1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The choice was a birthday present from our kids and it was a great discovery. This is our first cruise. The staff was very nice, very professional, attentive. Special thanks to Fabrizio Cerruti, the hotel manager. Henry Halloy, the ... Read More
The choice was a birthday present from our kids and it was a great discovery. This is our first cruise. The staff was very nice, very professional, attentive. Special thanks to Fabrizio Cerruti, the hotel manager. Henry Halloy, the assistant director of the cruise, was incredibly generous, listening to our every detail. We also want to thank Frédéric for his impeccable service, his Francophonie, his smile, and his good advice. the cruise is rather romantic, cozy, hushed. We really appreciated the quality of the restaurants, the variety of menus, the freshness of the products, the talent of the chef. We did not take advantage of the pool which turns out to be quite small. The shows are of quality: violin, singing, magician ... the animation was perfect and Mr. Henry Halloy embodies this perfection. A lot of elegance! This first cruise in our life will remain etched in our memory, and the only desire is to go back on board! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Since 1999 my wife and I have sailed 300+ days with Seabourn. It goes without saying that over the years we have been very satisfied. Not so with our last two week cruise on the Encore in the Med. It has been a while since we last ... Read More
Since 1999 my wife and I have sailed 300+ days with Seabourn. It goes without saying that over the years we have been very satisfied. Not so with our last two week cruise on the Encore in the Med. It has been a while since we last sailed on a Seabourn cruise and it will be a while - if ever - before we try again. The interior of the Encore including the suites is fabulous, but we cruise where the weather is good and the outside spaces are crammed and chaotic. The pool deck (serving simultaneously as a bar, as a restaurant and as a sun deck is at least 30% smaller than on the Odyssey class - for 150 more passengers. You will have lunch (if you can find a table) less than 10 inches from a sunbed maybe inhabited by a very large person in a very small bathing suit. Even if the food was good you could easily loose your appetite: You reach for the ketchup and you wind up with a bikini top in your hand.... But this goes to the core of our grievances: The food is actually horrible at all of their restaurants. We did not have one good meal out of the 40 odd meals we had during the two weeks. We could not fault the main Chef (from Bologna). He did what he could with an insufficiant budget and inferior ingredients: Dry, tough and tasteless meats. Tired fish. Too few mushrooms to make the mushroom soup taste of mushroom - not dish water. Ill smelling and ill tasting pork belly with a scallop on top with the texture of jelly. Mushy berrys at the breakfast buffet way past their last selling date. Now they have the new specialty restaurant to which Thomas Keller has sold his name. Shame on him. We dined there four times with exacly the same result: The cook has a better budget hence better ingredients. But the guy on this particular cruise did not have any idea whatsoever how to prepare them: The cured salmon was so salty that your palate burned. It was uneatable so it did not matter, that he had forgotten to remove the plastic wrap from the dish. A “grilled” Rib-eye for two was burnt to a crisp on the outside. The proud cook pronounced that it weighed 900 grammes. He cut it up in 14-16 slices at the table and slammed half of the slices down on my wife’s plate and the other half on mine. The plates looked like what you would feed a very big dog. We tried all the sides during our four visits. All of them were seriously over-cooked. Mushy and tasteless. For the first time ever we had a sinewy Lobster Thermidor. It is beyond me how he accomplished that. Once before on all of our Seabourn cruises we have had food as bad as on this one. On that particular one the Chef had a nervous breakdown and was totally unable to function. They had to fly in a trainer/replacement. My guess is that Seabourn has now finally been 100% “incorporated” in Carnival’s HQ in Seattle and has been forced to “piggy back” on deals with the vendors supplying their 4 star cruise lines even though they still charge six star prices. Finally a word about the ratio between newbees and experienced staff. It is way too high. My guess is 80:20. In fact Seabourn rely on the guests to train the majority of the staff who are on their first contract. As a guest you need to in order to get what you want..... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I love approaching the terminal right before embarkation. The anticipation has been building for so long, the ship is finally in sight, and you’re almost there! But here’s a tip: in Barcelona, Seabourn ships may not be docked with the ... Read More
I love approaching the terminal right before embarkation. The anticipation has been building for so long, the ship is finally in sight, and you’re almost there! But here’s a tip: in Barcelona, Seabourn ships may not be docked with the others. Our taxi driver (who did not speak English… I’m not sure many in Barcelona do) wanted to go where the larger ships usually dock; we had to motion to him to turn around and take us to Terminal S, as in South. First Impressions No doubt about it; the Encore is a beautiful ship. I had watched many videos about it beforehand, but it wasn’t until I was on it that I appreciated its design touches. We’ve only been on one other cruise ship: Celebrity Solstice. There is simply no comparison. I especially love the colored glass accents… the fish in the Observation Lounge, the auburn bottles in the Thomas Keller restaurant, and the chandelier in the main restaurant. These whimsical accents complement the classic, handsome nautical decor throughout the ship. Who can resist sail away from the first port? You’ve finally made it, with nothing else left to do except enjoy your cruise vacation. We loved the Cruise Director, Chris -- a total sweetheart who is enthusiastic without being over-the-top -- and we appreciate the fact that opera is one of his passions (he has a beautiful voice). But to me, sail-away is the time for fun, get-the-crowd-revved-up music. Instead, we heard opera and more opera -- which can really add weight to the mood. Granted, it was a small point in what was otherwise a lovely experience. Our Suite We lucked out being assigned to a suite on Deck 11; I’m grateful to Cruise Critic members who told me, via the boards, that our suite -- the most forward on that deck -- would be quiet. It most certainly was, as the soundproofing was amazing. The suite was comfortable and felt high end. We loved having a walk-in closet. And our cabin stewardess, Patricia, was absolutely lovely and a great representative of the Seabourn brand. She was extremely efficient, a hard worker, warm, and personable. The Food In addition to the suite, I give high marks to the restaurants with wait staff, especially the main dining room. Not one false note the entire time, and we found the cuisine to be inventive and of high quality. We’re American -- and Thomas Keller fans -- so we loved The Grill. I liked Sushi -- service was a bit uneven -- but we only dined there once. The Colonnade Buffet has many fresh and appealing options, but no real exciting/offbeat presentations. If you’ve ever been to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s in Las Vegas, you know what I mean: gourmet sliders, red velvet mini pancakes, chicken-and-waffles baskets… that kind of thing. I don’t know why I thought I’d see some of that inventive energy on Seabourn, but that wasn’t the case (not even on our final night, when they touted “epicurean delights” on the pool deck). I found the 1 o’clock lunch opening of the Patio Grill to be odd and inconvenient. And there’s really nowhere to get a late-night snack (Seabourn Square’s little cafe shuts down pretty early, and even when it was open, its snack choices to be rather sparse and not terribly appealing, IMO). I realize that for night owls with a grumbling stomach, the expectation is to call room service. But sometimes I don’t want to wait. And sometimes, when one person is asleep and the other is hungry, room service is not practical. But believe me, I did not starve. Booze Flows Freely I’m not a big drinker on land, so while I definitely enjoyed imbibing on the ship, I’m sure I didn’t get my money’s worth… and that suits me just fine. That’s because on Celebrity, even though we sprung for the drink package, there was something rather dispiriting about having to proffer my room key to get any little thing, be it a bottle of water or a mai tai. That’s why I loved Seabourn’s all-inclusive policy: you ask, you receive. Simple as that. Ports My reviews are mixed. I didn’t find Mahón, on the island of Menorca, to be a particularly compelling stop. But the timing of it was good; since it was our first port, I preferred to continue exploring the ship and only walked around outside for about an hour. Corsica was another place that didn’t really hold my interest. Saint-Tropez was much more of a laid-back beach town than I was expecting. It was OK. Monte Carlo, Marseilles, and Portovenere (Italy) were very cool and interesting. I’m glad we got to experience them. Other Things I Loved The Observation Lounge. We began just about every evening there, enjoying the live music, a cocktail or two, and snacks. Relaxing just about everywhere. Except for the main pool, which is fairly high energy, there are many places to get away from it all. I found the forward whirlpool on one of the days we were in a port that didn’t interest me; and I hung out in it, without seeing another soul, the entire morning. I liked that there were only about 600 passengers, but I wouldn’t want to go any smaller. As it was, we started running into the same people, and part of the enjoyment of cruising is seeing new faces. Things I Would Change I wished that the pools were open later into the evening. Seabourn’s performers are talented, but the themes of the shows just didn’t hold my interest. Seabourn Website is old and clunky… could stand an overhaul. We had a wonderful voyage. We would definitely book on Seabourn again, although we’d also like to give Silversea a try. It’s hard to imagine going back to a mass-market line after such a great experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Our 7th Seabourn cruse, first on the new Encore-size which carries about 150 more passengers than the previous 'Odyssey' class. We were on for 14 nights, most passengers were on 7 night cruises and the ship was full, so that made ... Read More
