A cruise on Seabourn Sojourn, particularly a longer sailing, resembles short-term membership at an upscale country club. Bridge and trivia teams stay the same throughout the voyage, allowing friendships to form, dinners to be planned and cards to be exchanged. Because Sojourn is all-inclusive, there are few chits to sign, and all cabins seem to be treated equally. Once you're onboard, you'll feel like you're with the "in crowd," and it's easy to slip into the caviar and Champagne lifestyle. (Both are dispensed liberally.) Beyond the service, which was decent, we appreciated the aura of thoughtfulness that permeated the ship. Cultural performances were tied to the destination, restaurants often reflected local food and the enrichment lectures, led by members of the line's Ventures by Seabourn excursion staff, were on point.
The ship itself also has much to recommend it. We loved Seabourn Square, a clever and spacious area on Deck 7 that manages to combine a coffee bar, library, shops, internet cafe and a discreet guest services area. (Plus, the recliners are perfect for a read or a rest.) Sun-lovers are also spoiled for choice: Beyond the convivial main pool area, loungers abound at a smaller pool tucked away on Deck 5, a whirlpool at the front of the ship and other alcoves. Dining, too, maintains a high standard, no matter where on the ship you might be. Whether it's The Colonnade -- a buffet during the day that turns into a waiter-served dining area at night -- or The Restaurant, the ship's main dining room, meals are sophisticated and tasty, with plenty of choices for those with food allergies and preferences. We loved the fact that there are no set dining times; that wine is described in varietals, not colours; and that a meal from The Restaurant could be delivered to your stateroom, course by course, complete with a formal table setting. Plus, a fleetwide partnership with celebrity chef Thomas Keller adds further culinary techniques and styles to the mix. Where Sojourn needs the most improvement is in its entertainment. Besides enrichment lectures and trivia, there aren't many organized activities during the day, and apart from one or two memorable performances, the nighttime entertainment leaned toward mediocre. Still, these are minor quibbles for a cruise line that seems to be successfully navigating the demographic changes within luxury cruising as it begins to skew younger. We're looking forward to seeing how Seabourn adapts its Ventures by Seabourn shore excursion and enrichment programs as it expands its more active, adventurous offerings.
Daytime: During the day, it's OK to wear jeans in the ship's public areas. At the pool, you'll see few T-shirts and casual cover-ups; collared shirts and resort wear are more the norm. However, on our Alaska sailing, we saw plenty of wind pants and leggings with layered shirts and hiking boots, especially on port days.
Evening: The dress code is elegant casual on most nights after 6 p.m. in all restaurants and public areas. This means collared dress shirts and slacks for men, jacket optional, and slacks or skirts with blouses or dresses for women. Cruises of fewer than 13 days will have one formal night, 14-night cruises will have two and 21-night voyages will have three. On formal nights, the dress code in The Restaurant calls for tuxedos, suits or jackets for men and evening gowns or cocktail attire for women.
Not permitted: Jeans are not allowed in The Restaurant after 6 p.m.
Seabourn Sojourn boasts a full booklet of shore excursions that vary according to the ports the ship visits. Although they're not included in the line's fares, the offerings are generally reasonably priced, with two tiers of excursions: standard and Ventures by Seabourn. Offered on select itineraries, Ventures excursions focus on exclusive small-group experiences that are often active and adventurous, utilizing Zodiacs and kayaks stored onboard the ship. Price tags are higher for Ventures tours than for standard ones, but when you factor in the more intimate experience, fantastic photo opportunities and the expertise of Ventures guides who accompany the trips, most are well worth the cost.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
The ship's main theatre is the Grand Salon on Deck 6, which is more of a cabaret than a true stage. It's used during the day for cooking demonstrations and lectures, as well as pre- and post dinner entertainment. Pillars obscure much of the view, so you have to work to find a seat with good sight lines. Sojourn has a troupe of singers and dancers who focus primarily on somewhat tired revue-style production shows that take advantage of their voices. These entertainers also perform at least once a cruise at the outdoor Rock the Boat dance party. Otherwise, Sojourn relies on a constantly changing roster of guest performers for its main theatre entertainment. Unfortunately, the acts on our sailing were a bit lacklustre. The one standout show was "An Evening With Sir Tim Rice," which Seabourn describes as "a concert-style presentation narrated throughout by Sir Tim Rice ... taking us on a musical journey through some of his best-known work." Once per weeklong cruise, Seabourn's cast of singers and dancers performs hits by the Broadway great as he tells stories about how he was inspired to write them. Showtime is 9:45 p.m. nightly. We found that to be too late for us due to busy days in port, post-dinner carb comas and jet lag (particularly on the first few days, when many of us were dealing with a four-hour time difference). Sojourn usually brings cultural performers onboard in port. On our Alaska voyage, these shows included native music and history. At the entrance to the theatre, passengers will often find crew members passing out premade drinks. During the day, soda, tonic water and bottles of spirits can be found at a counter near the entrance for passengers to make their own beverages. Sojourn's limited daytime activities included bridge, trivia, cooking demonstrations and wine tastings, the latter of which carry a fee. Sojourn has a small casino, which seemed to attract only a few passengers on our cruise. It's off The Club on Deck 5. The Card Room on Deck 7, just outside Seabourn Square, provides a selection of books, board games and a TV with video games for passenger use.
