1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Seabourn Cruise Line
  4. Seabourn Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: July 2019
After our 21 day cruise in April on the Seabourn Ovation (our first with Seabourn) we had been impressed. When we noticed the itinerary of the Odyssey for the Greek Odyssey Cruise we got all excited. For us, the Mediterranean is our ... Read More
After our 21 day cruise in April on the Seabourn Ovation (our first with Seabourn) we had been impressed. When we noticed the itinerary of the Odyssey for the Greek Odyssey Cruise we got all excited. For us, the Mediterranean is our favorite cruising destination. There were some islands on the itinerary that were new to us, while others we already knew but were keen on seeing again. We were curious too, how the smaller and older Odyssey would compare with the newer Ovation. Both have a similar layout and they have about the same number of crew. We were pleasantly surprised that our cabin on the Odyssey was more comfortable, our veranda suite on the Ovation had been very narrow and the fake wood paneling too dark. The beds on the Odyssey seemed also wider and there was no hazard of rolling off the bed during sleep. Both ships interiors didn't impress us as luxurious, the used materials simple and inexpensive. But, the service of the crews was truly remarkable and memorable. The service on the Ovation was even better, despite the higher number of guests; on the Ovation each one of the crew knew our names after only a few days, we couldn't believe it. Maybe it had to do with the exceptional leadership of the cruise director Handre; he was absolutely wonderful, a role model and he made every guest feel welcome and especially cared for. The ambience on the Ovation was very personal and familiar, we had never before experienced anything quite like it and felt genuinely at home. On the Odyssey it was a little less personal but still very good. We did find the quality of the food on the Odyssey even better; we loved the fresh fruits plus nuts, chia and linseeds at the breakfast buffet. The "Earth and Ocean" on the pool deck we had avoided at first from our negative experiences on the Ovation but found out on the Odyssey the food there was often excellent. It probably comes down to the actual crew and cooks on your cruise. This was our 10th cruise in the past 3 years. We had started out with Silversea, Regent, Oceania and now Seabourn. Regent is still our favorite, they are more expensive but everything is included including wifi and excursions. We rate Seabourn second and can't wait to sail with them again if an itinerary catches our fancy. Oceania had the most luxurious ship, the Marina, our penthouse suite was superb but their cuisine is the best for overweight and obese passengers only. Oceania offers long and fantastic itineraries, if only the cuisine could be more healthy. We had been very happy with Silversea as it was our first cruise line, now that we have sailed on other lines, Silversea seems no longer attractive for us; their ships were old and tired, always in need of renovation; the much too frequent formal evenings exaggerated considering the conditions of the vessels; plus we find Silversea too expensive. The Odyssey is the perfect choice for itineraries with as few days at sea as possible. It is a small ship with all the advantages of small vessels, but for sea days we missed a jogging or at least a walking trail, the gym was too small where a few bikes were just facing a wall; I personally choose to run up and down the stairs for an hour during our sea day. But for a transatlantic cruise f.e., we would choose another ship. Read Less
5 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: October 2018
7 Night Greek and Italian Jewels on Seabourn Odyssey Perspective: This was our 30th cruise. We were first time cruisers with Seabourn and received the first time OBC of $400, thanks to the Cruise Critic Seabourn Board. This cruise ... Read More
7 Night Greek and Italian Jewels on Seabourn Odyssey Perspective: This was our 30th cruise. We were first time cruisers with Seabourn and received the first time OBC of $400, thanks to the Cruise Critic Seabourn Board. This cruise had a port of call each day so we did not get to enjoy all that Seabourn offers. But they did take very good care of us.  Pre-Cruise: We booked airfare through Seabourn. They are a Carnival Corp line, so there was significant savings doing cruise air. We were booked on Delta with flights operated by Air France and Alitalia. The Air France flight used a Boeing 767, which had the least space of any economy seat we have ever experienced. Later, the Alitalia Boeing 777 economy class was fine, but the Air France 767 was miserably cramped. Will avoid the 767 in the future, just to be sure. On a positive note, there was no air deviation fee to book additional days before or after the cruise. We arrived in Athens 3 days before our cruise. Used a taxi to hotel because of luggage. Enjoyed sightseeing and dining in Athens. Started early and ended at about dusk. Fall is less crowded, so was able to keep a distance for safety. Never felt unsafe, but as in all tourist cities, DH always kept a death grip on his wallet and phone. Purchased the Unified Ticket to visit Acropolis and additional sites. Embarkation; We again used a taxi to the port to help with luggage. Arrived at port around 11:30. Seabourn waiting area was not open to passengers. Waited in the port area. At about 12, we were allowed into the Seabourn area where there was cold water available. Check-in started shortly before 1:00 and went quickly. Went onboard to the back area of the Colonnade for lunch. Rooms available at 2. Cabin: Cabin was an ocean view suite. Was setup with one requested liquor and cold Champagne. Was missing one liquor and sodas requested. Since we never drank any alcohol in cabin, we did not note the problem. We only drank bottled water in cabin. On arrival to cabin, safe was not working and there was leak under one sink in the bathroom. Both fixed by dinner. Cabin service was excellent. Even on short port intensive cruise the extra space in the suite was very nice. Room service breakfast was setup nicely with plenty of room to enjoy. Room to dress for dinner was excellent – makeup area, large closet, and room for two to sit, walk or stand throughout suite. Food: Beverages - We never purchased a beverage because the included options were excellent. We normally carry on wine to insure our favorites. Research on Cruise Critic revealed that the included wines by the glass would meet our needs, which they did. Wine service was prompt and thoughtful including finding our favorites and opening new bottles of the included wines from previous nights. Never had to wait on wine service. Enjoyed the cocktail service in the bars and on deck. Staff made sure to offer Thomas Keller cocktail the night we dined there. Observation Lounge seemed to be place for those who really are into mixed drinks. Bartender even visited tables to get feedback about drinks. Specially prepared cocktails were brought to the Patio and pool area in the afternoon, which were very hard to resist. Even had beverage service at the hot tub on the front of the ship. Coffee was excellent. Enjoyed espressos and cappuccinos in dining areas. The Seabourn Square provided barista prepared specialties as good as any coffee house. Also served light bites. For Breakfast, we used room service most days since we needed to be off the ship around 8. The Restaurant and Colonnade opened at 8am and 7am. Used door hanger to order. All our choices were present. Food delivered on time, warm, and setup nicely. Best room service ever experienced. Did one breakfast in The Restaurant which was perfect. Two breakfasts in the outdoor area of the Colonnade, used a mix of ordering from wait staff and buffet, perfect as well. For lunch, we were never back on ship by 2 so the choice was the Patio or room service. We ate every lunch at The Patio, always freshly grilled fish and comfort treat like slice of pizza or burger. Excellent table service for wine and food ordering. When they were crowded, they setup more tables. Dinners were elegant affairs for us. We dressed elegant to formal each night. We had Thomas Keller reservations the first night as it was the only reservation available ahead of time before 9pm. It was a good choice for the first night. Best meal on the cruise for our tastes. An officer had recommended the lamb and was correct. Lobster as the appetizer followed by lamb was one meal. Salad and New York Strip for the other meal. Cocktail and wine service was thoughtful and encouraged. Food was paced nicely. Waiter recommended the Coconut Cake and the Chocolate Cake, was served half a slice of each presented on two plates. Another night a couple tried to add us to their reservation and were told the restaurant was totally booked; so reservations can be tight. Two dinners at Earth and Ocean. – Quiet and casual. Portions are small and options are creative. Great choice for a lighter meal. Remaining meals at The Restaurant. – Ate 4 meals here. All were excellent. Service was slow one night; staff team seemed a bit new. Went to one hosted dinner which was very enjoyable. The only drawback was that the area in the middle of the dining room made it difficult to hear at this large table of 8. Table was hosted by two of the entertainers who were very social and made the evening special. Regarding the menu in The Restaurant, the descriptions and choices as read on the menu do not do justice to the wonderful food. The actual items served were very well prepared and presented. Entertainment: We did not participate in many activities since we were in port each day. Can not comment on any of the daily items such as lectures and trivia. We did go two shows, one was a fairly typical cruise ship style show and the Tim Rice show was fantastic. The lounges at night had very good music. The deck dance party had to be moved indoors to The Club. We enjoyed the music and dancing with the entertainment staff. Volume of the music was at a nice level for dancing and yet one could get farther away and converse over the music. Staff and officers were very friendly and mingled. The gym is nice. Good variety of equipment. On the Odyssey there is no charge for the locker/changing room, showers, steam room and sauna. They were very nice and clean. My one visit, I was the only one in the area. The hot tubs and pool usually only had a few users. Did not use the internet or casino. The one blackjack table was 6/5 BJ, even though multi-deck. Seabourn Square is very nice with the library and sitting areas. Middle area for excursion staff offices. Disembarkation; Prepaid for a shared shuttle to hotel in Rome, approx. 