9th Feb 2024 | 17 nights | Regent Seven Seas Cruises | Seven Seas Splendor
The all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Splendor is a beautiful ship, but has Regent Seven Seas achieved "Luxury Perfected" -- its daring tagline for its new vessel? Nearly identical to Seven Seas Explorer, with just a few subtle nuances, Seven Seas Splendor is certainly the perfect size for a luxury ship with distinguished spaces at every turn. From imposing crystal chandeliers to tactile artwork and memorable tableware, each venue on Seven Seas Splendor is exquisitely designed, and there's a cohesive feeling of luxury in each space.
The ship's dining is the height of gastronomy at sea. Featuring a solid variety of pan-Asia, French, modern European, Italian and American fare, no matter where you eat, you can expect truly outstanding food and some excellent drinks onboard -- all of which are included. Service is excellent, too, though not yet intuitive. Suites are stunning and offer some of the largest spaces at sea. We especially love cabins with beds facing the balcony, which means you can wake up to sea views. The Elite Slumber Beds that feature in all cabins are among the comfiest we've found at sea.
We like that there's a variety of inclusive shore excursions and that they're not limited to city tours by coach or foot -- Some are daylong trips that take you deeper into the destination. Where it feels Regent has not achieved "Luxury Perfected" is the entertainment, which can at times feel a little bland. There's a nightly performance in the ship's Constellation Theater which ranges from a musical-style show to a stand-up comedy. We'd like to see some improvement in the overall quality of the production shows and some extra daytime activities on the program. If a jam-packed schedule of activities and entertainment is a top priority for you, or if you prefer a more pared-back style of luxury, Seven Seas Splendor is probably not the ship for you. If you enjoy all-out glamour and over-the-top features, such as designer dinnerware and acres of marble, with what is arguably the best dining at sea, you'll love this ship.
Daytime: During the day, casual resort-style is common. On the pool deck, swimwear is the norm, though it's not permitted indoors. Women tend to wear casual clothing, such as shorts and T-shirts or blouses, capris, jeans, dresses or skirts indoors, while men opt for jeans, slacks or shorts paired with T-shirts or polo shirts.
Evening: The norm is elegant casual -- think country club chic -- including skirts or slacks with blouses or stylish tops, trouser suits or dresses for women; slacks and collared shirts for men. Cruises of 16 nights or more will include two optional formal nights, where elegant casual is also appropriate, especially on the final night of the cruise.
Not permitted: Jeans, T-shirts, swimwear, baseball caps, shorts and tennis shoes are not allowed in any public area after 6 p.m.
At least one shore excursion in every port is included on Seven Seas Splendor. Passengers can typically choose from several free options in each port that range from short two-hour trips to all-day excursions, though most last four to five hours. An additional selection of excursions can be paid for in each port. Free tours might typically include walking, bicycle or boat tours; wine tasting excursions; and city highlights and themed tours that might focus on the arts, architecture or culture. Tours generally are small, in terms of number of passengers allowed, so they feel more intimate. Passengers can, and should, book their tours ahead as places can be limited on some tours. Tours can be booked pre-cruise via the cruise personalizer. Each excursion is rated in its difficulty so passengers know how much activity is involved. Shore excursion booking forms also indicate if meals are included, if an excursion is a seated tour and if the tour is suitable for passengers with limited mobility. Passengers can take advantage of Regent Seven Seas' SmartGuide on selected shore excursions. The app allows passengers to hear commentary through their own smartphone and headset. Excursions with this facility are highlighted with a headset symbol. A highlight for foodies is the ship's line of Gourmet Explorer Tours, offered for an additional fee in a handful of ports. These might include market tours in Europe or Master Chef-hosted meals paired with cooking demonstrations. Plan to eat -- a lot. The ship also has a Destinations Services Desk located by the reception desk on Deck 5, so if you require more information on a port, you can ask for advice on attractions, how to best see a destination and how to get around. Maps usually are available, and staff are knowledgeable about the region. Passengers can also find out more about destinations and shore excursions via the ensuite TVs on channels 9 and 10.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
During the day there are activities such as Ping-Pong, mini-golf, bocce, cornhole and shuffleboard tournaments outside, on Deck 12. Daytime entertainment inside is pretty subdued. There's trivia, lectures that take place in the Constellation Theater and a jigsaw puzzle by the coffee shop for anyone who enjoys puzzles. The ship's show lounge, Constellation Theater, is at the front of Decks 4 and 5. The two-tiered theatre is fitted with luxurious velvet seating and Art Deco detailing, which creates a glamorous Golden Era ambience. One of the few nuances between Seven Seas Explorer and Splendor is the improved sightline on the upper tier of the latter. Two large LED screens flank the main stage, which are used in the theatre's big productions, "Crossroads" and "Diamond Run." "Crossroads" is described as the ship's blockbuster show but, for us, it didn't quite live up to this statement. The performance focuses on a showdown between the musical genres of country and rock, staged around a barn dance coming up against a rock show. We enjoyed the costumes and set design, but vocals were disappointing and the narrative fell flat. Cookery demos often take place in the theatre during the day and cabaret-style performances and comedians alternate with the main shows in the evening.
