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Regent and Seabourn


OrpingtonT

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Barbara and I are 3 days into our cruise on Seabourn Sojourn and have had some time to digest the differences between this line and Regent. Firstly the boat itself. Being new, only launched last year, it is in perfect condition, well thought out, with beautiful pale, ash wood furniture. The suites (ours is A3) are comparable to the standard suites on Mariner and Voyager, with walk-in closet, similar sized bathroom, bedroom and sitting room and balcony. I think there is more storage space here and the doors and drawers are soft touch closing. Very comfortable, as of course is Regent. The main dining room is not as “clubby” as Compass Rose, with elegant though not heavy, seating, making it easier to get around. The Clonnade, the equivalent to La Veranda, has a lot of outside seating and inside is rather crowded, making breakfast and lunch a pushier affair. This shows up a big difference, that of staff and service. The staff to passenger ratio is about the same yet it seems that there are more staff here. You certainly cannot get from the buffet to your table without having your plate of food taken from you to be carried on.

When we arrived at the terminal in Southampton, there were Seabourn staff every few yards escorting us on 20 yards or so to another staff member to take us further. Every doorway had staff to direct us on and check in and boarding were seamless. However, once on board we did not have the freedom we have on Regent. Instead of being offered lunch on the pool deck we were ushered into the theatre (or Grand Salon) to await our suite being made ready. As we boarded around 2 pm we waited about ¾ hour. Though drink, champagne and so on was freely available, sandwiches were hard to come by. As soon as a tray appeared it was snaffled up! However we were soon approached by a staff member who took us to our suite where our stewardess was waiting to show us the ropes.

The main dining room is fine, the food of comparable quality to CR, but I suspect not as wide a variety of choice. However, as on Regent, they never say “No” and seem prepared to meet all requests. There is a good selection on the buffet in the Colonnade and the wines have been good. The numbers of staff around is noticable around the pool area where every few minutes someone is bringing a tray of drinks to try.

Talking of the pool, there are two areas where you, Wes, and you, Rachel, may not be satisfied. The pool is small and you would barely get a couple of strokes in before having to turn and your power walking , Rachel, would be restricted because that deck is lined with sun loungers. As a result it is single file walking with the restricted mobility folk holding up the more mobile. Not that there are many mobile people on board. I would say that the age demographic on this cruise, mostly Brits, is around 10 years older than other Regent cruises.

We miss our friends on Regent. It doesn’t feel like home, but they certainly try to give everything we should want. Must go and enjoy the sunshine off the Portugese coast. We dock in Gibraltar tomorrow.

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Thank you for your thoughtful remarks. We are booked on our first "luxury cruise" on Regent, Monte Carlo to Rio 11/12, with friends and chose Regent due to vibes about demographics and where we would happiest, as we are a friendly and active group who also love to lounge at the pool on those lovely sea days. All the controversy raging on the Regent boards has given us second thoughts. However, your comparison leads me to believe we have made the right choice. Would love to hear further remarks from you.

Thanks Sharon

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Really interesting to hear your experience on Seabourn. It sounds a bit like the differences between Regent and Silversea -- especially the part where it does not feel like home. Look forward to more posts from the Sojourn. This is the one SB ship that really interests us.

 

"EAGLESLOVER": There are many of us booked on your 11/2012 Mariner cruise. I have no doubt that it will be wonderful. The people on Regent are friendly, outgoing and active. Just keep in mind the negative things you have been reading about Regent are about a policy -- not the experience on the ships, the service or the food (all of which are excellent).

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Tom, I am so glad to hear from you, and happy that Barbara and you are having a good time.

You have confirmed my fears about the walking/running tracks on Seabourn, at least on the Sojourn. I had looked at the deck plans, and it was worrisome.

Have a wonderful cruise and know that we are thinking of you.

 

Also--big congrats on the royal wedding. I thought it was wonderful. But I am mushy at heart.

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I've been on Seabourn twice, once on Sojourn and the 1st time on Odyssey and I loved it. They were carribbean cruises so I the ship was really my destination. I walk/run early in the morning so there was not a problem with the loungers. Food, service, everything just as nice as Regent so if I want to do excursions I would go with Regent with price also being taken into consideration.

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We have just returned from the Rome-Istanbul cruise following the drydock period and we are afraid that we have to disagree that Regent is an exceptional product. In fact in many ways we found it not nearly as good as Seabourn. However we totally accept that this is only our opinion and is only a reflection on our experience of this particular cruise. We had some very 'interesting issues' which have persuaded us that Regent is not achieving its aim of 'exceeding your expectations' - in fact not by a long shot. However it was a very enjoyable cruise and although we would sail with them again they would not get our top vote.

