REGENT SEVEN SEAS GRANDEUR: A sumptuous cruise ship for elite guests

When Regent Seven Seas Cruises set out to define and deliver “the world’s most luxurious cruise” it understood the lifestyle values of the elite cruise guests it aims to cultivate. In launching Seven Seas Grandeur, RSSC – itself trademarked as ‘The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet’ – ensured its all-suite, all-balcony, all-inclusive new ship would embody the sumptuous cruise environment craved by people accustomed to splendid surrounds, service, and food.

The result is a stunning vessel inspired with rich design elements everywhere, from its art-filled public spaces to its suites, the most expensive listed at $11,000 per night.

Luxury of space

As wealthy cruise guests crave the luxury of space, Seven Seas Grandeur provides that in spades. Completed in November 2023 by Fincantieri Shipyards in Italy at a cost of US$525.4 million, the 56,199-GT, 224-m.-long ship carries 809 guests at full capacity. With 551 crew, it has a high guest-to-crew ratio of 1.36 to 1.

Artistic inspiration

Sister to Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor, Seven Seas Grandeur features slight architectural differences. Her interiors, brilliantly designed by Studio DADO with an elegant art nouveau flair, showcase the ship’s multi-million-dollar art collection of 1,600-pieces, including three original Picassos. The atrium lobby sets a tone of quiet opulence. Its gleaming staircase – illuminated by a chandelier resembling a tangle of crystal ribbons – leads to a glass case housing the first Fabergé egg to permanently reside at sea. Named “Journey in Jewels,” the exquisite creation, enameled in shades of the sea and embellished with white pearls, honours the ship’s godmother, Sarah Fabergé, founding member of The Fabergé Heritage Council and great-granddaughter of Peter Carl Fabergé.

Experiencing Seven Seas Grandeur during a three-day sailing, I sensed an aura of understated wealth. Every art installation and design element in every area of the 12-deck ship – from spacious public lounges to restaurants to individual suites to outdoor spaces – speaks of the very best in class, meticulously curated for visual impact.

Among my favourite spaces, the Observation Lounge on Deck 11 is stunning by day with panoramic ocean views, but breathtaking by night when illuminated by the massive light fixture that spans the ceiling in the shape of flower petals.

The two-deck high Constellation Theatre evokes the plush affluence of the art nouveau era, its chairs clad in regal red.

The spacious Library provides a serene repose for reading or researching its maps and books for future travels.

Just riding the glass-sided elevator treats the eyes to a gorgeous, 12-m.-tall tapestry called The Enchanted Tree, woven by world-renowned Brazilian artist Walter Goldfarb.

Gorgeous dining venues

Compass Rose

Seven Seas Grandeur offers seven unique dining venues, including five complimentary restaurants, all including top quality wines, all offering innovative dishes, including plant-based vegan options. Thanks to Studio DADO’s creative design sensibility, the entrance to every restaurant whets the appetite by creating a lavish sense of place.

The black leather walls of three-dimensional camelias at the entrance to the French restaurant, Chartreuse is inspired by designer Coco Chanel. Its vast ceiling lights are an exact copy of her own light fixture designs. The style of her era continues on the tables, accented by gilt-edged dishes. I relished my meal including a modern take on Salad Niçoise featuring sashimi grade tuna stacked on crisp lettuce and asparagus spears, capped with sliced peppers and a black olive, with Esplette chili dressing smeared on the plate. My delicious salmon entrée was served in a bowl of broth and topped with tiny diced vegetables.

The foyer of Asian-inspired Pacific Rim restaurant is enhanced with an exquisite, custom-crafted bronze and glass Bonsai Cherry Tree sculpture by Savoy Studios. Dining amid its romantic interior accented by lampshades etched with traditional Asian scenes, and cushy banquets in shades of coromandel red, I sampled a dozen dishes, each more fragrant and mouth-watering than the last.

While time didn’t allow me to dine in Prime 7, the Manhattan-style steakhouse notably housing original art by Picasso, I did appreciate the artful entryway, its walls clad in a leather patchwork that suggest antique trunks of global travellers.

Fans of Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor will know that La Veranda – the popular buffet serving breakfast and lunch – typically transitions to table service for dinner. Here it becomes Sette Mari for Italian specialties.

The approach to Regent’s Signature Compass Rose main dining room is simply smashing. Redesigned from sister ships with huge archways and pillars, all embedded with a zillion crystal teardrops, it evokes the fanciful atmosphere of entering an enchanted forest. Its tables set with Versace service and side plates, Compass Rose offers a unique menu concept that allows guests to customize their entrées by choosing from a variety of sauces and side dishes. Abundance goes without saying in all-inclusive dining, there’s no limit on choices. At my table, guests ordered caviar plus full lobster entrées as appetizers before their filet mignons.

For al fresco dining at lunch, the Pool Grill buffet offers dishes beyond any pool grill at sea. Typically extravagant items, including fish, lobster and crab are available every day. Even the beef burger is served with a gourmet touch of truffle aioli and caramelized onions.

Guests wishing to host special dining events may book the private dining room. And, of course, 24-hour room service allows guests to order from the menu of any restaurant currently operating.

