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Just off Sojourn - agree with SLSD


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For the most part lunch (with exception of sushi) at each venue looks the same. shrimp cocktail, garden salad hamburger, hotdog, chicken breast, minute steak all with fries... a small addition here or there but basic that is what is served at every venue, They need to get their creative juices flowing for the prep and marketing of the same lunch offered at all venues. its hard to justify walking to deck 5 for the same thing you get by the pool or made to order at the Colonnade. i prefer table service, glassware and my selections coursed out... but its still the same thing prepared at most of the locations.   

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We also just got off the Sojourn on December 1st. It was our first cruise with Seabourn and I can honestly say it was our best cruise ever (and we are very seasoned cruisers). It truly surpassed all our expectations. Dining preferences are certainly "to each his own" and commenting about what one likes and doesn't is free on Cruise Critic. For us, there were absolutely no complaints in that department.We are looking forward to booking another Seabourn cruise in the near future. 

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12 minutes ago, Donyb said:

We also just got off the Sojourn on December 1st. It was our first cruise with Seabourn and I can honestly say it was our best cruise ever (and we are very seasoned cruisers). It truly surpassed all our expectations. Dining preferences are certainly "to each his own" and commenting about what one likes and doesn't is free on Cruise Critic. For us, there were absolutely no complaints in that department.We are looking forward to booking another Seabourn cruise in the near future. 

Have you been on any other "luxury" cruise line before...Regent, Silversea for example? 

(we are scheduled for our first Seabourn cruise in April)

Thank you.

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49 minutes ago, docmark said:

Have you been on any other "luxury" cruise line before...Regent, Silversea for example? 

(we are scheduled for our first Seabourn cruise in April)

Thank you.

We have not been on any luxury cruise lines before this one but Azamara was pretty nice too. Quite frankly, we are now spoiled! But since we love cruising in general, if an opportunity presents itself we will consider it. In all our years, we’ve never really had a bad cruise. Some are great, some not so much!

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Not to detract from the arguments that support opening the MDR for breakfast and lunch, but I long ago resolved the "shared utensils" issue by investing in a basketful of Bath and Body Works* hand sanitizers, especially when they are on sale.  They come in a variety of fragrances in 1oz/29ml plastic containers.  I always have one stored in a pocket.

 

*Here's hoping posting this will not violate any TOS on this site.  Really, any pocket hand sanitizer that has at least 63% alcohol content will work.

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On 12/10/2023 at 4:29 PM, docmark said:

Have you been on any other "luxury" cruise line before...Regent, Silversea for example? 

(we are scheduled for our first Seabourn cruise in April)

Thank you.

Seabourn is better than regent and silver sea. Just sayin

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1 hour ago, purpleally said:

Seabourn is better than regent and silver sea. Just sayin

I would REALLY be ecstatic if that is the case. Will give a "report" after our first Seabourn cruise in April. So far, the only small "concern" I have is total cost of excursions (which is "free" in Regent and Silversea).  

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34 minutes ago, docmark said:

I would REALLY be ecstatic if that is the case. Will give a "report" after our first Seabourn cruise in April. So far, the only small "concern" I have is total cost of excursions (which is "free" in Regent and Silversea).  

True. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Excursions are certainly a mixed bag these days

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3 hours ago, purpleally said:

Seabourn is better than regent and silver sea. Just sayin

 

Lots of people feel this way.  But not as many people that feel same way about the other two lines that seem to not have gone the deep discount route and hustling there cruises thru agents offering deeper discount packages.

 

Seabourn suits because I am a cheapskate and have great on board benefits not available to me on the other two lines.

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4 hours ago, docmark said:

I would REALLY be ecstatic if that is the case. Will give a "report" after our first Seabourn cruise in April. So far, the only small "concern" I have is total cost of excursions (which is "free" in Regent and Silversea).  

This is such a valid comment. It truly does speak to the traveler who is more DIY vs excursions in most ports. When we look at cruises, we look not at included excursions, but rather the ports where we will need to determine private vs ship excursions in our decisions. Any port where we can do DIY is a bonus round. When we look at all included excursions, we see ports where we would absolutely not want ship excursions. No wrong. No right. 

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8 hours ago, purpleally said:

Seabourn is better than regent and silver sea. Just sayin

Subjective.  We have close to 450 days on Seabourn and only 1 cruise on Regent, although joining the Grandeur next week, and very much enjoyed Regent Splendor. A couple we know for over 10 years who we met on Seabourn and had several hundred days all in top suites now only sail on Regent after a few bad Seabourn cruises. Our first 2 post C19 cruises on Seabourn were very disappointing although last one this past July was good, although Definitely noticed cost cutting. 

More choices for breakfast and lunch on Regent. YMMV

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15 hours ago, Mahogany said:

open daily sea or port day for lunch and breakfast. And very crowded.

