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35 Seabourn Singapore Cruise Reviews

I have cruised on 2 other cruise lines ( Windstar and Ponant) over the years. I chose this cruise of 24 days from Singapore to Sydney due to the fact that many of the ports I had never visited. I had been on the Encore once before ... Read More
I have cruised on 2 other cruise lines ( Windstar and Ponant) over the years. I chose this cruise of 24 days from Singapore to Sydney due to the fact that many of the ports I had never visited. I had been on the Encore once before slightly over a year ago and really loved the ship and her crew. The food was excellent overall, and I mainly chose to eat in The Restaurant which I have always found to be predictably very good. The food on this cruise was outstanding in quality overall and presentation. The waiters, sommeliers and management staff ran a smooth operation, with most desires met before needing to ask. They work very hard to see you have a 5 star dining experience in all aspects. My suite on deck 8 was very clean and well laid out. My stewardess Yuliia went way beyond the basics to provide excellent service daily throughout the cruise. The entertainment I chose mostly for this cruise was the bar at Thomas Keller on deck 8. The evening piano/vocalist Gavin was amazing, and had a loyal following on the ship both before and after dinner. He is so talented and creative at the piano! He also has a perfect vocal range for the soft contemporary/old school classics he specializes in. Seabourn does an outstanding job in my opinion in all areas of upscale cruising. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our first trip with Seabourn and we thought it was amazing. We liked that the ship was much smaller than ones we had been on before, and it is unlikely that we’d ever travel on the larger ones again. Obviously there are ... Read More
This was our first trip with Seabourn and we thought it was amazing. We liked that the ship was much smaller than ones we had been on before, and it is unlikely that we’d ever travel on the larger ones again. Obviously there are differences with the smaller scale. The restaurants all close at 8.45 p.m. and there’s not a continual buffet service available as on the huge ships, however for us this wasn’t a problem. You’re definitely not going to starve! We enjoyed all the dining venues, the food was fabulous and the staff charming. We also liked that all drinks were included in the fare. (There are some choices that can be purchased but everything freely available was very good) We’re not big drinkers but it’s nice not to have to think about that as an additional cost. And oh my goodness, the cocktails are amazing! I had assumed that the entertainment would be on a smaller scale too, but far from it. There were a series of excellent, polished and engaging performances in the Grand Salon (one night a film was put on instead of a show) Also there were other musical offerings in other venues throughout the ship, also excellent. We also went to the golf putting and baggo competitions a couple of times which are not wildly exciting but offer an opportunity to mix with fellow guests if you’re at a loose end. (I’d quite like to see some crafting activities available too. Nothing fancy but the chance to learn a new skill. There were knit and natter sessions, but as I didn’t know until we got on board I hadn’t brought any supplies) We joined in the Trivia quiz, ably hosted by Ross & Dave, which was a lot harder than we expected (despite being seasoned quizzers) and surprisingly competitive (We quiz for fun but it was apparent that it was definitely a matter of life or death for the majority of the attendees) I think the only thing I didn’t enjoy were the talks/slide show in the Grand Salon on what was available to visit at each of the ports. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it, but for the fact that the person giving the lectures made derogatory remarks about the area of Bali that was our ultimate destination, after leaving the ship, Nusa Dua. (“I can’t imagine why any one would want to stay there”) I felt incredibly deflated and then quite angry. It’s tempting to expand on this point but I won’t, but would like to say we were very happy with our choice to stay in Nusa Dua. We also attended Herman’s 5 at 5, which covered all information necessary for the independent traveller along with a printout and found it very useful. There are chargeable items on board, of course. We didn’t use the Spa so can’t comment on that. I thought the WiFi was ridiculously expensive and didn’t avail myself of it but I think Seabourn could usefully explore lower cost options for basic WiFi usage. I don’t want any more than to WhatsApp family members, periodically. The WiFi in the terminal buildings of the ports we visited was mostly pretty good though. The trips from the ship are also very expensive. We chose not to go on them as we had 5 days in Bali to explore under our own steam. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We're long time Seabourn cruisers who hadn't totally enjoyed our trip on Encore summer of 2018, finding the new larger ships lovely, but lacking the Seabourn service we'd come to love. This trip was on Sojourn, the only ... Read More
We're long time Seabourn cruisers who hadn't totally enjoyed our trip on Encore summer of 2018, finding the new larger ships lovely, but lacking the Seabourn service we'd come to love. This trip was on Sojourn, the only one of the Odyssey ships we hadn't sailed before. The ship is in fine condition, 450 people roam around it daily but it's constantly maintained and that keeps it looking fresh. Embarkation was the usual smooth process, met at the aircon end of the gangway by the cruise director Ross Roberts, we've sailed with him before, we knew entertainment was going to be .. entertaining. Ross is a Seabourn asset and we were very happy to sail with him again. Our Seabourn highlight has always been the service and they didn't disappoint on this cruise. Staff learned your name and your preferences within a day or two and literally nothing was too much trouble. Food is important on a cruise, the food on this one was top notch. The head chef, Lindsay, really had the kitchen humming and it didn't matter whether you ate at the main dining room, the colonnade or the new Earth and Ocean outdoor concept restaurant, which was superb; it was hard to pick a dining venue sometimes, they were all excellent. We're not great fans of the Thomas Keller tie-up and feel Seabourn's chef's offerings are just as good, if not better. We went to the TK grill twice, it was great service and wonderful ingredients, quite rich, and twice was enough. Our favourite venue was probably Earth and Ocean which served up a varied menu on deck each night. For a hot weather cruise as this it was nice to sit outside. Entertainment was fun. You're not getting a cast of 50 on a Seabourn ship but the singers and dancers were excellent. We've seen a lot of the shows before, however this time "An Evening With Tim Rice" actually had .. Sir Tim Rice who was on board and also performed in another show about his music. That was just luck and Sir Tim is a very nice man whom I wish had been on our trivia team. Best ports on this trip were Ho Chi Minh and Hong Kong, each of which were overnights. The small Seabourn ships can dock in the centre of HCM and at Ocean Terminal in HK and that was huge in terms of just getting off and getting around. There were other good ports on the itinerary, but those two made the whole trip. There were also a couple of .. hmm .. ports. Sianoukville was really a dropping off point for people taking two overland days to visit Ankor Wat, Sanya may be a lovely place to holiday but the cruise terminal abuts nothing exciting. Cruises in Asia tend to have a mixture of good and not-quite-so-good ports. We did no ship excursions on this trip. The places we really wanted to do something, either the ship wasn't doing it or it was very easy to fix ourselves. It seems Seabourn is trying to attract a younger crowd but the excursions still tend towards 'church,ruin,UNESCO'; they have started to add cooking and cycling tours but they're still mostly pitching the type of tours where you get on a bus at 9am and return at 4pm having seen a lot of not much. And the tours tend to be expensive, variety and cost of tours is something Seabourn could perhaps look at. We passed 100 days on Seabourn this trip, if they keep these standards up we'll pass another 100, although it may take us another 12 years to do it. Seabourn is still our favourite line, the Odyssey class still our favourite ships, this cruise it was very hard to find a fault with, we loved it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We very much liked Seabourn. All suite cabins were great and Seabourn doesn't overcrowd their buses and tours. It seemed we could always find a seat where we wanted to go. That was very pleasant. Dining was great. You can buffet ... Read More
We very much liked Seabourn. All suite cabins were great and Seabourn doesn't overcrowd their buses and tours. It seemed we could always find a seat where we wanted to go. That was very pleasant. Dining was great. You can buffet it or sit in the dining room - eat indoors or out. Service - especially bar service - was exceptional. We took the mid-cruise tour to Angkor Wat. It was very well organized with no waiting in line at check-in to a beautiful hotel. The guide was excellent and spoke understandable English. The temples themselves were amazing. Be prepared for a long hot day but totally worth it. We were disappointed Seabourn did not allow us to book any tours with them on the day of return from Angkor Wat to Saigon (even an evening tour) so we booked our own. My one complaint is that they were very stingy with details about flight times (until we were onboard) which made it difficult to arrange tour times with another company. We were not going to miss Saigon! We took a Saigon by Night Food Tour on Vespa bikes (professional drivers) and this was one of the best tour experiences our family has had! It is absolutely in the top 5 most memorable things we've ever done on a vacation. Saigon is beautiful at night and we zoomed along the river, through flower markets and ornately lit streets. We went to several night spots (one roof top, two with live music) and 2 restaurants. The food in Vietnam is delicious. I have to admit there were a couple of times we were going through an intersection and I just closed my eyes and hung on - you know what I mean if you've ever been in Vietnam. Traffic is controlled chaos. Our Vespa drivers were skilled and courteous and the bikes were easy to get on and off of. The guide was energetic and spoke excellent English. Again, a wonderful tour. If you are a little adventurous, this may be for you. In terms of complaints about Seabourn, we have a few. One - they have very limited laundry facilities. 5 washers and dryers for over 600 passengers - so don't plan on doing your own laundry unless you don't mind waiting a long time or doing it in the middle of the night. You can certainly have your clothes laundered but it takes 1-2 days to get them back and personally I prefer laundering my personal items myself - as do many people. Two - Seabourn schedules lectures and shows at 6 pm. They call these "pre-dinner" but some people have dinner reservations from 6-7 pm at the specialty restaurant, or are getting ready for dinner. We found this time caused conflicts and forced us to cancel a specialty dinner reservation - which we couldn't rebook - so we could see a show we wanted to see. The reservation was booked before the cruise and the show was added the day ahead so no warning ahead of time. Three - the community rooms and Grand Salon are poorly designed with large pillars blocking the view of the audience of the stage or screen. People were sitting down and then constantly moving because they couldn't see. Four - The disembarkation process was disorganized. We were told along with other passengers to get to immigration early because our flights were early so we could be first in line. But there was no one there to direct people so it was a free for all to get in line. We got behind 30 other people who came in after us. Immigration was fairly quick but Seabourn gets a D for disembarkation organization. They should stagger groups of people based on their flight times like Crystal Cruises. Finally, recorded lectures could not be replayed as promised due to another Seabourn glitch so we missed some lectures we wanted to see. Not a biggie but the little things add up. I would definitely take another Seabourn cruise though. Once you understand issues peculiar to them, you can work around them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Suite is fabulous although a little noisy as the anchor goes up and down(but we were warned) so not a problem, food exceptional as is the service in the restaurants although it is hurried, no time to rest between courses. I personally ... Read More
