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Nov. 2019 Seaborn rated 8th place Conde Nast readers


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Readers of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine (Nov 2019 page 88)  were more impressed with their cruise on many other lines with Seaborne

in 8th place (Crystal won) for ships up to 500 passengers.    Those who have been on many lines,  do you agree???

 

For larger ships (from 500 to 2500 passengers) Seaborne scored better with 3rd place; behind both Crystal and Viking 

Is the service better on the larger Seaborne ships?

 

Those who have been on Crystal and other lines how do you think Seaborne compares and has there been a change in service?

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Ah, here is good old Blaze again to update us once more about largely irrelevant Condé Nast reader ratings and, no doubt, rant about Seabourn's dining times being unsuitable. 

 

Edited by Isklaar
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Just now, Isklaar said:

Ah, here is good old Blaze again to update us about largely irrelevant Condé Nast reader ratings and, no doubt, rant about Seabourn's dining times being unsuitable. 

 

 

Agreed Isklaar. I don't bother to vote in Conde Naste magazines ratings. What is important to me is not important to others and so I think votes like that don't give a full picture.

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I've sailed on both Crystal (Symphony and Serenity) and Viking (Sky.)  While Seabourn is not perfect (e.g. slow service in the Colonnade at lunch and frightfully, repeatedly under cooked hamburgers at the Patio) the Odyssey and the Quest have become our favorite ships.  The MDR experience is the highlight of our day;  the staff and crew are outgoing, always smiling and extremely eager to please.  We've been satisfied with almost every meal; the included wine selection is good (terrible on Viking.) Most Seabourn excursions are good to very good; Viking's included excursions are basically bus panoramas tours; Crystal's are a mixed bag and the pricing is equivalent to Seabourn.  Seabourn never fills the buses whereas that is not the case on the other cruise lines.  The tender service on Seabourn is flawless (rarely had to wait ); Viking tender service needs improvement as to the number and frequency.  Crystal is sort of in the middle.  Entertainment on Crystal is fabulous but changes infrequently so if you cruise with them two plus times a year you'll see the same shows and lecturers. The veranda suites on Seabourn are the best we've experienced; our stewardesses  have been superb.  On Crystal we've experienced torn sheets, stained pillow cases, torn drapery sheers; dings on furniture; broken reading lights;  telephone receivers not sanitized.  In addition it is not unusual to have large, extended families with children on the loose.  Kudos to Viking in creating a kid free environment.  We sail to Antarctica on the Quest on December 19.

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1 hour ago, offtoalaska said:

I've sailed on both Crystal (Symphony and Serenity) and Viking (Sky.)  While Seabourn is not perfect (e.g. slow service in the Colonnade at lunch and frightfully, repeatedly under cooked hamburgers at the Patio) the Odyssey and the Quest have become our favorite ships.  The MDR experience is the highlight of our day;  the staff and crew are outgoing, always smiling and extremely eager to please.  We've been satisfied with almost every meal; the included wine selection is good (terrible on Viking.) Most Seabourn excursions are good to very good; Viking's included excursions are basically bus panoramas tours; Crystal's are a mixed bag and the pricing is equivalent to Seabourn.  Seabourn never fills the buses whereas that is not the case on the other cruise lines.  The tender service on Seabourn is flawless (rarely had to wait ); Viking tender service needs improvement as to the number and frequency.  Crystal is sort of in the middle.  Entertainment on Crystal is fabulous but changes infrequently so if you cruise with them two plus times a year you'll see the same shows and lecturers. The veranda suites on Seabourn are the best we've experienced; our stewardesses  have been superb.  On Crystal we've experienced torn sheets, stained pillow cases, torn drapery sheers; dings on furniture; broken reading lights;  telephone receivers not sanitized.  In addition it is not unusual to have large, extended families with children on the loose.  Kudos to Viking in creating a kid free environment.  We sail to Antarctica on the Quest on December 19.

We love Seabourn, but have experienced excursion buses filled completely.  I think this is a huge mistake for a luxury cruise line.  Hopefully, this will be be corrected.  

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We pay no attention to ratings like those in Condé Nast or Travel & Leisure. We get mail asking  us to rate things and never respond.  The accuracy of those rankings are as accurate in our estimation as polls for other things.  We have had nothing but great service and experiences on Seabourn

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Unless I absolutely recognize that participating in some survey or other will not result in my email being used further for cross-selling, I don’t bother with these things.