38 euros each. Left ship at 8:45, shuttle arrived at the exact time agreed 9am. Arrived at hotel at 10:45am. Lunch then Vatican Museum tour at 1pm. Stayed an extra day for the Borghese Gallery. Heavy rain in the AM kept us from touring the Borghese gardens. In the evening, we used the Rome metro to tour sites at night. Very nice to see the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, and Piazza Navona fountains at night. Summary: Seabourn is all that the marketing claims. We enjoyed their cruise experience so much that it now changes what we look for in a cruise. Having never to think about costs onboard was much more enjoyable than imagined. Small ship with great space ratio was a big plus. The Seabourn Service is incredible; the staff is professional and caring. Their service is based on training and pride; they have no expectation of compensation from passengers because the gratuity is truly included. In the future we will evaluate what cruise we book to get close to our Seabourn experience if the itinerary and value are there; otherwise we will book Seabourn. Can’t give a higher rating than that! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Having recently returned from our second Seabourn cruise, we debarked the ship after 19 days wanting to stay on board. Alas, "duty calls", including back to work. Now, after settling in at home, herewith, in no particular, order, ... Read More
Having recently returned from our second Seabourn cruise, we debarked the ship after 19 days wanting to stay on board. Alas, "duty calls", including back to work. Now, after settling in at home, herewith, in no particular, order, are my impressions of our trip. Last year (December 2017) we tried Seabourn for the very first time, on the Odyssey for a Caribbean cruise. Interested readers can find my review for that trip. Suffice to say, we were by no means overwhelmed by Seabourn on that trip. Yet this most recent cruise met and in many ways exceeded our expectations. As a result, we indeed look forward to returning to Seabourn in the future. We sailed October 20, 2018 from Athens to Dubai, including a day on the Suez canal. When we booked this trip way back earlier this year, we knew that we were most interested in Greece before-hand, and Israel as ports of call. For the rest of the trip, for the most part for us "the ship was the destination", with the goal to relax, enjoy excellent food and service on a fine floating resort, and recharge. In that way, the Encore did not disappoint. A few comments first on Athens and the Ports: we very much enjoyed our three days prior to the cruise exploring Athens. People were friendly, the food was very good, and the museums and tours we did fascinating (Acropolis, Parthenon, etc.). Athens is a great place to begin a cruise! We did get off the ship in Israel. The first port of Haifa was a long port day, thankfully, so we used that day to go to Jerusalem, with a private car and guide our travel agent arranged. The next day (Ashdod) we were supposed to be in port until 3PM, with a back-on-board time of 2:30. Yet that changed to back-on-board of 1:30 due to a directive from the Suez authorities. That in our view made things very tight, so we remained on board and treated this as a sea day. Hopefully Seabourn can in future confirm a longer stay there, as there is much to see in a less rushed fashion. Unlike many, we did not venture to Petra. Due to arthritis issues, I did not want to try it. We were not alone as I was told those remaining on board numbered 150 people. Thankfully, Seabourn continues to make all facilities available, including not closing the dining room for lunch on port days. Those who went to Petra with whom we spoke told us they enjoyed it very much so, if you can do it, by all means, go for it! Yet they also confirmed that it was a lot of difficult walking on a hot day. We did get off in Oman (Muskat) and took the "hop-on/off" bus...ok, "been there, done that, got the t-shirt". We thereafter remained on board other than for the beach party at Sir Bany Yas island in the UAE. That was our last stop before disembarkation, and it was a lovely day ashore. A BBQ lunch served in a beautiful setting, after the famous "caviar in the surf". Ah, bliss! Our shipboard experiences: We had a regular verandah cabin on deck 8. Before sailing upgrades were offered to the PH category yet,for us, these were too expensive. While the regular verandah cabins on the Encore are a touch narrower than are the regular verandahs on the Odyssey, we still found the space to be quite adequate. Keep in mind that we are used to the larger "Neptune Suites" on Holland America ships. So, if we can be content for 19 days in a regular verandah cabin on the Encore, I suspect that most people can. Part of the reason for our satisfaction is in how well, ergonomically, the suites are laid out. There is little wasted space. A few things we did not realize until near the end of our trip: the main dining or multi-purpose table in the suite moves! It can be pulled out from the wall for much easier access (unlike, if I recall correctly, on the Odyssey sized ships where it is fixed in place). It is not obvious, or at least was not to us (and, we know, a few others too), that the table can be moved. The chairs are otherwise a tad tight in the space. Yet they are comfortable. The sofa and bed were also quite comfortable, as was the verandah. Our cabin was quite far forward, yet even when there was some "motion of the ocean", we just took the pills freely available at Seabourn Square (ask the guest relations staff) and were fine. On arrival on day one, our in-room preferences were not all present, but were quickly arranged by the stewardess. Unfortunately, our stewardess was otherwise not as capable as the one we had last year. At the evening turn-down, towels were several times forgotten, leading me to call for these to be delivered when we returned from the show, and her cleaning was slap-dash in some respects. I addressed this in my survey. Yet this was really only the one area where we had a few issues. Hardly a deal-breaker! We found the ship itself to be beautiful. It has an elegant look and feel. Even on the many sea days that we had, I did not find difficulty in getting space at one of the pools. My preference was the small plunge pool on deck 5, which offers many shady spots. Alas, as the sun moved, so must those seeking shade, but so be it. The one problematic issue with that area is that smoking is allowed on one side of deck 5--unfortunately, the smoke from those indulging did not know enough to stay on its own side, so would waft across, making it less than pleasant (there was a lady who almost chain-smoked in the afternoons). While I acknowledge that there must be one spot for smokers to indulge (or else folks will likely break the rules and light up anywhere), it should be limited to the upper deck sky bar, in my opinion, not by either pool. Bar service at the pool was excellent--staff were regularly swinging by with trays of "pool drinks" (Pina coladas, etc). Yet one could order anything one wanted and it would be promptly delivered, with a smile. Indeed, bar service generally was very good indeed. In the evenings, my "Rob Roy" was made as I liked it, with the Scotch I prefer (or I could try it with a single malt, etc.). My wife also got her cocktail as she preferred. We particularly enjoyed hanging out in the Thomas Keller ("TK") bar, enjoying the stylings of the pianist while having a pre-dinner cocktail. It was a very pleasant venue, not found on the smaller ships, and a nice addition to this class of ships. We found the dining experiences to be varied and well done for the most part. Were there a few glitches? Of course, as after all, in 19 days things can go a little wrong once in a while. Yet overall, it was excellent and, when there was an issue, it was quickly addressed and rectified. One advantage to having a drink in the TK bar was that, as late diners (usually after 8PM) when venturing into the bar around 7:30, we would ask the hostess to let us know if there was pending availability for a table for two. Often, there was. So, in addition to our one reservation at TK, we in total dined there five times, working our way through the menu. Overall, we found TK to be a nice venue for dinner--the food was well prepared and elegantly served in nice surroundings. It made a change for dinner. Yet we also enjoyed the dining room. With the larger atrium, it has a more airy and open feel than on the smaller ships. We enjoyed one theme dinner at the Colonnade (TK rib night, naturally!) and also dined there the first night for the lovely roast beef. We often had lunch in the dining room--a nice and quiet venue, although we tried the buffet at the Colonnade a few times too. Breakfast was via room service (for the most part prompt and well done) or a light snack at Seabourn Square. The caviar was often a tasty treat