Insider Journal: Sailing the Persian Gulf to Oman on Seabourn Ovation

Olivia Balsinger

Insider Travel Report - May 29, 2019

After two action-packed days on shore with Seabourn Ovation on its “Arabia & Antiquities” cruise in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, our first day at sea felt like a much needed and relaxing change of pace. We were sailing from Doha, Qatar’s capital, down through the Persian Gulf and into Muscat, the port capital of Oman.

My friend Jonathan and I decided to sleep in and restore some energy after an eventful two days. We woke to growling stomachs and a knock on the door by an attentive Seabourn waiter. We were grateful we had arranged for breakfast in the room—Seabourn guests can request serviced in-room breakfasts the night prior by hanging their menu selections from their stateroom door.

The waiter entered and delicately arranged our suite’s outdoor patio to resemble a fine dining area—with white tablecloth linen, a flowered centerpiece and an assortment of cutlery. Our spongy slippers and plush robes were the perfect way to dress for our lavish feast consisting of Belgium waffles, scrambled eggs, French toast, fruit and coffee. Afterwards, we simply dialed the room service number and two waiters promptly arrived to clean up and take dirty dishes—talk about service!

It’s not just the in-suite breakfast that made us feel like royalty aboard Seabourn Ovation. Before we arrived, we were given the choice of two mini-bar selections from an extensive listing. For the length of the cruise, our refrigerator was stocked with our choices of alcohol or soft drinks (my go-to was Hennessey Gin while Jonathan’s was red wine).

We also enjoyed a daily fruit platter, which would change daily depending on the local port’s produce. Of course we became quite familiar with the varied selection of room service choices 24 hours a day, and the time between placing an order and it arriving via white-gloved waiter was never more than half hour. Especially after a few drinks at the Seabourn Ovation’s Club (the bar on Deck 5), a burger arriving hot, fresh, and doused in toppings was very much appreciated.

Seabourn also is known for its free-flowing caviar and champagne, day and night. Craving something salty on Deck 10 at 2 a.m., Jonathan and I would often order two servings of caviar, which would delivered to us promptly. We agreed that there will likely never be another time in our lives we can order hundreds of dollars’ worth of caviar with the push of a button. But that indeed is the Seabourn way.

With all beverages and gratuities prepaid in the fare, Jonathan and I knew we were in for a gluttonous and extraordinary culinary adventure for our remainder of our time on Seabourn Ovation. The next stop in Muscat, Oman would allow us to get our hands dirty and actually shop at a local fish and vegetable market with the chef.