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Seabourn Odyssey
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Seabourn Odyssey
Reviewed by Chris Dikmen and Rickee Richardson
A cruise review of Seabourn Cruise Line Seabourn Odyssey in Transatlantic
 
 
 
Seabourn Cruise Line Review  
Seabourn's New Mega-Yacht  

 
by Chris Dikmen and Rickee Richardson
October 2009
 
How I Rate This Review Rate Now!
 
 
   
Expectations are curious things. In today's world, they are rarely met, much less exceeded. Needless to say, Seabourn clientele have high expectations. They have been pampered on the line's fleet of 200-passenger yachts for 20 years. So, when Seabourn decided to more than triple its capacity over the next two years, we were not alone in wondering if they would be able to maintain the standards that have gained them so much customer loyalty in the past. With this in mind, we headed off to Malaga, Spain to board the brand new Seabourn Odyssey for a 10-night Transatlantic crossing.

Málaga, Spain
Whenever we travel overseas, we always try to spend a few extra days at the beginning and/or end of the cruise. We have found that it is a good way to shed jet lag after a long flight, and see new foreign cities. On this journey, we were invited to stay at the Hotel Molina Lario in Málaga for two nights prior to embarkation. To read our review of Hotel Molina Lario, click here. In short, we found Málaga to be a good place to spend a couple of days before or after a cruise. If you were to spend more days here, you might find yourself looking for something to do. There are lots of nice shops and sidewalk cafes within walking distance of the Molina Lario and the hotel is just minutes from the pier. Read our review of Hotel Molina Lario


SEABOURN ODYSSEY - FIRST IMPRESSION

The last time we sailed with Seabourn was back in 2002 on Seabourn Pride (Pride Does Seabourn Proud - October 2002). At that time it was the smallest ship on which we had ever sailed. Seabourn Pride was instrumental in converting Rickee to a "small-ship" fan. By comparison, Seabourn Odyssey is almost three times as large as her little sisters (Pride, Legend and Spirit) and carries up to 450 passengers. From the exterior, Odyssey's profile looks rather strange, almost like there is a chunk missing from the middle of the top decks. But, once you step on board, there is nothing odd about the design. In fact, it might be one of the best-designed ships we have seen.

With the exception of some wood veneer wall panels in hallways that have what appear to be air bubbles in them (Seabourn should demand a warranty replacement on these), the ship's decor and quality of workmanship is exceptional. The layout of the vessel makes it very easy to get from one end of the ship to the other and there are plenty of elevators and stairways to make vertical ascent/descent a snap.
The ship, or "yacht" as Seabourn prefers, feels spacious without feeling "big".

EMBARKATION

We arrived at the cruise terminal about 1 & 1/2 hours ahead of the posted embarkation time of 3:00 pm. We were hoping to have some time to shoot some video footage with the ship in the background before boarding. However, due to the nature of the terminal's design, this was not possible. Nevertheless, Seabourn started boarding about an hour ahead of schedule which was nice. Champagne and Mimosas were being served to guests in the terminal before boarding as a hint of the pampering awaiting them onboard.

With only 450 guests to tend to, embarkation is never going to be a strain like it is on the 2,500+ passenger cruise ships. However, 450 is still more than twice what Seabourn is used to with its 200-guest yachts. Nevertheless, getting documents into the computer and handing out the personalized stateroom key cards was painless and quick. Seabourn uses the traditional magnetic key card that serves as both a room key and onboard charge card. Interestingly, they issue a second ID card with your photo to be used as an embarkation/disembarkation card when going ashore. I am not sure why one card could not be used for both, but the system works. The leather card wallet keeps both cards handy and has room to store business cards as well.

After terminal check-in, each guest is escorted onboard the "yacht" to a lounge where cocktails are served while suites are being readied. We decided to use the additional hour to check out the pool deck and shoot our video intro from there. After shooting at least 12 bloopers and one decent take for the video, we headed to The Colonnade for a late lunch which was being served until 3:00pm. We were escorted to our suite by 2:30 pm and found our luggage already on the bed ready for unpacking.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Seabourn Odyssey - Veranda SuiteWe were assigned to Veranda Suite 618. At 365 sq. ft., our suite was considerably larger than our 277 sq. ft. suite on Seabourn Pride. The suite has a longer, narrower feel to it. Unlike the suite on Pride, the bathroom is located at the entrance to the suite (rather than right next to the bed). There is a clever sit-down vanity area in the "hallway" leading to the bedroom. A small but spacious walk-in closet separates the bathroom from the bedroom which helps to insulate late sleepers from any disturbances caused by bathroom fixtures.

