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  1. Thanks, Isklaar, SLSD, cruiseej, Hlitner and Markham, brittany12. I appreciate your responses. It’s great to have a community on CC that will share their personal experiences. We don’t lounge around the pool a lot, but I can think of one pet peeve I’ve observed on every cruise ship and resort I’ve been to with a pool. It wasn’t as bad on the Ovation this summer, maybe because the ship was only half full. That is people who put a bag, book or towel on a lounge chair and then leave for hours. I’m sure it’s difficult for the staff to monitor this. I also don’t understand people who don’t remove their used towel when they leave for the day, so the staff has to do this chore. It was really hot and humid a couple of days out on the pool deck. I felt sorry for the staff, wearing hot masks, having to do this extra job when passengers could easily do it themselves. so yes, Brittany, even though the ship was only half full, it was still sometimes difficult to find a lounge chair.
  2. Well, when I say that the Seabourn cruise was the most fun I’ve had in my life, I think it’s because it was so easy to access joy😶. By that, I mean, we got to get dressed up every evening and go “out” without worrying about driving or whether or not we had a few drinks. We could walk just outside our suite and have access to just about any food or drink we wanted. We had our choice of great dining venues, within walking distance. We got to attend an elegant sailaway party just about every day. We got to dance to excellent live music under the moon and stars and be entertained nightly. And everything was included, so there were no worries about piling on expenses. It was the perfect vacation. For my friends who don’t believe they’d like a cruise because they’re picturing a huge megaship with tacky shows and buffets, they won’t understand until they’ve actually experienced the Seabourn difference.
  3. Thanks Isklaar and SLSD for your detailed replies. We had been scheduled to be on the Odyssey in June 2020, but due to Covid, that cruise was cancelled. When the chance to sail the Greek Islands came up this summer on the Ovation, we jumped on it. I was a bit disappointed that our cruise was not going to be on the Odyssey, because I knew it was smaller than the Ovation. Now that we’ve been on the Ovation, that’s our baseline for comparison. No doubt our experience was enhanced by the fact that the ship was only half full. We really liked being able to have pre-dinner drinks in the TK Grill Bar with piano player, but also valued being able to choose the Pool Bar, Observation Bar or the Club, as well. The small bites offered in the Club bar were great. The live music was top-notch. Not specific to Ovation, but a huge, huge bonus was not having to wear a mask on the ship for 2 weeks We were originally assigned a V4 suite but were moved up to a suite right next to the pool deck on Deck 9, which we really appreciated. It was super-easy to go out to the pool bar or the Patio for drinks or lunch. I wasn’t too impressed with the MDR. I thought it felt too large, cold and impersonal. Maybe it was the lighting? The food was good though. We enjoyed the coffee bar in Seabourn Square, the food in the TK Grill, but we had a couple awful dinners at the Patio, which is too bad because it’s a lovely outdoor setting. Everyone on the staff was amazingly friendly and helpful. We are now loyal Seabourn cruisers. We doubt any other line would come close to being as perfect for us. As I told my husband, “That cruise was the most fun I’ve had IN MY LIFE”, and we are 70! I’m sure we will enjoy another cruise on ANY Seabourn ship.
  4. We experienced our first Seabourn cruise this August. We did the 14-day Greek islands itinerary on the Ovation. We loved the ship. Now we are thinking about doing another Seabourn cruise next summer in the area of Spain/Portugal and Italy. Most of the itineraries in that region are on the Sojourn. I’d love to hear any feedback/opinions from those of you who’ve sailed on both ships. What are the differences? Which ship do you prefer? Thanks!
  5. We never had to show our Passenger Locator Form after leaving the airport in Greece upon our arrival from the US. Our cruise was 8/14-8/28. We spent 2 days in Athens prior to the cruise. Our travel agent told us we only had to list our Athens hotel as our destination in Greece. At the airport, they just glanced at the form. We held onto the PLF form until the we returned to the US. No one ever asked to see the form after our airport arrival. I hope that answers your question.
  6. You’re welcome, Cruiser, Just remember, compared to the dry Arizona heat, looser clothing feels better due to the humidity. That’s probably why a lot of women I saw in Greece, both tourists and locals alike, wearing short and long linen dresses. I house sat for a friend who lives in Pebble Creek in Goodyear, AZ, and I remember the dry heat was intense and extended well into November. As for Greece, the first ten days of our 14 day cruise were hot, but not too humid. The last four or five days were extremely humid.
  7. Hi Jill, It was great getting to know you, too. The cruise exceeded all my expectations. If only we didn’t have to endure the long travel to an from. I saw a lot of women wearing shorts in port, even at the monastery in Patmos. Living in Seattle, I don’t wear shorts much anyway. And, unlike Jill 😊, I don’t have the legs for them!
