CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

The Yachts of Seabourn Seabourn Pride by Norm Transatlantic Crossing March 17, 2003

Just completed my second cruise on the Pride and it is still as fantastic as the first time I sailed on her (can I still call the ship 'her'?).

First did a back to back cruise last year from Manaus, going down the Amazon ending in Fort Lauderdale. Then stayed on for the relocation crossing of the Atlantic to Funchal.

The Amazon cruise was out of this world. I don't normally do shore excursions but when you're in the Amazon, you really must. The excursions were extremely well organized by Denise (now on one of the SeaDreams, I believe). There was even a complimentary trip to a Boi Bamba show in Parintins. Incredible! We also stopped at Devil's Island - quite an experience.

I was one of only 3 passengers who stayed on for the crossing and it was noticeable that the average age went up by at least 10 years. Obviously, a different type of passenger is interested in a crossing than a more adventurous cruise. Also, at least about 75% of the officers and entertainment staff were replaced in Fort Lauderdale as the ship relocated for her European season.

This year I just did the relocation crossing from Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon.

OK, what about the ship and her crew. Fantastic! As a single person, I choose the Run of the Ship rate where I paid a 10% supplement for sole occupancy of a suite. That way, Seabourn advise me of the suite I'm in about a month before sail date. But as the suites are virtually all identical and it takes all of an extra 30 seconds to walk from the furthest suite to, say, the Verandah cafe, that really doesn't matter. That does mean that I am unlikely to be allocated a suite with a French balcony but that's a small disappointment.

The Officers and staff are extremely friendly and most of them know your name almost as soon as you board the ship. I think they must have a training session as you board! If you go to the buffet breakfast or lunch, you help yourself to your food but a waiter will then take your plate out of your hand to take it to a table for you. The first time this happened, I didn't understand what was going on (well, they don't do it in McDonalds!), and thought I must have done something wrong as I turned to look for a table and felt the plate being 'snatched' from my hand.

On the Amazon cruise, the Master was Captain Tove Sorenson, who was very nice but not quite as friendly as Captain Leif Rodahl who was the Master on both my crossings. He is an incredible guy and is willing to join in just about anything - you can see this from some of my photos I have posted. Please email me for the URLs if you are interested in seeing them.

The Cruise Director on the Amazon was Dan Hodge, a really great guy from Vancouver who I believe is now on the Legend. He was there with his wife and young son. The Assistant Cruise Directors were Jan and Paul, 2 really friendly Brits (where I am from).

On both crossings, the Cruise Director was Jan Stearman, a wonderful lady and great performer. Eric DeGray was one of the assistants on both cruises but the crossing this year was his last one with Jan as he is now joining Spirit as the new Cruise Director there. Eric is incredibly talented and it was a quite emotional time when Jan said her official farewell to him. David E. Greene was the other assistant on this crossing and is also very friendly and a great showman.

Norbert Fuchs was the Hotel Manager last year and Guy Sharp this year - both really nice people and very friendly.

I also have to mention Laura Salerno, my friend from Vistafjord days, who is a great cruise specialist ands Seabourn Club rep.

Currently, they have an excellent cocktail pianist on board on her first contract, Eileen Hunter, who is an extremely talented pianist with a beautiful singing voice.

All the waiters and bar staff are so friendly and it seems there is nothing they wouldn't do for you. They get to know what you drink and sometimes bring it to you unbidden - all the drinks on board are included in the rate except some special wines etc.

The suites are massive by my previous cruising standards. Separate sitting area from the sleeping area - walk-in closets and bathroom with 2 basins.

I haven't mentioned the food - exquisite!

I'm sure there are lots of things I've overlooked but I hope I've given a flavour (yes, that's how we spell in in the UK) of just what kind of experience you can expect on the M/S Seabourn Pride. I'm going back in September when the ship sails from Tower Bridge in London (and the Bridge opens for the ship to pass through) to NYC. Maybe see you there.


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