The queen-sized bed is extremely comfortable with a large padded leather headboard, two nightstands, wall-mounted lamps and small directional reading lights on flexible stems. All light switches are exactly where they should be and room lights could be controlled from multiple locations throughout the suite. Our only complaint was the difficulty in getting the reading lights, to stay where you placed them.

A narrow "dresser" is located across from the foot of the bed and provides three shelves of additional storage in each of three sections. Whoever designed the Veranda Suite must have been a heavy packer. We have never seen so much storage in a cruise ship suite! Everywhere you look there are drawers and shelves. We didn't even come close to using all the storage space available in this lovely suite.

Seabourn Odyssey
A glass top table is used instead of the traditional entertainment center/desk found on most ships.
The Odyssey designers abandoned the traditional entertainment center/desk wall unit found on most cruise ships for a free standing glass-top table that can serve as a desktop or a dining table. Two floor-to-ceiling cabinets are positioned across from each other with one housing the flat-screen TV/entertainment system and the other containing the mini-bar/fridge cabinets. I was a little concerned about the lack of a traditional desk since I use my laptop daily on these cruises. After all, where would I plug in all my electronic gear? My concerns were soon laid to rest as I found power outlets on the floor next to the living room table. Another power outlet in the bar cabinet allowed me to recharge my cameras and do so in a concealed cabinet! No more wires strung all over a desktop in plain view.

A nice-sized, but extremely firm sofa, complete with throw pillows, sits across from the dining table/desk. There are two very comfortable chairs wrapped in rich leather on each side of the glass-top table. What is missing is the ubiquitous oblong coffee table in front of the sofa. I mean, come on now, this is standard issue on a cruise ship, right? Odyssey's designers have done something very intelligent. Instead of a coffee table, they have placed a square, leather-clad "cube" underneath the glass top table. A removable wooden tray on top of the cube converts it from a footrest to a usable coffee table. When you need a coffee table, just slide the cube from underneath the table and place it in front of the sofa. When you want more space to walk around, simply slide it back underneath the table. This one simple design feature may be the most innovative and usable concept we have seen on a cruise ship in a long time. Kudos to Seabourn for this one!

Seabourn Odyssey - BathroomInnovations have been taken into the bathroom as well. The high-neck, contemporary chrome fixtures are extremely high quality and work very well. Fortunately, they swivel from left to right so that you can get your face near the basin when washing. The bathtub is large by any standard and the separate shower stall is also roomy for a cruise ship/yacht. At first glance, the shower head appears to be mounted in a fixed position, however, it can be rotated left to right to redirect the stream. There is also a hand-held shower wand to direct water, well...wherever else you need it.

The chocolate brown marble is beautiful and adorns the bathtub, shower and bathroom floor as well as the vanity. Moulton Brown bath amenities are stocked and you can even have your suite stewardess prepare one of four types of aromatic baths for you!

The balcony is large and covered with teak decking. Balcony furniture included a round table, large enough to hold a substantial breakfast, three deck chairs and a footrest. Even though we prefer a sliding balcony door to the hinged one used on Odyssey, we only heard a neighbor's balcony door slam shut on a few occasions.

The real test of any stateroom or suite is in its comfort. The Veranda Suite passes this test with flying colors. In fact, we might go so far as to suggest that this is the most comfortable suite of any ship we have sailed on to date. The attention to detail taken to make the suite comfortable cannot be overlooked or understated.

