Third of three reports.
On a recent pre-inaugural cruise aboard the new Seabourn Quest, a full cast of executives from Seabourn and parent company Holland America was aboard to answer questions from media and select travel agents. You can only imagine how much these folks liked their own ship.
Still, the best spin for Seabourn came from a personal trainer.
Vincent de Jager works in the expansive spa that Seabourn has placed on its three newest 450-passenger ships, Odyssey, Sojourn, and now Quest.
The trainer was demonstrating a Kinesis machine made by Technogym. I tried it, used its system of ropes and pulleys, and it was the best and safest tough workout I ever had. The machine is expensive, however, and few cruise ships offer it.
“Anyone can work out on this machine, which can be adapted to each body and level of abilities,” said de Jager.
“Once you get the hang of it, you can walk off the ship in better shape than you started out.”
Now, there’s a reason to take a luxury cruise: You are pampered, drink wine and other spirits, dine well, nibble and nosh, then leave the ship in better shape than when you came aboard. Sign me up.
Gleaned from cruise line executives
Seabourn may build another new ship, to add to its fleet of six, three in the Odyssey class and three older 208-passenger vessels, Spirit, Pride and Legend.
“Carnival would consider expanding,” said Howard Frank, vice chairman of the board of Carnival Corp. Holland America has no new ships on the horizon, but is gearing up its marketing office to entice new cruisers to Seabourn. With its recent move to Holland America’s marketing umbrella, Seabourn now speaks louder, said Stein Kruse, HAL’s president and chief executive officer.
New Seabourn president Rick Meadows emphasized service as the key element in what Seabourn has to sell. People who stay with us have nice bathrooms and nice bedrooms and nice restaurants at home, he said. What we provide is service, he said. Seabourn offers such special services as a personal shopper in ports and custom tours during cruises as well as before and after the cruise.
Each crew member carries in his or her pocket a card that lists the 12 points of Seabourn service. The 12th advises crew to “Have fun.”
Restaurant 2, the popular 48-seat dining room with a gourmet tasting of 11 items each night, has five different tasting menus, and on most cruises rotates two or three of them for passengers who want to eat in the restaurant (at no extra charge) on more than one occasion. On seven-day cruises, however, ships offer only one menu, so all 450-passengers have an opportunity to try the restaurant.