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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
New ship is lovely but larger size is a mistake. Addition of Thomas Keller restaurant and 150 additional passengers was a major error. Added square footage was in the wrong place and they could not seat everyone in the main dining room! ... Read More
New ship is lovely but larger size is a mistake. Addition of Thomas Keller restaurant and 150 additional passengers was a major error. Added square footage was in the wrong place and they could not seat everyone in the main dining room! The Thomas Keller was one of the worst restaurants at sea i have experienced. Decor was lovely but the food has been better at Denny's. The additional 150 passengers totally changes the feeling of the ship. This may have also have been impacted by more European passenger makeup but the ship was full of a bunch. of snobs. No sense of comradery. The Japanese Restaurant food was OK but far from good. The Retreat is a joke - expensive and seldom used. In general the crew was good - a great captain, bar tenders and pool side servers were excellent but our cabin stewards was poor at best and the waiters and management ti the main dining room were not ally ways helpful. New tenders ware great - much improved access. The itinerary was great- we attended most of the enrichment lectures and they were lacking. Olive oil lecture was a waste of time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
It was a great trip on the Seabourn Ovation for this Seabourn first-timer. Similar but different experience to a cruise on Silversea a few years ago. The ship was bright and shiny like all things brand new and yes there were small teething ... Read More
It was a great trip on the Seabourn Ovation for this Seabourn first-timer. Similar but different experience to a cruise on Silversea a few years ago. The ship was bright and shiny like all things brand new and yes there were small teething problems still being addressed as one should expect with a great team working hard to make sure everything was as it should be. The ship is visually very impressive and beautifully appointed. A delight to be aboard! Suite - The standard ‘verandah suite', was well appointed with everything you need and has good space considering we didn’t really spend much time there. Of course it's always nice to arrive to a bottle of Champagne on ice. The bathroom was excellent with dual basins, fitted out with bath as well although I do wonder how many guests actually use the it. I suspect it becomes a good hand-washing drying space as there is a very well positioned pull-out clothes line above. The housekeeping staff work hard and try very hard to make things perfect. No, there is not a butler which may be nice for some, but I’m not sure we needed or wanted one - maybe just for initial meet and greet. Again its your individual perspective on what a cruise ship should provide that makes it difficult for any company to provide a complete package for all. Food - The food on board was generally very good - there is always something one can criticise -but for me, the quality was mainly very good or better. I have to say that the Thomas Keller Grill experience is really very good - ahh those yummy prawns - and not being from the US and albeit a ‘foodie’, the name Thomas Keller was unfamiliar to me. I like the fact you can book this venue and I understand exactly why, but this appeared to annoy some of the ‘experienced’ cruisers who just seem to want to breeze in to any dining venue at will. Controlling your daily reservations flow also helps control service and food delivery but the smaller restaurant capacity also dictates how many times a passenger may potentially dine there. Except to say bookings were strictly controlled and I did strike some attitude trying to make a booking of 4 to invite others to dinner without knowing our guests suite number. The Grill service was excellent though with exceptional wait staff and an appealing environment with lovely quality simple food executed very well. We loved Thomas Keller themed nights in Colonnade too as they were ‘help your self platters’ in centre of table - good food, well executed - billed as ‘American Home Style’. Again others said it was too casual but I thought it was a perfect balance to the more formal restaurant environments and it was only one night a week I believe with a la carte menus available at other times. I suppose I see a ‘changing of the guard’ with more modern food service style options appealing to a slightly younger range of people. But some customers prefer a more traditional formal food service in all the venues it seems. A great addition to Seabourn ships is the Sushi restaurant. A good place for a simple dinner/lunch option and it was popular. Service was excellent with bubbly friendly staff, food was acceptably good, but not quite where it should be - but we’re tough Asian food critics too. Room for improvement there but more with their ‘formal night’ ‘Kaiseki-ryōru menu which fell well short of what it should be rather than the more simple menu offered day to day. We loved the Patio dining option - a relaxed casual on deck dining space beside the pool with good variety seven day menus at night, small buffet salad and meat options for lunch. Service was generally always friendly, welcoming and attentive. I imagine this area is very popular on the warmer cruises but a number of people like us didn’t mind the cooler experience on deck some evenings and the staff had blankets wraps available to keep us all warm on the cooler nights. The Restaurant was a mostly a good experience too except there was a hiccup on the first formal night where some food and or service issues were obvious and staff were stressed, under the pump and some customers were complaining. We were in and out early that night but I could feel the stress of the evening unfolding. Subsequent Restaurant dinners experiences were mostly very good especially considering the concentrated volume they contend with on a nightly basis. The Restaurant has diverse and different menus every day supporting the ‘Classic’ fare which were welcome. The Souffles I must say are a very popular dessert as there were always plenty going by. Breakfast in the Restaurant was a nice quiet option too, compared the much busier and livelier Colonnade. Both offered good breakfast options. Standouts - The standouts for me were firstly the Cruise Director - well known and loved by regulars. Handre was excellent and a master in that role keeping everyone happy and making them all feel special. Very polished. I certainly hope that Seabourn are paying him plenty. As well as a being on a brand new ship, the live shows in my opinion were very very good and again it’s subjective but mostly all were excellent or at worst, very good. Seabourn Ovation has these very expensive new ‘LED walls’ which which make up the whole rear of the stage and they can do some spectacular high resolution visuals. The excellent and fun 'An Evening with Sir Tim Rice' show was a great example of using this technology as Sir Tim ‘interacted’ with the live show from the side or behind on these Led panels. The performers on board were all better than very good and sang/danced/played their hearts out. That includes entertainers in the piano bar in The Grill and Observation Bar. All excellent. The band in the Club at night probably could have been much better in hindsight and I felt this space was dreary during the day with the dark sun filter curtains and not