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50 Seabourn Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Sail Date July 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
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
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
Sail Date June 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
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
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
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
Sail Date May 2017
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
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
Sail Date July 2016
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
Sail Date May 2015
This won't be a gushing infomercial, nor will I find fault with the tiniest detail. As with any cruise there was plenty of Good and some Bad so overall we had a wonderful trip, not least because the weather was perfect for the entire ... Read More
This won't be a gushing infomercial, nor will I find fault with the tiniest detail. As with any cruise there was plenty of Good and some Bad so overall we had a wonderful trip, not least because the weather was perfect for the entire 2 weeks with clear blue skies, warm temps and glass flat seas. Even the locals said it was unprecedented and it certainly enabled everyone to enjoy the magnificent Norwegian fjords scenery and the eerie midnight sun. This was our first Seabourn cruise, chosen mainly for the itinerary, but we are experienced Regent and Crystal cruisers so I think we can make some objective comments and comparisons. Pre Cruise Hotel : The Admiral, Copenhagen. A converted former wharf side warehouse (NB, no aircon) in a very good location near all the historic downtown sights. However, the water "view" is now dominated/obscured by a large multi storey car park currently under construction. Luckily we were there on a weekend so the builders weren't poring concrete but noise/dust would be a major problem on weekdays. It wasn't especially cheap (welcome to Scandinavia) but the lavish buffet breakfast made it worth every cent. Ship : Beautiful, well laid out and easy to "navigate". Plenty of public rooms and places to settle inside and out for a drink, or a book, or just to take in the ocean and views. The pool is very stylish and there are several other hot tubs/spas around the ship so nowhere feels too crowded. We especially liked the Seabourn Square "hub" concept where we could consult guest or destination services, use a computer, grab a very good coffee from a barista, find a book or newspaper, generally hang out. Suite : A verandah suite which was very spacious (even bigger than Regent) with a blissfully comfortable bed, plenty of storage and a marble clad bathroom with tub and separate shower stall. It puts the cramped accommodation on Crystal to shame I'm afraid. Our friendly stewardess was very efficient and seemed to get everything organised as if by magic. The fridge was restocked promptly and any other requests fulfilled with minimum fuss. Restaurants : Several dining options which you can choose whenever you like. No fixed dining! (Take note Crystal). The main dining room is elegant and light and the food/service to a very high standard. We don't "cruise to eat" and we aren't "foodies" so maybe we aren't as exacting as others but we didn't have a bad experience in any venue. Restaurant 2 is an interesting "tasting menu" concept which might be a little theatrical (pretentious?) for some but the food was beautifully prepared, presented and it was delicious. The Colonnade breakfast buffet and less formal lunch/dinner venue was just right and the rear verandah area was a lovely spot, especially in that spectacular weather and scenary. The poolside Grill was great for a lunchtime salad, burger, snack and informal dinner too. We had room service dinner in our suite a couple of times and couldn't fault it. Seabourn fries/chips must be the best on land or sea! Wines were good quality and well chosen so we didn't find it necessary to order any of the premium bottles. Bars : Again, several options inside and out. The Observation Bar is a great place to enjoy the sail away and pre-dinner cocktails and tapas as is the outside Sky Bar. The Club, as the name suggests, is a more low key venue which livens up after dinner when the dance band strikes up. You can also grab a luxurious afternoon tea there. There is also a Pool Grill bar with excellent waiters constantly patrolling with trays of refreshing drinks and cocktails. You can stock your fridge with practically anything you like so there's no excuse for being thirsty! Shops : Surprisingly large and well stocked. Spa : We didn't partake of any special treatments or hair dressing etc but heard glowing reports from those who did. The actual spa facility is a calm haven with a lovely restful atmosphere and professional staff. Prices were not excessive and good value. Staff : Friendly and professional at all levels although we did sometimes feel that Guest Services had difficulty grasping what we were trying to ask, especially if it was slightly outside the box. "Computer says No" or maybe a language problem? Service was generally prompt and efficient although it seemed to take an inordinately long time to get a simple pot of tea at breakfast. The maitres 'd were very cooperative and not at all intimidating (take note Crystal). Charming Cruise Director Handre was very visible without being intrusive and really knows how to do his deceptively difficult job. Entertainment : We aren't really into the cast production shows but the one we saw was OK if you like that kind of thing. The band was versatile and skilful and seemed able to handle everything they were required to do. The pianist in the Observation Bar was good, and the Club solo guitarist was very good indeed. We enjoyed a great piano guest soloist and a comedian/impressionist. Guest lecturers gave interesting and informative talks on a wide range of subjects although the political agenda of one was perhaps a little too obvious and currently sensitive for some. No gentlemen hosts for the dancing queens to enjoy but there didn't appear to be many hardcore dancers on this trip anyway. Chicken and egg? Trivia was popular and very competitive as usual. Excursions : Over the years we have learned to be very selective when or if to choose ships excursions. They