Our 7th Seabourn cruse, first on the new Encore-size which carries about 150 more passengers than the previous 'Odyssey' class. We were on for 14 nights, most passengers were on 7 night cruises and the ship was full, so that made it a very busy cruise for the staff. The ship is beautiful as the Odyssey class ships were, very much the same style. The suite was super, everything on the whole ship was clean and maintained and to a very high standard. Public spaces, the pool deck, the main restaurant, the theatre haven't been increased in size as much as the passenger numbers have increased. That led to the pool deck being pretty crowded on an afternoon when people came back from trips. The main dining room doesn't have the same feeling of space on the previous ships, it's ok, but some of the ambience is lost. The second restaurant, "The Colonnade" is much larger and brighter than before which is an improvement. Since now not everyone can fit into the theatre at the same time there are two shows a night instead of one, which does give you some choice. Service has always been key to the whole Seabourn experience and is why we have returned again and again. Overall we received the same excellent Seabourn service from friendly, well-trained staff, there really isn't a bad staff member and many are very good at their job. We did have some lapses, the main dining room did not always work well when it was busy with tables left unattended for longer than you'd expect on a luxury line. There were other issues in other venues with forgotten orders, late room service. There weren't many lapses, but Seabourn usually hits 99% perfect service, here it was perhaps 90%. Food. Everyone cares about food. This cruise it was mostly very good but with, for the first time on Seabourn, a couple of meals which were terrible, badly cooked, bad presentation. The choice was good, there was never a day you couldn't find a venue and menu you were excited about, didn't always deliver however. The ship now has the Thomas Keller Grill for which you can have one reservation per segment, and if you ask nicely and look hungry you might be able to add a second evening. The food there from the fixed menu was excellent. The ship also has a sushi restaurant we tried once, that was also very good indeed. We feel the food on Seabourn is usuall very good with occasional excellent, this cruise was very good with occasional excellent (in Thomas Keller) and a couple of meals which were dire. Entertainment was as good as you can expect from a small cast on a smaller ship. We thought the shows were the best we've had on Seabourn. We were fortunate to have Jeffrey Archer on the ship as a guest lecturer and each of his talks were very well worth attending. Overall it was Seabourn but a bit diluted. Ship is lovely but feels a bit crowded compared to the smaller ships. The staff worked incredibly hard but still the service and the food fell a little short of what we think of as Seabourn standard. We'll definitely continue to sail Seabourn but will favour the Odyssey class ships if we can and if Encore class, try to find cruises which are sailing less than totally full. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a fabulous cruise in so many ways , but our cabin allocation was very disappointing. We generally cruise with Silversea and assumed that all the verandah cabins on The Encore would as on Silversea, be of the same standard, ... Read More
This was a fabulous cruise in so many ways , but our cabin allocation was very disappointing. We generally cruise with Silversea and assumed that all the verandah cabins on The Encore would as on Silversea, be of the same standard, simply differentiated by their position on the ship- we have always found this to be the case with Silversea. Unfortunately we were allocated cabiin 851. This cabin is attached to the Wintergarden Suite and the balcony is miniscule.This cabin should only be offered for single occupation as two poeple could not sit on the balcony in comfort. On a previous voyage on this ship a friend on a guaranteed basis was allocated cabin 1032-a disabled cabin with no external view and a balcony overlooking the pool. Again, she was very unhappy with this cabin. On both occcasions we were told that the ship was full so there was no chance to change. We loved Seabourn Square and the multiple pool areas.The late night entertainment in the Observation Lounge with Barbara and Valerio was wonderful, this was a lovely venue to enjoy a late night cocktail. the Club area was rather small and very little used. The Tim Rice show was good,but the only other show offered was disappointing. Jeffrey Archer was a guest speaker on the cruise and both his lectures were very entertaining. The service was good ,but a little too formal and not especially friendly, even at the end of the week the only person who appeared to know us by name was our wonderful cabin attendant. We really did not like St Tropez or Monaco-both far too crowded,but the other ports of call were good. The smallest gesture to acknowledge the inadequacy of the cabin would have been very much appreciated,but none was forthcoming.Would we sail with Seabourn again? Not sure! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We choose this cruise because we only planned ahead by 2 months and this cruise worked for our schedule. Awful from the start. Unorganized staff made it a nuisance to make anything happen. Food has been absolutely terrible. We’ve ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we only planned ahead by 2 months and this cruise worked for our schedule. Awful from the start. Unorganized staff made it a nuisance to make anything happen. Food has been absolutely terrible. We’ve never been on a cruise that had such bad food consistently throughout the trip. For the same price as crystal cruises, seabourn offers much less quality of services and amenities. On the first day, the staff was not informed on the emergency drill. They had me and my sister running back and forth needlessly, because several people gave us different information that was all incorrect. Smoking is a pain on this boat. They let people smoke cigarettes many places, but the only place you can smoke a cigar is this tiny back deck area where they don’t offer any drinks or service. Even though they sell expensive cigars. It feels like a punishment. Finding the spot was huge pain because every staff member told us a different location, which again, had us running around the boat needlessly. My friend was looking for an espresso on our first day. Once again, misinformed staff sent us in circles. We finally find the correct spot, and they say they can’t help us because they closed the esspessso machine 2min ago. They said we could get some on the floor underneath. We go there, ask the staff, and they kindly tell us we can get espresso. Then a different staff member aggressively grabs my friends shirt and pulls him back. He tells him, “You can’t be in here. You need to leave now!” My friends tried to explain the situation and he responds “well send you a double espresso to your room” and they sent coffee. Just incredibly agressive and rude. The other staff says “I didn’t know the captain was in the room.” Like that would justify what happened. Rooms are dirty. Fingernail marks in the wall. Stained carpets. Broken toilets. Shower and bath drains don’t work. Scratchy towels. Broken AC. Lights only turn on in your room if you leave your key in the wall, which has been a huge unnecessary nuisance as well. Food has been terrible. The menus are very limited. This Thomas kheller chef forces half the menu to be standardized. So you can’t customize the food to your liking. I’ve never been on cruise with such bad food. That alone is a deal breaker. The service makes it worse. Even dining in “the main restaurant” they don’t refil your drinks unless you ask. They bring the wrong food or forget orders. They use this tablet system that apparently fails all the time, according to a waitress. Today I ordered room service. Waited over an hour. After talking to 3 people, they discovered it went to the wrong room. Excursions have been fun. But we’ve been doing private excursions separate from seabourn. The one excursion we did use through seabourn was wildly mislabeled. A group of 20 people thinking they’re spending a day at the beach with powerboats, instead spend the majority of the day riding in jeeps, WHICH WAS EXACLY WHAT WE DID THE DAY BEFORE. Incredible. Before the cruise, they let you fill out this online form of what drinks you’d prefer stocked in your room. They didn’t put what I requested and just left Myers in my suite. I’ve been on seabourn sojourn, and that experience was 100x better than this. I’ve been on crystal and reagent, and those were even better. If you believe in getting what you pay for, stay away from the seabourn encore. The lady who cleans our room is awesome and so have been some of the service guys. The bartender is really cool and clearly is working very hard. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The Seabourn Encore looks beautiful outside and inside. We boarded in Barcelona for 20 days cruising the western and central Mediterranean before returning to Barcelona. It was a great trip. But there were shortcomings. For wha we paid, we ... Read More
