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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
We went on our 2nd Seabourn Quest trip in two years. This time, we chose a 12day trip up to the Northern Europe/Baltic Sea for our honeymoon. We have loved our experience with Seabourn however, our last trip will probably be the last ... Read More
We went on our 2nd Seabourn Quest trip in two years. This time, we chose a 12day trip up to the Northern Europe/Baltic Sea for our honeymoon. We have loved our experience with Seabourn however, our last trip will probably be the last unless they change their smoking policy. They allow smoking inside! Yes, inside the Observation Bar after 8:00 PM which is one of the nicest places to be prior to and after dinner. In this case, it was only one or two couples smoking. Besides from not being able to enjoy an after dinner drink (or two), we had smoke pouring into our Penthouse Suite which was located on the same level (top floor). We decided to stay in one evening and enjoy room service and watch a couple of movies. The smoke was so bad that night, we had to cover our door and vents with towels and pillows to prevent the smoke from coming in to our room. The Seabourn crew immediately responded with a great working air purifier but come on! Both my husband and I suffered from Asthma all night and part of the following day. The other complaint is that they will close a very large workout area for one personal training session. We were all cramped into a very tiny space and were locked out of large room during these sessions. Quite a few of us wondered if Seabourn is trying to make their guests happy with adequate workout space or funding a personal trainer who charges $110 an hour? Otherwise, we love Seabourn and are hoping that they will change their no smoking policy to no smoking with the exception of the designated outside areas. The world has changed their policy to not allowing smoking inside so we can't understand why it's taking Seabourn to get the message!   Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
This won't be a gushing infomercial, nor will I find fault with the tiniest detail. As with any cruise there was plenty of Good and some Bad so overall we had a wonderful trip, not least because the weather was perfect for the entire ... Read More
This won't be a gushing infomercial, nor will I find fault with the tiniest detail. As with any cruise there was plenty of Good and some Bad so overall we had a wonderful trip, not least because the weather was perfect for the entire 2 weeks with clear blue skies, warm temps and glass flat seas. Even the locals said it was unprecedented and it certainly enabled everyone to enjoy the magnificent Norwegian fjords scenery and the eerie midnight sun. This was our first Seabourn cruise, chosen mainly for the itinerary, but we are experienced Regent and Crystal cruisers so I think we can make some objective comments and comparisons. Pre Cruise Hotel : The Admiral, Copenhagen. A converted former wharf side warehouse (NB, no aircon) in a very good location near all the historic downtown sights. However, the water "view" is now dominated/obscured by a large multi storey car park currently under construction. Luckily we were there on a weekend so the builders weren't poring concrete but noise/dust would be a major problem on weekdays. It wasn't especially cheap (welcome to Scandinavia) but the lavish buffet breakfast made it worth every cent. Ship : Beautiful, well laid out and easy to "navigate". Plenty of public rooms and places to settle inside and out for a drink, or a book, or just to take in the ocean and views. The pool is very stylish and there are several other hot tubs/spas around the ship so nowhere feels too crowded. We especially liked the Seabourn Square "hub" concept where we could consult guest or destination services, use a computer, grab a very good coffee from a barista, find a book or newspaper, generally hang out. Suite : A verandah suite which was very spacious (even bigger than Regent) with a blissfully comfortable bed, plenty of storage and a marble clad bathroom with tub and separate shower stall. It puts the cramped accommodation on Crystal to shame I'm afraid. Our friendly stewardess was very efficient and seemed to get everything organised as if by magic. The fridge was restocked promptly and any other requests fulfilled with minimum fuss. Restaurants : Several dining options which you can choose whenever you like. No fixed dining! (Take note Crystal). The main dining room is elegant and light and the food/service to a very high standard. We don't "cruise to eat" and we aren't "foodies" so maybe we aren't as exacting as others but we didn't have a bad experience in any venue. Restaurant 2 is an interesting "tasting menu" concept which might be a little theatrical (pretentious?) for some but the food was beautifully prepared, presented and it was delicious. The Colonnade breakfast buffet and less formal lunch/dinner venue was just right and the rear verandah area was a lovely spot, especially in that spectacular weather and scenary. The poolside Grill was great for a lunchtime salad, burger, snack and informal dinner too. We had room service dinner in our suite a couple of times and couldn't fault it. Seabourn fries/chips must be the best on land or sea! Wines were good quality and well chosen so we didn't find it necessary to order any of the premium bottles. Bars : Again, several options inside and out. The Observation Bar is a great place to enjoy the sail away and pre-dinner cocktails and tapas as is the outside Sky Bar. The Club, as the name suggests, is a more low key venue which livens up after dinner when the dance band strikes up. You can also grab a luxurious afternoon tea there. There is also a Pool Grill bar with excellent waiters constantly patrolling with trays of refreshing drinks and cocktails. You can stock your fridge with practically anything you like so there's no excuse for being thirsty! Shops : Surprisingly large and well stocked. Spa : We didn't partake of any special treatments or hair dressing etc but heard glowing reports from those who did. The actual spa facility is a calm haven with a lovely restful atmosphere and professional staff. Prices were not excessive and good value. Staff : Friendly and professional at all levels although we did sometimes feel that Guest Services had difficulty grasping what we were trying to ask, especially if it was slightly outside the box. "Computer says No" or maybe a language problem? Service was generally prompt and efficient although it seemed to take an inordinately long time to get a simple pot of tea at breakfast. The maitres 'd were very cooperative and not at all intimidating (take note Crystal). Charming Cruise Director Handre was very visible without being intrusive and really knows how to do his deceptively difficult job. Entertainment : We aren't really into the cast production shows but the one we saw was OK if you like that kind of thing. The band was versatile and skilful and seemed able to handle everything they were required to do. The pianist in the Observation Bar was good, and the Club solo guitarist was very good indeed. We enjoyed a great piano guest soloist and a comedian/impressionist. Guest lecturers gave interesting and informative talks on a wide range of subjects although the political agenda of one was perhaps a little too obvious and currently sensitive for some. No gentlemen hosts for the dancing queens to enjoy but there didn't appear to be many hardcore dancers on this trip anyway. Chicken and egg? Trivia was popular and very competitive as usual. Excursions : Over the years we have learned to be very selective when or if to choose ships excursions. They are often overpriced and not very interesting bus tours so we tend to do some advance research and take a private tour from the pier to places we want to see. In very small fjord-side villages or even larger towns it was just as enjoyable to go for a stroll and explore for ourselves. We spoke to a number of more energetic types who went on hiking excursions and said they were well organised. The "must do" on this trip is the scenic railway in Flam which on this occasion proved to be rather chaotic as there was another large cruise ship in town and so lots of people milling around and jumping the gueue! The People : A really friendly bunch! Several nationalities represented and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful (well behaved!) time. It was always easy to strike up a conversation and socialise generally. Only one couple (and there's always one) made it abundantly clear to the point of rudeness they had no wish to talk to anyone so they were left alone to their solitary selves. We did try! Smoking : Unfortunately this was a major issue at times as Seabourn inexplicably allows smoking on private verandas as well as the designated public smoking areas. Our suite was located downwind from some heavy smokers who seemed to be out there morning, noon and night and rendering our verandah unuseable. Smoking is also allowed in the Observation Bar after 8pm and one solitary smoker did so every night which effectively emptied the place. We did mention it to the Hotel Manager but since the smokers weren't breaking any rules there wasn't much he could so except unofficially sympathise. Seabourn really does have to fall in line with the other luxury cruise lines on this important issue. Verdict : Probably the best cruise of the many we've taken. Yes, the perfect weather helped but there was that magical and elusive relaxed, happy vibe of people having a great shared experience on a lovely ship. We've already booked for 2015 and 2016. We'd consider Regent again for the right itinerary but I'm afraid Crystal just doesn't compare now. Seabourn certainly isn't the cheapest but it's probably one of the best and represents excellent value for money.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
First time with Seabourn and only second cruise in total. First was with P&O which I would rate as 4star (and we would use P&O again). Seabourn was 6 star. First class professional service at all times, personal attention from ... Read More
First time with Seabourn and only second cruise in total. First was with P&O which I would rate as 4star (and we would use P&O again). Seabourn was 6 star. First class professional service at all times, personal attention from Cruise Director to the housekeeping lady. Polite, friendly and helpful, never deferential in approach. Food was excellent with plenty of choice, I have a gargantuan appetite but never left the table feeling hungry. Dress code seemed sensible and appropriate. Other guests were a delight, 40% American, many Aussies, Brits, Mexicans, Brazilians, all well heeled professional people some retired but all out for a good classy time. Cannot recommend this ship enough. It aint cheap and if you are looking for somewhere to show off your tattoos it is not here. I have not scored 5.5 for entertainment, the size of the boat does not lend itself to the all singing dancing, west end standard type of entertainment we had on P&O (which we did enjoy a lot). This is more low key, very high standard sophisticated type of entertainment, its a matter of personal choice and taste of course and there was absolutely nothing wrong with Seabourns entertainment. Last thought, its not for kids.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
My wife and I just returned from our Baltic vacation, the main portion of it being a weeklong cruise on Seabourn's Quest. This was our first Seabourn experience, and as the title says, Seabourn exceeded our expectations. First, the ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our Baltic vacation, the main portion of it being a weeklong cruise on Seabourn's Quest. This was our first Seabourn experience, and as the title says, Seabourn exceeded our expectations. First, the physical stuff. The ship is quite young as it went into service in June 2011. The ship was in great shape, as we saw no indications of the all too common unsightly wear and tear you can see on older vessels. We had a standard suite (#729 -- great, mid-ship location) that was plenty large enough for us -- there was no "squeezing" between the end of bed and the wall or dresser, something we've experienced on other ships. The suite's sitting area was fine, too, including a couch, table, two chairs and a handy ottoman that could used as a mobile table to snacks or any other use. The veranda seemed to extend further out than others, so it was very