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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Having tried Seabourn's Odyssey last December in the Caribbean, we were blown away by how fabulous it was. We like sea days, and decided to try the Sojourn's 18 day LA-Hawaii-Tahiti cruise. We had some trepidation, because we ... Read More
Having tried Seabourn's Odyssey last December in the Caribbean, we were blown away by how fabulous it was. We like sea days, and decided to try the Sojourn's 18 day LA-Hawaii-Tahiti cruise. We had some trepidation, because we thought our wonderful experience the first time around might have been a one-off. No worries. This was even better. This talented crew knocks themselves out for you. They want nothing more than to please you. Food, service, attention to detail, you name it. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give them a 22. It's difficult to believe a trip could be this good. Officers and cruise staff that remember your name from the very first day; interesting lectures (retired chief engineer of the space shuttle, as an example); Food and Beverage officers and staff that can't do enough for you; and the list goes on. You can't walk 10 feet without someone offering you champagne or a drink. Truly delicious food, the best we've ever had at sea, and with only 450 passengers we thought it rivaled fine restaurants ashore. We can't imagine ever taking another cruise line, and we're already booked on the Odyssey's Caribbean/transatlantic in March/April 2019. Kudos and high fives all around to Seabourn and the staff onboard the Sojourn Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
The luxury cruises seemed to provide a great deal of value for the money. Yes, they are more expensive, but with different amenities for different lines, you can get a price you want and the included tipping and drinks and other amenities ... Read More
The luxury cruises seemed to provide a great deal of value for the money. Yes, they are more expensive, but with different amenities for different lines, you can get a price you want and the included tipping and drinks and other amenities are super! Seabourn could improve laundry! We get a bag a day on Holland America but on a luxury cruise we don’t? They are super about all the amenities and the service is exquisite! I do not eat heavy meals but like to snack throughout the day, I found they had excellent food at meal times but there wasn’t much to snack on between times. The tours were decent, we prefer not to be on a coach (bus) so much. The people on Seabourn are a bit older so there don’t seem to be a lot of super active shore excursions. I’d say the age range is similar to Holland America. Loved it tons and headed for another one soon! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
It has been a little over 2 months since we disembarked from a perfect Seabourn Sojourn cruise. From Opera Night, complete with extraordinary Mardi Gras masks provided at dinner, daily trivia competitions, and to a spectacular Halloween ... Read More
It has been a little over 2 months since we disembarked from a perfect Seabourn Sojourn cruise. From Opera Night, complete with extraordinary Mardi Gras masks provided at dinner, daily trivia competitions, and to a spectacular Halloween party (just to mention a few highlights) the memories just keep flooding in. But aside from those special events, there was one that will never be forgotten. Our Captain announced that the night was to be a clear one and because of that, he was turning all lights off on the top deck at 11PM. Those of us who found our way into the dark were welcomed to fully flat lounge chairs with blankets and hot drinks. We all rested back and enjoyed the most spectacular view on earth. The sky, as promised by the Captain, was blessed with dozens of shooting stars. There are no words that can express that once-in-a-lifetime experience. THANK YOU, SEABOURN! We look forward to coming home to you again. Hopefully, in the very near future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Overall, we had a great cruise through the Panama Canal on Seabourn Odyssey. Foreign trips are never perfect, and this one was not. But we found much to praise and little to criticize on Odyssey. We left Los Angeles on Jan. 6th, and spent ... Read More
