A few years ago, Regent Seven Seas was heavily promoting that it was building the most luxurious ship afloat, the Seven Seas Explorer. Travel professionals found such claims overly boastful and wondered if Regent could deliver on that claim. Indeed, Regent did. Explorer’s sister ship, Seven Seas Splendor, has now cruised into the marketplace, helmed by an energetic female master. Regent refers to Splendor as “luxury perfected,” and it is the most expensive cruise ship ever built on a per berth basis.
Without a doubt, Regent has made some thoughtful changes on the new ship, which are all good. I had the pleasure of cruising on the new ship for a few days following its inaugural in Miami. No beat was skipped, and for a “shake down” cruise, service, cuisine, entertainment, and onboard comfort were all in top form. The public spaces are gorgeous, with quality and comfortable furnishings.
Being a bit of a foodie, I enjoyed the Culinary Arts Kitchen onboard, where up to 18 guests can sign up for cooking immersion classes. The class itself was very well-orchestrated, with helpful cooking tips provided throughout. We made a three-course meal and enjoyed each course on the spot.
Otherwise, there are several dining options onboard, similar to Explorer, including the main restaurant, Compass Rose, the French-inspired Chartreuse, the Asian fusion-inspired Pacific Rim, with its spectacular dragon entry, the Italian dishes at Sette Mari, and the magnificent and perfectly prepared steaks and bone-in veal chop at Prime 7. Then, there’s the fabulous Grill on the pool deck, which offers delectable choices for lunch. Bars and restaurants aboard Splendor feature a number of new cocktail and menu choices. Every dish was well-prepared and tasty. The coffee bar serves espresso drinks and more.
Staterooms are spacious and thoughtfully designed. Regent has always been exceptional for its walk-in closets and spacious, luxurious bathrooms (once you move up from the lead-in category). There were plenty of outlets conveniently located bedside and elsewhere to charge devices. There is good lighting and in-room entertainment options, with large screen monitors. Bedding was plush and comfortable, as would be expected.
Libraries onboard ships often seem like an afterthought on some ships and not necessarily a quiet space to relax with a good book with comfortable seating. Onboard Regent Splendor, the well-stocked library called out to browse. The travel section alone was full of inspired travel books to help plan future adventures or read up on where the ship would be heading to next.
Yoga, pilates, and meditation are all part of the offerings at the Serenity Spa & Fitness Center. In addition to multiple course offerings, spa treatments and a well-equipped gym, the sauna, steam, and cold rooms added everything one would need to keep in shape or pamper oneself.
I enjoyed two stage shows onboard, and both had story lines which made them a bit more interesting to watch. The performers were talented as some of the choreography was complicated and demanding. Musicians onboard were also talented and first-rate.
I very much was looking forward to experiencing the new Splendor firsthand, in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak, and I was not disappointed.
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