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Sail Date: November 2017
The luxury cruises seemed to provide a great deal of value for the money. Yes, they are more expensive, but with different amenities for different lines, you can get a price you want and the included tipping and drinks and other amenities ... Read More
The luxury cruises seemed to provide a great deal of value for the money. Yes, they are more expensive, but with different amenities for different lines, you can get a price you want and the included tipping and drinks and other amenities are super! Seabourn could improve laundry! We get a bag a day on Holland America but on a luxury cruise we don’t? They are super about all the amenities and the service is exquisite! I do not eat heavy meals but like to snack throughout the day, I found they had excellent food at meal times but there wasn’t much to snack on between times. The tours were decent, we prefer not to be on a coach (bus) so much. The people on Seabourn are a bit older so there don’t seem to be a lot of super active shore excursions. I’d say the age range is similar to Holland America. Loved it tons and headed for another one soon! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Overall, we had a great cruise through the Panama Canal on Seabourn Odyssey. Foreign trips are never perfect, and this one was not. But we found much to praise and little to criticize on Odyssey. We left Los Angeles on Jan. 6th, and spent ... Read More
Overall, we had a great cruise through the Panama Canal on Seabourn Odyssey. Foreign trips are never perfect, and this one was not. But we found much to praise and little to criticize on Odyssey. We left Los Angeles on Jan. 6th, and spent a day each in Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas, Puerto Quetzal, Puntarenas, Portobelo and Cartagena. We spent a long day going through the Panama Canal. There were nine sea days, and we arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 24th. Arrival and departure were quick. At the Port of Los Angeles, even though I didn't request it, I was immediately provided a wheelchair because I don't walk very well. We boarded and were seated in the lunch buffet in about 30 minutes. We sailed on Odyssey a year ago and were anxious to look for changes. We didn't see many. The ship is wonderfully maintained, the bathrooms look new, the staterooms and hallways are picking up a few scratches, but most everything worked well, including the air conditioning, which was very important on this warm weather cruise. We were in Suite 631. The staff remains personable and helpful, although many are new because of Seabourn's expansion. Service was frequently good, but sometimes slow and disorganized. The suite stewardess Marcela was great. The ship sailed about 25 people short of its 450 guest capacity. There was never a problem with crowding or lines. The food was often wonderful. The beef, fish, lamb, shrimp, pasta and desserts were fabulous, in our opinion. The wine isn't $50 a bottle wine, but it was just fine. There were nice touches. We didn't know about a dinner of fresh snapper, the fish having been purchased ashore by the chef the previous day. When we mentioned that, the restaurant staff immediately told us we should return the next night and they would arrange a special snapper dinner for us, which they did. Several times, restaurant staff offered second helpings when we mentioned how good the main course was. There were some misses. A Mexican-theme dinner just didn't pass muster. The breakfast buffet does not vary from day to day. How about some different sausages? And what passes for hash brown potatoes is an embarrassment—a frozen patty that would be served in a school cafeteria. Use real potatoes for gosh sakes. Seabourn touts its dishes by the famous chef Thomas Keller. Some are good, others pretty far out. Seabourn should concentrate on less edgy recipes. Other misses centered on the distribution of information. The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk or couldn't hear it, you were out of luck. The ship should do far better at providing details about the progress of the trip. Announcements over the loud speaker are strictly limited, which is good, but the television system could fill in the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. In fact, the TV was poorly utilized on this and our previous cruise. The TV even broke down completely a couple times. A local narrator was provided for commentary through the Panama Canal, but in parts of the ship where people gathered you could not hear him. Shore excursions were perhaps not quite so overpriced as we've encountered on previous cruises. The guides were consistently good. The ship could have done more to help us in certain ports. In Cartagena we could have used a regular shuttle into the main town square. In Portobelo, we could have used a full day instead of a partial day. Arriving in Fort Lauderdale, misinformation was given about taxis and cost of ground transportation. They failed to mention the economical alternative of Uber. This review would not be complete without mentioning the Seabourn policy of including beverages in your fare. It would be natural to try to scrimp, but the waiters were always anxious to bring you another or fill your glass. The cocktails were first rate. I tried to stump them by asking for Drambuie. They brought it to us in about one minute. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
