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8 Seabourn Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

Although still quite good, a two year hiatus from SeaBourn certainly highlighted a decline in service. Corporate "cutting" is evident, with the service especially. As the top end of the Carnival line one would think the bean ... Read More
Although still quite good, a two year hiatus from SeaBourn certainly highlighted a decline in service. Corporate "cutting" is evident, with the service especially. As the top end of the Carnival line one would think the bean counters would leave this one alone. Not so. Less servers and less competent (trained?) servers compared to our two Seabourn cruises in winter of 2014. Not saying people didn't try hard, but the reduction in server to guest ratio has the staff scrambling and forgetting requests as the order of the day. Multiple requests to get a food item fixed or an accompaniment are required. We had to send dinner back multiple times on multiple nights. The TK restaurant closest resembles the "Old Seabourn" and should be the model for the ship. All other areas are totally de-personalized. The one thing that sticks in my head from a few years back in that one server told us that on Seabourn they do not say no. Now, they have no issue with it. We had been anticipating a return for months. There are lots of luxury cruise lines out there, it appears Seabourn is happy no longer standing above the crowd. We had fun, but will certainly shop around before returning. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We sailed from Ft.L on Dec 3-15. We enjoyed almost all aspects of the ship, save for one important exception. Let's begin with the positives: Check in was quite quick since there's only 450 passengers. Note that a slow ... Read More
We sailed from Ft.L on Dec 3-15. We enjoyed almost all aspects of the ship, save for one important exception. Let's begin with the positives: Check in was quite quick since there's only 450 passengers. Note that a slow check-in never bothers us much since the ship isn't going anywhere till be board. Once aboard we were very impressed with the beautiful architecture and furnishings of the common areas. Aesthetically, it's far beyond the look of every other (non-Seabourne) cruise ship. The cabin, starboard far forward, was roomy enough and storage and closet space abundant. The bathroom puts all others to shame for this level of cabin. My wife loves tubs, the shower is large enough for non-petite me. We didn't use the second sink, preferring to use the space for incidental storage. The TV is tiny (I have the identical model in my garage workshop) and inconveniently positioned. The channel selection is "cruise ship scant" but reception was consistently good. I miss my home 200 channel cable package though the TV service has an extensive "on-demand" repertoire of movies and TV offerings . The veranda door opens outward and is difficult to prop open. The A/C worked well. The maid was efficient, unobtrusive, and friendly. We usually want absolutely minimal maid service. The elevator service was rapid and we often rode by ourselves. It's an easy ship to move fore to aft, being small and with simple architecture. The internet service was fair, not up to level of Disney. I use only minimal email checking so I don't worry about anyone's high price. Note, being a retired computer professional of 50 years, don't believe the usual cruise line disclaimer of its internet service "it's the slow satellite to blame". The true issue is their servers are not technologically up to date. These things cost money and they go obsolete in 12-18 months. Disney realized this a few years ago as more passengers are wanting more stream based services. As us old geezers fade into history the generation behind us not only will demand a service speed comparable to land based systems, but won't want to pay too much for it. The evening entertainment was quite good. The morning lectures were excellent as well. I usually suggest to every cruise ship that more movies would be nice, both late morning and early afternoon. Odyssey screened some movies at 9:45 P.M.! After a large supper and plenty of wine and after dinner drinks I could not stay awake past the opening credits. The tours were good enough, though we usually don't do much past the quickie photo op bus rides. The tender days were perilous, choppy water make them "1-2-3 JUMP" experiences. I'm getting too old and nervous to do this too many more years. The choppy water cancelled out caviar shore lunch. Wisely, it was rescheduled to poolside. Some of the port were not that exciting, Ile de Saints, Martinique, San Juan but staying aboard is always a viable option for this caliber of ship. Now to the food, again positives first: We started with lunch at the aft buffet "Colonnade" and we were impressed by the diverse selection. The wait staff and buffet cooks were rapid, efficient and friendly. We were impressed with their level of service. Only Azamara was comparable, so far. Our subsequent lunches were at the poolside "Patio Grill" about half the days. Likewise their wait staff were quick, efficient, and friendly. As burger joints go this spot excels. It's not a huge selection of food but diverse enough to satisfy the poolside crowd. There is a nice coffee shop "Seabourn