Seabourn Ovation Review

Nov 13, 2023 | CRUISE LINES, REVIEWS, SEABOURN | 0 comments

Seabourn Ovation 5 star review

Introduction

If you looking for an unforgettable luxury cruise experience? Look no further than Seabourn Ovation. This stunning ship combines elegant design, exquisite cuisine, and exceptional service to create a truly unique voyage. From the luxurious accommodations to the world-class entertainment options, Seabourn Ovation has something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the deck and soak up the sun, explore exotic ports of call, or indulge in gourmet dining, this ship offers the ultimate in pampering and relaxation. Don’t miss your chance to set sail on an adventure of a lifetime aboard Seabourn Ovation.

Seabourn Logo
Seabourn Ovation 510x287 2

Seabourn Ovation - Our Opinion

(5/5)
We loved our return to Seabourn Ovation and all that it had to offer. We would not hesitate to recommend this ship to cruisers who prefer small ship All Inclusive Luxury

Ratings

Ship
Accomodation
Food
Service
Entertainment
Overall Cruise Experience 95%
QUICK FACTS: Seabourn Ovation
Operator:Seabourn Cruise LinePassengers:532-638
Year Built:2018Crew:330
Registry:Nassua, BahamasPassenger Space Ratio:63
Builder:FincantieriCrew to Passenger Ratio:1 : 1.6
Class:Encore ClassDecks:12 Decks
Speed:19 knotsStyle:Ultra Luxury
Gross Tonnage:40,350 GRTLength:650 ft
Berlitz Rating:5 starsBeam:84 ft
Godmother:Elaine Paige

Pre Cruise Experience

We have been looking forward to revisiting Seabourn Ovation, when we last sailed on its Inaugural voyage in 2018. As long-term supporters of the Seabourn brand with over 200 sailing days under our belt, this was an excellent opportunity to compare the product, service and cuisines and report on our experience.

Booking the cruise was simple as we knew what we wanted, a simple task for our travel agent to process. As mentioned before, we always use a specialist travel agent when booking any cruise as they provide better prices than booking directly with the cruise lines and generally offer a more personalised service.

Related: Why you should use a Specialist Travel Agent to Book your cruise

From a Seabourn perspective, once you book, you can access an online account that details all your booked and past cruises. You can complete your guest registration documentation and eventually download your boarding pass. You are also invited to download and print your paper luggage tags. This is a noticeable cost saving measure as we used to receive lovely leather luggage tags, which we continue to use whenever we travel.

You can also book your shore excursions through this online portal and make restaurant reservations for the Grill by Thomas Keller, which is Seabourn’s speciality-featured dining venue. Sadly, we could not book online as we were told there was no availability! We understand that Thomas Keller will be replaced by a new Dining Experience in 2024.

Social media posts suggested this bookig issue was normal and we should book onboard on the first day of our cruise which we did without any bother.

Alongside the online portal, Seabourn has also developed an app called SOURCE, which mirrors much of what is available online plus a lot more.

As we are shareholders in Carnival Corporation, we are entitled to an onboard credit on every Carnival brand ship we sail on. We were privileged to $250, which our travel agent organised for us.

Related: How to Get and Spend Onboard Credits

We have been looking forward to revisiting Seabourn Ovation, which we last sailed on its Inaugural voyage in 2018. As long-term supporters of the Seabourn brand with over 200 sailing days under our belt, this was an excellent opportunity to compare the product, service and cuisines and report on our experience.

Booking the cruise was simple as we knew what we wanted, a simple task for our travel agent to process. As mentioned before, we always use a specialist travel agent when booking any cruise as they provide better prices than booking directly with the cruise lines and generally offer a more personalised service.

Related: Why you should use a Specialist Travel Agent to Book your cruise

From a Seabourn perspective, once you book, you can access an online account that details all your booked and past cruises. You can complete your guest registration documentation and eventually download your boarding pass. You are also invited to download and print your paper luggage tags. This is a noticeable cost-saving measure as we used to receive lovely leather luggage tags, which we continue to use whenever we travel.

