Stormy Atlantic - Seabourn Odyssey October 2017
I wont describe the ship because Ive done that so many times before. We arrived in Lisbon after a good flight from LHR. Lisbon airport was chaos, as usual and it took us ages to find our transfer driver, who did not think it necessary to hold up his name card. There were eight of us in the transfer bus, six of us had cruised together before. The queue for boarding was quite long as there was only one scanner working, but we eventually checked in, in the theatre, and went for lunch in the Colonnade. We met our friend, Sheila, who had booked quite late, and were surprised to find that she was in the next suite. Lifeboat drill went well and quickly, with a warning from the captain that we were heading into choppy water that night. (It actually was OK). We met friends for drinks before dinner and planned to eat early, as we had been up since 2.00 a.m. We were seated at a table for five and menus brought promptly. Things went down hill from there. We were completely ignored for half an hour, not even sorry to keep you waiting. Things were obviously not right somewhere. When the starters arrived the waiter did not know who had ordered what, we swapped plates. We had to ask for bread. There was a long delay between each course and several minutes between the arrival of the first main course and the rest, which resulted in my main course being cold and inedible. The chef did his tour of the Restaurant and did not seem to think that there was anything wrong. No apology, no offer of a replacement dish. I did not like him at all. The whole meal took three and a half hours. This is not the Seabourn I know and love! Comments were made to the Restaurant manager, the Guest Services manager and the Food and Beverage manager. Including, If this was our first cruise with Seabourn, we would not be coming back. The excuse was that they had a lot of new staff. Sorry, that is not my problem! Fortunately service at breakfast, in the Collonade was much better. After breakfast we booked Kobe to Vancouver for next May. We have sailed that route before, but it was too good a deal to miss! We had drinks at the Patio Bar before Trivia and service was excellent. Trivia lacked atmosphere, but our team The Naughty Corner made our own fun. Lunch in the Restaurant was served by Alvaro, who actually seemed to know what he was doing. Jorge, the manager was flitting around everywhere to make sure things were OK. Dinner went well, but apparently the computer ordering system had been down earlier and chaos reigned again. They were using the old pencil and paper system when we got there and it definitely works better. We had a lovely day in Funchal. There were three ships in but Balmoral was the biggest, so the town was not too busy. We had lunch with Sheila and Ryan, one of the vocalists with whom we have sailed several times. We had booked dinner for the four of us in the new TK Grill. I was apprehensive as I did not enjoy Thomas Kellers dished when served in the Restaurant, but we felt we must try it in the interests of research. OK, I admit it, I was wrong! The food is excellent, the service faultless, and the ambience very relaxed. The only slight disappointment was the lemon meringue, which was too sweet for me. We had a lovely night and managed to book a second night for just the two of us. On the Saturday we had a message from our daughter telling us we had been burgled. Apparently it was an opportunist crime and would have happened even if we had been at home, and just out shopping. The Alarm worked and our neighbour investigated and called the police who were very swift in their response and picked up the guy two streets away. It seems we were his fourth victims of the day. We have a window to repair, but apart from a scuff to a sofa, where the brick landed no other damage. It could have been so much worse. Seabourn have listened to their guests and have reintroduced the Galley Market Lunch, where the food is displayed in the galley, buffet style and guests who choose to can select their own food. Of course, there are always waiters who will bring food for those guests who are unable or unwilling to bring their own. Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience, so perhaps it will remain. Other activities included a gusts v officers Baggo contest, an afternoon Village Fete and an on deck Epicurean event, which was held in the theatre cure to inclement weather. On Sunday our captain explained the weather situation. He had been sailing at 18.5 knots to enable him to slow down due to storm Phillipe. We would miss the worst of the storm, but could expect a rocky night and the outside decks would be closed for safety reasons. During the afternoon all usual precautions were taken to tie down sunbeds etc. but while it was windy and rained very hard, Odyssey took the weather very well and there was not a great deal of movement. It seems Miami had a bad day on Sunday, with ships waiting to dock when the wind dropped. When we disembarked on Monday, we were greeted with Welcome to Alaska. Apparently 70F is consider cold in Florida! All in all, we enjoyed our cruise, after a few initial problems. Service was brought up to the standard we expect. Food was excellent, they even got my husbands steak right and hes very fussy. Entertainment was the best we have had since the little sisters were sold to Windstar. I prefer the cabaret style of the Club to the Theatre shows, and the trio and Filipino band were excellent. Despite nine consecutive sea days, we were never bored and we are looking forward to our next trip.
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