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Seabourn Odyssey -v- Silver Spirit


Grumpy Wombat
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I know these "which is better" questions are entirely subjective and both lines have their rusted on fans but I'd appreciate some objective opinions please.

 

We are considering two almost identical 2-week Auckland to Melbourne/Sydney cruises next Feb on Seabourn Odyssey or Silver Spirit. We know that Seabourn is great but we've never sailed Silversea. So, which one to pick and why?

 

I'm leaning towards Silversea purely because we'd like to give it a try but maybe that's not a good enough reason!

Edited by Grumpy Wombat
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You might want to Google "Silversea Sanitation Scandal" before you make up your mind. Silversea's failure of its CDC inspection and what appears to have been a long-running cover-up of horrible food sanitation practices (supposedly, according to some crew members, on all of its ships) has caused me to cross that entire cruise line off my list for the foreseeable future.

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Grump Wombat, (love the name by the way, makes me wish I had chosen Crazy Kangaroo or something similar),

 

We have tried both cruise lines. We had done about 6 Seabourn cruises before we tried Silverseas. We bumped into three other couples who we had met sailing Seabourn. We were the only ones trying Silverseas for the first time. Here are my feelings (which as everybody know are not what others may think or feel about Silverseas just my personal opinion).

 

Food: I did not enjoy the food on our Silverseas cruise at all. Now this can be put down to the chef on board at the time as the other guests who had sailed on both lines said that is was the worst food they had had on Silverseas.

 

Staff: I like the mix of staff on Seabourn better. They are in my opinion more professional. I had a number of complaints with the staff on Silverseas which I have never had on Seabourn.

 

Ship: The ship was due to go into drydock not long after we got off and it showed. When we complained about something that was not working in our room they said it would be fixed in drydock! My husband was not pleased and asked that they fix the problem for us and not just the guests who would be sailing after the dry dock. They did in fact fix the problem but their attitude left a bad impression.

 

Guests: We made wonderful friends on the Silverseas cruise who we have converted to Seabourn. None of us have done another Silverseas cruise.

 

Perhpas we were just unlucky and had an indifferent crew but I can only base my opinion on the cruise we took.

 

I understand that not all cruises run perfectly but when I have had an issue on Seabourn it was addressed immediately and I was never made to feel like my complaint was insignificant. I would honestly say that if you are happy with Seabourn then stay with Seabourn. If the itinerary on the Silverseas cruise was significantly better then I would suggest perhaps you try Silverseas for yourself but as you say they are nearly identical. Go with Seabourn.

 

Karen.

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I know these "which is better" questions are entirely subjective and both lines have their rusted on fans but I'd appreciate some objective opinions please.

 

We are considering two almost identical 2-week Auckland to Melbourne/Sydney cruises next Feb on Seabourn Odyssey or Silver Spirit. We know that Seabourn is great but we've never sailed Silversea. So, which one to pick and why?

 

I'm leaning towards Silversea purely because we'd like to give it a try but maybe that's not a good enough reason!

 

Try Silversea if you have not sailed with them before then you will know what suits you better.

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Try Silversea if you have not sailed with them before then you will know what suits you better.

 

I hated the food on Silversea last year on the cruise from Auckland to Sydney. Sorry to say, but the food on Celebrity was far superior! We will never go on Silversea again. We are taking our second Seabourn cruise next month. That being said, our stateroom was lovely on the Silver Spirit.

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We aren't foodies and don't place the food high on our list of priorities and so long as it's edible and reasonable quality we're happy. But I guess you don't realise what an impact poor cuisine has until you experience it which, fingers crossed, we haven't on any of the several luxury lines we've cruised with. Actually that's not true. We had terrible food on Regent Navigator but that whole cruise seemed to be "cursed". It didn't put us off Regent but it was close!

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I wrote a review in May- after sailing for the first time on Seabourn- after having sailed 3 previous times with Silversea. After sailing with Seabourn- we would never sail with Silversea again- there is no comparison. Seabourn is far superior! You will see I made some comparisons of Seabourn and Silversea in my review.

 

Here was my review:

 

Just returned from Seabourn Cruise- FABULOUS!!!!

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

My husband and I were on the Seabourn Quest - April 29- May 13- Gems of Western Europe- 14 day cruise.

 

It was one of the most amazing trips we have ever taken! This was our first cruise with Seabourn. It exceeded our expectations!

 

By the 2nd day we were greeted by all the staff by our names.

 

We had previously sailed on Silversea three times. We were always told Seabourn is a little better than Silversea. Well, Seabourn is in a different class than Silversea. It doesn't even compare.

 

First of all the food was EXCELLENT! I am from New Orleans so I am use to great restaurants and the food was THE BEST!!