are often overpriced and not very interesting bus tours so we tend to do some advance research and take a private tour from the pier to places we want to see. In very small fjord-side villages or even larger towns it was just as enjoyable to go for a stroll and explore for ourselves. We spoke to a number of more energetic types who went on hiking excursions and said they were well organised. The "must do" on this trip is the scenic railway in Flam which on this occasion proved to be rather chaotic as there was another large cruise ship in town and so lots of people milling around and jumping the gueue! The People : A really friendly bunch! Several nationalities represented and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful (well behaved!) time. It was always easy to strike up a conversation and socialise generally. Only one couple (and there's always one) made it abundantly clear to the point of rudeness they had no wish to talk to anyone so they were left alone to their solitary selves. We did try! Smoking : Unfortunately this was a major issue at times as Seabourn inexplicably allows smoking on private verandas as well as the designated public smoking areas. Our suite was located downwind from some heavy smokers who seemed to be out there morning, noon and night and rendering our verandah unuseable. Smoking is also allowed in the Observation Bar after 8pm and one solitary smoker did so every night which effectively emptied the place. We did mention it to the Hotel Manager but since the smokers weren't breaking any rules there wasn't much he could so except unofficially sympathise. Seabourn really does have to fall in line with the other luxury cruise lines on this important issue. Verdict : Probably the best cruise of the many we've taken. Yes, the perfect weather helped but there was that magical and elusive relaxed, happy vibe of people having a great shared experience on a lovely ship. We've already booked for 2015 and 2016. We'd consider Regent again for the right itinerary but I'm afraid Crystal just doesn't compare now. Seabourn certainly isn't the cheapest but it's probably one of the best and represents excellent value for money.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
First time with Seabourn and only second cruise in total. First was with P&O which I would rate as 4star (and we would use P&O again). Seabourn was 6 star. First class professional service at all times, personal attention from ... Read More
First time with Seabourn and only second cruise in total. First was with P&O which I would rate as 4star (and we would use P&O again). Seabourn was 6 star. First class professional service at all times, personal attention from Cruise Director to the housekeeping lady. Polite, friendly and helpful, never deferential in approach. Food was excellent with plenty of choice, I have a gargantuan appetite but never left the table feeling hungry. Dress code seemed sensible and appropriate. Other guests were a delight, 40% American, many Aussies, Brits, Mexicans, Brazilians, all well heeled professional people some retired but all out for a good classy time. Cannot recommend this ship enough. It aint cheap and if you are looking for somewhere to show off your tattoos it is not here. I have not scored 5.5 for entertainment, the size of the boat does not lend itself to the all singing dancing, west end standard type of entertainment we had on P&O (which we did enjoy a lot). This is more low key, very high standard sophisticated type of entertainment, its a matter of personal choice and taste of course and there was absolutely nothing wrong with Seabourns entertainment. Last thought, its not for kids.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
My wife and I just returned from our Baltic vacation, the main portion of it being a weeklong cruise on Seabourn's Quest. This was our first Seabourn experience, and as the title says, Seabourn exceeded our expectations. First, the ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our Baltic vacation, the main portion of it being a weeklong cruise on Seabourn's Quest. This was our first Seabourn experience, and as the title says, Seabourn exceeded our expectations. First, the physical stuff. The ship is quite young as it went into service in June 2011. The ship was in great shape, as we saw no indications of the all too common unsightly wear and tear you can see on older vessels. We had a standard suite (#729 -- great, mid-ship location) that was plenty large enough for us -- there was no "squeezing" between the end of bed and the wall or dresser, something we've experienced on other ships. The suite's sitting area was fine, too, including a couch, table, two chairs and a handy ottoman that could used as a mobile table to snacks or any other use. The veranda seemed to extend further out than others, so it was very nice, too. The suites offer a good-sized walk-in closet that actually hand enough nice wooden hangers for our clothes; it houses the safe, water vests, extra blankets and pillows, too. The bathroom was simply elegant, too -- granite throughout, nice lighting, two sinks, a shower, a separate tub and the toilet, of course. Second, the staff service. In a nutshell, simply outstanding from embarkation through disembarkation. It seemed to us that the staff fully intends to provide an incredibly high level of customer service -- they want you to have a special experience, and they succeeded with us. Friendly, yet professional, was the provided by all of the staff, from the food servers, room stewardesses, bartenders and the other support staff that are always available. What was tangible is that not once did we experience a "that's not my job" attitude; they either handled it or made sure your need was addressed by the right person. I give big kudos to the staff for their execution, and also to the management team that developed the service standards and the required training and follow-up for the staff. Staff and management are on the same page at Seabourn. Third, the dining experiences. Seabourn's Quest offer "The Restaurant", which is the main formal dining room; The Colonnade, for still very good quality food in buffet style so that you can dine more casually; and of course the deck restaurant for the quick and easy food (burgers, pizzas, and other offerings of the day). We enjoyed each of them very much. The Restaurant offers a Chef's