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Looking at Seabourn - Basic Questions


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We are new to cruising, twice on Regent.  Considering a Seabourn Europe cruise in a Veranda Suite.

 

I have some basic questions, 

 

1) Is V3/V4 worth the money vs V1?   It seems the only disadvantage to V1 other than floor (6,7) is its in the front of the ship.   Are the V1 suites a lot choppier?

 

2) Keller restaurant & Excursions.  I have no frequent traveler status and am looking at a lower level room.  Is there any issue with availability of specialty restaurants & excursions?

 

3)  Seabourn appears to discount Veranda Suites and offer incentives as time go by.  Is there are general time period when this starts to happen?

 

4) We loved the first Regent cruise and didn't care for the second.  Honestly the service was poor and food often just ok (sometimes great) on the second cruise.  Our second Regent cruise was so off we question if cruising is for us.  Several frequent Regent cruisers speculated that standards had deteriorated considerably since they were bought out.   Understanding its a tough question but how do Regent & Seabourn stack up?

 

Many Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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V1 has metal railing.The two closest to the front of the ship have smaller balconies.  If you snag a promo you can get a v4 for the same price of a v1 on certain sailings. 

 

Never had a problem getting into the Keller grill. It says once per cruise, but once on board you can go more if there is availability. 

 

From what I notice future sailings haven’t inched one bit in terms of price. Except to go up.

 

Seabourn used to have top 10 sale for cruises that needed to fill cabins. Not now. 

 

We have friends that have done Regent and Seabourn. They like them both equally 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, RetiredandTravel said:

We loved the first Regent cruise and didn't care for the second.

 

May I inquire as to which two Regent ships on which you sailed?  And, when did you sail on them?  

Edited by rkacruiser
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V1 balcony image.png.c945db928c496d57b5713e5c06315e23.png

 

So you can still get a glimpse of the sea just not when lying on your bed. If you are right up in the bow I have heard that on tender ports you might hear the anchor going down and up. 

 

2) Thomas Keller can be very popular but you can more easily get extra if you are happy to eat early. You can book a few months before sailing. The larger restaurant on Ovation and Encore is lovely.

 

3) Seabourn in the past have offered discount pricing and in the past through my travel agent I have been able to get them to honour those discounts. It is hard to be sure going forward what will happen when cruising restarts. However I have heard when looking at some cruises there is a lot of pent up demand so they are selling well.

 

 

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Depending upon your sail date, the categories could be all different. For example our 2022 sailing (Baltic) on the SB Ovation will be a V1 cabin, but would be a V5 if sailing today. I suggest looking at your projected sail date and compare to the new deck plans. Best, jdk

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Thanks

 

I found the updated Ovation Deck Plan showing the room categories.  V1 is now on 5,6 & 7 in the front of the ship.

 

My original question could have been worded better.  I am looking for when Seabourn has promos mentioned by "Wesport" for veranda upgrades (V3 at V1 price).  "Frantic" is most likely correct that 2022/23 deals will be scarce given the pent up demand.

 

The Seabourn cruise we are considering is very cool.  Good chance we book it once the dust settles,  Europe still has some major issues.

 

 

 

 

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As someone who has many Regent and Seabourn cruises under their belt, you might like to know  the differences in staffing style between the two lines. Seabourn staff come from all round the world, and quite a few are young people who have worked in bars or restaurants ashore and want the experience, whereas as you will know Regent staff are mainly from the Phillipines and it is their job for life, hopefully for them.  This does mean that Seabourn staff tend to be 'chatty' and interesting to talk to, and are chosen for personality as much as efficiency (though they are nearly all extremely efficient, and can think outside the box).  Regent staff are perhaps more conformist, and many of their supervisors are from Eastern Europe, and can be a bit stern.  I will probably get shouted down for writing like this, just trying to convey the slightly different ambiance on board the two lines.  Most cruisers have a preference for one or the other, though it would probably not be a deal  breaker for them.

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We have been on both and like them both.  I find the Seabourn crew to be very happy.  I understand Seabourn is a good company to work for and you can see that in their employees.  They are all very friendly and it’s welcoming,

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My intention for the post was to find out more about Seabourn not criticize Regent.

 

Many have told me the Seabourn service is consistently top notch.

 

Our first Regent cruise the service was absolutely outstanding.  Housekeeping, room service & the wine steward at the Italian Restaurant were outstanding on the second.  We felt everyone else had an edge, we were left of the opinion that  they didn't like their job.  In some cases the service was down right abrasive.  We aren't super demanding, pretty laid back actually.  Read the reviews of the Mariner in 2019 and you'll see we aren't alone in that opinion.

 

Hopefully it was just a one off for Regent but we will never travel with them again.

 

Looking forward to trying Seabourn/Silversea.

 

 

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You seem to have had a similar experience with Regent as we did.  Several enjoyable ones on Voyager, and then one quite a few years later, after several on Seabourn, on Mariner and it was not enjoyable and we vowed we would not go on Regent again.

 

I was not actually trying to criticise Regent, more trying clumsily to explain the different ambiance between the two  lines;  I know some people adore Regent.

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I agree with lincslady as one of main reasons that we have always enjoyed interacting with the staff, and we have been with Seabourn since 2006.  Our first Regent cruise is this October as we really want to experience Splendor.  We considered some of the Seabourn staff to be our friends and were always delighted to see them from one cruise to another.  There has always been a quiet, professional, "I take pride in my work" attitude.  We also have had wonderful experiences with staff on Oceania "Marina" over several cruises.  But one never knows what influences staff attitudes, so much goes on behind the scene that we passengers are not aware of and sometimes a great staff is just the result of serendipity, but Seabourn has been very consistent over the years.    
 

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Perhaps I am misunderstand, but in your initial query, you seemed to ask if restaurant reservations (only in The Grill on Seabourn, and some of the TK specialty nights in the colonnade) and excursions could be granted based on status level and/or suite location.  This is never the case on Seabourn.  First come, first served.  Granted, if you know your way around after a few cruises, there are things you learn. But especially if you read this board, you can pick up on the hints.  

 

We took one Regent cruise and although we had a great time, we took a Seabourn cruise after that and never looked back.  

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44 minutes ago, hoosier74 said:

Perhaps I am misunderstand, but in your initial query, you seemed to ask if restaurant reservations (only in The Grill on Seabourn, and some of the TK specialty nights in the colonnade) and excursions could be granted based on status level and/or suite location.  This is never the case on Seabourn.  First come, first served.  Granted, if you know your way around after a few cruises, there are things you learn. But especially if you read this board, you can pick up on the hints.  

 

We took one Regent cruise and although we had a great time, we took a Seabourn cruise after that and never looked back.  

 

 

Thank You.  So I'm clear.  If I get a V1 suite I have the same priority/time for restaurants & excursions as someone in an owners suite/Frequent Seabourn cruiser?

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Yes.

 

My diagnosis? You may suffer withdrawal symptoms from your witnessing past cruising experiences on mass market lines going down the drain of a Seabourn restroom. It’s no loss, is it. Kinda liberating. Welcome to Seabourn where the “perks” (a word you can leave to those mass market line ship within a ship faux luxury stuff devotees) are for everyone on board for the taking. Reservations? Tours? First come first served. As it should be in civil society.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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Just to clarify, and I think this is correct, the v1 and v2 balconies all used to have the metal bottoms, at least on the Odyssey class ships, but they were all on the lower passenger decks.  The higher classifications - v3 through v6 began on the slightly higher decks, deck 6 on the Odyssey class.  With the new classification Seabourn appears to have implemented, which now involves the location of the suites on the deck, some of the v1suites are on middle decks, just more to the front of the ship.  They should then have all clear balconies.  I can't remember if the same was true on the Ovation and Encore.  Can anyone confirm if they think I am understanding the new classifications. 

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I have the current and old room configuration for the Ovation.

 

V1 rooms are now on decks 5,6,7 in the front.  They go from the front to one room past the elevator.

 

Todays V1 used to be V1 & V3 and partially V2 & V5.  V1 is about 56 rooms in total.

 

V1 used to be just the 6 front rooms on 7.

 

 

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One big difference between Regent and Seabourn is that Regent include excursions and Seabourn don't, apart from their Antarctica trips. Seabourn is slightly more formal than Regent as far as dress codes are concerned.  One thing I positively HATE about the Regent ships is that they lack a forward-facing bar/terrace area.  I want to see where I am going.  Personally I'd be happy with either line and also with Silversea but Seabourn has the edge overall for me.  

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35 minutes ago, RetiredandTravel said:

I appreciate everyone's knowledge & input

 

Why is are some Veranda Suites 246 sq ft and others 302?  I see the veranda can account for 15.

 

40-50 sq ft is a pretty big difference.


 I'm not an expert on Encore/Ovation compared to the Odyssey class ships, but I think this difference on the big ships is because the bathroom in some forward suites only has a shower. The bedroom and living area is the same size as the suites with bath, but the bathroom itself is smaller.

 

Happy to be corrected on this if I'm mistaken as I've only been onboard Ovation one time (once was enough!). 

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22 hours ago, RetiredandTravel said:

Voyager (Great) & Mariner (Poor) 

 

Europe (2016) & Asia (2019)

I just came across your comments & am interested in your two Regent experiences.  Our two most recent cruises have been on Viking Ocean (Italian Sojourn, 2018) and Regent (Alaska - Mariner 2019).  We absolutely loved our Viking Ocean experience and were looking forward to the "Regent Seven Seas" experience, but were disappointed.  While we enjoyed the Alaska tip, the overall Regent experience seemed to be missing/lacking, based on what we've read - to the point that past RSSC guests were also commenting.  I am interested as to what went wrong on your Mariner trip?

I am currently looking at a New England & Canada itinerary for 2022 and considering both Viking and Seabourn, this is why I was reading the Seabourn posts.

Have you made a decision as to where your next cruise will be tot and on what line & ship?

