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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Thought it would be the best cruise for us-upscale and all inclusive However, we told our travel agent that we needed a sound proof separation between the sleeping and sitting areas. He spoke to Seaborne and their person said the curtain ... Read More
Thought it would be the best cruise for us-upscale and all inclusive However, we told our travel agent that we needed a sound proof separation between the sleeping and sitting areas. He spoke to Seaborne and their person said the curtain was sound proof. He said that all he has ever been told is that these curtains are purposely made thick to keep the light and sound from coming in from the seating area . The curtain was NOT sound proof. I did not sleep for 2 weeks because of my husband's snoring. The head person did NOTHING to help us. He said he was not able to build a wall. That was not funny to us. We wrote to Seaborne and they responded that they would not do anything about what happened. They even played a taped conversation with our travel agent and heard us telling him what we needed to make this trip doable.-a noise separation curtain. Also, for such a high price, it was incredible that Wi-fi and excursions was not included! This is a nickel and diming operation, not for people who have paid top dollar The food was very disappointing-lackluster and no creativity. Bascially the same menu and so many items repurposed. How many times can you have shrimp and salmon!!! Also found The Grill wanting. Expected top notch dining and did not get it. We must say the service crew was wonderful The bartenders, housekeepers and other service personnel did their utmost . That being said the administrative crew from the captain on down, were totally oblivious of their passenger needs, complaints and desires. We skipped ports and anchored out too frequently , abusing out time and investment. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our second Seabourn cruise, the first on the Quest. We had a blast on our Sojourn cruise and happily checked off another bucket list with this cruise around the UK and Ireland. I'm surprised to have read some recent ... Read More
This was our second Seabourn cruise, the first on the Quest. We had a blast on our Sojourn cruise and happily checked off another bucket list with this cruise around the UK and Ireland. I'm surprised to have read some recent reviews about the food. We eat out all the time at home at some very nice restaurants, and have high expectations for our food. We have learned to temper those expectations while cruising, but were very pleased with the Quest's performance. One of the better culinary experiences on the seas for us. That being said, The TK Grill had some dreadful food our first night there. More flash than substance. We ordered a bespoke meal at the Restaurant, and the staff went all out to make it a fine culinary event. The standard balcony cabin on Seabourn is subdued and very functional. A better, bigger flat screen TV is overdue, but no complaints other than that. The cabin attendant we had was not perfect, but pretty good. Seabourn excursions were fine, and we did a bunch on our own too. In summary, we enjoyed the Quest, and will be going on another bucket-list tour on the Quest in a month. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Fantastic Cruise - did not disappoint on our journey to try all top luxury ships. Seabourn Odyssey is our 3rd luxury cruise and she did not let us down in any way, just ending too soon. The food was for a mixture of fine dining to casual ... Read More
Fantastic Cruise - did not disappoint on our journey to try all top luxury ships. Seabourn Odyssey is our 3rd luxury cruise and she did not let us down in any way, just ending too soon. The food was for a mixture of fine dining to casual grill. Pick up the phone and order whatever you like, and you will be presented with just that! A smaller ship with staff to passenger ratio almost one to one. The staff had a few characters that became your friends for the duration. What was most appealing, was in seeing the Captain walk around and chat to fellow passengers, I have never really seen that before, very friendly and part of the family. The suites were very large, largest we have experienced, with a great movie channel for when you just want to relax in your room. The shows were entertaining, but they did start late, around 9.45PM. Highly recommend this cruise, with many faces from all over the world and all aged different... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Our fourth Seabourn cruise, reflecting our opinion that Seabourn is the finest line around today, How to judge the new Encore? Against other lines and ships, or against Seabourn's other, somewhat smaller vessels and extremely high ... Read More
Our fourth Seabourn cruise, reflecting our opinion that Seabourn is the finest line around today, How to judge the new Encore? Against other lines and ships, or against Seabourn's other, somewhat smaller vessels and extremely high standards? Both. Brief background: my spouse and I have been crossing and cruising for over 50 years, since we were kids. Many ships, many lines, many years. Overall, it doesn't get better than this. Ship: absolutely stunning. Encore follows the design and locational conventions of Seabourn's other ships, but with one additional deck, all-veranda suites (didn't mind the picture-windows), and larger public rooms. The decor features more wood and softer tones. Bravo, Adam Tihany - whose name is featured in all the advertising. "Cabin": Our party had two suites - one Penthouse and one Veranda. The Penthouse Suites are spacious and larger than those on other Seabourn ships - ample for two and liveable for three (a few take three passengers). Veranda Suites are a bit larger than other Seabourn ships. Both feature furnished verandas, fully stocked / restocked fridges, tubs (whirlpool in the Penthouse), marbled bathrooms ... the brochures / website will tell you more. Suites of all types are perfectly maintained. Veranda suites on the lowest deck have part-metal railings, which don't interfere much but reduce the fare a bit. Dining: The (regular) Restaurant is very handsome, and more attractive than the well-decorated Restaurants on the other ships. Tables for two, four, six, a dozen ... just ask. On this voyage, there seemed to be fewer invitations to dine with a staff member / entertainer; too bad; perhaps they were busier on the new ship. Cuisine in the Restaurant varies from very good to superb, with daily "specials" backed up by always-available menu items. Feel free to ask for two desserts, or two appys, or any combination of anything. Dishes are all prepared a la minute - no steam tables and reheating here! The free wines are sometimes good, sometimes adequate, and always described in detail: taste and see if you like it; if not, there are other free options, or the fairly-priced winelist (except for a few extravagant vintages). The Colonnade buffets for breakfast are excellent, and supplemented by on-request dishes. Lunches are themed, but also have recurring items - something for every taste. The Thomas Keller Grill is a reservations-only alternative dining venue (no extra charge) featuring mostly nice steaks and chops and excellent (proper) Caesar Salad prepped tableside. Yet, the food (except for the Caesar) isn't much better than the Restaurant, and the service is not too smooth. Reserve and do it once, and get the Salad, but don't expect The French Laundry at sea. The Keller-"inspired" dishes in the Restaurant are more interesting. Service: Always a Seabourn strong point. The hotel staff are uniformly pleasant and helpful. They really can anticipate your desires. However, Encore had a large proportion of new hires, who were friendly and earnest but not quite as skillful as the veterans. On the smaller ships, the wait staff knew your name on the second or third day out, and what you liked to eat and drink. On Encore, there was somewhat less of that familiarity due to the increased number of passengers. Seabourn offers the finest service afloat, even if Encore isn't yet at the top of its game. Entertainment: A mixed bag, as