12 Seabourn Odyssey Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

We have been on Seabourn before and really enjoyed it so this was a natural choice for a Caribbean cruise. The staff continue to be very high quality, attentive to requests and just the right balance of friendliness and ... Read More
We have been on Seabourn before and really enjoyed it so this was a natural choice for a Caribbean cruise. The staff continue to be very high quality, attentive to requests and just the right balance of friendliness and professionalism. The cabin ( Veranda 825) was fine -never felt cramped and the excellent separate storage room continues to impress. Never felt crowded on the ship and we were always able eat outside at the Colonnade restaurant. The food is good though i don't understand the fuss about Thomas Kelleher - two evening there was only his food in the colonnade and i would have preferred the regular menu. Service at the patio (by the pool ) was great. We went to the magician twice who was superb. Embarkation was fine - disembarkation less so as they forget to call our number and along with a number of others we were waiting in Seabourn Sq for an unnecessary hour. Each afternoon there was a 'port talk ' about the next day's stop and these were good and packed out. I think they may be new and if so please continue with them Seabourn. My only complaint was about the wifi. I paid $399 for unlimited access on a 12 day tour and it was really really slow -much worse than our last Seabourn cruise 2 years ago. It should be free anyway given how much we pay and they must adddress the speed issues . Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My wife and I were on the December 6th 14-night Caribbean cruise, from FLL to FLL. This was our sixth Seabourn cruise, and many of the familiar satisfactions were in place. A fine crew dedicated to making you happy, an aging ship, but ... Read More
My wife and I were on the December 6th 14-night Caribbean cruise, from FLL to FLL. This was our sixth Seabourn cruise, and many of the familiar satisfactions were in place. A fine crew dedicated to making you happy, an aging ship, but one kept in very good repair, a vivacious CD who amped up trivia contests, a significantly improved array of wines, assuming you chose with care, the familiar and very generous suites with an attentive stewardess (thank you, Nash.) But then there was the food. Restaurant 2 was fine and interesting. The Colonnade was more hits than misses, including a Thomas Keller bbq rib offering that was very good indeed. The Thomas Keller Napa burger at the Patio Grill was memorably better than its predecessor, as was the hot dog. But, most evenings one would head to The Restaurant. And disappointment. On our first evening we chose from the TK menu, having sat down at 7:30. More than a hour later, our server informed us that the chosen appetizers were 86. We made alternate selections and the first food arrived at 9:00pm. Very little that was proffered at the Restaurant was the experience you hoped for. Soup invariably arrived luke warm, meat ordered medium arrived rare, meat ordered well done arrived rare. Fish asked to be cooked through wasn't. Side dishes of vegetables came in little domed pots, which helped maintain their (barely) room temperature. Twice a souffle essentially under cooked. One Thomas Keller entree of lobster was quite interesting. A lobster tail flanked by two pieces of lobster meat, the latter tender and delicious. But the contents of the tail defied removal, whether by gouging, slicing, prying or chopping. Being gregarious, we usually asked to share a table, and often found ourselves seated with folk on their first Seabourn cruise.Which put us in the unenviable position of having to apologize, explaining to the newbies that "this isn't typical of Seabourn. Really." When you pay a premium price you should reasonably expect a premium experience. So what caused The Restaurant to become a disaster area? Well, one (partial) explanation is that a new computer ordering system was being introduced, and at least some wait staff were using mini-pads to enter food orders. Which was fine if you wanted an item exactly as described on the menu. But if you asked to substitute one vegetable for another, or dressing on the side, or any one on the countless variants that one might request, the server froze and the mini-pad became more of a barrier than a catalyst. Another problem may be the parallelism of a Thomas Keller menu side by side with the regular one. Anarchy in the galley, perhaps? With many satisfying SB cruises to look back on, we can more easily assay this cruise as one in the midst of changes at Seabourn. Changes which will probably make us happy to cruise with Seabourn in the future. But we might wait to see some positive reviews of the integration of Thomas Keller with The Restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We sailed from Ft.L on Dec 3-15. We enjoyed almost all aspects of the ship, save for one important exception. Let's begin with the positives: Check in was quite quick since there's only 450 passengers. Note that a slow ... Read More
We sailed from Ft.L on Dec 3-15. We enjoyed almost all aspects of the ship, save for one important exception. Let's begin with the positives: Check in was quite quick since there's only 450 passengers. Note that a slow check-in never bothers us much since the ship isn't going anywhere till be board. Once aboard we were very impressed with the beautiful architecture and furnishings of the common areas. Aesthetically, it's far beyond the look of every other (non-Seabourne) cruise ship. The cabin, starboard far forward, was roomy enough and storage and closet space abundant. The bathroom puts all others to shame for this level of cabin. My wife loves tubs, the shower is large enough for non-petite me. We didn't use the second sink, preferring to use the space for incidental storage. The TV is tiny (I have the identical model in my garage workshop) and inconveniently positioned. The channel selection is "cruise ship scant" but reception was consistently good. I miss my home 200 channel cable package though the TV service has an extensive "on-demand" repertoire of movies and TV offerings . The veranda door opens outward and is difficult to prop open. The A/C worked well. The maid was efficient, unobtrusive, and friendly. We usually want absolutely minimal maid service. The elevator service was rapid and we often rode by ourselves. It's an easy ship to move fore to aft, being small and with simple architecture. The internet service was fair, not up to level of Disney. I use only minimal email checking so I don't worry about anyone's high price. Note, being a retired computer professional of 50 years, don't believe the usual cruise line disclaimer of its internet service "it's the slow satellite to blame". The true issue is their servers are not technologically up to date. These things cost money and