Suite is fabulous although a little noisy as the anchor goes up and down(but we were warned) so not a problem, food exceptional as is the service in the restaurants although it is hurried, no time to rest between courses. I personally would prefer a lighter decor as on Ponant ships. The main dining room is not nearly as ‘clubby’ looking as the smaller Seabourn ships which is good! Shore excursions are too expensive, especially for Vietnam and Cambodia as our party travelled by land a year ago with 5 star accommodation and transport and the charges are Indochina are far less than Seabourn charge. Beds so comfortable with a variety of pillows to choose for personal comfort. While the air conditioning is adjustable in suits the dining ares are very cool for many passengers. Spar area offers fabulous treatments and very well supported as bookings are not easy—-I find the treatments expensive compared to Australia, not the Americans. I have cruised Ponant, Silver Seas, Regent and have to say Seabourn is far superior to those cruise lines in every way—- service, food, actual cabin, even the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Previous experience. We have tried several cruise lines but found Seabourn to be by far the best. Brilliant small ships and first class throughout. No loud entertainment just sophisticated shows. Brilliant quizzes. Food outstanding and ... Read More
Previous experience. We have tried several cruise lines but found Seabourn to be by far the best. Brilliant small ships and first class throughout. No loud entertainment just sophisticated shows. Brilliant quizzes. Food outstanding and crew are faultless. They deliver everything they promise. Their house wine list is just amazing, NO cheap plonk! Trips well organized and daily information is excellent. The service to and from the ship is first rate. Overall one of the best holidays we have ever had. Can't wait for another one.I cannot say anymore, I have run out of superlatives. We will never use another cruise line now. We found the restaurant staff great. One was called Cesar so I named him Julius. The others wanted a Roman names. I named one Titus and another Augustus. They loved it . We got Roman salutes each morning. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The reason Sojourn gets even 4 stars from me is the staff - 5 stars, for sure. Outstanding service everywhere, consistently. The only exceptions were Head Sommelier and Somm in The Grill. Neither one were knowledgeable about available ... Read More
The reason Sojourn gets even 4 stars from me is the staff - 5 stars, for sure. Outstanding service everywhere, consistently. The only exceptions were Head Sommelier and Somm in The Grill. Neither one were knowledgeable about available premium wines. When asked about a premium listing on the MDR wine list, Head somm replied, "I don't know. I've only been on board 2 weeks." Wrong answer....And The Grill somm couldn't manage to pour a wine without spilling on the tablecloth or give any other description than "it's oaky". Overall, though, it appears the staff has adjusted to being both wine server and food server. They presented their two bottles for the night (which according to those servers I asked, 80% of passengers accepted) and if we wanted something else (I managed to get a complimentary wine list after 1 week of asking), it was cheerfully found and presented. Although halfway through the voyage, they ran out of most of my favs. However, what was more disappointing for me was the food quality and the overall tired appearance of the ship. She is really showing her age. It's not a lack of cleanliness, it's a lack of freshness, of an updated look. The MDR looks like a canteen. Yikes. Everywhere you see signs of lack of maintenance, in carpeting, in furniture, on the balconies, the bathrooms. The food was pretty much a bummer. I've always loved SB (we're Platinum) but this first cruise after 2 years was an eye-opener and not in a good way. The food has slipped to just average, not suitable to a luxury line. In the MDR, where we ate about 80% of our evening meals, the descriptions sounded good but execution was lacking. Often, on busy nights when the kitchen was slammed, there was an hour or more wait before main course arrived. Then, the sauce was often coagulated, as though it was sitting under a warming light, waiting for the protein to be plated. The Colonnade dinners, with exception of Thomas Keller nights, were generally really bad. We had a Japanese theme one night. The Miso soup was NOT miso soup - no miso in it, a brown murky mystery broth with green vermicelli noodles and carrot pieces. When I asked our waiter about it, he said, "The chefs must follow the recipes from corporate. You should write corporate a letter." That same night, my tuna (med rare as requested) was so tough I couldn't cut it and my husband's teriyaki beef was so salty, he couldn't eat it - and he is very salt tolerant. To make matters worse, they ran out of a lot of stuff halfway through, because we didn't land in Mombasa (due to worries about political unrest and violence) and therefore were missing the container we were supposed to load there. Then they couldn't get the container across the border to any of our next stops. ???? That's their story and they're sticking to it. They did not choose to buy any of the gorgeous fruit available in all our ports; instead of nice ripe mangos, papayas, bananas, etc, we had oranges and grapefruit and grapes. People took to asking buffet staff to hide papaya and berries for them under the counter, until that supply also ran out. Same with greek yogurt - they began doling it out on an 'as requested' basis and finally ran out. Also ran out of romaine lettuce and many other items. The scrambled eggs kept getting whiter and whiter as the days went on (powdered egg added?) since they were saving 'real' eggs for poached and fried. The food simultaneously took a turn for the worse. Since they had the identical menus in MDR the second half of the trip(Seychelles to Capetown) as first half, Singapore to Capetown, it was easy to compare the differences. Maybe chef also changed? I don't know, but for example, we started getting fish raw and beef over done, and the sides were also not good. The Galley lunch first half of cruise was excellent, the second half almost everything was inedible, especially the sushi and sashimi. I must admit we did not resort to special orders. Some of our new friends were special ordering 3-4 course menus every night in MDR when they didn't eat in Keller. That seemed to work out well for them. Shore excursions: We booked all independently, as always. Prices are very high and people who took ship excursions were mostly disappointed. For example, we did a private tour to Addo Elephant Park for less than what the ship charged. We got a private vehicle for just us two, with game viewing AM and PM, lunch in between. Ship passengers got an AM tour with a big coach, lunch and then almost no time in PM for any more game viewing. Our cabin (730) was adequate, just very tired and worn looking. Our suite attendant was excellent and kept everything clean and our mini bar filled with our requests (lots of San Pellegrino and fresh limes). Storage space seemed tight, after other luxury ships we've been on in the meantime, but we made do, and found room for everything. So despite all of this, would we consider SB again? Maybe not on this ship, but yes, I think we would, because we met so many great people and the amazing service made up for a lot. Maybe that's how SB gets away with the slippage in food and not updating the older ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our 7th. Seabourn cruise and the staff were the best yet. Nothing too much trouble and when we got off in the Seychelles and booked into our hotel what a difference, we really appreciated how we had been pampered on board. Just hope ... Read More
Our 7th. Seabourn cruise and the staff were the best yet. Nothing too much trouble and when we got off in the Seychelles and booked into our hotel what a difference, we really appreciated how we had been pampered on board. Just hope they replace Sophie the cruise director with someone as good. As she is leaving to get married. Would recommend taking breakfast in the restaurant or room service as the buffet can get busy. Like several other cruisers we met the preference is for this size ship and not the newer and larger ships. Indeed we tried The Encore fourteen months ago and found the service not as personal And very busy with little time to stop. All in all you pays your money and take your choice and which ever size ship you choose t will be good value for money with no tipping and all inclusive. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Gastro broke out on the ship and many of the cabins in lock down / isolation. It spread like wildfire. Birthday celebration cruise for my dads 90th really ruined a week each as he and I got sick Booked a triple cabin on first night ... Read More