Square" on the 7th floor, sharing the library and customer service area. The coffee here is excellent and a few snacks are available. This spot fills the gaps when the restaurants are closed. It's a nice touch. Note that there are NO photographers on board and no semblance of a photography service. This cruise line is nicely low key in that regard. The daily feel and pace of the ship makes other cruise lines feel like a county fair on the water. "Restaurant 2", the premium dining venue, was an interesting experience. The menu is a "tasting" of a number of gourmet-ish odd items. At least here we had a server who could explain what we were in for. Beware though, a definition of "tasting menu" is that the entire sum total volume of the 5 courses will fit I'm the palms of your hands. Now to the food, negatives next: The first evening things started to go awry. The main dining room "The Restaurant" is quite understaffed of waiters. We experienced 6-8 different waiters, all of whom seemed very rushed to take orders, with minimal explanation of entrees, and with good reason. The menu items that changed daily were described in an overblown terminology I'll call "Gourmet-Bizarre". Many items, their method of preparation, the sauces, were undecipherable to this layman. The waiters, mostly Eastern European, some with minimal English skill, were scant help because they couldn't understand the chef's gibberish either. Appetizers usually took 15 minutes to arrive, entrees an additional 45 minutes. Wine refills were prompt, though. The four of us received at least 1 incorrect item delivered each of the 12 nights. 6 of the 12 nights at least one entrée was incorrectly customized (steak under/over done, sauce not omitted, etc). Soups were lukewarm as was the coffee. The waiters are all nice guys and diligent workers but they have to work too hard under excessive time pressure such that they have no time to explain menu items, give recommendations, and build a rapport with diners. The actual food quality was good though the recipes were "over gourmet-ed". This ship needs more waiters, simply put. We dined mostly at the MDR though in retrospect we should have had more evenings at the buffet "Colonnade" where the service was routinely excellent. Sidebar cabin issue: Something about the shower plumbing allows sewer gas to back up into the cabin. We reported this and we heard other passengers with the same observation. After showering we would block the drain with a wet wash cloth (of course the maid would remove it). After maid service we'd run the shower and block the drain again. Sidebar passenger issues (3) : Heart attack in Guadeloupe, passenger evacuated. Bleeding ulcer in Grand Turk, passenger evacuated.. A loud, nasty, profane drunk (2 PM!) in the pool, passenger not evacuated. Fortunately for fellow passengers his unfortunate wife dragged him off as an embarrassment. Summation: Would we travel Seabourn again? Of course we would. The positives far outweigh our nitpicks. It's a stunningly beautiful ship, catering to a nice classy crowd, of which we made some nice acquaintances as well as lots of great conversation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I were on the December 6th 14-night Caribbean cruise, from FLL to FLL. This was our sixth Seabourn cruise, and many of the familiar satisfactions were in place. A fine crew dedicated to making you happy, an aging ship, but ... Read More
My wife and I were on the December 6th 14-night Caribbean cruise, from FLL to FLL. This was our sixth Seabourn cruise, and many of the familiar satisfactions were in place. A fine crew dedicated to making you happy, an aging ship, but one kept in very good repair, a vivacious CD who amped up trivia contests, a significantly improved array of wines, assuming you chose with care, the familiar and very generous suites with an attentive stewardess (thank you, Nash.) But then there was the food. Restaurant 2 was fine and interesting. The Colonnade was more hits than misses, including a Thomas Keller bbq rib offering that was very good indeed. The Thomas Keller Napa burger at the Patio Grill was memorably better than its predecessor, as was the hot dog. But, most evenings one would head to The Restaurant. And disappointment. On our first evening we chose from the TK menu, having sat down at 7:30. More than a hour later, our server informed us that the chosen appetizers were 86. We made alternate selections and the first food arrived at 9:00pm. Very little that was proffered at the Restaurant was the experience you hoped for. Soup invariably arrived luke warm, meat ordered medium arrived rare, meat ordered well done arrived rare. Fish asked to be cooked through wasn't. Side dishes of vegetables came in little domed pots, which helped maintain their (barely) room temperature. Twice a souffle essentially under cooked. One Thomas Keller entree of lobster was quite interesting. A lobster tail flanked by two pieces of lobster meat, the latter tender and delicious. But the contents of the tail defied removal, whether by gouging, slicing, prying or chopping. Being gregarious, we usually asked to share a table, and often found ourselves seated with folk on their first Seabourn cruise.Which put us in the unenviable position of having to apologize, explaining to the newbies that "this isn't typical of Seabourn. Really." When