recommendation each night, as well as their standard fare -- we found the quality excellent. Most nights, a jacket is required, which is OK, I suppose. I'd prefer no jacket required jut to lighten the packing load, but I understand the intent. And when I wanted to go casual, to the Colonnade or deck we went. And the room service is excellent, too. Each late afternoon day, we enjoyed a terrific shrimp cocktail or a cheese plate along with a glass of wine. Fourth, the excursions. They are nice and expensive. We stuck to Seabourn excursions this cruise and they handled the process very well. We've used private excursions on previous non-Seabourn cruises, and to be frank, they offer a lot of benefits. Also expensive, but you can direct timing to your liking. The group excursions, however, get you preferred entry at most locations, so that's a plus. Overall, we loved our first sojourn with Seabourn on Quest. We had a terrific similar experience five years ago on Regent's Navigator, and a rather disappointing time on Crystal's Symphony last year (some interactions with two or three staff members really negated an otherwise good cruise experience). I would highly recommend Seabourn to anyone considering them for a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Mr Waldo's friends had said "Oh you must go to Russia" and Miss Waldo had just embarked on a thesis about the Romanovs so we began planning. Things went pear shaped and it turned out to be just me and the Little Waldos aged ... Read More
Mr Waldo's friends had said "Oh you must go to Russia" and Miss Waldo had just embarked on a thesis about the Romanovs so we began planning. Things went pear shaped and it turned out to be just me and the Little Waldos aged 22 and 18 (moral ...live life to the full) one of the negatives to this cruise was having been to 2 ports before so we cut short our pre in Stockholm just overnighting and taking in the splendours of the new ABBA museum. So: Emabarkation: I wasn't quite sure why we were segregated, at first I thought it was being with 2 "kids" Note: Mr 22 yo was invited to join the children's program. I'm sure if 20 years time he will appreciate not looking his age or whether it was our comp upgrade to an OW. Either way this was hassle free and we were onbaord quickly. First Impressions: Colonnade: OMG this is a Zoo. Every man and his travelling companion was out on the back deck soaking in the summer rays. We were served relatively quickly and the only hitch was wine with lunch. yeah.... i know... she's going to complain about the quality. Well actually NO. They asked for Little Waldo to prove his age so he could drink and after much digging around he produced his drivers licence (note we found this into Day 2, if you have hole punched into your card no grog!). Offering Miss W a drink, she declined we settled into mmmm this is nice Suite: Our suite was ready just as we finished dining and we were very happy. Cmon OW who wouldn't be! Our Stewardess offered our soap options (a choice each) and asked if we wanted any additional beverages for the bar (Yes please we needed 3 different tipples..at this point we were not aware of the 21 drinking age) The cabin was explained and we just went wow (again) I wont go in to detail about an OW except to say for 3 it was MORE than ample and while the rollway was removed each day it wasn't really necessary to do so. Now Mr 22 is a foodie (yep) so his first task was to book for Restaurant 2. Mission accomplished, Miss 18 and I made our Spa bookings. Yes it was tight, 7 days are an issue if you want to fit around ports. the only hitch for the Spa was the Spin bike is apparently only for fitness classes :( Meals: there was only 1 course in The Restaurant which was a let down and it was ......... the Souffle. Now Miss W is a Souffle Queen and I mean that seriously. Whilst 22 dutifully consumed his to the last Iota I struggled and Miss W, took 2 spoonfuls and said urrg, scrambled eggs. ( to give reference Miss W has dined and worked in hatted restaurants) I have to admit the waiters took her critique with a grain of salt. She has said if the souffle isn't up to scratch on Quest in January she'd like a cook off ;) We only managed one meal in Resaturant 2 and well...yum........not up there with the likes of Geranium or Quay, but certainly excellent for location matching wines IMHO worth the $$ Remember we convicts have limited access to anything non home grown. Liquid: Hitch wasn't aware that US drinking laws onboard. Note to self (read the fine print). Did it matter, um no. But poor Mr 22 got sick of dragging out his card until everyone knew him and that took 3 DAYS! ;) Ships Tours: bone of contention. We did 1 out to Cathy's place and wow. The solitude was worth the $ the wine, not so. I wanted to Kayak in Helsinki but was howled down by Miss W (aka I know everything now I'm 18). In short, should have Kayaked! Ports: Well we are small ship creatures because I like to convenience of central docking and fats flow immi, and Seabourn ticks that box nicely. (well more than nicely because it added 2+ hours to each day in SPB) Service: Yep this is where it went pear shaped I had ONE server who ignored me. T......??? in the Colonnade at the dessert bar. Why do some people think only guys want ice cream!! Loved pulling up my chair and within 30 secs having my tipple and MissWs Fire Engine (paul;) ) on the table. Now i do NOT like buffet or tie dining, so Seabourn is an excellent choice for avoiding this. breakfast in the restaurant , was great, yeah it's only open for an hour but hey, 8-9am ain't early bad if your tour starts at 8,30.. heaps of time! For those eat all you can, as fast as you can Colonnade will suit. Disappointment: never had IRD ( will fix this in Jan) Trivia (ohhhhh) only once and only a few of us. Poor Miss W. Trivia is one of her things and to to the supercilious guest who pooh poohed Mr 22s knowledge of TdF, yep don't think the onboard newspaper is up to date. Mr 22 is a sport tragic. Other than that less friendly than we have had before, especially on SS, maybe it was being 3? (never been 3 before) and I know more than 1 pax was surprised it wasn't a gay divorcee situation. Maybe because our other cruises have been less port intensive? Debark: too soon Other lines : What i missed for SS.. the opportunity to be seated at a communal table (but that may have been to us being 3 and Mr W missing and conversations with other liekminded guests Next step Antarctica :)   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I just returned from our 7 day cruise of the Baltics. I have been on many cruises but this was my first with Seabourn. I wanted to share some thoughts while they are fresh in my mind. First of all - I loved the experience. We will ... Read More
