A first timer’s review of a luxury cruise.
Charles Mills | October 11, 2021 | Regent Seven Seas Cruises | Seven Seas Splendor
You haven’t experienced every aspect of luxury, until you’ve boarded a luxury cruise ship! A review of Seven Seas’ Regent Splendor.
I like to think of myself as someone who enjoys seeking out the finer things in life. I’d also like to think that I’ve experienced most of those things at least once. So for me hearing that cruising, an industry that before, I had thought a bit cheap and not at all luxurious, in fact had an entirely new level that I had never really heard much about.
Regent Splendor was the first luxury cruise ship I had ever seen. Or seen knowing it as a luxury liner. She was beautiful, her silver rear glistened in the Southampton sun as we drove towards her on our way to the cruise terminal.
On arrival on board the ship, after our luggage had been taken once we exited the car, a perk of luxury travel I must say I enjoy, we were greeted in our suite by our butler, Christopher and our housekeeper, Nina. Our suite was spacious and everything you would expect from a 5-star hotel. The large salon area featured a dedicated in-suite bar and even a separate guest lavatory. I was surprised with the attention to detail, and the modern technology in each individual suite. The bathroom boasted shower pod’s, which release a scent to help either boost, energise or relax your mood, something I had never seen before. The large bathroom and bathtub were surprisingly spacious for any bathroom on sea I had been in.
After we made ourselves at home in the suite, we continued to explore the ship (NOT boat). The beauty and magic of something this huge can only be appreciated once onboard, you cannot explain to someone how much time, planning, expertise and money go into designing and building something this vast. It is ultimately a 6-Star hotel… That floats… Moves and explores some of the most beautiful places on earth. For us, our voyage consisted of the most beautiful places of Southampton, Portsmouth, Weymouth and Cornwall.
The short ‘stay-cation’ gave us just enough time to fully explore the ship, and get to know a handful of our fellow passengers. From a glamorous opera singer and her Chairman husband to Regent Commodores who had sailed over 1000 days with Regent. The mixture of passengers was eclectic but blended well.
We made reservations for dinner each night at the different restaurants on the ship, we were told by a number of other passengers that Chartreuse was the restaurant to eat at, and that the Dover sole was incredible.
Dinner on the ship was a big deal. Everyone would look forward to returning to their suites to change for dinner, and would often continue to one of the three after dinners lounges on the ship to meet up with friends and dance and drink into the evening. We visited them all, and I found that the observation lounge on the top deck by the cigar room is mostly used for before dinner drinks, and this works well as we enjoyed the pianist and the views of the surrounding ocean, a view which would magically change daily according to the location.
After dinner, most passengers either went to one of the evening lounges or attended the show. Each night was different, and each evening the cast continued to impress us with song and dance. The first night, ‘Diamond Run’ was performed. A very modern piece, which apparently was unusual for a cruise ship of this kind, but was received well by it’s passenger critics. We enjoyed being entertained by the fleet of performers, and by our Cruise Director, John Barron.
Once the show had ended it was a short walk to our chosen lounge. We frequented the Meridian Bar, where we would be spoilt by an array of music and cocktails. Good conversation was easy to come by, and everyone as you would expect after the first meetings were excited to talk about that evenings show, or which restaurant they had dined at while quaffing their chosen cocktail.
Any luxury liner, after a night of fine dining and drinks, is incomplete without a luxury spa. I was fortunate and indulgent enough to have two treatments at the spa onboard. I had been told that these spas were some of the most advanced, and luxurious spa’s in the world. The spa, as well as the usual treatment rooms and hair salon, also featured a gym that offered morning stretches, yoga and guided meditation.
Dis-embankment day came quickly, as would be expected from a 5-day cruise.
The ‘Farewell’ reminder was announced by the ship postal service. A crisp white envelope, placed in your door, was also how the ship would notify you of any dinner reservations for that evening. Sadly, no dinner reminders or table invitations were inside, as this envelope revealed our dis-embankment time, along with coloured luggage tags.
The last evening on the ship, as our voyage on Regent Splendor came to an end, we dined at Chartreuse, the ship’s ‘chic Parisian’ restaurant that we had heard so much about. I sampled, of course, the Dover sole, a recommendation by a fellow passenger, it was sublime. I had this as my last of five delicious courses, all presented by our waitress, Tjana, who deserves a special mention in this review. Our dessert came recommended to us by the Head Chef, who joined us for an in-between course tête-à-tête, a very nice touch.
After dinner we settled for the last evening of drinks in the main bar, what had become our usual order of a Sidecar and a Diet Coke was brought to us at our table as we enjoyed the jazz band, a late-night was not on the cards as our early disembarkation time was a gloomy reminder that tomorrow we were leaving this luxurious, floating island that I had so quickly adopted as home.
When the morning did come around, it was not gloomy at all. I drew back the curtains in our suite to be greeted by the same Southampton sun that had welcomed us onboard Regent Seven Sea’s Splendor, only a few days before. This morning, breakfast was served to us in our suite by Christopher, our Butler. The dining table was laid with the menu card we had filled out the night before. Toast, egg’s, sausages, juices, coffee, croissants. The breakfast stood up to the expectations of the ship, and the standards set by the restaurants onboard, a fitting ‘Bon-Voyage’ to this new cruise convert.
In all, a cruise convert I am. Regent Seven Sea’s Splendor, albeit a very grand starting point, has certainly perked my interest in cruising, of all kinds. I’d like to thank all the crew of Regent Splendor, and everyone we met on board, for making my first experience of cruising such a fond new memory.
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