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3 Seabourn Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Our first Seabourn Cruise. We were on board for 45 days, Dover to Montreal via Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador. The Viking historical highlights were the Hvalsey church in Greenland and the Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Sadly, ... Read More
Our first Seabourn Cruise. We were on board for 45 days, Dover to Montreal via Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador. The Viking historical highlights were the Hvalsey church in Greenland and the Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Sadly, the St. Kilda landing was scrubbed due to inclement weather. The scenic highlights were the fjords and glaciers of Prince Christian Sound, and the cultural highlights were Isle of Man, Reykjavik, and Nuuk (Greenland). Good itinerary, but we saw other, more nimble ships making the same calls (notably Ponant and Scenic), so there are alternatives to Seabourn. We were in cabin 826 (they call it a "suite") which is roomy with a generous balcony, but with what we consider design flaws. The TV is poorly positioned for comfortable viewing, the lighting for the table is not optimal, the closet is cramped. The twin sinks in the head are nice, but with a good shower, the bathtub is unnecessary, and uses space better allocated to the closet (the old "R" vessels have dressing room/closets which we much prefer). The vanity is well done. We were surprised that no binoculars were provided (as we had on Silversea), this on a cruise where icebergs, whales, polar bears, sea birds, and calving glaciers are spotted and watched. The common spaces are elegant and roomy. The six elevators run like a charm and one hardly ever waits for a ride, even when the crowd exits the shows or lectures. Tender shuttles, quay landings, and shore excursions were run very smoothly. The food is very elaborate, excessively so in our opinion. Lots of choices, but all of the gourmet "nouvelle" style, with rich sauces and elegantly presented. Plain dishes can be ordered from room service or at the patio restaurant, the latter being an uncomfortable place in the northern latitudes. Staff is extraordinarily attentive - room service comes very promptly, table service will see your plate whisked away as you put down your fork, your wine glass refilled while still two-thirds full. Our impression is that the obsession with delivering over-the-top service results in a somewhat tense and forced amiability on the part of the wait staff. The staff is drawn from a very diverse set of nationalities, a departure from the more cohesive crews of filipino or indonesian origin on other cruise lines, which we have found to be more relaxed and genuinely warm. The captain made daily detailed announcements about weather outlook and sailing status, and the attention to navigation and safety was very thorough. We were able to witness the bridge protocols on a port departure, and everything was conducted very carefully and by the book. Quiet competence and superb attention to safety. There is a striking schizophrenic aspect to the QUEST, originally designed for sailing warm waters and subsequently modified for high-latitude cruising: it is a deluxe ship trying to masquerade as a quasi-expedition platform. Of the 45-day cruise, no more than three of four were of shirtsleeve temperature with clear skies, yet every day the lounges around the pool were lined up with fresh towels (and thus forcing passengers to walk on a delaminating portion of the teak deck, rahter than on a safer path!). The outdoor restaurant provides infrared heatlamps and blankets for each table. The "expedition" complement of ten or twelve "zodiacs" is clearly insufficient to take more than a quarter of the passengers off at any one time. There is an extra charge of $150 per hour per person for such excursions, again not much in keeping with the expedition structure we have experienced elsewhere. A week or ten days, rather than 45 days, might have worked better for us on this Seabourn cruise. We'll likely choose to go with one of our other favorites (Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Ponant, Windstar) on our next cruise . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this Seabourn cruise (actually, three sequential cruises) on Odyssey because our previous experiences with Seabourn have been excellent. As Diamond members, we have been aboard a Seabourn ship for over 200 nights. We noted ... Read More
We chose this Seabourn cruise (actually, three sequential cruises) on Odyssey because our previous experiences with Seabourn have been excellent. As Diamond members, we have been aboard a Seabourn ship for over 200 nights. We noted last fall aboard Sojourn that there had been cuts in dining options and in service. For example, two persons previously came in to clean suites. Now that there's just one person, it take twice as long so staff are in the suite twice as long. There are fewer people serving in dining venues. It's hard to get attention and get served. Colonnade now requires reservations. This time, on Odyssey, we have been terribly disappointed. The Thomas Keller name has provided nothing but terrible food and service. The attempt at "family style" in the Colonnade results in lots of grumbling and no praise that we have heard. The food is not good, and the bare tabletops create a Denny's atmosphere. We sail Seabourn because we like the country club feel, and the relaxed elegance of its culture. These changes have caused lots of complaining ... but the cuts to service - which are multiple - cause even more complaints. As could be predicted, other seasoned Seabourn cruisers, including other Diamond members, are expressing their disappointment. We're hopeful that the cruise line will reinstate its original standards; the future looks dim if they don't begin returning services that have been cut. We don't like to complain, so we don't really discuss this. Since our 48 days are not yet complete at the point of this review, we could only hope that things might get a little better. If not, we may need to rethink our plans for the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
