6 Seabourn Encore Africa Cruise Reviews

The itinerary was the reason I chose this cruise, but the on-board experience was the best of any of my 12 cruises, including Crystal, Azamara and 4 other cruise lines. The price was also very reasonable since there was basically no ... Read More
The itinerary was the reason I chose this cruise, but the on-board experience was the best of any of my 12 cruises, including Crystal, Azamara and 4 other cruise lines. The price was also very reasonable since there was basically no need to add any “extras.” Dining venues were excellent! Besides specialty restaurants, there was a sushi bar, grill at the pool, great buffet, and comfortable dining in the main dining room. Food was excellent, and all special requests were honored - off-menu items were picked up at the next port if not already onboard! Places to get snacks like in the spacious fest relations area were great! Enrichment talks were a favorite. The history of each area was explained with first hand stories and pictures by very knowledgeable and entertaining speakers. Entertainment shows were first class with a nice variety of comedy, dance, magic, etc. Hard to imagine a better experience! Californiajack Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Everything, really everything was perfectly organized. Embarkation and disembarkation were organized. You have 5 restaurants for choice and only one of these five you have to reserve for. Service, food, drinks whenever you want, ... Read More
Everything, really everything was perfectly organized. Embarkation and disembarkation were organized. You have 5 restaurants for choice and only one of these five you have to reserve for. Service, food, drinks whenever you want, anything you might need, you get it. Champaign, caviar as much as you want. Excursions were well organized and at a reasonable prize Five restaurants at choice and you receive their menu every evening for the following day. You can order any wine , champagne, beer or water for your fridge, as much as you want. Room service works well and we had a table on our balcony set up with table cloth every morning for breakfast. You can also ask for a 3 or 4 course diner in your suite at the time you want. We can only recommend this company and we will certainly make our next cruise with them- We tried different other cruise companies , but his is the best. ......and when you think what you get for the price you paid it is not relly expensive. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
When I got on board I thought gosh this is lovely this new ship, then after a few days I began to find design faults. You could not walk round the deck above the pool as there was not enough room from the end of the sun beds. The theatre ... Read More
When I got on board I thought gosh this is lovely this new ship, then after a few days I began to find design faults. You could not walk round the deck above the pool as there was not enough room from the end of the sun beds. The theatre had lots of seats with restricted views because of large pillars. I did not like where the piano bar was situated as you thought you were going into the Grill. The staff in the restaurant upstairs were very surly, and non smiling which is not good enough. I have not experienced this on other ships. I went on this cruise as I had done it before on the Odyssey and came off in Mumbai to fly up to Jaipur, Agra and New Delhi. I loved it so much I wanted to do it again. Well it was very expensive but a lovely experience again. We were given an eye mask and a plastic bag of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion. What an insult. Everyone gets eye masks on aircraft and to give us these shower gels etc was not on. The beautiful hotels we stayed in gave us wonderful stuff. We had far better stuff the last time I went. Seabourn is definitely cutting back and it shows. It is not good enough as they would not cut the price of the cruise or give us FREE Wifi All the Americans get the perks, not the Brits. On the last morning I went down to the Square to query something on my bill. Well the guy was positively rude to me and I was so angry I walked away before I said something to him. Not good customer service. Dr Lawrence Blair was wonderful and gave very interesting talks. Well done to him. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Having cruised about 10 times with Princess and twice with Seabourn, there were a number of things that did not meet our expectations; mainly food preparation. Ingredients were excellent and in most cases dishes are excellent, until the ... Read More
Having cruised about 10 times with Princess and twice with Seabourn, there were a number of things that did not meet our expectations; mainly food preparation. Ingredients were excellent and in most cases dishes are excellent, until the sauce is served. Most sauces taste the same and have some strange taste; maybe there is Balsamic vinegar where none should be. Most sauces are the same dark color. Short ribs should be served with the reduced braising liquid, not the strange sauce which they called Jus. Princess always has appropriate and well-made sauces. Thomas Keller was very disappointing: roast chicken overdone, Dover Sole Meuniere spoiled with capers. Crab cakes were the best ever. Caesar Salad in the restaurant and the Patio are better. Several other guests shared our view of Thomas Keller. Fish for lunch on the Patio was always very good. Breakfast in the Colonnade was always very good with a nice selection of hot and cold meats as well as fruit. Coffee and service in Seabourn Square was excellent. Service in the restaurant was excellent: Melanie and her team and Eddie. Bar service was good but not as professional as other Seabourn or Princess. Likewise for room make-up. There were lots of activities on board, especially on sea days to keep us entertained. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have been on several river cruises with Uniworld and had wonderful experiences and on a 2 week cruise with Blount on the Great Lakes in the USA, but apart from couple of cruises up and down the Norwegian coast on the Hurtigruten, this ... Read More