on prior voyages. The Cruise Director, whom we knew from a prior voyage, was marvelous. The resident "Seabourn Singers and Dancers" were fine. The guest artists were a bit of a letdown. Better to go up to the Observation Bar after dinner or the "show" and enjoy the piano and vocals. Ports: Embarcation and Disembarcation were amazingly efficient. Took us maybe 10 minutes to check in; more staff at dockside than there were passengers. Many tender ports on this trip; well-handled. Rough seas prevented us from making Amalfi ... so the Captain re-routed to Sorrento where all of the tour buses were waiting for us. Shore excursions from the ship are not inexpensive, but very good. At Malta, we had the curator of the megalithic temple walk us through an unexcavated site ("I have only been in here about 10 times myself. We won't explore it for another 50 years. Please don't pick up any rocks.") Fellow Passengers: Convivial, well-traveled, interesting, and less than half Americans. Though Seabourn is a sophisticated experience, there were some children (say 7 to 12) who were well-behaved and happy. In the summer, one sees a younger crowd. Not really. There is never, ever a crowd or a line on Seabourn. Else: The Retreat is a reserve-only, extra-cost option. Book a cabana for the day, relax in the shade around a hot tub, ignore CNN on the wide-screen tv, and have the staff beg to bring you more champagne. One of the few extra-cost options on board, but worth it. If you have a sea day, here is the place to spend it. Tipping really is not expected. The staff are fairly-compensated, dedicated, and enjoy helping you have a good time. (We do tip the suite stewardess and selected waitstaff.) "Would you go again?" Yes, definitely, though I'd consider one of the smaller ships. Put down a refundable deposit while on board (don't have to choose a cruise) and get a discount when you book. Most passengers do. This is a luxury line at a premium price, but worth it. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I have never written a review before. We checked in to our Winter Garden suite which was very nice. Overall the ship was beautiful and general staff were great.The problems were with the hotel management. It was comical. We had to eat ... Read More
I have never written a review before. We checked in to our Winter Garden suite which was very nice. Overall the ship was beautiful and general staff were great.The problems were with the hotel management. It was comical. We had to eat dinner by 9pm in European summertime while its still daylight outside. My wife made several attempts to make appointments with nail technicians and hairdressers to be told the only appointments available were in the evening around 8pm therefore we had to eat dinner in our room as she finished at 9pm.We could not get a booking into any of the restaurants when we wanted to. Because of this we ate room service for several nights a row. We went to the cruise guest services for assistance and to voice our dismay. So they made a booking in Thomas Keller restaurant for three nights later. When we arrived at the restaurant we were told we had no reservation. This was very upsetting whilst embarrassing and humiliating. It was the last straw for us. We disembarked the cruise at the next port three days before the end of the cruise. After speaking to the Service Manager on several occasions the first time we saw the Hotel Director was on the morning of our disembarkation. A bit late. Entertainment was designed for 65 to 85 year olds with no atmosphere for any other age group of which there were many. The ship is hopelessly understaffed. With such a beautiful ship and the money we spent we expected some priority with reservations or at least a coordinator to help. We have been on many cruises before and have never had a problem with the management style before. It feels as the ship is run for their convenience not the guests. I'm sorry to say Seaborne Encore was a very disappointing experience. Never again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
When we travel broad, it has to be for a least a month in order to make the cost of flying Business Class and getting over jet lag worth it. We received the Norway two weeks as our gift from Seabourn for having sailed over 250 nights with ... Read More
When we travel broad, it has to be for a least a month in order to make the cost of flying Business Class and getting over jet lag worth it. We received the Norway two weeks as our gift from Seabourn for having sailed over 250 nights with them, and thus it was logical to add on another seven days in order to do the Baltic, where I had never been. I was not at all disappointed because not only did St. Petersburg live up to all the hype and its reputation, but also Helsinki and Tallinn were great surprises. We did very few excursions organized by the ship on the Norway portion of the cruise because we were spending a lot to avail ourselves of all that Russia had to offer. We packed our three days there with excursions, morning and afternoon, and they were all worth it, with excellent guides, who not only were knowledgable but also had amazing commands of English and wonderful senses of humor. Everything I had to say about the cruise is definitely applicable to this cruise. The one thing to add was the difference in demographics. I have never been on a Seabourn cruise where the median age skewed so young. There were 20 passengers under 21 along with young and youngish marrieds and singles in their thirties, forties, and fifties. It was interesting that there was less of a sense of camaraderie than on the typical Seabourn cruise. We really socialized far less than usual. I suppose that the brevity of the cruise is one important factor in explaining the diverse clientele. We actually received a Tiffany crystal candle holder as a prize for having the most sail days, an honor that our friend Carole had garnered on the Norway section of the cruise with three times as many days as we. Obviously, the Baltic is a cruise that true cruisers do early in their careers. I am not going to repeat what I said in reviewing Norway because everything is applicable and accessible in that review. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We choose this cruise because of ports and timing. From the very beginning we experienced a "bait and switch" operation that iwas littered with Nickle/Dime items. Brochures offer a 3 cabin upgrade yet none were available upon ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of ports and timing. From the very beginning we experienced a "bait and switch" operation that iwas littered with Nickle/Dime items. Brochures offer a 3 cabin upgrade yet none were available upon booking; a month before the cruise I received an upsell for the same upgrade at $1000 per passenger. The ships tenders as much as possible to save port fees and offers no shuttles in large ports.Ships depart early to save $. The captain changed a port saying that there was bad weather, but the internet proved otherwise. Suites are the best part of the ship with well lit spaces, The bathrooms are well designed, and nicely appointed. There is an abundance of electrical outlets throughout the suite, both 110 and 220. Internet is the usual slow at sea , but not really terrible. Seabourn is the only line that does not give passengers free time. Service ran from poor at pool side to slow everywhere. It would take a minimum of 20 minutes to get bar service, and the nuts served at the bar were peanuts. Entertainment is mediocre. The Seabourn singers/dancers are fine; it is the other entertainment that is pitiful. As one passenger said to me regarding the juggler/balloon maker, "he would not get an audition on Crystal". Therewas little t no activity during the day except sitting at the overcrowded pool with thin deck chairs There is no outdoor walking deck. The spa is adequate. It was the food that puts this line below the luxury group. We dined at all the venues, and found TK to be the best and it mimes a steakhouse with Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, steaks, veal chops, creamed spinach, etc.The waiters make a big deal that they only serve the heart of the romaine in the Caesar salad however the outer leaves are the base of the Caesar salad at the remaining restaurants. Just another example of the nickle/dime approach to food on Seabourn. The food in the Collonade was poorly seasoned to say the least, The salad bar was repetitive with frozen corn, frozen green peas, chick peas and cukes appearing in a multitude of salads. Stone fruits at breakfast and pineapple are hard as a rock, and most melons tasteless.Danish are tasty and the muffins bad beyond belief. What remains of the breakfast fruit becomes the fruit salad served at every venue. We ate once at the Sushi restaurant and Nobu has no worries. Every evening the patio is open for a light dinner with a limited menu. . We found the coffee on the ship to be adequate and the coffee drinks served at the Seabourn square to be "forte" All in all we agreed with so many passengers that Seabourn is really Seamediocre and there is no value We met many loyal Seabourn cruisers of years past that were appalled at the decline. Guess this is just Carnival on steroids. