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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Seabourn Quest – The Seabourn Difference 16.3.19 -7.4.19 Buenos Aires to Manaus Having cruised with Seabourn on Odyssey, Sojourn and the little ships, we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. We had booked a guarantee ... Read More
Seabourn Quest – The Seabourn Difference 16.3.19 -7.4.19 Buenos Aires to Manaus Having cruised with Seabourn on Odyssey, Sojourn and the little ships, we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. We had booked a guarantee cabin or rather suite, as all cabins are known, and ended up fairly midships on deck 4 near the dining room in a quiet location. The balcony cabins are exactly the same but, as we don’t spend much time in our suite, we forego a balcony in exchange for more cruises. The suites are delightful, spacious, well-stocked and with the most comfortable bed we’ve ever had on any cruise line. You can order whatever drinks you like to have in your suite, so a bottle of Hendryks gin and a Taylors port were happily provided and stored alongside our complimentary bottle of champagne. Our stewardess welcomed us with 4 speciality soaps and kept our Moulton Brown toiletries and everything else topped up throughout the trip. There is a large choice of online films available in your suite and a good number of TV channels. The entertainment is always more limited on small ships but Seabourn offer more variety than other competitors including a guest pianist, guitar players, a comedian, a magician and the Seabourn singers and dancers and all the shows were of a good standard. On two occasions, local groups gave daytime performances – we had a tango show in Uruguay and an excellent local dance show in Recife. Although we weren’t in the Caribbean, the signature “Caviar in the Surf” was held in the pool and created a wonderful party atmosphere. We didn’t get involved in the daytime programme of art classes or lectures, preferring to enjoy the deck side relaxation, although the weather on sea days was not always co-operative. This leads to one of my few complaints. For a cruise line that prides itself on luxury and exceeding guest expectations, the sun loungers are dreadful. Many lines now provide thick mattresses to aid an afternoon siesta but Seabourn’s are a perfect example of durability and discomfort – no mattresses! Years ago, they used to be provided but no longer. In a few locations, there are some mattresses, specifically on deck 11 at the bow of the ship, but even these seem to have been designed for durability not comfort and my 12 stone husband failed to make a dent in the extremely firm foam padding. The ship is delightful and there are always places where you can find a peaceful corner. The décor was good but, unfortunately, they were experiencing significant issues with the pool deck lifting dangerously in several places. This led to drilling and sanding both on sea and port days making the pool deck less than tranquil. It was also interesting to see how they covered all the outside vents as we went into the Amazon with the resulting screen of insects that were unable to get in! The dining options were good with 4 venues available in the evenings. For breakfast and lunch, we chose the Colonnade self-service, mainly because we enjoy sitting outside, although poor weather up the Brazilian coast to Rio occasionally forced us inside. Inevitably, we ended up eating too much. The selection is good and despite good intentions there was always something you just had to try! Another delight was sharing tables with other passengers and lunch could become a leisurely affair aided by complimentary excellent wines. In the evening, you could dine outside at the self-service or by the pool or in the formal dining room. The Grill, part of the Thomas Keller franchise, offered a special dining experience but you need to book, so it is probably better to book online before the cruise. It’s difficult to clearly quantify what makes Seabourn so special. Other lines provide similar excellent facilities, so I think it boils down to the human factor. Nothing is too much trouble and all the staff will try to make things as special as possible. The instances are endless but, for example, we enjoyed a specific complimentary wine in one restaurant that was not offered 2 nights later but the staff willingly went in search of a bottle and brought it to where we were dining. You can request any specific dish at a meal and, provided they have 24 hours’ notice, it will be there. In our case, I very much enjoyed my crepes suzette cooked to order. Another example of them “going that extra mile” occurred when my sandals broke. They repaired them and had them back ion our suite the following day. Perhaps most importantly, the staff were happy to engage but always seemed to know when to withdraw. Additionally, the culture of friendliness seems to rub off on guests and most are happy to chat and interact with you. Frequent hosted tables help with this but there seems to be an atmosphere of camaraderie that we have not experienced on other similar lines to the same extent. Seabourn cruises are not cheap but no doubt that is what allows them to maintain their standards and over 50% of the guests were returners on this cruise. They offer a good incentive scheme to pass the message on, giving $400 onboard credit to both those who recommend new guests or are recommended. However, there is one major drawback. They will not give you this benefit if you, as the sponsor, opt to take a cruise with some promotional offer of Onboard Credit attached. There is also a further condition, namely you only have 2 years to take advantage of this offer. This means it has the potential to be an empty offer if you happen to choose the “wrong cruise”. This is ridiculous and everyone on Quest who we spoke to agreed. It should be totally separate from anything else and considered in the same way as Carnival share holder benefits in order to incentivise satisfied guests to spread the word. After all, new clients generate considerable financial rewards for Seabourn – not only now but also in the future. We have now made 3 referrals to friends of ours but as we were not allowed to use any one of them on this cruise, we will not be continuing this practice. Wake up Seabourn, this is not good customer relations! Finally, it has to be said that he weather was not particularly co-operative on our cruise with the Equator crossing ceremony being cancelled twice due to rain but this did not detract from what was an excellent trip on a great ship with excellent staff and interesting guests. Definitely recommend. Ports Buenos Aires There were no ship’s tours other than very expensive private cars, so we booked a city orientation with Tangol tours, which was excellent value at £13.27 pp. We took the shuttle into town and met the minibus at the Sheraton Hotel but realised later that they would have picked us up at the port. The minibus took us through 6 neighbourhoods and gave us time to explore at the main square including the cathedral where Pope Francis officiated and Boca, a lively neighbourhood with many tango bars. An overwhelming impression of BA was lots of parks and open spaces, broad roads and lots of statues. Montevideo A ship’s trip took us to the main square but the architecture was not particularly noteworthy. However, we learnt a lot about this small country. We visited a market which had been redeveloped and drove along the very extensive Las Ramblas along the banks of the River Plate, with its brown water due to the soil content. We then visited a quirky house built by architect Pittamiglio who was into alchemy. Definitely worth a visit and we enjoyed a tango show there before returning to the ship. Ilabelha Unfortunately, our beach and waterfall trip took place in rain and grey skies. The sea was warm for swimming but 90 minutes on the beach in rain showers probably wasn’t the best introduction to this island. The Tres Combo waterfalls in the rain forest were also not particularly spectacular. Buzios Once the hideout of Brigitte Bardot, Buzios was a delightful port. Stylish shops and a pleasant beach promenade. We took a schooner trip from the ship which was very relaxing but the water wasn’t very clear and the snorkelling sites were not very productive apart from seeing some coral. However, towards the end we did see the odd small turtle and overall it was a pleasant morning. San Salvador We got off the ship and took the elevator to the upper town (over 65’s don’t pay for this). There were very colourful buildings and lots of churches although many charge a small fee for entrance. The police presence was very strong everywhere and we were warned not to wear jewellery and expensive watches. Unfortunately, one of the ship’s passengers was robbed, so definitely a port in which to be vigilant. Recife We visited Olinda, a Unesco World Heritage Site, which was interesting and provided good views of the city. We visited both the Benedictine Monastery and the Franciscan one and heard how Recife was first for a number of things in Brazil. After a drive along the beach with its shark warnings clear to see, we were treated to a rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus by a local choir at the Golden Chapel – well worth a visit. Natal Not my favourite port. We did an orientation trip from the ship and travelled for an hour to see the largest cashew nut tree in the world. Definitely impressive and in the Guiness Book of Records, but a long way to go for a tree! The city itself had many skyscrapers and much of the old town looked in need of repair. Santarem We were well into the Amazon here and you could see the meeting of the waters in the distance. We did a ship’s trip out to a community which explained the rise and fall of rubber and showed the process of milling manioc (cassava). Santarem is walkable from the ship and worth a visit. The market seems to sell predominantly hammocks for use on the boats which move up and down the Amazon – no seats on these, only hooks for your hammock. Manaus Our last stop on this trip took in the Opera House, a market and the home of one of the founding fathers of the town. We did an organised ship’s trip but it is easily done on your own, with entry to the opera house only 20 Real (£4). These are really the main sights in the town but other guests took a boat up one of the tributaries and reported an excellent trip to see an Amazonian village. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I took the Seabourn Quest for a trip to the Antarctica on Feb 3 from Buenos Aires. I was terribly unpleasant on board the Seabourn Quest. We boarded the ship at noon on Feb 3, but I started having throw-up & diarrhea at ~11 p.m. ... Read More
I took the Seabourn Quest for a trip to the Antarctica on Feb 3 from Buenos Aires. I was terribly unpleasant on board the Seabourn Quest. We boarded the ship at noon on Feb 3, but I started having throw-up & diarrhea at ~11 p.m. on Feb 4. Throughout the night, I had at least 6 times of diarrhea. I was too weak to get to the medical room, so a nurse was asked to come up to tend to my case in the morning. She took my temperature & said I had a fever. I was told to take Loperamide to ease off the diarrhea and Panadol to lower my temperature . The Loperamide didn’t seem to work as I continued to have 6x of diarrhea throughout the day. I was also told to be quarantined for 3 days. She came back at around 4 p.m. & told me the fever had come down a little bit. I said the diarrhea was terrible & the waste that came out was greenish. She only said she would come back the next day. On the morning of the 6th, she told me that the fever had gone, but since the diarrhea still persisted, she said I needed to take antibiotics. She didn’t come back in the afternoon. I was still having diarrhea for about 6x a day even I had no food intake. The nurse didn’t bring any antibiotics on the morning of the 7th as apparently, she had forgotten about it. The antibiotic medicine, Ciprofloxacin, was finally brought to me in the afternoon which means it was a full 2-day delay for medication. On the 8th, I finally exerted some energy to go down & visited the doctor. I told him the antibiotics didn’t seem to be effective on me & that I continuously had at least 6x of diarrhea every day. I had no food intake except a few slices of orange when I felt dry in the mouth. He changed to another kind of antibiotics, but my 6x-diarrhea-a-day & the greenish color of waste still persisted for 2 more days. It was not until on the 10th that I could start to go to the canteen to have my meals. But then, I have already missed two of the possible five Zodiac excursions, the main reason why we took this Antarctica cruise. I also missed to see the King Penquins in Falkland Islands, a tour I had paid for in full. Even though I got refunded for this excursion, but missing to see the King Penquins in close encounter was surely a regret which money alone could not compensate for it. None of the managerial staff admitted that it was food contamination as their food was rated excellent when examined in the port. Even the doctor said it shouldn’t have happened to me solely if it were food contamination. But I would not buy this explanation as my experience on board another cruise ship could definitely prove the point. I chewed some sand in my mushroom, but all my 5 other friends who ordered the same dish didn’t find any. I told the restaurant manager & he took the excuse of examining the food by taking the whole plate back to the kitchen. Then I was told there was indeed some sand in the mushroom. My immediate response was, your kitchen staff didn’t clean the food thoroughly. He denied, “No, it’s only the mushrooms that had sand in them!” What a joke!!! Another observation on board could also illustrate my point. It was a real shock to see that canteen staff never tried to clean the placemats on the dining tables. They only cleaned the space in between the 2 placemats & tended to ignore the food residue on top of the placemats, or the salt or pepper remains under the condiment containers. I was also astounded to see that staff, when cleaning the tables, swept all food remains onto the floor. Shouldn’t this only be happened to a low-class café? I would never have expected to see this on a 6-star cruise ship. This observation was written down on the survey & the situation seemed to have improved slightly. Rome was not built in one day. The lack-of-training would never have made the staff to improve their cleaning style within several days. In this case, how can I not be suspicious about contracting any bacteria from the placemats? Further, we had been continuously disturbed by the noise from above our room. Our room was right under the kitchen of the Observation Deck. I had not the slightest idea why the staff started to move the trolley at midnight. For the first few nights, I was too weak to make any complaints. But I could not stand it any more when one night, there was the rolling of trolley at midnight, then the opening & closing of the drawers at ~2 a.m., & the moving of trolley cart at ~ 4 a.m., & finally the banging sound at ~ 6 a.m. I was glad that my case was resolved to & there was no noise for 2 consecutive nights. Unfortunately, the noise came back again at ~ 12 a.m. on the night after. I called & the noise stopped. There was no noise on the following night, but it came back again at the same hour the next night. I was really mad & blasted at the front desk. The problem seemed to have resolved, but on the night before departure, there was again a continuous noise of bouncing a solid ball on a counter. I was simply puzzled by the way how the personnel trained the staff. Last but not least, I was told by a managerial staff to write to Nic Botha, the Guest Services Manager about my grievance after I got back home. I did, but I have been waiting for almost 2 months now & never received a reply. The service was a total disappointment. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Seabourn Quest is a lovely ship. The whole experience of feeling special from the time of checkin to checkout was second to none. From our experience, all of the staff cannot be flawed. They work so hard and are delightful all the time. ... Read More
