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Paul Motter February 10th, 2011 01:51 PM

Seabourn's new ships? Are they spectacular?
With the introduction of Oceania Marina it occured to me that Seabourn is a main contender in the sense that there are not that many NEW luxury ships.

And by the way - if you think Marina is not luxury just because the pricing is not inclusive then I think you have to re-assess how to determine luxury.

Marina is a stunningly beautiful ship with fantastic food - and the food is all inclusive, even many luxury lines try to charge extra for alternative dining - not Marina. Even better, the alternative dining spots are BIG so you should have no trouble getting in several times per cruise - except for Jacques which is limited seating for a good reason.

But my question here is about NEW SHIPS. Marina is a beautiful ship, while I have found some luxury ships to be stark and cold. The cabins are extraordinarily comfortable.

I am interested in what people think about comparing the new Seabourn ships (for food and accomodations) to Marina - since they are both new ships.

And for that matter - add in Silversea Silver Spirit.

Paul Motter February 10th, 2011 07:38 PM


Paul, you do not seem to understand loyalty of Seabourn repeaters. Please cease criticizing Seabourn until you have sailed on her.
I always find it interesting when people try to tell me what I am allowed to say. I could say the same thing and ask you not to judge Marina until you have sailed on her.

And to say I "criticized' Seabourn is a leap. I didn't say anything negative about the line.

As I pointed out in the Crystal thread - Oceania is losing Nautica and gaining Riviera next year - that means the Oceania standard will be the "Marina-class" very soon.

I feel you do not understand how lovely Marina is as a ship, or the quality of the culinary experience onboard.

I suggest you go to the Oceania thread and look for links to the Marina photo galleries I have posted.

I think loyalty to a cruise line is fine - but I am not convinced it is universal. Some people are loyal, but some like move around and try different things. I am just pointing out, in case you didn't know, that Marina is a far nicer ship than most people probably expected.

I am not sure inclusiveness is that important a disctinction between Marina and Seabourn. I would have been far more convinced if you had cited size and the focus on destinations over the onboard experience as the main differences.

Paul Motter February 10th, 2011 07:47 PM

And just to be clear - I didnt have a single meal on marina, including a Sunday brunch, that did not serve caviar. In fact, the brunch is called the "Caviar Brunch and Breakfast" - pretty clear.

Jut a couple of random caviar pictures I picked out. Of course we all know there is no real caviar right now - just American Sturgeon roe, that is true on all cruise lines.

For caviar, I have to say Crystal outdid themselves for me. We had a caviar feast one day - we ate so much we didn't even bother going to dinner that night.

Colonel(ret.)wes February 11th, 2011 12:21 AM

Hi Paul,

Cruise thought provoking thread topic, thanks for starting.

Altho having not sailed on the Marina (very close was booked for eight months on the Maiden and was going to sail on the shakedown just prior to the Maiden but 60 days out had to cancel). From what I've read, and what my Travel Agents who were on the 3 day voyage with you (pls see below) told me in private emails--strongly agree with you that the Marina exceeds expectations--is a game changer. Will be interesting to read what others (I know well a few CC posters who sail SB, Regent, Azamara, SS that will soon sail Marina) have to say about the Marina. Methinks they will strongly echo your very favorable comments. We can't wait to sail on Seabourn's newest ship (Quest) we will be on the maiden crossing in November.

Can only contribute this judgement, out of six luxury ships (Regent and SS) we have sailed on, by far, the SS Spirit is absolutely the poorest designed lux ship we have sailed. Why?

--no bathrooms in the wonderful venue--Observation Lounge (Deck11) nearest bathroom is on the pool deck (two decks down)..this is a great venue (but has not bathrooms--on reflection not so great) to escape the liberal smoking policy on SS.
--common area gym microscopic (aerobics room in particular); no separate men & women's sauan/spa (unisex) with only one shower.
--show theater is awful is design, acoutistics and view
--stars supper club-- nice concept but does not have a dedicated kitchen
--veranda cabins way too narrow due to fancy tv in mirror complex (u have to crawl over bed to get adult beverage if Ida uses vanity)
--with all pax decks forward coupled with SS liberal smoking policy (in suites OK, that just made verandas no go) with SS's heavy European clientele for the first time (not on Shadow or Whisper) you get second hand smoke in your cabin (bothered my wife/Ida) plus the smoke smell hits you on every pax deck (I tried them)

PS..Winner, Silversea Spirit does have another dining venue that charges a fee (unlike
the Whisper, Shadow, Cloud, Wind). The SS Spirit Asian venue (Seishin) charges $30 pp and if you add Sake with each course it goes up to $80pp is what one of Crystal's top selling Travel Agents said in a private email to me yesterday regarding Marina (she has been on dozens and dozens of Crystal cruises) She was on the
same three day voyage as Paul was:

"The ship was A plus. I just loved the food, the ship and the employees. The ship is head to head with Crystal Cruises. I absolutely loved Red Ginger Restaurant! The spacious meeting areas were perfect! I have pictures for you, but I just need to get them off my camera and I will email them over to you. There was not one bite of food that was below the level of excellence.