while getting ready for dinner. The best coffee was found at the Square! Other drinks such as brewed ice tea (meaning, not from a mix) were also available. Service overall was warm and welcoming. While we never met the hotel director, clearly, he runs a tight operation. We enjoyed meeting Jovan, the F & B director, and a few other managers. Everyone, from officers to servers at the pool bar, were always smiling and willing to do whatever they could to enhance your holiday. It was very cosseting and made returning to reality (starting with the airport!) that much harder! Entertainment was well done. The cast of singers were truly talented. In addition to the usual evening shows after dinner, two 6PM performances during the cruise were offered. One featured opera singing by the singers. The Seabourn band was also very good in the Grand Salon. Pianist John in the TK bar was excellent, as were the duo in the Observation bar. We found the "techno-pop" music in the Club to be far too loud, making conversation impossible. The young foursome were not bad per se, just too loud for us. So we did not hang out there. Guest entertainers were also for the most part quite talented. The Barricade Boys in particular were great. Also great was the Cruise Director Chelsea, and her assistant Henri. Both had a very engaging way with their passengers, making us all feel special. Some of the "conversations", referring to the guest lecturers, were better than others. Some were not to my taste--reminiscent of the university undergrad lectures which I often slept through. After doing that again once or twice, I decided to "cut class" and head directly to the pool. Yet others seemed to enjoy some of the lectures. A word on embarkation, which was a sore point last year for us. This time on the Encore it was truly "easy-peasy". We left our hotel in Athens at noon and were having lunch at the Colonnade by 1:20 PM. The rooms were announced as ready shortly before 2PM. Luggage arrived promptly. In other words, this was as it should be, and virtually stress-free. It was the sign of a well-run operation, so kudos to them! Disembarkation, on the other hand, was less stellar. Our stewardess banged on our door precisely at 8AM, when we were making our final checks in drawers, etc., to ensure that nothing was left behind. She had other rooms to clean and, if we were not gone by say, 8:15, then a gentle knock would be appropriate to check up on us. Yet we found her brusque approach disconcerting, to say the least. We also hope that Seabourn could emulate other lines (such as its sister company Holland America) which allow a later departure from the rooms. As the rooms are not available for new guests until 2PM, a 9 AM cut off to exit the suites for debarking guests instead of 8AM ought to allow enough time (a five hour window) to prepare the rooms, I would think. In any case, our plan was to leave our room at 8AM, and go to the dining room for a last breakfast, which we did. Fortified by a hearty breakfast, well served by the usual team, we easily left the ship (a very short and orderly exit line), claimed our bags, and found the Seabourn-arranged driver who was waiting for us with my last name on a card (very reassuring). Our post-cruise stay, also booked via Seabourn, was fine too. I will review the hotels we enjoyed in Athens and Dubai on the sister web-site, TripAdvisor, in due course. All in all, this was a great cruise, on a lovely ship, with a great crew. Fellow passengers were also most pleasant, and we enjoyed meeting a number of nice people. Hopefully next year, we can do it again on Seabourn. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Chose this cruise because of the varied small port itinerary. Was not disappointed,all of the ports were good and some such as Kotor and Nafplion were brilliant, The only exception was Venice which with six ships in was a zoo. We ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the varied small port itinerary. Was not disappointed,all of the ports were good and some such as Kotor and Nafplion were brilliant, The only exception was Venice which with six ships in was a zoo. We have cruised with Seabourn twice before and they were better this time than on the previous two trips.(I also think that they have become a little better than Regent and Silverseas with whom I have also cruised in the last year.) The food was excellant and very varied and the matching wines well chosen. The nightclub on board is good and is something Seabourn do very well. All the staff on board were happy and the service very good all round. I can also recommend cruising out/in from Athens as it’s a lot less manic than Rome Or Barcelona. The clientele on board were generally very pleasant in a fairly low key way. About half were American with then the Brits and Aussies making up a reasonableContingent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
As we booked our flights with Seabourn we were met at Athens airport and taken directly to the port to board the ship. We were on the ship within minutes of arriving at the terminal-no lines, no waiting like other cruise lines! We have ... Read More
As we booked our flights with Seabourn we were met at Athens airport and taken directly to the port to board the ship. We were on the ship within minutes of arriving at the terminal-no lines, no waiting like other cruise lines! We have taken many cruises on other lines and this was our 5th cruise on Seabourn and our 4th on Odyssey and we were not disappointed. Our lovely cool suite had plenty of storage space and was well-serviced twice daily. The fridge is stocked with the wines, etc that you have requested pre-cruise. As we sailed out of port, the singers and the band were playing on deck and drinks were being offered....it's all-inclusive on Seabourn, so no bar bills! Throughout the cruise we enjoyed great food in the Colonnade as well as a lobster dinner in the Grill By Thomas Keller. I also enjoyed a Pisco Sour off the cocktail list before my dinner in the Grill. The service on board is great with many staff remembering how you like your coffee, which wine you prefer, etc. etc. There is a lot of space per passenger so it never feels crowded and there are minimal announcements. We have already booked again for next year. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The lead of this story is that Seabourn is back!!!! As frequent Seabourn travelers the past 5 years on over a dozen voyages on all three of the Odyssey class 450 passenger ships, my wife and I saw some noticeable slippage on our last ... Read More
The lead of this story is that Seabourn is back!!!! As frequent Seabourn travelers the past 5 years on over a dozen voyages on all three of the Odyssey class 450 passenger ships, my wife and I saw some noticeable slippage on our last few cruises in 2017. Service, food and overall Seabourn standards in a number of areas had taken a few steps backwards as the result of the 2016 Encore introduction and the consequent unfortunate compromising of the traditional Seabourn standards for passengers on the rest of the fleet. Many old hands saw the same thing and complained among ourselves on board, as passengers frequently compare notes, and to management. And complaints were documented on the pages of CruiseCritic by other old Seabourn hands, who noticed the same thing, and reported their own unhappy experiences. We were concerned since we had made several future bookings. Whereas before Seabourn never got bad reviews, now some were appearing. We were concerned that taking another Seabourn voyage would be a big disappointment. Yet we could not easily leave to go to another luxury competitor, because our loyalty and hopes were still with Seabourn and its product after all these years and money spent. Plus, we had left Silversea 8 or 9 years ago when things really took a sharp downturn with their brand. And shortly after we discovered Seabourn, and then loved it. Crystal too big. Totally, we have been on a great many ocean cruises over the past 25 years, mostly on the so called luxury branded ships, but more on Seabourn than any of the others we have sailed, including Oceania, Crystal, Regent and Cunard. So..... we have been around. We have seen a few things. Well, we are very happy to report that the slippage of the past is gone. The concerns we had are now over. I am here to tell all readers, based on our recent August Odyssey voyage in the Eastern Med, that Seabourn has regained, in our estimation, the top luxury cruise status and ratings it once enjoyed. The corporate effort to MSGA has worked!! Seabourn is back, and my wife and I are very happy about this. Seabourn's introduction of Ovation into the fleet this past May has been much more successful in terms of any adverse impact on the rest of the fleet and its passengers than had happened with Encore. And this is the reason Seabourn is back. On this August Odyssey cruise just completed, we did not see or experience any diminution of Seabourn's previously high standards in any functional area of the ship. Training of new crew I am guessing was highly intensified as the result of Encore. We saw evidence of that training effort on board, with a new training officer. The Odyssey staff throughout could not have been any better trained and experienced. For instance, the food coming out of the kitchens under Head Chef Lindsay is back to its former high quality, variety, innovation, plated appearance and tastiness. Service, and courteous, competent service at that, is first rate throughout the various dining and bar venues. Our individual waiting team in the Restaurant lead by Phillipe was just glorious, and managed well by Oskars the excellent Restaurant manager. The same high level of competence was true of the other areas of the ship like Guest Relations and Destinations, plus housekeeping. Our housekeeper