they go obsolete in 12-18 months. Disney realized this a few years ago as more passengers are wanting more stream based services. As us old geezers fade into history the generation behind us not only will demand a service speed comparable to land based systems, but won't want to pay too much for it. The evening entertainment was quite good. The morning lectures were excellent as well. I usually suggest to every cruise ship that more movies would be nice, both late morning and early afternoon. Odyssey screened some movies at 9:45 P.M.! After a large supper and plenty of wine and after dinner drinks I could not stay awake past the opening credits. The tours were good enough, though we usually don't do much past the quickie photo op bus rides. The tender days were perilous, choppy water make them "1-2-3 JUMP" experiences. I'm getting too old and nervous to do this too many more years. The choppy water cancelled out caviar shore lunch. Wisely, it was rescheduled to poolside. Some of the port were not that exciting, Ile de Saints, Martinique, San Juan but staying aboard is always a viable option for this caliber of ship. Now to the food, again positives first: We started with lunch at the aft buffet "Colonnade" and we were impressed by the diverse selection. The wait staff and buffet cooks were rapid, efficient and friendly. We were impressed with their level of service. Only Azamara was comparable, so far. Our subsequent lunches were at the poolside "Patio Grill" about half the days. Likewise their wait staff were quick, efficient, and friendly. As burger joints go this spot excels. It's not a huge selection of food but diverse enough to satisfy the poolside crowd. There is a nice coffee shop "Seabourn Square" on the 7th floor, sharing the library and customer service area. The coffee here is excellent and a few snacks are available. This spot fills the gaps when the restaurants are closed. It's a nice touch. Note that there are NO photographers on board and no semblance of a photography service. This cruise line is nicely low key in that regard. The daily feel and pace of the ship makes other cruise lines feel like a county fair on the water. "Restaurant 2", the premium dining venue, was an interesting experience. The menu is a "tasting" of a number of gourmet-ish odd items. At least here we had a server who could explain what we were in for. Beware though, a definition of "tasting menu" is that the entire sum total volume of the 5 courses will fit I'm the palms of your hands. Now to the food, negatives next: The first evening things started to go awry. The main dining room "The Restaurant" is quite understaffed of waiters. We experienced 6-8 different waiters, all of whom seemed very rushed to take orders, with minimal explanation of entrees, and with good reason. The menu items that changed daily were described in an overblown terminology I'll call "Gourmet-Bizarre". Many items, their method of preparation, the sauces, were undecipherable to this layman. The waiters, mostly Eastern European, some with minimal English skill, were scant help because they couldn't understand the chef's gibberish either. Appetizers usually took 15 minutes to arrive, entrees an additional 45 minutes. Wine refills were prompt, though. The four of us received at least 1 incorrect item delivered each of the 12 nights. 6 of the 12 nights at least one entrée was incorrectly customized (steak under/over done, sauce not omitted, etc). Soups were lukewarm as was the coffee. The waiters are all nice guys and diligent workers but they have to work too hard under excessive time pressure such that they have no time to explain menu items, give recommendations, and build a rapport with diners. The actual food quality was good though the recipes were "over gourmet-ed". This ship needs more waiters, simply put. We dined mostly at the MDR though in retrospect we should have had more evenings at the buffet "Colonnade" where the service was routinely excellent. Sidebar cabin issue: Something about the shower plumbing allows sewer gas to back up into the cabin. We reported this and we heard other passengers with the same observation. After showering we would block the drain with a wet wash cloth (of course the maid would remove it). After maid service we'd run the shower and block the drain again. Sidebar passenger issues (3) : Heart attack in Guadeloupe, passenger evacuated. Bleeding ulcer in Grand Turk, passenger evacuated.. A loud, nasty, profane drunk (2 PM!) in the pool, passenger not evacuated. Fortunately for fellow passengers his unfortunate wife dragged him off as an embarrassment. Summation: Would we travel Seabourn again? Of course we would. The positives far outweigh our nitpicks. It's a stunningly beautiful ship, catering to a nice classy crowd, of which we made some nice acquaintances as well as lots of great conversation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my first Seabourn cruise, having previously sailed with Crystal one can't help comparing experiences. However, there is little I can say about Seabourn that would compare favourably, or entice me to sail with Seabourn in the ... Read More
This was my first Seabourn cruise, having previously sailed with Crystal one can't help comparing experiences. However, there is little I can say about Seabourn that would compare favourably, or entice me to sail with Seabourn in the future. Overall it was a dull experience, I did not find the ship to be well laid out, I found the decor bland, ceilings low, generally lacking in colour with virtually no art to brighten it up or give a point of interest or feel of luxury. While they provide al fresco evening dining, it is by the swimming pool and they make no effort to dress the area from daytime to evening and so the tables are left left bare of table clothes with no lanterns, table lighting, or flowers, to create an atmospheric dining experience. I found the food service to be delinquent, for example waiting 45 minutes for tomato soup, (served cold), or an hours wait between courses in the main restaurant. While they pride themselves in providing whatever you might wish for, in reality it felt as though an imposition for them to do so. I found the salads to be poor and my grand daughter of 9 years has made me a better pizza. I suspected that there was an issue between the galley and the servers. Seabourn Square is advertised as having a European Konditorei-style coffee bar serving specialty coffees, drinks, sandwiches, pastries and gelato. In reality, I found the choice of sandwiches to be of a very thin club sandwich, or a very small round corn roll with about a half spoon of egg filling and there was no daily variety. I asked for some fruit instead but they said that they didn't serve it. The entertainers were a delightful bunch but the acts were not memorable. At times it felt holiday campish and perhaps demeaning given the advertised 5 star offering. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The cruise was close to flawless. The ship is in excellent condition, the service excels, and the food is hard to beat. We had only a couple of instances that made us unhappy. The stop at Katakolon was only half a day and everyone had to ... Read More
