A luxury cruise lines should offer a variety of included venues, hassle free dining arrangements, innovative cuisine, and attentive service. The Seabourn Odyssey succeeded in all those aspects. I’ll review each venue here and try to provide an idea of what made each venue so special.
While the name was unimaginative the food was anything but. We enjoyed this venue on three nights of our 7 Night Seabourn cruise. With a rotating menu, we never had the same dish twice. We started with the seared beef carpaccio. Then a consume’ with a goat cheese round, and then every single one of us ordered the fillet minion. All timed to perfection, all cooked to perfection at our requested temperatures. Our first night, we dined by invitation with one of the production singers. This was a lot of fun for us. On our second night we sat with Nick, the guest singer on the ship that week. That night I enjoyed spring rolls, a different type of consume’ and one of my favorites, Soft Shell Crab. Our last night we dined with one of the officers by invitation. Meals and service were excellent here!
The patio offers daily and nightly al fresco dining, with no jacket required on formal night. My husband looked at all the menus on the Seabourn App during the day and picked this one for our second night of the cruise because of the menu items that appealed to him and that he new would appeal to me. They presented an Asian take on Bouillabaisse that appealed to me and a Veal Chop that appealed to him. They start guests off with a wonderful selection of appetizers, with the most innovative being a smoking box with a shredded chicken spread. I know that sounds weird, but the smoked check tapenade was delicious. They had a couple of innovative salad and pasta dishes. For guests who wish to for go formal night but dress casual, this is no step down from The Restaurant. The service and presentation for the evening meal was highly elevated, and we loved our waiter Victor from Ecuador. The soup course and the pasta dishes were also tasty. The Asian influenced bouillabaisse was a refreshing take on the French classic with not only saffron but lemon grass as well. For dessert, we ordered the Grand Marnier soufflé that was served in The Restaurant that night. It is one of our favorites and we were glad that we didn’t have to miss out by dining at the Patio that night.
During the day, The Patio features a variety of selections for breakfast and lunch, including an baked egg omelet called a tagine. Each day they featured a different special with these. Fresh made and served in a hot ceramic dish, these were a delightful way to start the day. We ended up eating breakfast here most days because we loved those egg dishes so much. This is a quick service venue with some items made a la minute and some pre-made. Everything fresh and tasty no matter what you had.
This was also a great spot to grab lunch with pizza, salads, sandwiches, grilled items and a featured specialty every day. One of the most popular is the day they feature a variety of sausages/bratwursts including one created just for Seabourn by Thomas Keller
The Grill by Thomas Keller
Thomas Keller is the owner chef of the famous French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley. He created this grill especially for Seabourn cruises and it is the flag ship restaurant of the fleet. Dining there is included with the price of your cruise for at least one evening by reservation. We were lucky enough to have only 86 passengers on our cruise which meant that we were able to secure reservations for three nights during our cruise. Decorated to some what resemble a train dining car, the restaurant was intimate and personalized. For our first dining experience we invited the production singers to join us. We celebrated Steve’s retirement this night at the Grill.
One of our favorite things was something that I wish all restaurants would have rather than bread-sticks: Crudités. The sliced vegetables were the perfect beginning to the evening. I had the Dover Sole which was fileted table side and was a delicious treat.
My husband had the veal T-bone. Sides are served family style an included steakhouse favorites Macaroni and Cheese, Creme Fraiche Whipped Potatoes, Glazed Carrots and Sauteed Mushrooms. This was truly as special dining experience. Since it was Steve’s retirement celebration, they even brought a special chocolate dessert.
On our other nights there we enjoyed the Lobster Thermidor, which was exquisitely prepared, and artistically presented, not just cream sauce in a lobster tail like I have seen on Sunday brunch buffets back home. The servers at this venue also prepare a Caesar Salad table side. On our second night dining there, they featured a special appetizer of egg gnocchi dumplings. Steve enjoyed the fillet mignon, with a choice of sauces including bordelaise, pepper corn, bearnaise and more.
When we had our second meal there, we noticed the roasted free-range chicken for two with Thyme being displayed and served and decided to return one more time to the venue just to have that dish. We thoroughly enjoyed this finely prepared and presented whole roasted chicken. Dessert that nice was a ice cream sundae and a bowl of fresh fruit. The Grill by Thomas Keller was a boutique culinary delight, portraying the best of what cruising has to offer.
The final venue is as close as Seabourn comes to a buffet. The colonnade does feature self service item, but they also have a la carte table service in the evening. We were mostly at Thomas Keller or the Restaurant for dinner, so we just did not have an occasion to enjoy the Colonnade at night. However, we did enjoy both breakfast and lunch in this venue. The Thomas Keller influence is even reflected in these venues with dishes inspired by his childhood as well as selections from around the world. On Stir Fry Day, I enjoyed an a la minute prepared Pad Thai. Breakfast here is a great spot for those just wishing to grab a small bite and a cup of coffee.
Afternoon tea was presented, usually during my nap time, most afternoons in the observation lounge. However, I did manage to make it there one day with members of my trivia team. They serve a great variety of tea from around the world including both regular tea and herbal. We had a couple of British fellow travelers with us, and for the British the most important aspect of their tea is that it is served piping hot, so that it retains the heat when they add cream. Some of the Seabourn specialty teas are designed to be brewed at a lower temperature. However, when the Brits requested their piping hot tea, the server totally got what they were requesting and brought tea prepared to their request. The tea sandwiches and biscuits were delightful, and the Crepe Suzette was an unexpected treat. If it wasn’t for this being my nap time, I would have attended more.
Caviar in the Surf Beach Grill Lunch at Carambola Beach Club, St. Kitts
One of the best days we had was the Caviar in the surf day at the Carambola Beach Club. The dining staff come ashore and present a fantastic beach barbecue featuring grilled lobster tails, shrimp, burgers, ribs and more.
Had we been on the ship more than a week, we probably would have done in room dining more than once, but as it stood, we only did our breakfast the last day. No complaints there, everything fresh, hot and delicious.
There was really nothing I could criticize for the food on Seabourn – great variety, beautiful preparation and on point execution.