After a terrible cruise on the Mariner with Regent of the Seven Seas we returned to Seabourn hoping that it still was the best cruise line we had ever been on, we were not disappointed, there have been some cutbacks as with all cruise ... Read More
After a terrible cruise on the Mariner with Regent of the Seven Seas we returned to Seabourn hoping that it still was the best cruise line we had ever been on, we were not disappointed, there have been some cutbacks as with all cruise lines but not enough to have a big impact on the services, and yes as many of the seasoned crew were on the new Explorer there were some delays in service but these were ironed out during the cruise. You really feel special and welcome on board and staff go out of their way to ensure you have a brilliant holiday and any problems are always dealt with on board. The cabin design of course is the best around for space etc and in the 6 cruises we have done with Seabourn all the stewardesses have been excellent and all of different nationalities. The design of the ship is excellent and the food and wine are very good, although a better quality champagne would be appreciated. The entertainment on a small boat can be limited but we had some very good shows, and the lecturers, in particular Robert Freedman were good. Excursion were well organised. Read Less
65 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have just completed a 20 day cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey (March 21-April 10, 2016). This was our first Seabourn experience; all of our other recent cruises have been on Crystal. So this assessment is a comparison of our Seabourn ... Read More
We have just completed a 20 day cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey (March 21-April 10, 2016). This was our first Seabourn experience; all of our other recent cruises have been on Crystal. So this assessment is a comparison of our Seabourn and Crystal cruise experiences. Bottom Line Both Seabourn and Crystal are deserving of their six star rating and each has specific advantages and disadvantages. So booking decisions will be dependent on which features are most important to individual passengers and, of course, the dates and itineraries of cruises offered by the carriers. Our impressions are below. Smoking Policy Seabourn permits smoking on verandas; Crystal does not. So if one is unfortunate enough to have their verandas polluted by second hand smoke from adjoining cabins, then this policy is important, if not deal breaking. So non-smokers offended by second hand smoke might want to take this into consideration before booking Seabourn. Cabin We booked veranda suite 620, which was definitely superior to similar cabin categories on Crystal. The cabin featured a separate walk-in shower, a narrow but very well designed walk-in closet, more than adequate storage space, a table and chairs perfect for in-room dining, and a very comfortable veranda. Significant advantage for Seabourn. Passenger Service Both Seabourn and Crystal provide excellent service but Seabourn seemed considerably better. Seabourn is excellent at knowing passenger names and they are superb in responding to requests. On two occasions when returning from excursions, we were greeted by a large contingent of Seabourn employees and we were announced by name as we boarded by a person with no notes or apparent aids. He knew all of us by name. Extraordinary. In fact, we were routinely greeted by name by a significant number of employees. Further, the Seabourn Square center for passenger services is far superior to the front desk on Crystal. First impressions, however are a Crystal advantage. Seabourn has nothing like Crystal's imposing central court. Dining The Thomas Keller influence gives Seabourn a significant advantage in the main dining room.  The Pacific Yellowtail Crudo  served on March 26 and the California White Sturgeon Caviar on April 3 were especially memorable appetizers.  Service attentiveness, the quality and variety of offerings, and attention to detail were always superb.  And a soufflé was on the menu every night for desert.   