1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Seabourn Cruise Line
  4. Seabourn Cruise Line Cruise Reviews

69 Seabourn Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for our honeymoon because of the raving reviews about the service and luxury of the ship and Seabourn. We were highly disappointed. Our room was probably the worst on the ship and this may be the main reason for ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon because of the raving reviews about the service and luxury of the ship and Seabourn. We were highly disappointed. Our room was probably the worst on the ship and this may be the main reason for our disappointment. 843, next to a service area and below the pool bar service area. Crew started work everyday at 4 am. It was unreal as we woke up to horrific noise of dragging pool chairs and other noise we could not identify, every morning at 4 am. I am not exaggerating. We had to call and beg for the noise to stop and for work to start at a reasonable time. Seabourn did not care and did absolutely nothing to help us get rest or move us to an available cabin (the ship has vacant cabins). No one EVER returned our calls as we were told would happen or do anything to assist or make our stay better. I worked in hotels and resorts for over 15 years and there are many, many things that could have been done to make our stay more enjoyable. Our bathroom smelled like urine and items from the previous guest were still in the room including hair in the bath tub and shower. It was actually quite nasty as we were tracking where the long black hairs were moving around our bathroom each day as our room was supposedly cleaned. Our room attendant was really sub par and didn’t not respond to our requests. She actually asked us to leave 90 minutes before we were to vacate our room on the last day so someone could strip our bed. Come one! I mean we were already awake most of the nights as all of the luggage on the 8th floor was moved via the service elevator next to our room, and don’t forget the regular 4 am shift that was the loudest of the entire trip because Seabourn simply didn’t care as we were leaving in the morning. The coffee shop was wonderful! The Sushi restaurant food and service was wonderful and we ate there for lunch almost everyday. The Restaurant was excellent as well, for food and service. The entertainment wasn’t for anyone in our age range but it was excellent for the majority of the passengers in the 60+ age group. We knew this booking and it was okay because we wanted a relaxing honeymoon and quiet time together. Lots of puzzles, crosswords, and needlepoint workshops to do if you like that sort of thing. Seabourn could have selected better ports to visit as we were disappointed about the industrial working ports we visited on this cruise. More options for Marina days as there was only one and it was cancelled due to wind. I understand that most senior citizens may not be interested in marina day activities but since the rest of the voyage was really planned for them, have some options for active adults. The gym was small and had extremely limited options. We would have liked a peloton bike or two to use in the gym since there were no spin or fly wheel classes (or room for any). We did workout in the gym every day and did a 60 minute run off ship at the ports where we felt were safe places to run. Happy to be home and to get a good and full night sleep. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked a v2 suite (532) in June and not our normal guaranteed as there are a few v1 and v2 suites we really don’t like. Just over a week out British Airways pilots announced their strikes dates one of which was our departure day. ... Read More
We booked a v2 suite (532) in June and not our normal guaranteed as there are a few v1 and v2 suites we really don’t like. Just over a week out British Airways pilots announced their strikes dates one of which was our departure day. Seabourn quickly rebooked us on another flight on the previous day but unfortunately this was from Heathrow and not Gatwick (our local airport) as per our original flight so we had to rejig our airport transfer arrangements. We received no advice of this either from Seabourn or from our agent but we spotted it on our BA app. We checked with our agent and asked what the hotel arrangements would be but that was not resolved until 2 days before departure. Just under a week out we logged into our account with Seabourn and discovered we had been given an upgrade to a v6 on deck 10 again with no advice from the agent or Seabourn. The communication could have been much better on both these issues but I guess they were busy sorting out cancelled flights. On our new departure day the flights and transfers went smoothly and we had a nice hotel in Cannes. We transferred to the ship around lunchtime and were pleasantly surprised to find that our cabin was available. I fixed the Seabourn luggage labels to our suitcases before our transfer but of course the labels were for our previous suite having been posted to us around 6 weeks out. I did try to change them to our new suite number with some tape as they are difficult to write on. One suitcase arrived in our cabin very quickly but not the other. I enquired several times but was told on each occasion that they were still distributing the luggage. I also took a trip down to deck 5 to see if my bag was there but no sign. On our way to our muster station via the crew stairwell there it was!! Our missing suitcase was stuck in a corner… ..abandoned!! So eventually the missing bag arrived… 4 hours after the first one and just in time to change for dinner. The bar in our cabin was stocked with our selected spirits but as on our previous trip on Odyssey last year our chosen beer was nowhere to be seen and after some enquiries nowhere on the ship. I raised this a few times even with the hotel manager when we met him one evening but I got nowhere. So if you want anything just ask doesn’t work if you would like a proper beer!! Not sure why they have a free-form box for beer if they can’t provide it? We tried to order Dover sole for dinner one breakfast time but the chef told the maitre d’ that he needed 24 hours notice. Generally the food we found much better on this ship than on Odyssey though some nights we did struggle with the menu especially on the chefs dinner night. The portion sizes weren’t generous so we never felt as though we had eaten too much after most of the served meals. The buffet portions are of course down to you!! Most of the staff were excellent and many greeted us by name. Our cabin Steward kept the suite reasonably clean but marks on mirrors and glass doors never seemed to get her attention. She never re-organised the balcony furniture and small pieces of food we spilt on the balcony floor were still there several days later. She was also not so good at restocking our fridge with mixers or the cabin with drinking water. Our bathrobes were only occasionally properly wrapped up following use. Plastic disposable bottles of water have now gone from the ship and been replaced with reusable plastic bottles refilled each day. Many people complained about the quality of the water but we didn’t find it a problem. It would be a good idea to bring your own drinks bottle to take ashore as the supplied ones are not so good to drink from on the move. To secure your place on an excursion you need to book on line and pay with your credit card. If you wish to use any onboard credit you may have to pay for excursions you then have to visit guest services and have your payment credited to your shipboard account and refunded at the end of your cruise. Your refund won’t of course necessarily be at the same exchange rate as your original purchase. Our refund appeared on our credit card within a few days. We asked for a complementary wine list on board but as before the actual wines available didn’t match the list. Oyster Bay was the only NZ sauvignon blanc available and many of the wines came from the USA! We did find a nice Bordeaux and an Italian Valpolicello. Having our wine topped up was never a problem which is just as well as the standard wine glasses used for both red and white wines are not big. They were only filled to half way too so you do need a few top ups. We never found the ship was crowded even though it was supposed to be full except in and around the main pool. The outside area of the Collonade was also very popular so get there early. The layout of the Collonade we found was much better than on Odyssey. The bar service in the observation lounge was poor most times we visited so we abandoned it in favour of the grill bar. We called room service at 17.50 one night to order dinner in suite. They took the order and told us 18. 50 to 19.00. Nothing arrived by 19.15 so I rang again and was told they were very busy so be a few minutes. Nothing arrived by 19.35 so left to find food elsewhere. The Colonade has some themed nights some of which are reservation only but you only find out when the Herald newspaper arrives the previous evening – so even if you have a few drinks you must concentrate and read it!! This cuts your dining options if you don’t spot it. Other themed nights are just turn up and they also have an always available menu these nights. They do tend to keep the Colonade open beyond the stated lunchtime opening if excursions are late back but the restaurant staff are not always too happy about it. Some bar staff now seem to be using measures for spirits so don’t be surprised to receive a small cognac after dinner. The pool/sky bar seem to be the exception to this. On our last day on board we were advised that the Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc had run out? It is quite strange that the Stoneburn SB ran out at almost exactly the same stage on out last cruise on Odyssey? The alternative SB from Bordeaux was quite poor in comparison. We did spot some Oyster Bay at the pool bar but it could have been their last bottle. Another economy we noticed was when we ordered champagne and caviar in our cabin. Last year on Odyssey they always brought a bottle and would open it for you and pour two fresh glasses. This time they arrived with two glasses covered in cling film which they unwrapped for you. Is this the future of 6 star cruising. As has been said in other reviews the brand of champagne has changed but we certainly preferred the previous brand. In conclusion we enjoyed our cruise with Seabourn and preferred the larger ship. We would be happy to cruise with them again but I think we will try to cruise off season a bit more as it is normally quieter and the prices are lower. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were looking for a luxury cruise which would visit Spain and France and would be no more than 14 days. Having sailed on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean with our children many years ago, we were looking for a smaller ship with the ... Read More
