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Sail Date: August 2011
As professional musicians from Jacksonville, Florida, we don't usually take expensive luxury cruises, but there is no question that the Seabourn Sojourn delivers the value and exceptional quality of food, facilities/stateroom and ... Read More
As professional musicians from Jacksonville, Florida, we don't usually take expensive luxury cruises, but there is no question that the Seabourn Sojourn delivers the value and exceptional quality of food, facilities/stateroom and service expected for the price. One night we had amazing Nigerian shrimp that were 10 inches long! The staff members were always helpful and attentive. While we know it's their job to be friendly, they were sincere. With less than 400 passengers on board, we had all the amenities of the big ships, but none of the crowds for dining or disembarkation. The people on the cruise were mostly interesting professionals from the US. We enjoyed dining at Restaurant 2 seated with other passengers, with exceptional food and tableside informance about each of the dozen dishes served. Toward the end of the cruise, we got a tour of the galley with the head chef to see what goes on behind the scenes to make the magic happen for the passengers. All the artists, performers and cruise director were excellent, not over amplified, and they went out of their way to engage with the passengers - and even stay in touch after the cruise. We also like the all inclusive policy - no bills for drinks or tips at the end to worry about. As amazing as the ship was, it was the great port cities that were the highlight of our trip. Seabourn provided a travel/history expert on board to speak about each destination to help plan excursions or activities. With the exception of Stockholm, the Sojourn ports right in the city center. We are good walkers and like to explore on our own, so we easily walked to all the city highlights in Helsinki (such as the Church of the Rock), Tallin (Alexander Nevsky church, shopping for amber) and we covered all of the quaint city of Visby. Though you might not choose this cruise for the purpose of going to Tallin or Visby, both were surprisingly delightful medieval walled cities. The Stockholm embarkation port was quite a ways from the city center and not at all glamorous. Fortunately we arrived in Stockholm a few days early to see the sites and insure our arrival for the cruise. The Arlanda Express train got us from the airport to our hotel in 15 minutes. We stayed at the Frey Hotel (mentioned in Stieg Larsson's 3rd book) which was reasonably priced, friendly and perfectly located to walk to the Royal Palace, Gamla Stan, Opera House, Skansen, Vasa Museum and central downtown. When the ship leaves port in Stockholm, it goes by the 24,000 islands in the archipelago with great views on both sides of the ship. Though it was raining hard when we departed, delay dinner and stay out on deck to experience this! The highlight for us and the reason most of the passengers were on the cruise was to visit historic St. Petersburg. Though the ship docked right in downtown St. Petersburg, the sites are spread out and it is not a walkable area/city. You also have make advance arrangements with a St. Petersburg tour in order to get your 72-hour tourist visa. Recommended by a friend in Jacksonville (who lives in Riga, Latvia), we contacted Timofey Kruglikov of Tailored Tours of St. Petersburg. (www.tour-petersburg.com). Via email, we discussed our interests and Tim then emailed an outline plan for each of our 3 days. Tim took care of our visas and met us with a private car and driver at the ship each morning. He is a scholar in so many areas and has a wealth of knowledge in history, art, and architecture. He is an native of St. Petersburg and speaks openly about the changes in Russia in the last decades. Tim personally guided us at the Hermitage, Russian Museum, Peterhof, St. Isaac's and shared deeper meanings of symbols in much of the art. If you love art/history Tim will flood your senses and you will learn so much! It was also a very crowded time of year (August) and somehow Tim planned our entrances to exhibits so there was never any wait time. When you have so little time to visit, it's nice not to have to wait in huge lines, which we saw many. We saw the major sites and had time to visit many other places not offered on excursions and we had access to rooms not accessible to the large tour groups. Tim is congenial, sincere and has a great sense of humor. We highly recommend his affordable and wonderful guidance while in St. Petersburg! Many of the passengers took the excursion to Moscow and enjoyed it, but were exhausted with the extra travel. We like to travel and explore cities by public transport and usually pack light with carry on and small roller bags. Our disembarkation was in Copenhagen and we easily got from the port to our hotel in the central city by train in 15 minutes. We met some fellow cruisers making the same trek and made good friends quickly! We stayed at the Imperial Hotel which was adequate and conveniently located by Tivoli Gardens and again, walking distance to nearly every major site. We were there on a Sunday so some things were closed but the Nyhavn restaurants were bustling and the bike portion of their Ironman triathlon was going on. It was amazing to see thousands of bikes parked everywhere in this northern city The hardest part was coming home. We were thrilled to have a non-stop from Copenhagen to Atlanta on Delta but what a long flight ending a trip of a lifetime, that we would recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We just returned from a 9-day Norway cruise (round trip from Copenhagen) on the Sojourn. Although we don't have the extensive luxury cruising experience of many who post on this site, I wanted to pass along our impressions. First of ... Read More
We just returned from a 9-day Norway cruise (round trip from Copenhagen) on the Sojourn. Although we don't have the extensive luxury cruising experience of many who post on this site, I wanted to pass along our impressions. First of all, as background, my wife and I are in our mid 40's and we have a 17 year-old daughter who travels with us. While, our luxury cruise experience consists of only two cruises on Regent (Voyager Baltic, 2010 and Navigator Caribbean, 2011) and Cunard (Atlantic Crossing, Queen's Grill, 2005), we do consistently take very nice vacations and we prefer to stay in nice hotels (Four Seasons, Mandarin, Ritz-Carlton, etc.). So, to some extent, we are naturally comparing experiences on Sojourn to land-based luxury experiences as well. However, for purposes of this post, I will primarily compare our Seabourn Sojourn experience to our two prior experiences on Regent ships. While I understand that these impressions are entirely subjective and are based on a single Seabourn cruise on a single vessel, I'm passing them along for whatever they may be worth. Overall, the Norway trip was one of the best trips we've ever taken. In part, that was due to the stunning scenery and location, which would have been amazing even if we were on a non-luxury ship. In addition to the scenery, however, the high quality Seabourn experience also made this a wonderful trip. There were a number of areas in which we thought that the Seabourn experience was superior to Regent, as well as some areas where we preferred our prior Regent experience. All in all, we think that both Seabourn and Regent offer excellent experiences, but we did note some differences. AREAS WHERE WE WOULD GIVE THE NOD TO SEABOURN SOJOURN: Food This is one area where we thought that Seabourn was the clear winner. While we didn't find the difference to be that significant in the main dining room, we thought that Seabourn was far superior in the other dining venues. This was particularly true for the Colonnade, which we thought was simply superb all the way around (the buffets at breakfast and lunch, as well as the superb dinners with table service and excellent dishes prepared to order in the open kitchen). We never thought that we were "settling" for lesser food quality or diminished quality of service when we opted to dine in the Colonnade in lieu of the main dining room. By comparison, we felt that the buffet-style dinners in