We have been on several river cruises with Uniworld and had wonderful experiences and on a 2 week cruise with Blount on the Great Lakes in the USA, but apart from couple of cruises up and down the Norwegian coast on the Hurtigruten, this was our first sea cruise. The moment we stepped on board in Singapore, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with good humour and kindness by the hard working staff and crew. We were drawn to Seabourn because the food at all the restaurants is included as well as drinks. We did not want to face a large bill at the end. We were also attracted to this particular cruise because it included a lot of sea days and although we wanted to see an interesting part of the world, we also really wanted to relax. Cabin Our cabin was on Deck 5 (the lowest residential deck), and we had a beautiful big room with a verandah, a separate lounge room, a big comfortable bed and a big bathroom with a bath (yay!!!!!), with high quality and plentiful bath products and big, soft towels. There was plenty of storage and the view from the verandah was uninterrupted. Compared to the cabins on river cruises, this cabin was a mansion. A couple of times throughout the cruise, we had a "meet your neighbours" party. This is a great idea. Food The food at the Restaurant, Sushi, the Collonade and the Patio was outstanding. There was plenty to choose from and everything we chose was well cooked and delicious. We are big fans of Asian breakfasts, particularly Vietnamese. So when we boarded the ship, we asked the chef if he could cook us a Vietnamese Pho a couple of times a week for breakfast. And this he did. It was delicious and fragrant and we got many envious stares as it was delivered to our table. This was truly outstanding service. We really enjoyed lunch at Sushi. The bento boxes were delicious and the staff were wonderful, particularly the lovely lady from the Caribbean who served the wine and sake. The food at the Restaurant was outstanding. We had the best steaks we have ever had and their other dishes were also delicious and beautifully presented. The service was fantastic, particularly from Duane from Barbados and her colleague (also from the Caribbean). These two women were friendly, funny and incredibly efficient and helpful. We ate at the Collonade often. The variety at the buffet was always fantastic and we could both always find something delicious to eat. We particularly enjoyed the congee for breakfast and that’s what we had on the days we didn’t have our Pho. We often went to the themed dinners and always really enjoyed them. The lovely lady from Portugal who was the hostess at the front desk was so helpful. The Patio is an up market fast food joint and it was the place to go when we had a hankering for a hot dog, hamburger or pizza. We were not impressed by the Thomas Keller Grill. I had the lobster thermidor and it was swimming in butter and all the food was far too salty. The Grill had all the pretentions of a fine dining establishment without the haute cuisine. The menu never changed, and, unlike the other restaurants, we could not request any changes to the dishes. Aparently the chefs knew better what was best for us. On the other hand, we had Thomas Keller inspired dishes at the Restaurant and the Collonade and they were absolutely beautiful. We hail from a part of Australia that produces truffles and we love em. We were very excited to know that there were a lot of dishes which included truffles. Unfortunately the truffle was undetectable. The executive chef explained that they cannot get fresh truffles, so they use canned ones. These have very little aroma or flavour and I suggest they should leave the truffle out of the menu until they can get the good stuff. Drink The wine ranged from very good to acceptable and there was always plenty to choose from. There was a huge variety of cocktails and the lovely bar man in the Observation Bar always brought over our favourite cocktails as soon as we sat down. Great service. Public Spaces Even though the ship was nearly full, it never felt crowded. I love to find a quiet spot to read and I could always do that. The Observation Bar was pretty much deserted during the day and I could sit and read and watch the ship ploughing through the water. My only complaint was that each day at around 10am, a couple of blokes used to meet to have a very loud, shouty discussion on religious issues. Their conversation dominated that large space and I suspect they were trying to attract other participants. I was really not interested in their subject matter and I could not concentrate on my book. It appeared to me to be officially sanctioned, as one of the participants was a member of the clergy. The bar man told me he had tried to direct them to a private meeting room but to no avail. I am surprised the senior management didn’t insist. Seabourn Square was always a great place to get to know other guests. It’s comfortable and welcoming and refreshments are laid on. Entertainment We really enjoyed the shows put on by the in-house singers and dancers. These people were very talented. We didn’t see all the guest performers but those we did see were great. We also really enjoyed the guest lecturers and learned a lot about the Middle East and the Suez Canal. We loved the cooking demonstrations by the Executive Chef Kurt Timmermans . What a clever man he is. Staff and Crew We found the Captain and his team to be personable, approachable and helpful. My husband had lots of technical questions and he went out of his way to answer them. The cruise director was a delightful woman, as was her assistant and the staff at the Square went out of their way to help us. We booked excursions as we went along and they always made excellent alternative suggestions if the one we wanted was booked out. Everyone we dealt with had clearly been through rigorous training and did their job beautifully. Passengers Mostly Australian and American with