you pay a premium price you should reasonably expect a premium experience. So what caused The Restaurant to become a disaster area? Well, one (partial) explanation is that a new computer ordering system was being introduced, and at least some wait staff were using mini-pads to enter food orders. Which was fine if you wanted an item exactly as described on the menu. But if you asked to substitute one vegetable for another, or dressing on the side, or any one on the countless variants that one might request, the server froze and the mini-pad became more of a barrier than a catalyst. Another problem may be the parallelism of a Thomas Keller menu side by side with the regular one. Anarchy in the galley, perhaps? With many satisfying SB cruises to look back on, we can more easily assay this cruise as one in the midst of changes at Seabourn. Changes which will probably make us happy to cruise with Seabourn in the future. But we might wait to see some positive reviews of the integration of Thomas Keller with The Restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Welcome to winter! Just back from a 10 day RT on the Sojourn FLL to FLL, eastern Caribbean. (Deck 8, V6). It was good to get back aboard the larger Seabourn ships again after a couple years gap and several runs on the smaller Legend, ... Read More
Welcome to winter! Just back from a 10 day RT on the Sojourn FLL to FLL, eastern Caribbean. (Deck 8, V6). It was good to get back aboard the larger Seabourn ships again after a couple years gap and several runs on the smaller Legend, Spirit, and one of the very last on the Pride this year (heading to Windstar soon). All the Seabourn touches come in the larger ships, but so so so much extra, and all of it modern and high tech facilities the old ships just can't deliver. This run was especially well orchestrated for its relentless attempts to really bring back the FUN in warm weather cruising, albeit, Seabourn style! 4 (yes 4) well attended deck parties made the cruise extra special. Caviar, cocktails, starlight dancing, and all with enjoyed with one of the most well travelled groups of cruisers you'll ever meet. On this particular voyage, 5 couples had logged over 350 sailed days with Seabourn, - some of the lines royalty to say the least! My only CON (and I'm a very picky one for details) is that Seabourn needs to invest in some high end deck chairs and furniture. For a line that demands its tariff, you would expect Oceania, Crystal, St Regis, Four Seasons style deck chairs, (you know, the ones with comfy cushions, and dressed with terrycloth covers and head pillows).... but instead, Seabourn leaves you with the EXACT same lounge chairs as you find on the Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam.... Ugh. Not exactly the most comfortable chair when you just need that extra hour snooze before cocktail hour. Everything else is wonderful, and good enough that we've already booked the Sojourn again for its 2nd world cruise segment (Sydney to Hong Kong 34 days FEB 8 2014) Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Seabourn has earned the title of our most-beloved cruise line since we first sailed to Alaska, circa 1999. The food, intimacy, service and the attention to small but important details placed Seabourn as our top luxury cruise line. The ... Read More
Seabourn has earned the title of our most-beloved cruise line since we first sailed to Alaska, circa 1999. The food, intimacy, service and the attention to small but important details placed Seabourn as our top luxury cruise line. The original Seabourn vessels, the Pride, Legend and Spirit have just 104 suites. That is about 210 people served by a crew of about 170. Not a bad passenger to crew ratio in terms of service. The ships were originally built in the late 1980's and were refurbished between 2009 and 2011. We have sailed the three original ships many times and love them, but there are sacrifices. Because the ships are older, there are no verandas. The top suite category has a "Balcony" suite which allows you to open sliding doors to fresh sea air, but they are really French windows not verandas you can actually sit out on. The pool is very small and often in the shade, as if added as an afterthought. In the last few years, Seabourn added three new larger ships to their fleet, the Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest. These ships were twice the size of the older ships and carried twice the passengers. Most of the suites had verandas and the central swimming pool was large and beautiful. My Wife and I were very skeptical whether Seabourn could offer the same exquisite cruise experience on a much larger scale. Well, we needn't have worried. We sailed the Sojourn for 10 days from November 27-December 8, 2011, and the ship was fabulous. The Sojourn was, if not the most beautiful ship I've sailed, certainly among the top three. For those curious cruise lovers out there, the other two contenders were the Regent Seven Seas Voyager and the Crystal Serenity. It should be noted that both of those ships are much larger, with 800-1000 passengers. I should emphasize we took the Sojourn cruise just to experience the ship, as the itinerary was pretty mundane. The Sojourn is nothing short of spectacular. A pleasant surprise was how many crew members and guests we knew from previous sailings on the smaller