Regent's La Veranda were a notch-down in quality and atmosphere from the experience offered in Regent's main dining rooms. When weather conditions permitted, the Sojourn's pool grill also was open in the evening, serving excellent made-to-order steaks, lamb chops and other grilled items with table service, as well as antipastas, salads and other "side" items available as a buffet. While we have very much enjoyed Regent's Prime 7 steakhouse venue, the dining there requires a reservation and might only be available once per cruise - by contrast, we could eat in Sojourn's Colonnade or pool grill in the evening without a reservation anytime we wanted. I can't comment on Restaurant 2, as we never made it there for dinner (not because we were intentionally trying to avoid it, but simply because we never got around to it, as we found the other alternatives so appealing). Service in Dining Venues. This is another area where we would give the nod to Seabourn. It is hard to define precisely what was superior about it, but the European Seabourn dining staff somehow seemed more polished and professional. In addition, we never made a request that the dining staff was unable to grant. For example, waiters in each dining venue were happy to have decaffeinated iced tea specially prepared for my wife (she avoids caffeine but, being a Texan, she loves her iced tea). By contrast, my wife has made the same request in Regent dining venues a number of times, and the waiters have never been able to accommodate the request (in some cases, acting as though they had never heard that such a thing as decaffeinated iced tea even existed). All in all, the dining service on the Sojourn seemed to us to be essentially the same as what we would expect if staying and dining at a Four Seasons resort - spot on and highly consistent. Outdoor Public Areas of Ship We were really surprised by the wonderful outdoor "nooks and crannies" and other places to relax - from multiple hot tubs to secluded hidden deck areas, the exterior spaces on the Sojourn were incredibly well conceived and executed. We had the impression of almost being on a private yacht - really no comparison to Regent Navigator (which seemed cramped in terms of outdoor spaces) or Voyager. Stability of Ship and Lack of Vibration We sailed through some pretty rough waters in the North Sea, but the Sojourn seemed rock solid, without any hint of vibration. By contrast, we found the vibration in the rear portion of the Regent Navigator to be HIGHLY bothersome, and the Regent Voyager also seemed to have some issue with this. No Art Auctions The Sojourn had a relaxed but sophisticated on-board feeling, and thankfully no art auctions to destroy the ambiance (unlike Regent). AREAS WHERE WE WOULD GIVE THE NOD TO REGENT: Purser and Similar Services We thought that the Sojourn fell far short of the Regent standard in terms of on-board purser and similar services. While the "set up" of the personnel to assist with account/purser issues in Seabourn Square was good, there were some real problems with systems and/or execution. First of all, we had made the mistake of reserving some spa treatments and shore excursions online in advance of the cruise (not having previously sailed with Sojourn, we were afraid that these might be "sold out" if we waited until getting on board). Seabourn's website required us to pay for these in advance with a credit card. Because we had significant onboard credits from American Express, I asked onboard to apply these credits to the spa treatments and shore excursions that we had pre-reserved. The staff in Seabourn Square was unable to accommodate this. At first, they essentially indicated that we were simply out of luck, and one staff member told me repeatedly that we should have simply reserved, but not paid for, the pre-booked items when we reserved - I told them that the website seemed to indicate that we MUST prepay for the pre-booked items. Eventually, we were paid out in cash for the items we had pre-paid, but this took several days to resolve. They were unable (or unwilling) to simply reverse the credit card charges. Secondly, we asked to get a key to our daughter's suit (she's a minor), so that we would be able to access her suite if we need to do so. At first, we were told that the system would not accommodate this and that there could be only one key issued for each person in a suite. Finally, after three days, the purser was able to override the system (or something) and get us another key. These may seem like minor annoyances, but they were definitely annoyances, and these are not the type of issues with which we've ever had a hassle on Regent or at a high-end hotel on land. Bars Open During Day Only one bar (the pool bar) was open prior to 6:00 pm on the Sojourn. By contrast, on Regent we had always appreciated that there was at least one other indoor (and more convenient) bar open during the day - which was nice if returning from a long shore excursion, etc. Smoking Policy While our suites never smelled of smoke, the hallways often smelled of it when passing other cabins. Also, the observation bar could be extremely stinky from smoke when it was full of people. We much prefer Regent's smoking policy. Places to Get Coffee in the Morning While the Sojourn had excellent coffee drinks of various sorts available in Seabourn Square, one had to get the coffee from the staff member working the coffee counter and there was often a line (and a wait). This was the only thing for which I ever had to wait in a line on the Sojourn - but I hate waiting in lines. I have always enjoyed the ability to get self-service coffee (at Coffee Connection or by the pool) on Regent. This may seem minor to most people, but it's annoying to me to have to wait just to get a cup of coffee and to not have a self-service option. Suites Although this is a close one (and in most respects we found the Sojourn suites to be equivalent to the Regent suites), there were a couple of minor things that would cause us to give the nod to the Regent suites. First, the dressing area (with mirror) on the Sojourn is in the entry hallway and is completely exposed if one opens the suite door. So, when opening the door to the suite from the outside, it would be very easy to expose one's spouse, etc. to an embarrassing situation if they happen to be getting dressed. By contrast, this area in the Regent suites is at an angle, sort of "around the corner" and not exposed to the suite door. Also, while the bathrooms were very pretty, we thought that the double sink configuration was a mistake. The second sink deprived the bathroom of too much storage space and was not really useful. Once again, not a big differences in the suites. All in all, two excellent cruise lines. We likely will sail both in the future (depending on itinerary, etc.). Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We are long time Seabourn cruisers recently off a 16 day cruise on Quest. Last year on an 18 day trip on Ovation we noticed many changes, not for the good. This trip, it’s clear the product has sunk far below what it once was. ... Read More
