This was our first cruise with Seabourn.
Embarkation: Embarkation is a two stage process,with formalities taking place at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London,and actual embarkation at the Tower Pier near the Tower Bridge. It should be noted that the Pride is moored alongside the HMS Belfast on the opposite side of the Thames from the Tower Pier.This necessitates being tendered across the river,and,as was the case with us,if the water is choppy,getting onto,and off,the tender can be difficult,especially for less agile passengers. On boarding,one is greeted by a member of staff,and escorted to one's suite.
Accommodation: The suite is spacious,and well furnished,but,certainly in the "A" category,appears to lack adequate drawer space.
Service: The standard of service is quite simply superb.Staff are,without exception,ever helpful. However,several of us felt that there was an element of understaffing.This was noticiable at dinner.Given that several of the wait staff are due to be transferred in November to the QM2,it remains to be seen what,if any,impact this will have on service levels.It was noticiable that several of the wait staff looked exhausted.
Food: What can one say? Chef de Cuisine,Jorg Lehmann,and his team produced the most superb meals,no matter what the time of day.Where possible,fresh produce was purchased at ports of call,so the dining experience was even further enhanced.As for the Galley Lunch----it has to be seen to be believed!
Ports of call/Excursions: Excursions are a matter of personal preference,and in a sence ,one's enjoyment of a particular excursion can be influenced heavily by the weather. However,in Oslo look out for an elderly City Tour bus,with an equally elderly Guide who has a wicked sence of humour.For $15 dollars one obtains a 4 hour tour accompanied by a very witty commentary. Of the Seabourn organised tours,the Castles of North Zealand in Denmark is an excellent combination of Palaces,pretty villages,and even prettier countryside. In the Netherlands,the village of Edam is unbelievably pretty.
Ambience: We had read that the ambience on the ship could be somewhat formal,and aloof.This could not be further from the truth.In fact,the atmosphere was extremely friendly,and was like one big,happy family. One certainly pays a premium for a Seabourn cruise,but it is,notwithstanding my above noted reservations,a premium product/experience.