This Could Be the Most Luxurious Vacation of Your Life

How much caviar and champagne can one couple consume? My husband and I recently found the answer when we spent a week aboard the Seabourn Odyssey, sailing from Barbados.  And I think it’s fair to say that this was the most luxurious vacation I have ever experienced.  And I have gone on MANY luxury trips.

Our adventure started out a little tenuous, as Barbados and Seabourn have strict rules for entry.  But it was worth filling out forms and taking the required Covid tests. We were greeted by crew members who cheered and clapped as we walked on board and headed to our upgraded veranda suite where we were handed a glass of champagne by our suite attendants. These “Seabourn moments” were just the first of daily surprises that made this trip so magical.

 

Seabourn Odyssey

Seabourn Odyssey

 

The Ship

  • Accommodates just 450 guests
    • 225 ocean-front luxury suites
    • The suites average 365 sq’ in, and include a teak veranda with a glass railing.

Seabourn Odyssey Deck Plans

Seabourn Odyssey Deck Plans

  • Activities include
    • Spa and salon partnered with Dr. Andrew Weil
    • Fitness center and yoga studio
    • Card Room
    • Theater for live shows
    • Entertainment and onboard programs
  • Four Restaurants including The Grill by Thomas Keller
  • All-inclusive – with the exception of excursions, EVERYTHING is included such as gratuities, cocktails, caviar and in-room dining and internet
  • Two pools and six outdoor hot tubs
  • Seabourn Square
    • Guest services and shore excursions
    • The library, computers, newspaper services
    • A cappuccino bar with desserts, sandwiches, and gelato!

Day by Day

Sunday

Seabourn requires every passenger to be vaccinated and they retested us before we were allowed to embark. Once aboard, we were not required to wear a mask (although the crew did wear them). Our suite was incredibly spacious and the veranda held a table and chairs which I took advantage of every morning when I had coffee delivered.

After we settled in, we headed to the welcome party. I was awed by the fact that every single crew member knew my name! With only 84 passengers we never had to wait in a single line for anything! For dinner, we ate al fresco at Earth and Ocean located by the main pool.  Like every meal after, the food was delicious and the service was impeccable.  The included wine list was extensive, although we tended to opt for the suggested wines of the day. That night I had one of the best night sleeps in a long time.

Champagne Reef - Dominica

Dave on the rigid inflatable boat on our way to snorkel at Champagne Reef in Dominica

Monday – Dominica

My day started with a scrumptious breakfast, although I found it hard to choose between the myriad of options. I literally did not carry a dish the entire week, as a crew member would walk me to my table. My husband tended to order breakfast off the menu, where I loved perusing the options laid out before me.

This day we took a fun excursion snorkeling on Champaign Reef. I hadn’t expected the plethora of brightly colored fish, or the warm bubbles emanating from the sea floor.

Once we were back to the ship, we found an invitation to the captain’s welcome aboard party. Prior to the party, I took a lovely yoga class with an excellent instructor. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention afternoon tea, which we partook in EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was an absolute glorious way to spend your afternoon. Each day, at 4 PM we made our way to tea, where were offered not only fabulous tea options, but sweet and savory treats meant to delight our palate and our soul.

Ready for a night out

Ready for a night out

This was the only formal dinner night and women wore dresses or pantsuits while men wore jackets with no ties or suits.  On all other nights the dress code was casual elegant. If you didn’t want to dress up, there were plenty of other wonderful dinner options onboard.

The show that evening, “That’s Life”, was all about Rat Pack era songs from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and more with a big band arrangement that made the show memorable.

Ziplining in St. Lucia

Dave and Toni Ziplining in St. Lucia

Tuesday St. Lucia

We ordered early coffee and pastries to be delivered to our room. I was so surprised when it was beautifully presented and set up on our table.  Of course, I also had a hearty breakfast in the restaurant a little later.  Don’t judge!

Later in the morning, we went ziplining with new friends we met onboard. What fun! We soared at 56 miles per hour and loved every minute of the adventure. While there, I casually mentioned that I needed to buy a Seabourn baseball hat and that my husband was disappointed that the photo machine didn’t capture him ziplining down the mountain. When we returned to our suite before lunch, there were two Seabourn baseball hats and a photoshopped picture of us ziplining. Talk about Seabourn moments!

At lunch, we were approached by our hostess who asked if we would like to have dinner with a group.  This is another wonderful example of a Seabourn moment because that dinner was so much fun! They had a pre-planned seating arrangement and I got to spend time with a fun group of fellow travelers.

In the afternoon I lost to my husband at shuffleboard and later listened to talk about Christopher Columbus (which honestly, I thought might be boring but was fascinating!).

 

Toni and a new friend, Jill, at Tea time

Toni and a new friend, Jill, at Tea time

The evening show was performed by comedy Fred Klett. Let’s just say that my husband laughed so hard, that I felt the need to scoot over, ha! Later we danced in the club to fantastic live music and delicious cocktails.  I just really didn’t want the night to end; it was such a special day.