We are long time Seabourn cruisers recently off a 16 day cruise on Quest. Last year on an 18 day trip on Ovation we noticed many changes, not for the good. This trip, it’s clear the product has sunk far below what it once was. 1. Dinner Service in the Restaurant/Colonnade. Three dinners where we casually appeared between 7:30 and 8:30. Result: At least a half hour between courses. Water and wine filled once and never again. This situation was a topic of discussion around the ship and some had figured out that if you go right when they open, you will have decent service. So for all the next dinners we raced to get in line before 7 so that we could have a decent dinner. Many times the line at 6:50 snaked to the back of the ship. 2. Service in the Observation Bar. This was a cold trip so the Sky Bar and Patio Bar were useless. The Observation Bar was the only bar open before 6:30 P.M. and since we had to be in line before 7 P.M. to get a decent dinner, you had to be in the Observation Bar for a pre-dinner drink. It was packed. People would get there at 5:30 and put clothing on seats. At 6:15 there would be massive groups circling for a seat. And getting a refill or second drink - forget it. We, and many others, asked for the Club to open early. It never did. So now if you wanted to be at the Observation Bar you had to rush to get up there by 5:30/5:45 or you weren’t getting in. Now we are rushing to get a drink and rushing to get dinner 3. Service in Housekeeping. Hand towels missing, called Guest Services, called Housekeeping, three days later hand towels. Same with bath towels and a bath mat on different occasions. One night came back from a show, took a shower and did not notice until exiting the shower – no bath towels. Loved drying my long hair with a hand towel. They have taken away bottled water in the room and now have a jug. But that only works when you have glasses which we had only twice. 4. I could go on including waiting for tables at breakfast because there were no clean ones. The major topic everywhere in the ship was complaints and horror stories about dinners and shore excursions and such. That old thing about “have dinner when you want with whom you want” is a joke. Our whole schedule was about getting to the Bar and one of the Restaurants when they opened so we could get a seat. Ugly. They have removed the good champagne and replaced it with a very poor version. The Patio Grill buffet at lunch is half what it was. The great cranberry nut cookies they used to have on all ships are no more because “cranberries are too expensive”. This is not a luxury experience anymore. 5. We spoke to many staff about what had happened and the answer was they have gone from the former ratio of 2 guests to one staff to three guests to one staff (150 crew on Quest versus the former 225). It shows. I can’t imagine what would get us, long time Seabourn cruisers, back on board. Sorry to see Seabourn become what they have become. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We choose this cruise because we only planned ahead by 2 months and this cruise worked for our schedule. Awful from the start. Unorganized staff made it a nuisance to make anything happen. Food has been absolutely terrible. We’ve ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we only planned ahead by 2 months and this cruise worked for our schedule. Awful from the start. Unorganized staff made it a nuisance to make anything happen. Food has been absolutely terrible. We’ve never been on a cruise that had such bad food consistently throughout the trip. For the same price as crystal cruises, seabourn offers much less quality of services and amenities. On the first day, the staff was not informed on the emergency drill. They had me and my sister running back and forth needlessly, because several people gave us different information that was all incorrect. Smoking is a pain on this boat. They let people smoke cigarettes many places, but the only place you can smoke a cigar is this tiny back deck area where they don’t offer any drinks or service. Even though they sell expensive cigars. It feels like a punishment. Finding the spot was huge pain because every staff member told us a different location, which again, had us running around the boat needlessly. My friend was looking for an espresso on our first day. Once again, misinformed staff sent us in circles. We finally find the correct spot, and they say they can’t help us because they closed the esspessso machine 2min ago. They said we could get some on the floor underneath. We go there, ask the staff, and they kindly tell us we can get espresso. Then a different staff member aggressively grabs my friends shirt and pulls him back. He tells him, “You can’t be in here. You need to leave now!” My friends tried to explain the situation and he responds “well send you a double espresso to your room” and they sent coffee. Just incredibly agressive and rude. The other staff says “I didn’t know the captain was in the room.” Like that would justify what happened. Rooms are dirty. Fingernail marks in the wall. Stained carpets. Broken toilets. Shower and bath drains don’t work. Scratchy towels. Broken AC. Lights only turn on in your room if you leave your key in the wall, which has been a huge unnecessary nuisance as well. Food has been terrible. The menus are very limited. This Thomas kheller chef forces half the menu to be standardized. So you can’t customize the food to your liking. I’ve never been on cruise with such bad food. That alone is a deal breaker. The service makes it worse. Even dining in “the main restaurant” they don’t refil your drinks unless you ask. They bring the wrong food or forget orders. They use this tablet system that apparently fails all the time, according to a waitress. Today I ordered room service. Waited over an hour. After talking to 3 people, they discovered it went to the wrong room. Excursions have been fun. But we’ve been doing private excursions separate from seabourn. The one excursion we did use through seabourn was wildly mislabeled. A group of 20 people thinking they’re spending a day at the beach with powerboats, instead spend the majority of the day riding in jeeps, WHICH WAS EXACLY WHAT WE DID THE DAY BEFORE. Incredible. Before the cruise, they let you fill out this online form of what drinks you’d prefer stocked in your room. They didn’t put what I requested and just left Myers in my suite. I’ve been on seabourn sojourn, and that experience was 100x better than this. I’ve been on crystal and reagent, and those were even better. If you believe in getting what you pay for, stay away from the seabourn encore. The lady who cleans our room is awesome and so have been some of the service guys. The bartender is really cool and clearly is working very hard. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
First let me say this is my 1st review ever. We have been on over 140 cruises and have over 150 days on Seabourn but they have seen us for the last time. Unfortunately Seabourn has implemented so many cost cutting features including a new ... Read More
First let me say this is my 1st review ever. We have been on over 140 cruises and have over 150 days on Seabourn but they have seen us for the last time. Unfortunately Seabourn has implemented so many cost cutting features including a new set of Auxilliary Generators that come on whenever they leave port or come into port to Dock. They run for a solid hour at 3:00 am - 6:00 am or Midnight depending on when they leave or dock. It is so loud you can't hear your partner in your cabin. We were on for 30 days and never got a decent nights sleep. When the Hotel Manger Pepe was asked about what to do or what the reason is he played dumb and said "We don't know" and could do nothing to solve the problem. This is intolerable. Furthermore, we have witnessed the pencil pushers cost cutting to the bare bone on Seabourn. The food is severely limited choices and bland and usually cold, with only 1 real restaurant that you can go to at night. It is a joke to say they have 5 dining venues - they count ROOM SERVICE as a dining venue. At the grill you can only have 1 booking per week, the Patio is 32 degrees on some cruises and impossible to eat outside in that. The tours are outrageously priced at $279 for 3 hours bus ride in city? The enrichment lectures are planned during dinner - is that convenient? Dinner starts at 7:00 pm and the shows are at 9:45 PM. Great if you want to stay up to midnight everynight. Better not cuz you will be waking at 3am with the generator. This is a terrible value for money spent - there is nothing 6 star- grand or gourmet or high end about Seabourn and you are kidding yourself if you hope otherwise. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We booked Owner's suite 701 having been told it was "subject to noise when anchoring". What we got nstead was and hour to an hour and a half of extremely loud banging, grinding, clanking and intense vibration. When we ... Read More