We were looking for a luxury cruise which would visit Spain and France and would be no more than 14 days. Having sailed on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean with our children many years ago, we were looking for a smaller ship with the 'feel' of a Four Seasons resort. We found that Seabourn was a perfect fit for us. This was to be an 11 day cruise starting in Barcelona and ending in Monaco. The embarkation process was flawless. We boarded the ship around 2p and were welcomed aboard by very friendly crew. We went directly to our state room (754) and met our cabin attendant; she was awesome! She made us feel very welcomed and made sure that she knew what our preferences were(e.g. extra towels, hypo allergenic bedding, etc). Our cabin was beautiful; spacious and in great condition. The marble bathroom and double sink and separate stall shower were designed very well. The walk in closet provides ample space. And we liked the size of the balcony; we enjoy breakfast at sea on our balcony. We then began to explore the ship and were very impressed by the public areas and the ease of finding areas of interest. One recommendation we have is that Seabourn should improve the public areas by adding more artwork and by using lighter wood tones rather than the darker ones. We expected all of the public areas to have a luxury feel and that was the case in the Thomas Keller Grille, Seabourn Square, the Observation Bar and the Dining room. The other areas could benefit by my suggestions above. Dining: overall, the breakfasts, lunches and dinners were very good to excellent. The meals we enjoyed the most were at the Thomas Keller Grill, the Dining Room and Earth and Ocean. The Thomas Keller Grill was as fine as any restaurant we've ever experienced. Having been to the French Laundry, we had high expectations for the Grill and these were exceeded. The bar at the Grill was our favorite pre-dinner spot. The bartender, Diago, knew our names and knew exactly what we wanted every time. The maitre'd for the Grill, Luke, knew us well and made it very special for us to enjoy dining at the Grill three times, once to celebrate my birthday on the 7th of September. He even made sure a special chocolate cake was made. I would highly recommend that Seabourn introduce another fine dining establishment on the Encore class of ships. Perhaps an Italian restaurant at the same level as Il Milino in NYC and Las Vegas, and /or a Steakhouse. For this to be a true luxury experience, we believe having another fine dining venue is a must. Other experienced Seabourn cruisers felt the same way. The Colonnade for breakfast was very nice. However for dinner, our experiences(twice) were just average. Slow service, and quality of food was just good, not great. Earth and Ocean we had dinner there once and next time we would go a few more times as the food and service were very very good. Ports: we were very disappointed that our one Portugal stop was cancelled and replaced with a second stop on Morocco. The cruise line made up for this by offering a discount on our next cruise; they did this for everyone on board as many complained. Most of the ports were very interesting, for example Malaga and Valencia and Cadiz Spain; however, the once port in France, (Cavalier sur Mer) should be removed from future cruises and replaced with St Tropez. Other than one ship excursion(Tangier) we arranged our own tours privately and enjoyed every one of them. We tend to prefer private tours so that we have more flexibility. Entertainment: Overall, it was very good. The gentleman from England who was both a comedian and singer was terrific..The woman comedian bombed the first night she performed and came through on the last night of the cruise. We would recommend more variety of performances and more headliner acts. Also, unlike some of the other luxury cruises, Seabourn did not offer any guest lecturers, authors, etc of notoriety. This would be very much enjoyed by most. Overall, the service was excellent. The folks in guest services were very accomodating and pleasant. The servers at Thomas Keller, Earth and Ocean and Sushi were very friendly and attentive. The cruise director is a hoot! Best we've every encountered; a keeper for sure. One of our favorite venues on the ship is the The Retreat; a private area on deck 12 with 14 fully furnished and stocked cabanas for rent. For us, we enjoy sun and alot of shade so this is the perfect place to relax, read, and enjoy in a quieter area with outstanding service. A private bar(Diego the bartender)and excellent cuisine from fruit platters, steak sandwiches, chopped salads, and much more more including delicious hot fudge sundaes! For us, it was well worth the upcharge. For most, we find they enjoy the vibe and tumult of the main pool area. Also, Seabourn Square is the perfect place for coffees, teas, gelato and pastries all day long! In addition to the recommendations above there is one other thing Seabourn should do right away . offer to all cruisers the option of having bottled Evian or similar water instead of the ship filtered and bottled water which we found unappealing. We would absolutely cruise with Seabourn again. Our only hope is that the cruise line heeds all of our recommendations above right away. If that occurs, then our thought about comparing this line with Regent or Crystal would likely not occur. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just stepping off the Seabourn Encore in Barcelona I feel we got a lot of fresh new takes on cruising with familiar favorites. Having cruised a large major cruise line over the Fourth if July the not having to sign for drinks and having ... Read More
Just stepping off the Seabourn Encore in Barcelona I feel we got a lot of fresh new takes on cruising with familiar favorites. Having cruised a large major cruise line over the Fourth if July the not having to sign for drinks and having wait staff recognize and anticipate our orders was a breath of fresh air. We stayed in the Owners Suite so we had plenty of living room space, more choices of liquor at the in room bar than a reasonable couple could consume in 6 months and a separate bedroom with a large bathroom. A half bath off the living room area was a nice touch. The balcony had two entrances one from the living room and one from the bedroom and Seabourn modified the balcony wall with some glass so you can actually sit down on a lounger and have a view. Older ships have a solid metal wall that does not afford you a view when seated on the balcony or lying on the bed. Toiletries in the bathroom are Molton Brown and generously sized. More than a reasonable could possibly use in a week let alone a month. Double sinks with plenty of counter space and shelves along with a medicine cabinet insures plenty of space for a person to make home in the bathroom with no compromising for your partner. The tub is large with jacuzzi jets and there is a separate shower with great water pressure. All very bright, pleasant and comfortable. Dining options have been expanded with the addition of a sushi restaurant open for lunch and dinner which we particularly liked. Though the menu didn’t change daily we found some consistent favorites that didn’t fail to delight along with ordering different sushi rolls to mix things up. Service was the best in the Sushi restaurant and I am pretty sure we may have been their first frequent diners on a cruise but hey when you really like something why not go for it. We also found the Earth and Ocean outdoor grill by the pool a surprisingly excellent dining option. The grill is open later for lunch until 3 pm which is particularly helpful when shore excursions get you back at 2 pm with no lunch having been provided. But it’s the evening menu although limited to 3 staters 3 mains and 3 desserts, each time we went the food was exceptional. I had the best mushroom entree that I would die for again. I’m not a vegetarian but would be a convert if I could have that dish every night. My husband had a Nigerian Prawn dish that were as large as a lobster and served piping hot but not over done. Service was impeccable at this dining option as well. The Collanade restaurant was our go to for breakfast and it was reliably sticked with everything you would expect- fresh fruit, egg options, cheese, meat, nuts and other savories, breads and sweets. Hand sanitizers at the entrance were used regularly so no concerns in sanitation issues. I can’t comment on the main dining room as we never went as well as we didn’t get into the Thomas Keller restaurant. Other things of note were thoughtfully presented shore excursions which we did every day and the entertainment in the Sky Lounge daily was lovely- a mix of modern and classics by a singer accompanied by a pianist. What’s not to love about sailing out of a port to well made martini and lovely music? My only observation on the Encore that was different than other Seabourn cruises was that the cabin stewards seemed as a rule sullen and generally unhappy. Very few ever treated us and our own steward seemed to go out of her way to not greet us at any time. We had several instances of cabin crews coming into to our cabin later at night to close our curtains- apparently forward facing cabins must keep the curtains closed starting at 6 pm. Another night a storm threat caused another crusade of cabin stewards to pull in our deck furniture. I was in bed both times these occurred and my husband was in the shower. 5 minutes earlier or later and the cabin crew members would have gotten an eye full of something they probably din’t Want to see- ever. So to sum up Seabourn Encore lives up to it’s reputation for sophisticated elegance with a beautiful ship. Food, wine and drinks are superb. Shore excursions to some new not well known places were a pleasant surprise. Room intrusions and sulky cabin stewards was a surprise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our second Seabourn Cruise. We have been on Azamara twice. Regent twice. Silversea twice. We expected this cruise to be as 'luxurious' as our first Seabourn cruise but although enjoyable we felt the service and ... Read More
This was our second Seabourn Cruise. We have been on Azamara twice. Regent twice. Silversea twice. We expected this cruise to be as 'luxurious' as our first Seabourn cruise but although enjoyable we felt the service and food had declined. As far as 'inclusive' cruise lines goes Seabourn is less 'inclusive' than say Regent which is far superior in suites and food plus you get all excursions and internet thrown in plus sauna, steam room, cold room etc at the Regent Spa. Seabourn has an area called the 'Retreat' which is only accessible if you pay. Everything in their Spa has a cost. Internet is only available if you pay. If your only experience of luxury lines is Seabourn then you would not be disappointed. So to sum up the cruise was enjoyable. The food is not luxury even in the specialist restaurants. It's 4 star. The Encore has a very small main swimming pool although there is a small quiet area with a small pool at the rear of the ship. There doesn't seem to be any supervision in the pool areas so we did experience an American family that just let their kids run riot which spoilt the quiet area small pool. Note:- don't go in August LOL. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have been on Seabourn several times-all except one on Odyssey. We love this ship as it has minimal announcements, great service and food and is a low density ship so never feels crowded. We always use Seabourn for booking our flights ... Read More
