up. We were handed a keycard and nothing else, no information, nothing. Again nobody on the pier and eventually on entering the ship we found the CD Handre to greet us. We then wandered aimlessly through the ship until we stumbled across lunch. Thankfully things picked up after this underwhelming start. The ship itself is gorgeous inside and out (although you could tell some finishings were a bit poor). Modern art everywhere. Public areas like the Square and the Ovation lounge were lovely places to relax in. There are loads of small outdoor spaces for relaxing although many are marred by smoking areas. Also the private extra cost Retreat (which strangely is never mentioned or advertised) limits a lot of usable space. There is one self service laundry with excellent quality machines which is perpetually busy. Cabin - this is probably the major highlight of the ship. Our suite was large, modern, comfortable and stylish. We loved the walk in closet, there was more storage than we knew what to do with. The bed was comfortable although not as large as others we have experienced. The tv is large with loads of on demand options although there was functionality problems with both the music and the lectures. The lounge area is very spacious and the wet bar is great, although not set up on the first day as requested they added things daily. The balcony and furniture was great but it got dirty frequently and needed better cleaning. The bathroom was very spacious and sleek with separate bath and twin vanities. The shower was a little small but worked well. We loved getting caviar sent to the suite in the late afternoons and enjoying the sunsets. Dining - there are several venues although they don't differ significantly in style and cuisine (sushi excepted). A major plus was how visible the executive chef was. The major highlights were the caviar in the surf followed by an amazing lobster bbq on the beach (logistically very impressive), an amazing Indian buffet dinner which had amazing detail and superb curries, caviar anywhere anytime. Breakfast in the Colonnade featured great fruit and a good mix of buffet and a la carte options, unfortunately early service was slow and forgetful. Similarly lunch in the same venue featured great variety and quality and changed daily and has a lovely outdoor area but was marred by service problems, no drinks and main courses completely forgotten on consecutive days. A discreet word to the manager saw immediate improvement. Seabourn does have an issue with their failure to assign one server to a table which meant constantly repeating requests, wine and water being refilled with incorrect choices etc.A fellow guest who is a Seabourn regular was shocked dining with us that we had to reconfirm our water choice more than 8 times in one meal (we told her that was a nightly occurrence). We thought the patio (burger bar) option was very average for lunch and only ate here once. Sushi (and ramen) were a nice option for variety. We had dinner in a variety of venues. The mdr was very nice with good quality food. Service here was good without being great with the wine and water issues regularly raising their ugly heads. The earth and ocean concept is a good one and poplar but very inconsistent. Our first night was very slow with side dishes forgotten and staff not being able to explain dishes. Our second attempt was excellent as we ate much later and the staff was under less pressure. The Colonnade was good and provided great variety but was often understaffed outdoors which led to long waits. Sushi did a great formal night set menu, the small venue is casual, quality is solid without being great but provides some much needed flexibility. The TK grill is supposedly the speciality restaurant on board, the space is sleek and stylish, the adjoining bar has a piano player but service was again patchy and cocktails only average. The food was good quality but it was basic fare and never changed. What we really disliked was the service and ambience, they were clearly trying to be arrogant and intimidating but just come off as painful and rigid. Entertainment - The CD Handre is probably the best we have encountered, highly visible, busy, approachable, amusing and clearly talented as a musician. His trivia was a highlight, especially the final round! Sea days included loads of activities from games to lectures with the art and jewellery classes being a highlight. The shows were typical of those we have experienced on small ships, good without being sensational. The Tim Rice show was a little disappointing given the hype. The guest comedian Steve Stevens was a highlight. Seabourn did a great job with parties and events such as the Country Fair, Outdoor dance party, Captains farewell - all fun events. There was plenty of music options with the quartet being our favourite - the combination of Gary and Shae doing duets was a highlight and all of the band members hosted activities which were loads of fun. The other bands and piano player (could have been more engaging) were all very talented. Service - this is what we were most looking forward to. We had heard of the legendary service levels, name recognition and ability to fulfil requests. The reality was quite mixed. It was clear there was a lot of new staff, especially in the dining and bars and we often heard arguing and complaining amongst staff which should not happen. Guest relations were excellent both on the phone and in person. Housekeeping was good but they seemed paranoid and we often found the supervisor in our room and twisting our words to make it seem we were complaining (we did no such thing and were happy with our attendant). Bar service in the main bars was solid without being exceptional with Sasha being the standout. The Colonnade was marred by problems but management fixed it for us but others were constantly highlighting the problems. For us the biggest let down was the pool areas. Chairs were reserved all day on sea days and not policed. The small deck 5 pool had every chair taken one day (more than 20) with only 2 people actually there. Worse though was pool side service. My wife was routinely ignored to the point she refused to attend the pool area at all half way thru the cruise, at