However, our experience suggests that the Prego and Silk Road specialty restaurants on Crystal are superior, far superior, to Seabourn's Restaurant 2. The carpaccio at Prego, as just one example, is a preparation and presentation extravaganza. Nobu's influence at Silk Road assures both very high quality and uniqueness. While the signature small plate menu at Restaurant 2 is interesting, the food quality and preparation seemed no better than that of the main dining room. On March 28, we dined with friends at Restaurant 2 and we found the service quality and attention to detail were less than we were used to in the main dining room or at Crystal's specialty restaurants. For example, while the menu clearly called for both a white and red wine pairing, only one wine glass was part of each place setting at our table for four. The wine steward tried to introduce the Stag's Leap house Chardonnay as the featured white wine, but after we requested alternatives, he took our order and disappeared. It took a pointed complaint to our waiter to get two wine glasses at each place setting and our requested wine. This is unacceptable, especially in Seabourn's premier dining room. We did not return to Restaurant 2 for the remainder of the cruise. The poolside Patio Grill on Seabourn had a better selection than the poolside restaurant on Crystal. However, the lunch buffet of the Lido cafe on Crystal was generally, but not always, better in both quality and selection to that of the Colonnade on Seabourn. Internet Seabourn charges for wi-fi but Crystal provides one free hour per passenger per day. It cost over $300 extra for Seabourn wifi access on this cruise. Wifi access is important to us as, it must be to many others. Come on Seabourn, this is the 21st Century. Spa The spacious Crystal spas, especially the one on the Crystal Symphony, suited our needs better than the combination of the changing room and Serene area on the Seabourn Odyssey. When we are at sea, we do a workout in the fitness center and then like to use the steam room and shower before lunch. And I like to shave. The Crystal spas have razors and shaving cream plus a hair dryer. The men's facilities on Seabourn do not. Although use of the very small changing area/steam room/showers on Seabourn is free, the Serene area facilities cost $35 per passenger per visit. (Crystal does not have the same kind of "serene" area but does not charge extra for use of the spa.) After complaining about this extra charge prior to sailing, Seabourn provided seven free visits for each of us. However, other than the days we had massages, we did not use the Serene area. It is a lovely area to relax, but little more. Liquor and drinks. Seabourn seems to have a somewhat higher quality liquor selection in the bars. They also place a bottle of liquor of choice in all cabins. Crystal only does this at the suite level (but they do provide in room wine and beer in all cabin categories). However, the first list of available liquors sent pre-cruise by Seabourn was of mediocre quality at best. After I complained, they sent an expanded list of much higher quality. One wonders why they failed to send the higher quality list initially. The basic wine selection at dinner seems to be about equal between Seabourn and Crystal as is the premium wine selection. Entertainment The Seabourn Odyssey is a smaller ship with half the passengers, so it is understandable that the entertainment would be less elaborate. It was usually limited to one or two very talented people. However, Crystal has an entertainment ensemble, featuring a troop of extraordinary singers and dancers. Advantage Crystal. TV on Seabourn seems to be more oriented toward European channels than Crystal. For example, the major networks, CNN and ESPN are not carried (but the NCAA basketball semis and finals were shown). Seabourn does include MSNBC and CNBC. Seabourn has a large selection of in movies available on the cabin TV, but it does not have an on-board movie theater. Crystal does. Seabourn had an "opera under the stars" night on April 4. It was delightful. Other Most of the other features, such as excursions, guest speakers, massage and salon therapists, etc. are individual cruise dependent and generally about equal. Seabourn has a caviar and champaign event in (not next to, IN) the main swimming pool. In fact, caviar and champaign are ubiquitous onboard Seabourn. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
Let's start with the good, then go to the bad, and the ugly. The staff was outstanding - a bunch of hard-working, thoughtful and perceptive young people. They knew your name and your preferences. They were on the J-O-B 24-7. The ... Read More
Let's start with the good, then go to the bad, and the ugly. The staff was outstanding - a bunch of hard-working, thoughtful and perceptive young people. They knew your name and your preferences. They were on the J-O-B 24-7. The entertainment - the pianist and the magician - comedian were outstanding (conversely, the historian was a twerp and should not be permitted to do another ship - he actually started arguments between diners during dinner by making politically unacceptable remarks and then let the fur fly). Dancers, regular entertainers - a nice bunch of kids. The service almost flawless, with the exception of the main dining room, with it somewhat rude head waiter and sometimes sluggish service. For New Years, we were crammed into a table for four when there were five of us because we did not make a "proper reservation," even though there were numerous other tables only half full. It made me feel socially unacceptable for being single. Seabourn Square was gr8. The coffee was gr8. Service there, outstanding. Games and trivia - lots of fun. Sometimes