Seabourn Conversations, which feature guest lecturers, were also fascinating and tied in well with the destination. On our sailing, lectures were given by members of the onboard Ventures by Seabourn staff, who talked about topics relevant to Alaska, such as John Muir, the gold rush and the life cycle of salmon. We found some of the presentations to be interesting, but we had to fight to stay awake during others.
The Club (Deck 5): The Club is the main bar for predinner drinks, and TouchTune on-demand jukeboxes allow passengers to pick their own songs, which helps to break up the otherwise sleepy lineup of lounge and piano music.
Seabourn Square (Deck 7): Seabourn Square is the ultimate social hub. Whether you're looking to relax with a newspaper and Baileys coffee or a good book and a pastry, it's the place to go. You won't find live music, but you will be rewarded with lovely views from large floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
The Pool Bar (Deck 8): Adjacent to The Pool Grill, the Pool Bar serves the pool area. On cold days, crew often set up steaming pots of self-serve hot chocolate and hot toddies, which is a fantastic touch. The bar also serves made-to-order drinks and ice cream scoops throughout the day.
Sky Bar (Deck 9): The Sky Bar on Deck 9 overlooks the pool and serves that area in addition to The Pool Bar. Smoking is allowed there, and on nice days, it's where smokers often congregate.
The Observation Lounge (Deck 10): While The Club is also open after dinner, the action seemed to head to the Observation Lounge after the evening show. There, passengers gathered for nightly wine or liqueur tastings, which grew more sociable as the cruise went on.
Sojourn passengers looking for a dip, a soak or some sun can take advantage of the fantastic sun decks and outdoor hideaways throughout the ship. They include a whirlpool at the bow on Deck 6, the Club Terrace pool with two hot tubs at the aft end on Deck 5, the small sitting area on Deck 10 overlooking the main pool and the Sun Terrace on Deck 11. There's also a lovely deck area, with wicker couches and dining tables, just off Seabourn Square, and the main pool with two hot tubs on Deck 8.
Sojourn has two pools and five whirlpools that are accessible to everyone. The main pool on Deck 8 is saltwater and features a ledge for people to dip their feet without fully submerging. There's a round water feature and several showers for rinsing. Twin whirlpools separate the pool from the Patio Grill and Patio Bar, which leaves privacy for people in the pool. Wicker-style chaises and loveseats are spread throughout the area and up to Deck 9. Even on a busy sea day, we saw plenty of spots available. One touch we loved: On warmer sailings, attendants circulate during sea days with sunblock, sunglasses cleaner and cocktails. There's another small pool on the stern, just off The Club, along with two whirlpools. We found that while this pool was much quieter than the main one, the area could get windy. A third spot worth checking out is a large whirlpool on Deck 6, all the way forward. This whirlpool seemed rarely used, although it is visible from decks above (so it's not as private as you might think it is). The Spa Pool on Deck 9 and Spa Terrace hot tub are available to passengers who book a spa treatment, a spa cabin or a thermal suite pass.