The cruise was close to flawless. The ship is in excellent condition, the service excels, and the food is hard to beat. We had only a couple of instances that made us unhappy. The stop at Katakolon was only half a day and everyone had to eat lunch on the ship so that the only two open restaurants were over overwhelmed. To make things worse, the bar with a piano was also filled up during the afternoon. We also tried to go to their restaurant #2 on a popular evening and couldn't get in without a wait. However, the main dining room was always available, with excellent food and service, and room service was fast and good.A stop that isn't listed on ports below, Kotor, was very good. It's a nice medieval city that is still very much intact with a lively street life and a wonderful path to climb to a mountaintop that was difficult but worth it.The standard entertainment group was fairly bland, but they had an interesting magician one evening.We read one review that complained about the food, but that person must have a vandetta, since the only food that we've had better was at creative cooking restaurants in top dining cities. We also read a review complaining about the service, but we've only been to one destination that has service this good and that place was extremely expensive. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Its the outdoor spaces that make Seabourn Odyssey a beautifully designed and modern 'mega yacht'. Also, "Seabourn Square" is a beautifully designed meetings space of sorts - an innovation in terms of housing a library, ... Read More
Its the outdoor spaces that make Seabourn Odyssey a beautifully designed and modern 'mega yacht'. Also, "Seabourn Square" is a beautifully designed meetings space of sorts - an innovation in terms of housing a library, internet cafe, all around service desks and an tasty espresso bar in one space. Food (in all of its restaurants) is good and solid as well. If, on the other hand, you are expecting a "world class 5* experience", then this "yacht" is not for you. * as pointed out by previous reviewers, Seabourn Odyssey's "The Restaurant" is a disappointing experience in terms of lighting, noise levels and service. Whilst "The Restaurant" photographs nicely and, conceptionally (!) speaking, lives up to a "MIAMI SOBE" aesthetic, it is the fluorescent lighting, vibrating "crystal" chandelliers, patchy service and high noise levels, which make this the most undesirable restaurant at sea. Service is random and chaotic. Random waiters will frequently refill your water glasses even though you might be drinking soda or sparkling water. As a result of complete lack of restaurant management (no one seems to be taking responsibility for particular tables), the restaurant also fails to serve courses simultaneously (ie, if you are seated a larger table with a group of family or family - don't expect courses to be served or tabled simultaneously). All in all, having sailed with Silversea, Seadream, Europa and Crystal, this, comparatively speaking, must be the most disppointing dining experience at sea. * Lighting is also a problem in all of the suites: it is not possible to adjust or dim the lighting - not even in its top suites (penthouse-, owner's, signature-, wintergarden suites) -, resulting in a public bathroom atmosphere when returning to your quarters after dinner. * Bedding is a problem. Expect poly-filled duvets and no pillow choices. * most flowers aboard are fake. whilst they photograph nicely, they disappoint over time. * Seabourn Odyssey has low ceilings throughout. I suppose Seabourn's owners (Carnival Cruise Lines) wanted to cram in as many passengers as possible. By way of comparison, MS EUROPA, which is of a similar size as Seabourn Odyssey (length, beam, and tonnage), accommodates about 400, whereas Seabourn Odyssey carries 450. * Entertainment is charming at best. Expect easy going & light entertainment, but no world class acts. Seabourn, like Carnival, offers a small scale version of the usual mass product fare. Nothing refined here. It was particularly disappointing to attend a classical music "recital" where the violinist used an amplifier. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Upon arriving at the Pier in Fort Lauderdale, I was in total shock of the sheer size of Odyssey. I have sailed many times on the smaller Seabourn ships, so this was a huge surprise. Although she accommodates 450 guests, she is 3 times ... Read More
Upon arriving at the Pier in Fort Lauderdale, I was in total shock of the sheer size of Odyssey. I have sailed many times on the smaller Seabourn ships, so this was a huge surprise. Although she accommodates 450 guests, she is 3 times larger than the smaller yachts. The styling of the ship is Seabourn all the way. Parking at the pier can be a bit of a hassle, as you must take a shuttle to the mid garage to park. Most people do not drive to the Port, so its no big deal for most. We arrived at 1PM and were seated in the terminal awaiting check-in. We were greeted with a spiked punch in Champagne glasses. A very nice touch, as we weren't even on the ship yet! Embarkation was very smooth. We were led to the Observation Lounge until the suites were ready to be occupied. I saw several crew members that I have sailed with in the past. The feeling of "family" is not lost on Odyssey. We were led to our suite which was suite 421. We had booked a category A1 guarantee in hopes of an upgrade. The ship was completely full, so we ended up with exactly what we paid for, which was fine by me. All of the suites (except for the owners suites etc) are identical. The only thing our suite category lacked was a balcony. We were greeted by our lovely stewardess with champagne and salmon canapes. We were also given a choice of soaps. I read on CruiseCritic that the location of the safe was very convenient and easy to use. For the life of me, I couldn't find it! I asked our stewardess where the safe was, and she explained that our safe had been removed and had been moved to another suite that had a faulty safe. I asked what the solution would be, and she indicated that she would make every effort to find out. I also noticed that a door over the flat screen TV was also not operational. It would not close, causing the light to stay on. This needed to be addressed as well. When our stewardess came back, she explained that the only solution to the safe issue was to put our valuables in a safe deposit box at the pursers office. I thought that this would be a pain, but knew that it would be temporary. The door issue would be addressed the next day. The lifeboat drill was held in the dining room. This is a huge plus, as the drill on the smaller ships are held outside, and