you just had to be in the know - like you had to know about the caviar pre-dinner course. You had to just know what to ask for sometimes. Otherwise, you lost out. If you somehow got caught hungry between meals, you had to go to your room and order or eat a snack at the Seabourn Square. The not-so-good - the exercise room had timed workouts because of inadequate machinery and I got the evil-eye for wanting to do a full hour on the bike. The pool closed too early - I like a night swim. Why not? Fellow passengers - a broad range - some lots of fun. Some just plain nasty - like the fat lady and her elderly husband who said they sailed with Seabourn all the time and claimed the class of passengers had diminished - and in particular, she told people to shut up who were talking "too loud" for her tastes in the lounge before the entertainment! A total Lounge Nazi. The bad - the shore trips were unremarkable to say the least and the offered excursions were singularly boring. There was nothing exciting or interesting like eco-tours except for one over-priced rafting trip. They promised, but never dropped the platform at the back and offered the kayaking and ocean swimming. Now the ugly. Smoking policy. Nasty. Horrid. Dangerous to your health. Abusive to passengers with health issues. They permitted people to smoke in their cabins - the cabins were never really smoke-free and the smoke was recycled in the HVAC system. Loads of people complained - among themselves and to the crew, who told them the policy was about to change (how did that make my cruise better? I paid a bundle for second hand smoke). There were perhaps 30-40 people smoking on the ship - and frankly, it appeared to be the same 20 people at the outside bar stinking up the place so no one wanted to go to that section. But when people were outside your cabin blowing their smoke in your room - or chain smoking when you wanted to sit on your balcony and read - well NASTY. So bad that I will never sail with them again - despite their assurances that they won't allow in-suite smoking. It won't make any difference in the long-run if people are smoking on the balcony with the door open - and my guess is the people who would smoke on their balconies with the door open probably will walk into their suite with a lit butt and think nothing of it. BAN SMOKING - except for one small area at the back of the ship - high class people no longer tolerate this practice. We care about our health and stale smoke ruins the feeling of luxury. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
If you're thinking of jumping ship from a mainstream cruise line and fancy giving Seabourn a try hopefully this somewhat extended review will prove useful. One of the difficulties I found was that a lot of the reviews out there are ... Read More
If you're thinking of jumping ship from a mainstream cruise line and fancy giving Seabourn a try hopefully this somewhat extended review will prove useful. One of the difficulties I found was that a lot of the reviews out there are written by long time Seabourn customers who have certain expectations and if they aren't met their writing is biased towards those variations from tradition. If the bread sticks are anything but the regulation 12 inches all hell breaks loose. Dare I say it there is also a bit of snobbery in some of the reviews, when such and such, "a good personal friend of ours", was hotel manager things were much better. Or else wines will be compared to fine vintages costing the per diem room rate of most cruise lines. I witnessed Louis XIII being served at $110 per 1oz measure which just about covered the bottom of a glass. Several glasses were enjoyed. I have no problem with that but it's safe to say drinking Louis XIII with such gay abandon probably wouldn't be the norm for most of us. The other type of review contains the phrase, "considering how expensive this cruise was I can't believe........" Price is very subjective so all I will say is our cruise on board Seabourn Sojourn was roughly on par with a premium cabin aboard Royal Caribbean. With this in mind we joined the ship with no particular expectations, we were prepared to take things as we found them and certainly didn't penalise Seabourn based on the price paid. Having experienced Seabourn for myself I consider it great value for money. Our standard balcony suite on deck 5 was slightly smaller than a Royal Caribbean Grand Suite, 300 square feet of inside real estate with the addition of a 65 square foot balcony. Decor was modern and fresh, condition excellent bar balcony furniture which had aluminium oxidation and bubbling paint. The bathroom was magnificent, double sinks, a bath and separate walk in shower, natural stone finish, soft floor mat, luxury Moultin Brown products - for a cruise ship it could not have been improved on. Actually there was one thing, the sink taps were not Grohe. When you went to turn them on the lever action felt plastic rather than smooth and luxurious, but hey, I'm having to dig pretty deep to find fault. We boarded the ship in Port Everglades Fort Lauderdale, dropped off the