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22 Seabourn Auckland Cruise Reviews

This was a special trip celebrating a milestone 50th birthday. We are well seasoned cruisers and have been on most of the lines except Silversea and Crystal with 60+ cruises under our belt. SUITE: We booked the lowest level suite with ... Read More
This was a special trip celebrating a milestone 50th birthday. We are well seasoned cruisers and have been on most of the lines except Silversea and Crystal with 60+ cruises under our belt. SUITE: We booked the lowest level suite with a guarantee to upgrade to a min cat 3, and received a cat 6 up on deck 11. The room was perfect and spacious. Tons of room, excellent layout, with perfect service from our room stewardess. We had everything we needed in this room and loved the ability to split the room with blackout curtains in half so the early riser didn't disturb the other pax. Bedding quality very high. FINAL SCORE: A+ FOOD; DEFINITELY not 6 star. BIGGEST disappointment of the cruise! The menu in the main dining room was repetitive. Colonnade food comparable to HAL/Princess/Celebrity buffets. Nothing special, too many carbs/starches not enough high quality proteins or veggies. Sliced meats and cheeses were what you would find on other CCL ships. BALONEY served as a tapas? Yup. They also put it out on the buffet and the "Epicurean extravaganza". SERIOUSLY. We paid $450/pp/day to be served baloney? We did enjoy Earth and Ocean several times especially the smoked chicken starter. Fun place to dine weather permitting. TK grill was very good, but doesn't measure up to land based TK restaurants. This was still the best dining spot on the ship. Sushi was nice, pretty typical of what you find on land serving average sushi. But at lunch, due to penny pinching, they didn't serve raw fish. Our best meals were the TK special nights in the colonnade. They felt the most authentic and had cheeses you wouldn't find anywhere else on the ship. Main dining room has some outstanding nights, others it was OK. Just not consistent especially with beef dishes. Our last surprise when it came to food was the ship running out of standard menu items...60+ cruises never had a ship tell me they didn't have the item on the menu we ordered. IF you're a foodie, skip Seabourn and go with another cruiseline (Oceania, Regent). FINAL SCORE: C SHIP: was a perfect size, and never felt crowded. No lines for anything and the layout had great flow. The colonnade could get crowded in the AM requiring you to sit outside during peak hours. This tended to be the only time noticing how many were onboard. Lots of places to hang out and relax. High quality furnishing and art work. FINAL SCORE: A DRINKS: Bars had just about any type of premium liquor you could want. Beer selections were more limited. Want an IPA beer? Nope. How about a wheat beer? Nope. Craft beer? Nope.. You could find a nice selection of complimentary wines some better than others, the staff were more than willing to change out the wine if you were unhappy. Bar service overall was great. Servers couldn't remember what you ordered (they weren't allowed to write it down) and made multiple return visits either to ask again or brought your the wrong drink. This happened in the Observation lounge only. No problems in other venues. Coffee in Seabourn square is excellent. FINAL SCORE: B ENTERTAINMENT: Best was duet in observation lounge, Rachael and Vladi. The lounge band was also fun and played popular music from the 60-80's. They did seem to get a little repetitive in their playlists. CD Chris was prior west end actor/singer and had the best voice on the ship. Wish he would have sang more than twice during 15 days. The main shows were OK and geared towards the 70's crowd. We felt it lacked the energy and excitement of Oceania's ships. Very little stage magic, just singing with no sets or costumes. FINAL SCORE: C ACTIVITIES: Sorry this was sorely lacking. Sea days had very few options. One cooking demonstration in 15 days? Trivia, casino (which opened at 3pm on sea days), lectures or sitting by the pool were about all you had for options. A few games of corn hole (baggo). They did offer nice prizes of high quality. We were so looking forward to the brochure selling us on the "Marina" on the back of the ship. We had several protected bays during the cruise they could have deployed it in, but that never happened. How about the famous and well marketed "Caviar on the surf"? Yeah, never happened. We heard this sometimes turns into "Caviar in the pool"? Nope, Band played ONCE the entire 2 weeks on a sea day by the pool for 1 hour. Maybe a dance party under the stars? Nope, didn't have any. FINAL SCORE: D PORTS: The highlight of the NZ/Australia trip was seeing the Penguins march from the beach in Phillip Island...or that was the plan. Instead the captain decided 14 hours before arrival we would be leaving at 2pm vs 11pm. WHAT? "due to high winds" we needed to leave 9 HOURS earlier than planned! The seas were dead calm when we left the protective bay we tendered at... Like 1-2 ft seas. Barely a ripple in the water. I checked my phone, and the winds were going to pickup slightly in the afternoon (below 20mph). The REAL reason we were leaving early? Terrible seas the next day (sea day) w/25ft+ waves and big winds over 40MPH. We were putting along the entire time at about 12 knots riding the waves like a giant surfboard. Actually most of the time the ship moved it was slowly at 12 knots. We could have cut the crossing from NZ to Australia down to 2 days from 3. We could have skipped Eden vs leaving Philip Island early. Eden had very little to offer. FINAL SCORE: B SERVICE: Employees are the strong suit of Seabourn. Most knew our names after a few days. We were very surprised they could do this with 600 pax on board! They tried to bend over backwards and help with any request. They learned your drink or food preferences. It was the saving grace of our cruise. The people are what makes this ship stay afloat. We felt like we knew crew members on a more personal level too. I will say the officers were invisible most of the time. The crew were always present; ready, willing, and able to serve with a smile! FINAL SCORE A+ IF Seabourn improved the food quality/variety and entertainment/activities, we would consider returning and they could refer to this as a 6 star cruiseline. Until then, we have booked a Silversea cruise leaving in 60 days and will return to Oceania in the future. Food is subjective to a degree, but we have a good idea of what other lines offer and how it compares to Seabourn. I hope someone is listing at corporate office. FINAL SCORE B-. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
It is with great sadness that I am writing this review as I have never had to write a negative review before, however we have written to Seabourn since returning home and as they refuse to accept responsibility for issues then I feel it is ... Read More
It is with great sadness that I am writing this review as I have never had to write a negative review before, however we have written to Seabourn since returning home and as they refuse to accept responsibility for issues then I feel it is my responsibility to inform potential customers of potential problems.. We chose the cruise as part of a long holiday to New Zealand. We had travelled on Seabourn Encore the previous year to Australia and were mainly satisfied so we didn’t hesitate to book again. There was not much availability so our cruise consultant chose a cabin for us. Our cabin was appalling, ( see review below). We tried to change cabin, we were more than willing to pay to upgrade but the head of Guest Services said she would come back to us and never did.