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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and feel I have a critical but fair eye. I had high expectations of this line and particular ship from word of mouth recommendations and other favorable reviews. I was quite disappointed and will list out all of my reasons while still making sure to give credit where credit is due. I will start with the positives first. My overall summary of the below is at the bottom of this review. Cabin: Our cabin was very nice and spacious. Bed and pillows are comfortable, ample room with a nice walk in closet and separate seating area. Bathroom has a double sink which is very nice, shower is marble and still small but pressure very good. Bathtub a waste of space in my opinion. Balcony nice size and overall room very spacious. We were in cabin 651 on the 6th floor located toward the center of the ship which was great. Molton Brown products in the bathroom and a selection of body soap offered on the first day. Room stewardess was attentive and did a very good job. Only complaint on the first day is that the room wasn’t cleaned well. The soap in our bathroom which was a body wash had been used and there was a lot of dust and finger prints on the table in the room. Otherwise, cabin was excellent and gets high marks from me. I believe we were in category V5. Ship: the ship is beautiful. Modern, clean, more yacht-like than cruise ship. A lot of wood paneling. 600 people but still felt very quiet even on sea days. Our favorite place to relax was the cappuccino lounge on floor 7 where they had tons of seating and recliners. Decor of the ship was very simple yet elegant. WIFI: very good! Much better WIFI than any other ship I’ve been on - in room technology good. Service: this is where our experience goes down the tubes. The service on this ship was HORRIBLE!! The staff do you a major favor and if asked for something that requires them to go out at all of their way, they are rude. We had some staff that were nice (mainly in cappuccino lounge and main dining room - except for maitre de) but all and all, the service sucked. Management lacks tremendously, customer service is non existent and the staff seem poorly trained, disingenuous and disinterested. I’ve really never experienced anything like this before - had we not met several other couples who also shared the same sentiment, I would have thought I was going crazy!! A few examples - almost every meal without fail we waited 10 minutes before getting anything to drink. If we needed a sauce to accompany a meal, we waited 10 minutes. In fact, we stopped ordering sauces because it was such a lost cause & by the time it arrived our meal was over. I asked for cream with my coffee - by the time the cream came, my coffee was cold. We were almost always at a meal with an empty drink that needed refilling. No accommodating what so ever. My husband likes the salmon in the colonnade - we asked if it could be served on the patio 20 feet away and they said no, they prefer not to. At dinner in the main, I asked if i could have a croquette that came with a different entree than what I ordered and was told no, they only had a certain amount and could not accommodate me. I mean, come on! I tried to move my Thomas Keller reservation because my husband wasn’t feeling well and was told with 11 days left on the trip that they couldn’t accommodate us. Finally, after getting the guest services manager involved, we got one at an undesirable time on a different day but at this point, we took what we could get. These may seem Iike minor gripes but we encountered them several times per day and was a major turnoff and took a lot away from the experience. The overall staff attitude was rude and requests of them felt like inconveniences. This in itself was bad enough to never return to this ship. As I said previously, several other couples experienced the same rude service. My husbands Camera was lost day 1 and finally arrived at our cabin with a cracked and dented lens. We requested compensation for the lens. Seabourn asked us to provide the link to the lens - which we did directly from the website - to prove it was $500. They tried to tell us it was a $200 lens (they had the wrong lens) and refused to refund us. We have yet to resolve this issue with them. Food - We are major foodies and we’re quite disappointed in the food on this ship. I will say that the quality is there in a lot of areas (not all) but the execution is not. Breakfast was good but the same every day. Not a bad thing, but boring after a while. A decent selection and probably the best meal. Lunch was a mixed bag. Salad bar always had nice items and the grill items - fish, burgers, hot dog, etc always very tasty and fresh. Meat quality good, fish quality good. My only complaint on the fish was it never had any seasoning or flavor - this was a major theme for most items on board - but I would still prefer to add salt vs. having the sodium and preservative packed food a lot of ships have, so this wasn’t a major complaint. All lunch hot food served in the chaffing dishes were slop and never hot. We almost never ate any of the prepared food served at lunch because it was room temperature and unappealing. Dinner : main dining room was respectable but not great. We didn’t have one meal there that was really delicious. Temperature was an issue and seasoning was non existent. I’ve never put so much salt on my food in my life. Service mixed. Our first night there we waited about 15 minutes before anyone came to our table. Finally the waitress comes over with an iPad looking down and says “what can i get you” - no greeting, no introduction. Very impersonal feeling. Sushi was nothing to write home about. A lot of rice and uninspired. I actually overheard someone say “it’s not as bad as gas station sushi” - I’ll leave it at that. The colonnade was OK - probably our least favorite. They do special nights like rib night or clam bake night and they look beautiful but just don’t quite execute it well. For example : rib night - the ribs came out in a beautiful Staub cast iron pan presented family style and looked delicious. Unfortunately, the ribs were dry, cold and had clearly been sitting on a heat lamp for an hour +. We sent it back and got a new rack that was the same dry and Luke warm ribs this time with some bbq sauce slathered on top. To put the icing on the cake, the assistant maitre de came over and instead of apologizing that the food came out lacking temperature and dry, explained that the ribs weren’t Texas style but st.louis style and weren’t supposed to fall off the bone..I mean ..really ? I’m not expecting anything more than a simple apology or some sort of follow up to see if the second round was better. Instead, I was blamed for expecting them to fall off the bone and they didn’t. I didn’t need ribs that fell off the bone, just didn’t want to eat something as dry as wood. The Patio by the pool in our opinion offered the best most innovative meals but even those fell short on flavor and execution. We also had a Northern Europe itinerary with a lot of rain and cool weather and found ourselves eating outside in the windy cold weather because the patio was the best choice. Thomas Keller which is the specialty restaurant was very good for a steakhouse on a cruise ship. I would say this is likely the best option on board. Food delicious but once again, service lacking. Not attentive and seemed to do you a big favor. We found in all restaurants that the deserts were mediocre and most didn’t taste cooked on board. I don’t think I had one desert I loved. I also found the breads were uninspired. In summary : good quality ingredients (for the most part ) that aren’t executed well. Oceania food trumps Seabourn by a landslide. A few other items to note: Older crowd, no children. Except for us (in our early 30s), most people were 65+. Not good or bad, just our cruise demographic. Free laundry was a nice feature with Miele commercial washers and dryers and complimentary detergent. Gym was small but clean, coffee on board was very good. Entertainment was respectable. Nice job at including different daily activities. Excursions - expensive but well organized. I read the ship docs at ports further away from the destinations to save on docking fees. Not sure if this is true. We did a few excursions - food provided on them was mediocre and limited and tours very pricey. Spa - didn’t use but quite expensive. Very few discounts offered throughout cruise. They had a “promotion” that if you do 3 treatments from a select number of services you get 10% off first, 20% off second and 30% off third. Note this is per cabin and not per stateroom. I know all cruise spas are expensive but this was more than canyon ranch on Oceania. I may have left stuff out but to summarize my overall impressions: cabin and ship top notch and classy, food better than the celebrity level lines but nothing special. Service was so bad it border-lined on offensive and as a result, I will likely not return to Seabourn. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having sailed three times previously with Seabourn,we are used to being wowed by their fabulous standards. However this time we noticed straight away that things were different. The cabin balcony had a dirty towel on the balcony, and ... Read More
