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3 Seabourn Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

I previously wrote a quasi review/compare contrast of Seabourn to Oceania. I want to expand a bit to be clear and fair. I also want to make clear that I am not writing as a snob or elite, but somebody who really enjoys the luxury travel ... Read More
I previously wrote a quasi review/compare contrast of Seabourn to Oceania. I want to expand a bit to be clear and fair. I also want to make clear that I am not writing as a snob or elite, but somebody who really enjoys the luxury travel experience and expects to get what we think we are paying for. My biggest problem with Seabourn and the reason for the less than favorable review is based on advertising my wife and I were under the impression we were buying a luxury product on par with Oceania or Crystal or perhaps a Ritz Carlton/Fours Seasons Hotel experience. Our experience was a let down. Although the ship is smaller than most with fewer passengers and an excellent passenger to space ratio (which is really nice) the quality of the food and soft furnishings is lacking and frankly poor beyond belief. My wife and I really feel that the food and soft furnishings are so mediocre - and so not even close to being on par with a shoreside semi-fine dining experience - that the Seabourn experience can be best summed up as an expensive sized down version of a Holland America cruise. Not to knock Holland America (as I have in the past), but at least HAL does not advertise to be a six star product and in many regards is superior at a lesser price point. We are very well traveled and enjoy luxury as much as the next luxury seeking traveler, but also expect to get what is promised and what is paid for. A few examples include many unhappy crew members who are frankly rude. For example, Seabourn boasts "all inclusive liquor". We are not big drinkers, but I do enjoy good wine and in support of Seabourn their house wines are really terrific. However, their reds/cabs are served in the same glasses as whites. I asked one night at dinner for a proper cabernet glass and the waiter said "oh...you mean you want a revenue glass" in a very demeaning and disparaging way that myself and our table mates found very embarrassing and unacceptable. How awful, instead of just kindly bringing me the requested and appropriate glass. Although room service is served nicely with table cloths the quality of the food is no different than HAL and Princess. Again, not to knock these products, but for the price we paid we expected more. For example, I orderd a "bowl of berries" that consisted of three strawberries cut in half and I kid you not one blueberry! Deck furniture is worn and uncomfortable. The standard lounges are the exact same ones we have seen on Princess or the rear deck of HAL with the slingback without cushions. Again, nothing wrong with that, but for a luxury product we expected something more on par with Crystal, Regent, Oceania etc. Cushions with terry cloth covers would be terrific and certainly are found on the competition and when you are in the tropics do make a difference. This is what you also find at Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons. Cabin towels are not of high quality and heavily starched. They are somewhat akin to what you might get at a Sheraton. Again, please don't be sensitive and take offense. Nothing wrong with Sheratons, but they don't boast to be a Ritz Carlton or Mandarin Oriental. Multiple times towels actually had clearly visible brown stains. Again, for a product claiming to be of high caliber and price commanded - very disappointing and gross. Another example of missing mark and our expectation is bar service. Bartenders seem non caring and simply go through the motions. When you dine at a fine restaurant or steak house it is not uncommon to have a special drink request. Such a request might be no sweet and sour, but fresh lime juice in my margarita. These requests are ignored and sweet and sour used severl times. Another for example, my wife ordered a mudslide. The only deviation she asked for was to have it served in a short glass instead of one of the large smoothie glasses as she preferred a high octane low volume drink. The bartender rudly made clear that this request was not possible. When she said "other bartenders on the ship have made it for me this way" his answer was "I'm not other bartenders do you want it my way or not at all". We were shocked! Again, in life not a big deal. However, on a "luxury" or even not so luxury vacation unnecessary and kind of upsetting to be treated rudly when you are guest with a not so difficult or demanding request. The ship is only three years old and shows signs of aging everywhere. Much of the outdoor seating (not lounges, but wicker furniture) has ripped and stained cushions of poor quality. Our bedding was awful and sheets were balled. The bedding does not even come close to that of the Mariner Dream Bed on sister line Holland America or that of the Westin Dream Bed. Certainly, it cannot