After 10 years of travelling on 4 star cruise ships and last year on Silversea, we decided to splurge and try the "yet to be built Seabourn Odessey". Travelling from Australia to start your cruise from an overseas port can be a ... Read More
After 10 years of travelling on 4 star cruise ships and last year on Silversea, we decided to splurge and try the "yet to be built Seabourn Odessey". Travelling from Australia to start your cruise from an overseas port can be a very expensive exercise, but almost 2 years before the Odessey was built we booked our cruise on the inaugural Transatlantic crossing as we thought it would be a special 6 star experience with some added highlights as it was the first time it crossed the Atlantic. To say the cruise was a disappointment is an understatement. Whilst the staterooms were spacious and comfortable and offered decent facilities, the rest of the ship was a let down. Corridors were often lined with laundry trolleys for most of the day, carpets throughout the corridors and public areas were badly stained (looked like the cleaning product bleached the stains), carpets had been patched in many places (badly and this is in a ship that was barely about 4 months old. How could this happen? We also felt that the ship lacked artwork throughout, furnishings were dull and there was a mish mash of different carpets in areas that didn't blend in well with the colour scheme. It is always nice to see scuptures and paintings around and we missed this. There was also a distinct lack of sofas/chairs scattered around that offered a quiet place to sit or wait for friends. The theatre was badly planned. What could have been prime seating next to the aisle centre to the stage was blocked by large columns, and the timber stage floor was a dark brown flat stain finish that was scuffed and looked grubby. During the second half of the cruise we booked the exclusive and supposedly very upmarket private spa area for a cost of $300. No one informed us that the pool was initially freezing then emptied, the day beds and all outdoor facilities were covered with soot and some facilites were not in operation. We asked for a refund as did 4 others that we knew of. This was a huge disappointment as we had planned to use the spa on the Crossing. The rear of deck 4 had no ambience. Cushions on the outdoor furniture were stained and most days were missing altogether. Much more could have been done to brighten it up. A photo shoot was being conducted on board for the first 10 days of the cruise and paying guests of Seabourn had to watch from the sidelines whist the main pool and whirlpool was taken over by photographers/models etc. Various other locations around the ship were also out of bounds on various days. This was not acceptable and we should have told this was going on as the shoots went on and on for hours and hours each day. Hello -----we were paying guests who couldn't use the facilities. We also found out that the photo crew/models/hangers-on had been allocated much better staterooms than we had and we felt that in the interests of good customer service, this shouldn't be so. Our stateroom was located next to a service area and after the first couple of days of not being able to rest due to metal grinding through to 7 pm we asked to be moved to a quieter cabin. To cut a long protracted story short, our request was denied. Apparently there was no spare rooms. 4 days later and by this time the noise was driving us crazy and we continued to request a quieter room. Then whilst we were at breakfast on the 5th day, our belongings were moved to a disabled room without our knowledge. The disabled room was awful. Our things were moved back to our noisy cabin. Then after we let management know that we were unhappy with the way they were handling things, they "found" an empty cabin. We were shown an identical room on the next floor up, same location, same everything. The cabin was full of the models/photographers baggage and had been empty of guests for the whole 5 days we were requesting a move. NO SPARE ROOMS !!!Meanwhile another couple on deck 4 were upgraded to a quieter room due to similar noise we were experiencing. NO SPARE ROOMS!! The day after we changed cabins, we were preparing to go on tour when a huge noise rumbled through our room and water started pouring into our bathroom and under the door. Outside, the roof had caved in after a water pipe had burst. We missed our tour, we were soaking wet and very unhappy. It was beginning to be a nightmare. Our room had a mouldy smell for the rest of the cruise, carpets were lifted up outside in the corridor, noisy fans were working most of the day to dry out the carpets, the roof was being repaired and pieces of carpet were being cut out and patched with old carpet pieces that didn't match. It was, and looked dreadful. Nice relaxing cruise so far !!!! We felt that senior management treated us poorly and were lacking any compassion. The rest of the cruise was uneventful but the Hotel Manager ignored us for the rest of the cruise and seemed unconcerned about what had happened. Our friends who travelled with us were very unimpressed and will not sail Seabourn again. After returning home we have corresponded to Head Office and we have been given a discount on a next cruise, but to be honest, we would have rather been treated like valued guests on the cruise we were on at the time. Seabourn needs to lift their game. We probably will not be able to use the discount so we have ended up with nothing but a bad experience and a depleted bank account. Shame on you Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
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