Having sailed three times previously with Seabourn,we are used to being wowed by their fabulous standards. However this time we noticed straight away that things were different. The cabin balcony had a dirty towel on the balcony, and when I leaned over the handrail my arms were the covered in wet varnish.. The vase had no flower in and the fridge did not have our requested drinks, it was empty .The water bottle was half full and looked cloudy as if it had not been clean and refreshed. I went to Seabourn Square to speak to the someone about my problem, and was given an apology. On returning back to my cabin, I was informed by my husband that there was hair in the bath and the top of a razor on the shelf!! I went back to Seabourn Square and spoke to the head of housek,who apologised and said they would ensure that from now on she would ensure the rest of our cruise would be stress free. Restaurant Day one had to seek out a waiter and ask for a drink at lunch. Dinner asked if they had Pinot Noir and received a blank look? When my husband said he did not like the red, the waiter proceeded to put new wine in the same glass despite a small amount of the old wine still being in the glass. We had to ask for re fills. My lobster Thermidor was full of a brown mushroom sauce, with only a tiny bit of lobster Having made this dish numerous times I have never used mushrooms! We found the menu slightly repetitive and not their usual standard Extra Mile No Seabourn experience All in all very disappointed therefore I will be trying a new luxury cruise line Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship was beautiful, clean and staff / crew were wonderful. Our cabin was large and we were on deck 5 which has smaller cabins than the other decks. It was roomy and laid out well. We were in 514 and it was noisy when they dropped the ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, clean and staff / crew were wonderful. Our cabin was large and we were on deck 5 which has smaller cabins than the other decks. It was roomy and laid out well. We were in 514 and it was noisy when they dropped the anchor. Actually the whole room vibrated. Entertainment was fair. Lectures were very good. Excursions were great, but pricey. The food was a bit of a disappointment, and we were hoping for better. Alaska was beautiful but there were quite a number of older people on board and they had a difficult time getting on and off the ship for excursions. In Alaska you need to do the excursions to get the full picture. I would recommend this cruise. The Sojourn is really the perfect size ship. Not too big and not typo small. It. Was easy to get around the ship because of its size. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The Sojourn is an excellent ship. Almost everything is inclusive. Thomas Keller aka “The French Laundry and Per Se Signature restaurant “. You can only reserve it once on the cruise. Do not fret over it. The main dining room and ... Read More
The Sojourn is an excellent ship. Almost everything is inclusive. Thomas Keller aka “The French Laundry and Per Se Signature restaurant “. You can only reserve it once on the cruise. Do not fret over it. The main dining room and the second restaurant have daily menus on Thomas Keller inspired cuisine. I will post copies of it later. Service on the ship was impeccable. One morning the executive was and the Food and Beverage manager was making eggs Benedict for guest directly in the open dining room. Very rarely see this type of service in other high end ships. The free flowing wine, champagne and spirits was great and top shelf items. Imagine having Nicholas Ferrilaut champagnes constantly being poured for guests. Now I know the taste of great caviar. On the first full day I told the wait staff at the restaurant that I prefer a low sodium diet due to hypertension That was noted and in all my meals. Seabourn is quite a bit more than most of the others but it is well worth the price. In other cruises they push for the wine package , other paid extra restaurants but on Seabourn there is no premium $$$ restaurant. Every meal is like you are going to a specialty restaurant. There is no extra cost unless you want the super rare wine. Seabourn has their own expedition crew on board. This is a major difference than others. On most excursions these crew are experts and knowledge of the event. They are naturalist and have done these expeditions themselves The Seabourn Venture group on board is great. Overall I give the Seabourn Sojourn crew ten plus stars. Extra kudos to the Food and Beverage manager and his excellent team. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After our 21 day cruise in April on the Seabourn Ovation (our first with Seabourn) we had been impressed. When we noticed the itinerary of the Odyssey for the Greek Odyssey Cruise we got all excited. For us, the Mediterranean is our ... Read More
After our 21 day cruise in April on the Seabourn Ovation (our first with Seabourn) we had been impressed. When we noticed the itinerary of the Odyssey for the Greek Odyssey Cruise we got all excited. For us, the Mediterranean is our favorite cruising destination. There were some islands on the itinerary that were new to us, while others we already knew but were keen on seeing again. We were curious too, how the smaller and older Odyssey would compare with the newer Ovation. Both have a similar layout and they have about the same number of crew. We were pleasantly surprised that our cabin on the Odyssey was more comfortable, our veranda suite on the Ovation had been very narrow and the fake wood paneling too dark. The beds on the Odyssey seemed also wider and there was no hazard of rolling off the bed during sleep. Both ships interiors didn't impress us as luxurious, the used materials simple and inexpensive. But, the service of the crews was truly remarkable and memorable. The service on the Ovation was even better, despite the higher number of guests; on the Ovation each one of the crew knew our names after only a few days, we couldn't believe it. Maybe it had to do with the exceptional leadership of the cruise director Handre; he was absolutely wonderful, a role model and he made every guest feel welcome and especially cared for. The ambience on the Ovation was very personal and familiar, we had never before experienced anything quite like it and felt genuinely at home. On the Odyssey it was a little less personal but still very good. We did find the quality of the food on the Odyssey even better; we loved the fresh fruits plus nuts, chia and linseeds at the breakfast buffet. The "Earth and Ocean" on the pool deck we had avoided at first from our negative experiences on the Ovation but found out on the Odyssey the food there was often excellent. It probably comes down to the actual crew and cooks on your cruise. This was our 10th cruise in the past 3 years. We had started out with Silversea, Regent, Oceania and now Seabourn. Regent is still our favorite, they are more expensive but everything is included including wifi and excursions. We rate Seabourn second and can't wait to sail with them again if an itinerary catches our fancy. Oceania had the most luxurious ship, the Marina, our penthouse suite was superb but their cuisine is the best for overweight and obese passengers only. Oceania offers long and fantastic itineraries, if only the cuisine could be more healthy. We had been very happy with Silversea as it was our first cruise line, now that we have sailed on other lines, Silversea seems no longer attractive for us; their ships were old and tired, always in need of renovation; the much too frequent formal evenings exaggerated considering the conditions of the vessels; plus we find Silversea too expensive. The Odyssey is the perfect choice for itineraries with as few days at sea as possible. It is a small ship with all the advantages of small vessels, but for sea days we missed a jogging or at least a walking trail, the gym was too small where a few bikes were just facing a wall; I personally choose to run up and down the stairs for an hour during our sea day. But for a transatlantic cruise f.e., we would choose another ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
For our tenth or so cruise, we chose Seabourn Sojourn to Alaska. We are very happy with that decision. We had a balcony suite. I think all cabins are suites. Not a separate room, but a large cabin with separate sitting area and curtains ... Read More
For our tenth or so cruise, we chose Seabourn Sojourn to Alaska. We are very happy with that decision. We had a balcony suite. I think all cabins are suites. Not a separate room, but a large cabin with separate sitting area and curtains separating the lounge area from the bed. There is a separate shower with glass door, a bit small, but good for a ship; and a tub. Double sink vanity which is a very nice touch. Large, good quality soaps that last and last. Upon arrival, your 'Seabourn Alaska jacket' is waiting for you in your suite. This is no throwaway rain poncho; but a high quality fleece-lined, multi zippered-pocket jacket with stowaway detachable hood. There is a table and large chairs you can really dine at! And when room service arrives, the table is set with white linen and the meal is served. As advertised, there is always champagne and anything else available, either in room or at the bars. We thought the food was very good. Even the 'buffet' (Colonnade) offers sit-down table service at all meals, so really, it is either buffet or full serve restaurant with daily specials and 'classic' (permanent) choices. We found this restaurant to be pretty well as good as the full Restaurant, and it is a bit more casual, with fewer courses. That can be a good thing! You can dine here either inside or out; with heaters on the outside patio. oh, and blankets, too. There is also pool/patio side dining; which was also very good. Maybe a bit lighter meals. You can be shielded by the side glass walls, or totally al fresco on the pool deck. Delightful, as were the tapenades etc served with the meals here. We are not connoisseurs of wine, so we were satisfied with the choices. If you don't care for the daily suggestions, just ask for something else. The service is very good. The specialty restaurant, known either as The Grill by Thomas Keller, or, more prosaically, as 'Restaurant 2', was not that special. The food was good, but the service was not particularly polished, and we found the small room surprisingly noisy. Maintenance details in our suite were taken care of without our asking; the 'stewardess' (that's what the company calls them) did the reporting of items not quite right, and someone came to fix them. The F & B manager, a busy and gregarious guy named Antonio, made a point of stopping on a very busy day to wish me a happy birthday. That's the kind of attention to detail; not to mention the banner in the suite and a bottle of nice wine! There is a fairly large gym for such a small ship. We walked through it once ;) There are quite a few lectures on various topics given during the cruise. These were very informative, and add to the appreciation of the cruise. Thankfully, these are recorded and available on the in-suite tv. It's hard to keep up! Many of the excursions are launched right off the boat on the Zodiacs/kayaks kept on the ship. The guides seem very knowledgeable. Most people we met liked the ship's excursions very much; although they can get pretty pricey. Minor, very minor, quibbles: the bar staff didn't always seem to know much about available beers; some of the staff in the Square didn't always seem to know what was going on. But answers would be gotten. We don't care that much what the entertainment is, because we'd rather admire the view; so I am not commenting on it as we saw little of it. The band was good. There were very few small children or teenagers on the ship, despite it being July. It will be an adjustment to go back to a 'lesser' standard of suite or service. Hard to believe that this is, after all, still a Carnival ship. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. We would very much like to go back with Seabourn. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation ... Read More