Overall, we had a great cruise through the Panama Canal on Seabourn Odyssey. Foreign trips are never perfect, and this one was not. But we found much to praise and little to criticize on Odyssey. We left Los Angeles on Jan. 6th, and spent a day each in Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas, Puerto Quetzal, Puntarenas, Portobelo and Cartagena. We spent a long day going through the Panama Canal. There were nine sea days, and we arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 24th. Arrival and departure were quick. At the Port of Los Angeles, even though I didn't request it, I was immediately provided a wheelchair because I don't walk very well. We boarded and were seated in the lunch buffet in about 30 minutes. We sailed on Odyssey a year ago and were anxious to look for changes. We didn't see many. The ship is wonderfully maintained, the bathrooms look new, the staterooms and hallways are picking up a few scratches, but most everything worked well, including the air conditioning, which was very important on this warm weather cruise. We were in Suite 631. The staff remains personable and helpful, although many are new because of Seabourn's expansion. Service was frequently good, but sometimes slow and disorganized. The suite stewardess Marcela was great. The ship sailed about 25 people short of its 450 guest capacity. There was never a problem with crowding or lines. The food was often wonderful. The beef, fish, lamb, shrimp, pasta and desserts were fabulous, in our opinion. The wine isn't $50 a bottle wine, but it was just fine. There were nice touches. We didn't know about a dinner of fresh snapper, the fish having been purchased ashore by the chef the previous day. When we mentioned that, the restaurant staff immediately told us we should return the next night and they would arrange a special snapper dinner for us, which they did. Several times, restaurant staff offered second helpings when we mentioned how good the main course was. There were some misses. A Mexican-theme dinner just didn't pass muster. The breakfast buffet does not vary from day to day. How about some different sausages? And what passes for hash brown potatoes is an embarrassment—a frozen patty that would be served in a school cafeteria. Use real potatoes for gosh sakes. Seabourn touts its dishes by the famous chef Thomas Keller. Some are good, others pretty far out. Seabourn should concentrate on less edgy recipes. Other misses centered on the distribution of information. The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk or couldn't hear it, 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 could fill in the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. In fact, the TV was poorly utilized on this and our previous cruise. The TV even broke down completely a couple times. A local narrator was provided for commentary through the Panama Canal, but in parts of the ship where people gathered you could not hear him. Shore excursions were perhaps not quite so overpriced as we've encountered on previous cruises. The guides were consistently good. The ship could have done more to help us in certain ports. In Cartagena we could have used a regular shuttle into the main town square. In Portobelo, we could have used a full day instead of a partial day. Arriving in Fort Lauderdale, misinformation was given about taxis and cost of ground transportation. They failed to mention the economical alternative of Uber. This review would not be complete without mentioning the Seabourn policy of including beverages in your fare. It would be natural to try to scrimp, but the waiters were always anxious to bring you another or fill your glass. The cocktails were first rate. I tried to stump them by asking for Drambuie. They brought it to us in about one minute. Read Less
65 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have just completed a 20 day cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey (March 21-April 10, 2016). This was our first Seabourn experience; all of our other recent cruises have been on Crystal. So this assessment is a comparison of our Seabourn ... Read More
We have just completed a 20 day cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey (March 21-April 10, 2016). This was our first Seabourn experience; all of our other recent cruises have been on Crystal. So this assessment is a comparison of our Seabourn and Crystal cruise experiences. Bottom Line Both Seabourn and Crystal are deserving of their six star rating and each has specific advantages and disadvantages. So booking decisions will be dependent on which features are most important to individual passengers and, of course, the dates and itineraries of cruises offered by the carriers. Our impressions are below. Smoking Policy Seabourn permits smoking on verandas; Crystal does not. So if one is unfortunate enough to have their verandas polluted by second hand smoke from adjoining cabins, then this policy is important, if not deal breaking. So non-smokers offended by second hand smoke might want to take this into consideration before booking Seabourn. Cabin We booked veranda suite 620, which was definitely superior to similar cabin categories on Crystal. The cabin featured a separate walk-in shower, a narrow but very well designed walk-in closet, more than