When the folks at The Yachts of Seabourn say, “This is your yacht,” they really mean it. At least, that’s what Alan and I discovered on a cruise with Seabourn Sojourn for her maiden trans-Atlantic voyage. Actually, we started our baby boomer cruise adventure in Civitavechhia, Italy, which meant two cruise segments on the 450-passenger luxury ship, before reaching Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Intimate spaces for relaxing
We found the newest of the Seabourn ships to be well thought out, offering intimate seating areas, inside and out, in almost every nook and cranny of the luxurious ship. One of my favorite spots was Seabourn Square, which is like a living room at sea. Comfortable leather sofas and chairs are grouped throughout the space, even spilling outside onto a large deck area. At one end of the room, a friendly barista mans the coffee bar with drinks to rival anything that Starbucks has on offer. Of course you’ll want to choose a goodie from the display case to go along with that coffee.
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A large wooden cubicle, surrounded by computer stations is the centerpiece of the room. Inside the cubicle, the concierge team mans three desks, 24-hours-a-day, ready to answer questions or solve any guest relations problems. Seabourn Square is also where you’ll find the cruise consultant’s desk, tucked into an alcove. And a comprehensive boutique is just a few steps away, providing relief to the shopaholics on-board.
Alan claimed one of the shaded chaise lounges at the back of the ship on deck 5 as his favorite yacht spot. Here, a small pool flanked by two whirlpool tubs provides quiet relaxation. Waiters stop by now and then serving specialty drinks or offering a cold towel. But, if you’re a baby boomer who likes to be in the middle of the action, then the main pool with two more whirlpool tubs is the place to be. There’s even a built-in stage for live music where Justine and The Variables entertain at sail-aways and special events.
Speaking of the pool area, several decks with comfortable lounge chairs look out over the pool, offering a variety of choices for lounging in the sun or taking cover in the shade. Balinese beds, two-person chaises with a wicker cover, sort of like a grown up baby bassinet, claim space beside the pool as well as on several of the overlooking decks. And, of course, waiters roam the decks with trays of icy beverages or perhaps a tasty ice cream dish.
Luxury in our suite
Seabourn Sojourn’s standard veranda suite is typical of small ship luxury accommodations, consisting of a bedroom area, walk in closet, living area with flat panel inter-active TV and the all important (at least to us) veranda. Rather than a desk in the living area, the Sojourn offers a table with two chairs. Alan and I found it convenient for room service meals as well as a space where we could both use computers at the same time. Although a long dresser in front of the bed makes for a tight passageway, the flat surface the dresser provides comes in handy as there seems to never be enough flat surface space in cruise suites for all of our papers, notes and paraphernalia.
On the veranda, a table and two patio chairs with slanted foot rests are a comfortable touch. We enjoyed early morning coffee and croissants there every day. (Shh, don’t tell anyone. One day I spent the entire day on the veranda wrapped in a plush robe that Seabourn provides, eating room service breakfast, resting, eating room service lunch, snoozing and relaxing.)
The marble bathroom with full-sized tub, separate shower and 2-sink vanity has to be about the best at sea. And I appreciated the Molton Brown bath products. Storage space was a little skimpy in the bathroom; but I always bring an over- the-door plastic shoe bag for holding toiletries, so it wasn’t a problem for us.
The walk-in closet provides clothes hanging space on one side, with racks for belts, scarves and ties on the other side. A bureau at the end of the closet offers deep drawers for storage and a safe, albeit a finicky one that gave us problems towards the end of the cruise. And here’s another nice touch, almost every evening, we would arrive back in our suite to find a surprise from our cabin attendant—a plate of candies, rose petals sprinkled on the bed or towels tied in fanciful shapes.
Insider’s tip: if you book a cabin towards the front of the ship on deck 6, it’s a short walk to a whirlpool tub near the bow. Call room service before you leave your suite. They’ll meet you with a glass of champagne. We know.
There’s so much to tell you about the Seabourn Sojourn Cruise that it won’t fit into one post. Are you curious about dining, entertainment and activity options? Stay tuned for Part Two.
Have you sailed on the Seabourn Sojourn? What did you think of the ship? Post a comment to share your experience.
Breaking News: Seabourn is changing its name from The Yachts of Seabourn to Seabourn Cruise Lines. Alan and I sure hope they keep the yacht emphasis as we felt this was the key ingredient that made the difference in our small ship luxury cruise experience.
Photos courtesy The Yachts of Seabourn.