Luxurious First Impressions Aboard the Seabourn Quest
Photo by Jason Leppert
My generation of millennials is likely to be familiar with Seabourn Cruise Line, more often now simply Seabourn, from the action flick “Speed 2: Speed Control,” a less-than-stellar fictional representation of the luxury line’s earlier yachts. Thankfully, the reality of the product and its latest ships is far superior, distancing itself from the film’s poor depiction. In fact, as I sail on the line for the first time, I am impressed by the Seabourn Quest from the very start.
The 2011 Quest is one of three relatively new sister ships that launched beginning in 2009 before the slightly larger Seabourn Encore comes online later this year, and she is superb. One thing that always impressed about the smaller yachts, which are now owned by Windstar Cruises, are the vessels’ sleek swooping architecture as repeated on these latest iterations.
Private suites are mostly positioned towards the front of the ship, with public rooms placed towards the stern, and a soaring spiral staircase in between anchoring a grand atrium crowned by the line’s signature circular skylight. For a smaller ship that only carries 450 guests, it exhibits grand venues, particularly The Restaurant and its high vaulted ceilings. Colors are light and cheery with just the right amount of finer fixtures and finishes, the effect of which is comfortable luxury without gaudy pretense.
Already, it’s the software that most impresses though. The staff is fantastic – warm, friendly and attentive – and they have already gone above and beyond in several instances without any prompting. My mom and I travel with teddy bears as playful companions, and our room stewardess has arranged them in fun tableaus. Once, they had broken into the turndown chocolates, and this morning, the television was playing “Kung Fu Panda 3” as they watched from the bed with the remote control in hand and a spread of fresh popcorn before them.
Plus, my mom was previously enjoying the bow deck, complete with chaise lounges and a whirlpool, forward of our suite all to herself only to be pleasantly surprised by the arrival of a staff member bringing her a refreshing cranberry drink and later even complimentary sunscreen and sunglass wipes. These are the kind of touches that certainly make Seabourn stand out.
READ MORE: The Story of the Seabourn Encore
Our spacious Veranda Suite (pictured above) is also very comfortable. The decor features pleasant beige and brown tones accented by soft green glass inserts, and storage — including a walk-in closet — is plentiful. Cabinet hardware features neat push latches that do not require knobs, and the balcony exhibits premium teak decking. Bathrooms are also marble-clad with his and hers sinks, a tub and shower. At first glance, the shower appears rather small, but is large enough once maneuvering inside, and the tub is always a nice bonus touch.
The living area only falls short for having very few electrical outlets: only one of any use at a small vanity, not able to hold many electronics, and a second at a less accessible baseboard height. This is surprising when an ample counter along the base of the bed would be an ideal place for more, but they are altogether absent there, which is a significant design oversight. Also, bed duvets are comfy and pleasantly lighter for those of us who run warmer at night, but mattresses and the couch are stiffer than expected.
Otherwise, the luxury ship truly delights, and its food, especially from esteemed chef Thomas Keller, is already another highlight, as will be the focus in an additional feature to come soon.
More by Jason Leppert
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