Loving Sint Maartin

Loving Sint Maartin

Wednesday – Sint Maartin

I thoroughly enjoyed the morning stretch class and signed myself up for a couple of fun activities at the spa. Later, we ended up judging an impromptu martini making contest between another guest and the bar manager, Sean. Let’s just say that I have fallen in love with espresso martinis.

We indulged in the late afternoon and ordered caviar to our suite. How am I going to ever live without my regular dose of caviar? Before dinner, we spent time at the officers cocktail party.  I loved how accessible the officers were and how much fun they were to be around. The stories they shared were wonderful. And hearing about how they traveled around the globe at the beginning of Covid was inspiring.

For dinner, we were treated to the Colonnade for Thomas Keller’s fried chicken and it did not disappoint.

Cooking Demonstration

Chef Karl’s cooking demonstration

Thursday – At Sea

As an avid cook, I was really excited about Chef Karl’s lobster risotto cooking demonstration.  I can’t wait to serve it at my next party.  And the best part was we got to sample it at lunch!

At 1 pm the captain announced that it was Marina Day and that they had opened the retractable marina platform at the stern for guests to enjoy kayaking, or being pulled on the banana boat or tube. My husband is still talking about it!

Banana boating off of the ship

Banana boating off of the ship

We were invited to have dinner with Captain Bart Vaartjes. He was so down-to-earth and willing to share his incredible experiences as captain. We had wonderful tablemates that added to the enchanting experience.

The show that night was called “A Stroke of Genius” and it was! We watched the world’s most loved masterpieces come to life as their singers and dancers told the story behind the frame through music, song, and dance. Artists included Monet and Picasso, as well as Van Gogh and Warhol.

St Kitts

St Kitts was spectacular

Friday – St. Kitts and Nevis

My favorite day started with a tender at 10 AM to Carambola Beach on St. Kitts for caviar and champagne in the surf and a lobster barbecue. It felt as though Seabourn brought the entire ship to the beach, including a full bar, plenty of towels, and sunblock.  They even made sure the bathrooms at the private beach club were stocked with the Molton Brown soaps we loved, as well as shampoo for the outdoor showers. They thought of everything to make the day special, including banana boats, tubes, kayaks, paddleboards, and water skis! It is a day I will never forget. We have started using it as the apex of great days. As in, “that was a fun barbecue, but it was no Carambola Beach Day”.  I actually felt deeply sad when it was time to go.

Carambola Beach Caviar in the Surf

Carambola Beach Caviar in the Surf

Good thing I had something to look forward to, as we were invited to a captain and crew cocktail party and had a reservation that night for the celebrated Thomas Keller Grill, which is included in your fare. It was beyond delicious and seemed as though we were dining in a Michelin starred restaurant.

Later, we were treated once again to a comedy show with Fred Klett.

Enjoying the Odyssey

Enjoying the Odyssey

Saturday – At Sea

I woke up feeling a little blue that our cruise was coming to end, but decided to concentrate on enjoying the last full day. After we took our Covid test so that we could return to the US, I took a workout class, before heading to the pool for some final relaxation.  Later that afternoon, we attended the Spritz & Splash event at the pool. Who doesn’t wasn’t an Aperol spritz handed to them as live music plays in the background? Before our final dinner, the crew put on their signature event. The officer and crew farewell, which included so much food and fun cocktails.  The entire crew marched around the back deck and danced and clapped and made the evening feel festive.

The last big show, Viva Italia, was a stylish journey through Italian culture. From film to fashion, literature to opera, it was a fun performance combining contemporary and classical music with a few minutes of opera thrown in.

When we returned to our suite, we found an awesome gift of a replica of our ship in crystal from the hotel director, Luca.

Sunday – Disembark in Barbados

There’s not much to say, other than I dragged myself out of bed and made the most of my final breakfast.  Because our flight wasn’t until 4 PM, Seabourn was gracious enough to send us to the Hilton Hotel where we enjoyed lounge chairs and a scrumptious lunch before taking us to the airport.

Toni on the deck of the Odyssey

Toni on the deck of the Odyssey

Final Thoughts

Seabourn Odyssey strives to provide a setting where people can relax and enjoy the finer things in life.  The staff goes above and beyond to make sure your every need is taken care of and they do so with precision. You never want for anything. Whether it be a cup of coffee or a cocktail, caviar, suntan lotion, and even a cold towel for your neck there is no cutting corners on anything. From her upscale design, service, dining, accommodations, and overall vibe — Odyssey is the very definition of casual luxury.

And to answer the question of how much caviar and champagne can one couple consume, the answer is too much!

What Next?

  • If you want to learn more about taking a cruise, contact Beyond Boutique at hello@beyondboutiquetravel.com
  • If you have travel dreams, you deserve a travel plan. Download your copy of our latest eBook, full of detailed information on where to travel by month to ignite your wanderlust! Click here!
  • To read about more amazing vacation options, start with our blog here!
  • Toni McClelland is an affiliate of Brownell Travel and Virtuoso. She can be contacted at 732-233-2721 or by email at toni@beyondboutiquetravel.com
  • Follow us on Instagram @beyondboutiquetravel

Let’s Start Planning