 

I will post a full report in the next week or so and let you know all the issues where we felt there was room for improvement. There was one particular matter that we will certainly be taking up with Head Office and to us was quite serious. The staff on the boat could not provide an adequate or consistent response and future cruisers will need to be aware of the issue.

 

Tizwiz.

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We have just returned from the Rome-Istanbul cruise following the drydock period and we are afraid that we have to disagree that Regent is an exceptional product. In fact in many ways we found it not nearly as good as Seabourn. However we totally accept that this is only our opinion and is only a reflection on our experience of this particular cruise. We had some very 'interesting issues' which have persuaded us that Regent is not achieving its aim of 'exceeding your expectations' - in fact not by a long shot. However it was a very enjoyable cruise and although we would sail with them again they would not get our top vote.

 

I will post a full report in the next week or so and let you know all the issues where we felt there was room for improvement. There was one particular matter that we will certainly be taking up with Head Office and to us was quite serious. The staff on the boat could not provide an adequate or consistent response and future cruisers will need to be aware of the issue.

 

Tizwiz.

Thank you for taking time to post. I look forward to your report!

 

Host Dan

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Hi Tom & Barbara, thanks very much for taking the time to report in. Also, special thanks for checking the pool/upper deck area out with our exercise (walking/jogging) routine in mind.

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Thanks for your comments on the Sojourn. If you have time, please share more! We are looking...planning a cruise on the Sojourn in Fall 2012...the Baltic/Viking TA to Canada for 33 days.

 

We did a long Regent Mariner cruise this year (SA), we were not too happy with the tour program and a 23 day cruise on the Seabourn Spirit in 2009 which we absolutely loved. So are very interested in anything we can learn about the Sojourn before we actually put money down.

 

According to the specks the inside of standard suites on the Sojourn are about 50sq ft bigger than those of the Mariner. That extra footage hopefully will solve the cramped feeling we had in the Mariner standard suites. Pool size and walking space are not an issue for us as the pool on the Spirit was very small also.

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My wife and I have switched to Seabourn and will be taking the Norwegian cruise in June on Sojourn.

Sailed on Mariner last year and the year before.

The reasons we switched?

1 Hated the bun fight that the "free excursions" have become.

2 Corporate behaviour from Prestige Cruise holdings which has seen huge inflated prices that are then discounted back later.

We will miss the great food, willing butler service and friendly guests but here's hoping that Seabourn will be Regents equal in these areas.

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OT: If you would be so kind-- can you maybe measure the width of the bed in your stateroom? I seem to get different answers each time I speak with a rep (not just with Seabourn). Another concern for us is how "conservative," "dressy" (I don't know exactly what adjectives to use) Seabourn is compared to Regent. We're not people who are comfortable with butlers, formal service, etc. We felt very happy and comfortable with the "ambience" on Regent (wasn't in love with the "un, deux, trois" routine) and have wondered whether we'd feel less comfortable on a line like Seabourn.

I hope you're having a lovely cruise in every way.

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OrpingtonT, I am anxiously awaiting your description of the similarities and differences between Regent and Seabourn. Whenever we board a Regent ship, unpacking is easy as I know exactly where I am going to put everything and we no longer need to explore the ships as it is like returning "home". Hearing your opinions will help me to adjust to our "move" to Seabourn for this year's cruise. Thank you.

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OT,

Thanks so much for your post. We like some others are looking for an alternative and Seabourn is certainly one of them we will be trying in the next year or two.

 

Enjoyed your post and the comparison. I too like the lighter woods and the ship overall sounds nice. The small pool would not bother me at all.

 

 

Miriam

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OrpT, thanks so much for posting,looking forward to more details of your journey onboard Seabourne.

One question OrpT - is there any smoking issues that you have noticed, especially in the cabins.

Thanks

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Thank you all for your comments.

Poss. I will try to get an accrate measurement of our bed. I can do no less after your most enjoyable reports of your cruise a short while ago.

Rachel & Wes. I thought I had found another track for your morning exercise but I am afraid the walk on Deck 5 does not go all around the ship. But while I am talking to you both, may I say what joy and pleasure the news gave us this morning. The brave men and courageous leadership of the United States is an inspiration to us all. Such good newss and driving the Royal Wedding off the headlines too. I hope another Bin Laden does not emerge.

