Yesterday, we took pricing off the table comparing the top accommodations on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas to a similar ride on Seabourn Quest. Now, let’s talk about the sailing experience on board Seabourn as compared to Royal Caribbean.
Both ships float.
That’s just about the only common element both share and even that is different. Seabourn Quest bobs around in the water, even when docked, while Freedom of the Seas is tied down hard in port. On a big ship, at sea, I often have to look out of a window to verify that we are actually moving. This is not an issue on Seabourn Quest. In fact, during sea conditions that would not be noticeable on a big ship, movement on Seabourn Quest is discernable.
A trip to the bridge early in our voyage verified that Quest has stabilizer bars that are extended during rough seas and all the modern technology that we see on big ships. The ocean just has her way more with the smaller vessel.
Motion-lovers will be in heaven. I sleep like a baby when ships are rocking and rolling through the night and Quest delivered some wonderful slumber. Those prone to motion discomfort will need to take precautions. Really. Bonine will probably do the trick for most and a variety of preventive measures are available in the ship’s store.
Directly comparing what big ship lovers won’t find on Seabourn Quest is probably a good way to continue defining the Seabourn experience in a relatable way. Elements of the big ship experience we don’t find on Quest include:
- We don’t find Pool games- There is no belly-flop, hairy-chest or best-bikini contest here. Instead, luxurious and abundant lounge chairs grace a spacious deck area serviced by crew members that attend to guests every need including afternoon “massage moments” when specialists from the ship’s spa melt away any tension left in guests that has not already been tended to.
- We don’t find a never-ending schedule of events- I’ve often said, “There is so much to do (on a big ship) that no one could possibly do it all.” On Seabourn Quest, you can. If you want to.
- We don’t find a - There is not a children’s program or dedicated space for children. The line does provide some programming during holiday sailings when some multi-generational families might sail.
- We don’t find Mall-like shopping- While there are a few logo items, cologne, jewelry, make-up and clothing, there are no duty-free alcohol or cigarette sales, inches of gold or tables of t-shirts.
- We don’t find charges for everything- All alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and bottled waters (still or sparkling), in-suite movies and more are included in the price as are gratuities. This one item alone goes a long way in the value department. We have a cruise card but use it primarily as identification and the key to our suite.
- We don’t find an army of cleaning people- On big ships I say, in a very positive way, that “there always seems to be someone cleaning”. Polishing brass, vacuuming floors, cleaning carpets, you don’t have to look far. On Seabourn the ship is immaculate all the time and I rarely see someone cleaning it.
- We don’t hear a lot of announcements- Hearing the cruise director over the ships loudspeaker system is rare. Usually just to announce when local authorities in a new port have cleared the ship.
- We don’t get tender tickets- With a smaller ship-full of guests and relaxed onboard ambiance, guests naturally stagger going ashore and there is rarely a wait.
- We don’t find booze smugglers- There is no reason to, it’s included. In fact, the line asks guests in advance of arrival what they want in their (really cold) in-suite refrigerator then keep it stocked throughout the journey.
- We don’t wonder where the captain is- We see the master of the vessel throughout the day as we do the hotel manager, often stopping to talk to guests and actually engage in conversation.
- We don’t wait for room service- Like most cruise lines, it is available 24 hours day. Unlike other lines, service is snappy and whenever possible, the room service department is proactive. After two days of ordering coffee at 4AM, I was asked if I would like that as a standing order. I did. It has been there ever since.
- We don’t find pesky photographers- They just don’t do that here. There is no photo gallery or DVD of the cruise. We don’t find crew members dressed as pirates when we go ashore.
- We don’t find a lot of smokers- It is allowed in certain areas and, oddly, in suites and on balconies but there are just not a lot of smokers on board. I’m told by a variety of crew members that is normal.
- We don’t find drunks- Open the bar on pretty much any major cruise line and the possibilities are endless for what might happen. Here, the clientele enjoys the included alcoholic beverages but as a complement to what they are doing, eating, or enjoying at the time.
- We don’t find a massive casino operation- There are a few slot machines and a couple table games, that’s about it. A slot machine freak on other lines, I have been to this one once so far.
We don’t find boredom- considering some of the above, notably the tiny casino operation for me, one might think this Seabourn experience is a bit boring. It is not.
Now that we’ve illustrated what we don’t find on Seabourn, its possible to get into what we do find. That’s next as we close in on the end of our sailing and completion of our experience on board.
- Top digs on major cruise line vs the Seabourn experience (chriscruises.net)
- At sea, there is dining and then there is Seabourn (chriscruises.net)
- Sailing Seabourn: Check the attitude, set the stage (chriscruises.net)
- I think Guy Fieri is stalking me all the way to Seabourn Quest (chriscruises.net)