8 Seabourn Quest Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Our first Seabourn Cruise. We were on board for 45 days, Dover to Montreal via Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador. The Viking historical highlights were the Hvalsey church in Greenland and the Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Sadly, ... Read More
Our first Seabourn Cruise. We were on board for 45 days, Dover to Montreal via Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador. The Viking historical highlights were the Hvalsey church in Greenland and the Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Sadly, the St. Kilda landing was scrubbed due to inclement weather. The scenic highlights were the fjords and glaciers of Prince Christian Sound, and the cultural highlights were Isle of Man, Reykjavik, and Nuuk (Greenland). Good itinerary, but we saw other, more nimble ships making the same calls (notably Ponant and Scenic), so there are alternatives to Seabourn. We were in cabin 826 (they call it a "suite") which is roomy with a generous balcony, but with what we consider design flaws. The TV is poorly positioned for comfortable viewing, the lighting for the table is not optimal, the closet is cramped. The twin sinks in the head are nice, but with a good shower, the bathtub is unnecessary, and uses space better allocated to the closet (the old "R" vessels have dressing room/closets which we much prefer). The vanity is well done. We were surprised that no binoculars were provided (as we had on Silversea), this on a cruise where icebergs, whales, polar bears, sea birds, and calving glaciers are spotted and watched. The common spaces are elegant and roomy. The six elevators run like a charm and one hardly ever waits for a ride, even when the crowd exits the shows or lectures. Tender shuttles, quay landings, and shore excursions were run very smoothly. The food is very elaborate, excessively so in our opinion. Lots of choices, but all of the gourmet "nouvelle" style, with rich sauces and elegantly presented. Plain dishes can be ordered from room service or at the patio restaurant, the latter being an uncomfortable place in the northern latitudes. Staff is extraordinarily attentive - room service comes very promptly, table service will see your plate whisked away as you put down your fork, your wine glass refilled while still two-thirds full. Our impression is that the obsession with delivering over-the-top service results in a somewhat tense and forced amiability on the part of the wait staff. The staff is drawn from a very diverse set of nationalities, a departure from the more cohesive crews of filipino or indonesian origin on other cruise lines, which we have found to be more relaxed and genuinely warm. The captain made daily detailed announcements about weather outlook and sailing status, and the attention to navigation and safety was very thorough. We were able to witness the bridge protocols on a port departure, and everything was conducted very carefully and by the book. Quiet competence and superb attention to safety. There is a striking schizophrenic aspect to the QUEST, originally designed for sailing warm waters and subsequently modified for high-latitude cruising: it is a deluxe ship trying to masquerade as a quasi-expedition platform. Of the 45-day cruise, no more than three of four were of shirtsleeve temperature with clear skies, yet every day the lounges around the pool were lined up with fresh towels (and thus forcing passengers to walk on a delaminating portion of the teak deck, rahter than on a safer path!). The outdoor restaurant provides infrared heatlamps and blankets for each table. The "expedition" complement of ten or twelve "zodiacs" is clearly insufficient to take more than a quarter of the passengers off at any one time. There is an extra charge of $150 per hour per person for such excursions, again not much in keeping with the expedition structure we have experienced elsewhere. A week or ten days, rather than 45 days, might have worked better for us on this Seabourn cruise. We'll likely choose to go with one of our other favorites (Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Ponant, Windstar) on our next cruise . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our third Seabourn cruise but the first in which we upgraded to a penthouse spa suite (because of a good deal) and the first where we crossed the Atlantic. Both were great experiences and are the focus of this review. The suite ... Read More