luggage, went away to hand in our hire car and got driven back to join the ship. No queues, no whistles blowing, no shouting, no horns just smiling faces. The check in process was measured in seconds rather than minutes, staff were on hand in the terminal with drinks if you needed one - we didn't as we weren't there long enough. Walking onto the ship we were greeted by a line of Stewards, our hand luggage taken and we were directed to the various lunch options. Choosing the patio grille there were a choice of several spare tables and we soon found ourselves enjoying a drink and a bite to eat all courtesy of waitered service. Contrast this to the scrum associated with mainstream cruise lines and you start to see the Seabourn difference. Muster drill was taken very seriously and we were seated in the dining room throughout. Sojourn is a modern ship, a miniature version of what we are used to on Royal Caribbean. Finishes and materials used around the ship are similar, it's just smaller but then there aren't the number of other guests. It's like being on board during departure day when 90% of the other passengers have left. The other thing of course is pretty much everything you touch do or taste is included within your cruise fare. A cafe latte in the Seabourn square or an ice cream, included. Drinks around the ship, included. Speciality dining, included as is wine with dinner, liqueurs afterwards and so on. It is possible to spend money, premium wines, the Spa, casino and shore excursions would be the main beneficiaries as would the two shops, one of which sold jewlery, the other clothes, day to day bits and pieces and some costume jewlery. The sense of freedom in not having to keep signing for drinks is significant. Being able to ask newly found friends if they want to join you for a glass of something encourages discussion. On Royal Caribbean we are diamond plus members and so enjoy the use of the Concierge lounge and diamond lounge prior to dinner where complimentary drinks are served. Some of our best friendships have been formed in those gatherings, with Seabourn the whole ship is a VIP lounge. At no time does Seabourn come across as being mean with their offerings. Not once did I have to ask for a refill of my wine glass at dinner and cocktails are freely poured. Each night there will be a suggested wine with dinner but if you wish to try something else that is no problem at all. My request for the Petit Chablis was positively encouraged and the glass topped up accordingly. Throughout the cruise I was addressed by name and the wine waiter asked if I would be having the Louis Latour Chardonnay which became my standard dinner drink. There was a Stags Leap which proved popular as well. The staff really are magnificent. You see the same faces throughout your cruise and they remember your preferred choices. We are low maintenance customers and in the main things arrived before we had to ask but if there was something in particular we fancied then nothing was too much trouble. We ordered caviar and champagne by the pool on Christmas Day, all included within the fare. Contact with senior staff is regular and direct. You will see everyone from the captain to the hotel manager, the cruise director to the chief engineer on a regular basis. You don't have to fight for an audience with them as you would on a regular cruise line. This means any feedback is direct and any problems you did encounter could be dealt with promptly. I have to say we didn't find cause to complain, any discussions we had were to compliment. Despite dining at different tables throughout the cruise food preferences or special requirements follow you around the restaurant. Rather than a concierge desk with people waiting in line there are 4 desks in the middle of the square on deck 7. You are seated at a table when discussing things. We had a problem with a credit card which had been blocked, the concierge phoned our credit card company for us and there was no charge. Several reviewers have criticised food in the past. What their palettes require is beyond me. There were some stunning dishes served up in the main dining room. We enjoyed a very flavoursome scallop starter, as good a ribeye steak as I've tasted cooked to perfection and a hazelnut chocolate desert which delivered both richness and texture. I also enjoyed the most magnificent medallions of veal which melted in the mouth. If in doubt ask your waiter for recommendations, they have a menu briefing each day. I spoke with the executive chef Martin Kitzing on several occasions to compliment his team on some individual highlights of what was a superb dining experience. As well as the main restaurant there is restaurant 2. A much smaller more intimate affair which serves up a tasting menu of several dishes, changing on a rotational basis. The concept of a "premium" dining venue is not unique to Seabourn. Other lines have similar offerings and do the job very well. What sets Seabourn apart is the fact there is no additional charge to eat in Restaurant 2. Nor were we obliged to purchase a premium wine or pairing package. We asked for one of