Seabourn Cruises : 4 Things You Need To Know

Seabourn Cruises : 4 Things You Need To Know

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What are the four things that you
absolutely need to know about Seabourn Cruises before cruising with them? I’m
Gary Bembridge, and this is another of my tips for travellers. I’m here on board
Seabourn Encore and I thought it was a great opportunity to share with you the
things that I think you need to know about Seabourn Cruises starting with who
exactly is Seabourn Cruises? Seabourn is part of the huge Carnival
Cruise Corporation. Carnival also own lines like Princess, Cunard
Aida and Holland America. Seabourn is their ultra- luxury cruise line. Seabourn, at
the time of recording, either has or has announced seven ships in their fleet.
They have a classic cruising fleet, and they have now an expedition fleet.
Within classic cruising, they have three older ships which are called the
Odyssey class ships, and these are Seabourn Sojourn, Seaborn Odyssey and Seabourn
Quest. These ships hold around about 450 458 passengers and 90% of them have
balconies. Then they have the Encore class, which is Seabourn Encore and its sister
ship Ovation. They have 300 suites and hold 600 guests, so about 30% more
guests. They also have two Expedition vessels, the first of which is called
Seabourn Venture, and they’re going to focus on expedition cruises, particularly in
the polar regions: Arctic and Antarctica. What is it that Seabourn does that’s
different to the other ultra-luxury cruise lines? I think there’s probably
three buckets of things that they do very differently. The first of these is
one of their big flagships, which is Seabourn Square. It’s where people go and
meet us and where all of the key functions are. You have Guest Services, Future Sales, Excursions, a very nice coffee shop, which is open most of the day and has snacks, and you have a small Library and complimentary
newspapers which they print out of can be downloaded onto a device.
There’s also some shops nearby here. It’s an important hub and they’ve
made it really integral to the whole cruising experience. The second thing is
they have a whole lot of partnerships. They brought on board different experts
to fine-tune what they do. First of all, in entertainment they have
a partnership with Sir Tim Rice. He created a show “An evening with Tim
Rice”. When it comes to dining, they have a partnership with an a USA-based celebrity
chef called Thomas Keller. They have a specific restaurant called The
Grill with Thomas Keller which is based on a 1950s/ 1960s steakhouse. Across the other
dining venues they have various Thomas Keller dishes. When it comes to the
area of fitness and wellness, they have a relationship and a partnership with a
American expert called Dr. Andrew Weil. He’s an expert in mindfulness and
meditation, and he’s created a program which involved lectures,
meditation, Yoga and, depending on the destination, there might have specific excursions. When it comes to drink, they
have a relationship with the US based mixologist called Brian van Flandern, and
what he’s done is he’s relook the whole cocktail menu. They have a range
of cocktails which he specifically created and trained all of the staff to
make. In the cabins they have a relationship with Molton Brown and all
the toiletries are Molton Brown toiletries, and they have a very specific
Seabourn fragrance. One of the most significant relationships they have is
they are the official cruise partner of UNESCO, and what they’ve done is create a
whole series of excursions around world heritage sites or sites of significance
related to UNESCO. You’ll find on the different cruises you go on, if
you’re going to sites which are unesco world heritage sites or sites of
interest, there are UNESCO nominated excursions. What’s interesting for
example on the cruise I was on I went on one of the UNESCO tours in Menorca to
some of the ancient sites there, and in addition to the normal guide we also
had an expert archeologist associated one of the
universities who came along that UNESCO tour. The next area which I think they do
differently is in the whole area of service. All ultra-luxury lines have
phenomenal service but I think one of the things that’s interesting about Seabourn
is they have a more informal approach.It’s still incredibly good
service, and they still go out of their way to make sure they learn your name and, of
course, your preferences, but it’s slightly more relaxed, informal and chatty service. iIt’s less stuffy and less formal than you might find on some other
lines. If you like luxury but you like it to be a little
more informal, you might find it on Seabourn. It’s slightly more relaxed,
obviously respectful and high quality of service, may be more to your taste
because it’s a less stuffy and less formal. Those are
things that I think Seabourn do that’s slightly different or slightly unique.
The next thing that I think you really need to understand is what is and isn’t included
in their fares? Ultra-luxury lines tend to be largely all inclusive, but there’s
always slight quirks and differences. Seabourn is comparable with most of the ultra-
luxury lines, although there are some ultra-luxury lines that will include
some of the things that Seabourn don’t. So, let’s take a look at the inclusions.
First of all, not surprising of course, your accommodation is included. On Seabourn ships you can have very large suites through to, on the Odyssey
class, Oceanview cabins. On Encore and Ovation it’s all balcony Suites.
Secondly, all of your food is included and there’s a wide choice. Encore and
Ovation have slightly more choice because they are bigger and have more space. Let me give an example of what you can expect. You have The Restaurant, which is
the main dining venue. You then have the Colonnade which is the more informal
dining. You then have, as I’d already spoken about, The Grill with Thomas