 

I see how sometimes people on these boards complain about the food. I was honestly concerned after reading some of the forums before we left for the cruise. Speaking to other passengers on our cruise-

90% of the passengers never heard of Cruise Critic. I was told 65% are so of the passengers on our cruise were repeat customers. Most of the passengers that were repeats that we met have sailed Seabourn 7 times or more. They also told us they think Silversea is an inferior product and would not sail on them.

 

Back to the food. We always ate breakfast in the Colonnade. Besides the Buffet they have special order items that you can add to your breakfast. I even had Lamb Chops for breakfast- always asked for double cut! They were delicious. My husband said the French Toast was great! We loved seating outside at the Colonnade. If it was cool a few days- they had cashmere blankets to wrap yourself around. When you asked for expresso or hot coffee in 1 minute hot coffee would come. Amazing service every time!

 

We had room service for breakfast only once- when we had a very early tour. It was prompt and perfect! Every afternoon I would order from room service some snacks and within 10 minutes it came. The guacamole was delicious and they give you a huge bowl! The Shrimp on Room Service Menu were huge!

 

We ate lunch frequently in the outdoor Patio Grill. The Cheeseburgers were the best I have ever tasted. I always added grilled mushrooms and grilled onions. Seabourn is famous for their French Fries. They were FANTASTIC! Everyday they had choice of 2 pizzas that were being made fresh right in front of you! Delicious!! Of course they had lots of great salads and other grilled items. They had great freshly made delicious ice creams and sorbets - changing flavors everyday. Loved the Pistachio Ice Cream. The Manager of the Patio Grill would come over and make sure everything was fine. What incredible Service! ( We felt the hamburgers and pizza on Silversea were inedible!)

 

At the pool -waiters brought around delicious frozen drinks!

 

We always ate Dinner in The Restaurant ( Main Dining Room). Wonderful food choices every night. So many choices. Our favorite waiter( which we requested every night) would make suggestions and if he thought there were 2 great appetizers- he would bring out both. My husband loves fish and thought the fish courses were OUTSTANDING!

The filet which we always ordered double cut -size - was as good as best steak houses we have eaten in. ( Also had delicious peppercorn sauce to put over it). The filet is available every night on the " Classic Menu".

(We also felt the Steak on our last Silversea cruise was inedible).

 

If you want two lobsters - you can order it. If you want to special order something- just tell the chef 24 hours before - My husband special ordered a whole sea bass. They will do anything to please you. Just ask!

 

My husband loves desserts. Our waiter would always bring out 3 desserts for him to try!

The waiters work in teams and do a fabulous job.

Just an example of the efforts they make to please you- On the last night we wanted a table for 10. We went to the manager the night before to request it. All the tables of 10 were taken. So she said she would have the ship's carpenter come and make a new table of 10 to accommodate us. Now that is called AMAZING!

 

We didn't go to Restaurant 2- the specialty restaurant- but some of our friends we met did- and they said it was EXCELLENT!

 

We loved Seabourn Square! They had staff there 24 hours a day to help you with tours, internet or general questions. It was also a great place to go to read newspapers. They had little mini-computers with all the newspapers on them. And of course they had coffee, tea, desserts, and ice cream all day long.

 

Now to the staff and service. Seabourn staff work 4 months on and 2 months off. The staff love that arrangement. On Silversea I think the staff works 8-9 months per contract. So I think they are worn out. Also all the staff is from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa etc.-On Silversea it is mostly Filipino. We found with the Silversea Waiters- if they didn't understand what you were asking- they were too embarrassed to ask you to repeat. So there was always major communication problems- resulting in problems in restaurants with your requests. The waiters on Seabourn were more polished and professional in everyway.

 

We felt the service on Seabourn in all the restaurants was far SUPERIOR to Silversea. Honestly, there was no comparison.

 

We found on Seabourn every staff member had the BEST ATTITUDE!

 

We liked that you don't need to make reservations for the restaurants. ( except for Restaurant 2) After touring all day- we could just pop in to the restaurant without having to plan in advance. ( that is why I wouldn't like Oceania- need to make reservations in advance and you are limited to how many reservations you can make in a certain restaurant)

Also we loved the passenger size of the ship. You get to know so many passengers and staff members on a smaller ship. Oceania is too large for us! We would not have had that same personal experience with the Staff.

 

Every night before dinner we would meet all our new friends in the Observation Bar- where there was music and the most DELICIOUS snacks-( especially that great guacamole and chips!) (Again Silversea snacks at the bars on our last cruise were not good).

 

The chef onboard our Cruise was Chef Martin. We thanked him at the end for the FABULOUS job he did.