We have been on Seabourn several times-all except one on Odyssey. We love this ship as it has minimal announcements, great service and food and is a low density ship so never feels crowded. We always use Seabourn for booking our flights as they meet you at the airport and transfer you to the ship and back again. Within about 5 minutes of arriving at the port, we were on the ship. Odyssey has recently had a make-over as we noticed many of the furnishings were new. The 14-day itinerary was fabulous with calls at many Greek islands as well as Sicily and Valletta plus a couple of extra-relaxing days at sea. For us one of the great things about Seabourn is the food and service. Staff get to know your name and preferences. There are several different places to eat dinner with great choices of food made with quality ingredients and choice cuts of meat. There are themed dinners at the Colonnade and a la carte with many choices in the main restaurant. Many people rate the food by the pool at dinner very highly, though we did not try it. We enjoyed lobster in the TK Grill which is the only evening dining venue that requires a reservation. Another factor for us is the informal ambiance with 'elegant casual' as the dress code apart from 2 evenings where the dress code was Formal-but in the main Restaurant only. Serving staff are all very good and friendly. We will be on another SEabourn cruise soon! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise based on the recommendation of our travel agent who said it was the "best of the best" and it turns out they were very wrong on this cruise ship. Starting with finding a pair of dirty women's ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the recommendation of our travel agent who said it was the "best of the best" and it turns out they were very wrong on this cruise ship. Starting with finding a pair of dirty women's underwear on the floor of our cabin upon check-in, being served frozen steak in their "nice" restaurant, finding all 40 chaise lounges at the pool "reserved" while 3 people were in the pool, being ignored by bar staff and the very limited dining hours outside of the 24 hour room service which didn't offer a lot of choices. The entertainment wasn't well publicized and from what we heard from other passengers it was stale at best. We took one ship sponsored excursion that was shown as very strenuous that we ended up with 2 older couples that should have been asked to take another excursion as they held up the group considerably. The excursion guide, even though we were running an hour behind our lunch, forced us to a shop where her "friend" was working the counter where she obviously had a side deal going. Getting on and off the boat at the start and end of the cruise was very easy and the tenders at the smaller ports offered the same ease of use. The ports we stopped at P Read Less
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
Sail Date July 2019
As a first-time cruiser I had little expectation of a cruise on the Seabourn Encore. Firstly the embarkation was extremely efficient and we were quickly ushered to our lovely cabin complete with a welcoming bottle of French champagne ... Read More
As a first-time cruiser I had little expectation of a cruise on the Seabourn Encore. Firstly the embarkation was extremely efficient and we were quickly ushered to our lovely cabin complete with a welcoming bottle of French champagne and a warm welcome from all crew members encountered along the way. The cabin was beautiful with a large walk-in wardrobe and double sinks in the marble bathroom. Every aspect of this ship was stunning from the restaurants to the Club Lounge with its excellent Club Quartet to the pool and outside restaurants and bars. Food in all of the restaurants was outstanding - we particularly enjoyed the Japanese Restaurant where the service and food were exceptional. The best entertainment was the comedienne Jo Little who, along with being very funny, had a magnificent singing voice. Enjoyed a shore excursion to Canne and it was excellent and well-organised. Service in every area of the ship was magnificent on every occasion and crew members clearly worked hard to ensure the guest experience was above expectation. 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
Sail Date July 2019
Having taken 10 cruises before, my wife and I (52, 42 years old) just completed our first luxury cruise on Seabourn. June 29-July 6 from Venice to Athens on Odyssey. We booked our travel from the US through Seabourn and had a ... Read More
Having taken 10 cruises before, my wife and I (52, 42 years old) just completed our first luxury cruise on Seabourn. June 29-July 6 from Venice to Athens on Odyssey. We booked our travel from the US through Seabourn and had a positive experience in every way. Great price on the airfare, and one pre-cruise night in the Baglioni Hotel in Venice, and one post-cruise night in the Grand Bretagne in Athens. Seabourn personal were very present at the airport, and the hotels, and we had virtual personal escorts from the Venice airport to the Water Taxi to the Baglioni, where we were met by a Seabourn staffer stepping off the boat. Again that attention as we left for the ship the next day. The biggest lesson for me was ALWAYS take the cruise offered transfers, as it made for a totally worry-free experience. Upon debarkation, we went from breakfast, walked off the ship with no line, into a waiting car service, and was at the Grand Bretagne and checked in within one-hour. Just amazing. And, the next day a Seabourn staff was there to ensure our car was waiting and our bags were loaded. The whole Seabourn transfer and travel experience took magnitudes of stress from our trip. This was our first time in Venice, and all of the other stops. Amazing to hear some “veteran” cruisers complain about the heat and some of the ports. 1 – Its July in the Mediterranean and 2 – They booked the cruise knowing the ports, right? We enjoyed every stop immensely. The small ship in small ports that aren’t overrun by tourists cannot be beaten. And as for weather, we did not even see a cloud until Day 6. Perfect conditions. After boarding…we waited a total of 5 minutes to get on the ship. The door to door access, from embarkation to every excursion to debarkation was appreciated. The overriding theme from the cruise was the service was indeed a cut above in every respect. No question everything was done with the cruiser in mind. My wife and I don’t consider ourselves complainers, but by Day 5 we were searching for something to complain about and couldn’t find it. Even the other couples were ended up spending time with on the ship felt the same way. Tough job for their staff, because we did see others who wanted to complain about everything. High maintenance folks for sure, but the staff managed those people so well, and those folks gave my wife and I something to laugh about every night, and made us appreciate the cruise even more! Vodice, Day 1, was our favorite stop. Beautiful town. We took an excursion to Kayak in Trogir and it was exceptional. With one notable exception, the tour operators were outstanding, communicated well with everyone, and were quite engaging. We Kayaked nearly 10 miles in crystal clear, cool Aegean waters, with a wonderful meal afterwards. Wisely, we had scheduled a massage for that night, and my wife (well experienced in the Spa world) said it was as good a massage as she has had. The facilities were pretty blah, but again people make everything, and the people in the spa were wonderful. Day 2 was Kotor, which we also loved. Took a Tuk Tuk ride along the coastline to the Port of Montenegro and it was a beautiful ride. Shopping in the old town was outstanding, but we were one of four ships that day in Kotor, and it was crowded. Day 3, Corfu, was the best shopping day, as a bus took us from our ship (and I mean right outside the ship) to the shopping area and back, then we took a 4x4 excursion in the afternoon. The 4x4 took us up to a village in the highest hills, then down again, with some great views, and a couple of stops in small villages where we loaded up on olive oil to bring back. The excursion operators were so-so at best, as they complained about Seabourn to us before we left. Half of the 4x4 were air conditioned and half were not, which wasn’t good for those of us in non-AC with 95 degrees! Again, great views and a neat thing to do, but the one excursion we took that we didn’t care for the operators. Day 4 was Cephalonia. It was beautiful. Our excursion was Melissani Lake and Drogarati Cave. Both stops were an hour, but the tour was about 15 minutes, so we had excess down time, but a bus ride around the island for some incredible views made for a great day. The wife and I made a habit of eating at tavernas on the water every day in each port. It was the highlight of the trip for us as the food was wonderful, and the exposure to the culture of each stop was wonderful. I had a good tip early which was always order the house wine. Four Euro for a ½ L at each stop and it was wonderful for our lunchces. That night, the only entertainment we found even remotely entertaining was Ben Mills, a singer who was part Joe Cocker and part Springsteen. He was outstanding. Never more than 50 people at the entertainment though. Day 5 was Gythion. No excursions this day, but a nice walk around town, a taverna, and back to the spa for each of us. Wife had a Thai Poultice massage that she is still talking about. The final day was Nafplion which was a surprise to us, as it had wonderful shopping (including some high-end shopping) and great leather items. We tried to reschedule our excursion from the Corinth Canal crossing to a winery tour but were waitlisted and ended up with no tour. That was fine as the Canal was an hour bus ride away and we didn’t need more bus time. We found the Thomas Keller grill the night of our Korfu stop to be nice. Didn’t feel the need to try to get a 2nd reservation, but all of the food was exceptional on the cruise so it didn’t stand out to us as it did to some. We had four nights in the restaurant and a couple of nights of room service. Food was great, service was better. I like some casino time, but with just one black jack table, one three-card poker table and a roulette wheel with about 15 slot machines, it was a waste of time for me. And given how dead it was, a waste of time for most. As first-timers Laurinda, our Suite Stewardess, was more concierge and advisor than attendant. She really made sure we knew the ins and outs and didn’t miss anything onboard. All in all, what a great trip. Yes, the service was as described. The ship itself was OK. The onboard activities were so-so, but you don’t take this cruise for on-board activities. We certainly wouldn’t take our kids on Seabourn, but Seabourn isn’t designed for kids. When we take our next luxury cruise, it will be with Seabourn. Probably a different, larger, ship, but what a week. I’ll try to post my copies of the Herald on the Boards. I looked high and low in advance of the cruise to have some idea of what our days would look like and couldn’t find it, so I hope this helps. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons had a chance to travel with family and the thought of going to Barcelona, Morocco, Canary Islands etc. was a gem in itself. I enjoyed the culture, history and architecture of each country. I took ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons had a chance to travel with family and the thought of going to Barcelona, Morocco, Canary Islands etc. was a gem in itself. I enjoyed the culture, history and architecture of each country. I took many interesting tours and found each day was more exciting than the first. I loved the idea of Specialty Dinners and dressing up in our wonderful attire. The months have passed now so it is hard to remember every aspect of the trip. I was impressed with Seabourn because of the amount of guests on the ship. It is important to me that the ship isn't overcrowded. My Room Stewardess was lovely and met my needs. I was respectful to her as she was to me and she respected my wishes when I had the privacy sign on. She was most considerate. I like that in a person that we both had mutual respect for each other. I stayed in 618 and the stateroom was very accommodating. The Lively Entertainment was awesome. I looked forward to that every evening. The staff in general worked very hard. I liked Aldo at the Sky Bar and he always knew my drink, he would say "Strawberry Daiquiri" Ms. and I would say thank you very much. I would sit up to the bar and sing along with Rose the lovely lady at the Piano. I loved the spa and staff were most pleasant. I also liked Jared gave me some good pointers about keeping in shape. I welcomed his advice. To sum it up the staff were excellent and Seabourn will never be forgotten. I do apologize in advance that some information now escapes me. One day I will sail her again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We arrived at Manchester Airport only to be advised that our flight to Barcelona was delayed by an hour, not a major problem at the start of our holiday. We got to Barcelona one hour behind schedule, but our Sixt driver was there with ... Read More
