1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Seabourn Cruise Line
  4. Seabourn Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a special trip celebrating a milestone 50th birthday. We are well seasoned cruisers and have been on most of the lines except Silversea and Crystal with 60+ cruises under our belt. SUITE: We booked the lowest level suite with ... Read More
This was a special trip celebrating a milestone 50th birthday. We are well seasoned cruisers and have been on most of the lines except Silversea and Crystal with 60+ cruises under our belt. SUITE: We booked the lowest level suite with a guarantee to upgrade to a min cat 3, and received a cat 6 up on deck 11. The room was perfect and spacious. Tons of room, excellent layout, with perfect service from our room stewardess. We had everything we needed in this room and loved the ability to split the room with blackout curtains in half so the early riser didn't disturb the other pax. Bedding quality very high. FINAL SCORE: A+ FOOD; DEFINITELY not 6 star. BIGGEST disappointment of the cruise! The menu in the main dining room was repetitive. Colonnade food comparable to HAL/Princess/Celebrity buffets. Nothing special, too many carbs/starches not enough high quality proteins or veggies. Sliced meats and cheeses were what you would find on other CCL ships. BALONEY served as a tapas? Yup. They also put it out on the buffet and the "Epicurean extravaganza". SERIOUSLY. We paid $450/pp/day to be served baloney? We did enjoy Earth and Ocean several times especially the smoked chicken starter. Fun place to dine weather permitting. TK grill was very good, but doesn't measure up to land based TK restaurants. This was still the best dining spot on the ship. Sushi was nice, pretty typical of what you find on land serving average sushi. But at lunch, due to penny pinching, they didn't serve raw fish. Our best meals were the TK special nights in the colonnade. They felt the most authentic and had cheeses you wouldn't find anywhere else on the ship. Main dining room has some outstanding nights, others it was OK. Just not consistent especially with beef dishes. Our last surprise when it came to food was the ship running out of standard menu items...60+ cruises never had a ship tell me they didn't have the item on the menu we ordered. IF you're a foodie, skip Seabourn and go with another cruiseline (Oceania, Regent). FINAL SCORE: C SHIP: was a perfect size, and never felt crowded. No lines for anything and the layout had great flow. The colonnade could get crowded in the AM requiring you to sit outside during peak hours. This tended to be the only time noticing how many were onboard. Lots of places to hang out and relax. High quality furnishing and art work. FINAL SCORE: A DRINKS: Bars had just about any type of premium liquor you could want. Beer selections were more limited. Want an IPA beer? Nope. How about a wheat beer? Nope. Craft beer? Nope.. You could find a nice selection of complimentary wines some better than others, the staff were more than willing to change out the wine if you were unhappy. Bar service overall was great. Servers couldn't remember what you ordered (they weren't allowed to write it down) and made multiple return visits either to ask again or brought your the wrong drink. This happened in the Observation lounge only. No problems in other venues. Coffee in Seabourn square is excellent. FINAL SCORE: B ENTERTAINMENT: Best was duet in observation lounge, Rachael and Vladi. The lounge band was also fun and played popular music from the 60-80's. They did seem to get a little repetitive in their playlists. CD Chris was prior west end actor/singer and had the best voice on the ship. Wish he would have sang more than twice during 15 days. The main shows were OK and geared towards the 70's crowd. We felt it lacked the energy and excitement of Oceania's ships. Very little stage magic, just singing with no sets or costumes. FINAL SCORE: C ACTIVITIES: Sorry this was sorely lacking. Sea days had very few options. One cooking demonstration in 15 days? Trivia, casino (which opened at 3pm on sea days), lectures or sitting by the pool were about all you had for options. A few games of corn hole (baggo). They did offer nice prizes of high quality. We were so looking forward to the brochure selling us on the "Marina" on the back of the ship. We had several protected bays during the cruise they could have deployed it in, but that never happened. How about the famous and well marketed "Caviar on the surf"? Yeah, never happened. We heard this sometimes turns into "Caviar in the pool"? Nope, Band played ONCE the entire 2 weeks on a sea day by the pool for 1 hour. Maybe a dance party under the stars? Nope, didn't have any. FINAL SCORE: D PORTS: The highlight of the NZ/Australia trip was seeing the Penguins march from the beach in Phillip Island...or that was the plan. Instead the captain decided 14 hours before arrival we would be leaving at 2pm vs 11pm. WHAT? "due to high winds" we needed to leave 9 HOURS earlier than planned! The seas were dead calm when we left the protective bay we tendered at... Like 1-2 ft seas. Barely a ripple in the water. I checked my phone, and the winds were going to pickup slightly in the afternoon (below 20mph). The REAL reason we were leaving early? Terrible seas the next day (sea day) w/25ft+ waves and big winds over 40MPH. We were putting along the entire time at about 12 knots riding the waves like a giant surfboard. Actually most of the time the ship moved it was slowly at 12 knots. We could have cut the crossing from NZ to Australia down to 2 days from 3. We could have skipped Eden vs leaving Philip Island early. Eden had very little to offer. FINAL SCORE: B SERVICE: Employees are the strong suit of Seabourn. Most knew our names after a few days. We were very surprised they could do this with 600 pax on board! They tried to bend over backwards and help with any request. They learned your drink or food preferences. It was the saving grace of our cruise. The people are what makes this ship stay afloat. We felt like we knew crew members on a more personal level too. I will say the officers were invisible most of the time. The crew were always present; ready, willing, and able to serve with a smile! FINAL SCORE A+ IF Seabourn improved the food quality/variety and entertainment/activities, we would consider returning and they could refer to this as a 6 star cruiseline. Until then, we have booked a Silversea cruise leaving in 60 days and will return to Oceania in the future. Food is subjective to a degree, but we have a good idea of what other lines offer and how it compares to Seabourn. I hope someone is listing at corporate office. FINAL SCORE B-. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
It is with great sadness that I am writing this review as I have never had to write a negative review before, however we have written to Seabourn since returning home and as they refuse to accept responsibility for issues then I feel it is ... Read More
It is with great sadness that I am writing this review as I have never had to write a negative review before, however we have written to Seabourn since returning home and as they refuse to accept responsibility for issues then I feel it is my responsibility to inform potential customers of potential problems.. We chose the cruise as part of a long holiday to New Zealand. We had travelled on Seabourn Encore the previous year to Australia and were mainly satisfied so we didn’t hesitate to book again. There was not much availability so our cruise consultant chose a cabin for us. Our cabin was appalling, ( see review below). We tried to change cabin, we were more than willing to pay to upgrade but the head of Guest Services said she would come back to us and never did.