Our flight from Calgary, through Frankfurt, to Barcelona was
smooth and uneventful. Because of the time change, we left Calgary
at 6 pm, on Apr.17, and arrived in Barcelona at 2:30 pm local time.
Travel time was approximately 12 ½ hrs. After dinner was
served on the airplane, I took a sleeping pill, and shortly
thereafter I was snoozing and dreaming about the cruise.
We were met by a Seabourn rep, at the baggage claim, taken to a
mini bus, and zipped off to the ship. As we were being processed at
the pier check in counter a white gloved crew member, took our
carry on bags, and escorted us to our cabin. I was impressed, as
they hadn't even waited for us to get to the gangway.
The Cabin: As we walked into our PH Category cabin, my mouth
hung open. It was huge (362 sq ft), with a walk in closet, with a
private safe, a full size bathroom with tub and shower, and had a
separate and additional room with a vanity sink and the toilet. The
living area, although not a separate room, was furnished with
full size leather sectional sofa, and coffee table. There were two
desk areas. One with full cabinetry above and below the desk, that
also contained the bar fridge, the other that I presumed was to be
used as a dressing desk for Mrs. Kuki, as it was rimmed with vanity
lighting, and the hair dryer was located in one of it's drawers.
Mrs. Kuki and I were well beyond the normal interpretation of
over packed for this cruise. So much so, that when Mrs. Kuki said
she thought she forgot to lock to the door to the house when we
left, I said it wouldn't matter, we had everything with us. Even
so, after unpacking, at least half the storage area in the cabin
The balcony was very large, and without question, the most
private balcony I've had. It was furnished with two full size
loungers and a small table. The loungers definitely looked like
they had seen better days. Considering the ship had recently
undergone a major refurbishment, this surprised me. Someone forgot
to put balcony furnishings on the list for needing refurbishment.
With the size of the balcony, a couple of upright chairs, along
with a larger size table, would have made this a perfect spot. Mrs.
Kuki loves having a lounger on the balcony, I prefer to sit upright
(figuring I'm going to be laid out horizontally soon enough).
Our cabin stewardess, Beatrix, let us know immediately, that she
would do anything required to make our stay onboard more pleasant.
She was warm, and friendly, and above all efficient.
Public Rooms: The central area of the ship is somewhat open like
an atrium from decks 4 - 8, but is very small. The only openness is
created by the central stairway here. None of these decks have any
lounge, or seating area, where one could sit and people watch as
I'm want to do on occasion. The area is simply to small to allow
for any furniture for this purpose.
The Norway Deck contains the majority of the public rooms. It's
arranged pretty efficiently, with the Norway Lounge furthest
forward, and heading aft, you come across the shopping area, the
casino, the totally new Compass Rome, the new coffee bar, movie
theater, photo gallery, shore excursion office, library, card room,
computer room, and the Lounge. The walk fore to aft is very well
designed, with all of this laid out along the way.
The Norway Lounge is large enough to seat all passengers at one
time, and serves as the ships main show room. It's furnished with
lounge style seats and tables, rather than theater style seating
common now on the newer ships. I prefer these lounge style
The Sun's casino is small, but accommodates a number of tables
for both Blackjack and Caribbean Stud Poker. There is also a Craps
table, and Roulette Table. There are slot machines lining the wall,
but due to the limited size of the room, there aren't hundreds of
them. The Casino is very elegant, and had a most relaxing
atmosphere. I think the small number of slot machines helped create
this atmosphere, which I much preferred over the casinos of the
Mrs. Kuki and I really enjoyed the coffee bar, located just
outside of the Casino. It's quite small, intimate, and very
comfortable, and serves the expressos, cappuccino, and hot
chocolate ( our choice). The hot chocolates and coffees are
complimentary. The only charge here is for alcoholic drinks.
The public room onboard is the Stella Polaris Lounge, located at
the highest point on the ship (just above the bridge). The Stella
is somewhat horse shoe shaped around the bar, with floor to ceiling
panoramic windows leading out to the sea. The view from here is
always interesting, but the room itself competes admirably with the
view. And in the evenings the addition of the comforting sounds of
a harpist truly sets this lounge apart. This may be the most
comfortable lounges I've experienced at sea, and it's certainly now
on my list of favorites.
Food: Normally buffets on ships are rather unimpressive. I've
learned to accept moderate quality and selection at buffets in
exchange for convenience of not having to leave the sun or the pool
deck. The buffet on the Sun certainly proved you don't have to
compromise. This was the best buffet I've seen at sea. The food was
terrific, and the selections were broad. Lunches here were a treat.
