Seabourn review: A Mediterranean Odyssey

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The first week in May I found myself on Seabourn Odyssey, sailing from Barcelona to Valletta.

She is a small intimate ship with 229 suites, all with ocean view and most with veranda. Although sunny, it was too windy to spend much time ashore, so I had ample time to enjoy the Seabourn experience on board.

My Veranda Suite on Deck 6 was spacious with plenty of storage, a walk-in wardrobe and a marble bathroom well stocked with Molton Brown toiletries. Although a bottle of Champagne was on ice we never had time to drink it, as Champagne is served by the glass in all the bars and all drinks are complimentary.

Seabourn Odyssey - Rose petal bath

Seabourn staff are all hotel trained and know how to make you feel special and pampered. Ask your room stewardess to run a bath for you and you are greeted by a candlelit bubble bath with a wonderful aroma, sprinkled with rose petals.

Sailaways had a party atmosphere, with the band and Seabourn singers entertaining us opera-style on the pool deck and bar staff serving up cocktails, Champagne and caviar as the ship glided majestically out of port.

Seabourn Odyssey sailaway

Seabourn Square is like a top class hotel lounge, where guests can enjoy a morning coffee and cookie, or read the daily newspaper on an iPad whilst lounging in a reclining chair. You can also have a comfortable consultation with the team on board, sitting face to face - so much nicer than queuing to stand at a reception desk. Here you can put down a deposit on your next cruise, discuss your plans, or book a shore excursion.

As well as your daily programme you also receive a Dining Guide with the menu from each of the four restaurants and the room service menu. I dined at the speciality Thomas Keller Grill and enjoyed the rib eye beef and a lemon meringue tart, all superbly cooked and presented. The Colonnade buffet was a favourite of mine as it has an outdoor terrace where you can watch the sun set, warmed by patio heaters and wrapped in a blanket.

Susan dining on Seabourn Odyssey

Most guests - some of whom do look like the glamorous models in the brochure! - seemed to have a daily routine. Ours was a brief walk ashore after a hearty breakfast, then sitting poolside during the day, before getting ready for cocktails and canapés in the Observation Bar at 6.30pm, followed by dinner in our preferred restaurant. After dinner the show begins in the Grand Salon at 9.45pm, the band plays nightly in the Club or you can enjoy more cocktails in the Observation Bar with Pierre on piano.

Be sure to request a visit to the bridge to see who is steering the ship, or a galley tour if you are interested in how many breadsticks are baked daily or how much fish is ordered per cruise.

Seabourn Odyssey - Crew on the Bridge

We had some time ashore in Malta after sailing into the historic waterfront of Valletta. A short drive takes you to Mdina, 'the silent city', perched on the top of a hillside with spectacular views.

The ancient walled town has fascinating medieval and baroque architecture, and is well worth a visit. If you ever need a hotel here I recommend the Malta Hilton in St Julian's, where your high rise room will have a splendid view of the private yachts in the hotel marina below. Or you may arrive on your own yacht, in which case you can park it outside.

Susan Dogan, Cruise Consultant at Mundy Cruising
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Susan is a Cruise Consultant at Mundy Cruising

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