in hot weather it can be a bit uncomfortable. We had planned to meet other CC members at the SkyBar after the drill. Only one couple showed up, but that was OK as we became fast friends! Dinner in the dining room was incredible. The food and service was perfection. After a nightcap at the Club, the first evening was coming to a close. Upon returning to our suite, we were greeted to a newly installed safe. After a wonderful breakfast in the indoor/outdoor venue, The Colonnade, (known as The Verandah on the 3 little sister ships) we made our way to the area known as the Patio grill on deck 8. We were greeted by the Hotel Manager, Guenter Steinbrunner, whom we have sailed many times. He mentioned that he knew about our safe and door issue, and that he would like to possibly move us to another suite. I explained that the safe issue had been resolved. Guenter insisted. He moved us to the Owners Suite 801! This was a huge shock and a wonderful surprise. Later in the review I will expand on the suite. A few days later we had a party for 28, completely catered by the ship to include a huge amount of caviar, shrimp cocktail, quiche, sashimi tuna canapes, and the favorite hot pigs in a blanket! A fully stocked bar with spirits, wine, beer and soda was available. 2 white gloved servers as well. Ian, whom I had sailed with before, was one of the professional servers at the event. The cocktail party was a huge success! I'd like to touch on the different aspects of the ship. The Ship: Strikingly beautiful. Lovely lines, beautiful atrium and sleek design. The ship boasts 2 medium sized pools, several dining areas, state of the art spa, and a full service sports marina with all the toys. Odyssey can accommodate 450 guests. The Dining Venues: The main dining room serves breakfast lunch and dinner and is simply elegant with 5+ star service. The Colonnade is an indoor / outdoor venue at the stern of the ship. Breakfast and lunch is served with a full buffet and table service. In the evening The Colonnade offers themed dinners. The Patio Grill on deck 8 offers outdoor, casual dining for lunch and dinner. Restaurant "2" is the only reservation only dining venue. It is a set tasting menu, featuring fine gourmet fare. The back lit menus are a wonderful touch, and the service is that of a chick N.Y. restaurant or a swanky L.A. hot spot. As in all dining venues, red and white wine is continuously being served. The Spa: Seabourn Odyssey offers one of the largest, most comprehensive spas on the high seas. The facilities offer private retreat areas, thermal pool, men's and women's steam and sauna, treatment rooms and more. A fully equipped gym, with plenty of space and headroom. I had the pleasure of taking a full tour of the spa, and can honestly say that I was blown away by its vastness and beauty! The Bars: There are several bars on Odyssey, so there is no reason to ever go thirsty. The Observation Lounge on Deck 10 offers stunning views of the ocean, a bar situated at the center of the room, and plenty of seating. The decor is absolutely stunning. A perfect room for die-hard trivia players. The Sky Bar on deck 9 offers covered outdoor seating and is a favorite area by many passengers. The Sky Bar is a staple on all Seabourn ships. The Patio Bar is on deck 8 and is across from the Patio Grill. Mostly uncovered seating, with a view of the pool area. The Club on deck 5 is a pre and post dinner favorite. It boasts a large marble bar with 8 bar stools. Nightly entertainment, dance floor and plenty of seating. The Casino, with its friendly dealers and staff, is located at the entrance to The Club. Hot hors d'oeuveres and canapes are served at all bars every evening before dinner. The Entertainment: Seabourn Odyssey relies on separate entertainers, instead of the Cruise Director staff to entertain the guests. Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to see any of the shows, but heard that they were quite good. The Cruise Director Staff: I had the immense pleasure of sailing with 3 of the most talented and personable CD staff on the high seas. John Barron, formerly with Regent was our Cruise Director, assisted by Marla Sanders and David E. Greene. They all are talented, funny and completely approachable. They were constantly mingling to the delight of all the guests. The Officers: I had the immense pleasure of sailing with Captain Karlo Bauer, and Hotel Manager Guenter Steinbrunner again. I also had the pleasure of meeting the Staff Captain. The officers on Seabourn are extremely professional, and approachable at the same time. Seabourn officers are truly first class. The Service: Our suite Stewardess, Bernadette, was amazing. We felt that we were stepping into our suite for the first time after she left each morning and evening. Her upbeat personality and dedication to her job is obvious. The bar staff anticipated your every need with a smile. Dominick, Ian and Gary at the Sky bar were stand-outs. The servers at the dining venues were absolutely outstanding. I had wondered with a ship so much bigger than the little sisters, would they be able to pull off the same level of service? The answer is an astounding YES! I still shake my head wondering how in the world can every member of the staff call me by name? The Food: On Odyssey, the food is truly outstanding. From the tasty pizza and incredible burgers at the Patio Grill to the elegant gourmet fare at "2". No matter what venue you dine at, you will only be eating the best prepared and tasting food you will ever have on a cruise. Truly excellent! The only criticism I would have is that they put processed cheese on the best burgers in the world. (not a proper match) Also, Thanksgiving dinner was disappointing. I don't think the chef anticipated everyone ordering turkey and dressing! The Suite: Having been moved to the Owners Suite, I can only say "wow"! Upon entering the suite, you are greeted by a lovely marble entrance-way with powder room to your right, and full kitchen to your left. The kitchen boasts a refrigerator, sink, storage and electronic espresso machine with a variety of espresso flavors. Beautiful living-room with a large flat screen TV on the wall, dining room with a beautiful floral display, separate bedroom (with flat screen TV)and bathroom featuring dramatic Italian marble sinks and European fixtures. The wrap around deck includes a table, chairs and Balinese beds for outdoor napping. I have never had the pleasure of staying in such beautiful accommodation. I felt like I was the luckiest man alive! Special Events: Dancing under the stars is always a fun event for guests and staff. Trivia is always a "must", and my team (with many CC members) had the pleasure of winning the whole thing this cruise! The Marina was not used on my cruise as it was cancelled due to choppy waters. (although it cleared up, the marina takes too long to set up, so a decision has to be made in the morning) The Beach Bar-b-Que was simply amazing! Caviar in the surf, champagne and fresh live lobster were the stand-outs. The Seabourn Club party was well attended, and we received our beautiful 200 day pins. Made by Tiffany and Company, they are sterling silver with a small amethyst. The Galley Lunch was too crowded. This was the only time I had to stand in line. I would suggest that the Galley Lunch event stay on the little ships, and not navigate to the large ships. It loses its charm. The Ports: We only disembarked the ship for the Beach Bar-b-Que and St. Barts. This trip was to truly relax and experience Odyssey. This cruise was truly memorable. I met some of the nicest people I have ever met on a cruise. Even though there are over twice as many passengers on Odyssey than on the 3 triplets, the feeling of "family" abounds. I was extremely sad to disembark, but everything comes to an end. We placed a deposit for an "Open booking". I would recommend Odyssey to anyone who expects first class food and service with a smile. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