( we had already tried to get info about the cabin before leaving the UK) It was very galling to see the Seabourn Venture staff and even guest entertainers had cabins in better areas than we were allowed to purchase. Our first day was ok and then for some reason despite knowing of bad weather the captain decided to sail the ship to Norfolk Island. I had 4 days flat on my back with sea sickness as the swell was a constant 13-19ft and the ship was unstable, making it very uncomfortable to move around. At times it felt very dangerous. As expected we could not tender at Norfolk Island, In fact Seabourn have only tendered 2 out of the last 18 attempts!!!! Why did they attempt it knowing the weather was bad? And why do they not publicise how unlikely it is that the visit to the port of Norfolk Island will be successful? On the 6th day I made it out of bed and managed an excursion but then I started to feel ill. I was in agony. I was forced to see the ships doctor and found out I had streptococcal tonsillitis. Apparently there had been an outbreak on the previous cruise and a few of the crew caught it. We thought it was because nobody is asked to use the hand sanitizer anywhere on the ship and therefore hygiene standards are not as good as they should be. This was not the case when we were on the ship last time. Standards have definitely dropped over the year. I then spent another 3 days in bed, having to visit the doctor again to get stronger pain medication as I was in agony. It cost me 400 dollars through non of my own fault!!!! I have to say that Madeline our cabin attendant was fantastic and tried very hard to help me whilst I was ill. She was very sympathetic and genuinely cared. A credit to Seabourn. I recovered and then managed to enjoy visiting the other ports we did dock or tender at. The food standards have definitely dropped since the previous year. I can only describe the food as very boring, apart from the pool bar at night where at least the food had some flavour. We spoke to so many people who felt the same that we stopped speaking to people as we were not only bored with the food but bored with talking about it!! The entertainment was lack lustre and uninspiring. Cost cutting could be seen in all areas. On a positive the shore excursions were well organised and the staff very friendly. Please be careful when choosing a V1. It is very different to a V6 and I would hate anybody else to run off the ship at the end of a cruise as we did because we could not wait to leave. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose Seabourn, when l gave up on Viking(10 sailings) failed to offer any loyalty program to those who had been loyal to them. $200 off, like anyone gets on 2nd voyage was not thrilling. Well, l am back to being a Viking loyal fan. ... Read More
I chose Seabourn, when l gave up on Viking(10 sailings) failed to offer any loyalty program to those who had been loyal to them. $200 off, like anyone gets on 2nd voyage was not thrilling. Well, l am back to being a Viking loyal fan. I have always thought that those who give low scores are just being jerks. NOT SO!! SEABOURN EARNED THIS SCIRE OF 1. Here's why: 1.5 hr wait at airport for transfer after 17 hr flight. 2. Captain skipped highlights if trip, Norfolk Island and Milford Sound. Made the decision to skip Milford 2 says ahead if time! 5 straight days at sea. 3. Activities during those days? Needlepoint and bridge, lecture on Sotheby's Auctions! Little on New Zealand. 4. 2 ports where 300 and 600 were number of residents. Residents if Dunnedin asked why we were stopping at Gisborbe, calling it a boarded up dump. They were right, though people were very nice. 5. Arrived 2.5 hrs late for Totorya, where we had full day tour. Tiur cut short by 3 hours, and when boarded captain delays sailing for 3 5 hrs because of the tides!! Arent tides posted a year in advance? 6. Grand salon has big columns that block views for good portion of the seating. 7. Service slow in restaurants. Coffee arrived 20 plus minutes after dessert every evening. Long waits once seated to be approached by staff. We traveled so far and saw so little. 16 day trip was a total disappointment! I would never travel with Seabourn again. Loyalty program not as important anymore, though l sure hope Viking will launch one to reward their most loyal travelers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We were very interested in seeing both the North/South Islands and specifically Milford Sound. In fact we were one of the 25 passengers who booked the ship's excursion to get off the ship for thee days/2 nights and rejoin the ship in ... Read More
We were very interested in seeing both the North/South Islands and specifically Milford Sound. In fact we were one of the 25 passengers who booked the ship's excursion to get off the ship for thee days/2 nights and rejoin the ship in Port Chalmers so that we could really experience Fiordland National Park and Queenstown. This was the main purpose of choosing this cruise. Due to rough seas on the West coast, this was cancelled. A huge disappointment. To make it worse, the Captain came on the speaker system for no more than a minute to say that we would be skipping this port. [Found out later that skipping this port is not uncommon.] No detail information, no empathy expressed. This lack of communication from the captain was typical of him throughout the cruise. Other reviews have also commented on the lack of the other Officers presence, especially the Hotel Director. We agree. We had 5 full days at sea with lack of supplies. [eg. Bartenders were hiding supplies from each other, spoiled lettuce, no fresh berries at breakfast.] Overall service in the restaurants were mediocre. Poor training. Except for the waitress, Anjde, table 50, in the Compass restaurant who was excellent. Bar service in Club 5 [Artem, thank you] and Keller were excellent. However, we usually love the Observation Bar but the service was terrible throughout the cruise. Long waits for orders to be taken and many times not delivering what was ordered. [This was not due to overcrowds in the bar but just incompetence.] The ship did not staff the Guest Services adequately when the ship needed them to help passengers adjust tour/schedules when port changes were made. And Guest Services Staff lacked information on what was going on. Housekeeping was outstanding. However, on arrival, it was at least 6:00 PM and some luggage was missing. We walked up and down the halls and had to track down our own luggage. We have traveled on Seabourn for at least 80 days and are not sure we will travel with this line again. To top it off, we not only gave written feedback when we were actually on the cruise, but we completed the customer satisfaction survey after our return, providing our contact information. We provided the feedback that is stated above. Two weeks later, we then get an email from the President of Seabourn saying he hopes we enjoyed our cruise and hopes that we will sail with them again. Does this line not listen to the feedback? Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose tis cruise to see Milford Sound and Norfolk Island. You can imagine that we were suitably unimpressed, along with many others, when both destinations were cancelled due to weather. This resulted in 5 days at sea as there was no ... Read More
We chose tis cruise to see Milford Sound and Norfolk Island. You can imagine that we were suitably unimpressed, along with many others, when both destinations were cancelled due to weather. This resulted in 5 days at sea as there was no alternative plan in place. The general staff were terrific but the interaction of the Officers was almost non-existent, to the point that two officers standing with the Captain were incapable of acknowledging the guests or even making eye contact. Amazing! The Captain did make the time to speak with us and was very engaging. This Cruise Line is geared to Americans and their needs no matter their proportion of guests on board. We have has two delightful cruises with Seabourn previously and all that was good about them was missing from this cruise. One of the stops advertised was Christchurch, port of call was Akaroa, but there was no provision made for people to travel to Christchurch unless they paid for a tour. The line is no longer competitive in relation to its competitors and lacks the friendliness and ease of them. It is the small things that count and these, sadly, have gone. The icing on the cake has been the lack of response from our review and a subsequent email addressed to the President - Richard D Meadows. The obviously do not consider guest's feedback very highly. Unfortunately we, and others we spoke with, are not likely to cruise with Seabourn again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
It appeared we would see all coasts and important ports of New Zealand - that was not the case. We missed 2 ports due to high seas. One was major. We did not see any of the western coast. We discovered later that the ship frequently ... Read More