Gastro broke out on the ship and many of the cabins in lock down / isolation. It spread like wildfire. Birthday celebration cruise for my dads 90th really ruined a week each as he and I got sick Booked a triple cabin on first night told there was a shortage of rollaway beds and that my dad may have to sleep on couch. Balcony door handle fell off twice during cruise couldn’t access balcony for nearly 2 days. Whilst experiencing very high winds and rough seas the voices creaking in cabin was so loud we didn’t sleep for 2 nights despite being midship. Service was lacking other than a few standouts (Krystel our stewardess, rhe art teacher. Maria). They held a few activities for kids which was good. Food in Collonade was average the fruit is often old rotten bananas. Food in Restauranr and Sushi good. Thomas Keller nice setting bit my steak was dry and slightly tough. Staff in food outlets didirb seem to have time or inclination to really connect with guests. I think there is less staff and they are under more pressure. If really showed. Lots of other things but having completed a Seabourn Criise around Pacifix last year which was great we were very disappointed. A lack of response by Seabourn again shows very poor service. We stopped at Bangkok Christmas Day and we were looking forward to shopping etc only to find it was a 2.5 hour car ride each way into Bangkok (false advertising). There seemed to be some general disappointment with Seabourn from fellow travellers. The word is Regent Crude line is a much better option. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Not to belabor a review sent to Seabourn, but the ship, although pretty, new and with good design elements, did not meet our expectations. The cabin was fine as was the ships layout with the possible exception of more room at the main ... Read More
Not to belabor a review sent to Seabourn, but the ship, although pretty, new and with good design elements, did not meet our expectations. The cabin was fine as was the ships layout with the possible exception of more room at the main pool area. Five or Six stars? No, more of a Holland America experience for twice the price. Service was good to poor and depended on the day. Training of the crew was going on all the time and many were brand new to any ship experience. Sounds like the company has expanded, poached crew from other ships and then needed much more to fill its ranks. Service was haphazard with greatness shown occasionally but not what one expects at the price point. Interesting note: there is no bar open except the pool bar until the late afternoon. So, if you wanted to be cool inside, you had to go up top to get a drink and on this cruise from Singapore to Dubai, it was warm. Food was good one day and then poor the next. Example: on a top rated ship, should you not expect more than 3 salad dressings? For yanks, there was no ranch dressing, a staple among Americans of all ages. The balsamic served was thick and was either built around mayonnaise or thickened with wall paste? Top rated food? The Keller restaurant was good but not jaw dropping. French Laundry? No more of a high end Outback but with good service. Excursions for the trip were all over the place. Technical issues caused us to not even get off at Phuket, which is no loss anyway from previous trips in the area. Yet, we had a tour canceled in one location and then a few days later, new tours were offered but too late for us to change. Need to get their act together on this aspect of cruising in these waters. Oman was the best port and the biggest surprise. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a true Arabian experience as opposed to the over the top Dubai, with its Vegas atmosphere without the gambling. I will go back to Silversea and Crystal for my high end cruises. I was looking forward to this experience and it was not to my liking. Many of the cruisers we met on this trip were long term Seabourn loyalists and most complained about this ship and the many differences to their smaller ships. Size, evidently, does matter. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We cruised from Singapore to Sydney to experience the ship rather than the Itinerary as we had sailed this section 3 years ago on the Odyssey. Overall the ship was not of the highest standard possible. There were a number of rust spots on ... Read More
We cruised from Singapore to Sydney to experience the ship rather than the Itinerary as we had sailed this section 3 years ago on the Odyssey. Overall the ship was not of the highest standard possible. There were a number of rust spots on some of the pipes above our balcony which had left a stain on the balcony wall. This stain remained the entire cruise. One of the emergency exit signs fell off the wall near the whirlpool on deck seven and lay on the ground for 3 days until we advised an officer doing a deck inspection. The sign was not affixed to the wall but sat on top of the fire hose box and then fell to the ground again. A number of the towels in the pool area had rust marks on them and at least one towel in the gym had a hole in it. Somebody clearly is not doing their overseeing job correctly. We started by eating breakfast and lunch on the lower deck of the Colonnade. The service down there was that poor that we eventually left. The service on the upper deck was much more efficient. Clearly the waiter on the lower deck was just waiting to get to Sydney to finish his contract. One night I ordered green beans with my dinner in the Colonnade only to be informed that they had none, yet there was a green bean salad the next lunch day and we had not been to port in between. Similarly I was severed a Chocolate Pot de Creme with out the cream and there was supposedly no Malibu Rum on board from 2 days after Singapore. Again somebody does not appear to be doing enough supervision. My cabin robe had a stain on it from spilt food day 1 and was not changed for 17 days, 2 nights we had no chocolates on the bed at night and one time change was not done on the cabin clock. Again I point the finger at poor supervision. The breakfasts were continually overcooked and meat was of a various degrees of finish. We both ordered a dish medium, one came burnt the other dripping blood. When I raised this with the Executive chef he said that was not possible and wanted to put the blame on the waiter. After having Julia Gillard on board as a guest speaker who is Chairperson of Beyond Blue the "comedian" the next night proceeded to make jokes about a subject which is a major cause of depression in older men. The same "comedian" sat near us at dinner and proceeded to harass each waitress that served him. Shore excursions were ridiculously expensive. I broached most of these subjects with senior officers with no response and also in my post cruise survey to Seabourn. I am yet to hear from Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise for the seadays. We did the same cruise in reverse in November 2015 on the Sojourn. We wanted to try out the larger ship, we also had sailed on the Odyssey last November. First impressions? it is a bigger ship. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the seadays. We did the same cruise in reverse in November 2015 on the Sojourn. We wanted to try out the larger ship, we also had sailed on the Odyssey last November. First impressions? it is a bigger ship. The ceilings seem a little lower, particularly in the Restaurant, the cabins a little narrower and the Club on Level 5 a little smaller with the casino now being exposed. Mind you we never saw the Casino being used. In fact the Restaurant seems much quieter so the lower ceiling may be there for a purpose. There is no laundry. However we were told due to demand one will be fitted. I hope given the size of the ship one means two. Within a few days we were won over. The ship has a classier feel. It never felt over crowded although the Colonnade and pool deck could get a bit busy. It was the atmosphere on the Encore and the magnificent staff that did it. Every single one of them was enthusiastic and helpful. We have never encountered such a team. Their enthusiasm rubbed off on the passengers. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and interacted well. Food throughout was excellent. The Thomas Keller is a better speciality restaurant than Restaurant 2. We ate at Thomas Keller twice. The menu does not change. However the food and service in the Restaurant is so good it is hard to imagine it being bettered. We often ate at night at the Pool Grill. Simple, informal and under the stars. We would generally have a pre dinner drink at the Observation Bar. Again good service with substantial finger food available. Breakfast at the Colonnade was always good with lots of choice. In part there was table service available. Entertainment. Probably the best we have had on any cruise. There were two shows nightly for forty five minutes. The "early" show at 8.45pm is a new time. The show repeats at 10.00pm. The guest lecturers onboard were the best we have ever experienced. Lots of lectures (called conversations by Seabourn) by very informative people. Generally the topics related to the history of the areas in which we were sailing Overall the Encore is an even better and classier ship than the older three. Perhaps, due to size, it is a little less personal, but the enthusiasm of the crew and service shine out. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Let me first state that I did not like awarding the scores set forth below. My wife and I had hoped for a far better experience. This was our first Seabourn cruise; the most recent ones before were on Oceania and Regent Seven Seas, ... Read More
Let me first state that I did not like awarding the scores set forth below. My wife and I had hoped for a far better experience. This was our first Seabourn cruise; the most recent ones before were on Oceania and Regent Seven Seas, respectively. Our cruise started in Singapore and ended in Dubai. Some elements of the Encore were lovely. The overall décor was most attractive, and the Seabourn Square set up was a delight. For the most part, our Verandah V5 cabin was well thought out (the closet could use some reconfiguration -- raising the hanging poles and sacrificing a bit of the shelf space above). It was impossible, however, to regulate the temperature in our cabin at a stable degree; at night, especially, the air conditioning, unlike the day, was ineffective -- with the room being so warm we discarded our covers. Our stewardess was absolutely terrific, and the other members of the non-food service crew were personable. So what wasn't so great? Primarily, it was the food -- especially in comparison to both the Oceania Marina and the Regent Explorer ships. With the exception of the Thomas Keller restaurant (the second time, at least) no meal was delicious, and several of the meals were plain disappointing. Bread was consistently substandard, as were most of the pastries. Beef was not as good as the lamb; chicken was overcooked. Fish, however, was well-prepared. The Restaurant's cuisine was not generally as good as the Colonnade's. Service in the Restaurant at dinner was really bad. Twice (once dining alone and a second time with another couple), we had to skip dessert to make the 8:45 pm show; in each instance we were seated at 6:45 p.m. That is inexcusable. Service in the Colonnade was, conversely, quite good at both breakfast and dinner. Daniel and Megan deserve special mention for their performance. As for Thomas Keller, the steaks the first time were terribly over-salted, and not just our table. The people next to us had the same complaint. The captain actually tried my wife's and readily agreed, and the manager subsequently invited us to dine in his restaurant again, promising a far better experience the next time -- which it was. The sushi restaurant was fine, with the lead server a true delight. The food was okay. It is impossible to see the chefs at work due to the configuration of the counter; its front should be all glass and the display of fish lowered so that the preparations can be viewed by diners, especially those sitting around where the chefs were working. We found the entertainment mixed. Wayne (the comedian on the cruise) was truly entertaining; on the other hand we thought the Tim Rice show to be a disappointment -- less due to the singers and more due to the choice of songs performed. The rest (we attended several) were so-so. The lecturers were distinguished. We would have preferred slightly more sophisticated talks -- and with more emphasis on the current states of the countries visited and less on their histories. We took several tours. The most disappointing to us was in Muscat, where we were left for 90 minutes at a mediocre, touristy souk and had only 15 minutes, in contrast, at a wonderful museum. The rest were okay, if over promised. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have been on several river cruises with Uniworld and had wonderful experiences and on a 2 week cruise with Blount on the Great Lakes in the USA, but apart from couple of cruises up and down the Norwegian coast on the Hurtigruten, this ... Read More
