Seabourn : Papeete to Honolulu to Vancouver 2023
David Salmon | May 20, 2023 | Seabourn | Seabourn Encore
We book our cruises based on itinerary and only use the smaller luxury cruise lines.
This cruise originally included a stop at Astoria but that was changed to Seattle and then the whole day was cancelled, and the itinerary reduced by 1 day for which we received a refund.
Seabourn Staff were excellent as usual. The Cpt was regularly seen and joined in many events. We had a great cruise director, Robert Brennan, that we knew from previous cruises with Seabourn and the entertainment was excellent apart from an American Comedian and a Magician.
Talks were of a very high quality with excellent guest speakers.
There were issues with slow service on the Papeete to Honolulu section in the restaurant, decks and Grand Salon until we got to Honolulu, when a good number of staff joined the ship.
Food quality started well but it was then very patchy. Several ‘cold’ meals had to be sent back in main Restaurant. Steaks were cooked perfectly and tender but lacked taste! Lobster was in short supply and not great quality. Also, I was told they were using second-class caviar. Earth and Ocean were excellent but with limited choices.
There were many food shortages such as bananas and fruits and orange juice at breakfast. Infact, we did not have any orange juice until we reached Hawaii. They ran out of Baileys too. The reason given was that they claimed a container did not arrive at Papeete.
This Itinerary was very good apart from a large no. of sea days (my wife does not like so many) but it had to be done as this itinerary was so important to us. There were many friendly passengers up to Hawaii but then the standards dropped.
All the French Polynesian destinations were beautiful, and it was very hot (34 deg with humidity) there. We enjoyed snorkelling with rays and sharks as well as all the land tours that we took. Hawaii was hot without the humidity. Kauai was our favourite destination in the Hawaiian islands.
The Hawaii to Vancouver section of this journey was more of a repositioning cruise, as the Odyssey ship is now based in Alaska. The weather got cooler gradually. Seabourn had sold a chunk of cabins to a USA company (Friends of Al ?). Many of these passengers were not observing the dress codes by not dressing up as required for dinner etc that is following Seabourn’s definition of elegant casual.
We had an issue in the Keller special restaurant on our second visit where we were asked to vacate our table after two hours (not politely) but we were served slowly hence the reason we were longer. No one had told us about any two-hour deadline!
Seabourn have made cuts, for example they have dropped the pillow spray, toiletries are in larger containers which are refilled, and they ran out of chocolates for the bed. They did give my wife a cake and wine for her birthday though.
To summarise, we did enjoy our holiday despite some ‘annoying’ issues which I am certain will be remedied. We like the all-inclusive luxury cruises and would travel with Seabourn again. The service from all their staff is excellent – so welcoming . friendly , polite etc. which makes the cruise experience.
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