It appeared we would see all coasts and important ports of New Zealand - that was not the case. We missed 2 ports due to high seas. One was major. We did not see any of the western coast. We discovered later that the ship frequently cannot go to the west coast. See we spent 4 days in a row at sea. We also went to two small dingy towns instead of staying longer in two quaint towns. We never stayed over night in any town so we’re unable to book nocturnal tours to see penguins or kiwis. Luggage handlers were painfully slow. Food was adequate, nothing special. There were only 4 restaurants. One required reservations to be made before the cruise. It was nothing special. One was poolside but closed for 3 nights. So it was sushi or cafeteria food. On arrival our room had a bowl of over ripe fruit. We had brown lettuce in our salad twice. Room service food was cold so we reverted to only ordering coffee in the morning. They could handle that. The bathroom outlets will not support any hair appliances. You must do hair drying and curling in a dim hallway outside the bathroom. Showers are very small. Entertainment offered was for for the over 70 crowd or lounge lizards. We contacted customer service day 1 of our cruise and have not heard from them yet even though we called our travel agent to nudge them. We were approached by some managers in the restaurant who apologized and asked how they could help. However it was in front of groups of people, so we were uncomfortable with trying to resolve issues in that venue. However the maids and waitstaff were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is a nice cruise ship. Before going I had read some negative comments about the larger Seabourn boats. This proved to be completely unfounded,as at no point did it feel crowded and we did not have to wait for any meals in the ... Read More
This is a nice cruise ship. Before going I had read some negative comments about the larger Seabourn boats. This proved to be completely unfounded,as at no point did it feel crowded and we did not have to wait for any meals in the main restaurant or the Colonaide. Bar service was brilliant in the Club and Pool Deck. Overall cleanliness and repair is first class on what is addmitidly a new boat. The crew were without exception pleasant and easy going. There were obviously a few new people on the crew but they seemed to settle down quickly into the routine. The passengers were a nice mix of Americans,Europeans and Antipodeans which gave the ship a relaxed and pleasant vibe. We failed to get into a couple of places due the weather but unfortunately that’s the thrill of cruising. The issue was dealt with well by customer services in my view.They did however take a bit of unnecessary grief from a small group of passengers but most people carried on relaxing and eating and drinking. Embarkation and disembarkation were well run. The only issue that in my view was a problem concerned passports.These were kept by the ship for the entire cruise,however you needed photo ID in the ports in NZ, this was not advised prior to travelling and caught a few people out. I have registered my displeasure with Seabourn and my agent. Purely by chance my wife and I were carrying our driving licences as we were going to hire a car later in Australia. The cabins are lovely with loads of storage and everything worked. The only unpleasant room on the boat is the gym which as on all cruise ships is ludicrously hot. Overall great cruise with some nice people and a good crew. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first cruise on the Encore class ships. We have previously sailed 8 times on Seabourn: 1 Legend, 3 Odyssey, 3 Quest, 1 Sojourn. We had read mixed reviews of the Encore and Ovation, and were hesitant to sail on them. ... Read More
This was our first cruise on the Encore class ships. We have previously sailed 8 times on Seabourn: 1 Legend, 3 Odyssey, 3 Quest, 1 Sojourn. We had read mixed reviews of the Encore and Ovation, and were hesitant to sail on them. However, this cruise featured a good price on itinerary/destination we liked, so we decided to give it a try, and assess the mixed reviews about the Encore class. Based on this cruise, we would book the Encore class again. Unfortunately, on the first day, we almost felt that this would be our last Seabourn cruise. We had poor and inattentive service in the Colonnade at lunch, better service at dinner but miscommunication between servers and kitchen, so the food was not as we ordered. The next day, we met with Executive Chef Joseph to discuss our dietary needs (low-sodium). Chef Joseph met our dietary needs with the best food we have had on Seabourn; low-sodium but very flavorful. We pre-ordered dinner the night before, and our food in the Restaurant, Colonnade, TK Grill, and even in Sushi was prepared to accommodate us. However, the one large dining negative during the cruise was in Earth and Ocean on the first night it was open. We received an invitation base on our platinum status. Unfortunately, Chef Frank was apparently unwilling or unable to reduce the amount of salt in his dishes and did not prepare entrees we could eat, even though we spoke to him earlier in the cruise, pre-ordered the night before, and spoke to members of his team earlier in the day. The appetizers and desserts were quite good. Much has been written about the decline if the level of service with the launching of the Encore and Ovation, and the increase in general in the number of cruise ships competing for experienced crew. We have experienced occasional service problems of the Odyssey-class ships after the launch of Encore, and had occasional problems on board Encore. Service on the starboard side of the Colonnade was quite poor at the start of cruise; the port side team was much better. It appeared that the starboard side team was either new to Seabourn or newly working with each other. Their service improved after a day or two, and was at an acceptable Seabourn level. We encountered one of the servers in other places on the ship, and she always remembered what we preferred to drink and would search if it was not close at hand. By day two, almost all of the crew and many of the officers knew our names. Everyone was friendly and smiling. Our suite stewardess did an excellent job cleaning the suite, even with our changing daily schedule , which could have us out of the room by 7 AM or sleeping in until noon. She kept our refrigerator refilled. We attended and enjoyed the special wine tasting. We thought the sommeliers excellent, knowledgeable, friendly, and accessible. Natalia, assistant sommelier, would suggest and find a complementary wine we liked in the Colonnade or TK Grill. We do not understand the comments by other reviewers that they could not get a properly made mixed drink or cocktail. Drinks were well made and balanced. We had excellent, friendly, and professional service at the bars. Our favorites were “Jimmy” in the TK bar, Artem in the Club (and in relief at the Sky Bar), and Marcos at the Sky Bar. Fillippa was great in the Observation bar and as “fill-in”. However, as noted below, there were problems in the on board selection of liquors and wines. Apparently, various supplies were missing from the initial major resupply in Auckland at the start of the cruise. This included most Scotch whisky, Sauterne, and New Zealand wines and beers! We were very disappointed by the inability to resupply the missing beverages. We received no good answers to our questions from the F&B and Bar Managers as to why nothing could be obtained in the various ports we visited. The featured Bollinger Champagne was not available at the Retreat: we were told it had all been drunk on New Years Eve! (No, we did not pay for the privilege of sitting in the unattractive Retreat, there was an open “Bollinger party” on the first afternoon.) Space on board, even with 150 more guests, was not an issue. There were no problems at pool. As comes as no surprise, we found the Retreat to be a waste. After seeing it on the first day, we did not find it an attractive or inviting space, and would not have gone there again even if it were free. Differences from Odyssey class The Colonnade seemed much larger inside; outside is a bit larger than Odyssey class, but usually crowded. There is additional outside space on the deck below, which is accessed by a stairway; it appeared to be used by only a few people. The layout of the Colonnade is awkward. There is a large column in the narrow main corridor that everyone has to squeeze past entering and leaving, and getting food. The column is right in front of the main serving area, and the entrance to outside deck is through the narrow corridor. There was no prepared to order pasta at lunch, and no board listing the daily fish special. The stateroom lock is a very nice change, since the key card can be lplaced on the sensor pad without removing the card from the pocket folder. (A minor thing, but we always found it difficult to remove the card in order to insert it in the lock slot, usually several times to get the