With a capacity for 604 passengers, Seabourn Ovation stands out as one of Seabourn’s most expansive all-balcony vessels, and it is the fleet’s newest addition, commencing service in 2018. Paired with Seabourn Encore, these sophisticated ships optimise their space, featuring expansive restaurants, a dedicated Dr Andrew Weil Spa and Wellness Centre on the aft of deck 10, a generous Grand Salon, an expanded Seabourn Square, and an entire deck reserved for their exclusive retreat.
We were lucky to have been allocated a V4 Veranda Suite perched on the eighth deck. The suite unfolds with a spacious bathroom boasting a refreshing shower and indulgent Molton Brown toiletries. Adding to the allure is a walk-in wardrobe, seamlessly transitioning into a spacious lounge area adorned with a sofa bed, elegant tables, and comfortable chairs. The generously sized balcony beckons to crown it all, with comfortable furnishings such as a lounge chair and a recliner, allowing us to unwind in style while enjoying panoramic views at each port of call.
Day 1: Monte Carlo
Following a restful night, we arrived at the stunning vistas of Monte Carlo early in the morning. Our day unfolded with city exploration, exploring Old Town’s charm, the Palace’s grandeur, and visiting the iconic Cafe Royal. Returning to the ship after a day of discovery, we indulged in a delightful lunch at the Colonnade—an onboard haven offering an array of hot and cold breakfast and lunch stations featuring nightly themed menus.
Our first onboard dinner at The Restaurant offered an elegant dining experience, showcasing exquisite breakfast, lunch, and dinner options on specified days. Standouts included caramelised sea scallops for starters, followed by a herb-crusted rack of lamb ‘djonnaire’ as the main course, accompanied by seasoned vegetables and roasted garlic jus—a truly delightful combination. The dessert, a peanut butter and dark chocolate bar, concluded the meal with a visually and tastefully stunning finale.
Following dinner, as the evening unfolded, we delighted in the captivating ‘Let’s Dance Party Show.’ A night of unparalleled music and dancing unfolded, featuring The Band, Lanie, and the Seabourn Singers, who collectively crafted a magical and enchanting atmosphere.
Day 2: St. Tropez
It was another sunny morning start after a delightful night’s sleep. The second day unfolded with a productive training meeting and a flavoursome lunch experience at The Poolside Patio. We were delighted by the exquisite taste of succulent, charred, warm shrimp—a dish that genuinely captivated our senses with its delicious allure.
In the late afternoon, we immersed ourselves in the Early Evening Melodies hosted in the Observation Bar on Deck 11. With its floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic ocean views, the Observation Bar bathed its cosmopolitan decor in natural light. This inviting space proved ideal for an evening of live music or a convivial social drink, providing a perfect setting to unwind and enjoy the scenic beauty surrounding us.
We enjoyed attending a hosted dinner at The Grill by Thomas Keller restaurant on Deck 8. Our culinary journey began with the delightful choice of a Maryland-style jumbo lump crab cake paired with a zesty, spicy mayonnaise. The tempting steak Diane with mushroom and brandy sauce stood out on the menu for the main course. To conclude the meal on a sweet note, we opted for the classic indulgence of an ice cream sundae, completing our dining experience with a delightful array of flavours.
We continued the magical evening at Showtime Tonight with Jamie Raven in the intimate Grand Salon. This single-level theatre hosts nightly film screenings, live shows, and daytime enrichment lectures. Later, we enjoyed a lively late-night groove with The Duo, dancing the night away in unforgettable style.
Day 3: Marseille
On Day 3, our ship docked in the chic town of Marseille. As the cruise approached its end, we took a leisurely day, starting with lunch at The Colonnade Buffet. The highlight was a pre-dinner talk with Justin Van Breda, who passionately discussed the fashion and artistic influences shaping the iconic style of the French Riviera.
Later, we attended Seabourn’s Signature Event, Caviar & Voci, featuring the mesmerising performance of Seabourn’s Singers — Leah, Scott, Aoife, and Christian. The show, complemented by a continuous flow of caviar and libations, set the stage for a delightful evening. We concluded the day with a sumptuous dinner at Earth & Ocean at The Patio, followed by the captivating Showtime Tonight featuring Corlea Botha, a globetrotter who showcased her musical journey across all seven continents with Seabourn.
Day 4: Palamos
We docked early in Palmos, nestled at the foot of the mountains on Spain’s rugged Costa Brava! As it was our final day, we opted for a leisurely experience. Following a relaxing morning to early afternoon, we enjoyed our last meal in the Observation Lounge before attending Seabourn’s ultimate signature event post-voyage, ‘Officers on Deck & Team Member Salute’. This special occasion showcased The Band & Laine and offered Epicurean delights as the team extended their salute.
Exploring the Ship
We spent one afternoon navigating the ship’s offerings. Ovation has six jacuzzis spread across four decks – perfect for those seeking a serene retreat. If you want to sit back and relax fully, you could consider securing a spot at ‘The Retreat,’ starting from $129 per suite. This exclusive area features 15 private cabanas, a central whirlpool, a tailored menu, spa credits, and a dedicated concierge. Each cabana comes furnished with a flat-screen TV, a carefully stocked minibar, and complimentary champagne and provides access to the sun terrace on deck 12 for soaking up those sun-drenched moments.
Seabourn Ovation hosts four onboard dining facilities, each crafted to enchant and satisfy your culinary cravings. On deck 4, ‘The Restaurant’ serves as the primary dining venue, presenting an à la carte menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Its dynamic ‘inspiration’ menu undergoes daily transformations to keep your dining experience fresh and exciting.
Seabourn’s beloved buffet spot, The Colonnade, is a go-to for diverse culinary experiences available during every meal. You can relish various dishes for lunch and dinner, including the delightful addition of a charming ice cream cart. The Patio by the Pool shifts its offerings to a concise menu featuring burgers, pizzas, and salads as the day turns to evening. Come dinner, it transforms into Earth and Ocean, promising innovative delights to satisfy your evening cravings.
Ovation boasts two included speciality dining venues. Sushi invites you to savour hot small plates during lunch and cold small plates with sashimi, nigiri, and maki rolls at dinner, all within a charming Japanese setting. Given its limited size, you cannot reserve tables, so dining here operates on a first-come-first-served basis.
The Grill by Thomas Keller
Seabourn Ovation hosts The Grill by Thomas Keller as its second speciality restaurant, drawing several Seabourn Club reviews. Notably, the surf and turf restaurant has a more expansive setting on Encore and Ovation, contributing to the atmosphere. Securing reservations is essential for this exclusive dinner-only venue, where we relished an exceptional fillet steak. Looking ahead, Seabourn has exciting plans to introduce Solis, a new complimentary restaurant offering fresh Mediterranean cuisine to replace The Grill. Each ship will fully implement this change by May 2024. It’s important to note that reservations will still be required for Solis.
Seabourn organizes Seabourn Conversations to help solo cruisers connect. Officers and the friendly entertainment team host tables in The Restaurant and join guests on excursions. Enjoy particular Card Room, The Club, and Grand Salon activities. Look out for Seabourn’s affordable single supplements for a fulfilling experience.
Let me know what you think.
Have you been considering Seabourn for your next holiday? If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact me directly by emailing Nikkim@cruiseline.co.uk.