April 2014 - Seabourn Quest to Europe - Western Europe
My husband and I were on the Seabourn Quest - April 29- May 13- Gems of Western Europe- 14 day cruise. It was one of the most amazing trips we have ever taken! This was our first cruise with Seabourn. It exceeded our expectations! By the 2nd day we were greeted by all the staff by our names. We had previously sailed on Silversea three times. We were always told Seabourn is a little better than Silversea. Well, Seabourn is in a different class than Silversea. It doesn't even compare. First of all the food was EXCELLENT! I am from New Orleans so I am use to great restaurants and the food was THE BEST!! I see how sometimes people on these boards complain about the food. I was honestly concerned after reading some of the forums before we left for the cruise. Speaking to other passengers on our cruise- 90% of the passengers never heard of Cruise Critic. I was told 65% are so of the passengers on our cruise were repeat customers. Most of the passengers that were repeats that we met have sailed Seabourn 7 times or more. They also told us they think Silversea is an inferior product and would not sail on them. Back to the food. We always ate breakfast in the Colonnade. Besides the Buffet they have special order items that you can add to your breakfast. I even had Lamb Chops for breakfast- always asked for double cut! They were delicious. My husband said the French Toast was great! We loved seating outside at the Colonnade. If it was cool a few days- they had cashmere blankets to wrap yourself around. When you asked for expresso or hot coffee in 1 minute hot coffee would come. Amazing service every time! We had room service for breakfast only once- when we had a very early tour. It was prompt and perfect! Every afternoon I would order from room service some snacks and within 10 minutes it came. The guacamole was delicious and they give you a huge bowl! The Shrimp on Room Service Menu were huge! We ate lunch frequently in the outdoor Patio Grill. The Cheeseburgers were the best I have ever tasted. I always added grilled mushrooms and grilled onions. Seabourn is famous for their French Fries. They were FANTASTIC! Everyday they had choice of 2 pizzas that were being made fresh right in front of you! Delicious!! Of course they had lots of great salads and other grilled items. They had great freshly made delicious ice creams and sorbets - changing flavors everyday. Loved the Pistachio Ice Cream.The Manager of the Patio Grill would come over and make sure everything was fine. What incredible Service! ( We felt the hamburgers and pizza on Silversea were inedible!) At the pool -waiters brought around delicious frozen drinks! We always ate Dinner in The Restaurant ( Main Dining Room). Wonderful food choices every night. So many choices. Our favorite waiter( which we requested every night) would make suggestions and if he thought there were 2 great appetizers- he would bring out both. My husband loves fish and thought the fish courses were OUTSTANDING! The filet which we always ordered double cut -size - was as good as best steak houses we have eaten in. ( Also had delicious peppercorn sauce to put over it). The filet is available every night on the " Classic Menu". (We also felt the Steak on our last Silversea cruise was inedible). If you want two lobsters - you can order it. If you want to special order something- just tell the chef 24 hours before - My husband special ordered a whole sea bass. They will do anything to please you. Just ask! My husband loves desserts. Our waiter would always bring out 3 desserts for him to try! The waiters work in teams and do a fabulous job. Just an example of the efforts they make to please you- On the last night we wanted a table for 10. We went to the manager the night before to request it. All the tables of 10 were taken. So she said she would have the ship's carpenter come and make a new table of 10 to accommodate us. Now that is called AMAZING! We didn't go to Restaurant 2- the specialty restaurant- but some of our friends we met did- and they said it was EXCELLENT! We loved Seabourn Square! They had staff there 24 hours a day to help you with tours, internet or general questions. It was also a great place to go to read newspapers. They had little mini-computers with all the newspapers on them. And of course they had coffee, tea, desserts, and ice cream all day long. Now to the staff and service. Seabourn staff work 4 months on and 2 months off. The staff love that arrangement. On Silversea I think the staff works 8-9 months per contract. So I think they are worn out. Also all the staff is from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa etc.-On Silversea it is mostly Phillippino . We found with the Silversea Waiters- if they didn't understand what you were asking- they were too embarrassed to ask you to repeat. So there was always major communication problems- resulting in problems in restaurants with your requests. The waiters on Seabourn were more polished and professional in everyway. We felt the service on Seabourn in all the restaurants was far SUPERIOR to Silversea. Honestly, there was no comparision. We found on Seabourn every staff member had the BEST ATTITUDE! We liked that you don't need to make reservations for the restaurants. ( except for Restaurant 2) After touring all day- we could just pop in to the restaurant without having to plan in advance. ( that is why I wouldn't like Oceania- need to make reservations in advance and you are limited to how many reservations you can make in a certain restaurant) Also we loved the passenger size of the ship. You get to know so many passengers and staff members on a smaller ship. Oceania is too large for us! We would not have had that same personal experience with the Staff. Every night before dinner we would meet all our new friends in the Observation Bar- where there was music and the most DELICIOUS snacks-( especially that great guacamole and chips!) (Again Silversea snacks at the bars on our last cruise were not good). The chef onboard our Cruise was Chef Martin. We thanked him at the end for the FABULOUS job he did. Someone told us they had a Michelin Chef onboard our cruise that was observing and making suggestions to make the food even better. He said they are always looking for ways to make the food even more FABULOUS! We had a Market Galley Lunch one day at sea. It was the most amazing buffet in the Main Dining Room and then you went into the galley where there was more food. We actually never made it to any shows. We always stayed in the dining room until 11:00 P.M. because we ate dinner very late. But people who made it to the shows said they enjoyed them. We would never go on any other cruise line. We are hooked now! Everyday of the cruise my husband and I would say" This is the most WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE." We didn't want it to end. We met the most interesting people from all over the world. Every passenger we met was so friendly. Everyone on the cruise we spoke with all felt like we did - saying the cruise was FABULOUS! In conclusion- most of the Seabourn Passengers on our cruise- don't read Cruise Critic, they love Seabourn and they wouldn't sail on any other line. If you are looking for a 5 star experience ( like a Four Seasons experience) then Seabourn is the most FABULOUS cruise line out there. This cruise was one of the highlights of our lives! We travel all over the world for our business and have stayed in the finest hotels- and this Seabourn Cruise was PERFECT in every way- Service, Food and Attention to Details! How would we describe our Seabourn Cruise! MAGNIFICENT!! FANTASTIC!!! INCREDIBLE!!! We will never forget it and can't wait to take our next Seabourn cruise. If you want the BEST SERVICE, GREAT FOOD, and a WONDERFUL cruise experience then Seabourn is for you!!