lock open, and then to fit it back in the pocket.) There is a nice night light in bathroom. The shower seemed to be slightly larger, Perhaps the toilet paper holder was meant to be “artistic” or something, but the paper roll continually fell off. Also, the paper itself could have been much better. (Or maybe we just do not like sandpaper?) The curtains in the suite were not as black out but were good enough. The Veranda suites are slightly longer and slightly narrower. Storage is arranged differently, overall better, with better storage including a shelf in the closet and larger storage over the tv. The vanity (?) at the foot of the bed is much shallower, and we found it pretty useless, nothing fit inside and the narrow top held much less. The television is much larger, as is the couch. The chairs are much more comfortable and easier to move. An interesting change is that all elevator buttons are on the left as you enter the car, rather than on the side between the two elevators. The Encore felt more stable, with no vibrations at stern and no ship noises in the suite. Shows in the Salon were negatively affected by noise/music from The Club on the deck below. Ports and excursions Our cruise was scheduled to call at Norfolk Island, an Australian territory, that required us to get Australian visas. We believe the Encore was required by New Zealand law to leave New Zealand waters after a certain number of days. Since the cruise before ours spent several days in New Zealand at the end of the cruise, and the following cruise would be spending several days in NZ bath the start, we were the one required to take a day in Australia. Before the cruise, we looked at photos of Norfolk Island and wondered how we would be able to land through the various coral reefs. When the Encore arrived there, there were 3 1/2 meter swells at the ship and 2 1/2 meter swells at the pier, and this was after going from the planned landing side of the Island to the “sheltered” side! After a while at anchor, we left and headed south. The Captain later announced that the conditions at Milford sound would prevent us from entering the fjords, and we would go between the North and South Island to have better weather on the voyage to Stewart Island. It seemed that many passengers were very upset that we would be missing a port and a scenic cruising day. We, however, have been in the Tasman Sea before, and were quite happy to avoid bad weather in the Sea! We also have enjoyed trans-Atlantic cruises, and were not really sympathetic to the complaints about being on a ship for four days without getting off. As a good will gesture, Seabourn offered everyone a credit equal to 20% of the base fare of this cruise, to be used on a future cruise that was booked during 2019, even if the cruise itself was after 2019. We thought this was extremely generous and not required, since weather-related changes are beyond Seabourn’s control, and really should not be a complete surprise to someone who takes a cruise. However, there were still many grumbles and claims of how this was the last Seabourn cruise they would take. We took two Seabourn shore excursions, in addition to the one cancelled on Norfolk Island. We also took two independently arranged tours. Stewart Island bird sanctuary by zodiac was nice; some birds, mostly hard to see, good presentation by local guide. Many blue penguins on zodiac ride along island and back to ship. At Tauranga we took the self drive train and thermal area tour. The train was fun, but the entire tour was cut short. The tour was scheduled for 8 1/2 hours but, due to the sailing windows resulting from tides, was reduced to about 4 1/2 hours. The Maori presentation was abbreviated and combined with lunch. The thermal area visit was greatly shortened and we found it poor, especially compared to our Seabourn tour last summer in Iceland. The up side was that we did not have to worry about the effect of the sulfur on asthma! Having spoken to the excursion staff on the dock before the tour, they were expecting us at Seabourn Square after the tour. They offered us a 50% rebate on the cost of the tour, which was larger than we would probably have asked for. They made us feel very satisfied. The ironic aspect of the day was that, due to high winds which delayed bunkering and impeded getting off the dock, the ship missed the earlier sailing window that the Captain had changed the sailing time to meet, and thus we actually left the port about 5 hours later, a little after the originally scheduled time. Overall, it was a very nice cruise, not perfect but very good. Seabourn handled the weather-caused problems well in our estimation. Beverages should have been resupplied better, but we still found plenty of excellent things to drink. We have two future cruise deposits, and we will certainly use them to cruise again on Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Without a doubt, we had a great cruise on Sojourn Oct-Dec 2018, pretty much flawless, so we booked a 94 day cruise( Auckland to Cape Town). Total disappointment, the entire cruise was fraught with inconsistency in service and chaos in ... Read More
Without a doubt, we had a great cruise on Sojourn Oct-Dec 2018, pretty much flawless, so we booked a 94 day cruise( Auckland to Cape Town). Total disappointment, the entire cruise was fraught with inconsistency in service and chaos in dining rooms and bars. To say the least, we were disappointed in Seabourn Service standard not even 1 star. These are the highlights (tongue in cheek): Bar staff totally disorganized and inexperienced ( served gin/tonic with stick of olives) Terrace outside dining chaotic and inefficient, sometimes service other times not Main dining room food bland, monotonous,poorly prepared, service inexperienced Sometimes staff indifferent and other times friendly were not knowledgeable What was good: The itinerary and ports of call fabulous The ship itself and captain great The Ventures tours interesting with competent staff The emphasis on safety in tendering excellent The cabin a haven of refuge Summary Clearly, the cruise industry is struggling with high fuel-costs,labor costs and commissions to travel agencies. So revenues from passenger bookings are off set with cost cutting in services areas such as labor and food etc. to achieve operating margin and profitability curves, a sad commentary and unhappy experience for passengers. Seabourn did not meet. mission or vision for this cruise: What's so special about poor service and poor food?, Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
It was a wonderful cruise, we visited some remote islands which we found very interesting, the lectures were informative relating to the region. The food at all of the restaurants was very good with a good variety, the wines were of ... Read More
It was a wonderful cruise, we visited some remote islands which we found very interesting, the lectures were informative relating to the region. The food at all of the restaurants was very good with a good variety, the wines were of excellent quality and we particularly like the caviar service which was available 24/7! The premium restaurant was very good, no cover charge, was an added bonus, however you must book this venue. Our cabin was in a very good location for us. It was spacious and well appointed, with walk in robe, the bathroom was a good size with a full size bath and glass door type shower (no shower curtain!). The ship and crew were excellent at all times, no hard sell of tours, for that matter did not push any agenda, and were most helpful if you wanted to do your own thing. Nothing was too much trouble. Can’t wait to get back on Seabourn! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This cruise was a good way to see New Zealand and Australia and Indonesia in a short time. We visited interesting places and particularly enjoyed the Ventures excursions in zodiacs and kayaks and hiking. The ship is spectacular with ... Read More