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We were so looking forward to sailing on the new ship as wehave done countless seabourn cruises, it's a beautiful ship but they are obviously cutting back, they did not have the staff to attend to customer needs and so the service was ... Read More
We were so looking forward to sailing on the new ship as wehave done countless seabourn cruises, it's a beautiful ship but they are obviously cutting back, they did not have the staff to attend to customer needs and so the service was apppaling in all areas, there were 6 of us onboard and all seabourn previous customers and not only we felt this but others did as well The pool area was like club med and you could never get a seat as people would put there towels down at 7 am and they were never removed, also people would walk in the ommo areas and the pool with their drinks, why when you can get a drink anywhere on this ship Bar areas you would wait 20 min for a drink and cabins not serviced well Seabourn lift you game as this was a major dissapointment and we will not sail on this ship again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
After trying Holland America, Crystal and Silversea, we were a little hesitant to try Seabourn since our expectations weren't met on previous cruises. We were most pleasantly surprised by the service, the accommodations and most ... Read More
After trying Holland America, Crystal and Silversea, we were a little hesitant to try Seabourn since our expectations weren't met on previous cruises. We were most pleasantly surprised by the service, the accommodations and most importantly the food! Since Encore is a new ship there was no wear and tear in any of the public spaces or the beautiful Grand Wintergarden Suite. Since this was our first time on Seabourn Cruise Line we had no previous experience with which to compare so everything was a "first" for us. The public spaces were beautifully decorated; muted tones and no ostentatious glitter. Each time we used any of the lounges or the Seabourn Square there was never a feeling of crowds, which is important to us. We completely splurged and booked the Wintergarden Suite with the addition of the adjoining View Cabin for our adult daughter who was traveling with us. Our friend was also traveling with us in an Owner's Suite, so we used our cabin for meeting for appetizers before dinners. The cabin is designed so beautifully with space enough for two families! The bathroom was extravagant for a ship cabin; the tub being the highlight for me (arthritis problems melted away). The shower was large enough for my husband to move around comfortably (body bulder for many years) and there was so much space for our toiletries. The exciting part of the cabin was definitely the Jacuzzi tub on the closed-in deck. We used it a couple of times and found it to be a perfect place to relax after a strenuous excursion. We had our first meal in the Thomas Keller Restaurant which was a 5 star experience. The service was good (we did ask for our own choice of wines) and the evening was a perfect way to kick off the week. I had fish, my husband had chicken and our companions had beef and a vegetarian option. All food was cooked to perfection and the choices were adequate. You must have the sundae! What a splurge on calories, but so worth it ;) We also frequented the Colonnade; our favorite casual meal, although there was nothing "casual" about the food. Again, 5 star food in a buffet setting, amazing! The Patio Grill was another wonderful venue with food selection limited but delicious. We had another great meal in the Sushi Restaurant with some very innovative dishes served. The service in all dining venues was exemplary. I can't comment on the entertainment since we were exhausted most days and chose to get some sleep for the next day's activities. My husband did, however, frequent the Casino where he had a marvelous time meeting and chatting and playing with fellow guests. This was the only place on the entire ship that could have used some help; the couple running the Casino were less than agreeable and there were a few incidences while on board with a few disgruntled guests leaving. We went on 4 different excursions and while they were fun and informative, I found them to be not as dynamic as the excursions we have taken on Crystal. Also, there was usually at least 30 people on each excursion (usually more) and large buses were used; we preferred the small 10 - 12 person excursions Crystal arranged. It did not deter us from having fun with other guests and getting to know them while on tour, however. We did arrange for our own driver when we arrived in Amalfi, choosing to go where we wanted when we wanted and driving down to Positano (our favorite) and having a meal on the beach. In summary, this was our favorite cruise to date. The people on the ship, while very affluent and well-heeled, were the warmest and friendliest we have ever encountered on any ship and we made some very nice new friends. We could have chosen to focus on the very minor problems; our cabin stewardess was not well trained and we found out that there was a problem with visas for some crew members before our sailing so we had some crew who were not trained as properly as they should have been. The chaise lounge on the deck was constantly drenched each morning due to a design flaw; we were one floor down from pool deck so each morning the water from washing the deck would wet our deck and furniture. The stewardess was supposed to pull back the lounge pad each evening, but she was not trained to do this. It made for a soggy morning on the deck, but I used towels and sopped it up myself. We did complain to the Guest Relations Manager and he was very concerned and gave us onboard credit. I found all officers on board to be so accommodating and genuinely concerned about our experience. It made us feel as though we were a valued guest. We are already looking into our next cruise with Seabourn and hope it will live up to our expectations once again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We WERE Seabourn loyalists but this cruise was just bad. No personal service, completely disorganized, a cruise director we almost never saw and when we did failed to say hello in the halls, food promised that never appeared. Each shore ... Read More
We WERE Seabourn loyalists but this cruise was just bad. No personal service, completely disorganized, a cruise director we almost never saw and when we did failed to say hello in the halls, food promised that never appeared. Each shore excursion was chaos - you had to go down the row of buses looking for your tour as there was no one to direct you. Disembarkation was chaos - a long line of passengers waiting to leave (after it was announced we could leave) while new staff were scanned in for a very long time. Long lines to find a table at breakfast. Long waits for drinks at the bar. The dress code (no jeans after 6) was completely ignored - even the staff commented on it. We booked another cruise on the ship but cancelled the day we got home. We are now looking at other cruise lines and will be very reluctant to book again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