  • The curtains covering the balcony windows/door at night completely block out the light coming from the outside making it possible to sleep late without the glaring sun finding its way into the room.
  • Ingenious little dampeners have been installed on all drawers making them impossible to slam shut. They gently and quietly close on their own.
  • Micro-switches have been installed on all cabinet doors so that the lighting is switched on/off automatically when the doors are opened and closed, and the latches keep the doors closed and prevent them from flapping open and shut in rough seas.
  • The exterior suite door has a very smooth and quiet latch making it difficult to "slam" the door shut. Instructions on how to close the suite door quietly are even included in every guest's key pouch!
  • The bed is high enough off the floor to allow even the largest luggage to be stored underneath.
  • The adjustable reading lights in bed allow one person to sleep while the other one reads a book.
  • The HVAC system is easily adjustable and whisper quiet.


PUBLIC AREAS


Seabourn square combines a library, Internet Cafe, Coffee bar and Customer Service into a living room atmosphere.
The most obvious innovation on Seabourn Odyssey is the much-touted Seabourn Square. Designers have dedicated the entire aft section of Deck 7 to a combined library, Internet Cafe, Coffee Bar/Bar, and customer service area. There are four customer service desks located inside of a "square" cubicle area that sits in the middle of Seabourn Square. The area provides a very natural and comfortable place to meet with friends or other guests, sit and relax, or curl up with a book from the well-stocked library. There is also lots of outside seating on the deck right behind Seabourn Square. The Barrista working at the Seabourn Square Coffee Bar serves excellent coffee drinks in the morning and there is a nice selection of pastries available for the asking. This is a popular hangout in the morning and they may need to add another employee here in the future to keep up with demand. During peak periods, the wait for a cup of coffee here can be a little frustrating.

The Internet Cafe consists of two banks of computers, one on the port side and one on the starboard side of "the Square". Large flat-screen monitors connected to computers give guests excellent connectivity to the Internet. Seabourn's pricing model, albeit rather costly, is the most intelligent we have found on a ship. Guests can choose to pay $39 per day or $234 for 7-days of Internet access. For us, this is much better than the "pay-by-the-minute" systems employed on other ships. To connect to the Internet, guests simply swipe their room key and type in their suite number. That's it! The system is simple to use and there is always a staff member nearby to assist. But, the best feature is that the system actually works! The connections were reliable and fast! Even crossing the Atlantic Ocean, we only experienced one brief period with no Internet access toward the very end of the cruise. Wi-Fi wireless connections were also available throughout the ship, even though I had difficulty getting a consistently good connection from our suite. I resorted to working each morning in The Observation Lounge on Deck 10 forward where a Wi-Fi transmitter was no more than ten feet away from my laptop.


The Observation Lounge offers a 180-degree view of the ocean.
The Club located on Deck 5 aft soon became our favorite hangout for pre-dinner imbibing. The comfortable leather seating and rich decor make this an elegant, warm place to meet in the evenings. We were also treated to some better-than-average entertainment each evening. The only thing that doesn't seem to fit is the pool and hot tubs visible from the back of The Club. A nice, unobstructed panoramic view of the ocean would have been a better choice, in my opinion. For that unobstructed view of the ocean, one must wander up to Deck 10 forward to The Observation Lounge. This lounge is a very classy place to enjoy piano music whilst sipping on your favorite libation. And, the 180-degree panoramic view of the ocean ahead is amazing.

For those who prefer their cocktails outdoors, Odyssey offers a choice of the Patio Bar, located on Deck 8 (Pool Deck), or the Sky Bar located just above on Deck 9. Thankfully, Seabourn has decided to leave the Patio Bar open from 9 am until 10 pm. This gives guests a casual place to enjoy a drink, even after 6:00 pm when a more formal dress code goes into effect on board. This is perfect for us since we will often skip dinner altogether and opt for room service instead. The Patio Bar gives us a place to go enjoy a drink while our room is being "turned down" by the stewardess without the need to get "dressed up".

Seabourn Odyssey - Pool LoungersThere are actually three pools on Seabourn Odyssey, with the main pool located on Deck 8. The main pool is large enough to do short laps, while the other two pools are more for cooling off. One of the alternate pools is located on Deck 5 aft, behind The Club and another is located aft on Deck 9 behind Seabourn Spa. All pool areas feature quality lounge chairs and rolled up towels are placed on the chairs each morning. In addition to the pool deck, there is an enormous amount of deck space on Odyssey dedicated to sun worship. I cannot imagine this ship ever filling up all of the lounge chairs. It seems that every deck has open deck space with lounge chairs. There are lounge chairs aft on Deck 5; forward on Deck 6 (at the bow) and aft on deck 6 as well; aft on Deck 7 behind Seabourn Square; Deck 8 around the pool; Deck 9 surrounding the pool; on Deck 11 forward, too. I am probably forgetting a couple of other locations. And, where you find pools, you also find whirlpools, most of which got a lot of use on this cruise.