We arrived at Manchester Airport only to be advised that our flight to Barcelona was delayed by an hour, not a major problem at the start of our holiday. We got to Barcelona one hour behind schedule, but our Sixt driver was there with name card and we were whisked off to the Colon Hotel for our two day stay prior to our cruise. The Colon hotel is excellently placed for sightseeing in Barcelona, but it is a typical city centre hotel with no “soul” but more than adequate for a couple of days. On the day of embarkation, we were picked up by our Sixt chauffeur at midday and whisked the 15 minute journey to the cruise terminal. Our cases were taken by the port staff, we seamlessly checked in and 15 minutes later we were sipping champagne in the poolside bar prior to having lunch in the Colonnade restaurant. At 14.15 the announcement was made “your suites are ready “. Having been on Seabourn ships several times before there was no need for the usual search for the amenities and various public spaces on board. The service was as you would expect from a 6 star cruise line, with a couple of exceptions in the dining venues - not a major problem but not what you expect (nor pay for) from Seabourn. Seabourn has teamed up with celebrity chef Thomas Keller with a specialty grill restaurant and signature dishes on the main menu every couple of days and the Colonnade restaurant being given over to his menu every couple of days. The Thomas Keller Grill is just o.k., nothing exceptional. We first experienced the Thomas Keller theme over two years ago when it was first introduced on the Odyssey and the menu has not changed at all, with some passengers raving about it whilst others are not so sure, so whether or not Mr Keller retains the franchise remains to be seen, I am not a hundred percent sure There are four dining options on Odyssey two of which are for casual dining. The colonnade and pool bar have a great choice at lunch time, but in the evening they are very restrictive in their choice, with no fish or vegetarian options at times – is this 6 star service? The number of staff does seem to be declining, for example the drinks service around the pool during the day and the number of staff in the restaurants are not what they used to be – little things but if they are not careful their 6 star service will become tarnished. Seabourn Square is very good – a wonderful selection of coffee, cakes and snacks served by cheerful baristas, who frequently refer to you by name and knowing your preferences without you having to utter a word. Our stewardess Zhaneta was extremely efficient, you hardly saw her, but whenever you returned to your suite it had been serviced and was like a shiny new pin. The entertainment is low key, do not expect the Broadway productions of the larger ships. The cruise director Verity was extremely able as were the Seabourn singers and dancers. There were entertainers brought on board to do a couple of shows, so all in all the entertainment changed nightly. The Tim Rice show was a little disappointing given the hype This is not a ship for kids - the average age is 65+, they would be bored to tears with no facilities except the internet which is quite costly. I wonder if there is an element of cost cutting on Seabourn – a little thing “lobster” on the menu? In the Keller Grill it only featured twice in 2 weeks, and not once in the main restaurant, is this the thin edge of the wedge? Would we travel with Seabourn again - yes without doubt, but there are a number of 6 star cruise lines out there, so it is essential that Seabourn continue to strive to be the best and do not rest on their laurels or they could easily be overtaken. Also, there are some new kids on the block – we travelled with Viking earlier in the year, and whilst they are not quite 6 star, they are 5 star + and exceptional value for money offering exceptional accommodation on brand new ships, we will definitely try them again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
As someone who loves to be pampered I choose the 6 star cruise lines as my preferred option whenever I can. We have cruised many times on the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony and have always been curious as to how they compare to ... Read More
As someone who loves to be pampered I choose the 6 star cruise lines as my preferred option whenever I can. We have cruised many times on the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony and have always been curious as to how they compare to Seabourn. This cruise in the Adriatic from Venice to Athens was our chance to try the Seabourn Ovation which is the newest in Seabourn's fleet having only been launched this year. What makes a 6 star ship? It is not the price of the cruise. It is of course the food, the accommodation, the entertainment and above all the service. So how has our experience so far compared to that on say the Crystal Serenity? I am comparing a Balcony cabin on the Serenity with the entry level cabin on the all-suite Ovation (which are similar in price). Food - Both have excellent food. Caviar is served on both but on Crystal it is served a couple of times a cruise on special dinners. On Seabourn it is served on special dinners but can also be ordered anytime. I like caviar so Seabourn wins in that department. The food on both is excellent. I cannot fault either. I like the different themes on Seabourn with a degustation menu inter spread with the regular menu on different days. I prefer the breakfast selections on Seabourn in the buffet but I prefer that there is an egg station on Crystal. Seabourn has its eggs made to order and then served at the table. Both lunch buffets are fine. The Serenity has a better burger grill and the fries are always hot. The Ovation is a bit hit and miss, but if you specify that you want it especially hot they will ensure that it is done. The Thomas Keller Grill restaurant is great on the Ovation and you can book in as many times as you like without extra cost. The specialty restaurants on the Serenity must also be booked but after eating in each twice per cruise then a small charge is made for additional visits. Having said that, the Silk Road Japanese restaurant on the Serenity is far superior to the Sushi restaurant on the Ovation which has mainly sashimi and sushi without the great hot food items that the Serenity also offers. Food - its a tie. The Accommodation - The Seabourn Ovation is new. The Crystal Serenity is clean and tidy but is of course not new. The staterooms on the Ovation are truly beautiful. they are wide, spacious and very ergonomically satisfying with more than ample closet and drawer space. Crystal is okay but cannot match Seabourn. The bathrooms on the Ovation are also very spacious with both a separate shower and bath. They are much bigger and much better. The beds and bedlinen on both ships are superb. They are as good as each other. The sitting area on the Ovation is much larger with a much better working table and a larger television. Accommodation - Seabourn Ovation is better The Entertainment - There are many aspects to entertainment which are not just the nightly shows in the theatres. There is the enrichment programs, the trivia and games programs, and there is musical entertainment. The Ovation has primarily three areas to hear music. There is the Club which features two bands that rotate, there is the Observation lounge which features a pianist and singer and there is the bar in the Thomas Keller Grill featuring a pianist. Crystal serenity has an area similar to the Observation lounge with a live band, it has an area midship also with a band playing dance music and it has a very cosy piano bar. In addition there is live music before and after dinner in the Crystal Cove bar area. For music Crystal is better. There are more choices and the piano bar is an especially fun place to listen to music after dinner if you don't want to go to the show. The enrichment programs on Crystal are also much more extensive with a variety of guest lecturers and a lot of teaching programs from golf lessons to computers. Crystal has an extensive library with a dedicated librarian. Seabourn has a much more modest selection of books. There is a movie theatre showing current movies in the afternoon and evenings on the Serenity but no movie theatre on the Ovation. There are also other quirky types of entertainment such as the magic performances put on for small groups at a time by a member of the Magic Castle. These shows get to be known by word of mouth and are not generally advertised on the Crystal serenity (or Symphony). Shows are shows and both ships have good and bad productions. Crystal being a bigger ship perhaps has more capacity to put on more extravagant productions but those that we have witnessed so far on the Ovation are pretty good too. Both ships have duplicate bridge and lessons, but because the Crystal Serenity is larger there are more participants on that ship. The area that is always of great fun for us is the trivia. Serenity has teams of no more that six while Ovation encourages up to ten per team. The host on the Ovation is the Cruise Director, Handré, and he is fantastic! The prizes on the Ovation are much better too. Hands down Ovation wins. Entertainment - overall the advantage is still to Crystal The Service - This is the big one. A ship cannot be considered six star if the service is poor. Neither has poor service, but one has got it much more right. On both ships the drinks are complimentary although special wines can be purchased for an additional price. I prefer Crystal here as they seem to have the concept that since the regular wines are complimentary, when you order and pay for a special wine it should not be at full mark up. The bartending and wait staff on Crystal are also much better at attending to customers. There is never a long wait to either order or to be served. Sadly, I cannot say that about the Ovation. On more than one occasion the table service was so slow that I had to go to the bar to order drinks myself. On two occasions because of being busy our drinks order was forgotten entirely. Sadly this is not six star service. I can only hope that it is because the ship is new and there are still some teething problems. I will say that management truly has a desire to improve. We have already been given a mid cruise survey which we filled out with helpful feedback and which again I must say was taken very seriously. Unfortunately, the waiters in the outlets likewise do not appear to have the same training as Crystal gives their staff. It is the little things like reaching across dishes to remove or place glasses, forgetting to bring condiments and having to be reminded. Also it is the either over or under attendance of the waitstaff who do not yet have the correct pacing to their service. The staff on both ships soon know your names and it is always pleasant to be recognised and appreciated. Both ships do that well. Summary - These comments of mine might seem a bit pedantic to you, my fellow cruisers, but i offer them because I believe that when you are paying for cabins on a six star ship in excess of a thousand dollars a night that the service, food, accommodation and entertainment should rightly be expected to be of a much higher standard than normal. I hope that this review is helpful. In summary, both ships and by extension both cruise lines are wonderful to cruise with, but for my money Crystal still holds the advantage. I know that both Seabourn and Crystal have their loyal followers so what say you? Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked a V1 suite but at the time they had an offer of a 2 suite upgrade to V3. We were advised that we had been allocated a V6 suite just under two weeks from departure. An up sell letter had arrived some 2 months from departure asking ... Read More