welcoming for me. Trivia was always fun - although our team never seemed to win the wonderful prizes on offer. Crew - were generally very good to excellent. They all try very hard to make everything perfect for the guests and it’s a hard gig I understand - but it was warming to genuinely hear some crew actually say ‘I love my job’. That alone helps set the attitude for everyone else on board and helps put things in perspective when considering first world problems. Let’s not forget the wonderful Captain, officers and non service crew who were constantly around the ship interacting with all their guests. As well, you get to meet some interesting people on a cruise like this - people from all walks of life, often with fascinating stories to share enriching the experience. Generally, what a great experience it was. Traveling the world is never going to be perfect as you and I know, except to say these competitive Cruise companies put themselves out there saying it’s 6 star/fine dining/inclusive this and that with stunning marketing machines generating fantastic slogans and photos promising the earth- charging high end fees - so I suppose the customer has a right to say when they feel something is not quite up to the mark. I also understand that regular cruisers have a different expectation than we did with our L-Plates and I can say it appears to be a very diverse and difficult customer base at times. But the expensive and annoying Internet charge was a common topic for some used to free Internet on other cruise lines. A moot point indeed and something Seabourn should address sooner than later. No you won’t see every port/city/town in detail but we did get to go to a lot of places we wouldn’t have even considered like lovely Arendal in Norway, Ventspills in Latvia - so nice being the only cruise ship in a small town unlike stunning Tallinn, Estonia, where we shared the over-run town with about 20 onshore tour groups from the three other bigger cruise ships. But that is the value of cruising on a small ship in the smaller ports, and I have no desire to go on the bigger ones at this stage- as nice as they may be with more onboard activities etc - sometimes they just flood the smaller towns with tourists. I think the emerging market is definitely ports of call that the big ships cannot get to. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
With a desire for an upmarket ship, which spent 3 days in St Petersburg, my husband and I chose the brand new Seabourn Ovation. At the time of booking, it had not yet hit the water. This 7 day cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm, also had ... Read More
With a desire for an upmarket ship, which spent 3 days in St Petersburg, my husband and I chose the brand new Seabourn Ovation. At the time of booking, it had not yet hit the water. This 7 day cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm, also had a day in Tallin ,Estonia and a half day in Helsinki, Finland, with one day at sea.Embarkation was easy at 2 pm, with a delicious buffet lunch waiting..We had a verandah suite on deck 7. On arrival, I noticed that the floor had not been vacuumed and they were hairs in the bathtub. When I contacted housekeeping this was quickly rectified. The suites are well thought out with lots of storage space, but if the bathroom door is open and you open the front door, they smash together. I had chosen to be in the middle of deck 7 as I wanted a quiet room away from any high traffic areas. However, the poor internal design of the ship meant the doors slammed, which could be heard at all hours, footsteps from above caused loud noise and strong vibrations in the room, and people could be heard in the next cabins. Several people I spoke to who,unfortunately were given rooms that interconnected with others had it even worse and made complaints. What a shame that the latest luxury liner did not use the latest technology for soundproofing. On the positive side, all the staff were exceptional in all areas. The food was of a very high quality, and I recommend the afternoon tea scones as well as the gelato. However, a lot of the food felt somewhat old fashioned, and I think they would benefit from some more modern cuisine, such as Asian fusion. The guest entertainers were excellent, including a mentalist and an award- winning pianist. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The Seabourn Encore looks beautiful outside and inside. We boarded in Barcelona for 20 days cruising the western and central Mediterranean before returning to Barcelona. It was a great trip. But there were shortcomings. For wha we paid, we ... Read More
The Seabourn Encore looks beautiful outside and inside. We boarded in Barcelona for 20 days cruising the western and central Mediterranean before returning to Barcelona. It was a great trip. But there were shortcomings. For wha we paid, we expected a little more. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is easy to get around in. The main dining rooms are attractive. The suites, while not huge, are very nice with a sofa, two chairs, a table, a comfortable bed, a walk-in closet, a tiny dressing stand, and plenty of storage space. Bathrooms include a tub and shower--small and barely adequate. The veranda is good for two people. The ship is well maintained. We had cabin 837, a perfect location. The staff was mostly friendly and outgoing, although the old Seabourn custom of remembering your name doesn't work with 600 passengers. Drinks are included in your fare, and waiters were anxious to keep glasses filled. Some of the food was good, some very good, and some excellent. Desserts and salads were particularly good. We only had a couple of dishes that didn't pass muster. The wine was just fine, although we're well aware it's not $50 a bottle wine. Service in the dining rooms could be good, or it could be slow. The wait staff didn't always appear organized, and some staffers were not very accomplished. One room service breakfast came 30 minutes late, and the waiter dropped a glass of orange juice at our front door. Not an example for the cruise pamphlet. The Colonnade sometimes had quirky and unappealing menus. Seabourn would do far better by returning to the Lido Buffet concept with buffets in the morning, noon and evening. The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk 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 should fill the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. It didn't. There were other examples of a less-than-luxury cruise. There is no free internet, and we were informed of that rather rudely when we asked. There is one room with five washing machines for all the passengers. Not very considerate. The dress code wasn't clear, and standards wasn't enforced. Unsupervised children needed to be called down by ship staff, but weren't. The Seabourn Square is a very pleasant place, but the “guest services” staffers frequently didn't have answers to questions. The destinations/shore excursion programs need an overhaul. One ship tour was inaccurately described. Once we were told a free shuttle would take us to the city center, but in fact it dropped us off a half a mile away. Shore excursions were overpriced, as on many ships, dnd didn't consider passengers with mobility issues. We needed more information, such as when we would cruise past the Rock of Gibraltar. It wasn't forthcoming. There were great unexpected touches. A flamenco show was added late in the afternoon before we left Malaga. But overall, while we had a fine time, we expected a little more from such an expensive “luxury” cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Nice small ship, great itinerary. Scotland, Iceland, Greenland. There are three "castes" on the ship: The Antarctica experienced (orange parka), the Alaska experienced (blue parka) - and the rest :-). Most in their 70+. ... Read More