The Grand Salon is Odyssey's main show lounge located on Deck 6 aft. Instead of occupying two decks, like theaters on many ships do, the Grand Salon is only on Deck 6. This gives it more of a "lounge" feel than a "theater" feel. There is a stage, but it is only big enough to hold the accompanying 6-piece band (during our cruise) and not large enough for dancers or performers to utilize. Performances are therefore relegated to the large dance floor in front of the stage. The seating in the Grand Salon is very comfortable, but there are many sight line obstructions in the form of support posts throughout the room. Because the lounge is very "flat", some may also have their views restricted by taller guests seated in front of them. Our advice is to get to the show early and get a seat near the stage. The sound system in
Seabourn Odyssey - Mini Golfthis lounge (and all lounges on Odyssey for that matter) is excellent and the Grand Salon makes an excellent venue for Seabourn's guest lecturers and other presentations. During lectures, there are three movie/slide screens and projectors and the clarity is excellent.

The Retreat on Deck 11 features a couple of mini-golf putting greens and two shuffleboard surfaces. The Boutique and Seabourn Logo Shop are both located on Deck 7 aft right off of Seabourn Square. The shops are surprisingly large for this size vessel and very well stocked. The Casino is located on Deck 5 just forward of The Club and is so small it is easy to miss. There are a couple of card tables and a Roulette table and just a handful of slot machines. The slots require that your room key be inserted and any winnings are placed on your account automatically. You can also use your account to charge credits on the machines for play, a dangerous proposition. We never experienced any winnings, so never got to see them posted to our account. What are the odds? Not in our favor, apparently!

The Spa at Seabourn is located on Deck 9 aft is where you will find a very well-equipped gym, spa and beauty salon. The Spa and Salon, operated by Steiner offers a large menu of treatments including massage, facials, hair and nail, etc. Rickee enjoyed had a mani/pedi for $97. The workout room is compact but filled with the most modern treadmills, stair climbers and other cardio machines. The coolest machine is the Kenesis resistance trainer which is in a room all by itself. It occupies an entire wall and it very sophisticated and effective. I would love to have one of these at home! There are separate men's and ladies' dressing rooms, each with their own sauna and steam room. The men's steam room was very small with only room for two while the sauna was a bit larger.

Spa Villas - The Spa at Seabourn offers guests the opulent option of reserving one of our expansive 750-square foot Spa Villas for a hedonistic half-day of shamelessly sybaritic indulgence in serene and sumptuous surroundings. Seabourn’s skilled spa staff will provide guests with their preferred combination of rituals, as they relax in an airy, palatial private retreat encompassing separate seating and dining areas, an indoor double bed lounger, two treatment beds, an over sized bathtub and separate shower, as well as a private wraparound terrace with sun loungers in the open air.

Read Our Seabourn Odyssey Daily Cruise Blog!

FOOD AND DINING

Seabourn Odyssey - The Restaurant
The Restaurant
One thing that stuck in our memories after our Seabourn Pride cruise back in 2002 was the excellent dining. Rickee has spent subsequent years in search of a breadstick to rival the ones served on Seabourn. Much to her surprise and glee, the breadstick recipe has remained unchanged since our last cruise. These breadsticks are somewhat of a Seabourn trademark. I was prepared to cut Seabourn a little slack in the dining area, this being a new ship and all. However, no slack cutting was required. In general, the food was excellent throughout the ship. In fact, I would have to say that the dining on Odyssey would rate in the top three of all cruises we have been on, and we have been on more than 70. There are more than 60 chefs under the watchful eye of Executive Chef, Graeme Cockburn.

