12 February 2020 by Emma Sanger-Horwell
I had the great privilege of being one of the first aboard the beautiful Regent Seven Seas Cruises new ship Seven Seas Splendor on an exclusive short preview sailing ahead of her christening in Miami - here's my Seven Seas Splendor cruise review and my first impressions of this new ship.
Seven Seas Splendor, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
We boarded in Ancona, Italy which was the shipyard where this ship was born. Seven Seas Splendor is the sister ship to Regent Seven Seas Explorer which was featured recently on TV as the World's Most Luxurious Cruise Ship.
Welcome champagne on Seven Seas Splendor
I stepped aboard and was immediately greeted with smiling faces and a glass of champagne (the first of many, I might add). Stood there in the stunning atrium with its sculptures, impressive art works as well as a stunning crystal central chandelier, it looked different to most other cruise ships. Different in an “another level” kind of way.
Atrium, Seven Seas Splendor
Instantly she screamed sophistication, elegance and beauty all with a modern twist. Although large in size compared to other Regent ships, she has an intimate feel to her. At 56,000 tons and accommodating 750 guests, a ship this size for the mainstream cruise lines would normally hold over 2,000 guests. While this ship was full, many of my social media followers commented as I posted pictures of how empty the ship looked. No queuing for drinks, restaurants or fighting for deck space on this ship!
Suites on Seven Seas Splendor
Penthouse Suite, Seven Seas Splendor
She and her sister ship Seven Seas Explorer certainly mark a new era of luxury cruise travel. First stop was to our suite, a Penthouse Suite, and our luggage was already waiting for us. Our Butler appeared from nowhere instantly to give us a tour of our suite and its facilities. The first thing that struck me aside from its large size was its beautiful décor. The quality in the fixtures and fittings and furniture was like nothing else I have seen on a ship. We had a large lounge area with chair, sofa, coffee table, as well as a dining table and chairs. A utility/kitchen/bar area was handy with our coffee machine, water and mini bar. This opened out onto our balcony which again was one of the largest I have seen at sea. It fronted both our lounge and bedroom with access from both. As well as table and chairs, it also had two very large sunbeds and room for a gathering of friends with no problem.
Penthouse Suite bathroom, Seven Seas Splendor
Our bedroom was separated from the lounge area by a partition with sliding doors, making this a perfect choice for families as the sofa in the lounge was actually also a sofa bed. Again with its beautiful furnishings, the bedroom was tastefully decorated in-keeping with the muted colours of the ship. The huge bathroom with twin sinks, a large spa shower and high-end toiletries made me gasp with excitement! (It must be a girl thing)
The bathroom opened out into our huge walk in wardrobe with plenty of space for luggage and our belongings. I also spied a couple of beautiful cashmere pashminas hung up for use on the balcony in the evenings. Just a lovely touch and one of many little extras that I found which set it apart from other ships in this end of the market.
The next few days, we spent exploring the ship while we sailed to our final desination which was Rome. Our stop in Dubrovnik seemed secondary to me. Almost a bonus…but of course, this is what cruising is all about, being able to sample some of world’s finest destinations with Regents inclusive excursion program.
All-inclusive on Seven Seas Splendor
Regent Seven Seas Cruises ultra-inclusive model allows you to budget in advance of your trip. They include free flights and transfers from the UK. All the drinks, including premium brands and coffees, are included too. Gratuities, Wi-Fi and excursions are also all included, making it almost impossible to spend a penny while on board. I always remind people that it’s what you pay to get OFF a ship that’s important after you settle your on board account. In this instance my account was ZERO. This is important to keep in mind when comparing cruise holidays. A big price difference when booking a trip will not be the end of your overall outlay.
Pacific Rim speciality dining, Seven Seas Splendor
Speciality dining is also included. And wow what an experience this is…. unlike many mainstream cruises where you pay extra to eat outside of the main dining room. Saying that…. I actually loved the main dining room, Compass Rose, as this was also more of a speciality restaurant but didn’t require reservations like some of the others did. I felt that the quality and service was in-keeping with the other dining choices which is really unusual. The Compass Rose dining room was simply stunning, light and airy and we ate off the finest Versace tableware. I got the feeling that no expense had been spared. During my time on board, I ate in all the restaurants and easily have put on a stone! Each was stunning and some of the best food I have ever eaten.
Dining on Seven Seas Splendor
Here is a rundown of what’s available to tempt your taste buds. And of course don’t forget the 24hr in room service. Yes I also sampled that too!
