Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Sojourn of the Seabourn Odyssey Pre-Inaugural Cruise - Cuisine, Venues and People

I know this is to sound like hype, but I swear it isn't. Not only has the service and cuisine blown me away, so has the entertainment.
Last night I had the honor of dining with the Chief Financial Officer of Carnival Corp., David Bernstein. While you might think dining with a numbers guy might be boring, what it really showed me is that he (and his wife) are fantastic people that love life, travel and appreciating the simple things like running with their dog in the morning and their children. In other words, dining with the Carnival Corp. brass was more like dining with good friends or family then it was a business obligation. Simply stated, it made the Seabourn family larger and stronger rather than a "bigger is more cold and impersonal experience". And that is really what the Seabourn Odyssey is quickly becoming about.



The first dinner service on the ship could have been (and, frankly, was expected to be) a disaster. Instead, it was...as I have said so often...a Seabourn experience. The service was - I swear - flawless. The food was incredible and the main restaurant...and you will hear this time and time again...is just WOW.



I have no idea how this crew, with all of the issues related to the extremely late turnover of the ship, could have possibly made the dinner service flawless. (OK, there was one flaw: a waiter didn’t know which way the ladies room was. Seriously, that was it.)

Dinner, entitled, Odyssey Inaugural Dinner, was:

Smoked Salmon & Malossol Caviar
White Plum Tomato Cappucino (a long favorite of mine!)
Warm Potato Ravioli with Tuffle Pan Sauce (incredible!)
Citrus Sorbet (with champagne poured over the top, so do you eat or drink it…or both!)
Butter Sauteed Lobster or
Fillet Mignon & Seared Foie Gras (the size of Portobella mushrooms)
The President’s Favorite Chocolate Cake (if you see this order it!)
Chocolate Truffles.

So after dinner I figure I was obliged to see the show. I should restate that: I was happy to see the show (and, yes, this is Iamboatman who never likes the show talking). There were four talented, good looking, young people singing and dancing…and my wife was smiling and tapping her foot. They raised the bar on Seabourn entertainment…a lot. BRAVO.



So after the show I went to the Sky Bar (still a work in progress, to be honest). But again Seabourn blew me away...again.



There was a charming Italian bartender (I wish I remembered his name) that had an incredible conversation about Italian wines with me…and he knew his stuff. He wasn’t showing off, he just loved wines. He is new to Seabourn; having just been working in London. So we talked about what makes Seabourn special and he eyes lit up. How do they find these people?!