I just returned from our 7 day cruise of the Baltics. I have been on many cruises but this was my first with Seabourn. I wanted to share some thoughts while they are fresh in my mind. First of all - I loved the experience. We will definately do another - we already bought the $1000 certificate for our use. The whole "all inclusive" thing was wonderful. I never realized how much I was aggravated on other ships by constantly pulling out my card to order a drink or sign little slips of paper all day long. The smaller ship was plenty stable and it was great that I could walk from our cabin to anywhere on the ship in less than a minute. I never waited ina line - except maybe a couple of times getting coffee from the onboard starbucks-like cafe. Service: - Outstanding. From check in (we were litterally the first to board in Copenhagen at 12:05), the cabin steward, waitstaff. All were constantly smiling, many calling us by name by day 2. Passengers: Not as old as I was expecting. Maybe because this was a port intensive cruise, I would say the average age was low to mid fifties. (We are 58) and not surprisingly obviously rather affluent. I would guess there were maybe 4 children under 10 and another 3 or 4 teenagers. That is about it. Extremely friendly - we made many friends at dinner, in the hot tub and in the caasino. Food - Dining room: I am a bit of a foodie and loved it. Very good taste and well presented. Always served very hot. Dinning room food was limited at breakfast but a very nice variety at dinner. Beef wellington and lobster were favorites. Not a big dessert person but I enjoyed the cheese course most evenings. Strangely if I had a complaint it was that portion sizes at dinner can be a bit small - even considering you had three or four courses. (For me, two double lamb chops does not an entree make!) I would leaave dinner, go tothe show and casino and would be wanting a bite to eat about midnight with no real option (I know I could have room service, but a late night pizza or sandwich bar would be a nice touch). Food - Colonade: Having been on cruise ships much larger, I have grown accustomed to avoiding the buffet. I am so glad I did not. The food was excellent at breakfast and lunch and the ability to also order ala cart was great (albeit limited). Dining staff: Generally good, with just one less that excellent server. We ate a variety of ways....twice at a table for 2, twice paired up at random with another couple and twice at a large table with crew - once witht he ship's doctor and one with a singer. Dinning experience was great at all dinners. Wines: I know wines and we have wine most nights for dinner. Most of the wines I had would be comparable with what we have at home on a nightly basis. I would imagine our typical "house" wines are in the $12 to $17 per bottle range and that is pretty much comparison for these wines. (Having said that, we will have much more upscale wines with company or a special dinner - so I know the difference) We particularly liked a Petite Chablis they served at lunch the first day and often asked for and received it during the week. There was also a nice bordeau blend and a couple of Sauvignon Blancs (some too light, some much fruitier.) I had the champagne, it was fine but I am not a big fan anyway. The Pinot was on the light side - they suggested it to pair with the prime rib - I opted for a syrah. I never felt the need nor desire to buy up to a better wine. Casino: Small as expected - one each of a roulette, blackjack, three card poker and baccarat. The staff here were the only ones I found to be less than stellar. I got the impression that they hoped we would not show up or that we would go to bed early. Often, the casino would be advertised as opening at a certain time, and the staff would show up 30 minutes later. I also found it odd that they would accept - even encourage - gratuities. Entertainment: The production shows were excellent. Very talented singers and musicians. Cruise director was fine - enjoyable but somewhat unremarkable. The female lounge singer was not very good...I ended up avoiding her where-ever she sang. The onboard activities were sparse and not well attended since this is such a port intensive cruise. We were (slightly) diappointed that the wine tasting (offered at $100 per person) did not attract the minimum 10 attendees and was cancelled. Only 2 couples attended the trivia (the four of us got prizes) and only 7 played in the blackjack tournament. Pools: They were rarely used. High temperatures averaged in the low sixties so the hottubs were the only real options. There were rarely more than a few people a day partaking. (This was a very port intensive cruise) . I loved the drink service when in the hot tub - my drink waiter david was wonderful and attentive).   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This cruise was my first and several seasoned cruisers said I had set the bar very high form my first cruise and I agree! We arrived in Stockholm 2 days early and I highly recommend doing this since there is so much to see in this ... Read More
This cruise was my first and several seasoned cruisers said I had set the bar very high form my first cruise and I agree! We arrived in Stockholm 2 days early and I highly recommend doing this since there is so much to see in this beautiful city. We met 2 single girls that were doing a St. Petersburg tour with us at our hotel (this was a pure coincidence!) and shared a taxi to the port with them. One of the Texas ladies, Jennifer, recommend we go straight to the ship at our 12pm check out, even though our ticket said to board at 2pm. This was great advice since we were able to quickly get through the check in process and go directly to the Collonade for lunch. Our suite was ready before we finished lunch. We were on deck 5 and the pictures I have seen online were a perfect match for the real thing, but none of the pictures were of the walk in closet. This was such a blessing since it was large enough to store all of our clothes and keep the suitcases hidden. Our bed was heavenly and the balcony large enough for 2 chairs and a table with room to move around. Daniela, our hostess did a great job throughout our cruise and had champagne and cavier canapes awaiting us. We were later given a full bottle of vodka (which we didn't even open!), a stocked min refrigerator with beer, cokes, water, juices, and 2 bottles of red wine and could have ordered more if we wished. We ordered room service fro breakfast 3 times and ordered a snack once. I had put our anniversary as our special occasion and received a phone call asking when we wanted to receive a special turn down the first day of the cruise. I chose our sea day and the staff did not disappoint. While at breakfast, they fastened balloons to our ceiling and later on that night a beautiful chocolate cake was delivered to our suite! We ate at every eating place on the boat and the Restaurant was our favorite. 