I will simply try to do a comprehensive review with those who are new to Seabourn or the Odyssey in mind. This was our first Seabourn cruise, it was also the smallest ship we have been on. We are both in our 40's and have only ... Read More
I will simply try to do a comprehensive review with those who are new to Seabourn or the Odyssey in mind. This was our first Seabourn cruise, it was also the smallest ship we have been on. We are both in our 40's and have only been cruising for a few short years, starting with HAL, through Disney, Carnival, Cunard, and culminating with Crystal last November. To summarize our experience with Seabourn, suffice it to say that it fully met our expectations and although we had not considered sailing on the triplets before, we are now ready to try them as well given what we learned on the Odyssey. The Ship Beautiful, elegant in a contemporary style and well laid out. We found our suite (a V3 on deck 6) to be spacious and with plenty of storage. The bathroom with its separate tub and shower and double sinks is great as there never is any need to juggle for space. As pathetic as it may sound, I loved the walk-in closet with its easy to open/close drawers, lots of hangers and plenty of space for shoes. It makes packing/unpacking, dressing and keeping everything organized a breeze. The Frechette robes are a nice touch and they came in handy when going out to the whirlpool area a mere steps from our cabin. Our stewardess was a gem who made our cruise that much more enjoyable. Our best daytime hideaway spot was, as mentioned above, just steps from our cabin - the whirlpool area forward on deck 6 is the best-kept secret on the Odyssey. There are quite a few loungers and there is always some shade. Fresh towels are available and a crew member is always there to bring you a nice cold drink. Being where it is, there is always a breeze (hard to find on any other areas) and I could not find a better thing to do at the end of the day than to sit in the Jacuzzi sipping champagne watching the sunset. We tried sunbathing on The Retreat (deck 11) but there isn't any shade at all which makes it very difficult for anyone to stay there for any period of time. It is a lovely spot and I think that the addition of a few big umbrellas would greatly improve its usability. We loved the Observation Bar and would often go there to listen to Nick the piano player and steal a dance or two (no dance floor). Unlike The Club, the furniture does not crowd the space. The Club is the place to go for some serious dancing (but the dance floor is rather small) and it's very well attended before dinner and between dinner and show times. Seabourn Square is the main hub of the ship and a great place to grab a latte and a cookie and catch up on your email or reading. Great reclining chairs at the back for an afternoon nap (there is noticeable vibration there but it just lulls you to sleep!). The Grand Salon suffers from a few ill-placed columns and pretty crowded seating but it is a good venue for the entertainment. The Restaurant is really beautiful day and night. On our first night on board we dined in one of the main areas (double height) of the Restaurant and found it was strangely lit with unflattering purplish lights. This made people look rather ghostly. Those areas were also the noisiest. It was only toward the end of the cruise that we noticed that the purple lights were gone. The dEcor of Restaurant 2 is striking but not to everyone's taste as we discovered through conversations with our tablemates on the two occasions we dined there. Particularly those Seabourn cruisers who are more at home in the more traditional triplets. Design-wise, we thought that the servers had a hard time reaching people seated at the back end of the round booth-like seats. We personally liked it, including the lit-up menus which were different and a fun touch. The Colonnade, particularly the outdoor portion, was perhaps our favourite venue for casual dining, both for lunch and for dinner. Its dEcor is relaxed and inviting. There is one issue with the design - one night a woman fell (she was not hurt) when she failed to notice a small step dividing the main seating area from the hallway. There are ropes to prevent this but she leaned on the rope a bit it and it gave. This could prove very dangerous and should be addressed in a better way. My general sense is that the ship has been beautifully designed but that aesthetics takes precedence over function in some instances. There is also an abnormal amount of noise in the cabins (at least in ours but we heard the same from several fellow passengers). This noise (rattling, vibration, creaking, groaning, you name it) was much more pronounced when the seas were on the rougher side and the ship was going at a faster cruise speed (first and last nights). Having said that, neither the seas nor the speed were in any way extreme so the real answer must lie elsewhere. The few negatives all have to do with signs that the finishing was done in a rushed way and it shows. Examples of this are carpets that don't seem to be "tucked in" properly (at least in our cabin) and are already coming off, air bubbles in the wood veneer panels, chips in the enamel of the bathtub, etc. Simply put, there will be a lot of work needed to be done in the first drydock. One last note and this will be of absolutely no interest to most, the fitness center was not truly "fully equipped" as the promotional materials state, but rather seemed to have an odd collection of TechnoGym machines with very specialized functions, not the machines that work the main muscle groups. Again, if you don't regularly workout with weights, you won't care about this one bit. The gym did have a suitable number of cardio machines including elliptical machines, treadmills and one stairmaster, plus the Kinetic wall which I never got around to trying. The Food This is a matter of personal taste. In our view, it was mostly very good and sometimes great, but not exceptional. A bit on the bland and unimaginative side. One example of this is the nightly themed menus on the Colonnade. They consisted of two or three "theme" dishes which were not in the least the real thing (with some better than others) and the rest of the menu was the same every night. This is not a criticism as the food was always of good quality, just seemed to be playing it safe a lot. Restaurant 2 was a pleasant diversion from any blandness. The whole concept of a tasting menu is not well understood or liked by many as we found out. We liked it. It was a great experience and it must be tried at least once. Do not be intimidated by the menu (it sounds far more daunting than the food really is), don't rush it. Each morsel is carefully designed to play against the others on your plate and there are unexpected, delicious surprises - like the "vanilla flavoured asparagus cappuccino". The Patio Grill was convenient for a quick bite and a very pleasant spot but unremarkable food wise. For example, I expected real cheese in my cheeseburger, not a slice of processed cheese. Nice pizzas. Room service was great. We had breakfast in our balcony many times and had the most pleasant times. We also ordered room service for a simple dinner on the last night as we were feeling under the weather. The food was good, delivered hot and promptly and the service was always first rate. The Entertainment Varied and of good quality. The Seabourn Singers are young and talented and they try hard to please everyone in the audience. This is a big feat considering the generational differences. The other acts, a pianist, a violinist and two comedians provided a good dose of entertainment. The regular musicians on board gave us ample opportunity to dance which is one of our main pleasures while cruising. We particularly loved the pool deck party. The Service First impression was that of spotty, impersonal service. This impression soon changed as we noticed steady improvement after a couple of days into the cruise. Most staff (with very few exceptions) proved to be warm and caring and we found ourselves being addressed by name often and by many of them. The Hotel Manager made a good effort to help resolve an issue we had and followed through with solutions. We met many staff members who were not only new to Seabourn (1st contract) but also new to cruiseships altogether. While some of the most experienced Seabourn staff shined, so did some of the newbies. Very rarely did we experience any staff members who did not perform to expectations. Fellow Passengers While we were in a small minority due to our age, we felt welcome by all and met an overwhelming majority of fantastic, fun and entertaining, sweet, interesting, truly enjoyable folks, some of which we had the pleasure of dining and/or having drinks with several times throughout. This was a true highlight of our experience and, above all, perhaps the main reason we will sail with Seabourn again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Seabourn Odyssey Review Cruise Dates: November 28 thru December 10, 2009 Eastern Caribbean Cabin 609 Well, after several requests, I am going ahead with the review. I was reluctant at first because we did have some problems and I ... Read More
Seabourn Odyssey Review Cruise Dates: November 28 thru December 10, 2009 Eastern Caribbean Cabin 609 Well, after several requests, I am going ahead with the review. I was reluctant at first because we did have some problems and I didn't want to sound too negative or picky. So I guess I will start with the things about the cruise which we really did like: • The staff were very friendly and the bar and restaurant service was superb (Colonnade service was inconsistent) • Loved the never ending "free" caviar - I ate it every day! • Loved that they had 2 outside bars - the Patio Bar, on the pool deck, and the Sky Bar, one deck up overlooking the pool (we hung out at the Sky Bar at noon almost every day). Both were open in the evenings as well. • Liked that the Patio Grill was open in the evenings for a very casual option (we only ate there once in the evening and it was very good, but not so great at lunchtime) • Yes, we also liked that they still have black tie evenings (I know we are in the minority on this one, but we do still enjoy dressing up a bit every once in awhile for dinner, and so we did! We will likely still do so occasionally on Regent even though they are now all Elegant Casual evenings) • On my birthday, they had some lovely chocolate cake with a candle for me at dinner, and when we got back to the room, I had balloons, a bottle of wine, strawberries with white chocolate mousse and 2 glasses of Cognac waiting for us. • Loved the Nic-Nac peanuts from Germany at the Sky Bar! (My husband had me track down some to order for his Christmas present!) Now for the rest of the story... The feelings were not so great beginning with embarkation process. Our documents said we could board at 1:30pm. We arrived around 1:00pm and along with lots of other folks, waited in the terminal building around 30 to 45 minutes. When we were allowed to board, we were herded to the dark and dreary "Grand Salon" where we were told we had to remain until our rooms were ready! They were serving canapEs and champagne, but our side of the room was totally ignored for the first 20-30 minutes, until my husband got up and went to tell someone "in charge". We finally got something to drink, but the environment sitting there was not at all pleasant. They need to take a cue from Regent, who allows you to wander the ship freely when you board and even have lunch at the pool grill! Yes, we all understand our rooms are not ready, but we don't need to be corralled and held captive! After about 45 minutes, we had had enough. We grabbed our things and made our way out of there. The hotel director was "guarding" the elevators and asked us where we were going. We just insisted we were going up on the deck and kept walking - they weren't very happy with us! As it turned out, we walked by our room and it was ready anyway, so we dumped our stuff and went out to get some fresh air and a cold beer from the Sky Bar. The room was spacious - similar to the Voyager, but I did not like the layout very much. You could tell whoever designed it did not spend a lot of time actually living in one these staterooms. (I think the Regent staterooms are much more thoughtfully designed and laid out.) I like to be able to unload all of my stuff and stash it on the shelves and in cabinets. The Odyssey bathroom had 2 sinks (which some people like but we don't care that much about). This severely limited the vanity space available, and there were only 3 VERY TINY glass shelves to one side of the sink - barely big enough to hold just our medications! So, we actually ended up covering up one of the sinks so we would have more counter space! Also had to store a few items