Nice small ship, great itinerary. Scotland, Iceland, Greenland. There are three "castes" on the ship: The Antarctica experienced (orange parka), the Alaska experienced (blue parka) - and the rest :-). Most in their 70+. Excellent stateroom, very spacy (28m2). Good housekeeping. Dining good - but not so good as expected. Food often was not made to order, so often food was overcooked. Service good - but not excellent. Lost reservation twice. Expected definitively more - especially from the speciality restaurants and the pool grill. On the other side quite decadent: Caviar in the Surf (pool). Excellent included wines and cocktails. Disappointing policy on debarkation on St. Kilda. Needed written confirmation from head office to leave vessel without paying for expensive ventures excursion. Enrichment good, entertainment average. Shore excursions: quite good, but expensive. Why the "geological tour" was led by someone, who answered on every question "Sorry I´m no geologist" remains a miracle. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked this cruise for its awesome itinerary. We've been in over 115 countries, but not Iceland or Greenland. Those of us on the Roll Call thought we'd have a Meet & Mingle get together. The Quest was unaware of such a ... Read More
We booked this cruise for its awesome itinerary. We've been in over 115 countries, but not Iceland or Greenland. Those of us on the Roll Call thought we'd have a Meet & Mingle get together. The Quest was unaware of such a social gathering. I met with the Hotel and Bar Manager who made our Meet & Mingle possible. I was so delighted such a party would take place. Guest services helped in sending out invitations and Roberto, the Bar Manager, arranged the food and drinks. We were honored to have the Captain and several of his officers attend, plus Chris, the executive chef. Pictures were taken of this first of kind event and those will follow soon. Thank you Seabourn Quest for making possible a very special and unforgettable event. Please include Meet & Mingle parties on all your sailings. The staff at the Patio Grill were the best. Brooke and Jose were outstanding. This was our first cruise with Seabourn and we look forward to returning on another. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
In all fairness, I will begin by the positive. One of the newer Seabourn vessels, the Encore is in great shape. Having sailed over 200 days on the line, many of the typical Seabourn standards were present right away at embarkation. ... Read More
In all fairness, I will begin by the positive. One of the newer Seabourn vessels, the Encore is in great shape. Having sailed over 200 days on the line, many of the typical Seabourn standards were present right away at embarkation. Walking through the hallways we were always greeted by the big smiles of the housekeeping staff who are always busy, busy, busy. The service in the main dining room was mostly perfect. The first "dancing under the stars" event was a blast as the departing CD really knows how to get a party started. The caviar sailaway to the music of live opera is always a treat. The service, however, was out of synch. With the exception of a handful of seasoned crew, the staff seemed inexperienced and we had many service issues, some minor, some unacceptable. We even had a confrontation with a server early on in the sailing that had us seeing things that we may have otherwise overlooked. I really do believe in the Seabourn brand, but will be taking a little break. I have 3 future cruises programmed, 2 of them are on a different line. Hopefully they will get it together before the next time we board. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Have been on Seabourn a few times and decided to take our grown up family on this trip What should have been a super holiday was let down somewhat by mediocre service. On our previous trips with the line this has been their strong suit but ... Read More
Have been on Seabourn a few times and decided to take our grown up family on this trip What should have been a super holiday was let down somewhat by mediocre service. On our previous trips with the line this has been their strong suit but not this time. We were on recently in October and it felt like being on a different ship. The restaurant staff are always polite but there was a sense of a lack of control and communication especially in the main dining areas. We had had slow service in the dining room and complained and things got better until the last night when it all fell apart again. Two of our party have food allergies and these just did not seem to be taken note of. On one occasion my wife was served a starter that could have made her very ill if she had not detected very quickly that one of the ingredients was the one she was allergic too. On our other cruises staff were always quick to get to know our name and our preferences but this did not happen on this one. Not all areas were poor some were very good such as Seabourn Square , Patio and the Sushi restaurant. Bar service was also first class especially in the observation lounge. Entertainment was excellent particularly the host dancers and crew performers and entertainment staff. The only thing we would suggest is some new shows are in order. Have seen the Tim Rice experience more than once! The casino was very well run and had a friendly vibe about it. Cabin service was absolutely superb. All in all frustrating as what should have been a great family holiday was let down by the less than impressive dining experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We sailed on the Encore last summer and looked forward to our next cruise this June. At every meal the featured meal involved pork whether carved or stewed. In general the food quality took a dive even in the dining room. If there is a ... Read More
We sailed on the Encore last summer and looked forward to our next cruise this June. At every meal the featured meal involved pork whether carved or stewed. In general the food quality took a dive even in the dining room. If there is a meat quality less than choice it seems like it was served. In the Collonade resturant the service was poor and often ran out of the food specialty of the evening. It is a failure when the food served in Keller, their specialty (one time per cruise) is better than the dining rooms food making a guest feel like for the cruise price, you are getting their parent Carnival’s cruise. The service on the cruise is still excellent especially beverage service on the pool decks. Room service was excellent and the caviar was available. In the dining rooms , quality seafood was absent unless it was ordered 48 in advance. The entertainment was above average for a small boat but the production shows were a repeat of last year with new performers who were good. The comedian was the same also. Lounge performers were good.. Since food quality is a major choice in picking a cruise, Regent, Oceania or Crystal has gotten back my attention . Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is ... Read More