The ship's casino is located midship on Deck 4 and is open when the ship is at sea. The space includes slot machines, gaming tables and hosts tournaments, such as blackjack, poker and Texas Hold'em. All shipboard activities and entertainment are listed in Passages, the daily newsletter.
We love the ship's Culinary Arts Kitchen, on Deck 11, and the classes held here. The space has 18 stations, each equipped with induction cooktops, stainless steel sinks and cooking utensils. It feels high-tech, like what you'd expect from a professional kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow light to fill the space during classes. Classes have fees, but we recommend the splurge for beginners and those who are keen to learn new skills or just perfect a couple of dishes. Experienced cooks might find some of the cooking on the basic side, but it's still fun to cook dishes inspired by the ship's destination. Knife skills and filleting fish are just some of the talents you could pick up in one of the themed classes. Several classes also focus on destinations or styles of gastronomy, such as Flip-Flop Floribbean, which centres on the fusion of Caribbean and Floridan fare, or Mediterranean Masterpieces, which looks at the cooking of Italy, Greece, France, Spain, Israel and Morocco. If you're keen to hone your culinary skills, book ahead; classes fill fast. Other onboard enrichment might include a guest lecturer giving a talk on popular topics such as history, space and geography.
Seven Seas Splendor has three main bars, plus a cigar lounge and pool bar. A couple of dance floors are available, as is sophisticated lounge-style entertainment that typically finishes up by midnight. The ship's bars and lounges are a classy affair, and we love that each one offers something different with a unique vibe. For example, Meridian Lounge is the place to go for contemporary drinks, and Splendor Lounge is great for dancing. What is consistent throughout all of the bars and lounges is the service. It's second to none. Staff will whip you up a cool new cocktail creation at the bar or have your (insert the name of your favourite drink) topped up before you know it.
Splendor Lounge (Deck 4): Splendor Lounge is located outside Compass Rose and is a popular venue for pre- and post-dinner drinks. It's also were passengers will find after-dinner entertainment, with live acts such as a band or music duo performing, followed by a DJ set. There's a bar to left of the entrance and tables for two and four with plush velvet-covered chairs scattering around. There's a small stage and a dance floor to the right as you enter the venue. Splendor Lounge is a moody spot, in contrast to most venues onboard, with dark blue and black decor and vibrant artwork.
Meridian Lounge (Deck 5): Also popular for pre- and post-dinner drinks, Meridian Lounge features a large bar with bar stools, tables with armchairs that mostly seats two and four, and a dance floor. The venue hosts resident musicians, such as pianists, groups and guitarists. Meridian Lounge is the place to try the line's new experimental cocktails, with a menu featuring seven new gin creations and 19 new cocktails, in addition to the regular cocktail menu. We really like this venue -- particularly seated at the bar when you get chance to chat to the mixologists and bar staff. Craft cocktails take some time to make, so don't go in for a "quick drink"; plan to enjoy the space and ambience.
Connoisseur Club (Deck 11): An intimate spot beside the Library, the Connoisseur Club is the ship's cigar bar -- the only place smokers can smoke indoors. It's a cozy spot with leather couches, a small bar and cigars for sale. If you're a smoker or can bear the smoke from others, it's a popular spot for late-night conversation and after-dinner drinks.
Observation Lounge (Deck 11):*Located at the front of the ship, with stunning views of the bow, the Observation Lounge is a stylish space used both day and night. There's a long bar with stools, leather couches and plenty of seating offering different perspectives. During the day, light fills the space from the floor-to-ceiling windows, while at night the venue is a fashionable spot -- it has the feel of a sky bar you might find at the top of a luxury hotel. Afternoon tea is served here, with trivia and the occasional lecture also held in the lounge. It's also another popular spot for late-night drinks, ship cocktail parties and dancing that takes place beneath a statement chandelier.
Pool Bar (Deck 11): A small bar located on the Pool Deck, the Pool Bar is an informal spot to enjoy a drink during the day and early evening. There's some seating, though it's limited to a few bar stools.
Seven Seas Splendor has one swimming pool and two hot tubs located on Deck 11. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to use the hot tubs without an adult present. Babies/toddlers who are not toilet trained are not allowed to use the pool or hot tubs. Gorgeous teak decking surrounds the pool, and you'll find rows of padded wicker sun loungers covered in branded terrycloth, which give the pool area the feel of a chic country club or luxury beach resort. Other facilities include two enclosed rainforest-style showers by the hot tubs and the glass-enclosed smoking area.
