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“Anything is possible,” our waitress replied to a special
luncheon request on our recent trip, summing up the line’s
How do Seabourn’s three nearly identical and nearly 20-year-old
ships maintain their allure while continuing to over-indulge
guests? Multi-million- dollar makeovers are key to keeping the
208-passenger sisters thoroughly modern, sleek and laden with new
options for guests.
This October, we cruised down the U.S. East Coast aboard
Seabourn Pride, the first of the trio to emerge from drydock.
Seabourn Spirit is scheduled for similar refurbishments in
Singapore in January and Seabourn Legend in Lisbon in April. The
makeovers are the most extensive since French balconies were added
to 36 suites on each ship five years ago.
Seabourn Pride’s new look centers around two alternative dining
venues. The Veranda Cafe, located aft on deck 7, is open for casual
breakfast and lunch in an indoor/outdoor setting. The outdoor area
has been expanded, outfitted with new aluminum and mesh tables and
chairs and covered by a large canvas awning. Each evening, the
Veranda Cafe is transformed into Restaurant 2, a reservations-only
dining option. Restaurant 2 dinners vary from such themed menus as
French bistro, Indian cuisine and steak house to special tasting
menus. Tastings @ 2 consists of many small portions to tease your
palate, starting with a chef’s cocktail appetizer and ending with a
nightcap. “In the beginning, we offered tastings every night,” said
Laurent Lalouer, Seabourn Pride’s hotel manager.
The new refurbishments are good news for clients who may feel
they need an extravagant wardrobe to cruise with Seabourn. The
expanded venues mean it’s possible to enjoy formal nights even if
you don’t pack a tux or sparkly gown though most guests do. On
nights when it’s strictly formal (tux or dark suit for men) in the
main dining room, dinner in Restaurant 2 is elegant casual (jacket,
no tie). Other evenings are casual (no jacket required) in
Restaurant 2. The less formal dress code is also applicable to the
al fresco Sky Grill. Every night, Seabourn officers and
entertainers host guests for dinner in the dining room. All guests
receive multiple invitations per cruise. As seating is open, the
solo travelers we met were especially delighted to have company and
meet new friends.
Along with dining improvements, the renovations include new
bedding in the suites, complete with matching bed scarves and
pillows. For outdoor entertainment, a movie screen has been created
near the whirlpools. Another change is visible on the ship’s
exterior. The hull’s formerly dark blue stripe is now black and the
Seabourn logo on the stack has been painted gold.
Seabourn cruises are about as all-inclusive as cruises can be.
Gratuities and most beverages, such as bottled water, spirits and
wine, are included. The line features such complimentary Signature
Delights as daily massage moments, 10-minute head and shoulder
treatments given on deck or in the spa. Exclusively Seabourn is an
included shore experience. Ours unfolded in Charleston, S.C., with
a horse-drawn buggy ride to the historic 1811 William Aiken House
for a tour, refreshing mint juleps and afternoon tea.
“On every cruise of seven or more days, we have a caviar event,”
The most impressive is Caviar in the Surf. Sailing in cool
autumn weather, we were treated to pre-dinner caviar and gourmet
hors d’oeuvres in Seabourn Pride’s cozy lobby.
“Guests can have caviar 24 hours a day. It’s one of our
signatures,” said Lalouer.
Yes, it’s complimentary.
One of Seabourn’s less publicized and most unique complimentary
perks is Shopping with the Chef. While most passengers booked
scheduled excursions in Philadelphia, we joined executive chef
Markus Gerber and about 20 other guests for an outing to the city’s
expansive Reading Terminal Market. Not only did chef Gerber
purchase fresh spices, edible flowers and U.S.-made cheeses for our
onboard dining, he treated us to Philly cheese steaks and ice-cream
cones. With all those extras, it’s little wonder Seabourn has such
a high percentage of repeat cruisers.
Misses: Lounges are small and smoking and
non-smoking areas are within close range.