You can also book your shore excursions through this online portal and make restaurant reservations for the Grill by Thomas Keller, which is Seabourn’s speciality-featured dining venue. Sadly, we could not book online as we were told there was no availability! We understand that Thomas Keller will be replaced by a new Dining experience in 2024.

Social media posts suggested this booking issue was normal and we should book onboard on the first day of our cruise, which we did without any bother.

Alongside the online portal, Seabourn has also developed an app called SOURCE, which mirrors much of what is available online, plus a lot more.

As we are shareholders in Carnival Corporation, we are entitled to an onboard credit on every Carnival brand ship we sail on. We were privileged to $250, which our travel agent organised for us.

Related: Why We Love Cruising with Seabourn

Seabourn Ovation Review

From the Maiden Voyage in 2018

Seabourn Ovation Welcome

Always a warm welcome from Seabourn

Check-in and Boarding Process

The Seabourn check-in and boarding experience §is a testament to the cruise line’s commitment to luxury and efficiency. From the moment we arrived at our embarkation port, we were greeted by a seamless and personalised process that transforms boarding into a stress-free and enjoyable part of your cruise adventure.

Check-in was straightforward, and as we were in the first group to board the ship. Once onboard, we made reservations in person at The Grill by Thomas Keller. There were no issues making reservations as only 20% of available slots are available for online booking, with 80% open to book onboard.

Lunch was served in the Colonnade buffet restaurant, which was very busy. Surprisingly, even though we were in the first group to board the restaurant was packed with very few seats available. Los newly arrived guests wandered aimlessly around the ship with their hand luggage, hoping to find somewhere to sit. Not a good first experience of Seabourn. The lines for the food were not good, and it was a bun fight to get food.

For us this was quite a surprise as the ship was not full – 450 guests where the ship capacity is 604.

One of the hallmarks of the Seabourn check-in experience is the avoidance of long lines and crowds. Unlike larger cruise ships, where embarkation can sometimes feel like a logistical challenge, Seabourn’s smaller, intimate ships allow for a more exclusive and personal boarding process. Upon arrival, you’ll find yourself welcomed by attentive staff ready to assist you with your luggage and ensure a swift and smooth check-in.

Seabourn also takes advantage of cutting-edge technology to streamline the boarding process. Many guests can complete pre-cruise registration online, minimising paperwork and wait times. Upon arrival, you’ll be issued your Seabourn identification card, which serves as your room key, boarding pass, and payment method throughout your journey. This clever card ensures you can start enjoying your cruise experience almost immediately.

Once on board, you’ll be struck by the warm and inviting atmosphere that sets Seabourn apart. You’re not just another passenger; you’re a cherished guest, and the crew takes pride in making you feel at home from the moment you step on board.

Whether you’re greeted with a glass of champagne or a refreshing cocktail, the Seabourn boarding experience marks the beginning of a truly exceptional journey. It’s a fitting introduction to the world of luxury, fine dining, and personalised service that awaits you on the high seas with Seabourn.

Accomodation

Our suite was a V3 grade on deck 7 and it was spacious and very comfortable. We had actually forgotten just how lovely the accommodation is on Seabourn.

It features four areas:

  • Bedroom with a lovely king-sized bed
  • Sitting area with 3 seater sofa and small glass writing desk with two leather chairs and a stool.
  • A delightful bathroom with a walk-in shower and separate bath, plus a generous balcony
  • Walk in Closet

There is plenty of storage with multiple drawers and cupboards. Full-length blackout curtains can separate the bedroom and sitting area- a nice touch if one of you wants to sleep while your roommate reads or watches a film.

Other amenities included in the suite were a safe minibar, which is restocked daily with your preferred beverages.

Cabin decor is upmarket, with a dark brown wood-patterned veneer and cream wall coverings. The walk-in closet features plenty of drawers and hanging space for longer cruises. Behind the bed are padded leather decorations acting as cushioned headboards. The carpeting in the cabin was grey with a cream and blue diamond pattern.

