Agents call refined
Seabourn "Simply the Best". Top producers praise company's
product upgrades, focus on Pride, Spirit, Legend
Richard Meadows, Senior Vice
President of Sales and Marketing for ultra-luxury cruise pioneer
Seabourn Cruise Line, said on Sept. 5 that the line's top producing
agents are "...virtually unanimous in their support of the
company's decision to re-focus on a reduced fleet of ships that are
capable of delivering the levels of service and comfort that comprise
a true Seabourn Experience."
According to Meadows, agents are
also applauding the series of enhancements being implemented on the
Seabourn yachts. Following the departure of the former Sea Goddess
ships and the planned transfer of the 758-guest Seabourn Sun to
sister-company Holland America Line in April, Seabourn will have
returned to the uniform fleet of three all-suite, yacht- like ships
that consistently kept the line at the top of ratings.
Carrying just 104 couples each,
Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend were originally designed to create
a cruise product that improved on the Sea Goddess model by adding
more spacious accommodations, more gracious public areas and improved
They remain unique in the cruise
industry in terms of their intimate capacity and luxurious features
and amenities. Following $25 million in refurbishments, the three
Seabourn "sisters" now offer totally redecorated interiors
and balconies on 40 percent of their suites, along with such
contemporary features as internet access and an enhanced spa and gymnasium.
"We have invested a lot
into these ships in the last year, and now we are ramping up the
shipboard product with major long-term commitments in added features
and amenities," said Meadows. "But the real key is
the level of personalized service and attention our guests enjoy.
Nobody else in the ultra luxury segment has ships this size, and that
means they can't do what we do. We can unabashedly state that for
2002 the Yachts of Seabourn offer the finest ultra luxury cruise
experience available, full stop."
Agents specializing in the
carriage trade agree. Dorothy Reminick of Reid Travel in Boca Raton,
Florida sailed on Seabourn Pride in July and says it was "...fabulous!
Everything about it was first rate. They couldn't do enough for you.
What could be better? I have sailed on all the smaller luxury ships
and the Seabourn yachts are simply the best. I had planned to take a
group on a barge cruise next summer, but when I got back I told them
we were going on Seabourn instead, and they all said 'Fine!' and gave
me their deposits. So we'll all be sailing on the Legend next June."
Tom Baker of CruiseCenter.com in
Houston, Texas sailed on Seabourn Legend in August. Asked about his
experience, he said: "I have been cruising since I was five
years old, and I've sailed on over a hundred different ships,
including the most highly rated ships in the world, and this was
without doubt the finest service I have ever experienced. And that
includes any hotel or restaurant anywhere. The food was superb and
the service was just magnificent. There are some other ships out
there that claim to be six star, but Seabourn clearly surpasses them all."
Gay Gillen Stone at Gay Gillen
Travel in Austin, Texas booked clients on a Seabourn cruise in May,
shortly after they returned from an Alaska cruise on a luxury
competitor's larger ship. She said they told her the Seabourn ship's
size and number of guests "gave them a feeling of exclusivity
and pampering that larger ships cannot provide."
The clients told Stone that "Seabourn
provides the finest personal service. From the first day of the
cruise the staff knew them by name." Stone's clients also
noted that the "dining room staff is unhurried and dedicated
to accommodating individual requests."
Surveys completed by guests while
they are on board also reflect growing delight with the cruise
experience on the Seabourn sisters. Always strong, the General
Impression scores have progressed from averages of 9.10 on a scale of
10 last year to 9.51, 9.57 and 9.62 in the month of August, 2001.
Scores for service categories are even higher, with stewardesses and
restaurant service staff achieving scores ranging from 9.60 to an
incredible 9.75 out of 10.