was excellent. Overall, we could not have been any happier. And it must be mentioned that the personalized service and passenger interaction/ recognition emphasis throughout the 450 passenger ship that is so critical to a successful cruise experience was first rate. It is a hallmark of a Seabourn voyage experience from the beginning thirty years ago. Odysseys' staff is given the names and I think the photos of all passengers at boarding. They are told to learn and be able to identify and address people by name. After a few days, or less, one is greeted by name pretty much on a regular basis by many of the crew. Perhaps for us as frequent Seabourn sailors, it was a bit easier, and crew members from prior cruises frequently came up to us and greeted us by name and welcomed us back on board. But we always go out of our way to talk to the crew, as passengers must if they want a special experience. RESTAURANTS I am going to start with the caviar, which admittedly is not everyone's taste. It is an excellent, high end sturgeon variety from California waters, and this was a pleasant surprise. Always available, Seabourn is the last of the luxury cruise lines that offers caviar to its passengers without any premium. Any problems of the past with the quality of the caviar have been properly and well addressed by Seabourn management. Bravo Seabourn. We prefer the main Restaurant. Its menus are always varied, considerably better than in the recent past, and always classic Seabourn dishes like salmon, steak and lamb chops are available to order if the night's dinner menu offerings are not sufficient for one's taste. In fourteen days, there was no menu repetition. Nice dishes, creative, well prepared and tasty. Excellent quality of the products themselves, although more local products would have been appreciated. The Restaurant is also open for quiet breakfast and lunch, which we prefer rather than the busy buffet offerings elsewhere. Highly trained and knowledgable waiting staff. Very friendly and pleasant. The food coming-out to the kitchen is very good, and attractively plated, like it was in the past. Portion size is very adequate, and second offerings are always available. And the service is quick, especially if one gets to the Restaurant shortly after it opens at 7p. The head Chef Lindsay makes quite a difference. He is not one who hides in the kitchen, coming out each night to talk to his guests about the meals, taking comments and special requests. The dress code for men in the Restaurant has become more informal than I prefer, but I wear a sports jacket nevertheless at dinner and most men on board for this cruise did not. One unsatisfactory change from our 2015 beginnings. Two formal nights, with mixed formal attire. Despite what was erroneously reported by one CruiseCritic reviewer, Seabourn HAS NOT gotten rid of its wine sommeliers. They are well trained and free wines flow freely. The complimentary wines range from decent to good if not great, and very nice white Pinots Grigios like Santa Margharita and very good French Nicholas Feuillatte champagne always available. Of course one can always pay extra for more select wines if one chooses to do so. But we never felt the need, and we are knowledgeable wine people with a collection at home. Always a sufficient choice capable of being found, with the help of the sommelier, something very decent. Alcohol drinks also available throughout the ship at all times at all bars. And cabins stocked with alcohol of one's choice. The Patio restaurant at poolside is very convenient and serves at lunch basic patio type, well prepared grilled foods like burgers, fish and chicken, and salads plus some nice pizzas each day. At night Seabourn is trying a new concept of dining here. We did not try it, but others did and liked it very much. The Colonade is the buffet breakfast and lunch restaurant. Food is varied and very good. Also open for more casual dinner with waiter service. Varied cuisines each night. The Thomas Keller Grill speciality restaurant is, for us, just OK. Some nice dishes, like the steak and the grilled Dover sole that are very good. And deserts. People on board are of mixed feelings about the value of having the Grill. Some like it a lot, others don't, although very few have ever heard of chef Thomas Keller. On the other hand, some of the Keller inspired dishes in the Restaurant every other night proved a quite nice addition to the traditional menu choices. STATEROOMS Still very nice and comfortable, and well maintained after nine years of service. Odyssey we heard is scheduled to go into dry dock in early 2019 for a retrofit and bit of update. Decor of staterooms could use a little bit of sprucing up. At 365 sq feet with veranda, the basic cabin is very good sized indeed. Double sinked bathrooms and both shower and tub, which tub in nearly 30 years of sailing we have not used on any of the forty cruises we have been on across all cruise lines. It is very good however to store cans and bottles of cold beer on ice for the length of the voyage. Nice walk in closet with safe and plenty of storage space in the cabin. Very quiet between cabins walls. Nice sized, teak deck verandas. Stocked refrigerators with choice of alcoholic beverages. The ship itself sails very smoothly, with the captain engaging the stabilizers to keep the ship sailing the best it can when the August Greek waters got a little too rough. Never a rough night affecting sleep. Tendering operations daily, though, sometimes a little difficult with the winds of the Islands waters. At 450 passengers, the physical footprint and size of this ship are just right for us. Not interested in any larger body count vessels. Public rooms and areas very comfortable. Pool deck comfortable and not crowded. The Captain and his chief executive staff are excellent. Very approachable and friendly. A hallmark of Seabourn. Hotel Director Stratos Mylokos - the man in charge of all F&B and most other ship functions except the navigation - is among the best we have ever experienced at sea. Very knowledgeable, hands-on, effective, pleasant and sociable in his dealings with passengers. ENTERTAINMENT Ship has some very good, talented performers among the ship's regular cast, in search though of better production material. Four singers and two very talented dancers. But I have to say the Tim Rice special is overhyped and is getting a little long of tooth for us frequent Seabourners. Time to say goodbye to Tim. Some of the other production show material could stand with a little updating and variation to make the production numbers more interesting, as we recall they once were. The ad hoc comedians and magicians and other assorted artists and guest lecturers brought on board are ok representatives as members of their professions one always finds on board cruise ships. The Cruise Director Chelsea is a real gem. Not only is she a very talented singer, who performs from time to time, classically trained in opera, and having performed on the opera stage in many venues, she is very passenger friendly, highly organized, energized and effective. PORTS The Greek Islands all very interesting. Such beautiful blue waters. Personally, we could do without Mykonos and Santorini, because they are too crowded and too touristy, but the smaller islands we visited are very interesting, particularly when your ship is the only ship in the harbor or anchored. Authentic Greece. Without the ten thousand or more other ship passengers that descend on some of the islands - Caribbean style. Greek Taverna food at family run restaurants so good at these ports for lunch. We could eat a real greek salad and fresh, grilled fish or squid every day in these ports. EXCURSIONS The same we have experienced before on Seabourn and every other cruise line. Largely overpriced but of interest to visitors never expecting to return to these places. Thank God for well air conditioned busses. The full day excursion to the ruins of Crete and very good local lunch with authentic Greek dancing especially noteworthy. CONCLUSION Seabourn has regained for us the status and quality we once experienced. Its small size and personalized service make it stand out. It listens to its passengers comments and is constantly striving to be the best there is. From our point of view, it is the leader in its class. We look forward to the future bookings we have made. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We traveled with 3 other couples. We chose the cruise for its ports of call, areas we had not been to, and its lack of sea days. The service was excellent, from our cabin steward, Josephine, the destination manager Murat, the Director ... Read More
We traveled with 3 other couples. We chose the cruise for its ports of call, areas we had not been to, and its lack of sea days. The service was excellent, from our cabin steward, Josephine, the destination manager Murat, the Director of guest relations, Joanna, and the Asst Maitre'D Karim were exceptional. Everyone knew ours names, and fulfilled our every request. There were a few early hiccups, but the entire team jumped in and made the cruise wonderful. The food was excellent, and the service was superb. When our Virtuoso hosts left the pier in Dubrovnik, without the eight of us, Murat jumped in, got us a guide and saved the day. He was wonderful. The Virtuoso reps from California were not. When we confronted them, they denied everything, said they thought we were not going, and never apologized - very disappointing. Back to the cruise - Touring until 1-2 o'clock and back to the ship was wonderful. It gave us in-depth exposure, tired us out, brought wonderful relief when we got back to the ship for a late lunch. The entertainers were wonderful, talented performers, but on a smaller ship, you have to expect limited entertainment. However what was presented was wonderful. An example of the training and character of one entertainer Nathan Morgan, was exemplified on one tour, when a solo woman was way behind the tour group, Nathan unobtrusively hung back and waited for her so she wouldn't get lost. Our cruise Director was always full of energy and is an outstanding opera singer. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