Compass Rose, Seven Seas Splendor
At the heart of Seven Seas Splendor is Compass Rose, the largest specialty restaurant across their fleet. This sophisticated venue, exquisite with chandeliers and bold Versace dinnerware, offers a multitude of choices to customise your meal. Savour a favourite like Chateaubriand Beef Tenderloin with a delicious red wine grain mustard sauce or an entirely new dish like the Malaysian-style braised beef short rib with curry sauce and Jasmine rice.
An absolute can’t-miss culinary experience aboard Seven Seas Splendor, Chartreuse conjures the foodie fantasy of discovering a chic, fine-dining restaurant while strolling the backstreets of Paris. Savour ‘new’ flavours to Chartreuse like frog legs in a garlic cream sauce with rutabaga or bite into the tender veal rack of loin with caramelised endive, grape chutney and the earthy tones of a walnut veal jus sauce.
Pacific Rim, Seven Seas Splendor
Discover and devour Pan-Asian culinary traditions. Featuring intricate architectural details, wood carvings and an immense art installation of a mythical dragon, Pacific Rim will delight with a perfect balance of flavours and Zen-like ambiance. The menu brings life to rich culinary traditions, from the enhanced smoking presentation of dry ice sashimi and the sweet and spicy medley of sauces with a re-imagined duck spring roll.
Prime 7, Seven Seas Splendor
A handsome décor of glass, metal and marble will conjure images of walking a red carpet as you enter Prime 7, but you’ll save the accolades for the cuisine, which elevates classic American fare to new heights. The mouthwatering prime New York strip, porterhouse and succulent filet mignon are always aged perfectly and cooked as you like, while orange-pomegranate and tamarind-whiskey sauces redefine classic dishes like scallops and smoked salmon.
SETTE MARI AT LA VERANDA
Wherever you’re voyaging, you’ll never be far from enjoying perfectly prepared Italian dishes in stunning, over-water alcoves. Choose from authentic Italian specialties inspired by family recipes that span generations, or opt for something with a modern twist like a spice-crusted tuna steak with braised endive, polenta and salmoriglio. Savour it all with a perfectly paired Tuscan wine as you watch stars shine on the ocean below.
La Veranda, Seven Seas Splendor
Begin your day with breakfast at La Veranda and you’ll forever believe it really is the most important meal of the day. Take in gorgeous ocean views from quiet alcoves jutting out over an iridescent sea while savouring made-to-order omelettes and other specialties. Late risers can tuck into enhanced lunch buffets indoors or al fresco on a shaded, open-air deck. Lunches feature a variety of delectable selections, including hot carving stations.
Voyaging to the world’s most beautiful destinations means taking in spectacular landscapes, and the Pool Grill allows you to pair panoramic views with tasty lunches and casual dinners. Food tastes better when dining al fresco and gazing upon a Mediterranean harbour, Norwegian fjord, or Brazilian coastline. Indulge in regional barbecues or freshly grilled fish of the day and treat yourself to perfect milkshakes and hand-dipped ice cream desserts.
Coffee Connection, Seven Seas Splendor
Sitting and chatting with newfound friends over barista-made coffee has long been a favourite pastime. Aboard Seven Seas Splendor you can now do so in an expanded outdoor section. This chic metropolitan café with an elegant interior of muted pastels and crisp whites now seamlessly transitions to trendy al fresco seating, where you can sit and chat with clear views of the shimmering sea.
You will not go hungry that’s for sure and the waiters and sommeliers are always on hand to make their recommendations of wine to suite your meal.
On board activities were plenty and they offered something for everyone. The next day’s activities would be delivered to our suite the night before so we could plan our days. Everything from quizzes, lectures golf tournaments on the pitch-and-putt. Fancy a game of tennis? There was too much to choose from.
Culinary Arts Kitchen, Seven Seas Splendor
The ship also provides cookery courses in their culinary arts kitchen, where you get to prepare and eat a meal while you receive instructions from the resident chef. This takes pace in a fully functional kitchen which overlooks the sea with its ceiling to floor windows. A really stunning place to be while learning something new.
The boutiques, casino, spa and gym also can help while away the hours on a sea day, whilst the evenings can be filled with fabulous dining experiences, Broadway shows and of course a little tipple in one of the ships many bars and lounges.
I also got to experience the other suites on this beautiful ship. From the Regent suite with its $220,000 bed and own spa right down to the entry level veranda suite.