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation was boring and bland. The dress code is not policed and many evenings gentlemen turned up to dinner in polo shirts. The shore excursions were expensive and sometimes involved long journeys presumably because Seabourn do not wish to pay more expensive docking fees. The pillows and mattress had the consistency of a marshmallow. Despite firm pillows being offered our steward could not find any which wasn't great. The one female hairdresser on board was awful and the service generally slow. My husband ordered roses for our anniversary and they turned up at 10pm that night. The entertainment was boring and very few enrichment talks compared to Cunard. We could seldom have breakfast in the restaurant as we were on excursions and it did not open until 8am. The Colonnade was like a zoo. Very very disappointing. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Have cruised well over 30 times, when our favorite line had culture change we decided to try Seabourn. It was an Alaska Cruise which may be unique for Seabourn so we may have seen them at their very best. We were able to see touch and ... Read More
Have cruised well over 30 times, when our favorite line had culture change we decided to try Seabourn. It was an Alaska Cruise which may be unique for Seabourn so we may have seen them at their very best. We were able to see touch and feel the real Alaska unlike any large ship could do. You take excursions from the ship Zodiac and Kayak with an incredible staff from the ship. Ship, staff, food all amazing, smaller ship is a big deal! After all the up charges on other lines Seabourn is cheaper.We are hooked, if our old line had gotten a bit strange we would have never discovered this jewel. The Alaska experience is something a larger ship could not provide just because of sheer numbers. Your guides live on the ship with you and are top caliber people. The Staff not only conducts the tours but lectures during the day! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I just returned from my first, but not last, Seabourn cruise aboard Quest. The ship itself was wonderful, but it was the staff and crew that impressed me the most. From the first moment I arrived on board, I was made to feel as if I ... Read More
I just returned from my first, but not last, Seabourn cruise aboard Quest. The ship itself was wonderful, but it was the staff and crew that impressed me the most. From the first moment I arrived on board, I was made to feel as if I were the most important person in the world. Almost from the moment I boarded, all of those with whom I came in contact knew and called me by my name! (I realize that seems to be a relatively minor thing, but it meant a great deal to me!) I am a solo traveler, and I really appreciated the nightly invitations to dine in The Restaurant with a volunteer host. I met some extremely interesting people, both host and guest, whom I might otherwise have not. I particularly enjoyed dining with the entertainers--both ship and guest. The excellent Cruise Director Team of Handre and Luke, not only knew my name, they seemed to be genuinely concerned that my Quest experience be the best possible. They also seemed to have a hand in everything involving passenger entertainment and happiness. The only complaint I have is that dreadful "single supplement." I understand the financial rationale behind it, but I still resent paying, on a per-person basis, more for my suite than those fortunate enough to have someone with whom they can travel--but I guess I don't resent it that much since I've already reserved a suite on Encore's Holiday Cruise! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise for a few reasons. We had previously sailed Seaborn Encore in the Mediterranean and thoroughly enjoyed the ship, food and service that Seabourn provided, therefore, Ovation, which is the same class ship as Encore, was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a few reasons. We had previously sailed Seaborn Encore in the Mediterranean and thoroughly enjoyed the ship, food and service that Seabourn provided, therefore, Ovation, which is the same class ship as Encore, was an easy sell for us. Ovation was just beautiful.....almost identical to Encore. We love the size....large enough, light filled with beautiful yachtlike decor but small enough to give us the feeling of being on a private ship. Our suite on the deck above the pool, was well appointed (hello 3 sinks!) and our needs were more than meet by our stewardess who always had a smile & pleasantry to share. We felt the service and the entertainment were a cut above our previous cruise....this being only our second cruise ever. We were addressed by our names each & every day. Our Captian was very visible and engaging as was CD Handre. Both were class acts. Servers in all resturants were pleasant, engaging and good at their jobs. We wanted a late May cruise and this itinerary seemed interesting. We had been to Lisbon but not Northern Spain or Western France or Southern England. We have been to Normandy, Brugge, Amsterdam etc. but were very happy to return. I was a bit apprehensive since I had heard that the Bay of Biscay is notorious for rough seas. Well, she was a gentle giant. Lisbon was faboulous with warm temps and sunny skies. Northern Spain was just beautiful, with a bit a rain here and there, but nothing to dampen the beauty of the coastal towns of Gijon and San Sebasion, Biblao etc. and the wonderful sights & food. We did miss one port, Biarritz, France due to the port closing. The sun & moderate temps made a welcome return in Bordeaux......this was one of the highlights of the cruise. We came up the Gironde River and docked right smack dab in the middle of the city. We were the only ship in town and the locals came by in droves to relax and picnic in our shadow. A lovely French lady approached us on our return to ship just to chat about our cruise and our reflections of her city. The Bordeaux wine region is spectacular.....St Emillion is not to be missed. Southern England, port of Torquay was a pleasant surprise....warm temps and sunny skies, contrary to the Agatha Christie image that I expected. We visited the sea town of Dartmouth with its' interesting seafaring history. As an American, the beaches of Normandy hold a special place in our hearts and it was good to return. We arranged for a private tour & spent the day with a lovely local French lady, three generations removed from the events of WW2 but whose grandfather was head of the resistance movement at the time......her reverence for those who helped liberate her homeland was palpable....not to mention her expertise in the places and events of the Allied invasion. Wow....just Wow! We sailed up the Thames to the Greenwich neighborhood of London. Spent two wonderful days....Windsor, the Cotswolds etc. Then is was across the Channel again.....may I add that the seas in all our Channel crossings were calm and I mean, calm....to Zeebrugge, where we chose to visit Ypres and Flanders Field (of WW1 fame) as we had been to Brugge & Brussels in the past. Beyond moving! Amazing how a city and region so devastated by that horrible war has risen from the ashes to present a gorgeous city and countryside. We ended in the city of Amsterdam with all its charms etc. The Anne Frank House is a must do along with a private canal cruise. This cruise seemed to us to hit a very historic note. We enjoyed it very much as we had a sample of Western Coastal Europe with its' amazing role in the history of two world wars. From the German UBoat stalls in Bordeaux, to the beaches of Normandy to the Fields of Poppies in Flanders to the London Underground bunkers.....We were impressed with the spirit of the European people who endured so much during those dark times. Cruise & Ovation both get an APlus from us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Spain (except for Barcelona which we love), Lisbon or Porto, Gibralter or Morocco. The ports of call and shore excursions were fantastic. We saw many beautiful sights and learned a lot. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Spain (except for Barcelona which we love), Lisbon or Porto, Gibralter or Morocco. The ports of call and shore excursions were fantastic. We saw many beautiful sights and learned a lot. The ship itself was truly wonderful. The captain and officers were friendly and affable (not to mention very competent), the Executive Chef talented and sooooo personable, the Cruise Director (Handre) phenomenal and the cabin stewards perfect. All the wait staff in the restaurants were professional and at the same time welcoming. The entertainment was over-the-top wonderful. Seabourn does things right, and makes every trip a special adventure. One of the reasons that we love Seabourn is that the all-inclusive program makes the voyage so relaxing. The food is quality over quantity, and every meal was terrific. The deck parties were very enjoyable (lobster on the grill, dancing, champagne and caviar in the pool), and we were impressed by the "specialty restaurant," the Grill by Thomas Keller. One of our favorite activities was shopping in the market in Malaga with Chef Jes; the fish and produce were as fresh as they could be. The excursions were expensive, but the quality of the guides was excellent. The only negative on the excursions was the "hard sell" venues we were forced into in Casablanca and Tangier. They should offer a shopping excursion for passengers that are interested in buying rugs. One of our pet peeves, however, is that the internet service is ridiculously expensive. Since Oceana is offering free internet to its passengers, all other cruise lines should follow suit. We would highly recommend the Ovation for your next trip! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were on the Seabourn Sojourn with friends who were in suite 737. Their cruise was ruined by the constant loud noises from the patio bar on deck 8 above their suite. It ruined our cruise as well since our traveling companies were so ... Read More