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is responsible for this. I have probably been on twenty ships from a dozen different lines over the years and I cannot think of a better one. The ship is designed so that basically, all of the cabins are pretty much forward and all of the "activities" are aft. This way, there is nobody bouncing down your hall on the way to something 24/7. None of the cabins is far from some elevator. We were in 655 which was a "standard" balcony cabin on deck 6, but otherwise not at all "standard." While the actual size may be more or less the same as most other upscale ships, it seemed much larger and, for example, I know the bathroom was larger with separate full length tub and free standing shower and two sinks. Major storage everywhere, a pleasant seating area, fridge, dining table, balcony, furniture, set-ups etc. all of the first order. Most of the "white suit" crew was the usual array of east/west European although not exclusively. Every single member of the crew warranted five stars for attitude and graciousness. The area called Seabourn Square on Deck 7 served as the concierge area, as well as home of numerous newspapers, a coffee bar, internet points and just a pleasant place to be. Never any lines at the various concierge desks. The main pool deck is on 9, but we found a smaller haven on 5 aft with a pool, hot tubs and lounging chairs that was never crowded. There are sufficient bars on several decks and plenty of food when and where you want it. Thoughtful touches everywhere. Our little area 5 aft, for example, had its own little min fridge stocked with ice, soft drinks and, of course, anything you every wanted to order from "room service" which will deliver anywhere in the ship. The Observation Lounge forward on deck 10 is lovely and you never waited for more than two minutes for someone to show up for your drink order. Plenty of space in the outdoor areas and the Thomas Keller bar was a great place to relax before dinner. The Restaurant was never crowded and had no "bad" tables - you were also given the option to sit with fellow passengers or not at any meal. The Thomas Keller Restaurant on 8 had a superb menu - but I will follow anyone anywhere for a good Dover sole meuniere or a nice steak. You are guaranteed one sitting up there, but we managed three by hanging around the bar a lot and getting to know frequent Seabourn guests. Most guests on Seabourn are stuck on this line and never seem to go anywhere else. Many were on the cruise prior to ours and/or stayed on for the next 11 day cruise. We really didn't know how anyone could stand this kind of life without a coronary for more than the length of our cruise. All of the drinks, sodas etc. were top shelf. Secret: just because it is not formally listed as available, doesn't mean it isn't. This is a "can-do" kind of place and we found many wines by the glass that were available for the asking. The guests were of the elderly persuasion ( as am I), but there were a fair number of younger couples, families with teens and even a baby somewhere I heard of but never saw. Speaking of which, even though this ship was at capacity 600, you rarely saw more than a few dozen around except on deck 9 during the one ship day we had. The ports were sometimes interesting, sometimes, throwaways, and we were content to rent a scooter or electric car or similar many times on the smaller islands just to see the sights from a different perspective. We took no formal tours. Many of the guests rarely left the ship - this is the kind of ship you sail on because it is so pleasant to sit in the sun reading a book or snoozing on a deck lounger. My companion hit the spa for a massage and found it up to snuff. The exercise area looked nice and perfectly adequate although we did not partake. There is a small casino that was virtually empty at all times. OK, to preserve some credibility and to defer suspicion that I am a shill for Seabourn, I'll pick a couple of nits. Half the menu at the Restaurant never varied ( it was still quite good), but there could have been a little more variety on the other half. Many of the red wines by the glass (included) were, from my perspective, not up to snuff, but I gradually found several I liked "off" the list. The flat screen TV allowed only minimal controls ( ie. no CC) and bad volume ( even for those with good hearing like my companion) on several of the Movies/TV shows on demand - regular TV stations ( mostly news) were fine. The entertainment was nothing to write home about, but never is and we rarely even make the effort. And that's about it, folks. I guess you can say that we have drunk the Kool-Aid and will, in the future, limit our cruises (except with little kids) to Seabourn (not much for little kids to do on this ship). We went ahead and paid the deposit which comes with a 5 % discount on a future cruise or your money back. I expect we will not be getting our money back. Happy Trails. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our 4th Seabourn Cruise and I have noticed as the ships get bigger the service get skimpier. On this cruise this was especially true in the dining areas (The Restaurant, Colonnade and the Observation Lounge at Tea). The staff is ... Read More
This is our 4th Seabourn Cruise and I have noticed as the ships get bigger the service get skimpier. On this cruise this was especially true in the dining areas (The Restaurant, Colonnade and the Observation Lounge at Tea). The staff is as friendly as ever, but there are not enough of them. They are trying hard, but rushing around and making mistakes. This leads to frustration on the part of the staff and the customers. It should not take 20 minutes to get coffee in the morning nor 25 mins to get the wrong desert order at dinner. The other downer was some of the port of call selections. We made a stop in Szczecin. Poland which sort of reminded me of Cleveland, Ohio back in the 70's before it's renaissance. We also docked at Saaremaa, Estonia and the dock was a 45 min drive to nearest small town in the middle of nowhere. Missed a port call at Visby, Sweden, because it was too windy to dock. (However, I think that was a good safety call). We also had a horrible tour guide when we stopped at Nekso, Denmark. (Tour was rushed at 4-5 sites and would have been much better to go more in depth at just 2 or 3) On the positive side, the staff on Seabourn are great and try hard, the entertainment very good and the food is wonderful. We ate twice at the Thomas Keller venue and the service and food were outstanding. No complaints about the food in the Colonnade, Patio Grill or the Resturant, just the service levels. My recommendations for Seabourn are: 1. Take a hard look at staffing in the dining areas, your turning loyal customers off. If you had fixed the staffing on this cruise it we would have rated it as 4.5 instead of a 3 even with some of the other issues. 2. Vet the Ports of Call and the Tour Operators better. Some were great (like the Village Life in Kalbedia tour in Lithuania) and some are marginal like Saaremaa and Szczecin. 3. Look in the rear view mirror, because other small ship lines are about to eat your lunch. Overall this trip was just okay and did not make it a knock your socks off experience like our trips on the Spirit and the Sojourn, which is a real shame. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
On June 9th, my husband and I embarked on Seabourn's new ship, the Ovation. We joined the ship in Amsterdam and our voyage ended June 30th in Stockholm. It was a fun 21 day journey, enhanced by a beautiful new ship and a hardworking ... Read More