adequate storage space, a table and chairs perfect for in-room dining, and a very comfortable veranda. Significant advantage for Seabourn. Passenger Service Both Seabourn and Crystal provide excellent service but Seabourn seemed considerably better. Seabourn is excellent at knowing passenger names and they are superb in responding to requests. On two occasions when returning from excursions, we were greeted by a large contingent of Seabourn employees and we were announced by name as we boarded by a person with no notes or apparent aids. He knew all of us by name. Extraordinary. In fact, we were routinely greeted by name by a significant number of employees. Further, the Seabourn Square center for passenger services is far superior to the front desk on Crystal. First impressions, however are a Crystal advantage. Seabourn has nothing like Crystal's imposing central court. Dining The Thomas Keller influence gives Seabourn a significant advantage in the main dining room.  The Pacific Yellowtail Crudo  served on March 26 and the California White Sturgeon Caviar on April 3 were especially memorable appetizers.  Service attentiveness, the quality and variety of offerings, and attention to detail were always superb.  And a soufflé was on the menu every night for desert.   However, our experience suggests that the Prego and Silk Road specialty restaurants on Crystal are superior, far superior, to Seabourn's Restaurant 2. The carpaccio at Prego, as just one example, is a preparation and presentation extravaganza. Nobu's influence at Silk Road assures both very high quality and uniqueness. While the signature small plate menu at Restaurant 2 is interesting, the food quality and preparation seemed no better than that of the main dining room. On March 28, we dined with friends at Restaurant 2 and we found the service quality and attention to detail were less than we were used to in the main dining room or at Crystal's specialty restaurants. For example, while the menu clearly called for both a white and red wine pairing, only one wine glass was part of each place setting at our table for four. The wine steward tried to introduce the Stag's Leap house Chardonnay as the featured white wine, but after we requested alternatives, he took our order and disappeared. It took a pointed complaint to our waiter to get two wine glasses at each place setting and our requested wine. This is unacceptable, especially in Seabourn's premier dining room. We did not return to Restaurant 2 for the remainder of the cruise. The poolside Patio Grill on Seabourn had a better selection than the poolside restaurant on Crystal. However, the lunch buffet of the Lido cafe on Crystal was generally, but not always, better in both quality and selection to that of the Colonnade on Seabourn. Internet Seabourn charges for wi-fi but Crystal provides one free hour per passenger per day. It cost over $300 extra for Seabourn wifi access on this cruise. Wifi access is important to us as, it must be to many others. Come on Seabourn, this is the 21st Century. Spa The spacious Crystal spas, especially the one on the Crystal Symphony, suited our needs better than the combination of the changing room and Serene area on the Seabourn Odyssey. When we are at sea, we do a workout in the fitness center and then like to use the steam room and shower before lunch. And I like to shave. The Crystal spas have razors and shaving cream plus a hair dryer. The men's facilities on Seabourn do not. Although use of the very small changing area/steam room/showers on Seabourn is free, the Serene area facilities cost $35 per passenger per visit. (Crystal does not have the same kind of "serene" area but does not charge extra for use of the spa.) After complaining about this extra charge prior to sailing, Seabourn provided seven free visits for each of us. However, other than the days we had massages, we did not use the Serene area. It is a lovely area to relax, but little more. Liquor and drinks. Seabourn seems to have a somewhat higher quality liquor selection in the bars. They also place a bottle of liquor of choice in all cabins. Crystal only does this at the suite level (but they do provide in room wine and beer in all cabin categories). However, the first list of available liquors sent pre-cruise by Seabourn was of mediocre quality at best. After I complained, they sent an expanded list of much higher quality. One wonders why they failed to send the higher quality list initially. The basic wine selection at dinner seems to be about equal between Seabourn and Crystal as is the premium wine selection. Entertainment The Seabourn Odyssey is a smaller ship with half the passengers, so it is understandable that the entertainment would be less elaborate. It was usually limited to one or two very talented people. However, Crystal has