We have been on several river cruises with Uniworld and had wonderful experiences and on a 2 week cruise with Blount on the Great Lakes in the USA, but apart from couple of cruises up and down the Norwegian coast on the Hurtigruten, this was our first sea cruise. The moment we stepped on board in Singapore, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with good humour and kindness by the hard working staff and crew. We were drawn to Seabourn because the food at all the restaurants is included as well as drinks. We did not want to face a large bill at the end. We were also attracted to this particular cruise because it included a lot of sea days and although we wanted to see an interesting part of the world, we also really wanted to relax. Cabin Our cabin was on Deck 5 (the lowest residential deck), and we had a beautiful big room with a verandah, a separate lounge room, a big comfortable bed and a big bathroom with a bath (yay!!!!!), with high quality and plentiful bath products and big, soft towels. There was plenty of storage and the view from the verandah was uninterrupted. Compared to the cabins on river cruises, this cabin was a mansion. A couple of times throughout the cruise, we had a "meet your neighbours" party. This is a great idea. Food The food at the Restaurant, Sushi, the Collonade and the Patio was outstanding. There was plenty to choose from and everything we chose was well cooked and delicious. We are big fans of Asian breakfasts, particularly Vietnamese. So when we boarded the ship, we asked the chef if he could cook us a Vietnamese Pho a couple of times a week for breakfast. And this he did. It was delicious and fragrant and we got many envious stares as it was delivered to our table. This was truly outstanding service. We really enjoyed lunch at Sushi. The bento boxes were delicious and the staff were wonderful, particularly the lovely lady from the Caribbean who served the wine and sake. The food at the Restaurant was outstanding. We had the best steaks we have ever had and their other dishes were also delicious and beautifully presented. The service was fantastic, particularly from Duane from Barbados and her colleague (also from the Caribbean). These two women were friendly, funny and incredibly efficient and helpful. We ate at the Collonade often. The variety at the buffet was always fantastic and we could both always find something delicious to eat. We particularly enjoyed the congee for breakfast and that’s what we had on the days we didn’t have our Pho. We often went to the themed dinners and always really enjoyed them. The lovely lady from Portugal who was the hostess at the front desk was so helpful. The Patio is an up market fast food joint and it was the place to go when we had a hankering for a hot dog, hamburger or pizza. We were not impressed by the Thomas Keller Grill. I had the lobster thermidor and it was swimming in butter and all the food was far too salty. The Grill had all the pretentions of a fine dining establishment without the haute cuisine. The menu never changed, and, unlike the other restaurants, we could not request any changes to the dishes. Aparently the chefs knew better what was best for us. On the other hand, we had Thomas Keller inspired dishes at the Restaurant and the Collonade and they were absolutely beautiful. We hail from a part of Australia that produces truffles and we love em. We were very excited to know that there were a lot of dishes which included truffles. Unfortunately the truffle was undetectable. The executive chef explained that they cannot get fresh truffles, so they use canned ones. These have very little aroma or flavour and I suggest they should leave the truffle out of the menu until they can get the good stuff. Drink The wine ranged from very good to acceptable and there was always plenty to choose from. There was a huge variety of cocktails and the lovely bar man in the Observation Bar always brought over our favourite cocktails as soon as we sat down. Great service. Public Spaces Even though the ship was nearly full, it never felt crowded. I love to find a quiet spot to read and I could always do that. The Observation Bar was pretty much deserted during the day and I could sit and read and watch the ship ploughing through the water. My only complaint was that each day at around 10am, a couple of blokes used to meet to have a very loud, shouty discussion on religious issues. Their conversation dominated that large space and I suspect they were trying to attract other participants. I was really not interested in their subject matter and I could not concentrate on my book. It appeared to me to be officially sanctioned, as one of the participants was a member of the clergy. The bar man told me he had tried to direct them to a private meeting room but to no avail. I am surprised the senior management didn’t insist. Seabourn Square was always a great place to get to know other guests. It’s comfortable and welcoming and refreshments are laid on. Entertainment We really enjoyed the shows put on by the in-house singers and dancers. These people were very talented. We didn’t see all the guest performers but those we did see were great. We also really enjoyed the guest lecturers and learned a lot about the Middle East and the Suez Canal. We loved the cooking demonstrations by the Executive Chef Kurt Timmermans . What a clever man he is. Staff and Crew We found the Captain and his team to be personable, approachable and helpful. My husband had lots of technical questions and he went out of his way to answer them. The cruise director was a delightful woman, as was her assistant and the staff at the Square went out of their way to help us. We booked excursions as we went along and they always made excellent alternative suggestions if the one we wanted was booked out. Everyone we dealt with had clearly been through rigorous training and did their job beautifully. Passengers Mostly Australian and American with a few other countries represented as well. Age range 60 and upwards. Mostly lovely people who were thrilled to be on board such a lovely ship, living in the lap of luxury and having such a wonderful experience. They were a pleasure to spend time with. However it always amazes me how a small minority are constantly complaining about anything and everything and thought nothing of being very rude to the staff. They seem to get off on it. We found there were always passengers like this on river cruises as well. Excursions These were on the whole, enjoyable, with some that were outstanding. Our favourites were the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, shopping with the chef in Muscat, the incredible first sight of Petra and the cooking demonstration in Santorini. The Grand Mosque is gobsmackingly gorgeous, the visit to the market with the chef was really interesting and Petra is definitely one of those places everyone should see. The cooking demonstration at a small restaurant attached to a farm on Santorini was some of the most beautiful food we have ever tasted. What that woman could do with a fresh tomato was a miracle. I was surprised that Seabourn didn’t provide passengers with audio headsets. Uniworld provide them for every passenger. On several tours, people got left behind and there was a great scramble to find them again. At Petra, it’s a long, difficult walk from the bus into the site and we lost the guide very early in the journey. It’s hard to get lost there, but it would have been nice to know what we were seeing. Laundry There is none and the cost of the laundry service is eye watering. However, being Aussies, we were well organised. We brought our own collapsible clothes line and a wonderful washing aid called a Scrubba. It’s a heavy plastic bag with a built in wash board and it worked a treat, although our room occasionally looked like a Chinese laundry. I understand they are going to provide a laundry soon and that’s a great idea. Internet Very patchy and as other reviewers have said, it should be part of the package. In summary, this was a wonderful experience. We both work and it was just lovely being waited on by friendly and attentive staff, to eat and drink deliciousness, to be entertained and to see really interesting sights. We have just booked a 45 day cruise on the Seabourn Quest in February, from Buenos Aires to Monte Carlo. Can’t wait. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Prior cruise on Odyssey was excellent. No highlights on this cruise only disappointments Food standard and quality appalling! One culinary disaster after another! Expecting that everyone choses to eat this over sugared American food ... Read More
Prior cruise on Odyssey was excellent. No highlights on this cruise only disappointments Food standard and quality appalling! One culinary disaster after another! Expecting that everyone choses to eat this over sugared American food is too much for Australian. Many complaints by other passengers regarding the poor cuisine! What happened to the caviar it is now rationed!!!! What happened to the lobster tails which were so prevalent on Odyssey? Complimentary wines (actually paid for in ticket) cheap supermarket wines Lack of fruit at breakfast unforgivable - some morning a choice of three fruits including a bowl of apples! All in all the whole dining experience on ship including Thomas Keller very poor! The area outside Thomas Keller Grill is a waste. Star were very discontented which followed through in the service in all venues of the ship. Felt like we were on a staff training ship. Not big enough public areas on ship to cantor for 600 passengers especial around pool and in The Square. Areas for 450 passengers like Odyssey having to cater for 600 passengers. Will never ever take another Seabourn Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Wonderful cruise and could not find anything wrong (didn't try by the way!) This is only our second SB cruise and we felt we couldn't top our wonderful first experience, but yes we did! Maybe we knew our way round more and ... Read More