After cruising with other lines we learned what we didn't like and what to look for in our next cruise. And trust me it was hard to convince my husband to take another cruise after our last disaster on another cruise line..Royal ###, ... Read More
After cruising with other lines we learned what we didn't like and what to look for in our next cruise. And trust me it was hard to convince my husband to take another cruise after our last disaster on another cruise line..Royal ###, I did my research and we settled on Seabourn. It was the perfect time of the year and where we and our friends wanted to travel. Upon checking in we were greeted with champagne, walked right up to the service desk, everyone was so helpful and friendly. There were 2 gentlemen checking in the same time we were, and they shared "how much they look forward to the this cruise every year". Upon entering the ship, our room was not ready we had the Spa Penthhouse Suite 1093, so we decided to have some lunch and drinks. During this time we got to the know staff and they us, the food at lunch was excellent. By the time we were able to check in to our room my husband Mike and Big Mike knew every staff member working the poolside...whIch I'm grateful because my husband had the darnest time finding our room and luckily 2 staff members knew where to take him. But that is another hilarious story. Our room was right on the back of the ship, the best view of all! It was spacious and contemporary design. The bathroom was enormous..and a walk in closet! Hello my friend! We did have small issue, one of our suitcases was damaged during the transfer, we shared this with our steward and right away Zonett took care of the issue and we were issued an onboard credit that afternoon. Our trip was amazing, personalized and the staff was amazing! The food was excellent, onboard live entertainment was marginal but I would rather be sitting on my back patio with my husband and friends having a very nice glass of wine discussing the day we had or what tomorrow will bring. We also met so many new friends, whom we still in contact with even today. Due to the excursions and activities on the ship you get to know everyone and by the final night we were sitting in the pool area for the open dance party, I think we pushed all the tables together to accommodate 26 people...we had so much fun that night! It was truly memorable. All the men went out dancing ...some sort of man dance like they were driving a car...not sure but it certainly had all the other guests laughing. It was so nice not to have worry about upcharges, or buying beverage packages or paying for specialty restaurants. I want to enjoy my trip not constantly think about pricing. With Seabourn, if you want Steak and Lobster, you get Steak and Lobster no extra charge. If you want 5 scoops of ice you can have 5 scoops of ice cream no question asked and never a bill! Plus the best part is no cheesy formal night photos. Our room steward, Zonett, was amazing, Every day she left little notes for us, and it truly made our trip extra special. By the end of the trip, we knew everyone and they became family. I was so sad to say goodbye to her. We and all of our friends were completely spoiled by Seabourn! And my husband has required we only cruise with Seabourn which I am booking now. If I could give Seabourn10 stars I would. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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 ... 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
5 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We flew into Athens the day before departure, and boarded the ship around 4 pm on departure day. Embarkation process was smooth, except that when we got on the ship, the elevator we were sent to only went to the 9th floor and our suite ... Read More
We flew into Athens the day before departure, and boarded the ship around 4 pm on departure day. Embarkation process was smooth, except that when we got on the ship, the elevator we were sent to only went to the 9th floor and our suite was on the 10th floor. As relatively "newbie" cruisers, some explanation of where to go to access the correct elevator would have been helpful, but we did figure it out. The Odyssey is a lovely ship, well maintained and comfortable common areas through out. Our Penthouse Suite was surprisingly spacious. Plenty of closet and drawer space, double sinks in the bathroom. Shower stall is a bit cramped but adequate. The bed was incredibly comfortable. Room temperature was always just right. Seabourn is particularly known for its dedication to top-notch service, and that is certainly what we experienced. Every member of the staff seemed to go out of their way to provide whatever we wanted. The only service "complaints" I have are so petty I feel stupid to mention them. We particularly loved going to the Observation Bar for pre-dinner cocktails, and enjoyed the piano entertainment by Katy, plus nightly servings of caviar! We also loved the patio bar around the pool. Plenty of chairs around the pool, but sunny and shady for at-sea days or after returning to the ship from a port. Meals were excellent. Not to say that there wasn't the occasional "dud" course, but overall we loved the food. The Thomas Keller Grill is very special (I loved the veal chop!), and the Thomas Keller "theme" nights (one night ribs, one night fried chicken) were a lot of fun. On those nights, sharing tables was encouraged and meals were served family style. The nightly entertainment was a mixed bag. Some shows were really good. Some just "meh", but we didn't really care that much about seeing shows. We did enjoy the team trivia days, as well as the casino (which is small, but adequate). The only real negative about the cruise was the pathetic internet access. My husband and I each opted to buy 2 hours worth of access, figuring we could sign on, download email, and sign off. Sounded like a great idea, but often trying to download emails would take as long as 10 minutes. Most of the time, we just had to wait til we got to a port where we could access free WiFi or our cellular network. Plenty of people were frustrated with the slow internet speed. While we all like to "disconnect" to some degree, it is still necessary to be able to check in once a day. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I'm on board Odyssey right now in week 4 of a 5 week cruise. We've sailed on most of the major cruise lines and there are so many ways Seabourn excels its hard to describe. Just try them, you simply can't lose. The service ... Read More
I'm on board Odyssey right now in week 4 of a 5 week cruise. We've sailed on most of the major cruise lines and there are so many ways Seabourn excels its hard to describe. Just try them, you simply can't lose. The service is great and the staff excellent. Being all inclusive means no chits, no "may I have your keycard" constantly. Other lines may offer drink packages, but you and the bar staff are still passing back and forth cards, receipts etc. The ambience is totally different when all that nickel and diming stuff goes away. Throw in more like hosted dinner tables, staff who actually know your name, remember your favorite drinks, previews of the next day's dinner menus delivered to your room etc. And stuff like no ship's photographer in your face all the time, almost no announcements all day long for Bingo, art auctions, pool games, and (usually) no, or almost no kids Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
I picked Seabourn because I was told the service was outstanding. If anything, that understates the service. I never had anything less that a totally perfect service from any employee. If I was picky, I would note that caviar took 25 ... Read More
I picked Seabourn because I was told the service was outstanding. If anything, that understates the service. I never had anything less that a totally perfect service from any employee. If I was picky, I would note that caviar took 25 minutes to show up one night, and that I had already finished my first martini before it arrived. That is hardly anything to complain about. I was disappointed in the quality of the food in the colonade one night, and in the quality of the service in the Restaurant one morning at breakfast. Overall, however, food was outstanding. About the embarkation. We were on the 10th floor. We entered the boat, as did everyone else, on the aft side. The greeter told us to take the elevator to the 10th floor. The problem is that the aft elevator doesn't go there. Right when we were entering and did not know our way around the ship, we got bad instructions. If they won't let 10th floor guests enter in the front, they should let us know how to get there. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We have previously cruised on several upscale cruise lines, including Silversea, Regent, Azamara, and Oceania. Pricing for this cruise was significantly discounted, so we decided to give Seabourn a try. What an upgrade! Everything about ... Read More
