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Seabourn Cruise Line: Seabourn Odyssey

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Seabourn Odyssey Review

The first new ship to enter the Seabourn fleet in over two decades, Seabourn Odyssey was launched in 2009, one of three vessels to bring the line into the 21st century. A pair of virtually identical sister ships followed, making Seabourn Cruise Line’s fleet a pair of triplets—with the newer trio of mega-yachts carrying twice the number of passengers of the older class. One of the ship’s unusual features is Seabourn Square, a “living room” that replaces the traditional cruise ship lobby with a lounge furnished with easy chairs, sofas, and cocktail tables. A central enclave houses concierges at individual desks.

As the first new class of ultraluxurious ships to be introduced in nearly a decade, Seabourn Odyssey and her sister ships promise to continue the line’s tradition of understated elegance and signature features in a larger setting. With more space, there are more pools, more hot tubs, and a two-deck spa. The specialty dining room gets its own dedicated space, and there’s more room to spread out on deck and in gracious public lounges indoors. As on the trio of smaller Seabourn vessels, there is a Club bar for predinner cocktails and an observation lounge affording expansive sea views. New for the larger ships is a spacious show lounge with a proper stage for entertainment. When the water-sports marina is extended, there’s even a third swimming option—an enclosed in-sea "pool" with teak deck.

Seabourn was founded on the principle that dedication to personal service in elegant surroundings would appeal to sophisticated, independent-minded passengers whose lifestyles demand the best. Lovingly maintained since their introduction in 1987—and routinely updated with new features—the original megayachts of Seabourn and their new fleetmates have proved to be a smashing success over the years. They remain favorites with people who can take care of themselves but would rather do so aboard a ship that caters to their individual preferences.

Recognized as a leader in small-ship, luxury cruising, Seabourn delivers all the expected extras—complimentary wines and spirits, a stocked minibar in all suites, and elegant amenities. Expect the unexpected as well—from exclusive travel-document portfolios and luggage tags to the pleasure of a complimentary mini-massage while lounging at the pool. If you don't want to lift a finger, Seabourn will even arrange to have your luggage picked up at home and delivered directly to your suite—for a price.

Peace and tranquility reign on these ships, so the daily roster of events is somewhat thin. Wine tastings, lectures, and other quiet pursuits might be scheduled, but most passengers are satisfied to simply do what pleases them. One don't-miss activity is the daily team trivia contest. Prizes are unimportant: it's the bragging rights that most guests seek.

Although the trio of original Seabourn ships has been upgraded over the years, the line launched a newer set of larger, even more luxurious triplets that were introduced in 2009 (Seabourn Odyssey), 2010 (Seabourn Sojourn), and 2011 (Seabourn Quest). At this writing there is no word about when (or if) the original megayachts will be retired.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Kayaks, waterskiing, and other complimentary water toys are available at the fold-down marina when the ships are at anchor
  • The fully equipped gym has a Kinesis Wall, an innovative method of exercise utilizing a pulley-and-cable system
  • There is never a cover charge for specialty dining

Cons

  • Choose your suite location carefully—not all balconies are equal, even within the same category
  • Although the spa is opulent, it’s still operated by Steiner, which operates spas on most cruise ships
  • Past passengers take a proprietary interest in the ships and may seem cliquish to newcomers
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 330
  • Entered Service 2009
  • Gross Tons 32,000
  • Length 650 feet
  • Number of Cabins 225
  • Passenger Capacity 450
  • Width 84 feet
  • New