This cruise was a good way to see New Zealand and Australia and Indonesia in a short time. We visited interesting places and particularly enjoyed the Ventures excursions in zodiacs and kayaks and hiking. The ship is spectacular with excellent speakers and restaurants.The food is varied and really good although it tended to be very salty and more information about fat content and better descriptions on the menu would have been appreciated. Some favourites were the soufflés and the Japanese restaurant. The Thomas Keller was rather disappointing as there was the same menu every time and the portions were enormous.Much too big. The entertainment was superb and all the singers and dancers excellent. Very enjoyable. The only one we were not enthusiastic about was the Piano player at the Thomas Keller. The new Seabourn ship is about to launch and consequently many staff have left for it so there were a lot of staff who did not know what they were doing. The beverage service was really slow and we had often finished breakfast and lunch at the patio before getting a drink.the staff were super friendly but rather disorganized. The cabin attendant was not as efficient as she could have been too and the carpet had stains on it when we boarded. Surely it could have been cleaned? The enrichment lectures we’re mostly interesting and sometimes excellent and it was great to be able to treat children them on the cabin TV. Some of the shore excursions were not very well described and not worth the money but others were really worthwhile.We loved the ventures trips. It was disappointing that we did not have a marina day as we had enjoyed those before but swimming in the ocean was limited due to jellyfish stingers and the weather. Altogether the fitness facilities were severely lacking. A huge amount of space had been devoted to a retreat to bring in more money. This could have been used for yoga or Pilates or running track. We definitely will sail again with Seabourn . Best cruise line we’ve been on. Complaints are just nit picking really. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The ship is a significant upgrade over the Odyssey class ships, with the addition of The Grill by Thomas Keller, the Sushi restaurant, an enhancec Seabourn Square, among other things. Although there are a few more guests, it never felt ... Read More
The ship is a significant upgrade over the Odyssey class ships, with the addition of The Grill by Thomas Keller, the Sushi restaurant, an enhancec Seabourn Square, among other things. Although there are a few more guests, it never felt crowded. The food in The Grill and Sushi was great, as were the 3 Thomas Keller family dinners in the Collonade. Otherwise, thevfood was just OK. Our weather was not very good, but overall we still had a nice experience. Our main issues were: 1. Lack of excursions and excursion availability. On the first day after sailing,mwe discovered that almost all of the popular excursions had been pre-sold out, and the customer relations staff were unwilling to add additional excursions despite waiting lstsvof 25-30 passengers, or to help passengers make their own arrangements. We were left to book excursions usingbthe very same onshore operators that thevship used. Most disappointing, we learned that the overland excursion to Queenstown (which was to be the highlght of the cruise) had been cancelled and were given no real explanation as to why. 2. Seabourn has a internet policy that is decidedly not “all inclusive”. Plus, the internet quality is extremely poor. 3. We had a large number of onboard credits, half of which were non-refundable, with half characterized as “redeemable” (i.e. to be credited against our credit card) if not used. When bad weather prevented a stop in the port where we had been able to book the only ship sponsered excurion of our cruise, on the last day before the cruise ended, we were left with no ability to use these credits. In addition, to our surprise, Seabourn continues to refuse to give us back even the full amount of our redeemable credits. So, seabourn has taken for itself $300 or credit that was a gift to us by our travel agent. This was my fifth cruise on Seabourn. I,m not sure if or when I’ll take another of their cruises. Looking forward to a 16-day cruise to South America on Regent Explorer early next year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We have previously cruised with Regent and decided to try another top notch cruise line that was all inclusive (mostly). We traveled from Auckland, New Zealand on February 4, 2018 to Sydney, Australia, ending on February 22, 2018. ... Read More
We have previously cruised with Regent and decided to try another top notch cruise line that was all inclusive (mostly). We traveled from Auckland, New Zealand on February 4, 2018 to Sydney, Australia, ending on February 22, 2018. Our accommodations was similar to our experience on Regent. We had a nice sized balcony room with a walk in closet and large bathroom. Unlike Regent the excursions were not included in the original pricing but we were able to schedule a number of our excursions through Viator, Seabourn and Shoretrips. We were satisfied with our choices and had excellent tour guides. The entertainment on the Encore was a little less professional than Regent, but entertaining. Our one complaint was the size of the room where the entertainment was held. On the Encore, you had to be very selective as to where you sat because of the position of certain poles in the room that would block your vision. The Encore's staff were very professional and extremely friendly. We did have a slight problem in the dining room. One night we had to wait approximately 40 minutes for our dinner to be served. Certainly not the problem of the "serving" staff but, perhaps, the kitchen. All-in-all the cruise on the Seabourn was very enjoyable and would definitely recommend sailing with Seabourn to anyone wishing to experience an all inclusive cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This cruise was the February Auckland to Sydney on Encore. It was our second cruise having taken the Singapore to Hong Kong last year. Cabin, service, food and alcohol were excellent but the same crucial niggles. Internet! In this ... Read More
This cruise was the February Auckland to Sydney on Encore. It was our second cruise having taken the Singapore to Hong Kong last year. Cabin, service, food and alcohol were excellent but the same crucial niggles. Internet! In this day and age and for the money we are paying internet should be included and fast. We felt like school kids on port stops, dashing to the nearest library or information centre for wifi. Ridiculous. And the expensive shore excursions. We booked one ourselves - a Rotoroa white water rafting. Such good value and so much fun and such a professional setup. We were about 50 years older than the other rafters but were looked after brilliantly. The highlight of the trip! Despite booking back in November we were waitlisted on one excursion. When it came through as bookable it was $50 per person more expensive. Seabourn would not listen to our complaint about the price hike. And I did find that because it is a US setup, questions raised in the UK did not seem to be treated with any urgency and took an age to be responded to. Customer service! If we are paying this amount of money plus flights LISTEN TO US! And I agree with other cruisers about the space taken by the Retreat. I would have loved to be able to have a decent length deck walk. Disappointing Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (to see as much of NZ and Oz) the ship, and Seabourn service and it definitely exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was great although it was disappointing that we had two changes due to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (to see as much of NZ and Oz) the ship, and Seabourn service and it definitely exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was great although it was disappointing that we had two changes due to the weather. Indonesia was a very pleasant surprise. We loved our stops there although again there was a couple of itinerary changes that were not great. It was our first time on a long cruise but we didn’t want to leave... The staff were wonderful although there was a high turnover as many were leaving to join the new Seabourn ship and there was a distinct lack of training and competence after a change. Entertainment fantastic and varied. Very high quality The ship was beautiful and well designed. The food variety was tremendous although very salty and lacking in nutritional information which was important to me. One feature we loved was the Ventures program and would highly recommend and the lectures were superb especially in Indonesia. The housekeeping was not as good as anticipated and I was surprised to see stains on the cabin carpet when we embarked and during our stay were not treated. The cabin itself was lovely.very spacious for a long stay. The Thomas Keller restaurant was rather disappointing too. The food was not as good as the main restaurant and unimaginative. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We sailed on Seabourn a couple of years ago and enjoyed the ship, service and food. This experience was totally different. We booked 32 nights from Auckland to Bali. The ship is beautiful. The Owners Suite, deck nine was large and ... Read More