We were on the Seabourn Sojourn with friends who were in suite 737. Their cruise was ruined by the constant loud noises from the patio bar on deck 8 above their suite. It ruined our cruise as well since our traveling companies were so upset. We visited their room to hear for ourselves. If it were my room I would have considered jumping overboard. Otherwise a very nice cruise. Seabourn does a great job in most areas so this room situation was a shock. The crew did manage to move them mid-way thru the cruise. I would not go on a cruise for free if I had to stay in Suite 737 on the Sojourn or sister ships Odyssey and Quest. Our suite, in contrast, was on deck 8 and was quiet and comfortable. The biggest issue we had on this trip was the last minute cancellation of a shore excursion due to the low number of people who signed up. We had no resources to research other options and were disappointed that Seabourn couldn't find a way to conduct the tour using a mini-van or car instead of the originally assigned bus. As expected, the food on Seabourn ranges from very good to excellent. Our dinners in the Grill by Thomas Keller were exceptional with professional, gracious service and superb food. We also noticed service improvements in the main restaurant and Colonnade. On our previous Seabourn cruise we noticed some service issues as many experienced staff were transferred to the two new and larger ships. We disappointed that the Patio Grill has been renamed Earth and Ocean which tries to offer a more upscale dining option. We much prefer the relaxed style and basic grilled foods of the Old Patio. There's only so much elegant food and service you can eat! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We're long time Seabourn cruisers who hadn't totally enjoyed our trip on Encore summer of 2018, finding the new larger ships lovely, but lacking the Seabourn service we'd come to love. This trip was on Sojourn, the only ... Read More
We're long time Seabourn cruisers who hadn't totally enjoyed our trip on Encore summer of 2018, finding the new larger ships lovely, but lacking the Seabourn service we'd come to love. This trip was on Sojourn, the only one of the Odyssey ships we hadn't sailed before. The ship is in fine condition, 450 people roam around it daily but it's constantly maintained and that keeps it looking fresh. Embarkation was the usual smooth process, met at the aircon end of the gangway by the cruise director Ross Roberts, we've sailed with him before, we knew entertainment was going to be .. entertaining. Ross is a Seabourn asset and we were very happy to sail with him again. Our Seabourn highlight has always been the service and they didn't disappoint on this cruise. Staff learned your name and your preferences within a day or two and literally nothing was too much trouble. Food is important on a cruise, the food on this one was top notch. The head chef, Lindsay, really had the kitchen humming and it didn't matter whether you ate at the main dining room, the colonnade or the new Earth and Ocean outdoor concept restaurant, which was superb; it was hard to pick a dining venue sometimes, they were all excellent. We're not great fans of the Thomas Keller tie-up and feel Seabourn's chef's offerings are just as good, if not better. We went to the TK grill twice, it was great service and wonderful ingredients, quite rich, and twice was enough. Our favourite venue was probably Earth and Ocean which served up a varied menu on deck each night. For a hot weather cruise as this it was nice to sit outside. Entertainment was fun. You're not getting a cast of 50 on a Seabourn ship but the singers and dancers were excellent. We've seen a lot of the shows before, however this time "An Evening With Tim Rice" actually had .. Sir Tim Rice who was on board and also performed in another show about his music. That was just luck and Sir Tim is a very nice man whom I wish had been on our trivia team. Best ports on this trip were Ho Chi Minh and Hong Kong, each of which were overnights. The small Seabourn ships can dock in the centre of HCM and at Ocean Terminal in HK and that was huge in terms of just getting off and getting around. There were other good ports on the itinerary, but those two made the whole trip. There were also a couple of .. hmm .. ports. Sianoukville was really a dropping off point for people taking two overland days to visit Ankor Wat, Sanya may be a lovely place to holiday but the cruise terminal abuts nothing exciting. Cruises in Asia tend to have a mixture of good and not-quite-so-good ports. We did no ship excursions on this trip. The places we really wanted to do something, either the ship wasn't doing it or it was very easy to fix ourselves. It seems Seabourn is trying to attract a younger crowd but the excursions still tend towards 'church,ruin,UNESCO'; they have started to add cooking and cycling tours but they're still mostly pitching the type of tours where you get on a bus at 9am and return at 4pm having seen a lot of not much. And the tours tend to be expensive, variety and cost of tours is something Seabourn could perhaps look at. We passed 100 days on Seabourn this trip, if they keep these standards up we'll pass another 100, although it may take us another 12 years to do it. Seabourn is still our favourite line, the Odyssey class still our favourite ships, this cruise it was very hard to find a fault with, we loved it. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The cruise itself was great. The rooms are large and well appointed, and the food is overall pretty excellent. It's amazing that we were at sea for more than a week, and yet they were still able to provide outstanding fruits and ... Read More
The cruise itself was great. The rooms are large and well appointed, and the food is overall pretty excellent. It's amazing that we were at sea for more than a week, and yet they were still able to provide outstanding fruits and salads. The Thomas Keller restaurant is intimate and outstanding and worth doing at least once during the cruise, and there's no extra charge. The service was very good. It's not the same standard I've experienced on past Seabourn trips. I remember staff throughout the ship would greet me by name, even on a first encounter. That made a huge impression and spoke to a level of excellence. After all, if the staff knows your name, they will remember other things about you too, like what you tend to drink or eat. That leads to anticipatory service - you are offered what you want, before you even ask for it. That level of service seems to be gone on Seabourn. Still, it's outstanding by most measures. The passengers on a long crossing tend to be a different crowd than you'll find on shorter cruises. Frankly, they're friendlier. There's so much time to get to know people, and we really enjoyed the passengers we met. But ultimately our trip was spoiled when my belongings vanished when transferred from the ship to shore in Lisbon. I would find out much later that my luggage ended up being mixed in with other passengers' valuables and put in a taxi. The response to my missing belongings was troubling. At the pier I was placated with false promises of an immediate response. Then in an effort to get me to move along, Seabourn gave me a number to call for help and an email address. No one answered the phone and the automated response from the email told me I'd get a reply within two weeks. No one responded to my requests for information until after I posted publicly on social media after an entire day of silence. Then there was a bunch of blaming of local pier workers, who Seabourn had hired, but then acted like those workers were an entity out of their control or responsibility. In the end, fellow passengers and their travel agent solved the problem of my missing belongings. I spent two days of my three-day visit to Lisbon dealing with the problem, which included meeting with the Portuguese police. Other passengers I met on the Odyssey told me later that they also had problems with wayward belongings. When I heard that I was not alone, I followed up with Seabourn's corporate office, and wrote a personal letter to the company president. I received a we're-sorry-you-feel-that-way response. That's pathetic, and a sign that upper management has no intention of dealing with a very serious security gap. My advice: enjoy the ship, but don't trust Seabourn with your valuables. Carry on and off the ship all of your belongings. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This one fit a particular time frame .We only had the first leg of 11 days . Had never had a chance to take a Seabourn cruise before . Very happy .They couldn't do enough for us .Came up with an extension cord for the C Pap machine . ... Read More
This one fit a particular time frame .We only had the first leg of 11 days . Had never had a chance to take a Seabourn cruise before . Very happy .They couldn't do enough for us .Came up with an extension cord for the C Pap machine . Stocked fridge and bar had a full liter of good vodka .Svedka , I think . Mixers, beer , champagne . Room stewardess was always ready to go . Dinning room had some slow arrivals of food at times . But all the food was excellent .They could cook , fish , steaks , pasta . The Colonnade buffet on the back deck was always good .Pool bars and dining line was a great choice in the afternoon for a late lunch .Open to 3:30 . Used room service for breakfast 4 different mornings . Arrived in 20 to 25 minutes and hot .Transfers booked through Seabourn worked fine , even with a flight delay .They were there to meet us . We got our luggage frisked in Lisbon on disembarkation .The Seabourn Rep was on the spot to assure us we would get a cab to the airport when we missed the main bus with everybody else . Even sent a very sweet Portuguese woman ( cute as a button ) with us to make sure we knew where we were going inside the airport . Actually went in with us . Bar people , deck crew , waiters were all on top of it at all times .Entertainment was very good of what we saw . Did a special afternoon opera segment on the deck with the main show vocalists one afternoon . Pouring Patron Margaritas at the pool .l .All you can eat , drink and no tipping or bar bill at the end . But I did leave a small thank you for the housekeeping girl and a bartender .Not expected though .A great time . The best weather the crew had ever seen on this crossing . Just lucky . Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Seabourn Quest – The Seabourn Difference 16.3.19 -7.4.19 Buenos Aires to Manaus Having cruised with Seabourn on Odyssey, Sojourn and the little ships, we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. We had booked a guarantee ... Read More