( we had already tried to get info about the cabin before leaving the UK) It was very galling to see the Seabourn Venture staff and even guest entertainers had cabins in better areas than we were allowed to purchase. Our first day was ok and then for some reason despite knowing of bad weather the captain decided to sail the ship to Norfolk Island. I had 4 days flat on my back with sea sickness as the swell was a constant 13-19ft and the ship was unstable, making it very uncomfortable to move around. At times it felt very dangerous. As expected we could not tender at Norfolk Island, In fact Seabourn have only tendered 2 out of the last 18 attempts!!!! Why did they attempt it knowing the weather was bad? And why do they not publicise how unlikely it is that the visit to the port of Norfolk Island will be successful? On the 6th day I made it out of bed and managed an excursion but then I started to feel ill. I was in agony. I was forced to see the ships doctor and found out I had streptococcal tonsillitis. Apparently there had been an outbreak on the previous cruise and a few of the crew caught it. We thought it was because nobody is asked to use the hand sanitizer anywhere on the ship and therefore hygiene standards are not as good as they should be. This was not the case when we were on the ship last time. Standards have definitely dropped over the year. I then spent another 3 days in bed, having to visit the doctor again to get stronger pain medication as I was in agony. It cost me 400 dollars through non of my own fault!!!! I have to say that Madeline our cabin attendant was fantastic and tried very hard to help me whilst I was ill. She was very sympathetic and genuinely cared. A credit to Seabourn. I recovered and then managed to enjoy visiting the other ports we did dock or tender at. The food standards have definitely dropped since the previous year. I can only describe the food as very boring, apart from the pool bar at night where at least the food had some flavour. We spoke to so many people who felt the same that we stopped speaking to people as we were not only bored with the food but bored with talking about it!! The entertainment was lack lustre and uninspiring. Cost cutting could be seen in all areas. On a positive the shore excursions were well organised and the staff very friendly. Please be careful when choosing a V1. It is very different to a V6 and I would hate anybody else to run off the ship at the end of a cruise as we did because we could not wait to leave. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose the Seabourn Encore for 2 reasons: we wanted to see New Zealand and after trying other 6 star lines we wanted to try another. The itinerary was great. We had to miss Phillip Island because of the weather. That was ok with us; ... Read More
We chose the Seabourn Encore for 2 reasons: we wanted to see New Zealand and after trying other 6 star lines we wanted to try another. The itinerary was great. We had to miss Phillip Island because of the weather. That was ok with us; we really appreciate the captain taking safety so seriously. The rest of the stops were good. Embarkation in Sydney was fairly easy. The ship is clean and well maintained. The cabin was beautiful, thankfully because we spent a lot of time there. We were surprised that there were no USP ports on a fairly new ship, nor did they have electric do not disturb signs. There were plenty of 220 and 110 outlets throughout the cabin; except for the bathroom. The sea days were boring to say the least. They had trivia at noon. There were a few “conversations” which were lectures not conversations. The onboard entertainers may have been good, but were so loud we had to leave to protect our hearing. The other entertainers were all very good and varied from singer to musicians to comedy. The food was uninspiring. The set menu was always a good option: Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, steaks and lamb. The wine was cheap and the champagne was awful. We expected better than we got. The service was slow. We always had to ask for more water, even after we complained. A few days into the cruise you can fill out a form telling them what was needed. After a few days the restaurant manager talked to us about our problems, but nothing was done either in the main dining room or the other dining places. The bar service was just as bad. I guess, if they ignore you they don’t have to serve as often. The bar servers were uninformed about what was available. Thomas Keller was the specialty dining place, but was a limited menu and not any better than the other restaurants. They did have a nice laundry with 4 washer, 4 dryers and 3 irons and ironing boards. The gym while small had plenty of machines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We were concerned about the larger Seabourn ships since we had only sailed on the smaller ones previous to this.We liked this better....never seemed crowded except for the pool deck during sail away from Sydney Harbor.The bigger ship gave ... Read More
We were concerned about the larger Seabourn ships since we had only sailed on the smaller ones previous to this.We liked this better....never seemed crowded except for the pool deck during sail away from Sydney Harbor.The bigger ship gave more options which we enjoyed.We were 2 couples neither of which had visited Australia and New Zealand so we thought this would be a good introduction.It was,indeed. We found the service at The Restaurant and at Thomas Keller to be outstanding! The bar service at the Keller lounge (and the piano man) also great. The only drawback for these venues was that caviar service was not available .A few of The Restaurant menu highlights included leek confit, grilled scallops, ribeye steaks, grilled scampi ,spring rolls, short ribs,lobster ravioli and lamb shank. At Thomas Keller we enjoyed Dover sole,Veal t-bone,roasted whole chicken(2 people), caesar salad prepared tableside, crab cakes. House Champagne is Nicolas Feuillatte which is a tad acidic for some tastes, is perfect in a Kyr Royale. Wines included with no surcharge included Tyrell's Verdelho, St Hallets Shiraz, Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, Kim Crawford Pinot Noir, a good overall selection.The Seaboun Square which is not on the old smaller ships is a great addition...the coffee bar wins rave reviews. The lectures were diverse, interesting, well prepared and available for rebroadcast on demand on your suites' TV. The "Ventures" team was often scheduled on deck to answer questions when they were not leading an excursion. The tour highlight was a Zodiac trip in Milford Sound, NZ surrounded by thousands of waterfalls.The bridge instruction classes were outstanding, the trivia games a lot of laughs. The main entertainers appealed to us about 50% of the time. We did not miss a night of the piano in Keller's Bar. The one major complaint we have is that when we embarked we received a photocopied revised itinerary which eliminated the port of Timaru, substituting Lyttelton.Timaru is where in Feb 2017 the Encore broke loose and hit another vessel....since then the port has begun some repairs to allow cruse ships to again use the port but not yet. Seabourn,of course knew this long before sail date and you would expect out of common courtesy they would have informed all the guests. It was our only chance to get close to Mt Cook.Perhaps it's not bait and switch,but poor management. Whew,I should really point out the super high quality of every employee we interacted with on this sailing.We wish the on shore places we visit on a daily basis could take a lesson.THANKS! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose Seabourn, when l gave up on Viking(10 sailings) failed to offer any loyalty program to those who had been loyal to them. $200 off, like anyone gets on 2nd voyage was not thrilling. Well, l am back to being a Viking loyal fan. ... Read More
I chose Seabourn, when l gave up on Viking(10 sailings) failed to offer any loyalty program to those who had been loyal to them. $200 off, like anyone gets on 2nd voyage was not thrilling. Well, l am back to being a Viking loyal fan. I have always thought that those who give low scores are just being jerks. NOT SO!! SEABOURN EARNED THIS SCIRE OF 1. Here's why: 1.5 hr wait at airport for transfer after 17 hr flight. 2. Captain skipped highlights if trip, Norfolk Island and Milford Sound. Made the decision to skip Milford 2 says ahead if time! 5 straight days at sea. 3. Activities during those days? Needlepoint and bridge, lecture on Sotheby's Auctions! Little on New Zealand. 4. 2 ports where 300 and 600 were number of residents. Residents if Dunnedin asked why we were stopping at Gisborbe, calling it a boarded up dump. They were right, though people were very nice. 5. Arrived 2.5 hrs late for Totorya, where we had full day tour. Tiur cut short by 3 hours, and when boarded captain delays sailing for 3 5 hrs because of the tides!! Arent tides posted a year in advance? 6. Grand salon has big columns that block views for good portion of the seating. 7. Service slow in restaurants. Coffee arrived 20 plus minutes after dessert every evening. Long waits once seated to be approached by staff. We traveled so far and saw so little. 16 day trip was a total disappointment! I would never travel with Seabourn again. Loyalty program not as important anymore, though l sure hope Viking will launch one to reward their most loyal travelers. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were very interested in seeing both the North/South Islands and specifically Milford Sound. In fact we were one of the 25 passengers who booked the ship's excursion to get off the ship for thee days/2 nights and rejoin the ship in ... Read More