Seabourn Quest is a lovely ship. The whole experience of feeling special from the time of checkin to checkout was second to none. From our experience, all of the staff cannot be flawed. They work so hard and are delightful all the time. The Expedition Team were a group of incredibly experienced and qualified professionals who were so efficient and pleasant whilst looking after the guests and keeping us all safe in extreme conditions. Only criticism of any staff would be that the Cruise Director could mature a little and cease finishing every announcement with 'yaay' as it really grinds after a few days! The room was exceptional for a cruise ship with a walk in closet, twin basins in the bathroom and a full size separate bath. The Thomas Keller Restaurant which is promoted as 3 Michelin star rated was average and we much preferred the normal restaurant - great food without the pretence. In fact, pretence was our major stumbling block during the trip. It took us a while to find 'like minded' folk who were travelling on this particular trip to get to a special and unique place on our earth. There were a lot of ostentatious guests more interested in the shallowness of conspicuous wealth which to me clashed with the vibe of the destination. It was embarrassing to hear how some of these people spoke to staff and partners of the Expedition Team. Saying that, nothing could overshadow the awesome destination. We were so privileged to be able to visit Antarctica and South Georgia and to be on a ship like this made it a very pleasurable experience, although if I had my time again I'd choose a different more earthy cruise line with a younger demographic. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our second cruise with Seabourn and we were attracted to this one because we wanted to see this part of the world, but we also liked the many sea days. We work hard in our daily lives and we wanted to relax. The moment we stepped ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Seabourn and we were attracted to this one because we wanted to see this part of the world, but we also liked the many sea days. We work hard in our daily lives and we wanted to relax. The moment we stepped on board in Buenos Aires, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with good humour and kindness by the hard working staff and crew. Cabin Our cabin was on Deck 6, perfectly located near the main staircase and we got to where we wanted to go in no time. We had a beautiful big room with a verandah, a separate lounge room, a big comfortable bed and a big bathroom with a bath, with high quality and plentiful bath products and big, soft towels. There was plenty of storage and the view from the verandah was uninterrupted. Compared to the cabins on river cruises, this cabin was a mansion. We did find the air conditioner inadequate and the cabin too stuffy. We had the same problem on the Encore last year. This time we solved this by bringing our own fan and we were very comfortable. A couple of times throughout the cruise, we had a "meet your neighbours" party. This is a great idea. Food We are recent converts to vegetarianism and we were really well catered for. There was always plenty to choose from at the Collonade although sometimes the chef pointed out that dishes that looked vegetarian had been made with beef stock, or there was a sneaky prawn hiding in its depths. At my suggestion, they labelled vegetarian dishes and we had no further problems. There were always vegetarian options in the Restaurant and at formal dinners, we had our own menu. Executive Chef, Kurt Timmermans is an outstanding chef and a wonderful communicator and he went out of his way to accommodate our needs. We first experienced the Thomas Keller Grill on the Encore last year and tried it again on the Quest. Once again we were not impressed. The food is too heavy and salty and the menu is inflexible. No changes are allowed. Apparently Thomas knows best. I think we have learned our lesson and will avoid this restaurant in the future. We occasionally had lunch at the Patio, afternoon tea and pre dinner canapes at the Observation Bar and snacks at Seabourn Square and the food was always lovely. Twice on our cruise they set up a Galley Market in the kitchen and the food was outstanding. This was a highlight of our cruise. I would particularly like to acknowledge the following outstanding restaurant staff - Kershin, Marielle, Michael (entertaining as well as incredibly helpful), Niny, Liliya, Sharon and Noemie.. I don't like or understand Seabourn's practice of having the staff take the arm of women and escort them to their tables in the Restaurant. The feminist in me really objects. I always feel uncomfortable and I'm sure these busy young people have better things to do. I think it is demeaning and not something professional wait staff should be expected to do. We have dined in upmarket restaurants all over the world and have not experienced this practice anywhere else. Drink The wine ranged from good to acceptable and there was always plenty to choose from. There was a huge variety of cocktails and they were plentiful. The bar staff were wonderful. Public Spaces Even at full capacity, Seabourn ships never feel crowded. We could always find a quiet spot to read or simply watch the world go by. On the other hand, if we wanted company or entertainment, there was always somewhere to go. The whirlpool on deck 6 was a haven for us and we usually had it to ourselves. It was the place to be when sailing away. Unfortunately it was often closed so we used the whirlpool and spa on deck 5 instead, but it didn't have the ambience of deck 6. The gym was well equipped and rarely crowded. The staff were helpful when help was needed, but otherwise unobtrusive. I really enjoyed using it. Entertainment. The entertainment on the whole was very good but tended to be middle of the road and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Seabourn's passengers are generally well educated and sophisticated, but most of the music would have appealed to our long deceased parents. For heaven's sake, we were alive in the sixties and went through one of the most profound musical revolutions in history. We can handle entertainment which is current and inspiring and multi-dimensional and I'm sure the talented entertainers onboard would have loved performing this type of material. On the plus side the Australian guitarist and the young English saxophone player both gave an outstanding concerts The guest lecturers were educational, well prepared and entertaining. Historian Laurel Corona was outstanding. Staff and Crew The Cruise Director, Ross Roberts was also outstanding. He's funny, a wonderful singer, personable and incredibly entertaining. I think we would happily sail on any ship where he is Cruise Director. The Captain and his team were approachable and helpful and very good communicators. They were happy to answer any questions or deal with any concerns the passengers raised. The staff in every Department were well trained and incredibly good at their jobs. Seabourn only employs the best of the best and it shows. Passengers Mostly American with a few Australians and English but quite a few other nationalities as well. Age range 60 and upwards. Mostly well educated, well travelled, lovely people who were thrilled to be on board such a lovely ship, living in the lap of luxury and having such a wonderful experience. They were a pleasure to spend time with. However it always amazes me how a small minority are constantly complaining about anything and everything and thought nothing of being very rude to the staff. They seem to get off on it. Internet Very patchy and as other reviewers have said, it should be part of the package. Disembarkation This was the most disappointing part of the whole cruise. It was pouring with rain when we arrived in Monte Carlo and when we got off the ship and went to the cruise terminal we found our luggage sitting outside in the rain, even though it could have been deposited in the reception hall. This is when we discovered that our suitcases are not waterproof. Everything was wet through. Very disappointing. The ship was about to go into dry dock, the staff were in a hurry and we got the clear impression that we were no longer welcome on the ship. Excursions On the whole enjoyable and well organised with some that were outstanding. Our favourites were Rio, Manaus, Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands (particularly Lanzarote) and Tenerife. In summary, this was a wonderful experience. We spent 45 days in a cocoon of luxury and deliciousness. We saw extraordinary sights, were treated kindly and were thoroughly entertained. We have just booked an Antarctic cruise on the Quest in February next year. Can't wait. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
An excellent cruise and a very nice cruise ship. This was a three week, all-inclusive cruise with six days of shore excursions. There was entertainment every evening and lectures given by the guides throughout the day. The rooms are ... Read More
An excellent cruise and a very nice cruise ship. This was a three week, all-inclusive cruise with six days of shore excursions. There was entertainment every evening and lectures given by the guides throughout the day. The rooms are spacious and many have a balcony. Each room has a safe and refrigerator. There is also laundry service either using the ship's or the free washers and dryers on deck 5. The shore excursions were reasonably priced and some last all day. We were not disappointed in any we selected. Some tours are history based and others are to see the various penguins. The cruise included a parka and backpack for you to keep and both are very good. They suggested various clothes to purchase and I found them all necessary. The wind can be very cold when you are riding the zodiac from the ship to the shore. I needed the two layers of thermal underwear for my legs more than my top. The parka provided kept me warm. You do need to cover your face and neck to prevent from wind burn. The snow can be quite blinding so eye protections is a must. I rented the boots and my feet never was cold. I also rented the hiking poles. They offer internet onboard at a fee. It worked throughout the ship and better when you were in a port. At best it was slow. We found Vacations to Go offered the best deal for the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
My spouse and I sailed on the Seabourn Quest – “21 Day Ultimate Antarctica and Patagonia”, from January 12, 2017 through February 2, 2017. Anyone that has sailed with Seabourn knows the trips are ridiculously expensive and should ... Read More
My spouse and I sailed on the Seabourn Quest – “21 Day Ultimate Antarctica and Patagonia”, from January 12, 2017 through February 2, 2017. Anyone that has sailed with Seabourn knows the trips are ridiculously expensive and should expect to receive exceptional service and the trip you expected. We enjoyed our experience but are disappointed that Seabourn reduced the Antarctic portion of our cruise from the scheduled six days to four days due to the illness of two of the passengers onboard. While we are most sympathetic to the circumstances of these individuals and their families, is seems unfair that the remaining 400 plus passengers were so negatively impacted. We question whether or not this situation could have been addressed earlier when there would have been less impact. Specifically, there was clearly better access to medical facilities during our stops in Montevideo, The Falkland Islands and perhaps even in the South Shetland Islands. Although information provided regarding the status of the sick individuals was limited, understandably to protect their privacy, it is our understanding that both were seniors (86 and 90 years old) and that the 90 year old ultimately passed away while on the ship. We were directly familiar with the circumstances of the 86 year old woman, given that she and her family had their cabins located close to ours and, consequently, we got to know them during the cruise. As a result, we are fully aware that the woman took sick immediately after boarding (if not sick prior to boarding) and was either in her stateroom or in the ship’s infirmary during her entire stay onboard. We therefore question whether or not it would have been possible for staff members to identify her emergent medical condition earlier in the voyage. Many of the passengers we spoke to on the ship wondered if Seabourn had other options to deal with the sick passengers prior to departing from the Falklands. We question where Seabourn’s protocol for passenger embarkation on trips to remote locations takes into consideration the passenger’s age and the increasing likelihood of illness as the passenger gets older. This is especially relevant when sailing to areas like the Antarctic when the ship is not in close proximity to medical facilities, and in this case for 10 days. Presumably this is why International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators recommends having passengers complete a medical form prior to sailing to the Antarctic. Does Seabourn follow this protocol? Seabourn refused to answer us on this! It was clear that the Captain Dvergastein and the Quest staff were sincerely regretful that our time in the Antarctic was cut short. Efforts were made to compensate (and perhaps distract) us by including the sail to Cape Horn and the addition of another port (Chacabuco). It is, however, noteworthy that the additional port was disappointing and required passengers to spend more money if they wanted to go on a tour – which was advisable as there was absolutely nothing to do or see in the town. It is important to underscore that we, and the great majority of passengers we spoke with, specifically chose this Seabourn itinerary because of the opportunity to go to the Antarctic. The fact that we lost one third of the scheduled time in the Antarctic on a very expensive cruise is upsetting to say the least. We acknowledge that Seabourn provided a token onboard credit as well as a $750 credit per passenger for a future cruise with Seabourn. While appreciated, frankly, these efforts fall far short of adequately compensating us for the lost time in the Antarctic. After arriving home we contacted Seabourn advising them of our concerns, and after numerous emails and phone calls that went unanswered, we finally received the token refund. Seabourn needs to do better. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We are a couple in our mid sixties who have longed to go to Antarctica but hesitated as one of us is inclined to sea sickness. However with modern stabiliser technology, newer ships and larger ships the decision was made to go as we felt ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid sixties who have longed to go to Antarctica but hesitated as one of us is inclined to sea sickness. However with modern stabiliser technology, newer ships and larger ships the decision was made to go as we felt our window of opportunity to do it while in good health was closing. The ship is magnificent, nothing is too much trouble from a service perspective and the food was great. There are many reviews that cover this in detail. I am not going to repeat it. The purpose of my review is to highlight what happened on our cruise and provide this information to others who are considering if they should travel to Antarctica and which ship to choose. The 21 day cruise was to include 6 days in Antarctica. In the evening of day 4 it was announced there was a medical emergency with 2 passengers and we needed to reposition to the island in Antarctica where the ambulance plane could land. The ship waited there all the next day for the plane but prevailing conditions meant the plane couldn't fly. The decision was then made to go immediately to Ushuaia .By the time we docked it was 55-60 hours since the medical emergency was declared. Every one supported the Captain's decision to leave ...it would be exactly what we would want for ourselves or a family member in the same situation. However there was much discussion amongst passengers that Seabourn did not require a doctors clearance to make the trip. When you looked at the age of some passengers and the apparent health of some one wondered if they should be on the ship at all.You are so far from help when things go wrong. It only takes one serious illness for the plans of all passengers to be impacted. The marketing for Antarctica is alluring and has expanded rapidly in recent years. However the infrastructure is just the same it is a wilderness and your are far from the modern medical facilities we are accustomed to and a ships' doctor can only do so much. The ship's staff did a great job making alternate arrangements to fill the extra days that were now in the itinerary and compensation was provided. Sailing around Cape Horn was a wonderful bonus! My overall rating does not reflect the ship but rather the overall experience. I believe Seabourn need to be more proactive in making sure passengers are fit for the trip . Yes there will always be issues that arise but the risk management in minimising this potential needs further consideration by Seabourn, particularly given there are 400+ passengers.. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Itinerary We have always chosen our cruises based on itinerary, and we loved that this trip offered an expedition experience, exploring Antarctica by zodiac and walking on the White Continent, as well as interesting South American ports ... Read More