The Seabourn Encore looks beautiful outside and inside. We boarded in Barcelona for 20 days cruising the western and central Mediterranean before returning to Barcelona. It was a great trip. But there were shortcomings. For wha we paid, we expected a little more. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is easy to get around in. The main dining rooms are attractive. The suites, while not huge, are very nice with a sofa, two chairs, a table, a comfortable bed, a walk-in closet, a tiny dressing stand, and plenty of storage space. Bathrooms include a tub and shower--small and barely adequate. The veranda is good for two people. The ship is well maintained. We had cabin 837, a perfect location. The staff was mostly friendly and outgoing, although the old Seabourn custom of remembering your name doesn't work with 600 passengers. Drinks are included in your fare, and waiters were anxious to keep glasses filled. Some of the food was good, some very good, and some excellent. Desserts and salads were particularly good. We only had a couple of dishes that didn't pass muster. The wine was just fine, although we're well aware it's not $50 a bottle wine. Service in the dining rooms could be good, or it could be slow. The wait staff didn't always appear organized, and some staffers were not very accomplished. One room service breakfast came 30 minutes late, and the waiter dropped a glass of orange juice at our front door. Not an example for the cruise pamphlet. The Colonnade sometimes had quirky and unappealing menus. Seabourn would do far better by returning to the Lido Buffet concept with buffets in the morning, noon and evening. The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk you were out of luck. The ship should do far better at providing details about the progress of the trip. Announcements over the loud speaker are strictly limited, which is good, but the television system should fill the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. It didn't. There were other examples of a less-than-luxury cruise. There is no free internet, and we were informed of that rather rudely when we asked. There is one room with five washing machines for all the passengers. Not very considerate. The dress code wasn't clear, and standards wasn't enforced. Unsupervised children needed to be called down by ship staff, but weren't. The Seabourn Square is a very pleasant place, but the “guest services” staffers frequently didn't have answers to questions. The destinations/shore excursion programs need an overhaul. One ship tour was inaccurately described. Once we were told a free shuttle would take us to the city center, but in fact it dropped us off a half a mile away. Shore excursions were overpriced, as on many ships, dnd didn't consider passengers with mobility issues. We needed more information, such as when we would cruise past the Rock of Gibraltar. It wasn't forthcoming. There were great unexpected touches. A flamenco show was added late in the afternoon before we left Malaga. But overall, while we had a fine time, we expected a little more from such an expensive “luxury” cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
In all fairness, I will begin by the positive. One of the newer Seabourn vessels, the Encore is in great shape. Having sailed over 200 days on the line, many of the typical Seabourn standards were present right away at embarkation. ... Read More
In all fairness, I will begin by the positive. One of the newer Seabourn vessels, the Encore is in great shape. Having sailed over 200 days on the line, many of the typical Seabourn standards were present right away at embarkation. Walking through the hallways we were always greeted by the big smiles of the housekeeping staff who are always busy, busy, busy. The service in the main dining room was mostly perfect. The first "dancing under the stars" event was a blast as the departing CD really knows how to get a party started. The caviar sailaway to the music of live opera is always a treat. The service, however, was out of synch. With the exception of a handful of seasoned crew, the staff seemed inexperienced and we had many service issues, some minor, some unacceptable. We even had a confrontation with a server early on in the sailing that had us seeing things that we may have otherwise overlooked. I really do believe in the Seabourn brand, but will be taking a little break. I have 3 future cruises programmed, 2 of them are on a different line. Hopefully they will get it together before the next time we board. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Have been on Seabourn a few times and decided to take our grown up family on this trip What should have been a super holiday was let down somewhat by mediocre service. On our previous trips with the line this has been their strong suit but ... Read More
Have been on Seabourn a few times and decided to take our grown up family on this trip What should have been a super holiday was let down somewhat by mediocre service. On our previous trips with the line this has been their strong suit but not this time. We were on recently in October and it felt like being on a different ship. The restaurant staff are always polite but there was a sense of a lack of control and communication especially in the main dining areas. We had had slow service in the dining room and complained and things got better until the last night when it all fell apart again. Two of our party have food allergies and these just did not seem to be taken note of. On one occasion my wife was served a starter that could have made her very ill if she had not detected very quickly that one of the ingredients was the one she was allergic too. On our other cruises staff were always quick to get to know our name and our preferences but this did not happen on this one. Not all areas were poor some were very good such as Seabourn Square , Patio and the Sushi restaurant. Bar service was also first class especially in the observation lounge. Entertainment was excellent particularly the host dancers and crew performers and entertainment staff. The only thing we would suggest is some new shows are in order. Have seen the Tim Rice experience more than once! The casino was very well run and had a friendly vibe about it. Cabin service was absolutely superb. All in all frustrating as what should have been a great family holiday was let down by the less than impressive dining experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We sailed on the Encore last summer and looked forward to our next cruise this June. At every meal the featured meal involved pork whether carved or stewed. In general the food quality took a dive even in the dining room. If there is a ... Read More
We sailed on the Encore last summer and looked forward to our next cruise this June. At every meal the featured meal involved pork whether carved or stewed. In general the food quality took a dive even in the dining room. If there is a meat quality less than choice it seems like it was served. In the Collonade resturant the service was poor and often ran out of the food specialty of the evening. It is a failure when the food served in Keller, their specialty (one time per cruise) is better than the dining rooms food making a guest feel like for the cruise price, you are getting their parent Carnival’s cruise. The service on the cruise is still excellent especially beverage service on the pool decks. Room service was excellent and the caviar was available. In the dining rooms , quality seafood was absent unless it was ordered 48 in advance. The entertainment was above average for a small boat but the production shows were a repeat of last year with new performers who were good. The comedian was the same also. Lounge performers were good.. Since food quality is a major choice in picking a cruise, Regent, Oceania or Crystal has gotten back my attention . Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is ... Read More