Wonderful cruise and could not find anything wrong (didn't try by the way!) This is only our second SB cruise and we felt we couldn't top our wonderful first experience, but yes we did! Maybe we knew our way round more and knew what we were doing and that was the reason, but whatever it was it matched and then exceeded our expectations! We had a wonderful Room Stewardess who was just so sweet and lovely and continually tried to second guess what we might want, we felt thoroughly spoilt. To me the staff seem generally happy and that shows in the service you get! We got to know more staff and they seemed to get to know us more too, in every which way the service was superb. We mostly did SB excursions with one of our own independently booked. All in all, they were OK with a couple of blips that didn't particularly concern us as we were looking at the whole picture and how much we were enjoying ourselves. Entertainment... club singers were just great and we often ended up there far too late. We went to the Grand Salon for a couple of shows that were very enjoyable. The ship was as immaculate as last time, nothing wrong there. Our cabin was great and was actually next door to our one from last year, good position. Dining.... where do I start. I almost felt that SB had upped their game - an extra course in the MDR that I couldn't resist, I love their soups which were often in this '2nd course". The food seemed even better than last year if that's possible. The Patio Grill was great too as was Indian Marketplace night in the Colonnade. Unfortunately we kept bumping into a 'serial complainer'. Isn't it always the way that when you try and avoid someone, they are there at every turn! On excursions, at breakfast, in the bar etc etc. Never happy, always moaning, complaining about nothing at every opportunity. We were on this cruise to have a blast, not to find fault all the time. All in all, a truly wonderful time - our first cruise last year was supposed to be a one off. We've just booked our next one which will be our third! Thank you Seabourn for a great time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Originally, my husband and I were scheduled to cruise on Silversea on basically the same itinerary. That ship was chartered out (as ships have the right to do!), so we chose Seabourn even though we didn't really like the idea of six ... Read More
Originally, my husband and I were scheduled to cruise on Silversea on basically the same itinerary. That ship was chartered out (as ships have the right to do!), so we chose Seabourn even though we didn't really like the idea of six days at sea. We flew from L.A. to Singapore, spent four nights at the fabulous St. Regis Hotel, then boarded the Sojourn. This was our sixth cruise, the previous five being on Silversea and Regent. We are definitely discerning guests, and we must say that the quality of food/wine, entertainment, guest lecturers, activities, available excursions, attitudes of staff - simply exceptional! One amazing day we spent on a private island in Thailand (Ko Kood - sp?) with water toys and sports, over the top B-B-Q, available massages on the beach, champagne and caviar hour on surfboards (sounds corny, but fantastic). Our day in Halong Bay kayaking and hiking in caves was also fantastic. We had chosen the mid-ship two and a half day excursion to Angor Wat which was well worth the price. This was an extremely friendly group of like-minded people onboard (mostly 60's couples as ourselves), and we made fast friends for dinners and excursions AND for my husband's birthday dinner. Sure, there were a few little issues, but overall, we are absolutely sold on Seabourn! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Tale of Two Cruises. We are frequent cruisers, last few years mostly on Seabourn - after in 2010 we got tired with the drip by drip slippage on Silversea, where we had started out in 1996 as our first high end cruise line. Total is now ... Read More
Tale of Two Cruises. We are frequent cruisers, last few years mostly on Seabourn - after in 2010 we got tired with the drip by drip slippage on Silversea, where we had started out in 1996 as our first high end cruise line. Total is now about 35 cruises on a mixture of cruise lines. Mostly all high end, and a dozen on Seabourn, both the little yachts and the Odyssey class. So we have been around a bit and can make some honest observations that others might find illuminating. This is going to be a review of our experience on the Sojourn on two of its 2017 cruises in Asia: early January and then again April. The "Viet Nam" cruise was the first one in January, and then an exhaustive China, Japan, and a touch of South Korea and Taiwan on the second in April and May. Menu, Food and Restaurant Service: We start this review with our restaurant experience on board, since this is for us one of the major reasons we choose a cruise line. We choose to eat all our dinners and many lunches and breakfasts in the main dining room a/k/a the Restaurant, because this dining venue is the most relaxing and enjoyable dining experience for us at sea. More like we experience in fine dining at restaurants home and abroad. Less casual. Lots of men wear sports jackets. We like the look and feel. We also dined on occasion in the more casual Colonnade for breakfast and lunch, and the outdoor grill for poolside lunch. We stay away from the alternative dining in Restaurant 2. The biggest change we noticed from prior Seabourn cruises with the Restaurant on the January cruise was with the menu choices and food coming out of the kitchen. Portion sizes had decreased, they claim because people were complaining about the portions being too large. The menu choices of appetizers and main courses were now more limited, and a good number of the dishes prepared and served that we had were below the normal high culinary standards that we had experienced on all prior Seabourn cruises. Once it was the finest food at sea, giving Oceania a run for its money, but something happened we noticed in January that was apparent. While we would now call this cuisine on the whole still very good, it was not anymore the exciting, interesting and very tasty dishes we had gotten used to dine upon during our many prior Seabourn cruises. Caviar: We love good caviar, with a nice glass of champagne or chilled vodka, especially when its at no extra charge (beyond what we are already paying in our expensive cruise fares), and this is one of the reasons we gravitated to Seabourn five years ago. They like to show it off as one thing that they do that others don't offer anymore. The supply onboard had always been there, portions ample and the quality high. Noticeably, on the January cruise, the Uruguayan caviar purveyor's first rate product had been replaced with a grossly inferior California based, fish egg product I am not even sure qualifies to be called caviar. Mushy consistency. Nasty tasting, yes. Inedible for us. After two or three unsatisfactory attempts to sample the new product and to find out whether we had simply gotten a bad batch the first time, or maybe we could adjust to it, we just dropped it. For us, it is better that Seabourn either brings back the excellent Uruguayan product or its equivalent or just discontinues serving caviar. People we talked to who appreciate good caviar were in complete agreement. We don't know whether this downgrading is just corporate cost cutting. Dining Room management said many other caviar fans had also complained - to no avail. In early May there was a mysterious re-appearance of the good caviar product from Uruguay for a limited period toward the end of the cruise. It was like the good Caspian sturgeon were running again downstream to where we were in Asian waters. We enjoyed it at every opportunity until we disembarked, and the ship surely and sadly reverted back to nasty mushiness. By the time of our April - May Japan and China cruise, there had been a definite improvement with the food coming-out of the Restaurant kitchen compared to January, even with the continuing, more limited, menu selections and portions control. It was noticeably better. I attribute it to some of the newer and lesser experienced chefs in the kitchen who joined the ship in December/January gaining more cooking experience or learning the Seabourn way and just doing an all around better job in preparing our meals. Restaurant kitchen seemed to be working better. The Executive Chef on board I think made a difference in running the kitchen, and the Hotel Director and F&B manager played roles. Special order requests improved. Quality and taste of the cooked Restaurant kitchen product was generally high, but we had to send our filet mignons back once or twice since the taste of the beef was just not there. The special Keller appetizer and main dish selections still had no fascination for us, and many others we spoke with. The Encore of the Encore and its effect on the Sojourn: The 800 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to reviewing Sojourn cruises in this January to May 2017 time frame is of course the coming on line of the new Encore in December 2016. To staff the new ship with the best and most experienced help above and below the decks to please the new ship's clientele on this, Encore's critical first cruises, a reasonable and obvious business objective, Seabourn's three other ships largely had to be stripped of 1/3 each of their best and most experienced people. Therefore virtually 1/3 of Sojourn's most experienced hotel, dining and ship management, restaurant and bar wait staff and dining room assistants, cooks, and stateroom housekeeping attendants, indeed even the unseen and valuable behind the walls administrative people in the guest relations and purser departments, and the below deck personnel who actually keep the ship sailing magnificently during thick and thin, were taken off in the months or weeks preceding the Encore's launch and sent to the Encore to crew up that ship. We lived through the effects of this in January. These experienced people had to be replaced - largely with new or internally promoted people, whose old positions were then backfilled. And with the fierce competition world wide from other expanding and start up river and ocean cruise lines, there must be a real issue for the best people out there to be found, recruited, engaged and trained to become worthy Seabourn staff members.This finding of the best people and training them to develop the skills to do things the best way possible - the Seabourn Way - does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process for them and for the passengers, as we learned. And so the passengers of the Sojourn on our January cruise, particularly the frequent Seabourn Sailers, experienced negative differences in a number of things directly attributable to the cannibalizing of its crew and replacement with new personnel. Things happened that shouldn't and never did before on any Seabourn cruise. These differences we experienced included kitchen, dining rooms, bars, stateroom housekeeping and administrative purser and guest relations areas. Fortunately for the below decks crew that keeps the ship running, we saw nothing in the new hirings that affected the voyage's safe and smooth sailing. Many guests in January complained to other guests, out loud and in private to ship management. Ship management listened, in many instances acknowledged the problems and took corrective action on board to fix and improve, to the extent circumstances allowed. The Recovery: By the time of our