On June 9th, my husband and I embarked on Seabourn's new ship, the Ovation. We joined the ship in Amsterdam and our voyage ended June 30th in Stockholm. It was a fun 21 day journey, enhanced by a beautiful new ship and a hardworking crew. As others have mentioned, service was not perfect on this cruise, but, most of the time it was excellent. I choose not to dwell on a couple or three meals where there was chaos ruling (often due to language difficulties). The vast majority of the time, our food was served timely and well along with wine or other drinks that we ordered. The ship's crew included some superlative members who gave everything they did a personal touch. This is one reason we love Seabourn. Any review of food is, necessarily a very subjective experience. The ship's passengers come from several continents and have different expectations when it comes to food choices and seasoning. What some would call bland, others would call just right. Personally, we found the food to be usually excellent. We ate mostly in the MDR (The Restaurant), but also enjoyed offerings at The Colonnade and Earth and Ocean (the new concept on the Patio in the evening). We also had three meals at the TK Grill over 21 days. We enjoyed the TK Grill, but found the chicken to be WAY too salty, while others thought it was perfect. Again, different perspectives on food. We loved the appetizer prawns the steak, mushrooms and especially the Dover Sole. We enjoyed quite a number of room service breakfasts, but found the room service for dinner (tried it twice) to be very lackluster. I do not recommend it. Breakfast in the MDR was outstanding and such a peaceful experience. Tea time at 4pm each afternoon was delightful. While you do have to go to a buffet for your sandwiches and other tidbits, tea service itself was prompt and cordial --along with refills if you wanted them. We ordered caviar a number of times (usually sharing with others) and it was a fun experience. The ports on this cruise were interesting--they included Hamburg, Wismar (Germany), Sceczsin (Poland), Klapeda (Lithuania), Turku (Finland), Saaramar (Estonia), Bornholm (Denmark), Stockholm, Tallin (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia) and Helsinki. We missed Visby, Sweden due to rough seas. While some passengers complained about the Polish port (very industrial) and the port on the island of Saaramar, Estonia, I found the both to be memorable experiences. Neither of these ports are tourist meccas. That is one of the things that makes them interesting. We also enjoyed the island of Bornholm, even though our tour took in a lot of venues in just a few hours (one of eight round churches on the island, castle ruins, and glass making) Our tour guide on Bornholm, while a bit rough around the edges, was a proud Dane and gave us a real sense of what the local people are like. His English was quite good. We toured Tallin on our own--a wonderful experience. Our St. Petersburg guides were quite good---a lot of sightseeing packed into three days. We were in Helsinki a very short time (leaving at 2pm) but glad to have been there. A real highlight for me was Lubeck, Germany which we toured from Hamburg. I highly recommend going to Lubeck, A word about the cruise director--Handre. He is EXCELLENT. Handre is a true asset for Seabourn and makes every cruise more fun. Entertainment--The Seabourn Singers are excellent, but for me, the background music was way too loud. I would have enjoyed their voices being more front and center. The singers are delightful people. They mingled with the passengers and it was fun to talk to them. We enjoyed the Tim Rice Show, the Through the Decades Show, and the Nashville Show. The mentalist was very entertaining. We did not enjoy the comics, but once again, any attempt review entertainment is very subjective. Enrichment--We attended four lectures by Peter Damslich on the Hanseatic League and the Romanovs. All were quite excellent with fabulous slides to go along with his talk. Poolside dining--We enjoyed many lunches around the pool. I heartily recommend the Napa Burger. The Pool Bar staff is very attentive. The new Earth and Air venue around the pool in the evening is quite good--with excellent presentation. This was our second Seabourn cruise (the first being on the Encore) and it was great fun. We plan cruise Seabourn again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We selected the Ovation for our 5th cruise with Seabourn as it was a new ship with an interesting itinerary that included several less travelled ports where one did not face hoards of tourists. Our previous cruise was on Silversea as the ... Read More
We selected the Ovation for our 5th cruise with Seabourn as it was a new ship with an interesting itinerary that included several less travelled ports where one did not face hoards of tourists. Our previous cruise was on Silversea as the Seabourn itinerary was sold out. Silversea fared quite favourably in terms of service and food but the Silver Shadow was badly in need of refurbishment. The Ovation is a beautiful ship and spacious. We rarely had difficulty finding a seat anywhere. The cabins are spacious, well designed and functional with great bath and shower facilities. Our stewardess Maggie was very good and unobtrusive doing most of the housekeeping while we were out of the cabin. She did a great job of tracking down the beers and wines that we liked best and kept them well stocked. Turndown was great with nightly chocolate. Overall food quality was very good however on several occasions in the Colonade, at breakfast and lunch, the staff was overwhelmed with the number of people they had to serve. Even in the Restaurant at dinner the staff was occasionally overwhelmed. No complaints about any individuals as most were friendly and worked hard BUT there was not enough of them to provide the level of service provided on the smaller ships. The Keller was a relaxing, quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the Restaurant with great service however the limited menu and food was disappointing especially the lamb that did not come close to the lamb served in the Restaurant and Colonade. On the plus side the Dover sole was the best anywhere. The shore excursions to several less travelled ports were generally very good. Hamburg, Lubeck, Berlin, Klaipeda, Saarema, and Turku were outstanding. The sail away in Szczecin was fantastic with the 3 cannon, 3 volley salute from the Prussian guard. Peter Damisch enrichment lectures were excellent. Most annoying was the lack of USB charging ports in the cabins and slow internet service. Whoever designed the ship sure messed up on this. In addition, the price charged for the terrible internet service was outrageous. Time for Seabourn to include this in the cruise fare. Seabourn is the only "luxury" cruise line to charge extra for internet. Apart for the internet and occasional service gap a good cruise - definitely 4 star but not 5. 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: June 2018
Chose this 15 day trip with Seabourn because of our interest in travel around Iceland and Norway. Our previous experience has been with Oceania and Regent. Overall, the cruise was excellent, particularly the competence and attitude of ... Read More