I think we may have found the Goldilocks ship on this ten day cruise. This is, first of all, a beautifully decorated ship in every way, colors, designs, spaces are all lovely in a muted but sophisticated way. Kudos to whoever is responsible for this. I have probably been on twenty ships from a dozen different lines over the years and I cannot think of a better one. The ship is designed so that basically, all of the cabins are pretty much forward and all of the "activities" are aft. This way, there is nobody bouncing down your hall on the way to something 24/7. None of the cabins is far from some elevator. We were in 655 which was a "standard" balcony cabin on deck 6, but otherwise not at all "standard." While the actual size may be more or less the same as most other upscale ships, it seemed much larger and, for example, I know the bathroom was larger with separate full length tub and free standing shower and two sinks. Major storage everywhere, a pleasant seating area, fridge, dining table, balcony, furniture, set-ups etc. all of the first order. Most of the "white suit" crew was the usual array of east/west European although not exclusively. Every single member of the crew warranted five stars for attitude and graciousness. The area called Seabourn Square on Deck 7 served as the concierge area, as well as home of numerous newspapers, a coffee bar, internet points and just a pleasant place to be. Never any lines at the various concierge desks. The main pool deck is on 9, but we found a smaller haven on 5 aft with a pool, hot tubs and lounging chairs that was never crowded. There are sufficient bars on several decks and plenty of food when and where you want it. Thoughtful touches everywhere. Our little area 5 aft, for example, had its own little min fridge stocked with ice, soft drinks and, of course, anything you every wanted to order from "room service" which will deliver anywhere in the ship. The Observation Lounge forward on deck 10 is lovely and you never waited for more than two minutes for someone to show up for your drink order. Plenty of space in the outdoor areas and the Thomas Keller bar was a great place to relax before dinner. The Restaurant was never crowded and had no "bad" tables - you were also given the option to sit with fellow passengers or not at any meal. The Thomas Keller Restaurant on 8 had a superb menu - but I will follow anyone anywhere for a good Dover sole meuniere or a nice steak. You are guaranteed one sitting up there, but we managed three by hanging around the bar a lot and getting to know frequent Seabourn guests. Most guests on Seabourn are stuck on this line and never seem to go anywhere else. Many were on the cruise prior to ours and/or stayed on for the next 11 day cruise. We really didn't know how anyone could stand this kind of life without a coronary for more than the length of our cruise. All of the drinks, sodas etc. were top shelf. Secret: just because it is not formally listed as available, doesn't mean it isn't. This is a "can-do" kind of place and we found many wines by the glass that were available for the asking. The guests were of the elderly persuasion ( as am I), but there were a fair number of younger couples, families with teens and even a baby somewhere I heard of but never saw. Speaking of which, even though this ship was at capacity 600, you rarely saw more than a few dozen around except on deck 9 during the one ship day we had. The ports were sometimes interesting, sometimes, throwaways, and we were content to rent a scooter or electric car or similar many times on the smaller islands just to see the sights from a different perspective. We took no formal tours. Many of the guests rarely left the ship - this is the kind of ship you sail on because it is so pleasant to sit in the sun reading a book or snoozing on a deck lounger. My companion hit the spa for a massage and found it up to snuff. The exercise area looked nice and perfectly adequate although we did not partake. There is a small casino that was virtually empty at all times. OK, to preserve some credibility and to defer suspicion that I am a shill for Seabourn, I'll pick a couple of nits. Half the menu at the Restaurant never varied ( it was still quite good), but there could have been a little more variety on the other half. Many of the red wines by the glass (included) were, from my perspective, not up to snuff, but I gradually found several I liked "off" the list. The flat screen TV allowed only minimal controls ( ie. no CC) and bad volume ( even for those with good hearing like my companion) on several of the Movies/TV shows on demand - regular TV stations ( mostly news) were fine. The entertainment was nothing to write home about, but never is and we rarely even make the effort. And that's about it, folks. I guess you can say that we have drunk the Kool-Aid and will, in the future, limit our cruises (except with little kids) to Seabourn (not much for little kids to do on this ship). We went ahead and paid the deposit which comes with a 5 % discount on a future cruise or your money back. I expect we will not be getting our money back. Happy Trails. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Starting with the boarding on the ship. When we arrived at the harbour of Athens we were very friendly welcomed an taken care off. Checking in procedures were very smooth. It only took 3 minutes from our taxi to the ship. Than we entered ... Read More
Starting with the boarding on the ship. When we arrived at the harbour of Athens we were very friendly welcomed an taken care off. Checking in procedures were very smooth. It only took 3 minutes from our taxi to the ship. Than we entered our veranda suite on deck 7. We were pleasantly surprised by the size and the look and feel off the suite. A bathroom with a separate bath tub and shower. Enough room for our clothes and belongings. And a nice sitting area. Our stewardess came to introduce herself and during our trip she was very helpfull. The experience on board in the fullest sense of speaking was great. The attention off the staff, the quality off the food and the surroundings of the ship were magnificent. We are experienced and demanding world travelers and this experience belongs to the best we have ever seen. We liked it so much that we already booked another cruise with the Encore. The excursions were so-so. Some off them were great some of them not. The in-room dinning experience was also below what you might expect of it. Overall it definitely was great and as indicated allready we go for a next time. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I just returned from our 10 night cruise on the Seabourn Encore from Barcelona to Rome. I won't comment on the ports, but they were fabulous. This review will focus on Seabourn, the Encore, crew, service, dining and ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our 10 night cruise on the Seabourn Encore from Barcelona to Rome. I won't comment on the ports, but they were fabulous. This review will focus on Seabourn, the Encore, crew, service, dining and overall experience. We are avid cruisers who enjoy cruising the way it used to be before the mass market craze of the 80's starting to take flight. Seabourn Encore nails everything classic and amazing about cruising while incorporating that which is modern and relevant in 2017. From the moment we boarded - which was simple and painless - we knew we were embarking on something special. Being a new ship our first observations were how beautiful the Encore looked and how delicious she smelled. You can definitely smell the new and fresh fabrics - especially leathers. No doubt this beauty is a new ship! While boarding we were addressed by name and asked if there were any special occasions we would like to have acknowledged on board - this was indicative of service to follow. The ship is absolutely stunning and gorgeous. Those looking for the Vegas style glamour and glitz of mass market lines will be disappointed. This ship is more akin to a Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental hotel is design and décor. We were concerned that Encore being the largest ship in the Seabourn fleet that she would feel to large and crowded. Not at all!!! There are so many amazing public spaces to disappear, read a book, relax and have solitude. The ship never felt crowded. For a ship this size it is impressive that there is a mid ship and aft pool in addition to a forward spa - really unique! We found little surprises everywhere - i.e. self service drink and suntan lotion station at pools. The Retreat does seem to be a wasted space that could be used for something that could be appreciated by all passengers. It was seldom used. Dining was absolutely fantastic! Don't forget to order caviar whenever you feel like it! Seabourn did not miss a beat. The new Thomas Keller Grill is an amazing addition! Don't miss the New York Strip. The bar lounge and restaurant are wonderful. We were told this restaurant is supposed to be billed as a classic 1960's steak house. The pool grill, Colonnade, and restaurant never disappointed. Room service was flawless. One afternoon my wife and I wanted a club sandwich for lunch by the pool. The bar waiter heard us and ordered it through room service. Suites are beautifully appointed, with perhaps the brightest, most luxurious and functional bathrooms at sea. The standard Seabourn suites have bathrooms that are even better than the Regent Seven Seas Explorer in my opinion. The overall ambience is that of understated elegance. The passenger mix probably averaged 60's and 70's. We are in our late 40's. However, the passengers on board were generally very young at heart, fun, fashionable and came from many countries and walks of life. Not stuffy at all as some posters have suggested. What we didn't see were walkers, wheelchairs or cranky people on this particular sailing. Additionally, we noticed most passengers were