We booked a V1 suite but at the time they had an offer of a 2 suite upgrade to V3. We were advised that we had been allocated a V6 suite just under two weeks from departure. An up sell letter had arrived some 2 months from departure asking for £999 each for a V5/V6 so we were glad we hadn’t taken up the offer. Embarkation We received no help with the luggage at the airport. On departing the arrivals baggage hall we were met and moved to an initial holding spot while others joined the group. We were then moved to another holding spot further on which at least had seats. Ground staff didn’t seem to have a clear idea of what they were doing. Eventually we were marched on again hauling our luggage all the way to the coach which was a considerable distance. It was interesting that the 6* cruise line treated us this way when Cunard took their passengers luggage immediately after exiting the reclaim area. On arrival at the port we were surprised that we didn’t have to complete a health declaration form? Also surprising was that there was no pressure to use the hand wash on boarding. We checked in in the main theatre and headed for our cabin but there was nobody to direct us to our cabin so make sure you know where to go before you arrive on the gangplank. Likewise there was no information on what dining was available on boarding. Our Cabin Steward did meet up with us after lunch with the soap selection and a glass of champagne. Life on board The theme of very little information continued on board. There were few announcements from either the Captain or the cruise director but this did increase slightly towards the end of the cruise. I heard one crew member rather bravely tell the Captain that some passengers were asking if he had left the ship as they never heard from him!! Until almost the end of the cruise there were no announcements when the ship was cleared to go ashore or where the gangway was located (it sometimes changed from the Herald the previous night). When we left Naples, our first port of call, we should have been heading for Trapani in Sicily but the next day we found a letter outside our cabin saying we were not going to Trapani due to bad weather. There was no information on what the revised itinerary was to be. The senior crew were almost invisible on board particularly the captain and there were no photos of them published in the Herald to enable us to spot them. The Wi-Fi on board was expensive which is again surprising for a 6* line when it is now provided free on many other economy cruise lines. The Cabin was well laid out and well maintained although now showing signs of heavy use with chips and scrapes. There is lots of storage. We got a bit fed up with the push to release cupboard doors after a while. There is no real walking area on the ship and in better weather the top deck will be jammed with sun loungers. We are glad we tried a shorter cruise before we booked 21 days to Antarctica. Our one sea day was enough for us on this size of ship. Our cabin was on deck 7 below the patio grill so we experienced some noise from pool deck above. Bad weather also produced a few creaks and groans so earplugs were essential The weight of the bath robes we found a problem. They were both extra large size? Whilst good quality bath robes are nice we found these too heavy to use. Following the introduction of the larger ships other reviewers commented on the staff competence. Some staff are obviously still in training but we never found this to be a problem. In general the service was excellent even in the upper reaches of the pool area. Smoking made walking round deck 9 unpleasant likewise having a coffee outside on deck 7. The weather on our cruise was bad so we didn’t have the opportunity to walk/sit in these areas much but if the weather had been better if would have been a problem Food and Drink Having followed the boards on CC I made sure that I got the complementary wine list when on board but when I asked for some of the wines the sommelier didn’t recognise them? I let her see the list and she said they must have changed it without telling her. Subsequently I got another one but this was completely different (and different from the one posted a few weeks back on CC). We found it best to ask for what you want and see if they can find it. We found a French waiter who came from Bordeaux and we asked him if they had any nice French wines so he gave us some advice. They do push the cheaper “featured wines” such as Trivento Malbec or Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc but don’t accept them and they will find you something better. Wine glasses are the same size for red and white wines (unless you buy a bottle) and they carefully only pour to around a third full. They are quite small glasses so you don’t really get through a lot of wine at dinner unless you get multiple refills. We liked the Stoneburn Sauvignon Blanc but it seemed to be running out towards the end of the cruise and the Oyster Bay was being pushed again. We also tried the Trivento but it was poor but liked a French Merlot and Bordeaux. These were the only 3 wines we uncovered that we liked so the limited wine selection meant we got a bit bored with it. We asked for specific beers (mainly ales) in the preferences section online but nothing was provided apart from 2 cans of Becks. I raised this with the cabin steward and she said she would investigate but nothing appeared. I also asked the bar tender at the pool and the club but they didn’t seem to know what they stocked. I saw a John Smiths beer can on board and then found Old Speckled Hen in the pool bar but both soon ran out due to the number of British on board. After a week on board they found some more ales and my cabin fridge was restocked but it wasn’t with any of the ales I asked for. We found the seating arrangements in the Colonnade quite poor. It was difficult to get in and out as the chairs are big and heavy. There are few tables for 2 so people tend to sit on the outside of a table for 4 making it difficult to get a seat on occasions. It gets really busy when the outside area can’t be used. On our third evening and one subsequently the Colonnade became reservations only making the main restaurant even busier. We saw some couples waiting in the club bar most nights to get a table. One of the highlights for me on a cruise is to have a cooked breakfast which I never have at home. I was not impressed with the hot breakfast on this ship and only ordered it twice. The only bacon available was crispy American which is all fat, the sausages were inedible, the hash browns were partly cooked grated potatoes etc. I tried a different order next morning so asked for medium poached eggs on toast. They arrived partly raw and runny sitting on a small piece of soggy toast. So what can go wrong with pancakes? Well Seabourn can show you. Soggy partly cooked in the middle and again inedible. Fortunately the cereal and fruit selection (some canned) was ok as were the yoghurts. The croissants at breakfast were also poor and many people picked them up in Seabourn Square together with a fresh coffee and took them into the Colonnade. The MDR dinner portions were just adequate if you had all 4 courses (including a desert). Side orders are available but are not on the menu but provided if you ask. They don’t always come in a separate dish but are added to your main plate. We had dinner in the TK grill one night and it was just OK. The clam chowder was awful and not very warm and the lobster was tough but the Dover sole was excellent. The service was too fast and we were out in one hour! Contrary to other reviewers there was no attempt to sell expensive wine to us. Perhaps we looked too poor. The plates in all dining venues were cold which particularly in the buffet where the food was only warm to start with made it difficult to have a warm meal. On balance we preferred the lunch meals in the colonnade to dinner in the MDR. Somehow the choice of food suited us better. We had one formal night on an 11 night cruise which hardly justifies carrying your posh clothes. The dress code was not enforced. One chap seated at a hosted table turned up in the MDR wearing a scruffy long cardigan and no tie on formal night!! Some staff were pulled out of the MDR to do room service at the last moment one night just as we entered and this caused chaos as they main server wasn’t told. They had no help for almost half an hour so service backed up. In general however the service was good. We found a nice table with good serving staff on our first night and asked for the same table every night. The coffee shop was excellent and we picked up our morning coffee here every day. The staff provided a carrier for us to take it back to the cabin. The snacks here were difficult to resist on occasions especially the profiteroles! Disembarkation The Disembarkation letter arrived a few days out but is was very ambiguous and when we sought clarification from reception she kept saying it is a “standard letter”. When we pushed her she said “I am trying to explain it to you”!!! Not exactly friendly! Can’t Seabourn have someone who has English as their first language read such standard letters and check they make sense. Disembarkation was a bit chaotic as we were told not to leave ship early as the luggage may not be ashore but on the other hand we were told to allow enough time to get our luggage and get to the bus? Our luggage labels were number/colour coded but no announcements were made when we should head to the gangway (which was located near to the cabins on deck 5 – the worst possible place on the ship. Conclusion We enjoyed our cruise in spite of the bad weather – but it could have been so much better. The embarkation/disembarkation needs improving, communication could be much better, the food could be better, the ship layout needs some changes at its upcoming refit, the WiFi should be included and the complementary wines should be improved. On balance we prefer Regent ships, the included excursions, flights and transfers and the food and unless we see a special itinerary at a special price we probably won’t use Seabourn again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is our fourth Seabourn cruise and the second time on the Odyssey. We knew that going late in the Fall, we could have difficult weather, but never expected a Category-2-force storm in the Med. Two of our ports became closed to us ... Read More
