Seven Seas Splendor

Seven Seas Splendor: Inaugural sailing of Regent’s luxury new ship

CTN steps aboard Regent Seven Seas’ luxurious new Seven Seas Splendor for a taste of the high life on the high seas…

Day 1: Aboard Seven Seas Splendor

With a name like Splendor, Regent has certainly set expectations high when it comes to the newest addition to its fleet. And it was up to me – along with my fellow guests on board for the inaugural voyage from Barcelona – to see if Seven Seas Splendor lives up to her impressive name.

Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas cruises
The sparkling new ship in all her glory

It is evident as soon as you step aboard that Regent has spared no expense on its new ship, which has been proclaimed as “the most luxurious cruise ship ever built” by CEO Frank del Rio.

The luxury decor throughout the ship perfectly blends both comfort and luxury with impeccable details, exquisite high-contrast materials and lush jewel-toned accents.

There are 375 suites on board the 750-passenger vessel, from the 30sq ft Veranda suites to the incredible 4,443sq ft Regent suite, which can be yours for a hefty £10,000 a night (checkbooks at the ready).

Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas cruises
The luxurious design is apparent throughout the ship

My accommodation, while not quite as splendid as the Regent Suite, was still grand and faultless in design, featuring a comfortable Queen-sized bed, interactive flat-screen television, intimate sitting area and en suite bathroom complete with luxury products.

It also had a balcony (like all suites on board) which, generous in size and offering sweeping views, more closely resembled a terrace.

After having settled in, our butler arrived, who welcomed us into our new home with a bottle of champagne and canapes as an elegant pre-dinner snack. This exemplary service and attention to detail continued, I am pleased to say, throughout my trip.

The good food continued that night with dinner at Chartreuse, which serves modern French fare. You will find a host of restaurants on Splendor, including Asian-Pacific-inspired Pacific Rim, steak house Prime 7 and Sette Mari at La Veranda, to name a few. For those guests looking for something more casual, there’s also the café, Coffee Connection, serving al fresco drinks and snacks throughout the day.

Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas cruises
An overnight stay in the Regent Suite will set passengers back a hefty £10K

After being well wined and dined, I knew it was time to call it a night as I had a busy few nights ahead of me. Other guests decided to carry on the evening in the Meridian Lounge, where there was live music playing and cocktails flowing well into the early hours.

Day 2: Port day at Dubrovnik 

Awaking the next day feeling wonderfully rested, my wife and I went for breakfast at the La Veranda and enjoyed the beautiful views of Dubrovnik port (which we had sailed into during the night) on the shaded, open-air deck while dining on fresh fruit and yoghurt.

After breakfast, we decided to go for the transfer into the centre of town (rather than opting for the escorted shore excursion offered by Regent) and spend the day wandering around Dubrovnik’s old town.

Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas cruises
The Veranda restaurant offers sweeping ocean views

After strolling around the port city’s ancient streets and feeling like an extra in Game of Thrones (which was famously shot in Dubrovnik), we did some shopping and discovered some great prices in a local boutique and then sat in the square drinking hot chocolate with Amaretto.

Lunch back at La Veranda was spent with Paul Beale, Regent’s sales director, and Martin Murray, head of cruise at Travel Councillors. Guests are truly spoilt for choice with the fabulous array of food on offer at the buffet, from fresh salads to gourmet sandwiches and hot carveries, all washed down with champagne that was served to us on tap.

Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas cruises
Pan-Asian restaurant Pacific Rim is one of the many eateries on board

After lunch, my wife went to the beauty salon for a pampering blow-dry, while I signed up for a personal trainer and spinning class as I knew I would have to try and work off some of the pounds that were inevitably being piled on.

This was followed by an equally excellent dinner at Compass Rose restaurant. The elaborate courses were each served to us on beautiful Versace china plates, just to add to the level of luxury.

After dinner, we went to the casino where I indulged in a little flutter before gathering with guests at 11pm for a special musical treat given by the Regent team. I finished off the evening in my suite with a hot chocolate and cookies bought to me by the butler. I could well and truly get used to this.

Dubrovnik, Croatia: cruise port city
We stopped over in the beautiful port city of Dubrovnik

Days 3 and 4: Sea day and disembarkation

It would be near impossible to get bored on Seven Seas Splendor. The ship has been kitted out with every facility imaginable, from a swimming pool, running track, golf putting green and a paddle tennis court for sports fanatics, to a library, connoisseur club, card room and an observation lounge for those looking for something slightly less energetic.

With so much entertainment on offer, you could quite easily spend the whole voyage never disembarking should you so wish.

Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas cruises
Enjoy a dip in the generous-sized pool

All this would have to wait, however, as I was first due at an agent briefing in the theatre. Hosted by CEO Jason Montague, UK managing director Graham Sadler and EVP of ship operations Robin Lindsay, it was both informative and inspiring. Along with looking at how Regent sets itself apart with its luxury, all-inclusive offering, it was also discussed how the cruise line plans to continue growing globally as it has increased its capacity by 28 per cent.

In the afternoon, I was left to my own devices to enjoy the ship. Determined to get some exercise, I went to my personal training session, held in the plush, state-of-the-art gym.

My renowned PT Roland has famously whipped the likes of George Michael and Clive Owen into shape. He put me through my paces before an invigorating spinning class in the studio, which had me and the rest of the class singing along to some classic INXS.

Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas cruises
There’s even a putting green for golf enthusiasts

After training, I went for a much-deserved massage. The beautiful and relaxing Canyon Ranch Spa Club offers everything from bespoke aromatherapy to ayurvedic treatments.

Our final dinner that night was at Prime 7 and after my heavy workout, I was ready to tuck into the steak which I’d heard so much about and did not disappoint, cooked to absolute perfection and paired with a lovely red wine.

As it was our final night, a group of us decided to hit the bar and enjoy some cocktails as the DJ blasted out 90s classic along with modern chart-toppers.

Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas cruises: Observation lounge
The beautiful Observation Lounge is the perfect spot for an after-dinner tipple

That night, we packed our bags as we were sadly disembarking the following morning. Leaving Seven Seas Splendor, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness and envy towards those who would be embarking next.

With its luxurious design, unparalleled level of service and amazing attention to detail, Regent has certainly set out what it intended to do in creating a ship that has perfected the concept of luxury – and given me a holiday I will never forget.

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