This was our third Seabourn cruise but the first in which we upgraded to a penthouse spa suite (because of a good deal) and the first where we crossed the Atlantic. Both were great experiences and are the focus of this review. The suite first. There are four of these above the spa area, reached only by a flight of curving stairs and so not practical for passengers with mobility issues. The deck or terrace of these cabins is twice the size of those in the regular suites, with an expansive stern view similar to the view from the terrace of the Colonnade restaurant but two decks higher. Suite advantages include a much larger shower, a separate room for the toilet, a separate bedroom with doors if someone wants to sleep while a partner remains awake, TVs in both bedroom and living area (42-incher in the latter), access to the spa serene area (which we didn't take advantage of since our own terrace was "serene") and flowers, healthy snacks, fluffy towels, etc. We felt very spoiled with the extra space. We wouldn't pay full brochure price for this suite (unless we were in the One Percent!) but if you can get a deal on an upgrade the spa suite is worth considering. The cruise joke is that "the more you pay the more you sway" because the bigger suites are higher, but we actually found this suite much more wind protected than those toward the bow, and the motion over the stern not particularly noticeable. The canvas awning on the deck sometimes made noise, but not to an annoying extent. We were also curious about crossing the ocean because we had enjoyed previous sea days on earlier cruises. Our itinerary was quite interesting, going from the Amazon to Devil's Island, the Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, and Morocco before ending in Monaco. The equatorial ocean was relatively smooth (still whitecaps, however, with a steady swell) and the sea days were quite relaxing without ever being dull. There was more than enough to do with lectures, shows, contests, games, classes, the gym, pool, and so on, and we never got bored watching the moods of the ocean. Recommended for those who want more days per dollar and like the sea. Overall, we're Seabourn fans who find the food, entertainment, and service excellent and are somewhat baffled by the occasional severely negative review. For what it's worth, many if not most of the passengers on board were repeat customers. Even with extra trainees on the ship because of the imminent expansion of the Seabourn line to the Ovation in May, the staff was friendly, competent, and fun to talk to. We requested the chance to sit at crew-hosted tables at supper and usually enjoyed meeting staffers and new passengers. When we wanted to dine alone we declined invitations with no problem. When we did mix, we learned much more about the ship and life at sea. This was a new itinerary and some of the land excursions were a work in progress, but we enjoyed every place that we went ashore. We also did kayak and zodiac trips with the Excursions Team and enjoyed that, although the outings are a little pricey. Overall the Quest has a good vibe - it's the most adventurous vessel because it goes to Antarctica and Greenland - and it sustains the attention to detail we'd already experienced on the Odyssey and Sojourn. I think the line is a good value and the Quest may be our new favorite ship. All-inclusive, no lines, no nickel and diming, no stinginess with food or drink, great crew to passenger ratio, and quite good entertainers and lecturers. Incidentally, the Quests went into dry dock for a $5 million facelift (new carpets, etc.) right after our cruise, and so it should be looking especially sharp for the rest of 2018. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have sailed on several all inclusive luxury class cruise lines and prefer Seabourn over their competitors for many reasons. Our latest cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona on Seabourn Quest can sum up our reasons for this ... Read More
We have sailed on several all inclusive luxury class cruise lines and prefer Seabourn over their competitors for many reasons. Our latest cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona on Seabourn Quest can sum up our reasons for this preference. First is the Seabourn high standard of the ship's maintenance. We have yet to find one square inch of rust, shabby carpeting or non functioning equipment that would interfere with the enjoyment of our cruise. Case in point is the fitness center where all the equipment is up to date and in working order. We cannot say this regarding Seabourn's competition where we have experienced ships that simply seemed "down at the heels" and half the fitness equipment displayed "out of order" signs. Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze and we, as usual, were surprised at the rapidity of luggage delivery during both events. As with past experiences, Seabourn chooses to recruit its crew members from many different countries and each one brings a smile and willingness to make you feel special. Of course, some crew members are more competent than others, but we found no service issues on this delightful crossing. Last year we were fortunate to be among the first to experience the new Thomas Keller cuisine on board Quest and greatly enjoyed it . On this crossing, the chef's team has delivered again with a mix of Keller menus, Seabourn inspirations and classics. The restaurant inclusive wine selections are good and if we didn't like an evening's selection, we simply asked for another wine we liked including at the Keller Grill. We must say the most delicious dinner we have had at sea was the Thomas Keller fried