Sail away is a favorite time for cruise travelers on any itinerary. At last, after months if not years of anticipation, the big ship starts to move and their long-awaited vacation is underway. Such was the case on the first day of the Seabourn Food & Wine Cruise, as Seabourn Sojourn got under way from the Greek port of Athens. Packing thirty-nine events into just seven days, there was no time to waste as the culinary wizards at Seabourn jumped right in with a bonus for Seabourn Guests.
On any other Seabourn sail away, sparkling wine flows freely as white-gloved waiters make their way through the crowd and caviar headlines the show. Both of those elements were present here too as well. Unique to our Greek Sail Away Party, locally sourced ingredients ranging from Octopus to Pita Bread prepared on deck, not behind the scenes in a kitchen far away.
Anticipated, a focus on fresh ingredients. On display in giant martini glasses, the same fresh fruit found in each suite, reflective of Seabourn’s way of bringing home each experience.
No question from Seabourn Guests went unanswered as the culinary show began, sharing if not overshadowing caviar for top billing.
We have been talking about sail away parties on cruise ships for years, rating them one of best events of most sailings. Done well, they can set the tone for an entire voyage, getting passengers off to a good start regardless of the cruise line. Here, Seabourn introduced a unique and innovative element to what is already a favorite of Seabourn Guests. A perfect way to begin a Food and Wine cruise? Sure. An event we’ll see on future Seabourn sailings? Probably. Something other cruise lines will attempt to emulate in one form or another? I’d bet on it.
Also experienced today on the Seabourn Food And Wine Cruise…
Sail away was just the beginning.
The day also included a lecture on Greek wines that provided a good base of knowledge, tapping the rich history of the region, defining terms that would be used throughout the voyage and more. A late night Ouzo Tasting had Seabourn Guests sampling the famous Greek liquor.
A taste of Greece themed dinner in Seabourn Sojourn’s restaurant included Layered Herb Marinated Goat Cheese Flan & Fresh Tomato with Pesto Dressing.
Seared Veal Medallions were nicely arranged with Savoyard Potatoes, Fresh Green Asparagus and a Madeira Cream Sauce was one of the night’s features.
Unique Elements Of A Seabourn Cruise- Refined Yet Friendly
On this sailing of the Seabourn Food and Wine cruise we are also featuring unique elements of a Seabourn cruise; parts of the sailing experience that are exclusive to the ultra-luxury line. Locally-sourced wines reflective of the places visited or a certain theme of the day we expect on a food and wine cruise. We have that. This new part of our report will attempt to define just what it is that makes Seabourn different, unique and for whom the experience will resonate.
We begin with the crew. Highly rated on the last Seabourn Food and Wine Cruise, many of the same crewmembers are on hand for this one. That’s an element of Seabourn that we don’t often see on other lines as crewmembers move from ship to ship. Here, crew work on a 4 months on, 2 months off schedule and many had enjoyed their time home since we sailed last year.
It was nice to see barista Alex who remembered I like a double shot of coffee in my latte.
On deck, waiter Antonio again poured sparking wine throughout the afternoon.
A special bonus, Seabourn Captain Karlo Buer (right) was seen in the ship’s Colonnade restaurant with invited lunch guest Azamara Club Cruises Captain Johannes Tysse (center) putting my two favorite cruise ship Captains in the same place at the same time.
It’s an interesting element, this personal connection that is so very easy to make with the people on board a Seabourn cruise. That goes for passengers too as I recognized a number of them who had been on our last sailing and easily made friends with more in a relaxed environment we don’t often see on luxury lines.
We visit the Greek port of Monemvasia, the first stop on our 7-day itinerary.