Chose this 15 day trip with Seabourn because of our interest in travel around Iceland and Norway. Our previous experience has been with Oceania and Regent. Overall, the cruise was excellent, particularly the competence and attitude of the staff and the attention to detail. Ironically, the worst service we received was in the Thomas Keller specialty restaurant. Variety and quality of entertainment was quite good, especially for a small 480 passenger ship. Food generally was excellent, with only complaint being the lack of variety of food offerings during off hours. The Ventures shore excursions (hiking, kayaking, zodiacs,etc) were exceptional, with amazingly qualified Seabourn employees as guides. Standard shore excursions, however, were hit and miss, and several of the ports of call should have been skipped as either uninteresting or repetitive. My biggest issue with the cruise, however, which obviously is no fault of Seabourn, is the overwhelming advanced age of the vast bulk of the passengers. I am 70 and my wife 64, and we both felt like youngsters. Don't get me wrong, the clear majority of passengers were friendly and engaging, but you can't be in a group of 450+ aging passengers and not come away with a number of stories and impressions about how difficult some seniors can be to deal with. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
First let me say this is my 1st review ever. We have been on over 140 cruises and have over 150 days on Seabourn but they have seen us for the last time. Unfortunately Seabourn has implemented so many cost cutting features including a new ... Read More
First let me say this is my 1st review ever. We have been on over 140 cruises and have over 150 days on Seabourn but they have seen us for the last time. Unfortunately Seabourn has implemented so many cost cutting features including a new set of Auxilliary Generators that come on whenever they leave port or come into port to Dock. They run for a solid hour at 3:00 am - 6:00 am or Midnight depending on when they leave or dock. It is so loud you can't hear your partner in your cabin. We were on for 30 days and never got a decent nights sleep. When the Hotel Manger Pepe was asked about what to do or what the reason is he played dumb and said "We don't know" and could do nothing to solve the problem. This is intolerable. Furthermore, we have witnessed the pencil pushers cost cutting to the bare bone on Seabourn. The food is severely limited choices and bland and usually cold, with only 1 real restaurant that you can go to at night. It is a joke to say they have 5 dining venues - they count ROOM SERVICE as a dining venue. At the grill you can only have 1 booking per week, the Patio is 32 degrees on some cruises and impossible to eat outside in that. The tours are outrageously priced at $279 for 3 hours bus ride in city? The enrichment lectures are planned during dinner - is that convenient? Dinner starts at 7:00 pm and the shows are at 9:45 PM. Great if you want to stay up to midnight everynight. Better not cuz you will be waking at 3am with the generator. This is a terrible value for money spent - there is nothing 6 star- grand or gourmet or high end about Seabourn and you are kidding yourself if you hope otherwise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our 4th cruise with Seabourn and we had no regrets! Our cabin was wonderful, the service, the food - exceptional as always . We enjoy having lots of restaurants options, with open seating. Some nights we had the pleasure of ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Seabourn and we had no regrets! Our cabin was wonderful, the service, the food - exceptional as always . We enjoy having lots of restaurants options, with open seating. Some nights we had the pleasure of joining other folks and other nights having the luxury to eat by ourselves, sometimes even on our lovely balcony. We usually ended the hard day of sightseeing, sitting in the hot tub comparing notes with fellow travelers. Having the waiters hand out wonderful frozen drinks and/ or champagne made it perfect. And I confess that I did order a plate of caviar almost every day, while my husband treated himself to some ice cream. We enjoyed all the ports, although we had arranged for private tour guides, we do not enjoy group bus excursions. We were a little disappointed with the new TK Grill, after all the hype, we really preferred Restaurant 2, with its tasting menu. We had the pleasure of meeting and dining with many fascinating and charming fellow travelers, which for us is a highlight of the cruise. We even ran into one couple that we had met on our previous cruise ,18th months earlier! Not uncommon as Seabourn cruisers tend to be very loyal. 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
5 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
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I just returned from our 10 night cruise on the Seabourn Encore from Barcelona to Rome. I won't comment on the ports, but they were fabulous. This review will focus on Seabourn, the Encore, crew, service, dining and ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our 10 night cruise on the Seabourn Encore from Barcelona to Rome. I won't comment on the ports, but they were fabulous. This review will focus on Seabourn, the Encore, crew, service, dining and overall experience. We are avid cruisers who enjoy cruising the way it used to be before the mass market craze of the 80's starting to take flight. Seabourn Encore nails everything classic and amazing about cruising while incorporating that which is modern and relevant in 2017. From the moment we boarded - which was simple and painless - we knew we were embarking on something special. Being a new ship our first observations were how beautiful the Encore looked and how delicious she smelled. You can definitely smell the new and fresh fabrics - especially leathers. No doubt this beauty is a new ship! While boarding we were addressed by name and asked if there were any special occasions we would like to have acknowledged on board - this was indicative of service to follow. The ship is absolutely stunning and gorgeous. Those looking for the Vegas style glamour and glitz of mass market lines will be disappointed. This ship is more akin to a Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental hotel is design and décor. We were concerned that Encore being the largest ship in the Seabourn fleet that she would feel to large and crowded. Not at all!!! There are so many amazing public spaces to disappear, read a book, relax and have solitude. The ship never felt crowded. For a ship this size it is impressive that there is a mid ship and aft pool in addition to a forward spa - really unique! We found little surprises everywhere - i.e. self service drink and suntan lotion station at pools. The Retreat does seem to be a wasted space that could be used for something that could be appreciated by all passengers. It was seldom used. Dining was absolutely fantastic! Don't forget to order caviar whenever you feel like it! Seabourn did not miss a beat. The new Thomas Keller Grill is an amazing addition! Don't miss the New York Strip. The bar lounge and restaurant are wonderful. We were told this restaurant is supposed to be billed as a classic 1960's steak house. The pool grill, Colonnade, and restaurant never disappointed. Room service was flawless. One afternoon my wife and I wanted a club sandwich for lunch by the pool. The bar waiter heard us and ordered it through room service. Suites are beautifully appointed, with perhaps the brightest, most luxurious and functional bathrooms at sea. The standard Seabourn suites have bathrooms that are even better than the Regent Seven Seas Explorer in my opinion. The overall ambience is that of understated elegance. The passenger mix probably averaged 60's and 70's. We are in our late 40's. However, the passengers on board were generally very young at heart, fun, fashionable