David and I just returned from our long-awaited Caribbean cruise. I jest. We actually only planned this trip a month before we took it. Still, we had been thinking about longer whether or not we wanted to a trip to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. For a long time we thought we wouldn’t do any big trips because of all of the big medical expenses associated with this whole infertility thing. It is expensive to be barren. But considering we are presently in a holding pattern awaiting another round of treatment, we started getting the itch to go somewhere. So we planned this trip. Then of course, as things work out, a couple of weeks before we were scheduled to leave I started having pain, was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst, and finally decided to have it drained two days before we left. My reproductive health system is really sparing no effort in trying to sabotage me these days.
But in spite of some lingering pain, we took of on Friday as planned for St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. We stayed a night at the Marriott’s Frenchman’s Reef Resort before embarking on our Seabourn cruise the next day.
Let me give you a little prefatory background. David and I are not ordinarily cruise people. The idea of being trapped on a big boat with thousands of other people standing in line for buffets does not appeal to us at all. Both of us have very limited experiences with “cruising” as a vacation. However, when we were thinking about this as a trip option, we did our research about Seabourn. The reviews stated it was the most highly rated small cruise liner. The operative word being “small.” We only had 190 other passengers on board the Seabourn Legend with us for the week. Because it was so small, I really felt like the cruise focused on quality over quantity. Nothing felt mass-produced, and I felt like the ship wasn’t as wasteful as big ships must be. It was nice being able to get to know people better.
The cruise that we took originated and concluded in St. Thomas. We had six other stops along the way – St. Martin/St. Maarten; Antigua; Terre de Haute, Guadelouple; St. Kitts; St. Barthelemy; Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. I will write a blog entry about each one of the islands that we visited.
Let me tell you what we thought about the ship. First off, all of the cabins on Seabourn ships are suites. So there is plenty of room, and you don’t feel cramped at all. We even had a walk-in closet!
It was a good thing too, because we brought with us a comical amount of luggage.
When David opened up one of his suitcases it looked like a Sperry store exploded in the room:
Here was the empty walk-in closet (We certainly managed to fill it up):
The bathroom was quite spacious too, as we had a full size tub and shower and lots of counter space.
The room was stocked with beverages and fresh fruit every day. We had a TV with access to BBC International and lots of different movies we could watch every day. It wasn’t a bad place at all to spend a week.
Once all of the luggage was removed from the bed and stored out of sight, the bed was quite comfortable. Generally, we slept really well on the boat. I had some concerns that because the boat was smaller, we would feel the movement of the ocean more and David would get sick. He doesn’t have the best track record on boats. This wasn’t a problem at all. In fact, it was only me that felt sick on the boat, and it was the first night, because I had taken some of my pain medication which completely threw off my equilibrium. I didn’t make that mistake again, and I was completely fine.
The boat itself was subtle, and not at all excessively gaudy or over-the-top. It was big enough that there were still places to explore, but small enough to not feel overwhelming.
Other highlights of the boat include the daily tea time in the Midnight Lounge Observatory.
The food in general was spectacular. It wasn’t what I would have expected of cruise ship food at all. Like I said before, the focus was on quality over quantity. There were really only two restaurants on the boat, and both were great. The primary restaurant seemed more formal, but the veranda restaurant was always a great, more casual option and had great menus that changed nightly.
After a week on the boat, we decided that although we might not be the target demographic for cruises, we would definitely cruise with Seabourn again. It completely won us over.
I will have to write another blog post about the characters we met on board the ship. The people were alternatively the best, and worst, part. However, all of the crew on the ship were fantastic. The service was great and it was amazing how many of the people working on the boat knew our names so quickly. Also, many of the crew members were from South Africa, so that made it really fun to talk to people too.