Currently on Explora 1 and each day there are 2 sit-down restaurants open (Asian and Med), along with the buffet offerings.  Plus they now are keeping open a burger bar until 3:30pm on port days for people coming back late from excursions.   While we remain big fans of Seabourn this is one area they need to step it up a bit by offering lunch in the Restaurant on all days.

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16 hours ago, johng75370 said:

Currently on Explora 1 and each day there are 2 sit-down restaurants open (Asian and Med), along with the buffet offerings.  Plus they now are keeping open a burger bar until 3:30pm on port days for people coming back late from excursions.   While we remain big fans of Seabourn this is one area they need to step it up a bit by offering lunch in the Restaurant on all days.

Of course I couldn't agree more!  I have love our lunches in the MDR.  It's a fairly short menu, but has always been delicious and we like the quiet atmosphere.  

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On 12/7/2023 at 12:21 PM, chuckncole said:

For the most part lunch (with exception of sushi) at each venue looks the same. shrimp cocktail, garden salad hamburger, hotdog, chicken breast, minute steak all with fries... a small addition here or there but basic that is what is served at every venue, 

This is one of the reasons why I like the Retreat on the larger ships.  The lunch menu is far more interesting to me so in addition to my daily spa credit, guaranteed shade on deck, and padded loungers I can also get the room service menu for breakfast and their menu (or anything on room service) for lunch.

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Uh huh.
 

That may work for you up there in your “Retreat” surcharged nest but whaddabout the poor punters sputtering in the Colonnade queuing up to grab the cafeteria food with spoons used by so many others that you’d wanna bring your own and then hunt down a table just to sit somewhere?
 

Not to ignore the the MDR. but really…. As we all know, it’s seldom open for lunch but when it is it has just 3 starters and 3 main courses to consider. Imagine that in a downtown restaurant mirroring a cafeteria across the street! And those 6 items are plated versions of what’s served in the Colonnade buffet anyway. Just don’t expect choice, ok?

And padded sun loungers, you say? Kinda like what Silversea and Regent offers ALL passengers poolside.

 

So… I guess the “Retreat” IS the luxury that Seabourn touts, isn’t it? And it’s for whom- 18 or 20 of those 600 passengers? IMO that’s ridiculous.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

 

 

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I'm not 'a poor punter sputtering in the Colonnade'  and I don't 'grab' my food

I take my time deciding what I would like to partake of washed down with a nice glass of chilled Rosé sat outside in the warm sun watching the white trail as the ship moves through the waters!  

Can't beat it. 

Cheers! 🍷 

 

 

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Ok, how about that glass of chilled rose on an aft deck served with a plated meal ordered from a deep menu and/or a buffet presented with at least triple all the choices offered at the Seabourn Colonnade- from appetizers to mains to cold meats and fish to salads to soups to breads to vegetables to desserts and to cheeses? Ditto poolside, now that I think of it.

 

You can get that on certain luxury lines whose names I won’t repeat. Included in the fare and with your all  friends.

 

It’s not a fair and even match. “Different strokes for different folks” comes to mind.
 

Happy and healthy sailing!

Edited by markham
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4 hours ago, jenidallas said:

This is one of the reasons why I like the Retreat on the larger ships.  The lunch menu is far more interesting to me so in addition to my daily spa credit, guaranteed shade on deck, and padded loungers I can also get the room service menu for breakfast and their menu (or anything on room service) for lunch.

And what are you paying for this 'retreat" experience, over and above what you paid for your cruise? I can't recall the up-charge?

 

 

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3 hours ago, Sunprince said:

And what are you paying for this 'retreat" experience, over and above what you paid for your cruise?

 

Whatever the cost, what I don't like is that it creates the class distinctions Seabourn pretty well avoids elsewhere. There is limited space around the pool, resulting in lounge hogs, while a limited few who pay more get access to space off-limits to to everyone else.

 

What if Seabourn started selling, for an additional fee, the ability for a limited number of passengers to reserve a window table of your choosing in the Restaurant, along with upgraded foods and wine? 

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I’ve looked at Regent and SS. Their itineraries and ships look pretty enticing for sure. My issue is that we are DIY and private excursions people rather than ship excursions. Lines  that include this in their pricing, and for those who enjoy ship excursions, it is a great alternative. For those who don’t explore that way, there may be a premium that  doesn’t pencil out. For some, that makes no difference, and how awesome is that. 
Same thing with the Retreat. For some it might make more sense than paying for an excursion in every port more than an excursion. IDK, but it seems like there are a lot of positive with these three lines that get talked about - depending on your individual priorities as to which is a better fit. 