a few other countries represented as well. Age range 60 and upwards. Mostly lovely people who were thrilled to be on board such a lovely ship, living in the lap of luxury and having such a wonderful experience. They were a pleasure to spend time with. However it always amazes me how a small minority are constantly complaining about anything and everything and thought nothing of being very rude to the staff. They seem to get off on it. We found there were always passengers like this on river cruises as well. Excursions These were on the whole, enjoyable, with some that were outstanding. Our favourites were the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, shopping with the chef in Muscat, the incredible first sight of Petra and the cooking demonstration in Santorini. The Grand Mosque is gobsmackingly gorgeous, the visit to the market with the chef was really interesting and Petra is definitely one of those places everyone should see. The cooking demonstration at a small restaurant attached to a farm on Santorini was some of the most beautiful food we have ever tasted. What that woman could do with a fresh tomato was a miracle. I was surprised that Seabourn didn’t provide passengers with audio headsets. Uniworld provide them for every passenger. On several tours, people got left behind and there was a great scramble to find them again. At Petra, it’s a long, difficult walk from the bus into the site and we lost the guide very early in the journey. It’s hard to get lost there, but it would have been nice to know what we were seeing. Laundry There is none and the cost of the laundry service is eye watering. However, being Aussies, we were well organised. We brought our own collapsible clothes line and a wonderful washing aid called a Scrubba. It’s a heavy plastic bag with a built in wash board and it worked a treat, although our room occasionally looked like a Chinese laundry. I understand they are going to provide a laundry soon and that’s a great idea. Internet Very patchy and as other reviewers have said, it should be part of the package. In summary, this was a wonderful experience. We both work and it was just lovely being waited on by friendly and attentive staff, to eat and drink deliciousness, to be entertained and to see really interesting sights. We have just booked a 45 day cruise on the Seabourn Quest in February, from Buenos Aires to Monte Carlo. Can’t wait. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Let me first state that I did not like awarding the scores set forth below. My wife and I had hoped for a far better experience. This was our first Seabourn cruise; the most recent ones before were on Oceania and Regent Seven Seas, ... Read More
Let me first state that I did not like awarding the scores set forth below. My wife and I had hoped for a far better experience. This was our first Seabourn cruise; the most recent ones before were on Oceania and Regent Seven Seas, respectively. Our cruise started in Singapore and ended in Dubai. Some elements of the Encore were lovely. The overall décor was most attractive, and the Seabourn Square set up was a delight. For the most part, our Verandah V5 cabin was well thought out (the closet could use some reconfiguration -- raising the hanging poles and sacrificing a bit of the shelf space above). It was impossible, however, to regulate the temperature in our cabin at a stable degree; at night, especially, the air conditioning, unlike the day, was ineffective -- with the room being so warm we discarded our covers. Our stewardess was absolutely terrific, and the other members of the non-food service crew were personable. So what wasn't so great? Primarily, it was the food -- especially in comparison to both the Oceania Marina and the Regent Explorer ships. With the exception of the Thomas Keller restaurant (the second time, at least) no meal was delicious, and several of the meals were plain disappointing. Bread was consistently substandard, as were most of the pastries. Beef was not as good as the lamb; chicken was overcooked. Fish, however, was well-prepared. The Restaurant's cuisine was not generally as good as the Colonnade's. Service in the Restaurant at dinner was really bad. Twice (once dining alone and a second time with another couple), we had to skip dessert to make the 8:45 pm show; in each instance we were seated at 6:45 p.m. That is inexcusable. Service in the Colonnade was, conversely, quite good at both breakfast and dinner. Daniel and Megan deserve special mention for their performance. As for Thomas Keller, the steaks the first time were terribly over-salted, and not just our table. The people next to us had the same complaint. The captain actually tried my wife's and readily agreed, and the manager subsequently invited us to dine in his restaurant again, promising a far better experience the next time -- which it was. The sushi restaurant was fine, with the lead server a true delight. The food was okay. It is impossible to see the chefs at work due to the configuration of the counter; its front should be all glass and the display of fish lowered so that the preparations can be viewed by diners, especially those sitting around where the chefs were working. We found the entertainment mixed. Wayne (the comedian on the cruise) was truly entertaining; on the other hand we thought the Tim Rice show to be a disappointment -- less due to the singers and more due to the choice of songs performed. The rest (we attended several) were so-so. The lecturers were distinguished. We would have preferred slightly more sophisticated talks -- and with more emphasis on the current states of the countries visited and less on their histories. We took several tours. The most disappointing to us was in Muscat, where we were left for 90 minutes at a mediocre, touristy souk and had only 15 minutes, in contrast, at a wonderful museum. The rest were okay, if over promised. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Seabourn Encore Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5

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