Sun decks abound on Sojourn. On Deck 11, all the way forward, is a lovely sun deck with 36 stacked loungers, although there's no pool. This area, plus the Deck 6 whirlpool, have drink carts for passengers to serve themselves. Also on Deck 11 you'll find The Retreat, with shuffleboard and table tennis, both sheltered from the wind. There's also an area for golf enthusiasts, with mini-putting and a golf cage for driving.
As with Seabourn's other ships, Sojourn has a water sports marina on Deck 2. We found that it's only open to passengers on certain voyages, however; you'll have to check your itinerary carefully if you want to take part (and even then, it's weather permitting, so in effect, it's rarely used). The ship has a collection of toys, such as a banana boat, kayaks and pedal boats. Passengers can water ski or try the "donut," an inflatable chair in which you sit while being pulled along by a speedboat. On warm-weather cruises, these toys are available during the Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue day. In colder climes, cruisers can participate in a polar plunge at the ship's main pool. Crew members also take part. Even if you don't want to get wet, the event makes for some fun photos.
Seabourn Square on Deck 7 serves as the information centre for the ship, but it's so much more than a traditional reception area. Instead, it's been designed as a warm, spacious and comfortable meeting place for coffee, pastries, library books and computer use. (Passengers will find eight desktop computers and two printers that are free to use if they've purchased an internet package.) Daily newspapers from around the world are available, both in print and on iPads. Seabourn Square also houses a quiet space for the ship's concierge, as well as guest services, and shore excursion and future cruise bookings. A fairly large shop lies off Seabourn Square, as well. Besides sundries, the shop stocks quite a collection of jewellery, purses and brand-name luxury goods. A more exclusive shop with high-end watches and jewellery is also onboard.
Conference rooms are on Deck 5, along with two self-service launderettes that are free to use and provide soap, washers and dryers, and ironing boards. The medical centre can be found on Deck 3. Internet access on Sojourn is slow and only suitable for sending emails and basic surfing. You won't be able to stream or Skype. At 40 cents per minute, prices are exorbitant for a modern cruise ship. An unlimited access package will set you back $240 for a week or $400 for more than a week. Only one device at a time is supported. Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the ship or on cabin balconies; passengers who violate that policy will be fined $250 per day.
Designated smoking areas are available outdoors on the starboard half of Deck 9 by the Sky Bar, the starboard half of the aft open terrace outside of The Club on Deck 5 and the starboard half of the open terrace outside of Seabourn Square on Deck 7. The Deck 7 area is the only place onboard where cigars and pipes may be smoked. E-cigarettes may be smoked inside of passenger cabins and in designated smoking areas. Sojourn doesn't have a huge atrium like larger cruise ships, but there is a spiral staircase midship that is the central walkway to main venues on each floor.
The artwork on Sojourn is relatively subdued with one clever surprise: a statue of a dachshund, named Techsel (or Tex).The spa spans two decks and is one of the largest on a luxury ship of Sojourn's size. Seabourn's partnership with celebrity doctor Andrew Weil means that the spa menu focuses on alternative treatments like acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, detoxification and sound therapy, and mindful massages. It also means prices are a bit on the high side, but you won't get a sales pitch at the end. The spa also has a thermal suite, with passes available by the day or the week; passengers who purchase spa treatments also gain access for an hour before and after their services. The area includes heated ceramic loungers; cocooned meditation chairs; a Kneipp pool, with its varying hot- and cold-water temperatures; an aromatherapy sauna and steam room; and a private sun deck.
On Deck 9, you'll find a small but efficient gym, featuring Technogym treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, rowers, exercise bikes and free weights up to 50 pounds, as well as weight machines. There is a separate room for Kinesis wall training and classes in yoga and Pilates. Most classes are included in the cruise fares, but you'll pay extra for some, as well as for private lessons and sessions with a trainer. The locker rooms offer showers and saunas, and there's a small relaxation room with flavoured water and fruit for those who don't take advantage of the thermal suite. Runners and walkers will be disappointed by the small path available to them around the pool's upper deck, as it quickly becomes repetitive. That said, we appreciated the cool towels and bottled water set up at the Sky Bar for those who want an outdoor workout. Sojourn also has a salon that offers hair styling and colouring, barber services, manicures, pedicures and waxing. Book ahead on formal nights; women on Sojourn definitely like to get their hair done. Kerastase is the brand of choice for hair products.