April-May cruise two and one half months later, with some new and inexperienced staff still joining and learning the Seabourn way, because there is always crew turnover, and promoted people stepping into their new jobs, overall it was a very noticeably improved and enjoyable experience on the Sojourn. People who recognized the differences between January and April spoke out how much better things had become, a return more to the normal. Restaurant kitchen in particular, and Dining rooms, bars and stateroom housekeeping personnel. While noticeably better for us in April and May than January, a number of the frequent Seabourners we encountered who boarded in March and April and confided in us, as guests always do, expressed their own concerns and reservations from what they observed, compared to their own past Seabourn experiences. New to Seabourn passengers we met had nothing to compare against. While the food coming out of the kitchen on this April-May cruise was generally much improved, food and service had not gotten back to the old Seabourn standards, that used to be called the best at sea, by the time we off boarded in mid-May. Breakfast in the Restaurant, for example, still needed work, both food preparation and service. The Colonnade however, hummed along every day we went up there for breakfast or lunch - with a very good and varied buffet product and fine service. We never had dinner in the Colonnade. Restaurant menus need widening, and people get around the portion sizing by asking for doubles or seconds and are always gladly accomodated. Scallops during April and May seemed to have become the chef's favorite offering at dinner time in the Restaurant. Usually on the dinner menu every second or third night in a slightly different incarnation. The Keller special dishes sometimes very good but mostly pretentious and a big dud most everyone agreed is a mistake. Beef filets sometimes not very tasty and returned to kitchen. Lamb chops excellent. Veal usually very good. Most fish dishes very good. Nice selection of veggies well prepared and salads, but cheese course selection needs improvement, recognizing we were in Asian waters and far from the fromageries of France. Meals in the Restaurant ably supervised by dining room management and served well and efficiently by the veteran wait staff, and the learning, relatively newly engaged, new wait staff growing steadily in confidence, knowledge, ability, skills and the special, emerging personality and strong presence that has always made the Seabourn wait staff so very special in its relationship to the guests. This is the key to the recovery. Some complain on these pages about long time gaps in the Restaurant between ordering time and being served on the Sojourn and the other Odyssey class ships. We never experienced that inn either January or April - May. Maybe because we get to the Restaurant closer to when it opens its doors and order before the kitchen and wait staff gets backed up. Wines: There have been a number of complaints on these pages about the poor quality of the complimentary wines served on board Seabourn ships. I think this is overblown. Wines and champagne and booze of all sorts flow freely on board all day at all venues. Yes Seabourn does not spend a lot of money on these complimentary wines. Nor, as far as I can tell, does anyone else in the luxury cruise business who supplies these complimentary wines. And over time we have sailed with Seabourn the quality has improved. There were wines one could find that had had good structure and taste and were very enjoyable as an accompaniment to the food. Nicholas Feuliiette champagne from France is very nice indeed. Not a cheap champagne by any score and very delicious. Usually a very drinkable Pinot Noir or Zinfandel or Cab could be found on the daily selections. And Santa Margherita is a very nice Italian Pino Grigio, readily available. Some of the New Zealand's sauvignons blancs were not the sometimes thin whites. Lovely French roses from Provence or Italy. What we had to drink was not shabby at all. In fact I cannot think of one night or lunch that we had wines that we did not enjoy. And my wife and I have a lovely cellar at home. Nice Sauterne dessert wines too on board. The head Sommelier Jo is a real gem, as are many on her team. Entertainment: Entertainment whether with the one time only magicians and comedians and concert artists, or with the six person song-dance team was generally somewhat above average for a ship of this size, although the Ukrainian dance duo of Yuri and Ilona is world class. The entertainment troupe was better in April than the troupe in January, when there was no dance team. Good band too in April, better than on the January cruise. Singers better too in their performing skills, but the production numbers are weak, and the few shows too often recycled. Who among the Seabourn core passengers can really get excited about the hyped Tim Rice special? Most of the songs I never heard before, but maybe the prevalent age group on board explains much of this. Hollywood musical themes and Broadway standard shows should be the mainstay. Lerner and Lowe, Rodgers and Hammerstein. Johnny Mercer. Cole Porter. George Gershwin. Dirty Dancing. What a wealth of vault material to choose from. R 'n R show fine, but numbers needs some better producing. Dance on Yuri and Ilona! The Cruise Director Sophie is very pleasant, very good at her job and a very talented occasional performer as well, with a deep stage background in London musicals. The Destinations Services Department has a real gem with Ilona running it. She did an outstanding job under some very trying conditions. Hotel management also very much improved when Helmut a solid industry pro made his appearance for us as Director in April and the behind the walls people with time, are learning to practice their administrative trade better. Captain Hamish Elliot is one of the best around. He is very approachable, as are all the officers, makes everything very personal and more interesting. He is dealing as best as he can with the transition issues of running his ship and bringing it back to the old Seabourn standards after the recent cannibalization of his crew, and the possible repeat of this process in May of 2018 when the Ovation comes on line. Pool and Pool Deck: The pool and pool deck were not much used on these voyages in the April - May mid and northern Asian waters. Quite lovely and nice size for 450 passengers, with proper shade areas under the overhangs we've experienced on other Seabourn cruises to warmer climes as was the January cruise out of Singapore where there was a lot more pool action. I have never experienced these chair hogs others talk about, even on the hottest days at sea. To me, seasoned travelers know how to get along. Pool attendants know how and when to enforce the posted 30 minute rule. My experience is that are always enough chairs available, and a person who puts down a book to hold a chair at 9 30am on a sea day while he or she goes to breakfast for 45 minutes is not to be castigated, when 95% of the deck chairs are wide open. Well maintained areas, and the bar servers make frequent rounds to satisfy all liquid tastes. The deck lounge chairs should have pads, as do Oceania's, and this Seabourn should do something about. Lying on the webbing is not that comfortable. Very tasteful pool music kept purposely low in volume so as not to be annoying like on some other cruise lines. This is the Seabourn way again. Class. The Pool Grill serves its purpose for us at lunch in decent weather with its limited menu, although opened at night too. Nicely prepared burgers, salads, pizza and other assorted dishes more than one would expect at a pool grill. Ship: The ship itself is beautifully designed and maintained, and sails exceedingly well even in rough waters, although scheduled to go into dry dock soon for a needed refreshening after 5 years in service. The public rooms and bars are elegant in design without being ostentatious and are well kept and spacious. Comfortable seating. The Club on Five for us just perfect, with the bar counter and convivial bar personnel and fellow drinkers, and the closed off casino and its machines not disrupting guests enjoyment boozing it up in the lounge. A haven for many people before and after dinner, with its pleasant cafe singer and musicians. At 32,000 tons and 450 passengers, and with its footprint and profile, this is the perfect sized ship for us. Passenger density low, and crew to passenger ratio high. The crew gets to know passengers' names and after a few days they identify you by name as matter of course. Just like the old days. It is a pleasing experience to be identified by old and new crew by name - another Seabourn tradition that has been maintained. I am told they really work at this face and name identification. Some say the size of the crew has been downsized in recent months. We saw no proof of that and never suffered for lack of quick staff attendance for our needs. Stateroom: The stateroom - which is the same standard size for the most part throughout the entire ship except for the suites - is very spaciously designed at 365 sq ft with the Verandah. Decor a little tired perhaps some say, especially the frequent Seabourn Sailers, and in comparison to the new Encore, with its 600 passengers. but comfortable and very functional, with plenty of drawer and cabinet space. Nice width and length. Nice TV placement. Nice liquor setup. Tables and chairs. Room quiet and no noise from adjacent staterooms. Mostly good internet, and the price is cheap enough. We hardly ever had connectivity problems in these waters. The walk in closet, with safe, nicely sized even for long cruise passengers with lots of clothing. The bathroom also nicely sized and twin sinks are a real plus for two people traveling together. Shower, and tub, and I have yet to find anyone actually using the tub for anything other than to hang laundry or keeping the keg of beer cold on ice. Shower wee bit on the narrow side, but one gets used to this unless really large and one learns to adapt. Stateroom temperature controls perfect. Verandah nice size and comfortable. Enrichment Lectures: The Enrichment Lectures were numerous and all outstanding, more so on the China - Japan April-May cruise. The presenters gave us much information about the cultures and history of where we were going. Some political lectures too. Professor Paul Ropp from Clark University a real gem on Asia. Seabourn should hire him full time as the head of this program. He was so knowledgable and an excellent presenter, and having lived in the Far East for so many years made him so much more credible and interesting. Many rave reviews from the audience onboard and we agree he was the best of any we have ever had. Excursions and Tours: The ship's group excursions choices are the usual mix of too much or too little, with the usual complaints endemic to all cruise lines as too expensive and bus rides too long. Seattle can do better job in advance planning certain must-see group overnight excursions. Like Xian in China, which was put together for twenty odd of us by the ship's Destination Manager Ilona on the ship itself on very short notice. And Okinawa, with its sad WW2 history especially for Americans, but also for the Japanese and natives who died in the biggest land battle of the