Itinerary We have always chosen our cruises based on itinerary, and we loved that this trip offered an expedition experience, exploring Antarctica by zodiac and walking on the White Continent, as well as interesting South American ports and the Falkland Islands. It was wonderful to board in Buenos Aires rather than flying from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, where the smaller expedition ships embark. The Crew What a delightful, happy, friendly, helpful crew! Everyone from our cabin stewardess to the waiters to the guest services staff was just top-notch. We marveled that we were greeted by name after a short time. Not one negative or so-so experience in three weeks! The Ship The public spaces on the Quest are beautiful and comfortable, busy but not overly crowded. Even on sea days, we were able to find a place to sit and chat or work on our laptops. Seabourn Square was our clear favorite! The Internet was surprisingly strong as well, even in Antarctica. It was sometimes slow in our cabin, but never a problem in a public space. My husband was able to get work done on some of the sea days, which was critical for him on such a long cruise. The laundry facilities are quite limited – four washers and four dryers, all on deck 5, that serve the entire ship. I woke up really early one morning to secure the machines. The ship provides pod-style detergent, but no dryer sheets. The Food The quality of food was just outstanding. We joked that after we returned from dinner every evening, we found ourselves checking out the Herald newsletter to see where we wanted to eat the next day! Room service – great for breakfast before early excursions and an occasional dinner “in” – was terrific, always on time with hot the food and beverages. The Thomas Keller Grill is definitely worth a night or two. The Patio is wonderful for a casual meal – even in Antarctica, with blankets and heaters! – and has a fabulous new chef from Italy who makes pizza that tastes like you’re dining in Naples. On such a long cruise, we felt the Restaurant’s menus could have offered a little more variety and more “healthy” choices. And as we had read on the Seabourn Boards, the quality of the complimentary wine was disappointing. If you ask for an alternative to what they are serving that evening, they will happily find something that is more to your liking that is still included in the “complimentary” category. The Cabin The Quest’s standard cabin with a verandah was extremely comfortable and modern, with a walk-in closet, separate vanity and nice-sized dining/desk table with two chairs. The storage space was significant for a 21-day cruise that involved lots of bulky cold-weather clothing. I would recommend bringing a power strip for charging computers and cameras and a travel clock for the bedside table. Oddly, there is a wall clock, but nothing by the bed. The Expedition Team I can’t imagine a better group of expedition leaders, headed by the delightful Iggy. Experts in everything from penguins to birds to whales to history, this group of about twenty gave us an incredible experience in Antarctica. They led our zodiac outings, gave lectures on sea days, were available on outside decks at designated times to answer questions and look for wildlife and even hosted dinner tables in the Restaurant. The team held a recap & briefing meeting every evening before dinner to go over plans for the following day. In Antarctica, the weather determines everything, and there is no set itinerary almost until the moment you get off the ship. Excursions In addition to the included expeditions in Antarctica, we booked several excursions through Seabourn in other ports. We found them to be similar to the high-quality excursions we’ve taken with Crystal. Buses were never crowded, guides were generally quite good (there always seems to be a stand-out and one who’s just okay) and the included meals were excellent. The Captain In a place as remote as Antarctica, you quickly realize the difference a great captain can make. The Quest’s Captain Dag was just phenomenal, a great communicator who shared the wonder of what we were seeing as if it were as new to him as it was to his passengers. We loved the way he ended his daily announcements with a poem – “the verse of the day,” as he called it – and how he navigated us through the Lemaire Channel, one of the most stunning places imaginable. After four days in Antarctica, we had two medical emergencies that required evacuation. Captain Dag made the tough call to head back to get help for the passengers. It was, of course, the right thing to do. What I really appreciated was the way Captain Dag handled the situation, acknowledging that even though all of us would want the same decision for our loved ones, it was still disappointing to leave so suddenly. He told us he would try to replace one of the lost days in Antarctica with the chance to sail past Cape Horn. And he did. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We took this cruise as Antarctica was on our bucket list and we were not disappointed. The cruise left from Buenos Aires and the terminal and embarkation were great, no problems We did miss our stop in the Falklands Islands due to bad ... Read More
We took this cruise as Antarctica was on our bucket list and we were not disappointed. The cruise left from Buenos Aires and the terminal and embarkation were great, no problems We did miss our stop in the Falklands Islands due to bad weather in the Drake passage. despite the bad weather the trip wasn't too bad but maybe is not for 1st time cruisers. Our cabin was great good view and large size. A lot of lectures and the debriefs were held in the grand salon which had a good capacity. If there were performances you didn't have to get there early to get a seat, I believe most of the passengers could be accommodated here. We found that the colonnades dining room was better than the main dining room which seemed a bit slower, but the food was good in both. A lot of the time we ate on the patio (deck 8) as we enjoyed the views and being outside. The expedition team was great and there were informative lecture's everyday. They were always willing to help and answer questions, and they worked so tirelessly to make the Antarctica experience one that you could not easily forget. Going ashore in the zodiacs was an experience in itself, and the crew were fantastic checking your life vests and gear to ensure your safety there was always someone there to assist with getting your boots on and off and wash the guano off the boots which happened most days that we had landings, we even did kayaking in Antarctica which was great paddling amongst the icebergs. I thoroughly enjoyed my Antarctica experience Seabourn have a great team and Service through out the ship was excellent from the cabin staff guest services and deck crew as well as the waiting and bar staff. After Antarctica we travelled through Patagonia and ended in Valparaiso Chile, disembarkation went very smoothly. Would definitely do the Antarctica experience again with Seabourn and their expedition team no hesitation. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have taken other long cruises and most are much better value for money. This ship takes 400 passengers, so does not have the quality of entertainment that a larger ship offers. There were several speakers on nature topics, but often ... Read More
We have taken other long cruises and most are much better value for money. This ship takes 400 passengers, so does not have the quality of entertainment that a larger ship offers. There were several speakers on nature topics, but often at times that were not convenient, so we didn't attend. The female onboard photographer was "cool" when asked specific questions. I thought it was just me, but in conversation others had the same experience. The FOOD problem was the severely undercooked beef and pork that was sent back to the kitchen to be re-cooked in all dining rooms where food was made to order. It became a joke as to how undercooked it would be. On one occasion I had a hamburger on the outer deck and asked for it to be well done, which he wrote down on the order. I took one bite and spit it out because the inside was so rare it was purple! The waiter apologized and said he'd bring another one. After quite a lengthy wait a new meat patty came to me on the SAME bun I had taken a bite out of. I was placed in QUARANTINE so missed an Antarctic landing. I phoned the nurse for help after 8-10 bouts of simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea because my pills were not staying in my body to help me . She had no medicine better than mine, and placed me in quaranting in our roon. With time in bed I felt somewhat better the second afternoon, but then got sick again later in the day. The third morning I woke very early with severe abdominal pain. (9 out of 10 on the pain scale) After several hours sitting with a cloth on my forehead and not moving, it gradually passed. For several days afterward I didn't feel very hungry. The nurse would not answer any of my questions about how many others were sick on the ship. Speaking with other passengers after my experience, there were definitely others who said they were also sick. My doctor feels I had Noro Virus because of the severity of my symptoms and the 3 days it lasted. I received POOR ROOM SERVICE while in Quarantine in our room. Three occasions ordering tea with honey and milk was a joke. - the first time there was no tea cup and saucer - the second time, no tea bags to make the tea - the third time there was no milk, so at that point I phoned Customer Service to complain There were other disappointments that I am not going to waste my time typing about. They got our money, and I didn't feel it was worth the price. Nothing now will change the poor experiences we had. Most of the service staff, especially in the buffet restaurant were very friendly and helpful. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
I debated long and hard whether to book a cruise to Antarctica on a ship holding over 400 passengers. Everyone I knew who had been to Antarctica strongly suggested I go on an "exploration" ship. I checked into these and realized ... Read More
I debated long and hard whether to book a cruise to Antarctica on a ship holding over 400 passengers. Everyone I knew who had been to Antarctica strongly suggested I go on an "exploration" ship. I checked into these and realized how small and old they were. Yes, they may make two landings a day compared to Seabourn's one landing a day, but the ship accomodations on the exploration type ships are rudimentary at best. I didn't regret my decision one little bit. Since the ship can only land 100 people a time in Antarctica, the landings must be done in shifts. However, the expedition team on the ship handles this in such an efficient manner, it is no problem at all. In addition, they sometimes add a Zodiac tour around the bay or cove the ship is in which is as good as or even better than the landings. This is the way to get up close to whales and seals. Then the glory of the Quest is that you come back to the impeccable service of a six star hotel. I can't say enough good things about the food and service aboard the Quest. You will not be lacking for anything. I can't begin to even imagine how many cases of champagne and wine they go through on a 21 day cruise, but it is ample indeed. The food is excellent in all the restaurants. They even operated the Patio Grill on most days despite temperatures in the 30's. They have infrared heaters operating at the Patio Grill as well as on the rear outside deck where you can watch for animals with the expedition team members. There are dozens of enrichment lectures on board, and each day there is a summary of the day's activities held just before normal dinner hours. The nightly entertainment and shows were all excellent with great entertainers on board the entire cruise. Antarctica itself is beyond words. The number of huge icebergs is beyond counting. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous. The Penquins are a riot, even if they are a bit dirty, noisy and smelly. The humpbacks and orcas are in abundance and are beautiful. Big pods of Orcas are swimming down there. Even the dreaded Drake Passage cooperated and became the Drake "Lake" both going and returning. One of the best things about this cruise is that in addition to the six days in Antarctica plus the four days coming and going that you usually get on an "exploration type" cruise orginating in Ushuaia, you get another 12 days cruising to various Chilean ports and the Falkland Islands. In summary, if you want to see Antarctica in style, book this cruise for next year, you won't be sorry. Another plus for the Quest is that should the Drake Passage be rough, you are on a ship which is far more stable than those small ones leaving Ushuaia. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Yes sports fans, it is true ...the more you pay, the better the experience....this is a 6 star ship and the crew and line appears to be looking to create a 7th star...this is our 10th cruise and the fifth line we tried, not because we were ... Read More