We booked Owner's suite 701 having been told it was "subject to noise when anchoring". What we got nstead was and hour to an hour and a half of extremely loud banging, grinding, clanking and intense vibration. When we reported this issue we were told that it was the thrusters not the anchor as the ship was not anchored and that we were to expect the same for the remainder of the cruise. We were also told that "at least" on our one sea day we could relax since the ship would not docked. That day we were woken to hammering and noise due to maintenance close to our suite. Even after complaining this went on for over one hour. It is clear to us that Seabourn sold us this suite with full knowledge of the existing problem and used deception to do so. Buyer beware that if you are going to reserve suite 701 and pay this much money you will subjected to a very stressful experience upon arrival at port and also departure which will make your vacation a very stressful one. Aside from this the Encore is understaffed, service is simply average and entertainment leaves a lot to be desired. We have been very disappointed overall with our experience with Seabourn and will not be sailing with them again. Seabourn is obviously only interested in making money without concern for providing their guests with the superior experience and service they advertise. Read Less
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: June 2019
Avide Seabourn fans, we seldom have anything but praise for the line, and although we preferred the original and smaller yachts, we continue to find ourselves on one of their ships a 30 or 40 days each year. Now … the best ocean ... Read More
Avide Seabourn fans, we seldom have anything but praise for the line, and although we preferred the original and smaller yachts, we continue to find ourselves on one of their ships a 30 or 40 days each year. Now … the best ocean vessel experiences require solid and reliable shoreside support and administration, and Seabourn's website and head office staff in Seattle are giving us a re-think on giving the line another dime or any more of our time. No less than a dozen accounting errors in pre-cruise purchases had us dealing with the shipboard back office staff every day. It was endless. Had it not been for our printed records and an American Express statement, we would have had a losing battle. Vacations are for relaxing, not for auditing the vendors accounting errors. Dear President Richard, please get your Seattle offices pencil sharpened and your website technology up to date. Cons: Smoking continues to be allowed indoors in public spaces. The retreat is an entirely useless waist of (for fee) space. Pros: Dining in all venues is 6 star, although it is much harder than it should be to get specialty reservations (much easier on Regent) so best to board with very limited expectations. Cabins are a tiny bit narrower than on the Sojourn class vessels, but the layout is nearly identical. The new dining table in the living area is a big improvement. Entertainment is sedate, but refined. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We have had many years of delightful sailing with Seabourn (Diamond Elite member). We have sailed exclusively with Seabourn for a decade. This time, our trip was from Dover (London) to Venice - about a month - on Ovation. The ships ... Read More
We have had many years of delightful sailing with Seabourn (Diamond Elite member). We have sailed exclusively with Seabourn for a decade. This time, our trip was from Dover (London) to Venice - about a month - on Ovation. The ships are lovely, as are the cabins. The cabin stewardess was excellent. The cruise director was excellent - but the apparent problems are far from his control. Sadly, the service throughout the remainder of the ship fell far short. The service on Seabourn has continually degraded since its office merger with Holland America. In the Restaurant and in the Colonnade, service was extremely slow. The norm to wait for coffee or a glass of juice was often 15 - 20 minutes. The staff were excellent - there were simply too few of them. The clear way to improvement in this area is to hire more staff and to train them well in the Seabourn manner. The spa is beautiful but it, too, seems understaffed. The major problem there is with scheduling. Armed with a page outlining my requests for dates and services, I was told they were unable to fulfill these requests. For guests who are aboard for two or more As for the decline in entertainment, that area, too, needs a huge overhaul. How long can two ships live on one show? The Tim Rice show is well done - but for two years now, it's the only show onboard that's been worth seeing. Seabourn no longer offers the exclusive service and the personal touches that originally made it shine, and which were the basis for Seabourn ships and cruises consistently ranking #1 in the industry. It's a sad realization, but Seabourn is no longer great; it's not even good. It has removed services, diluted service in public areas, reduced the numbers of staff (pre-dinner in the Observation Bar, it was next to impossible to get a waiter), and in general, the attitudes of the service staff have been reduced to that of the mid-range ships. For example, one morning, we were leaving the ship for an excursion and waiting for approval to debark. Three staff members were on duty in that area, and one was vocal about how badly the company treated its employees. This kind of attitude was also displayed by some staff members in the Colonnade. Two extremely large spaces on this ship and its sister ship, Encore, sit empty most of the time. The retreat (why in the world would someone PAY to sit in an area that's already available FREE?) and the beautiful deck area outside the Grill, under the Colonnade deck. We were told that Thomas Keller doesn't want his food served cold. If that is the reason, it is ridiculous. In the Mediterranean, the weather is balmy and the temperature outside is warmer than inside. The number of steps from kitchen to table is the same. Whatever the reason for this space sitting empty, it has involved very poor planning. Yes, guests could walk down all of the steps to get there from the Colonnade - but very few actually do it. The space sits empty. Whether the overall problem is lack of planning, lack of training training, hiring of so many new staff due to the two new larger ships, or to something else - is all irrelevant. Seabourn has lost its shine. No wonder its 2018 rank sank to #4 - another new low. The ports were fine, but the shore excursions, too, reveal that Seabourn is looking for a bargain - not for quality. Excellent tour guides still live in all of the ports; we didn't encounter any except on tours that we privately ordered. The ship's tours were fair - but did not begin to equal what Seabourn has offered since its inception. Too much emphasis on economy and Thomas Keller, and not enough emphasis on the guests. We will not likely return. Many other regular Seabourn guests shared their disappointment. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Since 1999 my wife and I have sailed 300+ days with Seabourn. It goes without saying that over the years we have been very satisfied. Not so with our last two week cruise on the Encore in the Med. It has been a while since we last ... Read More
Since 1999 my wife and I have sailed 300+ days with Seabourn. It goes without saying that over the years we have been very satisfied. Not so with our last two week cruise on the Encore in the Med. It has been a while since we last sailed on a Seabourn cruise and it will be a while - if ever - before we try again. The interior of the Encore including the suites is fabulous, but we cruise where the weather is good and the outside spaces are crammed and chaotic. The pool deck (serving simultaneously as a bar, as a restaurant and as a sun deck is at least 30% smaller than on the Odyssey class - for 150 more passengers. You will have lunch (if you can find a table) less than 10 inches from a sunbed maybe inhabited by a very large person in a very small bathing suit. Even if the food was good you could easily loose your appetite: You reach for the ketchup and you wind up with a bikini top in your hand.... But this goes to the core of our grievances: The food is actually horrible at all of their restaurants. We did not have one good meal out of the 40 odd meals we had during the two weeks. We could not fault the main Chef (from Bologna). He did what he could with an insufficiant budget and inferior ingredients: Dry, tough and tasteless meats. Tired fish. Too few mushrooms to make the mushroom soup taste of mushroom - not dish water. Ill smelling and ill tasting pork belly with a scallop on top with the texture of jelly. Mushy berrys at the breakfast buffet way past their last selling