Seabourn Sojourn - refit, restaurants etc

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#21
CA, USA
13,925 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by Able Seaman H
Because we had a bit of delay in booking the cruise due to some negotiation over the treatment of prices versus a 3 person suite (we couldn't pay advertised OB prices initially) we missed out the best deals I came across. To be fair they involved a flight change on the way home.

In the end I also booked through American Airlines but got BA flights direct LHR - Miami - LHR. The return leg is a Finair code share from memory. BA weren't showing any direct return flights under about £4K each on their website.

There is one catch though and something that will make this the last BA Business (club world) flight we take. They want an extra £100 per person per leg to reserve seats. As far as I'm aware BA are the only airline in the world to charge for business class seat choice. I'm not spending another £600 when we've already paid a big premium over economy.

There is normally a business class sale in and around September but have a look on the American Airlines site. We will obviously wear full body armour and helmets on the flight just in case there are American Airlines crew eager to do another baton charge on passengers unwilling to give up their seats before departure

I also found options with Delta. They were direct on the way out but with a change on the way home and just make sure the US internal leg isn't economy particularly if that impacts your baggage allowance. It shouldn't do as the overall flight is business but just look carefully at their flight descriptions.


Henry
BA has the worst business class in the air (maybe with the exception of airlines from some of the "Stan" countries.) They crowd you in, service and food are mediocre at best and they nickel and dime you to death. I avoid at all costs.
#22
Near London & South Coast Solent area
1,293 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I suspect you aren't wrong. On this occasion it was direct flights and a flat bed that sold it to us. I also thought that being an A380 the cabin might have been a bit special. I hadn't counted on BA seeing it as an opportunity to just cram more of people in.

Henry
#23
United Kingdom
12 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
We have the direct flight return to Miami for the holiday cruise. I don't think BA club world is any better or worse than others people rave about. True the window seats require a 'legover' to get out but if you get a good crew they are really good. I prefer their lounges too. No applying for tickets or queuing for the barman just because you want a drink.

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#24
Scandinavian living in UK
653 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Thank you to Chairsin and Henry for your help with this. I didn't know that the ITA fare matrix existed so it's been a very useful learning experience!

I've allowed the provisional booking to expire as there's now further complication with the dates, hopefully I'm able to make a firm booking within the next couple of weeks.

Henry, apologies for my taking your thread somewhat off topic.
#25
Scandinavian living in UK
653 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Bumping this thread to mention two points.

Firstly, although I'm led to believe that the dry dock is still going ahead on the dates planned, I've heard now from two sources that TK on Sojourn will not be open for the Holiday cruise.
An acquaintance told me a couple of weeks ago that although the conversion from R2 will take place, it won't be ready to serve guests. I hadn't mentioned it here because I wasn't sure if it was just rumour. However someone has recently posted here on CC that they were told directly by SB that it won't be ready.
If this is the case it's very disappointing, particularly as it will mean reduced dining options. I was on Quest last year and although I enjoyed the TK experience onboard it wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me if it didn't exist. However one less restaurant to choose from is potentially problematic IMO.

Second point, I have this cruise on a provisional booking again for a few days and have FINALLY managed to secure our business class seats at a reasonable price. I have those on hold too and just need to make my mind up once and for all. I usually take a Seabourn cruise over Christmas and New Year, wasn't able to last year and I really missed it. So thanks again to those of you who offered help regarding flights when I asked a couple of months ago.
I'll join the Roll Call as soon as I've gone ahead to confirm the cruise. The revised itinerary isn't particularly interesting for us, but it's Seabourn, it's an escape from winter in northern Europe and I'm sure the company onboard will be as pleasant as ever!
#26
Fort Worth, TX
943 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
We are also toying with the idea of joining this sailing. The TK Grill not because by open yet is a bit of a disappointment. (I've managed to be on Quest and Odyssey right before both dry docks and the Sojourn earlier this year so I'm still yet to have my TK Grill trial. We may have to hold out until next year's TA where we have birthday reservations.