The main dining room is The Restaurant on Deck 4. Here you will find the traditional sit-down, table service, menu-style of dining. If there is a controversy onboard Seabourn Odyssey, it is over the decor of The Restaurant. Some guests claimed the decor to be too "hospital-like" with the dramatic use of white marble and white drapes throughout. I found it to be contemporary and edgy, but perhaps a little on the cool side. However, I was not "put off" by the decor. Much less controversial is what comes out of the kitchen in The Restaurant. Everyone seems to agree that the food and service are excellent here. The Restaurant is the "dress up" place to eat on formal nights, of which there were three on our 10-night sailing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in The Restaurant each day.

The Colonnade - Seabourn OdysseyA little less formal, but no less interesting, is The Colonnade on Deck 8 aft. This is Odyssey's take on a Lido Buffet restaurant. What makes The Colonnade unique is the number of outdoor tables for al fresco dining. This really adds to that "yacht-like" feel and who doesn't enjoy having lunch or dinner outside with the gentle sound of the ocean in the background?

The Colonnade is the defacto breakfast and lunch spot for the majority of Odyssey guests. The extensive buffet offerings at breakfast are augmented by cooked-to-order egg dishes and other specialties from the galley. It should also be noted that the coffee served here, and throughout the ship, is excellent. At lunch, the choices are so vast that there is no way for one person to try a little of everything. The salad choices were excellent and in general, all of the hot dishes from the buffet were exceptional with only a couple of misses that are too minor to even mention. The Colonnade also features a freshly made pasta dish each day along with a Bistro special.

The Colonnade becomes a theme restaurant in the evening with each night devoted to the cuisine of a different part of the world such as India, France, Italy, Spain, Asia and America. Waiters take very good care of you and the candles on the table add a romantic touch.

The 16oz Bone-In Ribeye served at Patio Grill.
The only notable dining "hiccup" occurred at The Patio Grill one day at lunch. A hamburger ordered medium was delivered just shy of rare. A replacement burger was brought to me after I mentioned it to the waiter. However, the burger flavor did not live up to the quality of the rest of the dining on Odyssey. The burger aside, The Patio Grill quickly became one of our favorite dining spots, especially for dinner. In addition to its daytime hours, the Patio Grill is open from 7 pm until 9 pm each evening and offers a small, but excellent menu of grilled meats (steak, lamb, chicken) and fresh made-to-order pizzas. There is a nice antipasto/salad bar as well. A common practice for us was to hit the Patio Bar for a drink around 6:00 pm and by 7:00 pm we found ourselves saying "heck, let's just eat up here." The dress code here is casual, but swimsuits or shorts are never a good idea (nor allowed) in any dining venue after 6:00 pm.

Restaurant 2 - Seabourn Odyssey
Entree of Drunken Turbot, Porcini & Swiss Chard w/hazlenut vinaigrette and Braised veal topped with Mascarpone mashed potato
The real culinary head turner on board Odyssey is Restaurant 2 located on Deck 8 amidships. This is the only venue that requires reservations and seating is very limited. Restaurant 2 features a multi-course "tasting" menu that changes every few days. The blacked out dining room gives off an ominous, almost eerie feeling. As you are seated your eyes are immediately drawn to a strange blue light on the table. That would be the backlit menu! Very cool. The menu in Restaurant 2 can best be described as nouvelle, cutting-edge and adventuresome. Items like a "Chef's Cocktail: Lobster Martini, Watermelon Gelee, with Vanilla Champagne Froth" give you some idea of the boldness of the menu. To even see a menu like this on a cruise ship is surprising, but even more surprising is how well the menu is executed! A seemingly endless wave after wave of inventive dishes made their way to our table, each one more interesting and creative than the previous. Each dish is just a "taste", but there are so many that you will not leave hungry. Undoubtedly, Seabourn is pushing the cruise culinary envelope with "2". We say, "It's about time!"

As if all of the aforementioned were not enough, Seabourn also offers 24-hour Room Service with a very substantial menu. During dinner hours, you can also have items from The Restaurant's evening menu served course-by-course in your suite. The glass-top table in the suite makes a perfect dining table and the food is delivered hot and surprisingly fast.

