On 27th March, Mukesh and I had the pleasure of enjoying a beautiful day on Seabourn Encore for an inspection and lunch. Upon arrival into White Bay Cruise Terminal, we immediately noticed all the extra little touches Seabourn add to your overall cruising experience. It was embarkation day in Sydney, and they welcome you at a small table with a glass of champagne and a fresh towel to allow you to settle into the holiday feel right from the beginning.
From the minute we boarded, we were greeted with smiling faces and a warm and inviting feeling. The first stop on the tour was the Observation Bar on Deck 11 where you can enjoy a 270-degree panoramic view. This space welcomes the early morning risers to enjoy their in-house brewed coffee, guests to enjoy Seabourn’s Signature Tea event from rare plantations all over the world, live interactive experiences and exclusive lists of cocktails from top mixologists. It is the perfect place for pre or post dinner drinks accompanied by a live duo performance every night whilst indulging in canapes and live bites from the tapas counters. What more could you want!
From here, we were escorted through a number of intimate deck spaces located all over the ship. There are a total of 15 cabanas to hire for the day in the retreat offering VIP service giving you that true Luxury Resort feel and your cocktails bought straight to you – this is where I wouldn’t have minded staying for the rest of the day! I loved the washed wood in contrast with the pastel blues of the spas and pool showcasing the yacht style design influence here.
We visited two suites on board the ship. First up, we viewed the penthouse suite and the first thing that wowed me was the bathroom! Two entries, personalised soaps to your preference, double vanity, walk-in shower with separate bath and a separate toilet meaning you can comfortably enjoy the space with no bathroom battles when trying to get ready for dinner in the evenings. Enjoy the open style wardrobe tucked behind the bathroom with plenty of storage space, bedroom and very generous sized lounge and seating area followed by your balcony. We loved the idea that the separating doors of the balcony between suites open up so if you are staying with friends or family you have the opportunity to extend your outdoor space even more. When you arrive, you are met by your personal female stewardess and a bottle of champagne – so many beautiful and personal touches. From here, we visited a Verandah Suite which makes up about 90% of the suites on board. Still extremely spacious with separators between the generous sized lounge and bedroom. Enjoy room service dinners within the comfort of your own suite delivered course by course.
With a crew of 429, the service truly is standout, they represent over 47 nationalities and make up an extremely special and important part of the Seabourn Family.
Dining options include The Patio Dining; more casual style by the pool dining during the day with interactive kitchen and by night transforms into Earth and Ocean dining experience for a candlelit fusion of east meets west. The Grill – Thomas Keller’s restaurant on board where he is heavily involved in all aspects from training to even video supervision and also influences a number of other restaurants throughout the ship. At any time, there are 25 complimentary wines carried at one time with sommelier pairing suggestions or if you are looking for something special there is a premium wine list available for your more vintage options. The Colonnade Terrace, where we had lunch, is your more interactive style dining and buffet style – my favourite was the desert and Seabourn ice cream made on board! This is where your themed dinners are held each night to mix up the options available. We absolutely loved Sushi, the casual style Japanese diner ideal for a pre-dinner bite.
Seabourn square is incredibly inviting and interactive for all guest services on board. This is where you can pop in for a coffee, book all of your shore excursions, catch up on world news or have some quiet time with a puzzle or a book.
They pride themselves on their UNESCO partnership allowing you to immerse yourself into more lesser known sites when it comes to shore excursions with exclusive evenings all for the destination-focused travellers.
Your entertainment on board showcases something for everyone from live shows, music performances and Broadway shows from a dedicated cast, guest entertainer programs, musicians, magicians and all on and off the ship every few days to keep it new and exciting throughout your journey. There are talks on destinations, and high profile speakers previously Geoffrey Archer last year, Margaret Trudeau on her work on mental health and Julia Gillard. Truly a great range!
What sat most highly with me from only my short time on board was as guests were boarding and getting settled for their first day at sea, they had gone up to a number of the staff and said… “We’re Back” and were instantly recognised with a “Welcome Home”. They pride themselves on consistency over the fleet so return guests truly have the feeling of returning home and catch up with old neighbours they may have crossed paths with on previous journeys.
It was a lovely day on Seabourn Encore – many thanks for having us and we hope to be back sooner rather than later!