November 17, 2010

One day when I walked into my office at Seabourn in the early 90s I found out that we had been voted the world’s best small cruise line by the readers of Conde Nast.  And I have a blue t-shirt to prove it! Then a year later, it happened all over again. Fast forward 16 years and now instead of a Seabourn employee I’m a luxury cruise specialist [aka travel agent] sailing along the Great Bahama Banks aboard Seabourn’s inaugural North America sailing of the Sojourn
Wow! It’s still the best of the best. I’ve been aboard many luxury ships from several lines since my Seabourn days and absolutely nothing compares with Seabourn Sojourn. [or presumably her sister ship, Odyssey, who premiered last year.]  The ship itself is fabulous – absolutely stunning. And the service, which without the hardware would be just expensive steel, hearkens back to Seabourn’s first days when they were the only game in town, and were winning awards right and left. 

If you follow my blog posts, you’ll know that I am insistent that service levels are impeccable, for without service there is no such thing as a luxury experience. I don’t care how much money a company has thrown at the hardware. Seabourn has more than doubled the number of beds in their fleet over the last 18 months, and the service levels are off the charts. Your every need is anticipated. One barely has to turn his head in any of their dining venues to find a waiter. And when you find your waiter the attitude and friendliness is uniformly delightful. It’s obvious they love their jobs and fortunately the guest (you?) are the beneficiary. 

The ship is beyond spectacular. Beauty and style rests in the eye of the beholder, so I won’t say that this ship is “the most beautiful” as I don’t know what my readers’ tastes are. But if you like contemporary without being off the wall modern, and if you like a standardized aesthetic across the ship, subtle tones and clean lines – I think you’ll adore this vacation experience. 
Couple the ship itself, the officers and crew, any one of a million itineraries and the exclusive benefits* of booking with Josh Friedman Luxury Travel and you have a heck of an incredible, affordable and memorable  vacation. 

For more photos, please visit my Flickr page at

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