Seabourn Encore – My First Look
Carly Perkins, Marketing Manager of Seabourn and Holland America Line in the UK, recently cruised on Seabourn Encore - and here are just a few of her experiences.
My husband and I just celebrated a big wedding anniversary with a fabulous week on Seabourn Encore. We cruised from Athens (Piraeus) to Rome (Civitavecchia), calling at Navlplion, Katakolon (Olympia), Corfu, Crotone, Syracuse and Amalfi.
Here are just a few of our highlights …. And there are so many!
OUR FAVOURITE PLACES!
We loved dining alfresco at the more informal Colonnade, where the service is friendly, yet very efficient. Nothing was too much trouble – including finding us the dry French Rose de Provence we had enjoyed on the first day… and every lunchtime afterwards! By day The Colonnade is a delicious buffet (featuring regional specialities), by evening there’s full table service.
The Restaurant offers slightly more formal surroundings and service, with incredible cuisine. The Executive Chef’s Dinner on the Thursday evening really stood out for me – I started with Tartare of salmon, fresh artichoke and lemon confit, followed by herb infused tournedos Rossini!
We really enjoyed our evening at The Grill by Thomas Keller, where my Dover Sole Meuniere was cooked to perfection and skilfully filleted table-side! It’s definitely worth recommending that you book this venue for a special occasion during your cruise – and there’s no cover charge!
The whirlpool and quiet sunbathing area forward Deck 7 was a favourite place – complete with a self-service bar for soft drinks and (of course) complimentary sun tan lotion.
Our V2 Veranda Suite was perfectly proportioned in every way, featuring a large veranda with two sunbeds. The room felt very spacious with a large lounge area, plenty of cupboards, large TV, a walk-in wardrobe and king-size bed with pillows of all types (with a pillow gift each evening!). The marble bathroom offered a bathtub and separate large shower, two sinks (his & her!) and lots of mirrors. The exclusive Seabourn Molton Brown Signature Scents were replenished daily.
We ordered breakfast in our suite most mornings, which arrived (via friendly steward) who then set up the table for our meal. Our attentive stewardess (Stephanie) introduced herself bearing two glasses of champagne – which was a great start to the cruise. The in-suite bar was (of course) stocked with our favourite tipples, which were replenished, along with Nicolas Feuilatte champagne.
The Herald (the daily programme) offered something for everyone! There were no sea days on our itinerary, however activities included Mindful Living seminars (created by Wellness specialist Dr Andrew Weil in conjunction with the Spa at Seabourn), in-depth “Seabourn Conversations” about our ports of call by Dr Peter Quartermaine, and my favourite, a very enlightening talk on Tequila by master mixologist Brian van Flandern (no more “slammers” for me!)
By night The Grand Salon featured shows, comedy, magic or musical entertainment every evening. There was live music in The Club, while the Bar at the Grill by Thomas Keller really felt like the place to be! Our favourite show was “An Evening with Sir Tim Rice” – now available on all Seabourn ships, which features the incredible music from Sir Tim’s numerous West End shows and collaborations, featuring the very talented Seabourn Singers.
Other highlights – incredible live Opera on deck, and the “Officers on Deck” farewell party – where officers served delicious Mediterranean hors d’oeuvres from food stations positioned around deck, then all the Seabourn Encore staff, headlined by the Captain, came out to say farewell!
Designed by Adam Tihany to offer ”the classical proportions of a luxury hotel”, Seabourn Encore offers guests familiar Seabourn places plus more deck space, more dining choices and entertainment. The ship is really stunning!
The new relaxation area – unique to Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation is truly luxurious, featuring private cabanas equipped with everything from TV to sun cream and flip flops, a private whirlpool and executive food & beverage service – champagne is Bollinger of course!
This area is ideal for luxury clientele who wish for the highest level of exclusivity and pampering. There is an extra (daily) charge… It’s also the perfect evening venue for cocktail parties if you have a group sailing.
OUR SEABOURN MOMENTS
The service was incredible onboard, friendly, intuitive, attentive yet also relaxed and informal. Nothing was too much trouble for Seabourn staff, from our suite stewardess through to deck and bar service.
There were many moments… but our Seabourn Moment which stands out was coming back to our suite after dinner on our Wedding Anniversary to find it decked out with red balloons, origami doves and towel animal swans – with rose petals scattered over the bed!
SPECIAL TOUCHES ALL THE WAY …
- Pillow gifts every evening – some had a nautical theme
- Suite notepaper with your name
- In-suite breakfast – a card gives you the daily weather in your port of call
- The Spa at Seabourn (again a stunning area) features a barber shop for gents!
- Staff at Seabourn Square – nothing is too much trouble – including getting a print out of the ship’s nautical schedule for my husband!
- A hand-written farewell note from our Suite Stewardess – wishing us a good journey home. She signed it from the “Seabourn Family” – very apt!
More information about Seabourn Encore
- Seabourn Ovation now open for bookings
- Seabourn Encore Launched in Singapore
- Seabourn voted "Best Small-Ship Cruise Line" For 2016