I’ll admit it. I love the good life and am fond of the style and
grace of the Seabourn vessels. They are what dreams are made of: a
premium experience comprised of many details that seamlessly fall
into place to create the ultimate ocean-going adventure.
On our recent Central American cruise aboard the 208-passenger
Seabourn Legend, my husband and I sat on lounge chairs beside the
hot tub on deck 5, just a few feet from our suite. We were the only
two there that morning, and we soon felt like we owned the
With our hats, sunscreen and mystery novels, we had just settled
in when a uniformed crew member brought us glasses of ice water and
asked if we’d like something else to drink. (He returned minutes
later with sandwiches.) Cold washcloths and spritzes of cool water
were also available, in case we didn’t feel pampered enough.
It was all a bit surreal. But then again, there’s a reason why
the Yachts of Seabourn are the highest-ranked small cruise line by
readers of Departures and Travel + Leisure magazines and always
rank high on Conde Nast’s Gold List. Seabourn offers a level of
personal service and care sought by customers who want the very
best. Not surprisingly, many guests (more than 60 percent on
average) are repeat passengers. On our cruise, the captain
recognized one couple for sailing more than 180 days with the line.
We only sailed for 21, but found ourselves in good company,
listening to veterans discussing their cruises in the Far East,
European or Canadian waterways.
It’s easy to see why Seabourn attracts such loyalty. Upon
check-in, a crewmember personally delivered us to our balcony suite
from the lounge, carrying our hand luggage and calling us by name.
Officers and crew are trained to learn the names of passengers and
to use them often.
On the Legend, even the smallest suite 277 square feet includes
a well-stocked (at your request) bar and refrigerator, walk-in
closet, marble bathroom, comfy robes, slippers and fine Egyptian
cotton linens. While the balconies cannot accommodate a chair or
lounge, opening the large sliding glass doors offers a great view
while providing a refreshing breeze. Suites without balconies have
large picture windows.
Seabourn features an open bar and complimentary wine and
spirits, soft drinks and mineral water. Fresh fruit is delivered
daily. Lovely Molton and Brown amenities in each suite include
shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and shower liquid. New
enhancements in place this spring include flat-screen TVs and DVD
players (rooms already feature Bose Wave radio/CD players); a
redesigned Veranda Cafe offering indoor and outdoor dining in a new
restaurant concept dubbed “2”; and tea samplers containing a dozen
fine teas specially brewed for the line’s guests.
The Legend’s public rooms are delightfully decorated in muted,
relaxing tones. Most popular are The Club on deck 6 and the
Midnight Sun Room on deck 8, with marvelous views of the
ever-changing seas and some of the
most comfortable seating at sea. The Club is also home to a
musical duo that performs nightly. Deck 7 houses the award-winning
Seabourn Spa, a saltwater pool, two whirlpools and the Veranda
Breakfast is served daily in the Veranda, as well as in the
restaurant on deck 3 and the Sky Bar on deck 8. The Sky Bar also
offers a daily cookout of fish and meats plus salads for lunch,
while guests choose from the other two venues for dinner. Daily tea
is served in the Midnight Sun Lounge and, of course, there was also
24-hour room service.
Dining is but one area where Seabourn’s renowned personalized
service shines through, and we observed this first-hand.
One morning, a British passenger remarked to his wife, “I’d love
some simple beans on toast.”
A bar waiter overheard, passed the information on to the maitre
d’hotel and the next morning the man had beans on toast.
Another guest opted to special order Weiner Schnitzel not on the
menu and was able to enjoy it the next night, complete with lemon,
capers and anchovies.
These outstanding personal touches are not accompanied by great
fanfare but are standard operational procedure making every guest
During our cruise, the ship’s officers regularly hosted tables
for dinner, making for great social interaction. Passengers meet
one another and then sit together during an evening’s entertainment
or on a shore excursion, and friendships quickly spring up. We
heard stories about several couples who met on Seabourn cruises and
later planned subsequent sailings together.
Of course, guests who are interested in a quieter experience can
be seated at a small table if they wish. And every effort is taken
to make sure that guests traveling alone feel comfortable. Seabourn
has a policy that no lady ever crosses the dining room unless she’s
on the arm of a staff member.
One of our fellow passengers, a widow from Southern California,
was particularly grateful about this small but meaningful gesture.
It was yet another example of the attention to detail that Seabourn
is famous for.
“Here you’re a guest, not a passenger,” said Joerg Grossmann,
the Legend’s hotel manager. “We try to please every guest in every
way we can."