 

Further, I would be hard pressed to believe that Seabourn is not number 1 across the list of my priorities. How so? I am on Odyssey now and the contrast with a cruise we took in August/September on a rival line could not be more stark. Seabourn wins hands down and so it’s always a delight to return to “our” ships. I continue to be impressed by the confidence of the crew and the purposeful execution of positive changes e.g. for the environment, cabin and dining enhancements from year to year. 

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

Edited by markham
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Cheerleaders cheer when it's positive, but write off validity of surveys when it's not in their brands favor. A survey paints a good overall image of where a company's product stands against the competition that will influence a potential buyer. Companies use these results in marketing materials to promote their product,  so they must feel they are an accurate way to judge a product? 

 

In 2018 Seabourn was voted best small ship by CDT. 2019 they dropped to 8th place.   https://www.seabourn.com/en_US/news/press-release/2018-press-releases/pr-20181008-seabourn-wins-cnt-best-small-ship-2018.html

 

Call it what you want, but reader's scores gauge where a product stands in a fair and unbiased way vs glowing reviewers by travel bloggers on a free paid vacation that won't dare whisper one bad word in fear of being blacklisted from future offerings.

 

Going from 1st to 8th is a big drop in ratings that will costs the company bookings. Wonder what changed and how will Seabourn respond to the results?

 

 

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Seabourn drops 8 places in one year?

 

And on what basis did this happen? For starters, any specifics mentioned that can be validated?
 

BTW, I could not name more than 4 small-mid size luxury segment competitors to Seabourn, by the way. Only Silversea, Regent and maybe Crystal & Cunard Grill Class (despite the size of their ships) come to mind. 

Hopefully knowledgable and experienced cruisers and their TAs won’t be fooled by this “survey”, such as it is. But hey ho, as they say, given that people will believe what they want to believe.
 

Happy and healthy sailing!

 

 

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Travel and Leisure Worlds best reader awards reviews also rated both Crystal and Viking higher than Seaborne; so the top two travel publications readers reviews have shown Seaborne ratings decline over the past few years.

 

The same readers who had rated Seaborne number one a few years ago; now rate it 8th place behind seven cruise lines they have found offer a better experience.  It is a surprise that the ratings have changed so quickly. (the 8th place rating is in the category that they had placed first in some years ago).

 

While many of the Seaborne cheerleaders on cruise critic may disagree with ratings of the two largest travel publications,  it would be more helpful if they explained why their experience is better on Seaborne than it has been on Crystal, Viking and the others.    Why do you think the thousands of readers reviews in the top two travel publications are wrong??????

 

 

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I just checked the CN rankings for "Best business hotel in the world". I looked at two different years and my favourite business hotel wasn't even mentioned in either! 
Should I refuse to stay there again in future?  
 

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18 minutes ago, blaze14 said:

Why do you think the thousands of readers reviews in the top two travel publications are wrong??????

 

 


I don't think the readers are "wrong".
They simply have a different opinion to me. That doesn't make them wrong.
I also  believe that results of this type of survey can be skewed.

 

Have you also popped over to the  Silversea board to let the "cheerleaders" 🙄 over there know how badly their favourite cruise line has performed in the survey? 

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Seabourn and Crystal are our favorite cruise lines and we chose between them depending on timing and itinerary.  We think both deliver an excellent luxury cruise experience but there is a subtle difference in the on-board atmosphere. 

The vibe on Seabourn is casual and carefree with service being friendly and familiar.  On Crystal the vibe is more reserved with service being a tad more polished.  SB doesn't take itself quite as seriously as Crystal, which creates a more relaxed and warm environment.  Officers, staff and crew are much more accessible on SB and they engage with guests in a very proactive way.  It's common to have hosted tables every nite on SB whereas it's a rarity on Crystal. 

While surveys are interesting, often amusing and sometimes head-scratching, we trust our own ratings derived from personal experience much more! 

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10 minutes ago, MightyQuinn said:

Seabourn and Crystal are our favorite cruise lines and we chose between them depending on timing and itinerary.  We think both deliver an excellent luxury cruise experience but there is a subtle difference in the on-board atmosphere. 

The vibe on Seabourn is casual and carefree with service being friendly and familiar.  On Crystal the vibe is more reserved with service being a tad more polished.  SB doesn't take itself quite as seriously as Crystal, which creates a more relaxed and warm environment.  Officers, staff and crew are much more accessible on SB and they engage with guests in a very proactive way.  It's common to have hosted tables every nite on SB whereas it's a rarity on Crystal. 