A Samsung flat-screen TV in each cabin offers a good selection of free TV channels, movies, music and much more. You can also monitor your onboard account and view the daily cruise program.

Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship, is adequate for most of the time, and is often very slow. (Space X Starlink had not been installed on the ship at the time of writing). The lighting is fully adjustable with mood lighting if needed. Each bedside has a pin reading light, various power sockets and a USB charging outlet. More USB points would be a bonus, particularly close to the writing desk where you usually keep your laptop or iPad.

Seabourn Ovation Veranda Suite
Seabourn Ovation Bathroom

Dining Options

Seabourn Ovation is known for its exceptional dining experiences, and the ship offers a variety of dining venues to suit all tastes. Whether you prefer formal dining or a casual bite, Seabourn Ovation has got you covered. Here is a rundown of all the dining venues on board the ship:

The Restaurant

The Restaurant is the main dining venue on Seabourn Ovation, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in an elegant, contemporary setting. The menu features a range of international cuisine, from Italian and French to Asian and American. The Restaurant offers open seating, so you can dine whenever and with whomever you like.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea
This is served in the Observation lounge on deck 11 and for us was a winner. Lots of fine teas to choose from and a beautiful array of lite bites served on a tiered cake stand including savouries, cakes and of course scones. A real treat but not well supported.

Comfortably furnished with good menu choices and an impressive Vegan menu. Well done Seabourn. The service was sometimes slow and it took a while to et orders taken and then a long wait for food. After finding Gareth who seemed to be the best waiter onbaord, everything was fine.

The complimenatry wine choices were very good but you had to keep asking for your glass to be topped up! The wine waiters seemed to be more interested in serving thos folks who had ordered premium wines.

We found the MDR was not open for breakfast on port days which we found disappointing as this is one of our treats when cruising. The option of a bun fight in the Colonnade did not appeal so we choose a light breakfast in Seabourn Square or in the Patio Grill.

The Colonnade

The Colonnade is a casual, buffet-style restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch, as well as themed dinners. The menu features a range of international cuisine, including sushi, pizza, and pasta. The Colonnade also has an outdoor seating area, which is perfect for dining al fresco on a sunny day.

The Grill by Thomas Keller

The Grill by Thomas Keller is Seabourn Ovation’s signature restaurant, and it offers a gourmet dining experience inspired by the classic American steakhouse. The menu features premium cuts of meat, seafood, and a range of other dishes, all prepared with the finest ingredients. The Grill is open for dinner only, and reservations are required.

We have eaten in Thomas Keller many times before and have found the food to be too rich with a never changing menu, but we decided to try again. The food was good, and the service was not as theatrical as it has been. More relaxed and less pretentious. Excellent wines and good service. A good option for something different on Seabourn with its limited dining venues.

Seabourn Ovation Review 2
Seabourn Ovation Review 10

Sushi

Sushi is a small, intimate venue that serves traditional Japanese cuisine, including sushi, sashimi, and other delicacies. The menu features a range of fresh, high-quality ingredients, and the chefs are skilled in the art of Japanese cuisine. Sushi is open for dinner only, and reservations are required. We tried the Sushi for lunch, and it was delicious. We are not really into Sushi, but Seabourn offers a Bento-style cooked lunch which we thoroughly enjoyed.

The Patio

The Patio is a casual, outdoor venue and poolside grill serving a selection of salads, pizza, burgers etc for lunch and in the evening the converts into Earth and Ocean. The evening menu is more sophisticated but has a limited choice on the menu. Favourites included Misco Balck Cod And the Farmers Style Baked Camembert.
This was also our go-to venue for breakfast which avoided the scramble for food in the Collenade Bufet. Here we were served n style with smoothies, parties and a number of healthy breakfast choices including Tatines and Tagines. Delightful.

In-Suite Dining

If you prefer to dine in the comfort of your own suite, Seabourn Ovation offers a 24-hour in-suite dining service. The menu features a range of dishes, from breakfast in bed to a romantic dinner for two. In-suite dining is available at any time, day or night.