5 nights were spent there and one was at a hosted table. This was quite fun, even though they separated the spouses. We met singer Nicola, her charming British parents, singer Marie Lee, and 2 other couples. On the formal night, we booked a table for 10 to accommodate our private tour group we put together for our 3 days in St. Petersburg using SPB tours. This was our going away present to each other and it was wonderful. Great people, great food (7 courses!) and great memories! The other 3x we were in the restaurant was at a table for 2. The food was great, the service, impeccable, and the wine choices were spot on. Our first night on the boat was at Restaurant 2. Don't miss out on this wonderful experience! They will provide you with menus of all the tastings ahead of time so you can pick and choose which night to reserve your spot (other nights can occur but you will be put on a wait list since this restaurant is quite small). Don't be turned off by the menu describing all the ingredients in each tasting. My husband is a picky eater and he loved everything he ate! The Collonade is mainly a buffet, but is classily done. We ate there for breakfast 5x and 1x for dinner. We booked the Russian ballet and had a letter in our suite stating that the Collonade would be opening early for us and service would be quick so we could prepare for the ballet (we had to load the bus by 6:45). We were in and out super fast but the service and food was impeccable, as usual! My only complaint about the food (and it is a small one) is for the Patio Grill. The food on the buffet was cold, even if it had a warmer on it. Now, in their defense, the temps on this cruise was quite chilly at time (50-60's being the norm). Now, onto the entertainment. We spent every night in the Club, either listening to the guitarist/singer Michael or the Band featuring Sabrina, and one show featuring Brent doing Broadway hits. All were fabulous, especially Michael. He would take request and when he found out we were from Alabama, he played Sweet Home Alabama for us on several occasions. Some nights there were not too many people in the Club and other nights it was fairly full. They have a small dance floor and beware, some of the entertainers will pull you out to dance, even if you have 2 left feet like me! The professional dance couple was awesome and I wished they would have dance more since it reminded me of the dancers off of DWTS. My only complaint about the Club is that the later you stayed the more breaks the band and waiters seem to take! One time on the last night, the band played for 30 minutes and then took a 45 minute break! We had to go to the bar 2x at the end of the cruise because the waiters stopped coming around to take our drink orders. It was like they were deliberately trying to get rid of us! Not a good feeling to have after paying so much money for this cruise.  We didn't go to the small casino off the Club, and only went to one show in the Grand Salon. We did have tea/cocktails at the Observation Bar on deck 10 (THE PLACE to see the launching of the ship). Since we are from the south, we tried to order a Hurricane but they didn't know what it was (obviously they have never been to New Orleans!), so we ordered Rum Punch instead. It was great! We didn't use the spa but the Texas ladies, Jennifer and Teddie did, and they really liked it. They each bought the spa pass for the week and seem to think it was a good use of money/ship board credit. We didn't go up on Deck 11 for ping pong or anything else since the brisk wind seemed to always be felt the strongest there. We also didn't use the pool or whirlpools, but everyone who did use them felt the temperature was great. Seabourn Square was a great place to get information, book excursions, get a cup of coffee, or just relax with a book or a puzzle. Computers for guest were here (internet was a steep $20 for 2 hours). Overall, this was a fantastic cruise and I will be sailing with Seabourn again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
The 7 day cruise of the Baltic Sea in June/July 2013 had been our third cruise with Seabourn within the last 10 month (41 sea days). Why? My wife and I we simply feel at home aboard Seabourn. We are in our late 40ties and until 1 ½ years ... Read More
The 7 day cruise of the Baltic Sea in June/July 2013 had been our third cruise with Seabourn within the last 10 month (41 sea days). Why? My wife and I we simply feel at home aboard Seabourn. We are in our late 40ties and until 1 ½ years ago we didn´t thought a cruise will suite us. We liked and still like being on our own exploring. We prefer top class hotels, but hardly use all the facilities they offer. Usually we stay at one site between 2-5 days. Then we travel on our own to the next destinations. Why do we like Seabourn? Maybe we better have to start to write about what the 3 larger Seabourn ships according to our opinion aren´t. They are not a place where you marvel about fancy details or the sheer size and quantity of facilities. The offered standard of the ships is high class. References to a huge yacht can be done. The suites. The regular suites (we had been in categories V3 and V6) have a satisfactory size. The furnishing is very well thought-out and utilizable. The small walk-in wardrobe is an absolute plus. The bathroom is nice as well and has all the necessities needed, but for 2 persons at once drying hair it´s too small. The shower could be larger. The interior design of the suite has to address to the