While surveys are interesting, often amusing and sometimes head-scratching, we trust our own ratings derived from personal experience much more! 

MightyQuinn, This is one of the very best endorsements of Seabourn that I have read.  We like the idea of a casual and carefree cruise--which does not mean that my husband doesn't enjoy dressing in a coat and bow tie most mights at dinner.  While we are tempted to try Crystal, it is so hard to leave the comfort of SB.  

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Isklaar and SLSD,

 

I am happy to respond!

 

I did write a review of the Cloud Expedition recently. Please go to the Research section. You will see my review and that of another cruiser on the same cruise. Not very complimentary overall.

 

i am afraid that the hardened hull and any other changes made almost 2 years ago to the classic ship, Cloud, are not enough to draw me back there. The ship is rather tired, draughty, and has many physical faults. It was built in 1994 for a very different purpose and climate than the Arctic adventure we cruised.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

Edited by markham
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1 hour ago, markham said:

Isklaar and SLSD,

 

I am happy to respond!

 

I did write a review of the Cloud Expedition recently. Please go to the Research section. You will see my review and that of another cruiser on the same cruise. Not very complimentary overall.

 

i am afraid that the hardened hull and any other changes made almost 2 years ago to the classic ship, Cloud, are not enough to draw me back there. The ship is rather tired, draughty, and has many physical faults. It was built in 1994 for a very different purpose and climate than the Arctic adventure we cruised.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

Thank you Markham.  I will go and find your review.  We sailed Silversea many years ago and had a wonderful time---but remembering the ship and what it had to offer---and comparing it with SB, we have not not been tempted to return.  I look forward to reading your review. 

 

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I apologize in advance if I draw the ire of SB aficionados, cheerleaders and loyalists. I don't really care if SB is 7th or 8th. My concern is why isn't Seabourn first! Yes.. in the hearts of many, SB is first. But, apparently not in CN Traveler's, etc  eyes. Is it corporate trying to Carnivalize a product we have grown to love. I am a staunch environmentalist.  However, I detest the penny pinching ways of getting TP and tissues from China under the guise of saving the environment.  Seabourn, I'm told sent people to Italy to learn the ways of making gelato. It's now served with a wooden spoon.....in the name of protecting the environment.  My Italian Nonna(grandmother) would roll over in her grave if she knew of the wooden spoon fiasco. The proper way of eating gelato is with a small metal spoon. I hope Saminina and I are wrong.  Cue Bruce Springsteen and Glory Days.

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27 minutes ago, cuddles115 said:

I apologize in advance if I draw the ire of SB aficionados, cheerleaders and loyalists. I don't really care if SB is 7th or 8th. My concern is why isn't Seabourn first! Yes.. in the hearts of many, SB is first. But, apparently not in CN Traveler's, etc  eyes. Is it corporate trying to Carnivalize a product we have grown to love. I am a staunch environmentalist.  However, I detest the penny pinching ways of getting TP and tissues from China under the guise of saving the environment.  Seabourn, I'm told sent people to Italy to learn the ways of making gelato. It's now served with a wooden spoon.....in the name of protecting the environment.  My Italian Nonna(grandmother) would roll over in her grave if she knew of the wooden spoon fiasco. The proper way of eating gelato is with a small metal spoon. I hope Saminina and I are wrong.  Cue Bruce Springsteen and Glory Days.

I totally agree that a small metal spoon would be the way to go.  

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2 hours ago, markham said:

Isklaar and SLSD,

 

I am happy to respond!

 

I did write a review of the Cloud Expedition recently. Please go to the Research section. You will see my review and that of another cruiser on the same cruise. Not very complimentary overall.

 

i am afraid that the hardened hull and any other changes made almost 2 years ago to the classic ship, Cloud, are not enough to draw me back there. The ship is rather tired, draughty, and has many physical faults. It was built in 1994 for a very different purpose and climate than the Arctic adventure we cruised.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

Markham, I've read your review now.  Oh my.  Rusty water in the bathroom?  Flooding suites?  But, most of all, your descriptive word "flat" says it all.  

 

I don't consider myself to be a cheerleader for Seabourn, but have to say that we have thoroughly enjoyed all  of our SB cruises (on both sizes of ships).  I am so tempted to try Crystal,  just so I will know what it is like.  Your review of the Cloud confirms our decision to not sail Silversea.  I understand that everyone has a different experience, and while you and I don't agree on Ovation /Encore vs. Sojourn etc, I do trust your judgment.  

 

 

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