Keller which is the steak house, with The Grill by Thomas Keller you can go once
during a week-long cruise and you have to make reservations for that. Probably
one of my favorite places on board is Sushi, and you can go as often as you want to the Sushi restaurant, and there’s no
need for reservations. In terms of more informal dining, out on the pool deck you
can have an informal lunch of things like hot dogs, hamburgers and that kind of
stuff. Every afternoon at around about four o’clock you have afternoon tea which
on Encore that was up in the Observation Bar, and then there is 24-hour room
service. So, huge amounts of dining options included within the fare. Also
onboard Seabourn, your drinks are included: wines, beers, spirits and most of the
premium brands that you would love and expect are included within your fare. You have an in-room minibar which is included within the fare, and it will be
stocked with whatever you want. Also included in the fare, as you would expect,
is all the entertainment. You have shows in the Grand Salon which could include that “Evening with Tim Rice”
show, it could be a guest entertainers or the Seabourn vocalists performing
different variety shows. There’s also various activities on board. You will
have a daily programme with the usual activities you’d expect on a cruise. You
then also have the Seabourn Conversations, which are guest speakers talking about the
destination, the history or culture. There will also be a range of different parties included, like the Captain’s
Welcome party, pool deck party and sail away parties. All these kind of events and
activities are included within the fare. You also get access to pretty much all
of the facilities on board, with one key exception and that is The Retreat. It holds
up to 30 people ,they have 15 cabanas and you pay to go there. In
there you will be able to relax, use the hot tub and you can also have
a massage up there for an extra fee if you want one. The other thing that is a big
plus that is included in the fare is gratuities, even if you go to the spa
gratuities are included. It’s a big plus knowing that that’s all covered .
Those are all the key things that are covered, so what’s not covered? Wi-Fi is
not included, and you can buy different packages of Wi-Fi. On the cruise I was on,
which was a seven-day cruise, it was about $240 for Wi-Fi unlimited
across the whole cruise. Excursions are also an additional cost. Looking at the
brochure on the cruise I was on, probably the cheapest excursion you could get, which was some of the more simple walking tours. were around $89 dollars per person.
Some of the ones that I did, for example, the four-hour UNESCO excursion cost $159, the five-hour bike tour I went was $189n and in
Porto Venere, there was a boat and walking tour which was around $200.
You could be spending of between a$100 and $200 per person per excursion. I would say to budget for that amount. Then, of course, there’s
things that are more discretionary like if you buy stuff in the shops, go to
the spa or the casino, also laundry. If you
want to send laundry away you pay, but you can do your own laundry in the guest
laundries on board the ships. Who in my opinion is Seabourn most suited for?
First of all, the passengers you’re going to find on board, because it’s an ultra
luxury line, will tend to be well-traveled and of course have the
money to be on an ultra luxury line. You will find lots of professional people like
lawyers, doctors, run companies or are from the academic world. A really
interesting group of people with lots of interesting stories and opinions. In terms of
age profile, you’re going to find that you mostly see people in their 60s and
above. You are going to find younger people , particularly in
summer in destinations like the Caribbean and you’ll find people coming on their
honeymoons. You’re not going to find many families coming on board. In the key
summer holiday months, you will find some kids on board but they tend to be slightly
older kids because there aren’t kids clubs and the shows, excursions and dining do not cater specifically for kids as such. The whole experience is done in
English. it’s quite North American focused, so you’ll find a lot of the
quizzes and the way things are done is quite American and that’s the real
bulk of passengers on board. You’ll normally find a majority of people
from North America. I’ve seen over the years that I’ve been involved with,
or been on Seabourn cruises that it is evolving, and on this cruise for
example there were probably about 50% or 60% from North America (USA
and Canada), there was a big representation as you’d often find on Mediterranean
cruises from the UK, Australia and New Zealand ,but there was a big representation of other nationalities
with something like 20 different nationalities on board. Most of the
travellers on board are traveling in couples. There are some cabins which do
have space for three people, but couples is the predominantly thing you’re going to
find. If you’re a solo traveler, is Seabourn for you? Although there are
no solo cabins on board the ships, during the course of the year they
normally run special offers on different itineraries for people
travelling alone where they slash down the surcharge you pay for single
occupancy of a double cabin. They’re very good
at looking after solo travellers and they do get quite a few on board. At the beginning of the cruise they host an event for solo travellers to get to meet each other, they also they host lots of tables at dinner. Different members
of the crew, including the singers , cruise director and the engineers,
they host tables and they ask solo travellers to those. I was
travelling on this cruise by myself, and I was asked many nights to go to various
hosted tables. So, definitely it is a focus on helping solo travellers. I hope you
find this helpful, I have many more videos about cruising and about Seabourn, so
if you enjoy this one why not watch another one right now?

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  1. As ever, Gary, an excellent, informative video.
    Sitting in Royal Princess’ Sanctuary at the moment learning a bit more about Seabourn.

    Keep the quality coming ☺️

  2. wow. almost 200,- for a 5 h tour. I can only compare it to tours with educated guides. maybe from the universities. but I don't think, I remember any of those being that expensive when done with a travelling know, those organized groups touring a region with historic or art destinations. guided by real professional guides. where the guests are often academics of that field. and a cruise ship must be considered similar I guess. all guest are a kind of group. so, that must be a way to for the cruise ship, to make some other AI offers profitable. I think, if I would be on such a cruise ship, I would only get one of the excursions. most likely on the lower side of the price range. and do the rest on my own. that way, I would have the feeling, of getting the most of it, as I am rather one of those, who cannot deal with too much AI. unlike some others I cannot consume more, than I would normally do. and I am not a thin person. so I guess, I would rather enjoy the ambient. the gratuities being included is really a good thing. that I like

  3. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the upcoming 2020
    inaugural cruises of the Virgin Cruise Line. Richard Branson has a minority stake in the firm. Seems to be an entry in the premium or luxury segment of the industry.

  4. Thanks for the information. I’m a solo traveler and it nice to know the ship does have some solo fares at times. I’ll check out their website. 😊

  5. You mentioned that Seabourne, along with Cunard, are part of the Carnival line. You could have knocked me out of my chair! Do you know how long, roughly, they have been under the Carnival umbrella? I had always mentally categorized Cunard as the best of the best with Seabourne right behind them and more active and for a slightly younger crowd. I had always considered Carnival one of the cheaper (in both price and quality) of the cruise lines. Short cruises, spring break kinds of crowds who view a cruise as a big 3-4 day Partay. Am I way off base in my own picture of these cruises? It is truly difficult to imagine a line like Carnival taking on those iconic brands and succeeding to the passengers satisfaction while still maintaining the ships to the standard luxury cruisers expect. I have never been on a Carnival Cruise, but from reading the news I had found that the more outrageous behavior was almost always on a Carnival Cruise. Also, my kids seemed to cruise out of Florida on 3 days Carnival Cruises to the Caribbean when they were in their early 20s and their judgement and priorities were remarkably elastic. Right at the age where they were celebrating their autonomy but clueless about what responsibilities came with this ‘freedom ‘. Not suggesting I had ‘bad’ kids but several of them swallowed an entire jar of Stupid on their 21st birthday. I am not trying to be negative or condescending but am baffled by this and looking to be set straight about a few things. Thanks for your consistently relevant, interesting and very good videos.

  6. Great video Gary. We spent three weeks on Quest and found the food options too few and, after three Thomas Keller Grill meals, believed the food to be better in the restaurant. Everything else is excellent but slightly below some other 5 star cruise lines IMO.

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