First of all, it was the two week cruise which we got for free because we have 250 plus sail days, and so we picked the most expensive (or one of the most expensive) venue. Secondly, everyone who cruises the fjords of Norway is blown away ... Read More
First of all, it was the two week cruise which we got for free because we have 250 plus sail days, and so we picked the most expensive (or one of the most expensive) venue. Secondly, everyone who cruises the fjords of Norway is blown away by the natural beauty, and so were we. Not only was the landscape spectacular, second to what we experienced in Antarctica on the same ship in December/January, but the cities we visited were also quite picturesque. Scandinavia is very civilized and clean. As usual, the food and service were excellent not just in the dining room but also in the Thomas Keller Grill and in the Colonnade, the nights where there are the Ad Hoc menus. A word of caution with the Grill is to share the entrees because they are, contrary to the servings in the Restaurant, large. The eggplant parmesan is amazing, as are the artichoke, the Caesar salad,), the roast chicken, and the meats. The menu is pretty much fixed, but there are always specials among the entrees and appetizers. The entertainment is also wonderful, not only the cast, but also the guest artists, with the sole exception of the Norwegian folk lore show, which was dreadful. Usually, I enjoy the local talent, but this time, they had a group of women without much talent or soul. Of note is the spectacular Tim Rice show with familiar and beautiful tunes from his shows. I always enjoy the gym classes, and this time, the gym instructor from Latvia (Enjis) was in a league of his own by creating workout routines that were amazingly effective in thirty minutes. I lost four more pounds on the trip, all the while eating to my heart's content and consuming wine only at dinner. Assiduously avoiding the elevator at all cost is also key to keeping off the unwanted avoirdupoids. I am continuing with his regimen here on land because it was so effective. Admittedly, Seabourn is my cruising "drug" of choise, and I have limited exiperience with any other line, its being Regent. What I love about Seabourn is the personal touches, the fact that everyone knows your name a la Cheers, and the international cast of characters that work on the ship, which allows me to keep my languages current. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Almost Perfection. Missing the laundromat, expanded sushi menu, longer swimming pool or endless pool to swim laps, and more than one night at the TK grill. Colonnade was an improvement over their smaller ships, the retreat was not ... Read More
Almost Perfection. Missing the laundromat, expanded sushi menu, longer swimming pool or endless pool to swim laps, and more than one night at the TK grill. Colonnade was an improvement over their smaller ships, the retreat was not utilized, Food was the best ever on any other ships (crystal, Celebrity, Cunard, Princess, Holland America, Windstar). Ship was spotless, service was flawless, Ports were great, tender service was a bit slow due to some long tender runs. Larger fitness area with more equipment was perfect. The ship is beautiful, morning coffee and pastries in the observation lounge for early risers was greatly appreciated. Now if they only could control the weather........ it was unusually hot 105-110F during the cruise which wiped you out after shore excursions, The pools were more like dunking spots filled with passengers after the excursions. AC in the ship worked great and provided relief from the heat. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first cruise ever so we did not know what to expect. Seabourn Encore more than lived up to our expectations. The ship is beautiful in an understated way, it is simple to be negotiate and never felt crowded or noisy. Our ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever so we did not know what to expect. Seabourn Encore more than lived up to our expectations. The ship is beautiful in an understated way, it is simple to be negotiate and never felt crowded or noisy. Our veranda suite on deck 7 was comfortable, a little more spacious than expected and very well designed with plenty of storage space and a lovely bathroom.The bed and pillows were very good quality and comfortable. All the staff were friendly and did their very best to make us feel pampered and welcome. Service was generally top notch, give or take the odd forgotten coffee order in the Colonnade at lunchtime, but we understood that everyone was really trying their best and relaxed into our holiday mode. Everyone we met on board, including the guests were respectful, quiet and polite. We enjoyed being able to sit where we liked to eat and loved the open air restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it was very special! The food choices were incredible! We preferred to eat breakfast and lunch at the Colonnade where the buffet choice was outstanding in quality and range. We tried the restaurant a few times, which was very good indeed and one night we ate at Thomas Keller where we loved the steak but felt maybe it was a bit overhyped or we expected too much! The entertainment suited us, it was low key and we liked that, we dipped in and out of the short shows. The party night on deck was great fun and a very nice memory, however we would have liked the opportunity for some ballroom dancing and the dance floor in the club is very small. The casino on this deck feels a bit intrusive especially when there are few people in the night club and is clearly there just to make money. We found plenty of relaxing places around the ship to read and spend quiet time, although the pool deck was busier we always found a lounger. We could not understand the concept of the retreat, it seemed a wasted space and a bit divisive in such a ship, we did not see anyone there and would never pay 350 dollars to sit there. We liked the fact that we visited small places where there were few other cruise ships and we liked the tender journey ashore. Overall we enjoyed the varied itinerary although the port of Brindisi was horrid and ugly so we were glad we had arranged a trip. Our cruise would have been absolutely perfect if the WIFI had either worked well or been free of charge...it was rubbish! I also looked forward to the advertised yoga on deck but there was only Pilates in a small claustrophobic room which really was not very good, so that was a disappointment, partially made up for by the excellent gym facilities. A few very minor issues well but worth a 5 star rating and we will travel with Seabourn again when hopefully we can dance and do some yoga!!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We liked our previous Seabourn cruise and wanted to go on their newest ship. Embarkation went smoothly due in part to using the smaller World Trade Centre terminal. Enjoyed lunch in the Collinade until our suite was ready. Pleasantly ... Read More
We liked our previous Seabourn cruise and wanted to go on their newest ship. Embarkation went smoothly due in part to using the smaller World Trade Centre terminal. Enjoyed lunch in the Collinade until our suite was ready. Pleasantly surprised on entering the suite to see that our special beverage requests were there and the our lady responsible for the suite available for a full tour. There were one or two minor things she wanted to explain to make us more comfortable. She was excellent throughout our stay doing something different everyday to make it more personal. The layout of the ship is similar to the Odyssey, our previous ship, except for the extra deck for the Retreat, a private facility for a day charge of $350 or so. A little surprising for an all inclusive cruise. Looked around this one day but no one was there. I initially booked a suite on the eighth deck aft but upgraded it later to suite 853 to be more conveniently located. Previously tried to upgrade to the 9th deck (pool) for the same category but none available. Unfortunately 853 connects with another and you could hear normal conversations. Poor insulation. More disturbing was the noise above from the pool chairs/tables which were moved around at 6am everyday. Complained to guest relations for two days running. The noise was even louder when they had to clear the deck for a special event but this was at 4pm. We also had a rattling problem wth the veranda divider but this was sorted quickly. Notwithstanding, we enjoyed the cruise. Restaurants/bars/service excellent except The Grill which is overrated and The Grill themed nights in the Colonnade were a waste of time. Disembarkation was chaotic with passengers being directed in the wrong direction. On our next Seabourn cruise I will avoid connecting suites and below the pool deck ! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Overall our trip exceeded our expectations. Nevertheless, we thought it would be important to provide comments based on our experiences and alert you to areas that need improvement, i.e., Before the Cruise, Room, Servers, Food, and ... Read More