Seabourn passengers are a discriminating lot when it comes to food and wine. Expectations are high for all venues. We experienced a few missteps -- incorrect menus, forgotten courses -- on our sailing, but most passengers we talked to seemed happy with their meals and rated the culinary experience favourably against Sojourn's competition. Although portion sizes are kept small, many dishes are rich, meaning it's still possible to leave dinner with that uncomfortable "stuffed" feeling. Sojourn's signature offerings include lobster, Champagne and caviar; all three are served copiously and on demand. In the late afternoon, you'll see Seabourn regulars ordering little trays of caviar, complete with egg yolk, egg whites, red onion, creme fraiche and crackers. We didn't find out about this until the end of the cruise -- don't make that mistake!
There are four main places to eat onboard: The Patio Grill/Earth & Ocean, The Colonnade, The Restaurant and The Grill by Thomas Keller. In-room dining and room service are available any time of day. Every night, the room steward brings the following day's menu for all venues to your suite. We wish every cruise line did this! Although passengers can have dinner in casual attire at The Patio Grill or The Colonnade, all nighttime meals are waiter-served (with the exception of themed buffets, usually held once or twice per cruise).
For anyone wanting a quick dinnertime bite, the only options are the cafe at Seabourn Square or room service. On each sailing, Seabourn has its signature event, Caviar in the Surf. On cruises to chillier locations, it's held onboard in the pool. In warmer destinations, it's paired with a beach barbecue. The idea of wading out waist deep to nibble caviar from uniformed officers might seem a bit precious in theory, but in practice, it's a lot of fun and even a bit raucous. Dietary restrictions and special requests are willingly accommodated with advance notice, and all eateries offer at least a couple of options for vegetarians. Whatever you do, don't miss the line's signature breadsticks, which are heavenly.
The Restaurant (Deck 4)
Meals: B, L, D: The Restaurant is the ship's main dining room, and it's beautiful, with dramatic gauze curtains, crystal chandeliers and fresh flowers on the tables. Dinner is open seating for all meals, and no reservations are required. The Restaurant is large enough for all passengers to be accommodated at once, and there are plenty of tables for two, as well as larger setups for more social meals. Ship staff regularly host tables, as do the entertainers; discussion of who gets invited and who doesn't can be a touchy topic of conversation among passengers. Breakfast is only served in The Restaurant for an hour most days. The Restaurant also serves lunch for an hour or so, for those who want a three-course sit-down meal during the day. For both breakfast and lunch, we saw only a handful of passengers choosing to eat there. Dinner, which runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly with no set seating, is where The Restaurant comes alive. Female passengers are escorted to their tables by crew, starting the meal off on a dramatic foot. The menu has an "Inspirations" side, which changes daily, and a "Classics" side that is always available. Menus skew French, but local specialities are often worked in according to where the ship is sailing.
For lunch and dinner, courses include appetizers, mains and dessert. Complimentary wine is offered during both meals and pours are generous. The list of complimentary wines is fairly extensive; while servers tend to push one or two for each meal, you can order anything you want. Whites include Santa Margherita pinot grigio, Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc and Stags' Leap chardonnay. Complimentary reds include Castello Banfi Chianti, Sirius Bordeaux, Tommasi Valpolicella, Cosentino Winery Zinfandel, Kendall Jackson Avant cabernet sauvignon and Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz-Cabernet. Barton & Guestier Rose from Provence is a nice wine for hot weather; a Sauternes is available with dessert, as is Port. A sommelier is always available to help with the supplemental wine list, which includes heavy-duty bottles from Opus One, Solaia, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and more. Passengers can also bring their own bottles onboard with no corkage fee.
The Colonnade (Deck 8)
Meals: B, L, D: The Colonnade is a more casual option for all meals, but it's more chic than any other buffet we've ever seen, offering a mix of seating options, including bar tables. You can self-serve or order from a waiter during the day for breakfast and lunch. At breakfast, choose from eggs, breakfast meats, smoked salmon, fruit, pastries and pancakes/French toast. Lunch is often themed to the destination. At dinnertime, The Colonnade turns into a wonderful themed restaurant with three- and four-course meals. Reservations are required on certain nights; those with a Thomas Keller tie-in are particularly popular. On our sailing, we saw The Colonnade serving as a buffet for dinner only once, featuring an "Alaskan Market" theme with king crab legs galore. Breakfast and lunch hours vary daily and can be found in The Herald, the onboard daily program. Dinner is always from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day. In general, The Colonnade closes for two to three hours between breakfast and dinner and for three to four hours between lunch and dinner.