ENTERTAINMENT


The Seabourn Singers offered excellent performances
One advantage of a larger "yacht" over the smaller 200-guest yachts is the ability to justify more substantial entertainment. On our cruise we were entertained on four occasions by the Seabourn Singers, a troupe of four extremely talented vocalists. Even though they sang to pre-recorded music tracks, there was a six-piece group of musicians, Timeless 6, playing along to add depth to the sound. Other evenings the Grand Salon featured a classical violinst, a concert pianist and a magician. Overall, the entertainment in the Grand Salon was very good. In The Club on Deck 5, we were entertained by duo Claudette and Chris of CC Maxx and also Timeless 6 with Lorna on vocals.  Pianist Steve Garey showcased his extensive repertoire in the Observation Bar.

ACTIVITIES

Hands down the #1 activity on Seabourn is Trivia. Over 140 guests divided into teams of no more than 12 per team to compete at this intellectual pursuit. Remember folks, it's only a game!

Ballroom/Latin dance lessons were offered nearly every day by Elena and Dimitri, the resident ballroom dancers from Ukraine. In spite of a disproportionate number of left feet compared to right feet, Elena and Dimitri did an admirable job of teaching all of us who attended at least the very basic steps of Waltz, Samba, Rhumba, Cha Cha and Quick Step.

Intelligence expert, author and lecturer, Glenmore Trenear-Harvey, conducted a series of very interesting and insightful lectures on US and British Intelligence (an oxymoron?) Services. Glenmore has a depth of knowledge on this subject that is very rare and quite educational. Of equal interest was a series of lectures by British filmmaker, Marcus Dillistone. Mr. Dillistone gave everyone some much needed advice on digital photography, videography and editing. All of the lectures by Mr. Dillistone and Trenear-Harvey were well attended.

Duplicate and social bridge games were offered and there were bridge "instructors" on the cruise. During our voyage, two rousing games of "Name That Tune" were played. Games of Baggo and shuffleboard were played for prizes along with golf-putting contests. Lots of board games were available in the Card Room.
Head Chef, Graeme Cockburn, hosted galley tours and held a cooking demonstration and Captain Mark Dexter proudly showed off his Bridge during Bridge tours. Movies, complete with popcorn, were shown in the Grand Salon. Weather-permitting, star gazing sessions were held by First Officer, Rafel.  The inter-departmental tug-o-war held on deck was great fun. On our voyage, there were two deck parties, in addition to the Sailaway parties. We were treated to a Caviar Apero Party and a Flambe and Dessert Deck Party. Musical entertainment and dancing rounded out the fun.


Captain Mark Dexter
STAFF, CREW AND SERVICE


Let's face it, what really makes or breaks a great vacation is service. You can be on the most beautiful ship, the nicest hotel, dine on the finest food, but if the people you encounter are rude or impersonal it can ruin the whole experience. On the contrary, you can stay in an average hotel and dine on simple food, and if the service staff are warm and personable it can make for a memorable experience.

When you combine a 6-star cruise ship with excellent dining and excellent service, you end up with, well...Seabourn! Everyone we encountered onboard Odyssey over our 10-night cruise could not have been more personable. From Captain Mark Dexter, who goes out of his way to engage in conversation with guests, to Hotel Manager, Vitor Alves, who cannot contain his enthusiasm for this new ship, to Sonnette, our capable and sweet stewardess who went out of her way to tend to our every need.

Great service is no accident, it is part of the Seabourn culture. They have even devised a few little "tricks" along the way to track guests likes and dislikes in the dining room. Knowing that you prefer your steak cooked well done or that you do eat starchy vegetables is no accident, it is part of a well thought out system, and it is executed very well.

IS THIS A SHIP OR A YACHT?

When this question was posed to Hotel Manager, Vitor Alves, the look on his face suggests that even some at Seabourn have struggled with this question. Vitor explained that a yacht experience is not defined by tonnage or guest capacity, it is a representation of an attitude. In layman's terms, Seabourn Odyssey looks like a ship, but feels like a yacht.

I think it is fitting, that a "yacht" is more about a state-of-mind rather than an indication of size. With that in mind, therefore, I am going to declare this new class of ship a "Mega-Yacht".




SUMMARY

At some point, Seabourn decided to go in a new direction and the Odyssey-class vessel is the manifestation of that decision. With two identical sister ships under construction, this is a fleet undergoing major expansion over the next two years. Even though Seabourn’s new ships are larger and more “ship-like”, they have retained the “yacht-like” feel and personality that has become the Seabourn trademark. In an era of worldwide change, Odyssey is not only “change you can believe in”, it is change you can live with.

