Seabourn Odyssey Mediterranean Cruise
By Adam Crossman
After experiencing cruising on the larger cruise lines of Royal Caribbean and Princess, I had been looking forward to cruising on board the luxury 6-star Seabourn Odyssey. My journey begins in Athens on arrival from the taxi strikes and mayhem when a Seabourn representative meets us at the doors of the cruise terminal instructing us and another couple where to check in.
On arrival at Terminal B in Athens (a massive cruise terminal) we are greeted with champagne and a friendly smile. Our bags are taken while we are immediately assisted avoiding any queues and are able to board this amazing 450-passenger ship.
Everything has been thought of – a concierge will assist you to your cabin where a bottle of champagne is awaiting you in your suite. This isn’t just any cabin; there’s a picture window almost the size of the room, hence the initial disappointment of not having a balcony was quickly replaced with a light filled room.
The quality and range of menus on board is fantastic. Restaurant 1 is the main restaurant and open for dinner. Most nights are elegantly casual (no jacket required). Restaurant 2 is degustation with matching wines and bookings are required in advance as this restaurant only seats 16 people at a time. The Colonnades restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a buffet during the day and becomes a themed restaurant in the evening giving you the opportunity to sit outside al fresco style, watching the transformation of a city by day into the twinkling lights of an evening.
Patio Grill is an outside steakhouse/seafood grill which is open in the evening. It had possibly some of the best steak I have ever had the opportunity to experience! This combined with the casual environment near the pool and warm weather of the Mediterranean brings you back for more.
The ability for these small ships to call into ports such as Santorini and be at the footsteps of the cable car taking you to the top of Thira Town is clearly unique. The small harbour location of Kotor in Montenegro allows you direct access into the heart of this walled city. Dubrovnik and its history is another highlight that Seabourn allows you to arrive at its door step. These are just a few ports in which I believe the small ships of Seabourn truly have an advantage.
I believe the all inclusive environment (having your drinks included) is a massive benefit. This puts every passenger on a level playing field, no need to worry about buying a bottle of wine over dinner or at the bar as this is all included 24 hours a day. Your favourite scotch or vodka is requested so this is already made available in your cabin, and amazingly the staff also know this when you are visiting the bars around the ship.
The entertainment onboard is varied and is designed for an older market. Seabourn does change this regularly, especially through the European Summer season. The Grand Salon lounge is open and without columns obstructing any of your views which I found a great way to wind down after dinner.
The casino is small however has a great atmosphere giving you opportunity to socialize with the other guests or possibly in the Club with live music in the early hours of the morning.
Another one of the unique experiences with Seabourn ships is the use of their private marina. This is used on specific ports of Triluke Bay in Croatia and other similar destinations. We had a great day using the banana boats and canoes to explore the Quant Harbour from a different perspective.
My experience cruising on board Seabourn has made it very difficult to cruise with anybody else. The elegance and service was everything I was hoping and expecting. Please do yourself a favour and indulge in one of the best holidays I have ever had the chance to experience.
Adam is team leader at Cruiseabout Glenelg.