Explorers: A Regent Seven Seas cruise vacation takes guests off the beaten path, helping travelers gain knowledge and appreciation of the world’s most exciting and interesting destinations. The imaginative itineraries, unique shore excursions (included in the cruise fare) and land tours are enhanced by insightful presentations by guest experts. Regent Seven Seas visits more than 300 ports worldwide on six continents, including Antarctica.
Gourmands and connoisseurs: The Regent Seven Seas fleet of luxury ships provides guests the highest standard of cruising excellence, with Le Cordon Bleu menus, spa and fitness by Canyon Ranch SpaClub, and superior space and service ratios.
Regent Seven Seas Included Values
+ value-added Regent Seven Seas extras!
♦ FREE gratuities
♦ FREE roundtrip air from select gateways
♦ FREE shore excursions
♦ FREE bottled water, sodas, specialty coffees and teas
♦ FREE fine wines and premium spirits in bars, restaurants, on deck
♦ FREE in-suite mini bar replenished daily
♦ FREE specialty restaurants
♦ FREE luxury hotel package
♦ FREE ground transfers
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises - Cruise Line and Cruise Ship Reviews
A Regent Seven Seas cruise represents a luxury vacation for people who prefer the finer things. Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) has been chosen as the world’s top-rated cruise line by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazine and is a leader in the six-star luxury market.
This line’s three all-suite vessels represent the best in high-end cruising without the formality: posh surroundings, personal service, delicious international gourmet cuisine, and plenty of space in which to enjoy it all.
Sailing to more than 300 ports around the world, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ spacious ships are elegant, but not stuffy, radiating a casual country club vibe and an informal dress code that invites guests to dress smartly, but comfortably (only the longer itineraries have scheduled formal nights). While most passengers are wealthy travelers in their 50s and 60s on up, the shorter routes attract a broader demographic, with some younger couples and during summers and holidays, and even a few families in the mix when there are supervised activities offered for ages 5 plus.
RSSC keeps its elegant fleet in tip top shape with frequent refurbishments and enhancements to offer its discerning guests the best of everything.
Dining On Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Love surf & turf? Prime 7 is a contemporary take on a classic steak house that’s getting raves. You can also enjoy a lovely meal in the open-seating Compass Rose dining room or in two or three other venues where the fare is on par with top establishments on land. If you’d like to dine in, no problem at all, a steward will come to your suite and lay out a white tablecloth along with silverware and china, and serve you a full-course dinner from the restaurant menu.
Life On Board Regent Seven Seas Cruises
When not in port, the pace is mellow and relaxing. If the mood strikes, join ballroom dance classes, wine tastings, bridge and bingo games, and fascinating lectures by accomplished experts in various fields, from science to foreign affairs.
Each ship has a gym and a world renowned Canyon Ranch SpaClub, plus a golf driving net. Themed cruises from time to time are focused on fine food and wine (on Le Cordon Bleu cooking cruises, for instance, chefs trained in the Le Cordon Bleu cooking method hold workshops and host a special dinner) as well as photography, music, the arts, and more.
While conversation and cocktails are the entertainment of choice for many passengers, there’s also a piano bar and live music for dancing. Visit the casino or catch one of the production shows for a medley of musical hits and other classics.
The best part? The fares are all inclusive; a Regent Seven Seas specialty is to include extra values, such as free roundtrip airfare from select gateways, free shore excursions, free beverages - including fine wines, beer and premium spirits, soft drinks, bottled water, specialty coffees and tea served throughout the ship - and free in-suite mini-bar replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water. Regent prices also include all staff gratuities. RSSC offers luxury as it was meant to be.
Cruising Regent Seven Seas
by Ralph Grizzle. An award-winning travel writer, and recognized cruise ship expert.
Seven Seas Voyager carries 700 passengers and has the highest space ratio of the four ships I cruised on recently. What that means is that Seven Seas Voyager has more space on a per passenger basis.