chicken with cheese grits served at the Colonnade one evening. Many of our fellow passengers' only experience with fried chicken had been of the fast food variety so they turned up their noses and went elsewhere. Rest assured Thomas Keller fried chicken has no similarity to the greasy product that the world finds in places like....I shan't name brands! Let us just say if you ever have the opportunity go to Keller fried chicken night, please do so as long as you let us be first to the table!! We know how much work goes into serving this truly outstanding dinner. Before anyone thinks we work for Seabourn, we will make a couple of observations which we hope will be noted. The music in the Grill was so loud conversation was difficult. We would also like Seabourn to come up with some interesting trans Pacific crossings. Finally, we are disappointed that Seabourn has decided to originate Atlantic crossings from Bridgetown as opposed to Fort Lauderdale/Miami. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Where to start? We have cruised on a number of lines however Seabourn has provided the best expirience. The staff is a critical part of our comments. Every one seemed to know our names from the first day to the last. They were not 0nly ... Read More
Where to start? We have cruised on a number of lines however Seabourn has provided the best expirience. The staff is a critical part of our comments. Every one seemed to know our names from the first day to the last. They were not 0nly professional and courteous, more importantly they were interactive . We really enjoyed the interactions with them. As fate would have it a gentleman asked us to join him for dinner. We struck up a conversation with him and learned he was the oncoming hotel manager. each time we saw him in our daily meanderings a conversation ensued. One evening he asked us to join him for dinner which we did. We were also asked to host a table several times. We hosted lecturers and conversationalists which added to our learning experiences. We loved the anytime dining available in both the restaurant and Colonnade. Because of our desire to meet people we always asked to share a table. We dined with Australians, ew Zealanders, Brits, Germans, and of course Americans. This alone made our trip interesting. Unfortunately the food was eexcellent. I say that because our clothes shrank a bit. We scheduled shore excursions as well. They were nevered crowded. They limited the number per bus to about 30. Once that was achieved they opened another bus. They also had schuttle busses available to the center of town at every port. We had a number of favorite ports but St Petersburg stood out. The Hermitage was more than expected, as were the churches. Finally, Seabourn cemented our desire for cruising with Small ships. Cruising into downtown Bordeaux, and up the Seine River convinced us of that. Had it nor been for expected high winds we would have also gone into Downtown St Petersburg as well. Would we cruise Seabourn again? Absolutely and we will the good Lord willing and the creek don't rise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We initially booked the crossing, (Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona)..however, after listening to what the next contiguous cruise, (Wine and Food) we stayed on the ship I must say, this particular was the best one for us on Seabourn. ... Read More
We initially booked the crossing, (Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona)..however, after listening to what the next contiguous cruise, (Wine and Food) we stayed on the ship I must say, this particular was the best one for us on Seabourn. Every aspect of the trip, the ship itself, the staff and the cuisine. WOW! Everything about this cruise was excellent, (i.e., the ship itself, the staff, the cuisines and the wines!!! There were several people from the Corporated office in Seattle, who supported all of the daily events. Guest chefs were brought aboard during the sail, all of home provided special regional dishes.The Wine Guys were also aboard. They are world class experts on wines, especially, Spain and the United States. They made our trip s m o o t h............. I believe that the service on this particular cruise showed a level of excellence rising above what has always been wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We did a T/A stopping in Maderia. Then 2 weeks of Western Med. stopping everyday! Like the sea days better. Barcelona to Rome and back with different ports. We had sailed on the Quest last year and loved it! Same cabin type V5 deck 6 ... Read More