taste of huge number of guest. It does so. The HDTV is working well, but, like in brand new cars or airplanes, their entertainment and computer equipment is already outdated when they hit the market. We don´t want to miss our veranda. It is nice to have the possibility to go outside from your own cabin (suite). Yes, the veranda furniture could be improved. A short while after embarkation all our luggage has found its spot and we consider it as "our” suite. In many top notch hotels rooms this feeling never developed. Food. We read in some reviews that the food on Seabourn is not always living up to the expectations. On our cruises with the Odyssey and the Sojourn we had 3 different chefs. We were told that the menus are set by Seattle headquarters. Therefore the food is mainly not purchased locally. Fish for example is delivered mostly frozen in containers to the ship. But even then can you feel the influences of the different chefs. Seasoning differs. Seabourn is trying not to make something wrong. Health risks are linked with undercooked food. So they overcook. Fish and seafood is here mostly at risk. I never tried to order a "bleu” beef dish. I stick to "rare”. In total the food meets our expectations. We consider it very good. 3-star Michelin restaurants with the restriction to 15-20 tables and a few dishes and 2 degustation menus can´t be compared. In the main restaurant you cater up to 450 passengers in about 2-3 hours at a very high level. At the Colonade we always had our breakfast. It is a mix of being served and self-service. We as Germans love our bread. Choice could and should be improved. Same with cheeses. I love to have goat, sheep and blue cheeses for breakfast. But again, we sorrow at a very, very high level. In addition you can ask. The service staff is trying to accomplish what you have asked for. Perrier mineral water for example might not available at once. San Pellegrino mineral water instead. So you have to wait a little to get your preferred one. Double shot Cappucino and Espresso you better get at the Square (take out) before you go for breakfast. The regular coffee within The Colonade is so so. Restaurant 2. We had dinner there 5 times so fare. It differs from the main restaurant as there are only around 30 guest each evening. A set 6-7 course menu is offered. The food differs. They try to present a more seasoned cooking style. As long as they don´t hype at the presentation of the dinner it is a very joyful evening. The Pool Bar. For us exactly what it should be. Great burgers, pizza, salad and so on. Wines and spirits. The offered wines for dinner are good middle class. That is ok with us. We never opted for the silver or gold wine package. You can always have the Feuillatte Champagne which is very decent French Champagne. Spirits and cocktails. You cannot ask for more. Our favorite place for cocktails and drinks is the Observation Lounge. Staff and Crew. As soon as you enter the ship, they make you feel welcome and at home. Security measures and procedures can be annoying, but in this times? We always felt that the staff is willing to interact with guest. But the guests have to make the first moves. If you don´t, they furthermost act highly professional. As always in life some do excel from the rest. But on Seabourn not because you tipped them. They excel because they love what they do. High ranking officers were always available. Room for improvement. Yes. The use of internet (wifi) should be included in the cruise fare. The excursions are overpriced. Offering more options for sleeping pillows. Sometimes a little more attention even to the smallest detail is needed. More "harbor” information by the service crew on Seabourn Square. Onsite self drive car rental information. How to get in and out of the port. How far from some highlights by taxi. Those details we don´t have in our guide books and internet information. The concept of the ships boutique. On our Baltic Sea cruise. In our travel documents the wrong embarkation site in Stockholm was stated. No information about changes. When we arrived we found out. It took 1 hour and 50 Euros additional taxi rides. Just an apology. No refund. Staff friendly as ever. We had the best stewardess for our suite so far. In Talinn and in Helsinki we walked the city on our own. The 3 days in St. Petersburg we arranged a private tour for us. Guide, driver and Minivan. We would do so again. For us the one week cruise was too short. We would have loved at least 3 more sea days. In January 2014 we are crusing Antarctica. Seabourn of course. If Seabourn will remain or even improving its service level and food and drink quality we have found our cruise line. They also should stick to their upscale all-inclusive concept. The size of the Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest are in our opinion a good balance between choices offered and intimacy. On our first cruise ever in December 2011 we had been on a 4-star plus ship. The suite was good, as was the executive lounge, but with 2.000 passengers on board, we never really felt home like we do on Seabourn. We are looking forward to go back to "our” Seabourn ships.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Everything about the Seabourn Sojourn is pleasant and hassle free. The entire ship is clean in its design and does not suffer from the tasteless decor you may have seen on other ships. The palette is neutral and modern - although ... Read More
Everything about the Seabourn Sojourn is pleasant and hassle free. The entire ship is clean in its design and does not suffer from the tasteless decor you may have seen on other ships. The palette is neutral and modern - although perhaps a bit bland and characterless. Think Four Seasons and you are nearly there. Cabin was excellent in every way with a nice size bathroom, walk in wardrobe, great beds and ample space for everything. Cabin service was perfect although we actually only met our stewardess once when we boarded - after that we never even glimpsed her. The food in the restaurants was pretty good. On the penultimate night we had the Chef's menu in the main dining room - easily the best meal we had onboard. Otherwise we felt some of the food was a bit of a let down when compared to the 'six star' billing. Meat was always superb - but desserts almost all poor (seem to use the same cheap artificial/prepackaged looking desserts and cheap ice cream and