Yes sports fans, it is true ...the more you pay, the better the experience....this is a 6 star ship and the crew and line appears to be looking to create a 7th star...this is our 10th cruise and the fifth line we tried, not because we were unhappy or picky but we very destination focused...the destination in this case was magnificent in every respect, the surprising jewel of the cruise was our stop in the Falklands, certainly not antartica but one of the best excursions that I can recall. As for antartica, seabourn does this very very right IMHO, with everything planned and executed flawlessly. The rest of the ports were pretty much as expected and as usual the ship's excursion at the end left everyone with a bad taste in their mouth (lazy minimal attention and once the ship was out of sight so was their interest in customer service), we were dumped at the airport 90 minutes early cause there was nothing else to see in the entire huge city of Santiago, chile... The is the second time that we booked a ship which has no tipping and in both cases service was great to almost perfect, maybe the extra cost is worth it??? Our suite was on 4 and had no balcony which we preferred as the cabin was lower on the ship and handled Drake Shake better than a balcony would have. If it was the Mediterranean I definitely would pay to upgrade. Even if you're a perfectionist this ship and crew is likely to perform for you. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
Shipboard package (food, cabin, service, staff, entertainment, etc) up to usual Seabourn standard - with two exceptions; - strike in Buenos Aires meant ship was not able to re-provision and many items were in short supply or simply ... Read More
Shipboard package (food, cabin, service, staff, entertainment, etc) up to usual Seabourn standard - with two exceptions; - strike in Buenos Aires meant ship was not able to re-provision and many items were in short supply or simply unavailable - Quest is designed for warm weather cruising and when outside space is not available, some facilities, such as the Colonnade, are unpleasantly over-crowded. Worth adding that Quest rode well in heavy seas in Drake Passage. However whatever the description, this was not, nor could it ever be, an expedition cruise. At 450 passengers (some people onboard were sold the cruise on the basis of maximum 300) Quest cannot; - logistically manage more than one landing per day. It takes approximately 6 house for Quest to complete a landing cycle - expedition ships with less than 200 passengers aboard make up to three per day sometimes starting at 5am - use the majority of the landing sites due to the number of passengers onboard - which is further restricted by the vessel's poor ice rating - respond flexibly to the inevitable changeable weather because alternative sites are limited by the above. The dead hand of corporate management (some of whom were said to be onboard but not at all in evidence) appears to be in conflict with the expedition team who would like to have delivered more. Of a twenty-one day cruise, only two days had Antarctic landings (one other a short zodiac trip), six days (or part) in port and the remaining thirteen days at sea. Which brings me to the nub of the question - if you want to do a 'fly by' to Antarctica to see and photograph icebergs, some wild life, etc you can do so in nearly as much comfort at a much lower cost. Seabourn charges mightily for the privilege of expedition landings but does not and cannot deliver. This is not a soft expedition, it is a non-expedition and should be priced and marketed accordingly. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
We have cruised on Seabourn Legend, SeaDream I, Silversea Spirit, Silver Explorer, [former] Clipper Odyssey, Paul Gaugin, and various other and larger ships. All considered, this cruise on Quest was disappointing. To sum up briefly: ... Read More
We have cruised on Seabourn Legend, SeaDream I, Silversea Spirit, Silver Explorer, [former] Clipper Odyssey, Paul Gaugin, and various other and larger ships. All considered, this cruise on Quest was disappointing. To sum up briefly: Cuisine diverse and very good, but not consistently so and rarely excellent. A Bloody Mary without garnishing celery or olive is, perhaps,, a very picayune illustration! Service also inconsistent, sometimes disjointed: confused or overzealous attention sometimes intrusive. Cabins: Great! Entertainment: Very Good. Expedition Staff and lecturers: outstanding. Shore experiences: Weather prevented our Malvinas [Falklands] landing and excursion there. Mother Nature also contributed to the disappointment with our Antarctic experience; weather forced cancellation of two of five scheduled landings and a medical evacuation compelled another. Two hours on Antarctic ice was not enough; for the adventurer who wants more genuine thrill, this cruise was unfulfilling. Weather, again, forced cancellation of our Ushuaia activity! As is often the case, the brochure description of some of the excursions, e.g. "The Natural Beauty of Patagonia," a hike out of Puerto Chacobuco, Chile, belied our actual experience, on an uninspiring path, at a snail's pace, and a palltry repast of lamb bone afterwards. Someone looking for a more complete but comfortable experience in Antarctica might better choose a smaller expedition ship with comparable class, e.g. Silver Explorer, Hanseatic, even Linblad's Explorer, etc. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
We just returned from the cruise of a lifetime, aboard Seabourn's Quest to Antarctica. If it is possible to make everything perfect, then Seabourn surely has the right formula for doing so. This was not our first Seabourn cruise and ... Read More
We just returned from the cruise of a lifetime, aboard Seabourn's Quest to Antarctica. If it is possible to make everything perfect, then Seabourn surely has the right formula for doing so. This was not our first Seabourn cruise and it will not be our last, as Seabourn knows how to make each and every guest feel special and does so. Their service is attentive without being intrusive, and executed with seeming delight. The food is delicious, severed in small portions, so that one returns home without any excess weight gain. The organization of the Antarctica landings was phenomenal as were the guest lectures. Seabourn managed to put together a expedition team with extensive experience in the Antarctica and they made sure each guest had a full Antarctica experience. Another plus, Seabourn wanted all crew members to experience Antarctica for themselves and had rotation system so that all crew got to go ashore at some point which made for a very happy crew. The only down side, we had to get off the ship at the end of a fabulous and memorable 21 day cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
This was the cruise of a lifetime - 5 days in Antarctica with zodiac landings each day, extremely well-experienced naturalists & photographers, plus superb lectures each day on what we were expected to see, or had seen. Then you get ... Read More
This was the cruise of a lifetime - 5 days in Antarctica with zodiac landings each day, extremely well-experienced naturalists & photographers, plus superb lectures each day on what we were expected to see, or had seen. Then you get down to the ship! Unashamed luxury with full bath and double porcelain vanities in the marble bathroom, walk-in wardrobe, very spacious bedroom/relaxing area and large veranda. A bottle of champagne was waiting on ice in our suite, followed swiftly by our personal stewardess with glasses of champagne and canapés. The mini-bar was stocked with our favourite alcohol and soft drinks. Within two days, most of the crew knew us by name, nothing was too much trouble. Extremely comfortable bed, luxury linens (wanted to buy the pillows). Plenty of storage in the walk-in wardrobe. Robes and slippers provided. Spacious safe. Multi-channel flatscreen television. Lavish bathroom with lots of unexpected, cleverly-designed storage. Designer toiletries. Separate lounging and dining areas. The dining experiences were outstanding 6-star quality and in the realms of Michelin stars! All public areas were sumptuously furnished. The capacity of this ship is 450 guests and it had the perfect feel of not being crowded. An elevator door opens and its empty! No constant signing for drinks at dinner. Free seating at meals with whomever you wish to sit. Recognition and greeting of other guests when moving around the ship. This all had a very comfortable and homely feel to it. This was our first Seabourn experience but we quickly made a "future cruise" deposit and can't wait for the next one. If you can afford it, the difference is SO worth it! We'd like to go to Antarctica again but on Quest's sailing which includes South Georgia next time - Xmas 2014 hopefully. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2013
My wife and I have traveled extensively around the world. This was our first time on Seabourn. We love cruising but this was the longest cruise we have ever taken. The more we travel, the more we have defined our expectations. We are ... Read More
My wife and I have traveled extensively around the world. This was our first time on Seabourn. We love cruising but this was the longest cruise we have ever taken. The more we travel, the more we have defined our expectations. We are looking for luxury. Perhaps this ship was a little small for us on a cruise this long. The ship is beautiful and well maintained. The passenger interfacing staff is great. For a small ship, the entertainment was very good. The productions were small but enjoyable. Our cabin stewardess was extremely accommodating to both our requests and timing her visits while we were out of the suite. We attended the several lectures on "The Amazon Basin" and the political history of the region. They were all of good quality. We also enjoyed the cooking demonstration. It was a long tedious process to get aboard the ship. The representative at check-in made several errors which delayed our boarding. Our debarkation went much more smoothly. The problems started even before we boarded the ship. We arrived and wandered around the airport looking for a sign with our name indicating our private transportation. Finally, we found someone with a "Seabourn" sign held low at their side who informed us that our private transfer was not there because they had been given the wrong airline, flight, and time. So we waited for a car to be sent for us. After a Seabourn excursion, I attempted to come back on the ship, I had an issue with on-board security. My boarding card did not bring up my photo. We determined that my photo was switched with my wife's. So we were sent to guest services for new photos. We did that. Next excursion, we had the same problem. So again we went to guest services. A second and then a third photo session were required to finally resolve this problem. The food warrants a special mention. The kitchen proficiency is a big failure. And meals are the biggest joy of a cruise. It was not even what could be described as good. In a fair estimation, 80% of the time the meals were not presented as ordered. The meat was frequently not cooked to the requested temperature. Order medium and we would get extremely rare. Hamburgers ordered medium-rare would be delivered well done. Fish was always cooked until dry. We ordered papaya and were served cantaloupe.It took 18 days (yes eighteen) to finally get bacon that was not fried hard crisp. Every day the waiter would record how I wanted my bacon (soft American bacon) and every day the chef would send it out extra crispy; like it was cooked in the deep fryer. The waiter even tried underlining, circling, and using a green highlighter to no avail. Even the matre d' had no success in getting the chef to prepare breakfast the way I requested. The Colonnade Restaurant would start to shut down the buffet 20 minutes before the posted closing time. Frequently, the main restaurant would only be open for 1 hour, 8:00 AM to 9:00 for breakfast. Also, there were days when the Colonnade closed by 10:00. If we wanted to sleep-in there were no breakfast venues open. We had to wait until noon for lunch. The coffee bar had pre-made sandwiches. My wife had a medical restriction that she could not eat seeds. She asked if she could get a tuna salad on white bread. She was told no, that all the sandwiches were pre-made. We walked away, but came back in a few minutes thinking she would just eat the tuna and not the bread. The sandwich was gone. So the waitress had to go to the kitchen and have a sandwich made up. Of course, the fresh- made sandwich was tuna on whole wheat, not on white bread. The Brazilian Representative, who was at Seabourn Square to help passengers with port information, was flat out RUDE. He was rude to many passengers. When asked what we could see in port, we were told you should have taken the tour. If I wanted the tour, I would have signed up for the tour. For some passengers, he would mark up the local map for them. For the next in line, he might hand them a map and say ask the taxi. We usually enjoy excursions. It is a good way to learn about the locale without having to do a lot of indenpendent research. Unfortunately, The excursion escorts were boring. Some people just left the excursion in the middle of it. As first time cruisers to Seabourn, we were invisible to the senior "white suits". But they were very attentive to those who had been on Seabourn many times before. It appears that Seabourn is not interested in growing your repeat business. The final and worst issue occurred on March 24th, and it will take a few minutes to describe. My wife and I were on a Seabourn tour to the Ariau Amazon Towers. There were about 80 of us on this one tour boat. The ship's newsletter, Herald, for March 24th stated that the ship would relocate at approximately 5:30 PM. At 5:00 our tour boat was about a mile from the ship. The bridge could see us! The captain raised the anchor and left; leaving approximately 17% of his passengers stuck on the tour boat. We literally chased the ship down the river for about an hour and finally boarded the ship after 6:00 PM. So for an hour, while other passengers enjoyed air conditioning, showers, and the bars, the passengers that were not important to the captain sat in an open tour boat chasing after the ship that we should have been on. Boarding the ship after 6:00 pm left little time to shower off the grime of the day and get on a launch to go to the beach barbeque. My wife took a brief shower and complained of low water pressure. When I got into the shower there was NO water at all. By the time we got to the barbeque, all that was left of the fish were the heads and skeletons. Also, there were no steaks remaining when we went through the buffet line. I later spoke with the captain and without much concern, he wrote the incident off to "a miscommunication". His miscommunication was a major inconvenience to about 80 passengers. All in all, the passenger interfacing staff did their best. But the other deficiencies just made this cruise a big disspointment. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
I recently travelled with Seabourn Sojourn and my expectations were very high as I had heard only good things about this cruise line. The cruise went from Buenos Aires to Manaus. Seabourn prides itself on service and this was ... Read More