an entertainment ensemble, featuring a troop of extraordinary singers and dancers. Advantage Crystal. TV on Seabourn seems to be more oriented toward European channels than Crystal. For example, the major networks, CNN and ESPN are not carried (but the NCAA basketball semis and finals were shown). Seabourn does include MSNBC and CNBC. Seabourn has a large selection of in movies available on the cabin TV, but it does not have an on-board movie theater. Crystal does. Seabourn had an "opera under the stars" night on April 4. It was delightful. Other Most of the other features, such as excursions, guest speakers, massage and salon therapists, etc. are individual cruise dependent and generally about equal. Seabourn has a caviar and champaign event in (not next to, IN) the main swimming pool. In fact, caviar and champaign are ubiquitous onboard Seabourn. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I love Seabourn...it is the only cruise line I will sail.....We went Los Angeles to Athens....my first transatlantic....Loved it....I try to cruise 5-6 months out of the year. The crew is great....cabins on Odyssey are a getting a ... Read More
I love Seabourn...it is the only cruise line I will sail.....We went Los Angeles to Athens....my first transatlantic....Loved it....I try to cruise 5-6 months out of the year. The crew is great....cabins on Odyssey are a getting a little i need of refurb....but the layout is great.... Great regular liquor choices as part of the cruise...no extra billing surprise at the end. Really great new chef "Nicholas" in the Colonade....Love the no assigned seating and upcharges on venues. Thankfully there are seldom children on the ship...but we did have one adorable 2 year old who was on his 5th cruise....the children on board are generally well-travelled from a very young age. We had one issue with a homophobic man & his wife that could not be removed until we crossed the Atlantic. My first time out of many with a genuine jerk on board. Love the low-key entertainment.....If you want broadway shows and big time gambling...probably not your cup of tea. Anyway....I'm with Seabourn all the way. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This is your cruise line if you smoke! The CEO is a smoker, so smokers get special smoking places, you can smoke on your balcony, which means the neighbors get to smoke too! The balcony doors open outward & upwind so you will suck in ... Read More
This is your cruise line if you smoke! The CEO is a smoker, so smokers get special smoking places, you can smoke on your balcony, which means the neighbors get to smoke too! The balcony doors open outward & upwind so you will suck in all your neighbors smoke when you open the door, and sitting on your balcony if you are so unfortunate to have a neighbor who smokes is not possible. Smokers also get a large area above the pool next to the bar and another large area at the back of the ship, which was my favorite area but I never sat down there. When walking down the hallways you can smell smoke, and when changeover day happened the smell of smoke was overwhelming in some rooms, if I had been assigned a cabin which was smoke infested I would be beside myself. The beds are HARD, but you can get a mattress topper if you ask, I had to get 2 because the toppers are one inch. I think the word that Seabourn is smoker friendly has gotten out, so people who smoke increase with time. The risk of having a neighbor who smokes is too important to me, so I won't book again. Rooms are good, but closet doors get in the way of the dressing table, so one cannot sit at the table if the other is going in the closet. The room girls say 2% use the bath tubs, yet all rooms have them, would be so nice to enlarge the tiny closet with the space of the bath tub. Room help says management don't listen to their ideas. Seabourn is affiliated with Princess so you will get Princess email ads a few times a week and the only way to stop them is to keep unsubscribing - it took me 3 times. Other than that it is a great cruise line, really loved the crew. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We had been on the Odyssey in 2011 for cruise from Athens to Istanbul on Veranda 2 level. This time we asked for Veranda 2 but got room 503 Veranda 1. Very noisy at 4:30am when the anchor dropped since it was a floor or two below us. We ... Read More
