Photo by Jason Leppert
As a luxury line, Seabourn is held to higher standards of excellence, and it definitely lives up to them. But what makes the brand stand out among the rest is its unique contributions to cruise travel greatness.
Perhaps one of the most surprisingly likable attributes of Seabourn is its unpretentiousness, to the point that formal wear is seldom expected. Country club casual is more common than on other luxury lines, and it is a refreshing change of pace. In fact, on our 10-day cruise, only one evening was assigned as formal, and even then a tie was not required of gentlemen. It’s always nice to be able to receive great service without the need to dress up for it.
Every single cruise line touts its fine dining to some degree or another, but there truly is a difference on luxury lines and on Seabourn especially. Whether at The Restaurant or Colonnade buffet, the cuisine is excellent. Themed meals all uphold the ethnic qualities of regional foods, and despite being on a smaller ship, the main dining room is one of the most grand and spacious at sea, with impressively vaulted ceilings.
But what puts the dining well over the top is the genius of Thomas Keller. The line has only recently teamed up with the multiple Michelin-starred chef, and already his dishes astound, featured in the main dining room, buffet, pool patio and his own specialty restaurant – The Grill by Thomas Keller – which is the creme de la creme onboard.
The collaboration is currently rolling out fleet-wide and will be ready to go on the future Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation as soon as they set sail as well.
READ MORE: The Pampered People of Seabourn
Proving that bigger is not always better is the agile and stable trio of 450-guest Seabourn ships, smaller than the flagships of its main luxury competitors. Not only can these vessels get into tighter passages, including Antarctica, but they can also dedicate more attention to fewer passengers at a time. That means 335 crew and 250 suites cater to double occupancy guests.
The next two new vessels to join the fleet will be larger, but the intimate design is at least expected to carryover.
And the service onboard that attends to each guest is some of the genuinely friendliest we’ve ever experienced at sea. Some cruise ships’ staff are trained to be kind and attentive, but on Seabourn it comes naturally to the crew. It’s true of the captain all the way down to the deck hands. Our suite stewardess was particularly great for taking the time to place our traveling companion teddy bears in fun tableaus for us to discover nearly every time we returned to our room.