The Patio Grill/Earth & Ocean (Deck 8)
Meals: L, D: A third option for lunch and dinner is The Patio Grill on the pool deck. Smaller than The Colonnade, it's a mixture of buffet and served items that are often themed. One day for lunch, you might find tacos, and on a particular night, dinner might feature French or Korean menu items. An ice cream station is at the nearby Patio Bar. The Patio Grill is often open for casual dinner from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., when the venue transforms into Earth & Ocean. Although it's generally a convenient option, it's closed during inclement weather, and its alfresco location around the pool deck can be chilly on colder itineraries, despite heat lamps mounted overhead. Vegetarian items are available upon request.
The Grill by Thomas Keller (Deck 8)
Meals: D: The Grill by Thomas Keller was developed in partnership with the line and the Michelin-starred chef known for famed restaurants the French Laundry, Per Se and Ad Hoc. Seabourn's version of an upscale steakhouse, The Grill by Thomas Keller is home to the best steak we've ever tasted at sea -- cooked to absolute perfection and so tender we didn't even need a knife. Each table is provided with breadsticks and creatively presented crudite, while passengers select items from the four-course (starter, main, sides, dessert) menu. They include fish, seafood, lamb chops and steak with sides like fries, macaroni and cheese, and vegetables. Most dishes are geared toward meat-lovers, but there are a couple of options for vegetarians. Although there's no charge to dine at The Grill by Thomas Keller, reservations are required, as cruisers are limited to eating there just once per sailing. It's open for dinner only, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly.
Seabourn Square (Deck 7)
Meals: snacks: Seabourn Square is a great spot for a light nosh. In the morning, you'll find sweet pastries and croissants, and in the afternoon, there are tea sandwiches and (again) decadent pastries, as well as ice cream. Speciality coffee, tea, wine and spirits are offered throughout the day. The venue typically closes at 6 p.m. and opens again from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Observation Lounge (Deck 10)
Meals: B: The Observation Lounge hosts a daily Continental breakfast for early risers, and it's also the spot for afternoon tea, featuring scones with jam and whipped cream along with other finger foods and, of course, tea.
Meals: B, L, D: Room service is available around the clock. Meals in your room can either be set up at the dining table in the suite or on your balcony. (Oddly, though, the chairs in the suite are too short for the table, so it's a little awkward.) The extensive menu includes starters, entrees and desserts. Each night, between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., passengers can order items from The Restaurant to be delivered to their cabins and can even request that they be served course by course. Breakfast hangers are left in your leather folio every night by your cabin steward. You can order almost everything that's available in The Restaurant and Colonnade. Our meals came on time and were the right temperature.
What impressed us the most about Seabourn Sojourn's 229 cabins -- none of which are insides -- is the amount of space and storage they offer to passengers. This is especially helpful on longer sailings, particularly world voyages. All accommodations are called suites by the line, but most do not have the true two-room suite configuration. Each suite has a living area that is set off from the bed with thick curtains that can be drawn all the way across the room. Each room also has a queen-size bed or two twin beds, a walk-in closet with a safe, a flat-screen TV with a fantastic and up-to-date list of on-demand music and movies, a dining table for two, bedside nightstands with at least two USB ports above one of them and a writing desk/vanity. Suites have European and North American outlets (but more of the latter than the former, so bring adapters if needed). Suitcases fit under the beds.
All Seabourn cabins also have a mini-bar area that is stocked and replenished with sodas, tonic waters and beers. Before your voyage, you note preferences for two free bottles of liquor; these are not restocked during the trip. A bottle of Champagne (the house brand is Montaudon Brut) is also delivered upon embarkation. Turn-down service includes chocolate and the next day's activities and dining menus, nicely organized in a leather folio. Marble bathrooms in all cabins are spacious and feature double sinks with plenty of storage space. Most cabins have separate shower and tub setups, with the exception of accessible cabins, which have roll-in showers. Standard products by Molton Brown include shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion. Your steward brings special soaps by names like Hermes, L'Occitane, Salvatore Ferragamo and Baudelaire at the beginning of the cruise. Hair dryers are available, as well as slippers and robes.