Jul 20, 2013

Istanbul to Venice

We took our first spontaneous cruise in the Caribbean aboard the Seaborne Spirit and were so impressed we booked a longer cruise in the Med. It was a wonderful experience, the level of service was unrelentingly high, nothing seemed too much trouble. We have been happily hooked, in the fishing sense. The standard of food was overall very good in all the retaurants, we had one poor meal, foie gras that was grey and mushy but they worked unrelentingly

to make up for it. Plenty of food variety, wonderful ingredients varied cuisines, including good old British traditionals such as tikka masala and fish and chips, all beautifully executed. Maybe, just maybe Restaurant 2, which serves a slightly pretentious weekly tasting menu, would do better cast as an Asian fusion restaurant. The house chardonnay was Stags Leap, that costs about $30 a bottle in the supermarket, other house wines were almost as impressive. One Aussie beer connoisseur wanted the local beer in various ports of call so they brought it onboard. We booked at the last minute on a fully booked cruise so we ended up paying top dollar for a room next to the bar. The soundproofing was first class and we weren't overly bothered by noise and it was a short trip to the bar afterall. Maid service was prompt, personal, and very attentive,.We came back to our room on the night of our anniversary and it was done out with red rose petals, balloons and swan shaped towels on the bed, bless her, its the thought that counts. The bathroom was always squeaky clean, but the sheep skin style bathmant got a bit smelly at times. Also we needed to ask for more Molton Brown shower gel at times as it ran out; we took none home, I promise. Clean, crispy, fine linen, a beautifully appointed room, there seemed little point in reserving a state room / penthouse. How do they maintain these standards? Entertainment was a revelation, the ship seemed to be bursting with talent and the shows were truly spectacular, especially the singing.The ballroom / modern dancing couple were great and worked with the singers to produce some fantastic shows. The added bonus was that the entertainers clearly loved their job, joining in the singing spontaneously at times. In fact with the food, the wine, the entertainment and overall luxury I must confess to a twinge of guilt as we lay at anchor in recession ridden Greece; it soon passed though. By and large the excursions were okay. In truth Greek Islands can get a bit samie. Clearly, the Seaborne no tipping policy doesn't extend to outside tour operators, although no-one pushed for a tip. The standard of guides was generally good. I would pick out the trips to Ephesus, and Olympia as outstanding. The Acropolis was a building site which was a disappointment. All Seaborne excursions seem to be monitored by their personel who accompanied us, which we thought was very impressive. The only total waste of money was the iPod tour of Dubrovnik, a fantastic city best seen without this irritation in your ear. It exceeded all our expectations, we were worried Seaborne couldn't do it on a bigger ship but they did. Niggles, well there were just one or two. The second was the more serious. Seaborne isn't for young families, we are in our 60's and prefer the older demographic, we just booked a week too late and had a lot of youngsters in the second week of the cruise. What we didn't approve of however was kids in diapers in the swimming pool. It was prohibited but not enforced and it should have been. Apart from that though, it was a fantastic experience, we have no intentions of cruising with anyone but Seaborne.

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  • New

Mar 11, 2013

MEDITERRANEAN

Specifically booked quiet cabin as recovering from broken arm. Given cabin under pool bar where clearing up and clanking barrels and bottles went on until the early hours of every morning and started again around 6am. Also had a leaking shower for period of the cruise. Asked for different cabin. Refused and told to speak to Seabourn after cruise. Spoke to Seabourn UK after cruise to be told it should have been sorted out on board at the time but

to mention that if we booked again. Booked again and mentioned the noisy cabin and leaking shower to be told not really relevant to the new booking. BE WARNED - IF THINGS GO WRONG SEABOURN DO NOT SORT THEM OUT VARIED FROM GOOD TO VERY AVERAGE LEAKY shower and noisy Show was by crew and looked a bit amateurish. Singing as we left Venice was good. Piano bar entertainment was very good Only one excursion to Corinth Canal and Corinth. Corinth was really interesting with excellent guide. Corinth Canal was just a trip up a pretty uninteresting waterway. Specifically booked quiet cabin as recovering from broken arm. Given cabin under pool bar where clearing up and clanking barrels and bottles went on until the early hours of every morning and started again around 6am. Also had a leaking shower for period of the cruise. Asked for different cabin.Refused and told to speak to Seabourn after cruise. Spoke to Seabourn UK after cruise to be told it should have been sorted out on board at the time but to mention that if we booked again. Booked again and mentioned the noisy cabin and leaking shower to be told not really relevant to the new booking. BE WARNED - IF THINGS GO WRONG SEABOURN DO NOT SORT THEM OUT

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