Seabourn Square

Looking for a cosy spot to enjoy speciality teas, coffees, and light bites throughout the day? We found the perfect spot! We visited this place every morning for a refreshing takeaway cup of tea or coffee, and sometimes we decided to sit and relax with a mid-morning coffee and a slice of delicious Grandma Cake. We were thrilled to see that takeaway cups are now made of china with a rubber lid and heat protectors – not only do they work well, but they are also reusable, helping to reduce waste from paper cups and plastic lids.

Seabourn Ovation Veranda Suite
Seabourn Ovation Veranda Suite
Seabourn Ovation Bathroom
Seabourn Ovation Bathroom

Entertainment Options

If you’re looking for entertainment options that cater to your every mood and preference, Seabourn Ovation has got you covered. Here are some of the entertainment options we enjoyed during our voyage:

Grand Salon

The Grand Salon is the ship’s main venue for entertainment, and it hosts a wide range of shows, performances, and events. From Broadway-style productions to live music performances and comedy acts, there’s always something happening here to entertain you.

This is where Seabourn really excells. We have always found the Seabourn singers and dancer perform some of best shows at sea and on this voyage we had some spectacular performances in the Grand salon. Produced by Belinda King, you would do well to find better shows in the West End.
We loved them to bits.

Seabourn Conversations

Seabourn Conversations is a series of lectures, talks, and discussions featuring guest speakers, artists, historians, and other experts. These sessions are designed to stimulate your mind and expand your knowledge of the world around you.

Other Fun Activities

Seabourn Ovation offers a wide range of activities and events to keep you entertained throughout your voyage. Here are some of the unique activities we enjoyed during our time on board:

1. Trivia: If you’re a fan of trivia games, you’ll love the daily trivia sessions on Seabourn Ovation. These are hosted by the ship’s entertainment team and cover a wide range of topics, from history and geography to pop culture and current events. Always very competitive!

2. Bridge: If you’re a fan of card games, you’ll embrace the bridge sessions on Seabourn Ovation. These sessions are open to all guests and are a great way to meet new people, lear how to play Bridge and enjoy some friendly competition.

3. Knit and Natter: If you’re a fan of knitting or crochet, you’ll love the Knit and Natter sessions. These were hosted by the ship’s cruise director and are open to all skill levels. You can bring your own projects or start something new with the materials provided.

4. Dance Classes: If you’re looking to improve your dance skills or simply enjoy some fun exercise, the dance classes on Seabourn Ovation are a great option. From ballroom dancing to line dancing and Zumba, there’s something for everyone.

5. Wine Tasting: If you’re a wine enthusiast, there were some excellent wine tasting sessions. These sessions are hosted by the ship’s sommelier and offer a variety of wines from around the world but were a paid for extra. Great for those us who enjoy our wines.

Conclusions

We loved this cruise. It felt not just like the before-Covid times, but before even the before-Covid times in many ways. Friendly, helpful, professional staff who remembered your name, and dining preferences, great food and service. It’s what we wanted and what we got!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WELCOME

Mike & Anita

Ahoy, fellow cruise enthusiasts!
We’re Mike & Anita, your spirited guides to the high seas, and we’ve clocked in over 500 days of pure nautical bliss. This blog is our buoyant haven dedicated to all you cruise lovers out there, a place to dive into the wonderful world of cruising. Join us on this exciting voyage where we share not just tips but insider secrets and money-saving gems about cruising. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-time cruiser, get ready to explore, learn, and soak up the joy of our seafaring adventures. Happy Cruising! 🚢✨

Find Out More

A passionate cruiser and photographer with more than 400 days at sea, and just a few, but growing number of Luxury River Cruises. Our expereince as hotel inspectors for a prestigous French brand help us uncover all the good things about luxury cruising. All-Inclusive Food and Wine Cruises always attract our attention!

Subscribe For Updates

We really do hope you enjoy our blog and all that we have to offer.  Don't miss out on our latest money-saving tips and tricks by joining our mailing list and becoming a Smart Cruiser!

We promise not to spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time...

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and become a Smart Cruiser!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest