Checking out of the spectacular Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul was tough! It’s such a beautiful hotel and every time I saw the Bosphorus flowing gently outside my window, I had to rub my eyes and make sure I wasn’t dreaming. But our time there had come to a close and it was time to jump in a taksi and head to the port. Next up: Board the Seabourn Odyssey for a cruise that would take us from Istanbul to various ports throughout Turkey and Greece. Let’s go!
Cruise ships never cease to blow my mind. This was my second time aboard a cruise ship but this would be my first real cruise. The sheer size of these vessels is mind-boggling. Like not-so-small cities that float, cruise ships are fascinating and oh-so-much fun to be aboard. Especially one like the luxurious Seabourn Odyssey.
First, let me start with my stateroom. It’s huge. Seriously. It has so many creature comforts in here, I could spend a month. The marble bathroom features his and hers sinks and mirrors and has both a stand-up shower and separate tub. There’s a sizeable walk-in closet with more than enough room for two people to hang up their clothes and there’s ample additional storage … drawers and cupboards, ahoy! Suitcases fit neatly under the bed, so they take up no space once you’ve unpacked. There’s a stylish striped sofa in the room, a desk with custard-coloured leather club chairs (perfect for working, checking emailing or Skype-ing family back home!) and the generous wooden balcony is the ideal place to eat breakfast or dinner if you’re in the mood for something quiet and intimate. There’s a small but modern flat-screen TV, a free mini-bar and Molton Brown toiletries in the bathroom. I love the crisp white cotton duvet cover and sheets, the fresh white towels and the fluffy white bathrobes. The bed is superbly comfortable and features a bone-coloured, stitched leather headboard. A stewardess is assigned to each room and ours, Marlena, is delightful. She’s ready to help or answer questions at any time.
There are 11 decks on the Seabourn Odyssey. There are plenty of restaurants, including The Colonnade, The Restaurant, Restaurant 2, The Patio Grill, The Observation Bar, The Sky Bar, The Patio Bar, Seabourn Square, The Grand Salon and The Club. Point is, there are tons of options – whether you’re looking for a New York striploin, a snack of crackers and olives or an ice cream sundae. But remember: reservations are necessary at most of the restaurants for dinner. Plan accordingly.
There are four washers and dryers on board the ship. Amazing. So you don’t have to pay outrageous prices to have your clothes laundered if you’re willing to do it yourself. There’s a casino if you’re feeling lucky, two pools and four whirlpools. There are meeting rooms (if you must), a card room and shops. Seabourn Square features a library and computer centre if you’re traveling sans laptop.
The Spa at Seabourn is a two-deck health spa and salon and features seven treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms and fully-equipped gym. The spa menu is extensive though the prices are a bit steep. But after a day in the hot sun, after a shore excursion, sometimes the spa is just the perfect thing.
This ship, which took its maiden voyage in June, is brand-spankin’ new and has had cruise enthusiasts waiting in great anticipation to board. And all those I’ve spoken to are thrilled. Seabourn Odyssey, it seems, was worth the wait.