Fine Travel Consultant Meghan Ward was invited for an exclusive inspection of luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas' ship the Seven Seas Explorer when she was in Auckland recently. Not only was this an opportunity for Meghan to expand her knowledge of the Regent Seven Seas experience, it also gave her a first hand insight into what her clients experience onboard.
About Regent Seven Seas
For those not familiar with Regent Seven Seas, it is one of the true "luxury" cruise lines. Although luxury is a word that can be used quite liberally in the travel industry, Regent Seven Seas represents true luxury (think six star and beyond). One of the areas they pride themselves on is the concept of "Every Luxury Included" which effectively means that the price you pay for your suite covers everything onboard with very few exceptions. Some of the notable inclusions are:
- All dining and specialty restaurants
- Shore excursions (there are alternatives you can also pay for)
- Unlimited fine wines and spirits (there is also a selection you can pay for onboard)
- Open bars and lounges, plus in-suite mini-bar replenished daily
- Unlimited WIFI*
- Pre-paid gratuities
- 1-night pre-cruise hotel package and ship transfer in Concierge suites and above*
Interestingly, when these inclusions are factored into the price of a suite, and then compared to one of the premium cruise lines where these inclusions may need to be paid for on top of the cruise fare, the difference in prices can be less than expected.
Seven Seas Explorer was refurbished in November 2019 and welcomes no more than 732 guests across 366 suites. She is 224 metres long, 31 metres wide and cruises at 19.5 knots.
Upon embarkation you will be met with a very warm welcome and a glass of champagne (guests are also provided with Vero still / sparkling water - replenished on a regular basis).
Depending on your embarkation time (Seven Seas and Horizon View Suites and above receive priority boarding on embarkation day), you will either be able to head straight to your suite or invited to indulge in canapes, lunch or relax in an area of your choosing while the finishing touches are placed on your home away from home.
While having a tour of this ultra luxury ship (billed as the Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built) I was able to view the Regent Suite, Master Suite, Grand Suite, Explorer Suite, Concierge Suite (pictured below as this is the most popular with New Zealand guests) and the entry level Superior suites (you can learn more about each suite here). All suites come with a beautiful private balcony and stunning decorative yet understated touches and, of course, your personalised choice of beverages. Penthouse suites and above enjoy a personal butler service and further inclusions are added for higher category suites as well).
After visiting the suites, we had a look at the extensive and very popular onboard library. This is one of the most sought after places to visit, especially on sea days. It is a beautifully decorated space with warm and welcoming furnishings as well as a “log” fire on colder evenings. There is a huge range of books to choose from while you sit and read while watching the world pass by.
Next stop, The Observation Lounge! This is a wonderful ambient space to enjoy some time with friends, play bridge and also indulge in a drink or two. There is also a grand piano so you can expect some entertainment while here as well.
Time to meet the lovely Stefano! Head Chef of the Culinary school that is offered on board. This fully functioning and resourced culinary kitchen is where you can book yourself in for a two hour slot to learn to cook all different kinds of different meals. This season, they have a “down under” themed class where they cook mussels, lots of different seafood and flavourful curries.
There is also two floor atrium with beautiful stage and comfortable furnishings and is also the area where you will meet before you are called for your shore excursions.
Lastly, we visited the spa area where you can opt to have your hair done in professional salon. There are many treatment rooms, sauna, steam and ice rooms as well. At the back of the spa area there is the infinity pool.
For the end of our tour, we were treated to a beautiful lunch at Chartreuse restaurant (reservations are required). This is a specialty french restaurant onboard and can be found on Deck 10. They offered some amazing Californian wines and exquisite cuisine. They cater for all dietary needs as well.
Overall, it was invaluable to see Seven Seas Explorer first-hand and to truly appreciate that Regent Seven Seas can deliver on their promise of a luxury experience for my clients.
If you'd like to learn more about Regent Seven Seas, please feel free to contact me (or your usual Fine Travel Consultant) or visit our dedicated Regent Seven Seas page which includes links to itineraries (including prices) and more information about the ships in the fleet and their suites.