Someone told us they had a Michelin Chef onboard our cruise that was observing and making suggestions to make the food even better. He said they are always looking for ways to make the food even more FABULOUS!

 

We had a Market Galley Lunch one day at sea. It was the most amazing buffet in the Main Dining Room and then you went into the galley where there was more food.

 

We actually never made it to any shows. We always stayed in the dining room until

11:00 P.M. because we ate dinner very late. But people who made it to the shows said they enjoyed them.

 

 

We would never go on any other cruise line. We are hooked now! Everyday of the cruise my husband and I would say" This is the most WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE." We didn't want it to end. We met the most interesting people from all over the world. Every passenger we met was so friendly.

 

Everyone on the cruise we spoke with all felt like we did - saying the cruise was FABULOUS!

 

In conclusion- most of the Seabourn Passengers on our cruise- don't read Cruise Critic, they love Seabourn and they wouldn't sail on any other line.

 

If you are looking for a 5 star experience ( like a Four Seasons experience) then Seabourn is the most FABULOUS cruise line out there. This cruise was one of the highlights of our lives!

We travel all over the world for our business and have stayed in the finest hotels- and this Seabourn Cruise was PERFECT in every way- Service, Food and Attention to Details!

 

How would we describe our Seabourn Cruise! MAGNIFICENT!! FANTASTIC!!! INCREDIBLE!!!

We will never forget it and can't wait to take our next Seabourn cruise.

 

If you want the BEST SERVICE, GREAT FOOD, and a WONDERFUL cruise experience then Seabourn is for you!!

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We have sailed on the Silver Seas Spirit and recently returned from a 10 day Med cruise of the Seabourn Sojourn (the Odyssey's sister ship).

 

While the food was superior on the Sojourn, we felt that the Spirit was superior in almost every other respect, and overall a better product.

 

I plan to submit a detailed review soon which compares and contrasts the two ships/experiences.

Edited by descartes1
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I'm leaning towards Silversea purely because we'd like to give it a try but maybe that's not a good enough reason!

 

That is good enough reason. Much better than making a decision based upon the opinion of an insane person. I've been on Odyssey and Silver Spirit and wouldn't think of pushing my preference unless one was so inferior to the other. My vote would be to try SS and decide for yourself.

Edited by oregon50
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You will see several posts comparing the two lines if you do a search - just for fun, I pulled up my old post regarding the food on Seabourn vs. SilverSea -

Echoing everyone else on this thread -- SB food was far superior to the food on SS. We did enjoy La Terrazza at night on SS -- the Captain was Italian so I think they make a special effort to have excellent Italian food. However, the service on SS didn't come close to SB -- no one even made an effort to call us by name, even though our names were clearly right next to our suite number for all reservations! And we had a major beef with having to wait on line to shake the Captain's hand at the Welcome and Farewell receptions. Honestly, we didn't really care to shake his hand - just wanted to sit and have some champagne, but you couldn't get into the Venetian Room without going through this receiving line. We actually walked off the line after waiting 15 minutes at the Farewell reception and just went back the Bar for our champagne. SS made us feel like the Captain was the most important person on the ship -- SB makes us feel like WE are the most important. No more SS for us -- just booked SB Amazon River cruise in March 2013 -- can't wait!

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Continued thanks for the replies. It's interesting to see the importance some people place on some things that others really don't mind about. We only ask for edible, interesting food. We don't mind if we aren't addressed by name, a smile is more important. And "free" drinks with the Captain while standing around awkwardly in a crowded hot room is to be avoided at all costs! We go and have an equally "free" drink in a nice quiet bar with a view somewhere LOL

 

Silversea is firming up as favourite, if only because we're first timers and this is a good opportunity to give it a whirl. Seabourn will always be there as the gold standard but an open mind is a Good Thing.

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That is good enough reason. Much better than making a decision based upon the opinion of an insane person. I've been on Odyssey and Silver Spirit and wouldn't think of pushing my preference unless one was so inferior to the other. My vote would be to try SS and decide for yourself.

 

That's not very nice to refer to someone upthread of you as "insane".

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Thank you for that Emperor Norton,

 

I have been posting on cc since 2002 and this is the first time I have felt insulted and belittled for my opinion. I have cruised on a number of different cruise lines and was giving an opinion to be helpful. The sort of comment posted here from Oregon50 puts other people off from posting in case they get comments like this.

 

To Oregon50 please keep insulting comments to yourself.

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OK We have been on both. To be honest our first SS cruise was wonderful. The second was a nightmare. The Owner and his family were on this cruise. They took over the second restaurant no one was allowed for the entire trip. Their children had the run of the ship. They ran up and down the floors and anywhere else they chose. I was trying to get a facial and children were hanging out at the spa for something to do.