I recently travelled with Seabourn Sojourn and my expectations were very high as I had heard only good things about this cruise line. The cruise went from Buenos Aires to Manaus. Seabourn prides itself on service and this was excellent. I found the dining options on the ship very restrictive and it was difficult to find healthy food choices outside of mealtimes. The dining room did not open for breakfast before 8am on sea days and if you wanted to find something healthy to eat you could either order room service or wait till the dining room opened. The food choices in the coffee centre were the same every day, there was a variety of items but the choice was exactly the same every day. I was assured that the the muffins were baked fresh daily. The bread that was served in the restaurants lacked variety and was mostly white or maybe whole wheat, and the bagels were only white. There was a small assortment of some other types of bread but unremarkable in taste or appearance. There were daily choices for breakfast but nothing special, one day a chef prepared eggs to order, otherwise if was the buffet or you could order from the menu. Food at the bar pool also offered several items but they tended to be all the same, the same type of salad, the same appetizers etc. I did enjoy tapas in the Observation bar at 6pm. Dinners in the dining room were good with several choices and Restaurant 2 was very good, serving a variety of food in smaller portions. The tours were generally overpriced and some a complete waste of time and money. One tour we went on was so bad that we were glad when it was over and we could get back on the ship to do something more interesting. The guide had no idea where to take us other than a short route, so he repeated it. We let the ship know, but no refund was offered. I enjoyed the fitness and would like to thank Rick for his wonderful classes which were a highlight of the trip. The dancers on the ship were excellent and I could have watched them every night! Guest speakers were also very good and informative. I was disappointed in Seabourn and maybe because they claim to be so wonderful. I found the dining options very restrictive and their reliance on service vs providing healthy food choices a concern. eg fruit not available @ coffee center but you could order fruit from room service. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
The gold standard for cruising for me will perhaps remain the Seabourn Legend Indonesian cruise in that it was my first sea cruising experience in February of 2012, and the ship is delightfully small and intimate. It was followed by the ... Read More
The gold standard for cruising for me will perhaps remain the Seabourn Legend Indonesian cruise in that it was my first sea cruising experience in February of 2012, and the ship is delightfully small and intimate. It was followed by the larger, but same sized, Regent Navigator's San Francisco to NYC in September of 2012, Seabourn Sojourn's Buenos Aires to Valparaiso in December of 2012, and then this trip. All four of the experiences have of course been very positive. I was attracted to the March trip because of the Amazon component, where about trip, like going around Indonesia, made such great sense. We visited places like, Parati, Buzios, Vitoria, Recife, Natal, Santarem, Anavilhanas, Parintins, Alter do Chao that most land or air travellers would most likely not get to see. We did not revisit Buenos Aires before the cruise because we had just been there and three nights at the incomparable Hotel das Cataratas in Iguazu Falls (Brazilian side) were too hard to resist. We did not redo Montevideo but instead journeyed for two and a half hours to Francis Melman's highly touted restaurant El Garzón, a memorable but hideously expensive experience that I do not at all regret. The remaining stops on the twenty day leg of the trip were all in Brazil, many in the Amazon: colorful colonial towns, rediscovering bustling Rio after 30 years, beach resorts, revisiting Bahia, relatively small towns in the Amazon, the impeccable Opera House in Manaus, batucada and dancing in the streets, muqueca de peixe, all we're memorable. The fifteen day follow up, besides continuing the Amazon adventure with the delightful Boi Bimba show in Parintins as a Brazilian highlight offered the variety of the Caribbean, from Devil's Island and charming Guadeloupe to rhythmic Barbados, toney St. Barts, and slurping caviar in the surf in the British a Virgin Islands. The two legs of the trip complemented each other beautifully, and I would not have considered doing just one. As for the ship experience, it was superb. The food, mostly consumed in The Restaurant, is wonderful; the portions are small, the food is beautifully presented, there is a lot of variety,and the service is personal and attentive. I personally do not care for the fussiness and preciousness of the fare in Restaurant 2, but I am glad there is an option for those into foams and molecular food. The Colonnade is also a great option, especially when doing Indian or Thai food. The meats and desserts are extraordinary. Baby lamb chops for breakfast are a treat. I mostly avoided bread, but and potatoes, but it was impossible to resist the lure of the perfect bread-sticks and the scrumptious fries. My caveats about the offerings: I was disappointed by the tuna, which, because it was frozen, did not have the moist texture I like while the sole and other fish dishes were delicious. While the pastas are wonderful, they tend to over sauce, so I would ask for half the amount and was happy as a clam. Sometimes the fresh fruit was not very sweet, sometimes it was perfect. A great option was the fruit compote. Sometimes there are no berries, but there were problems with deliveries, and besides, there is so much to choose from that it is hard to cavil over such a small issue, as some malcontents are wont to do. The one thing that needs to be improved is the black coffee served in the dining rooms. When I made my concern public, the Matre D' kindly purchased Starbucks coffee to make in a French press for us, but even that was not very good. I was too embarrassed to say anything, but finally reverted to the cappuccinos. Very good coffee is available from the barista in Seabourn Square. Despite eating such princely meals, I returned home four pounds lighter by assiduously avoiding the elevators, hitting the gym, taking excellent gym classes from the incomparable trainer Rick, and confining alcohol intake to the evening meal, with an occasional beer at noon when returning from a hot day of touring. As for the Seabourn arranged tours, they were all good to great, although some are way too expensive for what hey deliver. And they need to develop a more rational system for disgorging passengers when there are tender ports. The situation was exacerbated the second half of the trip by the skein of rabid Luxembourgeois that seemed to think that size makes right. They do not understand the word "queue.". Seabourn trucked us all gratis to the Boi Bimba show and did a marina day with caviar that were spectacular. Fellow passengers not happy with their tours complained and were reimbursed as far as I know. Doing visits on your own is a great, cheaper option, particularly when you speak the languages, which I do: Portuguese, French, and Spanish. I would heartily recommend this trip to adventurous, open-minded people who can take the heat and can appreciate differences. A cruise, while restricting you to coasts, is an excellent, efficient, and highly comfortable way to visit this wonderful part of the world. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
We are new to cruising, but not to travel. Have lived in Asia, spent a month in New Zealand & about 15 vacation trips to Europe. We took an Alaskan inside passage cruise about 15 years ago that was positive & last Oct. a Greek Isle ... Read More
We are new to cruising, but not to travel. Have lived in Asia, spent a month in New Zealand & about 15 vacation trips to Europe. We took an Alaskan inside passage cruise about 15 years ago that was positive & last Oct. a Greek Isle cruise on Oceania Rivera that went well. We normally do all the prep ourselves(half the fun of travel), rent a car & stay mostly in the country side in B&B's. My cousin & his wife ask us to join them for a S American adventure on Seabourn. They had recommended a travel agent for our Greek Isle cruise & it was not a positive experience. Her first recommend was to take the cruise line transfer from airport to ship in Venice for $230. I investigated & found that the trip was only 10 miles, all overland & booked a bus transfer for $30. We did not take any ship excursions & were pleased with private arrangements with independent of travel agent. My cousin was using the same travel agent for the upcoming trip & we agreed, but with the intent of making our on arrangements. We booked on American Airlines because they were $750 pp cheaper than the non-stop from Atlanta to Buenos Aires on Delta. We stopped in Miami & flew LAN Argentina to BA. LAN was very satisfactory. The travel agent recommended 3 hotels & we selected Intersur Recoleta. The hotel arranged for our transfer from airport to hotel & total for room & transfer was $196. Hotel was quite,comfortable & convenient to sights & port. We arrived at 7 AM on Sat. & boarded the ship at 1 PM Sun, so sight seeing limited. We decided against one of the many tango dinner clubs & went to a neighbor hood restaurant, Trevor, that was excellent. We went to San Telmo area for Sunday market at Plaza Dorrago & also saw improv tango. After talking with folks on ship, would recommend your flight inbound stop at Rio for a couple days, then fly to Iguazu Falls for couple days. Two days in Buenos Aires is plenty. The embarkation at port was a mad house, but Seabourn handled superbly. The taxi from hotel to port was 80 pesco, $15. The stateroom was excellent, quite, good beds, walk in closet & excellent room service. We went on the veranda daily to check weather or scenery, but never just sat there. The ship docked at Montevideo at 7 AM & we took shuttle bus in & walked around the old town. Rambla walk may have been nice, but limited time prevented that. Not overly impressed. Two days at sea & then anchored off Port Stanley, Thur. Tender ride about 30 minutes. Previous ships that week were unable to tender, because of winds & high seas. We got a private tour(Nyree Heathman, nyree@estancia-excursions.com, $180 pp)to Volunteer Point to see the King Penquins for half the cruise excursion price. Every one travels in Land Rovers, two couples per truck. It is an uncomfortable 2 hour ride, most over peat bog, but the king's are worth it. Fri.,we got great weather for our swing around the Horn & at 8 PM at 55 degrees S Lat., we had plenty of sun. We anchored at Ushuaia, the southern most city in world. One of our cruise critic buddies had paid for a 8 person bus tour(Pira Tours) to Haberton Ranch & a Megallanic penquin rookery. It was about 5 1/2 hour tour, with scenic ride in & out. Sun. was a trip into Chile's Glacier Alley & good weather permitted us to sail right up to Garibaldi Glacier, one of the highlights of the cruise. It is in Darwin Nat. Park, Terra del Fuego, Patagonia. Saw seals & a whale. Mon. we anchored at Punta Arenas & Vertuoso travel agency provided a tour of Otway Bay & more megallanic penquins. We were about penquined out. Tue. sailing thru Chilean fjords & Amalia Glacier, with some impressive calving. Thur. we docked at Puerto Chacabuco & took a tour with enPatagonia Tours($95 pp, enpatagonia@gmail.com) with about 18 other cruise critic mates. The best excursion of the trip & stop at campo or country house was high light. BBQ lamb, dancing & good look at farm life in that area. Mark from Wyoming was excellent guide. Fri. anchored at Castro & we took taxi to municipal park for weekend market. So, so. Not much else to see. Sat. at Puerto Montt we shared another private tour($68 pp, guide Don Manuel) with 10 cruise critic mates. Weather with light rain prevented us from seeing or visiting volcano's. Restaurant at Llanquihue Lake was very good & stop at Puerto Varas worth effort. Sun. cruise day & shoreline reminded us of Tuscany, with green farms & tall cypress trees. Mon. 8 AM dock at Valparaiso. We considered a private tour, but decided on cruise excursion($199 pp)to winery & ranch & drop off at Santiago airport at 6 PM for at 9:50 PM departure. Good tour. Santiago airport & Amer. Air. check in was hectic. We were disappointed with food on Seabourn. I have never sent a meal back in my life & sent two back on this cruise. Under cooked seafood. Oceania's food far better. Dining room service was slow, because of under staffing. Entertainment was very good, as were briefing's. Probably will not sail Seabourn again, but highly recommend cruising the area & itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
NOVEMBER, 2011 We are in Buenos Aires, Argentina about to board the Seabourn Sojourn for a trip around Cape Horn to Valparaiso, Chile. Our ports will be Montevideo - Uruguay, Stanley - Falkland Islands, Ushuaia -â€" AR, rounding ... Read More
NOVEMBER, 2011 We are in Buenos Aires, Argentina about to board the Seabourn Sojourn for a trip around Cape Horn to Valparaiso, Chile. Our ports will be Montevideo - Uruguay, Stanley - Falkland Islands, Ushuaia -â€" AR, rounding Cape Horn (not a port, but a destination) and Beagle Channel, Puntas Arenas, CH, Chilean Fjords cruising, Puerto Montt, CH, Puerto Chacabuco, CH, and Valparaiso, CH. We are very excited to be returning to the Sojourn, our favorite cruise ship. We sailed her from Singapore to Dubai earlier this year on a World cruise segment. It was one of our best cruises ever due to the fantastic crew and staff. Can't wait to get aboard. We have been following the Seabourn blog of the reverse of our itinerary, as well as Clarky's posts and they have increased our enthusiasm. We'll try to return the favor in terms of posting our experiences aboard this "bucket list" itinerary. It is our first time in this part of South America. We flew non-stop from Washington Dulles to Buenos Aires. We have rented an apartment in the Recoleta section of the city through VRBO dot com who we have found to be an excellent resource site as we have traveled throughout the world. The apartment, which has a beautiful private garden, is perfectly situated in a beautiful neighborhood, close to many shops and restaurants. Yesterday we walked the area, visiting beautiful and haunting Recoleta cemetery, unlike any we've ever seen. Eva Duarte Peron is buried here, along with many of Argentina's other famous people. We then visited the Museum of Fine Arts for a few hours. We ate at a neighborhood restaurant, Melo, recommended by our apartment owner. We retired early to recover from our overnight flight. The next day dawned warm and sunny and proved to be high 80 degree temperatures. Everywhere the Jacaranda are blooming and birds are singing. We set off for Plaza de Mayo to see the Casa Rosada and other monuments, then walking casually up to Florida Street, the main shopping area in Buenos Aires. Shops line this street for many many blocks, and small vendors have their stalls laid out on the ground or in small carts. Virtually anything can be bought here, from small souvenir to magnificent leather goods and jewelry. It was a great photo opportunity as well. We decided to have a late lunch at El Mirasol and enjoyed fantastic Ojo cuts of Argentine steak and a wonderful Malbec to go with it. To work off our meal, we walked back to the park next to Recoleta cemetery, where afternoon and evenings, there is an excellent artisan market. This is one of the biggest in the city, and the offerings were unique and above average. Tango dancers and music enhanced the fun atmosphere. We slept well and mid-morning took a taxi to San Telmo Mercado and walked the area on Defense Street which is famous for its Sunday Market. It seemed as if everyone in BA was out enjoying the warm temperatures and the lively atmosphere of San Telmo. The shops lining the street had beautiful antiques, leather, jewelry, clothing and weavings. There was an antique market to rival Portobello in London. In addition, artisans had booths set up on side streets. Musicians played guitar and accordions, old men sang, tango dancers danced and mimes held their poses. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in San Telmo and topped it off with another late lunch. This time we ate at La Brigada, an old Argentine restaurant on Estado Unidas. The restaurant is filled with Argentine sports memorabilia and was vibrant with people enjoying their meals. We had outstanding Lomo steak and salad and, again, a wonderful Malbec for a very economical price. We now are preparing to leave for the ship and our South American adventure. We will post more when we board the ship. LATER Our driver picked us up at noon and we drove the 15 minutes to the port terminal. There were about 20 couples waiting. We filled out health forms and chatted for about 15 minutes. We then were called to go upstairs to check in. That took about 10 minutes, we went through immigration, and were bussed to the beautiful Sojourn. It was great to see the waiting line of staff and receive their warm greetings. We were escorted to the Grand Salon where beverages and sandwiches were available. We were pleased to see some wonderful staff members whom we knew from past Seabourn cruises. We enjoyed meeting more fellow passengers and exchanging stories of our trips down and Buenos Aires activities. We were shown to our cabins about 1:30. The room is set up well, with lots of closet space, nice seating area and comfortable bed. We particularly like the fact that there is a real table with two chairs, for in-room dining, working on a laptop, or other functions. It is set up on the side, and leaves the center of the room empty for easy maneuverability. The bathroom is very convenient with separate shower and bath and two sinks. Drawers are a bit shallow, but there are a number of them, so plenty of space. The television has movies on demand and also all the shore excursion information, as well as cable tv. The cabin is a lovely place to call home for the next two weeks. Our stewardess, Meagan from South Africa, came by with offers of different soaps and had already prepared the cabin with our choice of in-room liquor and drinks. She was very upbeat and accommodating. We unpacked and checked the restaurant menus for the evening. We decided to try Restaurant 2 for the evening and made a reservation. Down at Seabourn Square, we were happy to find that Claudio is our shore excursion manager. He was very welcoming and we were glad to see him again. We discussed some shore excursion possibilities, although we also have booked private tours for this trip. He told us the Antarctica trip which had been offered was cancelled due to only 5 people having signed up. However, onboard, many people were disappointed that they could not book it. So, if you take this cruise and want to do the Antarctica side trip, you must book it 30 days before. The ship is not full. It has about 350 aboard and certainly does not feel crowded in any way. We love the sense of space on this ship. Our Captain is Hamish Elliott, our CD is John Howell, our Hotel Director is Hubert. Guest lecturers for this trip include Richard Cowley who is a Latin American expert, and has escorted four members of the Royal Family on visits to Montevideo. He served as Director-General of the Anglo-Uruguayan Cultural Institute. John Pilkington is known as a broadcaster with BBC World Service and was one of the first people in modern times to retrace the Silk Road from Venice to the Yellow Sea. He also walked the 1,600 mile Royal Road of the Incas in the Peruvian Andes. We are looking forward to their talks, the first of which will be tomorrow evening. Showtime this evening will be Magician Martin John. We had lifeboat drill at 5 pm, changed and met in the Club bar at 6 last evening with other CC cruisers and had an enjoyable time as the ship left Buenos Aires. We then went up to Restaurant 2 and had a wonderful dinner. We were happy to see Priscilla the wine steward from our previous Sojourn cruise. She poured a nice NZ Sauvignon Blanc and we enjoyed the chef's small plates creations. It was 9:30 when we returned to our cabin. We turned our clocks ahead 1 hour and sat on the balcony a bit enjoying our trip down the Rio Plata. MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY We slept in and awoke to find ourselves docked in Montevideo, Uruguay. It is the largest city and capital of Uruguay. It was established in 1726 as a strategic move during a Spanish-Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento. It is the southernmost cosmopolitan capital city in the Americas and third most southern in the world. We will take the ship shuttle into town today and walk around viewing the city sites and do some shopping. The ship will leave at 5 pm this afternoon. Tonight's menu in the restaurant includes first course choices of roasted vegetable terrine, seared Tuna with Soba noodles, curry dusted scallop, black mussel veloute and onion consommé. Entrees include pan seared halibut, duck a L'Orange, Veal Chop, and potato Leek Crepes. The Colonnade is having a different themed dinner each night on this cruise. They will be Spanish, French, American, Old England, Italian, Russian , South American Tuscan Market, Seafood and Polynesian. LATER What a charming surprise Montevideo was today. We took the free shuttle bus into town and walked around the square, then down the pedestrian walkway. (Actually, it also is an easy walk). There were vendors and stalls lining the avenue, and interesting shops. We visited the museum, and walked into the park which had an antique fair. We so enjoyed talking with the people about their wares and learning about Uruguay and Montevideo's history. Many of the people spoke excellent English and were very anxious to talk with us. We then walked down to the Mercado, which is close to the ship. There are arts and crafts stores with local artisan goods, paintings, jewelry and weavings. We entered the Mercado, on the advice of one of the shop owners and enjoyed a parradillas (bbq) lunch of fabulous chicken , frites and salad. The Mercado is much like a South American beer garden with various restaurants showing off their bbq'd meats and fish and vegetables. We were serenaded by guitar players and thoroughly enjoyed our time. Back on the ship, John Howell had arranged for the Montevideo Tango Show to perform in the Grand Salon at 3:30. It was a wonderful show of song, dance and music, with passenger participation. The audience gave an ovation to the group. It was a great way to end our day here. We're sailing a bit late because we're awaiting the arrival of a few passengers who have been delayed because of a volcanic ash cloud affecting the local airports. Once at sea, we're on our way to the Falkland Islands. AT SEA It was nice to have a relaxing day at sea today. We slept in and had breakfast in the room, after getting some cappuccinos from Megan at the Sojourn Square coffee bar. Seas are about 5-7 feet, but the Sojourn is very stable and is handling them well. We attended a Destination Talk by Shore Excursion Manager Claudio. He provided a great overview of all the ports, including photos he had taken on the previous cruise. That cruise was the reverse of our itinerary so it was nice to have real time information about the excursions and ports we're visiting. A small group of passengers made up the teams for Trivia today. CD John Howell ran a lively session though, and our team, the Pollos Rellenos (stuffed chickens), won trivia today. This afternoon's lecture by Richard Cowley was on the Fascination of the Falklands, and he included information on the Falklands history and makeup of the more than 700 islands that are the Falklands. He highlighted the conflict between Britain and Argentina, and spoke of the sites we will see. Also on the agenda today were a navigational bridge visit, golf putting, duplicate and social bridge. There is a bridge group of about 30 who have brought their own teacher along, but Seabourn also provides lessons. Tonight was formal night with a reception at 6:45pm with the Captain. He said that it is looking good to make the Falklands, although the weather will be cold and windy. The total passenger contingent was confirmed at 330, so we are enjoying lots of space onboard. We were invited to have dinner with the Chief Engineering Officer Magne, and his wife, Linda. We had a delightful evening with them and four other passengers, including CCers Jim and Cynthia. On the menu were foie gras, lobster bisque, salads, chateaubriand, truffled chicken, and lobster. Showtime was "Can't Stop the Music" a tribute to UK and American bands. AT SEA Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! It was a bit rougher at sea last night as we make our way to the Falklands, and the cabin creaked quite a bit. This morning dawned sunny and beautiful with moderate seas. It's a really gorgeous day about 50 degrees. One thing we have been impressed with on Sojourn is the fact that the officers are very visible, and walking around chatting with passengers. In fact, the Captain came round Seabourn Square this morning and he told us it is looking good to get into the Falklands tomorrow. That's great news as we have a private excursion booked to Volunteer Point to see the penguins. Today being Thanksgiving, Chef Andrew Soddy is giving a cooking demonstration of pumpkin risotto with goat cheese, and pecan pie with bourbon glazed apples. We'll do trivia at noon and attend the lecture by John Pilkington on Introducing Patagonia. There is a special Turkey Trivia this afternoon and a Galley Tour as well. On the menu tonight are Smoked Tea Crusted Salmon, Scallops and Beef Ribs, Rack of Lamb, Three Cheese Tortellini, and of course Thankgiving Turkey with all the fixings. Chef Andrew promised lots of cranberry sauce, and CD John Howell says he gave the chef his Aunt Lucy's Corn Pudding recipe. It should be a fun evening. LATER We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with CD John Howell and a few other guests he invited to share the holiday dinner. Chef Andrew outdid himself and we enjoyed the wonderful pumpkin soup and turkey, stuffing and yes, Aunt Lucy's Corn Pudding. John was a wonderful host and we all agreed it was an enjoyable festive evening. STANLEY, FALKLAND ISLANDS Wow what a day we had! We awoke early to smooth seas and to the ship being guided into Stanley Harbor. We were very fortunate that this day dawned sunny and warm for the area with highs in the 50s. After breakfast in the Colonnade, we boarded the first tender. We had a private excursion booked to Volunteer Point to see the King, Magellenic and Gentoo penguins. Ken Morrison, our driver was waiting shore side with our names on a placard and quickly escorted us to his Land Rover 4 x 4 and we were off. Ken was born on the big west island of the Falklands (there are more than 700 islands which make up the Falklands) and moved to Stanley with his family about 20 years ago. He says he's still considered a newcomer. Ken regaled us with tales of the Falklands conflict in 1982 and pointed out sites of battles, encampments, downed helicopter wreckage, and discussed what it was like living there during the time. The Falklands are starkly beautiful with "stone rivers" which came through millenniums of freeze and thaw when large mountains of rocks have broken down into small boulders that have created these fields of rock debris. They make a mosaic on the mountains and a literal stream of rocks on the ground. Gorse was blooming in the fields, as well as spring flowers in town. Some of the island is still fenced off with signs warning of land mines left from the Argentinean invaders. We first drove on the paved road, then on a dirt track for about 1 hour, and then went totally off road on basically a peat bog surface to get to Volunteer Point. Having a 4X4 was definitely the only way to go, and Ken did a superlative job of finding the best track and avoiding slippery or waterlogged areas. The Falklands have had a lot of rain recently, and tracks, which would be dry and dusty normally in the summer, were waterlogged and deep in mud. We were happy when Ken told us he was the town mechanic! After 1-1/2 hours off road, we arrived at Volunteer Point. How beautiful it is, with the seas an emerald green, waves crashing on the beach, blue sky, sun and thousands of penguins. There are three types: the King Penguins with their yellow cheeks and about waist high. Then there were the burrowing Magellenic penguins on their nests, and the smaller Gentoo penguins. We were the first vehicle to arrive at Volunteer Point and had about an hour to ourselves before the caravans of other private tours and ship's tours arrived. The King penguins were so friendly and walked right up, although we knew the rules said not to touch or go into marked off areas. We saw hundreds of brown furry babies who stayed close to their parents. It was an amazing sight we'll long remember. The Magellenic penguins stayed pretty much in their burrows on the beach, but we got great photos of them, and then went over to the hoards of Gentoo penguins, some molting their feathers, a few babies, and many still sitting on their nests. Seals lounged in the sand on the beach. The entire experience could not have been more positive. We ate the boxed lunch Ken had brought for us and we were off across the peat bogs for another 1-1/2 hour journey back to the gravel and then, paved roads. Ken then took us on a tour of Stanley, which is a charming, clean and lovely town. Ken pointed out the Governor's mansion, the church with whalebone cross, and some of the homes brought in for residents after theirs were destroyed in the war. He showed us his lovely home with a beautiful greenhouse where he grows fruits and vegetables for the family. He also showed us the town's racecourse where, in the 1960's a highjacked plane was forced to land right in the middle of the course, barely fitting within the fence. The plane eventually was stripped and flown out, but the photos of it sitting on the racecourse, wings touching the galleries on each side were amazing. We did some shopping and reboarded the tender back to the ship. The seas still were fine and the sun was shining. We were scheduled to leave at 6pm, but the Captain announced that one of the tours to Volunteer Point would be a bit late returning. We found out that this was because one of their 4x4s had lost an axle and a few of the vehicles had become "bogged" and had to be pulled out. The passengers affected were quickly transferred to the other cars and all did return safely, not too long after. Everyone we talked with agreed that this long and rocky journey was totally worth the effort. We highly recommend it if you are taking this itinerary. We cleaned up, had drinks in the Observation Bar, chatting with fellow passengers comparing the day's experiences, and then went to the Colonnade for dinner. The Colonnade is on the 8th deck aft and is casual with table service. There is an outside dining area, but it was too cold to use. The menu is smaller and features a theme dinner each evening. Tonight it was Old English and we enjoyed Dover Sole and Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding as entrees, along with a Sauvignon Blanc Semillion Blend. All in all, a most enjoyable day and we are so grateful that the weather and seas allowed us to experience this most delightful island. AT SEA We cannot say enough about how much we are enjoying the Sojourn and especially the warm and wonderful staff. The ship is in beautiful condition, the food has been excellent and the wines very good. Some excellent Malbecs, Shiraz, and Sauvignon Blancs are available on the everyday list. We had a small issue with our cabin for a few days, and, upon reporting it, were immediately given excellent service by Murat, the Guest Relations Manager and Hubert the Hotel Director. They graciously moved us to another cabin and were very solicitous about our comfort and ensured that all was well. Murat is exceptional in managing the Reception Desk and dealing with passengers in a friendly and conscientious