All-inclusive luxury line Seabourn is at the top of its game with the all-suite, 450-passenger Seabourn Quest, the most recent of the three knockout Odyssey-class ships. Like its siblings, Seabourn Quest is stylish and modern. It feels as cool as a W Hotel — especially in the living room-like Seabourn Square — and as fancy as a Four Seasons, especially if you make a point of ordering Champagne at every meal.
What We Love
The Art: Quest and its sister ships are nearly identical triplets, but the youngest sibling has edgier jewelry. Modern art includes sculptures of space-suited astronauts and a “diver” sculpture complete with flippers that passengers call “Aquaman.”
The Pool Deck: The large expanse of wooden deck space has two pools, two whirlpools, and cushy loungers, including coveted egg-shaped wicker day beds, which go fast on sea days. Best of all, the cheeseburgers on brioche, miniature grilled cheese sandwiches bathed in butter, and house-made gelato served poolside are decadent enough to add to the luxury. And, since this is an "all you can drink" line, you shouldn't be surprised to see some guests ordering rosé with lunch or even Champagne.
Special Orders: Craving a particularly decadent dinner? Ask the maitre d' to pre-order your favorite meals for later nights in the sailing, from soup to salad, entree, and dessert, and you can custom design your menus. This may just be the closest you come to having a private chef.
Bathtubs: All of the cabins on board have bathtubs, and your cabin steward can bring you a variety of Molton Brown bubble baths to choose from — all you have to do is ask.
Best Known For
Intuitive Service: It’s like the crew can read your mind. A bartender may, for instance, hand you your favorite dirty martini before you knew you wanted one.
All-Inclusive Rates: Since drinks (and gratuities) are included in the fare, this is a great opportunity to experiment with new libations. Not sure if you like port or cognac? Try an after-dinner drink and see what suits you. That said, wireless Internet access is not included so have a plan in place to use your phone in port or risk racking up charges.
Thomas Keller: Can’t get reservations at The French Laundry in California's wine country, one of the toughest tables to score in the country? Try Thomas Keller’s cuisine at sea. The line signed the renowned chef to redo its menus and open a new restaurant on board. The first opened on Seabourn Quest in spring 2016: Within a few months, it was easily the best steakhouse at sea, with gorgeous classic cocktails, an elegant setting, and plenty of table-side preparations, from Caesar salad to hot fudge sundaes. If you're not a steak lover, you still must come here: The roasted chicken is some of the best we've ever had, anywhere, and the chocolate cake is perfection. And, regardless of what you order, all desserts come with warm chocolate chip cookies.
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Who It's Best For
Well-Heeled Travelers: These are luxury vessels, and most passengers are wealthy (if low-key) cruisers over 50. The regulars all seem to know each other, and the rest of the cruisers are a fairly homogenous group, regardless of what part of the (largely English-speaking) world from which they hail.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Organized Activities Take a Backseat: Most guests would rather lounge or borrow water toys from the marina than hear a lecture or learn napkin folding. That said, many passengers organize themselves into card games on sea days and can't image missing the quiz hour.
Seabourn Does Not Cater to Families: These are not kid-friendly ships, and the staid atmosphere reflects guests' desires for a quiet, restful experience.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.
Sherri Eisenberg is a New York City-based writer and editor. She is the former editorial director of ShermansCruise.
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Seabourn Quest at a Glance
- Line: Seabourn Cruise Line
- Class: Odyssey
- Number of Passengers: 450
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 2011
- Amazon River
- Chobe River
- Columbia and Snake Rivers
- Hudson River
- Mississippi River
- Ohio and Tennessee Rivers
- Repositioning Cruises
- Southeast Rivers
- The British Isles