We had been on the Odyssey in 2011 for cruise from Athens to Istanbul on Veranda 2 level. This time we asked for Veranda 2 but got room 503 Veranda 1. Very noisy at 4:30am when the anchor dropped since it was a floor or two below us. We wanted a balcony because we love eating on the deck. We had a balcony but it was only 1/4 glass and the rest metal as we were the first balcony. It got covered in salt and spray often. Next time will insist on Veranda 2 and more midship. Several days it was a rough ride especially between New Zealand and Sydney. Crew friendly. Felt the crew push liquor service a bit too much. It was free but we don't drink that much. Tours were not always done on vehicles that were not always in the best shape for bumpy roads on small islands like Bora Bora. Meet wonderful couples, Crew helped me plan a surprise 70th birthday party and closed Restaurant 2 for it.IN that experience they excelled in achieving their motto"JUST SAY YES. From putting friends invitations that I created in their mail slot outside their room to helping me choose a menu of our favorite meals. All 20 of our friends had a good time. The maître de at Restaurant 2 outdid himself in helping me before and during the party.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
After 12 other cruises on 9 other lines, this was our first time on Seabourn. We completed 2 segments on the 2014 World Cruise, from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Some things on the Sojourn were wonderful; some not so much... The Ship: ... Read More
After 12 other cruises on 9 other lines, this was our first time on Seabourn. We completed 2 segments on the 2014 World Cruise, from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Some things on the Sojourn were wonderful; some not so much... The Ship: Beautiful and well-maintained. The design is sleek, modern with a flavor of mid-century. One of the things you pay for in the luxury pricing is the space. Imagine an Azamara ship with 150 fewer passengers. As a result you get more public spaces and larger verandah suites. The biggest success is Seabourn Square where one can find coffee, excursion info, newspapers, computers, assistance from phenomenal staff and a community of passengers lounging on comfy chairs. The one public area we didn't like was the Restaurant (main dining room) due to the harsh lighting and faux-luxury furniture; it was not inviting. Fellow Passengers: Almost no one under the age of 60. Retired and accomplished. Mostly from North America, UK, and Australia, with a small number from other EU countries, etc. I can remember only 2 passengers from Asia. No children. Stateroom: We were in a V6, which is brilliantly-designed with lots of room to store all of ones stuff, and believe me, we had a lot of stuff! Also plenty of room for lounging on a couch, or dining in the suite. Minor issues: It was impossible to fully recline on the clunky verandah furniture, and the fluff has completely disappeared from all bathroom towels. Service: Another thing one pays for is the exceptional service. With a very high staff to passenger ratio, there are many well-trained staff at your call. Our stewardess was excellent. The guest relations staff in Seabourn Sq. can be requested to solve problems that you would struggle with on other lines. Restaurant waiters are good, room service is fantastic, but the beverage service is a stand-out. We almost never had to wait for another cold or hot beverage all day and evening. Entertainment: Very cruise ship, not different that what one finds on the mass market lines. In fact, some acts are booked by the Belinda King agency that works with other lines such as Cunard, so many of the headline entertainers are rotated among ships around the world. We loved going to the showroom just because it is there and casual, and we usually stayed even if the content of the show was not appealing. We enjoyed all of the continuing performers: Mojo Duo, the pianist in the Observation Bar, and the back-up band. The stand-outs, however, were the cruise ship staff, David E, Heather Clancy, and especially Sophie Tehrani, all very talented. We adored the ethnic performers brought on in ports, especially the Native Hawaiian group in Honolulu. Enrichment and Activities: Sort of the same as one would find on most other lines. Lots of trivia and bridge. Some of the speakers were interesting and well-prepared; others not so. The cooking demos were lame. The art teachers were inspiring, especially Julie Conn. Excursions and Ports: Disembarkation was almost always flawless, one of the pleasures of traveling on a small ship. We took 6 excursions sponsored by Seabourn; all were just OK, no "wow" factor. Our best times on shore were arranged by ourselves, such as hiring a car in Bali, and riding a pedi-cab in Ambon. I recommend that clever travelers use the Internet (such as Trip Advisor) to find more economical and clever excursions than those offered by Seabourn. Some fellow passengers complained of a few Seabourn excursions that were total disasters, and there were periodic migrations of passengers to the Square to demand their money back. Many of the ports were incredible, but several in Australia (Geelong, Exmouth, and Geraldton, etc.) should have