way. We are so impressed with omnipresent Hubert who is definitely a hands-on Hotel Director and genial with both staff and customers. Just amazing. CD John Howell also is everywhere, and hard working and fun, interacting constantly with passengers. He also has an outstanding singing voice. This morning the Captain had a Q&A with passengers, joined by Magne the Chief Engineer. It was interesting to hear about the ship's operation, our journey ahead and both were very interactive with the audience. We listed to an excellent talk by John Pilkington entitled "Pioneers and Bandits" which included history of Patagonia, including stories of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and their antics and robberies there. Team trivia today was fun and our team finished ahead in the cumulative points as of today. Lunch in the main dining room was followed by a lecture by Richard Cowley, "With Darwin to Patagonia." Both speakers have been excellent and have been generous with their time with passengers during off time. Also on the agenda today were bridge, golf putting, suites tour, Spanish course and Chocoholic Tea Time. Dinner entrees this evening include orange roughy, soft shell crab, sirloin and short rib of beef, double cut pork chop and gnocchi. Appetizers include veal carpaccio, yellow fin tuna Wellington, mushroom minestrone and cream of asparagus soup. Restaurant 2's small bites includes octopus ceviche, lobster corn dog, chicken brick parcel, butternut squash presse, foie gras sandwich and roasted salmon in Sake Ginger and Orange Soy Duck. Showtime highlights tonight are Vocalist David Karl and Comedian Gary Thompson. USHUAIA, ARGENTINA Ushuaia is the capital city of Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina and is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. It also is a starting out port for many Antarctica cruises. It is bounded on the north by the Martial mountain range and on the south by the Beagle Channel. It has a population of 60,000, many of whom are descendants of English speaking settlers and who survive on sheep-raising, lumbering and fishing. Ushuaia's subpolar oceanic climate is similar to Unalaska and Reykjavik with mean temperatures in summer of 50 F. Snow regularly occurs throughout the year. We ate an early breakfast in the Colonnade and made our way to the pier to board our Beagle Channel catamaran excursion. The weather was overcast with intermittent rain and a curtain of clouds covering the mountain peaks, but the Channel was smooth as glass. This was a nature cruise for about 2-1/2 hours viewing cormorant nests, sea lions, flightless steamer ducks, albatross, lighthouse points and the beauty of the Beagle Channel. Richard's lecture on Darwin came to life as we say many species mentioned in his journals. The wind is so strong here that trees are whipped and grow sideways making for a beautiful but haunting landscape. After the cruise we walked the town streets, but because it was Sunday, half of the stores were closed. However, we can tell you that if you want to buy a penguin in any variety, this is the place to get it! As a side note, friends took the two-hour horseback riding excursion along the mountainside and said the rain stopped, the sun came out and it was very enjoyable. We reboarded the ship about 1 pm and had lunch in the dining room with wonderful Vindora as our server. We were scheduled to depart at 4 pm, but the Captain announced that officials said that a regatta was going on in the harbor and, since the wind was not blowing sufficiently (in Ushuaia??) they were finishing late. We could not leave until they vacated the harbor. About 5:30 pm, we were on our way. We sailed back up the Beagle Channel and are on our way to round Cape Horn at 7 am tomorrow! Dinner in the Dining Room this evening was Chefs Dinner -â€" a set menu with a choice only of Halibut or Filet Mignon, with appetizer and salad and dessert courses especially prepared by Chef Andrew Soddy. We were invited to sit with Guest Relations Manager Murat and Guest Relations Supervisor Liesl and other guests. Convivial conversation accompanied the dinner and we were astounded to learn one of our tablemates had been a wing-walker in her youth in Australia! A standout on the menu was Roast Pumpkin Risotto and the Hot Raspberry Souffle for dessert. Evening entertainment was "I Write the Songs" based on Billy Joel, Elton John and Barry Manilow." The entertainment on the ship has been good and we also particularly enjoy sitting in the club before dinner having a drink and listening to the Six of Hearts featuring Pauline. They are outstanding. The staff has been so excellent, we'd like to mention a few who have gone out of their way to make this a wonderful cruise: Vindora and Christian, Andrew and Stephanie in the Restaurant, Felim and Matt who are Bar Staff, Meagan our stewardess, Murat and Jo at reception, Megan at the coffee bar and John Howell who has been outstanding. ROUNDING CAPE HORN AND GLACIER ALLEY What an amazing, astounding once in a lifetime experience of a day we have had. This day represents why we go to sea and why Seabourn Sojourn is our ship of choice. We woke early at 5am, showered and went up to the front Observation Bar at 5:45 am to get seats for our trip round Cape Horn this morning. The staff had set out coffee, juice tea and pastry already, which helped us wake up. As we approached Deception Island which is often mistaken for Cape Horn, the winds outside were blowing 55 mph, with sprinkling of rain and mist. The seas however, were not overly high. About 6:30 am Cape Horn came into view and we eased our way up to the north side of Hornos Island. Kathy went out to take some photos, and the blowing wind pushed strongly against her, making her few steps become a step, blow backward, step, blow backward journey. It was exhilarating she said. Cape Horn is one of the most evocative names on the map and in maritime history and sits where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet at 56 degrees south. If you were to sail east or west from Cape Horn, the next land you would reach would be Cape Horn! It is not a dramatic site, but there are gales or worse on more than 200 days per year with 20 meter waves quite common. It still is considered one of the major challenges in yachting and the Volvo Ocean Race sail around the world via the Horn and speed records for round-the -â€"world sailing are recognized for following this route. There is a small lighthouse, a chapel and a weather station operated by a handful of Chilean personnel stationed here, along with an albatross sculptural marker. The current lighthouse keeper has a one year old baby. The observation lounge was filled with passengers enjoying this rounding together, and excited conversations were exchanged. Speaker Richard Cowley provided commentary on the history and maritime experiences of the area. Staff passed out delicious hot chocolate. The most amazing thing is that, once we reached the northwest side of the Island and began rounding, the wind died down, the sun came out and it was smooth sailing. Cape Horn had become a calm pool. We sailed past the south side of the Horn itself, a small rock jutting out of the sea, taking myriad photos and videos, stunned with the gorgeous conditions we were experiencing. The 11th deck proved to be a great place to take unobstructed photos of the entire scene, and we recommend going up there to get the best shots. The entire trip round finished by 8 am, and the Captain and other speaker John Pilkington said that they had never experienced such fantastic conditions in prior sailings. We were truly fortunate. We went up to the Restaurant for breakfast, viewing the beautiful scenery as we cruised back up toward Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel once more. Richard Cowley's morning enrichment lecture was very interesting. His subject was the tango and its history from the gauchos to turn of the century Buenos Aires, to present day. He accompanied his excellent and funny talk with some great, classic tango music, concluding with Carlos Gardel. Team trivia was very tough again today, but our team, the Pollos Rellenos triumphed again and we remain in cumulative first place, by a hair. John Pilkington, the affable and enjoyable speaker from the BBC, spoke this afternoon about "A Shipwreck, A Glacier and A Surprise." He talked about the seafarers who've foundered on the Patagonian coast, took us on a flight over the stunning Moreno Glacier and told us of a last minute trip to Antarctica which left him stranded there for 18 days when his pilot took off without him! Quite a surprise and a riveting talk! Ballroom dance class with Elena and Dmitry featured, what else?, the tango. For our second astounding experience, we then made our way back up to the Observation lounge for viewing of Glacier Alley in the Beagle Channel. On our way, passing Ushuaia, the sun was out and we were able to capture photos of the peaks and the city in the clear weather that we had not been able to get on our original visit. The weather was a bit colder with wind, but the seas very calm as we passed the first of the astounding glaciers that soar over the channel. We have been to Alaska and loved it, but this experience is equally if not superior to the glaciers there. The height and width of them is mind-boggling. We decided to go down to the stern of the Sojourn, off the Club Bar to capture shots as we passed the glaciers on both sides of the ship. We, along with Claudio the Shore Excursion Manager and three other people, were the only people on the fantail! We felt as if we were sailing our own yacht through a dream world. The wind did whip as we captured shot after shot of 5 glaciers, named after countries. We felt we could touch them and the stark mountain peaks surrounding them. As we stood looking at the Romanche glacier, a rainbow appeared off the fantail and it added to the magic of the experience. The stunning hanging glacier with a huge waterfall was awe inspiring. We were cold, wind whipped but joyous with the wonders we were seeing. Patagonia is an astounding, surprising place that we know we will explore further. We had room service for dinner which was served exactly to our order, quickly and efficiently. As we sat and ate, another rainbow appeared just off our balcony adding an ending punctuation to our day. We watched a movie and talked about the most wondrous experience aboard the magical Sojourn. PUNTA ARENAS, CHILE We continued our trip overnight into the Straits of Magellan and docked at 8 am in Punta Arenas, Chile. The name means Sandy Point, and it is the largest city south of the 46th parallel south, with a population of 130,000. It is recognized by its red-painted metal roofs. Excursions here included a trip to Otway Sound to see the penguins, an Estancia Tour, an 11-hour land/flight trip to Torres del Paine National Park ($1,199 pp), and a city tour. Since we had seen lots of penguins in the Falklands and a recent trip to New Zealand, we opted to take the ship's free shuttle bus to the main square. Punta Arenas is a lovely city with colonial architecture and friendly people. In the main square, vendors had wooden carts selling penguin themed items, hand knit shawls, sweaters, and lapis jewelry. We enjoyed walking through, and then walked around the city, viewing the restored buildings and shopping at artisan shops. Surrounding the Plaza are mansions of the wealthy sheep farmers of the 19th century. About 1 pm we went down to the waterfront on O'Higgins Street to Sotitos, for lunch. We had a fantastic meal of avocado salad, fresh King Crab (for which Punta Arenas is known), and shared a plate of spit roasted lamb, paradillas style. We had a crisp Chilean Sauvignon Blanc as well. The crab and lamb were phenomenal and we highly recommend this, to Americans anyway, medium priced restaurant. After our lunch we walked a bit more and took the shuttle back to the ship. A short nap restored us. We are having dinner with new friends from New Orleans at the Colonnade, which is doing a Tuscan Buffet. Tonight at 9:45 pm is the "Rock the Boat Dance Party" which features the entire Entertainment Team. CRUISING THE CHILEAN FJORDS We woke this morning to mist and light rain as we made our way through the beginning of the Chilean Fjords. We are anxious to compare these fjords to those of Norway and New Zealand and Tracy Arm in Alaska. The landscape in Tierra del Fuego was quite dramatic and stands up to any we've seen. We began the morning with a quiet breakfast in the Restaurant, with Vindora and Stephanie as our servers. Richard Cowley gave a wonderful lecture on the creation of the Andes Mountains, the icefields, glaciers and the volcanoes of the Chilean fjords. He is a very funny and engaging speaker and we hope you have a chance to hear him on a future cruise. He will be doing the next segment back to Buenos Aires so we know some of you will have that opportunity. At noon we played trivia, which was again very challenging. It is a fun experience though and the Pollos Rellenos, our team, is hanging onto first by a thread. Ballroom dance class was the Tango and we gave it our best shot. Let me say there is much more to be learned...... We grabbed our cameras and jackets and made our way to the outside decks for our viewing of the Amalia Glacier, a huge Glacier more than 1 km wide. We knew we were approaching as we saw bergie bits in the water and, in the distance could view the pack ice on the water. It was relatively warm but still was misty, so our opportunities were not the best today for photography, but we could easily view the glacier's incredible size and grandeur. The ship sent out a speedboat with three crew members who gathered and brought back some of the glacier ice to the ship's bars. The crew bobbed around in the frigid waters and took their time finding just the right pieces. We enjoyed watching them then speed all around the Sojourn with a big white hand on a board waving to all the passengers who were taking photos and waving back. We stood by the side as they hoisted the boat back onto the ship with their prize catch. Kathy was thrilled to have the crew, in their immersion suits, hand her a chunk of ice and pose for a photo opp. The ice then was taken to the bars around the ship for passenger viewing, but, not for use in drinks. It was a fun chance for all to share the experience. One note to follow up on a prior post I made. The group that took the 11 hour excursion to Torres Del Paine National Park had an amazing experience. Although it was misty and rainy for those of us who stayed in Punta Arenas, they had clear blue skies and sun in the park. Their photos are amazing. They saw guanacos and reas with their babies, and had a clear gorgeous view of the famous Towers of the Park. All said it was a wonderful day. In the Club Bar tonight, Kathy tried a Pisco Sour. Sorry, the Lemon Drop Martini wins out again! On the menu in the Restaurant tonight were Roasted Salmon, Jumbo Scallops, Osso Bucco and Grilled Lamb Loin. Appetizers were Salmon Tartare, Besaola, Chicken Cassoutlet "En Croute" (it was incredible), Carrot and Ginger Soup and Chilean Potato Salad. We were invited to dinner with John Pilkington and had lively conversation about John's travels, including his recent trips to Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and all the "stans." John's enthusiasm is contagious and one can understand the British Royal Geographic Society presenting him with the Ness Award for his work in popularizing geography and a wide understanding of the world. He is a familiar voice on BBC World Service with his travel documentaries. We will add that his photographs also are amazing. If you get a chance to hear him, don't miss the opportunity. Showtime this evening was "The Vocal Fireworks of Justine