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Ship Review: Seabourn Odyssey

By:
Joanna Hall
 

Built in Italy and named in Venice, it was befitting that all the guests on board Seabourn Odyssey were honoured as godparents of a ship which signalled a major change in Seabourn Cruise Line’s direction. 

  • Sailing since: 2009.
  • Size: 32,000 tons.
  • Guests: 462, at double occupancy.
  • Accommodations: 229 accommodations, ranging from Ocean View staterooms to glamorous Wintergarden Suite, all of which have ocean views and 90 per cent with private verandas large enough for dining al fresco. They also have comfortable living areas and come with the choice of queen or twin beds, with standard amenities across all categories including an in-suite bar and fridge stocked to your preference before embarkation, a spacious walk-in closet, flat screen TV, Wi-Fi, a handheld hairdryer, daily fresh fruit and an umbrella for inclement weather. The interactive TV system is among the best at sea, programmed with new and old movies and music videos, and you can also perform functions such as checking your account and ordering onboard services such as wine.
  • Dining options: Food is a key draw card where Seabourn is concerned with four primary dining venues, al fresco options, room service, no dining surcharges and open seating. 
  • Entertainment: It’s always somewhat low key given Odyssey’s size, with solo musicians playing at various venues, and a band with dancing most nights. There is also a theatre, which has shows including solo artist performances, a cabaret or Broadway style.
  • What’s onboard: There are two outdoor pools including a quiet one on the aft deck which provides a retreat of sorts when the ship is busy or the weather is windy, and a whirlpool on deck 6 at the front of the ship. The glamorous Spa at Seabourn is arguably the largest on an ultra-luxury ship, and spans two decks aft featuring a spa villa, which can be hired for anything from a few hours to half a day or more and come equipped with treatment tables, a lounge area, a bathtub, sun deck and day bed. 
  • Where you’ll find her: In 2019-20 Seabourn Odyssey will be cruising in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean (www.seabourn.com). 

The Ship

Odyssey was the first new build for Seabourn in 15 years, as well as the first of three new luxury "yachts" in a brand new class launched in 2009, with her siblings being Quest and Sojourn. The minute you step on board you feel as though you’re in a Four Seasons resort or a W Hotel, rather than on a cruise ship, which isn’t a bad thing; from the contemporary design to the choice of restaurants, this ship is more like a land-based vacation resort which happens to move around between exotic destinations. But Odyssey proved to be much more than just a new ship. In fact, she was the beginning of a new era for the cruise line, with Seabourn eventually selling off its older ships, Pride, Spirit and Legend, to Windstar, to focus on developing the Odyssey class ships. When she launched, Odyssey was almost double the size of her ageing siblings, stirring some controversy among the line’s older and more traditional clientele. Today all three Odyssey class siblings are virtually identical from stem to stern, with Odyssey enjoying a refit in 2019. Spacious and contemporary, these ships offer all-suite, all ocean view accommodations, celebrity chef driven cuisine with Chef Thomas Keller, and innovative features including a two-deck spa with a private villa.

Where We Stayed

Our home for a Sydney to Hong Kong cruise during the Australian summer was a Veranda Suite located midships on deck 6 (the one with the bow whirlpool), which was spacious and great value for money. The decor was simple yet elegant, with a colour palette of bronze, gold, chocolate, beige and cream, luxury fabrics and warm coloured wood. The suite had a full-length picture window and glass door leading to a private veranda, along with a spacious and comfortable living area, a queen-size be, dining table for two, and a spacious bathroom featuring marble and granite with a full sized bathtub and luxury amenities.

Essentials

Beyond the terrific dining and all-suite accommodation, Seabourn Square is a new concept in cruising, and a concierge-style lounge featuring a library, boutiques, an outdoor terrace, a cafe, banks of computers for guests to use, and the traditional customer relations and shore excursion desks. And when it comes to dining, The Grill By Thomas Keller is a special dining venue inspired by the classic American restaurant from the 1950s and 1960s, with a menu of updated versions of iconic classics. When it comes to the dress code on board, Seabourn recommends one of two categories for evening attire: elegant casual or formal, with casual in place on most nights. On rare formal nights, which only applies to dining in the Restaurant, men wear tuxedos or suits and women wear cocktail dresses. Also unique to the ship are a retractable watersports marina at the ship’s rear, and caviar in the surf parties. 

UltimateTravelMagazine.com Loves 

  • The choice of dining venues, all without a surcharge.
  • Every accommodation on this ship is a spacious suite, and most have a private balcony.
  • This ship is all inclusive, which means no tipping, an open bar.
  • Fellow guests were aged 50 and up with few if any children.
  • There are butlers assigned to higher level suites.

Insider Tips  

  • The "corridor party”, which is usually held at the beginning of the cruise, is a great way to meet your stateroom neighbours while enjoying bubbly and hors d'oeuvres, served by wait staff.
  • The Patio is a popular, limited menu spot for al fresco casual lunches and surf-and-turf dinners; but plan ahead for dinner as it gets busy particularly in warmer climates.

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  1. Posted by on 2nd Sep 2019 Verified Customer

    Great Cruise Tips 5 Star Review

    We haven't cruised on this ship but we have cruised 6 or 7 times and one tip I can strongly recommend is to research and book-organise your tours before you cruise so you don't miss out and you don't spend precious ship time wondering what to do! Same goes for alternative restaurants if your ship has them....book early to get the dates and times you want. It pays to be organised!

  2. Posted by on 19th Aug 2019 Verified Customer

    Great Cruise Line 5 Star Review

    We've cruised with Silversea and Seaboun and preferred Seabourn for a variety of reasons including the food and the cabins. Next on our hit list for a big birthday comming up (hubby not me) is Regent. Any advice there?

  3. Posted by on 19th Aug 2019 Verified Customer

    Best Cruise 5 Star Review

    We hopped on board in Sydney to cruise to Cairns a few years back and loved the ship although it could be a bit rocky in high seas! The caviar was a real treat and the people on board lovely.

  4. Posted by on 19th Aug 2019 Verified Customer

    Travelling In Style 5 Star Review

    Looks amazing, real bucket list ship. Love the image too. Fancy the caviar in the surf, and all that fine dining!

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