We sail on so many cruise lines that it is easy to forget the subtleties of one cruise line or ship over another. This is one reason that editorial reviews are so important. They provide us with a written record of our feelings and experiences that we can go back to time and time again to remind us of what it was about a ship or destination that inspired the words we have written. As a cruise journalist, perhaps that is what a ship really is to us…inspiration.


Every cruise line, and indeed every ship, has its own personality, its own character. Even as staff and crew rotate, the ships seem to maintain a soul that evokes emotions or feelings every time you step onboard. It’s weird, but any long-time cruise enthusiast can confirm this. It is safe to say that Seabourn Odyssey, even in it’s infancy, has a warm and inviting personality. It is like a friend’s home you visit where you immediately feel comfortable. You are in no hurry to leave and eager to return.


There will be plenty of Internet bandwidth an hard drive space used to describe Odyssey’s spacious and inviting suite accommodations, her revolutionary Seabourn Square, her excellent dining options, her capable and affable Captain and crew. In the coming months and years she will undoubtedly carry a privileged few to all corners of the Earth. And, she will do so in a style that only a handful of vessels can deliver.

With so much uncertainty in the world, and a questionable worldwide economy, it is nice to know that there are still a few places where compromise is not an option. Seabourn is one of those places.


It is common in the travel industry for journalists to be provided with complimentary cruise accommodations, and in some cases, hotel accommodations, for the purpose of a review. While it has not influenced this review, CruiseReport.com adheres to a strict policy of full disclosure to all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, please refer to our Ethics Guidelines
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27 Comments
RICKEE RICHARDSON
@ROZ, It has been a few years since we sailed with Seabourn, so I am not sure what their dress code policies are now. You should contact your travel agent, or refer to the Seabourn website.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 8:14 AM  
ROZ HUTCHINSON
We are boarding the seabourn Odyssey, from the 9th of June 2012 not long what is the dress code, also are there any formal evenings
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 6:01 AM  
STEVEN
We traveled on the Seabourn Odyssey in June 2011 from Athens to Istanbul. It is a great size ship at slightly over 60 tons. We found it a biut nicer than the smaller 32 ton Seabourn ship. It has more to offer and manageable to walk around. There are plenty of places to comfortably get away from everyone and cuddle up to a book. The coffee bar, library and computers are all located in one area and the nicest I've found. It was the cruise Newt Gingrich was on when e got all the grief for vacationing instead of running his presidential campaign. He looked like he was having a great time. I know we were!
Sunday, July 24, 2011 11:54 PM  
KAT
I'm considering taking my parents (70 and 73 yrs old) on a Seabourn Cruise in the Adriatic (either 10 day Venice-Venice or 7 day Venice to Rome, both via Croatia). I'm concerned about how stable and smooth a smaller ship is compared to the larger ones. We were on a small catamaran in the Caribben near Panama and it was far too rocky. I know the Seabourn Spirit and Sojourn are much larger, but it is important to my folks to not be tossed about. Appreciate any insights from anyone who's done this recently. Thanks Kat
Friday, May 06, 2011 8:20 PM  
CHRIS DIKMEN
@Petra, I am sure that single folks do in fact sail on Odyssey. I would think that the age range would be no different for singles thank couples. Probably 40+.
Friday, April 22, 2011 11:58 AM  
PETRA
Do single people cruise on the Odyssey, if so what is the age range?
Friday, April 22, 2011 11:07 AM  
ROLF HILTMANN
Most perfect review. Exiting. We are on this mega yacht, as you name it, very soon and now have a perfect guide line, to enjoy it all. But I still say that the best suites were on the ROYAL VIKING SUN - a former Seaborn ship ( now Prinsendam). Rolf + Lisbeth Hiltmann
Saturday, October 30, 2010 4:41 PM  
RICKEE RICHARDSON
Susan, you will find people of all age ranges but as a rule, 40's and up.
Monday, September 20, 2010 2:49 PM  
SUSAN
We are considering the Dec 2011 TransAtlanic from Malaga to Ft Lauderdale, what would you say is the general age range for this ship??
Monday, September 20, 2010 2:20 PM  
