Join Bolsover Cruise Club’s Luxury Marketing Specialist, Emily Straw, as she recounts her experience of being among the first to step aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises new ship Splendor.
I have been wishfully writing about Regent Seven Seas Cruises since I started in my Luxury Marketing role at Bolsover Cruise Club, in total awe over the imagery and idea of sailing on one of their ships one day. So, when I received the save the date invitation to join their new ship Seven Seas Splendor on her ‘return to the sea’ voyage I was totally thrilled.
Regent’s hallmark is their unrivalled inclusivity, where everything imaginable is part of the base fare. From award-winning dining experiences to pre-paid gratuities, exceptional service, and free shore excursions, ensuring that every guest has a hassle-free time at sea.
Covid-19 has had a rippling impact on the travel industry and this became clear at the point of embarkation and it was mandatory for all guests to partake in a rapid lateral flow test in a designated area at the terminal. The whole process was efficient and our (thankfully) negative results appeared about 20 minutes later.
Once onboard, it was hard not to be blown away by the dazzling atrium made all the more distinctive by the row of welcoming beaming smiles from the crew. I’d completed an at-home safety video which meant that the visit to my muster station was brief, leaving me with more time to scope out the rest of Splendor, in particular the highly anticipated suite that I would be staying in for the next 4 nights – The Splendor Suite. Located at the mid-ship on deck 10, my digs were far more striking than I could have ever imagined. Boasting a large living area complete with a well-stocked mini bar, 2 beautiful bathrooms, a walk-in closet, extravagant bedroom and a balcony spanning just under 25 sq.ft, all of this along with my own attentive butler – I was left wondering if I would ever need to leave my suite after all.
Luxury appeared in the finest of details, from the consistency in service where every member of crew offers the same warming smile and level of attention, to the quality of food across all 8 dining venues that left me wondering about the level of expertise that must exist beyond the galley door in order to prepare fresh ingredients to a high standard on every voyage.
On the subject of food, I managed to eat in nearly every dining venue across my 4-day stay. Depending on how late we stumbled in the night before, breakfast was either enjoyed from the comfort of our suite or in La Veranda, where made-to-order omelettes and fluffy Belgian waffles were readily available. For lunch we dined on grilled hot dogs and oysters by the poolside, watching as fellow guests soaked up the warm English sunshine whilst enjoying a cocktail or two. In the evening we dressed in our fineries and made our way through all the speciality restaurants, sampling the artistry of Asian fusion at Pacific Rim, French fine dining in Chartreuse, American glamour in Prime 7, and at the heart of the ship was Compass Rose, where classic cuisine was served atop Versace tableware.
The ship’s décor is totally timeless. Sharp lines and a superbly stylish palette exist across every inch of Splendor, with over 500 chandeliers and sophisticated artwork sitting alongside modern furnishings made for an elevated luxury cruise experience.
As the sun set into the evening, Splendor took on a new life. Guests would congregate in the Constellation Theatre for toe-tapping performances that seemed to get better and better as the nights passed. A brief pit stop would be made at the Meridian Lounge to watch the ship’s band play as we sipped exquisitely crafted cocktails before making our way to the Splendor Bar where we’d dance into the early hours.
Throughout her English coastal endeavour, Splendor dropped anchor in two ports – Portland and Falmouth. Admittedly, I’m not usually one for guided shore excursions and you’ll usually find me in the shops and cafes, however, when in Falmouth I joined an informative guided excursion titled ‘Cornwall off the Beaten Path’ which saw myself and a small group visiting a quaint village called St. Mawes, strolling down its cobbled streets and stopping for a well-deserved Cream Tea pit stop. I must say, it was a nice way to see and learn about a part of England that I hadn’t yet visited.
Despite only spending 4 nights sailing around the English Coast, it was easy to picture how fabulous this ship will be when lucky guests are able to sun themselves on deck as Splendor sits alongside French Riviera or step ashore and enjoy the wonders of the Caribbean. But for now, I’ll continue to lust over the images in my phone’s camera roll of my time onboard and write about the unmatchable all-inclusivity I experienced over those four nights, at least now I know exactly how it feels to enjoy the luxurious Regent cruise experience.