Seabourn Sojourn Entertainment & Activities
The ship's main theater is the Grand Salon on Deck 6, which is more of a cabaret than a true stage. It's used during the day for cooking demonstrations and lectures, and pre- and post-dinner entertainment. Pillars do obscure the view, so you have to work to find a seat with good sight lines.
Sojourn has a troupe of singers and dancers who focus primarily on review-style production shows that take advantage of their voices. These entertainers also perform at least once a cruise at the outdoor Rock the Boat dance party, which was loads of fun; we wished there would have been at least one more night dedicated to rock music and dancing.
Otherwise, Sojourn relies on a constantly changing roster of guest performers for its main theater entertainment, but the acts were mostly classical and not very varied. On our cruise, we saw a classical tenor, a classical flutist, a classical pianist and a violinist who tried to liven things up with a rendition of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."(We loved her, not sure others did.)
Sojourn usually brings on cultural performers in each port. On our Asian voyage, these shows ranged from Chinese dancers to Vietnamese musicians to Thai martial arts performers; all were well done and engaging.
During the day, Sojourn has a host of activities, including a full complement of bridge, trivia, cooking demonstrations and wine tastings. (Some of the latter can have charges.) Seabourn Conversations, which feature guest lecturers, were also fascinating and on point with the destination.
Sojourn has a small casino, which seemed to attract only a few passengers on our cruise. It's off of The Club on Deck 5, which is the main bar for pre-dinner drinks. While The Club is also open after dinner, the action seemed to head to the Observation Lounge on Deck 10 after the evening show. There, passengers gathered for nightly wine or liqueur tastings, which grew more sociable as the cruise went on.
While the Observation Lounge allows smoking after 8 p.m., we didn't find it to be an issue on our cruise. The room didn't smell like smoke, either. Whether or not it's a problem likely depends on the make-up of your sailing.
Coming soon (March 2016) to The Club, we're told: TouchTune on-demand jukeboxes, where passengers can pick their own songs. This will be a welcome addition to the otherwise sleepy lineup of lounge and piano music.
As with Seabourn's other ships, Sojourn has a water sports marina on Deck 2. We found that it's only brought out on certain voyages, however; you'll have to check your itinerary carefully if you want to take part (and even then, it's weather permitting, so in effect, it's rarely used). The ship has a collection of toys, such as a banana boat, kayaks and pedal boats. Passengers can water ski or try the "donut," an inflatable chair in which you sit while being pulled along by a speedboat. (We tried it and it was super fun, although our arms hurt the next day because of the death grip we needed to stay on.) All of these toys were available during our Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue day.
Seabourn Sojourn Public Rooms
Sojourn's interior and deck spaces are designed to feel intimate and sociable. You might spend a week (or two) on the ship and never get around to exploring it all, as there are plenty of nooks and crannies that make perfect reading, chatting or sunbathing spots. We're thinking of the fantastic hideaways around the whirlpool at the bow on Deck 6, the Club Terrace pool at the aft end on Deck 5, the small sitting area on Deck 10 overlooking the main pool and the Sun Terrace on Deck 11. There's also a lovely deck area, with wicker couches and dining tables, just off Seabourn Square.
Seabourn Square on Deck 7 serves as the information center for the ship, but it's so much more than a traditional reception area. Instead, it's been designed as a warm, spacious and comfortable meeting place for coffee, pastries, library books and computer use. Daily newspapers from around the world are available, both in print and on iPads. Seabourn Square also houses a quiet space for the ship's concierge, as well as future cruise bookings. Local tourism representatives come here for at least an hour or two after a ship pulls into port, to help passengers who haven't signed up for shore excursions.
A fairly large shop lies off Seabourn Square as well. Besides sundries, the shop stocks quite a collection of jewelry, purses and Ralph Lauren luxury goods. We had one European passenger tell us, in all seriousness, that he regularly supplements his cruise wardrobe by buying on Sojourn, because the prices are in American dollars. A more exclusive shop with watches and jewelry is also onboard.
A card room on Deck 7 is set aside for bridge players; Sojourn retains a bridge instructor and games were heavily attended. Conference rooms are on Deck 5.
Internet access on Sojourn is slow, and only suitable for sending emails and basic surfing. You won't be able to stream or Skype. Packages start at $19.95 for two hours, $29.95 for three hours, $39.95 for four hours, $239.95 for seven days with unlimited use and $399.95 for unlimited access during a longer cruise. Only one device at a time is supported.
Sojourn doesn't have a huge atrium like larger cruise ships, but there is a spiral staircase midship that is the central walkway to main venues on each floor. The artwork on Sojourn is relatively subdued with one clever surprise: a statue of a dachshund, named Techsel (or Tex).