We did a T/A stopping in Maderia. Then 2 weeks of Western Med. stopping everyday! Like the sea days better. Barcelona to Rome and back with different ports. We had sailed on the Quest last year and loved it! Same cabin type V5 deck 6 cabin 640 perfect location. Just steps away from everything. Food was good, a few dishes didn't make the mark but over all very nice. The MDR could be slow in serving on occasion. But we are not really in a hurry to go anywhere except to attend a wonderful show. Only one bump in that road was a comedian...ugh! Otherwise stellar. Our CD Heather...what a voice!!! and ACD as well. We had to change cabins for the last week and it was done smoothly and quickly with little fuss. Our cabin attendant Camila was a jewel! Took really good care of us! Even tho the food is very good...some un-gourmet items Seabourn does better than anyone at sea: Pizza, French Fries, Burgers & bread sticks...Chef in the Colonade was wonderful very approachable...mussels in a divine sauce was a huge hit one lunch. Mr. Chai even brought me a finger bowl with lemon! What service. Very hard to adjust to reality after Seabourn! The great thing about traveling on Seabourn is you meet so many interesting people, all very well traveled. We just love it! We did the post package in BNC and stayed at Hotel Casa Fuster, a great location, but a bit worn around the edges. Next time we will try the Majestic. For tapas go to Boca Grande....just to see the bathroom! We flew back home on LH Business Class...service was excellent but the food was awful!!! I was quiet surprised. We are already booked for next year! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The Cruise .. We arrived at the terminal at about noon .. saw the luggage whisked away and took a seat. I suppose that there would have been about 100 passengers already there [ships accommodates 450] and boarding commenced at 12:15. I ... Read More
The Cruise .. We arrived at the terminal at about noon .. saw the luggage whisked away and took a seat. I suppose that there would have been about 100 passengers already there [ships accommodates 450] and boarding commenced at 12:15. I had seen some comments on CC Boards about early boarding and by 12:30 we were guided to the Collonade Restaurant for lunch, hand luggage stowed temporarily, until suites were ready at 2pm. By the time lunch was over we had met about 8 people that we knew from past cruises. Big Sister Experience .. Both of our previous Seabourn Cruises had been on the “Little Sisters” and we really did love the atmosphere and the service, so it was with anticipation that we took to sea on a “Big Sister”. Is it being unfaithful to say that the hardware that is the ‘big sisters’ is better than the little sisters. * In suites, the bathrooms have an improved layout with both shower and bath and the TV entertainment system has movies on demand, account checking, and heaps more. * Seabourn Square is a wonderful innovation, encompassing the Café, internet connections, iPads to read the latest newspapers, guest services [took me 3 days before I realized where they were], recliner lounges and a huge multi language library. * The Club has a proper stage and a bigger dance floor [?] but still has all the ambience of the original model. * The deck areas – Patio bar and grill and Sky bar are a great utilisation of space – and the pool is now accessible and in sunshine. * The on-board shop is a decent size and sold clothes that fitted me, as well as ladies clothing, jewellery and perfumes – apparently. * There are more Dining options, with Restaurant 2 and the Collonade both operating each evening. We tried the former but not the latter, although heard comments that it was also good. But in contrast the software was not as good as the little sisters even though it did get there in the end. Basically, I’m talking about the time it took staff to connect names and faces. On the Little Sisters [200 passengers] we were known in about 3 days, on the Quest I think it took more like 6/7 days before we were being recognized and as incomprehensible as it sounds, I think it may have taken the Head Waiter about 12 days. Am I not a memorable person, that eats every day ?? The service however was still very good .. and the breakfast waiter eventually did get the idea that I didn’t want to see salad items as a garnish. In whose reality does lettuce go with eggs and bacon ?? Big Sis Entertainment .. This is one area where there are significant differences .. some good, some bad .. * the Big Sis’s carry an entertainment staff of 7 singers and dancers, guest entertainers, lecturers, plus a Cruise Director and an Assistant – all of whom were excellent on Quest, I should add. They also had a band and a solo guitarist in the Club, both good but not great. * Lil sisters don’t have the entertainment staff [they have the rest] but do carry an extra Assistant [usually a guitarist] and the CD and his/her assistants are frequently on stage strutting their stuff. They also carry a band and a duo that play the Club. Here’s my gripe .. if I go for a pre-dinner drink and want to have a dance, it’s almost impossible with a solo guitarist .. but with a duo and a band, it works really well. It should be easy to fix, and yes I have shared my comments with Seabourn. Big Sis Dining .. We are laid back for breakfast, occasionally like to check out the dining room to see if it’s busy or not, casual for lunch – although the battered fries at the patio grill were enough for Robyn to make that her preferred location – but like to have dinner in the Dining