This is our fourth Seabourn cruise and the second time on the Odyssey. We knew that going late in the Fall, we could have difficult weather, but never expected a Category-2-force storm in the Med. Two of our ports became closed to us because of storm damage, but Seabourn found us alternative harbors that worked out perfectly. And Captain Emilian did an excellent job keeping us safe even if he couldn't stop the rocking in 80 mph winds and 24 ft swells. Our room stewardess (more about her later) kept us stocked with candied ginger and ginger ale. We had a large supply of Dramamine. So, even being on deck 10 aft, we never had a hint of a sea sickness. We embarked on a wet day with Seabourn checking us in at the grand salon so we could stay dry and there were people waiting by the curb for our bags. Nothing could have been faster or easier. As always, we loved our Penthouse Spa suite. It felt like home to us. Our room stewardess, Timea functioned as housekeeper, butler and friend. We loved her, both as a person and professionally. For us, with someone like Timea, we don't need an extra person to deal with in terms of a formal butler. She took fabulous care of us. I'd say that 90% of the time, we had outstanding food. We particularly loved The Earth and Sea on the patio. We had an amazing lamb shank dinner - went there every time it was offered. We also had a wonderful evening at Thomas Keller. I'm not sure why people haven't been happy with it in their reviews - we were thrilled with the decor, food and service. It's a delightful addition - and no extra charge with unlimited visits. We aren't big entertainment people, so I can't speak to this area. Our service in 99% of the trip was outstanding. Whether we wanted a special meal, extra candied ginger, room service or help on excursions everyone provided service with a smile and went out of their was to help us. Seabourn provided our shore excursions with a private car and guide. We had amazing people and saw the locations through local eyes. We always returned to the ship with appreciation and enjoyment of the place we were visiting. So, what didn't meet our standards. First, our veranda furniture was old and in poor condition. Timea found us some better cushions, but still not good quality. We could tell she was embarrassed by the poor quality. We found multiple rust stains on our veranda railings. Again, Timea tried to get this taken care of. Finally, they have a small putting area on the bow, but the golf clubs were left in the rain with the grips rotting. My husband returned disgusted with the horrible care. I'm afraid that Seabourn may have become as cash-cow for HAL and Carnival Corp rather than putting the money back into the ship. Even so with these issues, our cruise still exceeded expectations. And I've learned to live with the small imperfections in life. Just a side note, if you want glitz, glitter and glamor, Seabourn isn't the ship for you. It is understated elegance. We felt comfortable and at home - not in awe of the fancy decor. For us, it is our home-away-from-home. As I write this review, I'm trying to understand how come we had a better experience than previous reviewers - no answers yet. Our favorite hotels are Aman, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons and we found that our Seabourn cruise met or exceeded these luxury hotels/resorts. And offered us more for our money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose the Ovation for the itinerary. Leaving from Lisbon and on to Portomao, Huelva (Seville), Malaga (the Alhambra), Cartagena, Monte Carlo, Cinque Terra, Toulon (Provence), Mahon (Minorca) and disembarking in Barcelona. All in all, ... Read More
We chose the Ovation for the itinerary. Leaving from Lisbon and on to Portomao, Huelva (Seville), Malaga (the Alhambra), Cartagena, Monte Carlo, Cinque Terra, Toulon (Provence), Mahon (Minorca) and disembarking in Barcelona. All in all, the itinerary lived up to its expectations, although we had to miss Portomao because of Tropical Storm Leslie so we remained in Lisbon for the second day. The only hitch we had for our own itinerary ashore as with the Alhambra. We had been wait-listed for a ticket package that included the Nesrud Palaces, a highlight of the Alhambra and, according to those who have been there, not to be missed. When it become apparent that we would not be getting tickets through Seaborn (they are extremely difficult to come by), even though we had been on the wait list over four months prior to leaving. A few people were lucky enough to get the Seabourn tickets, but more on that later. We told the guest services agent on board that we planned on using the ship's tour bus to the Alhambra (which did not include the Nesrud Palaces), as we had purchased our own tickets and would join up with the bus prior to the group leaving the Alhambra. Our tickets were from 11am to 2pm, meeting at 10:45pm exactly where the tour bus would be pulling into the bus parking lot. We informed the Seabourn rep of our plan prior to boarding the bus and she cleared it with the tour guide. We arranged with him to meet up with the group at a restaurant should we not be ready to rejoin the bus when the Seabourn group was ready to leave. All was going smoothly as we left the port around 8:35am. Unfortunately, the guide decided to announce that we would be pulling into a rest stop for bathroom use and also for buying merchandise. Had the stop been for ten minutes all would still have been fine, but it was closer to 25 minutes and we then had no chance to make our tour. The Alhambra was outstanding, but we will now never have the opportunity to see the Nesrud Palaces. Those who were able to secure tickets for the Alhambra and the palaces thought they were all set. Unfortunately, for some of them, since showing your passport is required at different checkpoints randomly and then, for the palaces, for everyone, when the group was asked to present their passports the list of passengers did not match the names on the passports. Some names were of people not taking the tour. The mix up caused some passengers to have to miss the Alhambra and the palaces. We had read on Cruise Critic that Seabourn's shore excursions are below average and had not encountered that when on a Quest voyage. This particular trip was excellent once in the Alhambra as the guide was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the buildings and the area. The guide on the bus, however, was constantly talking, was very redundant and seemed to be along for the ride. All of the other tours was above average, although the timing for a tour of Eze and the Rothschild Mansion in Cap Ferat gave too much time to the later and not nearly enough time to Eze. Also, this trip was extremely tiring because all tours, half day or full day, started early in the morning so you began to feel sleep deprived early into the trip. I think they should offer afternoon half day excursions to alleviate the fatigue factor when you are on a 10-day cruise with only one at-sea day. Others felt the same way. The cabins on the ship are up to Seabourn's standards. They are among the most spacious in the industry and our ship stewardess was outstanding. The room is well-equipped and pretty much anything can be delivered to your room upon request, including unlimited amounts of champagne. The food on the ship was excellent. No complaints at all. The service was another matter. The worst was the Observation Bar between 6 and 7:30pm. You had a tough time flagging down a waiter as there were often only one or two of them. Going to the bar yourself and carrying the drinks to the table was impossible on rough sea evenings. This problem with service in the Observation Bar continued throughout the cruise. Towards the end of the voyage, we went down to Bruno's lounge in the Thomas Keller grill and after a ten-minute wait, went up to the bar for a drink. For afternoon tea in the Observation Bar, tea was offered, but they didn't mention that scones, sandwiches and cakes were available at the self-serve area where tapas are available every evening. On the Quest a waiter brought these items around which is the way afternoon tea should be presented. Service in the Restaurant was fine, but not if you wanted to get to the 8:45pm show. Fortunately, my husband and I did not have that problem because we had caught two shows and didn't think they were very good so skipped them from that point on. The service in the Colanade was excellent except for the final morning which was an absolute zoo. It was so bad that we ended up getting a bite to eat at Seabourn Square. We were heading for the Restaurant for a nice relaxing breakfast before disembarking because we had to be out of our room at 8pm, but could stay on board until 10pm. The Restaurant was closed, however, although we had no clue that it would be. On the Quest the Restaurant is open for the final breakfast before disembarking. The Patio's food was excellent as well as the service, and there were an adequate number of waiters should you need a drink while relaxing by the pool. Thomas Keller Grill was an interesting evening. We were told by the waiter to look forward to enjoying a romantic meal. To me, that's leisurely, but he did not seem to understand that. After ordering our drinks, he immediately asked if we were ready to order. We said that we needed some time. He came back in five minutes and asked again and we told him we weren't ready as we wanted to enjoy our drinks. After a few minutes, the supervisor went up to our waiter and talked to him. I assume it was about their need to get our order in. The supervisor then came up to our table and asked if we had any questions and we told him we didn't, we just wanted to slow the process down. The meal was very good, though, and there was a good vibe. The best experience for us was Sushi. The food was excellent, there were nice tables for two and the service was what you expect from Japanese staff - respectful, courteous and timely. All in all the management of the Ovation has a way to go to beat the service on the Quest. I think they need some time to work out the glitches as the ship only had its maiden voyage in May. Hopefully, things will improve soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Previous experience with Seabourn. Out of the blue my son said could we go on a cruise together just the two of us? We chose This one with Seabourn.Everything went without a hitch. Seabourn made all the arrangements and everything went ... Read More
Previous experience with Seabourn. Out of the blue my son said could we go on a cruise together just the two of us? We chose This one with Seabourn.Everything went without a hitch. Seabourn made all the arrangements and everything went like clockwork. Everything promised was as stated. We could not fault the inclusive wines (excellent list - always ask to see what the choice is and have your favourites). No need to spend more on food and drink. All bars are free and food is always available if needed. Our cabin maid was a young Russian lady who proved to be excellent. She was studying to be a Marine engineer so she was very bright. The ship is small and very well equipped and presented. All the crew were faultless. Food was always excellent. My son liked the Thomas Keller grill best, but then he is a meat eater and I am not. We met some lovely people and made several new friends. Don't miss the quizzes they are great fun. Never be afraid to ask if you want something done. The cruise director and her assistant were very professional. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Exactly one year since my cruise on one of the two larger ships in the Seabourn fleet. This time again the Mediterranean, with every suite taken. I expected a few signs of wear and tear, but the level of maintenance is outstanding. The ... Read More
