Seabourn Odyssey

Seabourn

Ship information

Seabourn Odyssey

About Seabourn Odyssey

Editor's Note: Seabourn announced in March 2023 that Seabourn Odyssey will leave the Seabourn fleet, effective September 2024.

When the contemporary-styled Seabourn Odyssey debuted back in 2009, it was hailed as a revolutionary new ship design for Seabourn, a line whose style had previously been more traditional. Odyssey had a freshness about its interiors, with sleekly decorated public spaces and larger-than-average all-suite accommodations outfitted with up-to-date tech enhancements. It also offered a more expansive variety of restaurants than had been previously offered on a mainstream luxury cruise ship.

A 2019 refit gave Seabourn Odyssey a new color scheme, updated soft furnishings and a host of little niceties, including USB ports added to nightstands and interactive flat-panel television sets. Seabourn Square was given entirely new furniture, while the nearby Card Room received a total makeover. Up top, the popular Observation Bar has a new look with muted earthtones that give this space a classy, understated feel. The Club on Deck 5 has also been significantly refitted with refreshed seating and soft furnishings.

With 462 passengers, Seabourn Odyssey is designed for a sophisticated traveler who wants a balance of experiences. It offers a very social atmosphere; for example, dining is open seating allowing passengers to choose their companions. Trivia, held on sea days, is massively popular; on our sailing 25 percent of all passengers participated. There are plenty of chances to interact with your shipmates via a number of socially driven opportunities. Particularly fun was a fabulous "corridor party," held at the beginning of the cruise, when passengers socialized with their cabin neighbors with the help of Champagne and hors d'oeuvres, served by wait staff, and introductions, provided by officers.

One of Odyssey's greatest charms is that it has a generous space ratio. Even on a sea day it never feels crowded in the main pool area. There are so many lovely nooks and crannies tucked all over the ship it can you take you the whole voyage just to find them. (Start with the aft deck at the back of Seabourn Square or the forward whirlpool, tucked into the bow, on Deck 6.) Staterooms, from standard suites to the splashy Wintergarden, the ship's largest, have deep balconies, separate sleeping and sitting areas and dining tables.

In other areas, Seabourn could improve the overall experience on Odyssey. Evening entertainment, particularly lavish production shows, feels stale. There's plenty of enrichment through onboard lecturers, but very little when it comes to educating travelers about itineraries (and virtually nothing on the line's intriguing partnership with UNESCO and its heritage sites). .

Inconsistent service was perhaps the biggest disappointment on our trip. This matters because impeccable service is a Seabourn Cruise Line hallmark. In some areas, particularly in dining venues, it was as sensational and intuitive as you'd expect. In others, the levels of service seemed below standard. In particular, bars and lounges seemed understaffed and servers were overwhelmed. Our cabin stewardess, who did not properly clean the suite on the first day and committed various other infractions throughout our stay, was not Seabourn quality. And if first impressions count, our sluggish and impersonal embarkation process is handily beat, in quality and efficiency, by a recent voyage on a 6,100-passenger ship.

Seabourn Odyssey, in the end, offers an excellent cruise experience that balances elements of traditional luxury cruising (all-you-can-eat-caviar and butlers in high-level suites) with contemporary features, including a range of dining options and shore excursion menus that include active excursions alongside more passive ones.

Cabins

Seabourn Odyssey has 14 cabin types available

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

13 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

10 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Shore Excursions

Seabourn Odyssey offers an impressive array of shore excursion opportunities for a small ship. On our Panama Canal itinerary, the options included active adventures (rafting, kayaking), culinary-themed trips to local markets and plantations for coffee and bananas, and heritage tours. All tours cost an extra fee. Prior to the trip, we were intrigued by the line's partnership with UNESCO and its promotion of World Heritage Sites. While we did visit UNESCO destinations, such as Guatemala's Antigua, the tour itself reflected no extra special content or leadership.

Seabourn has two distinctive tour options. On cruises that visit a port with a local food market, the Shopping with the Chef excursion, is offered free of charge. On this tour, passengers, with capacity limited, visit the market and watch as the chef picks out food for an upcoming meal. A heads-up: On our cruise it was announced the night before our port of call and many passengers had already committed to other shore excursions. Caviar in the Surf, a beach party, is another legendary Seabourn experience, and it's also complimentary. Crew set up, typically on a private island or private beach, a barbecue and actually serve caviar and Champagne from atop a surfboard while waist high in the ocean.

Daytime and Evening Entertainment

During the day, particularly on sea days, there's an opportunity for a rich and engaging slate of activities. Mostly geared to a more senior demographic, activities include arts and crafts, bridge lessons, shuffleboard, wine tastings, mini-golf and fashion presentations. Popular with a vast segment of passengers, of all ages, is daily team trivia. Prizes are awarded at the end of the cruise to the top performers but the trivia event, which takes place on sea days, is really more a chance to socialize with others, and, yes, show off your ability to remember arcane data. When you join a team you do commit to being there as often as possible, but it's all good fun and there's no pressure.