and came from many countries and walks of life. Not stuffy at all as some posters have suggested. What we didn't see were walkers, wheelchairs or cranky people on this particular sailing. Additionally, we noticed most passengers were very fit and active. We normally don't go to the shows. However, we did on this cruise as we became friendly with some of the entertainers. There were 4 singers and a ballroom duo for main production shows. All were amazing with fabulous voices and terrific dancers. We really enjoyed the shows. The observation bar, the Club and Thomas Keller lounge all had impressive entertainment including a duo, band and pianist/singer. I would be remiss if I did not comment on the most fantastic and impressive aspect of this cruise - the crew! Out of my 80+ cruises I have never experienced a more accommodating, warm, happy and outstanding crew as we had on the Encore. I cannot compliment the crew enough. Special recognition goes out to Roberto at Seabourn Square, Julie and Olga (baristas), our cabin stewardness Nash (she was incredible), Victoria (bartender in Observation) - she was beyond words, Carolina Perez (dining hostess) and of course Handre the world's best cruise director! I have never gotten off a cruise and remembered so many names of people who contributed to making our experience a very, very special one. Can't wait to go back on Encore. I certainly understand that reviews are just opinions and people are entitled to their own opinions. However, I really don't understand some of the negative reviews about Encore. We have our next Encore cruise booked. Kudos to Seabourn! Lastly, people often ask me if I like Crystal, Regent, Oceania, Silversea or Seabourn better. These are my favorite lines. At this time I will say Seabourn ranks high above the competition. Here's why in short. Regent forces shore excursions on you. We don't like paying for something we might not use. We don't enjoy being on buses with 60 people and usually arrange our own excursions. Because of this policy I think Regent also attracts more of a nursing home mentality crowd who enjoys everything being done for them. So Regent tends to attract passengers not quite as young at heart. That being said, we still cruise Regent on certain itineraries. Crystal is a wonderful product, but ships are old and a disaster. Certainly not up to par with newer more modern ships. I hope the upcoming renovations change things a bit. Crystal also relies heavily on Indonesian/Filipino crew in service positions. I personally preference the strongly European service crew on Seabourn who provide a level of service that is unparalleled. Just a different level of service and Seabourn pays their crew more for it. Oceania is a fabulous product with phenomenal food and gorgeous ships. I find service on Oceania to be indifferent and they sit somewhere between luxury and mass market. Having to show your key card every time you order a drink is a game changer in the wrong direction. Silversea is not quite as polished as Seabourn. Service is outstanding, but the quality of food and overall experience is just a little inferior to Seabourn. Lastly, if I had to find one area to criticize about Seabourn it would be horribly uncomfortable lounges. Seabourn has invested so much in their bedding. Why not do the same with lounges. Regent and Oceania win in the lounge department with comfy cushions and terry cloth covers with their logo - classy! Anyway, if you are contemplating Seabourn Encore - just do it! Amazing! Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We booked Owner's suite 701 having been told it was "subject to noise when anchoring". What we got nstead was and hour to an hour and a half of extremely loud banging, grinding, clanking and intense vibration. When we ... Read More
We booked Owner's suite 701 having been told it was "subject to noise when anchoring". What we got nstead was and hour to an hour and a half of extremely loud banging, grinding, clanking and intense vibration. When we reported this issue we were told that it was the thrusters not the anchor as the ship was not anchored and that we were to expect the same for the remainder of the cruise. We were also told that "at least" on our one sea day we could relax since the ship would not docked. That day we were woken to hammering and noise due to maintenance close to our suite. Even after complaining this went on for over one hour. It is clear to us that Seabourn sold us this suite with full knowledge of the existing problem and used deception to do so. Buyer beware that if you are going to reserve suite 701 and pay this much money you will subjected to a very stressful experience upon arrival at port and also departure which will make your vacation a very stressful one. Aside from this the Encore is understaffed, service is simply average and entertainment leaves a lot to be desired. We have been very disappointed overall with our experience with Seabourn and will not be sailing with them again. Seabourn is obviously only interested in making money without concern for providing their guests with the superior experience and service they advertise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
After suffering two disastrous cruises with P&O over twenty years ago we vowed never to cruise again. However, having reached our fifties, we researched it again in a lot of detail, and we decided to give Seabourn a shot with a seven ... Read More
After suffering two disastrous cruises with P&O over twenty years ago we vowed never to cruise again. However, having reached our fifties, we researched it again in a lot of detail, and we decided to give Seabourn a shot with a seven day Venice-Athens run on the Odyssey in early September. In short, though expensive, it was the best holiday we have ever had...and we have already booked up again for next year. All the worries we had about cruises from previous trips - i.e. lack of space, poor food, bad maintenance, downmarket entertainment, compulsory black tie, enforced shared tables and chain smoking everywhere - dissolved within a day on the Odyssey. It's in sparkling condition. Nothing feels dated and even though the cruise was fully booked it felt very roomy. We'd booked an Owner's Suite up front as we wanted space to retreat to (we're quite private) and it had just been completely refurnished to a very high standard. It's now decorated in muted greys, beiges with champagne-coloured chair backs and a much better sofa than that shown on the current website. I wonder if it's the same furniture as used on the Encore? It was certainly very well appointed. It was all the private space we needed with an enormous verandah, so we had breakfast there most mornings. The new beds are INCREDIBLY comfy too and Kudzie, our Suite Stewardess, was an angel. More premium liquor provided than even I knew what to do with. On embarkation day we felt all our worries were coming true again. As it was Venice Film Festival, most private launches were reserved for celebs so there was difficulty in the agents finding boats and the Seabourn Transfer could only pick us up from our hotel at 3.15pm (ship sailed at 5.00pm)…which caused a lot of anxiety. Once onboard we had expected to be shown the room but weren't (is that normal?) and our room keys weren't working so that had to be fixed at Seabourn Square. We had a quick sandwich and egg roll there which tasted like they had been hanging around for days (caused a bit of tummy trouble that evening). On top of that, and a delayed sailing, it started thundering and lightening