been skipped since there was nothing to do there, not even a decent place to eat. Many of us wondered is Seabourn chose them in order to save money on port fees. Fitness Center: I am an exercise addict and I found the small center adequate to meet my needs, mainly because it was generally under-utilized. No waiting for machines. Drinks: Fantastic. Loved the fresh OJ, the specialty coffees, and the champagne. The selection of house wines was always adequate for our needs. Remember you can request a house wine that was featured on a previous night even though it is not specifically mentioned by your server. The wine list for purchase is extensive and expensive. We seldom drink other alcohol, but there is a lot of variety. Food: The successes: The breakfast and lunch buffets in the Colonnade featured lots of tasty alternatives, were well-organized and clean. The buffets lacked the chaos that one finds in other ships. Otherwise we were disappointed. I fear that I was misled by the Seabourn pitch of luxury, luxury, and some glowing reviews on CC. We found that the quality at dinner did not match that of independent bistro food in major US cities. While some dishes were just fine, there were too many instances of blah ordinary, overcooked fish, use of too much salt, and even faulty presentation. The ethnic dinners in the Colonnade were almost always inauthentic and borderline disasters. We were told by a manager that the recipes are devised by Holland America management in Seattle and that the cooks must follow the recipe cards. That explains why the cooks were not able to replicate authentic food from their native lands. The Executive Chef encouraged us to order a special dinner, so we chose comfort food, Southern fried chicken with country cream gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans. The result, which I wrote about in a CC thread, was almost inedible, shocking. Finally, while we love the concept of the small plates in R2, the executions was often disappointing due to the fact that so many ingredients were combined in each dish that the flavors got lost. Who We Are: Two retired gents from the San Francisco Bay Area, well-traveled, over-educated. We love good food, good wine, and discovering the world. Our favorite ship experiences have been crossings, but we are open to port cruises if the itinerary is right. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Until about 6 weeks ago when we were shown round and given lunch on a Radisson 7 Seas ship that docked in Cairns, we had nothing to compare with Seabourn. There is no doubt that the Seabourn architecture is the best afloat. One can ... Read More
Until about 6 weeks ago when we were shown round and given lunch on a Radisson 7 Seas ship that docked in Cairns, we had nothing to compare with Seabourn. There is no doubt that the Seabourn architecture is the best afloat. One can see this on a profile view where the accommodation stops approx 2/3 from the bow with the final 1/3 aft as public space. No other line is so generous with public space. There are great little areas aft on decks 5, 6, & 7 where one can find privacy. Other lines put suites here. There is also no doubt that standards in some areas are slipping. By adding the 3 larger ships to the fleet they effectively grew the brand by 200%. Few, if any, organisations can grow that fast and maintain standards. For me, this was especially noticeable in the quality of the food. ( I totally exclude the patissier from this beef.) The menus are basically classic European with an element of "fusion". However, I frequently got the impression that whoever cooked my dish had done so from a recipe and never tasted the original. How come the best dinner I had in 15 days was a Rogan Josh? Why is there so much cilantro? Other problems stemmed from the open galley in the Colonnades and a slight whiff of fish throughout deck 8. And why so much fish on the menu? It is not as if much of it was fresh. How hard would it be for the galley night shift to confit a few trays of duck legs from time to time? While one can cook a duck leg from frozen without losing its flavour or texture, the same cannot be said of fish. There also seemed to be a ban on pork. On the other hand, as usual we met some terrific people and enjoyed great company. The Club bar was understaffed, but the staff who were there were splendid. I have sort of got used to the Sky Bar being open only part-time, but am learning to live with the Patio. Our room maid was efficient and considerate and a credit to Seabourn. We had occasion to call on the Doctor who was brilliant. We were very lucky to dock in Ft Lauderdale on a day when Odyssey was the only ship there. It took less than 40 mins to get off the ship and into the airport. Read Less
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