Hopefully we'll pull the trigger and join the roll call this week.
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Blogging my travel adventures (and advice) at jetsettershomestead.com

Upcoming: Seabourn Odyssey-Eastern Carribean; Seabourn Odyssey-Transatlantic
2017: NCL Sky-Bahamas (twice); NCL Sky-Cuba; Seabourn Sojourn-Alaska
2016: Seabourn Quest-Transatlantic; NCL Sky-Bahamas; Seabourn Odyssey-Mediterranean; Azamara Quest-Eastern Caribbean
2015: NCL Breakaway-Cruise to Nowhere; NCL Spirit-Mediterranean; NCL Jade-Western Caribbean
2014: NCL Getaway-Eastern Caribbean; Seabourn Odyssey-Black Sea; Golden Princess-Pacific Coastal; Seabourn Odyssey-Indonesia
2013: Seabourn Sojourn-Baltics; Seabourn Sojourn-Eastern Caribbean
#27
Near London & South Coast Solent area
1,293 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
It would be very disappointing indeed if the speciality restaurant wasn't available. It is clearly listed as an amenity and at no point in the booking procedure have we been informed it will be absent.

The fare charged certainly doesn't reflect a reduced service.

I am expecting either R2 or TK to be available.

Henry
#28
Dallas, TX
216 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
I have to put a good word in for the TK Grill on the Encore. It is spacious and well designed and has the FABULOUS TK Grill Bar adjacent. I have to say that the TK Grill Bar was one of our very favorite venues on the Encore. It is special. Our pianist/singer was Suzanne Jade and she was great.
#29
69 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by SLSD
I have to put a good word in for the TK Grill on the Encore. It is spacious and well designed and has the FABULOUS TK Grill Bar adjacent. I have to say that the TK Grill Bar was one of our very favorite venues on the Encore. It is special. Our pianist/singer was Suzanne Jade and she was great.
Completely agree. It is special. We just got off an extended Encore trip and TK Grill & Bar was our favorite. Nice space, great layout, superb service. We had no problem getting into the grill when we wanted to. Never had a bad meal and we tried just about everything on the menu and some entrees a couple times. Suzanne Jade was super.

BTW, the space outside the TK Grill is used by the Colonnade and it is spacious and uncrowded. Nice secluded place for breakfast if you eat in the colonnade.
#30
Dallas, TX
216 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
Wire, I can't tell you how affirming it is to have someone else say that the Encore has some really enjoyable venues. So glad you loved the TK Grill Bar too--and agree with us about Suzanne Jade. She is currently enjoying her two month break. I have high hopes she will be on the Ovation when we sail next June. She is a jewel.
#31
Scandinavian living in UK
653 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Able Seaman H
It would be very disappointing indeed if the speciality restaurant wasn't available. It is clearly listed as an amenity and at no point in the booking procedure have we been informed it will be absent.

The fare charged certainly doesn't reflect a reduced service.

I am expecting either R2 or TK to be available.

Henry
I'm in complete agreement with you Henry. I liked R2 and if it means dining in a TK fitted space but with R2 food served, that would be fine with me. It would likely be rather disappointing for those who haven't yet tried the TK Grill on the other ships though. Jenidallas, it seems that you may be a jinx!

However, if the space isn't being utilised at all and as a result would have one less dining option, I'm sure if that were the case SB would have advised booked passengers already, if not it would be a poor show.

I've still not made up my mind but I'll need to speak to my TA later today if I do go ahead with this one so I'll ask if they're aware of what the plans may be.

Henry, what happens when you try to make dining reservations online in My Seabourn? I get the response that it's not possible to make reservations at this time, whereas on my Quest cruise I was able to book TK Grill online at least two months before the cruise.
#32
Scandinavian living in UK
653 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by SLSD
Wire, I can't tell you how affirming it is to have someone else say that the Encore has some really enjoyable venues. So glad you loved the TK Grill Bar too--and agree with us about Suzanne Jade. She is currently enjoying her two month break. I have high hopes she will be on the Ovation when we sail next June. She is a jewel.
SLSD, Henry who is the OP of this thread spent quite some time on Encore when she first went into service. He was very enthusiastic about the ship and the venues. Have you seen the excellent video that he made?