Overall our trip exceeded our expectations. Nevertheless, we thought it would be important to provide comments based on our experiences and alert you to areas that need improvement, i.e., Before the Cruise, Room, Servers, Food, and Activities. Before the Cruise • The webpage did not work well. Links did not work, pages were inaccessible, and there were too many times that the page was down for “regular maintenance”. • The materials sent were not helpful; too much and too redundant and not sufficiently customized. • It would have been helpful to know in advance that dry cleaning was not available on the cruise. • Price for internet use has to be more reasonable; access to the internet is essential for most of us. Room The room worked well for us— very comfortable bed, excellent way to adjust lights, good hangars. Having a balcony with a full view was very important and made a big difference. There were sufficient plugs for our electronics. Much to our pleasant surprise, if desired, two people could shower together. Area for Improvement: • The laundry service could have been better. We ended up having to hand wash an item as the laundry was concerned it would be damaged if they tried to get the stain out. We found that all it needed was a little bit of soap and water. Staff: We enjoyed that staff throughout the ship wonderful were consistently friendly, accurate, and pleasantly attentive. Areas for Improvement: • Rigidity by Restaurant hostess: If the room is empty why not give a window seat? • If it is late and most people have had dinner why not give 2 people a table for 4? • Set tables that have a view and not just the ones to make it convenient to serve. Food: We appreciated being able to dine when we wanted, where we wanted, and just the two of us when desired. Breakfast or dinner at The Restaurant ranged between very good and excellent. Truly enjoyed lamb chops for breakfast. Room service was very good. Having toured the kitchen we had a good understanding of why room service was more prompt and accurate than eating at The Restaurant. Thomas Keller restaurant was very good but not spectacular. Some of the dinners at The Restaurant were actually better, e.g., salmon, steak, duck breast, lovely sóuffles, and salads. We enjoyed having champagne with all of our meals and the frozen ice cream sticks dipped in dark chocolate were exceptional. During Tea both the food and service were excellent. Areas for Improvement: • Lunch at The Restaurant was uneven (ice cream was served half melted; veal was dry). • The Restaurant should have more whole grain breads. • It would have been better to have menus that benefited from the local food, e.g., Norwegian waffles for breakfast, more salmon and crab dishes. • Colonade dinner featured Paella. It was terrible; was more like rice with seafood on top and not a drop of saffron. Beyond disappointing. • Good idea to add the tea scones as a breakfast item. Activities: The hotel manager was consistently exceptional in how he took care of us and all the guests. We found the shows entertaining and the lectures interesting. The dance classes (especially the lady) were lots of fun and helped to amp up our steps. The Seabourn singers were good and put on an admirable effort. In the Beauty Salon the stylist and colorist did a great job. Areas for Improvement: • We did not appreciate the Spa trying to sell additional add-ons, e.g., the shoe inserts. It seemed too much of a hustle. • The staff at Seabourn Square were pleasant and as helpful as they could be but they needed to have better knowledge of what there was to see and do in each port and better skills at using the Internet to gather information, e.g., car rental service. It seemed as if each one had their own set of resources and the information was not shared. A shared database similar to what the restaurants have for servers would be very helpful. • Not a good idea to promote tours that were fully booked in advance. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was my seventh SB-cruise in the last six years! Here are the pros and cons compared to the other SB-cruises: Pros: - Nice brandnew ship - not crowded - nice cabins - Service and food quality in the MDR was very good ... Read More
This was my seventh SB-cruise in the last six years! Here are the pros and cons compared to the other SB-cruises: Pros: - Nice brandnew ship - not crowded - nice cabins - Service and food quality in the MDR was very good Cons: - "The Retreat" is useless and too expensive - The taste of the food and variety in the Colonnade is 4* - The service quality in the Colonnade is partly chaotic (partly they forgot our orders or brought the wrong one) - Long waiting time for the "Specials of the day" (and if you had bad luck you got the wrong one or is was raw) - The mix of "old" Seabourn waiters and the new employees is not working! The "old" SB-Staff was great (knewing them from other SB cruises). Maybe the new waiters where coming from other ships where such methods are usual! Sometimes is was like you are on a SB training ship for the new crew! - The waiting time at the Patio Grill was even too long! Friends of ours waited 65 minutes for a steak and got the wrong one! - Our room stewardess asked just one time if everything is alright! - On the 3th day the cleaning staff knocked on the door and wanted cleaning the windows of the cabine next to our cabin! I asked If they could come later - I was told they have to clean it right now! Strange behaviour! If you love very good service and good food than you should try one of the other SB-ships! Or maybe Oceania cruises (I cruised twice with them)! I can´t recommend the Seabourn Encore! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our week on board Seabourn Encore. The ship is so beautiful in its design and comfort. I will try to be brief in each of my categories. Decks: We have never gone on Seabourn before so the smaller ... Read More
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our week on board Seabourn Encore. The ship is so beautiful in its design and comfort. I will try to be brief in each of my categories. Decks: We have never gone on Seabourn before so the smaller ship was a benefit but had some drawbacks. Yes it doesn't have all the glitz of the huge cruise ships like Royal but at the same time, Encore has everything you might need while sailing the Med. The 3 decks with whirlpools (2 with pools) was great as we used mainly deck 5 and 7 instead of the big pool deck on 9 as they were a lot less crowded. Deck 7 is on the front of the ship and there isn't any real shade. A walking track would have been nice but we made due around deck 10. Overall we enjoyed the smaller ship with fewer people. It never really felt crowded except for the deck dance party but that was totally fine. Restaurants: We ate at every restaurant on the ship and found them all to be excellent. My husband didn't care for one appetizer but that was it. We ate at Thomas Keller and it was quite good. I had expected a more tasting menu with more than normal courses but it was just appetizer, entree, dessert. My husband's rib eye was incredible. I will say the dessert choices were lacking there. The Patio on the pool deck was a very nice place to have lunch. We didn't make it to dinner there but the hamburger and fries were so good there. I highly recommend. The Colonnade had many choices and we ended up eating