We felt that if the owner had such disregard for paying guests that we wanted nothing to do with this line.

I am sure the same can happen on SB but so far it has not.

Sorry but I do not want to give this man our money.

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If the plan is to sail during European/US school holidays then it is very likely kids will be an "issue".

 

Our only SS cruise was Canada/Alaska and there was non SB offering. Those cruises are during school holidays and we found a lot of kids on board. They made an effort to accommodate them, but neither SS or SB have the facilities.

 

No complaints re the ship - very similar to SB although a bit more dated - food ok but not at SB standard, and crew not as efficient or friendly. It's all relative.

 

SS is a good product and if SB wasn't available it would be a good alternative for us.

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clarky,

 

Don't be too surprised, annoyed or at all upset by Oregon50. I have gotten used to his disrespectful tone because I see it often. And I have no time for his nonsense either. Best to consider the source, as they say.

 

Happy sailing!

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The SB/SS cruises we are considering are in early/mid February so no school holidays in either hemisphere. It is certainly a factor when choosing the time of year to cruise. Of course there are always some parents prepared to take their kids out of school to suit the parents agenda but that's their choice.

 

And before you flame me as "anti child" I'm a parent of 3 and understand full well the challenges of taking kids cruising. We just made sure we picked cruise lines that catered for their needs as well as our own when we all cruised together "en famille" and Seabourn most definitely is for Grown Ups only. Bravo!

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One thing that you will have on SilverSea being a first time passenger that you can no longer have on Seabourn is the "discovery factor". Kind of like a first kiss:)

 

I've been on both and enjoy them both for different reasons. Today I choose my luxury lines based on itinerary first. With two similar itineraries, I would now lean towards the Spirit as they have more dining options and their main dining room is open for lunch.

 

Whatever you decide, you can't go wrong on either. Happy sailing

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clarky,

 

Don't be too surprised, annoyed or at all upset by Oregon50. I have gotten used to his disrespectful tone because I see it often. And I have no time for his nonsense either. Best to consider the source, as they say.

 

Happy sailing!

 

The ignore setting is probably the best option for the posts from Oregon50

 

I find that it works well.:)

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Sorry folks. I must have missed the part where reference was made to a particular person.

 

Clarky, there was nothing about your post that had me thinking of you when typing that sentence.

Edited by oregon50
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Dear Grumpy (great name); We've been on Seabourn Quest twice for 30+ days and we did 2 back to back 7 day cruises on Silver Whisper last year.

 

Like you, we are not overly particular about food, although we like a good meal with friends. To us it was more the overall experience -- staff, ambiance, quality of ship etc.

 

To us, Seabourn was way ahead. In fact there was no comparison; to the extent that we wouldn't bother with Silverseas again. We felt Silverseas was probably 5.5 stars --- not 6.

 

As was said in "The Castle" (you'll know the movie I mean) .... it was "the vibe"

 

Silver Whisper had taken two large groups on the first 7 day cruise which effectively ruined that one for us. The second 7 days was much better, but still not as good as Seabourn.

 

An example: One thing that really got under our collars was that on Silverseas the restaurants required bookings---even on the outdoor deck. It was impossible to get bookings for restaurants at short notice (like 1 day out). What was galling was that, for example the Italian restaurant, was often only half full. Even our butler who was supposed to be able to fix everything couldn't get an increase in a table size from 2 to 4 so we could join friends. In the end the Restaurant Manager agreed that the restaurant was only partially filled for "staffing reasons". in other words the restaurant was being run for the staff --- not the customers.

 

To us this was symptomatic of the Silverseas approach to a lot of things.

 

You will miss the Seabourn Square.

 

The ships are almost identical; built in the same yard.

 

skincruisers

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Useful info. Thanks! Looking more closely at the itineraries (always #1 priority for us) I think the Seabourn trip has a slight edge. It visits Wellington (SS doesn't) and has a couple more sea days which are also important to is. Also, we have a good suite booked on SB but can only get waitlisted on SS. Our TA is reasonably confident we'll be OK but a bird in the hand.....etc. Having to make restaurant reservations would get very tedious too, we do like to just turn up when and where the mood takes us.

 

We aren't procrastinators so we'll make a final decision by the end of the week but at the moment it's SB (I think!).

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Dear Grumpy We spend a lot of time in NZ. In Wellington there is a fabulous museum. Normally we're not great "museum people" but this one is really good. It's also a good city to go for a walk. If you are more adventurous could I suggest you hire a car and drive through the Hutt Valley to the Martinborough wine area. In my view their wines are better than Marlborough.

 

When you get to Tauranga you'll be in one of the nicest places in NZ. If you want to go to Rotorua, I suggest you hire a car.

 

Good luck. You'll have a great time.

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