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Times have moved on and other lines have moved up. This year we graduated to Silversea as our primary choice for cruises. It is the combination of 2 things that do it: they get all the basics right (track, longer pool, several differentiated restaurants with real menus, plenty of padded loungers with attentive drinks service coming to you, and far more space per passenger) on their 4 classic newer ships and there are many attractive pricing incentives when you book on-board. Plus more when you reach 100 days (laundry which is same day, not the next/up to 2 days on Seabourn), go on Venetian- named cruises, and after 250 days an additional 5%. Also, the milestone awards of free weeks. 

 

Yes, excursions are included which is fine for those who want to take them. If I don’t I am assured of a quiet ship whose facilities I can enjoy for a few hours around my choice to walk in town or whatever. At mid-day the pool and track on their own are inviting enough to keep me in the ship, and then there are the Patio, Spaccanapoli and La Terrazza outdoor seating restaurants and the Atlantide (near-MDR) and Kaiseki Japanese to choose from. In the evenings there are in addition the SALT (local cuisine), Silver Note (jazz) and upcharge La Dame (surcharge) restaurants. The complimentary wines are all of an higher standard and there (again) is more choice/ less need to buy premium wine. And lots of space with all those choices!

 

Now arguably you get a higher standard of luxury, and loyal cruisers there know what that means. Its vibe is consistently calm. No need to game each other over “retreats”, TKG reservations, nor guess what happens with the next round of long-awaited menu “enhancements” around ship staff you come and go. Nor do they need to offer fire sales all the time to keep us biting; we would worry anyway about what type of cruise those low fares can pay for when we know that we can rest assured of quality at a level we know well elsewhere. We find that they never cut out so much as Seabourn did before and during Covid, and so all the standards are there. Seabourn has yet to recover and still haven’t. Eg Seabourn still does not say one way or another if they will restore the old Club Concierge (precruise cabin amenities) service… Similarly, the only time a true 5* hotel does that unpredictable and repetitive public price discounting is when they are renovating, and only if they think they can still deliver the luxury experience and original standards without upsetting loyal guests with a degraded experience.
 

Maybe it would be easier to accept that Seabourn is now a notch below. Maybe it is on the upswing? It’s hard to know. This year’s quality ratings of the top lines in each category tell part of this story. 
 

i hasten to add that the Venture and Pursuit are top of league. It’s the combination of ship design, old Seabourn “can-do” mentality on board and the focused purpose these ships deliver so well! 
They are honest and concise products which set them apart in the line and the industry. Eg the idea of a “retreat” there is absurd.

 

That’s my take FWIW,

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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10 hours ago, markham said:

Ok, how about that glass of chilled rose on an aft deck served with a plated meal ordered from a deep menu and/or a buffet presented with at least triple all the choices offered at the Seabourn Colonnade- from appetizers to mains to cold meats and fish to salads to soups to breads to vegetables to desserts and to cheeses? Ditto poolside, now that I think of it.

 

You can get that on certain luxury lines whose names I won’t repeat. Included in the fare and with your all  friends.

 

It’s not a fair and even match. “Different strokes for different folks” comes to mind.
 

Happy and healthy sailing!

 

 

I don't want a 'plated meal' at lunchtime (unless I have my treat which is a Napa burger I indulge in just once a week!  Or the fish at the Patio) .  I want the freedom and informality of the Colonnade at lunchtime, I want to pick and choose and I couldn't cope with triple the choice... there's quite enough choice for me.    

 

You are obviously not happy with SB anymore, everyone to their own and I am glad you have found your niche with another cruise line.

For us... we are happy with our choice of SB and very much looking forward to our next cruise in 62 days, can't wait!  

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Mauzac,

Thanks for the good wishes!

 

We have a Sojourn cruise in February lasting 33 days starting 20 Feb (is that 62 days away?).

I hope to see lots and lots of improvements vs the early 2023 letdown on Quest. We were truly shell-shocked by it. And we go back a long way. OTOH our June Venture trip was a joy, and I would encourage everyone to experience that ship design, simplicity with luxury and happy crew environment.

 

I am now waiting to hear who the Capt, HD, CD and F&B are on Sojourn for our WC sector. We know well that on Seabourn specifically the quality of these officers in terms of my expectations for service delivery is supremely important. This is not the case with other lines and how their ships operate, we have observed; often I barely know who they are.

 

For example, I would like to know what “enhanced menus” we have been hearing about the chefs testing for months now will be offered in the MDR and hopefully the Colonnade. And what’s new and better in Earth and Ocean where the format of smoky chicken salad starter and the same week rotating same old menu has gotten boring. It’s pretty much the one introduced when the concept was rolled out years ago.

 

All that said, and since this will mainly be a warm and good weather cruise, I would not be disappointed if they did not open the MDR for breakfast and lunch. Like you, I prefer eating outside at the Colonnade or poolside if there is space.

 

I’ll let you know.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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