This was a very nice cruise all in all. The ports were fabulous. A mix of quiet relaxing places and more energetic places. Just could not have been a better mix. The ship is new, and I believe larger than Seabourn has fielded in the past. It showed on occasion. At times it felt crowded, especially at dinner time. The ship does not have enough tables in its restaurants to seat the number of people aboard if the ship is full. I suppose that makes sense as some have room service, some skip a meal, etc. But nevertheless, it was annoying to have to wait an hour or so for dinner, and on one occasion not be seated at all. The dining venues close at 845 pm or so, which was before dark, and that seemed early. After spending a day ashore, who wants to rush around to try to have dinner at 630 or 700? We finally just gave up on the dining schedule and ordered room service each evening at 9 or 930 and dined on our balcony or in our room. That was fine and the food was good.
The staff was, in general, very good. There were a few who could use some training in customer service. But I suspect that is true for any cruise line.
All in all it was a very nice cruise, and I am glad we had the experience. But Seabourn needs to polish up its service and ship schedule if it wishes to continue to be considered a luxe operation.
Had a great time on the Seabourn Encore. The ship was only a few months old and very well laid out. The food was terrific although we found ourselves in a food coma by the end. All meals were very heavy making it difficult to snack. The entertainment was exceptional for a ship of this size. Part of the expectations of the entertainers was to get to know the passengers so you saw them everywhere, taking passengers to dinner, etc. Given the cost of the cruise and time of the year, the passengers were heavily weighted toward US retirees so activities shut down pretty early. We were very fortunate to have great weather, which was especially rare in the Fjords. The Seabourn excursions need some work...
We weren't sure what to expect with this new ship but for the most part it was great. Of course there were a few glitches but nothing to ruin a good trip. As always it is the staff that make all the difference. We were spoiled as usual & felt we made new friends with the crew that we hope to see on our next voyage.
Of all the places we visited we enjoyed Muscat the best. That was a huge surprise.
If you have never sailed on Seabourn' or their new larger ( 550 passenger) Encore class ships , you would give it the highest marks. Service is very good and it is a first class experience. That said, having sailed with Seabourn on 4 other occasions on the slightly smaller ( 400 passenger) Odyssey class ships I can see that teh smaller ships was a bit nicer. The Encore easily handles the extra passengers. I was in PH cabin 1120 . It seems that these cabins on the new ship are about 6 narrower but maybe a 3 ft longer in size...plenty of room. My stewardess service was excellent but long time Seabourn passengers will notice that passenger name recognition is sadly missing among the crew and food and beverage service has definatey slipped. That said, if you are new to Seabourn ( lets say from other cruise lines with big ships) you wil have an excellent experience.
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