We were very interested in seeing both the North/South Islands and specifically Milford Sound. In fact we were one of the 25 passengers who booked the ship's excursion to get off the ship for thee days/2 nights and rejoin the ship in Port Chalmers so that we could really experience Fiordland National Park and Queenstown. This was the main purpose of choosing this cruise. Due to rough seas on the West coast, this was cancelled. A huge disappointment. To make it worse, the Captain came on the speaker system for no more than a minute to say that we would be skipping this port. [Found out later that skipping this port is not uncommon.] No detail information, no empathy expressed. This lack of communication from the captain was typical of him throughout the cruise. Other reviews have also commented on the lack of the other Officers presence, especially the Hotel Director. We agree. We had 5 full days at sea with lack of supplies. [eg. Bartenders were hiding supplies from each other, spoiled lettuce, no fresh berries at breakfast.] Overall service in the restaurants were mediocre. Poor training. Except for the waitress, Anjde, table 50, in the Compass restaurant who was excellent. Bar service in Club 5 [Artem, thank you] and Keller were excellent. However, we usually love the Observation Bar but the service was terrible throughout the cruise. Long waits for orders to be taken and many times not delivering what was ordered. [This was not due to overcrowds in the bar but just incompetence.] The ship did not staff the Guest Services adequately when the ship needed them to help passengers adjust tour/schedules when port changes were made. And Guest Services Staff lacked information on what was going on. Housekeeping was outstanding. However, on arrival, it was at least 6:00 PM and some luggage was missing. We walked up and down the halls and had to track down our own luggage. We have traveled on Seabourn for at least 80 days and are not sure we will travel with this line again. To top it off, we not only gave written feedback when we were actually on the cruise, but we completed the customer satisfaction survey after our return, providing our contact information. We provided the feedback that is stated above. Two weeks later, we then get an email from the President of Seabourn saying he hopes we enjoyed our cruise and hopes that we will sail with them again. Does this line not listen to the feedback? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose tis cruise to see Milford Sound and Norfolk Island. You can imagine that we were suitably unimpressed, along with many others, when both destinations were cancelled due to weather. This resulted in 5 days at sea as there was no ... Read More
We chose tis cruise to see Milford Sound and Norfolk Island. You can imagine that we were suitably unimpressed, along with many others, when both destinations were cancelled due to weather. This resulted in 5 days at sea as there was no alternative plan in place. The general staff were terrific but the interaction of the Officers was almost non-existent, to the point that two officers standing with the Captain were incapable of acknowledging the guests or even making eye contact. Amazing! The Captain did make the time to speak with us and was very engaging. This Cruise Line is geared to Americans and their needs no matter their proportion of guests on board. We have has two delightful cruises with Seabourn previously and all that was good about them was missing from this cruise. One of the stops advertised was Christchurch, port of call was Akaroa, but there was no provision made for people to travel to Christchurch unless they paid for a tour. The line is no longer competitive in relation to its competitors and lacks the friendliness and ease of them. It is the small things that count and these, sadly, have gone. The icing on the cake has been the lack of response from our review and a subsequent email addressed to the President - Richard D Meadows. The obviously do not consider guest's feedback very highly. Unfortunately we, and others we spoke with, are not likely to cruise with Seabourn again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
It appeared we would see all coasts and important ports of New Zealand - that was not the case. We missed 2 ports due to high seas. One was major. We did not see any of the western coast. We discovered later that the ship frequently ... Read More
It appeared we would see all coasts and important ports of New Zealand - that was not the case. We missed 2 ports due to high seas. One was major. We did not see any of the western coast. We discovered later that the ship frequently cannot go to the west coast. See we spent 4 days in a row at sea. We also went to two small dingy towns instead of staying longer in two quaint towns. We never stayed over night in any town so we’re unable to book nocturnal tours to see penguins or kiwis. Luggage handlers were painfully slow. Food was adequate, nothing special. There were only 4 restaurants. One required reservations to be made before the cruise. It was nothing special. One was poolside but closed for 3 nights. So it was sushi or cafeteria food. On arrival our room had a bowl of over ripe fruit. We had brown lettuce in our salad twice. Room service food was cold so we reverted to only ordering coffee in the morning. They could handle that. The bathroom outlets will not support any hair appliances. You must do hair drying and curling in a dim hallway outside the bathroom. Showers are very small. Entertainment offered was for for the over 70 crowd or lounge lizards. We contacted customer service day 1 of our cruise and have not heard from them yet even though we called our travel agent to nudge them. We were approached by some managers in the restaurant who apologized and asked how they could help. However it was in front of groups of people, so we were uncomfortable with trying to resolve issues in that venue. However the maids and waitstaff were wonderful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This is a nice cruise ship. Before going I had read some negative comments about the larger Seabourn boats. This proved to be completely unfounded,as at no point did it feel crowded and we did not have to wait for any meals in the ... Read More
This is a nice cruise ship. Before going I had read some negative comments about the larger Seabourn boats. This proved to be completely unfounded,as at no point did it feel crowded and we did not have to wait for any meals in the main restaurant or the Colonaide. Bar service was brilliant in the Club and Pool Deck. Overall cleanliness and repair is first class on what is addmitidly a new boat. The crew were without exception pleasant and easy going. There were obviously a few new people on the crew but they seemed to settle down quickly into the routine. The passengers were a nice mix of Americans,Europeans and Antipodeans which gave the ship a relaxed and pleasant vibe. We failed to get into a couple of places due the weather but unfortunately that’s the thrill of cruising. The issue was dealt with well by customer services in my view.They did however take a bit of unnecessary grief from a small group of passengers but most people carried on relaxing and eating and drinking. Embarkation and disembarkation were well run. The only issue that in my view was a problem concerned passports.These were kept by the ship for the entire cruise,however you needed photo ID in the ports in NZ, this was not advised prior to travelling and caught a few people out. I have registered my displeasure with Seabourn and my agent. Purely by chance my wife and I were carrying our driving licences as we were going to hire a car later in Australia. The cabins are lovely with loads of storage and everything worked. The only unpleasant room on the boat is the gym which as on all cruise ships is ludicrously hot. Overall great cruise with some nice people and a good crew. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise on the Encore class ships. We have previously sailed 8 times on Seabourn: 1 Legend, 3 Odyssey, 3 Quest, 1 Sojourn. We had read mixed reviews of the Encore and Ovation, and were hesitant to sail on them. ... Read More
