Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seabourn: The Devil (and Quality) is in the Details

There has been a bit of a discussion in some of my recent posts about Regent and my appreciation of the start of what appears to be significant changes. Some have felt my comments are nit-picking (my words) or "negative".

Today I read the most recent post on the Seabourn Odyssey blog and have copied a good bit of it here, to show that nit-picking is, in fact, a good thing when your desire is to have the best of the best; not the average marketed to be the best (which I am hopefully going to be able to say is the "Old Regent" way vs. the "New Regent/Old Radisson" way.)

Adam Snitzer, Vice President of Marketing for Yachts of Seabourn, reports from the Miami headquarters as the Seabourn Odyssey build takes on yet another form. “I’m often stunned by the number of details that need to be covered when bringing out a new Seabourn yacht. And, I’m always amazed by the intense focus the hotel operations team put on all of those innumerable details.

Take menus, for example (not the actual decisions about which dishes to serve. That will be the subject of another blog post.) I was recently in a meeting where the hotel operations team was presenting their vision of how the menus should look – the sort of paper they would be printed on, the number of pages, the size, and the covers. The options are dizzying.

There are literally hundreds of different colors and textures of leather for menu covers. And, with the variety of the dining venues on Odyssey, there’s also a desire to “mix things up a bit” from restaurant to restaurant. So some of the final choices are truly one- of-a-kind presentations, meant to intrigue and delight guests from the moment they enter each dining venue.

In the end, The Restaurant will get a stylish black on black leather treatment, which will elegantly match the d├ęcor and lighting of the room. The Colonnade will receive a special card and holder that is meant to evoke the ocean itself. The Patio Grill menus will match the teak decking. And Restaurant 2 is meant to be a surprise, so I won’t tell you. You’ll just have to come onboard to find out.”

With that sort of attention to detail, I think having a good cup of coffee served in your suite or by a waiter anywhere on the ship, rather than you walking to from a coffee machine midship on Deck 9, will be pretty easy to come by.

How the menus are presented may mean nothing to some, but to me it is an indicator of what is to be expected. And what I expect on Seabourn...better what Seabourn expects...is luxury.