date. Now they have the new specialty restaurant to which Thomas Keller has sold his name. Shame on him. We dined there four times with exacly the same result: The cook has a better budget hence better ingredients. But the guy on this particular cruise did not have any idea whatsoever how to prepare them: The cured salmon was so salty that your palate burned. It was uneatable so it did not matter, that he had forgotten to remove the plastic wrap from the dish. A “grilled” Rib-eye for two was burnt to a crisp on the outside. The proud cook pronounced that it weighed 900 grammes. He cut it up in 14-16 slices at the table and slammed half of the slices down on my wife’s plate and the other half on mine. The plates looked like what you would feed a very big dog. We tried all the sides during our four visits. All of them were seriously over-cooked. Mushy and tasteless. For the first time ever we had a sinewy Lobster Thermidor. It is beyond me how he accomplished that. Once before on all of our Seabourn cruises we have had food as bad as on this one. On that particular one the Chef had a nervous breakdown and was totally unable to function. They had to fly in a trainer/replacement. My guess is that Seabourn has now finally been 100% “incorporated” in Carnival’s HQ in Seattle and has been forced to “piggy back” on deals with the vendors supplying their 4 star cruise lines even though they still charge six star prices. Finally a word about the ratio between newbees and experienced staff. It is way too high. My guess is 80:20. In fact Seabourn rely on the guests to train the majority of the staff who are on their first contract. As a guest you need to in order to get what you want..... Read Less
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
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
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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
Booking: Tried to book my suite and airfare online. Glitches in their system booked 3 suites and then cancelled my air from Austin, Texas. After several phone calls and approximately 4 hours with discourteous personnel, it was worked out. ... Read More
Booking: Tried to book my suite and airfare online. Glitches in their system booked 3 suites and then cancelled my air from Austin, Texas. After several phone calls and approximately 4 hours with discourteous personnel, it was worked out. Flight to Port: Concern over short layover in Chicago. Another discourteous Seabourn clerk said, "We don't book flights you can't make. But you can purchase your own flight if you're concerned." We barely made the connection, by running, but we got to Copenhagen with NO luggage. Dining: Main Dining room was more than expected~ more time, 3 hours…for a 3 course meal. Food presentation was great, but taste was only adequate…disappointing. Shore Excursions: Not a diverse choice. Took a bicycle tour in Estonia, that should have been labeled strenuous. One cyclist was hit by a drop arm, knocked off his bike and bloodied… Entertainment: so, so… Cabin: Wonderful, spacious bathrooms, walk-in closet, great Stewardess! Disembarkation, Driver, Hotel: Driver picked us up in Dover on time. However, he rarely went to London and was lost for 45 minutes. When he did find the Grosvenor, he dropped us off on the wrong side. Booking fouled up, again. Had to fuss to get another room, and then for $700 it faced a tarred roof and engine room. The Seabourn agent on site had not a clue what her duties were! Reparations: Seabourn gave me a whopping $2000 toward my next cruise….I had spent $20,000. on this one. NEVER AGAIN!!   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We joined the ship in Copenhagen on the 17th August and left in Stockholm calling at Tallinn and Helsinki. As way of a little background, I am in my 50s, my wife early 60s and have cruised extensively mostly with Azamara but also with ... Read More
We joined the ship in Copenhagen on the 17th August and left in Stockholm calling at Tallinn and Helsinki. As way of a little background, I am in my 50s, my wife early 60s and have cruised extensively mostly with Azamara but also with Cunard, Holland America and in our early days NCL. Firstly the ship is beautiful, well presented and lots of room. Cabins are more generously sized than other lines and our stewardess was excellent. I did not open my bottle of whisky as I would have only had a couple of shorts before the whole thing would have been poured down the drain. Multiply this by the number of cabins and what a waste, the bar was very close! I felt sorry for the recent poster who said he would not sail with Seabourn again and was immediately lambasted by Seabourn aficionados but I have to wholeheartedly agree with him. For a line that sells itself as 'ultra-luxury' I found their levels of service terribly disappointing. We were constantly waiting to be noticed, order drinks or wait for drinks. A pot of tea shouldn't take 30 minutes, when mentioned to a manager her only reply was 'are you sure its been 30 minutes?', this was a common experience at all the eateries. Service in the eateries was generally hard work, the feeling one got was that they were doing a favour by serving us. Service at the bars - especially the club - was excellent. Food was mediocre, plenty of it, but just not very exciting. We enjoyed the Sushi but found the food in the special 'Grill' not good at all with my 'Veal' being very fatty and grizzly. I did report my general disappointment in the mid cruise feedback form which prompted a reply from the Hotel Director who told me 'she had sorted my problems' which i found impressive as I had not been over specific what my concerns were. Shore excursions were very good but on the first couple of trips there was no guidance from staff as to where meet ashore - Tickets were printed 'Meet Pierside' which didn't help, before immigration or after? there was no one there anyway. The expectation was that you made your way to the coaches, on one occasion our coach went without us and we were greeted by excursion staff with the comment 'ah you're the missing ones'. As we went straight from the ship on being called to the coaches I still find it difficult to understand how we were missing. I really did want to like Seabourn but apart from the ship, which again I will say was beautiful and Handre who was fantastic, other(not so ultra-luxury) lines beat Seabourn hands down down for service, food and of course value for money. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and feel I have a critical but fair eye. I had high expectations of this line and particular ship from word of mouth recommendations and other favorable reviews. I was quite disappointed and will list out all of my reasons while still making sure to give credit where credit is due. I will start with the positives first. My overall summary of the below is at the bottom of this review. Cabin: Our cabin was very nice and spacious. Bed and pillows are comfortable, ample room with a nice walk in closet and separate seating area. Bathroom has a double sink which is very nice, shower is marble and still small but pressure very good. Bathtub a waste of space in my opinion. Balcony nice size and overall room very spacious. We were in cabin 651 on the 6th floor located toward the center of the ship which was great. Molton Brown products in the bathroom and a selection of body soap offered on the first day. Room stewardess was attentive and did a very good job. Only complaint on the first day is that the room wasn’t cleaned well. The soap in our bathroom which was a body wash had been used and there was a lot of dust and finger prints on the table in the room. Otherwise, cabin was excellent and gets high marks from me. I believe we were in category V5. Ship: the ship is beautiful. Modern, clean, more yacht-like than cruise ship. A lot of wood paneling. 