nice, too. The suites offer a good-sized walk-in closet that actually hand enough nice wooden hangers for our clothes; it houses the safe, water vests, extra blankets and pillows, too. The bathroom was simply elegant, too -- granite throughout, nice lighting, two sinks, a shower, a separate tub and the toilet, of course. Second, the staff service. In a nutshell, simply outstanding from embarkation through disembarkation. It seemed to us that the staff fully intends to provide an incredibly high level of customer service -- they want you to have a special experience, and they succeeded with us. Friendly, yet professional, was the provided by all of the staff, from the food servers, room stewardesses, bartenders and the other support staff that are always available. What was tangible is that not once did we experience a "that's not my job" attitude; they either handled it or made sure your need was addressed by the right person. I give big kudos to the staff for their execution, and also to the management team that developed the service standards and the required training and follow-up for the staff. Staff and management are on the same page at Seabourn. Third, the dining experiences. Seabourn's Quest offer "The Restaurant", which is the main formal dining room; The Colonnade, for still very good quality food in buffet style so that you can dine more casually; and of course the deck restaurant for the quick and easy food (burgers, pizzas, and other offerings of the day). We enjoyed each of them very much. The Restaurant offers a Chef's recommendation each night, as well as their standard fare -- we found the quality excellent. Most nights, a jacket is required, which is OK, I suppose. I'd prefer no jacket required jut to lighten the packing load, but I understand the intent. And when I wanted to go casual, to the Colonnade or deck we went. And the room service is excellent, too. Each late afternoon day, we enjoyed a terrific shrimp cocktail or a cheese plate along with a glass of wine. Fourth, the excursions. They are nice and expensive. We stuck to Seabourn excursions this cruise and they handled the process very well. We've used private excursions on previous non-Seabourn cruises, and to be frank, they offer a lot of benefits. Also expensive, but you can direct timing to your liking. The group excursions, however, get you preferred entry at most locations, so that's a plus. Overall, we loved our first sojourn with Seabourn on Quest. We had a terrific similar experience five years ago on Regent's Navigator, and a rather disappointing time on Crystal's Symphony last year (some interactions with two or three staff members really negated an otherwise good cruise experience). I would highly recommend Seabourn to anyone considering them for a cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
I just returned from our 7 day cruise of the Baltics. I have been on many cruises but this was my first with Seabourn. I wanted to share some thoughts while they are fresh in my mind. First of all - I loved the experience. We will ... Read More
I just returned from our 7 day cruise of the Baltics. I have been on many cruises but this was my first with Seabourn. I wanted to share some thoughts while they are fresh in my mind. First of all - I loved the experience. We will definately do another - we already bought the $1000 certificate for our use. The whole "all inclusive" thing was wonderful. I never realized how much I was aggravated on other ships by constantly pulling out my card to order a drink or sign little slips of paper all day long. The smaller ship was plenty stable and it was great that I could walk from our cabin to anywhere on the ship in less than a minute. I never waited ina line - except maybe a couple of times getting coffee from the onboard starbucks-like cafe. Service: - Outstanding. From check in (we were litterally the first to board in Copenhagen at 12:05), the cabin steward, waitstaff. All were constantly smiling, many calling us by name by day 2. Passengers: Not as old as I was expecting. Maybe because this was a port intensive cruise, I would say the average age was low to mid fifties. (We are 58) and not surprisingly obviously rather affluent. I would guess there were maybe 4 children under 10 and another 3 or 4 teenagers. That is about it. Extremely friendly - we made many friends at dinner, in the hot tub and in the caasino. Food - Dining room: I am a bit of a foodie and loved it. Very good taste and well presented. Always served very hot. Dinning room food was limited at breakfast but a very nice variety at dinner. Beef wellington and lobster were favorites. Not a big dessert person but I enjoyed the cheese course most evenings. Strangely if I had a complaint it was that portion sizes at dinner can be a bit small - even considering you had three or four courses. (For me, two double lamb chops does not an entree make!) I would leaave dinner, go tothe show and casino and would be wanting a bite to eat about midnight with no real option (I know I could have room service, but a late night pizza or sandwich bar would be a nice touch). Food - Colonade: Having been on cruise ships much larger, I have grown accustomed to avoiding the buffet. I am so glad I did not. The food was excellent at breakfast and lunch and the ability to also order ala cart was great (albeit limited). Dining staff: Generally good, with just one less that excellent server. We ate a variety of ways....twice at a table for 2, twice paired up at random with another couple and twice at a large table with crew - once witht he ship's doctor and one with a singer. Dinning experience was great at all dinners. Wines: I know wines and we have wine most nights for dinner. Most of the wines I had would be comparable with what we have at home on a nightly basis. I would imagine our typical "house" wines are in the $12 to $17 per bottle range and that is pretty much comparison for these wines. (Having said that, we will have much more upscale wines with company or a special dinner - so I know the difference) We particularly liked a Petite Chablis they served at lunch the first day and often asked for and received it during the week. There was also a nice bordeau blend and a couple of Sauvignon Blancs (some too light, some much fruitier.) I had the champagne, it