This was our first cruise on the Encore class ships. We have previously sailed 8 times on Seabourn: 1 Legend, 3 Odyssey, 3 Quest, 1 Sojourn. We had read mixed reviews of the Encore and Ovation, and were hesitant to sail on them. However, this cruise featured a good price on itinerary/destination we liked, so we decided to give it a try, and assess the mixed reviews about the Encore class. Based on this cruise, we would book the Encore class again. Unfortunately, on the first day, we almost felt that this would be our last Seabourn cruise. We had poor and inattentive service in the Colonnade at lunch, better service at dinner but miscommunication between servers and kitchen, so the food was not as we ordered. The next day, we met with Executive Chef Joseph to discuss our dietary needs (low-sodium). Chef Joseph met our dietary needs with the best food we have had on Seabourn; low-sodium but very flavorful. We pre-ordered dinner the night before, and our food in the Restaurant, Colonnade, TK Grill, and even in Sushi was prepared to accommodate us. However, the one large dining negative during the cruise was in Earth and Ocean on the first night it was open. We received an invitation base on our platinum status. Unfortunately, Chef Frank was apparently unwilling or unable to reduce the amount of salt in his dishes and did not prepare entrees we could eat, even though we spoke to him earlier in the cruise, pre-ordered the night before, and spoke to members of his team earlier in the day. The appetizers and desserts were quite good. Much has been written about the decline if the level of service with the launching of the Encore and Ovation, and the increase in general in the number of cruise ships competing for experienced crew. We have experienced occasional service problems of the Odyssey-class ships after the launch of Encore, and had occasional problems on board Encore. Service on the starboard side of the Colonnade was quite poor at the start of cruise; the port side team was much better. It appeared that the starboard side team was either new to Seabourn or newly working with each other. Their service improved after a day or two, and was at an acceptable Seabourn level. We encountered one of the servers in other places on the ship, and she always remembered what we preferred to drink and would search if it was not close at hand. By day two, almost all of the crew and many of the officers knew our names. Everyone was friendly and smiling. Our suite stewardess did an excellent job cleaning the suite, even with our changing daily schedule , which could have us out of the room by 7 AM or sleeping in until noon. She kept our refrigerator refilled. We attended and enjoyed the special wine tasting. We thought the sommeliers excellent, knowledgeable, friendly, and accessible. Natalia, assistant sommelier, would suggest and find a complementary wine we liked in the Colonnade or TK Grill. We do not understand the comments by other reviewers that they could not get a properly made mixed drink or cocktail. Drinks were well made and balanced. We had excellent, friendly, and professional service at the bars. Our favorites were “Jimmy” in the TK bar, Artem in the Club (and in relief at the Sky Bar), and Marcos at the Sky Bar. Fillippa was great in the Observation bar and as “fill-in”. However, as noted below, there were problems in the on board selection of liquors and wines. Apparently, various supplies were missing from the initial major resupply in Auckland at the start of the cruise. This included most Scotch whisky, Sauterne, and New Zealand wines and beers! We were very disappointed by the inability to resupply the missing beverages. We received no good answers to our questions from the F&B and Bar Managers as to why nothing could be obtained in the various ports we visited. The featured Bollinger Champagne was not available at the Retreat: we were told it had all been drunk on New Years Eve! (No, we did not pay for the privilege of sitting in the unattractive Retreat, there was an open “Bollinger party” on the first afternoon.) Space on board, even with 150 more guests, was not an issue. There were no problems at pool. As comes as no surprise, we found the Retreat to be a waste. After seeing it on the first day, we did not find it an attractive or inviting space, and would not have gone there again even if it were free. Differences from Odyssey class The Colonnade seemed much larger inside; outside is a bit larger than Odyssey class, but usually crowded. There is additional outside space on the deck below, which is accessed by a stairway; it appeared to be used by only a few people. The layout of the Colonnade is awkward. There is a large column in the narrow main corridor that everyone has to squeeze past entering and leaving, and getting food. The column is right in front of the main serving area, and the entrance to outside deck is through the narrow corridor. There was no prepared to order pasta at lunch, and no board listing the daily fish special. The stateroom lock is a very nice change, since the key card can be lplaced on the sensor pad without removing the card from the pocket folder. (A minor thing, but we always found it difficult to remove the card in order to insert it in the lock slot, usually several times to get the lock open, and then to fit it back in the pocket.) There is a nice night light in bathroom. The shower seemed to be slightly larger, Perhaps the toilet paper holder was meant to be “artistic” or something, but the paper roll continually fell off. Also, the paper itself could have been much better. (Or maybe we just do not like sandpaper?) The curtains in the suite were not as black out but were good enough. The Veranda suites are slightly longer and slightly narrower. Storage is arranged differently, overall better, with better storage including a shelf in the closet and larger storage over the tv. The vanity (?) at the foot of the bed is much shallower, and we found it pretty useless, nothing fit inside and the narrow top held much less. The television is much larger, as is the couch. The chairs are much more comfortable and easier to move. An interesting change is that all elevator buttons are on the left as you enter the car, rather than on the side between the two elevators. The Encore felt more stable, with no vibrations at stern and no ship noises in the suite. Shows in the Salon were negatively affected by noise/music from The Club on the deck below. Ports and excursions Our cruise was scheduled to call at Norfolk Island, an Australian territory, that required us to get Australian visas. We believe the Encore was required by New Zealand law to leave New Zealand waters after a certain number of days. Since the cruise before ours spent several days in New Zealand at the end of the cruise, and the following cruise would be spending several days in NZ bath the start, we were the one required to take a day in Australia. Before the cruise, we looked at photos of Norfolk Island and wondered how we would be able to land through the various coral reefs. When the Encore arrived there, there were 3 1/2 meter swells at the ship and 2 1/2 meter swells at the pier, and this was after going from the planned landing side of the Island to the “sheltered” side! After a while at anchor, we left and headed south. The Captain later announced that the conditions at Milford sound would prevent us from entering the fjords, and we would go between the North and South Island to have better weather on the voyage to Stewart Island. It seemed that many passengers were very upset that we would be missing a port and a scenic cruising day. We, however, have been in the Tasman Sea before, and were quite happy to avoid bad weather in the Sea! We also have enjoyed trans-Atlantic cruises, and were not really sympathetic to the complaints about being on a ship for four days without getting off. As a good will gesture, Seabourn offered everyone a credit equal to 20% of the base fare of this cruise, to be used on a future cruise that was booked during 2019, even if the cruise itself was after 2019. We thought this was extremely generous and not required, since weather-related changes are beyond Seabourn’s control, and really should not be a complete surprise to someone who takes a cruise. However, there were still many grumbles and claims of how this was the last Seabourn cruise they would take. We took two Seabourn shore excursions, in addition to the one cancelled on Norfolk Island. We also took two independently arranged tours. Stewart Island bird sanctuary by zodiac was nice; some birds, mostly hard to see, good presentation by local guide. Many blue penguins on zodiac ride along island and back to ship. At Tauranga we took the self drive train and thermal area tour. The train was fun, but the entire tour was cut short. The tour was scheduled for 8 1/2 hours but, due to the sailing windows resulting from tides, was reduced to about 4 1/2 hours. The Maori presentation was abbreviated and combined with lunch. The thermal area visit was greatly shortened and we found it poor, especially compared to our Seabourn tour last summer in Iceland. The up side was that we did not have to worry about the effect of the sulfur on asthma! Having spoken to the excursion staff on the dock before the tour, they were expecting us at Seabourn Square after the tour. They offered us a 50% rebate on the cost of the tour, which was larger than we would probably have asked for. They made us feel very satisfied. The ironic aspect of the day was that, due to high winds which delayed bunkering and impeded getting off the dock, the ship missed the earlier sailing window that the Captain had changed the sailing time to meet, and thus we actually left the port about 5 hours later, a little after the originally scheduled time. Overall, it was a very nice cruise, not perfect but very good. Seabourn handled the weather-caused problems well in our estimation. Beverages should have been resupplied better, but we still found plenty of excellent things to drink. We have two future cruise deposits, and we will certainly use them to cruise again on Seabourn. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Having sailed and read Stickman's review, I agree wholeheartedly although having not sailed with Crystal cannot comment on that but he hit the nail on the head regarding Seabourn's lack of service both in food and drink service ... Read More
Having sailed and read Stickman's review, I agree wholeheartedly although having not sailed with Crystal cannot comment on that but he hit the nail on the head regarding Seabourn's lack of service both in food and drink service onboard the Encore. My husband and I have sailed over 100 days with Seabourn and were very disappointed in Seabourn Encore. The ship is too big and is not what we expected. it is a beautiful ship but the food quality and ineptness of the wait and drink staff (not all but 99%) was unacceptable and this spoilt our cruise. As for Thomas Keller - forget it. Waste of time and space. The overall experience in the dining areas and bars was what you would expect from Carnival or Royal Caribbean not Seabourn. Too big now and untrained staff left a bad taste in our mouth. So many times when I ordered a drink (not even once a day) I was refused because an ingredient was missing. Honestly. Not good enough Seabourn. So if you are considering Seabourn I would recommend you go elsewhere as there are many cruiselines who offer a similar but superior product and do deliver what they advertise. I have kept this short and sweet as Stickman has given in depth reviews. Happy Cruising Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Beautifully designed and well maintained ship...the very best we have ever sailed on, our suite on deck 5 was big, well laid out and again in good condition. The Seabourn sq area is another best ever, to incorporate all what are usually ... Read More
Beautifully designed and well maintained ship...the very best we have ever sailed on, our suite on deck 5 was big, well laid out and again in good condition. The Seabourn sq area is another best ever, to incorporate all what are usually titchy rooms into one open plan location is a brilliant idea. Good shop too. Great coffee. Service onboard is first rate , well rehearsed crew members are always cheerful and chatty, the Hotel Officers were really visible and actively supervising especially at meal times. Entertainment organised by the Cruise Director and her Deputy were again seriously consistently good. We don't usually do cruise shows, this time we didn't miss one. The downsides... embarkation for us was awful...we arrived as scheduled by Seabourn at 5pm...no meet and greet, vaguely pointed to our suite, and then we had to find our own much delayed baggage....knackered after overnight long haul, and infomed boat drill will be held at 9pm. we felt like uninvited wedding party guests. The Hotel Director said sorry and we moved on......... Ports...our segment ie Java was poor but staying onboard as the ship is that good it was a delight. The Thomas Keller Grill, over promises under delivers, main courses are all protein and nothing much else, the menu lacks excitement and compared say with the Polo Grill on Riviera it really is 2nd rate. Food overall does not compare well to Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I appreciate being treated like a valued customer. Every chance possible Seabourn outdid itself. My cabin was exceptional. Staff was outstanding. I had one disappointing meal in the Keller dining room. The regular fine dining room ... Read More
I appreciate being treated like a valued customer. Every chance possible Seabourn outdid itself. My cabin was exceptional. Staff was outstanding. I had one disappointing meal in the Keller dining room. The regular fine dining room never disappointed me. There were no art events, photographers, or other scams on board. There we no extra dining charges, liquor charges, or tipping ever exlected. I can't stop telling everyone how wonderful Seabourn is. I can't wait for my next cruise. We had several rainy days that made the port visits disappointing but the ship was so comfortable that I was never bored. I traveled alone and many others who were always welcoming and fun to meet. Every evening I was invited to join members of the crew or entertainment team for dinner. (If you have ever cruised alone you might know how much appreciated it is to have a table of other diners welcome you to their table every evening. The entertainment was wonderful! Hugely talented singers and dancers with new shows every night, visiting Ausie Boys, comedy magic that left the audience stunned, and arriving in the port of Sydney with all entertainers singing patriotic Australian anthems brought tears of joy to all. I had a wonderful time with Seabourn. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Having tried Seabourn's Odyssey last December in the Caribbean, we were blown away by how fabulous it was. We like sea days, and decided to try the Sojourn's 18 day LA-Hawaii-Tahiti cruise. We had some trepidation, because we ... Read More
Having tried Seabourn's Odyssey last December in the Caribbean, we were blown away by how fabulous it was. We like sea days, and decided to try the Sojourn's 18 day LA-Hawaii-Tahiti cruise. We had some trepidation, because we thought our wonderful experience the first time around might have been a one-off. No worries. This was even better. This talented crew knocks themselves out for you. They want nothing more than to please you. Food, service, attention to detail, you name it. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give them a 22. It's difficult to believe a trip could be this good. Officers and cruise staff that remember your name from the very first day; interesting lectures (retired chief engineer of the space shuttle, as an example); Food and Beverage officers and staff that can't do enough for you; and the list goes on. You can't walk 10 feet without someone offering you champagne or a drink. Truly delicious food, the best we've ever had at sea, and with only 450 passengers we thought it rivaled fine restaurants ashore. We can't imagine ever taking another cruise line, and we're already booked on the Odyssey's Caribbean/transatlantic in March/April 2019. Kudos and high fives all around to Seabourn and the staff onboard the Sojourn Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
The ship is a significant upgrade over the Odyssey class ships, with the addition of The Grill by Thomas Keller, the Sushi restaurant, an enhancec Seabourn Square, among other things. Although there are a few more guests, it never felt ... Read More
