Where it’s always happy hour at Martin’s bar
By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva
As we anxiously await the return of cruises it’s only fitting to reflect back to some of our favorite voyages. And one of my husband Richard’s and my best was on the dazzling Seabourn Quest.
A glorious a 15-day journey from Fort Lauderdale through the Caribbean and mighty Amazon River to Manaus, Brazil. There were 450 well-traveled fellow passengers along for the ride. Most of whom frequented assorted bars for pre-prandial and after-dinner libations (all included in the fare).
There are many watering hole options on the little luxury liner. However the most popular is at the Observation Lounge on deck 10. That’s where leprechaun-like, mixologist Martin, performs while pouring perfect martinis, manhattans, negronis and other libations. He juggles, leaps in the air and does other entertaining antics.
Think “Cheers” the long-running TV series and Sam, only on Seabourn Quest it’s Martin.Like the fictitious bar, everybody knows your name, or at least remembers your face. It gets so loud you can’t hear the talented piano player or chanteuse who rotates the musical entertainment.
But it is so lively and fun you sometimes forget about dining—which is open-seating where and when you want in one of four free restaurants. Seabourn doesn’t charge for alternative dining venues or for wine, Champagne or spirits for that matter. Tips are also included in the fare.
World class experience
Seabourn always dishes out exceptional experiences. The service is impeccable. You can’t ask for more delicious food that rivals any shoreside eatery. And, get this, caviar comes free of charge anywhere and any time you so desire. They even host roe pool parties.
This is why it attracts a discerning repeat clientele who has been there, done that.
The eclectic complement of passengers on this voyage included folks from all over the world with many Brits and Americans. Dress is casual chic, and everybody abides, save for two formal nights when jackets are required for men and women don dressier attire. There is a strange absence of jewelry on this trip, little glitz and glitter but it is apparent that Seabourn continues to attract a well-heeled and thirsty clientele.
After two days at sea from Florida we hit our first Jost Van Dyke . There in typical Seabourn style sat a pre-arranged shuttle bus (free) to take us to a beautiful white, soft sand beach blessed with warm clear azure-colored, calm seas. Some passengers went from there to paid tours others took the shuttle back to the ships.
While everybody enjoyed each island stop, anticipation for the sail on the mighty Amazon was palpable. Afterall the Caribbean was hardly a stranger to any of us.
On board the Quest passengers have four restaurant options. Each one outstanding. Leisurely lunch sometimes consisted of wonderful swordfish, Caesar salad, Chardonnay, cookies and ice cream at the outdoor Patio Grill. Dinners were divine.
The jogging track and gym got a lot of use during this cruise with passengers pumping iron and pounding the treadmills and EFX machines in hopes of warding off excess baggage. The spa did okay but this particular crowd was more active than sedentary.
The mighty Amazon
While our Caribbean ports proved enjoyable, the star of the show was entry into and out of the amazing Amazon River. This is an unforgettable experience which you really should consider once the cruise pause is over. And of course Pavlus agents are ready and able to find the perfect voyage the lowest price (800-528-9300).