was fine but I am not a big fan anyway. The Pinot was on the light side - they suggested it to pair with the prime rib - I opted for a syrah. I never felt the need nor desire to buy up to a better wine. Casino: Small as expected - one each of a roulette, blackjack, three card poker and baccarat. The staff here were the only ones I found to be less than stellar. I got the impression that they hoped we would not show up or that we would go to bed early. Often, the casino would be advertised as opening at a certain time, and the staff would show up 30 minutes later. I also found it odd that they would accept - even encourage - gratuities. Entertainment: The production shows were excellent. Very talented singers and musicians. Cruise director was fine - enjoyable but somewhat unremarkable. The female lounge singer was not very good...I ended up avoiding her where-ever she sang. The onboard activities were sparse and not well attended since this is such a port intensive cruise. We were (slightly) diappointed that the wine tasting (offered at $100 per person) did not attract the minimum 10 attendees and was cancelled. Only 2 couples attended the trivia (the four of us got prizes) and only 7 played in the blackjack tournament. Pools: They were rarely used. High temperatures averaged in the low sixties so the hottubs were the only real options. There were rarely more than a few people a day partaking. (This was a very port intensive cruise) . I loved the drink service when in the hot tub - my drink waiter david was wonderful and attentive).   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2013
Our third Seabourne cruise in two years but probably our last.The destinations were great but the quality of food and service generally was much worse than on The Legend or The Oddyssey., The crew are just not as happy,in particular the ... Read More
Our third Seabourne cruise in two years but probably our last.The destinations were great but the quality of food and service generally was much worse than on The Legend or The Oddyssey., The crew are just not as happy,in particular the security staff were miserable,most restaurant staff were good,Juanita stood out as did David the Irish bar server.but unlike previous Seabourne experiences where the vast majority were outstanding. Food in all venues did not live up to expectation and nowhere near as good as our recent Azamara Journey experience . We were allocated 913 which is able to take disabled passengers(we are not disabled)This means that the bathroom is large to accommodate a wheelchair but at the expense of wardrobe space. The final straw was that having booked both Air and port transfers with Seabourn they made us debarked at 8am in Stockholm for a 45min.journey to Arlanda airport even though our flight was not due until ten past five that afternoon giving us an 8 hour wait.My complaint was met with "tough it is what it is no exceptions" Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
This is our first time on the Seabourn Sojourn but we have cruised three times on the Seabourn Odyssey and honestly couldn't tell the difference -- right down to the staff as there were several familiar faces. Embarkation in ... Read More
This is our first time on the Seabourn Sojourn but we have cruised three times on the Seabourn Odyssey and honestly couldn't tell the difference -- right down to the staff as there were several familiar faces. Embarkation in Copenhagen was dealt with smoothly as always and we were surprised to find we had been upgraded to an Owner's Suite 601. We had slightly mixed feelings as we had selected our suite with some care - but an upgrade is an upgrade. The obvious benefit is the space and of that we had plenty. The lounge/dining area wouldn't disgrace an apartment and having a separate bedroom is always a good thing -- as indeed is having two loos. We did however feel that more could have been done with the decor to make the whole more luxurious. The obvious downsides of 601 are that the bedroom overlooks the whirlpool at the bow so could lack privacy (not an issue in The Baltic) but more obviously it is above the anchor and this really did waken us up when docking. The first day was at sea. A top tip for this itinerary. I think I would do the cruise the opposite way i.e. from Stockholm to Copenhagen as after a busy time sightseeing we could have really enjoyed this one day at sea and made the most of the ship. Tallinn and Helsinki are great short stops and top and tail the highlight of any Baltic cruise -- St Petersburg -- brilliantly. For Russia we had booked our own guide online so only used the cruise trips for the ballet one evening. This worked perfectly. I was slightly nervous about the visa situation but it really was perfectly straightforward. As long as you had your official tickets with you each time you exited the ship the immigration process was simple and fuss free. Because the ship is docked for three days (two nights) in St Petersburg and the Baltic is so city intensive we spent far less time on board than we would normally do so didn't stretch the ship's facilities at all. As usual the food was excellent and the standard wine decent enough. We've booked our next cruise with Seabourn which I guess says it all. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
First time on Seabourn. Booked Baltic and St. Petersburg due to itinerary, with 3 full days in St. Petersburg. I booked hotels independently in Copenhagen and Stockholm so we could extend our holiday before and after the cruise. ... Read More