The ship is a significant upgrade over the Odyssey class ships, with the addition of The Grill by Thomas Keller, the Sushi restaurant, an enhancec Seabourn Square, among other things. Although there are a few more guests, it never felt crowded. The food in The Grill and Sushi was great, as were the 3 Thomas Keller family dinners in the Collonade. Otherwise, thevfood was just OK. Our weather was not very good, but overall we still had a nice experience. Our main issues were: 1. Lack of excursions and excursion availability. On the first day after sailing,mwe discovered that almost all of the popular excursions had been pre-sold out, and the customer relations staff were unwilling to add additional excursions despite waiting lstsvof 25-30 passengers, or to help passengers make their own arrangements. We were left to book excursions usingbthe very same onshore operators that thevship used. Most disappointing, we learned that the overland excursion to Queenstown (which was to be the highlght of the cruise) had been cancelled and were given no real explanation as to why. 2. Seabourn has a internet policy that is decidedly not “all inclusive”. Plus, the internet quality is extremely poor. 3. We had a large number of onboard credits, half of which were non-refundable, with half characterized as “redeemable” (i.e. to be credited against our credit card) if not used. When bad weather prevented a stop in the port where we had been able to book the only ship sponsered excurion of our cruise, on the last day before the cruise ended, we were left with no ability to use these credits. In addition, to our surprise, Seabourn continues to refuse to give us back even the full amount of our redeemable credits. So, seabourn has taken for itself $300 or credit that was a gift to us by our travel agent. This was my fifth cruise on Seabourn. I,m not sure if or when I’ll take another of their cruises. Looking forward to a 16-day cruise to South America on Regent Explorer early next year. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We have previously cruised with Regent and decided to try another top notch cruise line that was all inclusive (mostly). We traveled from Auckland, New Zealand on February 4, 2018 to Sydney, Australia, ending on February 22, 2018. ... Read More
We have previously cruised with Regent and decided to try another top notch cruise line that was all inclusive (mostly). We traveled from Auckland, New Zealand on February 4, 2018 to Sydney, Australia, ending on February 22, 2018. Our accommodations was similar to our experience on Regent. We had a nice sized balcony room with a walk in closet and large bathroom. Unlike Regent the excursions were not included in the original pricing but we were able to schedule a number of our excursions through Viator, Seabourn and Shoretrips. We were satisfied with our choices and had excellent tour guides. The entertainment on the Encore was a little less professional than Regent, but entertaining. Our one complaint was the size of the room where the entertainment was held. On the Encore, you had to be very selective as to where you sat because of the position of certain poles in the room that would block your vision. The Encore's staff were very professional and extremely friendly. We did have a slight problem in the dining room. One night we had to wait approximately 40 minutes for our dinner to be served. Certainly not the problem of the "serving" staff but, perhaps, the kitchen. All-in-all the cruise on the Seabourn was very enjoyable and would definitely recommend sailing with Seabourn to anyone wishing to experience an all inclusive cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
This cruise was the February Auckland to Sydney on Encore. It was our second cruise having taken the Singapore to Hong Kong last year. Cabin, service, food and alcohol were excellent but the same crucial niggles. Internet! In this ... Read More
This cruise was the February Auckland to Sydney on Encore. It was our second cruise having taken the Singapore to Hong Kong last year. Cabin, service, food and alcohol were excellent but the same crucial niggles. Internet! In this day and age and for the money we are paying internet should be included and fast. We felt like school kids on port stops, dashing to the nearest library or information centre for wifi. Ridiculous. And the expensive shore excursions. We booked one ourselves - a Rotoroa white water rafting. Such good value and so much fun and such a professional setup. We were about 50 years older than the other rafters but were looked after brilliantly. The highlight of the trip! Despite booking back in November we were waitlisted on one excursion. When it came through as bookable it was $50 per person more expensive. Seabourn would not listen to our complaint about the price hike. And I did find that because it is a US setup, questions raised in the UK did not seem to be treated with any urgency and took an age to be responded to. Customer service! If we are paying this amount of money plus flights LISTEN TO US! And I agree with other cruisers about the space taken by the Retreat. I would have loved to be able to have a decent length deck walk. Disappointing Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (to see as much of NZ and Oz) the ship, and Seabourn service and it definitely exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was great although it was disappointing that we had two changes due to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (to see as much of NZ and Oz) the ship, and Seabourn service and it definitely exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was great although it was disappointing that we had two changes due to the weather. Indonesia was a very pleasant surprise. We loved our stops there although again there was a couple of itinerary changes that were not great. It was our first time on a long cruise but we didn’t want to leave... The staff were wonderful although there was a high turnover as many were leaving to join the new Seabourn ship and there was a distinct lack of training and competence after a change. Entertainment fantastic and varied. Very high quality The ship was beautiful and well designed. The food variety was tremendous although very salty and lacking in nutritional information which was important to me. One feature we loved was the Ventures program and would highly recommend and the lectures were superb especially in Indonesia. The housekeeping was not as good as anticipated and I was surprised to see stains on the cabin carpet when we embarked and during our stay were not treated. The cabin itself was lovely.very spacious for a long stay. The Thomas Keller restaurant was rather disappointing too. The food was not as good as the main restaurant and unimaginative. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
After tying other cruise lines, we happily choose Seabourn, with this being our third cruise with them in 2.5 years. The Encore is just a year old, but still looked new and stunning. It offered us beauty and comfortable elegance. Even on ... Read More
After tying other cruise lines, we happily choose Seabourn, with this being our third cruise with them in 2.5 years. The Encore is just a year old, but still looked new and stunning. It offered us beauty and comfortable elegance. Even on sea days, we rarely ran into other passengers, it was that spacious of a ship with one of the best space-to-passenger ratio in cruising that helped feel like it was our own ship. Service remained the same outstanding Seabourn quality. Yes, we had some new crew members that weren’t perfect, but they wanted to please and do a great job. We loved our room stewardess, who was both housekeeping and butler. For us, we prefered to have one person rather than a separate butler. This way she understood who we were and what we needed, with our needs met before we even asked. The room service staff were fantastic and made sure that my evening caviar arrived automatically at 5:00. (BTW, Seabourn is the only cruise line that automatically offers unlimited free-of-change caviar.) We thought our meals and snacks were fantastic. Yes, we had one meal the was just OK, but the majority of our food was great to fabulous. The chef even made us special sandwiches, for those day we wanted comfort food. Just for readers new to cruising, because of fire hazards, room service can’t use warming carts to keep food hot when delivering ... and that was not a problem for us. Both the ship-offered wines and the ones we bought were excellent. Also, the ship’s sommelier provided outstanding service and understood our wine needs. We booked ship excursions, which were superior to anything we could have done on our own. We had small number of people, small busses, and creative adventures. The ship also provided us with excellent private tours. As on our previous cruise, the Ventures staff provided great information, unusual activities and great support. We aren’t people who expect the ship to entertain us with a packed day of on-board activities, so we found what the ship offered was perfect. We don’t cruise to take foreign language courses or to learn the computer - we’re looking to explore the places we’re visiting or catch up on great books. Our only complaint is their WiFi service. Not only did we have to pay $399.00 for unlimited service, but the ship blocked video streaming. This was not Seabourn quality. Furthermore, on busy sea days, service was slow or nonexistent. In fact, internet was always slow. With all the complaints about the internet service, hopefully Seabourn will improve this area. We are scheduled for a 25-day cruise in nine months. For us, Seabourn remains a joy to cruise with and our only cruise line of choice. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