We sailed on Seabourn a couple of years ago and enjoyed the ship, service and food. This experience was totally different. We booked 32 nights from Auckland to Bali. The ship is beautiful. The Owners Suite, deck nine was large and comfortable. Plenty of closet space. Average sized bath room. The service was sterile. No personal feelings at all from the staff. All but a couple of the wait staff in Colonnade simply walked around in a haze trying to look busy. Only a handful of the staff seemed to recognize us after a month of being with them. Only one waiter ever remembered what we drink in the morning. The majority of them seemed bored. It almost seemed that they hired a group of people off the street and gave them a one week training session. The food was average for any cruise line and much less than satisfactory for a luxury cruise line. The coffee bar on deck seven aft was a nice addition. The Entertainment was not impressive, but at least they tried. All of the shore excursions were over-priced. The one day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef was a miserable experience. They chartered one boat which held about seventy people and filled it to capacity. We arrived at a floating dock and had to change into body suits to protect the skin from jelly fish. It was almost standing room only. Can you picture fifty people all packed into a small enclosed area with swim fins kicking behind, and in a few cases, in front of them. Not pretty. There were many unhappy people on this cruise and most of them were repeat Seabourn cruisers. The only people to receive proper attention were those who have accumulated lots of nights on Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Having taken two earlier cruises with Seabourn, on the Odyssey and the Sojourn, we were excited to sail on the cruise line's latest ship, the 600 passenger Encore. Overall, the experience was great, the crew as always was friendly ... Read More
Having taken two earlier cruises with Seabourn, on the Odyssey and the Sojourn, we were excited to sail on the cruise line's latest ship, the 600 passenger Encore. Overall, the experience was great, the crew as always was friendly and attentive, though we did have some issues with service that we attributed to this being a new ship and new crew. Ship One of our concerns in moving from Seabourn's 450 passenger ships to the larger Encore was crowding. Fortunately, this was almost never an issue. The public spaces like Seabourn Square and the pool area were enlarged, so we almost always able to grab a chair or a chaise lounge. The overall design of the ship is similar to the others in the Seabourn fleet, but classier, with more artwork and more dark woods. Cabin We has a V5 level cabin. As on prior voyages with Seabourn, we found the cabin to be exceptional, offering plenty of space and amenities. Large king size bed, seating area for 4 people, walk in closet, bathroom with two sinks, a shower and a tub - can't ask for more. While the cabin on the Encore was rated as the same size as those on the Odyssey and Sojourn (300 sq ft), we thought the Encore cabin was slightly thinner but longer. And Seabourn had replaced the bleached wood on the Odyssey and Sojourn with cherry. The 50 sq ft, balcony, with a table and two chairs, also got a lot of use. Ports and Shore Excursions Our 16 day cruise encompassed several ports in New Zealand and Australia. This was a great way to see these countries, as the distances between ports would make a land trip challenging. In New Zealand, we visited the big cities of Auckland and Wellington along with several smaller ports - Tauranga, Napier, Picton, Akoroa, Dunedin, and Stewart Island - and a cruise through the Fiorland National Park, including the stunning Milford Sound. All of the ports were interesting. The smaller ports in particular were much better than we had anticipated - each showing off their individual charm. In Australia, we visited Melbourne, Geelong (a suburb of Melbourne) and Sydney. All three stops were great; Sydney in particular deserves its reputation as a great city to visit. We purchased excursions for five ports and each one was excellent, both for what we were able to see as well as for the enthusiastic tour guides. Tauranga - we took the excursion to Hobbiton, about a 30 minute ride from the port. For fans of the movies, this is a must. An outdoor movie set of the Shire. Much larger and more elaborate than expected. Picton - we took the excursion to the vineyards of Marlborough, visiting the Cloudy Bay and Wither Hills wineries. Both stops were great. This excursion also included a stop at a local home with an elaborate English garden, which was well worth the visit. Oban, Stewart Island - we took the excursion that gives you the highlights of the island, which lays south of New Zealand's South Island. Can't say enough good things about Stewart Island. Alot of beauty, not alot of people. Geelong - we took the excursion to the Aboriginal Cultural Center; unstated in the description, we also got an overview of the waterfront and town of Geelong. Both stops were quite instructive. Geelong has a wonderful waterfront dotted with artwork. The Aboriginal Cultural Center was quite informative. Dining The Encore has two new restaurants for Seabourn - The Grill by Thomas Keller and Sushi. Both fell short of delivering an exciting culinary experience. The Grill by Thomas Keller presented dishes created by the famous chef. Having eaten at Per Se in NY and at Bouchon in Beverly Hills, we were excited about what Keller would come up with for Seabourn. While the food was excellent, it was not exciting or daring. Frankly, we missed the tasting menu from Seabourn's Restaurant 2. Sushi offered bento boxes at lunch and sushi at dinner. Being so close to Asia, the limited menu was a disappointment. The Encore's main Restaurant was bigger and more airy than on the older ships. The food, as always, was excellent. Service A word about dining service - at times, especially early in the cruise, it was slow. It seemed as if the kitchen was still getting its sea legs, so to speak. Also, at dinner, if you ordered wine, the wine steward would stop by our table frequently to refill our glasses. But if we ordered water or a soda, we could not get a refill without flagging someone down. Seabourn appears not to have assigned anyone to refill water glasses. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Our first ever cruise in October, which happened to be on Seabourn, met all of our needs and it made us overcome our fears about crowding and herding on cruises....to the point that we signed up for our second cruise while on board ... Read More
Our first ever cruise in October, which happened to be on Seabourn, met all of our needs and it made us overcome our fears about crowding and herding on cruises....to the point that we signed up for our second cruise while on board Odyssey. Two Seabourn cruises in 5 months on two different ships. We were aware that Encore was a new ship and had only been sailing for 6 weeks or so before we boarded and knew that there could be some growing pains. We booked a Veranda Suite and expected some adjustment as our previous cruise was in an Owners Suite. We can say that we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise from Suite to restaurants to excursions. The only problem that we had was crowding and seating delays in The Restaurant on two nights of the 16 day cruise. Management was well aware of the situation and worked to figure out a way to alleviate the problem for the following cruise. There were many apologies concerning the delay. Our Suite was perfectly comfortable and we were not unhappy with the space as everything was laid out to be very functional. We would book a Veranda Suite again or possible a Penthouse Suite if we needed more space. We really did not need the added space of the Owners Suite. We enjoyed our excursions and the variety of choices. There is something for city lovers, nature lovers and active travelers. We especially enjoyed the Ventures offerings and the knowledgable Ventures Staff. We chose to get out into the countryside for hiking or walking or out on the water in kayaks and zodiacs. We ate in all of the restaurants and enjoyed the variety of food and style. The new Thomas Keller restaurant serves portions that are large enough to share. Good food but too much! Sushi was a nice change for both lunch and dinner on our 16 day cruise. We had breakfast in our Suite most mornings and ordered a light dinner one evening when we had been away for the entire day. Room service was excellent. We enjoyed the 5 sea days....a vacation within the vacation. We have always been independent travelers but we chose the Pre and Post cruise hotel offering for both of our cruises. It made for seamless travel . I doubt we could have put together a better trip to New Zealand and Australia ourselves. We will return to Seabourn for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Seabourn uses all manner of glorious adjectives to describe their cruises, and on our recent 17-day trip from Auckland to Sydney aboard Odyssey, they came close to their advertising. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is beautiful from the ... Read More