Here’s a breakdown of the space ratios on my four cruises:
• Emerald Princess: 36
• Seadream II: 39
• Seven Seas Voyager: 66
• Crystal Symphony: 53
• By contrast, Silversea Cruises Silver Whisper has a space ratio of 73.
So Seven Seas Voyager felt roomy and uncrowded. Although the ship was full, it did not feel that way.
Staterooms (or actually they’re called suites on the all-suite, all-balcony ship) were the largest of the four ships I sailed. The smallest measure 356 square feet with the balcony. And all feature large and beautiful bathrooms with separate tub and shower.
Instead of enjoying a cocktail in their staterooms or on their balconies, people are gathering in the public areas.
Regent’s all-suite, all-balcony
Seven Seas Voyager boasts an extremely roomy space ratio: 66. Ships with high space ratios, I find, can appear empty, even when sailing full. You can walk down a hallway and not run into anyone. If you’re one who appreciates your personal space, you’ll feel comfortable on a ship with a high space ratio.
Staterooms too (or actually they’re called suites on the 700-passenger all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Voyager) were large. The smallest on Seven Seas Voyager (category H) measures a generous 356 square feet with the balcony. All staterooms feature large and beautiful bathrooms with separate tubs and showers.
The Suite Life
I inserted my key to enter Penthouse Suite 1049, a category A stateroom measuring 370 square feet. Regent recently spent $20 million in vessel refurbishments that brought big enhancements to the staterooms and public areas of the four-year-old Seven Seas Voyager (as well as sister Seven Seas Mariner and the 490-guest Seven Seas Navigator). Those ships feature wireless service for laptop computers and faster Internet connectivity overall, cell phone service, and iPods with Bose speakers in Butler suites.
Other enhanced amenities include bed linens, duvets, cashmere throws and bathrobes from the luxury brand Anichini; new towels and slippers; and new Regent-brand bathroom amenities. Master and Grand Suites aboard the three ships now also feature personal Nespresso coffee machines, while each of the three ships’ Club.com computer lounges also have state-of-the-art espresso bars.
Penthouse-category suites come with a butler. I wasn’t sure what to do with mine, so I asked. I learned that I could use my butler to make dining reservations at the extremely popular alternative restaurants, Signatures and Latitudes. My butler suggested that I make reservations within the first day or two of boarding. Be sure to heed the advice if you’d like to dine in either or both of these fine restaurants.
I also used my butler to choose my preferred canapés each day from a variety of options. Butlers, according to Ved Sharma, head butler on Seven Seas Voyager, are there to make your life easier. They can do everything from help you with your high-tech equipment — digital cameras, iPods and so on — to making tender reservations for going ashore.
“You can never define the role of a butler,” Sharma says. “It is so elaborate. Probably the most handy thing a butler can do is help you host a cocktail party in your suite.”
Sharma’s most unusual request: the guest who wanted a suckling pig served in his suite. The wish was fulfilled. Sometimes, however, butlers cannot meet a guest’s request, such as the passenger who wanted bananas when the ship ran out during a crossing. The butlers got creative, however, and brought the guest pancakes made with frozen bananas.
Seven Seas Voyager is truly all-inclusive. Fares include beer, select wines and spirits served throughout the ship.
A Loyal Following
On my cruise from Rome to Nice, there were quite a few passengers who had cruised with Regent multiple times — and for good reason. The cruise line’s loyalty program is one of the industry’s best.
Victoria Gallegos, a cruise consultant on Regent Seven Seas Voyager, says there are five tiers of the program, known as Seven Seas Society. Those who have sailed 21-74 nights, in the Silver category, receive complimentary internet access, one hour complimentary phone time and more. Platinum members who have sailed 200-399 nights receive all the perks of the previous categories plus an additional six hours of phone usage, air deviation, pressing, laundry services and more. Those who have sailed 400 or more nights receive everything from the previous tiers plus transfers to and from their homes and dry cleaning on board ship.