An infinity pool is located to the aft of Deck 5, accessed via the ship's spa. The infinity pool area is mostly shaded with some chairs and sun loungers, including double loungers, in the decked area around the pool. Two spiral staircases lead from the Pool Deck to the Sun Deck above, where more sun loungers -- most unshaded -- are located. Clamshell sofas and some double lounge chairs are found on Deck 12. Deck 12 is also where all of the ship's outside recreation, outside of the swimming pool, is located. There's a golf net, putting green, shuffleboard, paddle tennis, bocce court, cornhole pitch and running track.
The ship's medical centre is located on Deck 4, along with two boutiques selling designer clothing, accessories, toiletries, Regent-branded items and luxury cosmetics. The reception desk is on Deck 5, centrally located by the Atrium, midship. It's staffed 24 hours a day. Also on Deck 5 is the ship's business centre, which opens set hours that vary depending on the day. The business centre is usually staffed and offers several computer stations and a printer that are free for passengers to use.
The concierge desk, which can be used by passengers to book services and make special requests; destination services, for information on ports and shore tours; and the cruise consultant, which offers appointment-only hours during the afternoon to discuss and book future cruises (brochures can be found in all cabins) are also located on Deck 5. Self-service launderettes can be found on Decks 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 and are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Launderettes are equipped with washer dryers, irons and ironing boards. Complimentary detergent is also supplied. Currency can be exchanged at the reception desk in some ports, though not all.
The ship's gorgeous and well-stocked Library, open 24/7, and Card Room are located side by side on Deck 11. Passengers will find a wide selection of fiction, nonfiction and coffee-table style books neatly organized in the Library, with high-back leather armchairs making it a relaxing spot to read or catch up on news.
Serene Spa & Wellness is located on Deck 5, aft, and is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The spa is accessed via a long marble corridor and features an eye-catching bronze sculpture by Alexander Krishonov in the entrance. A seating area and an enclosed hair and beauty salon sit opposite the reception area. Once signed in, passengers are directed through to the separate male and female changing areas, which feature showers, toilet facilities and lockers containing a robe, towel and slippers. The changing area is compact, so it might feel cramped during busy periods.
Amenities include shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hair combs, razors and shave cream. Spa treatments include facials and specialist lip, neck and eye treatments; body treatments, such as masks, detox wraps, massages, scalp treatments; and full-body rituals, such as the Deep Sea Heat Mask & Massage. Most treatments are available in either 50- or 75-minute appointments. Couples wanting to share a spa experience can book the Serenity for Two, which is available as a Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage and Brazilian bamboo massage. They each last 50 minutes. A highlight that's worth the splurge, the spa's signature treatment is The Regent, available in 50, 75 or 90 minutes. It involves a massage, while warm eucalyptus-infused paraffin mitts hydrate the hands and feet. For men, in addition to any of the massages and body treatments on the menu, there's also the super-charger oxygen facial, which lasts for 50 minutes. Another favourite of ours is the Around the World Massage, which combines therapies and products from different corners of the globe: coconut poultice, bamboo, hot-stone and Swedish massage, along with various oils and scents.
Salon treatments include manicures and pedicures, makeup application, blow outs, colouring, waxing and men's grooming treatments. Appointments are advisable as walk-in appointments are subject to availability. All passengers get access to the separate men's and women's Hydrothermal Suites, accessed via the changing rooms. These focus on cold and warm experiences, including a sauna, steam room, experience shower and cold room. We'd like to see some robe hooks fitted so there's a place to hang your robe as you move between each of the hydrothermal experiences. Bathing suits are not required in the individual hydrothermal experiences, though there's also a shared (male and female) area that includes heated ceramic loungers, and at the back of the spa there's an infinity pool, where bathing suits are necessary. At the back, by the pool, you can choose from upright chairs, clamshell daybeds and lounge chairs. If you're a mixed-sex couple looking to enjoy the thermal area together you might be disappointed that these areas are separated. Passengers must be 18 years old to use the spa. Salon services are available to passengers over 16. A suggested 18 percent service charge is added to spa services.
Although the fitness centre is located on Deck 6, it is best aft accessed via the spiral staircase in the spa, on Deck 5. (If you have mobility issues, getting to the fitness centre will be difficult, as all access points require climbing at least a couple of stairs.) In the fitness area, you'll find cardiovascular equipment, including treadmills and exercise bikes, and a handful of free weights. An aerobics room with cushioned flooring is also available for use. Exercise classes that range from beginner to more advanced are held in the aerobic studio. Classes include high-intensity interval training, Pilates, yoga and meditation, and are included in the price of your cruise fare. Daily sunrise stretching typically is offered in the morning on Deck 12, weather permitting. All times, and classes are listed in the ship's daily newsletter. In addition to the classes, personal training can be booked from $99 for 60 minutes. A jogging track is located on Deck 12 for passengers who prefer to take in the sea air. Two loops can be combined to create a longer lap. You'll need to walk/jog/run 7.3 laps to clock up a mile.
