Seabourn Ovation…a voyage to remember
I was concerned that this voyage would not live up to what the brochures described as you step on board with such high expectations after researching, however I am pleased to say that the real experience did not disappoint.
On arrival in Athens we took a taxi to Piraeus, an easy journey and on arrival at the port, the car door had barely opened when the Seabourn Crew stepped in. The luggage was whisked away, iced water greeted us and white soft flannels to refresh and keep us cool were just the start. The check in and testing at the port was discreet, seamless, and easy and it wasn’t long before we were being led to our cabin and were introduced to our suite host and suite attendant, both friendly, relaxed and with a “nothing is too much trouble” approach. The journey was about to begin…
About the ship
Seabourn Ovation’s maiden voyage was in 2018, with Elaine Paige being its Godmother and Tim Rice and Thomas Keller joining its maiden voyage. The ship allows only 600 guests, which ensures that you can choose if you would like a quiet time, reading or sipping your favourite coffee or tipple and you need not be disturbed if you do not wish, there is plenty of space outside and in for quiet times.
In contrast when you feel like being with others, there are elegant bar areas where people gather for a drink, a read, a game or to meet and chat to fellow passengers, all with stories to tell of their experience and adventures so far. The passenger to crew ratio is 2 to 1, showing how Seabourn can reach the high levels of service and attention to detail that they provide. However, the overall atmosphere on board is not too formal, it’s surprisingly relaxed and very friendly, ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and at home, away from home.
Where to dine
You can choose depending on how you feel as there is a choice of 5 different restaurants. The Restaurant has an elegant but more formal vibe, great for steaks, chicken and seafood, if you like beef, please don’t leave without trying the Chateaubriand, and for those seafood lovers, the lobster is a must!
The ship also has an intimate Sushi restaurant which only seats 30 or try The Colonnade where you can enjoy a buffet or waiter service breakfast and hosts many a theme night, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, French, and others besides. The poolside Earth and Ocean restaurant, perfect for those who like candlelit al fresco dining on deck 9, where you can be serenaded by the live band after 9 pm – a great chill vibe, excellent cuisine, and starry skies to light up your night!
For those that want to visit The Grill by Thomas Keller, please book as far in advance as you can as there is no guarantee that you will get in and the memories of the cuisine and service you experience here will stay with you forever – trust me this one is a must!
Dress code on board
Overall is elegant casual and depending on your individual preference it varies from there. Some like to dress more formally, others don’t but providing men wear long trousers and a collared shirt in the evening, jackets are optional but may be preferable for a formal night. For ladies, cocktail dress or smart trousers are suggested for the evening, however a few elegant gowns were on show!
Having the freedom to choose depending on where you ate gave you complete flexibility and choice. A tip though, for those that travel in the early or late months of the year, a cardy or something to pop around your shoulders when you are having that nightcap outside on deck is advisable, as however hot the day has been, the evenings can still be chilly.
The Sailaways were enjoyed by many and it was a time when people gathered on deck to say farewell to one destination after a fun day of exploring, shopping and sightseeing. The band strikes up, the waiters are circulating to ensure everyone has their favourite tipple in hand to say cheers and thank you to the memories just made as you sail away from one place and make our journey to another. Stories are swapped, adventures and experiences shared, whilst also being excited for the next port of call. This event tends to become a happy habit, with a fantastic atmosphere and a great time for an aperitif or two prior to getting ready for dinner!
There is something for everyone… from the Caribbean, the Canaries, Western Mediterranean and more, however I chose the Greek Islands and Cyprus, including some jewels of the Aegean and some smaller islands that I would not have ever visited if I had not been on a cruise, here is just a flavour of the destinations I enjoyed.
A beautiful small island in the eastern reaches of the Aegean Sea. Cobbled streets, upmarket boutiques, and a chic café culture. Perfect for strolling, people watching and buying unique gifts or for topping up your wardrobe, beachwear, summer dresses and linen being a speciality.
A busier resort but a good port for a long beachfront stroll along a promenade with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to choose from. Or history is plentiful here for those wanting to visit shrines, churches, monasteries, or archaeological sites.
This island stole my heart and one to return to for a week’s holiday. An ancient walled city greeted us and one with character, plenty of history and personality great for shopping, bars and restaurants, however areas of calm and shaded areas to stop and rest. Twisting cobbled streets added to the charm and a friendly welcome from the locals too. Lots of choice when buying gifts, fabulous for leather goods, elegant summer clothes and some great jewellery too.
Famous for its volcanic cliffs, pristine whitewashed houses and breath-taking views, many new to the island could not believe it’s beauty and far- reaching views to neighbouring islands and across the ocean, truly magnificent. The volcano can be visited by boat from the old port of Thira and it’s worth taking the gentle stroll along the coastal path to visit one of the bars with stunning sea views, Mama Thira or Volcano are two of my favourites.
Summary of Seabourn
Relaxed luxury, very friendly, nothing was too much trouble and where the word “no” didn’t seem to exist. Like at Miles Morgan Travel, customers are at the heart of everything they do. The ability on a holiday to have quiet times to digest what you have seen and explored, contrasted with great atmospheres, dancing, outstanding cuisine and accommodation, plus great to see so many people enjoying themselves, living life to the full and particularly after the last two years – thoroughly recommended and just the tonic I needed!
Please do call me directly on 07500 930998 for first hand advice or a chat about Seabourn or anyone of our Cruise Specialists.