ships. Let me use this space to praise the people who made our voyage extra special. While tipping is neither required nor expected, when people go above and beyond, I have always felt they should be rewarded and try to do so. I always manage to miss a few of them, but I'll be seeing them again. Darius, my bartender buddy from the Legend, who I was thrilled to find on the Sojourn. He is both a marvelous bartender and one of the nicest and funniest guys I've met at sea. Our Cabin stewardess Anne was terrific and very sweet. We like to have both breakfast and lunch in the Dining Room every day, and Annie, Nigel, Kimberly and Drew were a delight. Jo and Claudia made the Coffee Bar a must-visit every day. Jo's interpretation of Iced Coffee made us skip dessert at lunch in order to have one. With ice cream, caramel, chocolate sauce and cinnamon, it was better than dessert. So good it ought to be illegal. Neither Sue nor I drink booze, and we had a ball with Sommelier Daniela Balser, who tried and tried to find something to entice us. She was very funny and we were sorry she was leaving to go on vacation halfway through the cruise. Arek, the Assistant Matre D' made sure we were pampered at every meal as only Seabourn can. Although there are four dining venues in the evening, we wound up in The Restaurant every night. This was strictly a personal choice. When the day's activity sheet arrives each morning, the menus for that evening are provided for all four venues. It just happened that the Restaurant offerings suited us the best. The food was excellent, although I maintain that their smaller ship, the Legend, has the best cuisine afloat. Conde' Nast agrees. In addition to The Restaurant, there are several other dining options every evening. Restaurant 2 offers small-dish tasting menus with the offerings changing nightly. The Colonnade is a more casual alternative to the Restaurant, offering both indoor and outdoor seating. The Patio Grill, overlooking the main pool, offers al fresco dining nightly. Our suite was elegant in typically-understated Seabourn style. The veranda was a haven for morning coffee, an afternoon snooze or pre-bedtime star-gazing with the sounds of the ocean and the salt breezes easing your transition to sleep. A tip about the verandas; the less expensive veranda categories, V1 and V2 have railings that are part metal and part glass. Categories V3-V6 offer all glass from floor to the teak rail. If you are going to pay for a veranda, go for the V3-V6 categories. A few extra dollars offers an unobstructed view of the sea from anyplace in the suite. It is a small detail, but the kind that matters to me. The bathroom was a fabulous two-person, two-sink marble affair with both a glassed-in shower and a large bathtub. I wish my bathroom at home was half as nice. As with all Seabourn ships, suites feature walk-in closets, refrigerator, mini-bar, and interactive flat-screen TV. The refrigerator is stocked with the beers, soft drinks, water and juices you selected on your pre-cruise order sheet. The first evening, two liters of the premium liquor of your choice are delivered to your suite. The table in the sitting area converts to a Dining table, and all Dinner can be served to you course by course in your suite should you feel like a private evening in. In addition to the large central pool, there was a smaller pool on Deck 5. At the bow on Deck 11 was the Retreat, a place to sunbathe and relax with super-comfortable sun beds rather than chaise lounges. As always, Seabourn attention to the little details was unsurpassed. While sitting in the sun, we were brought sun screen, cold mango sorbet in champagne, frozen fresh fruit on sticks and spritzed with mineral water to cool off. Complimentary 15-minute massages were offered on deck. It was not too hard to take, to say the least. The brochures featured great pictures of the Watersports Marina which opens out at the stern and offers swimming, kayaking and sailing right from the back of the ship. I had enjoyed this many times during cruises on the three smaller ships, but strangely, to my knowledge, the Marina was not opened once in our 10-day cruise. Obviously, this was not going to happen during our four days travelling at sea in the open ocean, and the ship actually pulled in and docked in San Juan and Antigua, so those days were out. But in St. John and St. Barts, we were at anchor while in port and tendered in. Those are traditionally the times the Watersports Marina is lowered. Perhaps the winds and current were too strong; I really have no idea. But I don't believe the Watersports Marina was opened during our cruise, and I would have liked to have at least heard an announcement explaining why. The Spa on the Sojourn was visually the most remarkable I have seen in all my cruises. Occupying two decks, it features such luxuries as wooden heated loungers to relax pre-massage, Kneipp walk pool, saunas, steam, outdoor whirlpools and a cabana area. I have posted several pictures, but they don't really capture just how mind-boggling this spa is. That said, I had booked four massages and wound up cancelling the last two. While the massage was adequate, it was not what I had expected, and at over $140.00 for 50 minutes, hardly a bargain. I have massages regularly at home and perhaps I've been spoiled. There is, of course, a