At night, entertainment quality varied. We found that any show performed by the talented onboard entertainers was generally excellent, particularly those offered by the cruise director and his staff. Talent imported onboard was hit and miss; one product, The Divas of Motown, had good singers but the costuming and theming didn't fit the concept; same applied to a Celtic show performed on a set reflecting the most sanitized Irish pub ever. Other performers included a xylophonist and a magician. Also worth noting is that the ship's theater, the Salon, has some of the worst sightlines we've ever seen on a cruise ship.

There is always plenty of music around the ship -- in the Observation Lounge, around the pool and in The Club, where a band plays dated pop tunes both pre- and post-dinner.  The Club is also the ship's spot for late-night dancing and revelry.

Seabourn Odyssey has a small casino, with table games and slots, that's adjacent to The Club.

Enrichment

First the good: Seabourn generally brings aboard a variety of thoughtful and thought-provoking lecturers (several of whose lectures we've attended while traveling on other cruise lines), speaking on topics like history, politics, the European Union and NATO. On our cruise, there was some discussion of history of the Central America region in which we were traveling, including a particularly intriguing talk on the difference between the Suez and Panama canals.

In light of Seabourn's promotion of its UNESCO partnership, it was disappointing not to learn more about that program. Daily port talks are standard slideshows.

Seabourn Odyssey Bars and Lounges

For a ship carrying 450 passengers, there is a broader choice of bars and lounges than you'd expect. One challenge, however, is that some, particularly the Sky Bar on Deck 9, did not always feel appropriately staffed for the event or time of day.  The ship's all-inclusive liquor policy didn't seem to make any difference in the vibe onboard. We can't remember any occasions in which the policy was abused.

The Club (Deck 5): Open for special events during the day (trivia drew a big crowd on our cruise and the bar did a rousing business), The Club is otherwise best utilized as a pre- and post-dinner spot for music with a live band. Music tended toward the banal -- dated pop tunes and such -- but some couples do take to the floor to dance.

Seabourn Square (Deck 7): Seabourn Square, a wonderful destination particularly during daytime hours, offers a full bar along with coffee, tea and sodas, and snacks all day and into the evening. It's got a lovely alfresco space off the ship's aft, with plenty of tables and comfy chairs where you can watch the wake go by. Sometimes service here seemed understaffed, particularly as bartenders needed to be nimble enough to serve sandwiches and pastries from the case, made-to-order coffees and cocktails. We didn't often see wait service on the alfresco deck of Seabourn Square, so plan to belly up to the deli to place your order.

The Patio Bar (Deck 8): A hub on sunny days at sea, the patio bar, adjacent to the festive pool, is generally quite busy and serves all manner of drinks (and bartenders even dish up freshly made ice cream). Pool service is generally quite responsive.

Observation Bar (Deck 10): Offering lofty views off the ship's aft, this circular lounge is a fabulous quiet nook when the bar isn't open but tends to pick up during afternoon tea and then again at dinnertime. A pianist plays show tunes and other warble-easy songs, and the venue is really the most festive of all Seabourn Odyssey's bars.

Seabourn Odyssey Outdoor Recreation

Odyssey's lovely main pool area on Deck 8 is graced by wicker-style chaises and loveseats, and as it's ringed by two decks, there's generally plenty of room for all. Two whirlpools flank the main pool. One nice touch is there's plenty of shaded spots.

There's another small pool on the stern -- it's the quieter of the two -- just off The Club. And a third spot worth checking out is a large whirlpool on Deck 6, all the way forward.

One popular Seabourn trademark that's featured on Odyssey is its fantastic water sports marina on Deck 2. It's typically open on one day per voyage, though that number can change due to the itinerary and weather, and only when the ship is anchored, not docked. (It was not opened up at all on our Panama Canal itinerary, and there was no announcement or explanation as to the reason.) Offered is an array of toys, from a banana boat and kayaks to a most bizarre activity in which you sit in an inner tube and are pulled along by a speedboat to a swimming platform.

Also on Deck 11 you'll find The Retreat, with shuffleboard and table tennis, both sheltered from the wind. There's also a nine-hole putting green. The running and jogging path, located on Deck 5, is fairly limited and doesn't wrap all the way around the ship. (A nice touch, located outside The Club lounge and alongside the Deck 5 aft pool, are the bottles of cold water and cool towels.)

Seabourn Odyssey Services

Seabourn Square, on Deck 7, is the hub of the ship's services, including the guest relations and shore excursions desks. We love the built-in desk meant to host local tourism officials from ports of call; they come onboard with maps and materials and answer questions. The cruise sales staffer has a desk in Seabourn Square as well.  The ship's library is also scattered throughout Seabourn Square. What's confusing, considering the ship's demographics, is how many shelves are located so low to the floor you have to get down on your knees to browse.

