I love embarkation day on Seabourn – it always feels like “coming home” for me to be living the suite life once again!
Compared to larger lines I have sailed, Seabourn makes the experience seamless which helps start a vacation off on a relaxing note.
When we arrived at the Singapore Cruise Terminal (after initial confusion and miscommunication with our taxi driver), the Seabourn experience was evident from the moment we arrived at the check in line.
A larger cruise line was boarding next to us. We were greeted with cold towels and bottles of water as well as fruit juice in champagne glasses and ushered to a sitting area to fill out our health questionnaires. Guests on the “other” line were herded into a line and made their way up to the gangway to take photos with a mangy-looking stuffed creature and scantily clad dancer. We were ushered straight to a check-in desk where we deposited our passports and boarding documents, had our photo taken for security, secured a card for our individual onboard accounts, and collected our suite keys.
The entire process from curb to ship took less than ten minutes. Once on board, we were escorted to the Colonnade (Seabourn’s buffet/a la carte open concept restaurant) where we took a table on the back deck and enjoyed the first of many glasses of wine. As the Seabourn experience is all-inclusive, there is no charge for onboard wines, beers, or cocktails and never a drink slip to sign. As a result, it’s easy to overindulge with an attentive staff that regularly tops off glasses just as you think you might be getting up!
One never has to worry about bags after boarding – they maintain a claim check area for hand-carry bags near the Colonnade entrance so that guests may explore the ship unencumbered.
We boarded before noon and too quickly, 2 pm comes around with the announcement that suites are ready.
A cold bottle of champagne awaits in every suite, another complimentary Seabourn touch, and soon our suite stewardess stops by with a plate of canapés and a tray of soaps so we can each make our individual selection.
It’s at this time that we check the in-suite minibar to see if it’s been stocked with our preferences (guests can request specific soft drinks or beers as well as order two full-sized bottles of liquor or wine – these are replenished when empty). We did a small bit of swapping out – the requested Coke Zero and diet ginger ale were present, but a bottle of white wine was requested in lieu of a bottle of Absolut (the full bottle of Grey Goose would be more than sufficient!)
All suites include flexible bed sizes (two twin beds that can be configured separately or as one queen bed by repositioning moveable nightstand components) that are made up with high thread count linens and fluffy duvets. Unlike my experiences at some hotels, on Seabourn the requested twin beds are always configured. A request to swap out the two twin duvets for two queen duvets was graciously accommodated. Underneath each bed, there is storage space for two large suitcases.
There is ample storage space with a walk-in closet and numerous drawers, shelves, and cabinets throughout the suite. It’s easy to unpack and live comfortably for the duration of a cruise.
The bathroom is large and includes separate tub and shower, two sinks and counter space. The toilet is not in a separate room as I’ve seen on some ships, but rather the bathroom has the feel of a hotel bathroom. I love the small vanity area outside the bathroom. It makes it very easy to share a suite with another person as there is plenty of room to get ready.
Within the living area of the suite, there is a sofa and a table with two chairs. The minibar is hidden in one cabinet (which also contains storage above for a selection of glassware). The television is enclosed in the other cabinet which also contains a couple of hardback books, including a nice world atlas.
The veranda held one lounging style chair (with separate ottoman), a table, and two chairs.
The suite I occupied for this journey was a V5 suite – 628. I’ve previously had suites on the 7th and 8th decks as well. I do not believe there is a “bad” deck” on an Odyssey class ship as each floor contains restaurants or bars or other entertainment venues.
We were quickly unpacked and ready to attend our muster drill in the main dining room and soon enough, the ship was underway for our passage from Singapore to Jakarta which would include two days at sea.
Seabourn has three Odyssey class ships in her fleet. Each carries around 450 passengers in an all-suites arrangement. You can read more about my entire trip on Seabourn Odyssey and my ports of call in Indonesia via links on this master page.