fully-equipped fitness center for all you gym people. As I do on all my vacations, I made it a point to walk past the Fitness center at least twice daily. For all the diehard Seabourn veterans loyal to the older, smaller ships, I see no reason to change that. I have already booked for next year on the Legend, our fifth time aboard. That being said, I would strongly encourage you to give the Sojourn, Quest and Odyssey a chance. The cruise experience is a little different, yes there are more people, but it is a first-rate cruise experience. And the ship is so much bigger, I found more places to be completely alone than on the smaller ships. Seabourn has done a great job. I think you'll be glad to have tried the new ships. Please see my blog piece with photos at http://theworldaccordingtojud.com/ Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Its the outdoor spaces that make Seabourn Odyssey a beautifully designed and modern 'mega yacht'. Also, "Seabourn Square" is a beautifully designed meetings space of sorts - an innovation in terms of housing a library, ... Read More
Its the outdoor spaces that make Seabourn Odyssey a beautifully designed and modern 'mega yacht'. Also, "Seabourn Square" is a beautifully designed meetings space of sorts - an innovation in terms of housing a library, internet cafe, all around service desks and an tasty espresso bar in one space. Food (in all of its restaurants) is good and solid as well. If, on the other hand, you are expecting a "world class 5* experience", then this "yacht" is not for you. * as pointed out by previous reviewers, Seabourn Odyssey's "The Restaurant" is a disappointing experience in terms of lighting, noise levels and service. Whilst "The Restaurant" photographs nicely and, conceptionally (!) speaking, lives up to a "MIAMI SOBE" aesthetic, it is the fluorescent lighting, vibrating "crystal" chandelliers, patchy service and high noise levels, which make this the most undesirable restaurant at sea. Service is random and chaotic. Random waiters will frequently refill your water glasses even though you might be drinking soda or sparkling water. As a result of complete lack of restaurant management (no one seems to be taking responsibility for particular tables), the restaurant also fails to serve courses simultaneously (ie, if you are seated a larger table with a group of family or family - don't expect courses to be served or tabled simultaneously). All in all, having sailed with Silversea, Seadream, Europa and Crystal, this, comparatively speaking, must be the most disppointing dining experience at sea. * Lighting is also a problem in all of the suites: it is not possible to adjust or dim the lighting - not even in its top suites (penthouse-, owner's, signature-, wintergarden suites) -, resulting in a public bathroom atmosphere when returning to your quarters after dinner. * Bedding is a problem. Expect poly-filled duvets and no pillow choices. * most flowers aboard are fake. whilst they photograph nicely, they disappoint over time. * Seabourn Odyssey has low ceilings throughout. I suppose Seabourn's owners (Carnival Cruise Lines) wanted to cram in as many passengers as possible. By way of comparison, MS EUROPA, which is of a similar size as Seabourn Odyssey (length, beam, and tonnage), accommodates about 400, whereas Seabourn Odyssey carries 450. * Entertainment is charming at best. Expect easy going & light entertainment, but no world class acts. Seabourn, like Carnival, offers a small scale version of the usual mass product fare. Nothing refined here. It was particularly disappointing to attend a classical music "recital" where the violinist used an amplifier. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
A beautiful ship but a number of interior design flaws made this cruise less than perfect. The "so-called" suites, while a generous 300 sq. ft in size, are actually tunnel-like and quite narrow, at just over 9.5 ft wide. One can ... Read More
A beautiful ship but a number of interior design flaws made this cruise less than perfect. The "so-called" suites, while a generous 300 sq. ft in size, are actually tunnel-like and quite narrow, at just over 9.5 ft wide. One can barely squeeze by the bed to access the seating area. The TV screen is too small, making it difficult to read the activities or entertainment menus. The bathrooms, while very attractive and functional, have tiny glassed-in shower stalls, that one can barely bed over to wash, much less pick up a dropped bar of soap. Many of the public areas are quite functional with a few exceptions. The "Grand Salon", or theater, for instance, has so many pillars and seats facing the wrong way, that there was a mad scramble at each event to find seats that had a decent view of the stage or even the side video screens. Some other public rooms such as the "The Club" were quite cheap looking with commercial "gymnasium"-like wall coverings. The service on-board was quite friendly, but sometimes not very efficient nor professional. Other fellow passengers also complained that requests for a service or an item, often just did not appear or were wrong. The food in the main restaurant was very good and often creative. However, enough dishes were repeated or offered under different names or descriptions over the course of two weeks, that it became noticeable and somewhat tedious. Vegetable dishes were sparse and of very small portions, while breads and pastries did not vary, throughout. The wine selections were adequate with only one or two really flawed wines. The optional wine list, if you could get someone to bring you one, listed a number of very good choices and at very fair prices. The breakfast buffet was standard fare at best, and not up to what one would expect from a luxury cruise line. It was often quite chaotic and difficult to land that first cup of coffee, because the servers were all trying to do too many things at once. Some other passengers complained that breakfast in the main dining room was very slow and were given the reason that room service requests took priority there. The "spa" while well appointed was under-staffed and unbelievably expensive. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Seabourn Odyssey Review Cruise Dates: November 28 thru December 10, 2009 Eastern Caribbean Cabin 609 Well, after several requests, I am going ahead with the review. I was reluctant at first because we did have some problems and I ... Read More
Seabourn Odyssey Review Cruise Dates: November 28 thru December 10, 2009 Eastern Caribbean Cabin 609 Well, after several requests, I am going ahead with the review. I was reluctant at first because we did have some problems and I didn't want to sound too negative or picky. So I guess I will start with the things about the cruise which we really did like: • The staff were very friendly and the bar and restaurant service was superb (Colonnade service was inconsistent) • Loved the never ending "free" caviar - I ate it every day! • Loved that they had 2 outside bars - the Patio Bar, on the pool deck, and the Sky Bar, one deck up overlooking the pool (we hung out at the Sky Bar at noon almost every day). Both were open in the evenings as well. • Liked that the Patio Grill was open in the evenings for a very casual option (we only ate there once in the evening and it was very good, but not so great at lunchtime) • Yes, we also liked that they still have black tie evenings (I know we are in the minority on this one, but we do still enjoy dressing up a bit every once in awhile for dinner, and so we did! We will likely still do so occasionally on Regent even though they are now all Elegant Casual evenings) • On my birthday, they had some lovely chocolate cake with a candle for me at dinner, and when we got back to the room, I had balloons, a bottle of wine, strawberries with white chocolate mousse and 2 glasses of Cognac waiting for us. • Loved the Nic-Nac peanuts from Germany at the Sky Bar! (My husband had me track down some to order for his Christmas present!) Now for the rest of the story... The feelings were not so great beginning with embarkation process. Our documents said we could board at 1:30pm. We arrived around 1:00pm and along with lots of other folks, waited in the terminal building around 30 to 45 minutes. When we were allowed to board, we were herded to the dark and dreary "Grand Salon" where we were told we had to remain until our rooms were ready! They were serving canapEs and champagne, but our side of the room was totally ignored for the first 20-30 minutes, until my husband got up and went to tell someone "in charge". We finally got something to drink, but the environment sitting there was not at all pleasant. They need to take a cue from Regent, who allows you to wander the ship freely when you board and even have lunch at the pool grill! Yes, we all understand our rooms are not ready, but we don't need to be corralled and held captive! After about 45 minutes, we had had enough. We grabbed our things and made our way out of there. The hotel director was "guarding" the elevators and asked us where we were going. We just insisted we were going up on the deck and kept walking - they weren't very happy with us! As it turned out, we walked by our room and it was ready anyway, so we dumped our stuff and went out to get some fresh air and a cold beer from the Sky Bar. The room was spacious - similar to the Voyager, but I did not like the layout very much. You could tell whoever designed it did not spend a lot of time actually living in one these staterooms. (I think the Regent staterooms are much more thoughtfully designed and laid out.) I like to be able to unload all of my stuff and stash it on the shelves and in cabinets. The Odyssey bathroom had 2 sinks (which some people like but we don't care that much about). This severely limited the vanity space available, and there were only 3 VERY TINY glass shelves to one side of the sink - barely big enough to hold just our medications! So, we actually ended up covering up one of the sinks so we would have more counter space! Also had to store a few items underneath the sink. The closet was about the same as what we are used to on Regent, but the cabinets and drawers in the suite were quite small (shallow). Needless to say, we felt there wasn't enough storage space. Plus all the cabinets had these pressure closures things they called "clicks". They nearly drove me crazy trying to get them opened and closed. And, maintenance had to come repair them 3 times during our 12 day cruise because they wouldn't stay closed! There was no desk, and the single plug was located down on the floor. Fortunately I always travel with my multi-plug power strip, but the plug was very