Room. And yes, we do like to join ‘Hosted’ tables, because it’s a great way to meet people and to meet members of staff – mostly entertainers, some officers - who carried themselves very well and were a wonderful advertisement for Seabourn. Big Sis Events .. There were a number of extra ‘events’ that were staged during the cruise that were simply excellent, executed very well, obviously a lot of time and effort went into them, for example; * The Halloween Party in the Club. The entry was decorated in cob webs and other Halloween paraphernalia, whilst the whole entertainment team and CD’s were in fancy dress. This was the biggest night of dancing and jolliment that I saw all trip. * Crossing the Equator. Complete with dunking the crew and kissing the fish. * Caviar in the Pool. Traditionally Caviar in the Surf but as we weren’t stopping at these locations this crossing, a great compromise. * Staff Tug of War. An Atlantic crossing tradition, the staff provides all the entertainment and seems to enjoy themselves enormously. * Rock the Boat. An evening dance party held on deck. Fortunately this wasn’t subject to bad weather as a couple of the other deck events were. * Tea Dance. This saw the whole of the Club set for afternoon high tea with the traditional cakes, sandwiches and of course hot scones. And yes we got to Waltz. * The Epicurean Event. Did we really need more food ? Of course not but it was lovely. * Galley Lunch. An enormous amount of effort to enable guests to walk through the galley to collect their own food – of course someone will be at the exit to carry it back to your table for you. * The Laundry. I sent a suit to be pressed and it was a bit late being returned, so I rang and asked for a hurry up. The suit was delivered – which was then I realized that we had not filled in the form correctly and hadn’t actually requested same day service. Feeling guilty I went to guest services next day and confessed, wouldn’t want the boys and girls in the laundry to get in trouble on my account. Seabourn People .. I like the people we meet on Seabourn [most of the people most of the time] and like the fact that cruising is a bit of a ‘leveller’, and for that short period of time that we cruise together we are treated as [almost] equal. Seabourn Special Requests .. Seabourn are excellent at accommodating peoples requests once they are on board, for example special meals, champagne and caviar for breakfast, private tables, anniversaries and celebrations, etc. Before we set off I lodged a special request with Seabourn in Seattle, for a pre-mix vodka drink for my wife[Smirnoff Ice] and a particular beer for me [Kilkenny] and subsequently exchanged a few emails on the subject. It was a delight to find out that both of these drinks were provided and the staff was very helpful in ensuring that the bars in which we drank stocked the beverages. Rio de Janeiro .. I was awake about 5.30am and stepped out onto the balcony to discover the Sugar Loaf Mountain just there – in front of me. We had arrived in Rio de Janeiro. So naturally I woke my wife. Disembarkation went according to plan – Seabourn are very good at letting you off when you want to get off, you just have to make sure you ask before hand. In a Nutshell .. Seabourn is wonderful cruise line. The ship was in first class condition and was exceptionally well appointed. The staff excell at delivering a personal service. The experience was luxurious. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We boarded the Seabourn Quest in Barcelona on October 26. This was our 1st Seabourn cruise. We had previously sailed on many cruises on the "mass market” lines and had one Regent voyage about 3 years ago. We spent 18 days on the ... Read More
We boarded the Seabourn Quest in Barcelona on October 26. This was our 1st Seabourn cruise. We had previously sailed on many cruises on the "mass market” lines and had one Regent voyage about 3 years ago. We spent 18 days on the Quest ending our cruise in Rio. The following are my impressions of the voyage and ship. From the moment we checked in we felt this cruise would be an exceptional one and we weren’t disappointed. We had booked a Wintergarden Suite and knew it would be large. It exceeded our expectations! The suite is well-laid out with plenty of storage space, pleasing décor, an extremely comfortable bed and great living space. We had a couple of parties in our suite and there was plenty of room for entertaining. At the second party we had 26 guests and weren’t crowded. Our cabin stewardess Natalie did a fantastic job and was the best attendant we’ve ever had. I had been reading the Seabourn forum and did have some misgivings about the issue of smoking. Perhaps we didn’t have many smokers on our cruise, but the only time that I really smelled it was in the Observation Bar in the evening when we would go there for a drink before dinner. I didn’t find it to be overwhelming or enough to put us off going there. The other thing that seemed to be endlessly discussed on the forum was the quality of the included wines and champagne. We enjoy wine