Seabourn uses all manner of glorious adjectives to describe their cruises, and on our recent 17-day trip from Auckland to Sydney aboard Odyssey, they came close to their advertising. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is beautiful from the outside. Inside, it's attractive, easy to get round in, and well-organized. The main dining rooms, with low ceilings, are not as well decorated as one might expect. Other public areas and outside decks are roomy. We were full, with about 450 guests, but we weren't crowded. We seldom waited more than a few seconds for an elevator. We always had space in the whirlpools and access to lounge chairs. The suites, while not huge, are very attractive and comfortable with a sofa, two chairs, a table, a bed, a walk-in closet, a very small dressing stand, and plenty of storage space. The bathrooms include a tub and shower, both small but adequate. The veranda is fine for two people. The ship, constructed in 2009, shows age in a few places but is well maintained. We had cabin 656, a perfect location. The staff, as billed, was friendly and outgoing. Some remember your name as the cruise goes on. Drinks are included in your fare, and waiters were anxious to make sure our glasses were filled. Waiters in the dining rooms were sometimes helpful, other times not. Service at dinner can be slow. The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk or couldn't hear you were out of luck. The ship should do far better at providing details about the progress of the trip. Announcements over the loud speaker are strictly limited, which is good, but the television system could fill the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. In fact, the TV was poorly utilized. Information about destinations wasn't always easily available. In Melbourne, we didn't know that hop-on hop-off buses were waiting at the end of the pier. Had we known that, we would have changed our plans for the day. Food, which has been criticized in some past reviews, ranged from good to excellent, sometimes even superb, in our opinion. The wine, also frequently criticized in reviews, was good, although we're well aware it's not $50 a bottle wine. The galley was open for tours and the chief was available to talk to. The fish, steak and pasta were excellent. You pick where and with whom you wish to eat. The main dining room, called The Restaurant, was more formal. The Colonade less so. The Colonade should be a buffet for all three meals, but at dinner it's not and sometimes it can have a rather restricted evening menu. There is also an outdoor patio grill with a limited menu for lunch and dinner, weather permitting. Seabourn touts its dishes by the famous chef Thomas Keller. It's an attempt to offer something unusual and different, and it doesn't always work. We found them to be sometimes interesting and sometimes odd. The ship perhaps should concentrate less on edgy recipes and more on providing consistently superb cuisine. Seabourn does offer a variety of special experiences. One day, on the wharf of a small town,we observed a ship official buying fish from a local fisherman. We were able to talk to both of them. The chef offered passengers several opportunities to accompany him on food-buying trips to local markets. While cruising through a beautiful New Zealand fiord, waiters bought special drinks to passengers gathered on deck. During the Super Bowl, the ship brought a television hookup to the main showroom so anyone could watch, and served a hot dog and hamburger lunch. There were misses, too. Daily newspapers were available electronically for the first half of the cruise, and then disappeared because of unspecified reasons. Shore excursions were overpriced, as on many ships, and sometimes not very well managed. The conclusion of the cruise, in Sydney, was bungled. We stayed overnight on the ship, but our dock was in a distant location well away from the central district of Sydney, the place everyone wanted to go. A free shuttle bus was provided to an entertainment area, but operated in hit-and-miss fashion without staff supervision. For how much we spent on the cruise, we deserved better at the end. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My husband and I were on a 16 day cruise from Auckland to Sydney starting February 7th. It was absolutely AMAZING! This was our 2nd Seabourn cruise. IT WAS PERFECT! (We used to sail with Silversea- Seabourn is far Superior in every way. ... Read More
My husband and I were on a 16 day cruise from Auckland to Sydney starting February 7th. It was absolutely AMAZING! This was our 2nd Seabourn cruise. IT WAS PERFECT! (We used to sail with Silversea- Seabourn is far Superior in every way. Seabourn is in a different class than Silversea- it doesn't even compare! ) Once you experience Seabourn you would never cruise on any other line. The service on Seabourn was outstanding! By the 2nd day everyone called us by our names. I do admit that I am very friendly and made an effort to get to know the crew members and talk to them and always thanked them for their great service! Every crew member had the best attitude, always smiling and attentive. The crew members work on short contracts. Four months on – 2 months off. Most other cruise ships crew work 9 months on- 2 months off. So Seabourn crew are refreshed! One of our waiters told us he only takes 1 month off because he can’t wait to come back to Seabourn. You can tell they all love their jobs on Seabourn. It didn’t matter what department a crew member worked in- every person we encountered had the same GREAT attitude! You wonder how does a cruise ship get every crew member to be happy, smiling and treat their guests like they are the most important people they have ever met! THAT IS SEABOURN! The food was FABULOUS! Chef Martin was the chef on board. He is truly fantastic! We would sometimes shake our heads and say how can food be this good every night and day! The food can rival any of the finest restaurants anywhere. We are from New Orleans and are accustomed to great food. Talking to many other passengers onboard they all felt the same about the food. We ate in the Main Dining Room – called The Restaurant- most nights. They waiters work in teams. They are polished and professional! The head waitress recognized us from our past cruise and we requested her team every night. She would make suggestions for all the different courses. If she felt there were 2 appetizers we should try, or even 3 desserts she would bring all of them out to us to try. The waiters have a tasting right before dinner, so they are able to explain to the guests about the food offerings that night. Every night I had a Mai Tai before dinner in The Restaurant. So there it was 1 minute after we arrived at the table- without even asking for it. Every course was plated beautifully. My husband loves fish and thought all the fish dishes were outstanding. The beef was tender and delicious. Always ask for double cuts. The filet double cut with Peppercorn Sauce was better than any steak restaurant we have been too. (It is available every night on the "Classic Menu".) They also had lots of Vegetarian dishes offered and were also outstanding. Chef Martin deserves a STANDING OVATION for the most amazing food! We also ate at the Colonnade for dinner for two of their special buffet dinners. (Don’t miss those special nights) So many choices of salads and the quality of the salads made us shake our heads again. Beautiful displays, amazing service again. Wonderful entrees and a huge selection. Outstanding Flaming desserts! We loved sitting on the outside patio of the Colonnade. If it was cool outside they provided cashmere blankets. Then we dined there two other nights when we had late tours in a port. We also ate lunch there many days for their great buffets. Chef Felix- head of the Colonnade was a pure