Dining on Seven Seas Splendor is outstanding and, arguably, the best we've experienced at sea. There's something for every taste, with four speciality restaurants -- covering French, Italian, American/steakhouse and pan-Asian fare -- in addition to the main dining room, buffet restaurant and Pool Grill. Passengers can dine in each of the speciality restaurants at least once per sailing and dine in the other restaurants as often as they like. The service and quality of food in all venues is consistently high, but we love that each one has its own character and ambience.
Every last detail is thought out, too, right down to the luxury tableware and glassware that is specific to each restaurant, such as the Versace tableware in the main dining room. For breakfast, there's the main dining room, buffet or room service, while at lunch and dinner the speciality restaurants are also available. Dietary requirements are generally well catered for, as are veggie options with a decent selection on the plant-based menu. Give the Impossible Burger a whirl.
Compass Rose (Deck 4)
Meals: Breakfast (B), Dinner (D), brunch: The main dining room has tables for two, four, and six or more, plus a flexible policy (no set times or fixed tables). Breakfast features hot and cold items, eggs, pancakes, meat, fresh fruit and pastries, yoghurt, fresh juices, teas and coffees. Sunday brunch serves typical items (eggs Benedict, etc.), meats and sumptuous seafood offerings. Dessert features chocolate, fruit, pastry and cheese. Dinner leans toward French/European, starting with breads and butter, and ending with mostly classic desserts or cheese. A nightly tasting menu typically consists of six or seven courses.
Always-available appetizers include meat, fish, shellfish, soup and salad; for the main course, meat and seafood, sauces and sides, and a pasta and risotto course. Daily specials, which feature appetizers, pasta, entree, meat, fish and shellfish, plus vegetarian options, varies nightly -- Try something new each time. Mix and match, request your dish without a sauce, or meat poached or grilled. Its case of prescription glasses helps you read the menu. Dietary requirements -- gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian -- can be accommodated. Notify Regent when booking and upon arrival at the restaurant.
Compass Rose sets the bar high for dining onboard, with intuitive service that makes passengers feel extremely comfortable.
La Veranda (Deck 11)
Meals: B, L: The ship's buffet restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch. Wait staff will walk around the restaurant notifying passengers around five minutes before food is cleared away. The restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows that are lined with tables for two; tables seating four and some outdoor seating are also available. The restaurant features different counters serving a mix of hot and cold dishes at breakfast and lunch. At breakfast, in addition to all of the typical breakfast buffet items (eggs, bacon, sausage, beans), there's an omelette station, a burrito counter and a bloody mary bar. Wait staff deliver made-to-order dishes direct to your table when the food is ready to save you waiting around, though you will need to know your table number (imprinted on little metal placards on the table itself) to place an order. (We found this to be a bit onerous, as we ordered before we picked a table, then were told we'd have to find a table first. It does beat standing around waiting, though.) Lunch includes a salad bar, a fish counter (with plates of seafood and shellfish over ice), a hot buffet counter featuring meat, fish and vegetarian options, plus vegetable and potato options, and a dessert counter. A pasta station allows passengers to customize their dishes. Drinks service is provided tableside, though we noticed it was a little slow at times.
Coffee Connection (Deck 5)
Meals: B, L: The ship's cafe offers a small venue for light breakfast, lunch and snacks from a self-service counter, as well as all-day coffee and tea. Water stations are also located here. The bright, light space features a selection of tables for two and four, and some outdoor seating. This is the place for on-the-go speciality coffees and teas, and a lighter bite in an informal setting. This popular venue is also used by passengers as a central meeting point throughout the day, with groups and couples sitting around chatting.
Pacific Rim (Deck 5)
Meals: D: Seven Seas Splendor's wildly ambitious pan-Asian restaurant sets the scene with a giant bronze dragon sculpture at the entrance. Inside, the restaurant is spacious, with mostly tables for two and four, though larger groups can be accommodated. Pacific Rim is open for dinner only and serves dishes from across Asia, including Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese. The menu features appetizers, dim sum, soups, salads, entrees and desserts, as well as fresh sushi. More than any other venue, this is the place where you should order a number of appetizers to share at your table, as the choices are vast and portions are right-sized for splitting. The drinks menu is worth noting, as a variety of hot and cold sakes are available, as are Asian beers. Seven Seas Splendor has perfected customization and personalization, and in Pacific Rim, we put it to the test, asking for an aggressive spice level in our curried seafood laksa. The chef delivered a creamy, elegant curry dish that set our taste buds aflame -- in the best way. The dessert that had everyone talking on our sailing was the Don Papa rum cake, a decadent combination of coconut mousse, chocolate and rum cake. Reservations are necessary at this popular speciality venue, which is open daily from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Chartreuse (Deck 10)
Meals: L, D: Located at the back of Deck 10, next to Prime 7, Chartreuse is the ship's classic French restaurant. Inside, there's a bar area to the right with the restaurant behind the front desk to the left. Tables seat two or four, while some booths comfortably seat six. If you're a fan of French cuisine, Chartreuse is not to be missed. The restaurant feels elegant and the food and service are outstanding. Lunch and dinner menus are written in French and English, starting with appetizers, followed by soups. The entree is divided into a fish, meat and vegetarian section and a selection of side dishes.
