Seabourn Cruise Line is a by-word for exceptional service standards and my introduction to them confirmed this reputation.
I’d left my camera next to the check-in kiosk at Nice airport as I printed my boarding pass and it was a few minutes before I realised it was missing. An hour of consternation ensued including a visit to the airport police and finishing with a despondent me going through airport security sans my new camera.
However, a wonderful French employee of Seabourn Cruise Line helped me in my search, translating when needed and generally ‘holding my hand’. She appreciated the seriousness of the situation and did not give up hope. My property was finally found and she came through security to return it to me. This tale conveys the wonderful level of service that Seabourn Cruise Line provides.
At every turn, with Seabourn Cruise Line there is a helpful, friendly, concerned member of staff making sure that your every need is looked after. As soon as we boarded the new Seabourn Quest, a member of staff was there instantly with a glass of champagne. Seabourn’s notorious attention to detail and excellent service might initially seem over the top but it is what defines the brand as ultra luxury. The staff to guest ratio – nearly one member of staff to every guest – is a big contributing factor towards providing this experience.
My immediate impression was one of sophisticated glamour with neutral shades, a few accent colours punctuated with notable pieces of art
We had flown into Nice for our taste of Seabourn Cruise Line and were being transferred to Monaco and the port at Monte Carlo. As our bus climbed over the mountains and began moving down toward the sea, we were able to spot Seabourn Quest’s gleaming white around each hair-pin turn. It was, appropriately, moored alongside the supersize luxury yachts that this part of the world is famous for.
And what a ship she is. First and foremost, Seabourn Quest is just the right size. Not too big at 640 feet long and with 11 decks, you won’t get lost and never see acquaintances again. And not too small either, having just the right balance of facilities, restaurants and public spaces so it doesn’t feel claustrophobic.
Seabourn Quest: on the inside
My immediate impression of the interior was one of sophisticated glamour with neutral shades, a few accent colours scattered throughout and punctuated with notable pieces of art. My suite, all cabins on board Seabourn Quest are suites, was spacious: two lovely soft yellow leather chairs arranged around a table, walk-in closet, top to bottom marble bathroom and an amazingly comfortable bed with quality linens. And every nook and cranny stuffed with premium products.
The decor in the main formal restaurant is a subtle black and white scheme, with elegant furniture and gleaming pillars. Again, first impressions are important and my grilled sea bream served with a gorgeous Chardonnay at our first dinner was perfect. Decadent desserts finished off this delicious feast.
Seabourn Square is a new innovation for the cruise line. Instead of a traditional reception desk with a counter separating guests from staff, Seabourn Square is a lounge with a living-room type atmosphere. The concierge staff are housed just about in the middle with a discreet box-shaped office containing four desks and surrounded by walls cut off at about 6-foot high. The internet area is next door and all of Seabourn Square is open plan to encourage sociability. There is also a coffee bar manned by two excellent baristas which offers lovely pastries and sandwiches, too.
Seabourn Quest: relaxation and leisure
One of the most luxurious areas on any ship is the spa and there is plenty of attention to detail lavished on this one. The Thermal Suite with the Kneipp Step treatment pool with heated stone sun-beds arranged around it drew me into its ambience. On top of the pool is a glass statue of a women’s body cut off at the thighs in glowing iridescent colours that changed almost imperceptibly.
Unfortunately the weather was poor so we didn’t get to use the Seabourn Quest Marina. The marina is the water sport area of the ship that houses boats, water skis and all manner of ‘toys’ for the enjoyment of more active guests.
All are stored on the sea level deck of the ship with a massive hatch that can be lowered allowing equipment to float out of the ship. Instead we had to suffice with a visit to the bijou village of St Tropez with its lovely shops, quaint old town and astonishing marina. This really is where the rich and famous come out to play.
I must admit my favourite place on Seabourn Quest is the pool dock with ice cream and drinks bar and Patio Grill. Even when the sun isn’t out, it’s a super relaxing place to have a drink, light meal and crash out on a sun lounger or even indulge in a dip in the Jacuzzi. On our last evening on board, several of us headed to the Patio Grill to have a surf and turf meal – delicious!
Too soon it was time to leave but once home, I began making plans to book a longer cruise on Seabourn Quest and started spreading the news – for the discerning traveller, Seabourn Quest is an experience not to be missed.
Seabourn Quest: specifications
- 32,000 GRT
- 19 knots cruising speed
- 11 decks
- 450 guests (double occupancy)
- 335 crew
Eight day Mediterranean Autumn
Departure Port: Piraeus (Athens), Greece
Departure Dates: Oct 31, 2011
Ports of Call: Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Gythion, Greece; Valletta, Malta; Trapani, Italy; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Malaga, Spain
11 day Dalmatian coast and Greece
Departure Port: Venice, Italy
Departure Dates: Apr 23, 2012
Ports of Call: Venice, Italy; Koper, Slovenia; Ravenna (San Marino), Italy; Opatija, Croatia; Sibenik, Croatia; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Scenic Cruising Bay of Kotor; Kerkira, Corfu, Greece; Argostoli, Greece; Pylos, Greece; Thira (Santorini), Greece; Piraeus (Athens), Greece
To book a cruise visit Seabourn Cruise Line or call 0845 070 0500.