I have just got back from the most fabulous 5-night cruise on-board the Seabourn Odyssey! We sailed from Barcelona to Malta which included stops in Valencia, Palma, Mahon and a day at sea. Now, my expectations were very high as I have only been on main-stream cruise lines before so was excited to sample a bit of luxury on this 6* ship. She really did not disappoint!
Seabourn’s slogan is ‘the Seabourn Difference’ and our mission (I chose to accept it!) was to experience everything that is Seabourn and discover what makes them stand out from other cruise lines. There is so much that stands out about this beautiful ship so I will need a few blogs. My first will be about the service you get on Seabourn.
From check in you are made to feel special and relaxed. Our cases were taken outside the port and there were no queues upon check in. We were on the ship within 5 minutes. As the ship holds about 450 passengers who are all embarking at different times there are no crowds getting onto the ship. We walked towards the lifts on the ship where a member of staff was waiting to show us which deck to go up to for the pool deck where we could eat a’la carte around the pool or inside the Colonnade restaurant (I will tell you about all the amazing food options in another blog). We decided to sit outside and straight away a friendly waiter came over to take our food and drink orders. You really got the feeling that the staff had more time for you and had lots of time to chat individually to each passenger and provide excellent service. Wherever you are on the ship whether it be sunbathing by the pool or watching a show, it didn’t take long to be approached for a drink. This is helped by the fantastic staff to passenger ratio of about 3 staff members to every 4 passengers which is very much above the average.
On arrival in our suite we found a fruit bowl and champagne. Out cabin steward rang the bell to our suite to introduce herself very quickly with a tray in hand with a couple more glasses of champagne. The great thing about the service given on-board is that it is so un-intrusive and un-pretentious. Just fantastic service without the ‘Sir’s or Madams’ or over the top formalities which made us feel a lot more comfortable. Our steward came back about 10 minutes late with a tray of soaps to choose from for our stay (we chose them all!)
We found this fantastic service mirrored all around the ship with staff members remembering the names, faces and favourite drinks of passengers. When you order room service this is not just brought in and left, they set a lovely table for you. Little touches that you don’t expect really made the difference such as after dinner when you don’t have enough room for pudding the staff delivering it to your suite, entertainment team members and manager greeting and talking to you like a friend. One of the ladies on-board told the story of how her fiancé proposed to her on-board and within minutes the staff were down in their suite decorating it and giving special gifts to congratulate them. What a lovely surprise!
Our friends on-board had a special bath made up for them by the suite steward with lots of oils and champagne for them to enjoy. For me though, the special service touch I appreciated the most was when I was sea-sick on the last day and ordered room service. The staff member who brought it in asked what I had taken for my sickness, told me he’d be back in a minute and then came back with ginger sweets, ginger ale and a green apple. These little touches where you don’t ask for or expect above and beyond service, but it is delivered are extra special and that is what makes Seabourn stand out above and beyond most other cruise lines. For me Service was a huge part of the ‘Seabourn Difference’!