I talked with George Burke, an accountant who developed an Excel spreadsheet comparing the value that individual cruise lines offer relative to the fare paid. His conclusion: The lead price point for Seven Seas Voyager and other ships in the Regent fleet may appear higher than the fares on premium-category vessels or other luxury ships, but the picture changes once you factor in all that you get on Regent. Regent was actually cheaper on a per-square-foot basis than other premium and luxury lines in Burke’s analysis. And he did his work before Regent changed its policy to include alcohol free of charge.
You won’t need to dig into your pocket for gratuities either, which are included in the fare. Add to that the perks for Regent repeaters — free internet access and phone usage and did we mention free booze? But it’s not just the free bubbly that make Regent’s guests so ebullient. The overall high standard of service and the value of the Regent experience itself gives good reason for cheer.
Regent Seven Seas Dining
by Ralph Grizzle. An award-winning travel writer, and recognized cruise ship expert.
At a time when many companies are retrenching, Regent Seven Seas Cruises continues to invest and upgrade its fleet. The company spent $20 million to upgrade Regent Seven Seas Mariner, departing Fort Lauderdale on the first leg of its world cruise.
Among the improvements: a new steakhouse, Prime 7, which offers prime cuts of beef in this complimentary dining venue. Prime 7 was a hit with passengers sailing on the first leg of the ship’s world cruise.
I entered Prime 7 yesterday 15 minutes before it opened. The staff was getting a lecture from the maitre ‘d, who sounded like a coach, laying out the game plan for the night and emphasizing the importance of good service.
Like most of its competitors, Regent takes service seriously. The company even keeps a database about the likes and dislikes of its passengers. One of the passengers on our cruise, for example, prefers kale (the cabbage variety) each morning. So what did Regent managers do? They went out and bought enough kale to last for the entire world cruise.
We enjoyed a multi-course dinner in Prime 7. I chose the Signature Surf & Turf, a 6-ounce filet mignon served with a 6-ounce lobster tail. Prime 7, which imposes no additional surcharge for guests, uses only the finest U.S.D.A beef, from Midwest Black Angus cattle. The beef is dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days.
Nearly all of the food served on Regent is fresh, not frozen, says Mark Mulder, chef de cuisine on Regent Seven Seas Mariner. He adds that Mariner has 4,000 recipes in its database, and menus run on a 21-day cycle before being repeated. Regent employs “destination cuisine,” using local ingredients and flavors whenever possible.
One of the items on the menu in Prime 7 is Alaskan King Crab Legs. My dinner companions were in awe the second night when the waiter placed a dish in front of me described as a “two pound cluster of sweet Alaskan crab legs served with drawn butter.” The fact that Regent is serving such fine dishes in Prime 7 underscores something I learned last night. Andrew Poulton, an executive who works in Regent’s corporate offices, told us that Regent is spending more per guest on food in Prime 7 than it spent in the restaurant it replaced, Latitudes.
As one example, Prime 7 serves an amuse-bouche using Kobe beef. Last I checked, Kobe beef was going for more than $100 per pound. No cutting corners at Regent.
The company, in fact, is striving to become “the most all-inclusive” product in the cruise industry, and is even gearing up to include something that cruise lines have typically used as a profit center — shore excursions. The policy takes full effect in 2010, but this year 35 select sailings will offer a sampling of free shore excursions.
In making such decisions, Poulton told me: “We sat down and asked, What can we do to further distinguish Regent? What message can we own? We decided what we wanted to own was to be the most inclusive cruise product in the world. We believe it sends a very strong message.”
Regent Seven Seas has redefined the lido buffet. At Deck 10′s La Veranda, items include local fruits, berries, produce and meats. La Veranda provides an enjoyable dining experience for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
My recommendation is to enjoy room service on your balcony for breakfast on most days of your cruise, but visit La Veranda once or twice to dine in the al fresco area aft. Also, enjoy at least one evening of casual dining here, especially worthwhile for the Italian cuisine.