Here's a link .there's a longer version too but I'm unable to link to it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMJ5A4_yI5k





#34
Gibsonton, Florida
1,192 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by SLSD
I have to put a good word in for the TK Grill on the Encore. It is spacious and well designed and has the FABULOUS TK Grill Bar adjacent. I have to say that the TK Grill Bar was one of our very favorite venues on the Encore. It is special. Our pianist/singer was Suzanne Jade and she was great.
Totally irrelevant to the subject at hand. TK conversions have no resemblance to Encore. And a total bummer if the space is out of play during holiday cruise.
#35
Dallas, TX
216 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
Oregon50, I apologize for making an irrelevant comment. Thank you for pointing it out. I'll be more careful next time. What was I thinking? Hmm..I can't quite remember now--but I was probably thinking that someone reading this thread might be wondering what the space was like for the TK Grill on the Encore.
#36
Lincolnshire England
2,760 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Yes, the TK grill in the old R2 is pretty small - and some tables extremely close together. We were on Quest when she was being altered (TK himself was on board) and for that cruise apart from a couple of nights at the end, when a few select people were allowed to dine there, it was closed. I agree it is a bummer if it is not going to be open over Christmas. The only slight consolation is that dining outside, either at the Colonnade or Patio Grill, will probably be enjoyable in the Caribbean, whereas it was not warm enough for us when we were in Europe on Quest. And therefore hopefully will not seem so crowded. I wonder if Seabourn do plan to let you know, if it is indeed closed, and what if anything they might do by way of recompense?
#37
Near London & South Coast Solent area
1,293 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
If a TK ribeye steak and a portion of the prawn starter found their way onto Sojourn after the re-fit I wouldn't be too fussed where they were served

We very much enjoyed the TK Grill experience on Encore.

I've never tried to make dining reservations prior to boarding the ship so couldn't tell you what happens I'm afraid.

We board Sojourn with an open mind.

Henry
#38
Scandinavian living in UK
653 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Able Seaman H
If a TK ribeye steak and a portion of the prawn starter found their way onto Sojourn after the re-fit I wouldn't be too fussed where they were served

We very much enjoyed the TK Grill experience on Encore.

I've never tried to make dining reservations prior to boarding the ship so couldn't tell you what happens I'm afraid.

We board Sojourn with an open mind.

Henry
Morning Henry, sorry I wasn't clear, I was wondering what happens when you tried to make dining reservations for this upcoming cruise as at the time I asked I had only a provisional booking and couldn't access the dining reservations page in my online account.
Anyway, I've now gone ahead and confirmed it, still can't access the dining reservations as I have done previously so there is definitely something afoot.

Hopefully the R2 space will be open in some capacity for the cruise, if only to provide one extra dining choice. If it's not, I'm sure I'll cope!
Will head over to the roll call shortly.
#39
United Kingdom
12 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
It's odd because the speciality dining reservation facility, albeit with no options, has only just appeared in the last week on the cruise activity choices and itinerary. If they are not going to offer it why update the cruise website? Also if the other ships took about 15 - 18 days to convert and get up to speed why should this one take over a month to do so? I'm with Henry, for a significant change to the service like this I would expect at least a communication from the TA or expect a 4th dining venue to be available when we get there.
#40
Scandinavian living in UK
653 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by wickaz
It's odd because the speciality dining reservation facility, albeit with no options, has only just appeared in the last week on the cruise activity choices and itinerary. If they are not going to offer it why update the cruise website? Also if the other ships took about 15 - 18 days to convert and get up to speed why should this one take over a month to do so? I'm with Henry, for a significant change to the service like this I would expect at least a communication from the TA or expect a 4th dining venue to be available when we get there.
Well that's interesting. I wasn't aware of that of course, because I couldn't access the cruise activities until I booked the cruise yesterday. It is certainly odd.

Hopefully someone who is on the cruise immediately following the dry dock will update.