600 people but still felt very quiet even on sea days. Our favorite place to relax was the cappuccino lounge on floor 7 where they had tons of seating and recliners. Decor of the ship was very simple yet elegant. WIFI: very good! Much better WIFI than any other ship I’ve been on - in room technology good. Service: this is where our experience goes down the tubes. The service on this ship was HORRIBLE!! The staff do you a major favor and if asked for something that requires them to go out at all of their way, they are rude. We had some staff that were nice (mainly in cappuccino lounge and main dining room - except for maitre de) but all and all, the service sucked. Management lacks tremendously, customer service is non existent and the staff seem poorly trained, disingenuous and disinterested. I’ve really never experienced anything like this before - had we not met several other couples who also shared the same sentiment, I would have thought I was going crazy!! A few examples - almost every meal without fail we waited 10 minutes before getting anything to drink. If we needed a sauce to accompany a meal, we waited 10 minutes. In fact, we stopped ordering sauces because it was such a lost cause & by the time it arrived our meal was over. I asked for cream with my coffee - by the time the cream came, my coffee was cold. We were almost always at a meal with an empty drink that needed refilling. No accommodating what so ever. My husband likes the salmon in the colonnade - we asked if it could be served on the patio 20 feet away and they said no, they prefer not to. At dinner in the main, I asked if i could have a croquette that came with a different entree than what I ordered and was told no, they only had a certain amount and could not accommodate me. I mean, come on! I tried to move my Thomas Keller reservation because my husband wasn’t feeling well and was told with 11 days left on the trip that they couldn’t accommodate us. Finally, after getting the guest services manager involved, we got one at an undesirable time on a different day but at this point, we took what we could get. These may seem Iike minor gripes but we encountered them several times per day and was a major turnoff and took a lot away from the experience. The overall staff attitude was rude and requests of them felt like inconveniences. This in itself was bad enough to never return to this ship. As I said previously, several other couples experienced the same rude service. My husbands Camera was lost day 1 and finally arrived at our cabin with a cracked and dented lens. We requested compensation for the lens. Seabourn asked us to provide the link to the lens - which we did directly from the website - to prove it was $500. They tried to tell us it was a $200 lens (they had the wrong lens) and refused to refund us. We have yet to resolve this issue with them. Food - We are major foodies and we’re quite disappointed in the food on this ship. I will say that the quality is there in a lot of areas (not all) but the execution is not. Breakfast was good but the same every day. Not a bad thing, but boring after a while. A decent selection and probably the best meal. Lunch was a mixed bag. Salad bar always had nice items and the grill items - fish, burgers, hot dog, etc always very tasty and fresh. Meat quality good, fish quality good. My only complaint on the fish was it never had any seasoning or flavor - this was a major theme for most items on board - but I would still prefer to add salt vs. having the sodium and preservative packed food a lot of ships have, so this wasn’t a major complaint. All lunch hot food served in the chaffing dishes were slop and never hot. We almost never ate any of the prepared food served at lunch because it was room temperature and unappealing. Dinner : main dining room was respectable but not great. We didn’t have one meal there that was really delicious. Temperature was an issue and seasoning was non existent. I’ve never put so much salt on my food in my life. Service mixed. Our first night there we waited about 15 minutes before anyone came to our table. Finally the waitress comes over with an iPad looking down and says “what can i get you” - no greeting, no introduction. Very impersonal feeling. Sushi was nothing to write home about. A lot of rice and uninspired. I actually overheard someone say “it’s not as bad as gas station sushi” - I’ll leave it at that. The colonnade was OK - probably our least favorite. They do special nights like rib night or clam bake night and they look beautiful but just don’t quite execute it well. For example : rib night - the ribs came out in a beautiful Staub cast iron pan presented family style and looked delicious. Unfortunately, the ribs were dry, cold and had clearly been sitting on a heat lamp for an hour +. We sent it back and got a new rack that was the same dry and Luke warm ribs this time with some bbq sauce slathered on top. To put the icing on the cake, the assistant maitre de came over and instead of apologizing that the food came out lacking temperature and dry, explained that the ribs weren’t Texas style but st.louis style and weren’t supposed to fall off the bone..I mean ..really ? I’m not expecting anything more than a simple apology or some sort of follow up to see if the second round was better. Instead, I was blamed for expecting them to fall off the bone and they didn’t. I didn’t need ribs that fell off the bone, just didn’t want to eat something as dry as wood. The Patio by the pool in our opinion offered the best most innovative meals but even those fell short on flavor and execution. We also had a Northern Europe itinerary with a lot of rain and cool weather and found ourselves eating outside in the windy cold weather because the patio was the best choice. Thomas Keller which is the specialty restaurant was very good for a steakhouse on a cruise ship. I would say this is likely the best option on board. Food delicious but once again, service lacking. Not attentive and seemed to do you a big favor. We found in all restaurants that the deserts were mediocre and most didn’t taste cooked on board. I don’t think I had one desert I loved. I also found the breads were uninspired. In summary : good quality ingredients (for the most part ) that aren’t executed well. Oceania food trumps Seabourn by a landslide. A few other items to note: Older crowd, no children. Except for us (in our early 30s), most people were 65+. Not good or bad, just our cruise demographic. Free laundry was a nice feature with Miele commercial washers and dryers and complimentary detergent. Gym was small but clean, coffee on board was very good. Entertainment was respectable. Nice job at including different daily activities. Excursions - expensive but well organized. I read the ship docs at ports further away from the destinations to save on docking fees. Not sure if this is true. We did a few excursions - food provided on them was mediocre and limited and tours very pricey. Spa - didn’t use but quite expensive. Very few discounts offered throughout cruise. They had a “promotion” that if you do 3 treatments from a select number of services you get 10% off first, 20% off second and 30% off third. Note this is per cabin and not per stateroom. I know all cruise spas are expensive but this was more than canyon ranch on Oceania. I may have left stuff out but to summarize my overall impressions: cabin and ship top notch and classy, food better than the celebrity level lines but nothing special. Service was so bad it border-lined on offensive and as a result, I will likely not return to Seabourn. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation ... Read More
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation was boring and bland. The dress code is not policed and many evenings gentlemen turned up to dinner in polo shirts. The shore excursions were expensive and sometimes involved long journeys presumably because Seabourn do not wish to pay more expensive docking fees. The pillows and mattress had the consistency of a marshmallow. Despite firm pillows being offered our steward could not find any which wasn't great. The one female hairdresser on board was awful and the service generally slow. My husband ordered roses for our anniversary and they turned up at 10pm that night. The entertainment was boring and very few enrichment talks compared to Cunard. We could seldom have breakfast in the restaurant as we were on excursions and it did not open until 8am. The Colonnade was like a zoo. Very very disappointing. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Our 7th Seabourn cruse, first on the new Encore-size which carries about 150 more passengers than the previous 'Odyssey' class. We were on for 14 nights, most passengers were on 7 night cruises and the ship was full, so that made ... Read More
