John and Sandra Nowlan recently sailed on Regent Seven Seas Splendor. They detail their time onboard this ultra-luxury ship in this Regent Seven Seas Cruise Review.
Caviar for Breakfast. A Regent Seven Seas Ultra-Luxury Cruise Review
The charming young crew member from Ukraine obviously loved her job – offering unlimited breakfast caviar to guests on Regent’s newest and most glamorous ship, Seven Seas Splendor.
Regent holds a unique place in the world of cruising. The brand is one of the few in the ultra-luxury category but it stands out by offering a complete all-inclusive package.
Included in the price are a spacious suite with balcony, all meals (including specialty restaurants), drinks (including beer, wine, spirits and cocktails), tours (with a wide variety of choices in each port), airport and hotel transfers, even laundry and pressing. In some categories, business class flights and pre-cruise hotels are part of the fare.
Janice Davidson. Regent’s VP for Creative and Brand Management, told us her greatest marketing challenge is price. “We’re trying to educate people about what comes with all inclusive,” she said. “With our single up front cost, guests could actually pay less than on other lines.”
As soon as we boarded Seven Seas Splendor in Miami for a week long Caribbean cruise the luxury, service and no-cost inclusions stood out. More than 46,000 square feet of fine Italian marble on walls and floors and more than 500 stunning chandeliers created an ambience unlike any we’ve experienced in 25 years of cruising.
The ship, launched in 2020, has a capacity of just 750 guests, all in balcony suites ranging from an impressive 307 to more than 4000 square feet. The crew of 550 provides the best staff to guest ratio at sea. Their friendliness, training and attention to guest needs were evident all week.
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Our Regent Seven Seas Splendor Suite
We stayed in one of the smaller suites. Though, the layout and generous storage spaces including a walk-in closet still impressed us. The long couch and convenient work desk were separated from the bed area by privacy blackout curtains. The balcony with its generous table and two cushioned wicker chairs was one of the largest we’ve ever seen. The bed itself was extremely comfortable with high thread count sheets and excellent adjustable reading lights.
There were several convenient USB and power outlets. Guests can control the thermostat by up and down – warmer and cooler – arrows rather than an actual temperature setting. We could fill the small fridge with whatever complimentary drinks we wanted. The marble lined bathroom had just one smallish sink but a large shower area with both a regular shower head and a rainforest-style shower.
Our suite was near the back of the ship so we could occasionally hear engine rumble, especially when getting underway or docking. But we think the general room soundproofing is very good since the ship was full and we didn’t hear a sound from any of our neighbors.
Rooms are cleaned and refreshed twice a day with newspaper summaries (from the USA, Canada, Britain and other countries) put on the bed each evening along with tomorrow’s schedule (the excellent library includes a daily, full edition of the New York Times). The large, high resolution TV featured many free movies but limited broadcast channel choices.
One negative aspect of not just the suites but throughout the ship was the poor internet service. Regular, free but slow internet is available for all guests. We booked the premium, extra cost package but it was only marginally better. Email and YouTube worked fairly well but posting photos on Facebook was not possible. The technical head on the ship told us that satellite improvements are coming.
Regent Seven Seas Dining
Regent continues to excel in its culinary program. The Hotel General Manager, Anatoli Makaev, told us that food costs, per person, are the highest at sea. Regent, he said, is spending three times more for food than before the pandemic. Unlike other lines, there have been no cutbacks in quality or quantity.
Guests can enjoy Canadian lobster or aged prime filet mignon every evening if they wish. Chefs continued to receive pay during the Covid years so their commitment to guest satisfaction is evident.
For a ship with fewer than 800 passengers, the restaurant and menu choices were remarkable. Every evening in the main dining room, Compass Rose, guests could choose from an “Always Available” menu (from Alaskan Crab to New Zealand lamb chops) or the daily specials including the Executive Chef’s six course “Gourmet Tasting Menu”.
A healthy Spa menu was also available. Good quality red, white, rosé or sparkling wines were offered without extra cost each day, even non-alcoholic wines if you wished. Three uniquely decorated specialty restaurants offer French cuisine (Chartreuse), Asian fare (Pan Pacific) or Steaks and Seafood (Prime 7).
The large buffet restaurant on Deck 11, La Veranda, has an excellent selection of breakfast and lunch items. White tablecloths are standard throughout the area (most unusual for a cruise ship buffet) and are a classy touch. In the evening, much of La Veranda becomes a fine Italian restaurant, Sette Mari. Coffee quality in the buffet was only fair but outstanding brews were always available at the 5th deck Coffee Connection.
Onboard Amenities and Entertainment
Seven Seas Splendor has a well equipped fitness center and a Spa at the stern of the ship. We discovered the uncrowded Infinity Swimming Pool as part of the Spa and preferred it to the large, main pool on Deck 11.
Splendor’s entertainment was, as expected, of a high caliber with a dozen talented singers and dancers, accompanied by the ship band. They put on several complex main stage productions in the evening. The Regent Signature Orchestra, the Cocktail pianist and a DJ also played music for listening or dancing each evening in several lounges throughout the ship.
On our final evening a few band members and singers put on a lively Beatles music night in the Atrium. We were disappointed that the ship’s entertainment did not include a string quartet or even a solo cello or harp. Classical music would have been a lovely touch in the pre-dinner period.
There was no shortage of games and puzzles throughout the ship. Trivia, Bingo, darts, shuffle golf and beanbag toss were among several ways guests competed for coveted Regent points and prizes at the end of the cruise.
We were also pleased to see and hear a retired history professor give illustrated lectures about subjects ranging from Mayan civilization to the Caribbean connection in World War 2. Another special treat was seeing actor John O’Hurley (best known as J. Peterman on Seinfeld) perform his brilliant one man show – music and musings – called “A Man With Standards”.
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Regent Seven Seas Splendor Itinerary
The ship itself was clearly the star of our week-long cruise from Miami but the itinerary was fascinating too.
We docked in Roatan, Honduras, for an island tour and swim. Then, we stopped the next day in nearby Belize, the only English speaking country in Central America. Sandra joined a tour to a spice farm where the two chefs from the Culinary Arts Kitchen collected spices for a hands-on cooking class back on the ship. Guests prepared prawn biryani with garam masala and white pepper crepes with cardamom ice cream.
In the meantime, John visited a typical Mayan village off the grid where a chocolate maker showed how cacao beans were harvested and turned into the popular sweet treats.
Our planned stop in Costa Maya, Mexico, was cancelled because seas were too rough to dock. Cozumel was more tranquil and we relived our youth by boarding a two-person mini speedboat and racing through choppy water with other boats before stopping for a snorkel in warm, pristine waters filled with tropical fish.
Seven Seas Splendor has been called, “the most luxurious cruise ship in the world”. In many ways it’s true. But later in 2023, Regent is launching Seven Seas Grandeur, a sister ship to Splendor. With subtle improvements, Grandeur is now likely to claim the “most luxurious” title. It will be fun to find out. Luxury refined.
Did you enjoy John and Sandra’s Regent Seven Seas Splendor cruise review? Have you cruised with this ultra-luxury brand? Drop us an anchor below to share your experiences sailing with Regent.
Appeared first on: Eatsleepcruise.com