I wonder if I can give you an account of our last 24 hours. We left Gibraltar last evening. Had an excellent meal of Dover Sole (everyone seemed to be ordering it), a decent brandy and an early night. Storms blew up and we had a veruy rocky night. Creaks and groans (and that was only Barbara!) and we were concerned about what today would bring. So, after room service coffe, we went to Seabourn Square and had some pastries for breakfast. Still rough but we went to the lecture on Catalonia and, though the lecturer was not of Terry Breen standard, he kept us interested until around 1145 when we went up to the Colonnasde (Regent’s Veranda equivalent). Though we were told it was not open, we were nevwertheless welcomed and offered a drink whilst waiting. We wanted Martini Bianco, a vermouth, but in my absence (nosing around) Barbara asked for Martinis. Thogh a bit strong for pre lunch we sat for half an hour enjoying them. Lunch was a wide variety of Pasta. Three or Four vegetarian choices preceded by salad nibbles. After the martinis came the wine then ice crean and tiramasu, coffee and Reme Martin. And a stagger off to the Club (Regent equivalent, Horizon Lounge). At the rear there is a small area with a jacuzzi and plunge pool. As the weather had calmed down, we sat on sun loungers facing aft. It was absolute perfection. We thought of a gin and tonic and as though there was someone reading our thoughts, at our shoulder appeared Jan, an omnipresent waiter. I said two Gin and tonics please and he said to Barbara, “would you like two also?”

We sat, drank and dozed in the afternoon sun. What could be better?

Now we are to get ready for dinner. By the way, the nights are all “Elegant Casual” which means jacket & collared shirt for men, no tie necessary, and this is rigorously adhered to, though I doubt you would be turned away without a jacket..

So it has been a perfect day.

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Sounds like you and Barbara are having a great trip, Tom -- but after all those drinks I am not sure I would know where I was!!

 

Anyway, it is great to read what you have to say and thanks for taking the time to post your comments!!

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I would have been dozing (comatose) too. What a nice day!

 

Glad you are having a pleasant journey. The food sounds really good.

 

And thank you for your kind words regarding today's good news. I will pass on to my son. Have received many emails and calls of congratulations today. But of course, the battle is not over.

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Tom,

 

So glad Barbara and you are continuing to enjoy your Sojourn voyage...do appreciate your sojourn seamail.

 

ps...thank you sincerely for your heartfelt kudos for the US military role in last night's successful end to Bin Laden. Kudos also to our allies for their support.

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Loving your reports. If I were you, I would not have made it to dinner after the day you described! Hope more wonderful days will follow! Seabourn seems to be suiting you. Would love to try it one of these days.

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Poss. You have no idea how difficult it is to find an accurate measure. Finally guest services came up with a foot ruler and I measured a piece of newspaper. Transferring that to our bed gave a width measurement of 6ft 5ins. So presumably an accurate bed width woul be 6ft 6ins. I hope that is wide enough for you. It certainly is for us.

Grapejuice. We were concerned about second hand cigarette smoke, so took particular notice. Our suite was fresh and clear. When we walk along the passageways we do occasionally smell smoke when the doors are propped open for cleaning. But no problem. In the public areas, only the Obs lounge has caused us comment. The right side is a designated smoking area and the tables are set out with ash trays and matches. We stay well to the other side and have encountered no problem, though I guess if it was crowded and we were forced to sit in the smoking side, it might cause concern.

Hambagahle. Thanks for you e-mail. I have had problems with e-mails but will wait till I get home to catch up.

Today we are in Palma, Mallorca. Plenty have chosen to stay on board (the Seabourn excursions are quite expensive. There is a shuttle bus into town but the attractions of the on board food and drink are greater than the pull of Palma Cathedral. Especially as we have been here before.

Special 7 course Chef’s dinner last evening left us a bit bloated and as is usual we missed out on the show. Though others told us the entertainer was wonderful, good funny jokes and a great routine. We are taking their word for it.

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Having been to Palma cathedral (yawn!!) I think you certainly made the right decision!!

 

What sort of choices do they have in the restaurant? As wide as Regent? Can you special order anything you want (curry??!!) And are you tending to eat in the Colonnade at breakfast and lunch or going to the Restaurant sometimes (if it is open - I suppose it is?)

 

Continue to enjoy the cruise - and I hope your weather is wonderful too!!

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OT-- You are my hero! Thank you ever so much for going above and beyond (under/over/wherever)!!

The main thing I remember from our decades-ago visit to Mallorca is the wonderful caves. There were awesome, as much so as the terrific ones in Nerja, which we also loved.

Alas, I think that Seabourn n'est pas nous, though it's lovely to hear your happy reports. 65" won't do for bed width. The smoking would, I'm afraid, bother us too much. Perhaps mainly the excursion situation. We love doing excursions-- as many as possible-- and are so used to not having to think about the cost. (Of course, I know we're paying big bucks, but it's somehow easier-- for us anyway-- with the Regent method.)

Continue to enjoy you journey, gustatory and otherwise!

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