the house wines we had previously enjoyed and that was no problem. Neither were we charged for desert wine at the end of the meal. Dining in restaurant 2 really brought home the differences between Seabourn and conventional cruise lines. I wouldn't say the food was any better than the main restaurant, merely different. That isn't a slur on restaurant 2 more a sign of just how good the food in the main restaurant is. The number of people we meet grows as the days progress to the point where is is rare not to say hello to an "old" friend whilst walking around the ship. In the main guests are older than us but age doesn't have to be a barrier. There are some real characters and with the years come tales to recount. We are travelling with a 13 year old daughter and so that sets us apart. Notwithstanding a crew members wife and daughter there is only 1 other child on board. I know many Seabourn cruisers would rather not have minors on board, I can only say Emily has enjoyed her cruise and has met with no negative comments. To be fair she probably isn't your average 13 year old in that she shows maturity beyond her years and knows the etiquette required when dining and so on. She is also happy with her own company. There were no specific activities arranged for children so do keep this in mind. Given her cruise fare was identical to an alcohol drinking adult an idea for the future might be to include unlimited internet for any minors onboard. This would go a long way to alleviating boredom and also reduce the impact of kids on adult guests. An occupied child is a happy one and an unseen one! It would also seem a fair trade for the ban on any form of alcohol. I know Seabourn aren't looking to specifically attract children but when casting the net for new customers it is inevitable that people with school age children will be amongst the passenger roll call. Don't laugh but I attended some ballroom dancing lessons taught by Anastasia and Sergii the house dancers who are fantastic and lovely people. From a dancing perspective I have two left feet and am beyond hope but such is the inclusive nature of the ship I though I would give it a go. Dare I say it there was a glimmer of hope after each 45 minute session. Being that bit younger I had all but written off the entertainment. I'm not into musicals and Seabourn were never going to be able to match the magnificence of Royal Caribbean's lavish productions. Like everything else on board the entertainment has over delivered on my expectations. Smaller intimate shows more akin to an after dinner club than a theatre. The in house troupe consists of an excellent house band, a classical guitarist, a lounge pianist, several singers and the 2 dancers who fill a stage with their energy. There is also a cruise director, Annabel and her assistant Dan. Annabel had more energy than the Duracell bunny and constantly toured the ship involving everyone. The singers and dancers attended many of the evening parties to add life to the event and provide dance partners when required. Seabourn is a very gentle environment which seeks to include everyone. As well as the in house entertainment team there were guest entertainers which varied from a concert pianist, a magician, comedians and a singer. In all cases the entertainment was enjoyable. Some acts appealed more than others and you have to remember Seabourn caters for a very genteel section of society. The comedians in particular were extremely restrained with their clientele who include some "interesting" characters. Rich pickings for a more traditional comedian who feeds off an audience. We had a regular mid day quiz which sparked much debate and rivalry. On odd occasions a word choice or answer caused debate which extended long beyond the event. We had an intimate name that tune which was well received by attendees and featured the live keyboard skills of Jamie. There were guest speakers on various subjects and a bridge tutor in the card room. Sadly the beginners class started at 9.00am so I was unable to attend. Maybe on another cruise. There is a small casino on board. When we embarked 2 tables were set up, 1 for Blackjack, the other Caribbean Stud Poker. Sadly only blackjack was ever played, the poker top was replaced with another blackjack baize. To my mind blackjack is just a slow way to lose money, with a top odds of 1.5 to 1 for a blackjack you are never going to get excited. With the poker game 8 to 1 or even 20 to 1 is a real possibility and as a result the tables tend to be good fun. I walked in to the casino on two occasions with money in my pocket, on both times I walked out having not placed a single bet. I did speak with the casino staff who said their instructions from head office were that only blackjack was to be played that cruise. That, "from head office" is the only worry I have as the cruise comes to an end. Holland America / Carnival corporate head office tell everyone on board what will and won't be happening to the point where on the ground spontaneity could be lost. You will never see karaoke on Seabourn for instance. Guest "talent" shows also fail