First time on Seabourn. Booked Baltic and St. Petersburg due to itinerary, with 3 full days in St. Petersburg. I booked hotels independently in Copenhagen and Stockholm so we could extend our holiday before and after the cruise. Booked private taxi to and from the dock before and after the cruise, since we were staying on. Also booked a private guide for 3 days in St. Petersburg, which cost us less than it would have booking similar ship excursions and we had the guide and driver's full attention. Great way to tour. Visited Copenhagen, Talinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki (& Porvoo) and Stockholm. Boarding the ship was seamless, quick and easy. The entire staff was cordial and professional. We have nothing but praise for the service standard and service ethic of the staff we encountered. Very positive attitudes, fast on their feet, smiles all around, great command of English. Our cabin attendant was sweet and had a nice sense of humor. We are not demanding passengers, were just looking for some private "us" time due to a crazy work schedule outside vacation. The staff seemed to pick up on this and were discreet in their comings and goings. The cabin was the nicest we've had on any ship: spotless, large, lots of conveniences and thoughtful touches: makeup vanity, double sinks, tub and shower separate, a nice dining area, great AV system, walk in closet, safe, good bedside reading lamps. Bar was stocked with our requests, but we didn't really touch any of it: there were wine and spirits everywhere on board! Beautiful sunsets from our veranda. However, we did enjoy afternoon tea, or a late glass of bourbon or cognac in the Observation Lounge. We ordered room service breakfast every morning so we could get ready for early tours while we finished breakfast. Lovely, flakey croissants, crumbs everywhere, just as it should be. Used the gym once, completely deserted, could not figure out how to get the TV working on my treadmill but no worries. Stepped into Seabourn Square a few times for a bite or some help with touring suggestions. Baristas were excellent, a very nice area to relax. Dining was good, service excellent. I personally felt the food on Oceania was a bit ahead of Seabourn, but spouse felt otherwise. I like more exotic menu items and he's a little more old school: grilled meats or fish is his liking. Never had a miss while dining. Tried the patio grill one night and a sudden downpour occurred while we were choosing appetizers. In the flash of an eye, our pool deck staff had the tables moved to shelter. They were amazing and fun! Best dining experience was Restaurant 2, a bit on the wild side which we liked. Since we were off board everyday on tour, returning late in the afternoon, did not use the pool, spa, or attend activities. We did catch the champagne and caviar sail away which was a lot of fun! The ship itself was modern, spare and beautiful. Felt VERY spacious, quiet and uncrowded. We rarely saw others as we passed through the halls except during early tours. Even then, none of the mass hysteria and confusion that I recall when leaving Oceania on tour. That was very welcome. The ship ran like clockwork, the itinerary was great (would have like more time in Helsinki though: Finland is spectacularly beautiful!) Both my spouse and I would definitely take another Seabourn cruise. And while we both prefer the small sailing ship ambiance of Windstar, which has a certain romance that larger ships can't match, the Seabourn Sojourn felt a lot like a private yacht, just as they advertise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We just returned from a 9-day Norway cruise (round trip from Copenhagen) on the Sojourn. Although we don't have the extensive luxury cruising experience of many who post on this site, I wanted to pass along our impressions. First of ... Read More
We just returned from a 9-day Norway cruise (round trip from Copenhagen) on the Sojourn. Although we don't have the extensive luxury cruising experience of many who post on this site, I wanted to pass along our impressions. First of all, as background, my wife and I are in our mid 40's and we have a 17 year-old daughter who travels with us. While, our luxury cruise experience consists of only two cruises on Regent (Voyager Baltic, 2010 and Navigator Caribbean, 2011) and Cunard (Atlantic Crossing, Queen's Grill, 2005), we do consistently take very nice vacations and we prefer to stay in nice hotels (Four Seasons, Mandarin, Ritz-Carlton, etc.). So, to some extent, we are naturally comparing experiences on Sojourn to land-based luxury experiences as well. However, for purposes of this post, I will primarily compare our Seabourn Sojourn experience to our two prior experiences on Regent ships. While I understand that these impressions are entirely subjective and are based on a single Seabourn cruise on a single vessel, I'm passing them along for whatever they may be worth. Overall, the Norway trip was one of the best trips we've ever taken. In part, that was due to the stunning scenery and location, which would have been amazing even if we were on a non-luxury ship. In addition to the scenery, however, the high quality Seabourn experience also made this a wonderful trip. There were a number of areas in which we thought that the Seabourn experience was superior to Regent, as well as some areas where we preferred our prior Regent experience. All in all, we think that both Seabourn and Regent offer excellent experiences, but we did note some differences. AREAS WHERE WE WOULD GIVE THE NOD TO SEABOURN SOJOURN: Food This is one area where we thought that Seabourn was the clear winner. While we didn't find the difference to be that significant in the main dining room, we thought that Seabourn was far superior in the other dining venues. This was particularly true for the Colonnade, which we thought was simply superb all the way around (the buffets at breakfast and lunch, as well as the superb dinners with table service and excellent dishes prepared to order in the open kitchen). We never thought that we were "settling" for lesser food quality or diminished quality of service when we opted to dine in the Colonnade in lieu of the main dining room. By comparison, we felt that the buffet-style dinners in Regent's La Veranda were a notch-down in quality and atmosphere from the experience offered in Regent's main dining rooms. When weather conditions permitted, the Sojourn's pool grill also was open in the evening, serving excellent made-to-order steaks, lamb chops and other grilled items with table service, as well as antipastas, salads and other "side" items available as a buffet. While we have very much enjoyed Regent's Prime 7 steakhouse venue, the dining there requires a reservation and might only be available once per cruise - by contrast, we could eat in Sojourn's Colonnade or pool grill in the evening without a reservation anytime we wanted. I can't comment on Restaurant 2, as we never made it there for dinner (not because we were intentionally trying to avoid it, but simply because