REID
Further to my posting--I should clarify that I'm a non-smoker and I'm concerned about other people's smoke entering my space. (On Oceania, for example, no smoking is allowed in staterooms or on balconies.) Just to clarify my concern. Thanks.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 12:37 AM  
REID
I'm debating a South Pacific cruise on Odyssey but I'm worried about smoking. It seems smoking is allowed in suites and on balconies and this means smoke floating into other staterooms. Does anyone have experience in this regard? (I've read the smoking policy and know there are restrictions in public areas, etc.) Thanks
Thursday, September 16, 2010 12:34 AM  
CRUISEREPORT.COM EDITOR
Eileen, are you asking about the dress code for embarkation? If so, casual. There is no dress code for boarding the ship. Of course, you would want to avoid bathing suits and bare feet.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:54 PM  
EILEEN
Attire for a Sept 25th boarding?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:50 PM  
CLAUDE FRANCE PINE
what will the weather be on a Transallantic december cruise
Sunday, August 22, 2010 4:15 PM  
VINCE & LOIS CASTONGUAY
My wife and I are doing two weeks from Istanbul to Venice starting August 28, 2010. This article is chock full of the exact information we seek. It is written by a true kindred spirit of the cruising person that knows what we need to know, It gives us a great planning guide to our dining and activities aboard without having to spend a week figuring things out for ourselves. Wonderful article.
Monday, July 26, 2010 12:10 PM  
MARTHA B HENDERSON
I was also aboard the Odyssey Maiden Transatlantic ~Malaga to Ft Laud. We ALL had a grrreat and smooth Crossing ~ Will again enjoy the Sojourn Maiden TA next Nov. 3rd. Thanks for a very well written review! Martha B.
Thursday, April 15, 2010 11:04 AM  
M MARTIN
Thank you for your helpful, unbiased review. We have been on the Spirit a couple of times, but next year will be going on the brand new 'Sojourn' from Dover (UK) to Quebec and are really looking forward to it. Your review is making me wish it was sooner !! You are quite right about it being the staff that makes a holiday, the staff of Seabourn are excellent - your wish is their command !! Anyone out there thinking of going with Seabourn and can't decide - I say go, you'll never regret it!
Thursday, April 08, 2010 9:56 AM  
BILL & PATSY
Looking forward to a great cruise to the black sea in july 2010
Monday, December 07, 2009 5:35 AM  
J AND D
This is a wonderful review and quite detailed. We think the Odyssey is a beautiful ship also. Thank you!!!
Saturday, December 05, 2009 3:01 PM  
RICKEE RICHARDSON
Clare - After reading your comment, we added information about the Spa and Gym under the Public Spaces section.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009 5:38 PM  
CLARE
I have just booked my first Seabourn cruise and it is on the Seabourn Odyssey, Greece and Dalmatian Isles, October 2010. I appreciate your detailed and informative review of ship/yacht. I wish you had mentioned the gym and the spa, but perhaps you didn't use them.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009 5:23 PM  
KATH & KEN
WOW! Can't wait to board for our 2 week holday cruise. This will be our first time experiencing Seabourn.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009 10:30 AM  
DON &CLAIRE GREENE
Just got home from 2 weeks on Seabourn Odyssey, we agree with the comments 100%. We are already planning our next Seabourn cruise.
Monday, November 30, 2009 6:07 PM  
PAUL
We board Saturday, and find these reviews wonderful teasers for the delights ahead. Yours is by far the most thorough and accessible that we've read. Congratulations -- and thanks!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 12:13 PM  
AJ
Fab review! We have friends currently onboard Odyssey for her maiden Caribbean Cruise and can't wait to hear their stories too! We're firm fans of the Triplets so time will tell if we're tempted by their bigger sister
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 11:58 AM  
ALFA
Excellent review, honest, unemotional and professional. Well done and well observed
Monday, November 23, 2009 7:46 PM  
WAYNE
This is the best information I have ever seen. You have described in an easy to understand language. With this description you will knoow everything that is going to happen. You really make it inviting. You can plan every thing you want to do before you sail. Thank you for a great article
Sunday, November 22, 2009 8:33 AM  
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