Harry Kemble hops aboard Regent’s newest super-luxurious ship
Overview: Seven Seas Splendor is Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ fifth ship and the second vessel in the Explorer class. The line went 15 years without launching new hardware before Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor came into service in 2016 and 2020, respectively. The 750-passenger ship has been hailed by the line’s bosses as “luxury perfected”. You don’t have to spend long on board to see why.
Cabins: There are 15 categories of accommodation on the all-suite vessel. I stayed in a mid-range Concierge Suite with a vast veranda, a small sitting room area, and double sinks in the bathroom. The largest suite on Splendor is the jaw-dropping 4,000-plus-square-foot Regent Suite on deck 14. It has an original Picasso on the wall, a $200,000 bed and a wraparound veranda, and it includes unlimited in-suite spa services.
There’s a secret dining room adjacent to the suite in case you fancy some private dining, since the suite accommodates six people
Food and drink: On Splendor, there are many features that indicate this is no ordinary ship. Perhaps the biggest giveaway is the main dining room, Compass Rose on deck four. This sophisticated space is fitted with chandeliers and Versace dinnerware and is the largest restaurant in the fleet. The menu is extensive and changes daily so you will never be bored. We ate at Italian restaurant Sette Mari at La Veranda and chic French eatery Chartreuse. The latter offers all the traditional dishes you would expect from a French restaurant, but it was the chicken supreme with morels and aged comté crust in a champagne and crayfish sauce that took my breath away. Gourmands won’t be left disappointed by the choice on offer. There’s also a steakhouse called Prime 7 and pan-Asian restaurant Pacific Rim that debuted on Seven Seas Explorer.
Facilities: One of the few differences between the two sister ships is a slightly expanded pool deck area. Passengers can enjoy a pre or post-dinner drink at the Meridian Lounge on deck five, and afternoon tea is also served here too. The Observation Lounge is the place to go as the vessel arrives or leaves ports of call, and while Coffee Connection may lack the grand decor of some of the other onboard venues, that does nothing to diminish its immense popularity among passengers.
USP: The Culinary Arts Kitchen offers two-hour cooking classes, starting from US$89. The fun and inspiring sessions are one of the very few add-ons you have to pay for, but they are well worth trying.