Pacific, should get better programs designed from Seattle for those many passengers, mostly Americans, interested in seeing and learning more from the ground about what happened here. There are stone walls in the Peace Memorial and Museum with 13,000 American boys names on them. More names there than grave stones markers in Normandy. And other walls with the names of over 200,000 Japanese and Okinawans who also died there during the battle. A must see. Ports and Cities Visited. The ports and cities we visited in Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand on the January cruise and China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan on the April-May cruise were all interesting, and there were many. Although after a while everything begins to blur together. Vietnam especially appealing in its several cities visited, since it is still the old country on the verge of the conversion to a new China type building and culture boom. So much American history here with the War. Five years from now it will not be this interesting mix of old and new culture and society anymore: the conversion will have taken place. The ever present motorcycles and motorbikes will be replaced by autos. Ships tours that were arranged were excellent. The building boom we witnessed in China is incredible, as was the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta warriors on the Xian overnight excursion expertly handled by the ship's personnel and the outside tour company. Hotels chosen first rate. Logistics superb. Shanghai amazing city we would like to visit again. Beijing very large and fascinating but bit overwhelming . The ship's overall itinerary of all four countries was well accomplished, with the ship darting back and forth from Japan to China and then onto South Korea and Taiwan, with a turnaround stop to the south in Hong Kong, before heading back north through the Ryukyu Islands and Okinawa on the way to the main islands of Japan. The many Japan stops beginning in Hiroshima and ending in Yokohama- Tokyo- Kobe cities after Mt Fuji stop were fascinating in its culture and scenery. Lovely and interesting stops and sights, and we did Kyoto on our own. Enchanting. So many temples and shrines everywhere, as in China. Transportation by air or the bullet trains on the tours and excursions very well done. The logistics for these various excursions and overnights is not that easy to accomplish, but the Destinations Services Department as previously mentioned did a splendid job. And lets face it - all daily tours are not created equal. Some are great, some average and others just bad. The full day tours were the most grueling by far, but there was much to see many of us elected this punishment anyway. Seoul after we docked in Inchon, near where MacArthur landed, a very large very modern city and little scary with the threat of nuclear attack ever present, but the South Koreans seemed not to care nearly as much as we Americans did. Busan in the south very interesting stop and not nearly as crazy as was Seoul. All in all, WE loved these two trips to Asia and this ship, although the ship somewhat less than in past 5 years. Our expectation is that Seabourn will learn from its Encore debut experience and plan a better launch for the Ovation next year that will not impact negatively on the other four ships in the fleet. And at the same time we believe it will improve those areas like food and service that have dropped a bit from the past. The Seabourn people who staff these ships make the difference, and these solid pros and new hires they have added will once again become the standard bearer for all that Seabourn greatness that once was. My wife and I believe in the Seabourn brand and its management. We are so confident Seabourn will raise its game to its old standards that we are booked already for a cruise next year. Once the best, it will be the best again.Or risk losing its loyal clientele. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We wanted to tour SE Asia since we had never been on this side of the world. We were amazed and loved the ports and tours. The tours were very interesting and fun. The food at the restaurants was always delicious and the service was ... Read More
We wanted to tour SE Asia since we had never been on this side of the world. We were amazed and loved the ports and tours. The tours were very interesting and fun. The food at the restaurants was always delicious and the service was courteous and very personal. They really care that you enjoy the trip! The cabin was spacious and the attendant always made sure our needs were met. We always asked for breakfast at the cabin and sat at the veranda. It was delivered on time and professionally served. My wife loves the bread sticks that Seabourn is famous for and she asked to have them to be delivered daily to the cabin and one day they forgot. They surely made up right away for the mix up. We have been to Europe many times and we hesitated about taking the long flights, but it was really worth it. We had the trip of our lifetime! Truly recommend this out of the box cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We sailed with Seabourn Sojourn last March from Singapore to Hong Kong. We did experience problems with the services particularly the attitudes from the male staff of Guest Services but Belindah Sibanda, the Guest Services Supervisor, was ... Read More
We sailed with Seabourn Sojourn last March from Singapore to Hong Kong. We did experience problems with the services particularly the attitudes from the male staff of Guest Services but Belindah Sibanda, the Guest Services Supervisor, was so helpful and understanding so that we are happy to sail with them again for our Christmas 2016. Unfortunately, things actually go from bad to worse. First, safe in the cabin was not working and it took 3 reminders before someone had rectified the problem. Then, the English Times newspaper that we ordered. Again, it took us 3 reminder and a conversation with the Hotel Director before it is delivered on a daily basis. Personally, I do not like my shirts to be returned in hangers after laundry so I have specifically asked for them to be folded. Shirts returned in hangers in the first couple of times and each time I called the Guest Services to register my unsatisfactory. On third time, I underlined "shirts folded" in the laundry list but they were returned in hangers. I called the Guest Services and they again responded they will look into it. I told her that this has happened 3 times and were not acceptable. To make things worse, I later discovered that the girl that I have spoken to did not really understand my problem. Hence, I asked to see their Executive Housekeeping who has been very kind and understanding. The worst is that the attitudes of the male staff of their Guest Services. I requested them to book restaurant in Phuket for us and he told me they don't do that. In response, I told him that I have never known from any 5 stars hotel that would refuse to book table in restaurants for guests. Eventually, a very charming lady who has offered to resolve the disagreement. The ship is great and foods are of very high standard. Unfortunately, the services together with attitudes of certain staff particularly the make staff from the Guest Services are not up to the standard that we expected from a ultra luxury cruise ship which they claimed to provide personal services. Very disappointing trip and it is unlikely that we will cruise with Seabourn again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have enjoyed many Seabourn cruises and relished them all.We sailed on the Odyssey approximately 15 months ago and as usual our journey was sensational. We have always been very impressed with the food, wine, service and the special ... Read More
We have enjoyed many Seabourn cruises and relished them all.We sailed on the Odyssey approximately 15 months ago and as usual our journey was sensational. We have always been very impressed with the food, wine, service and the special events that have made Seabourn shine. We have recommended Seabourn to friends and acquaintances and would never have considered sailing with any other luxury cruise line. We embarked on this cruise expecting more of the same and to enjoy a well-deserved break and a beautiful Christmas and New Year. The fact that this cruise met none of our expectations and ruined our anticipated holiday is reprehensible. The ship was overloaded with inexperienced staff who at times had no idea what they were doing. There were no smiles and absolutely no recognition of passengers who like to be acknowledged by name. Being greeted in the Colonnade every morning with “hello lovely lady” by the acting supervisor, who we have met on the Pride, is not Seabourn style. It is just plain lazy.Delays in service in the Colonnade and the Club were frustrating. On occasion, it took 15 minutes to order a tea or coffee at breakfast. Six staff with forty-four seated patrons should have provided far more efficient service. The club was understaffed at times and this resulted in a 20-minute wait to be served at times. The Restaurant often faced similar problems. The wine on the ship was certainly not appropriate for a 6-star cruise. We would not drink McGuigan chardonnay at home nor would we drink Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc. These wines are under $10 a bottle wholesale and totally unsatisfactory. It also became apparent that staff had very limited knowledge of the wines available. If they are not capable of informing guests of the wines on offer, then at least provide a wine list. We always drink Louis Latour chardonnay on Seabourn, a wine that appeared to be unavailable on this ship until the 14th day despite asking several times what chardonnay was available. On the 14th day we were told it was always available. The menu on this cruise suggested we book the Colonnade for dinner. That was new to us. Upon phoning for a booking one night, we did not book on any other night, we were told they could not possibly seat us prior to 8.45pm. Thinking this strange we arrived at 7.15pm and the restaurant was half empty and a table was available immediately. The restaurant was not busy throughout the evening. The food quality on board was very average and the dishes lacked flavour. The salads were basic and lacked imagination. The fruit was scarce in variety and often particular fruits were unavailable. One passenger was forced to buy his own bananas. Reconstituted ham on a breakfast buffet is beyond our comprehension but as one German passenger said – all the cold cuts are cheap. The Patio Grill was equally disappointing. When ordering a ribeye steak, a fatty piece of sirloin arrived riddled with gristle. The creamed spinach with bacon consisted of a pile of boiled silver beet and the garlic fries were soggy potato wedges with no hint of garlic. Christmas day was a spectacular failure. Where was our Christmas feast? Lunch in the Colonnade was an absolute catastrophe and being forced to dine in the dining room there was not a Christmas offering in sight. Dinner was only marginally better because hidden among the other items on the menu was turkey! The Christmas offering among the desserts was a pre-packaged tasteless plum pudding. The evening lacked any Christmas festivity at all. Seabourn is known for its food, events and celebrations on special occasions and we expected better. Perhaps Thomas Keller should take a cruise and experience exactly what we and the other 450 passengers on board had to endure. It was a further disappointment when our cruise director left the ship through illness and activities on board suffered. We were all very sorry for him but his illness was not our problem, it was yours Seabourn and you did nothing to improve the situation until a couple of days before we disembarked. When a replacement cruise director did arrive we neither met or sighted her. Our comments above have only touched the surface of our experience on this cruise. If the Sojourn is indicative of what is happening across the rest of the fleet, a major cost cutting exercise has been implemented and it has absolutely ruined everything Seabourn stood for. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I have always wanted to visit Petra. This cruise included Petra plus The Holy Land and the Suez Canal,all new to me. We have taken several trips on Seabourn and love everything about it. The rooms are comfortable and have enough space ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit Petra. This cruise included Petra plus The Holy Land and the Suez Canal,all new to me. We have taken several trips on Seabourn and love everything about it. The rooms are comfortable and have enough space which is apparently not always the case. The staff makes a tremendous effort to be cheerful,and helpful. By the third day one is greeted by name. Roberto, in the restaurant, seems personally sadened if you don't want dessert! Emma always knows which wine you prefer. Our stewardess Sitha, was so pleasant in spite of having so many messy cabins to tidy. Even though The Sojourn is a relatively small ship, the entertainment is excellent. We were thrilled to find Anthony Stuart LLoyd on this trip. We had loved him on another cruise and enthused about him to friends. He has a first class voice and puts on a terrific show with something for everyone from opera to Broadway. The young folks in the Sojoun singers and dancers group are wonderful,energetic and so talented. The only problem was the heat. My suggestion would be to do this trip in January. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Having sailed on Silversea prior to this cruise, the standards were set pretty high. This was our first cruise with Seabourn and we were left rather dissapointed. There were some fine points and unfortunately far too many negatives for the ... Read More
Having sailed on Silversea prior to this cruise, the standards were set pretty high. This was our first cruise with Seabourn and we were left rather dissapointed. There were some fine points and unfortunately far too many negatives for the amount of $$$ paid. The ship itself is very nice and cosy, clean and well maintained and spacious given the low number of guests onboard. Our Suite was clean and comfortable and looked after at all times by a very nice stewardess, although she seemed overworked at times. The food standards did not meet our expectations given the amount of advertising dedicated to this segment. At best I would describe the overall dining experience as ordinary to just above average. The Restaurant did it's best to excel but fell below par due to some very rushed and casual service & repetitive choice of wines. On at least two occasions we were asked if we wanted the "white" or the "red" We then had to ask what was on offer. Something you may encounter at a bistro. The Colonnade was as expected - casual dining. On an Australian themed night we ordered the meat pie only to be served a sheperd's pot pie. Only a few of the staff ever addressed us by name and very few of the staff seemed genuine. Most were going through the motions. Room Service was inefficient and one occasion my wife asked for soup from The Colonnade menu only to be told "we don't do that" The cocktails were inconsistent depending on where you ordered them from. The barman at the bar on deck 5 was by far the best at his job and very friendly. Poolside cocktails were hit & miss, although dinner there seemed to be ok given that ones' expectations are not that high for a poolside event. Entertainment at the bars on decks 5 &10 was slow and at times extra slow. The dress code in the evening fell short by some guests, but that may be a good thing for some who prefer a more casual environment. Excursions were OK albeit a bit expensive. Disembarkation was painless, however you got the feeling that they wanted you off the ship the day before. One really noticeable fact was that a lot of attention was given to some regulars and if you did not fit that profile....well you work it out. The overall experience was fair to average and that is because some of the staff made up for the shortcomings of others. Food, OK but not what the marketing department tells you. Are we going to travel Seabourn again? Hmmmm, maybe if the service becomes a bit more personal. Silversea and Oceania were better. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have been on many cruises on a number of other lines, but never on Seabourn. We have wanted to try them and this itinerary provided us this opportunity for the time period we wanted to vacation at a cost we felt was reasonable for a ... Read More
We have been on many cruises on a number of other lines, but never on Seabourn. We have wanted to try them and this itinerary provided us this opportunity for the time period we wanted to vacation at a cost we felt was reasonable for a luxury product. From the moment we reached the cruise terminal until we disembarked, we were wowed by the thoughtful, personal service and unexpected small pleasant touches. Our cab was met by a person in a Seabourn shirt; he took our luggage and checked us in with someone who marked it and then escorted us in to the terminal and gave our luggage to another for processing. We were then shown the way to check-in. There was no line and we were soon on our way to lunch. As we entered for lunch there was a crew member who offered to check our hand luggage so we didn't have to deal with it; he tagged it and gave us the claim check. Delightful to not have bags all over the place. All suites were ready at 2PM, exactly as promised. Our luggage arrived shortly after. Painless. Service was seamless in the dining venues, with only one time in the Restaurant where dinner dragged a bit. But, our fellow passengers were so much fun, it really didn't bother us. In the Navigation Lounge we had a drink after the muster drill. The next night we walked in and our server greeted us by asking if we want " and recited exactly what we had the night before" down to how many ice cubes I requested! If I had the same server at breakfast, she always called me by name after the first time and remembered I drank decaf. This was true of everyone we encountered. Even the head of all dining venues asked if we had made reservations in R2 after the 3rd day and when I said "no not yet" he immediately said he would do it for us and did. All the officers were actively involved in making sure the guests were having a good time and well taken care of. Our cabin Stewardess was the best we have ever had in all our cruises. She could not do enough for us. She showed up shortly after we arrived with a selection of soaps for us. She took our order for what liquor and wine we wanted for our bar and asked about any special needs or requests. She chatted with us and in no way appeared to be in a hurry. She talked about getting to know our schedule, etc. and she did. She was always cheerful, helpful and genuine. She left special things for us in the cabin and helped me when I injured my ankle by getting me ice bags several times a day. Food is very subjective. I personally feel that Oceania has the best food at sea, both in selection and quality. Sojourn did not have as much variety, but the ship is smaller. Personally I felt some of the food seemed a bit contrived at times, but again that is my opinion. It was still good. A plus is that you can order from any of the restaurants at dinner and have the meal served in your suite. When we ordered room service for breakfast the night before, it was always there promptly. Hot items were hot - even the toasted bagel. We took a few Seabourn port excursions and found them to be good to very good. We had an excellent guide on two of them. From a price standpoint, there are not inexpensive, but still less than on some other lines. What is nice is that they are ala carte, so it is your choice. In our cabin was a lovely small paperback book about the two main countries we visited. It was most helpful detailing information about the country, areas and ports were were visiting. Also, we were each provided with a small diary we could have to carry with us for notes. Another thoughtful touch. There were three "conversationalists" on board that each spoke three times. I attended most of the sessions and found them interesting and well spoken. One day all three were together and moderated by the CD. There were the other regular activities, such as Trivia, bridge lessons, spa lectures, etc. Seabourn Square is where many people meet for coffee, to read and so forth. Another touch I particularly like is the lack of PA announcements. Other than muster and crew drills, there is basically one announcement a day; if at sea, it's the captain's noon status and, if in port, it's the captain's announcement that we are departing. Only the muster and crew/emergency drills come in to the cabin. We attended only a couple of the entertainment evenings and enjoyed them. There was quite a variety. I did not rate them, though, on such a small sample. Disembarkation was a breeze. No announcements. You just get off the ship when your letter tells you to. Unfortunately, I had an minor accident and needed a wheel chair because of the long distance. I was well taken care of. (Note: the Medical Department was excellent) My husband and I both enjoyed this smaller ship, the well traveled, friendly people we met and the high level of service we experienced. We will not hesitate to book another Seabourn cruise when they have an itinerary of interest. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My wife and I undertook our 5th cruise on Seabourn, this time on Sojourn to Myanmar where we spent 4 days and 3 nights. The cruise was excellent in every respect. We have travelled on Silversea, Oceania, Cunard, Princess and Crystal, and ... Read More
My wife and I undertook our 5th cruise on Seabourn, this time on Sojourn to Myanmar where we spent 4 days and 3 nights. The cruise was excellent in every respect. We have travelled on Silversea, Oceania, Cunard, Princess and Crystal, and in my opinion Seabourn clearly has the edge. I was able to order a plate of caviar whenever I wanted one ( which was quite often) and the service at meals was superb. The range and variety of food is very impressive, and the wines served at lunch and dinner were of a very high quality. The Observation Bar for pre- dinner drinks is a beautiful venue in which to meet newly made friends, and the trivia on sea days was great fun. We can't wait for our next cruise through the Philippines in April, again on Sojourn, this time with old friends. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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