My husband and I had the pleasure of sailing onboard Seabourn Encore this July and I wish I could say I’m sat on the sun deck with a glass of champagne next to me while writing this blog but unfortunately all good things must come to an end! I do however, have the most amazing and fond memories of my sailing with Seabourn around the Greek Islands.
Stepping aboard we could immediately feel the luxury surrounding us and we were so looking forward to our week onboard and headed straight to our suite, perfectly positioned on port side to enjoy picturesque views every morning in a new port of call.
With only 300 suites onboard they all have balconies and are extremely spacious and well equipped with a walk in wardrobe, a large marble bathroom with separate shower, bathtub and his and hers sinks. The comfortable beds can be made up in your choice of queen or twin configuration. Drapes separate the bedroom from a lounge area with a sofa, table and chairs which is important when having breakfast in your cabin! The lounge area leads onto the private balcony which also has sun loungers and a table. Our cabin steward was very attentive and often calling on us to see if we needed anything extra or more importantly, if the complimentary mini bar needed restocking!
The Encore is well laid out and compact enough to easily get around to the public areas. The Seabourn Square is an inviting space that incorporates guest services, a library with use of computers a lounge-like comfortable seating area and a coffee bar. You can treat yourself to a pastry, delicious ship made ice cream or a variety of sandwiches too.
Up on Deck 11, is the stylish Observation Bar. A skylight is positioned over the circular bar and floor to ceiling glass windows lead onto an observation deck with 180 degree views. A coffee station is at the ready by 6 am, late afternoon it serves a proper High Tea. Starting at 6pm there is tapas and live music.
There are 2 pools. The larger pool on the sun deck and one smaller but perfectly formed pool on deck 7 which also has two whirlpools. There is also a whirlpool on deck 5. The latter two are quiet havens to relax with a book and a drink. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see ‘The Retreat’ but this is an area with 15 private cabanas available to hire for an extra charge. A bar, limited menu and whirlpool are also available here too.
Onto the food. Food glorious food! There are 5 dining outlets on board. All included in the cost of your cruise, plus in suite dining. The Colonnade is the buffet restaurant. There isn’t masses of choice but it’s all about quality not quantity and what is available is superb quality. The best prawn cocktails I’ve ever tasted. There are also a few made to order items available too such as burgers, grilled chicken and fish. Don’t get me started on the choice of desserts, they’re all my favourite!
Sushi restaurant does exactly what is says on the tin and is available for lunch and dinner.
The Restaurant is the main a la carte dining room available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No reservations are required here and the dress code is smart casual. The Patio is on the sun deck which features a small buffet selection for lunch and a late afternoon snack by the pool. Made to order food is also available including a fish of the day. The piece de resistance is The Thomas Keller Grill. This is an American themed chop house by a Michelin starred chef. Available for dinner only, reservations are required for this restaurant and you’ll need to be quick to get a space so my recommendation would be to book a table as soon as you get on board. The Maitre D’ will show you to your table, another waiter will take your food order and the wine sommelier advises on the best choice of wine for your particular dish. A premium wine list is also available at an extra charge.
You will always find something to keep you entertained on board. During your day, If you are not on one of the exciting shore excursions, you can attend a lecture, play a game of cards or relax with a yoga class. Evenings are varied with west end style shows in the theatre, comedy shows or watch a film under the stars with a bowl of popcorn.
There is a small casino onboard, a couple of boutique shops and a spa onboard too. The spa is very popular on sea days so best to book your treatments as soon as possible. Tipping is not required on board nor is it expected by the staff.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Encore. It was made even better by the attentiveness and attention to detail by all the staff and crew onboard. Their service is second to none and I would not hesitate to recommend a Seabourn cruise to anyone.