First of three reports.
Seabourn, on a quest to be the lead dog in the luxury business at sea, introduces its third new ship in three years on Sunday, June 19. Blythe Danner, an actress seen lately in the movies of Fockers fame, will do the honors at a sunset ceremony in Barcelona.
Until then, the new Seabourn Quest is on a casual pre-inaugural cruise from Rome.
I was aboard from Rome to Monte Carlo, and, as usual, found Seabourn ready to serve.
Seabourn Quest follows two nearly identical sisters, the Odyssey, which debuted in 2009, and Sojourn, introduced in 2010, joining three older, smaller Seabourn ships, the Spirit, Pride and Legend.
These are ships of plenty, without crowds, without a wait for service.
Passengers will find more places to plop — with a book or a beer (alcohol is included) or both — than there are passengers to share the wealth. The three newest Seabourn sisters each carry 450 sun loungers, one per guest.
In the evening, there are nearly 800 place settings awaiting 450 diners in four restaurants, which does not include the chairs on your private balcony where waiters will serve you a romantic dinner, course by course by course.
Meanwhile, the ship staff hangs around waiting for requests or anticipating a great need, such as carrying your glass of orange juice from the buffet to a table outside, under an umbrella.
Ah, indulgence, thy name is Seabourn.
Next: A look at artwork on the new Seabourn Quest.