Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seabourn Quest's Penthouse Spa Suites - Are They Really That Good? Yes!

Having now lived in a Seabourn Penthouse Spa Suite for a week (and never wanting to move out), I thought I would review them.

The short review:  Seabourn’s Penthouse Spa Suites are, overall, the best suites on the Odyssey-class ships.

Before I talk about all of the added amenities, I want to explain the suite and some of the adjustments that make them my favorite.  When you walk in there is a longer hallway, but still with separate doors to the toilet (great when having guests, not disturbing someone in the bath) and walk-in closet (perfect for dropping off your coat or staying out of your significant other’s overtaking of the bedroom preparing for dinner).  The suites are also a good bit wider, lending to a larger balcony and an overall roomier layout and feel.
Seabourn Quest's Penthouse Spa Suite
A few steps and on the other side is a long desk with additional storage below and glassware above.  It is sufficiently wide to work as a good desk, but narrow enough to stay out your way walking into the main portions of the suite.  Lighting is excellent and there are – get this – 3 110 volt outlets and 4 220 volt outlets (with two different configurations.  I didn't need to use my usual power strip.  Also, since the area is separated from the bedroom by a solid wall and the large walk-in closet, you can work without waking up your partner.

Seabourn Penthouse Spa Suite's Work Area
(I know you are on a cruise, but sometimes work happens!)
The dark woods are complimented by a variety of soft, beige, fabrics which cover both the chairs at the glass dining table for four, the sofa with chaise (with big white and cream throw pillows) and the occasional chair.  

But what strikes me the most is the 15 feet of floor to ceiling glass leading out to the huge balcony overlooking the stern, complete with two cushioned lounges, all weather wicker table and cushioned chairs for four and a three person sofa.  The newly installed awning provides just the right amount of shade along with protection from the rain (and wash-downs from the deck above).


The entertainment center has a 42 inch television (with all of the hundreds of movies, etc.) and two refrigerators (one regular with beer, soda, etc. and one spa healthy with fruit and vegetable drinks, spa waters, etc.)  To the side is a cupboard with flat and sparkling water, dried fruits/nuts and tea cups.  Also provided are tea infusers with a variety of comfort botanical teas and, of course, honey pearls for sweetness. (A hot water kettle and/or Nespresso machine would be a nice touch as so many other amenities are provided, but room service provides the hot water and coffee quickly upon request.)
Many of Seabourn's Penthouse Spa Amenities are  presented by, or tucked way under,
the console holding the 42" flat screen television.
Seabourns' standard refrigerated setup to the left and the spa amenity setup to the right.
(Another nice touch:  Both refrigerators light up when you open the door!)

Very interesting floral tea infusers.  (Your stewardess will explain!)


The bedroom is literally perfect.  It is feels more secluded than the standard Penthouse suites because there is only one double door of etched glass so you feel much more private.  Also, the corner Penthouse Spa Suites have a window overlooking the port (or starboard) side of the ship making it feel truly like a bedroom.  At the foot of the bed, but with plenty of room is a separate vanity. The flat screen television is mounted flush on the wall and is very easy to view.


Closing the etched glass doors is easy and they feel solid.  Want to black out the bedroom? Soft curtains are provided…they make the room truly cozy.

Seabourn Penthouse Spa Suite Walk-in Closet
Lots of storage with more hidden throughout the suite
Because the walk-in closet is now behind the bed there is no conflict with the doors or having to walk through the closet to get to the bathroom.

The bathroom is near perfect.As you enter the huge shower is to one side and the large soaking tub is on the other along with a large vanity with two sinks.  The floors are black slate with a matte finish. 


Seabourn Penthouse Spa Bathroom Approaches Perfection
The glass–enclosed shower has a rainfall shower head and a shower wand, but the finishes are what wow me.  Black slate floor around the edges with a smooth river stone in the middle (to massage your feet while you shower) and up the wall.  (If you don’t like that, a shower mat is provided.)  On the opposite side from the shower is a wall of complimenting black and white marble and a rich teak bench.

Seabourn has thought of everything from cushions for your head to a rubber duck!
In the Seabourn Penthouse Spa Suites you are almost overwhelmed with the plethora of spa amenities.  A basket is presented with a treasure-trove of different sponges, vegetable scrubbing gloves, loofahs, soaps by Hermes, Ferragamo, Molton Brown and Essence, L’Occitaine aroma oils and more.  Along with the Seabourn specially designed Molton Brown shampoo, conditioner and body wash, a range of aromatherapy baths are supplied along with Molton Brown Thermal Salts Muscle Soak, Purifying Ambrusca Bodywash and Polish and Sleep Cedrus Temple Soother.

There are so many little touches and to me, whether you find them useful or not, knowing that someone has thought of them…made them available to you…created things that you didn’t even know you might enjoy makes the entire experience far more rewarding…and comfortable.  (Did I mention the light switches actually make sense, are properly located and have integrated dimmers?)

OK, criticisms or things you should be aware of: 

Most importantly, there is no elevator to these four suites.  They are reached via a sweeping or Cinderella (though Seabourn calls it a spiral) staircase.  While there is a motorized lift, don’t count on it for regular transport.  Long dress and heals can maneuver the stairs with care.


Because you are not midship, there is some movement.  It is far less than if you were forward on the ship or overlooking the bow, but don’t expect the rock solid comfort of the midship Wintergarden Suites if you are in seas.  That said, last evening we had some seas and were traveling at 19.5 knots and the ride was quite comfortable.  (And with all engines running and in seas, I only heard two noises.  The Seabourn Penthouse Spa suites are extraordinarily quiet!)

The stool at the desk in the hallway is not cushioned like the one for the vanity in the bedroom.  It looks nice with the marble, but is way too hard.

There should be a few more masculine products provided (or swapped out with some of the more esoteric ones).  I, personally, use Molton Brown shave products and it seems a bit strange having all the other Molton Brown products there, but I had to bring my own. 

The stewardess is not as visible because her duties are in two areas:  The four Penthouse Spa Suites and some standard suites...obviously located elsewhere on the ship as these suites are joyfully isolated.  While I have seen mine every day, and she remains a phone call away, if you are someone that feels a more personal relationship with your stewardess is important you won’t find her in your exclusive hallway nearly as much.

One area of polish that is being worked on:  Integrating the spa personnel (not Seabourn employees) into the Seabourn Penthouse Spa experience.  As these are brand new, some training is needed to assure the guests are aware of all of the spa amenities available to them.  Just a little tweak to be sure.

Seabourn Quest's Spa Relaxation Area
If you are fortunate enough to be able to book these suites and can deal with the sweeping staircase the Seabourn Spa Penthouses represent the best of the best in luxury cruise suites. 

They are not the fanciest or the frilliest. The Seabourn Penthouse Spa Suites are, like the Seabourn staff, seemingly clairvoyant in addressing your needs and desires and do so in an understatedly elegant way.