Balmer." CRUISING THE CHILEAN FJORDS We went to sleep to calm seas, had a bit of heavy seas in the night, and this morning woke to calm seas and sunny blue skies. The fjords really stand out now and ice capped stark black mountains combine with the green and rock strewn hills to make a beautiful landscape. It is warm today and very relaxing sitting on the balcony reading a book and watching all this natural beauty as we glide by. The morning's activities include the sixth Spanish course conducted by Heidi, Chef Andrew's Cooking demonstration on Asian Spiced Seabass, and his famous Glazed Lemon Tart. Trivia is at noon and Richard Cowley's lecture on "Lost in the Snows of the Andes." The talk reveals the details about the plane carrying a team of soccer players that crash landed high on the Andes mountains between Chile and Argentina. It is a great survival story. John Pilkington is doing a Round Table discussion and book signing as well this afternoon. We will attend Ballroom Dance class with Elena and Dmitry this afternoon to give it another go... A couple of notes: Internet has been working fabulously on this trip. It is a real contrast to the issues we had with it on our Singapore to Dubai trip last Feb/March. Nigel, the computer expert is very helpful and we complimented him on the great service we're getting. Susana, our new stewardess, is doing a super job of keeping our room spotless. And, for those of you concerned about past experiences with the lack of Moulton Brown products, we have not had to ask for any- they are immediately replaced in our bathroom cabinet. It is obvious the staff on this ship is happy and the camaraderie we see is genuine. The passenger component has been American British, Australian, and German and we have made the acquaintance of a number of lovely couples. There are no children aboard. We must say that the fact that we are down 100 passengers from capacity make this ship feel incredibly spacious and provides many opportunities to find that quiet corner to curl up with a book. Right now the only thing we would change is to forbid smoking on the balconies and in cabins, as the smoke consistently wafts over to our balcony and the smell is in the hallways. I know it is a matter of choice, and controversial to say this, and we knew Seabourn allows this. Just our opinion. Dinner entrees in The Restaurant will include Turbot, Crab Cake, Herb Roasted Chicken, New York Strip and Swiss Chard Ricotta Ravioli. The Colonnade has a Polynesian themed dinner which includes Yellow Fin Tuna, Shrimp Spring Roll or Blue Crab Papaya Bisque and main courses of Grilled Orange Roughy or Hawaiian Barbequed Chicken. PUERTO CHACABUCO, CHILE Puerto Chacabuco is a Chilean town in Aisen Province at the head of the Aisen Fjord. It is the main port of the region because in 1991 Mount Hudson volcano erupted. This resulted in the original port of Puerto Aisen having its navigability decrease due to ashes and earth erosion. Puerto Chacabuco is a tender port and the sail in was amazingly beautiful as we glided past the fjord to our place in the harbor. The weather was great and actually warmed to sunny 60 degrees One note: There is absolutely nothing in Puerto Chacabuco itself, and a shore excursion definitely should be booked here unless you just want to spend a day on the ship. The ship's excursions took up every bus in the area, according to Claudio, and it was the first port where most of the ship was on excursion. Some passengers took a longer excursion over the Andes to the small town of Coyhaique and while they enjoyed it, they said it was a long ride on rough roads. We chose to take the half-day tour to Aisen National Park which was lovely. We hiked the park for a while, viewing beautiful flora and fauna, and we spotted our first condors of the trip. We hiked to a lovely waterfall, and everywhere the spring flowers were in bloom. Lupines, fuschia trees, and buttercups were really showing their colors. One caution: the large black flies are out in force, so insect repellant is advised and don't wear perfume as it is a magnet! At the end of the hike we were taken to a small lodge where lamb was cooking on the barbeque for later ship tours. We were served empanadas and other appetizers, along with champagne, pisco sours and Chilean wines. A local folkloric dance troupe also performed the traditional Chilean handkerchief dance and some of us were invited to partner with the dancers and join in. After a visit to the lake, we reboarded our bus for the 15 minute ride back to the ship. The ship departed at 2 pm and we attended John Pilkington's lecture on Llamas and Incas. Ballroom dance class was the jive, and we then changed for drinks in the Club listening to the Six of Hearts, and dinner. The Colonnade had an Indian market this evening, and it was immensely popular. The ship's officers including the Captain were present for the feast. We must say the chefs outdid themselves and the food was absolutely outstanding. It was Broadway Cabaret night in the Club after dinner. PUERTO MONTT, CHILE It was overcast and misting as we dropped anchor in Puerto Montt this morning. The forecast was for rain, but it held off as we dressed, breakfasted in the Colonnade and went down to the tenders. We had booked a private tour through Patagonia Shore Excursions, and our driver was waiting at the port. Puerto Montt is a port city at the northern end of Reloncavi Sound in the Chilean Lakes district. The area originally was inhabited by the Mapuche Indians who drove the Spanish out in 1599. The modern town was founded in 1853 during the German colonization of Southern Chile where immigrants were given free land, timber, a cow and citizenship. It is the gateway to the Chiloe Archipelago and Llanquihue lake, the third largest lake in South America. The area is dotted with chalets, farms and looks much like a country village in Germany. We visited Puerto Varas which is a lovely town about 40 minutes from Puerto Montt and is situated on Llanquihue lake. The town square was filled with decorated Christmas trees, and a band was playing on the stage. The town has some nice crafts made by the local inhabitants and we purchased some for souvenirs of our trip. Our tour guide Geraldo and driver Jeanette took us to the town of Fruitilar which looks like it is in Germany , but has a sandy beach. We drove to Parque Nacional Perez Rosales, Chile's oldest national park and the home of the magnificent Osorno volcano, 8,700 feet tall. The volcano looms over the entire area and is the subject of many photos, with its perfect triangular shape. Petrohue Falls in the park is a gorgeous setting and often photographed. While we didn't have rain, the mist stayed just on the top of the volcano, so our hoped for photos were not to be. We visited a llama farm and got up close and personal with Gaston, the male llama who lords it over the herd. We had a wonderful lunch in town and then headed back to the ship. While we had intended to shop at the Angelmo craft market near the port, one pass by showed us it was the normal tourist stalls, so we passed. It was a good thing because the skies opened and it absolutely poured as we took the tender back to the ship. At 4 pm a local folkloric show, "Brotes De Angelmo" came aboard and performed traditional songs and dance routines in the Grand Salon. The ship departed at 6 pm and we eased our way out into the Pacific Ocean for the final day of our cruise. It was formal evening tonight and we were so happy to be asked to join the table of Hubert the Hotel Director. At the farewell reception prior to dinner, Captain Elliott thanked the 91 returning Seabourn passengers, and the new Seabourn sailors for being part of this incredible cruise. Our table at dinner was a really fun evening, and we all discussed the terrific experiences we've had on this trip. Hubert was an excellent host, and we laughed a lot. We enjoyed choices of the foie gras, white tomato cappuccino soup, lobster, chateaubriand, lamb chops and lemon tart or chocolate soufflé. It was a great evening. AT SEA Our final day onboard Sojourn was spent cruising the calm Pacific Ocean. We really have been so lucky this trip as the seas have been wonderful, weather has been unbelievably great, and the staff and fellow passengers have been outstanding. We went to the restaurant for one last breakfast and then up to Richard Cowley's last lecture, "Chile From Top to Bottom." There was a sign-up bridge visit available as well. We then went to the room and packed our bags for the trip home tomorrow. At noon it was final Team Trivia Challenge and John Howell, Diana and Heidi had some really tough questions for us all. For the final bonus question we had to bet our scores to determine the winning team. I'm happy to say that the Pollos Rellenos (Stuffed Chickens), our team, won the final team trivia and therefore were crowned the champions. We each received a Seabourn stuffed bear for our efforts. It was a fun time with the other teams, all of whom had a great sense of humor, and John ran a great trivia, which is not always easy to do! It was Galley Market Lunch day and so we eagerly made our way to the restaurant for the chef's staff to show off their masterpieces. It was beautifully presented, tasted great, and each area of the kitchen was proud to show off its foods. The dessert table alone was stunning. We attended John Pilkington's lecture "The Royal Road to Cusco" which included his photos and commentaries on Machu Picchu as well. Ballroom dance class with Elena and Dmitry was the waltz. Pre-dinner Showtime was vocalist Justine Balmer. We had drinks in the Club before having a casual dinner at the pool grill. The weather was a bit cool, but lovely and we enjoyed chatting with fellow passengers while we sat under the stars. There was a latino beats farewell dance party in the Club, but we went back and watched a movie, then had our final night's rest on the Sojourn on calm seas. VALPARAISO All too soon our two week South American adventure was coming to an end. We arose early and had room service breakfast -â€" prepared perfectly and served promptly. We must say room service overall was excellent on this trip. We had a flight out of Santiago on Air Canada and had just been informed by the airline that they had moved the flight time up two hours, making it a seemingly tight connection for us. The flight to Buenos Aires was our connector to our United non-stop back to Dulles. We had arranged a private driver -â€" Christian the Van Man -â€" for the trip and he assured us via email that he would get us there on time. We must give kudos and great thanks to Claudio the shore excursion manager who was magnificent and helped us immensely, even though we had not booked a ship's transfer. He ensured that we were first off the ship, actually rode the shuttle with us to the port entrance, and got us through security quickly. He went above and beyond to help us get to our waiting car and driver. Claudio actually is from Valparaiso and his excitement at being there made us want to come back to visit this lovely colonial town. Christian our driver was waiting for us and gave us wonderful commentary on the area in perfect English as we drove through the winery region on the way to Santiago airport. As promised, we arrived with time to spare and with boarding passes in hand, went through security and onto our plane. (By the way, do not lose the white paper the Chilean authorities insert into your passport. You need it to leave the country along with your written declaration). The flight over the Andes was spectacular and the mountains were absolutely gorgeous in the clear blue sky. We used the Red Carpet Club at Buenos Aires Airport until our uneventful flight back to Washington DC. SOME FINAL THOUGHTS We thoroughly and completely enjoyed this stunning, surprising and culturally expanding trip to South America- all 3,961 Nautical Miles. We are so glad we chose the Seabourn Sojourn to take our trip. The weather and scenery were fantastic and more than we could have expected. From start to finish the staff was charming, friendly and professional. The food was the same quality we had enjoyed on previous Seabourn cruises. The wines, although not quite up to former quality, were very drinkable, and we found that if we asked for those we preferred, they were poured quickly. We have so many people who provided outstanding service that it is hard to thank everyone. But some real stand-outs were: John Howell, an exceptional customer- oriented and talented Cruise Director, Hubert the Hotel Manager was a very involved, pleasant and caring leader. Captain Hamish Elliott was very visible and affable, and cared about passenger comfort. In the restaurants, food staff members Vindora, Christian, Stephanie, Andrew, and Priscilla for wine were superb. Bar waiters Matt and Felim were personable, and provided great service. Our room stewardesses Meagan and Susana were excellent and kept everything in our cabin(s) perfect. Claudio was an outstanding Shore Excursion Manager, Nigel was great with computer issues, Murat was a terrific Guest Relations Manager (and actually went to sleep in our first cabin after we left to determine the cause of the noise issue we had). Yelena was always there smiling with made to order coffee at the coffee bar early in the morning. Truly there is very little to find fault with on this cruise. There were very few lapses in service (mostly in the Observation bar). The Restaurant was open for lunch most sea days and some port days. We prefer the Restaurant for meals and service because the tables in the Colonnade are a bit too close for our taste and we like to be served. But the Colonnade is a lovely room with the opportunity to see the views all around. We would return to the Sojourn in an instant, and hope that Seabourn will consider taking its ships after refit to Antarctica along with this itinerary. We'll be there if they do. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Many positive aspects of our experience on one of the three new Seabourn ships. The ship has great curb appeal. Staterooms are very comfortable, common areas nicely appointed, dining areas well executed. The food in general was excellent ... Read More
Many positive aspects of our experience on one of the three new Seabourn ships. The ship has great curb appeal. Staterooms are very comfortable, common areas nicely appointed, dining areas well executed. The food in general was excellent in all venues. The staff and entertainment were also in general excellent. On board enrichment lecturers also very good. Problem spots include very limited exercise room that was packed most of the time. No exterior deck on this ship goes all the way around to allow proper promenade or jogging. The "jogging deck" was filled with lounge chairs and everyone was tripping around them. Shore excursions very basic and not enticing. The dining staff was mostly European, but many very green and did not know there way around the dining room. Some had very poor English skills. Many mistakes with orders, and sometimes overly intrusive service instead of things just flowing like they would in a fine restaurant. Once we figured out who the best waitstaff were we would request them for dinner and it was excellent. Although a nice mix of passengers from all over the world, the average passenger age was well north of 70. Many 80-90 year olds on this sailing which i was told by staff is not at all uncommon. Seabourn has a very loyal following, as do most cruise lines we have been on in this category. But seems to me Seabourn needs to be considering future loyality and in order to appeal to frequent luxury cruisers like me currently in their 50's who do not want to feel like they are in a high end retirement home. Read Less
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