Friday, January 13, 2017

Seabourn Encore: The Inaugural Cruise - Part V (The Standard Seabourn Suite)

Let’s take a look at the standard Seabourn Suites on the Seabourn Encore.

The Standard Seabourn Suite
I preface my comments by noting that these suites become your “home” and my observations are objective, but my conclusions are personal.  And I also note that because of the personal aspect of one’s observations things that may not matter to you may be significant to someone else.

The standard suites on the Seabourn Encore are effectively the same size as those on the Seabourn Odyssey-class ships, but they are about a foot narrower and, thus, a good bit longer.  What this has allowed for is a significantly larger television (and which one can turn) on one side and a significantly larger sofa on the other.  So now you can, if you are so inclined, comfortably lie in bed or on the sofa and watch television, read a book or take a nap.

The Standard Seabourn Suite has a large, swiveling, television
with dozens of movies and television shows
Your stocked in-suite bar abuts your large, nap-worthy, sofa
in your Standard Seabourn Suite
You will also find that the balconies (with a few very limited exceptions) are wider so that you can really stretch out with room to spare. By the way, the balconies have two lounge chairs with extending ottomans and a table large enough to dine on.

Another improvement are the chairs and the table.  The chairs are a bit smaller, but extremely comfortable blue and cream leather that are much easier to move around, even though they are extremely solid.  The table is smaller (needed in the one foot narrower suite) and with a clear glass top…and very cool wooden architectural legs) and a rounded edge so there are no corners to catch yourself on. Also, a leather ottoman with storage inside is also provided (and clearly a nod to the original Seabourn triplets).

Note the clever placement of electrical outlets just below
the table top.  Both 110V and 220V are provided;
as the are throughout the suite.
The other thing that I find it curious that nobody has mentioned to me, but I believe is a significant improvement is the number and placement of the electrical outlets.  There are 110Vand 220V outlets on either side of the bed, just under the table, next to the cabinet at the foot of the bed, on the floor by the sofa and, of course, by the makeup vanity.   This affords everyone a total of twelve (12) outlets in each suite. 

The lighting is also vastly improved with numerous LED lights that can, as you wish, be dimmed or turned off in various configurations.  It can take a bit of practice to figure out the switches, but once mastered it is a pleasure.  (One hint:  A quick push on a switch turns the lights on or off and holding them in causes them to brighten or dim.)

The bathroom also has some improvements beyond its better lighting (and I felt the lighting on the Seabourn Odyssey-class ships was just fine). The marble and granite are lighter in color, giving the feeling of more space, though the bathroom is (obviously) slightly more narrow. The bathtub now has a separate hand shower. The showerhead now is adjustable to your liking.  And there is are storage shelves that run from the ceiling to the countertop, so more of your personal care items can be placed within a hand’s reach.

The addition of a hand shower is a nice and needed touch.
(Hint:  Pull down on the hose fitting under the tap to turn it on...
One of life's mystery's solved!)

Sometimes it is the little things:
An adjustable shower head.
Speaking of lighting, the lighting in the bathroom is just about as good as it gets with a combination of LED and properly hued fluorescents, one can accurately simulate daylight and evening light.

Again, speaking of lighting, the Seabourn Encore standard Seabourn Suites also have two nightlights.  One is located on the floor underneath the makeup vanity (so it is in the hallway and very subtle) and one is under sinks in the bathroom.  A very nice touch.

I have also noticed that the sound insulation is excellent.  Not only between the suites, but also out to the balcony.  After a client of mine complained about noise coming from a neighboring suite due to that elderly couple blasting the television, I have scoured the ship and interviewed a number of guests and the consensus is almost unanimous that the Seabourn Encore is the quietest ship they have sailed on. 

But like most everything, the standard Seabourn Suite is not perfect.  The cabinet at the end of the bed is now quite narrow, so you are not able to take a normally folded shirt and lay it inside.  (If you double it up, you can.)  While some of complained about it, what I noticed is that the cabinet that houses the television is over 50% larger and provides a significant amount of storage that does not exist on the Seabourn Odyssey-class ships (which, of course, have that larger cabinet at the end of the bed). 

The significantly enlarged storage in the television cabinet
helps make up for the narrow cabinet at the foot of the bed.
A second niggle is that the closets, while have larger drawers in the built-in, are slightly too narrow, so your shirts and jackets stick out into the doorway and can get caught in the drawers.  Also, the hanging rods were put in the wrong position, so the top rod allows your shirts to hit the lower rod and the lower rod allows your shirts to hit your shoes.  (I think someone took the measurements for the height of the average shirt, but forgot to include the height of the hanger!)  I am sure this latter faux pas will be corrected shortly, but until then your clothes will not be creased or rumpled by this issue.

With the overall decor being lighter and brighter, along with there being so many subtle improvements in the suites, while you will at home on any of the four Seabourn ships, you just may find that the Seabourn Encore's standard Seabourn Suite is just a little bit sweeter.  I do!

If you are interested in learning more about the Seabourn Encore or, better, want to book a cruise on this magnificent ship, please give me a call or email me...even when I am onboard her!

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