delight and prepared great dinners and buffet lunches there! The Manager of the Colonnade, Yelena was exceptional! We frequently went to the Patio Grill for lunch by the pool- which has the most delicious hamburgers, fresh made pizza, and wonderful salads. The French fries are the BEST! They had a wonderful selection of ice creams and sorbets every day. One day at lunch there is a “Market Galley Lunch”- where you go through the galley and food is set up there. Then in the dining room they set up all the salads, sushi and desserts. It was the most amazing thing you will ever see! As I went through the galley line- I made a point to thank every crew member for their wonderful service -even the dishwashers- because it takes a full team to provide that kind of high quality service to their guests no matter what job that had on the cruise ship. Also on the last night- they had a special "Good bye Buffet" by the pool. Are you kidding me? One hour before dinner and there was the most Delicious Pre- Dinner Buffet with all the Chefs and Officers serving you! Seabourn does not spare any money when it comes to food! We used room service often to order Ice Tea or snacks. By the 2nd day they knew my usual order and I didn’t even have to ask what I wanted. We love the idea of being able to dine without making reservations. (We did not eat in Restaurant 2- which does require reservations.) Our Room Stewardess Bernadette was always so kind, with an amazing attitude. At night she took towels and made displays for us on the bed, or had handwritten notes waiting for us. Any request was granted! She was indeed a very special person! We met the most interesting people. Most had sailed on Seabourn many times. The ones that were experiencing Seabourn for the first time all said they were now hooked on Seabourn. We rarely made the shows at night, since we dined late and stayed at our table talking past the shows. We did go to see the Comedian, which we enjoyed. But I did hear the people who went to the shows enjoyed them. Seabourn Square is a lovely area on the ship that is staffed 24 hours a day to help you with your tours, internet or general questions. They also had coffee, tea, desserts and ice cream all day long. My husband would go there every morning at 6:00 am for coffee and read newspapers. The staff there is so professional and helpful! I want to personally thank some of the crew that made our cruise so special. Our stewardess, Bernadette. In the Restaurant, Anna, Bogdan, Marco and Lance who were exceptional and attentive waiters. Tarryn (I adored you) and Jill who greeted us at the door of the Restaurant and also The Restaurant Manager who was great! In the Colonnade, Jovan ( had my double ice teas waiting) and Anna ( who heated my croissants every morning) and Szilvester, Anthony, Luke, and Karlis. At the Patio Grill, Goran, Kevin and Venque. A special thanks to phone Guest Services- Lizanne, and Magali who answered all my questions everyday by phone. If you are looking for 5 Star Experience, then Seabourn is the FINEST CRUISE AT SEA! As I said, once you experience Seabourn you will not want to go on any other cruise line. It still amazes me how they produce such a PERFECT experience for their guests. My husband and I every night would go back to our cabin and say how can anything be so FABULOUS every day! We can’t wait until our next cruise with Seabourn. Thank you Seabourn- for the most wonderful 16 days of our lives!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our second cruise but our first Seabourn cruise. We chose this cruise based on the destination and Seaboun's reputation. We were not disappointed in either. We traveled with two other couples, one who had been on Seabourn ... Read More
This was our second cruise but our first Seabourn cruise. We chose this cruise based on the destination and Seaboun's reputation. We were not disappointed in either. We traveled with two other couples, one who had been on Seabourn previously. We found the size and layout of the ship to be excellent. The public areas were comfortable and we always found someplace nice to spend some time both inside and out. We enjoyed all of the bars, however we found the Observation Bar too smoky after dinner. The service throughout the ship was excellent, whether it was help with the internet (which could sometimes be a problem), making shore excursion plans, or future Seabourn travel. Our room Stewardess was delightful. Food - fantastic! The Colonnade breakfasts were everything we could want. We had breakfast in the Restaurant one day and found the service slow. We had room service twice (breakfast and dinner) and found the service and food both good. Dinners in the Restaurant were outstanding. We booked Restaurant 2 for one evening and it was a special experience. The two dinners we had in the Colonnade were excellent as well. The special meals - Chef's Market Lunch and the "Crew on Deck" - were super. Lunches at the Patio Grill were good. Our only complaint was that there is often not enough seating (especially on "Team Trivia" days) and that on the few cold days when Patio Grill was our only option after a late tour, there was no place inside to sit where it was warm. Seabourn does a good job of providing varied activities. The all-inclusive nature of the ship makes it easy to socialize and participate in activities, whether it be the "Block Party", cruising Millford Sound where champagne and drinks are offered, or the early morning entrance into Sydney Harbour with, coffee, tea, juice, and pastries available. The six members of our group enjoyed Team Trivia, Bridge, golf, needlepoint, the magician's demonstration, and the fitness center especially. We only had two complaints about our Seabourn experience, both of which have been expressed to Seabourn. The first is the issue of smoking on the verandas. This was a problem for all of us in our group of six as smoke from a nearby cabin often prevented us from enjoying our verandas. We are aware that other luxury cruise lines have banned smoking on private verandas and we hope Seabourn will address this issue as well. The second problem was inadequate self-service laundry facilities. Four machines for 450 people for a cruise of this length and this distance from most homes was a problem. Many guests traveled before and after the cruise as well. Finding an empty machine was not easy. Overall, this was a wonderful cruise experience and we hope to be back on Seabourn in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
The whole cruise started with a computer problem at check-in. We had to wait 2 hours in the cruise terminal without proper seating abilities and not even a single water, not to speak of Champagne was offered. After check in we had to rush ... Read More
The whole cruise started with a computer problem at check-in. We had to wait 2 hours in the cruise terminal without proper seating abilities and not even a single water, not to speak of Champagne was offered. After check in we had to rush to one restaurant, where people were fighting for space to get a bite of lunch, crazy !! Coming first time into our cabin, the luggage was not there. We had to do the safety drill drill first, returning to our cabin the luggage finally was there after complaining a number of times. The we had 60 minutes for unpacking and getting ready for dinner !!! The next couple of days were nice, pleasant staff and a good service. Then the disaster started. Bad weather, 5 days of heavy storm. Scheduled stops, the main highlights of the cruise, Milford Sound and Stewart Island were cancelled. Tours did not take place, we had lo sty in shelter instead of going to the Fjordlands. No proper explanations by the Captain, no excuses, even during the stormy weather social events, supposed to be a highlight, took place, while a lot of the guests could not leave their cabin. Then three seedays to Melbourne. Suddenly on the evening before arriving in Melbourne we were told at 9.00 p.m., that we would arrive 5 hours late and the visit would have to be shortened. Again no excuse, Seaborn just wanted to catch their schedule where they had arrangement with local tour partners as they did not want to pay cancellation fees to them and us. We were treated like children. Not worthwhile a single dollar spent. we left the ship 4 night early in Melbourne, tired of the service, the communication, changes of trips and a disastrous communication from the Captain and his staff. Never again a cruise with Seabourn !!!!! Go for Chrystal !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
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