breakfast there all but one day and lunch a couple times. I like that there was themes so it wasn't the same buffet setup each day. I really liked that there was an exotic fruit each morning to try like dragon fruit. We liked going there for breakfast bc you could choose from the buffet but also order eggs, pancakes, french toast as well. The Restaurant had the same menu but there you couldn't choose the fruit or cheeses, it was selected for you. I would have liked that the Restaurant would have had a specialty breakfast menu each morning that was different from the Colonnade. I liked that when we sailed with Royal. Try the Sushi restaurant for both lunch and dinner! It is small but we never had to wait. Lunch is bento box style so everything is cooked and it was excellent. Dinner is all sushi and sashimi and you can watch the chef prepare it. I never feel like I get full when we order sushi eating out but here I could order as much as I liked and try it all! You can special order things but it needs to be done ahead of time so the chefs can be ready. I wanted a steamed artichoke so I did mention it one night and had it the next. The coffee bar on deck 7 was a nice place to hang out as well. I loved having macaroons after dinner with a latte before the show. Service: I really thought the staff on board Encore were excellent. Yes my drink order on the patio during the party was forgotten but it didn't ruin my evening. I didn't mind going up to the bar myself and ordering. I will say I am sold on the all inclusive that Seabourn offers. I hated carrying around my ship card on other cruises and having to hand it over for every drink I ordered even if we had the drink package. It was so nice to order a drink and it come and it be that simple. I did say in my survey I sent Seabourn that there needs to be more drink service on the other pool decks more frequently. It is a ways away from the open bars during the day, especially the whirlpool deck on 7. There are mini fridges with water and soda but having a fruity drink or a cold beer more often would have been better. I did walk all the way to the patio bar a few times if I was really thirsty but I'm young and it doesn't bother me but I know the older more refined crowd were pretty annoyed at times. We had one dinner with super slow service but we weren't in a rush so we just enjoyed our wine. None of the staff have their home countries and I liked that because it gave us a chance to ask and get to know them a little better. Entertainment: We really enjoyed the Seabourn singers! They put on 2 really good shows. The comedian was funny but it helps to have a few drinks in you first. The flute player was a bit odd but she was very good, just not our taste for entertainment. I liked that they had trivia a few days. There really isn't much going on during the day like other larger ships but we liked sitting on deck 5 at the back of the ship reading and going in the pool or whirlpool. There was shade there so that was nice when I was done with the sun. I know there's more to say but I'm sure others will comment. We are truly spoiled now that we've been on Seabourn. I don't see how we go back to any other cruise line unless it's Disney or a huge ship with too much to see and do. Was it perfect no, but was it one of the best trips we've taken - yes! Maybe we aren't as 'refined' and used to fancy things as some of the other more well traveled guests but we really enjoyed ourselves.s Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I have sailed with Seabourn many times and loved it, so I was looking forward to the newest-largest-most luxurious ship in the fleet. Unfortunately, the ship did not meet Seabourn's standard for service. A number of the crew were ... Read More
I have sailed with Seabourn many times and loved it, so I was looking forward to the newest-largest-most luxurious ship in the fleet. Unfortunately, the ship did not meet Seabourn's standard for service. A number of the crew were "old hands" who we knew from previous cruises, and they were outstanding. A larger number seemed not to know their jobs; it was as if they were in training, but without supervision. Service was extremely slow and amateurish in the Restaurant. Deck hands seemed to delight in making noise at all hours of the day and night, washing windows when guests were on the balconies, and other inconveniences. The cabin was excellent in design, but noisy. We were on Deck 8, just under the pool bar, and heard sounds of furniture being moved and mechanical sounds from 6 a.m. 'til midnight. Then squeaks and rattles from the bulkheads took over! Entertainment was variable. The ships orchestra and singers were excellent, but the guest entertainers fairly mediocre. Shore excursions were generally overpriced and comprised of bus rides with guides who spoke constantly but said nothing...but that is typical of other ships and cruise lines too! I will sail again with Seabourn, but not on Encore. Friends have had the same experience as I. I prefer the smaller ships in the fleet. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our first Seabourn cruise. The ship is extraordinary: beautiful, functional, classy, very well designed. The food, crew and staff were as close to perfect as imaginable. The bathroom in our cabin was as nice as any 5 start ... Read More
This was our first Seabourn cruise. The ship is extraordinary: beautiful, functional, classy, very well designed. The food, crew and staff were as close to perfect as imaginable. The bathroom in our cabin was as nice as any 5 start hotel, including full bathtub and walk in shower, double marble sinks and (especially for a cruise ship) unbelievable water pressure. The cabin had the ability to draw black out curtains between the seating area and the bed, allowing an early riser not to disturb a spouse sleeping in. We read about some early growing pains as the ship was only 6 months old. We saw none of those issues. Incredible. Incredible. Incredible. Sushi restaurant was good. Thomas Keller Grill was extraordinary. They say you can only book once per week, but we secured reservations for two nights. Only suggestion is to explore third party excursions as well as considering Seabourn's. Very easy to meet and socialize with other passengers. Average age 45 to 65. No kids or teens on our cruise. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Based on prior Cruise Critic reviews, it appeared Seabourn Encore was off to a rocky start. I am here to report the crew have overcome most of their issues and are offering a top notch program with the exception of a few minor glitches ... Read More
Based on prior Cruise Critic reviews, it appeared Seabourn Encore was off to a rocky start. I am here to report the crew have overcome most of their issues and are offering a top notch program with the exception of a few minor glitches they are still working out. The ship is amazing with beautiful and comfortable furnishings in all the public rooms. I thought the staterooms (I had a V6 cabin on Deck 10) felt a bit smaller than on Odyssey. The make-up table, in particular is so tiny, it can hardly be used. The shower also seemed smaller than on Odyssey, however, I could be wrong on that. The bed was comfortable, the towels and sheets were soft. The sofa was nice to sit or lay down on. You won't feel cramped in these cabins. The service is basically up to the standards I expect from Seabourn. Many crewmen knew us by name within two days. The bartenders certainly knew our favorite drinks! The only issue we had with slow service was the delivery of caviar on deck. The crew admitted they were still working out kinks with that and suggested to pre-order caviar if possible. However, I ordered caviar four times in the main dining room, as an appetizer, and it was served in a timely manner. The problem only appears to be on deck or in the lounges. Main Dining Room menu was wonderful. They had a decent variety to choose from. I'm not a fan of Thomas Keller, the celebrity chef Seabourn is aligned with. His offerings were very hit or miss. However, the Seabourn standards were plentiful enough to satisfy me on the off nights. The salmon ,and the filet were 5 star yummy! The lobster tagliatelle was so good, one of our party ordered