one point a server spilt a drink on her and didn't offer to help clean it up. My final day I spent 4 hours by the pool and never once was asked if I wanted something. None of the myriad of glasses and dishes (all self served) were ever cleaned up. The quality of drinks was so bad we actually made a server try the frozen margaritas they were sending out and he had to spit it out and apologise. Another server begged me not to order a cocktail and told me to pick my favourite spirit and mixer and even then said it was a risk. Most guests were giving up and just ordering champagne and wine. There was no beer list and the barmen would not tell you what was available - it was an absolute joke of a pool bar. The managers would try and improve it but it would only be a temporary solution. Ports- had been to most of them and with illness only got off twice. Port talks were offered but the information often had basic mistakes. Disembarkation was relaxed but as usual Singapore port was slow with long queues. Overall - a sleek ship with fabulous cabins, a great CD and activities. Service levels are patchy, smoking is intrusive, lack of outdoor walking areas. Would like to try their smaller ships if the price were right. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Having sailed and read Stickman's review, I agree wholeheartedly although having not sailed with Crystal cannot comment on that but he hit the nail on the head regarding Seabourn's lack of service both in food and drink service onboard the ... Read More
Having sailed and read Stickman's review, I agree wholeheartedly although having not sailed with Crystal cannot comment on that but he hit the nail on the head regarding Seabourn's lack of service both in food and drink service onboard the Encore. My husband and I have sailed over 100 days with Seabourn and were very disappointed in Seabourn Encore. The ship is too big and is not what we expected. it is a beautiful ship but the food quality and ineptness of the wait and drink staff (not all but 99%) was unacceptable and this spoilt our cruise. As for Thomas Keller - forget it. Waste of time and space. The overall experience in the dining areas and bars was what you would expect from Carnival or Royal Caribbean not Seabourn. Too big now and untrained staff left a bad taste in our mouth. So many times when I ordered a drink (not even once a day) I was refused because an ingredient was missing. Honestly. Not good enough Seabourn. So if you are considering Seabourn I would recommend you go elsewhere as there are many cruiselines who offer a similar but superior product and do deliver what they advertise. I have kept this short and sweet as Stickman has given in depth reviews. Happy Cruising Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Beautifully designed and well maintained ship...the very best we have ever sailed on, our suite on deck 5 was big, well laid out and again in good condition. The Seabourn sq area is another best ever, to incorporate all what are usually ... Read More
Beautifully designed and well maintained ship...the very best we have ever sailed on, our suite on deck 5 was big, well laid out and again in good condition. The Seabourn sq area is another best ever, to incorporate all what are usually titchy rooms into one open plan location is a brilliant idea. Good shop too. Great coffee. Service onboard is first rate , well rehearsed crew members are always cheerful and chatty, the Hotel Officers were really visible and actively supervising especially at meal times. Entertainment organised by the Cruise Director and her Deputy were again seriously consistently good. We don't usually do cruise shows, this time we didn't miss one. The downsides... embarkation for us was awful...we arrived as scheduled by Seabourn at 5pm...no meet and greet, vaguely pointed to our suite, and then we had to find our own much delayed baggage....knackered after overnight long haul, and infomed boat drill will be held at 9pm. we felt like uninvited wedding party guests. The Hotel Director said sorry and we moved on......... Ports...our segment ie Java was poor but staying onboard as the ship is that good it was a delight. The Thomas Keller Grill, over promises under delivers, main courses are all protein and nothing much else, the menu lacks excitement and compared say with the Polo Grill on Riviera it really is 2nd rate. Food overall does not compare well to Oceania. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We have approx 14 cruises under our belt, but this is the 1st for the Caribbean. !st Seabourn , they took care of us all the way. Before we were out of the taxi we were met by a representative and then guided to check in, no lines nor ... Read More
We have approx 14 cruises under our belt, but this is the 1st for the Caribbean. !st Seabourn , they took care of us all the way. Before we were out of the taxi we were met by a representative and then guided to check in, no lines nor waiting ...and had a drink and lunch in no time. As we left the ship once again guided thru to a taxi, effortless. The room was nice, loved the walk in closet ( penthouse suite ), bathrooms nice and large 2 sinks. The ship was nicely appointed, the rooms needed to be updated but not enough to complain about. Food was excellent everywhere and really loved the "Patio" dining at nite, Service was top notch without being too fussy. The crew were professional and having fun with us at the same time. Wine selection very nice, don't be afraid to ask for something other than what is offered, they will try and accommodate...took a few days to figure that one out. Dis not take advantage of all of the entertainment but did love the band and the cruise director as well as the new assistant cruise director what a voice! Her "one man" show about all the late greats is a must see. WE traveled with another couple and we would both hope to cruise with Seabourn again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Service is exceptionally excellent by all staff allways. Food is not up to expectations: very refined on the printed menus but too many different ingredients result sometimes in lack of genuine taste. Thomas Keller Grill is just ... Read More