The menu features nine appetizers, including salads, three soup options, four fish dishes, five meat dishes and just one vegetarian entree. The Alaskan king crab salad was a popular appetizer at our table and the roasted rack of lamb served with chickpea fritters is divine. The presentation is special, too, the kind you find in a top Michelin-star restaurant. Chartreuse is not particularly suited to vegan or vegetarian dietary restrictions. We ordered the one vegetarian entree, a white asparagus dish, which felt more like a side dish to share (which is what we did) than a dish on its own. Lunch is served at Chartreuse every other day, alternating with the neighbouring Prime 7, and each evening. The lunch menu features a lighter variety of items, such as charcuterie, Nicoise salad and roast chicken. Reservations are a must at dinner.
Prime 7 (Deck 10)
Meals: L, D: Prime 7 is located opposite Chartreuse at the back of Deck 10. We like that these two speciality restaurants nicely complement each other -- with contrasting ambience, style and type of cuisine -- Prime 7 being focused on American fare, particularly steaks. A small bar with a couple of stools in the entrance area is suitable for predinner drinks, though you can order a full meal there at dinner as well. The restaurant is mainly made up of tables seating two and four, though tables accommodating larger groups are also available. The lunch menu is made up of a selection of daily specials and everyday options, including appetizers, salads and sandwiches, entrees and desserts. The baby back ribs is a standout dish on the lunch menu, though be warned: Portion sizes are big so go with an appetite to match. A
t dinner, the menu is broken down into appetizers, prime steaks, seafood and fish specialities, meats, small plates, sides and sauces. We suggest eating a light or early lunch if you plan on dining at Prime 7 in the evening. Steaks and other red meat options, such as lamb, are cooked to your preference, from rare to well done. The beef is all USDA-certified prime beef, originating from Black Angus cattle in the Midwest. It's dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days, which gives a delicious buttery flavour and tender texture. Steaks are offered from 6 ounces up to an eye-watering 32-ounce portion, though smaller portions are available.
The food at Prime 7 is terrific, and the standout dish at dinner is, arguably, the Signature Surf & Turf. It's a 6-ounce filet mignon served alongside either a 6-ounce lobster tail or Alaskan king crab legs. If you have saved room for dessert, order the caramel popcorn sundae. Lunch is served at Prime 7 every other day, alternating with the neighbouring Chartreuse, and each evening. Reservations are necessary.
The Study (Deck 10)
Meals: D: Hidden between Prime 7 and Chartreuse is a private dining room called The Study. It's available for dinner by reservation to passengers staying in the Regent Suite as well as guests they choose to invite. Passengers dining here can choose from the Prime 7 or Chartreuse menu -- or both -- as well as any other food they desire, whether from the ship's menu or not.
Pool Grill (Deck 11)
Meals: B, L: Located midship on the Pool Deck, the Pool Grill offers an informal alfresco setting to enjoy many of the dishes served at La Veranda each day. This is also the spot where barbecues focusing on the speciality of the ship's destination take place. The Pool Grill also serves fast food-style dishes at lunchtime and is a nice spot for an informal, lazy lunch out on deck. It's also a perfect place to grab a late lunch when you've been ashore as service typically runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can enjoy the buffet setup here, or order from a set menu that includes burgers, pizza and sandwiches. The Pool Grill is also home to The Creamery, the ship's ice cream station, serving sorbet, ice cream, sundaes and shakes. It's typically open until dinner time.
Sette Mari at La Veranda (Deck 11)
Meals: D: In the evening, the ship's buffet restaurant, La Veranda, turns into Italian eatery Sette Mari, which has a less formal feel than the ship's other speciality restaurants. To start off, there's a small buffet made up of antipasti and salad. The menu also features antipasti items not offered in the buffet area, along with soups, pasta, main courses and desserts. Dishes are a hearty Italian affair. If you want to make it through the pasta *and* main course to dessert, go easy on the antipasti. An exquisite rum cake with ricotta and ice cream (Torta al Rum Con Ricotta) is waiting for you if you make it. The wine here is typically Italian -- expect prosecco and pinot grigio -- though wines from other regions are also available.
Meridian Lounge (Deck 11)
Meals: Afternoon tea: There's a daily afternoon tea, usually 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the ship's Meridian Lounge. The set menu features finger sandwiches and a selection of sweet treats -- all baked onboard. The chocolate afternoon tea is a standout, where every conceivable version of chocolate is served alongside a good variety of teas, from fragrant herbals to strong black options.
Seven Seas Splendor's 24-hour room service menu is excellent. Breakfast is ordered the traditional way, by making your selection on the breakfast menu card and hanging it on your suite's door the evening before. Juices, hot drinks and hot and cold breakfast items are available. The 24-hour set room menu features an excellent selection of dishes that can be ordered any time of day.
