The Pampered People of Seabourn
Photos by Jason Leppert
What makes a luxury cruise line more than its imported marbles, fine toiletries, gourmet cuisine and fancy hardware? It’s the level of service and personalized dedication its guests receive that makes or breaks it, and Seabourn exemplifies the very best.
Most importantly, pretentious it is not. In fact, the atmosphere onboard is much more casual than you might first expect. It really is a country club casual yacht experience shared among only 450 passengers, and the crew is genuinely friendly towards everyone, including our teddy bears.
My parents and I have always traveled with stuffed animals as playful companions to brighten up our staterooms and suites aboard our dozens of cruises over the years, and most stewards and stewardesses just ignore their presence. There have only ever been a handful of times that the crew has had some fun with them, and our wonderful stewardess on the Seabourn Quest is one of them.
Of course, she has been fantastic to us as well, always keeping our suite nice and tidy, as well as stocked with our favorite beverages and amenities, and also never minding our penchant for sleeping in. But it always tickles us when we return to see our teddy bears watching cartoons on television with fresh popcorn piled in front of them or the nightly turndown chocolate seemingly broken into with their furry paws. Maybe next they will be enjoying caviar, a complimentary Seabourn staple served to us several times already.
Just because the cruise is luxurious does not mean it is stuffy either. For a 10-day cruise, the dress code onboard is mostly casual with only one evening designated as formal, and even then a tie for men was only optional. Just as our favorite crew members have been smiley, so too have most passengers. Only a handful had not acknowledged our friendly hellos at the start of the cruise, perhaps still overcoming jet lag.
Otherwise, the ambiance is very congenial, especially at the line’s signature Neighborhood Block Party, where guests are invited to mingle in the central corridors outside their suites to chat it up with other passengers while the cruise director and captain – himself quite a likable character and fellow gear-head, showing interest in my camera equipment – pass through and greet everyone.
We tend to be more introverted ourselves, but the crew has been so personable that we’ve truly enjoyed their warm reception, especially the individual attention, drinks and sunscreen my mom received lying out at the forward bow the other day, as the luxury line easily goes down as one of our tops for service standards.
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