In our first review of Seabourn Ovation, The Cruise Line’s Managing Director Robin Maclear gives his first impressions on the latest addition to the award-winning Seabourn fleet.
Last week in Genoa, Seabourn launched their latest ship, Seabourn Ovation, for a seven-night pre-inaugural viewing to the travel trade. This ‘shakedown cruise’, as they call it, was a final opportunity to fine tune the ship and give the crew their first experience of guests onboard. The week’s itinerary consisted mainly of sea days, aside from a brief stop in the ‘Jewel of the Adriatic’, the pretty port town of Kotor in Montenegro.
We boarded Seabourn Ovation literally in the Fincantieri shipyard (which was slightly unusual) and were treated to a fine send off with even a few tears being shed. One can only imagine how magnificent the ship looked as the pilot guided her out onto the open water for the first time!
Overall, the ship performed perfectly with just one or two minor adjustments. The is the second Seabourn ship to be designed by Adam Tihany and while it follows the same template as Seabourn Encore, it does feel somewhat more sophisticated.
The ship’s five restaurants, which have been masterminded by Chef Thomas Keller, already reach Seabourn’s customary high standards. The main dining room is stunning, with low ceilings and subtle lighting, while Sushi really is a top notch Japanese restaurant and a lot of fun thank to the effervescent manager, Nouriki.
In comparison to Encore, the pool deck restaurant is notably improved and now offers an evening dining option with a fine menu that is sure to be a favourite for those looking to dine out under the stars.
Moving onto the accommodation, the suites on Seabourn Ovation offer the same level of comfort as those found on Seabourn Encore, although the bathrooms somehow seem even more pristine. This is a common thread that runs throughout Ovation; while there are certain areas of the ship that positively sparkle, there’s nothing overly ‘glitzy’ about her. Instead, she is a ship that takes your breath away with elegant simplicity.
The spa is again a highlight of the Seabourn experience, while the new Tim Rice shows are quite excellent and serve to provide guests with a fantastic insight into how his songs came to life.
A final thing that really struct me about Seabourn Ovation was the masterful use of lighting. Throughout the ship, lighting is used in a variety of ways; whether it is to add intimacy to a certain space or area or to highlight one of the many unique elements of the ship’s interior design.
With the addition to of Seabourn Ovation, Seabourn now have the five newest luxury ships and arguably substantiates their claim to be the leader of Ultra-luxury Cruising.
Well Done Everybody!