In addition to the set room service menu, you can order from the menu at Compass Rose and have a waiter serve it to you in your suite. Weather permitting, you can even have it served to you on your balcony. We love that a waiter arrives at your cabin, lays a tablecloth and serves each dish, course by course, in the comfort of your own suite. We did have an issue with our breakfast orders, where items were missing or not included.
All cabins on Seven Seas Splendor are suites, and they all feel luxurious. Suite categories vary dramatically in size and amenities, starting with the 219-square-foot Veranda Suite up to the sprawling 2,917-square-foot Regent Suite. Balconies are generously sized, too, ranging from 88 square feet to 958 square feet -- making them among the largest in the industry. We like that nearly each suite category has its own layout style and decor elements.
Cabins feature wonderful details such quiet-closing drawers, doors and even toilets. Power outlets and USB sockets are located right by the beds, above the nightstands, and you'll find adjustable reading lights by each side of the bed as well as on each side of the sofa. All suites feature two European Elite Slumber twin beds that can be combined to create a queen or king bed (depending on category), two nightstands, a walk-in closet (excluding Veranda Suites), writing desk/dressing table, a magnifying mirror fixed to the desk and telephone. There's also a seating area with a couch, chair and table; a balcony, TV with movies on-demand, safe, mini-bar stocked with a minimum of sodas and beer, hair dryer, bathrobe and slippers, an alarm clock and a Regent-branded umbrella. And, if you find you've lost a shirt button or torn a cuff, an onboard tailor can carry out minor repairs for a small fee. Laundry bags are provided in all suites, too. From the drawers below or to the side of the vanity unit and the ample space in walk-in wardrobes, you'll have no shortage of storage in cabins. Suitcases also fit underneath the bed, though we stored ours upright in the closet.
Suite bathrooms are marble and stone and feature magnifying mirror and shave sockets, WC, walk-in rainforest-style shower that can be adjusted to different settings. All but the lowest category suites include dual sinks and a bathtub with shower wand. Veranda, Deluxe Veranda, Superior and Concierge suites feature L'Occitane amenities, including shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, bath milk and body lotion. The more premium suites feature Guerlain toiletries along with pods you can affix to your shower (think of a Keurig coffee maker) that create aromatherapy experiences.
Seven Seas Splendor has three wheelchair-accessible cabins (two Concierge suites and a Penthouse Suite), which feature large shower stalls instead of bathtubs. It also has 20 adjoining suites, among a number of cabin categories. Most suites can accommodate a rollaway bed, available by request when booking; some have pull-out sofas. All suites offer a welcome bottle of Champagne and fresh fruit, refreshed daily. Suites also come with metal water bottles, which you can take ashore with you and refill at many water stations around the ship. Glass bottles of water, still, sparking or both, are refilled daily.
Veranda Suite: The 12 Veranda Suites are located on Decks 6 and 7, measuring 219 square feet with 88-square-foot balconies. This base-level suite features a sitting area separated by a blackout curtain, though it lacks a walk-in closet or bathtub in the bathroom. Balconies feature two padded rattan-style chairs and an outdoor dining table. Veranda Suite passengers also get a shoe shining service. Space feels tight in this category because the large balcony -- a beautiful perk for people who love a veranda experience -- cuts into some of the interior living space.
Deluxe Veranda Suite: Marginally bigger than the entry-level suite, the 49 Deluxe Veranda Suites measure 219 to 253 square feet, with balconies either 54 or 108 square feet, depending on the location (six cabins in this category are located at the aft and the rest on Deck 6.) Like Veranda Suites, the sitting area is separated from the bedroom with a dividing blackout curtain. Bathrooms are a touch bigger, though still no bath. These feature walk-in closets.
Superior Suite: The ship's 88 Superior Suites measure 332 square feet with 83 to 132 square feet balconies, depending on the location, and can be found on Decks 7, 8, 9 and 10. Superior Suites feel super spacious and beds are positioned facing the balcony. The TV is mounted on the wall, opposite the sitting area, and can be pulled out to watch TV in bed, though the angles can be difficult. Bathtubs are standard in Superior Suites, with a separate walk-in shower. Though most balconies are larger than the lower-category suites, furniture is the same.
Concierge Suite: Offering the same cabin space (332 square feet internally and 83- to 131-square-foot balconies) as Superior Suites, the 140 Concierge Suites make up the greatest cabin type onboard and are located on Decks 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12. Like in Superior Suites, beds face the balcony, and outside there's the addition of a single rattan-style lounger. The biggest difference is the extra amenities that Concierge Suite passengers get, including a one-night pre-cruise hotel, including transfer, breakfast and porterage; priority online shore excursions and dining reservations; binoculars (to use in your suite), illy coffee machine and cashmere blanket; a complimentary tote bag; 10 percent savings on premium wine and liquor; 5 percent savings on pre- and post-cruise hotel or land programs and 5 percent savings on Regent Choice Shore Excursions.
Penthouse Suite: The ship's 55 Penthouse Suites are 450 square feet with balconies ranging from 111 to 194 square feet, located on Decks 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 14. The balcony size depends on the suite's location on the ship. The step up in suite category makes a big difference inside the cabin, which has more of a luxury hotel room vibe (think Ritz-Carlton). The bedroom is separate from the living area -- divided by a partial wall. In addition to all Concierge Suite amenities, Penthouse Suites also offer a personal butler, daily canapes, Guerlain toiletries and a men's shaving kit, a Bose Bluetooth speaker, a Windows tablet in your suite, a selection of bed pillow styles, complimentary clothes pressing on the first night and personalized stationery. Furnishings feel extra luxurious from the Penthouse Suite category up, such as the plush Chesterfield-style couch, coffee table books, two TVs (mounted on opposites sides of the same wall), nesting table and oval cocktail table. Balconies feature a dining table and two chairs with an L-shaped couch and cocktail table. We especially love the bathtub, which is located below a large oval window so you get ocean views as you bathe.
Seven Seas Suite: The ship's 16 Seven Seas Suites measure 577 square feet with 237-square-foot balconies. Bedrooms are completely separate from the living rooms. The cabin has more furniture, such as a dining table and two chairs, an ultrasuede couch with two nest tables and lamps each side and a coffee table. Seven Seas Suites get extra luxuries, including Bottega Veneta bath amenities, a selection of Fig & Tea Leaves bath salts, priority boarding on embarkation day boarding with suite access at 1 p.m.
Splendor Suite: The ship's four Splendor Suites (two on Deck 7 and two on Deck 8) are 655 square feet with 166- to 263-square-foot balconies. The spacious suite features a personalized wet bar, a once-per-sailing caviar tasting in your suite and a Blu-ray player.
Grand Suite: The ship's eight Grand Suites are 854 to 1,013 square feet with 277- to 916-square-foot balconies, depending on their location. The Grand Suite features a separate bedroom and living space and two marble- and stone-detailed bathrooms -- the second with a walk-in shower, water closet and sink. Extra amenities include dinner with a senior officer, a guaranteed reservation for two each night in a specialty restaurant of your choice, dining in your suite (including speciality restaurant options), priority boarding on embarkation day with suite access at noon, free unlimited valet laundry service, a complimentary 25-minute personal fitness session at the Serene Spa & Wellness Fitness Center, a complimentary cocktail party in your suite for up to eight people, a Guerlain fragrance and Spongelle buffer, and Tea Forte blends. The vast difference in balcony size is because two wrap around the front corners of Deck 12 and two do the same to the aft of Deck 7. The rest are located on Decks 9 and 10. These feature numerous seating options, including an L-shaped couch, loungers and chairs surrounding marble tables.
Master Suite: Seven Seas Splendor's four Master Suites are located at the back of Decks 8 and 9 and measure 1,064 to 1,114 square feet with 831- to 994-square-foot wraparound balconies. The step up in suite category means there's space for two bedrooms and a separate living area featuring a dining table seating five, a couch, chairs, cocktail table, wet bar and baby grand piano. The bed inside the master bedroom faces the window, and there's a TV that pops up from a console at the foot of the bed. There's a walk-in closet and master bathroom featuring a jet bath and walk-in shower. The second bedroom is a touch smaller and features access to a bathroom via a walk-in closet. The second bathroom, featuring a walk-in shower, can also be accessed via the living room. The Master Suite's expansive balconies feature a dining table with seating for six, several loungers, chairs and tables. Passengers staying in the Master Suite get the same amenities as those staying in the Grand Suite.
Regent Suite: At $11,000 per night for two people, the Regent Suite takes the prize of largest cabin on a luxury ship -- measuring an enormous 3,151 square feet with a 1,292-square-foot balcony. The suite includes an entrance hallway, two spacious bedrooms, two full baths and one half bath, bathrooms clad in marble and stone, a spectacular living space and a wraparound veranda balcony overlooking the bow. The Regent Suite features a $250,000 Steinway piano and a packed wet bar area (which includes one of the most spectacular coffee makers we've ever seen) with stools and floor-to-ceiling windows in the living space. There's an original Picasso painting hanging in the master bedroom, plus countless other objet d'art dotted around the suite.
Can you put a price on a good night's sleep? Apparently so. The Regent Suite's master bedroom mattress costs $200,000. It's handmade and faces the ocean. The master bathroom doubles as an ensuite spa featuring a treatment room, a sauna, a stunning oversized bathtub, dual sinks, a vanity area with lighted makeup mirror and a multi-jet shower that has three rainfall showerheads. The decor features gold and natural stone, with two heated white ceramic lounge chairs facing the ocean. One miss in this otherwise incredible bathroom -- the tub is tucked against the wall, with no view of the ocean, while the vanity and its enormous mirror take up space in the middle of the room. Unlimited spa treatments in their suite are included for passengers staying in the Regent Suite. The second bedroom features its own seating area, with sofa and chairs and with a desk/vanity unit. The second bathroom features a double sink, separate bathtub and shower, and stone and marble finishes.