hard to get to. The television is very small for the size of the room - I could not really see the screen well from the bed. Although it has an iPod dock, the sound quality was awful (sound actually just came through the TV speakers). Fortunately we had our portable iPod speakers which we always carry with us. There was a small vanity with a portable magnifying mirror. The magnifying mirror was nice, but the light source at the vanity was not sufficient to use for putting on makeup. There was a plug over at the vanity, but too far away from everything else in the room to be useful. When we got to the room, none of the drink requests that we had made online were there (they finally got us fully stocked by the next day). There was also NO SAFE! The stewardess said the safe had been taken out some time ago because if was malfunctioning. I called guest services and asked about when the safe would be replaced. Their response was that they had no extra safes to install! I was essentially told too bad, nothing can be done, your SOL, and not given any options. After I hung up and steamed about this awhile, I called back and told them I was not happy and this was unacceptable - still no help. I finally asked if they had any safe deposit boxes on board, and the response was "oh yes, in the purser's office" - why hadn't I been offered this before? Reluctantly, I eventually marched down to the purser's office (which by the way, was not marked in any way, and I had to ask 3 staff people before anyone was able to show me which door to go in). The "safe deposit boxes" were actually little double lock file cabinets which were located in the middle of a busy office with several desks and people working. Needless to say, there was no privacy whatsoever when I wanted to access the "box". This whole thing was a real hassle throughout the cruise. To me the worst part is that reviews on some of the boards mentioned that the safe problem had been going on for a while - there is no excuse for not having adequate replacements. (Unlike Host Dan on Cruise Critic, they did NOT upgrade us to the Owner's Suite!) Our stewardess was very sweet and for the most part, tried very hard, but I felt there were some training issues here. The tiny shelves in our bath room were never dusted for the entire cruise, and were pretty dusty by the 12th day. Our balcony and the windows were not cleaned until I finally specifically asked the stewardess to do so, ON THE SIXTH DAY OF THE CRUISE. The windows were so bad we could barely see out. I was trying to be patient, as we had cruised through some volcanic dust on the second day of the cruise which made quite a mess all over the ship, but 4 days later, I should think that at least the windows and balcony should have been cleaned (we actually had wiped off the handrail, chairs and table ourselves). We were in suite 609, which is fairly far forward. We did notice some of the vibration and shuddering others have reported. We typically don't mind the vibrations that much (we always book a Horizon suite on Voyager, and there can be significant vibrations in those suites sometimes, but we love the location); however, the creeks and moans and squeaks in our Odyssey suite were pretty bad, making it difficult to sleep at times. On a new ship like this, you wouldn't think there would be so much of this. The rooms located forward like ours was are also QUITE loud when the ship drops or weighs anchor. This wasn't terribly bothersome to us, as we are early risers and were usually already awake when the anchor was being dropped, and having a beer on our balcony when the ship was departing. However, I did hear some folks complaining about this. We also had some trouble with room service. We always have breakfast in our room - everyday on every cruise we take. So, I am pretty consistent about filling out my little card and putting it on the door before we retire. In fact, I always fill it out before we go to dinner, so that just in case (LOL) I have a little too much to drink, I'll already have the breakfast order taken of and don't have to worry about figuring it out when we get back to the room. The first incident with room service was on the second day of the cruise. When our breakfast order did not come within 15 minutes of our requested time, I called to check on it. The fellow answering the phone said that there was no time indicated on the card. Although I find that hard to believe, I gave them the benefit of the doubt this time, although I was a little miffed that they did not bother to call us to find out what time we wanted delivery. They had it there within about 30 minutes, so I forgave them this time. Then, 5 days later, it happened again. I am certain that this time I did not forget to include the requested delivery time, as I had my DH double checking the card for me each time, just to be sure. On this morning, we had an early departure for a shore excursion, so I was pretty upset when I called room service to check on our order, and the guy once again told me there was no time indicated! He insisted he had the card right there, and there was no delivery time. We had to leave the room in 30 minutes, so having it delivered then was not an option. So, I had to go scurrying down to the Seabourn Square to grab us a couple of muffins so we would have something on our tummies. I told