Ocean View Suites: The ship's lowest category, Ocean View Suites measure 295 square feet and have large picture windows. They are located on Deck 4\. It's worth noting that because Seabourn Sojourn has so many public indoor and outdoor areas that are relatively quiet during the day, you can find a bit of alfresco peace and quiet, even if you haven't booked a stateroom with a balcony.
Veranda Suites: The Veranda Suites on Decks 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 each have an inside space of about 300 square feet, plus a roughly 65-square-foot balcony that has enough room for two outdoor chairs, foot rests and a table big enough for eating. The cabins are spacious, with plenty of drawer space, and they give you more than enough room to move around. Most veranda cabins have walk-in closets, each with a safe and a chest of drawers. (Accessible rooms have an armoire instead.) If you need more hangers, your room steward will bring them.
Penthouse Suites: The Penthouse Suites on Decks 6, 9 and 10 each have an inside space of 436 square feet with a 98-square-foot veranda. This type of room is a true suite, with the bedroom separated from the living area by glass panels, creating a nifty room-within-a-room that can be screened off by heavy curtains. The suites also have a dining table for four people, as well as two-flat screen TVs.
Penthouse Spa Suites: The Penthouse Spa Suites, located on Deck 10 aft and accessible by a spiral staircase to the spa, either have an inside space of 539 square feet with a 167-square-foot veranda or an inside space of 536 to 539 square feet with a 167- to 200-square-foot veranda. These rooms have L'Occitane fragrance diffusers and a soothing music soundtrack, as well as a second ensuite bar stocked with water, juice and healthy snacks. Passengers can choose luxury sponges in addition to extra soaps. Finally, the suites provide full-day access to the Spa at Seabourn's serene areas (including the thermal suite) and a spa concierge service.
Owner's Suites: The Owner's Suites, located forward and midship on Decks 6, 7 and 8, have inside spaces between 526 and 593 square feet and verandas ranging from 133 to 354 square feet. Each cabin has a separate bedroom, a guest bath, two flat-screen TVs, a dining table for four and a pantry with a wet bar.
Signature Suites: The Signature Suites, located forward on Deck 7, have an inside space of 859 square feet, plus a 493-square-foot veranda. The curved suites have ocean views, dining for four to six, a whirlpool bathtub, a guest bath, a pantry with a wet bar, two closets and two flat-screen TVs. While these suites can be windy when the ship is at sea, they have the nicest layout for entertaining, in terms of indoor and outdoor space.
Grand Signature Suites: The Grand Signature Suite combines a Signature Suite with a veranda cabin, affording passengers 1,159 square feet of space, plus two verandas totaling 558 square feet. The configuration allows for a second bedroom, two full bathrooms, three closets and three flat-screen TVs.
Wintergarden Suites: The Wintergarden Suites, located on Deck 7, have inside space of 914 square feet, plus a 183-square-foot veranda. These accommodations stand out as some of the most lavish afloat, featuring dining for six, a convertible sofa bed for one, a whirlpool bath, a guest bath, a pantry with wet bar, two closets and two flat-screen TVs. What really sets these suites apart -- not just from other cabins on Seabourn but also from any other deluxe suite at sea -- are the conservatory-like glass-enclosed solariums with egg-shaped baths, flanked by potted plants and cozy divans.
Grand Wintergarden Suites: Each of the two Wintergarden Suites can be combined with a Veranda Suite to form a Grand Wintergarden Suite, which has a total inside space of 1,189 square feet, plus two verandas totaling 214 square feet. The configuration allows for two bedrooms, two bathrooms, three closets and three flat-screen TVs. All cabin categories from Owners Suite up have complimentary Wi-Fi service. Seven suites -- in the Seabourn, Veranda and Penthouse categories -- are wheelchair accessible. At least two suites on every deck can be connected. Beware of cabins that have connecting doors (unless you are traveling with family or friends); they're not the least bit soundproof.