day-glo sauces as on Carnival ?). The main point here is that if you are expecting an overall standard comparable to a top London, Paris or New York restaurant then you will be disappointed. For a cruise ship it is of a good standard and once or twice exceptional. Restaurant 2 which is meant to be the fine dining experience was a bit of a let down and I would avoid- main dining room more enjoyable. Some of the most striking advantages of Seabourn Sojourn over other cruises I have taken relate to the noticeable lack of onboard selling. What a relief not to have every minute of every day spent trying to sell the next excursion or the latest embarrassing photo. None of that here - hurrah ! Also no queues or waits for anything. Get on and off the ship when you like and have a table for two right away. Perfect. Entertainment was really surprisingly good. Lack of ambition from a production point of view was made up for by the talent of the 4 singers and 2 dancers we had to entertain us. They did a few shows and they were truly fantastic vocally and did not rely on pre-recorded voices for their numbers. These were the best shows I have seen on a cruise ship because they did not try to be something they were not and instead relied on good old fashioned talent to do the job. At first sight the port lecturer seemed a bit doddery but in fact he was excellent in every respect. Witty, informative and totally unpatronising - he assumed a degree of intelligence amongst his audience which I have not experienced on other ships. We followed many of his tips to our advantage and at no time was he trying to push any excursions or other commercial ventures for the cruise line. Perfect. We did not take any of the ships excursions. In Tallinn and Helsinki the ship provides a free shuttle to the town centre where you can then do your own thing. Otherwise you can just walk from the ship in 15 minutes or so to both city centres. Likewise Stockholm and Copenhagen are full of wonderful sights which are easy to walk between and visit on your own (everyone speaks perfect English). In St Petersburg we followed the advice of another Cruise Critic reviewer and booked the services of a private guide for all 3 of our days there. His name is Timofey Kruglikov who has his own website at http://www.tour-petersburg.com/en Timofey was the absolutely perfect host for our 3 days in St Petersburg. He provided an excellent car and driver and escorted us around the main sights of the city and environs. We pretty much followed his suggested 3 day itinerary and he proved to be a fount of knowledge for all things Russian. Timofey's English is near perfect and there is little he does not know about his city. Test him at the Hermitage.....almost any painting you care to highlight will be explained in detail. ofcourse 3 days in nothing like enough for this fascinating city and everything always feels somewhat of a rush. The services provided by Timofey were not cheap but were good value for money when compared to the alternative options. We had no problems entering the country without a visa - just following Timofey's instructions and we paid him at the end of of our second day. We cannot recommend Timofey more highly. Overall we had a wonderful time on the Sojourn. The ship is the perfect size, in perfect condition and is a relaxed and easy place to be. The lack of queues, bossy announcements, onboard selling or indeed any other annoyance was a highlight. Service at all times was warm and friendly and we would recommend the experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Escorted my mother on a truly wonderful adventure in the Baltics. The August weather could not have been more perfect the entire time we were there, we packed expecting cool weather but every day was warm and sunny. But every port we ... Read More
Escorted my mother on a truly wonderful adventure in the Baltics. The August weather could not have been more perfect the entire time we were there, we packed expecting cool weather but every day was warm and sunny. But every port we went to the people complained on how crummy the weather had been during the previous months so we lucked out. The Sojourn is a beautiful ship with huge cabins, it really was like having an apartment at sea. The food is pretty good, and I am sure better than most cruise lines. We only had one bad meal, too bad it was the Chef's Special Dinner night, the main course was a bit salty and the service was extremely slow. Although we had a larger party set up by our tour company the dinner should have not taken 3 and a half hours, and water glasses should have be refilled. It's a pity because that was the only night we ate in the main dining room. We dined in Restaurant 2 on our second night and I found the food to be very good, modern small tastes, but we were stuffed by the end of the meal. Most nights we dinned at the Colonnade or Patio Grill. The Colonnade is great for breakfast they have a decent buffet of scrambled eggs, hash browns, beans, grilled tomatoes, sausages, fresh fruit, cereal, pastries, breads, cold cuts, cheeses, yogurt and fish. And you may also order dishes like omelets, benedicts, lamb chops, minutes steaks and other special dishes table side. The staff and crew, with the exception of the one night in the dining room were always friendly and attentive. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This is our first time on the Seabourn Sojourn but we have cruised three times on the Seabourn Odyssey and honestly couldn't tell the difference -- right down to the staff as there were several familiar faces. Embarkation in ... Read More