it every night as an appetizer. The Thomas Keller Grille was also nice, although a bit noisy. Our table of four had trouble conversing over the sound of music. As for service, in the main dining room, we had one amazing team, that could teach a course on fine dining service. We were overwhelmed by how good they were. Everything they did seemed designed to make us feel special. A second crew was a very good team and very efficient, but did not make us feel like special honored guests. Still, no complaints about them. . . And one team was very subpar. They couldn't take orders properly, fill water glasses or even deliver food in a timely manner. One night the maître d' actually came over and apologized for the poor service. I can understand anyone dining with this team writing bad reviews about the MDR. They were really bad. The Colonnade dining room (Deck 9) was where we ate breakfast each morning. They had a wonderful buffet, although I ordered off the menu most of the time. Here's a tip: You can order almost anything you want for breakfast and they will try to make it for you. From corned beef hash to waffles. . . You can also order cappuccino of a latte. The name brand entertainment on our trip was spotty. The magician/comedian was cute. The woman hired to sing show tunes was average. However, the standard shipboard singers and dancers were all wonderful. I thought they far out-performed the specialty talent. They all had great voices! The dancers were "Dancing With The Stars" caliber. The piano player in the Thomas Keller Lounge (Deck 8) was perfect for pre-dinner cocktails. The duo in the observation lounge had great voices. The deck five band could crank it for a party. In fact, all the on board parties were fun! The shore excursion crew did an admirable job of getting people off on a good foot. They also handled a problem many of us had with an unruly and reckless passenger on an excursion. Folks, the staff is there to help you. . . just speak up if you have a problem. The gym and spa, if you use them are the best Seabourn has to offer. The gym, in particular, was pleasingly large and well equipped. At the pool, there seemed to be plenty of deck chairs and eager attendants to shuttle cocktails. It never seemed crowded. The casino staff was nice. My only complaint there was too many penny slot machines and none for a quarter or dollar. If you've booked a Seabourn Encore cruise, don't worry. It is finally up to Seabourn standards. If you have not yet booked one, I highly recommend you do! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Check-in in Barbados was an indication of what was to come. there was just on member of staff on the quay side. No champagne or cold towels and certainly not the line of staff used in the advertising and this was 15 minutes after check in ... Read More
Check-in in Barbados was an indication of what was to come. there was just on member of staff on the quay side. No champagne or cold towels and certainly not the line of staff used in the advertising and this was 15 minutes after check in opened. I carried my hand luggage round to the ship and up the gangplank. I was not offered a glass of champagne until after I'd had my photo taken and handed over credit card details. Booked a gty balcony cabin and was allocated 650. This is mid ships and fine, although it had an adjoining door I never heard the people next door and they said they'd never heard me. I was offered lunch after boarding although only at the Patio grill which didn't have any menu and when I asked the chef went to list all that was available and the weeks specials. I settled on a burger and discovered I had to do it all myself, so then had to ask for the bun to be toasted and a special order of fries. A waiter then appeared and took over so that I could get a table in the shade. he also got me a drink so avoiding another queue. After the emergency drill I went to the Sky bar for the sail away party.....the poor individual there was only assisted by an equally overworked girl who could.t keep up with the demand for ice and more glasses. They were totally overwhelmed. It was as if this event had come as a surprise. The helpfully located clock told me I waited 10 minutes to be served. The cabin set up didn't have the alcohol requested as part of the on line check in and that took over 24 hrs to arrive. I went to the Solo travellers get together which wasn't hosted an neither was the LGBT one, no canapés, just a sign at the door to the bar. I had a reservation for R2 on the 4th night and had a thoroughly enjoyable meal and managed to get another booking which was equally enjoyable along with the wine pairing for which you do pay extra. I learnt that sadly R2 was to be removed in place of Thomas Keller. Some of his dishes were available on the main restaurant menu but for me they weren't a patch on R2. This will be a sad loss. Dinner in the main restaurant was a bit hit and miss. I have unsalted butter and on the first couple of nights I waited twenty minutes and then it didn't arrive at all and neither did any bread. Only when I let the soup go cold did someone enquire what was wrong. Needless to say I arranged to see the Hotel Manager and things did improve. I never went to any of the entertainment/ shows so cannot comment on them. Ship décor is good and well maintained. Due to weather conditions we didn't call at Marseille but Toulon instead. If you've never been here it's worth a stroll ashore. Disembarkation was quite a long drawn out affair. Sadly not the line of officers on the quayside to wish you well and safe onward travel although the captain and hotel manager were there, the latter by now knowing my name. Did I expect too much? Only if doing what you advertise is too much. I'd rather they under promise and over deliver. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Just back from a delightful cruise to Northern Europe and St. Petersburg. The ship was excellent in every way--beautiful suite with balcony, very good service, and outstanding food. Casually elegant, low-key luxe. Not a whole lot of ... Read More
Just back from a delightful cruise to Northern Europe and St. Petersburg. The ship was excellent in every way--beautiful suite with balcony, very good service, and outstanding food. Casually elegant, low-key luxe. Not a whole lot of entertainment and activities, and a quite small pool, but I went sightseeing every day except the one at-sea day. Wished the cruise were longer--I loved it. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We spent 2 days in Stockholm and 2 days in Copenhagen on our own before and after the cruise, respectively. The ports covered were good, with St. Petersburg being the centerpiece--3 days spent there (could have used 4). Cruise takes care of visa if you take tours. Also stopped at Tallinn, Estonia, and Helsinki. Some people continued the cruise to Norway instead of disembarking at Copenhagen. The tours were good, but the ballet--2nd -rate company and full of ill-dressed tourists--could have been skipped. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We picked this cruise line because of the itinerary. We wanted the opportunity to visit St. Petersburg for 3 full days instead of the usual 2 days. We booked our own private tours while in St. Petersburg but used the ship's tour in ... Read More
We picked this cruise line because of the itinerary. We wanted the opportunity to visit St. Petersburg for 3 full days instead of the usual 2 days. We booked our own private tours while in St. Petersburg but used the ship's tour in Estonia and Helsinki. We were very pleased with the knowledge of both guides. The other reason we chose Seabourn was the Thomas Keller dining experience Seabourn offered, a foodie's paradise. We were totally blown away with the various Keller inspired dining venues. The chef and his crew did not disappoint in any of the exquisite meals prepared. The crew was friendly and knowledgable from how the food are prepared to explaining differences in caviar sourcing. Both galley and kitchen tours were informative and well presented. What makes this smaller ship attractive is the size. There are no huge crowd during embarkation or disembarkation, no crowd dining. The ship is able to get into the smaller ports thereby closer to all attractions. In St. Petersburg, we were docked in the city. Most attractions were just a few minutes away by car. The larger ships must dock further away and sometimes 2-3 hours drive to any given destination. The verandah cabins on deck 6 were spacious and very well appointed. We were able to have caviar in our cabin or outside deck most late afternoon before dinner. Deck 6 is also a central location for all the dining venues, pool, bar, library and salon. Overall, cruise service, cabin, lectures and dining were superb. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