Seabourn Quest – The Seabourn Difference 16.3.19 -7.4.19 Buenos Aires to Manaus Having cruised with Seabourn on Odyssey, Sojourn and the little ships, we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. We had booked a guarantee cabin or rather suite, as all cabins are known, and ended up fairly midships on deck 4 near the dining room in a quiet location. The balcony cabins are exactly the same but, as we don’t spend much time in our suite, we forego a balcony in exchange for more cruises. The suites are delightful, spacious, well-stocked and with the most comfortable bed we’ve ever had on any cruise line. You can order whatever drinks you like to have in your suite, so a bottle of Hendryks gin and a Taylors port were happily provided and stored alongside our complimentary bottle of champagne. Our stewardess welcomed us with 4 speciality soaps and kept our Moulton Brown toiletries and everything else topped up throughout the trip. There is a large choice of online films available in your suite and a good number of TV channels. The entertainment is always more limited on small ships but Seabourn offer more variety than other competitors including a guest pianist, guitar players, a comedian, a magician and the Seabourn singers and dancers and all the shows were of a good standard. On two occasions, local groups gave daytime performances – we had a tango show in Uruguay and an excellent local dance show in Recife. Although we weren’t in the Caribbean, the signature “Caviar in the Surf” was held in the pool and created a wonderful party atmosphere. We didn’t get involved in the daytime programme of art classes or lectures, preferring to enjoy the deck side relaxation, although the weather on sea days was not always co-operative. This leads to one of my few complaints. For a cruise line that prides itself on luxury and exceeding guest expectations, the sun loungers are dreadful. Many lines now provide thick mattresses to aid an afternoon siesta but Seabourn’s are a perfect example of durability and discomfort – no mattresses! Years ago, they used to be provided but no longer. In a few locations, there are some mattresses, specifically on deck 11 at the bow of the ship, but even these seem to have been designed for durability not comfort and my 12 stone husband failed to make a dent in the extremely firm foam padding. The ship is delightful and there are always places where you can find a peaceful corner. The décor was good but, unfortunately, they were experiencing significant issues with the pool deck lifting dangerously in several places. This led to drilling and sanding both on sea and port days making the pool deck less than tranquil. It was also interesting to see how they covered all the outside vents as we went into the Amazon with the resulting screen of insects that were unable to get in! The dining options were good with 4 venues available in the evenings. For breakfast and lunch, we chose the Colonnade self-service, mainly because we enjoy sitting outside, although poor weather up the Brazilian coast to Rio occasionally forced us inside. Inevitably, we ended up eating too much. The selection is good and despite good intentions there was always something you just had to try! Another delight was sharing tables with other passengers and lunch could become a leisurely affair aided by complimentary excellent wines. In the evening, you could dine outside at the self-service or by the pool or in the formal dining room. The Grill, part of the Thomas Keller franchise, offered a special dining experience but you need to book, so it is probably better to book online before the cruise. It’s difficult to clearly quantify what makes Seabourn so special. Other lines provide similar excellent facilities, so I think it boils down to the human factor. Nothing is too much trouble and all the staff will try to make things as special as possible. The instances are endless but, for example, we enjoyed a specific complimentary wine in one restaurant that was not offered 2 nights later but the staff willingly went in search of a bottle and brought it to where we were dining. You can request any specific dish at a meal and, provided they have 24 hours’ notice, it will be there. In our case, I very much enjoyed my crepes suzette cooked to order. Another example of them “going that extra mile” occurred when my sandals broke. They repaired them and had them back ion our suite the following day. Perhaps most importantly, the staff were happy to engage but always seemed to know when to withdraw. Additionally, the culture of friendliness seems to rub off on guests and most are happy to chat and interact with you. Frequent hosted tables help with this but there seems to be an atmosphere of camaraderie that we have not experienced on other similar lines to the same extent. Seabourn cruises are not cheap but no doubt that is what allows them to maintain their standards and over 50% of the guests were returners on this cruise. They offer a good incentive scheme to pass the message on, giving $400 onboard credit to both those who recommend new guests or are recommended. However, there is one major drawback. They will not give you this benefit if you, as the sponsor, opt to take a cruise with some promotional offer of Onboard Credit attached. There is also a further condition, namely you only have 2 years to take advantage of this offer. This means it has the potential to be an empty offer if you happen to choose the “wrong cruise”. This is ridiculous and everyone on Quest who we spoke to agreed. It should be totally separate from anything else and considered in the same way as Carnival share holder benefits in order to incentivise satisfied guests to spread the word. After all, new clients generate considerable financial rewards for Seabourn – not only now but also in the future. We have now made 3 referrals to friends of ours but as we were not allowed to use any one of them on this cruise, we will not be continuing this practice. Wake up Seabourn, this is not good customer relations! Finally, it has to be said that he weather was not particularly co-operative on our cruise with the Equator crossing ceremony being cancelled twice due to rain but this did not detract from what was an excellent trip on a great ship with excellent staff and interesting guests. Definitely recommend. Ports Buenos Aires There were no ship’s tours other than very expensive private cars, so we booked a city orientation with Tangol tours, which was excellent value at £13.27 pp. We took the shuttle into town and met the minibus at the Sheraton Hotel but realised later that they would have picked us up at the port. The minibus took us through 6 neighbourhoods and gave us time to explore at the main square including the cathedral where Pope Francis officiated and Boca, a lively neighbourhood with many tango bars. An overwhelming impression of BA was lots of parks and open spaces, broad roads and lots of statues. Montevideo A ship’s trip took us to the main square but the architecture was not particularly noteworthy. However, we learnt a lot about this small country. We visited a market which had been redeveloped and drove along the very extensive Las Ramblas along the banks of the River Plate, with its brown water due to the soil content. We then visited a quirky house built by architect Pittamiglio who was into alchemy. Definitely worth a visit and we enjoyed a tango show there before returning to the ship. Ilabelha Unfortunately, our beach and waterfall trip took place in rain and grey skies. The sea was warm for swimming but 90 minutes on the beach in rain showers probably wasn’t the best introduction to this island. The Tres Combo waterfalls in the rain forest were also not particularly spectacular. Buzios Once the hideout of Brigitte Bardot, Buzios was a delightful port. Stylish shops and a pleasant beach promenade. We took a schooner trip from the ship which was very relaxing but the water wasn’t very clear and the snorkelling sites were not very productive apart from seeing some coral. However, towards the end we did see the odd small turtle and overall it was a pleasant morning. San Salvador We got off the ship and took the elevator to the upper town (over 65’s don’t pay for this). There were very colourful buildings and lots of churches although many charge a small fee for entrance. The police presence was very strong everywhere and we were warned not to wear jewellery and expensive watches. Unfortunately, one of the ship’s passengers was robbed, so definitely a port in which to be vigilant. Recife We visited Olinda, a Unesco World Heritage Site, which was interesting and provided good views of the city. We visited both the Benedictine Monastery and the Franciscan one and heard how Recife was first for a number of things in Brazil. After a drive along the beach with its shark warnings clear to see, we were treated to a rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus by a local choir at the Golden Chapel – well worth a visit. Natal Not my favourite port. We did an orientation trip from the ship and travelled for an hour to see the largest cashew nut tree in the world. Definitely impressive and in the Guiness Book of Records, but a long way to go for a tree! The city itself had many skyscrapers and much of the old town looked in need of repair. Santarem We were well into the Amazon here and you could see the meeting of the waters in the distance. We did a ship’s trip out to a community which explained the rise and fall of rubber and showed the process of milling manioc (cassava). Santarem is walkable from the ship and worth a visit. The market seems to sell predominantly hammocks for use on the boats which move up and down the Amazon – no seats on these, only hooks for your hammock. Manaus Our last stop on this trip took in the Opera House, a market and the home of one of the founding fathers of the town. We did an organised ship’s trip but it is easily done on your own, with entry to the opera house only 20 Real (£4). These are really the main sights in the town but other guests took a boat up one of the tributaries and reported an excellent trip to see an Amazonian village. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our third cruise onboard the Odyssey and we loved every moment of it! We embarked in St. Maarten after spending two days unwinding at the Holland House Hotel. The embarkation process was absolutely painless. Everything was run ... Read More
This was our third cruise onboard the Odyssey and we loved every moment of it! We embarked in St. Maarten after spending two days unwinding at the Holland House Hotel. The embarkation process was absolutely painless. Everything was run like a well oiled piece of machinery. We were in PH cabin 918, which was lovely. I'm afraid we were spoiled by the extra room and location of this cabin. We would definitely book a PH suite again. We found the food and service to be top notch and did not have one complaint about either. I did however miss the Patio dining for an occasional evening meal as I always loved their steaks and pork chops. Many passengers really enjoyed the recent change however and the food was quite good. As we have done the Caribbean a number of times, we elected to stay onboard for a number of ports. We preferred to enjoy the comforts of the ship at some of the ports. We did not do any of the ship's excursions so I am unable to comment on those. The beach BBQ was wonderful, as always. On our last day, Jost VanDyke, the water toys were brought out much to the pleasure of many of the passengers. It was great fun! We met some lovely new friends, Martin and Stella and were able to spend some quality time with them and some other friends, Debs and Mikey, that we had met on a previous cruise. We enjoyed this cruise and were not disappointed with anything! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a special trip celebrating a milestone 50th birthday. We are well seasoned cruisers and have been on most of the lines except Silversea and Crystal with 60+ cruises under our belt. SUITE: We booked the lowest level suite with ... Read More
