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Old Mar 14, 11, 3:13 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Seabourn Quest

We are booked on a Mediterranean (IST-ATH) this summer. Does anyone have experience with the Seabourn line and could provide tips?

Is it best to book their tours or book on our own? Are their tours overpriced?

Is it necessary to reserve specialty restaurants in advance?
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Old Mar 14, 11, 8:57 pm   #2
 
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Just MHO, but I find on all cruises that shore excursions are overpriced and most of the day is spent waiting on one thing or another. I live in a cruise port, and my friends in the shore excursion business tell me that shore excursions are not looked at by the cruise lines as a service to their customers, but as a major source of revenue to the cruise line.
We like to read up a little on the place that we are stopping, and then either rent a car or a taxi, or public transportation, and strike out on our own for a litttle adventure. If you can hook up with another couple or two on board, it can be fun as well without being part of the 40 or 80 people on the ītourī. Some people like the security of being part of the herd, but itīs not for us.
As for the specialty restaurants, reserving the day before seems to be ample time
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Old Mar 15, 11, 8:05 am   #3
 
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I have a lot of experience with Seabourn and know you will find their newest ship luxurious with service to match. First thing I recommend is to go to CruiseCritic.com to the Seabourn Forum and read lots of posts there. There is a second BB for Seabourn ROll Calls and you can find out if others are also joining that cruise.

The Seabourn cruise shore excursions are varied and I think it depends on your sense of adventure and initiative. Many of us mix the scheduled trips and booking some on our own. The Travel office onboard is very helpful. Since I cruise alone, I usually have Seabourn arrange a private car and driver/guide. THen someone knows where I am and with whom. Some just get off the boat and wander about the local area If the port is not close to the town center, there will be a shuttle bus scheduled. With only 450 (Max) cruisers, the organized excursions are well planned. There are occasionally some ship-wide events on shore, free to all. One thing many of us like to do is to go shopping with the chef in various ports. When you board, I would go to the Pursers' office on Deck 7 at the Seabourn Square and see if you can get on a list IF the chef does decide to take a group. This is not always a given, but very popular. Also, On CruiseCritic there is a whole section on Ports of Call where you can read about your stops. The tours are not cheap, but very well done. There are no costs listed on the website however. And occasionally one is cancelled for lack of participation.

There is a section at the top of the page in the Seabourn forum that describes the coupon referral program. Past cruisers are given vouchers worth $400.00 for the first time cruiser and the 'referer'. So you can read up on that. But be discrete because this program is not really for those already planning a cruise. But once you get the coupon and have paid your final fees, it can be submitted by you or your TA. However, it is not combinable with some other OBC's, such as the Virtuoso one. But you can read about it on the proper thread and ask questions there.

There is only one restaurant that takes reservation and none have extra costs. Restaurant 2 is a small 'bistro' with tasting menus. It has a limited capacity and you can call up and reserve a spot 48 hours in advance, by calling the Pursers at 6PM. My advice
is when you go to the Pursers on embarkation to see about a Chef's shopping tour, you can sign up there for that first night. You should try it, although it's not everyone's cup of tea. In addition, many sign up and sometimes cancel, so it behooves you to try and call on the 'day of' for an opening. The menu is the same for a week, then changes.

I hope this helps and gives you a 'heads up' on where to get more information. You can message me if you have any other questions that don't seem to be answered. There is a great search function on the right side of the BB. Use that. One thing, don't pre-plan so many things that you won't have time to enjoy the ship. It's great. I will be on the Quest in December and am looking forward to it.

Last edited by JanePond; Mar 15, 11 at 9:19 am.. Reason: typo
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Old Mar 15, 11, 10:39 am   #4
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JanePond does a great job with the summary... Seabourn's new product really is tops now and everything runs very smooth. There is no mass herds and line ups to worry about.

Not that it really matters Jane, but the $400.00 referral coupons do combine with Virtuoso
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Old Mar 15, 11, 12:56 pm   #5
 
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It's my understanding that if you take the special event, that's fine, but if you opt for the OBC, it is coming out of Seabourn's pocket and therefore not combinable. However, there are threads that discuss this and I've never had to deal with it. I do use the Carnival stock OBC, cruising as I do, it's a great dividend!!

Loks like ATH>ISt and the reverse are port intensive and a week long. DOubt any 'formal' nights. Moi? I prefer the 'little sisters' although I am doing the Sojourn crossing to QUE in September.
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Old Mar 15, 11, 11:02 pm   #6
 
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Here's a link to some photos on a similar itinerary, taken by one of our 'favorite' Seabourn Captains who is quite a photographer, as you can see by the website. The ship is the Odyssey, the first of the 3 larger ships, which are all alike.

http://www.captain-ga.com/thumbnails.php?album=111

One other question that keeps coming up, is the question of tipping. Indeed none is expected. Often one will give a small tip to one's stewardess for extra services. However, many of us will donate to the 'Crew Welfare Fund' via the Pursers' Office. That way it is shared among all the crew, including the ones who polish the brasses at night. I know you will enjoy not having to sign a chit every time you want a glass of champagne or some caviar delivered via Room Service. And don't forget with a days notice to the Chef, you can have almost anything you want for dinner, such as Strawberries Madagascar for dessert. Ciao.
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Old Mar 16, 11, 7:11 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanePond View Post
It's my understanding that if you take the special event, that's fine, but if you opt for the OBC, it is coming out of Seabourn's pocket and therefore not combinable. However, there are threads that discuss this and I've never had to deal with it. I do use the Carnival stock OBC, cruising as I do, it's a great dividend!!

Loks like ATH>ISt and the reverse are port intensive and a week long. DOubt any 'formal' nights. Moi? I prefer the 'little sisters' although I am doing the Sojourn crossing to QUE in September.
The Virtuoso OBC and a Seabourn OBC are two totally different things.... I have never had a problem getting both.

Might see you at the Port in QC City...!
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Old Mar 16, 11, 7:47 am   #8
 
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Are you coming onboard to NYC?
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