After an incredibly wonderful experience on the Seabourn Quest last year in Antarctica, we were cautiously optimistic that a cruise on a different Seabourn ship would live up to our expectations. Here are our thoughts – and a few ... Read More
After an incredibly wonderful experience on the Seabourn Quest last year in Antarctica, we were cautiously optimistic that a cruise on a different Seabourn ship would live up to our expectations. Here are our thoughts – and a few comparisons – organized by category: Itinerary The Sydney to Auckland itinerary is readily available on a number of cruise lines. What intrigued us about this voyage was having the Seabourn Ventures team on board. After sailing with the expedition team in Antarctica, exploring areas by zodiac and learning so much from their lectures, we were eager to repeat the experience in a new part of the world. We also liked this itinerary's two additional stops in Australia – including wonderful Melbourne – rather than heading directly to New Zealand from Sydney. The Crew We couldn't believe the crew could be as outstanding as they were on the Quest...but they were! Many of them knew our names after the first day, and everyone provided top-notch service. We ran into a couple of crew members who had been on our Antarctica cruise, which was a treat, and it seemed that Seabourn did a good job mixing experienced staffers with newer crew. No negative experiences to report. The Ship The public spaces were as comfortable as the Quest's, especially the brilliantly designed Seabourn Square. The only place where we noticed the impact of the additional 200 passengers was the Observation Lounge, especially before dinner, where it was sometimes difficult to find an open table. Our cabin was lovely, a little longer and narrower than the Quest's, but the same overall size, walk-in closet, spacious bathroom and verandah. The internet worked well, especially in the public spaces. We did hear talking and the TV from the cabin next to ours, which has never an issue on previous cruises. Laundry facilities were woefully limited, as they were on the Quest, with a laundry room only on one deck for the entire ship. I woke up very early one morning to secure the machines, as I did on the Quest, which seemed to be a good strategy! Many negative comments have been written on these Boards about the Encore's Retreat, and we would have to agree. It seems like a ridiculous concept for an "all inclusive" cruise and an incredible waste of precious space. We like to walk outside on sea days and imagined how great it would have been if we hadn't had to turn around when we reached the Retreat. The Food Food quality was outstanding in all venues. We especially enjoyed the themed nights in the Colonnade. Room service, which we used for breakfast before early excursions and a couple of dinners "in," was as wonderful as we had experienced on the Quest. Food was always on time, if not early, and the hot items were always hot. The Thomas Keller Grill was really great – a larger and more beautiful space than on the Quest – and we were especially impressed when Michael from corporate appeared at the table to carve the chicken. His enthusiasm, professionalism and attention to detail were evident as he moved about the room to make sure everything was running smoothly. The Seabourn Square coffee was even better than what we'd had on the Quest. Yuri and Gabor have to be the best baristas at sea! Our only criticism about food would be the need for a little more variety of choices and more "healthy" options. Seabourn has a healthy-living program with Dr. Andrew Weil, and it would make sense to extend this to the dining experience. Beverage service was a bit slow. It always took a while in the morning to get water and tea. Things improved for us after speaking to one of the managers. The place where beverage service really fell down was the afternoon tea in the Observation Lounge. This was a favorite on the Quest, but on the Encore, it seemed to be poorly staffed and incredibly slow. One afternoon we were really looking forward to a tea break after returning from a rainy and chilly day in town. We went directly to the lounge with our jackets and cameras, got a table, and couldn't find anyone to wait on us. After about twenty minutes, we gave up and went to Seabourn Square. Excursions Excursions with the Ventures team were incredibly memorable and extremely well done. We did several hikes – including a wonderful bird walk on the predator-free Ulva Island, where we were lucky to see the elusive New Zealand kiwi – and a beautiful zodiac cruise on Milford Sound. My favorite experience was a sunset hike on Philip Island, Australia, to watch thousands of shearwater birds return home to their nests. As we stood above the stunning shoreline just before sunset, one of the Ventures team members said, "The only thing that would make this more perfect is if we had some champagne." And then on cue, another team member reached into his backpack and revealed a bottle of champagne and glasses for all of us. A truly class act and a moment I will always remember. We booked two non-ventures excursions: A wine-tasting from Picton (vineyards were okay; an included garden tour was surprisingly good) and an outstanding excursion from Tauranga to Rotorua that included railcruising (really fun!), a fascinating Māori lecture in a forest and a walk through the geothermal park. Guides on both tours were excellent. Disappointment We missed two ports because of weather, which is always a risk on a cruise. I had hoped Seabourn would try to make up at least one of the lost days with another port, but there was no communication about whether any efforts were made. I was especially disappointed because of our experience on the Quest. We missed two days in Antarctica because of a medical emergency, and Captain Dag & Seabourn went out of their way to compensate for the loss, taking us around Cape Horn and adding another port. Communication was much better on that cruise, perhaps because it was an expedition-style voyage. It's truly the little gestures that go a long way to create a memorable experience. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
all dining venues close at 8:45. If you want something to eat later--only room service. Food quality not nearly as good as Crystal & Regent (& even main stream lines like Princess) NO vegetables. No one ever knew if beef was ... Read More
all dining venues close at 8:45. If you want something to eat later--only room service. Food quality not nearly as good as Crystal & Regent (& even main stream lines like Princess) NO vegetables. No one ever knew if beef was farm raised or if the fish was wild caught or farmed. The Grill was the best of all the dining. There were vegetable sides on the menu & the food was much better. The enrichment activities were average except for the bridge instructor Denise, who was the best of any cruises on which I have sailed. Service was mediocre at best. The bartenders were elated when asked for a glass of champagne rather than having to mix a drink. The Ventures snorkeling excursion was at a beach--not the usual kind that take you to an area in the water where there is colorful aquatic sea life The best part of the cruise was the Thermal Suite. The heated stone beds, sauna & steam plus a private deck with cabanas--& it was always empty. Maybe that is why they had no bar service there. When i tried to get service & said i was on the outside deck of the Thermal Suite, they had no idea what I was talking about. This was my first cruise on Seabourn & it is also my last. I'll stick with Crystal & Regent, which are both far superior. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
we chose this cruise because we did not want to drive australia and new zealand but still wanted to see both countries first hand. the ship is not even one year old and is deluxe. we arrived in sydney 3 days early and did our own ... Read More
