The Seabourn Experience: A Full Seabourn Cruise Review

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It was a couple of years ago when I set sail on my first ever cruise, quickly eating my words about how it wouldn’t be “my thing” and since craving life back on board a ship. “There’s something that draws you back to the sea”, I was told by the cruise director at the time. Right she was.

Last year I embarked on my second cruise through the Norwegian fjords, choosing to cruise as a way to avoid the high costs associated with visiting Norway (even on a good day with exchange rates!)

When the opportunity arose to try a Seabourn cruise I was overjoyed, having heard from many fellow cruisers that they were one of the best cruise companies in the biz. “Where would you like to go?” was like asking a kid in a candy store which one lolly they would like to choose.

Greece it was.

Seabourn Cruise Review Seabourn Cruise Review

The Seabourn Difference

Before embarking on my 7 day cruise through the Greek Islands (with a day in Italy and the last day in Malta), I had read a lot about the Seabourn Difference through other reviews and already knew I was in for something special. The level of service became apparent when I stepped foot off my 30-hour flight journey from Australia, with a driver holding my name on a sign as I exited customs and immigration, waiting to take me to the cruise port nearby.

Once I arrived at the port, it was a speedy check-in process and before I knew it I was stepping foot on board the Seabourn Odyssey, one of the smaller ships in the fleet housing a casual 450 guests on board at capacity. Once on board I began exploring the 10 decks, quickly becoming familiar with the “Seabourn Square” coffee shop and subsequent library, the hardly-ever-occupied hot tub on deck 6 and the all important spa offerings on the upper decks, where I would later enjoy one of the best jet lag cures one could imagine (complete with hot stones and 75 minutes of me time!)

Seabourn Cruise Review Seabourn Cruise Review

The Suite

After a quick walk around the ship to get my bearings and eat something other than plane food, I made my way to my cabin on deck 7 where my luggage awaited me inside my walk-in robe (yep, you read that right!) A bottle of champagne sat conveniently on ice, setting the scene for my all too short 7 days on board. My verandah suite was the perfect size for a solo traveller or a couple, complete with a large bathroom, walk-in robe, large balcony and a sitting area to enjoy the all-inclusive in room entertainment.

Also included in the suite is 24 hour in-room dining, which I was quick to make use of through the evenings as I flicked through new release movies after a big day of exploring. As Seabourn is an all-inclusive cruise line, there were also one litre bottles of my preferred spirits in my room (party for one!?) and soft drinks refilled every day.

Seabourn Cruise Review Seabourn Cruise Review Seabourn Review | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Seabourn Review | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Food, Entertainment & Service On Board

Let us begin with the food because if you ask me, this can make or break a trip. Good food = a good time. There are a few dining options on board the ship with the two most frequented being the main dining room for dinner and the all important buffet at the Colonade Restaurant for lunch. Breakfasts are served here also, however the in-room breakfast was too tempting to pass up, as well as frequent visits to Seabourn Square for a 6:30am coffee and almond croissant (if you ask me, the breakfast pastries at Seabourn Square are the best kept secret on board – they don’t last long!)

Being a vegetarian was a little restricting on board, however the food and beverage manager was quick to point out that I could make a special request for anything I would prefer for my time on board. Not wanting to be a burden, I stuck with the vegetarian menu which was limited but consistently changing and quite good.

Entertainment was for me the lowlight of the cruise, not being particularly interested in magicians or pianists, which took up most of the program on board. I was hoping for a little Broadway action like you get on the larger ships, however being a small ship the shows were quite bespoke and not as theatrical as I was hoping for.

Service was flawless – there’s no better way to describe it.

Guide to Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Destinations: Skopelos, Greece

Our first stop on the Greek Islands 7-day cruise from Athens was Skopelos, a small town made famous for being the filming location for the Abba! film. Luckily the crowds have died down since the initial influx of tourists, and Skopelos remains one of the lesser visited Greek Islands (making for a perfect first stop relatively off the grid!)

A Guide to Mykonos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Mykonos, Greece

Next stop: Mykonos! The famous party island was a huge shift from the sleepy town of Skopelos, but a welcomed one as I have long had Mykonos on my destination bucket list. On this day we docked early and had until 11:00pm at night to explore, making for the perfect opportunity to take in the sunset from a top the hill where the iconic windmills sit.

Guide to Paros Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Paros, Greece

On this day we were scheduled to arrive at Naxos, another lesser visited island, however with the rough seas we continued a little further to nearby Paros, my favourite stop for the entire cruise! Paros is one of the best-kept secrets of the Greek islands if you ask me – just as pretty and charming as Mykonos but without the crowds (aka bliss). If there’s just one pitstop in Greece that I will return to, Paros  would be it!

Agios Nikolaos Crete | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Agios Nikolaos, Greece

The next day we arrived in Crete and stopped in at Agios Nikolaos for one of the shorter stops of the cruise, but a surprisingly enjoyable one nonetheless. Each day I chose to wake up early and be the first to rush off the ship, see the stop before any of the other guests and be back on the ship as others were just getting started for the day! This was a great way to see each pitstop without the crowds and enjoy the towns almost all to myself.

Syracuse Sicily | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Syracuse, Sicily

Towards the end of my 7-day cruise we reached Sicily, for just one day to enjoy the marvellous delight that is Italian gelato (believe me when I say I was hanging out for it!!!) Although Sicily had never been on my radar before this trip, I fell head-over-heels for the laid back culture, low level of crowds in the heat of the summer and of course, the gelato!

A Day Trip to Gozo Malta | WORLD OF WANDERLUST A Day Trip to Gozo Malta | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Valletta & Gozo, Malta

Where to even begin with my love for Malta – the last stop of the cruise and the point I wanted to pause my trip and stay for a very long time (probably forever). The ship docked in Valletta for the day, the ancient capital I  was eager to explore, but gave up the opportunity in place of a speedboat day tour to Gozo, which had been personally recommended to me by a friend.

This was the only day excursion I chose from the cruise, partly because I like to be a bit of a lone ranger when exploring and partly due to most of the excursions being history heavy and light on the adventure offerings.

On Board with Seabourn | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Day Trip to Gozo | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Conclusion: Would I Recommend Seabourn?

Totally! I don’t think it is any secret that I throughly enjoyed this cruise and visiting Greece for the first time – I’m just bummed it only lasted 7 days! If you’re travelling all that way and want to make the most out of your holiday I would recommend at least 14 days on board to truly relax, switch off and enjoy sea life. The 7 day taster was a great introduction to Greece, but it has only left me wanting more!

A huuuuuuge thank you to Seabourn for welcoming me on board to experience and share my trip with my readers. I had a fabulous time and all opinions are my own.

A Guide to Mykonos

As one of the most popular islands in Greece, Mykonos is as iconic and quintessential as they come. With such a renowned reputation thanks to its picture-perfect streets and well-preserved heritage, the island is one of the most populated islands on the tourist-island-hopping itinerary of Greece. Mykonos gained popularity in the 1930s when many celebrities, artists and affluent Europeans began to flock to the island in the summer time. The culture has rapidly evolved and many visitors arriving to Mykonos are drawn to the party scene, international music acts and parties that continue past dawn. Iconic Mykonos: The List The Windmills are located on the western side of town and are considered an icon of Mykonos. Here is where you can also enjoy the best sunset view in Mykonos, overlooking Little Venice below as the night culture begins to kick in to gear. Little Venice is next on the list of things to see, known for its medieval two and three story houses on the water. With colour pops and a certain romance to it, this is a great place to grab a drink and enjoy watching the sunset, from where you can also view the windmills above. Elia Beach […]

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A Guide to Skopelos

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Located East off the coast of mainland Greece is one of the countries’ less talked about islands, that is until the hit movie Mama Mia! came to town for filming. Surprisingly this island is still one of Greece’ best kept secrets (perhaps the hype has died down since the film was released). So if you’re looking for something less touristy and want to ditch the crowds, Skopelos is a great port of call on your journey throughout the many islands of Greece.

Guide to Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Outfit details: Dress by Y.A.S., Sandals by Steve Madden, Sunglasses by Ray Bans

Exploring Skopelos on Foot

Skopelos was the first port of call on my 7 day Seabourn Cruise through the Greek Isles. Although Skopelos is a large island to discover, with just one day to explore I concentrated my efforts around Skopelos Town, where most of the action happens.

Arriving at the port, I began to climb the steep and winding staircase on the side of the church, which leads to views of a hidden beach below and ultimately arrives at one of the town’s best views. Here you will find a small restaurant offering juices, smoothies and light snacks (and also my favourite view in town – see below!)

Guide to Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Guide to Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Things to Do in Skopelos

Although a less visited island in Greece, that is not to say that Skopelos is without its’ own unique beauty to offer visitors. Without main attractions, the town of Skopelos is best explored on foot, without any destination or intent on arriving.

Panagitsa of Pyrgos (the church built in to the cliffside as you arrive at the port of Skopelos town) offers a great view of the hidden beach and ocean below. This is one of 360 churches on the island of Skopelos, many of which have been privately built.

Beach culture in Skopelos is still the most popular way to spend time, particularly in the summer heat that can soar to the likes of 40 degrees celsius.

Agios Ioannis is the most popular choice of beaches, thanks largely to being a primary filming location for the Mama Mia! film.

Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Eats & Drinks 

If you eat just one thing in Skopelos be sure to make it a cheese pie, a local specialty that can be found in any snack bar.

Stafilos restaurant offers one of the most impressive views if you’re planning a romantic evening out, with a strong seafood focus but thankfully some vegetarian options on offer also.

Molos is a great choice on the shorefront, particularly if you’re after something more casual any time of day.

Cafe Bar Thalassa is my preferred choice for a light bite, especially for smoothies and/or yogurt and the most incredible view (pictured above).

Guide to Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Skopelos Greece | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

101 Cities to Visit Before you Die (PART ONE)

Out of all the places I have been in the world as a full time travel blogger, “where is your favourite place?” is a question I have never been able to answer definitively. Thus I present to you my series of “101 Places to Visit Before you Die”, covering the very best cities, towns, hotels, experiences, and everything travel related to make your bucket list complete. The first in this series highlights the absolute best cities to visit before you die, from the clichés through to the best kept secrets this world has to offer! 1. St Petersburg, Russia The history and sheer opulence of Russia’s imperial capital will leave you speechless. Made great by Peter the Great himself, St Petersburg was the beating heart of Russia un till 1918, when the government bodies moved to Moscow. To this day the city presents itself as a time capsule, showing insight into Russia’s imperial past – complete with palaces, nobility residences and iconic monuments. Be sure to step inside the Hermitage Museum (pictured) for a glimpse in to the legacy of Russian royalty and aristocratic culture. 2. New York, USA A world in itself, there is no city in the world […]

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Hong Kong in 48 Hours

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After a whirlwind book tour in Europe and a week of stuffing myself with pastries in Paris, I made my way back towards Australia via Hong Kong, one of the most logical stopovers when journeying from Australia to Europe (along with Singapore).

With just 48 hours in the city and jet lag weighing my down, I was surprised to see how much I could fit in to such a short visit! If you also find yourself in Hong Kong for such a short space of time, here’s a complete itinerary to match (with some options, depending on how many times you have visited!)

Hong Kong Guide | World of Wanderlust

Check In: Hong Kong Island VS. Kowloon 

There are two main options when you arrive in Hong Kong: to stay “on the island” or to stay in Kowloon (the huge landmass on the other side of the water, connected to mainland China). To be completely honest with you, I love both and each for different reasons.

Hong Kong Island has the benefit of centrality, being within walking distance of many of the cities’ main attractions. Much of the island does have more of a financial vibe, with much of the business for Hong Kong operating out of Central. On the other hand you have Kowloon, offering a more authentic stay just minutes to the local markets and right “in the thick of it”.

On this trip I checked in to the Kerry Hotel, a new hotel located away from the hustle and bustle, with a view of the entire harbour. Other hotels I have really enjoyed are the Landmark Mandarin Oriental (a fashion bloggers’ dream), the Four Seasons Hotel (one of the best views of Kowloon from the Island), The Ritz Carlton (one of the highest hotels in the world – you literally wake up in the clouds) and a handful of 3-4 star hotels on Nathan Road from my days before blogging (all which were fantastic but none of which I remember the name).

Get your Bearings: Take the Peak Tram!

You can’t come to Hong Kong and not visit Victoria Peak, the iconic mountain overlooking Hong Kong Island below and with uninterrupted views of Kowloon Harbour. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for mountain mansions as you journey up the peak, where house prices fetch the multi-millions (some of the most expensive real estate in the entire world!)

Quirky Eats in Hong Kong | World of Wanderlust Hong Kong Guide | World of Wanderlust Quirky Eats in Hong Kong | World of Wanderlust

Grab Some Lunch at Cat Street

Bang in the expat-heavy part of town is Cat Street, which has nonetheless retained its authenticity offering local handicrafts, souvenirs, and plenty of great food to sink in to. The food is not quite as local as the neighbourhood has maintained itself, largely due to the expat population and a logical sense to offer more Western foods in the area (but thankfully most of these are Asian-Western fusions and usually really clever and original in their approach).

Catch the Star Ferry to Kowloon

No matter how many times I have visited Hong Kong and will continue to visit in to the future, I could never tire of the views and serenity when cruising from the island to Kowloon for a very reasonable price of less than $1 return.

Walk along the Kowloon Harbour

The Avenue of Stars is as tacky and kitsch as it sounds, but it does still offer one of the best views of the city skyline! I would recommend arriving in time for sunset and watching the city evolve from day to night. Bring along a picnic if you wish and watch the light show unfold at 8:00pm every evening.

Shopping in Hong Kong | World of Wanderlust

Night Markets in Mong Kok

After the peace and serenity of the harbour, switch things up a gear and make your way by MTR to Mong Kok, home to Hong Kong’s famous night markets. Over the years I have admittedly fallen out of love with the products (mostly cheap copies of brand items, phone cases and souvenir t-shirts, but the experience itself is still as fun as ever.

The most famous night markets are Temple Street Night Market and Ladies Market, but during the day check out Fa Yuen Street, the Fish Market and the Flower Market for something a little different.

Day 2: Visit an Outlying Island

Experiencing Hong Kong is as much about escaping it as it is visiting the city itself, if only for a day or an afternoon! Much of the beauty of Hong Kong lies outside of the city centre, with oodles of hikes, beaches and natural beauty to discover. If this is your first trip to Hong Kong you should make Lantau Island your first stop, as it is here where you will see the famous Bronze Buddha up close and experience more of Hong Kong’s ancient cultures and traditions.

If you have already visited Lantau, the options are endless! Lamma Island is another great half day trip for a more relaxed escape from the city and beautiful beaches that will make you forget the hustle and bustle in no time at all.

Dinner at Ho Lee Fook

On this most recent trip I found a new favourite dinner place in Central, thanks to my friend Morgan who has been living in Hong Kong the past year and has discovered the best that the city has to offer right now (it is always changing so so quickly).

This was hands down one of my favourite dining experiences in Hong Kong, and believe me when I say there are a lot to compare to! The food was exceptional – lots of Asian flavours, a quirky cocktail menu and low-key environment in a dimly lit basement.

The options to keep one entertained in Hong Kong are quite literally limitless and impossible to list in full detail. Here are some of my other favourite things to do that might take your fancy, depending on what you want from your time in Hong Kong!

Disneyland – Great for the young ones (or young at heart!) Very easy to reach by train.

Ocean Park – Hong Kong’s famous water theme park (with temperamental ride opening days – beware!)

Stanley Market – A really nice day trip out of town but the market itself is pretty kitsch, albeit slightly less so than the Mong Kok offerings.

Causeway Bay – A really nice neighbourhood to explore with great small cafes and cheaper accommodation offerings.

Macau – One of my favourite day trips just a 45 minute ferry away. Regarded as the “Las Vegas of the East” (but a much cleaner version).

Central – One of my favourite neighbourhoods to wander with so many cool up-and-coming cafes and quirky eateries.

I visited Hong Kong as a stopover on my way from Europe back to Australia with Finnair. The flight time from Helsinki to Hong Kong is around 10 hours, followed by the 8 hour journey back to Melbourne. If you’re looking to switch your body clock back before returning home, Hong Kong is just two hours behind Australia, making for the perfect stopover city between Oz and Europe.

Paris Photo Diary

Each year I make what has unintentionally become an annual pilgrimage to Paris. As if I need an annual ‘hit’ of the city that inspires me most, I conjure up any and every excuse to visit and spend months planning all the new eateries I will visit (which more often than not are patisseries). Below you will find snapshots of my week in Paris this month, where I pushed the boundaries of sweet tooth, burned my way through a pair of shoes from so much walking, and finally had the chance to visit the Gardens of Versailles, which were closed on my last visit in the unseasonal month of January. So, here we go! As per usual, you’ll find all my camera/lens details at the bottom of the post and commentary throughout should you wish to visit the same places. Enjoy! Old vs. New. It is no secret I visit Angelina on every trip to Paris, but on this trip I was excited to find new finds, especially if they were less talked about or written about in magazines. Au Petit Versailles was one such fab little find in Le Marais. The quiches made for a perfectly cheap breakfast each morning! Spring […]

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Checking In: The Kerry Hotel Hong Kong

It has been a while since I’ve checked in to a new hotel in Hong Kong, having gotten so comfortable with my home-away-from-home favourites! But on this trip I wanted to make sure I had the chance to explore somewhere new, and what better time to do so than a few weeks after the official opening of the Kerry Hotel Hong Kong, the more youthful range of hotels from Shangri-La. True to the style of big name brand hotels in Hong Kong, the Kerry Hotel resembles a royal residence as you enter the lobby, opening up in to incredibly high ceilings and a maze of gardens out in the courtyard. The first thing I noticed was in fact all the greenery, from living plants at the reception check-in to the impressive outdoor terrace with a complete view of Kowloon Harbour to one side and Hong Kong Harbour to the other (absolutely magical at night – don’t miss it!) I checked in in the late afternoon after a 10 hour flight from Finland, so was eager to unwind before making any drastic moves to venture out and more than likely fall asleep on the MTR en route to my destination. After […]

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Checking In: The Nolinski Hotel Paris

  New to Paris: The Nolinski Hotel As one of the newest hotels in the city of Paris, The Nolinski is a rarity in Parisian design & decor. The hotel is super swanky with a hint of New York glam circa 1929, with an effortlessly chic approach to modern luxe accommodations. For those looking to combine sightseeing with a staycation, there is a large indoor swimming pool, spa, and a total of 3 restaurants at the hotel. The in-room breakfast was top class, though it is next to impossible to find a bad breakfast in Paris when you consider it the capital of croissants and my (new favourite) pain au chocolat! Checking In: The Gustave Suite Named after Gustave Eiffel, an engineer who designed and oversaw the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this is the only room in the hotel that captures a glimpse of the eiffel tower (albeit a small one, it is still there!) The suite is incredibly spacious for Parisian standards, with a separate bedroom, large bathroom, separate toilet, and sitting area with a full size mini bar and large couch (so large that I wished I had company to make use of the room!) Location & […]

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The Paris Pass Review: The Easiest Way to See Paris in a Rush

A walk through the Louvre, an elevator up the Eiffel Tower and a gruelling climb up the stairs to the Arc De Triomphe. Is this the Paris you have planned to visit? For my umpteenth visit to Paris I decided it was time to check off all the “hot spots” I was yet to visit and finally be able to say I had seen the Mona Lisa up close and to walk the hallowed halls of the world’s most renowned museum. Years ago I was standing in a 2 hour line to climb the Notre Dame Cathedral with my partner when I noticed a family of four flash a fancy card and gain immediate, complimentary access. Magic! I have since researched the Paris Pass and decided it was my golden ticket to fast track my way about town, finally ticking off all the attractions I was yet to visit. So, what’s the verdict? Is the Paris Pass worth the money? The Paris Pass Price & What’s Included Lets talk money matters first, because what’s the point in buying a Paris Pass if you’re not going to make use of it? The cost of the Paris Pass is: 2 Days: €110 […]

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Versailles Photo Diary (with Photography tips!)

When I first visited Versailles some five years ago on my first (ever) solo trip overseas, I arrived in mid-January to a chilling -3 degrees, lifeless and almost gloomy Palace of Versailles. Though I still fell in love with Versailles (who could not!?), I was disappointed not to be able to walk in the grounds and experience the gardens, which are as much an attraction as the interior of the palace itself. But alas, rewards come to those who wait! Five years later and I recently found myself on a trip to Versailles with fellow Australian Lisa (The Wandering Lens), on a photographic journey with our sponsor Olympus Australia. For years I have been using Olympus cameras and for years I have been fumbling around the camera’s settings like a kid in a candy store, discovering new ways to photograph better as I keep travelling the world. But when I was offered the chance to meet Lisa, a trained photographer with decades of experience, I couldn’t say no! Shooting Indoors vs Shooting Ourdoors As someone who once shot on “auto mode” (alas, not for the last few years) I feel it is my duty to share some super duper basics […]

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