we never got around to it, as we found the other alternatives so appealing). Service in Dining Venues. This is another area where we would give the nod to Seabourn. It is hard to define precisely what was superior about it, but the European Seabourn dining staff somehow seemed more polished and professional. In addition, we never made a request that the dining staff was unable to grant. For example, waiters in each dining venue were happy to have decaffeinated iced tea specially prepared for my wife (she avoids caffeine but, being a Texan, she loves her iced tea). By contrast, my wife has made the same request in Regent dining venues a number of times, and the waiters have never been able to accommodate the request (in some cases, acting as though they had never heard that such a thing as decaffeinated iced tea even existed). All in all, the dining service on the Sojourn seemed to us to be essentially the same as what we would expect if staying and dining at a Four Seasons resort - spot on and highly consistent. Outdoor Public Areas of Ship We were really surprised by the wonderful outdoor "nooks and crannies" and other places to relax - from multiple hot tubs to secluded hidden deck areas, the exterior spaces on the Sojourn were incredibly well conceived and executed. We had the impression of almost being on a private yacht - really no comparison to Regent Navigator (which seemed cramped in terms of outdoor spaces) or Voyager. Stability of Ship and Lack of Vibration We sailed through some pretty rough waters in the North Sea, but the Sojourn seemed rock solid, without any hint of vibration. By contrast, we found the vibration in the rear portion of the Regent Navigator to be HIGHLY bothersome, and the Regent Voyager also seemed to have some issue with this. No Art Auctions The Sojourn had a relaxed but sophisticated on-board feeling, and thankfully no art auctions to destroy the ambiance (unlike Regent). AREAS WHERE WE WOULD GIVE THE NOD TO REGENT: Purser and Similar Services We thought that the Sojourn fell far short of the Regent standard in terms of on-board purser and similar services. While the "set up" of the personnel to assist with account/purser issues in Seabourn Square was good, there were some real problems with systems and/or execution. First of all, we had made the mistake of reserving some spa treatments and shore excursions online in advance of the cruise (not having previously sailed with Sojourn, we were afraid that these might be "sold out" if we waited until getting on board). Seabourn's website required us to pay for these in advance with a credit card. Because we had significant onboard credits from American Express, I asked onboard to apply these credits to the spa treatments and shore excursions that we had pre-reserved. The staff in Seabourn Square was unable to accommodate this. At first, they essentially indicated that we were simply out of luck, and one staff member told me repeatedly that we should have simply reserved, but not paid for, the pre-booked items when we reserved - I told them that the website seemed to indicate that we MUST prepay for the pre-booked items. Eventually, we were paid out in cash for the items we had pre-paid, but this took several days to resolve. They were unable (or unwilling) to simply reverse the credit card charges. Secondly, we asked to get a key to our daughter's suit (she's a minor), so that we would be able to access her suite if we need to do so. At first, we were told that the system would not accommodate this and that there could be only one key issued for each person in a suite. Finally, after three days, the purser was able to override the system (or something) and get us another key. These may seem like minor annoyances, but they were definitely annoyances, and these are not the type of issues with which we've ever had a hassle on Regent or at a high-end hotel on land. Bars Open During Day Only one bar (the pool bar) was open prior to 6:00 pm on the Sojourn. By contrast, on Regent we had always appreciated that there was at least one other indoor (and more convenient) bar open during the day - which was nice if returning from a long shore excursion, etc. Smoking Policy While our suites never smelled of smoke, the hallways often smelled of it when passing other cabins. Also, the observation bar could be extremely stinky from smoke when it was full of people. We much prefer Regent's smoking policy. Places to Get Coffee in the Morning While the Sojourn had excellent coffee drinks of various sorts available in Seabourn Square, one had to get the coffee from the staff member working the coffee counter and there was often a line (and a wait). This was the only thing for which I ever had to wait in a line on the Sojourn - but I hate waiting in lines. I have always enjoyed the ability to get self-service coffee (at Coffee Connection or by the pool) on Regent. This may seem minor to most people, but it's annoying to me to have to wait just to get a cup of coffee and to not have a self-service option. Suites Although this is a close one (and in most respects we found the Sojourn suites to be equivalent to the Regent suites), there were a couple of minor things that would cause us to give the nod to the Regent suites. First, the dressing area (with mirror) on the Sojourn is in the entry hallway and is completely exposed if one opens the suite door. So, when opening the door to the suite from the outside, it would be very easy to expose one's spouse, etc. to an embarrassing situation if they happen to be getting dressed. By contrast, this area in the Regent suites is at an angle, sort of "around the corner" and not exposed to the suite door. Also, while the bathrooms were very pretty, we thought that the double sink configuration was a mistake. The second sink deprived the bathroom of too much storage space and was not really useful. Once again, not a big differences in the suites. All in all, two excellent cruise lines. We likely will sail both in the future (depending on itinerary, etc.). Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
I recently sailed the Seabourn Sojourn, through the Baltic Seas, and we had a great time. This was my second time cruising a Seabourn ship, and the experience was a bit different. We had cruised the Spirit that was smaller and more ... Read More