the guy from room service I would like to have the card brought to my room so I could see for myself that there was no requested delivery time indicated. Guess what? The card was never delivered - wonder why??? No apology was ever delivered either!! I had read so many reviews about how wonderful the food was; we had great expectations which never materialized. Again, I recognize that in this particular area, personal preferences play a huge role. The food was quite good on a few nights, not quite as good on others, but nothing really spectacular in our opinion. Two meals we really enjoyed were the Osso Bucco, and the Lobster Thermidor . We both really like fish, and tried several different dishes during the cruise, but they were terribly bland and tasteless (tasted like they were poached or steamed, but that's not how they were described on the menu). Once the fish was undercooked and inedible. Anyway, during the course of the 12 days, I think we ended up ordering lamb chops from the "classic fare" menu 2 or 3 times, because the other choices were not too exciting. I will add that we had dinner at the Patio Grill one night, and the fish there was grilled to perfection! I think it's nice to have this outside casual option, but we typically enjoy the ambience of the dining room in the evening, so we only ate at the Patio Grill one night. We also ate one night at the Colonnade, and ate lunch there a few times. The food was okay, but we felt the service was not quite up to speed, especially at lunch time. Another interesting thing was that the Colonnade typically served the same things as the main restaurant, with the addition of some standard dishes like salmon or a steak dish, which they offered every night. Seems to me they should offer more variety. We would probably have eaten there more often in the evening if they had offered something different than what was being served in the main dining room. Here's a sample of a couple of menus. We had lunch at the Patio Grill most of the time, even though it was pretty unexciting. They typically had the same things every day (salad bar, hamburgers, hot dogs, some sort of very dry grilled chicken), with one "specialty" dish, like fried calamari, or lamb kabobs. Their hamburgers couldn't hold a candle to those on Voyager! And alas, no steak sandwich either!! We really missed our grilled fish, which we typically have for lunch almost every day at the Pool Grill on Voyager - they did not offer any grilled fish at all for lunch at the Patio Grill. On Regent ships, our favorite after dinner hangout is the Observation Lounge, so of course we had to try the Observation Lounge on Odyssey. Needless to say, there was no Frankie Holiday or Jerry Vasi, and it was a pretty quiet place, but the piano player was okay. The dEcor and lighting is very bright, even at night, and it has a totally different ambience (doesn't have what I consider that "cozy" feeling like I get on Voyager). The worst thing was, there is NO dance floor in the Observation Lounge?! So, we ended up just dancing next our table. Kind of silly (LOL)! Believe me, I am no health nut or exercise junky, but I do try to walk a couple of miles every day. I really missed the nice walking tracks I am used to on Regent. Some folks were walking around the Sky Deck, and I tried it, but it was a very small loop with lots of obstacles (lounge chairs and people everywhere, and trying to maneuver through the Sky Bar area was a challenge). I just gave up. A ship this size should be able to have a larger walking deck. I stuck my head in the gym one day, but it seemed very small and crowded, so I didn't go back. We didn't go to any of the evening shows and also did not use the spa, so I can't comment on those. We were also pretty disappointed that they had to cancel our beach day and caviar in the surf. That is one of the things that really attracted me to the cruise! But, of course I don't fault the cruise line for that - we have to blame it the weather Gods! It was just too rough for the staff to safely transport all the stuff over to the beach. I recognize that much of how we perceived the cruise boils down to what we are used to. We have about 100 days on Regent, and our other cruise experiences have only included a couple of Princess Cruises many years ago, a Windstar cruise, and the Queen Mary 2. I have read many reviews by frequent Seabourn cruisers who tried Regent for the first time, and did not like it all. I am sure we need to keep an open mind, and we might try Seabourn again; but, at this point, probably only if there was an extraordinary itinerary we could not get elsewhere, or there was a great bargain. Don't let me give you the impression that we had a rotten time, because that's NOT true - we had a GREAT time - we always do! It's just this time, after 12 days, we were really ready to get off. We were on the Voyager for 30 days once and STILL did not want to get off! We are looking forward to returning to our beloved Regent and the Voyager this May. We think the staff is just the best there is! We also think the food is a bit better. (Although we have been on a couple of cruises with Regent where the food was good, but not outstanding - I think a lot depends on the chef at the time.) Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
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