We have previously cruised on several upscale cruise lines, including Silversea, Regent, Azamara, and Oceania. Pricing for this cruise was significantly discounted, so we decided to give Seabourn a try. What an upgrade! Everything about the ship was better than what we've previously experienced. Most especially, service was superb. For example, I had heard that one could ask for a special dish in the restaurant, and the ship would try to satisfy the request. So I requested sweetbreads. Our waiter was gone for less than 5 minutes, and when he returned, he informed us that we would have an appetizer of sweetbreads at our next dinner in the main restaurant. Food was uniformly excellent. Ship-sponsored excursions, which I try to avoid like the plague, were high quality and price-competitive with what I could arrange privately. We took one in Malta when I could not find a private one that covered what we wanted, and we wound up adding one to Caines. Both were very well done. Was the cruise flawless? No. The crew never got my wife's title right; they called her Mrs. or Ms. rather than Dr. (which Azamara always gets right). Bar service in one of the bar venues was not good. But overall, we could not have asked for a better experience. The only problem is that now we need to stretch our cruise budget to try to get back on a Seabourn ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this particular cruise line as we have sailed several times before with Seabourn and it has been excellent. We chose this particular cruise because of the time of year, and the ports visited in particular the Greek Islands, ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise line as we have sailed several times before with Seabourn and it has been excellent. We chose this particular cruise because of the time of year, and the ports visited in particular the Greek Islands, Croatia and the Dalmatian coast. Our cruise was made up of three cruises. Boarding was very good as usual and always great to meet the pleasant and welcoming crew. Our cabin was exactly as we expected it to be. We had a forward cabin on the 5th deck ( cabin number 511 ) and this proved to be a bit of a problem when the ship was mooring rather than berthing in an actual port. The noise and vibration of the anchor dropping and /or then raising in the evening was very noisy and intrusive. In previous trips although we were on a forward cabin we did not have this problem.The cabin itself was kept very clean and tidy by our stewardess and the bed as usual was extremely comfortable. Our breakfast every day was in the Collonade Terrace and was made especially enjoyable thanks to our favorite waiter Andre van der Spuy. Andre made a special effort to make us feel happy and could not be more obliging. We dined every evening at The Restaurant in deck 4. Service was impecable. The food was generally very good particularly steaks and fish. Desserts were not up to the same standard. We ate also twice at the Thomas Keller grill on deck 8 and the food was very good as well and service was outstanding. Activities on board were minimal. We really enjoyed the trivia afternoons when they were available. We went to a couple of lectures by Ambassador Karel Kovanda which were excellent. We also were lucky enough to be invited to share a couple of meals with him and his wife Noemi. Evening entertainment we did not attend many as we tended to linger over our evening meals with other guests. Guest services were excellent and would help in every way they could. Disembarkation was very easy and we were allowed to stay longer on board as we were not flying out of Barcelona until the evening. All in all an excellent cruise and recommend it. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Fantastic Cruise - did not disappoint on our journey to try all top luxury ships. Seabourn Odyssey is our 3rd luxury cruise and she did not let us down in any way, just ending too soon. The food was for a mixture of fine dining to casual ... Read More
Fantastic Cruise - did not disappoint on our journey to try all top luxury ships. Seabourn Odyssey is our 3rd luxury cruise and she did not let us down in any way, just ending too soon. The food was for a mixture of fine dining to casual grill. Pick up the phone and order whatever you like, and you will be presented with just that! A smaller ship with staff to passenger ratio almost one to one. The staff had a few characters that became your friends for the duration. What was most appealing, was in seeing the Captain walk around and chat to fellow passengers, I have never really seen that before, very friendly and part of the family. The suites were very large, largest we have experienced, with a great movie channel for when you just want to relax in your room. The shows were entertaining, but they did start late, around 9.45PM. Highly recommend this cruise, with many faces from all over the world and all aged different... Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our third trip on Seabourn having been on the Odyssey twice, Black Sea and Caribbean. We joined in Venice and had a weeks cruise down to Athens. We were very happy with the Encore - which continues the very high standards ... Read More
This was our third trip on Seabourn having been on the Odyssey twice, Black Sea and Caribbean. We joined in Venice and had a weeks cruise down to Athens. We were very happy with the Encore - which continues the very high standards we have seen before. Our room (825) seemed a little larger than before but perhaps that was just good design. We didn't notice the extra people apart from the pool areas seeming a bit more crowded. If I had to guess I would say that the staff/guest ratio is a but lower and the service a tiny bit less personal in the restaurants - for example not being addressed by name as on the Odyssey. We mainly eat in the Colonnade which is great. I remain baffled by the Thomas Kelleher obsession. I simply dont enjoy his stuff as much as the regular food. We went to the Grill which was OK but not sure it was any better than a normal steakhouse. The library seemed even smaller than on the Odyssey with a rum selection of books. Still not sure they have got the 'Club' right - just doesnt seem very welcoming The main area of complaint continues to be ( as for many people ) the internet. It should be free and is very slow. If there is one thing which might induce us to switch to Regent or Silversea (apart from the itinerary) its this. There were a number of children on board , none of whom were any trouble We were really pleased to find a note in the Atlas in the room for our maid about her home country (on its page) But despite some minor complaints we had a great trip, the ship and the staff continue to be first rate Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We were so looking forward to sailing on the new ship as wehave done countless seabourn cruises, it's a beautiful ship but they are obviously cutting back, they did not have the staff to attend to customer needs and so the service was ... Read More
We were so looking forward to sailing on the new ship as wehave done countless seabourn cruises, it's a beautiful ship but they are obviously cutting back, they did not have the staff to attend to customer needs and so the service was apppaling in all areas, there were 6 of us onboard and all seabourn previous customers and not only we felt this but others did as well The pool area was like club med and you could never get a seat as people would put there towels down at 7 am and they were never removed, also people would walk in the ommo areas and the pool with their drinks, why when you can get a drink anywhere on this ship Bar areas you would wait 20 min for a drink and cabins not serviced well Seabourn lift you game as this was a major dissapointment and we will not sail on this ship again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
After trying Holland America, Crystal and Silversea, we were a little hesitant to try Seabourn since our expectations weren't met on previous cruises. We were most pleasantly surprised by the service, the accommodations and most ... Read More
After trying Holland America, Crystal and Silversea, we were a little hesitant to try Seabourn since our expectations weren't met on previous cruises. We were most pleasantly surprised by the service, the accommodations and most importantly the food! Since Encore is a new ship there was no wear and tear in any of the public spaces or the beautiful Grand Wintergarden Suite. Since this was our first time on Seabourn Cruise Line we had no previous experience with which to compare so everything was a "first" for us. The public spaces were beautifully decorated; muted tones and no ostentatious glitter. Each time we used any of the lounges or the Seabourn Square there was never a feeling of crowds, which is important to us. We completely splurged and booked the Wintergarden Suite with the addition of the adjoining View Cabin for our adult daughter who was traveling with us. Our friend was also traveling with us in an Owner's Suite, so we used our cabin for meeting for appetizers before dinners. The cabin is designed so beautifully with space enough for two families! The bathroom was extravagant for a ship cabin; the tub being the highlight for me (arthritis problems melted away). The shower was large enough for my husband to move around comfortably (body bulder for many years) and there was so much space for our toiletries. The exciting part of the cabin was definitely the Jacuzzi tub on the closed-in deck. We used it a couple of times and found it to be a perfect place to relax after a strenuous excursion. We had our first meal in the Thomas Keller Restaurant which was a 5 star experience. The service was good (we did ask for our own choice of wines) and the evening was a perfect way to kick off the week. I had fish, my husband had chicken and our companions had beef and a vegetarian option. All food was cooked to perfection and the choices were adequate. You must have the sundae! What a splurge on calories, but so worth it ;) We also frequented the Colonnade; our favorite casual meal, although there was nothing "casual" about the food. Again, 5 star food in a buffet setting, amazing! The Patio Grill was another wonderful venue with food selection limited but