I recently sailed the Seabourn Sojourn, through the Baltic Seas, and we had a great time. This was my second time cruising a Seabourn ship, and the experience was a bit different. We had cruised the Spirit that was smaller and more personalized. The Soujourn was bigger and the small cruise experience was definitively lost a bit, which was a bit disappointing, since we are kind of quite couple, and enjoy the time spent by ourselves, even though we don't mind sometimes a bit of company.The weather was beautiful, which made the experience more enjoyable. The personal service provided by our chamber maid was as not as personal as the time we sailed the cruise. When we first arrived, we had forgotten to bring toothpaste, so we asked her to try to help us with that, and she said there was none aboard. I thought it was a small detail that should have been easily taken care of and didn't. Considering the cost of our cruise and that you can get that even in a three star hotel, I found it not at the level of service.In general the service was good, not over friendly always, except from the staff that got to know you closer, as per example the waiter/ress that came from your country of origin, that made the effort to remember your last name. But other waiters where almost rude, for example in the situation that I was very tired (due to illness) and asked a random waiter to bring me a salad from the salad bar, she just answered "go an select it yourself from the salad bar", absolutely unthinkable for the service that you are supposed to get. In all, the experience was excellent. Food was very good, not excellent, but totally enjoyable.Also, I have to say that the show on board was also very good, much better than I remembered at the Spirit. They had four singers, Broadway style, that were really good, I have to give them credit for that.I liked the new hub style lounge that the Soujourn had, that hadn't seen before, and it was very good.In all, very enjoyable cruise experience. I heard nothing but compliments from other fellow cruisers, specially the ones that were cruising the Seabourn for the first time. I guess they had no point of comparing. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
Norway on the Sojourn was a fantastic experience....it was the first time with Seabourn,,but not the last...everything about it was top of the line,,the cabin,food,service,entertainment,appearance,,,etc.....This itinerary was ... Read More
Norway on the Sojourn was a fantastic experience....it was the first time with Seabourn,,but not the last...everything about it was top of the line,,the cabin,food,service,entertainment,appearance,,,etc.....This itinerary was wonderful,,with lots to see and do,,and I highly recommend it,,esp.to those that have seen the Med..and Caribean,,and need something a little different...the fjords were spectacular,,the excursions interesting ..but the small towns were easy to do on own.A food lover will be happy in the variety of restaurants,,and great room service...with tasteful dishes and service to match.I had a problem with smoking,,but not as bad as I had imagined...it was strong in halls,and near the bars that allow it...its allowed in rooms and balconies,,,lucky no one near us smoked,,and room had no smell...so that would not stop me from going back...but I do think it should be stopped in cabin/balcony... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2010
My wife and I have been cruising since 1995, including multiple experiences with Seabourn, Silversea and Regent--but also with larger Holland America and Princess ships, and one very-forgettable Celebrity Alaska cruise. We have some ... Read More
My wife and I have been cruising since 1995, including multiple experiences with Seabourn, Silversea and Regent--but also with larger Holland America and Princess ships, and one very-forgettable Celebrity Alaska cruise. We have some perspective as to reasonable expectations which come from spending more "upfront" going with an all-inclusive "boutique" smaller ship; vs. the mid-size varieties where one winds up paying extra for a soft drink or a special coffee + "suggested gratuities" or automatically-added-on payments to staff + wine with dinner + extra charges for specialty dining venues + on-and on. Up until last month, our most recent Seabourn experience was in 2000 with the "Sun" on a 19-day repositioning cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Bercelona--with 900 other guests. (The Sun remained under the Seabourn label for about three years; wisely, it was then handed-off to another nameplate. Currently, that ship is a Holland America vessel.) That's 900 passengers. Do the math. We had been spoiled by prior cruises on Seabourn's "Legend" (around 195 guests). Naturally, we expected some service changes, but were unprepared for the realities of about 600+ other Seabourn alumni on that voyage "pushing back" with the staff when dealing with the realities of diminished service. The staff did it very best; and I would bet the other 300 passengers with no prior experience with Seabourn had a very pleasant experience. We--and about 600 others--did not. So--it was to Regent and Silversea. However--with the advent of the larger, and brand-new Sojourn--time to give Seabourn another try. We were not disappointed. Our cruise was top-notch from start to finish and either met, or exceeded, expectations. Embarkation: Flew directly (via a short stop in Amsterdam) from Seattle to Copenhagen. Seabourn arranged a private car from the airport to the pier. We arrived a few minutes before the bulk of of fellow passengers who flew in earlier and were having lunch at local hotel(s) (One of which we passed--to see our soon-to-be companions boarding a bus.) Were on the ship in about five minutes. Right--five only minutes. A pleasant stop on the Deck 6 Grand Salon for champagne and finger sandwiches (or bigger ones, or another type-drink, if one so-wanted.) Just ask--and it was provided. Cabin: Into our vary-spacious veranda cabin within 35 minutes, with luggage waiting for us. The one "thing" we noted--which was a reoccurring "sour" note on an-otherwise pleasant cruise--was the smell of cigarette smoke. We opened-up the veranda door, turned up the air-conditioning as high as it would go--and