  8. I just returned from 2 weeks on the Ovation. I benefited from the advice of others of what to pack, what was in the suite, etc. from CC. I think what and how much to pack is such a personal decision. I checked one regular size rolling bag without a hairdryer and had clothes I never wore. My sister packed 2 bags and felt she didn’t bring enough clothing options. I have longish curly hair and only use the hairdryer to dry, not style my hair. I use a travel size flat iron for that purpose. Jeni is correct that the dryer can be used anywhere in the suite and has a concentrator attachment. I think the hairdryer is adequate for most people. I agree with nolatravelgirl that I’d rather bring another pair of shoes! BTW, I’m a dress vs shorts girl, and I never wore the 1 pair of shorts I brought. The women in Greece, and many on the ship, tend to wear long, flowy dresses due to the heat and humidity. Going without panties was a amusing topic of discussion, too!
  9. I feel guilty for whining above about our negative travel experience because I just heard on CNN how people are suffering in Louisiana. No AC, heat index of 100 degrees. I feel grateful to have been able to enjoy such a wonderful time in Greece!
  10. I should add that other reason our flying experience was stressful had nothing to do with the cabin we were in or whether we had access to a special lounge. We had upgraded seats, too, and the onboard experience was fine. We had access to a specialty lounge, but no time to use it. Our flight from Seattle to Dulles was delayed so much that if the Dulles-Athens flight left on time, we’d miss it. In Seattle, the United agent at baggage check was inexperienced and flustered. She sent us to a long line for an Alaska Air flight to Newark. By the time we got to the front of that line, we were too late. They sent us back to United, where we were told to take our original flight and hope everything worked out. By that time, we’d lost our seats in the front of the plane and were now in the very back. The gate agent told us we’d never make it to our next flight because of the seat change. She expressed in very colorful language that the other agent should have put us on a connection via Chicago. In the end, we made the Dulles flight due to delays there, but had to run a very long distance to make it. Returning via Toronto, anyone who had checked luggage had to wait in a small area with passengers from several other flights for our bags to clear customs, which took forever. Thank goodness we had Global Entry. Again, the flight to Seattle was delayed, which helped us this time, except we were delayed 2 more hours due to weather. At one point, a male passenger got up in the face of the flight attendant and accused the airline of lying to us about the reason for the long delay. He accused Air Canada of using the weather excuse to cover for labor shortages. (We could see the thunder and lightning outside!). The attendant shut him down rather quickly by telling him he’d be off the flight if he didn’t shut up and sit down. In Seattle, all the bags were exceedingly slow coming to baggage claim. Our limo driver was about ready to kill us by the time we finally got out. 8:30 pm was our scheduled arrival time. We got in at 12:00 am. We were the last to leave because one of our 4 bags didn’t get loaded in Athens, even though we were at the airport earlier than required. An Air Canada representative sat lazily by and waited until he was approached for help. We learned later he had the names of the 2 passengers whose luggage didn’t make it to Seattle, but waited for us to approach him. Once the bag arrived at SeaTac, my sister was given the option of having it delivered in 3-5 days, or picking it up. They opted to pick it up—a 45 minute drive—but the same AC agent refused to bring the bag out to the car. It’s a good thing her husband came with her or she’d have had to park rather than come to Arrivals, where you cannot leave your car unattended. No more Air Canada.
  11. What I mean by the flights to and from Athens were hellish: Most of the issues we had were or probably were due to the pandemic. Staff shortages at airports led to delayed flights, a long wait at customs returning to the US in Toronto, crowded waiting areas with no hope of social distancing, people not wearing masks properly, angry passengers confronting airline staff.. For me, the most difficult part was having to wear a mask for such a long time. Our return trip took over 24 hours from the ship to our front door. Nevertheless, being able to spend 2 weeks on a Seabourn cruise through the Greek islands, maskless, was worth it.
  12. I just returned from a Greek islands cruise 8/14-8/28 on the Ovation. I’m from the US. The experience on the ship was wonderful. Travel to and from Athens was hellish. There were no restrictions anywhere on the ship. No masks required for passengers; crew had to wear them, entertainers didn’t. No social distancing. There was dancing and singing. Seabourn excursions were encouraged but not required to go ashore. Masks were required while riding on the bus, in stores, museums and restaurants. You needed a copy of your vaccination card to enter some, but not most, venues. A Covid test was required within 72 hours in addition to the one required at the pier upon embarking. On the ship, complimentary testing was required every Friday, which could be used for the flight home. it was such a pleasant, positive experience!
  13. Thanks to all of you currently on board the Ovation for answering these questions. I’m only sorry you’ll be leaving the ship just as we are boarding on 8/14.
  14. Question about whether or not to bring an empty water bottle: I figure I’ll need one if walking around in the heat in port. Does Seabourn provide any, or should I bring my own? Thanks!
  15. Since we’re also on the topic of what’s available in the suites on Ovation, I was wondering if there is a magnifying mirror in the bathroom. I usually pack a small magnifying mirror when I travel to use for applying makeup. It’d be great to be able to leave that at home.
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