It’s hard not to like the accommodations on Seabourn’s Odyssey class ships, and spend a good amount of time in them when sailing with the luxury cruise line. While a number of floor plans, shapes and sizes are available, all have balconies that look out on to some of the most beautiful places on Earth. Here are my top ten favorite views, seen from my balcony on Seabourn Sojourn while on the Seabourn Food And Wine Cruise.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
By the time it was all said and done, we sailed 1, 572 nautical miles, used 90,000 gallons of fuel, consumed 32 pounds of caviar and over 49,000 (fabulous) breadsticks that would add up to 8,142 meters in length if laid end to end. At least that’s what the Captain told us on the last night of our 11-day sailing. Monte Carlo was the starting place for what would be one of the most memorable ocean cruise travel experiences to date.
We were treated to some of the most stunning sunrises and sunsets I have seen in the Mediterranean ever. Traveling late in the season, we were commonly the only ship in port, followed for a bit by a Norwegian Cruise Lines vessel but that was about it. I don’t know that it was the time of year that affected the sky but this sunset as we left Santa Margherita was one of my favorites.
Little did I know that later in the voyage, weather would indeed play a role in our experience. Heading into winter, we had a good amount of rain nearly every day. Interestingly, no one really seemed to care all that much; we just had such a good time with our new friends met on board, both other passengers and crew too.
Still, when high winds one night were howling to the point of waking me us up, I checked the current conditions reported from the bridge on the television in my suite and was surprised to see an apparent wind velocity of 94 miles per hour. I will need to ask our favorite weather expert about that.
Not actually a photo from my balcony, we needed this tug to get us out of the port of Livorno, the wind a factor then too.
Marseilles At Dawn
Arriving just before dawn in Marseilles, we would spend much of the day jumping right in on the food and wine content. The first opportunity for Seabourn guests to visit a local market Shopping With The Chefs was a huge hit and many went multiple times; it was just that much fun…I am told. Choosing to take advantage of unprecedented access to events, people and areas of the ship not normally granted, I stayed on board and was like a kid in a candy store.
Marseilles At Dusk
Also seen in Marseilles, this late afternoon shot came in advance of the Taste of Province Market Dinner in Seabourn Sojourn’s Colonnade restaurant, an inside/outside dining venue that served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Featuring celebrity chef Patrice Olivon’s Bouillabaisse and other regional favorites, the dining event set a pattern we would experience throughout the voyage: Learn during the day in a variety of ways then end the day experiencing culinary creations expertly paired with wines, both from the place we visited that day.
Initially, I thought I had a less than stellar view from my balcony in the port of Livorno with not a lot to see. But looking deeper, I found that what looked to be an old grain elevator was originally part of the defensive structure that had protected the port from invaders for hundreds of years. Not shown here, a castle-like structure that was once home to the powerful Medici family which Seabourn had arranged to take over, hosting a surprise Welcome Home event for passengers returning from tours. I think it was the foreshadowing flavor of that event, the first of a number of personal, touching moments, that would culminate in our assimilation into the Seabourn family by the end of the voyage.
Our day in Messina would bring a Sicily and Campania Wine Lecture in the ships intimate showroom followed by a Local Market Lunch, Italian Aperitif Tasting and celebrity Chef Alfio Longo’s Dinner, featuring all of the flavors of the Italian kitchen and a minestrone soup that will be the first recipe I try to recreate at home. Interestingly, I feel considerably more confident that my rendition will closely replicate what we enjoyed on the ship that night than on any other previous sailing of any other ship. Time will tell, but I believe that confidence comes from being able to access the culinary team on board so easily, as many of us did.
St Tropez, France
Actually our third stop on the itinerary, St Tropez brought the first Celebrity Chef Cooking Demonstration with chef Olivon and it was here that Seabourn passenger excitement about what we were experiencing really heated up. A local market lunch followed by the first of three sessions of a Wine Tasting Seminar that would eventually add up to nearly 50 wines tasted by those in attendance. All were expertly explained by sommelier Sebastian Pacheo, a young man with an infectious love of wine that was a joy to experience.
A rainy day in Ajaccio was the scene for Chef Longo’s Cooking Demonstration, a Tuscan wine seminar a Wine and Cheese Sail Away that was supposed to be pool side but moved at the last minute inside due to weather. That as a pattern that would occur several times throughout the voyage as weather sent the crew scrambling to move events in out of the elements. While no one really seemed to care that the displaced events had been moved, it was a testament to the commitment of Seabourn on-ship management and the close-knit crew that made it all work.
Hard-working crew members are not the exclusive domain of Seabourn to be sure; we see that on ships of all shapes and sizes. But the cross-trained efforts of the men and women on Seabourn Sojourn are to be admired. Perhaps it is the nature of smaller ships or the careful selection of crew that Seabourn just does as part of normal operations. This is probably a topic we will return to later, in retrospective analysis of the event, and Seabourn in general. Perhaps I will refer to this phenomenon as the Ivan Factor.
If you have been following along on our coverage of the Seabourn Food and Wine Cruise you will remember Ivan and Roccio from the Block Party, a signature Seabourn event where passengers are lured out into the hallway by snacks, beverages and crew to meet one another and break the ice, early in the voyage. Roccio I give huge complements if for no other reason that her ability to work around me working in my suite; notes, maps, daily papers and more taped all over the walls, mirrors and areas I had transformed into an office.
Ivan, I noticed around the ship with different uniforms or hats, doing a good job at a number of different positions that varied widely. Always with a smile and obvious good attitude about hard work, his professional demeanor was typical of every other crew member too. Where Seabourn found these people I don’t know but find them they did and they made all the difference in the world. Nothing was a problem. Everything was possible.
While we need to get back to other cruise information and news, we will return with answers to reader questions and more on the Seabourn Food and Wine Cruise including dates of future sailings. For now, let’s leave you with a bonus extra, seen on our last sail away in Sorrento, Italy.
How Seabourn arranged this lovely rainbow is beyond me, but typical of a cruise line that simply does not allow any stone to go unturned along the way to making every event (and there were 49 of them on this) absolutely spectacular.
Here At ChrisCruises. com– Look for a complete list of daily posts, including:
- Seabourn Food And Wine Cruise Sails Away
- Food and Wine Cruise Visits Marseilles, Meets The Neighbors
- Seabourn Food And Wine Cruise Builds On A Solid Foundation
- Food and Wine Cruise Bakes A Luxurious Cake
- Thoughtful Surprises A Big Part Of The Seabourn Experience
- Looking Deeper, We Find Gold On Seabourn
- A Day At Sea Brings Bonus Food And Wine Events
- 44 Hits Of The Seabourn Food and Wine Cruise
- The Seabourn Family
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