Seabourn Sojourn Spa & Fitness
Sojourn has two pools onboard and six whirlpools. The main pool on Deck 8 is saltwater and features a ledge for people to dip their feet without fully submerging. There's a round water feature and several showers for rinsing. Twin whirlpools separate the pool from the Patio Grill and Patio Bar, which leaves privacy for people in the pool. Wicker-style chaises and loveseats are spread throughout the area and up to Deck 9. Even on a busy sea day, we saw plenty of spots available. One touch we loved: Attendants circulate during sea days with sunblock, sunglasses cleaner and cocktails. Although Seabourn brochures claim that mini-massages are also available, we never witnessed any.
In addition to the Patio Bar on Deck 8, there's the Sky Bar on Deck 9 overlooking the main pool. Part of this area is reserved for smokers, and that's largely where they congregate.
There's another small pool on the stern, just off The Club, along with two whirlpools. We found that while this pool was much quieter than the main one, the area could get windy. A third spot worth checking out is a large whirlpool on Deck 6, all the way forward. This whirlpool seemed rarely used, although it is visible from decks above (so it's not as private as you might think it is).
Sun decks abound on Sojourn. On Deck 11, all the way forward, is a lovely sun deck with 36 stacked loungers, although there's no pool. When our ship approached Ho Chi Minh City on the Saigon River, bloody marys and mimosas were served so passengers could enjoy the view. This area, plus the Deck 6 whirlpool, has a drink cart for passengers to serve themselves.
Also on Deck 11 you'll find The Retreat, with shuffleboard and table tennis, both sheltered from the wind. There's also an area for golf enthusiasts, with mini-putting and a golf cage for driving. Runners and walkers will be slightly disappointed by the small path available to them around the pool's upper deck, as it gets repetitive. That being said, we appreciated the cool towels and bottled water set up at the Sky Bar for those who did want an outdoor workout.
Still need a place to sit outside? Seabourn Square has cushioned sofas and tables. Deck 10 has a hidden spot where there are chairs and loungers, sheltered from the sun. The Observation Lounge also has an outdoor area where you can go out for photos (there's no seating here).
The Spa at Seabourn covers two decks and is one of the largest on a luxury ship this size. On Deck 9, you'll find a small but efficient fitness club, with treadmills, stair climbers, recumbent bikes and free weights. There is a separate room for Kinesis wall training and classes in yoga and Pilates. You'll pay extra for private lessons and sessions with a trainer.
The spa also has a thermal suite, with passes available by the day ($25) or the week ($181); passengers who purchase spa treatments also gain access for an hour before and after their service. The area includes heated ceramic loungers; cocooned meditation chairs; a Kneipp pool, with its varying hot- and cold-water temperatures; aromatherapy sauna and steam room; and a private sun deck.
The spa itself has a range of treatments available, including massages, facials and treatments. Prices are on the high side; we saved a little getting a "Tip to Toe" massage/facial combo while our ship was in port ($159 for 75 minutes). We appreciated the fact that we didn't receive a hard sell after the treatment, even though the spa is operated by Steiner (the company that runs the spas on bigger cruise ships). A 50-minute Swedish massage is $133; a 50-minute facial starts at $130 and a 50-minute salt glow is $172. For couples, there is a special Couples Suite that has a bath; prices start at $654 for a package that includes a stone massage, a drawn bath and an hour to relax.
The locker rooms offer showers and a sauna, and there's a small relaxation room with flavored water and fruit for those who don't take advantage of the thermal suite. The relaxation room seems like an afterthought, as do the locker rooms, which are surprisingly basic for a cruise line obsessed with the small details.
Sojourn no longer has a private spa villa. The space has been taken over by the Penthouse Spa Suites.
In addition to the spa, Sojourn has a salon that offers hair styling and coloring, barber services, manicures, pedicures and waxing. Book ahead on formal nights; women on Sojourn definitely like to get their hair done. Hair styles start at $40; manicures are $34 and a pedicure is $53. Waxing begins at $17.
Seabourn Sojourn For Kids
While Seabourn Sojourn does not have dedicated kids clubs, the ship does accommodate families with children. You'll typically see more children on the ship in the summer or holidays, during shorter sailings in the Mediterranean or Caribbean (when CEOs who are still working take their families on vacation, we were told). The minimum age is six months for sailings with ports; one year for ocean-crossing sailings.
When children are onboard, the line arranges for childcare -- =the Card Room is turned into an activity room, and low-key events are planned for the younger set. Keep in mind that on a ship this size, a sailing with 30 children is considered "a lot"; kids who splash in pools or take over hot tubs will not be looked upon favorably by other passengers.
Although there are no family cabins per se, different cabins can be combined into larger suites that are more suitable for people traveling together. No cabins offer third berths.