underneath the sink. The closet was about the same as what we are used to on Regent, but the cabinets and drawers in the suite were quite small (shallow). Needless to say, we felt there wasn't enough storage space. Plus all the cabinets had these pressure closures things they called "clicks". They nearly drove me crazy trying to get them opened and closed. And, maintenance had to come repair them 3 times during our 12 day cruise because they wouldn't stay closed! There was no desk, and the single plug was located down on the floor. Fortunately I always travel with my multi-plug power strip, but the plug was very hard to get to. The television is very small for the size of the room - I could not really see the screen well from the bed. Although it has an iPod dock, the sound quality was awful (sound actually just came through the TV speakers). Fortunately we had our portable iPod speakers which we always carry with us. There was a small vanity with a portable magnifying mirror. The magnifying mirror was nice, but the light source at the vanity was not sufficient to use for putting on makeup. There was a plug over at the vanity, but too far away from everything else in the room to be useful. When we got to the room, none of the drink requests that we had made online were there (they finally got us fully stocked by the next day). There was also NO SAFE! The stewardess said the safe had been taken out some time ago because if was malfunctioning. I called guest services and asked about when the safe would be replaced. Their response was that they had no extra safes to install! I was essentially told too bad, nothing can be done, your SOL, and not given any options. After I hung up and steamed about this awhile, I called back and told them I was not happy and this was unacceptable - still no help. I finally asked if they had any safe deposit boxes on board, and the response was "oh yes, in the purser's office" - why hadn't I been offered this before? Reluctantly, I eventually marched down to the purser's office (which by the way, was not marked in any way, and I had to ask 3 staff people before anyone was able to show me which door to go in). The "safe deposit boxes" were actually little double lock file cabinets which were located in the middle of a busy office with several desks and people working. Needless to say, there was no privacy whatsoever when I wanted to access the "box". This whole thing was a real hassle throughout the cruise. To me the worst part is that reviews on some of the boards mentioned that the safe problem had been going on for a while - there is no excuse for not having adequate replacements. (Unlike Host Dan on Cruise Critic, they did NOT upgrade us to the Owner's Suite!) Our stewardess was very sweet and for the most part, tried very hard, but I felt there were some training issues here. The tiny shelves in our bath room were never dusted for the entire cruise, and were pretty dusty by the 12th day. Our balcony and the windows were not cleaned until I finally specifically asked the stewardess to do so, ON THE SIXTH DAY OF THE CRUISE. The windows were so bad we could barely see out. I was trying to be patient, as we had cruised through some volcanic dust on the second day of the cruise which made quite a mess all over the ship, but 4 days later, I should think that at least the windows and balcony should have been cleaned (we actually had wiped off the handrail, chairs and table ourselves). We were in suite 609, which is fairly far forward. We did notice some of the vibration and shuddering others have reported. We typically don't mind the vibrations that much (we always book a Horizon suite on Voyager, and there can be significant vibrations in those suites sometimes, but we love the location); however, the creeks and moans and squeaks in our Odyssey suite were pretty bad, making it difficult to sleep at times. On a new ship like this, you wouldn't think there would be so much of this. The rooms located forward like ours was are also QUITE loud when the ship drops or weighs anchor. This wasn't terribly bothersome to us, as we are early risers and were usually already awake when the anchor was being dropped, and having a beer on our balcony when the ship was departing. However, I did hear some folks complaining about this. We also had some trouble with room service. We always have breakfast in our room - everyday on every cruise we take. So, I am pretty consistent about filling out my little card and putting it on the door before we retire. In fact, I always fill it out before we go to dinner, so that just in case (LOL) I have a little too much to drink, I'll already have the breakfast order taken of and don't have to worry about figuring it out when we get back to the room. The first incident with room service was on the second day of the cruise. When our breakfast order did not come within 15 minutes of our requested time, I called to check on it. The fellow answering the phone said that there was no time indicated on the card. Although I find that hard to believe, I gave them the benefit of the doubt this time, although I was a little miffed that they did not bother to call us to find out what time we wanted delivery. They had it there within about 30 minutes, so I forgave them this time. Then, 5 days later, it happened again. I am certain that this time I did not forget to include the requested delivery time, as I had my DH double checking the card for me each time, just to be sure. On this morning, we had an early departure for a shore excursion, so I was pretty upset when I called room service to check on our order, and the guy once again told me there was no time indicated! He insisted he had the card right there, and there was no delivery time. We had to leave the room in 30 minutes, so having it delivered then was not an option. So, I had to go scurrying down to the Seabourn Square to grab us a couple of muffins so we would have something on our tummies. I told the guy from room service I would like to have the card brought to my room so I could see for myself that there was no requested delivery time indicated. Guess what? The card was never delivered - wonder why??? No apology was ever delivered either!! I had read so many reviews about how wonderful the food was; we had great expectations which never materialized. Again, I recognize that in this particular area, personal preferences play a huge role. The food was quite good on a few nights, not quite as good on others, but nothing really spectacular in our opinion. Two meals we really enjoyed were the Osso Bucco, and the Lobster Thermidor . We both really like fish, and tried several different dishes during the cruise, but they were terribly bland and tasteless (tasted like they were poached or steamed, but that's not how they were described on the menu). Once the fish was undercooked and inedible. Anyway, during the course of the 12 days, I think we ended up ordering lamb chops from the "classic