Review: Seabourn Ovation (Updated 2023)

Editors rating:

Seabourn Ovation cruise ship facts

  • 600 guests
  • 450 crew
  • 2018 launched
  • Not yet refurbished

Seabourn Ovation is a luxury cruise ship with fine dining, chic bars and lounges. This Seabourn Ovation review will help you decide if it’s right for you.

Review: Seabourn Ovation (Updated 2023)

Editors rating:
By Published On: 2 Oct 2018

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It starts with a perfectly chilled glass of Champagne and a heart-felt “welcome aboard”. From the moment you step onto Seabourn Ovation there’s an unmistakable sense of it being something special. Indeed it is one of the most luxurious cruise ships afloat, but it never feels stuffy or pretentious. Seabourn Ovation is chic, gastronomic, entertaining and relaxing all-in-one.


  • Designer suites.
  • Caviar on-demand.
  • Gourmet dining and beverages all included.
  • World-class shows.


  • Faux teak verandas.

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Seabourn Ovation deck plan

The Seabourn Ovation deck plan is easy to get around. There are a total of 9 passenger decks, the highest of which is deck 12.

  • Reception: Deck 7
  • Accommodation: Decks 5 to 11
  • Main dining room: Deck 4
  • Theatre: Deck 6
  • Observation lounge: Deck 11

About Seabourn Ovation

Seabourn Ovation was built in Italy and launched in April 2018. It is the fifth ship in the Seabourn Cruises fleet and the second of the larger Encore-class cruise ships.

Indeed, Seabourn Ovation is one of the biggest ships in the fleet, measuring 210 m. / 610 ft. in length. There is room for 600 guests which is 31% more than the earlier Odyssey, Quest and Sojourn.

The artfully designed staircase on Seabourn Ovation.
The artfully designed staircase on Seabourn Ovation.

Seabourn Ovation is strikingly beautiful. There are sleek lines and chic decor. Indeed, the famous designer Adam D. Tihany created the interiors which are curvaceous and nautical. He used dark timber panelling, gleaming chrome highlights and bright splashes of blue.

Guests enjoy all-suite accommodation and every suite has a private veranda. Seabourn Ovation has 13 different room types, the largest of which include the Owner’s Suites and Signature Suites, as well as the top of the range Wintergarden and Grand Wintergaden Suites. There are also more modest one-bedroom Penthouse and Penthouse Spa Suites.

The Seabourn Ovation Veranda Suite .
The popular Veranda Suite.

However, the Veranda Suites are the most popular. There are six Veranda Suite categories, but it’s worth noting that they are all the same size. Only their location on the ship varies. Most of the suites are positioned either midship or forward.

Food on Seabourn Ovation

Seabourn Ovation is a foodies delight. There are five gourmet restaurants on board including The Restaurant and The Grill by Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller. There is also an excellent Japanese restaurant known as Sushi, as well as Earth & Ocean at the Patio and The Colonnade buffet.

The Restaurant on Seabourn Ovation.
The Restaurant with its spectacular chandeliers.

The Restaurant is the main dining room. Not only is it one of the most beautiful at sea, but it also serves some of the finest European cuisine. On the other hand, the Grill by Thomas Keller is inspired by the classic American steakhouse serving reimagined versions of iconic dishes. There is deconstructed Lobster Thermidor and a magnificent Roasted Free Range Chicken which takes two-days to prepare.

In Sushi the master chefs present exquisite sashimi, maki and tasty bento boxes. Earth & Ocean at the Patio is a newer addition to the Seabourn dining scene. It brings fine dining to the poolside, so you can enjoy gentle ocean breezes and spectacular sunsets.

The Earth & Ocean restaurant on Seabourn Ovation.
Earth & Ocean has an innovative à la carte menu.

For relaxed meals guests can enjoy The Colonnade. It is a signature Seabourn restaurant with themed buffets and great wake views from the terrace.

Light snacks as well as freshly brewed tea and coffee are served in the Seabourn Square.

Seabourn Ovation nightlife

The Seabourn Ovation has a stylish and sophisticated nightlife with something for everyone to enjoy. There is the lively atmosphere of The Club as well as cabaret in the Observation Bar. The Grand Salon presents the most thrilling performances at sea, including an exclusive show by Sir Tim Rice.

Fitness at sea

Keeping fit and looking good is easy on Seabourn Ovation. There is a gym as well as pilates and yoga classes, or you can do laps in the pool. There is the exclusive Retreat for relaxation and the Spa at Seabourn offers a range of indulgent beauty treatments and massage therapies.

Seabourn Ovation inclusions

Seabourn Ovation is all-inclusive, just like the other luxury cruise ships in the Seabourn Cruises fleet. Gourmet meals, fine wines, champagne and spirits are all included in the cruise fare.

On my Seabourn Ovation review sailing the house champagne was a special commemorative Nicolas Feuillatte.

Welcome aboard! Nicolas Feuillatte champagne and canapés.
Welcome aboard! Nicolas Feuillatte champagne and canapés.

Insiders tip: Premium alcoholic beverages can also be purchased. This is nice for special occasions, but I think the house wines and spirits are excellent.

Also included in the cruise fare are non-alcoholic beverages, specialty teas and coffees.

Tipping isn’t expected or needed as gratuities are also included in your cruise fare.

There are other thoughtful inclusions as well. Like shuttle bus transfers from the port to town when it is not nearby. Guests also get a smart Seabourn tote bag, plus exclusive Molton Brown bath products.

Seabourn Ovation dress code

The Seabourn Ovation dress code is similar to a luxury beach resort. Guests wear resort-casual clothing during the day, but after dark they like to dress up.

Guests can wear shorts, jeans or T-shirts before 6:00pm, but swimwear is not acceptable in any of the restaurants. In the evening the Seabourn Ovation dress code is either elegant casual or formal. This will be indicted in the daily Herald newsletter.

Elegant casual-wear for women includes slacks, skirts, and blouses. Men should wear slacks and a collared shirt (jacket optional).

On formal nights in The Restaurant women wear evening gowns while men wear Tuxedos or suits. Guests can wear elegant casual in all other venues on formal nights. On my Seabourn Ovation review sailing most guests dressed up regardless of the venue.

The number of formal nights varies depending on the cruise duration. Voyages of up to 13 days have one formal night. Cruises lasting 14 to 20 days have two formal nights, while longer voyages have three.

Fellow passengers

Seabourn Ovation is the newest ship in the fleet and because of this she is very popular. On my voyage many guests were Seabourn regulars keen to sample the new cruise ship.

Guests are usually discerning and experienced cruisers. They generally range in age from 40 to 70-years old.

Most guests are from the U.S.A. and the U.K, however Australians, Canadians and Europeans are also onboard.

It’s worth noting that Seabourn Ovation is gay-friendly.

Seabourn Ovation conclusion

I think Seabourn Ovation redefines luxury cruising. There are spacious suites and chic public areas, as well as World-class dining options. The exclusive Retreat is like an oasis at sea. The live shows, including “An Evening with Sir Tim Rice”, are thrilling. As this Seabourn Ovation review shows, it really is luxury cruising perfected.

Read the accommodation section of this Seabourn Ovation review by clicking the button below.

The author sailed as a guest of Seabourn Cruises.

About the Author: Jason Kerr

Jason is the founder and Managing Editor of The Luxury Cruise Review. He has a passion for travel, a weakness for espresso coffee and a love of Greek cuisine.

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