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Seabourn Odyssey Berlitz Review

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Berlitz Rating:

Recommended:
Luxury Travel
Ship Beam (ft/m):
83.9/25.6
Ship Builder:
Mariotti (Italy)
Ship Cabins (for one person):
0
Ship Cabins (total):
225
Ship Cabins (wheelchair accessible):
7
Ship Cabins (with private balcony):
199
Ship Casino (gaming tables):
Yes
Ship Crew/Passenger Ratio:
1.3
Ship Cruise Line:
Seabourn
Ship Elevators:
3
Ship Entered Service:
Jun 2009
Ship Former Names:
none
Ship Hot Tubs (on deck):
6
Ship IMO Number:
9417086
Ship Length (ft/m):
650.0/198.1
Ship Library:
Yes
Ship Onboard currency:
US$
Ship Passenger Decks:
10
Ship Passenger Space Ratio:
71.1
Ship Passengers (lower beds):
450
Ship Propulsion:
diesel-electric (23,040kwW)/2
Ship Self-Service Launderette:
Yes
Ship Size:
Small Ship
Ship Size Range (sq ft/m):
295.0–438.1/27.5–133.6
Ship Star Rating:
????+
Ship Swimming Pools (outdoors):
2
Ship Tonnage:
32,000
Ship Total Crew:
330
Ship Wheelchair accessibility:
Good
AThis small ship is for well-traveled cruisers

Seabourn - Seabourn Odyssey

Overview: This is a ship with a yacht-like ambience. Its strong points are the staff, high service levels, attention to detail, and the fitness/wellness facilities.

The Ship: Seabourn Odyssey, the first of a new series of ships for Seabourn, looks like an up-sized version of its three former (smaller) vessels – Seabourn Legend, Seabourn Pride, and Seabourn Spirit. However, this and sister ships Seabourn Quest and Seabourn Sojourn have passenger/space ratios that are among the highest in the cruise industry – so you should never feel that it’s crowded.There are two outdoor swimming pools, midships and aft; the aft pool is in a more secluded area, although there’s not a lot of sunbathing space, and the sunloungers are of the steel-mesh variety. One of the most pleasing outdoor areas is the Sky Bar. For stargazing, the hot tub located by the ship’s bow is a delight. While real teak is used in most outdoor areas, Flexteak (faux teak) is used in some locations.All accommodation areas are in the forward section, with most public rooms aft, so the accommodation is quiet, but you’ll need to pass through several decks to get to some public rooms. An Observation Lounge, which has great views, is a well-laid-out, very comfortable room. The Marina, at the stern, has a staging area from which water sports are organized. The interior decor uses light woods, tame colors, and suitably rich soft furnishings to create a contemporary, restrained, and relaxing environment, which is good considering the low ceiling height in most public rooms.An area called Seabourn Square has a relaxed and club-like ambience designed to encourage sociability. It includes a library, Internet-connect computers, an outdoor terrace, and a coffee bar that’s particularly good for late-riser coffees and pastries. Wi-Fi is available throughout.Drinks, wines with meals, and all gratuities are included, though premium brands and high-quality wines do cost extra.This is a ship with a yacht-like ambience. Its strong points are the staff, decent service levels, some attention to detail, and the fitness/wellness facilities. Passenger niggles include the high charge for Internet-connectivity. The ship’s ‘vertical stacking’ layout is not particularly user-friendly. The cabin doors are rather narrow; doors within the cabins are of varying heights and sizes, and feel utilitarian. Most public rooms are of a single deck height, which doesn’t create a good feeling of space. There seem to be support pillars everywhere, and many of the fire doors protrude outside bulkheads instead of being integral to them.