The 4 couples that made up our travel group are well traveled and have cruised previously, most notably, on Regent and Crystal. None of us had been on Seabourn before and we wanted another luxury experience for this Baltic Cruise so we ... Read More
The 4 couples that made up our travel group are well traveled and have cruised previously, most notably, on Regent and Crystal. None of us had been on Seabourn before and we wanted another luxury experience for this Baltic Cruise so we selected the Seabourn Quest. On balance, we truly enjoyed our experience, but I don't think any of us would say we "loved it" the way so many previous cruise critic reviewers said we would. The ship itself is well laid out but the decor of both the main dining room and the observation bar were a disappointment. The dining room felt overly crowded and was very noisy (the hard wood floors didn't help). The observation bar was minimalist modern, but the furniture was down right uncomfortable so I grew tired of it rather quickly. All of us expected a much more elegantly appointed ship. Our suites, however, were wonderful. Two couples opted for Penthouse suites while the other two were in veranda suites. We loved the layout, the furnishings, the comfort of the beds and the bathrooms were superb. The poolside area was great and so was its bar and restaurant. I personally very much enjoyed the library/coffee area. What is missing from the Quest, however, is the nooks and crannies we have been able to find on other ships that allow you to slip away for more privacy. We had been told to expect excellent service and while service continued to improve each day, we had a number of mishaps which were disturbing. Room service was 45 minutes late on one occasion and never arrived on another. One couple held a cocktail party in their penthouse suite for the 8 of us and they ordered wine, champagne and assorted appetizers the previous day. When it did not arrive as scheduled, they called and were told that it had been delivered but no one was there to receive it. Really? After the phone call it did arrive within about 10 minutes. In another mishap, one of our travel mates was in tears because the suite staff mistakingly threw out a large zip lock bag containing a knitting project she had been working on for over a year. When we were returning from an excursion, she noticed several men unloading trash from the ship. On a whim, she asked if any of them had seen it. We were actually incredulous that one of the guys did remember seeing it and had set it aside. So there was a happy ending thanks to the efforts of this one person. We had also been told that the wait staff would call you by name after the first day or so and would remember your drink preferences. Not so. We ate dinner in the main restaurant at the same table with the same wait staff 4 nights, and we always went to the observation bar afterwards. No one ever knew who we were or called us by name or remembered our preferences for anything. All in all, a disappointment from our expectations. The food on Seabourn is a cut above the other cruise lines we had been on and it was a great treat for me to have caviar and champagne every afternoon. However, there were mishaps in the main dining room as well. On the formal night, 6 of us ordered the lobster and 4 of us sent it back because, while nicely presented, it was mushy and tasteless. On the last night, 3 of us ordered quail and while no one sent it back, it was dry and tasteless. Some of us had taken the galley tour and we realized just how difficult it is to put out consistently great food so we were somewhat forgiving about these mishaps. But, Seabourn, you really should do better. We thought Restaurant 2 was outstanding and the service was impeccable. On the Sail Away, my husband and I arrived late and all the caviar was gone; however, when one of the servers say my disappointment, he asked where we would be sitting and I pointed it out. Within minutes we had a lovely tray of caviar with all the trimmings. How nice was that. Wine choices were also quite good. On other cruise lines we've had to pay extra for premium wines. That was not necessary on Seabourn; the daily selections were excellent. A note about shore excursions. If you are sailing to St. Petersburg, as we did, then hire an independent, licensed Russian guide and driver. This was far less expensive for our group then if we had arranged for excursions off the ship. The experience was magical and our guide was so knowledgeable. We had 3 very full days of sightseeing plus 2 night activities including the opera. While we were exhausted by the end of it, we saw just about everything there is to see in this amazing city. All in all, the cruise was very good. Perhaps our expectations were too high, but Seabourn presents itself as being #1 in the small ship luxury cruise line category and frankly, I'm not sure its worth the additional expense. While we will continue to sail in the luxury cruise category, I would probably only chose Seabourn again based on the itinerary being offered but in making that decision I would also consider value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
After sailing across the Atlantic from Fort Lauderdale (on another cruise line to escape flying!) we stayed one day at the Eurostar Grande Marina right at the port. The next morning we watched from our window as the Quest pulled up right ... Read More
After sailing across the Atlantic from Fort Lauderdale (on another cruise line to escape flying!) we stayed one day at the Eurostar Grande Marina right at the port. The next morning we watched from our window as the Quest pulled up right beside the hotel. When we were ready to go to the small terminal, the bell man took our bags across the way!! What convenience. Boarding was easy and since we have been on Seabourn for over 200 days we knew where everything was. Suitcases were in our stateroom after a lovely lunch in the colonnade including a glass of wine (to relax). We were so happy to see Heather as the cruise director as we knew her as an assistant last year. Her assistant Judy was a doll too. And both astounded us with their beautiful operatic voices several times during the trip. They provided many laughs during trivia which is always great fun. We took back to back cruises--first one 18 days to Copenhagen and then 7 days to Stockholm. There were several lecturers but the one who stood out was Ian Cox who lectured on many subjects. His main interest is art and his lecture on Faberge eggs was one of the best presentations we have seen. It so prepared us for our fantastic visit to the Faberge Museum in St. Petersburg. Jes was the head chef and kudos go to him for his culinary expertise and for his willingness to to be available to all. Our "shopping with the chef" in Tallinn was the best excursion! Jes is so personable and talented! We loved the food. We ate almost all nights in the Restaurant as I have Celiac and my food was prepared to meet my needs. Fish was prepared wonderfully almost all of the time Two nights we ate in Restaurant 2 and we did not especially like it. It is being replaced by a new venue next year. The colonnade is great for breakfast and lunch but for dinner there are not enough tables for 2 or 4 and buffets there on selected nights are not relaxing. We were in port so many days that at night we were exhausted and did not see many shows. But we did see Julian, a wonderful classical pianist. All in all our cruise was wonderful. We signed up for another and we hope we remain healthy to experience the new ships coming!!! Read Less
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