I’m not sure if I was more excited about my first Seabourn cruise because I had heard so much about how many accolades the line received (“World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure for the last five years, to name one) or because the voyage and accessibility of the cabins made it the perfect trip for me to take my mom on.
My mom, who had Polio as a child, needs an accessible room when she does travel. The layout of the Seabourn ship and rooms seemed like a perfect match for her and I was definitely right in presuming so.
From the moment we entered the Port Everglades Cruise Terminal in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I had no doubt this was going to be like no previous cruise. Mom was riding her scooter (which the porters helped us unload) and we were greeted and taken to the desk to register. There were no lines and it was a quick process.
We were escorted onto the ship and into our suite immediately. All 225 rooms on the Seabourn Sojourn are suites and we were given one of the 22 Penthouse Suites. Since it had accessibility features it was a bit larger than the others in the category and a huge, by cruise standards, 600 square feet. Only the five Owner’s Suites, four Signature Suites and four Wintergarten Suites were bigger.
To put this in prospective for those of you who have stepped into the average cruise room, landed on the bed and stepped out the other side to go to the shower, our suite for the next 10 days was bigger than most hotel rooms.
We had an entry way with a desk, a living room with a large couch and a flat panel TV, a dining area with a table and chairs as well as a long cabinet, a bedroom with another TV and a walk-in closet, and a bathroom that had a Jacuzzi tub, shower, two sinks and a separate handicapped equipped toilet and sink area! We also had a veranda big enough for two lounge chairs and a table and chairs.
We also had a bar equipped with the two bottles I had asked for (Seabourn has an open bar policy and stocks your room at no charge) – red wine and Bailey’s Irish Cream, as well as our “sail away” bottle of champagne and fruit platter.
Lunch was served in the Collanade Restaurant on the Deck 8, where they usually have a buffet and table service, but had just a buffet for the sail away day. It was a large selection and everyone was very helpful. We sampled a little over everything before finding our favorite finish to any meal – an ice cream bar with hot fudge.
After the safety drill, I went to Seabourn Square to sign up for my internet. It worked better than any I’ve previously had on a ship. Before I left there I couldn’t resist getting a latte at the Coffee Bar, another complimentary offering of the cruise line. The bar also offers sandwiches, pastries, sorbet, ice cream and frozen yogurt, all day and evening.
Another award Seabourn had received came right before I sailed. It was “Best Culinary Cruise Line” by Sauver Magazine I was anxious to see if they could live up to this. If my first evening’s meal was any indication of the offerings to come, it looked like they could.
Seabourn always has a menu of “classics” available in case you don’t want something on the current menu. This included everything from shrimp cocktails to steak and Caesar salad. There was also a specialty restaurant with a tasting menu we were going to try out later in the week.
I went with the day’s menu and had the Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Tomato Cucumber Salad and Pork Cheeks for dinner, followed by a cheesecake, which I actually didn’t like as much as the pastries and truffles that precluded it. My mom made a better dessert choice with the Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake.
We skipped the entertainment on the first night. It had been a long day and we had many more nights (and days) to come aboard Seabourn.