very fit and active. We normally don't go to the shows. However, we did on this cruise as we became friendly with some of the entertainers. There were 4 singers and a ballroom duo for main production shows. All were amazing with fabulous voices and terrific dancers. We really enjoyed the shows. The observation bar, the Club and Thomas Keller lounge all had impressive entertainment including a duo, band and pianist/singer. I would be remiss if I did not comment on the most fantastic and impressive aspect of this cruise - the crew! Out of my 80+ cruises I have never experienced a more accommodating, warm, happy and outstanding crew as we had on the Encore. I cannot compliment the crew enough. Special recognition goes out to Roberto at Seabourn Square, Julie and Olga (baristas), our cabin stewardness Nash (she was incredible), Victoria (bartender in Observation) - she was beyond words, Carolina Perez (dining hostess) and of course Handre the world's best cruise director! I have never gotten off a cruise and remembered so many names of people who contributed to making our experience a very, very special one. Can't wait to go back on Encore. I certainly understand that reviews are just opinions and people are entitled to their own opinions. However, I really don't understand some of the negative reviews about Encore. We have our next Encore cruise booked. Kudos to Seabourn! Lastly, people often ask me if I like Crystal, Regent, Oceania, Silversea or Seabourn better. These are my favorite lines. At this time I will say Seabourn ranks high above the competition. Here's why in short. Regent forces shore excursions on you. We don't like paying for something we might not use. We don't enjoy being on buses with 60 people and usually arrange our own excursions. Because of this policy I think Regent also attracts more of a nursing home mentality crowd who enjoys everything being done for them. So Regent tends to attract passengers not quite as young at heart. That being said, we still cruise Regent on certain itineraries. Crystal is a wonderful product, but ships are old and a disaster. Certainly not up to par with newer more modern ships. I hope the upcoming renovations change things a bit. Crystal also relies heavily on Indonesian/Filipino crew in service positions. I personally preference the strongly European service crew on Seabourn who provide a level of service that is unparalleled. Just a different level of service and Seabourn pays their crew more for it. Oceania is a fabulous product with phenomenal food and gorgeous ships. I find service on Oceania to be indifferent and they sit somewhere between luxury and mass market. Having to show your key card every time you order a drink is a game changer in the wrong direction. Silversea is not quite as polished as Seabourn. Service is outstanding, but the quality of food and overall experience is just a little inferior to Seabourn. Lastly, if I had to find one area to criticize about Seabourn it would be horribly uncomfortable lounges. Seabourn has invested so much in their bedding. Why not do the same with lounges. Regent and Oceania win in the lounge department with comfy cushions and terry cloth covers with their logo - classy! Anyway, if you are contemplating Seabourn Encore - just do it! Amazing! Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We booked Owner's suite 701 having been told it was "subject to noise when anchoring". What we got nstead was and hour to an hour and a half of extremely loud banging, grinding, clanking and intense vibration. When we ... Read More
We booked Owner's suite 701 having been told it was "subject to noise when anchoring". What we got nstead was and hour to an hour and a half of extremely loud banging, grinding, clanking and intense vibration. When we reported this issue we were told that it was the thrusters not the anchor as the ship was not anchored and that we were to expect the same for the remainder of the cruise. We were also told that "at least" on our one sea day we could relax since the ship would not docked. That day we were woken to hammering and noise due to maintenance close to our suite. Even after complaining this went on for over one hour. It is clear to us that Seabourn sold us this suite with full knowledge of the existing problem and used deception to do so. Buyer beware that if you are going to reserve suite 701 and pay this much money you will subjected to a very stressful experience upon arrival at port and also departure which will make your vacation a very stressful one. Aside from this the Encore is understaffed, service is simply average and entertainment leaves a lot to be desired. We have been very disappointed overall with our experience with Seabourn and will not be sailing with them again. Seabourn is obviously only interested in making money without concern for providing their guests with the superior experience and service they advertise. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We have been switching back and forth between Seabourn and Silversea for the past few years hoping to once again find the level of quality that we experienced when first sailing with both lines several years ago. We had become ... Read More
We have been switching back and forth between Seabourn and Silversea for the past few years hoping to once again find the level of quality that we experienced when first sailing with both lines several years ago. We had become disappointed in recent years due to an overall declining experience (service, food, land tours) with both. We gave it one more try this year with the (new) Seabourn Encore. Our 10 day cruise began in Rome, then had ports of call at Amalfi, Sicily, Malta (2 ports), Corsica, Monaco, and Spain (ending in Barcelona). There was one weather glitch which forced the cancellation of the Bandol, France stop; but what are you going to do--can't fight the sea. The crew made this unscheduled sea day as nice as possible. All in all, Seabourn has put it back together in our opinion. Really nice ship, top service, great food (Michael Keller was excellent, and the sushi bar is a nice touch!), and some pretty cool land tours. We never felt as if there were upwards of 600 passengers on this ship; always plenty of 'space'; never had a wait at any restaurant; things felt peaceful on this ship. If you are into it, the fitness room is pretty decent; nice selection of machines, dumbbells up to 50 lbs. (more would be better, but...); plenty of aerobic equipment. Let's hope this is a permanent change for the better with Seabourn. We did not partake in the entertainment, hence my rating of average. We did however hear others indicate that (at least some of) the shows were pretty good. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were looking forward to 20 days in the Med on the Encore after our previous experiences on Seabourn's 200 and 400 ships -unfortunately the reviews we read prior to leaving home were true. There seems to have been a fundamental ... Read More
We were looking forward to 20 days in the Med on the Encore after our previous experiences on Seabourn's 200 and 400 ships -unfortunately the reviews we read prior to leaving home were true. There seems to have been a fundamental shift in Seabourn's strategy, target market and service - saving money where ever possible - time in ports, tendering and fewer staff ( advertised as 465 staff in actual fact 416). We were told by one crew member we we're on a "family " cruise -haven't seen that in the brochures! Ship design is great as a hotel but not as a supposed single class ship.The pool area a total joke the pool is tiny and quite insufficient for 600 passengers. Really only good for standing still and dare not make any ripples in case you disturb the standing readers. Pool chairs booked early with towels like a cheap European beach -staff wont do anything about it despite there being clear guidelines. After 2 days we didn't even go to the pool. The Retreat, a massive area on the top deck, is a mere $350 US a day !!! Always empty apart from -we were told by one senior officer- complementary to people who "provide constructive feedback"; which translated means complain and you can use it. But who would want to? A series of cabanas with loungers each with TV, champagne all day and personalised service. So whats the attraction?! You can have all hat anywhere in the ship! The Retreat is a shocking waste of space - enlarge the main pool area and turn the retreat a patio dining area. Staff seem hugely over worked. Some returnees but many new, many of whom are somewhat unprofessional and wouldn't have been let near a Seabourn ship in the past: terribly slow and forgetful service, lack of ability to understand their customers needs. Even the cruise director seemed rushed The Restaurant is a great design but too small -only seats 350 ( other ships can seat almost, if not all passengers). Seabourn Square still a really nice area as is Colonnade and particularity good being able to use the outside area on level 8 for breakfast and lunch. Shame not also available for dinners when the Patio closed as was too busy and had to wait for a table Once you scratch the surface even senior officers agree there is a real problem -not one person we spoke to in 20 days who had cruised with Seabourn before would go on Encore again. In summary really disappointing staff quality and ratio resulting in poorer service, a huge area badly utilised and a pool far too small for the size of the ship. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Our fourth Seabourn cruise, reflecting our opinion that Seabourn is the finest line around today, How to judge the new Encore? Against other lines and ships, or against Seabourn's other, somewhat smaller vessels and extremely high ... Read More
Our fourth Seabourn cruise, reflecting our opinion that Seabourn is the finest line around today, How to judge the new Encore? Against other lines and ships, or against Seabourn's other, somewhat smaller vessels and extremely high standards? Both. Brief background: my spouse and I have been crossing and cruising for over 50 years, since we were kids. Many ships, many lines, many years. Overall, it doesn't get better than this. Ship: absolutely stunning. Encore follows the design and locational conventions of Seabourn's other ships, but with one additional deck, all-veranda suites (didn't mind the picture-windows), and larger public rooms. The decor features more wood and softer tones. Bravo, Adam Tihany - whose name is featured in all the advertising. "Cabin": Our party had two suites - one Penthouse and one Veranda. The Penthouse Suites are spacious and larger than those on other Seabourn ships - ample for two and liveable for three (a few take three passengers). Veranda Suites are a bit larger than other Seabourn ships. Both feature furnished verandas, fully stocked / restocked fridges, tubs (whirlpool in the Penthouse), marbled bathrooms ... the brochures / website will tell you more. Suites of all types are perfectly maintained. Veranda suites on the lowest deck have part-metal railings, which don't interfere much but reduce the fare a bit. Dining: The (regular) Restaurant is very handsome, and more attractive than the well-decorated Restaurants on the other ships. Tables for two, four, six, a dozen ... just ask. On this voyage, there seemed to be fewer invitations to dine with a staff member / entertainer; too bad; perhaps they were busier on the new ship. Cuisine in the Restaurant varies from very good to superb, with daily "specials" backed up by always-available menu items. Feel free to ask for two desserts, or two appys, or any combination of anything. Dishes are all prepared a la minute - no steam tables and reheating here! The free wines are sometimes good, sometimes adequate, and always described in detail: taste and see if you like it; if not, there are other free options, or the fairly-priced winelist (except for a few extravagant vintages). The Colonnade buffets for breakfast are excellent, and supplemented by on-request dishes. Lunches are themed, but also have recurring items - something for every taste. The Thomas Keller Grill is a reservations-only alternative dining venue (no extra charge) featuring mostly nice steaks and chops and excellent (proper) Caesar Salad prepped tableside. Yet, the food (except for the Caesar) isn't much better than the Restaurant, and the service is not too smooth. Reserve and do it once, and get the Salad, but don't expect The French Laundry at sea. The Keller-"inspired" dishes in the Restaurant are more interesting. Service: Always a Seabourn strong point. The hotel staff are uniformly pleasant and helpful. They really can anticipate your desires. However, Encore had a large proportion of new hires, who were friendly and earnest but not quite as skillful as the veterans. On the smaller ships, the wait staff knew your name on the second or third day out, and what you liked to eat and drink. On Encore, there was somewhat less of that familiarity due to the increased number of passengers. Seabourn offers the finest service afloat, even if Encore isn't yet at the top of its game. Entertainment: A mixed bag, as on prior voyages. The Cruise Director, whom we knew from a prior voyage, was marvelous. The resident "Seabourn Singers and Dancers" were fine. The guest artists were a bit of a letdown. Better to go up to the Observation Bar after dinner or the "show" and enjoy the piano and vocals. Ports: Embarcation and Disembarcation were amazingly efficient. Took us maybe 10 minutes to check in; more staff at dockside than there were passengers. Many tender ports on this trip; well-handled. Rough seas prevented us from making Amalfi ... so the Captain re-routed to Sorrento where all of the tour buses were waiting for us. Shore excursions from the ship are not inexpensive, but very good. At Malta, we had the curator of the megalithic temple walk us through an unexcavated site ("I have only been in here about 10 times myself. We won't explore it for another 50 years. Please don't pick up any rocks.") Fellow Passengers: Convivial, well-traveled, interesting, and less than half Americans. Though Seabourn is a sophisticated experience, there were some children (say 7 to 12) who were well-behaved and happy. In the summer, one sees a younger crowd. Not really. There is never, ever a crowd or a line on Seabourn. Else: The Retreat is a reserve-only, extra-cost option. Book a cabana for the day, relax in the shade around a hot tub, ignore CNN on the wide-screen tv, and have the staff beg to bring you more champagne. One of the few extra-cost options on board, but worth it. If you have a sea day, here is the place to spend it. Tipping really is not expected. The staff are fairly-compensated, dedicated, and enjoy helping you have a good time. (We do tip the suite stewardess and selected waitstaff.) "Would you go again?" Yes, definitely, though I'd consider one of the smaller ships. Put down a refundable deposit while on board (don't have to choose a cruise) and get a discount when you book. Most passengers do. This is a luxury line at a premium price, but worth it. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I have never written a review before. We checked in to our Winter Garden suite which was very nice. Overall the ship was beautiful and general staff were great.The problems were with the hotel management. It was comical. We had to eat ... Read More
I have never written a review before. We checked in to our Winter Garden suite which was very nice. Overall the ship was beautiful and general staff were great.The problems were with the hotel management. It was comical. We had to eat dinner by 9pm in European summertime while its still daylight outside. My wife made several attempts to make appointments with nail technicians and hairdressers to be told the only appointments available were in the evening around 8pm therefore we had to eat dinner in our room as she finished at 9pm.We could not get a booking into any of the restaurants when we wanted to. Because of this we ate room service for several nights a row. We went to the cruise guest services for assistance and to voice our dismay. So they made a booking in Thomas Keller restaurant for three nights later. When we arrived at the restaurant we were told we had no reservation. This was very upsetting whilst embarrassing and humiliating. It was the last straw for us. We disembarked the cruise at the next port three days before the end of the cruise. After speaking to the Service Manager on several occasions the first time we saw the Hotel Director was on the morning of our disembarkation. A bit late. Entertainment was designed for 65 to 85 year olds with no atmosphere for any other age group of which there were many. The ship is hopelessly understaffed. With such a beautiful ship and the money we spent we expected some priority with reservations or at least a coordinator to help. We have been on many cruises before and have never had a problem with the management style before. It feels as the ship is run for their convenience not the guests. I'm sorry to say Seaborne Encore was a very disappointing experience. Never again. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We choose this cruise because of ports and timing. From the very beginning we experienced a "bait and switch" operation that iwas littered with Nickle/Dime items. Brochures offer a 3 cabin upgrade yet none were available upon ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of ports and timing. From the very beginning we experienced a "bait and switch" operation that iwas littered with Nickle/Dime items. Brochures offer a 3 cabin upgrade yet none were available upon booking; a month before the cruise I received an upsell for the same upgrade at $1000 per passenger. The ships tenders as much as possible to save port fees and offers no shuttles in large ports.Ships depart early to save $. The captain changed a port saying that there was bad weather, but the internet proved otherwise. Suites are the best part of the ship with well lit spaces, The bathrooms are well designed, and nicely appointed. There is an abundance of electrical outlets throughout the suite, both 110 and 220. Internet is the usual slow at sea , but not really terrible. Seabourn is the only line that does not give passengers free time. Service ran from poor at pool side to slow everywhere. It would take a minimum of 20 minutes to get bar service, and the nuts served at the bar were peanuts. Entertainment is mediocre. The Seabourn singers/dancers are fine; it is the other entertainment that is pitiful. As one passenger said to me regarding the juggler/balloon maker, "he would not get an audition on Crystal". Therewas little t no activity during the day except sitting at the overcrowded pool with thin deck chairs There is no outdoor walking deck. The spa is adequate. It was the food that puts this line below the luxury group. We dined at all the venues, and found TK to be the best and it mimes a steakhouse with Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, steaks, veal chops, creamed spinach, etc.The waiters make a big deal that they only serve the heart of the romaine in the Caesar salad however the outer leaves are the base of the Caesar salad at the remaining restaurants. Just another example of the nickle/dime approach to food on Seabourn. The food in the Collonade was poorly seasoned to say the least, The salad bar was repetitive with frozen corn, frozen green peas, chick peas and cukes appearing in a multitude of salads. Stone fruits at breakfast and pineapple are hard as a rock, and most melons tasteless.Danish are tasty and the muffins bad beyond belief. What remains of the breakfast fruit becomes the fruit salad served at every venue. We ate once at the Sushi restaurant and Nobu has no worries. Every evening the patio is open for a light dinner with a limited menu. . We found the coffee on the ship to be adequate and the coffee drinks served at the Seabourn square to be "forte" All in all we agreed with so many passengers that Seabourn is really Seamediocre and there is no value We met many loyal Seabourn cruisers of years past that were appalled at the decline. Guess this is just Carnival on steroids. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We were so looking forward to sailing on the new ship as wehave done countless seabourn cruises, it's a beautiful ship but they are obviously cutting back, they did not have the staff to attend to customer needs and so the service was ... Read More
We were so looking forward to sailing on the new ship as wehave done countless seabourn cruises, it's a beautiful ship but they are obviously cutting back, they did not have the staff to attend to customer needs and so the service was apppaling in all areas, there were 6 of us onboard and all seabourn previous customers and not only we felt this but others did as well The pool area was like club med and you could never get a seat as people would put there towels down at 7 am and they were never removed, also people would walk in the ommo areas and the pool with their drinks, why when you can get a drink anywhere on this ship Bar areas you would wait 20 min for a drink and cabins not serviced well Seabourn lift you game as this was a major dissapointment and we will not sail on this ship again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
After trying Holland America, Crystal and Silversea, we were a little hesitant to try Seabourn since our expectations weren't met on previous cruises. We were most pleasantly surprised by the service, the accommodations and most ... Read More
After trying Holland America, Crystal and Silversea, we were a little hesitant to try Seabourn since our expectations weren't met on previous cruises. We were most pleasantly surprised by the service, the accommodations and most importantly the food! Since Encore is a new ship there was no wear and tear in any of the public spaces or the beautiful Grand Wintergarden Suite. Since this was our first time on Seabourn Cruise Line we had no previous experience with which to compare so everything was a "first" for us. The public spaces were beautifully decorated; muted tones and no ostentatious glitter. Each time we used any of the lounges or the Seabourn Square there was never a feeling of crowds, which is important to us. We completely splurged and booked the Wintergarden Suite with the addition of the adjoining View Cabin for our adult daughter who was traveling with us. Our friend was also traveling with us in an Owner's Suite, so we used our cabin for meeting for appetizers before dinners. The cabin is designed so beautifully with space enough for two families! The bathroom was extravagant for a ship cabin; the tub being the highlight for me (arthritis problems melted away). The shower was large enough for my husband to move around comfortably (body bulder for many years) and there was so much space for our toiletries. The exciting part of the cabin was definitely the Jacuzzi tub on the closed-in deck. We used it a couple of times and found it to be a perfect place to relax after a strenuous excursion. We had our first meal in the Thomas Keller Restaurant which was a 5 star experience. The service was good (we did ask for our own choice of wines) and the evening was a perfect way to kick off the week. I had fish, my husband had chicken and our companions had beef and a vegetarian option. All food was cooked to perfection and the choices were adequate. You must have the sundae! What a splurge on calories, but so worth it ;) We also frequented the Colonnade; our favorite casual meal, although there was nothing "casual" about the food. Again, 5 star food in a buffet setting, amazing! The Patio Grill was another wonderful venue with food selection limited but delicious. We had another great meal in the Sushi Restaurant with some very innovative dishes served. The service in all dining venues was exemplary. I can't comment on the entertainment since we were exhausted most days and chose to get some sleep for the next day's activities. My husband did, however, frequent the Casino where he had a marvelous time meeting and chatting and playing with fellow guests. This was the only place on the entire ship that could have used some help; the couple running the Casino were less than agreeable and there were a few incidences while on board with a few disgruntled guests leaving. We went on 4 different excursions and while they were fun and informative, I found them to be not as dynamic as the excursions we have taken on Crystal. Also, there was usually at least 30 people on each excursion (usually more) and large buses were used; we preferred the small 10 - 12 person excursions Crystal arranged. It did not deter us from having fun with other guests and getting to know them while on tour, however. We did arrange for our own driver when we arrived in Amalfi, choosing to go where we wanted when we wanted and driving down to Positano (our favorite) and having a meal on the beach. In summary, this was our favorite cruise to date. The people on the ship, while very affluent and well-heeled, were the warmest and friendliest we have ever encountered on any ship and we made some very nice new friends. We could have chosen to focus on the very minor problems; our cabin stewardess was not well trained and we found out that there was a problem with visas for some crew members before our sailing so we had some crew who were not trained as properly as they should have been. The chaise lounge on the deck was constantly drenched each morning due to a design flaw; we were one floor down from pool deck so each morning the water from washing the deck would wet our deck and furniture. The stewardess was supposed to pull back the lounge pad each evening, but she was not trained to do this. It made for a soggy morning on the deck, but I used towels and sopped it up myself. We did complain to the Guest Relations Manager and he was very concerned and gave us onboard credit. I found all officers on board to be so accommodating and genuinely concerned about our experience. It made us feel as though we were a valued guest. We are already looking into our next cruise with Seabourn and hope it will live up to our expectations once again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Almost Perfection. Missing the laundromat, expanded sushi menu, longer swimming pool or endless pool to swim laps, and more than one night at the TK grill. Colonnade was an improvement over their smaller ships, the retreat was not ... Read More
Almost Perfection. Missing the laundromat, expanded sushi menu, longer swimming pool or endless pool to swim laps, and more than one night at the TK grill. Colonnade was an improvement over their smaller ships, the retreat was not utilized, Food was the best ever on any other ships (crystal, Celebrity, Cunard, Princess, Holland America, Windstar). Ship was spotless, service was flawless, Ports were great, tender service was a bit slow due to some long tender runs. Larger fitness area with more equipment was perfect. The ship is beautiful, morning coffee and pastries in the observation lounge for early risers was greatly appreciated. Now if they only could control the weather........ it was unusually hot 105-110F during the cruise which wiped you out after shore excursions, The pools were more like dunking spots filled with passengers after the excursions. AC in the ship worked great and provided relief from the heat. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first cruise ever so we did not know what to expect. Seabourn Encore more than lived up to our expectations. The ship is beautiful in an understated way, it is simple to be negotiate and never felt crowded or noisy. Our ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever so we did not know what to expect. Seabourn Encore more than lived up to our expectations. The ship is beautiful in an understated way, it is simple to be negotiate and never felt crowded or noisy. Our veranda suite on deck 7 was comfortable, a little more spacious than expected and very well designed with plenty of storage space and a lovely bathroom.The bed and pillows were very good quality and comfortable. All the staff were friendly and did their very best to make us feel pampered and welcome. Service was generally top notch, give or take the odd forgotten coffee order in the Colonnade at lunchtime, but we understood that everyone was really trying their best and relaxed into our holiday mode. Everyone we met on board, including the guests were respectful, quiet and polite. We enjoyed being able to sit where we liked to eat and loved the open air restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it was very special! The food choices were incredible! We preferred to eat breakfast and lunch at the Colonnade where the buffet choice was outstanding in quality and range. We tried the restaurant a few times, which was very good indeed and one night we ate at Thomas Keller where we loved the steak but felt maybe it was a bit overhyped or we expected too much! The entertainment suited us, it was low key and we liked that, we dipped in and out of the short shows. The party night on deck was great fun and a very nice memory, however we would have liked the opportunity for some ballroom dancing and the dance floor in the club is very small. The casino on this deck feels a bit intrusive especially when there are few people in the night club and is clearly there just to make money. We found plenty of relaxing places around the ship to read and spend quiet time, although the pool deck was busier we always found a lounger. We could not understand the concept of the retreat, it seemed a wasted space and a bit divisive in such a ship, we did not see anyone there and would never pay 350 dollars to sit there. We liked the fact that we visited small places where there were few other cruise ships and we liked the tender journey ashore. Overall we enjoyed the varied itinerary although the port of Brindisi was horrid and ugly so we were glad we had arranged a trip. Our cruise would have been absolutely perfect if the WIFI had either worked well or been free of charge...it was rubbish! I also looked forward to the advertised yoga on deck but there was only Pilates in a small claustrophobic room which really was not very good, so that was a disappointment, partially made up for by the excellent gym facilities. A few very minor issues well but worth a 5 star rating and we will travel with Seabourn again when hopefully we can dance and do some yoga!!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We liked our previous Seabourn cruise and wanted to go on their newest ship. Embarkation went smoothly due in part to using the smaller World Trade Centre terminal. Enjoyed lunch in the Collinade until our suite was ready. Pleasantly ... Read More
We liked our previous Seabourn cruise and wanted to go on their newest ship. Embarkation went smoothly due in part to using the smaller World Trade Centre terminal. Enjoyed lunch in the Collinade until our suite was ready. Pleasantly surprised on entering the suite to see that our special beverage requests were there and the our lady responsible for the suite available for a full tour. There were one or two minor things she wanted to explain to make us more comfortable. She was excellent throughout our stay doing something different everyday to make it more personal. The layout of the ship is similar to the Odyssey, our previous ship, except for the extra deck for the Retreat, a private facility for a day charge of $350 or so. A little surprising for an all inclusive cruise. Looked around this one day but no one was there. I initially booked a suite on the eighth deck aft but upgraded it later to suite 853 to be more conveniently located. Previously tried to upgrade to the 9th deck (pool) for the same category but none available. Unfortunately 853 connects with another and you could hear normal conversations. Poor insulation. More disturbing was the noise above from the pool chairs/tables which were moved around at 6am everyday. Complained to guest relations for two days running. The noise was even louder when they had to clear the deck for a special event but this was at 4pm. We also had a rattling problem wth the veranda divider but this was sorted quickly. Notwithstanding, we enjoyed the cruise. Restaurants/bars/service excellent except The Grill which is overrated and The Grill themed nights in the Colonnade were a waste of time. Disembarkation was chaotic with passengers being directed in the wrong direction. On our next Seabourn cruise I will avoid connecting suites and below the pool deck ! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our week on board Seabourn Encore. The ship is so beautiful in its design and comfort. I will try to be brief in each of my categories. Decks: We have never gone on Seabourn before so the smaller ... Read More
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our week on board Seabourn Encore. The ship is so beautiful in its design and comfort. I will try to be brief in each of my categories. Decks: We have never gone on Seabourn before so the smaller ship was a benefit but had some drawbacks. Yes it doesn't have all the glitz of the huge cruise ships like Royal but at the same time, Encore has everything you might need while sailing the Med. The 3 decks with whirlpools (2 with pools) was great as we used mainly deck 5 and 7 instead of the big pool deck on 9 as they were a lot less crowded. Deck 7 is on the front of the ship and there isn't any real shade. A walking track would have been nice but we made due around deck 10. Overall we enjoyed the smaller ship with fewer people. It never really felt crowded except for the deck dance party but that was totally fine. Restaurants: We ate at every restaurant on the ship and found them all to be excellent. My husband didn't care for one appetizer but that was it. We ate at Thomas Keller and it was quite good. I had expected a more tasting menu with more than normal courses but it was just appetizer, entree, dessert. My husband's rib eye was incredible. I will say the dessert choices were lacking there. The Patio on the pool deck was a very nice place to have lunch. We didn't make it to dinner there but the hamburger and fries were so good there. I highly recommend. The Colonnade had many choices and we ended up eating breakfast there all but one day and lunch a couple times. I like that there was themes so it wasn't the same buffet setup each day. I really liked that there was an exotic fruit each morning to try like dragon fruit. We liked going there for breakfast bc you could choose from the buffet but also order eggs, pancakes, french toast as well. The Restaurant had the same menu but there you couldn't choose the fruit or cheeses, it was selected for you. I would have liked that the Restaurant would have had a specialty breakfast menu each morning that was different from the Colonnade. I liked that when we sailed with Royal. Try the Sushi restaurant for both lunch and dinner! It is small but we never had to wait. Lunch is bento box style so everything is cooked and it was excellent. Dinner is all sushi and sashimi and you can watch the chef prepare it. I never feel like I get full when we order sushi eating out but here I could order as much as I liked and try it all! You can special order things but it needs to be done ahead of time so the chefs can be ready. I wanted a steamed artichoke so I did mention it one night and had it the next. The coffee bar on deck 7 was a nice place to hang out as well. I loved having macaroons after dinner with a latte before the show. Service: I really thought the staff on board Encore were excellent. Yes my drink order on the patio during the party was forgotten but it didn't ruin my evening. I didn't mind going up to the bar myself and ordering. I will say I am sold on the all inclusive that Seabourn offers. I hated carrying around my ship card on other cruises and having to hand it over for every drink I ordered even if we had the drink package. It was so nice to order a drink and it come and it be that simple. I did say in my survey I sent Seabourn that there needs to be more drink service on the other pool decks more frequently. It is a ways away from the open bars during the day, especially the whirlpool deck on 7. There are mini fridges with water and soda but having a fruity drink or a cold beer more often would have been better. I did walk all the way to the patio bar a few times if I was really thirsty but I'm young and it doesn't bother me but I know the older more refined crowd were pretty annoyed at times. We had one dinner with super slow service but we weren't in a rush so we just enjoyed our wine. None of the staff have their home countries and I liked that because it gave us a chance to ask and get to know them a little better. Entertainment: We really enjoyed the Seabourn singers! They put on 2 really good shows. The comedian was funny but it helps to have a few drinks in you first. The flute player was a bit odd but she was very good, just not our taste for entertainment. I liked that they had trivia a few days. There really isn't much going on during the day like other larger ships but we liked sitting on deck 5 at the back of the ship reading and going in the pool or whirlpool. There was shade there so that was nice when I was done with the sun. I know there's more to say but I'm sure others will comment. We are truly spoiled now that we've been on Seabourn. I don't see how we go back to any other cruise line unless it's Disney or a huge ship with too much to see and do. Was it perfect no, but was it one of the best trips we've taken - yes! Maybe we aren't as 'refined' and used to fancy things as some of the other more well traveled guests but we really enjoyed ourselves.s Read Less
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 3.4

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