This was a special trip celebrating a milestone 50th birthday. We are well seasoned cruisers and have been on most of the lines except Silversea and Crystal with 60+ cruises under our belt. SUITE: We booked the lowest level suite with a guarantee to upgrade to a min cat 3, and received a cat 6 up on deck 11. The room was perfect and spacious. Tons of room, excellent layout, with perfect service from our room stewardess. We had everything we needed in this room and loved the ability to split the room with blackout curtains in half so the early riser didn't disturb the other pax. Bedding quality very high. FINAL SCORE: A+ FOOD; DEFINITELY not 6 star. BIGGEST disappointment of the cruise! The menu in the main dining room was repetitive. Colonnade food comparable to HAL/Princess/Celebrity buffets. Nothing special, too many carbs/starches not enough high quality proteins or veggies. Sliced meats and cheeses were what you would find on other CCL ships. BALONEY served as a tapas? Yup. They also put it out on the buffet and the "Epicurean extravaganza". SERIOUSLY. We paid $450/pp/day to be served baloney? We did enjoy Earth and Ocean several times especially the smoked chicken starter. Fun place to dine weather permitting. TK grill was very good, but doesn't measure up to land based TK restaurants. This was still the best dining spot on the ship. Sushi was nice, pretty typical of what you find on land serving average sushi. But at lunch, due to penny pinching, they didn't serve raw fish. Our best meals were the TK special nights in the colonnade. They felt the most authentic and had cheeses you wouldn't find anywhere else on the ship. Main dining room has some outstanding nights, others it was OK. Just not consistent especially with beef dishes. Our last surprise when it came to food was the ship running out of standard menu items...60+ cruises never had a ship tell me they didn't have the item on the menu we ordered. IF you're a foodie, skip Seabourn and go with another cruiseline (Oceania, Regent). FINAL SCORE: C SHIP: was a perfect size, and never felt crowded. No lines for anything and the layout had great flow. The colonnade could get crowded in the AM requiring you to sit outside during peak hours. This tended to be the only time noticing how many were onboard. Lots of places to hang out and relax. High quality furnishing and art work. FINAL SCORE: A DRINKS: Bars had just about any type of premium liquor you could want. Beer selections were more limited. Want an IPA beer? Nope. How about a wheat beer? Nope. Craft beer? Nope.. You could find a nice selection of complimentary wines some better than others, the staff were more than willing to change out the wine if you were unhappy. Bar service overall was great. Servers couldn't remember what you ordered (they weren't allowed to write it down) and made multiple return visits either to ask again or brought your the wrong drink. This happened in the Observation lounge only. No problems in other venues. Coffee in Seabourn square is excellent. FINAL SCORE: B ENTERTAINMENT: Best was duet in observation lounge, Rachael and Vladi. The lounge band was also fun and played popular music from the 60-80's. They did seem to get a little repetitive in their playlists. CD Chris was prior west end actor/singer and had the best voice on the ship. Wish he would have sang more than twice during 15 days. The main shows were OK and geared towards the 70's crowd. We felt it lacked the energy and excitement of Oceania's ships. Very little stage magic, just singing with no sets or costumes. FINAL SCORE: C ACTIVITIES: Sorry this was sorely lacking. Sea days had very few options. One cooking demonstration in 15 days? Trivia, casino (which opened at 3pm on sea days), lectures or sitting by the pool were about all you had for options. A few games of corn hole (baggo). They did offer nice prizes of high quality. We were so looking forward to the brochure selling us on the "Marina" on the back of the ship. We had several protected bays during the cruise they could have deployed it in, but that never happened. How about the famous and well marketed "Caviar on the surf"? Yeah, never happened. We heard this sometimes turns into "Caviar in the pool"? Nope, Band played ONCE the entire 2 weeks on a sea day by the pool for 1 hour. Maybe a dance party under the stars? Nope, didn't have any. FINAL SCORE: D PORTS: The highlight of the NZ/Australia trip was seeing the Penguins march from the beach in Phillip Island...or that was the plan. Instead the captain decided 14 hours before arrival we would be leaving at 2pm vs 11pm. WHAT? "due to high winds" we needed to leave 9 HOURS earlier than planned! The seas were dead calm when we left the protective bay we tendered at... Like 1-2 ft seas. Barely a ripple in the water. I checked my phone, and the winds were going to pickup slightly in the afternoon (below 20mph). The REAL reason we were leaving early? Terrible seas the next day (sea day) w/25ft+ waves and big winds over 40MPH. We were putting along the entire time at about 12 knots riding the waves like a giant surfboard. Actually most of the time the ship moved it was slowly at 12 knots. We could have cut the crossing from NZ to Australia down to 2 days from 3. We could have skipped Eden vs leaving Philip Island early. Eden had very little to offer. FINAL SCORE: B SERVICE: Employees are the strong suit of Seabourn. Most knew our names after a few days. We were very surprised they could do this with 600 pax on board! They tried to bend over backwards and help with any request. They learned your drink or food preferences. It was the saving grace of our cruise. The people are what makes this ship stay afloat. We felt like we knew crew members on a more personal level too. I will say the officers were invisible most of the time. The crew were always present; ready, willing, and able to serve with a smile! FINAL SCORE A+ IF Seabourn improved the food quality/variety and entertainment/activities, we would consider returning and they could refer to this as a 6 star cruiseline. Until then, we have booked a Silversea cruise leaving in 60 days and will return to Oceania in the future. Food is subjective to a degree, but we have a good idea of what other lines offer and how it compares to Seabourn. I hope someone is listing at corporate office. FINAL SCORE B-. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We were on board for 36 days and had some really great crew members, but serious issues with many the didn’t have a clue what they were doing and some just plain overwhelmed. Our cabin stewardess was the worst I have had in 40 YEARS of ... Read More
We were on board for 36 days and had some really great crew members, but serious issues with many the didn’t have a clue what they were doing and some just plain overwhelmed. Our cabin stewardess was the worst I have had in 40 YEARS of cruising...clearly overwhelmed, everyday her service cart was the last to leave the passageway....where are the supervisiors to help with the proper training and make sure her staff have the tools they need to be successful. At one point it was suggested we keep a regular schedule by getting up in the morning at the same time each day!!!! Beverage service was so bad in the Grand Salon about 1/2 into the cruise they decided to go with premade drinks for the shows so the waiter didn’t have to take all those bothersome drink orders...some evening you had to ask several times for a beverage...Had to ask 2-3 times for a glass of ice, and we had to laugh one night in the MDR I asked for a wafer cookie for my ice cream....it arrived with ice cream on the pointy end, clearing taken from some other order....or previous order!!! Noticed little cheap things like no breadsticks on the table at lunch, at breakfast no little jars of jams, had big containers on the buffet to scoops out of...no hor’dourves at the formal night. If you want honey for your tea you have to scoop!!! In the Seabourn Square the honey was put into the cup, as they don’t have any little jars....guess one needs to bring their own from home....not exactly luxury! The food is for the most part quite good. However we were on 2 segments and the menus were the same for both segments. Ordered room service 2 evening when we were “fooded-out”, club sandwich which I have had in the past and was quite good...it use to be 4 sections this time it was only 2! To the good the nibbles up on deck 10 in the evening are excellent....noticed on some occasions the carpets were not cleaned of crumbs from afternoon tea!!! We did really enjoy our CD Ross Roberts, excellent...and the speakers and entertainment staff were good as well... This itinerary was very interesting but we would not go back to any of the ports except Cape Town and Singapore....if you are not a sun person you will find the the Indian Ocean really hot and humid! My only hope is that Seabourn gets it’s act together as this is the 3rd year the service isn’t what we expect....suggest more rigorous interviews and training on land and more extensive....before you subject paying passengers to amateur hour!!! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. ... Read More