waited. It took about three hours, but that lingering odor went away. It never returned inside our cabin ALTHOUGH--the person occupying the next-cabin over was, obviously a chain smoker. Everytime we left our suite for the hallway, literally held our breath to avoid second-hand vapors escaping into the common area. See below. With that aside-- Service: "Suite" and attendant service met our expectations. Sandy, our attendant, provided prompt, and professional service. A very pleasant young lady. This is the standard we experienced whether in a dining venue, at a lounge, while at tea, chatting with staff, or at the "Square". Efficient without pretense. Staff is well-aware of the clientele, which I would wager consisted of 85% or above Seabourn alumni. The same goes for paying guests. We respect the professionalism of staff, and do not make unreasonable demands or requests. Dining: Absolutely 5+ star. An example or two says it all: My wife likes a simple lunch consisting of broiled fish and steamed vegetables. This combo is not on the menu. No problem in either the Colonnade or Restaurant. After the first lunch, no need to even ask. I like an occasional cheeseburger or beef "dog" for lunch, even while in the Colonnade or Restaurant. And--I like a BIG hamburger patty, well-done. As for beefdogs--got to have the sauerkraut. That garnish was not present at The Grill. I had to merely ask for it--and had a surfeit of same thereafter. The chef prepared a double-sized beef patty, perfectly done [well] each time I order the cheeseburger. This alone was worth the extra tariff for an all-inclusive cruise. Dined in Restaurant 2 on three occasions. Simply delightful. Unique combinations of tasting dishes, with each explained in detail by our server(s). My wife--a gourmet cook--appreciated this attention to detail. Afternoon tea was refined and delicious, with all those little treats available. My wife wants to specifically mention the wonderful galley tour and cooking demonstration done by the chef. He took real pride in his presentation, and answering questions. Which, of course, is the perfect segue to-- Spa and Fitness: Neither my wife or I utilized the Spa. As for the Exercise Room. I usually had this area all-to myself. Worked out daily on the treadmill during the period 6:45-7:30. Perhaps one or two others joined me. Where was everyone? Top-notch equipment, which actually worked! And, individual tv screens at each machine. Public Rooms: The "Square" is functional, friendly, and complete. The staff was always available to provide services such as facilitating reservations for Restaurant 2 [Get there precisely at 6:30pm to make same for the next 48 hours]; exchanging currency; or arranging for special meals on the return plane flight. The reclining chairs made it very difficult to read--one only wanted to snooze. That is why it was nice to have a specialty coffee readily available from the Square's coffee bar. Library was ample, and stocked with recent publications. Entertainment: Here is the deal: Every PM public activity (dining and entertainment) on Sojourn is either 30 or 60 minutes "late", or at least later than one might expect on a Regent or Silversea. So--Deal with it! It is just too-late to really enjoy a "show"--singers/dancers; jugglers; acrobats (just kidding) which begins at 10:00pm. This is really not fair to these fine performers. We saw only two shows. It was so-so easy to retire to one's suite and "dial up" a plethora of vintage high-quality movies. Such is Seabourn. Shore Excursions: We booked three. One--"Footsteps of Rembrandt" at Amsterdam--was cancelled due to lack of sufficient participation. No big deal. We purchased two day-long trolley passes, visited several museums on our own, and probably saved about $300.00 in the process. Plus, had the opportunity to take a bunch of neat pictures of all the bicycles and chat with the locals. The two excursions we did take--Piano Recital at Troldhaugen and Cruising Lysefjord--were handled expeditiously. The Recital was really magical, as I enjoy playing Grieg's piano music; and my wife' favorite piano selection is "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen". That was the last selection played by a real "pro" [not me!]. It was a shame we had to leave that venue. Enrichment Lectures: Dr. Donald Behnke was great! By popular demand (encouraged by a ground-swell started by my wife and me) he was "allowed" to present an additional lecture. He knows his stuff (Opera; Broadway) and presents it in a down-to-earth manner. Missing Ports: Aalesund, Molde, and Olden, Norway. Easy off-easy-on. Nice walk through the scenic towns. Disembarkation: Again, without a hitch at Dover. We were called off the ship at the precise time (9:00am) indicated on our luggage tags. Seabourn's arranged private car was there to provide a speedy trip to Heathrow for the non-stop return to Seattle. Value for Money: We got what we paid for. No complaints. Smoking policy: This is one area Seabourn must address, as much in the interests of its staff and cabin attendants, as for paying guests. The Sojourn brochure we received stated no smoking anywhere in any dining venue, whether inside or outside. This included Deck 8's Patio Bar and Patio Grill areas. BUT--there were the ashtrays on tables used by Grill and Bar patrons. And, folks were lighting up. This, literally, chased us off that area. What gives? As mentioned above--the cabin next to ours literally wreaked with cigarette smoke. On more than a few occasions, the door to that suite was open when we were coming and going to our room, as our attendant was providing services. How can Seabourn allow its suite attendants to be constantly exposed to this situation? It is bad-enough to hold one's breath when walking by; but we had the luxury of being able to escape the smell. This smoking reality is the subject of a letter my wife and I are sending to Seabourn management. This was the only negative aspect of our cruise. It is simply a matter of health. That health pertaining to Seabourn's employees. Yes, we will be sailing with Seabourn (on the bigger ships) again. Hopefully, management will properly address concerns which I hope other alumni will continue to raise regarding smoking policy. Read Less
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