we chose this cruise because we did not want to drive australia and new zealand but still wanted to see both countries first hand. the ship is not even one year old and is deluxe. we arrived in sydney 3 days early and did our own exploration. the food was very good and the service was usually but NOT ALWAYS, responsive. breakfast was a challenge to get FAST service and especially hot coffee (a bit of an irritant to those of us needing their caffeine fix). the staff, except for the excursions department, was very responsive. the seabourn guest services department in charge of excursions was a BIG disappointment. we could not get permission to disembark at milford sound to dunedin BUT we know of passengers that did get permission to disembark!! A DOUBLE STANDARD THAT HAS NOT BEEN EXPLAINED BY SEABOURN!! since this was an area of new zealand we wanted to explore ourselves, it was a bitter disappointment!! and another excursion in wellington was NOT executed as described in the excursion brochure and it took 3 inquiries for seabourn "guest services" to refund payment for our lost day. it seemed as the seabourn excursion department was intent on making a profit instead of enhancing our cruise experience. dining was very good but not better than expected from a highly rated cruise line. entertainment was good. service was spotty but mostly good. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
It has been a little over 2 months since we disembarked from a perfect Seabourn Sojourn cruise. From Opera Night, complete with extraordinary Mardi Gras masks provided at dinner, daily trivia competitions, and to a spectacular Halloween ... Read More
It has been a little over 2 months since we disembarked from a perfect Seabourn Sojourn cruise. From Opera Night, complete with extraordinary Mardi Gras masks provided at dinner, daily trivia competitions, and to a spectacular Halloween party (just to mention a few highlights) the memories just keep flooding in. But aside from those special events, there was one that will never be forgotten. Our Captain announced that the night was to be a clear one and because of that, he was turning all lights off on the top deck at 11PM. Those of us who found our way into the dark were welcomed to fully flat lounge chairs with blankets and hot drinks. We all rested back and enjoyed the most spectacular view on earth. The sky, as promised by the Captain, was blessed with dozens of shooting stars. There are no words that can express that once-in-a-lifetime experience. THANK YOU, SEABOURN! We look forward to coming home to you again. Hopefully, in the very near future. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We sailed on Seabourn a couple of years ago and enjoyed the ship, service and food. This experience was totally different. We booked 32 nights from Auckland to Bali. The ship is beautiful. The Owners Suite, deck nine was large and ... Read More
We sailed on Seabourn a couple of years ago and enjoyed the ship, service and food. This experience was totally different. We booked 32 nights from Auckland to Bali. The ship is beautiful. The Owners Suite, deck nine was large and comfortable. Plenty of closet space. Average sized bath room. The service was sterile. No personal feelings at all from the staff. All but a couple of the wait staff in Colonnade simply walked around in a haze trying to look busy. Only a handful of the staff seemed to recognize us after a month of being with them. Only one waiter ever remembered what we drink in the morning. The majority of them seemed bored. It almost seemed that they hired a group of people off the street and gave them a one week training session. The food was average for any cruise line and much less than satisfactory for a luxury cruise line. The coffee bar on deck seven aft was a nice addition. The Entertainment was not impressive, but at least they tried. All of the shore excursions were over-priced. The one day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef was a miserable experience. They chartered one boat which held about seventy people and filled it to capacity. We arrived at a floating dock and had to change into body suits to protect the skin from jelly fish. It was almost standing room only. Can you picture fifty people all packed into a small enclosed area with swim fins kicking behind, and in a few cases, in front of them. Not pretty. There were many unhappy people on this cruise and most of them were repeat Seabourn cruisers. The only people to receive proper attention were those who have accumulated lots of nights on Seabourn. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Having taken two earlier cruises with Seabourn, on the Odyssey and the Sojourn, we were excited to sail on the cruise line's latest ship, the 600 passenger Encore. Overall, the experience was great, the crew as always was friendly ... Read More
Having taken two earlier cruises with Seabourn, on the Odyssey and the Sojourn, we were excited to sail on the cruise line's latest ship, the 600 passenger Encore. Overall, the experience was great, the crew as always was friendly and attentive, though we did have some issues with service that we attributed to this being a new ship and new crew. Ship One of our concerns in moving from Seabourn's 450 passenger ships to the larger Encore was crowding. Fortunately, this was almost never an issue. The public spaces like Seabourn Square and the pool area were enlarged, so we almost always able to grab a chair or a chaise lounge. The overall design of the ship is similar to the others in the Seabourn fleet, but classier, with more artwork and more dark woods. Cabin We has a V5 level cabin. As on prior voyages with Seabourn, we found the cabin to be exceptional, offering plenty of space and amenities. Large king size bed, seating area for 4 people, walk in closet, bathroom with two sinks, a shower and a tub - can't ask for more. While the cabin on the Encore was rated as the same size as those on the Odyssey and Sojourn (300 sq ft), we thought the Encore cabin was slightly thinner but longer. And Seabourn had replaced the bleached wood on the Odyssey and Sojourn with cherry. The 50 sq ft, balcony, with a table and two chairs, also got a lot of use. Ports and Shore Excursions Our 16 day cruise encompassed several ports in New Zealand and Australia. This was a great way to see these countries, as the distances between ports would make a land trip challenging. In New Zealand, we visited the big cities of Auckland and Wellington along with several smaller ports - Tauranga, Napier, Picton, Akoroa, Dunedin, and Stewart Island - and a cruise through the Fiorland National Park, including the stunning Milford Sound. All of the ports were interesting. The smaller ports in particular were much better than we had anticipated - each showing off their individual charm. In Australia, we visited Melbourne, Geelong (a suburb of Melbourne) and Sydney. All three stops were great; Sydney in particular deserves its reputation as a great city to visit. We purchased excursions for five ports and each one was excellent, both for what we were able to see as well as for the enthusiastic tour guides. Tauranga - we took the excursion to Hobbiton, about a 30 minute ride from the port. For fans of the movies, this is a must. An outdoor movie set of the Shire. Much larger and more elaborate than expected. Picton - we took the excursion to the vineyards of Marlborough, visiting the Cloudy Bay and Wither Hills wineries. Both stops were great. This excursion also included a stop at a local home with an elaborate English garden, which was well worth the visit. Oban, Stewart Island - we took the excursion that gives you the highlights of the island, which lays south of New Zealand's South Island. Can't say enough good things about Stewart Island. Alot of beauty, not alot of people. Geelong - we took the excursion to the Aboriginal Cultural Center; unstated in the description, we also got an overview of the waterfront and town of Geelong. Both stops were quite instructive. Geelong has a wonderful waterfront dotted with artwork. The Aboriginal Cultural Center was quite informative. Dining The Encore has two new restaurants for Seabourn - The Grill by Thomas Keller and Sushi. Both fell short of delivering an exciting culinary experience. The Grill by Thomas Keller presented dishes created by the famous chef. Having eaten at Per Se in NY and at Bouchon in Beverly Hills, we were excited about what Keller would come up with for Seabourn. While the food was excellent, it was not exciting or daring. Frankly, we missed the tasting menu from Seabourn's Restaurant 2. Sushi offered bento boxes at lunch and sushi at dinner. Being so close to Asia, the limited menu was a disappointment. The Encore's main Restaurant was bigger and more airy than on the older ships. The food, as always, was excellent. Service A word about dining service - at times, especially early in the cruise, it was slow. It seemed as if the kitchen was still getting its sea legs, so to speak. Also, at dinner, if you ordered wine, the wine steward would stop by our table frequently to refill our glasses. But if we ordered water or a soda, we could not get a refill without flagging someone down. Seabourn appears not to have assigned anyone to refill water glasses. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise