Insider Journal: Making Friends on the Arabian Sea on Seabourn Ovation

Olivia Balsinger

Insider Travel Report - June 6, 2019

Following a packed itinerary in Salalah, my friend Jonathan and I were excited to relax and enjoy the amenities of our Seabourn Ovation ship for the next five “sea days” as we transited through the Arabian Sea to Petra in Jordan.

This was our seventh day on Seabourn’s “Arabia & Antiquities” itinerary and by now we truly felt at home on the Seabourn Ovation. Part of this “home away from home” feeling that the ship elicits from passengers is due to its size—it is intimate without feeling as though you are getting deeply involved in the business of others. But it didn’t take long until I felt as though I knew that Marge Baker of New York spends every morning enjoying coffee on the veranda with her husband or that Mr. Bates has sailed onboard Seabourn vessels 29 times within the last 15 years and has no plans of stopping anytime soon. This is not unusual—with a 60-65 perent rebooking rate, Seabourn customers are loyal, to say the least.

Jonathan and I were finding our own sense of community—a lovely, lively group from all over the world that would congregate on Deck 10 each day to sip white wine and spritzes while playing fierce games of the card game UNO. One couple was from Britain, while a single traveler from Australia found close company with a woman from Scotland. A French couple had been on 16 cruises with Seabourn already and another had already booked their future two Seabourn cruises through their travel advisor while on this voyage. We all had different backgrounds, but the commonality was obvious—we all wanted to soak in every moment of the Seabourn experience, both on land and at sea.

While the luxury cruising demographic is stereotypically much older (and wealthier) than Jonathan and I are, we never once felt out of place or bored with the itinerary offerings. In fact, we would often discuss what a shame it is that younger generations have not caught on to the cruising bandwagon. As Jonathan even put it on our last night aboard, we had the ability to explore six countries without having to move our suitcase once, nor worry about logistics.

Perhaps by using selling points like these, travel advisors can widen their scope and sell to those outside the standard cruise demographic. We already have plans in the works for our next Seabourn cruise with the friends we made on our adventure. So I suppose we will be contributing to Seabourn’s exceedingly high rebooking rate in years to come.