Service is exceptionally excellent by all staff allways. Food is not up to expectations: very refined on the printed menus but too many different ingredients result sometimes in lack of genuine taste. Thomas Keller Grill is just o.k., nothing exceptionnal. For lunch at the Collonade, there is not much variety for the cold dishes and salads: allways the shame shrimps and salmon and salads. The breakfast on the terrace outside the Collonade is a magic moment and very well served. The tea time at the Observaton Bar is also a delicious experience. And after dinner, the same observation bar is a cozy place to enjoy a night cap with Jacqui's singing at the piano. We did not like the noisy entertainment games at the pool deck (Costa style), but they took place just 2 or 3 times. Entertainment and activities were not very interesting, we expected more lectures and classical music performances (piano 1 time, violin 1 time). But all by all, it was a marvelous experience, the weather in november on the south atlantic was sunny and warm, but above all, the way the staff makes you feel as a king all the time is the best reason to come back! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
It was a wonderful cruise, we visited some remote islands which we found very interesting, the lectures were informative relating to the region. The food at all of the restaurants was very good with a good variety, the wines were of ... Read More
It was a wonderful cruise, we visited some remote islands which we found very interesting, the lectures were informative relating to the region. The food at all of the restaurants was very good with a good variety, the wines were of excellent quality and we particularly like the caviar service which was available 24/7! The premium restaurant was very good, no cover charge, was an added bonus, however you must book this venue. Our cabin was in a very good location for us. It was spacious and well appointed, with walk in robe, the bathroom was a good size with a full size bath and glass door type shower (no shower curtain!). The ship and crew were excellent at all times, no hard sell of tours, for that matter did not push any agenda, and were most helpful if you wanted to do your own thing. Nothing was too much trouble. Can’t wait to get back on Seabourn! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Fellow Cruisers, It has now been a further three weeks of cruising on the Seabourn Ovation for my wife and I and I have begun to like this ship quite a bit. Cruising on a relatively small ship (600 or less passengers) means that the ... Read More
Fellow Cruisers, It has now been a further three weeks of cruising on the Seabourn Ovation for my wife and I and I have begun to like this ship quite a bit. Cruising on a relatively small ship (600 or less passengers) means that the staff and fellow guests get to know you and vice versa in a short period of time. This makes for a more congenial and friendly family type atmosphere. Since my last review, it seems that the service on board still remains a challenge in some areas of the main restaurant and for a couple of waiters in the various bars. But in general I am much happier with the Seabourn Ovation now. The Cruise Director, Handré is perhaps the best that I have come across in my 40 or so cruises. He is extremely hard working and can be heard making the safety and shore announcements from the bridge, overseeing the trivia, announcing the entertainment and generally coordinating all the various events. He then still has time to perform (he is a gifted pianist and composer) and conduct personalised small group enrichment programs such as “how to tie bowties” and “how to fold a pocket square correctly”. Another shipboard star is the Executive Chef, Jes Paskins, who is a true talent both as a chef and as a fun loving foodie. His caviar in the surf (and pool) as well as his many theme nights are delightful fun. For a small ship, the Seabourn Ovation makes use of all of its spaces. The deck parties are amazing and the shows are very well done by the resident entertainment team and the guest artists. Of course, once in a while, there are some duds such as the quartet of ladies known as “Ida” who perform in the style of the Three Tenors or El Divo. Sadly they miss the mark. Did I mention the trivia? Handré and his team bring this iconic cruise staple event to a new level of entertainment with fun twists and prizes galore (sometimes for every participant and not just the winners). The cabins are amazing and the housekeeping staff a pleasure. In the “old days” Seabourn only hired pretty young Scandinavian room stewardesses but today they hire from around the world and I am pleased to confirm that they are still pretty, young and charming. But, lest you get the wrong impression, nobody is flirtatious, just pleasant and friendly. This is definitely not a Frat ship. It is a 5 star floating luxury hotel. Keep this ship in mind and on your short list if its itinerary suits. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary through the Panama Canal to Peru. The excursions we booked on our own were far better than the experiences people had on the cruise line's offers. Many of the ports visited were for the first time and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary through the Panama Canal to Peru. The excursions we booked on our own were far better than the experiences people had on the cruise line's offers. Many of the ports visited were for the first time and the itinerary staff knew little or nothing about them. You would think they would send out people ahead of time to learn about the areas they were going to visit. One port in Ecuador was rated so dangerous in online reviews that we did not even get off the boat. First time ever for us on a cruise. Food was okay but nowhere as good as on Oceania. In general, the cruise was very overpriced and did not include airfare in the pricing. Many of the people on board cruised year round, knew each other and were quite clique-ish. Many of the staff were snootish as well. Disembarkation was a disaster!!! Basically, they were done with us. We will not travel with them again. We will probably stick with Oceania. Read Less
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