The ship's series of shops are all located on Deck 7, just outside Seabourn Square. One boutique features fashions that range from casual beachwear to more elegant nighttime apparel. Another, smaller shop, offers logo merchandise and necessities. A third store sells very high-end watches and jewelry.

Internet-connected terminals are located in the Seabourn Square area, too; Wi-Fi signals are best here as well. Unless you're occupying top suites, Wi-Fi is an extra charge onboard Seabourn Odyssey. Though various packages are available, it's extremely pricy. Packages for unlimited use are available, and include two hours ($19.95), three hours ($29.95), seven days ($239.95) and all-cruise unlimited ($399.95); only one device at a time is supported. Light users can take advantage of a 40 cents per minute service.

A pair of self-serve laundromats are located on Deck 5. They're free to use, and soap is also complimentary.

The ship's medical center is located on Deck 3. A card room that also doubles as a small meeting room is on Deck 6.

Dining

Seabourn has long deserved its superb reputation for quality cuisine at sea and that's not changed on Odyssey. What has changed over the years, and to tremendous effect, is the variety of cuisine, from the chic Restaurant (the main dining room) to the Colonnade, one of the best casual venues at sea. Certainly, Seabourn's partnership with Thomas Keller, one of America's most influential chefs, puts it in a lofty culinary category. What we really liked about the Keller/Seabourn partnership is that his food appears in nearly every venue, not just his eponymous grill restaurant.

Menus do indicate dishes that are vegetarian, gluten-free and heart-healthy. We found that ordering a la minute never posed a problem, particularly in the Restaurant, if there was something we wanted that wasn't on the menu.

Wines are poured at all venues with lunch and dinner and though there are selected bottles-of-the-day, wine waiters are very happy to find alternatives if the choice presented doesn't suit.

The Restaurant (Deck 3): Open for breakfast, lunch (most days) and dinner, The Restaurant offers open-seating dining at all meals. During the day, especially when the ship is in port, it's the most peaceful place for breakfast and lunch because many passengers are flocking to more casual venues. At dinner, The Restaurant is the ship's most formal eatery, and it's the only place onboard with, on occasion, a more elegant dress code.

At breakfast (open on sea days from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and on port days from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.), the menu ranges from pastries and fruit to egg dishes, pancakes and waffles. For carnivores, grilled minute steak, ham and lamb chops are among options, and omelets can be custom-ordered.

Lunch (available most days from 12:30 to 2 p.m. save for ports with long day tours) offers a small menu of choices, often with a theme, but there was always something tempting. For example, a Thai-influenced lunch included starters like shrimp salad, soto ayam (chicken soup) and pad Thai. Entrees were grouper, beef satay or a vegetarian puff pastry. Desserts were probably the weakest parts of lunches with one sugar-free option along with ice cream and one pastry choice. There's an everyday menu that stays the same and includes Caesar salad and shrimp cocktail, burgers and hot dogs, and roasted chicken breast and grilled minute steak.

At dinner (7:30 to 9:30 p.m.), The Restaurant shines. With special lighting and flowing white curtains creating cozy nooks of tables, the venue glows in the evening. Officers frequently host tables, and there's plenty of choice of tables, whether you're hosting 10 new friends or just dining with your travel companion. The "Today's Inspirations" menu changes nightly and includes four appetizers (grilled figs, veal sweetbreads, eggplant soup and marinated vegetables), four entrees (grilled tuna, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, prime rib and gnocchi primavera) and four desserts. The "Seabourn Classics" menu is the same each night, and offers more traditional options, such as chilled shrimp, chicken or tomato soup, pasta with a choice of sauces and Caesar salad to start. Entrees are salmon filet, chicken breast, beef tenderloin, New York strip and lamb chops.

Every two nights, a specially designed Thomas Keller set-menu is an optional addition. One memorable meal was a three-course dinner that was as much about how ingredients were sourced via California purveyors as they were about the cuisine. It started with a salad of blistered heirloom carrots, a choice of Sonoma duck breast or roasted heart of romaine and, for dessert, a chocolate ganache tart. For those who've hankered to try or have enjoyed Keller's restaurants, such as the French Laundry and Per Se, these menus were the closest reflection to his gourmet cuisine.

Seabourn Square (Deck 7): A revolutionary concept when first introduced on Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Square is still a central hub onboard where passengers gather, play cards, read and nosh. We found the selection of snacks, which hardly varied during our cruise, to be the weakest food onboard. Breakfast, served from 6 to 11 a.m., is limited to sugary pastries. At lunch, from 11 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., the same selection of sandwiches -- egg salad, ham and cheese -- is served every day; the offerings were fine, but got boring. The cakes and desserts available throughout the day are the best items on offer and these do vary. At night, Seabourn Square serves basic snacks from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. for those who are still peckish after dinner.

The Colonnade (Deck 8): Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Colonnade, which features patio seating as well as a large indoor venue, really is the heart of mealtimes aboard Seabourn Odyssey. It's a mix of casual, serve-yourself fare, prepared to a high standard, and a small menu of special dishes made to order. At any meal we tried in The Colonnade, and we went at various times on various days, the service was a particular standout.

At breakfast (8 to 10:30 a.m.), The Colonnade can get busy, especially on a port day, but different types of food are displayed at separate stations that are well spaced out to prevent crowding. Breakfast fare includes bread and pastries, granola and cereal (even Froot Loops!), cheese and yogurt, and a few hot dishes. Orange juice is freshly squeezed, and coffees are prepared to order.  A different selection of hot dishes, such as pancakes, waffles, French toast, eggs Benedict and eggs cooked to order, are available via a menu.

Lunch (noon to 2 p.m.) is frequently centered around a theme, such as seafood, German or Italian, and you can always order more simple fare, like roast chicken breast or a steak. Salad fixings are fairly standard each day but there is always something new and different to try. The cheese selection is superb, and desserts are also way-too-good in this venue.

Frequently themed at night, dinner (7 to 9 p.m.) at The Colonnade is relaxed and very rarely busy. On nice evenings, the outdoor patio is beautifully lit and a wonderful alfresco dining spot. Some nights are internationally themed, such as French or Italian. On other nights, a more casual Thomas Keller-created meal is on tap, such as an all-American barbecue. On one night, the set-course meal, served family style, included a Waldorf salad, rib chop with asparagus and mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese and freshly baked bread, and a chocolate silk pie. It was all quite delicious but also very rich, and though reservations are highly recommended, we rarely needed to make them for a Thomas Keller night. (On the other hand, a huge hit in The Colonnade for dinner on our Central American cruise was a Mexican dinner with many ingredients supplied from the day's "Shopping with a Chef Tour" to a local market.)

The Grill by Thomas Keller (Deck 8):  Added in May 2017, The Grill is Thomas Keller's steakhouse restaurant -- don't go expecting a version of Keller's legendary French Laundry. The menu features six starters, nine mains and six desserts with a daily special of each. The food is typical grill fare taken to new heights of deliciousness -- a scrumptious crabcake on top of a rich aioli; super-moist roast chicken; lobster thermidor people raved about for days.

Starters include Caesar salad prepared tableside and New England clam chowder. Mains are rib eye of Snake River Farms beef, Dover sole, eggplant Parmesan and the aforementioned lobster. Sides include garlicky spinach, a rich mac 'n' cheese, steak fries and glazed carrots. You don't want to skip dessert, which includes a seven-layer coconut cake, lemon meringue pie and a decadent ice cream sundae.

Wines of the day are poured as they are elsewhere on the ship. The premium wines, selected by Eric Johnson, the sommelier from The French Laundry, range from reasonably priced to seriously expensive; for example, $39 for a Napa Valley sauvignon 2015 to a Colgin IX Estate 2012 for $789. A 2012 Australian shiraz from the Barossa Valley is $39. Wines by the glass start at $12.

The Grill is open for dinner only, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; reservations are essential.

The Patio (Deck 8): The Patio is a popular, limited menu spot for lunches and surf-and-turf dinners.

During lunch (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.), Thomas Keller's influence is felt via his signature Napa burger -- it is out of this world -- and the artisanal hot dog dubbed the "Yountwurst." Hot and cold serve-yourself antipasto and salads are available, as is a hot dish-of-the-day. You can order paninis, and a thin-crust pizza of the day.

At night, The Patio is a reservations-only spot (and you really do need to book as it's very popular) that serves the same surf and turf menu each night, with variety added via a different appetizer menu each day. Finish up with a yummy dessert.

Afternoon Tea (Observatory Lounge, Deck 9): Held daily from 4 to 5 p.m., afternoon tea on Odyssey is a rather slap-dash affair, offering rich pastries and tea, of course. (A full bar is also available.) Service was way off here; we had to make several requests to have our table cleared and another couple of asks to get scones, a basic cornerstone of afternoon tea. When they arrived, finally, they were stone cold.

Room Service: Room service is available 24 hours. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 10 a.m. and features a wide range of options, from continental fare to hot dishes (including eggs Benedict, which you don't often see via room service).  Lunch features a medley of soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and entrees -- such as Caesar salad, roasted chicken breast, grilled New York strip and a burger or hot dog.  Desserts included New York-style cheesecake and a most decadent pot au creme. The menu never varies. At dinner, passengers can order off The Restaurant's menu from 7 to 9 p.m. It's delivered all at once so if you've ordered ice cream you may want to start with dessert.