Review: Seven Seas Spendor, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Step on board Splendor and you’re surrounded by exquisite marble features and gold banisters
Location: Seven Seas Splendor is offering a varied programme of itineraries over the next 12 months, with sailings in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, plus two ex-UK cruises.
First Impressions: Regent Seven Seas Cruises executives will tell you that Splendor is “luxury perfected”, while sister ship Seven Seas Explorer, which launched in 2016, was the world’s most luxurious vessel. Step on board Splendor and you’re surrounded by exquisite marble features and gold banisters – not to mention $5 million worth of artwork dotted around the ship. The one major difference between Splendor and Explorer is the colour scheme. Splendor’s interiors are awash with lighter tones of blue, brown and cream. The pool deck has been expanded to allow for extra seating. Subtle switches have also been made to the layout of pan-Asian restaurant Pacific Rim. Regent has opted for carefully considered touch-ups rather than extensive changes, which is testament to the feedback Explorer received on launch. Both vessels have set the luxury bar that little bit higher.
The facts: The 750-passenger vessel has 375 suites across 15 categories and, like Regent’s other four ships, has no staterooms. The most impressive of the bunch is the massive Regent Suite, complete with its own spa, two bedrooms and a wraparound veranda, located at the top of the ship. Prices for the Regent Suite start at $10,000 a night and, according to the line, there’s no availability until November. Splendor has five quality restaurants: the aforementioned Pacific Rim; steakhouse Prime 7; Chartreuse, where exquisite French food is served; Italian eatery Sette Mari at Le Veranda; and main dining room Compass Rose, where part of the extensive menu changes daily. Fun two-hour cooking classes are available in the Culinary Arts Kitchen. During my time on board I cooked pesce all’acqua (translated as fish in crazy water) and pain perdu with rum-spiced caramel syrup. Each of the classes has been designed by Kathryn Kelly, Regent’s executive director of culinary enrichment. Don’t be put off by the lofty job title – the classes are entertaining, inspiring and well worth doing. The sessions start from $89 and are one of the very few extras passengers actually have to pay for.
Wow: Imagine booking one of the world’s most luxurious products and not having to sign for anything while on board. Pretty much everything is included in the fare with Regent. The line offers more than 2,000 tours, all of which are included. Sixty-five shore excursions are new and are currently exclusive to Splendor. However, the ultimate wow for affluent travellers with money to splurge is the Regent Suite, which boasts a $200,000 bed in the master bedroom, an original Picasso and a Steinway piano. This single suite alone makes Splendor a standout front-runner in what is becoming a congested luxury market. It is only when you step on board and experience the rest of the ship that you understand why Regent Seven Seas Cruises is among the leaders in this high-end space.
Book it: Prices for the 19-night Iberia & the Mediterranean sailing, departing from Barcelona on May 28, 2020, start from £10,855.