Dining aboard the Seabourn Odyssey

ABOARD THE SEABOURN ODYSSEY – Where to eat? What to eat? Such delightful dining decisions on the Seabourn Odyssey.

The Colonnade offers indoor and outdoor dining.

The Colonnade offers indoor and outdoor dining.

Didn’t take me long to find my favorite dining spot. First, I’ll tell you about the places available on this marvelous ship and how dining is done on the Seabourn yacht.

No reservations are required for three of the main dining spots. You can decide at the last minute and show up wherever you want to eat. That is a nice option. If a shore excursion is taking longer than you thought or you are spellbound by a glorious sunset, no worries.  Dinner is served from 7 to 9 each evening, 7:30 to 9 by the pool. Stroll in whenever you are ready.

On other cruise lines, I’ve noticed passengers trying to get a glimpse of a framed menu outside one of the ship’s restaurants detailing what is being served that day. On the Seabourn, it is all at your fingertips – side-by-side menus delivered to your room the evening before – so you can decide ahead of time where to eat and what to eat.

Called “Dinner Options,” the daily paper shows what is being served the next day in all the ship’s restaurants as well as what is offered from room service – available 24 hours a day with no charge.

I really appreciate this “Dinner Options” menu. I also appreciate that as a solo traveler I have the option of sitting at a nice table by myself or dining with others. When I arrived for my first Seabourn meal, a waiter asked my preference. I have not been asked again because Seabourn waiters remember those things. As a solo traveler, I also have not been relegated to an undesirable table because I am alone. I am usually asked where I prefer to sit and that is where I am seated.

As I’ve noted before, all drinks – alcoholic and otherwise –  are complimentary on the Odyssey. Again, the servers remember what I prefer and that drink arrives shortly after I sit down.

Breakfast on my balcony.

Breakfast on my balcony.

As for choices, the Odyssey has four dining spots.

The Restaurant on Deck 4 is Odyssey’s gourmet dining room. It is as simple and elegant as its name. The décor is very open and airy with gold and white being the dominant colors. Sheer white drapes from ceiling to floor held back by loose ties flow at strategic spots around the room to add a touch of privacy for diners. The central two-story section is directly under a glittering chandelier. White marble looks classy along with white linen tablecloths and napkins. Fresh flowers add a bit of color. The food and service are impeccable, as they are everywhere on the ship. The Restaurant is the more formal dining place on the Odyssey and is capable of seating all guests at once.

On this particular day, The Restaurant menu features starters, main course, Seabourn signature, local flavors, vegetarian and, of course, dessert. It would take too long to type all the tasty choices here with their tempting descriptions but main course choices include pompano fillet, roasted quail, butter poached shrimp and gnocchi primavera. My choice was grilled filet mignon with roasted morels, Parmesan flan and sweet peas. Scrumptious!

The Patio Grill on Deck 8 is the least formal. It’s a great place to eat if you don’t want to get dressed up or want to dine outside by the pool. The buffet includes appetizers, pizza, pasta, sides, grilled meat and desserts. Today’s menu offers pappardelle pasta with braised short rib, English peas, cipolini onion, cherry tomatoes, parmiagiano-reggiano cheese. Plus beef cowboy steak, veal chop, lamb chop and salmon cotelette from the grill. All at the poolside buffet, for goodness sakes. 

Honestly, I haven’t had a chance yet to eat the Patio Grill. Every time I wander by there, the food looks so tempting but I have already eaten somewhere else. Maybe before the cruise is over.

Another place I have yet to try and won’t get to on this cruise is the ship’s specialty dining place  – Restaurant 2 on Deck 8. The  tiny restaurant is supposed to be tops in haute cuisine. I peeked in one evening and the place is very small with only a few tables where diners share with others. The room does have a gorgeous ocean view. Dining at Restaurant 2 doesn’t cost extra but reservations were all booked when I checked. Maybe  next time.

Just for food dreamers, I will type in the whole dinner menu for Restaurant 2. It never changes on my cruise as diners are supposed to eat there only once. Here goes :

  • Chef’s Cocktail – caviar in the cloud with foggy potatoes.
  • Cowboy Roll- seared flank steak, portabello, sesame sauce
  • Barbecued salmon – jalapeño, cucumber, melted mozzarella, wasabi mayo
  • Duck confit pop – roasted pepper relish, creamy chili dip
  • Tea smoked game presse – chestnut spaetzle
  • Porcini chestnut cappuccino – honey spiced squab with fig empanada
  • Floating lobster – pesto cream, red pepper fondue, lime froth
  • Grilled beef tenderloin – forest mushrooms, truffled emulsion
  • Apricot beignets – citrus compete, calvados ice cream

 So sorry I missed it.

But I will tell you that my favorite dining spot is The Colonnade on Deck 8 aft. Can’t resist their menu, friendly servers, great seaside views. The Colonnade takes you around the world with its themed cuisine that changes throughout the voyage. The themes for this cruise:

  • Sunday – Venice – Surf & Turf
  • Monday, Triluke Bay, Croatia – Café Elegant
  • Tuesday, Dubrovnik, Croatia – Tuscany Market
  • Wednesday, Kotor, Montenegro – Old England
  • Thursday, Primosten, Slovenia – French
  • Friday, Koper, Slovenia – Japanese
  • Saturday, Ravenna, Italy – Steakhouse

    Delicious dining is a Seabourn trademark.

    Delicious dining is a Seabourn trademark.

No matter what I order, I never ignore the breadsticks on my table. The breadsticks are somewhat of a Seabourn trademark. I had heard about them before my cruise and thought “What can be so special about a breadstick?” Well, they are and they are addictive. Sort of a cross between pretzel and bread, my breadsticks didn’t last long. Of course, a handy server was always nearby to refill the dish, which I definitely didn’t need.

Anyone who knows me can correctly guess where I have had breakfast and what I have had every day so far. I order room service and dine on my beautiful balcony in my robe and slippers. I hang the room service order outside my door before bed and the server is there on the dot the next morning at the time I choose.

Although I thought I would try something different, so far my breakfast has been the same every morning – Eggs Benedict, hash browns, bacon, bran muffin, fresh fruit, coffee, orange juice, and Coke (Seabourn doesn’t serve Pepsi, alas). Great way to start the day.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you around the ship. We’ve already attended the sailaway party,  looked at my room, met the captain, learned about the food and have so much more to share. Stay tuned.

Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch

About Jackie

Jackie Sheckler Finch fell in love with cruising 35 years ago when she rode the magnificent Mississippi Queen riverboat in its inaugural 1976 voyage. A newspaper reporter, photographer and travel writer, Jackie has cruised on large and small vessels on numerous rivers and oceans. Read more...

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