This is our first time on the Seabourn Sojourn but we have cruised three times on the Seabourn Odyssey and honestly couldn't tell the difference -- right down to the staff as there were several familiar faces. Embarkation in Copenhagen was dealt with smoothly as always and we were surprised to find we had been upgraded to an Owner's Suite 601. We had slightly mixed feelings as we had selected our suite with some care - but an upgrade is an upgrade. The obvious benefit is the space and of that we had plenty. The lounge/dining area wouldn't disgrace an apartment and having a separate bedroom is always a good thing -- as indeed is having two loos. We did however feel that more could have been done with the decor to make the whole more luxurious. The obvious downsides of 601 are that the bedroom overlooks the whirlpool at the bow so could lack privacy (not an issue in The Baltic) but more obviously it is above the anchor and this really did waken us up when docking. The first day was at sea. A top tip for this itinerary. I think I would do the cruise the opposite way i.e. from Stockholm to Copenhagen as after a busy time sightseeing we could have really enjoyed this one day at sea and made the most of the ship. Tallinn and Helsinki are great short stops and top and tail the highlight of any Baltic cruise -- St Petersburg -- brilliantly. For Russia we had booked our own guide online so only used the cruise trips for the ballet one evening. This worked perfectly. I was slightly nervous about the visa situation but it really was perfectly straightforward. As long as you had your official tickets with you each time you exited the ship the immigration process was simple and fuss free. Because the ship is docked for three days (two nights) in St Petersburg and the Baltic is so city intensive we spent far less time on board than we would normally do so didn't stretch the ship's facilities at all. As usual the food was excellent and the standard wine decent enough. We've booked our next cruise with Seabourn which I guess says it all. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
First time on Seabourn. Booked Baltic and St. Petersburg due to itinerary, with 3 full days in St. Petersburg. I booked hotels independently in Copenhagen and Stockholm so we could extend our holiday before and after the cruise. ... Read More
First time on Seabourn. Booked Baltic and St. Petersburg due to itinerary, with 3 full days in St. Petersburg. I booked hotels independently in Copenhagen and Stockholm so we could extend our holiday before and after the cruise. Booked private taxi to and from the dock before and after the cruise, since we were staying on. Also booked a private guide for 3 days in St. Petersburg, which cost us less than it would have booking similar ship excursions and we had the guide and driver's full attention. Great way to tour. Visited Copenhagen, Talinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki (& Porvoo) and Stockholm. Boarding the ship was seamless, quick and easy. The entire staff was cordial and professional. We have nothing but praise for the service standard and service ethic of the staff we encountered. Very positive attitudes, fast on their feet, smiles all around, great command of English. Our cabin attendant was sweet and had a nice sense of humor. We are not demanding passengers, were just looking for some private "us" time due to a crazy work schedule outside vacation. The staff seemed to pick up on this and were discreet in their comings and goings. The cabin was the nicest we've had on any ship: spotless, large, lots of conveniences and thoughtful touches: makeup vanity, double sinks, tub and shower separate, a nice dining area, great AV system, walk in closet, safe, good bedside reading lamps. Bar was stocked with our requests, but we didn't really touch any of it: there were wine and spirits everywhere on board! Beautiful sunsets from our veranda. However, we did enjoy afternoon tea, or a late glass of bourbon or cognac in the Observation Lounge. We ordered room service breakfast every morning so we could get ready for early tours while we finished breakfast. Lovely, flakey croissants, crumbs everywhere, just as it should be. Used the gym once, completely deserted, could not figure out how to get the TV working on my treadmill but no worries. Stepped into Seabourn Square a few times for a bite or some help with touring suggestions. Baristas were excellent, a very nice area to relax. Dining was good, service excellent. I personally felt the food on Oceania was a bit ahead of Seabourn, but spouse felt otherwise. I like more exotic menu items and he's a little more old school: grilled meats or fish is his liking. Never had a miss while dining. Tried the patio grill one night and a sudden downpour occurred while we were choosing appetizers. In the flash of an eye, our pool deck staff had the tables moved to shelter. They were amazing and fun! Best dining experience was Restaurant 2, a bit on the wild side which we liked. Since we were off board everyday on tour, returning late in the afternoon, did not use the pool, spa, or attend activities. We did catch the champagne and caviar sail away which was a lot of fun! The ship itself was modern, spare and beautiful. Felt VERY spacious, quiet and uncrowded. We rarely saw others as we passed through the halls except during early tours. Even then, none of the mass hysteria and confusion that I recall when leaving Oceania on tour. That was very welcome. The ship ran like clockwork, the itinerary was great (would have like more time in Helsinki though: Finland is spectacularly beautiful!) Both my spouse and I would definitely take another Seabourn cruise. And while we both prefer the small sailing ship ambiance of Windstar, which has a certain romance that larger ships can't match, the Seabourn Sojourn felt a lot like a private yacht, just as they advertise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Norway on the Sojourn was a fantastic experience....it was the first time with Seabourn,,but not the last...everything about it was top of the line,,the cabin,food,service,entertainment,appearance,,,etc.....This itinerary was ... Read More
Norway on the Sojourn was a fantastic experience....it was the first time with Seabourn,,but not the last...everything about it was top of the line,,the cabin,food,service,entertainment,appearance,,,etc.....This itinerary was wonderful,,with lots to see and do,,and I highly recommend it,,esp.to those that have seen the Med..and Caribean,,and need something a little different...the fjords were spectacular,,the excursions interesting ..but the small towns were easy to do on own.A food lover will be happy in the variety of restaurants,,and great room service...with tasteful dishes and service to match.I had a problem with smoking,,but not as bad as I had imagined...it was strong in halls,and near the bars that allow it...its allowed in rooms and balconies,,,lucky no one near us smoked,,and room had no smell...so that would not stop me from going back...but I do think it should be stopped in cabin/balcony... Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
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