Updated review by Veronica Shine – June 2024

As an avid traveler with a penchant for luxury, I’ve always been curious about the allure of Seabourn Cruises. Their promise of exceptional service, intimate ships, and unforgettable experiences seemed too good to pass up. So, I finally booked a 12-day Mediterranean cruise aboard the Seabourn Ovation. Here’s my detailed account of the good and the bad of my experience.

Veronica Shine's Seabourn Cruises review. (2)

Pre-Departure and Embarkation

From the moment I decided to book the cruise, Seabourn’s customer service was impeccable. The booking process was smooth, and I received detailed information about my itinerary, packing tips, and shore excursions well in advance. The embarkation process in Dover was efficient and stress-free, with friendly staff guiding me every step of the way.

Pros:

  • Efficient and well-organized embarkation process.
  • Excellent pre-departure communication.

Cons:

  • None at this stage.

Accommodation

I stayed in a Veranda Suite, which was beautifully appointed with elegant furnishings, a spacious living area, and a private veranda. The walk-in closet was a pleasant surprise, offering ample space for my luggage. The marble bathroom with a full-size bathtub and shower added a touch of luxury.

Pros:

  • Spacious and well-designed suite.
  • Luxurious bathroom and ample storage space.
  • Private veranda with stunning views.

Cons:

  • Occasionally, noise from neighboring suites could be heard.

Dining Experience

Seabourn Ovation offers a variety of dining options, all included in the fare. The Restaurant provided a fine dining experience with gourmet dishes, while The Colonnade offered a more casual setting with themed buffet nights. The highlight, however, was dining at The Grill by Thomas Keller, where I enjoyed some of the best meals of my life.

Pros:

  • Diverse dining options with high-quality food.
  • All dining included in the fare.
  • Exceptional culinary experience at The Grill by Thomas Keller.

Cons:

  • Difficulty securing reservations for The Grill by Thomas Keller on certain nights.

Onboard Activities and Entertainment

Seabourn Ovation offers a range of activities to keep guests entertained. I attended several guest lectures that were both informative and engaging. The spa facilities were top-notch, and I indulged in a relaxing massage. The casino was small but provided a fun diversion. Evening entertainment included live performances and dancing at The Club.

Pros:

  • Variety of activities and entertainment options.
  • High-quality spa and wellness facilities.
  • Engaging guest lectures.

Cons:

  • Limited entertainment options compared to larger cruise ships.
  • Small casino with fewer game options.

Shore Excursions

The shore excursions were well-organized, offering a mix of cultural, adventurous, and culinary experiences. I particularly enjoyed the guided tour of the Amalfi Coast and the wine tasting in Tuscany. However, some excursions felt a bit rushed, and I wished for more time to explore certain destinations.

Pros:

  • Well-organized and diverse shore excursions.
  • Knowledgeable and friendly guides.

Cons:

  • Some excursions felt rushed.
  • Limited time at certain destinations.

Service and Staff

The service on Seabourn Ovation was exceptional. The crew-to-passenger ratio ensured that every need was met promptly and with a smile. My suite stewardess was attentive, often anticipating my needs before I even asked. The overall atmosphere was warm and welcoming.

Pros:

  • High crew-to-passenger ratio.
  • Attentive and friendly staff.
  • Personalized service.

Cons:

  • None.

Disembarkation

The disembarkation process in Venice was just as smooth as the embarkation. However, I felt a bit rushed to leave the ship, as the process started quite early in the morning.

Pros:

  • Efficient disembarkation process.

Cons:

  • Early disembarkation felt rushed.
Veronica Shine's Seabourn Cruises review.

Final Thoughts

My experience with Seabourn Cruises was overwhelmingly positive. The luxurious accommodations, exceptional dining, and attentive service made for an unforgettable voyage. While there were minor drawbacks, such as the occasional noise from neighboring suites and the rushed shore excursions, these were far outweighed by the overall quality of the experience.

For discerning travelers seeking unparalleled elegance and a more intimate cruise experience, Seabourn Cruises is an excellent choice. I look forward to sailing with them again in the future.