Thanks!!

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2 hours ago, Fletcher said:

  One thing I positively HATE about the Regent ships is that they lack a forward-facing bar/terrace area.

 

Having such a venue is an important item to consider when I choose a cruise.

 

6 hours ago, Hanoverian said:

But one never knows what influences staff attitudes, so much goes on behind the scene that we passengers are not aware of and sometimes a great staff is just the result of serendipity, but Seabourn has been very consistent over the years.    

 

The ship's Senior Management often influences whether the ship is a "happy ship" or not.  This statement is based on my own experiences.  

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16 hours ago, Michael219 said:

I just came across your comments & am interested in your two Regent experiences.  Our two most recent cruises have been on Viking Ocean (Italian Sojourn, 2018) and Regent (Alaska - Mariner 2019).  We absolutely loved our Viking Ocean experience and were looking forward to the "Regent Seven Seas" experience, but were disappointed.  While we enjoyed the Alaska tip, the overall Regent experience seemed to be missing/lacking, based on what we've read - to the point that past RSSC guests were also commenting.  I am interested as to what went wrong on your Mariner trip?

I am currently looking at a New England & Canada itinerary for 2022 and considering both Viking and Seabourn, this is why I was reading the Seabourn posts.

Have you made a decision as to where your next cruise will be tot and on what line & ship?

Thanks!!

 

 

Currently we are considering Seabourn (Ovation) to Northern Europe & Silversea (Shadow/Moon) to Australia or South America.  We've toyed with Oceania and noticed Viking has an expedition cruise through the Great lakes & Canada that looks cool.   We have travelled quite a bit, new to cruising . 

 

Our trips on the Regent Voyager and Mariner were polar opposites. 

 

The Voyager was about to go in for a refurbishment, it was  rough around the edges and worn.  The service and food on the Voyager was so great the condition of the ship didn't seem to matter.  The Mariner had just had a major refurbishment, the ship was beautiful.  The service and food on the Mariner was so off the beauty of the ship didn't matter.

 

On the Voyager we were sorry to leave , on the Mariner were glad to leave.

 

Many frequent travelers with Regent said that they felt standards had slipped since they were bought out.  "The bean counters are in charge" was one quote.

 

I don't know if that's the case but we definitely saw many instances were corners were cut. 

 

The house Champagne on the Voyager was in the low $20 retail, the Mariner (Googled it) $14.   The complimentary bottle of Champagne in the room went from Veuve Clicquot to the house Champagne.  House wine quality declined in our opinion.  The quality of the fish and meats we had declined considerably.  I had Bronzino & Corvina on the Mariner, they were both awful and fishy.

 

The overall food quality deteriorated considerably on the two cruises from mostly great to a couple great, some poor and mostly average.   The lunch menu  changed 1/4 way through the cruise.  My wife ordered the duck, they brought her a 1/2 a duck (which was overcooked) with nothing else, not even a garnish, sides weren't offered on the menu.

 

Service on the Voyager was some of the best we've ever experienced.   On the Mariner the service ranged from apathetic (but efficient) to surly.  Voyager Compass Rose maitre d was a joy always smiling , "enjoy your dinner". The Mariner maitre d you got a cold look, asked room number quietly taken to table.  I will say the other ladies at the front desk were always pleasant. 

 

Here is an example of the service.

 

On the second night at Compass Rose we were taken to our table.  The waiter appeared within 30 seconds and said what would you like?  I politely said if we could get a couple more minutes and a glass of wine I'd appreciate it.  This seemed to enrage them.  The wine server came over glaring at me, showed us the wines.  Then proceeded to sloppily pour the wine almost to the top of the glass.   The waiter was also obviously upset.  It was so uncomfortable we asked to sit of the other side of the restaurant the rest of the cruise.  Unfortunately this type attitude wasn't uncommon.

 

The guest speaker on the Voyager was phenomenal.    She was from the Smithsonian, brilliant and dedicated.   She went over the history of each port and went on all the excursions, engaging with people.  The guest speaker on Mariner was horrible, he went over the entire history of Japan in one day glossing over WW2 and the remarkable economic/cultural revival of Japan from WW2 to today.  He did one other session on Japanese Gardens & one on Korean pottery. 

 

Excursions were excellent on both cruises.

 

Finally our toilet overflowed, I mean gallons of water and sewage pouring out of the toilet.  This had nothing to do with us, there was a major plumbing issue on the ship.  Several rooms on our floor had an issue but ours was the worst.  It took three frantic calls to the front desk and 20 minutes before someone was dispatched to turn the water off.  About 1/3 of our room was was saturated in water and sewage.  God bless housekeeping, they did a great job cleaning and disinfecting the room.  With the room door  open and several fans  the carpet dried by the end of the day.  The head of housekeeping apologized.   No one else from Regent seemed to care, no phone call or note to apologize for the inconvenience.  Maybe an offer to switch rooms? a modest ship board credit? bottle of the house champagne? couple of cookies?  nothing

 

I'd suggest reading the reviews of the Mariner in 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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