A Seabourn Adventure Through the Indian Ocean
Guest blogger Peter Frinton describes his recent journey with his brother, who just happens to be CruisePlus Travel & Tours Founder Dave Frinton, aboard the Seabourn Sojourn for an incredible 14 days of adventure through the Indian Ocean. Here, Peter tells you a little about their experience with Seabourn Cruise Line and the incredible journey shared with his brother. This is Peter’s first foray into the CruisePlus Compass and hopefully not his last as we will definitely be tapping him as a resource going forward. So please, make Peter feel welcome and we hope you enjoy his review of his adventure with Seabourn Cruise Lines across the Indian Ocean.
Sailing with Seabourn – Singapore to Seychelles in Luxury
I was fortunate enough to be able to accompany my brother, CruisePlus owner and Co-President, Dave Frinton on a 14-day cruise in the Indian Ocean with Seabourn Cruise Line. Dave was the lead in a hosted cruise for a group of about 25 people on behalf of Ensemble (our umbrella consortium) in mid-January, 2019. I was invited along and became the “unofficial photographer” so found a small and enjoyable role documenting this journey. I also organized our shore excursions which can be enjoyed throughout this article and in the photo gallery toward the end of this post. As we well know, a picture is worth a thousand words and this blog would be seemingly endless if I were given free rein to describe our journey… perhaps another article is in order describing the incredible sights and sounds we were lucky enough to experience while exploring the various ports of call.
Seabourn’s Sojourn – A Luxury Resort at Sea
The Sojourn is Seabourn Cruise Line’s 450-passenger luxury ship, sister to the Quest and Odyssey. She made her maiden voyage in 2010 and was refreshed in 2017. First impressions of the ship
were distinctly positive. This vessel is quite similar to Seabourn’s competitor’s ships as they share the same designers but with differences that set Seabourn apart. Seabourn seems very ‘personable’ to me – no butlers, great staff interaction, far superior entertainment than on some of the other cruise lines in the same class, some of which I have sailed. Overall, I found Seabourn to be a very pleasant and comfortable, yet still luxurious, travel experience. However, the cruise quality is similar to several lines, and pretty much on par with other luxury brands, which offer a larger and less intimate ship experiences, which many find appealing.
Seabourn does have its signature elements, for example, the ‘Caviar Splash’ which either takes place in the ocean at a beach or, as we had it, in the main pool. Staff will serve you decadent caviar and chilled champagne in the surf (or in our case, the onboard swimming pool) fully uniformed.
Onboard Dining With Seabourn: Fare to Remember
Many of Seabourn’s attributes are shared by the world’s elite cruise lines: included beverages, gratuities, specialty dining, etc. Aboard Sojourn, dining options included the main restaurant, a ‘lido’ type breakfast/lunch buffet with theme evenings in the Colonnade, a poolside grill, in-suite dining, and a steakhouse to die for- the retro Thomas Keller Grill. Here is a sample of the Keller offerings:
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Dover Sole Meuniere
- Lobster Thermidor
- Roasted Free Range Chicken with Thyme Jus (serves two)
- Broiled Naturally-fed Veal T-bone
- Medallions of Elysian Fields Farm Lamb
- True Rib-eye of Snake River Farms Beef
- Thick Cut New York Strip Steak
- Macaroni and Cheese (serves two)
- Kennebeck Steak Fries with Seasoned Salt
- Creme Fraiche Whipped Potatoes
- Creamed or Wilted Spinach
- Glazed Sweet Carrots with Citrus Butter
- Sauteed Mushrooms Scented with Brandy
- Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart
- Seven layer Coconut Cake
- Dark Chocolate Layer Cake
- Ice Cream Sundae
- Sorbet (lemon or strawberry)
- Ice Cream (vanilla)
I know… it sure seems a lot like suffering! And suffer we did, eating at the Grill twice, at the Colonnade any number of times- enjoying an Indian night, Italian night, etc.
But The Restaurant shone for its attentive service and carefully crafted light menus which always featured “old favourites” as well as daily offerings. Plus, we received regular invitations to dine with one of the entertainers or senior officers or onboard lecturers. I heard that for single travellers, there are virtually daily invites to one of the hosted tables so travelling alone definitely does not mean eating at a table for one longing for conversation. Inclusion in social activities is all but guaranteed, should the single traveller desire interaction.
What was also nice about this was the opportunity to meet other guests. Of course, this happens in any case, but in the somewhat formalized setting of the dining room, quite lively discussions took place and more than a few new “cruising buddy” relationships were established.
On the final day at sea, there was a “galley buffet”, with stations set up throughout the large kitchen. The chefs went all out to make a thematic reprise of the best that had been on offer during the two-week cruise, and their work was more than well received.
Amenities and Activities Aboard
With 9 ports of call and six at-sea days including a three-day run across the Indian Ocean, there was ample opportunity to do shore trips or relax aboard. Or both! But relaxing aboard was actually quite difficult with all the amazing distractions, events, programs and activities conjured up by cruise director Sophie (herself a marvel- singer, exercise leader, organizer extraordinaire and a tough cookie to beat). She officiated at Trivial Pursuit tournaments- 140 people attended these blood-sport gatherings for an hour each sea day. She also was the maître d’ at all the evening concerts, magician and comedian shows.
There were several onboard lecturers, with the requisite geographer to talk about upcoming ports and an historian to provide more context. But there was also a young doctoral student in palaeoanthropology, Paige Madison, who lectured on Java Man (her fieldwork was in Indonesia), Origin of Species and other aspects of human evolution. The talks were hardly ‘dumbed down’ for a cruise audience; aboard Seabourn were many highly educated and discerning guests, with a level of discourse to match.
A Closing Word on Seabourn Cruise Line
Luxurious appointments, infinite enjoyment, outstanding dining and exemplary service, Seabourn has definitely outdone themselves on this latest journey. The ship was fantastic and comfortable without being ostentatious, the staff accommodating and friendly and the itinerary unmatched. A fabulous journey by anyone’s standards. Would I recommend Seabourn as a choice for your next adventure? I think this article should give you a good indication and maybe we’ll see you on our next CruisePlus hosted journey aboard one of Seabourn Cruise Line’s amazing ships to on one of their incredibly crafted itineraries.