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. Classy cruising. Not. Two days earlier, a crewmember carrying a sharp-edged tray had accidentally slashed my wife’s arm badly when he bumped into her in the breakfast queue. And, as we approached our homeport, all power failed and the ship narrowly missed drifting into concrete bridge pylons. In 40-plus cruises over more than 35 years before and after that forgettable holiday, my wife and I in recent years have stepped up into the heady world of ultra luxury cruising –- a field that, despite the eye-watering cost, doesn’t always live up to its publicity. Until we joined the Seabourn Ovation on March 2, 2019 for a 14-night cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore. Our wallet took a AUD21,000 (USD15,000) hit, but for the first time on this new (launched in May 2O18) absolutely beautiful mid-sized 600- passenger all-suite ship, it was worth every dollar. Nothing is perfect, so give or take a couple of petty whinges (no self-serve steamed rice and very average congee (Asian soup) while sailing in Southeast Asia, and a frosty reception in The Grill restaurant) Seabourn Ovation went as close as ever we expect to get. As sometimes jaded, increasingly grumpy and always critical travellers, it was a joy for us to start our cruise by first running an eagle eye over suite 726 on our arrival Yes, you can assume that boarding was faultless. Not one photographer on the gangway, or anywhere for the entire cruise. These days we notice things that niggle experienced cruisers on: A wall safe comfortably at chest height (it beats sitting on the floor) in a spacious walk-in robe with three dozen clothes hangers. Plenty of mirrors, a seriously cold fridge stacked with soft drinks, beer and a real bottle of champagne; plus a list of ‘complimentary’ (paid for in the fare) good quality wines. If you can’t find anything to satisfy your taste buds from Chile, California, Australia, Spain or Italy, there’s a lonely bottle of Petrus 1995 Pomeroz Grand vin from Bordeaux waiting for you in the glass-walled wine rack in the elegant main dining room ‘The Restaurant’ for USD4,500.00 (AUD6,348.00). The label is a bit scruffy so maybe the Sommelier might do a deal. In our suite there’s a lounge long enough for a rack-stretched basketballer or a third guest, a generous, glass-topped round table for 24-hour room-service-with-a-flourish (starched linen and folded napkins) and a king-size bed with a choice of six pillows soft, firm, extra firm. The TV set is on a trolley for manoeuvrability and there are plenty of movies on demand. In-suite announcements from the bridge are restricted to an average two a day -- weather and brief entertainment updates, or shore excursion boarding. No electrical engineering degree is required to operate the lights. Just click and press for a range of illumination levels from dimmed romantic to the blinding glare in the interview/confession room down at my local police station. One of Seabourn Ovation’s most remarkable (unique?) assets is its ubiquitous South African Cruise Director Andre Potgieter who recently received the prestigious President’s Award for Leadership from Seabourn Cruise Line president Rick Meadows. Andre, a softy spoken, articulate young man, emerges like a breath of spring each day in a different tailored jacket and slacks and a new spectacular bow tie with matching pocket-handkerchief. Wherever he goes, goggle-eye grandmothers swamp him with cheek kisses and embarrassing hugs. Which probably explains why, when the ship is in port, Andre trains for his favourite sport, marathon running. Of the 575 passengers from 27 nationalities on board -- average age around 60 -- there were 266 from the U.S, 112 the U.K, 46 Autralians, 34 Canadians and 33 Germans. In two weeks they demolished 2,272 bottles of red wine, 1,435 white and 633 bottles of champagne. And although there were no children on board, 390 litres of ice cream. A total of 32,826 breadsticks mopped up 21lbs of caviar. Two popular spots on the ship are the Observation Bar on the deck 11 which features high tea for an hour from 4pm then a friendly circular bar open until midnight; and The Retreat on the top deck (12) an exclusive enclave with 15 private cabanas, lavish amenities and an oversized whirlpool spa. Evening entertainment in the Grand Salon, often starring one of the slickest teams of ships’ dancers and vocalists we have seen on a cruise ship and backed by Seabourn Ovation’s highly professional orchestra, featured a range of top-class acts from a comedian and to an opera singer. A tip: For an unobstructed view, find a seat away from the intrusive supporting pillars. A shore excursion with a difference on Seabourn’s Asian itineraries is the idyllic day spent on the company’s picture-postcard tree-fringed private beach, ‘The Den’ on the exclusive Thai island of Kood. On a clear sunny day more than 400 souls disembarked from Seabourn Ovation tenders to discover rows of deck chairs under shade trees, a feast of lobster, steaks and salads, champagne on ice and a full bar. All of this ferried ashore from daybreak and served by the ship’s crew and a group of local Thais. With only a few days left and most passengers staying on board for the cruise to Dubai, we were wondering whether they still threw stowaways in the brig. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard ... Read More
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard working staff and crew. However unlike our previous two Seabourn cruises, we were quite disappointed by the vegetarian food on offer. Cabin Our cabin was on Deck 6,and right up the front of the ship. We had a beautiful big room with a verandah, a separate lounge room, a big comfortable bed and a big bathroom with a bath, with high quality and plentiful bath products and big, soft towels. There was plenty of storage and the view from the verandah was uninterrupted. However on the rare occasions we sailed through rough seas, we certainly rocked a lot. We will book a cabin mid ships on our next cruise. We like good air flow when we are sleeping and once again, the air conditioner did not meet our needs. The cabin was too stuffy and we had the same problem last year and on the Encore the year before. We solved this by bringing our own fan and we were very comfortable. A couple of times throughout the cruise, we had a "meet your neighbours" party. This is a great idea. Dining My husband and I are vegetarian and although there was plenty for us to eat, a lot of the dishes were mediocre. They were very bland and often stodgy and we seemed to have those bland and stodgy dishes over and over again. However we often dined with passengers who chose the meat dishes and they reported that their steaks were succulent and their chicken and pork were cooked to perfection. It's as if Seabourn are ticking a box to say they cater to vegetarians but then fail to produce fine food. However the vegetarian options on the two occasions they held a Galley Market and the special Indian buffet dinner they held one night in the Colonnade were outstanding. We also placed a special breakfast order for vegetarian congee and this dish was also outstanding. The chefs can clearly prepare beautifully spiced dishes when necessary and I only wish they could do it all the time. Vegetarians on all cruise ships seem to be treated with the same contempt as someone who asks for an overcooked steak and I don't think we deserve that. There's a whole market of cashed up vegetarians Seabourn could attract if they really tried to cater to our needs. The waiters on Seabourn are the best of the best. Incredibly inspiring people, I may be in the minority here, but I don't like or understand Seabourn's practice of having the staff offer an arm to a woman, which the woman is then under some pressure to grab while they are escorted to their table in the Restaurant. It is not a custom I am used to and the feminist in me really objects. I always feel uncomfortable and I'm sure these busy young people have better things to do. We have dined in upmarket restaurants all over the world and have not experienced this practice anywhere else. Perhaps they could have an opt in policy for those who enjoy this experience and leave the rest of us alone. Drink The wine ranged from good to acceptable and there was always plenty to choose from. There was a huge variety of cocktails and they were plentiful. The bar staff were wonderful. Public Spaces Even at full capacity, Seabourn ships never feel crowded. We could always find a quiet spot to read or simply watch the world go by. On the other hand, if we wanted company or entertainment, there was always somewhere to go. The whirlpool on deck 6 was a haven for us and we usually had it to ourselves. It was the place to be when sailing away. . Fitness Centre My husband attended the complimentary stretch and exercise classes each day and found them excellent. The instructor was very capable and he gave my husband lots of advice on how to continue the program once he came home. Entertainment We were on the Quest last year, so this time when we went to the shows put on by the extremely talented Seabourn singers and dancers, we were surprised to find that the shows were exactly the same as last year. Even some of the costumes were the same. Seabourn encourages us to be repeat cruisers and we are very happy to oblige, but it would be nice to see something different. The entertainment on the whole was very good but tended to be middle of the road and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Seabourn's passengers are generally well educated and sophisticated, but most of the music would have appealed to our long deceased parents. For heaven's sake, we were alive in the sixties and went through one of the most profound musical revolutions in history. We can handle entertainment which is current and inspiring and multi-dimensional and I'm sure the talented entertainers onboard would have loved performing this type of material. On the other hand, we were huge fans of Josie and the trio in the Club and we usually ended up there every night. Now they really can handle modern music. We also enjoyed the various parties on the pool deck and in the Club. Jess, the Assistant Cruise Director is an outstanding entertainer. Staff and Crew Iggy and the expedition team were outstanding and I can't thank them enough for the wonderful experience they arranged for us in Antarctica. We always knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it and all the time they shared their incredible knowledge with us. They were always true professionals while being kind and warm and funny. The Captain was also a true professional and a wonderful communicator and we always knew we were in good hands. The weather is volatile going to and from Antarctica and each day he told us what the weather was doing and how he was going to deal with it. We were very impressed. The staff in every Department were well trained and incredibly good at their jobs. Seabourn only employs the best of the best and it shows. Excursions Antarctica was the highlight of this cruise and Neko Harbour was the highlight of Antarctica. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. We were fortunate that the weather was perfect for the 6 days we were there, so we saw everything we set out to see. Only 100 people are allowed on shore at any one time and Seabourn's expedition team organised us like a military operation. We knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it. They helped us on and off zodiacs, even those passengers with disabilities, and helped us once we were on shore. They laid out trails for us and kept us away from the seals basking on the beaches and the penguins' walking trails, but we were close enough to see them. The penguins were lovely. The expedition team also made sure we cleaned our boots before we returned to the ship so we didn't cross contaminate the next place we went to. Otherwise we covered a large area of the continent of South America and the excursions were really well organised and great value. The outstanding sights were the fjords in Chile, the Falkland Islands, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and everywhere in Brazil. Passengers Mostly American with a few Australians and English but quite a few other nationalities as well. Age range 60 and upwards. Mostly well educated, well travelled, lovely people who were thrilled to be on board such a lovely ship, living in the lap of luxury and having such a wonderful experience. They were a pleasure to spend time with. However it always amazes me how a small minority are constantly complaining about anything and everything and thought nothing of being very rude to the staff. They seem to get off on it. Internet Very patchy and as other reviewers have said, it should be part of the package. In summary, this was a wonderful experience and going to Antarctica was life changing. Seabourn Quest is one of only a handful of small ships that can go there and we were very fortunate to be able to take this journey. I'm sure we will now all be ambassadors to make sure this remarkable place stays as pristine as it now is. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I should start by saying that we were first time cruisers so have nothing to compare this to. We chose Seabourn as we wanted a small ship and good service. We absolutely got this and more. It really exceeded our expectations. The suite ... Read More
I should start by saying that we were first time cruisers so have nothing to compare this to. We chose Seabourn as we wanted a small ship and good service. We absolutely got this and more. It really exceeded our expectations. The suite was really spacious with a fabulous bathroom and walk in wardrobe. With no knowledge of what suites were good or bad we opted for the gamble of a “guaranteed veranda suite” and got 512. I have no complaints. The half metal balcony did not bother us at all. The ship never felt crowded, anywhere we went there was usually a seat, table or sunbed free. All staff were happy, polite and helpful. All said good morning/afternoon/evening when passing and the housekeeping staff were especially lovely. The food and drinks were really high quality. We loved sitting outside in the Colonnade so went there most lunch times and half the evenings. The main dining room is good too and the food delicious but I feel the lighting is way too bright, reduces the ambience. It’s good that you can either request a table for two or a sharing table (6people max) when you want to meet new people. We failed to make a reservation at the Thomas Keller grill beforehand (rookie mistake) so didn’t get to eat there. Must remember that next time. The cruise was a 7 day “yacht harbours” in the Caribbean but I don’t think it really lived up to that. The first day had to be a day at sea as it was too rough to tender at Saline Bay so we missed the beach bbq. It was held on board instead which was fun anyway. I have read a few reviews where this has happened and wonder if it’s a frequent occurrence? I felt that only two of the places we docked were actually “yacht harbours” others were cruise ports where larger ships also docked. At one we seemed to be at a freight dock with a shuttle to the main port because two larger ships had taken the cruise ship docking area! People on board were probably mainly British, Canadian and American, mostly over 50. There was one small child (very well behaved). I can’t imagine it’s a cruise which children or young people would enjoy. We had a fabulous week and are already planning our next Seabourn cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
It is with great sadness that I am writing this review as I have never had to write a negative review before, however we have written to Seabourn since returning home and as they refuse to accept responsibility for issues then I feel it is ... Read More
It is with great sadness that I am writing this review as I have never had to write a negative review before, however we have written to Seabourn since returning home and as they refuse to accept responsibility for issues then I feel it is my responsibility to inform potential customers of potential problems.. We chose the cruise as part of a long holiday to New Zealand. We had travelled on Seabourn Encore the previous year to Australia and were mainly satisfied so we didn’t hesitate to book again. There was not much availability so our cruise consultant chose a cabin for us. Our cabin was appalling, ( see review below). We tried to change cabin, we were more than willing to pay to upgrade but the head of Guest Services said she would come back to us and never did.( we had already tried to get info about the cabin before leaving the UK) It was very galling to see the Seabourn Venture staff and even guest entertainers had cabins in better areas than we were allowed to purchase. Our first day was ok and then for some reason despite knowing of bad weather the captain decided to sail the ship to Norfolk Island. I had 4 days flat on my back with sea sickness as the swell was a constant 13-19ft and the ship was unstable, making it very uncomfortable to move around. At times it felt very dangerous. As expected we could not tender at Norfolk Island, In fact Seabourn have only tendered 2 out of the last 18 attempts!!!! Why did they attempt it knowing the weather was bad? And why do they not publicise how unlikely it is that the visit to the port of Norfolk Island will be successful? On the 6th day I made it out of bed and managed an excursion but then I started to feel ill. I was in agony. I was forced to see the ships doctor and found out I had streptococcal tonsillitis. Apparently there had been an outbreak on the previous cruise and a few of the crew caught it. We thought it was because nobody is asked to use the hand sanitizer anywhere on the ship and therefore hygiene standards are not as good as they should be. This was not the case when we were on the ship last time. Standards have definitely dropped over the year. I then spent another 3 days in bed, having to visit the doctor again to get stronger pain medication as I was in agony. It cost me 400 dollars through non of my own fault!!!! I have to say that Madeline our cabin attendant was fantastic and tried very hard to help me whilst I was ill. She was very sympathetic and genuinely cared. A credit to Seabourn. I recovered and then managed to enjoy visiting the other ports we did dock or tender at. The food standards have definitely dropped since the previous year. I can only describe the food as very boring, apart from the pool bar at night where at least the food had some flavour. We spoke to so many people who felt the same that we stopped speaking to people as we were not only bored with the food but bored with talking about it!! The entertainment was lack lustre and uninspiring. Cost cutting could be seen in all areas. On a positive the shore excursions were well organised and the staff very friendly. Please be careful when choosing a V1. It is very different to a V6 and I would hate anybody else to run off the ship at the end of a cruise as we did because we could not wait to leave. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We took a seven day Eastern Carribean cruise on the Ofyssey. Didn’t get off the ship much because we have discovered over the years that most Carribean Island adventures are pretty fungible. We took an upgrade opportunity for one of ... Read More
We took a seven day Eastern Carribean cruise on the Ofyssey. Didn’t get off the ship much because we have discovered over the years that most Carribean Island adventures are pretty fungible. We took an upgrade opportunity for one of the 4 spa suites on 10 accessible only via spiral staircase in the spa- a good pick. Great outdoor deck at the rear, plenty of inside space, huge bath and shower, lots of amenities. BUT broken and unfixed/unfixable blind in the BR and a fridge door actually fell off, but was timely fixed. We found the staff uniformly friendly and accommodating - more so than on the Encore. English not always so good. Lots of trpical drink trays in constant circulation. Top shelf liquor at all bars and restaurants. House wines OK but nothing special. Restaurant decor and some public areas could use refresher. More self-serv launderettes would be helpful. Restaurant/Keller selections good to excellent. Colonnade buffets generally pretty good. Room service- too slow and too cold. The coffee, like virtually every cruise ship we’ve been on, was bad - there must be some special secret and cheap robusto blend they all buy. Espresso sometimes OK and cappuccinos were tolerable. All in all, we liked this ship although my companion thought there too many smoking areas. We liked the Encore better even though it was larger and will probably try other Seabourn ships before we come back here. Wishing you clear skies and calm seas. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Suite is fabulous although a little noisy as the anchor goes up and down(but we were warned) so not a problem, food exceptional as is the service in the restaurants although it is hurried, no time to rest between courses. I personally ... Read More
Suite is fabulous although a little noisy as the anchor goes up and down(but we were warned) so not a problem, food exceptional as is the service in the restaurants although it is hurried, no time to rest between courses. I personally would prefer a lighter decor as on Ponant ships. The main dining room is not nearly as ‘clubby’ looking as the smaller Seabourn ships which is good! Shore excursions are too expensive, especially for Vietnam and Cambodia as our party travelled by land a year ago with 5 star accommodation and transport and the charges are Indochina are far less than Seabourn charge. Beds so comfortable with a variety of pillows to choose for personal comfort. While the air conditioning is adjustable in suits the dining ares are very cool for many passengers. Spar area offers fabulous treatments and very well supported as bookings are not easy—-I find the treatments expensive compared to Australia, not the Americans. I have cruised Ponant, Silver Seas, Regent and have to say Seabourn is far superior to those cruise lines in every way—- service, food, actual cabin, even the passengers. Read Less
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