A cruise on Seabourn Sojourn, particularly a longer sailing, resembles short-term membership at an upscale country club. Bridge and trivia teams stay the same throughout the voyage, allowing friendships to form, dinners to be planned and cards to be exchanged.
Because Sojourn is all-inclusive, there are few chits to sign, and all cabins seem to be treated equally. Once you're onboard, you'll feel like you're with the "in crowd," and it's easy to slip into the caviar and Champagne lifestyle. (Both are dispensed liberally.)
Beyond the service, which was decent, we appreciated the aura of thoughtfulness that permeated the ship. Cultural performances were tied to the destination, restaurants often reflected local food and the enrichment lectures, led by members of the line's Ventures by Seabourn excursion staff, were on point.
The ship itself also has much to recommend it. We loved Seabourn Square, a clever and spacious area on Deck 7 that manages to combine a coffee bar, library, shops, internet cafe and a discreet guest services area. (Plus, the recliners are perfect for a read or a rest.) Sun-lovers are also spoiled for choice: Beyond the convivial main pool area, loungers abound at a smaller pool tucked away on Deck 5, a whirlpool at the front of the ship and other alcoves.
Dining, too, maintains a high standard, no matter where on the ship you might be. Whether it's The Colonnade -- a buffet during the day that turns into a waiter-served dining area at night -- or The Restaurant, the ship's main dining room, meals are sophisticated and tasty, with plenty of choices for those with food allergies and preferences.
We loved the fact that there are no set dining times; that wine is described in varietals, not colors; and that a meal from The Restaurant could be delivered to your stateroom, course by course, complete with a formal table setting. Plus, a fleetwide partnership with celebrity chef Thomas Keller adds further culinary techniques and styles to the mix.
Where Sojourn needs the most improvement is in its entertainment. Besides enrichment lectures and trivia, there aren't many organized activities during the day, and apart from one or two memorable performances, the nighttime entertainment leaned toward mediocre.
Still, these are minor quibbles for a cruise line that seems to be successfully navigating the demographic changes within luxury cruising as it begins to skew younger. We're looking forward to seeing how Seabourn adapts its Ventures by Seabourn shore excursion and enrichment programs as it expands its more active, adventurous offerings.
Seabourn Sojourn most often attracts affluent couples in their 50s and 60s, who are more active and hail from English-speaking countries like Canada, the United States, Australia and the U.K. On our voyage in Alaska, we saw an unexpected number of passengers in their 30s and 40s, several of them traveling as part of family groups. Passengers on the ship's longer, more exotic sailings skew older, but regardless of age, everyone we encountered was friendly and welcoming.
Included with your cruise fare:
Not included with your cruise fare:
Daytime: During the day, it's OK to wear jeans in the ship's public areas. At the pool, you'll see few T-shirts and casual cover-ups; collared shirts and resort wear are more the norm. However, on our Alaska sailing, we saw plenty of wind pants and leggings with layered shirts and hiking boots, especially on port days.
Evening: The dress code is elegant casual on most nights after 6 p.m. in all restaurants and public areas. This means collared dress shirts and slacks for men, jacket optional, and slacks or skirts with blouses or dresses for women. Cruises of fewer than 13 days will have one formal night, 14-night cruises will have two and 21-night voyages will have three. On formal nights, the dress code in The Restaurant calls for tuxedos, suits or jackets for men and evening gowns or cocktail attire for women.
Not permitted: Jeans are not allowed in The Restaurant after 6 p.m.
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Seabourn.
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Well run ship, A+ for effort - Alaskan inner passage cruise
Alaska Itinerary Lacking but Extraordinary Staff - In need of cosmetic makeover!
Horrific cabin noise made jumping overboard an option. Almost.
Excellent all around