Accommodation: There are several different grades of suites in many price categories, although the smaller ‘suites’ are really large cabins. However, the ship has a lot of balcony cabins (about 90 percent, in fact), giving you plenty of personal privacy. Even the smallest cabin measures a generous 269 sq ft (25 sq m). All cabins have a separate tub and shower enclosure in a granite bathroom setting, twin beds convertible to a queen-size bed, flat-screen TV, CD, and DVD player, minibar, vanity desk with hairdryer, world atlas, personalized stationery, and large walk-in closet with personal safe.The interior designers have crafted homey, contemporary living spaces in the suites and cabins, although the walls are rather plain and unimaginative. It’s good to see that the beds are high enough off the floor to enable even the largest suitcases to be stowed underneath. All drawers are fitted with soft gel, which means they are quiet – no more slamming contests with your next-door neighbor.The cabins are bathed in soft earthy tones, although a splash of color wouldn’t go amiss. The cabinetry has many seams and strips covering joints, which suggest that the ship’s outfitters would benefit from a joinery course. It’s also strange that several internal doors are of different sizes, widths, and heights. One neat, very creative feature is a leather-clad vanity stool/table that converts into a backgammon table.Seabourn Suites and Veranda Suites are quite narrow, and feel cramped, with little space in the passageway between the bed and the opposite wall. However, the bathrooms are generously proportioned, with gray and chocolate-brown decor; there are two washbasins, a bathtub, and a separate shower enclosure.Some size examples (excluding balcony): Grand Suites 1,135 sq ft (105 sq m), including two-bedrooms; Signature Suites 819 sq ft (76 sq m); Wintergarden Suites 914 sq ft (85 sq m) – rather neat suites within a glass-enclosed solarium, set in front of the funnel, with a side balcony; Owner’s Suites 611–675 sq ft (57–63 sq m); Penthouse Suites 436–611 sq ft (41–57 sq m); Veranda Suites 269–298 sq ft (25–28 sq m); and Seabourn Suites (295 sq ft (27 sq m).Four ‘Penthouse Spa Suites’ were added in a 2013 refit. These are located directly above the spa itself (and connect to it via a spiral stairway), and measure between 688 sq ft (64 sq m) and 710 sq ft (66 sq m), including a balcony. The suites have a living and dining area with seating for four, a separate bedroom, walk-in closet, a bathroom with tub and shower, and balcony. Plus, there’s free access to the spa’s Serene Area.

Cuisine/Dining: There are three dining venues plus a poolside grill: The Restaurant has open-seating dining at tables for two to eight. It is a large venue that feels more clinical than classical with its white-on-white decor and double-height ceiling in its central section. The most-sought-after seats are located in the center, rather than along the port and starboard sides, which have a window but a low ceiling height. Extra-cost Silver or Gold ‘connoisseur’ wine packages provide a choice of red and white vintage wines for a set amount – perhaps a good idea for longer cruises.As an alternative, The Grill by Thomas Keller has 44 seats; it is a ‘classic’ American steak and seafood house, located adjacent to The Colonnade. The food is cooked to order, and the extra cost is probably worth it, because of the higher-quality ingredients. However, the venue’s ceiling height is also rather low, which makes it feel rather cramped. Reservations are required.The casual self-serve Colonnade eatery, located aft, has indoor/outdoor seating and is nicely decorated, although its free-flow design could be better; there’s too little outdoor seating for the demand in warm-weather areas, when many passengers like to eat outdoors. During dinner, passengers who are dressed formally on designated formal nights have to share the space with those who are more casually dressed.The Patio Grill is located in a casual poolside setting outdoors – and is most enjoyable on balmy evenings, as a change to the air-conditioned interior dining venues.In addition, a 24-hour, in-suite menu offers the à-la-carte items served in the main dining room during dinner hours.

Entertainment: The Grand Salon is the main entertainment venue for shows, cabaret performances, social dancing, and for use as a cinema. However, the stage is small – large enough for a live band, but performers need to use the dance floor area – and the room has nine thick pillars that make it awkward to see anything at all, although the room has a gentle slope. In the central section, there’s also a decorative steel ceiling grating, which is black, cold-looking, and unappealing. It has banquette seating in the front and mid-section, and, strangely, sofa-style leather seating along the side walls to the rear, which means you actually sit with your back to the stage – a rather unhelpful arrangement!Another venue, The Club, is a large, cool, trendy but high-volume nightclub/disco with a wooden dance floor, large bar, and minimalist design. Located beneath the Grand Salon, it incorporates a comfortable casino.

Spa/Fitness: The Spa at Seabourn, operated by Elemis, occupies the aft section of two decks. At 11,500 sq ft (1,068 sq m), it is quite large, and offers full services in a very pleasant setting that includes a two-deck-high waterfall at the entrance and seven indoor/outdoor treatment rooms. There’s a Kneipp ‘walk-in-the-water’ experience, a thermal suite (for which a pass costs extra), and complete salon facilities, while a hot tub and relaxation area on the deck above are accessed by a spiral staircase. Separate saunas and steam rooms for men and women are provided, but they are extremely small. In the gymnasium, personal training sessions, yoga classes, mat Pilates, and body composition analysis are available at extra cost, but some basic exercise programs are free.

Berlitz Guide © Apa Publishing 2017

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