There is also the option of a pool side grille for hamburgers, hot
dogs and chicken breasts.
The Dining room is made up of two large areas joined by a
smaller hallway like area. In total this space is large enough to
seat all passengers at one sitting. This allows Seabourn to offer
assigned seating, open dining. We could go to dinner in the dining
room anytime we chose between 7 and 9 pm. This is a wonderful
option. A couple of times when we got back from golf later than
expected, I was still able to have dinner in the dining room.
Something I wouldn't have been able to do if was had an assigned
We were seated in the smaller area in the middle of the dining
room, and very much enjoyed it's location. We were able to enjoy
the conversation of our table mates without anyone have to raise
I enjoyed all our meals in the dining room. I had some concerns
the food might be too fancy for my pretty ordinary pallet, but I
was proven wrong. While the menu did offer some of the more exotic
foods, I never had a problem finding something to please. And what
I did order always came prepared as requested, beautifully
presented, and tasty.
We enjoyed room service on a number of occasions. The odd time
for a late night snack, but a number of times we ordered full
breakfasts delivered to our cabin. We pre ordered our breakfasts
the night before, and allowed it's delivery to serve as our wake up
call. This worked out great on days we had to be up early if I was
golfing, and again the quality of the food was excellent.
Service: I felt the level of service we experienced on this
cruise is what sets Seabourn apart, and qualifies it as a luxury
cruise. All the staff seemed genuinely eager to please. It really
was a case of our wish being their command. I'm not sure how you
train people to care, but I felt that this crew really did.
In terms of service, the dining room was the only area of the
ship where things were maybe slightly less than perfect. The first
night service here was a bit spotty, but without question improved
significantly each night. Conversation with our table mates was
ongoing and animated. I believe if we had taken the time to get to
know our servers here a bit better, the service would have been
even better. Unlike a restaurant on land, on a cruise ship, the
servers and the passengers are spending a considerable amount of
time together, and I think forming at least some relationship with
the servers makes them more comfortable and willing to please. I
know it also generally helps make the dining experience more fun
If we hadn't had to leave the ship early, after just a few days,
I have no doubt that I would have got to know these people
Each and every staff member from the Captain to the maintenance
people went out of their way to greet us with a smile, and seemed
genuinely interested in making our cruise more enjoyable.
Entertainment: I anticipated that this might be the weak link in
the Seabourn experience, when compared to what we were used to from
other lines. In fact, the entertainment onboard was as good as any
I've experienced. Admittedly some of it was not quite up my alley,
but not being a song and dance guy, that happens on every cruise.
As the main show room is large enough to accommodate all the
passengers, there is no necessity for two show times.
Tour Mates: I was fortunate to be a part of a "media tour" on
the Sun. We were to participate in a Golf package put together by
Seabourn Cruise Line and Wide World of Golf. The group was escorted
by WWG's host Alan Sym, from Troon, Scotland, and PGA professional
Dale Taylor, from Monterey CA. We golfed at some great golf courses
in Cannes, Florence and Rome. Well, one would be hard pressed to
call what I did golf. However, the condition of my game did allow
me to see much more of the golf courses than the rest of the group.
The other members of our "media tour" were Adam & Mellisa
Brady, of the Northern California Golf Assoc., Steve Goodwin, from
Washington D.C. (writing for Met Golf Magazine), Tom Cann &
Melinda Hogan, of Miami (writing for PortHole Magazine), and Ann
Liquorini & Steve Geller, of NYC, who have a show on the Fox TV
network, as well as do some work for USA Today. I mention them,
because these are the people that put up with watching my UGLY golf
swing on the courses, and listening to my bad jokes on the buses to
The "group" hit it off so well , it surely made that portion of
the cruise that much better. It was a fun group of very nice
people, and if any of the publications I mentioned are in your
area, look for their work, so you can hear their side of the story
Itinerary: I can't say anything more than WOW. Just a superb
itinerary! I'm sure we could visit these ports a dozen more times
and still find places and things to fall in love with.
Summary: The Seabourn Sun is the definition of understated
elegance. Other cruise lines we've sailed work at creating an
elegant environment, but the Sun simply IS! I never presumed to be
an elegant person, but I felt so totally comfortable on this ship,
I must be Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control,
we had to leave the ship in Rome, and miss the final portion of the
cruise. I never like to leave a ship at the end of a cruise, let
alone mid cruise. But having to leave the Sun was much more than
difficult; it almost brought us to tears. Seabourn Sun is not a
bargain hunters dream, however for anyone looking for a true luxury
cruise, you need look no further. And please... take me with