fare" menu 2 or 3 times, because the other choices were not too exciting. I will add that we had dinner at the Patio Grill one night, and the fish there was grilled to perfection! I think it's nice to have this outside casual option, but we typically enjoy the ambience of the dining room in the evening, so we only ate at the Patio Grill one night. We also ate one night at the Colonnade, and ate lunch there a few times. The food was okay, but we felt the service was not quite up to speed, especially at lunch time. Another interesting thing was that the Colonnade typically served the same things as the main restaurant, with the addition of some standard dishes like salmon or a steak dish, which they offered every night. Seems to me they should offer more variety. We would probably have eaten there more often in the evening if they had offered something different than what was being served in the main dining room. Here's a sample of a couple of menus. We had lunch at the Patio Grill most of the time, even though it was pretty unexciting. They typically had the same things every day (salad bar, hamburgers, hot dogs, some sort of very dry grilled chicken), with one "specialty" dish, like fried calamari, or lamb kabobs. Their hamburgers couldn't hold a candle to those on Voyager! And alas, no steak sandwich either!! We really missed our grilled fish, which we typically have for lunch almost every day at the Pool Grill on Voyager - they did not offer any grilled fish at all for lunch at the Patio Grill. On Regent ships, our favorite after dinner hangout is the Observation Lounge, so of course we had to try the Observation Lounge on Odyssey. Needless to say, there was no Frankie Holiday or Jerry Vasi, and it was a pretty quiet place, but the piano player was okay. The dEcor and lighting is very bright, even at night, and it has a totally different ambience (doesn't have what I consider that "cozy" feeling like I get on Voyager). The worst thing was, there is NO dance floor in the Observation Lounge?! So, we ended up just dancing next our table. Kind of silly (LOL)! Believe me, I am no health nut or exercise junky, but I do try to walk a couple of miles every day. I really missed the nice walking tracks I am used to on Regent. Some folks were walking around the Sky Deck, and I tried it, but it was a very small loop with lots of obstacles (lounge chairs and people everywhere, and trying to maneuver through the Sky Bar area was a challenge). I just gave up. A ship this size should be able to have a larger walking deck. I stuck my head in the gym one day, but it seemed very small and crowded, so I didn't go back. We didn't go to any of the evening shows and also did not use the spa, so I can't comment on those. We were also pretty disappointed that they had to cancel our beach day and caviar in the surf. That is one of the things that really attracted me to the cruise! But, of course I don't fault the cruise line for that - we have to blame it the weather Gods! It was just too rough for the staff to safely transport all the stuff over to the beach. I recognize that much of how we perceived the cruise boils down to what we are used to. We have about 100 days on Regent, and our other cruise experiences have only included a couple of Princess Cruises many years ago, a Windstar cruise, and the Queen Mary 2. I have read many reviews by frequent Seabourn cruisers who tried Regent for the first time, and did not like it all. I am sure we need to keep an open mind, and we might try Seabourn again; but, at this point, probably only if there was an extraordinary itinerary we could not get elsewhere, or there was a great bargain. Don't let me give you the impression that we had a rotten time, because that's NOT true - we had a GREAT time - we always do! It's just this time, after 12 days, we were really ready to get off. We were on the Voyager for 30 days once and STILL did not want to get off! We are looking forward to returning to our beloved Regent and the Voyager this May. We think the staff is just the best there is! We also think the food is a bit better. (Although we have been on a couple of cruises with Regent where the food was good, but not outstanding - I think a lot depends on the chef at the time.) Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
A beautiful ship but a number of interior design flaws made this cruise less than perfect. The "so-called" suites, while a generous 300 sq. ft in size, are actually tunnel-like and quite narrow, at just over 9.5 ft wide. One can ... Read More
A beautiful ship but a number of interior design flaws made this cruise less than perfect. The "so-called" suites, while a generous 300 sq. ft in size, are actually tunnel-like and quite narrow, at just over 9.5 ft wide. One can barely squeeze by the bed to access the seating area. The TV screen is too small, making it difficult to read the activities or entertainment menus. The bathrooms, while very attractive and functional, have tiny glassed-in shower stalls, that one can barely bed over to wash, much less pick up a dropped bar of soap. Many of the public areas are quite functional with a few exceptions. The "Grand Salon", or theater, for instance, has so many pillars and seats facing the wrong way, that there was a mad scramble at each event to find seats that had a decent view of the stage or even the side video screens. Some other public rooms such as the "The Club" were quite cheap looking with commercial "gymnasium"-like wall coverings. The service on-board was quite friendly, but sometimes not very efficient nor professional. Other fellow passengers also complained that requests for a service or an item, often just did not appear or were wrong. The food in the main restaurant was very good and often creative. However, enough dishes were repeated or offered under different names or descriptions over the course of two weeks, that it became noticeable and somewhat tedious. Vegetable dishes were sparse and of very small portions, while breads and pastries did not vary, throughout. The wine selections were adequate with only one or two really flawed wines. The optional wine list, if you could get someone to bring you one, listed a number of very good choices and at very fair prices. The breakfast buffet was standard fare at best, and not up to what one would expect from a luxury cruise line. It was often quite chaotic and difficult to land that first cup of coffee, because the servers were all trying to do too many things at once. Some other passengers complained that breakfast in the main dining room was very slow and were given the reason that room service requests took priority there. The "spa" while well appointed was under-staffed and unbelievably expensive. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Seabourn Odyssey Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 2.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 5.0 4.2

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