Our 7th Seabourn cruse, first on the new Encore-size which carries about 150 more passengers than the previous 'Odyssey' class. We were on for 14 nights, most passengers were on 7 night cruises and the ship was full, so that made it a very busy cruise for the staff. The ship is beautiful as the Odyssey class ships were, very much the same style. The suite was super, everything on the whole ship was clean and maintained and to a very high standard. Public spaces, the pool deck, the main restaurant, the theatre haven't been increased in size as much as the passenger numbers have increased. That led to the pool deck being pretty crowded on an afternoon when people came back from trips. The main dining room doesn't have the same feeling of space on the previous ships, it's ok, but some of the ambience is lost. The second restaurant, "The Colonnade" is much larger and brighter than before which is an improvement. Since now not everyone can fit into the theatre at the same time there are two shows a night instead of one, which does give you some choice. Service has always been key to the whole Seabourn experience and is why we have returned again and again. Overall we received the same excellent Seabourn service from friendly, well-trained staff, there really isn't a bad staff member and many are very good at their job. We did have some lapses, the main dining room did not always work well when it was busy with tables left unattended for longer than you'd expect on a luxury line. There were other issues in other venues with forgotten orders, late room service. There weren't many lapses, but Seabourn usually hits 99% perfect service, here it was perhaps 90%. Food. Everyone cares about food. This cruise it was mostly very good but with, for the first time on Seabourn, a couple of meals which were terrible, badly cooked, bad presentation. The choice was good, there was never a day you couldn't find a venue and menu you were excited about, didn't always deliver however. The ship now has the Thomas Keller Grill for which you can have one reservation per segment, and if you ask nicely and look hungry you might be able to add a second evening. The food there from the fixed menu was excellent. The ship also has a sushi restaurant we tried once, that was also very good indeed. We feel the food on Seabourn is usuall very good with occasional excellent, this cruise was very good with occasional excellent (in Thomas Keller) and a couple of meals which were dire. Entertainment was as good as you can expect from a small cast on a smaller ship. We thought the shows were the best we've had on Seabourn. We were fortunate to have Jeffrey Archer on the ship as a guest lecturer and each of his talks were very well worth attending. Overall it was Seabourn but a bit diluted. Ship is lovely but feels a bit crowded compared to the smaller ships. The staff worked incredibly hard but still the service and the food fell a little short of what we think of as Seabourn standard. We'll definitely continue to sail Seabourn but will favour the Odyssey class ships if we can and if Encore class, try to find cruises which are sailing less than totally full. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
New ship is lovely but larger size is a mistake. Addition of Thomas Keller restaurant and 150 additional passengers was a major error. Added square footage was in the wrong place and they could not seat everyone in the main dining room! ... Read More
New ship is lovely but larger size is a mistake. Addition of Thomas Keller restaurant and 150 additional passengers was a major error. Added square footage was in the wrong place and they could not seat everyone in the main dining room! The Thomas Keller was one of the worst restaurants at sea i have experienced. Decor was lovely but the food has been better at Denny's. The additional 150 passengers totally changes the feeling of the ship. This may have also have been impacted by more European passenger makeup but the ship was full of a bunch. of snobs. No sense of comradery. The Japanese Restaurant food was OK but far from good. The Retreat is a joke - expensive and seldom used. In general the crew was good - a great captain, bar tenders and pool side servers were excellent but our cabin stewards was poor at best and the waiters and management ti the main dining room were not ally ways helpful. New tenders ware great - much improved access. The itinerary was great- we attended most of the enrichment lectures and they were lacking. Olive oil lecture was a waste of time. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
With a desire for an upmarket ship, which spent 3 days in St Petersburg, my husband and I chose the brand new Seabourn Ovation. At the time of booking, it had not yet hit the water. This 7 day cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm, also had ... Read More
With a desire for an upmarket ship, which spent 3 days in St Petersburg, my husband and I chose the brand new Seabourn Ovation. At the time of booking, it had not yet hit the water. This 7 day cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm, also had a day in Tallin ,Estonia and a half day in Helsinki, Finland, with one day at sea.Embarkation was easy at 2 pm, with a delicious buffet lunch waiting..We had a verandah suite on deck 7. On arrival, I noticed that the floor had not been vacuumed and they were hairs in the bathtub. When I contacted housekeeping this was quickly rectified. The suites are well thought out with lots of storage space, but if the bathroom door is open and you open the front door, they smash together. I had chosen to be in the middle of deck 7 as I wanted a quiet room away from any high traffic areas. However, the poor internal design of the ship meant the doors slammed, which could be heard at all hours, footsteps from above caused loud noise and strong vibrations in the room, and people could be heard in the next cabins. Several people I spoke to who,unfortunately were given rooms that interconnected with others had it even worse and made complaints. What a shame that the latest luxury liner did not use the latest technology for soundproofing. On the positive side, all the staff were exceptional in all areas. The food was of a very high quality, and I recommend the afternoon tea scones as well as the gelato. However, a lot of the food felt somewhat old fashioned, and I think they would benefit from some more modern cuisine, such as Asian fusion. The guest entertainers were excellent, including a mentalist and an award- winning pianist. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
In all fairness, I will begin by the positive. One of the newer Seabourn vessels, the Encore is in great shape. Having sailed over 200 days on the line, many of the typical Seabourn standards were present right away at embarkation. ... Read More
In all fairness, I will begin by the positive. One of the newer Seabourn vessels, the Encore is in great shape. Having sailed over 200 days on the line, many of the typical Seabourn standards were present right away at embarkation. Walking through the hallways we were always greeted by the big smiles of the housekeeping staff who are always busy, busy, busy. The service in the main dining room was mostly perfect. The first "dancing under the stars" event was a blast as the departing CD really knows how to get a party started. The caviar sailaway to the music of live opera is always a treat. The service, however, was out of synch. With the exception of a handful of seasoned crew, the staff seemed inexperienced and we had many service issues, some minor, some unacceptable. We even had a confrontation with a server early on in the sailing that had us seeing things that we may have otherwise overlooked. I really do believe in the Seabourn brand, but will be taking a little break. I have 3 future cruises programmed, 2 of them are on a different line. Hopefully they will get it together before the next time we board. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Have been on Seabourn a few times and decided to take our grown up family on this trip What should have been a super holiday was let down somewhat by mediocre service. On our previous trips with the line this has been their strong suit but ... Read More
