Our Seabourn ‘secrets’
Having now sailed a few times with Seabourn we thought we would share with you some of the things that we never miss doing when we are sailing with them which just makes our trips that little bit more special.
1. Eat outside often. Seabourn ships really do have some amazing alfresco venues and as we love eating outdoors we try to make the most of this and eat outside whenever possible. The Colonnade is the informal buffet style restaurant and has a beautiful outdoor eating area at the rear of the ship. There really is nothing better than eating your breakfast or lunch looking over the town or village you’ll be visiting that day. And if it’s a sea day even better, when would you ever have such an amazing view while eating your breakfast! At night this venue turns into an informal restaurant, usually with waiter service (unless it’s a market evening) where you can watch the sun set while looking out to sea. And don’t worry if you’re sailing on a cold weather cruise, this area is canopied to protect you from the rain and has patio heaters to keep you warm on those inclement days. And if you tire of the Colonnade then there is always the very popular patio grill situated in the pool area and open for lunch and dinner.
2. Special requests. If there is something in particular that you like to eat on a regular basis make this known to the waiting staff when you arrive. Helens breakfast of choice is avocado on toast so on the first morning she will request a regular order of avocado (which isn’t available in the buffet) for breakfast every day. Every morning thereafter upon arrival in the Colonnade the waiting staff will be ready for your order and will fetch it for you from the Colonnade kitchen. And don’t worry that you’ll have to have the same breakfast every day, if you fancy a change it really doesn’t matter, order that too. Likewise if there is something particular you would like for your evening meal then simply ask the night before and you can usually have it the next evening. We have seen a large table of guests served the most delicious looking (and smelling) Indian banquet in the Main Dining Room which they had obviously arranged beforehand. We have also arranged for our family to dine with the band on board, making a table of 12.
3. Soufflés. Now, whilst we generally love to eat outside in the evening, the soufflés in the Main Dining Room are an absolute highlight of Helens Seabourn holiday. She generally doesn’t have a sweet tooth and will often forgo a desert (she’ll say that generally the calorific cost doesn’t outweigh the pleasure from eating it) but soufflés are another matter, she simply can’t resist them. But this isn't really all about the soufflés, if you've eaten your main meal in the Colonnade or Patio Grill but aren't taken with the deserts on the menu make your way down to the Main Dining Room for a desert only. Or if you fancy some sushi pre-dinner pop along to the Sushi restaurant before heading off to one of the other eateries for your main meal. And if you have a perchance for pre-dinner snacks make sure you visit the Observation Bar where there are the most delicious appetisers set out for you to enjoy with your aperitif.
4. Caviar. Make the lost of being able to eat caviar whenever the mood takes you. For us, we either like to order it in our room to enjoy on our balcony while we’re getting ready for the evening or at one of the bars along with our pre-dinner drinks. But there really are no hard and fast rules, if you fancy caviar and champagne what ever time of day, just ask at your nearest bar or pick up the phone to room service. Just make sure the champagnes on ice to accompany it!
5. Future cruise deposit. Before you leave the ship make sure you fill in this form! You pay a small deposit which can be used towards the cost of any cruise that you book in the next four years. It also entitles you to a 5% reduction in the fare even if it’s already a promotional fare. And if for some bizarre or unforeseen reason you don’t book another cruise in the next four years your money is totally refundable, no questions asked. But we’re pretty confident you will want to book another voyage.
6. Encore and Ovation specials. Sushi is a divider in our family, Richard loves it, Helen’s not so keen, but rarely will she object to a lunchtime visit to the restaurant on board the Encore and the Ovation to partake in a bento box. The food is delicious and the service and staff make your lunchtime stopover even more enjoyable. Another venue that you have to visit on these ships is the Thomas Keller grill. Whilst we would advise everyone travelling on any of the Seabourn ships to eat here at least once on your voyage, the Thomas Keller restaurant on the Encore and the Ovation is much bigger and has its own spacious bar. So even if you’re not eating at The Grill you can go for a pre or post dinner drink at the restaurants bar and enjoy a Pisco Sour (its only served at this bar) and the piano music.
Seabourn pride themselves on their service and signature events which really do make sailing with them an extraordinary experience. Their mantra is that nothing is too much trouble and in our experience they live by this. Crew will often address you by name, even if you've never spoken to them before, and they magically seem to be able to a anticipate your every need, even before you know you need it!
We hope you find these handy hints useful - look out for the next blog in this Seabourn series, which will explore some of the special Seabourn signature events!