Exactly one year since my cruise on one of the two larger ships in the Seabourn fleet. This time again the Mediterranean, with every suite taken. I expected a few signs of wear and tear, but the level of maintenance is outstanding. The only small indications I noticed, were that carpets, while not worn at all, are looking a bit dull in high use areas, and many edge areas of marble flooring have had to be repaired due to cracking. The ship remains beautiful inside and out, with our suite, and all public areas immaculate. All areas just pristine with cleanliness and understated luxury. The most stunning ship I have sailed on to date, and the most comfortable veranda suite. I was interested to experience the onboard service, given many of the negative comments of past reviewers. I have to say that I think the customer service has improved. Without exception every crew member was polite and professional, and on top of that, the vast majority were engaging, friendly and went out of their way to satisfy every need. The breakfast service in the Colonnade, and dinner in the main dining room, has definitely improved, and the iPad technology works well. Not one late or mixed order. Food always arrived hot. Excellent. My expectations are high given the fares guests pay, and the Seabourn claim, that their service is ultra luxury, note ULTRA luxury. Based on this, let me explain where I think things need to be improved. Entertainment is predictable, and mixed. The singers do try hard, but I've seen it all before in one shape or form, and some shows, (such as the Tim Rice night) are still running one year on. The opera sail away from Corsica was a nice event, but some of the choices were challenging for the singers. The Observation Bar was my favourite location last year for after dinner meet ups and drinks. What a disappointment this year. The pianist and singer were so weak (last years were outstanding), and the main bar tender, while very professional and charming, lacked the engagement and touch of service that this intimate bar needs. The whole area lacked a buzz and the intimacy we loved last year, and no connection was built with the guests. We felt extremely disappointed to the point, that on some evenings, we just didn't bother to go. While the service was impeccable, food choice for dinner in the Colonnade and Patio was just too limited, and at night, unless some form of specialty menu with buffet element was happening, it was dull and uninviting. The Thomas Keller grill was again outstanding, but its a struggle to get in there more than once on a 10 day sailing, unless you want to eat very early. The main dining room was consistently good, but on a ten day sailing, you want to have alternate options with good choice and atmosphere. A couple of small things were disappointing. We were so delayed leaving Monte Carlo, due to late unloading of provisions, that we did so after dinner - hence no usual sail away, which is such a lovely start to the holiday and after all the anticipation. We missed the planned Gozo stop due to extended maintenance needed in Malta. Saabourn did give an ex gratia payment in all fairness, but it did not compensate for us. Why have the formal night on the second day, and then no more? Surely better, a little further in to the cruise. So, in summary, the ship is stunning, the service is great, and without doubt, a cruise on Seabourn Encore will leave most, even those as demanding as us, delighted. What I question is that, given the limited dining options, and lack of choice, plus the lack lustre entertainment, can Seabourn really claim ultra luxury, and real value for money? They have themselves to blame for setting that expectation. I will probably sail with Seabourn again, but next time, after an absence of 5 years from Silversea, I want to try their newest ship, The Muse. I am also going to try Oceania, and as their ships and onboard experience starts a major refurbishment form December on. Other guests on board who have tried them were very complimentary, and that was before the planned changes. I am not a huge drinker, so for the different in fare from Seabourn, you can opt for a premium cabin, and a premium drinks package, and with gratuities paid extra. Most certainly worth careful consideration for future cruise planning. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
As we booked our flights with Seabourn we were met at Athens airport and taken directly to the port to board the ship. We were on the ship within minutes of arriving at the terminal-no lines, no waiting like other cruise lines! We have ... Read More
As we booked our flights with Seabourn we were met at Athens airport and taken directly to the port to board the ship. We were on the ship within minutes of arriving at the terminal-no lines, no waiting like other cruise lines! We have taken many cruises on other lines and this was our 5th cruise on Seabourn and our 4th on Odyssey and we were not disappointed. Our lovely cool suite had plenty of storage space and was well-serviced twice daily. The fridge is stocked with the wines, etc that you have requested pre-cruise. As we sailed out of port, the singers and the band were playing on deck and drinks were being offered....it's all-inclusive on Seabourn, so no bar bills! Throughout the cruise we enjoyed great food in the Colonnade as well as a lobster dinner in the Grill By Thomas Keller. I also enjoyed a Pisco Sour off the cocktail list before my dinner in the Grill. The service on board is great with many staff remembering how you like your coffee, which wine you prefer, etc. etc. There is a lot of space per passenger so it never feels crowded and there are minimal announcements. We have already booked again for next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The lead of this story is that Seabourn is back!!!! As frequent Seabourn travelers the past 5 years on over a dozen voyages on all three of the Odyssey class 450 passenger ships, my wife and I saw some noticeable slippage on our last ... Read More
The lead of this story is that Seabourn is back!!!! As frequent Seabourn travelers the past 5 years on over a dozen voyages on all three of the Odyssey class 450 passenger ships, my wife and I saw some noticeable slippage on our last few cruises in 2017. Service, food and overall Seabourn standards in a number of areas had taken a few steps backwards as the result of the 2016 Encore introduction and the consequent unfortunate compromising of the traditional Seabourn standards for passengers on the rest of the fleet. Many old hands saw the same thing and complained among ourselves on board, as passengers frequently compare notes, and to management. And complaints were documented on the pages of CruiseCritic by other old Seabourn hands, who noticed the same thing, and reported their own unhappy experiences. We were concerned since we had made several future bookings. Whereas before Seabourn never got bad reviews, now some were appearing. We were concerned that taking another Seabourn voyage would be a big disappointment. Yet we could not easily leave to go to another luxury competitor, because our loyalty and hopes were still with Seabourn and its product after all these years and money spent. Plus, we had left Silversea 8 or 9 years ago when things really took a sharp downturn with their brand. And shortly after we discovered Seabourn, and then loved it. Crystal too big. Totally, we have been on a great many ocean cruises over the past 25 years, mostly on the so called luxury branded ships, but more on Seabourn than any of the others we have sailed, including Oceania, Crystal, Regent and Cunard. So..... we have been around. We have seen a few things. Well, we are very happy to report that the slippage of the past is gone. The concerns we had are now over. I am here to tell all readers, based on our recent August Odyssey voyage in the Eastern Med, that Seabourn has regained, in our estimation, the top luxury cruise status and ratings it once enjoyed. The corporate effort to MSGA has worked!! Seabourn is back, and my wife and I are very happy about this. Seabourn's introduction of Ovation into the fleet this past May has been much more successful in terms of any adverse impact on the rest of the fleet and its passengers than had happened with Encore. And this is the reason Seabourn is back. On this August Odyssey cruise just completed, we did not see or experience any diminution of Seabourn's previously high standards in any functional area of the ship. Training of new crew I am guessing was highly intensified as the result of Encore. We saw evidence of that training effort on board, with a new training officer. The Odyssey staff throughout could not have been any better trained and experienced. For instance, the food coming out of the kitchens under Head Chef Lindsay is back to its former high quality, variety, innovation, plated appearance and tastiness. Service, and courteous, competent service at that, is first rate throughout the various dining and bar venues. Our individual waiting team in the Restaurant lead by Phillipe was just glorious, and managed well by Oskars the excellent Restaurant manager. The same high level of competence was true of the other areas of the ship like Guest Relations and Destinations, plus housekeeping. Our housekeeper was excellent. Overall, we could not have been any happier. And it must be mentioned that the personalized service and passenger interaction/ recognition emphasis throughout the 450 passenger ship that is so critical to a successful cruise experience was first rate. It is a hallmark of a Seabourn voyage experience from the beginning thirty years ago. Odysseys' staff is given the names and I think the photos of all passengers at boarding. They are told to learn and be able to identify and address people by name. After a few days, or less, one is greeted by name pretty much on a regular basis by many of the crew. Perhaps for us as frequent Seabourn sailors, it was a bit easier, and crew members from prior cruises frequently came up to us and greeted us by name and welcomed us back on board. But we always go out of our way to talk to the crew, as passengers must if they want a special experience. RESTAURANTS I am going to start with the caviar, which admittedly is not everyone's taste. It is an excellent, high end sturgeon variety from California waters, and this was a pleasant surprise. Always available, Seabourn is the last of the luxury cruise lines that offers caviar to its passengers without any premium. Any problems of the past with the quality of the caviar have been properly and well addressed by Seabourn management. Bravo Seabourn. We prefer the main Restaurant. Its menus are always varied, considerably better than in the recent past, and always classic Seabourn dishes like salmon, steak and lamb chops are available to order if the night's dinner menu offerings are not sufficient for one's taste. In fourteen days, there was no menu repetition. Nice dishes, creative, well prepared and tasty. Excellent quality of the products themselves, although more local products would have been appreciated. The Restaurant is also open for quiet breakfast and lunch, which we prefer rather than the busy buffet offerings elsewhere. Highly trained and knowledgable waiting staff. Very friendly and pleasant. The food coming-out to the kitchen is very good, and attractively plated, like it was in the past. Portion size is very adequate, and second offerings are always available. And the service is quick, especially if one gets to the Restaurant shortly after it opens at 7p. The head Chef Lindsay makes quite a difference. He is not one who hides in the kitchen, coming out each night to talk to his guests about the meals, taking comments and special requests. The dress code for men in the Restaurant has become more informal than I prefer, but I wear a sports jacket nevertheless at dinner and most men on board for this cruise did not. One unsatisfactory change from our 2015 beginnings. Two formal nights, with mixed formal attire. Despite what was erroneously reported by one CruiseCritic reviewer, Seabourn HAS NOT gotten rid of its wine sommeliers. They are well trained and free wines flow freely. The complimentary wines range from decent to good if not great, and very nice white Pinots Grigios like Santa Margharita and very good French Nicholas Feuillatte champagne always available. Of course one can always pay extra for more select wines if one chooses to do so. But we never felt the need, and we are knowledgeable wine people with a collection at home. Always a sufficient choice capable of being found, with the help of the sommelier, something very decent. Alcohol drinks also available throughout the ship at all times at all bars. And cabins stocked with alcohol of one's choice. The Patio restaurant at poolside is very convenient and serves at lunch