even come close to comparing to Oceania, Azamara, or Regent (fair competition). Again, for a six star product we expected better comfort and quality. In fact, other than the crowds and perhaps, respectfully, passenger demographics Holland America remains in hindsight a good value when a Neptune Suite is booked when compared and contrasted with Seabourn. As previously stated in my comparison to Oceania and Azamara which in some regards is thought to be a near luxury product compared and Regent which is direct competition to Seabourn which is marketed as "luxury" there is simply no comparison and Oceania, Azamara, and Regent wins hands down and will be our choice consistently moving forward when looking for a luxury product as we do have a choice. My wife and I always enjoy our cruises and my critical critique is not meant to be demoralizing or demeaning to Seabourn in any way, but merely to express our disappointing opinion of where they miss the mark - which they consistently do in so many areas. We are glad we sampled Seabourn. That being said, again there is a lot to be appreciated about Seabourn including the smaller ship, lower than usual passenger count for a ship of 30,000 tons (only 425+), high passenger to space ratio, and high crew to passenger ratio. If things such as soft goods like bedding and quality of food and selection of food are not important and you are not a foodie I can see where Seabourn would be very enticing as their itineraries are fabulous. We just think for us better options exist. Its really an issue of value for the money and we feel other lines excel better at the same price point. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
NOT 6 STARS, NOT EVEN CLOSE Sorry, Seabourn Sojourn, but you're not a six star ship. I'm not sure you're even a 5. You only had one chance to make a good impression, and you missed the boat. What can you expect when ... Read More
NOT 6 STARS, NOT EVEN CLOSE Sorry, Seabourn Sojourn, but you're not a six star ship. I'm not sure you're even a 5. You only had one chance to make a good impression, and you missed the boat. What can you expect when "Twiggy" is your Godmother. We sailed right before Christmas, and now as I looked back on this woefully inadequate cruise experience, the world would have been a much better place if we had donated the $10,000 cruise fare to the Salvation Army. We boarded the ship around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and we boarded to a lot of confusion. The rooms were just made available, so there were a lot of people standing in the hall way. I asked where lunch was being served, and the staff just looked at me in utter amazement. It turned out that lunch wasn't being served anywhere, so we ordered room service. This was so strange. The disorientation never got any better because the crew seemed very new. Many of them were just "temps" filling in until someone came back. This whole cruise seemed like one big "test run" with the passengers footing the bill. The morale of the crew was very low, particularly with the dining staff. Although the food was delicious, the dining room service was very poor, and I thought the dining room managers were just plain mean and very much on edge. The ship has very uncomfortable furniture -- the passengers joked that this was the IKEA special. If you weigh more than 150 lbs., you won't fit in the chairs in your stateroom. They're narrow and the couch is very hard. There are 2 huge lawn chairs on the balcony that are too big for a small balcony. The lighting should have dimmers and provide indirect lighting throughout the cabin. It's either way too bright in the room or too dark if you turn the lights out. It's not a comfortable place to read. We traveled with another couple who stayed in a Penthouse Suite. They said "save your money". There's a wall enclosure around the bed with very little room to walk around, like a box within a box. All they did was complain about this wall in their cabin. Also, there's no artwork aboard this ship. It is cold, and the walls are bare. There's no warmth to this ship at all. The entertainment was horrible. They have this little auditorium with big columns everywhere -- you can't see the stage. The singers were all off key, and the volume was ear-shattering. Most of the people on this ship were older, but someone in management really wants to discourage this demographic from sailing on Seabourn. No one on this ship looked like the young models in the brochure. Most couples in their 20's & 30's can't afford it, but Seabourn has this fantasy that this is the age group on this ship. What's worse is they cater to a group that barely exists as a customer base. The ship is full of people speaking foreign languages - loudly. There were large families from Mexico and South America that demanded, and received, all of the attention from the staff. These people were loud, arrogant and always moved around in a pack. Personally, I'm more at ease on ships where the majority of passengers are Americans. I wouldn't believe what's in the brochure about all this luxury service. At the end of the cruise, the staff expected to be tipped. There was one man from room service that kept yelling from the hallway if everything was all right. He just wouldn't leave us alone, so I finally tipped him. I also felt pressure to tip the room stewardess. Make no mistake, this staff had their hand out as the cruise was nearing its end. My honest assessment is if you're independently wealthy and money is no object, then I would sail on the Sojourn for a new experience. Many of Seabourn's passengers are rich people who have nothing better to do. But if you only take one nice vacation a year like we do, I would not recommend this ship. There's not enough value to justify the high price of the cruise fare. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Ok, let me first say that everyone takes a cruise for different reasons.Mine was to relax and relax I did........... I reserved this cruise on a last minute website for about 76% off the rack rate, so the bargain outweighed the ... Read More
Ok, let me first say that everyone takes a cruise for different reasons.Mine was to relax and relax I did........... I reserved this cruise on a last minute website for about 76% off the rack rate, so the bargain outweighed the disappointments. I traveled with my partner and we chose this itinerary for its 11 days of "no thinking" ports with 4 days at sea. Our "maiden Caribbean cruise" had about 465 people on it. 64% were new to Seabourn. This was our first trip with Seabourn so we had great expectations based on the great reviews it receives from so many travel sites and publications. We chose a suite without a veranda, as We are rarely in our cabin anyway.The suite was nice with a great walk in closet but cheesy bedding and upholstery. The shower was awkward and leaked all over the floor when used. Rough waves makes the cabin walls and ceiling creak and crack . Our attendant was very nice, but nothing special. Our first night we decided to have dinner in the more casual restaurant. Service was haphazard and over zealous. We were rushed through some really terrible food , and left wondering if it was just a bad night.Breakfast the next morning was the usual cruise fare of a decent ship. The next night we tried the main dining room and again were rushed through an over rated, over described menu that was nothing more than bad catered food lacking any real taste but looking pretty on the plate. Ok the next day was our first stop, and I could hardly wait to eat at a local restaurant and get some good food in my system. back to the ship and what to do for dinner? We found the patio grill which actually cooked your entree when you ordered it. This was the only decent food on the ship, and we ate there every chance we could for dinner. I have to admit that I am lucky to have the options of eating at really great restaurants around the world, so I guess my exposure has made me a little more jaded; but this was truly tasteless food . Restaurant two is by reservation and is a prix-fix tasting menu. I have to admit that based on other guests reviews and my luck in the other venues, we chose not to waste our time. Enough about the food though. Entertainment...................When you hear someone say that they should be singing on a cruise ship.... Seabourn has found these people. It was actually awkward to watch and listen to most of them. They try hard, but its just elementary. Bars and Nightclub........... Everyone was great in these venues. personable and accommodating. They were actually fun because the ship had allot of younger people on it. The casino looks like an afterthought to the ship though. In suite food service ( Food again)........... These guys were great. Followed through on everything, and made the effort to scrounge up fresh things to eat;remembered favorites and followed up afterwards. Other venues. Seabourn square is a great understated idea with a coffee bar. The only fault we could find is that it was not bussed enough and dirty dishes sat around for a long time. The Library had allot of 2010 publications. The pools are what they are, and I came home with a nice tan. Hot tubs are in multiple places and were rarely used by guests. Ok, so I did not like the food, but when you cannot even find a chocolate chip cookie that tastes good then I have to wonder how Hampton Inn did it all these years................The smoking is bad on the ship and allowed in the cabins, so be forewarned. We had a very relaxing trip and walked off the ship 10 pounds lighter so that's ok. The cruise was a bargain so it did not matter to us. If I had payed premium prices though I would have been perturbed to say the least. My summery is that the Sojourn was a good ship ,but in no way deserves the high numbered star rating that comes with Seabourns smaller ships or other 5.5/6 star rated lines. It just did not meet the details and quality it should. Time will tell how the new ships pan out, but I'm betting there are changes in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
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