to make an appearance which is a shame. You get to know your fellow guests very well and so there would be a lot of support for performers in the room. This means that in spite of entertainers and staff getting to know their guests better than probably any other cruise line the chance to personalise and enrich is lost. The whole experience will always be a little bit sterile. You might argue safe rather than sterile but to my mind there is a bit of room for adding spontaneity especially on longer cruises. The one exception to this were the Christmas and New Year one off shows where guest acts, in house performers and entertainment staff all mucked in to put on excellent entertainment. The New Year show in particular lasted 90 minutes and held the audience well. Seabourn has a very loyal customer base. Of 450 guests over 350 were return cruisers. With this in mind the company has to be careful not to upset the apple cart but if they are to move forward I do think they have to allow staff on the ground to read the audience. A bit of impromptu late night singing amongst a crowd of "regulars" isn't going to upset more reserved quests probably tucked up in bed long ago. Similarly organising an additional activity or two to cater for a particular crowd who happen to be on board would positively enrich their experience. Would this sterility put me off returning? No it wouldn't, not for the moment. But it might mean I eventually tire of the product and end up nit picking my experience looking for any variations on previous experiences. Does this sound familiar ! The one thing we weren't blue to experience was the on board marina. This was a great shame particularly for active people such as ourselves. I understand that weather conditions have to be just right for the marina to be set up, sadly this wasn't to be on our cruise. About the writer: We are well travelled both on land and water visiting places such as Thailand under our own steam organising all the elements of the trip ourselves. Although somewhat formulaic cruising has it's place in our lives. At 47 years of age we are diamond plus members of the Royal Caribbean crown and anchor loyalty programme. Living just outside London we are familiar with good food and have eaten in some excellent Michelin star restaurants however we are equally comfortable in our local Italian. We know what we enjoy wine wise but don't consider ourselves connoisseurs. We are generally pot half full people and look for the best in any situation. We travel overseas several times a year and turn left when boarding the plane. We have been looking to explore the luxury cruise market for some time.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Until about 6 weeks ago when we were shown round and given lunch on a Radisson 7 Seas ship that docked in Cairns, we had nothing to compare with Seabourn. There is no doubt that the Seabourn architecture is the best afloat. One can ... Read More
Until about 6 weeks ago when we were shown round and given lunch on a Radisson 7 Seas ship that docked in Cairns, we had nothing to compare with Seabourn. There is no doubt that the Seabourn architecture is the best afloat. One can see this on a profile view where the accommodation stops approx 2/3 from the bow with the final 1/3 aft as public space. No other line is so generous with public space. There are great little areas aft on decks 5, 6, & 7 where one can find privacy. Other lines put suites here. There is also no doubt that standards in some areas are slipping. By adding the 3 larger ships to the fleet they effectively grew the brand by 200%. Few, if any, organisations can grow that fast and maintain standards. For me, this was especially noticeable in the quality of the food. ( I totally exclude the patissier from this beef.) The menus are basically classic European with an element of "fusion". However, I frequently got the impression that whoever cooked my dish had done so from a recipe and never tasted the original. How come the best dinner I had in 15 days was a Rogan Josh? Why is there so much cilantro? Other problems stemmed from the open galley in the Colonnades and a slight whiff of fish throughout deck 8. And why so much fish on the menu? It is not as if much of it was fresh. How hard would it be for the galley night shift to confit a few trays of duck legs from time to time? While one can cook a duck leg from frozen without losing its flavour or texture, the same cannot be said of fish. There also seemed to be a ban on pork. On the other hand, as usual we met some terrific people and enjoyed great company. The Club bar was understaffed, but the staff who were there were splendid. I have sort of got used to the Sky Bar being open only part-time, but am learning to live with the Patio. Our room maid was efficient and considerate and a credit to Seabourn. We had occasion to call on the Doctor who was brilliant. We were very lucky to dock in Ft Lauderdale on a day when Odyssey was the only ship there. It took less than 40 mins to get off the ship and into the airport. Read Less
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