"Funny about being a league changer because my husband and I discussed this with Frank Del Rio and ..... Frank states it like this: I want to keep the Marina as "upper premium" to "under promise and over-deliver", in other words, to exceed the expectations of every guest.

We have sailed many, many times on Crystal and the Marina is equivalent in food and service but nicer details on the ship. I am going to make arrangements tonight to revisit the Marina in March."

She is a beauty!

Paul Motter February 11th, 2011 12:37 AM

I have seen Silver Spirit also and I have to agree - all the suites are forward and I have never understood putting all the suites in the roughest places on the ship.

Marina has a lot of nice amenities - like the Bon Apetiti kitchen and artists loft.

I actually remind me more of Crystal than anything else.

No one has ever really done a thorough cost analysis of how much you "pay" for the privilege of inclusiveness, except I would almost guarantee you you are paying full price for a full cruise of total immersion in "free liquor, tips, shore excursions, etc" daily.

So - how do you really assess luxury? Is it a perfect day at sea - with no port of call? or is it perfect food, drink and company? and paying for somethings a la carte really shouldn't make and difference?

At hotels people pay the bill, they don't fret because it wasn't an all inclusive hotel. Do cruises really have to be different?

GrannyLorr February 15th, 2011 05:16 PM

I am afraid that I cant really add anything to this question comparing Seabourns new ships with Marina as I have never seen any of them! Poor Granny seems to keep booking the smaller ships. I suppose one day I will manage to actually board one of the new ones....probably when they are "old" ones!
I am sure "luxury" means something different to everyone. The photos of Marina certainly make her look a beatiful ship but for me I would always prefer "all inclusive everything"! I would rather pay a higher price up front then not have to worry about any extra costs while I am onboard. Those who have sailed the mass market lines for years probably dont have a problem with signing everytime you want a drink etc, and paying extra for water, coffee and all the other things I take for granted with Seabourn. However our first cruise was with Seabourn, so we have been spoilt and have come to "enjoy" being spoilt. I have looked at other cruiselines and compared prices and Seabourn always comes up very favourably. So although I "never say never", I cant see us going far from Seabourn at this stage. Do I sound like a cheerleader?? :mrgreen:

Paul Motter February 15th, 2011 05:29 PM

NOt at all, Granny.

There is a LOT to be said for always going with a company where you have had a good experience.

A lot of people do this - when you had a good experience and you want that experience again it only makes sense to go back to the same place.

Cruising is a rare and expensive vacation and you shouldn't take chances unless you really want something different.

I could find different ways to define luxury etc, but I have no reason to tell you your definition is wrong - so, no you don't sound like a cheerleader, you sound like a happy camper.

Katzenjammer February 15th, 2011 06:10 PM

I have had a lot of good cruises on different cruise lines.

I realy like river cruises because all of the tours are included, but it seems a little stingy to me for Regent to only offer tours under $200 as included in the cruise. That means I only get the cheap tours included. But i should not judge since I have not tried Regent. I also have not tried the new Seabourn ships but I like small ones, too. I have never been treated better on a cruise.

As the truth is I don't drink very much and when I see a person drinking a lot on an inclusive cruise I can't help thinking I'm paying for that.

But people have different views on money & value. What Granny finds to be a worthwhile cost (not having to sign) may be the opposite to other people.

If not having to sign a ticket is the definition of luxury, why do luxury cruise lines offer bottles of special wine at an added cost? You have to sign for those, right?

I guess I just don't see the need to sign something as a big difference in the cruise itself - I mean compared to the food, the itinerary, the stateroom....

GrannyLorr February 15th, 2011 06:15 PM

I would be a much "happier camper" if I could cruise more often.....just looked at the lottery numbers for last weekend...:cry:
My "dream" is a World Cruise....but just a dream at the moment.....

nadine at sea February 16th, 2011 03:18 PM

On my first Seabourn cruise they still charged for drinks. Back then it was, I think, Crystal ? that was considering adding them free of charge. It was a big change for the luxury market. I love not having to sign for anything other than my spa treatments and would have a hard time going back to the signing.

And I don’t feel guilty for drinking a bit more champagne. My last Seabourn I had 3 children with me who were ‘Seabourn’ underage (though 2 of them were legal at home) and I still paid full price. It was my duty to drink that champagne for them. 

(Ironically, there was no legal problem with letting them blow their money in the casino.)

Paul Motter February 16th, 2011 08:56 PM

I see a lot of mentions of champagne with Seabourn.

I don't really like champagne. When Eric was here he mentioned the champagne that kept coming by the pool even witrhout asking.

I suppose if it is really good champagne it might be different, but my experience is "free" champagne is rarely very good. I can't tell you how many bottles of "free" welcome aboard champagne I have left behind.

Do you know what kind they serve on Seabourn?

I had mumm on Azamara and I was unimpressed. I can barely stabd a drink of the stuff - far too much sugar and it really burns by esophageal reflux.

By the way - did you know champage and sweets is considered a very non-gourmet combination? (just asking - no reason)

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