Have been on Seabourn a few times and decided to take our grown up family on this trip What should have been a super holiday was let down somewhat by mediocre service. On our previous trips with the line this has been their strong suit but not this time. We were on recently in October and it felt like being on a different ship. The restaurant staff are always polite but there was a sense of a lack of control and communication especially in the main dining areas. We had had slow service in the dining room and complained and things got better until the last night when it all fell apart again. Two of our party have food allergies and these just did not seem to be taken note of. On one occasion my wife was served a starter that could have made her very ill if she had not detected very quickly that one of the ingredients was the one she was allergic too. On our other cruises staff were always quick to get to know our name and our preferences but this did not happen on this one. Not all areas were poor some were very good such as Seabourn Square , Patio and the Sushi restaurant. Bar service was also first class especially in the observation lounge. Entertainment was excellent particularly the host dancers and crew performers and entertainment staff. The only thing we would suggest is some new shows are in order. Have seen the Tim Rice experience more than once! The casino was very well run and had a friendly vibe about it. Cabin service was absolutely superb. All in all frustrating as what should have been a great family holiday was let down by the less than impressive dining experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We sailed on the Encore last summer and looked forward to our next cruise this June. At every meal the featured meal involved pork whether carved or stewed. In general the food quality took a dive even in the dining room. If there is a ... Read More
We sailed on the Encore last summer and looked forward to our next cruise this June. At every meal the featured meal involved pork whether carved or stewed. In general the food quality took a dive even in the dining room. If there is a meat quality less than choice it seems like it was served. In the Collonade resturant the service was poor and often ran out of the food specialty of the evening. It is a failure when the food served in Keller, their specialty (one time per cruise) is better than the dining rooms food making a guest feel like for the cruise price, you are getting their parent Carnival’s cruise. The service on the cruise is still excellent especially beverage service on the pool decks. Room service was excellent and the caviar was available. In the dining rooms , quality seafood was absent unless it was ordered 48 in advance. The entertainment was above average for a small boat but the production shows were a repeat of last year with new performers who were good. The comedian was the same also. Lounge performers were good.. Since food quality is a major choice in picking a cruise, Regent, Oceania or Crystal has gotten back my attention . Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our 4th Seabourn Cruise and I have noticed as the ships get bigger the service get skimpier. On this cruise this was especially true in the dining areas (The Restaurant, Colonnade and the Observation Lounge at Tea). The staff is ... Read More
This is our 4th Seabourn Cruise and I have noticed as the ships get bigger the service get skimpier. On this cruise this was especially true in the dining areas (The Restaurant, Colonnade and the Observation Lounge at Tea). The staff is as friendly as ever, but there are not enough of them. They are trying hard, but rushing around and making mistakes. This leads to frustration on the part of the staff and the customers. It should not take 20 minutes to get coffee in the morning nor 25 mins to get the wrong desert order at dinner. The other downer was some of the port of call selections. We made a stop in Szczecin. Poland which sort of reminded me of Cleveland, Ohio back in the 70's before it's renaissance. We also docked at Saaremaa, Estonia and the dock was a 45 min drive to nearest small town in the middle of nowhere. Missed a port call at Visby, Sweden, because it was too windy to dock. (However, I think that was a good safety call). We also had a horrible tour guide when we stopped at Nekso, Denmark. (Tour was rushed at 4-5 sites and would have been much better to go more in depth at just 2 or 3) On the positive side, the staff on Seabourn are great and try hard, the entertainment very good and the food is wonderful. We ate twice at the Thomas Keller venue and the service and food were outstanding. No complaints about the food in the Colonnade, Patio Grill or the Resturant, just the service levels. My recommendations for Seabourn are: 1. Take a hard look at staffing in the dining areas, your turning loyal customers off. If you had fixed the staffing on this cruise it we would have rated it as 4.5 instead of a 3 even with some of the other issues. 2. Vet the Ports of Call and the Tour Operators better. Some were great (like the Village Life in Kalbedia tour in Lithuania) and some are marginal like Saaremaa and Szczecin. 3. Look in the rear view mirror, because other small ship lines are about to eat your lunch. Overall this trip was just okay and did not make it a knock your socks off experience like our trips on the Spirit and the Sojourn, which is a real shame. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were looking forward to 20 days in the Med on the Encore after our previous experiences on Seabourn's 200 and 400 ships -unfortunately the reviews we read prior to leaving home were true. There seems to have been a fundamental ... Read More
We were looking forward to 20 days in the Med on the Encore after our previous experiences on Seabourn's 200 and 400 ships -unfortunately the reviews we read prior to leaving home were true. There seems to have been a fundamental shift in Seabourn's strategy, target market and service - saving money where ever possible - time in ports, tendering and fewer staff ( advertised as 465 staff in actual fact 416). We were told by one crew member we we're on a "family " cruise -haven't seen that in the brochures! Ship design is great as a hotel but not as a supposed single class ship.The pool area a total joke the pool is tiny and quite insufficient for 600 passengers. Really only good for standing still and dare not make any ripples in case you disturb the standing readers. Pool chairs booked early with towels like a cheap European beach -staff wont do anything about it despite there being clear guidelines. After 2 days we didn't even go to the pool. The Retreat, a massive area on the top deck, is a mere $350 US a day !!! Always empty apart from -we were told by one senior officer- complementary to people who "provide constructive feedback"; which translated means complain and you can use it. But who would want to? A series of cabanas with loungers each with TV, champagne all day and personalised service. So whats the attraction?! You can have all hat anywhere in the ship! The Retreat is a shocking waste of space - enlarge the main pool area and turn the retreat a patio dining area. Staff seem hugely over worked. Some returnees but many new, many of whom are somewhat unprofessional and wouldn't have been let near a Seabourn ship in the past: terribly slow and forgetful service, lack of ability to understand their customers needs. Even the cruise director seemed rushed The Restaurant is a great design but too small -only seats 350 ( other ships can seat almost, if not all passengers). Seabourn Square still a really nice area as is Colonnade and particularity good being able to use the outside area on level 8 for breakfast and lunch. Shame not also available for dinners when the Patio closed as was too busy and had to wait for a table Once you scratch the surface even senior officers agree there is a real problem -not one person we spoke to in 20 days who had cruised with Seabourn before would go on Encore again. In summary really disappointing staff quality and ratio resulting in poorer service, a huge area badly utilised and a pool far too small for the size of the ship. Read Less
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