Seven Seas Grandeur features a bar in each restaurant and almost every lounge. Besides spirits, wines and cocktails, every bar serves non-alcoholic libations.

Activities galore

This luxury ship offers plenty of activities. Sports facilities on Deck 12 include a pickleball court, jogging track, bocce court and shuffleboard as well as a golf driving net and putting course with holes inspired by famous golf courses.

The long pool and Jacuzzi on Deck 11 have ample lounges in sun and shade, including some elegantly partitioned for private relaxation.

Serene Spa and Wellness Centre plus the Fitness Centre have lavish facilities over Deck 5 and 6 aft. One treatment room has a special therapeutic amber and quartz bed. The Hydrothermal Suite includes a sauna, steam room and big cold room with four stools to rest your chilly tush. It leads to a lovely outdoor area with three whirlpools overlooking the ocean. This is a change from sister ships Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor who have an infinity pool.

Cooking classes instructed by professional chefs in the Culinary Arts Kitchen typically sell out quickly as each class is restricted to 18 students, each at their own station. On my cruise, Chef John Stephano taught the secrets of preparing Pasta Limone (lemon pasta) and French crepes to serve with powdered sugar, ice cream and berries. Inspired by regional dishes on the itinerary, each 90-minute classes costs $89 per person.

To leisurely pass time indoors, guests may follow the ship’s digital art tour by downloading it on the Regent Mobile App. Or join a card game or match pieces at the puzzle tables.

Sweet suites

Verhanda Suite

Seven Seas Grandeur’s 373 guest accommodations include 15 categories ranging from entry-level Veranda suites at 110 metres square, including a 33-sq.-m. balcony to the 1,350 sq.-m. Regent Suite with additional 430-sq.-m. balcony. Most luxurious, the Regent Suite has two bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. It houses two original artworks by Picasso, a Steinway Baby Grand piano, plus a private sauna and spa area for unlimited spa services offered in-suite. Guests sleep blissfully on the US$200,000 Hastens mattress bed. As mentioned up front, RSSC understands the lifestyles of guests willing to pay US$11,000 per night for a sumptuous cruise environment.

Various other accommodations from Penthouse categories and above offer butler service. These include Master Suites, Grand Suites, and Grandeur Suites. For guests with mobility issues, several suites include accessible roll-in showers. As I saw one guest in a wheelchair and one navigating independently while seated on a scooter, Grandeur seemed accessible throughout with elevators and ramps.

Ensconced in a Superior Veranda Suite (sans butler), I was thoroughly delighted by my spacious accommodations, at 140-sq.-m. It featured a wide balcony with a table and chaises longues, separate sleeping and living areas that can be divided by a curtain, and a beautiful marble-clad bathroom with twin sinks, big shower, and deep soaking tub. I loved the L’Occitane amenities from Provence and couldn’t wait to linger in a bubble bath.

Like RSSC’s guest who appreciate bespoke residential finishes, I loved the design mix of walnut, leather, and rich fabrics in light-hearted hues of sea and sand. I was impressed by the welcome Champagne, and elegant buffet-style counter set with flowers, fresh fruit, Vero water and Illy coffeemaker. The bar was stocked with sodas, juices, and beer. And importantly, the space had ample, well positioned outlets (both North American 110-volt and European 220-volt) plus USB ports to charge electronics, as well as touch-controls to monitor temperature and indicate preference for service or do-not-disturb.

Family-friendly options

While Regent cruises are best suited to adults, they are not restricted to adults only. On select sailing, RSSC offers “Club Mariner” programs for ages 5-17. Notably, youths under 16 are restricted from the spa and fitness centre.

All-inclusive value

When I dined with James Arnold, RSSC’s Global Public Relations Director, I asked, “What sets Regent apart in the very competitive luxury cruise market.” He replied, “On Regent all-inclusive means all inclusive. That includes gratuities, dining at all specialty restaurants with top quality wines and unlimited shore excursions. There are no hidden charges. Guests do not pay for access to spa areas, including the Hydrotherapy Suite and outdoor Jacuzzis. The only extras are for spa beauty and therapy services, gift shop purchases, culinary instruction classes, premium wines and spirits, and premium shore excursions.”

Who will enjoy Seven Seas Grandeur

As budget, lifestyle and itinerary are the ultimate qualifiers, it pays travel advisors to know their clients. Regent caters to guests who appreciate the ship as a destination unto itself and are willing to pay for impeccable service as well as a superior cruise experience. It appeals to people who typically prefer staying at top luxury hotels, and have a worldly attitude that includes interest in visiting small ports.

Where the ship sails

Seven Seas Grandeur itineraries range from seven to 16-nights. After currently cruising the Caribbean, it will sail two Panama Canal crossings before heading up the Eastern Seaboard in March. Then it will cross from New York to Barcelona and cruise the Mediterranean for the summer. In Fall 2024, she will return to Canada and New England before heading south to spend winter 2024/25 in Caribbean.

Starting January 2026, RSSC offers a 154-night sailing starting at US$95,000 for the Deluxe Veranda suite. Reservations open in March 2024 for this itinerary which is already garnering huge interest as it includes calls in 41 countries across six continents, with 77 ports (including three newly available) and 47 UNESCO sites.

First published at Travel Industry Today


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