basic patio type, well prepared grilled foods like burgers, fish and chicken, and salads plus some nice pizzas each day. At night Seabourn is trying a new concept of dining here. We did not try it, but others did and liked it very much. The Colonade is the buffet breakfast and lunch restaurant. Food is varied and very good. Also open for more casual dinner with waiter service. Varied cuisines each night. The Thomas Keller Grill speciality restaurant is, for us, just OK. Some nice dishes, like the steak and the grilled Dover sole that are very good. And deserts. People on board are of mixed feelings about the value of having the Grill. Some like it a lot, others don't, although very few have ever heard of chef Thomas Keller. On the other hand, some of the Keller inspired dishes in the Restaurant every other night proved a quite nice addition to the traditional menu choices. STATEROOMS Still very nice and comfortable, and well maintained after nine years of service. Odyssey we heard is scheduled to go into dry dock in early 2019 for a retrofit and bit of update. Decor of staterooms could use a little bit of sprucing up. At 365 sq feet with veranda, the basic cabin is very good sized indeed. Double sinked bathrooms and both shower and tub, which tub in nearly 30 years of sailing we have not used on any of the forty cruises we have been on across all cruise lines. It is very good however to store cans and bottles of cold beer on ice for the length of the voyage. Nice walk in closet with safe and plenty of storage space in the cabin. Very quiet between cabins walls. Nice sized, teak deck verandas. Stocked refrigerators with choice of alcoholic beverages. The ship itself sails very smoothly, with the captain engaging the stabilizers to keep the ship sailing the best it can when the August Greek waters got a little too rough. Never a rough night affecting sleep. Tendering operations daily, though, sometimes a little difficult with the winds of the Islands waters. At 450 passengers, the physical footprint and size of this ship are just right for us. Not interested in any larger body count vessels. Public rooms and areas very comfortable. Pool deck comfortable and not crowded. The Captain and his chief executive staff are excellent. Very approachable and friendly. A hallmark of Seabourn. Hotel Director Stratos Mylokos - the man in charge of all F&B and most other ship functions except the navigation - is among the best we have ever experienced at sea. Very knowledgeable, hands-on, effective, pleasant and sociable in his dealings with passengers. ENTERTAINMENT Ship has some very good, talented performers among the ship's regular cast, in search though of better production material. Four singers and two very talented dancers. But I have to say the Tim Rice special is overhyped and is getting a little long of tooth for us frequent Seabourners. Time to say goodbye to Tim. Some of the other production show material could stand with a little updating and variation to make the production numbers more interesting, as we recall they once were. The ad hoc comedians and magicians and other assorted artists and guest lecturers brought on board are ok representatives as members of their professions one always finds on board cruise ships. The Cruise Director Chelsea is a real gem. Not only is she a very talented singer, who performs from time to time, classically trained in opera, and having performed on the opera stage in many venues, she is very passenger friendly, highly organized, energized and effective. PORTS The Greek Islands all very interesting. Such beautiful blue waters. Personally, we could do without Mykonos and Santorini, because they are too crowded and too touristy, but the smaller islands we visited are very interesting, particularly when your ship is the only ship in the harbor or anchored. Authentic Greece. Without the ten thousand or more other ship passengers that descend on some of the islands - Caribbean style. Greek Taverna food at family run restaurants so good at these ports for lunch. We could eat a real greek salad and fresh, grilled fish or squid every day in these ports. EXCURSIONS The same we have experienced before on Seabourn and every other cruise line. Largely overpriced but of interest to visitors never expecting to return to these places. Thank God for well air conditioned busses. The full day excursion to the ruins of Crete and very good local lunch with authentic Greek dancing especially noteworthy. CONCLUSION Seabourn has regained for us the status and quality we once experienced. Its small size and personalized service make it stand out. It listens to its passengers comments and is constantly striving to be the best there is. From our point of view, it is the leader in its class. We look forward to the future bookings we have made. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We traveled with 3 other couples. We chose the cruise for its ports of call, areas we had not been to, and its lack of sea days. The service was excellent, from our cabin steward, Josephine, the destination manager Murat, the Director ... Read More
We traveled with 3 other couples. We chose the cruise for its ports of call, areas we had not been to, and its lack of sea days. The service was excellent, from our cabin steward, Josephine, the destination manager Murat, the Director of guest relations, Joanna, and the Asst Maitre'D Karim were exceptional. Everyone knew ours names, and fulfilled our every request. There were a few early hiccups, but the entire team jumped in and made the cruise wonderful. The food was excellent, and the service was superb. When our Virtuoso hosts left the pier in Dubrovnik, without the eight of us, Murat jumped in, got us a guide and saved the day. He was wonderful. The Virtuoso reps from California were not. When we confronted them, they denied everything, said they thought we were not going, and never apologized - very disappointing. Back to the cruise - Touring until 1-2 o'clock and back to the ship was wonderful. It gave us in-depth exposure, tired us out, brought wonderful relief when we got back to the ship for a late lunch. The entertainers were wonderful, talented performers, but on a smaller ship, you have to expect limited entertainment. However what was presented was wonderful. An example of the training and character of one entertainer Nathan Morgan, was exemplified on one tour, when a solo woman was way behind the tour group, Nathan unobtrusively hung back and waited for her so she wouldn't get lost. Our cruise Director was always full of energy and is an outstanding opera singer. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This cruise focuses on the resort areas of southwestern Europe (Spain, Portugal & France.) But we booked it to see a bit of Morocco (Tangier), Cadiz and Cape St. Vincent (where Admiral Nelson famously prevailed over the Spanish ... Read More
This cruise focuses on the resort areas of southwestern Europe (Spain, Portugal & France.) But we booked it to see a bit of Morocco (Tangier), Cadiz and Cape St. Vincent (where Admiral Nelson famously prevailed over the Spanish fleet). Hailing from Palm Beach, Florida, we don't need to visit beaches or beach towns. Early in the cruise, we took a couple of Seabourn's shore excursions. Each involved a bus ride to see an ancient walled, hilltop town and a walk around the town. Seen one, seen'em all, and traveling in a large group makes it hard to cover much ground (too much time waiting for everyone at public restrooms). In contrast, where we engaged tour guides on our own, we got good guides, who spoke pretty good English, for modest prices. The best was Youssef Sedraoui in Tangier; you can read about him on Tripadvisor.com; although we engaged him in Tangier, he arranges tours anywhere in Morocco. Many great things have been written by others about Seabourn, and I agree, so I won't gush about the many positives. I offer only one criticism, but it is broad: Seabourn's definition of "luxury" could be more sophisticated. They focus on food & drink, offering higher-end beverages at no extra charge. The staff is delightfully polite and friendly and highly responsive within certain limits, but not quite as responsive to guests needs as in the best hotels (maybe staff insufficiently empowered to make exceptions to accommodate preferences?). We felt we were in one of the better business-class hotels, but not in a 5-star hotel. Of course, facilities like the Spa and the Pool are not nearly as nice as ashore, and entertainment options are limited (one venue, some performances strong & others not so). All this is understandable in a 600-passenger ship. But the question lingers: for similar cost, do you need to endure the limitations of a ship? The thing is, the cost per night for two people (about $1,500 for us in a V6 suite) is comparable to the cost of the mandarin Oriental in Barcelona or a 5-star hotel in New York, with hundreds per day left over for food & drink. You might be thinking my problem is not with Seabourn, but with cruising. Maybe, but I think that Seabourn could up their performance in terms of service at modest incremental cost, and the scales would tilt in their favor vs. say, of cruising, for us, anyway. This was our first cruise. We are going through the Panama Canal next March on Regent. We'll see how that compares. By the way, about The Retreat: Encore, at 600 passengers, is bigger than some Seabourn ships and has a new, premium-priced area called The Retreat (a dozen or so cabanas, each with two lounge chairs, a TV and other seating and furnishing). The Retreat generally gets panned by old Seabourn cruisers, mostly because it has no pool, only a hot tub (particularly off the mark in the Med in high summer) and its premium pricing is not in the all-inclusive spirit of Seabourn cruises. We used The Retreat twice, once on a sea day and once on a port day, and liked it, mainly because we hate the crowding of the non-premium pool area. We would use The Retreat again, if we cruised again on the Encore or its sister ship Sojourn. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My husband and I just returned from 7-nights aboard the Seabourn Odyssey ship. We have been going on cruises for the past 20 years, and have been on virtually every cruise line. We started out in Venice, Italy and ended our trip in Athens, ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from 7-nights aboard the Seabourn Odyssey ship. We have been going on cruises for the past 20 years, and have been on virtually every cruise line. We started out in Venice, Italy and ended our trip in Athens, Greece. Our travel agent was wonderful and suggested that we go a few days early to enjoy Venice. We had a Seabourn agent meet us at the gate in Venice Italy airport, and escorted us to our private water taxi to our hotel. The hotel they recommended was pricey, but worth every cent-- the magnificent Bauer Palazzo. We enjoyed our time in Venice, and getting to the ship was also very easy due to the Seabourn touch!! Boarding was no problem, and we were always in the shade, in a small line, unlike other cruise lines. Our room was huge, and overall we were supremely impressed with all the fine details that Seabourn takes care of! You never felt crowded on this ship-- there are only 500 guests and all the common areas felt spacious. The main dining room was fabulous-- similar to the quality of most of the "extra fee" restaurants on the bigger ships. We dined in the Thomas Keller PRIME restaurant one evening, and it was magnificent!! If you want to have an extremely luxurious vacation- book it with Seabourn!! Also, I am on a gluten-free diet, and had plenty of options at every meal, plus I was impressed that the coffee bar even had fresh gluten-free danishes every day! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click