with meals but are not by any means oenophiles. We found what was offered to be quite good with a nice variety available. Based on the consumption we saw around us at lunch and dinner our shipmates must have felt similarly. We can’t remember ever seeing as much champagne being consumed as we did on this cruise. We ate most of our breakfasts and lunches in The Colonnade and enjoyed both the venue and the food. We liked that there were tables outside so we could dine al fresco if we liked. The buffet available was always tasty with lots of options and we liked the specials that would be cooked to order and served at your table if we chose them. We had lunch with our trivia team in the dining room one day and I had a ladies’ lunch there as well. They were both very enjoyable. One of the highlights on the last sea day was the Galley Market Lunch. For those who don’t know what that is, in the dining room at one end a buffet of salads, cold meats and breads is set up. In the middle of the dining room are tables with a large variety of desserts. For everything else you must go into the galley which has been set up with stations offering all sorts of foods. As we entered the galley we were offered a shot of ice cold vodka. The things available included fondue, crab legs and claws, large prawns, mussels, sushi, roast suckling pig, beef, lamb, veal, gratins of vegetables and seafood, sausages and sauerkraut, pastas, etc, etc. Everything we selected was prepared very well. We ate most dinners in the main restaurant and never had to wait more than a moment or two for a table. The room was in our opinion a very nicely decorated and lighted venue. On two evenings we were invited to sit at an officer’s table and we found the company very enjoyable. One evening we ate at Restaurant 2, the only place for which you must make a reservation. The menu there is a tasting menu which changes a few times during the cruise. We found the food to be very tasty and extremely imaginative and creative. The room is small and intimate and it was a nice experience. On the last two nights we ate outside at the Colonnade with a group of friends and we enjoyed those meals as well. Sitting with the sound of the wake and watching a far off lightning storm was quite magical. It had been many years since we’d been on a ship as small as the Quest and never on one with so few passengers. We wondered how we would like making a transatlantic crossing on a ship of her size. Well, we decided she is just about perfect. With 450 passengers and 330 crew members the ship never felt crowded and our every need was taken care of almost instantly. The crew was always smiling, friendly and eager to help with anything they could. It was amazing to us that after only one encounter with a staff member they would remember our names and greet us with them when we walked past. The future cruise consultant Sara was a delight. The Destination Services manager (shore excursions) Claudio was also amazing. I asked him a question about a tour in Cape Verde. He wasn’t sure of the answer but said he would find out for me (we were at sea for a couple of days). The next day he contacted me to give me the answer after calling the tour operator in Cape Verde. I was impressed. This was also the first time in many cruises that we knew who the Cruise Director was. Usually we have no idea and don’t really care. On the Seabourn Quest our cruise director Handre was always visible and very competent and engaging. The facilities on the ship were also very nice and more than adequate for the number of people onboard (we did have a full ship). We didn’t have a problem getting a seat in the theater or lounges for any event. There were always deck chairs available. We went to a couple of the lectures and found them interesting and educational. We only saw a couple of shows but enjoyed them as well. On sea days we played trivia and liked the format Seabourn uses. We met some wonderful people as a result of playing. In every port except one we took Seabourn shore excursions. We found them all to be enjoyable. I think the largest number of people we had was one with 34 people. The guides were all very knowledgeable and did a good job. The longest one we took was from Casablanca to Marrakech. It was a long day but well worth the trip. Our guide Mo did a great job of making sure we were all secure as we wandered the souks in the old city. A couple of our tours included lunches (including the one in Marrakech) and the food was all very tasty. We thought the tours were well-priced for what we received. In conclusion, we agreed that this was our best cruise to date. Seabourn’s attention to detail makes the cruise experience truly exceptional. We liked it enough that we have booked another cruise for next year.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Seabourn Quest Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.5 4.3
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 4.0
Service 4.5 4.5
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 5.0 4.3

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