delicious. We had another great meal in the Sushi Restaurant with some very innovative dishes served. The service in all dining venues was exemplary. I can't comment on the entertainment since we were exhausted most days and chose to get some sleep for the next day's activities. My husband did, however, frequent the Casino where he had a marvelous time meeting and chatting and playing with fellow guests. This was the only place on the entire ship that could have used some help; the couple running the Casino were less than agreeable and there were a few incidences while on board with a few disgruntled guests leaving. We went on 4 different excursions and while they were fun and informative, I found them to be not as dynamic as the excursions we have taken on Crystal. Also, there was usually at least 30 people on each excursion (usually more) and large buses were used; we preferred the small 10 - 12 person excursions Crystal arranged. It did not deter us from having fun with other guests and getting to know them while on tour, however. We did arrange for our own driver when we arrived in Amalfi, choosing to go where we wanted when we wanted and driving down to Positano (our favorite) and having a meal on the beach. In summary, this was our favorite cruise to date. The people on the ship, while very affluent and well-heeled, were the warmest and friendliest we have ever encountered on any ship and we made some very nice new friends. We could have chosen to focus on the very minor problems; our cabin stewardess was not well trained and we found out that there was a problem with visas for some crew members before our sailing so we had some crew who were not trained as properly as they should have been. The chaise lounge on the deck was constantly drenched each morning due to a design flaw; we were one floor down from pool deck so each morning the water from washing the deck would wet our deck and furniture. The stewardess was supposed to pull back the lounge pad each evening, but she was not trained to do this. It made for a soggy morning on the deck, but I used towels and sopped it up myself. We did complain to the Guest Relations Manager and he was very concerned and gave us onboard credit. I found all officers on board to be so accommodating and genuinely concerned about our experience. It made us feel as though we were a valued guest. We are already looking into our next cruise with Seabourn and hope it will live up to our expectations once again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first cruise ever so we did not know what to expect. Seabourn Encore more than lived up to our expectations. The ship is beautiful in an understated way, it is simple to be negotiate and never felt crowded or noisy. Our ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever so we did not know what to expect. Seabourn Encore more than lived up to our expectations. The ship is beautiful in an understated way, it is simple to be negotiate and never felt crowded or noisy. Our veranda suite on deck 7 was comfortable, a little more spacious than expected and very well designed with plenty of storage space and a lovely bathroom.The bed and pillows were very good quality and comfortable. All the staff were friendly and did their very best to make us feel pampered and welcome. Service was generally top notch, give or take the odd forgotten coffee order in the Colonnade at lunchtime, but we understood that everyone was really trying their best and relaxed into our holiday mode. Everyone we met on board, including the guests were respectful, quiet and polite. We enjoyed being able to sit where we liked to eat and loved the open air restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it was very special! The food choices were incredible! We preferred to eat breakfast and lunch at the Colonnade where the buffet choice was outstanding in quality and range. We tried the restaurant a few times, which was very good indeed and one night we ate at Thomas Keller where we loved the steak but felt maybe it was a bit overhyped or we expected too much! The entertainment suited us, it was low key and we liked that, we dipped in and out of the short shows. The party night on deck was great fun and a very nice memory, however we would have liked the opportunity for some ballroom dancing and the dance floor in the club is very small. The casino on this deck feels a bit intrusive especially when there are few people in the night club and is clearly there just to make money. We found plenty of relaxing places around the ship to read and spend quiet time, although the pool deck was busier we always found a lounger. We could not understand the concept of the retreat, it seemed a wasted space and a bit divisive in such a ship, we did not see anyone there and would never pay 350 dollars to sit there. We liked the fact that we visited small places where there were few other cruise ships and we liked the tender journey ashore. Overall we enjoyed the varied itinerary although the port of Brindisi was horrid and ugly so we were glad we had arranged a trip. Our cruise would have been absolutely perfect if the WIFI had either worked well or been free of charge...it was rubbish! I also looked forward to the advertised yoga on deck but there was only Pilates in a small claustrophobic room which really was not very good, so that was a disappointment, partially made up for by the excellent gym facilities. A few very minor issues well but worth a 5 star rating and we will travel with Seabourn again when hopefully we can dance and do some yoga!!!! Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our first Seabourn cruise. The ship is extraordinary: beautiful, functional, classy, very well designed. The food, crew and staff were as close to perfect as imaginable. The bathroom in our cabin was as nice as any 5 start ... Read More
This was our first Seabourn cruise. The ship is extraordinary: beautiful, functional, classy, very well designed. The food, crew and staff were as close to perfect as imaginable. The bathroom in our cabin was as nice as any 5 start hotel, including full bathtub and walk in shower, double marble sinks and (especially for a cruise ship) unbelievable water pressure. The cabin had the ability to draw black out curtains between the seating area and the bed, allowing an early riser not to disturb a spouse sleeping in. We read about some early growing pains as the ship was only 6 months old. We saw none of those issues. Incredible. Incredible. Incredible. Sushi restaurant was good. Thomas Keller Grill was extraordinary. They say you can only book once per week, but we secured reservations for two nights. Only suggestion is to explore third party excursions as well as considering Seabourn's. Very easy to meet and socialize with other passengers. Average age 45 to 65. No kids or teens on our cruise. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Based on prior Cruise Critic reviews, it appeared Seabourn Encore was off to a rocky start. I am here to report the crew have overcome most of their issues and are offering a top notch program with the exception of a few minor glitches ... Read More
Based on prior Cruise Critic reviews, it appeared Seabourn Encore was off to a rocky start. I am here to report the crew have overcome most of their issues and are offering a top notch program with the exception of a few minor glitches they are still working out. The ship is amazing with beautiful and comfortable furnishings in all the public rooms. I thought the staterooms (I had a V6 cabin on Deck 10) felt a bit smaller than on Odyssey. The make-up table, in particular is so tiny, it can hardly be used. The shower also seemed smaller than on Odyssey, however, I could be wrong on that. The bed was comfortable, the towels and sheets were soft. The sofa was nice to sit or lay down on. You won't feel cramped in these cabins. The service is basically up to the standards I expect from Seabourn. Many crewmen knew us by name within two days. The bartenders certainly knew our favorite drinks! The only issue we had with slow service was the delivery of caviar on deck. The crew admitted they were still working out kinks with that and suggested to pre-order caviar if possible. However, I ordered caviar four times in the main dining room, as an appetizer, and it was served in a timely manner. The problem only appears to be on deck or in the lounges. Main Dining Room menu was wonderful. They had a decent variety to choose from. I'm not a fan of Thomas Keller, the celebrity chef Seabourn is aligned with. His offerings were very hit or miss. However, the Seabourn standards were plentiful enough to satisfy me on the off nights. The salmon ,and the filet were 5 star yummy! The lobster tagliatelle was so good, one of our party ordered it every night as an appetizer. The Thomas Keller Grille was also nice, although a bit noisy. Our table of four had trouble conversing over the sound of music. As for service, in the main dining room, we had one amazing team, that could teach a course on fine dining service. We were overwhelmed by how good they were. Everything they did seemed designed to make us feel special. A second crew was a very good team and very efficient, but did not make us feel like special honored guests. Still, no complaints about them. . . And one team was very subpar. They couldn't take orders properly, fill water glasses or even deliver food in a timely manner. One night the maître d' actually came over and apologized for the poor service. I can understand anyone dining with this team writing bad reviews about the MDR. They were really bad. The Colonnade dining room (Deck 9) was where we ate breakfast each morning. They had a wonderful buffet, although I ordered off the menu most of the time. Here's a tip: You can order almost anything you want for breakfast and they will try to make it for you. From corned beef hash to waffles. . . You can also order cappuccino of a latte. The name brand entertainment on our trip was spotty. The magician/comedian was cute. The woman hired to sing show tunes was average. However, the standard shipboard singers and dancers were all wonderful. I thought they far out-performed the specialty talent. They all had great voices! The dancers were "Dancing With The Stars" caliber. The piano player in the Thomas Keller Lounge (Deck 8) was perfect for pre-dinner cocktails. The duo in the observation lounge had great voices. The deck five band could crank it for a party. In fact, all the on board parties were fun! The shore excursion crew did an admirable job of getting people off on a good foot. They also handled a problem many of us had with an unruly and reckless passenger on an excursion. Folks, the staff is there to help you. . . just speak up if you have a problem. The gym and spa, if you use them are the best Seabourn has to offer. The gym, in particular, was pleasingly large and well equipped. At the pool, there seemed to be plenty of deck chairs and eager attendants to shuttle cocktails. It never seemed crowded. The casino staff was nice. My only complaint there was too many penny slot machines and none for a quarter or dollar. If you've booked a Seabourn Encore cruise, don't worry. It is finally up to Seabourn standards. If you have not yet booked one, I highly recommend you do! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Being avid Seabourn cruisers, I regret having to write up a negative review of our last experience on their new ship the Encore. However now that I am looking at the next cruise (yes, on Seabourn), I feel I have to get this clunker off my ... Read More
Being avid Seabourn cruisers, I regret having to write up a negative review of our last experience on their new ship the Encore. However now that I am looking at the next cruise (yes, on Seabourn), I feel I have to get this clunker off my chest. A new ship (beautiful), a lot of new staff (many poorly trained). Very first night, arrived for dinner at the casual restaurant and were met by an imperious desk host who insisted we were not allowed to enter wearing jeans. Also this was told to the couple behind us. And rudely. I knew the rules and he didn't. I told the couple behind us to stay put, and flagged down whatever you call the "head" person (someone in a suit wearing a gold name tag). Of course we were seated. Not a nice thing to experience on the first night, just getting settled. No self serve laundry. Having a pre-trip as many do, I am used to having a self serve for ordinary basics like undies. Also sometimes you want to line dry an item, etc. This ship was designed with no laundry, and apparently a lot of complaints so they were trying to get one in but it's a big job and no way for this trip. So I filled a bag, and three days later had to go to Guest Services to track it down. They did compensate me for it. No newspapers in the lounge after a couple of days; the printer broke, and remained broke for the whole trip. Yes we had our iPad, but you know how wireless is on a boat at sea, and it costs you. They had a reader app on a tablet device, but it was all stupid stuff. LGBT Meetup, usually on a Tuesday, sprung up on Sunday and almost missed it, because the new format for the daily schedule is a cheap small foldout, small font, vs. the nice full page layout they used to have, and many of our fellow LGBT travelers missed it. Also it was not even sponsored! The next week we found out two women lawyers complained to make the next one happen, and were told (incorrectly) by Guest Services that it was an "upon request" event. Two of our excursions were nightmares. For Amalfi and Positano, we wanted to just go on a small boat to visit the harbors, have lunch, shop etc., rather than be on a bus for four hours to drive the coast. Reason: My husband has two new knees and the last thing we wanted to do is be stuck in a sitting position all day. However, due to ocean swells, we had to pull in at an alternative location. We were told our tour was still on, but had to take a bus first. You can guess where this is going. They swapped out our tour for the bus tour and did not inform us. We were literally trapped. Plus it was total pandemonium as to who was supposed to go where, what bus, etc. Another tour was Olympia in 3D. We had been there before to see the ruins, so thought the 3D experience would be interesting. But no, it was not virtual reality. First, we sat in a museum theater room and watched a film designed, I kid you not, for elementary school children. Then out at the site, we were given tablets that were pre-loaded with images of artist renditions (same as the movie we just watched) of how the ruins looked when new. You could be in a bathroom and see the same thing as you would out there, they were not context sensitive, as advertised. Many of the tablets simply did not work anyway. Fortunately we had by default admission to the excellent museum there and ditched the group (with many following us) for the museum. This was a new tour that Seabourn obviously did not vet beforehand. My final complaint before some kudos (yes I had a good time!) will explain why I had to give such a low rating, and I hope Seabourn takes notice. There was an announcement about drawing the curtains in the staterooms and not being alarmed about noises on the veranda, as a crew was coming through to clean them. We always draw the curtains anyway so thought nothing of it, and have experienced this on other cruises. Didn't even think about locking the veranda door, and never have. It just happened that on that day we had no excursions and luxuriated in sleeping in. Our inner (bedroom) curtains were also drawn (to block sunlight peeking through) but not completely. As I was waking up, I heard the sounds of furniture being moved on the veranda, and was not alarmed. But then I heard our veranda door being opened, and then the curtains being thrown open wide! I quickly sat up and looked out (peeking out between our curtains) at a workman in bright blue overalls beginning to step inside and looking shocked to see me, apologizing quickly and disappearing like a bat out of hell. I got semi dressed and ran to the veranda to see what was up. I was confused. The door had been propped open with a chair. There was some water on the floor, so at first I was thinking they washed the door maybe and needed to prop it open to dry? No way. (The glass balcony partition hadn't been touched, was completely filmed over.) After a couple of days I was so bothered I went to Guest Services and described the situation. I spoke with a very receptive and wonderful person named Michael who assured me this should never, ever have happened. Unfortunately, just enough time had elapsed that there was little chance the security camera would still have the footage. Michael escalated the concern, and a few days later I heard from someone (I wish I had taken down the name) at Guest Services that claimed "Sometimes they need to go through a cabin to access the hallway." Baloney! I checked back with Michael and he was really disappointed at that (obviously made up) response, but was powerless to do anything more. Should I have gone to the captain? I am still kicking myself for being so slow to jump on it (delayed reaction), and the response still bothers me. This was a serious breach of security. After telling the two lawyers we met about the response from Guest Services, and describing the accent of the agent that called me back, they said it sounded like the person who also made up the "by request" comment about the meetup. So, someone kind of childishly making things up because she really doesn't know the answer. Should not be in Management! A much hyped new addition that doesn't work: The Grill by Thomas Kelleher. Undercooked lobster, really? Overcooked steak? Pricey small glasses of wine that were nothing to write home about? The "Sommelier" was a day waiter in the casual restaurant. Which is fine, I'm just saying he wasn't really a Sommelier, and the whole thing was a lot of fuss and we couldn't wait for it to be over. Entertainment on the open deck continues to be at ear splitting noise levels, which is a shame. OK, Kudos: It is Seabourn, however, and I have never bothered to do a five star review for all our other cruises because there are just so darn many, why bother. But, given the nature of this review, I want to say I am still glad we were on a Seabourn ship, because we have had some pretty bad experiences on other cruise lines. Despite the clumsy new staff (our room stewardess had amnesia) there were a good handful of regulars to help things along. The new formal restaurant is way more appealing than on the older ships; they really got this one right. It is not all white, bright and garish. It is formal but has a welcoming warmth to it. They say no jeans but you can get away with really dark ones with monotonal stitching. And I got away with my all-black leather sneakers as well (leave the shoes at home!). Favorite restaurant continues to be the Collonade. So warm and welcoming, and relaxed. Common spaces on the new ship are a litter bigger and have a wonderful flow. There is a "living room" feel to whatever venue you choose. I love working out in a gym overlooking the ocean! I was so impressed with the yoga class instructor, I signed up for two personal sessions, and took home some valuable new techniques. And my husband had great deep tissue massage, and he is very fussy. So, quality people, it makes it all the better. Now that I have this fluke of a cruise off my chest, I'm ready to start looking at the next one. Seriously, if this had been my first cruise on Seabourn, I would not be returning. Nick Kouros Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise