Seabourn Odyssey: Taking The Plunge

Geoff Edwards assesses Seabourn Odyssey.

It’s been just a week since my return from Fiji. I am sure by now there are Fijian mosquitoes dying for lack of my blood.

So empty the suitcases and fill them up again. Michael (my wife) and I are heading to Ft. Lauderdale for a transcanal back to Los Angeles.

This is the first leg of a world cruise for the new Seabourn Odyssey. We’ll be on her for 16 nights. Carrying 450 passengers, Odyssey is quite a bit bigger than Seabourn’s other “yachts.”

Seabourn's Odyssey

We took the red eye on American to save some hotel money. We didn’t leave until 1 AM to arrive in Lauderdale at 10 AM. This got us to the ship about two hours before the 1 PM scheduled boarding time. Hopefully, they’ll let us on a bit earlier.

Seabourn calls Odyssey “luxury redefined.” They do not tell us, however, what it becomes.

I must say it’s been a good start. Many cruise lines now have everything, including baggage tags, downloaded from the internet, which the customer must print out. (For those that do, the baggage guys have staplers.)

Instead, we received beautiful leather bound baggage ID cases, pre-printed baggage tags, and a leather case to hold our tickets, passports, etc. Class? Oh my, yes.

On Odyssey, there are three dress codes; Casual (slacks and collared shirt), elegant casual (jacket; tie optional), and formal. There wasn’t any notation as to which night was which, but drawing on my experience with other cruise lines, I figured casual nights would be the night of a visit to a port. This translated into seven casual nights, added to two formal, and seven elegant casual nights. Forgoing formal, we packed accordingly.

I grabbed a shot of Odyssey from the plane as we arrived in Ft. Lauderdale. Florida was in the midst of a freeze; colder than LA for sure.

Odyssey from the plane

Arrival at the pier was at 11 AM. Security was firm at the check in; I was wanded. In Los Angeles I was physically patted down. Being patted down is more fun.

We were ushered into a waiting area, and given a card with the number 1. This meant we would be first to board. Checked in, photographed, and credit carded, it was back to the seats to wait.

Snacks and soft drinks were served

and the way punch was given out gave us an idea of good things to come.

Early boarding did not happen. The 1 PM scheduled boarding time didn’t happen either. The rumors as to what was slowing things down were so contradictory that I won’t list the half dozen or so. We finally got on the ship at 2 PM.

Our gorgeous spacious cabin easily erased any wait weariness.

First impressions:

  • The TV is not as large as my computer screen at home (incidentally, I’ve just learned that this was one of Avid Cruiser Editor Ralph Grizzle’s gripes in Seabourn Odyssey: Five Little Annoyances And How To Deal With Them)
  • There is no desk as such for my laptop and Wi-Fi work. There is a large table and I suggest an extension cord to plug in to the buried outlet in the wall.
  • A walk in closet with tons of storage space.

The bathroom is lovely, with tub, shower, and two sinks. Characteristic amenities are by Molton Brown of London. You can also order special bath oils from your stewardess. That, I’ll do tomorrow as I have to make up my mind which to choose:

  • The Heavenly Gingerlily Bath
  • The invigorating Ginseng Bath
  • The Blissful Templetree
  • The Yuan Zhi Peacemaker Bath
  • The Oceanic De-tox Bath

Or maybe get them all, not to be used at once of course. Hmmm, I wonder what would happen if I did that.

The next order of the day was Life Boat Drill. All passengers carried their life vests to the restaurant, and then were instructed on how to get into them. These life jackets are brand new and the most advanced on the market, but they are not easy to wriggle into. I know it will keep me afloat, but I hope, should trouble occur, I can get mine on before I start blowing bubbles.

Oh, a big oops! Full information about the trip, the ship, and what to wear when, was in the cabin. There are only TWO casual nights. There are ELEVEN elegant casual nights. We are dress code impaired.

Our first night dress for dinner was casual. For me, a sedate Hawaiian shirt (can such a thing exist?), but most of the men had jackets on. Now I’m getting nervous about elegant casual.

The Restaurant (it is so named) food was wonderful. Great choices and fast friendly service. There were at least three people that served us. Water in a glass was refilled after two sips. There is no tomato soup in the world better than my bowl of roasted tomato soup.

We were sated, sleepy, and seduced by our experience so far.

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