The expansive 1,292-square-foot balcony wraps around the entire front of the ship and includes a four-person hot tub, sun loungers, a dining table and various chairs. Passengers staying in the Regent Suite get additional perks, including first-class airfare on all domestic flights (and business on all intercontinental flights); a personal car and guide for use in all ports, private transfers from their home to the airport and back again; unlimited laundry and pressing, plus all of the amenities included in the Master Suite. These passengers also have exclusive access to The Study, a dining space tucked between Prime 7 and Chartreuse. The Regent Suite's vibe is akin to a luxury Miami penthouse -- flashy but utterly beautiful. You'll not only need very deep pockets to reserve this suite but also a huge amount of willpower to ever bring yourself to leave it.
HEALTHY RETURN TO SAILING
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is working with their Healthy Sail Panel — a team of cross-disciplinary experts enlisted to guide the cruise industry’s way forward in response to COVID-19. Co-chaired by Governor Michael Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is comprised of globally recognized specialists in public health to develop, implement and continually evolve industry-leading standards. Their Health and Safety Protocols cover all aspects of onboard and shoreside operations to protect their guests, crew and the communities we visit.
SAFETY ON THEIR SHIPS
Their 24/7 prevention schedule will feature continuous disinfection of public areas and high-traffic touchpoints as well as daily fogging of all suites, public spaces, and guest corridors. The fogging process utilizes a hospital-grade oxidant that is natural, safe, and non-toxic. Guest suites will receive intensive microbial disinfection daily, which includes fogging of the entire space inclusive of bathrooms and closets.
Strategic installation of medical-grade air filters to provide cleaner air for their guests. The upgraded H13 HEPA air filters are capable of removing 99.9% of airborne pathogens and are fine enough to catch particles of COVID-19.
Each ship will have a dedicated Public Health Officer on board, responsible for the oversight of all outbreak prevention initiatives. Additionally, they will monitor the day-to-day sanitation and cleanliness of all public areas and accommodations, maintaining compliance with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program. They will work hand in hand with the ship’s medical team on board as well as the corporate Public Health and Medical departments shoreside.
They constantly monitor the global health map and cancel or modify itineraries to impacted areas as needed. They may also prevent guests and crew who have recently travelled through high-risk locations from boarding.
SAFETY FOR THEIR GUESTS
All guests will undergo pre-embarkation health screening.
Once it is time to start your voyage, they’ve designed an enhanced, staggered embarkation and check-in process for proper social distancing that also includes a new state-of-the-art touchless temperature screening. Embarkation terminals will be sanitized continuously, and terminals will be thoroughly sanitized and, where possible, fogged before and after each embarkation and debarkation.
No-touch food and beverage service is being implemented across all ships with service staff stationed ship-wide, including Coffee Connection, Pool Grill and all restaurants and lounges. Of course, all guests will be required to engage in frequent hand washing and hand sanitiser will be prominently placed and easily accessible throughout the ship.
To provide even more space for responsible social distancing, they have reduced shipboard guest capacity. Reduced seating in entertainment venues, smaller group sizes for shore excursions, culinary classes, and onboard activities, along with increased spacing in dining venues, provide for effective social distancing practices.
They’re partnering with their local destinations and tour operators to ensure their industry-leading health and sanitation protocols extend to the shoreside experience. Embarkation terminals, tour coaches, and the attractions we visit must have appropriate health and safety protocols in place.
SAFETY FOR THEIR CREW
A healthy staff and crew helps protect their guests. Constant monitoring of staff and crew health includes testing of crew members, temperature checks multiple times per day as well as rigid sanitation and hygiene protocols.
They are expanding their medical teams to provide among the highest Medical Staff-to-Guest ratios onboard each of their ships. Enhanced onboard medical centres are abundantly stocked with common prescription medications, remedies, and the latest virus-testing equipment as available. All medical centres will have the ability to perform FDA- and CDC-approved PCR Point of Care testing. Complimentary consultations and treatments are provided for respiratory illnesses and each ship is equipped with dedicated isolation accommodations should the unlikely need arise.
HEALTHY SAIL PANEL
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings established a Healthy Sail Panel in partnership with Royal Caribbean Group to develop a comprehensive set of recommendations that will guide the cruise industry’s way forward in response to COVID-19. These recommendations, including 74 detailed best practices across five areas of focus, will be used to inform their brand’s robust set of health and safety protocols, which will be shared in the near future.
Consisting of 11 globally recognized experts with deep knowledge in the areas of science, medical practice, medical research, public health, infectious disease, biosecurity and maritime operations, the Panel serves as an example of their commitment to protecting their guests, crew and the communities they visit. The work of the Panel has been shared widely with the cruise industry and is available to any business that may benefit from their findings.
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