with heavy rain all evening. And the first destination was changed (without us receiving notice) from interesting-looking Sibenik to (boring) Vodice. Luckily that's all the bad news out of the way on day one. After that, everything was pretty much perfect! We were really impressed with the look and feel of the ship…modern, sparkling clean, luxurious without being over-fancy. But the service was just amazing. I've stayed at hundreds of five star hotels all over the world for business and pleasure, but the service on board was in a different league and does deserve that 'six star' accolade. Whilst all that stuff about everyone remembering your name didn't seem to work for us (it happened twice), who cares? Almost all the staff seemed engaged, committed and to really care. And apart from the initial hiccups, everything worked like clockwork. If only Seabourn were in government. All restaurants were good but our favourite was the Patio Grill. Great steaks and Mariej runs it like a military operation…but with charm! The Thomas Keller chicken night at the Colonnade is just as fantastic as people say it is. The Thomas Keller Grill is beautifully appointed but - as everyone notes - the food is bizarrely over-salted (and I love salt). The rib eye was a real great piece of meat though. Service there was too quick - we'd finished our meal within 45 mins. Having said that we'd go back again. We only went to the main Restaurant on the final night and liked the way ladies are escorted to table. We'll go there a lot more on our next trip on the Odyssey but wanted to keep this trip as informal as possible. Gabor at Seabourn Square bent over backwards to make sure people got the drinks they wanted and always with a smile. And yes, Caviar is available on tap and is pretty good too! Passengers were all age ranges but most were 50-80. Mostly US/Aus/NZ with some Brits. Good to see some LGBT couples and a get-together for them. Quite a lot of young people on board from Australia who didn't look like Seaboard regulars :-) as there was a group booking for a Daikin dealers' conference. I had been a bit worried about this in advance, but it was actually nice to have younger people on board really enjoying themselves. As we don't stay up late we never saw any entertainment in the Grand Salon nor did we visit the Club. We loved Seabourn Square, usually a nice quiet place to hang out and get a coffee. Tours were OK to good, but most of the time we liked the fact that (Vodice aside) we were visiting some pretty interesting destinations for strolling around. Disembarkation was a breeze but we were soon back to earth with a bang, twiddling our thumbs at Athens airport waiting for the flight home. All in all, the perfect holiday and we can't wait to get back on the Odyssey. It's great that the ship's excellent for people who want to socialise but just as good for those who want a quiet and interesting holiday in the lap of luxury. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We have been switching back and forth between Seabourn and Silversea for the past few years hoping to once again find the level of quality that we experienced when first sailing with both lines several years ago. We had become ... Read More
We have been switching back and forth between Seabourn and Silversea for the past few years hoping to once again find the level of quality that we experienced when first sailing with both lines several years ago. We had become disappointed in recent years due to an overall declining experience (service, food, land tours) with both. We gave it one more try this year with the (new) Seabourn Encore. Our 10 day cruise began in Rome, then had ports of call at Amalfi, Sicily, Malta (2 ports), Corsica, Monaco, and Spain (ending in Barcelona). There was one weather glitch which forced the cancellation of the Bandol, France stop; but what are you going to do--can't fight the sea. The crew made this unscheduled sea day as nice as possible. All in all, Seabourn has put it back together in our opinion. Really nice ship, top service, great food (Michael Keller was excellent, and the sushi bar is a nice touch!), and some pretty cool land tours. We never felt as if there were upwards of 600 passengers on this ship; always plenty of 'space'; never had a wait at any restaurant; things felt peaceful on this ship. If you are into it, the fitness room is pretty decent; nice selection of machines, dumbbells up to 50 lbs. (more would be better, but...); plenty of aerobic equipment. Let's hope this is a permanent change for the better with Seabourn. We did not partake in the entertainment, hence my rating of average. We did however hear others indicate that (at least some of) the shows were pretty good. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were looking forward to 20 days in the Med on the Encore after our previous experiences on Seabourn's 200 and 400 ships -unfortunately the reviews we read prior to leaving home were true. There seems to have been a fundamental ... Read More
We were looking forward to 20 days in the Med on the Encore after our previous experiences on Seabourn's 200 and 400 ships -unfortunately the reviews we read prior to leaving home were true. There seems to have been a fundamental shift in Seabourn's strategy, target market and service - saving money where ever possible - time in ports, tendering and fewer staff ( advertised as 465 staff in actual fact 416). We were told by one crew member we we're on a "family " cruise -haven't seen that in the brochures! Ship design is great as a hotel but not as a supposed single class ship.The pool area a total joke the pool is tiny and quite insufficient for 600 passengers. Really only good for standing still and dare not make any ripples in case you disturb the standing readers. Pool chairs booked early with towels like a cheap European beach -staff wont do anything about it despite there being clear guidelines. After 2 days we didn't even go to the pool. The Retreat, a massive area on the top deck, is a mere $350 US a day !!! Always empty apart from -we were told by one senior officer- complementary to people who "provide constructive feedback"; which translated means complain and you can use it. But who would want to? A series of cabanas with loungers each with TV, champagne all day and personalised service. So whats the attraction?! You can have all hat anywhere in the ship! The Retreat is a shocking waste of space - enlarge the main pool area and turn the retreat a patio dining area. Staff seem hugely over worked. Some returnees but many new, many of whom are somewhat unprofessional and wouldn't have been let near a Seabourn ship in the past: terribly slow and forgetful service, lack of ability to understand their customers needs. Even the cruise director seemed rushed The Restaurant is a great design but too small -only seats 350 ( other ships can seat almost, if not all passengers). Seabourn Square still a really nice area as is Colonnade and particularity good being able to use the outside area on level 8 for breakfast and lunch. Shame not also available for dinners when the Patio closed as was too busy and had to wait for a table Once you scratch the surface even senior officers agree there is a real problem -not one person we spoke to in 20 days who had cruised with Seabourn before would go on Encore again. In summary really disappointing staff quality and ratio resulting in poorer service, a huge area badly utilised and a pool far too small for the size of the ship. Read Less
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